April 6th, 1944 (THURSDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) taxation starts today.
FRANCE: The Eighth Air Force flies Mission 290: 12 B-24s bomb V-weapon sites at Watten without loss. Escort is provided by 27 P-47s without loss. (Jack McKillop)
U.S.S.R.: Heavy fighting on the Eastern Front north of Razdelnaya.
ITALY: Twelfth Air Force B-25s hit Perugia Airfield while B-26 Marauders bomb a bridge and its approaches northwest of Orvieto; weather prevents other medium bomber operations; fighter-bombers attack the railroad stations at Capronica and Maccarese, guns southeast of Littoria, a road bridge east of Pescasseroli, railroad bridges in the Arezzo area, other rail facilities in central Italy, and small transport vessels in the Aegean Sea. (Jack McKillop)
YUGOSLAVIA: Fifteenth Air Force B-24s bomb the airfield at Zagreb; numerous other B-24s and B-17s abort because of weather; escorting fighters and the bombers claim 17 enemy fighters destroyed in combat; 6 US aircraft are shot down. (Jack McKillop)
INDIA: Imphal: The Japanese "March on Delhi" has been stopped on the sun-baked plains of Imphal, 40 miles inside India. The battle here, says the British commander, General Slim, will decide India's fate.
The invasion began three weeks ago when the 33rd Division of Lt-Gen Renya Mutaguchi's 15th Army attacked the 17th Indian Division, aiming to draw off reserves at Imphal, the gateway to India. But Slim concentrated his three divisions in the plain, the 17th conducting a fighting withdrawal.
Today an airlift of reinforcements from the 7th Indian Division began from the Arakan front to Dimapur, north of Imphal. Two brigades are to join XXXIII Corps at Dimapur and a third is to join IV Corps at Imphal. Mutaguchi's men are now pressing in on Imphal from the south-west. Two more Japanese divisions have entered the battle: the 15th attacking Imphal from the south-east, with the 31stattacking Imphal's line of communication with India at Kohima, 50 miles north. The 5th Indian Division's 161 Brigade entered Kohima today, but other formations have been unable to break through.
The fighting has been ferocious: as many as half the men holding Nungshigum, a hill which dominates Imphal, were killed today. But time is on Slim's side. The Allies are supplied from the air; the 100,000 Japanese have only what they carry. If they do not capture supplies at Imphal, they will starve.
India: Jemadar Abdul Hafiz (b.1918), 9th Jat Infantry, led an attack across a bare slope and up a steep cliff, routing the enemy but receiving a fatal wound. (Victoria Cross)
BURMA: 6 Tenth Air Force B-25s damage the railroad and rolling stock Shwebo. 80+ fighter-bombers and 2 B-25s hit troops in the Namti area, support ground forces northeast of Kamaing, damage a bridge near Myitkyina, and hit troops, oil dumps, and supplies at Mogaung and Manywet. (Jack McKillop)
CHINA: Fourteenth Air Force P-40s from Suichwan pound a barrack southwest of Nanchang, causing heavy damage; a B-25 strike during the night of 6/7 April on airfields near Canton is curtailed by bad weather; only 1 B-25 reaches the target, dropping fragmentation bombs on revetments. (Jack McKillop)
EAST INDIES: Fifth Air Force B-25s bomb Koepang, Timor Island. (Jack McKillop)
NEW GUINEA: All but 25 Japanese aircraft at Hollandia have been destroyed.
NEW GUINEA: Fifth Air Force P-39Airacobras, P-40s and P-47s continue to pound coastal targets in the Wewak, Aitape, and Madang areas and at numerous other points along the coast. (Jack McKillop)
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Thirteenth Air Force bombers and fighters attack targets on New Britain Island: 22 B-25s bomb Lakunai Airfield and revetment area; 30+ fighter-bombers bomb the vicinity of Toboi wharf with incendiaries while 20+ others carry out incendiary strike on Wunapope, causing severe destruction to several buildings; and fighters maintain a sweep over Rabaul and New Ireland Island areas. (Jack McKillop)
CAROLINE ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-25s from Eniwetok Atoll hit Ponape Island twice. B-25s from Abemama Island bomb Jaluit Atoll, rearm at Majuro Atoll, and hit Maloelap Atoll during the return flight. During the night of 6/7 April, 34 Thirteenth Air Force B-24s bomb Dublon Island, Truk Atoll. (Jack McKillop)
CENTRAL PACIFIC: Seventh Air Force B-24s from Kwajalein Atoll bomb Wake Island. (Jack McKillop)
U.S.A: General Henry H "Hap" Arnold assumes command of the Twentieth Air Force at Washington, DC where HQ will remain until July 1945. Chief of Staff is Brigadier General Haywood S Hansell, Jr (currently Deputy Chief of Air Staff), with Colonel Cecil E Combs as his deputy for operations. (Jack McKillop)
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