April 26th, 1944(WEDNESDAY)
FRANCE: Paris: Pétain visits Paris. Huge crowds gather and cheer the 88 year old Marshal. He visits a hospital and attends Mass said by Cardinal Suhard in Notre-Dame. He speaks from the balcony of the Hôtel de Ville.
Off Brittany: HMS BLACK PRINCE and four destroyers engage three German torpedo boats, one is sunk.NORWAY: Admiral Moore leads Fleet Carriers VICTORIOUS, FURIOUS and Escort Carriers SEARCHER, STRIKER, EMPEROR and PURSUER (Peter Beeston) the battleship Anson and 6 cruisers, from the British Home Fleet, to attack the Tirpitz. Bad weather interferes with the planned raid. A coastal convoy is attacked instead and 3 ships are sunk.
GERMANY: Sgt Norman Cyril Jackson (b.1919), RAFVR, climbed out of a Lancaster at 20,000-feet to tackle a fire. He was pulled off the wing when his parachute partly opened and was captured on landing. (Victoria Cross)
GREECE: CRETE: General Heinrich Kreipe, the commander of the 22nd Panzer-Grenadier Division in Crete, was being driven home today when men appeared on the road waving a red flag. The car door was opened and a polite voice said: "Please consider yourself a prisoner of war." A sub-machine gun was brandished. With the general sitting in the back and a British Guards officer at the wheel, the car headed for a beach 20 miles away. Guards at 22 checkpoints cleared the way and saluted when they saw the two pennants fluttering from the car.
The general's hijackers were Major Patrick Leigh Fermor and Captain Stanley Moss of British Combined Forces. Before they left with the general for Cairo, they wrote a note telling the Germans that this was an exclusively British operation and that reprisals against the civilian population would be wholly unwarranted. It ended: "We're sorry to leave this nice car behind."
BURMA: Air Commando Combat Mission N0. 51 3:10 Flight Time Hailakandi, Assam to Meza, Burma Did not bomb due to weather.
Note: The rainy season is beginning and our field here at
Hailakandi is a dirt and grass strip. Landings are getting real tricky and both
our fighters and bombers get a mud bath each time they land. With the wet, high
and hot humidity. We have our share of problems with bomb rack electrical
systems and rusting machine guns, although check firing them each flight and
oiling them down (we do not fly high enough for them to freeze up) seems to keep
them operating better. The flight crews (enlisted) do all the reaming and
general work. (Chuck Baisden)
NEW GUINEA: Australian forces take Alexishafen (aka Alexister), north of Madang.
HOLLANDIA: Within days of its recapture from the Japanese this small quiet colonial Dutch town is being transformed into the largest Allied base yet built in the South-west Pacific.
Squads from the US Navy construction battalions, known as the
"Seabees", have started work on extensive docks and airfields, while a
city of huts is being erected on the edge of the primæval jungle. Some 140,000
men are to be based here for the next phase of MacArthur's Operation Cartwheel,
intended to drive the Japanese from north-west New Guinea before attacking the
Philippines. Meanwhile, US flyers have bombed Weak in pursuit of MacArthur's
policy of "neutralising" Gen Adachi's beleaguered garrison east of
U.S.A.: Wyoming's legislature approves statute allowing deployed soldiers to vote absentee in Wyoming's elections. (Pat Holscher)
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