June 18th, 1944
UNITED KINGDOM: London: A flying bomb fell on the Guards Chapel at Wellington Barracks only yards from Buckingham Palace, during morning service today. The building was almost completely destroyed and 119 worshippers, half civilians, half servicemen, were killed. Another 102 were seriously injured. The V1s generally cause higher casualties than the usual aircraft bombing. Flying bombs come over from northern Europe in a steady stream, night and day, so no warnings can be given.
The USAAF's Eighth Air Force in England flies two missions.
Mission 421: 1,378 bombers are dispatched to targets in Germany; eleven bombers are lost, ten to AA fire and one to unknown causes:
1. Of 890 B-17s dispatched, 381 bomb Hamburg, 88 hit Hannover-Misburg oil refinery, 85 hit the Bremen area; 60 hit Hannover, 54 hit Hamburg-Eurotank oil refinery, 38 hit Hamburg-Ossag oil refinery, 36 hit Hamburg-Schindler oil refinery, 18 hit Bremen-Oslebshausen; 18 hit Hamburg-Ebano oil refinery and five hit targets of opportunity; seven B-17s are lost.
2. Of 488 B-24s, 168 hit Hamburg, 107 bomb Bremerhaven, 58 attack the Watten V-weapon sites, France, 54 hit Brunsbuttel, 45 hit Stade Airfield, 28 hit Wesermunde, 13 hit Husum Airfield, nine hit Nordenham, eight hit Heligoland Airfield, five hit targets of opportunity and one hits Wrist marshalling yard; four B-24s are lost.
Escort is provided by 198 P-38s, 172 P-47 Thunderbolts and 215 P-51 Mustangs.
Other VIII Fighter Command missions in France are:
1. 94 of 98 P-38s and 82 of 87 P-47s attack railroad bridges in the St Quentin area without loss.
2. 47 P-51s make a sweep of the Dol de Bretagne area; three P-51s are lost).
Mission 422: Nine B-24s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions in France; a B-24 hits a tree at the drop zone. (Jack McKillop)
In France, the USAAF's Ninth Air Force in England dispatches about 130 A-20 Havocs and B-26s to bomb fuel dumps at Foret d'Andaine and Conches and marshalling yards at Rennes and Meudon during the morning and NOBALL (V-weapon) targets in the afternoon; fighters, in addition to escort duty, continue strafing and bombing rail lines, troop concentrations, and highway traffic on the Cherbourg Peninsula. (Jack McKillop)
ENGLISH CHANNEL: U-767 sunk in 230' of water, depth charged, 1 trapped gets out with Drager gear from bottom without an air lock, PoW. (Mark Horan)
SS Albert C Field (1,764 GRT) Canadian Upper Lakes and St. Lawrence Transportation Co. bulk laker sunk by a torpedo in a dusk attack from a Luftwaffe JU-88 torpedo-bomber a/c, in the English Channel, position 50.28N, 001.46W. The ship was part of the twelve-ship Penarth, Wales, to Normandy beachhead convoy EBC-14. She was carrying a cargo of 2,500 tons of ammunition and 130 bags of US Army mail. The ship broke in half and sank quickly. Four crewmembers were lost from her 33 men. The British Western Isles-class armed trawler HMS HERSCHELL rescued the survivors. The rescue was greatly assisted by the small red lights and whistles that had only recently been added to the standard life vests then in use. (Dave Shirlaw)
FRANCE: US First Army troops reach the west coast of the Cotentin Peninsula at Barneville. Cutting off the German-held port of Cherbourg.
POLAND: The Germans launch a six-day sweep against partisans near Lublin.FINLAND: Soviet attacks breech the Finnish Main Defence Line and they advance towards Viipuri. The 4th Division and 3rd Brigade were repelling Soviet attacks in old positions in Summa, the famous battlefield of the Winter War. Leningrad Front's successes against Finland are recognized by promotion of its commander Army General Leonid Govorov to Marshal of the Soviet Union, and commander of the 21st Army Lt. Gen. D. Gusev to Colonel General.(Mikko Härmeinen)
Six German AF barges are ordered to protect transports in Koivisto area. Securing patrol boat VMV 17 is destroyed by Soviet warplanes in Koivisto at Tiurinsaari Island. Six men lost. (Dave Shirlaw)
ITALY: The Allies capture Assisi.
CHINA: Changsha: After two weeks of fierce fighting the 200,000-strong Japanese Eleventh Army has taken the central Chinese cities of Changsha and Chuchow. Its next target is Hengyang, 75 miles away, an important railway junction on the Canton to Hankow line. The three-week-old Japanese offensive is intended to capture key Chinese supply lines before advancing south and west to destroy Allied airfields in China. It is from these that the new long-range US B29s bombed the Japanese mainland three days ago.
MARIANAS ISLANDS, SAIPAN: The 4th Marine Division reaches the west side of Saipan at Magicienne Bay. The 27th Division captures Aslito Airfield.
PACIFIC OCEAN: Allied CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 55, In the early morning of June 17 (West Longitude date) the enemy launched an amphibious counterattack against our forces on Saipan. A group of troop-carrying barges attempted a landing south of Garapan, but were re-pulsed by our armed landing craft. (Denis Peck)
The Japanese Naval forces continue toward the Marianas. Towards evening they sight the US 5th Fleet.
In the opening moves of the Battle of the Philippine Sea, nine IJN land-based bombers, Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber, Allied Code Name "Betty," are dispatched from their base in Yap Atoll to search for the U.S. fleet. The aircraft miss the ships of Task Force 58 but locate one of the Fifth Fleet escort carrier task groups. As a result of their sighting, the Japanese dispatch six land-based bombers, Kugisho P1Y Navy Bomber Ginga, Allied Code Name "Frances," escorted by eleven Mitsubishi A6M Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighters, Allied Code Name "Zeke," from Yap Atoll and 38 A6M "Zekes" and a Kugisho D4Y Navy Carrier Bomber Suisei, Allied Code Name "Judy," from Palau Island. These aircraft fail to locate the escort aircraft carriers but at 1545 hours local, they sight and attack a group of fleet oilers east-northeast of Guam; two oilers are hit and a third is damaged by a near miss. (Jack McKillop)
Escort carrier USS Bouganville commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: Frigate HMCS Charlottetown arrived Bermuda for workups. (Dave Shirlaw)
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