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September 2nd, 1944

UNITED KINGDOM: The US Eighth Air Force in England flies Mission 596: 34 P-47s strafe gun positions and road and rail traffic in the Bruges-Ghent-Courtrai-Roulers, Belgium area and 2 C-47 Skytrains fly CARPETBAGGER missions to France.

Light cruiser HMS Lion is launched. (Dave Shirlaw)

Frigate HMS Loch Quoich is launched. (Dave Shirlaw)

FRANCE: 190,000 men; 220,000 tons of supplies; and 41,000 vehicles have been landed in Southern France. Their advance has almost reached Lyons.
Supply problems are beginning to cause difficulty for the US 1st and 3rd Armies in their drive across France.
In northern France, weather grounds the US Ninth Air Force bombers but fighters fly armed reconnaissance and area support to ground forces in Belgium and northwestern, northeastern and eastern France. 

In southern France, US Twelfth Air Force fighter-bombers, hampered by poor weather, hit barracks and rail lines in the Lyon area.

GERMANY: Rastenburg: Hitler orders the creation of 25 new Panzer divisions, to be split between the Seventh Army and the 5th and 6th Panzer Armies.

U-3017 laid down
U-2511 launched. (Dave Shirlaw)


Stábni rotmistr (Master Sergeant) Frantisek Cyprich was performing a test flight of Avia B-534.217, at Tri Duby airfield, which was the base for the Combined Squadron. He later reported: "I had overtaken the Ju 52 over Radvana. I made the first attack from behind - it filled my aim cross - it was in front of me, big as a barn. I was sure that all my bullets would go into the Ju52 but I realised that I must do another type of attack. When I made the second attack, I aimed at one engine and opened fire until I saw smoke coming from the engine. Then I made the same attack against the second engine and after that I saw the Ju 52 coming down. I was very happy that I shot down the first enemy plane during SNP and I was very proud when I landed on our own airfield." He landed back on base and went to report to Colonel Singlovic. He was however surprised, when he saw instead of his smile only his strict sight. The colonel only had one question: "Why you didn't force them to land on our base?" Pilot on the Junkers that Cyprich shot down was föhadnagy (Lieutenant) György Gách, in a Hungarian Junker Ju 52/3m from Magyar Légiforgalmi Rt. (MALERT). The co-pilot was Nándor Vermes. This was the first victory of the Slovak National Uprising and the last confirmed air to air kill by a biplane fighter in the Second World War (and by that probably the world's last). In 1991 after 47 years Frantisek Cyprich and the Hungarian co-pilot Nándor Vermes meet and shook hands. (Denis Peck)

POLAND:  The Polish Home Army evacuates Warsaw's Old City; 2000 Polish fighters escape through a single manhole and 4 miles (6,4 kilometres) of sewers.  (Jack McKillop)

FINLAND: The Finnish Prime Minister Antii Hackzell announces the break in diplomatic relations with Germany and demands that all German troops be withdrawn from Finland by September 15th. This is all part of accepting the Soviet peace terms.
Yesterday evening the Finnish government received an ultimatum from the Soviet Union: Finland has to officially accept the Soviet conditions for starting the peace negotiations by the end of 2 Sept, or the war will go on. The Parliament, originally set to decide on the matter on 5 Sept, is hurriedly called to convene at 6 pm on 2 Sept. By that time 157 out of 200 MP's has been able to gather at Helsinki. Prime Minister Antti (sic) Hackzell informs the Parliament of the Soviet demands and recommends the starting of negotiations. 108 (Social Democrats, Progressives, and half of Conservatives) votes for the negotiations, 45 (most of Agrarians and the other half of Conservatives) against and the peace progress can go on.

Immediately after the vote PM Hackzell announces in a radioed speech that Finland accepts all the Soviet conditions. But he accidentally forgets to expressly mention that Finland will break the relations with Germany immediately. This oversight will have serious consequences later, as the Soviets suspect that the omission was intentional.

At 10 pm the Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Enckell meets the German Ambassador Wipert von Blücher. He reads to Blücher an announcement informing him that despite the generous German support the urgent national interest demands Finland to make peace. As demanded by the Allies the Germans has to leave Finnish territory by 15 Sept. Angry and bitter von Blücher retorts: "And that you dare to say to me!" Mannerheim had already earlier given to General Erfurth (the OKW representative in Finland) a letter to Hitler, where he politely tells that his duty is to lead his people to peace. (Mikko Härmeinen and Gene Hanson)

U.S.S.R.: The remnants of German forces surrounded in the Kishinev pocket surrender to the Soviet Army.  (Jack McKillop)

ITALY: A partial breakthrough and advance of several miles is achieved by Canadian forces of the British 8th Army in Italy. The advance reaches the Conca River to the west of Cattolica. San Giovanni is liberated. Polish forces have effectively liberated Pesaro. Despite the arrival of German reserve forces these actions demonstrate the destruction of the German Gothic Line.

B-25s of the US Twelfth Air Force bomb 3 bridges in the Po Valley, following a raid during the night of 1/2 September by A-20 Havocs which hit a pontoon bridge and targets of opportunity in the Valley; and fighter-bombers blast roads, bridges and gun emplacements in Po Valley, docks at Savona, and shipping off shore. 

YUGOSLAVIA: 380+ US Fifteenth Air Force B-24s hit the Kraljevo railroad bridge and marshalling yard, a railroad bridge at Mitrovica, road a bridge at Supovac, and 3 marshalling yards at Nish; 27 P-38s dive-bomb the Cuprija road bridge while 57 P-38s and 112 P-51 Mustangs strafe roads and railways in the Nish and Belgrade areas; other P-51s escort Nish and Supovac bombing missions.

ARCTIC OCEAN: The German submarine U-394 is sunk in the Norwegian Sea southeast of Jan Mayen island, Norway, in position 69.47N, 04.10E, by rockets and depth charges from a RN Swordfish Mk III of No 825 Squadron in the escort aircraft carrier HMS Vindex, and the destroyers HMS Keppel and HMS Whitehall and the sloops HMS Mermaid and HMS Peacock. All hands, 50-men, are lost.

BLACK SEA: A Soviet Navy fleet minelayer  MS "T-410 "Vzriv" is sailing with Romanian minelayer Admiral Murgescu (812 tons), when the Soviet vessel was torpedoed and sunk by U-19 at 0522 hours local southeast of Constanta; she was the last victim of the U-boats in the Black Sea. Since Romania had only recently declared war on Germany, the Soviets accused the Romanian Navy of treachery and complicity in the sinking of this vessel, because the Romanian minelayer was not attacked. On 5 September, the Soviets sited this sinking as an excuse for the seizure of the Romanian fleet.  (Sergey Anisimov and Jack McKillop and Dave Shirlaw)(69)

PACIFIC OCEAN: Three Allied submarines sink Japanese vessels. USS Guardfish (SS-217) sinks a merchant cargo ship north of Chichi Jima, Bonin Islands, in position 29.48E, 140.20E; HMS Sirdar sinks a guardboat off northwestern Sumatra, in position 03.55N, 096.20E; and HMS Strongbow sinks an army cargo ship off the west coast of Siam, in position 07.57N, 98.49E.  (Jack McKillop)

US carrier-based aircraft of Task Group 38.4 again attack installations on Chichi Jima in the Bonin Islands and Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands. After recovering aircraft, TG 38.4 retires to participate in attacks in the Caroline Islands. LtJG George H. W. Bush piloted one of four aircraft from VT-51 (USS San Jacinto) that attacked the Japanese installations on Chi Chi Jima. For this mission his crew included RM2c John Delaney, and LtJG William White, who substituted for Bush's regular gunner. During their attack, four TBM Avengers from VT-51 encountered intense antiaircraft fire. While starting the attack, Bush's aircraft was hit and his engine caught on fire. He completed his attack and released the bombs over his target scoring several damaging hits. With his engine on fire, Bush flew several miles from the island, where he and one other crew member on the TBM Avenger bailed out of the aircraft. However, the other man's chute did not open and he fell to his death. It was never determined which man bailed out with Bush. Both Delaney and White were killed in action. While Bush anxiously waited four hours in his inflated raft, several fighters circled protectively overhead until he was rescued by the lifeguard submarine, USS Finback. The pilot George Herbert Walker Bush, A-V(N), USNR, later becomes the 41st President of the US in 1989.

CANADA: The 153 ship convoy ON-249 arrived safely with all ships intact, This was the largest of that series of convoys run during the war. 'ON' stood for 'Outward North' from Liverpool to North America. This series was started in July 1941 and terminated in June 45 with the arrival of ON 305. The average convoy size was approximately 50 merchant ships with about eight escorts. In all, 14,864 ships sailed in the ON series and 162 (1.1%) were lost, most of them in 1942. Of the total lost, only 81 (.55%) were in the convoy at the time of their sinking. The remainder were either stragglers or were 'out of convoy' due to detachment, weather, or some other tactical situation that made independent movement desirable. The overall loss rate in 1942 was 2.95%, which was unsustainable. This loss rate did not include damaged ships that were effectively lost for the period that they were under repair. Nearly as many ships were damaged as were lost due to enemy action as the effects of weather, collision, grounding and other accidents added substantially to the efforts of the enemy
Frigate HMCS Glace Bay commissioned
Corvette HMCS Camrose departed UK waters for refit Pictou, Nova Scotia.
Corvettes HMCS Branson and Petrolia departed Londonderry as escort for Convoy ONS-251
Corvette HMCS Trillium arrived St. John's to join EG C-3. (Dave Shirlaw)

U.S.A.: Top songs on the music charts today are (1) "I'll Be Seeing You" by Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra with vocal by Frank Sinatra; (2) "Swinging On A Star" by Bing Crosby; (3) "It Could Happen to You" by Jo Stafford; and (4) "Soldier's Last Letter" by Ernest Tubb.  (Jack McKillop)

Destroyer escort USS Roberts commissioned.

Destroyer USS Rooks commissioned.

Coast Guard-manned Army vessel FS-197 was commissioned at New Orleans. She was assigned to and operated in the Southwest Pacific area. (Dave Shirlaw)

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