September 13th, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS: The US Eighth Air Force in England flies 3 missions. Numbers in parenthesis indicate the number of aircraft bombing the target.
- Mission 628: 1,015 bombers and 477 fighters,in 3 forces,
attack oil and industrial targets in southern Germany by visual means; 15
bombers and 8 fighters are lost.
(1) B-17s bomb oil refineries at Stuttgart/Sindelfingen (109) and Ludwigshafen (74); secondary targets hit are Darmstadt (95) and Wiesbaden (8); targets of opportunity hit are Mainz (22), a marshalling yard near Wiesbaden (12) and others (3); 4 B-17s are lost; escort is provided by 73 P-47 Thunderbolts, they claim 6-0-2 aircraft on the ground.
(2) B-24s attack Schwabish Hall Airfield (65), a munitions dump at Ulm (65) and Weissenhorn (45); a target of opportunity hit is Reichelsheim (1); 4 B-24s are lost; escort is provided by 99 P-38s and P-51 Mustangs; they claim 14-0-5 aircraft on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost.
(3) B-17s hit oil refineries at Merseburg (141) and Lutzkendorf (77); targets of opportunity hit are Giessen (17), Eisenach (12), Altenburg (7), Gera (7) and other (19); they claim 1-0-0 aircraft; 7 B-17s are lost; escort is provided by 233 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 33-0-4 aircraft in the air; 6 P-51s are lost.
- Mission 629: B-24s are dispatched on an Azon mission to the oil refinery at Hemminstedt (6); 5 hit the secondary target, ammunition dumps at Kropp. Escort is provided by 15 P-51s without loss.
- Mission 631: 8 B-17s drop leaflets on the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
- 73 B-17s, escorted by 63 P-51s, continuing the UK-USSR-Italy-UK shuttle-bombing mission, take off from USSR bases, bomb steel and armament works at Diosgyor, Hungary and proceed to US Fifteenth Air Force bases in Italy.
- 40 P-51s fly a strafing mission south of Munich hitting an aircraft dispersal area, airfield and marshalling yard; they claim 5-0-0 aircraft on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost.
FRANCE: The US 3rd Army advances taking Neufchateau.
The German garrison, of 12,000, surrenders at Le Havre to the British I Corps.
TACTICAL OPERATIONS: First Allied Airborne Army's IX Troop Carrier Command C-47s fly numerous supply and evacuation missions. The US Ninth Air Force's HQ XIX Tactical Air Command accompanies HQ US Third Army HQ to ChaIons-sur-Marne; B-26s fly a leaflet mission to coastal northern France and Belgium; fighters support ground forces in the Brest and Nancy-Metz areas (air-ground coordination being especially effective between XIX Tactical Air Command and French 2d Armored Division in defeating the enemy move on Vittel), and in Germany, fly armed reconnaissance over the Cologne, Aachen, Koblenz, Linz/Rhine, and Wahn areas; the XIX Tactical Air Command inaugurates a rail cutting campaign.
GERMANY: 386 RAF bombers drop 400,000 incendiary devices.
Dachau: Asst. Section Officer Noor Inayat-Khan (b.1914), WAAF, was shot. She had done highly risky work as an agent in France, and told the Nazis nothing after her betrayal. (George Cross) More
U-1305 commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: The 2nd Belorussian Front takes Lomza on the Narew River. Belated Russian supply drops to the Polish Home Army in Warsaw begin.
ROMANIA: The armistice between the Allies and Romania is signed.
ITALY: The British 8th Army has cleared the Coriano Ridge of German positions.
For 24 hours it seemed that the Eighth Army was about to break through the Gothic Line at the Germmano and Coriano ridges and pour through onto the plains beyond. Then it came up against its old adversary: the weather. The rivers are flooding. Tanks of the 1st Armoured Division stand impotently in fields of mud at San Savino, while the British 4th Infantry Division has come under heavy artillery and mortar fire, delaying its move up to the start line. The delay has given the German chief, General von Vietinghoff, time to move his infantry into place, closing the gate to the Allies.
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS: The US Fifteenth Air Force in ITALY dispatches 350+ fighter-escorted B-17s and B-24s to bomb targets in Czechoslovakia, Germany, Italy, and Poland; B-17s hit Blechhamer North oil refinery; B-24s hit the oil refinery at Odertal, Germany and, in Poland, the Auschwitz oil and rubber works and the Cracow-Auschwitz area, and bomb the marshalling yard at Vrutky, Czechoslovakia. 100+ B-24s attack the Avisio viaduct, and Mezzocorona and Ora railroad bridges.
TACTICAL OPERATIONS: In Italy, US Twelfth Air Force B-25s destroy a bridge at Peschiera del Garda, cutting the Milan-Verona line; B-25s and B-26s bomb guns and defensive positions north of Florence; fighter-bombers attack railroads, rolling stock, and bridges in northern Italy, although a heavy overcast hampers operations in the northwest.
COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: Carrier-based aircraft of the USN's Task Groups 38.1, 38.2 and 38.3 make unopposed attacks against Japanese faculties in the central Philippines. Because of the lack of a reaction from the enemy, Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr. recommends that the invasion of the Palau Islands be scrapped and the invasion of the Philippines be moved forward.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC: Far East Air Force B-24s and B-25s hit 4 airfields and bomb villages on Morotai Island. In New Guinea, B-25s hit Langgoer Airfield while A-20s and fighter-bombers hit 2 airfields on Efman Island; A-20s, B-25s, and fighter-bombers hit Babo AA positions and airfields at Manokwari and Ransiki.
PALAU ISLANDS: A USN task force
under Vice Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf, comprised of five old battleships, [USS
Maryland (BB-46), USS Mississippi (BB-41), USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), USS
Tennessee (BB-43) and USS West Virginia (BB-48)], nine cruisers, and destroyers
begins two days of bombardment of Peleliu and Angaur Islands. Additional support
is from four Third Fleet escort aircraft carriers. Minesweeping begins to clear
approaches for the landing craft.
While sweeping mines 750 yards (686 meters) off the southeast coast of Angaur Island, a violent underwater explosion, starboard side amidships, shakes the high speed minesweeper USS Perry (DMS-17). All steam to her main engines is lost and the forward fireroom is demolished and flooded. Steam and oil sprayed in all directions and the ship takes on a 30 degree list to port. The list increases and, at 1420 hours, the commanding officer ordered "abandon ship". With the aid of the destroyer USS Preble (DD-345) final attempts to save the vessel are made, but, at 1515 hours, all remaining personnel are ordered off. At 1605 hours, USS Perry capsizes. She brakes in two at the point of damage and, at 1607 hours, sinks in 40 fathoms (240 feet or 73 meters) of water. (Jack McKillop)
CANADA: Frigate HMCS Prestonian commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: The destroyer USS Warrington
(DD-383) and the stores ship USS Hyades (AF-28) are caught in the center of a
hurricane off the Florida coast in the U.S. In the evening of the 12th, the
storm forced the destroyer to heave to while Hyades continued on her way alone.
Keeping wind and sea on her port bow, Warrington rode relatively well through
most of the night. Wind and seas, however, continued to build during the early
morning hours of the 13th. Warrington began to lose headway and, as a result,
started to ship water through the vents to her engineering spaces. The water
rushing into her vents caused a loss of electrical power which set off a chain
reaction. Her main engines lost power, and her steering engine and mechanism
went out. She wallowed there in the trough of the swells continuing to ship
water. She regained headway briefly and turned upwind, while her radiomen
desperately, but fruitlessly, tried to raise Hyades. Finally, she resorted to a
plain-language distress call to any ship or shore station. By noon on the 13th,
it was apparent that Warrington's crewmen could not win the struggle to save
their ship, and the order went out to prepare to abandon ship. By 1250 her crew
had left Warrington; and she went down almost immediately. A prolonged search by
USS Hyades, the destroyer escorts USS Frost (DE-144), USS Nuse (DE-145), USS
Inch (DE-146), USS Snowden (DE-246), USS Swasey (DE248), USS Woodson (DE-359),
USS Johnnie Hutchins (DE-360), ATR-9, and ATR-62 rescued only 5 officers and 68
men of the destroyer's 20 officers and 301 men.
(Note: The USS WARRINGTON is named after Lewis Warrington born on 3 November 1782. He entered the USN on 6 January 1800 and on 28 February 1844, he temporarily took over the duties of the Secretary of the Navy. He relinquished the office in March 1844 and served as Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance until he died on 12 October 1851.
The Warrington was a Somers-Class Destroyer. These vessels were originally intended to comprise a new Destroyer Leader class of vessels. She was 1,850 or so tons and armed with 4 dual 5 inch / 38 calibre single-purpose mounts and twelve 21 inch torpedoes. Unfortunately the heavy guns mounts were not dual-purpose and their AA armament was rather weak with mixtures of 1.1 inch, 40mm, and 20mm weapons. The Warrington served in both the Pacific and Atlantic and was credited with 2 Japanese aircraft downed near Guadalcanal. (Ron Babuka))
Washington: Enrico Fermi loads the first uranium slug into a plutonium-producing reactor.
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