October 12th, 1944
UNITED KINGDOM: The Eighth Air Force flies 2 missions:
* Mission 674: 552 bombers and 514 fighters are dispatched to hit targets in Germany; they claim 18-3-1 aircraft; 3 bombers and 5 fighters are lost:
- Weather prevents the 290 B-24s dispatched to hit the primaries at Vechta, Achmer, Rheine and Varrelbusch; PFF means were used to hit the secondary, the marshalling yard at Osnabruck (267); 5 others hit Diepholz Airfield, a target of opportunity; 2 B-24s are lost. Escort is provided by 210 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 1-1-0 aircraft in the air.
- 262 B-17s are dispatched to aviation industries at Bremen (267) bombing visually; 1 other hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost.
Escort is provided by 273 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 17-2-1 aircraft; 5 P-51s are lost. Five of the Luftwaffe aircraft, Bf 109s, are shot down by 1st Lieutenant Charles "Chuck" Yeager near Assen, the Netherlands, at about 1100 hours. In 1947, Yeager is the first pilot to crack the sound barrier in the Bell X-1.
* Mission 675: 8 aircraft are dispatched to drop leaflets in the Netherlands, France and Germany during the night; 2 B-24s are lost. (Jack McKillop)
Frigate HMCS Chebogue refloated and towed to reserve at Port Talbot. (Dave Shirlaw)
WESTERN EUROPE: The Ninth Air Force sends almost 250 B-26s and A-20s to bomb Camp-de-Bitche, France, military camp; rail bridges at Grevenbroich and Ahrweiler, Germany; city areas of Langerwehe and Aldenhoven, Germany, and Venraij, the Netherlands; and various targets of opportunity. Escorting fighters also fly armed reconnaissance and rail cutting in the Dusseldorf and Aachen, Germany, and Belfort, France, areas, and support the VIII, XII, XV, and XX Corps in eastern France and western Germany. (Jack McKillop)
U-3025 laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
ITALY: Twelfth Air Force medium bombers, supporting the US Fifth Army, attack communications, supply dumps, and bivouac and barracks areas south of Bologna; fighter-bombers and XII Fighter Command fighters, mainly in support of the US Fifth Army, blast supply dumps, gun positions, troop concentrations, and communications in the high country south of Bologna while the RAF Desert Air Force gives similar support to the British Eighth Army in the Rimini area. (Jack McKillop)
HUNGARY: Oradea falls to the Soviet Second Ukraine Front.
YUGOSLAVIA: A joint force of Tito's partisans and Russian soldiers captures Subotica, cutting the Belgrade to Budapest railway line.
GREECE: Athens is declared an open city by the retreating Germans as British paratroopers take Athens airport. The declaration preserves the city and its monuments from the devastation of combat. Meanwhile, the Germans evacuate Piraeus southwest of Athens and British troops land on Corfu, an island in the Ionian Islands off the coast of Albania and Greece. (John Nicholas and Jack McKillop)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Around 700 Fifteenth Air Force B-17s and B-24s, with fighter support, bomb ammunition and fuel dumps and depots, bivouac area, barracks, vehicle repair shop, munitions factory and targets of opportunity in the Bologna, Italy, area (Operation PANCAKE) supporting the US Fifth Army offensive in that sector. 160 P-51s strafe the mainline railroad and Danube River traffic in the Vienna, Austria-Gyor, Hungary-Budapest, Hungary, areas and strafe Seregelyes Airfield, Hungary, disrupting traffic and destroying many enemy airplanes.
Destroyer HMS Loyal runs over an acoustic mine in the Tyrrhenian Sea and suffers immense shock damage. All machinery and armament on board is affected by the blast and she is paid paid off until finally being broken up in 1948. (Alex Gordon)(108)
BURMA: 18 Tenth Air Force P-47s bomb railroad targets in the Naba-Mawlu rail corridor damaging a bridge approach, and strike troops and stores near Nayakaung; 12 other P-47s hit various targets at Pintha and Nyaunggon; and 4 B-25s knock out a bridge just north of Lashio and 3 others knock out a bridge at Kawlin and damage tracks near the Man Pwe bridge. (Jack McKillop)
CHINA: 3 Fourteenth Air Force B-25s and 12 P-40s attack the Chefang storage area and a bridge and general targets of opportunity in the Mangshih area; 40+ P-40s and P-51 Mustangs on armed reconnaissance covering wide areas of southern China and extending into western Burma attack troop concentrations, river traffic, storage areas, and buildings in areas around Taochuan, Kweiping, Hsinganhsien, Yuncheng, Tanchuk, and Hsenwi. (Jack McKillop)
JAPAN: Eleventh Air Force B-24s attack the airfield and shipping targets in the Matsuwa Island-Onnekotan Island area in the Kurile Islands. (Jack McKillop)
Fighting continues on Peleliu Island. It will be declared completely occupied on September 30 by Admiral Fort.
EAST CHINA SEA: US naval TF 38 begins a series of attacks on FORMOSA. Between today and the 14th 2,350 sorties will be flown. US losses are 71 aircraft, damage to the carrier Franklin cruiser Houston and cruiser HMAS Canberra which was torpedoed.( This happened on the 13th, local time.)
Task Force 38 (Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher) launches 1,000+ aircraft from 17 aircraft carriers against Japanese shipping, airfields, and industrial plants on Formosa, regarded as the strongest and best-developed base south of the homeland proper, and on northern Luzon, Philippine Islands. The aircraft fly 1,378 sorties today and they sink 4 transports, a cargo ship, 4 IJA cargo ships, 5 merchant cargo ships and 8 merchant tankers and damage several other ships. Opposition is unexpectedly strong and 48USNaircraft are lost. USN fighters destroy 211 Japanese aircraft, mostly fighters, between 0700 and 1442 hours. Late in the day, based on reports from inexperienced pilots, the Japanese order hundreds of carrier aircraft to reinforce Formosa to fight an all-out battle.
Seventh Air Force B-24s from Saipan bomb the harbor and shipping at Chichi Jima and shipping south of Haha Jima in the Bonin Islands, AA positions on Marcus Island in the North Pacific, and the airfield area on Pagan Island in the Marianas. P-47s hit the Pagan Island Airfield area with bombs and rockets and B-24s from Kwajalein Atoll bomb Wake Island during the night of 12/13 October.
In the Mariana Islands, the first Twentieth Air Force B-29, JOLTIN' JOSIE, THE PACIFIC PIONEER, arrives on Saipan, piloted by Brigadier General Haywood S. Hansell, Jr, Commanding General XXI Bomber Command, for whom temporary HQ are set up on the island.
JOLTIN' JOSIE was a B-29-40-BW, USAAF s/n 42-24614, msn 4275, assigned to the 498th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy), 73d Bombardment Wing (Very Heavy), XXI Bomber Command, Twentieth Air Force and coded T Square 5. She was lost on the night of 1/2 April 1945 on XXI Bomber Command Mission 51 against the Tokyo industrial area.
Two USN and a RN submarine sink a Japanese transport, destroyer and cargo ship. (John Nicholas and Jack McKillop)
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC: Far East Air Forces B-24s bomb Ambesia, Langoan, Mapanget, and Sidate Airfields on Celebes Island. B-25s, A-20s, and P-47s again attack airfields at Liang and Laha on Ambon Island, Namlea on Buru Island, Kairatoe on Celebes Island and Haroekoe on Haroekoe Island, and the town of Boela on Ceram Island. P-38s hit numerous targets of opportunity on Halmahera Island. In New Guinea, fighter-bombers hit Manokwari and Urarom and A-20s bomb pillboxes in the Sarmi area. (Jack McKillop)
U.S.A.: The "Columbus Day Riot" occurs in New York City as 25,000 swooning teenagers, mostly young girls, stop traffic in Times Square in front of the Paramount Theatre where Frank Sinatra is making his first appearance since December 1942. The bobbysoxers block the streets, screaming and swooning for Frankie driving the police crazy.
The motion picture "Mrs. Parkington" premieres in New York City today. Based on the Louis Bromfield novel, this drama is directed by Tay Garnett and stars Greer Garson, Walter Pidegeon, Edward Arnold, Agnes Moorehead, Cecil Kelloway, Peter Lawford, Dan Duryea, Hugh Marlowe and Hans Conried with Donna Reed appearing in an uncredited role. This soap opera has hotel maid Garson marrying rich Pidgeon and moving to New York City where she recounts the rise and fall of the family fortunes in flashbacks. The film is nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Actress (Garson) and Best Supporting Actress (Moorehead). (Jack McKillop)
Destroyer USS Putnam commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: During a Schnorchel failure the crew of U-483 suffered a CO2 poisoning where 1 man died. [Funkmaat Gustav Hoffmann]. (Dave Shirlaw)
Top of Page