October 13th, 1944
Destroyer HMS Zebra commissioned.
Minesweeper HMS Cheerful commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
BELGIUM: Antwerp is the target for German V-1 and V-2 for the first time today. Two V2s fall on the city killing 42 people. During the next five months 1,600 V-2s 2 will kill or wound 4,000 Allied servicemen and civilians near Antwerp but inflict little damage on the seaport's facilities. (Jack McKillop)
NETHERLANDS: The British VIII Corps begins an attack south from Nijmegen toward Venlo.
GERMANY: The US 1st Division enters Aachen from the east. A street fight for the city begins.
Aachen: American artillery and infantry today battered their way into the industrial suburbs of Aachen, Germany's most westerly city. Infantry preceded by fighter bombers acting as airborne artillery were opposed by 150 Luftwaffe fighters, of which a dozen were shot down, and by suicidal counter-attacks on the ground against a high ridge east of the city held by the Americans. At dusk, patrols probing into the debris found only fires, rubble and bodies until they came to the city centre, where fighting flared afresh.
Aachen saw the enthronement of 37 German emperors; now it occupies a key position on the Siegfried Line. Flames rising from it can be seen 40 miles away in Cologne. As the first major German centre to be invaded, it will not be surrendered without a bitter battle.
U-2342 and U-2519 launched.
U-2533 laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
WESTERN EUROPE: 9th Bombardment Division A-20 Havocs and B-26s hit bridges at Saarlouis, France, Roermond and Venlo, the Netherlands, and Euskirchen and Mayen, Germany, plus several targets of opportunity.
Escorting fighters also fly armed reconnaissance over the areas of Metz, France, and extensively over western Germany, attacking railroads and other targets, and support the US First, Third, and Seventh Armies. (Jack McKillop)
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE: 650+ Fifteenth Air Force fighter escort B-17s and B-24s to bomb oil refineries at Blechhammer, Germany, and Vienna/Floridsdorf, Austria; motor works, locomotive shops, and marshalling yard at Vienna and Graz, Austria; Banhida, Szekesfehervar and Papa, Hungary; and Hranice and Mezirici, Czechoslovakia; some of the escorting fighters strafe railroads, roads, and an airfield in the areas of Balaton Lake, Hungary; Neusiedler Lake and Vienna, Austria; and Prostejov, Czechoslovakia; other fighters strafe roads, railroads, and Danube River traffic in the Vienna-Gyor, Hungary-Budapest, Hungary, areas. (Jack McKillop)
U.S.S.R.: The German defence line outside Riga is breached by units of both the Soviet 2nd and 3rd Baltic Fronts.
Moscow: Stalin promises Churchill that the USSR will declare war on Japan once Germany has been defeated.
ITALY: Carpineta falls to the British 46th Division.
Weather cancels all Twelfth Air Force medium bomber operations except for attacks on 4 targets (bridges and supply dumps) in the battle area south of Bologna; fighter-bombers support US Fifth Army operations more successfully in the area, hitting gun emplacements, troop concentrations, supply dumps, bridges, and vehicles. (Jack McKillop)
GREECE: A major British and Greek force lands advance units at Piraeus.
BURMA: 38 Tenth Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts strike Okkyin, Yebyangale, and Theinlon, and hit troops in the Myothit area; 8 P-47s support ground forces in the Mohnyin area, 12 attack and considerably damage Wanling bridge and 4 hit targets of opportunity in the area. Transports fly 280+ sorties hauling troops and supplies to CBI terminals. (Jack McKillop)
CHINA: 138 Fourteenth Air Force P-40s and P-51 Mustangs on numerous armed reconnaissance missions throughout southern China and into western Burma attack troop areas, rivercraft, town areas, bridges, trucks, and other targets of opportunity; 71 of the fighter-bombers hit targets in the Kweiping area while the others attack targets around Chuanhsien, Litou, Shepchung, Tengyun, Lungfukwan, Kingshan, Mangshih, and Chefang. (Jack McKillop)
JAPAN: 4 Eleventh Air Force B-25s bomb Kurabu Airfield and bomb and strafe buildings on Tomari Cape on Paramushiru Island in the Kurile Islands, scoring hits on canneries, warehouses, and barracks; later, 4 B-24s photograph and bomb targets at Kashiwabara. (Jack McKillop)
WESTERN PACIFIC: Aircraft from the USN's Task Force 38 attack targets on Formosa for the second day in a row. Opposition is very light and 947 sorties are flown. At twilight, Task Group 38.4 is attacked by 4 low-flying "Betty" bombers (, Navy Type 1 Attack Bombers) carrying torpedoes; one is shot down by an F6F Hellcat pilot, 2 are shot down by ship AA fire but the fourth crashes the aircraft carrier USS Franklin's (CV-13) deck abaft the island structure, slides across the deck and into the water on her starboard beam. USS Franklin is damaged but remains on station. In another attack, the heavy cruiser USS Canberra (CA-70) is struck below her armor belt at the engineering spaces by an aerial torpedo which blows a huge, jagged hole in her side and killed 23 of her crew instantly. Before damage control could isolate the compartments, some 4,500 tons of water rushed in to flood her after fireroom and both engine rooms, which brought the cruiser to a stop. The ship is taken in tow and retires to Ulithi.
Peleliu Island, in the Palau Islands, is secured.
Seventh Air Force B-24s from Saipan bomb Yap Island, Caroline Islands.
B-24s from the Marshall Islands bomb Truk Atoll and Gilbert Islands-based B-25s bomb Nauru Island.
AUSNsubmarine sinks a Japanese merchant tanker off Nha Trang, French Indo China. (Jack McKillop)
USS Barbel sinks a destroyer at 29-38 N, 127-27 E at about 0600.
USS Begall sinks an attack transport at 11-53 N, 109-17 E (Japanese give location as 11-53 N, 109-17 E) at about 0900.
USS Permit sinks a patrol vessel at 07-15 N, 151-45 E at about 1500. (Skip[ Guidry)
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC: The U. S. 7th Fleet and troop transports carrying the 7th, 24th and 96th Infantry and 1st Cavalry Divisions sail from Hollandia, New Guinea, and the nearby Admiralty Islands. Their destination is Leyte in the central Philippines.
Far East Air Forces B-25s bomb Menado on Celebes Island and the surrounding area. P-38 Lightnings hit AA positions, enemy concentrations, and other targets in the northeastern Celebes and Halmahera Islands. A-20s and fighter-bombers attack Boela on Ceram Island, oil installations and airfields at Amahai on Ceram Island, Kairatoe on Celebes Island, and Namlea on Buru Island.
A RN submarine sinks 2 Japanese merchant coasters Kosei Maru and Hansei Maru in Gulf of Boni, south of Celebes.
U.S.A.: Submarine USS Thornback commissioned.
Coast Guard-manned Army vessel FS-271 was commissioned at New York. Her first commanding officer was Lt. Pettus Kaufman, USCGR. He was succeeded 26 April 1945 by LTJG N. S. Hobart, USCGR. She departed New York on 2 November 1944 for the Southwest Pacific where she operated during the war. She was decommissioned 27 September 1945. (Dave Shirlaw)
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