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June 6th, 1939 (TUESDAY)

U.S.S.R.: Moscow: Russia again calls for alliance with Britain and France.

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6 June 1940

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June 6th, 1940 (THURSDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: RAF Bomber Command: 4 Group (Whitley). Bombing - marshalling yards at Rheydt and Euskirchen - troops and transport at Doullens. 

10 Sqn. Nine aircraft to Rheydt and Euskirchen. Eight bombed. 

51 Sqn. Eight aircraft to Doullens. All bombed.

 

FRANCE: 14 Panzer Corps is held up south of Amiens and Peronne, but the French defence gives way on either flank. On the west Rommel manages, late in the day, to advance another 9 miles. Finding themselves outflanked, the two left divisions of the Tenth Army, the 51st British and 31st French Infantry Divisions, fell back to the Bresle.

To the east the French Sixth Army was hard pressed, and by the end of the day the Germans seized the Chemin des Dames forced Touchon to withdraw south of the Aisne.

Weygand was then compelled to rearrange the line by pulling back No. 3 Army Group to the Bresle, the Avre, and the Aisne line.

NORWEGIAN CAMPAIGN: (Mark Horan): HMS Ark Royal and HMS Glorious continue to steam in company off Narvik.

At 0200, Ark dispatches a trio of 800 Squadron Skuas (OC-Capt. R. T. Partridge, RM) as relief fighter patrol over Risoy sound. Simultaneously, she dispatches a single Swordfish with 810 Squadrons lead crew (CO-Capt. N. R. M. Skene, RM) to lead 4 further Swordfish from Gloriouss 823 Squadron, each armed with 4 x 250 pound GP, 4 x 20 pound Cooper, and 4 x 25 pound incendiary bombs. The force was to be escorted by three additional Skuas from 800 Squadron, led by Lt. G. E. D. Finch-Noyes, RN), each armed with a single 250 pound GP and 4 x 20 pound Cooper bombs. The fighters were to escort the bombers and, if no aerial opposition was encountered, assist the attack on enemy positions around the village of Hunddalen. Unfortunately, the low clouds prevented the force from reaching the objective.

Meanwhile, word arrived at the task force that the Admiralty believed that a force of German warships, including the two battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had sortied from Germany and were heading for Northern waters, perhaps to breakout into the Atlantic, or perhaps to interfere with the evacuation. Unfortunately, while the forecast was entirely accurate, the source was not provided as the factual basis was Ultra intercepts, one of the first times the Royal Navy was to receive such information.

At 0515 Ark responded by launching a pre-emptive search from 220 to 270 degrees by theree 810 Squadron Swordfish, while the rest of the Swordfish were held as a striking force.

Meanwhile, patrols continued.
0130: Fighter patrol: three Skuas of 803 Squadron (Lt. D. C. E. F. Gibson, RN)

0530: A.D A. patrrol: two Swordfish of 820 Squadron

0645: Fighter patrol: Three Skuas from 803 Squadron (Lt. C. H. Filmer, RN) for Risoy

Fighter patrol: Two Skuas of 800 Squadron (Lt. K. V. V. Spurway, RN) for Sags Fjord

0900: Search 230 to 270: Three Swordfish of 810 Squadron

Fighter patrol: Three Skuas of 803 Squadron (Lt. C. W. Peever, RN)

A.D.A. patrol: one Swordfish of 820 Squadron

Weather patrol: one Swordfish of 820 Squadron

At 1200, with the ship in position 70.15 N, 6.53 E, weather was reported as poor over Rombaksfjord, but acceptable over Drag. Thus, two Skuas of 803 Squadron (CO-Lt.Cdr. J. Casson, RN), each armed with single bomb were dispatched on am armed recce flight over the area. One bombed the runway of the German landing ground at Bodo, the other bombed a hotel surrounded by several German vehicles.

At the same time, a relief weather, A.D.A., and fighter (three Skuas of 800 Squadron, Acting S-Lt. R. W. Kearsley, RN) patrols were dispatched.

Based on the report from the armed recce of a German troop concentration at Finneid, an bombing force was organized and, at 1710, six Skuas of 803 Squadron, each armed with one 250 pound GP and four 20 pound Cooper bombs, was led off by Lt. C. W. Peever, RN.. The cloud base had descended too low for a dive-bombing attack to be made, but the bombers made low level attacks in the face of intense AA fire. Several aircraft received minor damage, and the crews reported several fires started.

A the same time, 820 Squadron dispatched a single Swordfish on a further weather patrol. Based on its report of barely acceptable weather, but with a low cloud base, an attack force of 810 Squadron Swordfish was bombed up, departing at 2105. Each aircraft was armed with 4 x 250 pound GP, 2 x 20 pound Cooper, and 4 x 25 pound incendiary bombs. The sub-flights, led by Lt. D. F. Godfrey-Faussett, RN and Lt. N. R. Corbet-Milward, RN split up, one flight bombing Hunddalen, the other bombing Sildvik, concentrating on the railway line, which the crews reported was hit several times. AA fire was encountered, though no aircraft was badly hit.

The long day was closed with flurry of activity at 2330 when 803 Squadron contributed fighter patrols to both Reisen (three Skuas, CO-Lt-Cdr. J. Casson, RN) and Risoy (three Skuas, Lt. C. H. Filmer, RN) and armed recce by 820 Squadron (single Swordfish, 2 x 250 pound GP bombs) to Drag, and a final three plane search for those German battleships, from bearing 220 to 270 to a depth of 140 miles. No enemy forces were sighted by any of this lot, but the armed recce Swordfish elected to bomb a bridge in German held territory.

CHINA: Japanese troops take Chingmen, in Hupeh province.

CANADA: Patrol vessel HMCS Anna Mildred commences conversion in Quebec City.

U.S.A.: The US Navy issued orders to various Naval Reserve Air Bases (NRABs) to ferry SBC-4's to the Curtiss plant in Buffalo, New York where they to be modified to French standards. The 50 aircraft came from NRAB Washington, District of Columbia (8 aircraft), NRAB New York, New York (Floyd Bennett Field) (9 aircraft), NRAB Chicago, Illinois (7 aircraft), NRAB St. Louis, Missouri (3 aircraft), NRAB Kansas City, Missouri (7 aircraft), NRAB Minneapolis, Minnesota (6 aircraft), , NRAB Detroit, Michigan (7 aircraft) and NRAB Boston, Massachusetts (3 aircraft). Nineteen of the aircraft had less than 50 hours on the airframe, 27 had less than 100 hours and one had only 7.7 hours.

The aircraft were flown to Buffalo where the Browning machine guns were replaced by Darne 7.7mm guns and the aircraft were repainted in French markings and camouflage and given US civil registration. The next step was to ferry the aircraft to Halifax, Nova Scotia where they would be loaded on a French ship for delivery to France. Since the pilots who had flown the  aircraft to Buffalo were naval reservists, they were offered US$250 plus return rail fare from Halifax to ferry the aircraft from Buffalo to Canada. 

The flight would proceed from Buffalo to Burlington, Vermont; Augusta, Maine; Houlton, Maine; and finally to Halifax. The pilots would have to remove anything identifying them as US Naval personnel. 

Well, that was the plan. Unfortunately, someone forgot the US Neutrality Laws and when the planes got to Houlton, Maine, the pilots were forbidden to fly the aircraft across the border to New Brunswick, Canada. A number of tractors and cars were rounded up and the aircraft were towed across the border to a pasture, the pilots walked across the border and the planes took off on the Canadian side and flew on to Halifax. One aircraft never made it to Halifax; the weather was so bad that the pilot got lost and never made it to Burlington, Vermont. The aircraft was returned to Buffalo and its fate is unknown.

The French aircraft carrier Bearn was docked at Halifax awaiting the aircraft. Unfortunately, there was only space for 44 aircraft on the ship and five were left at Halifax. These five eventually went to the RAF.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: The armed merchant cruiser HMS Carinthia is lost on Northern Patrol between Ireland and Iceland to U-46.

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6 June 1941

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June 6th, 1941 (FRIDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: London: British Intelligence receives reliable information that Germany will attack Russia on 22 June.

Corvette HMCS Bittersweet commissioned on Tyne and proceeded to Tobermoray for workups.

GERMANY: Hitler orders the Wehrmacht to eliminate all commissars - Communist Party officials - in the planned assault on the USSR; he says: "Any German soldier who breaks international law will be pardoned. Russia did not take part in the Hague Convention and thus has no rights under it."

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The British carriers Furious and Ark Royal deliver more Hurricanes to Malta.

PALESTINE: Australian 7th Division is in position on the Palestine-Syria border. The Australian Official Historian observes, “it was the first time in this war, or the one before, that British troops had hidden, like Germans, near a peaceful frontier, ready to make a surprise invasion”. On the French side at the coast, elements of 24th Colonial, 22nd Algerian and 6th French Foreign Legion Regiments are entrenched, supported by seven battalions of artillery. The British invasion force has little reliable intelligence and only 1:200,000 scale maps. Some information is provided by Palestinian Jews attached to the British Army. Air support to the invasion is initially inadequate with 70 aircraft versus 100 French. As the invasion progresses it will be enhanced, eventually including: 80 Sqn RAF (Hurricanes) based at Haifa, 3 Sqn RAAF (Curtiss Tomahawk IIBs) based at Jenin, 208 Sqn RAF"> RAF (Hurricanes) at Aqir, 203 Sqn RAF (Blenheim fighters), 803 and 806 Sqns FAA (Fulmars). Bomber support will consist of 84 and 11 Squadrons RAF (Blenheim) and 815 Squadron FAA (Swordfish). Finally, 'X' Flight RAF is formed at Habbaniya this day from the Gladiators remaining after the Iraqi Revolt. Information on French air units TBA. (Michael Alexander)

CANADA: Lt John Alexander Davidson RCNVR awarded DSC.

Arrived Halifax from builders - corvettes HMCS Arvida and Galt.

Minesweeper HMCS Ingonish laid down North Vancouver.

NEWFOUNDLAND: Departed St John's with Convoy HX 131 for Iceland, Corvettes HMCS Pictou and Rimouski.

U.S.A.: Act authorizing acquisition of idle foreign merchant ships by the United States approved.

Gerow recommends to Marshall that the Philippine forces not be called into Federal service.  Further recommends MacArthur      "> MacArthur be given command of the Philippine Department. (Marc Small)

First US Navy vessel constructed as minelayer USS Terror launched.

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6 June 1942

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June 6th, 1942 (SATURDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: London: Twenty people are killed and 59 injured when a previously undetected German bomb explodes at the Elephant and Castle.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Light cruiser HMS Hermione sunk by U-205 in Eastern Mediterranean.

MALTA: Axis planes mount a heavy attack.

LIBYA: Following the disastrous collapse of the Allied attack on Rommel's positions around the "Cauldron", the Germans press hard on the Free French and Palestinian defenders of Bir Hakeim.

The Hawker Hurricane Mk IID, armed with two 40-mm. Vickers 'S' guns goes into action in North Africa today. Flown by No. 6 Squadron RAF, the aircraft's speed falls to 286 mph but it will now be an effective tank-buster. (22)

Central PACIFIC: A handful of US Navy dive-bomber pilots devastated the Japanese combined fleet when their bombs tore through the decks of four Japanese aircraft carriers laden with planes, bombs and torpedoes.

The clash took place off Midway Island, north-east of Hawaii. Ironically, the opposing fleets never saw each other in what was one of the biggest - and most crucial - naval encounters in history.

The battle began on 4 June. The Japanese combined fleet, escorting 5,000 crack troops in 15 transports, set out from Japan to seize Midway Island. The Japanese navy planners hoped that the threat to Midway would be the bait to lure the US fleet to sail out and suffer annihilation. Japan's Midway force included 11 battleships, 14 cruisers, two light cruisers and four aircraft carriers. The Americans deployed their heavy carriers, USS ENTERPRISE, USS HORNET and USS YORKTOWN and seven cruisers.

The Japanese were seeking to bring the Americans to "a decisive fleet action". But the decision has gone against them. Four of Japan's six great carriers have been sunk, taking some 3,500 Japanese sailors and airmen with them, together with 275 planes. The Americans lost 307 men and 132 planes. At 2.55pm yesterday Admiral Yamamoto, the commander-in-chief, stunned by the loss of four carriers in 24 hours, ordered the retirement of the combined fleet.

The battle was won and lost by naval intelligence. US codebreakers had allowed the Americans to read Japanese plans, and it was no surprise to them when aircraft from the Japanese carriers KAGI, AKAGI, SORYU and Hiryu attacked Midway. The island's defenders were ready; they suffered heavily, but the Japanese failed to to knock out the defences. Admiral Nagumo, the Japanese commander, was now caught between his attempt to bomb Midway for a second time and the need to attack the approaching US fleet, coming to the island's aid. Owing to faulty Japanese intelligence, he was astonished to find that the US ships included three aircraft carriers. SBD Dauntless Torpedo bombers from the USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), USS HORNET and USS YORKTOWN now attacked, but of the 41 attackers only six returned and not a single torpedo found a target. But their attacks caused radical manoeuvering of the Japanese carriers and drew the enemy fighters down to near water level. As a result, when American dive-bombers, flying at 19,000-feet arrived, they were predictably unopposed and quickly scored bomb hits. The AKAGI became an inferno and was torpedoed and sunk the next day. A few minutes later the dive-bombers scored four direct hits on the KAGA, again with fatal results. The SORYU took three direct hits and was then torpedoed by a US submarine. Aircraft from the Hiryu hit the YORKTOWN, but the Hiryu was attacked in turn by dive-bombers from the USS ENTERPRISE and was later sunk by Japanese destroyers.

Today, SBD Dauntlesses from the aircraft carriers USS Enterprise (CV-6) and USS Hornet (CV-8) bomb the heavy cruisers HIJMS Mikuma and HIJMS Magami which were damaged in a collision yesterday; the Mikuma sinks later in the day. SBDs also attack two destroyers but do not score any hits. Rear Admiral Raymond A Spruance orders that the TBD Devastator torpedo bomber not be allowed to participate in these attacks; Torpedo Squadron Six (VT-6) in USS Enterprise is the only squadron with operational TBDs.

Also 12 B-17E (431st BS) launch from Midway loaded with 4 x 500lb bombs to attack Japanese cruisers at 8.15am.

During the morning, the tug USS Vireo (AT-144) arrives from Pearl Harbor and takes the damaged aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) in tow. To assist the repair parties in Yorktown, the destroyer USS Hammann (DD-412) comes alongside to starboard, aft, and furnishes pumps and electric power. By mid-afternoon, the process of reducing topside weight on Yorktown was proceeding well; one 5-inch (127 mm) gun had been dropped over the side, and a second was ready to be cast loose; planes had been pushed over the side; the submersible pumps (powered by electricity provided by USS Hammann) had pumped out considerable quantities of water from the engineering spaces and the list had been reduced about two degrees.

However, the Japanese submarine HIJMS I-158 had slipped past the destroyer screen and fired four torpedoes at Yorktown from the starboard beam. One torpedo hit the destroyer USS Hammann directly amidships and broke her back; the destroyer jackknifed and sank in four minutes. Two torpedoes struck Yorktown just below the turn of the bilge at the after end of the island structure. The fourth torpedo passed just astern of the carrier. Approximately a minute after Hammann's stern disappeared beneath the waves, an explosion rumbled up from the depths, possibly caused by the destroyer's depth charges going off. The blast killed many of Hammann's and a few of Yorktown's men who had been thrown into the water. The concussion battered the already-damaged carrier's hull and caused tremendous shocks that carried away Yorktown's auxiliary generator, sent numerous fixtures from the hangar deck overhead crashing to the deck below; sheared rivets in the starboard leg of the foremast; and threw men in every direction, causing broken bones and several minor injuries. The remaining destroyers immediately began searching for the submarine, which escaped, and commenced rescuing survivors from the water. The tug USS Vireo cut the towline and also began picking up survivors; over 80-men on the Hammann were killed. Remarkably, USS Yorktown remains afloat.

The losses suffered by the Japanese at Midway causes the cancellation of the "FS" Operation, the invasion of Fiji and Samoa and also forces the Japanese to concentrate on building aircraft carriers.

TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: The Japanese 2nd Mobile Force, consisting of the light aircraft carriers Junyo and Ryujo which had attacked Dutch Harbor on 3 and 4 June, rejoins the Northern Naval Force supporting the invasion of Attu and Kiska after the Midway invasion had been cancelled. Also joining the Northern Naval Force are the battleships Kirishima and Hiei, the heavy cruisers Tone and Chikuma, the light aircraft carrier Zuiho and supporting ships.

At 1027 hours, the elite Maizura 3rd Special Landing Force of 500-men invades Kiska Island; this is the first invasion of U.S. territory since the British invaded the US during the War of 1812. Kiska, the largest of the Rat Island group of the Aleutian Islands, is a 110 square mile (285 square km) mountainous island with the tallest peak reaching 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) located at 52-07N 177-36E. As are all the Aleutian Islands, it is barren and wind swept with little vegetation and no trees. In late 1941, the U.S. Navy had established a weather and radio station on Kiska and there are ten Navy enlisted personnel and a dog named Explosion manning the station when the Japanese invade. The sailors destroy their equipment and burn the code books and then escape to the interior of the island where they had placed caches of food. Unfortunately for the sailors, the Japanese find the food caches and nine of the sailors are captured within a few days. The tenth sailor, Aerographers Mate 1st Class William C. House, becomes separated from the other nine men and spends 49-days hiding from the Japanese. House is lightly dressed and survives on plants, earthworms and some shellfish but his weigh drops to 80-pounds (36 kg) and on the 48th day, he faints and decides he must surrender to survive. On the 49th day, he walks up to an Japanese gun position and surrenders. All ten sailors are sent to Japan as POWs and serve as slave labourers but all survive their imprisonment. The dog Explosion remains on Kiska and she greets the Americans and Canadians when they invade the island in August 1943.

The USAAF's 11th Air Force flies various bomber search-attack missions in an attempt to contact the Japanese fleet reported near Seguam Island. No contact is made due to weather. Eight P-38 Lightnings enroute from Cold Bay to Umnak Island mistakenly attack a Soviet freighter.

U.S.A.: The motion picture "Yankee Doodle Dandy" is released in the U.S. Directed by Michael Curtiz and starring James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Rosemary DeCamp, Jeanne Cagney, S.Z. Sakall, Frances Langford, Eddie Foy, Jr., and George Tobias, this film is ranked Number 100 on the American Film Institute's Greatest 100 Movies. The film is a biography of Irish-American musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer and singer George M. Cohan who wrote the songs "Give My Regards to Broadway," "Over There," "You're a Grand Old Flag," "Mary," and "Harrigan." The film is nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor; it wins three including Best Actor for Cagney.

CARIBBEAN SEA: The Canadian Imperial Oil tanker C.O. Stillman (13,006 GRT) was sunk by torpedoes from U-68, KptLt. Karl-Friedrich Merten, Knight's Cross, Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, CO, in the Caribbean Sea, in position 17.33N, 067.55W.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: The German auxiliary cruiser (Q-ship) KMS Stier (Schiffe 23), Raider J to the British, sinks the 10,170-ton armed Panamanian tanker Stanvac Calcutta about 500 miles (805 km) off Brazil. TheUSNArmed Guard aboard the tanker returned fire with a 3-inch (76.2 mm) bow gun and 4-inch (101.6 mm) after gun and the tanker was taken only after Stier had expended 148 rounds of 5.9-inch (149.9 mm) ammunition and a torpedo, killing the tanker's captain and 15 of her crew.

Fortunately for the Germans, they destroyed the Stanvac Calcutta's radio and killed her radio officer with their first salvo before a distress call could be sent. The Germans transfer 26 merchant sailors and nine USN Armed Guards to the Stier; one would die of his wounds later and one died in Japanese captivity.

This was the second ship sunk by Stier; the first was the 4,986-ton British Gemstone in the Atlantic narrows 175 miles (281.6 km) east of Brazil's St. Paul Rocks on 4 June. Gemstone had been carrying a load of iron ore from Cape Town, South Africa to Baltimore, Maryland, when she was sunk. The Germans transferred 33-members of her crew to the Stier.

On 10 and 15 June, Stier rendezvoused with the supply ship Charlotte Schliemann, one of the blockade-running tankers delegated to sustain her at sea. She also took the opportunity to transfer the 68 prisoners to the supply vessel. On 27 July, Stier put the last of her prisoners aboard Charlotte Schliemann. Stier again rendezvoused with Charlotte Schliemann on 27 August and transferred 37 prisoners from the British merchantman Dalhousie sunk 250 miles (402.3 km) east of Trinidad. The Charlotte Schliemann then set sail for Yokohama, Japan, where all of the civilian and military prisoners were transferred to the Japanese.

 

 

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6 June 1943

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June 6th, 1943 (SUNDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: W. Jay Stone along with 16,000 other US servicemen arrive at Gourock, Scotland aboard the RMS Queen Mary, 5 days out of New York.

EASTERN EUROPE: SS units murder thirteen thousand Jewish men, women and children in five medium-sized "Aktions" throughout occupied Poland and the Ukraine.(Greg Kelley)

SPAIN: Madrid: General Franco proposes "no-bombing" zones in Europe; the Allies reject the idea as beneficial to the Axis.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: During the night of 5/6 June, Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) Wellingtons hit the town and docks of Pantelleria Island. The following afternoon, Spitfires, P-40s, P-38s, B-26 Marauders, A-20 Havocs, A-36 Apaches, and B-25 Mitchells of the NASAF, Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) and USAAF Ninth Air Force continue pounding the island. The Allied air bombardment increases and is concentrated on coastal batteries and other gun emplacements as the second phase of air offensive against Pantelleria Island starts. 

ALGERIA: Algiers: General de Gaulle, in a controversial speech to the Free (Fighting) French here this morning, called for a fourth republic. His appeal for "national renovation" is being taken by observers here to mean that he does not intend France to return to the pre-war constitution of the Third Republic. De Gaulle also told his audience that "France does not want to be liberated by others, even by her best friends. She does not want gifts. We intend win our liberty ourselves."

TERRITORY OF ALASKA: In the Aleutian Islands, the Japanese submarine HIJMS I-24 reports that it is approaching Kiska to land supplies and evacuate personnel. The sub is never heard from again.

U.S.A.: Less than two weeks after the home front riots in Los Angeles, California - Detroit, Michigan exploded in violence fed by rumours and resentment of blacks working in defence plants. At the end of this forgotten chapter of American history, 25 blacks and nine whites lay dead. Detroit citizens of all races called the awful event "bloody week." While war raged abroad, war of a different kind raged at home. (Denis Peck)

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6 June 1944

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June 6th, 1944 (TUESDAY)

The Normandy Landings:


ITALY: The South African 6th Armored Div. takes Civita Castellona in Italy. French forces capture Tivoli, Italy.
16 residents of a Jewish home for the elderly in Florence, Italy are deported to one of the extermination camps in Poland. (Greg Kelley)

The USAAF's Fifteenth Air Force in Italy continues shuttlebombing (Operation FRANTIC) as 104 B-17s and 42 P-51 Mustangs (having flown to the USSR from Italy on 2 June) attack the airfield at Galati, Romaniaand return to Soviet shuttle bases; eight enemy fighters are shot down and two P-51s are lost. In other missions, 570+ bombers, with fighter escort, hit targets from bases in Italy; in Yugoslavia, B-17s hit the Belgrade marshalling yard and Turnu-Severin canal installations, and in Romania, B-24s hit Ploesti oil refineries and the marshalling yard at Brasov.


GREECE: Arrested by the Nazis in May 1944, 260 Jews from Chania, Greece, and 5 Jewish families from Rethimnon, Greece, are among the passengers aboard a ship that is deliberately sunk near the Greek island of Pholegandros. (Greg Kelley)

NEW GUINEA: The 186th Infantry prepares an attack on Mokmar Air Field on Biak.

CANADA:

Frigate HMCS Inch Arran launched Lauzon, Province of Quebec.

Corvette HMCS Huntsville commissioned

Frigate HMCS Kokanee commissioned.

Commodore 2nd Class Cuthbert "Cuth" Robert Holland Taylor RCN awarded CBE.

Minesweeper HMCS Melville completes refit at Lunenburg and departs for workups at Bermuda. (DS)

U.S.A.: The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff issue a report entitled "Operations Against Japan, Subsequent to Formosa" which includes three phases of operations in 1945:

Phase I: Attack the Bonin and Ryukyu Islands and the east Coast of China between 1 April and 30 June 1945.

Phase II: Consolidate and exploit Phase I gains between 30 June and 30 September 1945.

Phase III: Invasion of the Japanese home islands beginning with Kyushu on 1 November 1945 and then Honshu on 31 December 1945.

From the Press Office of Cincpac: MEMORANDUM TO THE PRESS The following was given to the press by Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll, USN, Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, at the press conference of Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal today:

"Recently on a brilliant moonlight night one of our destroyer escorts sighted a submarine, fully surfaced, silhouetted against the moon. The destroyer escort immediately rang up full speed and headed for the submarine, opening fire with all her guns. The submarine elected to fight it out and opened fire with her deck guns and machine guns, tracers passing high over the bridge of the destroyer escort. The submarine maneuvered at high speed and fired a torpedo.

The destroyer escort closed the range rapidly, following the sub's evasive maneuvers and burying the sub under a withering fire at point blank range, machine guns and three inch forecastle guns. The range finally closed until the submarine was only 20 yards away. All fire on the submarine having ceased at this point the destroyer escort

rode up on the forecastle of the submarine where she stuck. Men began swarming out of the submarine and up onto the destroyer escort's forecastle. The destroyer escort opened up on them with machine guns, tommy guns and rifle fire. Ammunition expended at this time included several general mess coffee cups which happened to be at the gun stations. Two of the enemy were hit on the head with these. Empty cartridge cases also proved effective for repelling the boarders.

During this heated encounter the destroyer escort suffered her only casualty of the engagement, when a husky seaman bruised his fist knocking one of the enemy over the side.

"At this stage of the battle the boatswain's mate in charge forward with a 45 Colt revolver and a Chief Firecontrolman with a tommy gun accounted for a number of those attempting to board. The destroyer escort then decided to back off to stop any more enemy trying to board her. Again the running battle was resumed, hits falling like rain on the sub's topside. Even shallow depth charges were used against the submarine. The destroyer escort rammed a second time and then the submarine rolled slowly over.

Personnel on the escort's deck had a clear view into the conning tower which was ablaze. A torpedoman threw a hand grenade which dropped through the sub's conning tower before exploding. The submarine finally sank with her diesel engines still running, and the conning tower hatch open, fire blazing from It.

"The commanding officer of the destroyer escort was a young Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve, who came on active duty in 1941."

CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 434, Truk Atoll was bombed during the night of June 3-4 (West Longitude Date) by Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force. The airfields at Moen and Param Islands were hit.

Four enemy fighters were airborne but did not attack our force.

Antiaircraft fire was meager and inaccurate.

Ponape Island was attacked on the night of June 3 by Seventh Army Air Force Liberators and on June 4 by Seventh Army Air Force Mitchells. Installations on Langar Island and antiaircraft batteries were hit.

Lauru Island was bombed by Seventh Army Air Force Mitchells during daylight on June 3, and by Ventura search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two on June 5. Gun positions were the principal targets. Antiaircraft fire was intense.

Enemy positions in the Marshalls were bombed and strafed on June 3-4 search Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Two, Corsair fighters and Dauntless live bombers of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing, and Navy Hellcat fighters. Gun positions and runways were hit. Antiaircraft fire was meager.

(Denis Peck)

Washington: This night President Roosevelt">Roosevelt speaks to the American nation from the White House.

Last night when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavour, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

 

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

T hey will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest - until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violence of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home - fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters and brothers of brave men overseas - whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them - help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too - strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment - let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace - a peace invulnerable to the scheming of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God. AMEN (Jean Beach)

Coast Guard-manned Army vessel FS-255 was commissioned at Wheeler Shipyard, Whitestone, New York with LT Ludwig Ehlers, USCG as commanding officer. (DS)

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6 June 1945

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June 6th, 1945 (WEDNESDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: London: It is announced that 184,512, British and Canadian soldiers went missing, or were killed or wounded between D-Day and VE-Day.

HMCS New Glasgow complete her refit at Rosyth.

HMS Heron, 768 RN Sqn Wildcat a/c #JV356, Lt(A) Herbert Michael "Mike" LITTLE 0-42250 RCNVR of Montreal lost, Spun into sea on take-off during deck landing training.

Minesweeper HMCS Vegreville paid off (constructive total loss) and laid up in Falmouth UK. Scrapped 1947 at Hayle.

GERMANY: Berlin: Soviet troops find a body, believed to be Hitler's in the Chancellery garden.

CZECHOSLOVAKIA: Postoloprty (Postelberg in German): Hundreds of Germans are gathered on the parade ground. Meanwhile a fatigue party of men are led off. Five boys who were hidden among the fatigue party are discovered and led back.

"Mr Marek wanted the boys to be flogged," recalls 81-year-old Peter Klepsch, an eye-witness. "But Captain Cerny, the commander of the Czech troops, said the boys should be shot."

The boys' names were Horst, Eduard, Hans, Walter, and Heinz. The oldest was 15, the youngest 12. They were flogged and then shot dead -- in full view of the others, who were held back at gunpoint. The Czechs didn't use machine guns, but their rifles, so it took a long time to kill all five. "One of the boys who hadn't been mortally wounded by the gunfire ran up to the marksmen begging to be allowed to go to his mother," recalls 80-year-old Heinrich Giebitz. "They just carried on shooting."  In 2009 Czech prosecutors accused this atrocity on Bohuslav Marek, a policeman and Vojtech Cernuy, an army captain. Hans-Ulrich Stoldt, Spiegel Online (4 September, 2009)(Peter Kilduff)

CHINA: Liuchow: Japan's front in southern China is collapsing in the face of a Chinese advance that has covered 150 miles in the last 11 days, and recaptured Liuchow and Mengshan, two key cities in Kwangsi province. Mengshan, a vital road junction, was taken without a fight as the Japanese abandoned their defences. The loss of Liuchow's airbase will expose Japanese garrisons in Hong Kong and Canton to fighter-supported US bombing attacks and menace Japanese attempts to reopen the overland corridor to Malaya. Last night Japanese forces were falling back on Kweilin, 90 miles north of Liuchow.

JAPAN: The 6th Marine Division makes good progress on the Oruku Penninsula, Okinawa, after their landing 2 days ago. 

Kamikazes are busy off Okinawa. The light minelayers USS Harry F. Bauer (DM-26, ex DD-738) and USS J. William Ditter (DM-31, ex DD-751) are patrolling when they are attacked by eight Japanese aircraft. Each ship shoots down three but the seventh aircraft crashed close aboard USS Harry F. Bauer, flooding two compartments; survey of her damage during repairs revealed an unexploded bomb in one of her flooded compartments. The eighth aircraft crashes USS J. William Ditter on the port side near the main deck. The ship loses all power and suffers many casualties but both ships make it to Kerama Retto for emergency repairs.

The Japanese Supreme Council for the Direction of the War, meets to adopt a "Fundamental Policy" which includes "immediate preparations for a decisive battle on the homeland and will annihilate the attacking enemy forces at points where the attack will be decided". The SCDW is known as the Big 6 of the Japanese Cabinet. PM, FM, War Minister, Navy Minister, Army CofS, Navy CofS.

CANADA: Frigate HMCS Inch Arran commences tropicalization refit Sydney, Nova Scotia.

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