Yesterday            Tomorrow

June 18th, 1939 (SUNDAY)

GERMANY: FC Schalke win the German Football championship for the fourth time. Admira Vienna are defeated by the record margin of 9-0.

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18 June 1940

Yesterday    Tomorrow

June 18th, 1940 (TUESDAY)


RAF Bomber Command: 4 Group (Whitley). Bombing - oil plants - industrial works - marshalling yards - communications.

10 Sqn. Four aircraft to Soest marshalling yards. All bombed.

51 Sqn. Nine aircraft to oil plant Frankfurt. All bombed.

58 Sqn. Five aircraft to Dusseldorf. All bombed. Five aircraft to Castrop-Rauxel. Four bombed, one FTR.

77 Sqn. Seven aircraft to oil plants at Hanover and Sterkrade. All bombed.

102 Sqn. Seven aircraft to oil plants Sterkrade and Bottrop. Five bombed, one FTR.

London: General Charles de Gaulle, little known even in France outside military circles until he became under-secretary for national defence in the last days of the Reynaud government, has flown to England and broadcast this appeal:

"Speaking in full knowledge of the facts," he said, "I ask you to believe me when I say that the cause of France is not lost." He called on French officers and men, including civilians, to get in touch with him. "Whatever happens," declared the general, "the flames of French resistance must not and shall not die."

Churchill broadcasts that the Battle of France is over and the Battle of Britain is about to begin. "Let us bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and Commonwealth last for 1,000 years, men will say, "This was their finest hour." and ends with "Our professional advisers of the three services unitedly advise that we should continue the war and that there are good and reasonable hope of final victory."

Corvettes HMS Freesia and Orchis laid down.

Destroyer HMS Southwold laid down.

Submarine HMS P-33 laid down.

Corvette HMS Erica launched.

Corvette HMS Camellia commissioned.

FRANCE: The 7th Panzer Division takes Cherbourg. The 5th Panzer Division reaches Brest.

Rennes: General Altmayer and HQ 10 French Army surrender. Thus ending any hope of a "Brittany Stronghold".

Submarines FS Achille and Agosta, Ouessant, Pasteur, Gunboats Enseigne Henry, Etourdi, Destroyer Cyclone scuttle at Lorient to prevent capture by Germans.

Gunboat FS Vauquois sunk off Brest by magnetic mine.


GERMANY: Munich: In the Führerhaus, where Neville Chamberlain">Chamberlain signed away Czechoslovakia two years ago, Mussolini">Mussolini and Hitler met today to discuss the armistice terms to be imposed on France. Mussolini">Mussolini has been surprised at the German insistence on moderate terms for the defeated enemy.

The Fuhrer’s aim is to encourage the French to break with the English and to discourage them from continuing the war in North Africa. Petain and the peace lobby must be encouraged, Hitler said. So Mussolini">Mussolini has been told he will not be allowed to seize huge areas of southern France.


U.S.S.R.: The Soviet occupation is completed in the Baltics. For the Soviet intrusion into the German sphere of influence, Stalin compensated Germany with a payment of 7.5 million gold dollars.

BULGARIA: Bulgaria demands Dobruja and outlet to Aegean Sea.

SPAIN: U-43 refuelled from the German supply ship Bessel in Vigo.

PACIFIC OCEAN: SS Niagara (13,415 GRT) Canadian Pacific Steamships Line passenger liner sunk when she struck a German mine laid by the disguised merchant raider ORION, in the Hauraki Gulf off, New Zealand, in position 35.53S, 174.53E. She was carrying a secret cargo of gold bullion to purchase military supplies. The gold was recovered a year later after a dangerous diving operation. There was no loss of life in this incident.

CANADA: Corvettes HMCS Algoma and Rosthern laid down Port Arthur, Ontario.

French cruiser Emile Bertin arrives in Halifax with $305 million in gold from the Bank of France; gold released after the war.

U.S.A.: The U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull directs the Deputy U.S. Ambassador to France to advise the French government that if the French fleet falls into German hands, France would "permanently lose the friendship and goodwill of the Government of the U.S." The French reiterate their statement that the French fleet "would not be surrendered to the Germans."

ATLANTIC OCEAN: At 1200, the Sarmatia was stopped by a shot across her bow by U-28 and the crew immediately abandoned ship. The U-boat had missed with one torpedo at 1100 and then surfaced to stop the ship. She sank vertical by the stern three minutes after being hit in the engine room by a coup de grâce at 1210. The Germans questioned the survivors and gave them cigarettes, a bottle of rum and the course for land before leaving the area. The survivors were picked up by the Spanish trawlers Felix and Pastor Montenegro and landed at Vigo on 21 June.

At 1902, the unescorted and unarmed Altair was torpedoed and shelled by U-32 and sank west of Ireland. The two Norwegian lifeboats picked up 19 fishermen of the two Spanish trawlers Sálvora and Faro-Ons, which were sunk by the same U-boat shortly afterwards. All survivors were picked up later by two other Spanish trawlers and taken to Pasages, Spain on 21 June.

U-32 stopped the two Spanish trawlers Sálvora and Faro-Ons because they were outside of the allowed area of fishing and sank both by gunfire after the crew abandoned ship. Two lifeboats picked up 19 fishermen from both ships from Altair, which had been sunk by the same U-boat a few hours before. All survivors were later rescued by two other Spanish trawlers and taken to Pasages, Spain arriving there on 21 June.

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Yesterday     Tomorrow


18 June 1941

Yesterday                         Tomorrow

June 18th, 1941 (WEDNESDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Minesweeping trawler HMS Romeo commissioned.

GERMANY: U-753 commissioned.

U.S.S.R.: Stalin leaves Moscow for his holiday.

Ukraine: A German defector to Russian territory says the attack will be made at 4am on 22 June.

TURKEY: Ankara: Germany and Turkey sign a ten-year treaty of friendship.

SYRIA: Beirut: Vichy asks the American Consul-General to enquire of the British and the Gaullists what their conditions would be for a cessation of hostilities.

Lt-Gen Lavarack (1st Aust Corps) takes command of operations in Syria (vice Gen Wilson). During the night, 5 Ind Bde (Brig Lloyd) undertakes 12-mile advance through Mezze to cut Damascus-Beirut road. This is only partly successful and 5 Ind Bde is soon beleaguered by strong French counter-attack forces with armour. Six Gladiators surprise a formation of Dewoitine’s over Kissoue and shoot down two, the last kills by a Gladiator in WWII. (Michael Alexander)

U.S.A.: In baseball, the New York Yankees play the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium in New York City. The Yankee's star center fielder Joe DiMaggio hits a single off White Sox pitcher Thornton Lee and extends his hitting streak to 31-games.

Escort carrier USS Copahee laid down.

Submarine USS Peto laid down.

ATLANTIC OCEAN:  West of Cadiz, U-138 is sunk by depth charges from HMS Faulknor, HMS Fearless, HMS Forester, HMS Firesight and HMS Foxhound. All U-boat crew survive. (Alex Gordon)

At 0328, the unescorted Norfolk was torpedoed by U-552 about 150 miles NW of Malin Head and sunk by two coup de grâce at 0419 and 0438. One crewmember was lost. The master, 63 crewmembers and six gunners were picked up by HMS Skate and landed at Londonderry.

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Yesterday Tomorrow

June 18th, 1942 (THURSDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Submarine HMS P-48 commissioned.

Minesweeper HMS Stawell laid down.

Submarine HMS Stoic laid down.

Destroyer HMS Urania laid down.


GERMANY: The "Guidelines for Detecting and Combating Fatigue" in soldiers are issued by the Reich's Ministry for Health. About the use of Perivitin, a restricted amphetamine, "Two tablets taken once eliminate the need to sleep for three to eight hours, and two doses of two tablets each are normally effective for 24 hours." (Andreas Ulrich, Der Spiegel. May 6, 2005)(Henry Sirotin)

U-226 launched.

U-357, U-627 commissioned.

CZECHOSLOVAKIA: Prague: Heydrich's assassins died today after a six-hour battle in the church of St. Cyril, on Resslova Street. Three men on look-out above the altar fell to a grenade and machine-gun attack after two hours; the four hiding in the crypt held out for another four hours. They used their last four bullets on themselves. The Germans lost 14 dead and 21 wounded. The seven were betrayed by one of their comrades, Karel Curda, who had arrived with them from Britain to carry out the assassination. His reward: a new name and a German wife.

U.S.S.R.: Black Sea Fleet and Azov Flotilla: Shipping loss: MS "TSch-405 "Vzrivatel"" - by field artillery, close to Eupatoria (later raised) (Sergey Anisimov)(69)

Sevastopol: Only one of the 12 fortifications still holds firm against the German attack as bitter fighting continues for the Crimea port.

Moscow: The Supreme Soviet ratifies the mutual assistance treaty with Britain.

LIBYA: German forces lay siege to Tobruk.

TERRITORY OF ALASKA: The 11th Air Force dispatches three B-17s, four B-24s and an LB-30 to precision bomb Kiska Island in the Aleutian Islands from high altitude. The Japanese oiler Nissan Maru is hit and sinks; 1 B-24 crashes. The Japanese fleet tanker Nissan Maru is sunk, another ship is hit and two scout planes are possibly shot down. A B-24 runs out of fuel and crashes at sea; part of the crew is saved.

U.S.A.: British Prime Minister Churchill arrives in Washington, DC for a US-UK summit meeting. Discussions concern the second front in 1942. Churchill raises the idea of invading French North Africa when it becomes obvious that "Sledgehammer" will not be possible during 1942, due to restrictions is shipping resources necessary to take men and materials into action. A White House spokesman said it would be "perfectly justifiable" to assume that Churchill came to the US to talk about a second front in Europe.

The future of Atomic Research is also discussed. Decisions are made for both the US and UK to share the research.

This is Churchill's third meeting in ten months with President Roosevelt">Roosevelt. Most of Churchill's ministerial colleagues, except those in the war cabinet, were not told about the visit. The Labour leader, Clement Attlee, as deputy prime minister, is chairing cabinet meetings.

The U.S. Navy commissions its first black officer, Harvard University medical student Bernard Whitfield Robinson.

A United States-Cuba agreement was announced whereby the Cuban Government granted facilities to the United States War Department for training of aviation personnel and for operations against submarines.

After crossing the Atlantic (submerged at day, surfaced at night) U-584 landed a saboteur team of 4 men on the shore just south of Jacksonville, Florida. This was one of two such teams that landed within a week of each other on the US East Coast; the other team came aboard U-202.

The Swedish ship MS Gripsholm departs New York with 1,083 Japanese nationals on board, bound for Japan. They are mostly diplomats and their families, but also some Japanese businessman, journalists, who were in the United States when war was declared. Some were American relatives of Japanese deportees, who didn't wish to go to Japan, but wouldn't abandon their husbands or fathers. Some of the young passengers on the ship were students, and later those intellectuals would become influential leaders in Japan's post-war society.

The Gripsholm also picked up 417 Japanese passengers in Rio de Janeiro, among them the Japanese Embassy staff. The embassy's picture of the Emperor was covered by cloth when it was carried on board, and all the Japanese passengers kneeled and bowed before it. No one was allowed to go ashore in Rio. There was Brazilian military on the pier with machine guns. Gripsholm was anchored in the harbor, and was only allowed to dock for a short while for embarkation.


ATLANTIC OCEAN: The submarine U-124 sinks an armed U.S. merchant freighter in the Atlantic east of Newfoundland.

At 0621 and 0622, U-124 fired two spreads of two torpedoes at three ships in Convoy ONS-102 in rough seas and observed two hits on the first ship and heard further detonations. Mohr claimed two ships sunk and another damaged, however the only ship hit was Seattle Spirit in station #112. One torpedo struck the Seattle Spirit on the port side amidships in the engine room and quickly flooded the ship, causing a boiler explosion and killing one officer and two crewmen on watch below. The most of the nine officers, 28 crewmen, eleven armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, four .50cal and four .30cal guns) and seven passengers (Canadians) on board abandoned ship in three lifeboats. One sailor died of shock and exposure after jumping into the water. Corvette HMCS Agassiz picked up the 51 survivors, but 45 of them were later transferred to the British rescue ship Perth and landed at Halifax on 24 June, while the remaining men on the corvette were landed at St. Johns. The Seattle Spirit was shelled by the corvette after an officer, who had boarded the ship about four hours after the attack, had determined she could not be salvaged and the vessel sank at 2030 hours. The master Edward W. Myers already experienced another sinking when his previous ship, the Robin Moor had been sunk by U-69 on 21 May, 1941.

On 13 Jun 1942, the Flora picked up the occupants of two lifeboats, they were survivors from three vessels and were since four days in the lifeboats. Because they did not have enough drinking water on board, she had to go to Cristobal, arriving the next day. After landing the survivors and taking on some additional cargo, they left for Curaçao.

At 0245 on 18 June, one of the gunners spotted a faint light over the port side and shortly thereafter, U-159 began shelling the vessel, hitting with the first shell. The ship changed course and returned fire unsuccessfully. Shellfire caused a fire, damaged one lifeboat, stopped the engine, destroyed the steering gear and seriously injured the third engineer Van Voorthuisen. The 31 crewmembers and six passengers quickly abandoned ship in a motorboat and one lifeboat. Witte questioned the survivors and misunderstood the name of the ship as Flomar, an American steam merchant of 5551 tons. The survivors headed for the coast of Colombia, which was about 12 miles away. They landed the next night near La Pajaro, but the injured man already died of wounds and was buried there.

At 0500, U-172 sank the unescorted Motorex with 40 rounds from her deck gun NW of Colon.

Yesterday Tomorrow


18 June 1942 18 June 1943

Yesterday      Tomorrow

June 18th, 1943 (FRIDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: HMCS Athabaskan, a Tribal-class destroyer, Capt. George "Gus" Ralph Miles, OBE, RCN, CO, was damaged in a collision with boom defense vessel HMS Bargate at Scapa Flow. This resulted in the destroyer being under repairs at Devonport for a month. Athabaskan was dubbed "The Unlucky Lady" as the result of her many unfortunate escapades. In Apr 43, she was heavily damaged by weather and had to undergo major repairs. After her collision in June, she was hit by a German radio-controlled glider bomb on 27 Aug 43, which also required a lengthy period in a repair yard. Athabaskan was sunk in action on 29 Apr 44 with heavy loss of life.

Frigate HMS Byard commissioned.
Frigate HMS Windrush launched,

Minesweeper HMS Pelorus launched.

Boom defense vessel HMS Barbette launched.

Minesweeper HMS Rinaldo commissioned.

ITALY: There is a heavy Allied bombardment of Sicily. (Glenn Steinberg)

Northwest African Air Force B-17s strike the Messina, Italy ferry slip and railroad yards while P-38 Lightnings bomb the airfield at Milo, Sicily. B-26 Marauders and B-25 Mitchells, with P-38 escort, hit docks and shipping at Olbia, Sardinia and shipping at Golfo Aranci, Italy. Northwest African Air Force (NAAF) aircraft claim over 40 aircraft destroyed.

INDIA: General Auchinleck becomes Commander in Chief and General Wavell is the next Viceroy of India. These "promotions" are designed to move them to positions where Churchill feels they can be best used.

The other side of the appointments: Churchill had these fellows appointed less to "feel safe" than to use their talents where they could, in his estimation, be best used. Churchill failed to appreciate Wavell's many qualities as an operational commander and had written the Great Auk off as an administratively capable but operationally incapable commander. In Churchill's view, both generals were also smeared with a propensity for ill-luck. (Marc Small)

AUSTRALIA: Australian Prime Minister John Curtin announces that Australia is no longer in danger of invasion. (Glenn Steinberg)

CANADA: Tug HMCS Glendower commissioned.

U.S.A.: Submarine USS Burrfish launched Portsmouth, NSY.

Destroyer USS Hazelwood commissioned.

Destroyer escort USS Smartt commissioned.

Destroyer escorts USS Lovering and Sanders launched.


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Yesterday     Tomorrow


18 June 1944

Yesterday                         Tomorrow

June 18th, 1944 (SUNDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: London: A flying bomb fell on the Guards Chapel at Wellington Barracks only yards from Buckingham Palace, during morning service today. The building was almost completely destroyed and 119 worshippers, half civilians, half servicemen, were killed. Another 102 were seriously injured. The V1s generally cause higher casualties than the usual aircraft bombing. Flying bombs come over from northern Europe in a steady stream, night and day, so no warnings can be given.

The USAAF's Eighth Air Force in England flies two missions.

Mission 421: 1,378 bombers are dispatched to targets in Germany; eleven bombers are lost, ten to AA fire and one to unknown causes: 

1. Of 890 B-17s dispatched, 381 bomb Hamburg, 88 hit Hannover-Misburg oil refinery, 85 hit the Bremen area; 60 hit Hannover, 54 hit Hamburg-Eurotank oil refinery, 38 hit Hamburg-Ossag oil refinery, 36 hit Hamburg-Schindler oil refinery, 18 hit Bremen-Oslebshausen; 18 hit Hamburg-Ebano oil refinery and five hit targets of opportunity; seven B-17s are lost.

2. Of 488 B-24s, 168 hit Hamburg, 107 bomb Bremerhaven, 58 attack the Watten V-weapon sites, France, 54 hit Brunsbuttel, 45 hit Stade Airfield, 28 hit Wesermunde, 13 hit Husum Airfield, nine hit Nordenham, eight hit Heligoland Airfield, five hit targets of opportunity and one hits Wrist marshalling yard; four B-24s are lost. 

Escort is provided by 198 P-38s, 172 P-47 Thunderbolts and 215 P-51 Mustangs.

Other VIII Fighter Command missions in France are:

1. 94 of 98 P-38s and 82 of 87 P-47s attack railroad bridges in the St Quentin area without loss.

2. 47 P-51s make a sweep of the Dol de Bretagne area; three P-51s are lost).

Mission 422: Nine B-24s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions in France; a B-24 hits a tree at the drop zone.

In France, the USAAF's Ninth Air Force in England dispatches about 130 A-20 Havocs and B-26s to bomb fuel dumps at Foret d'Andaine and Conches and marshalling yards at Rennes and Meudon during the morning and NOBALL (V-weapon) targets in the afternoon; fighters, in addition to escort duty, continue strafing and bombing rail lines, troop concentrations, and highway traffic on the Cherbourg Peninsula.  

ENGLISH CHANNEL: U-767 sunk in  230' of water, depth charged, 1 trapped gets out with Drager gear from bottom without an air lock, PoW. (Mark Horan)

SS Albert C Field (1,764 GRT) Canadian Upper Lakes and St. Lawrence Transportation Co. bulk laker sunk by a torpedo in a dusk attack from a Luftwaffe JU-88 torpedo-bomber a/c, in the English Channel, position 50.28N, 001.46W. The ship was part of the twelve-ship Penarth, Wales, to Normandy beachhead convoy EBC-14. She was carrying a cargo of 2,500 tons of ammunition and 130 bags of US Army mail. The ship broke in half and sank quickly. Four crewmembers were lost from her 33 men. The British Western Isles-class armed trawler HMS HERSCHELL rescued the survivors. The rescue was greatly assisted by the small red lights and whistles that had only recently been added to the standard life vests then in use.

FRANCE: US First Army troops reach the west coast of the Cotentin Peninsula at Barneville. Cutting off the German-held port of Cherbourg.

POLAND: The Germans launch a six-day sweep against partisans near Lublin.

FINLAND: Soviet attacks breech the Finnish Main Defence Line and they advance towards Viipuri. The 4th Division and 3rd Brigade were repelling Soviet attacks in old positions in Summa, the famous battlefield of the Winter War. Leningrad Front's successes against Finland are recognized by promotion of its commander Army General Leonid Govorov to Marshal of the Soviet Union, and commander of the 21st Army Lt. Gen. D. Gusev to Colonel General.

Six German AF barges are ordered to protect transports in Koivisto area. Securing patrol boat VMV 17 is destroyed by Soviet warplanes in Koivisto at Tiurinsaari Island. Six men lost.

ITALY: The Allies capture Assisi.

CHINA: Changsha: After two weeks of fierce fighting the 200,000-strong Japanese Eleventh Army has taken the central Chinese cities of Changsha and Chuchow. Its next target is Hengyang, 75 miles away, an important railway junction on the Canton to Hankow line. The three-week-old Japanese offensive is intended to capture key Chinese supply lines before advancing south and west to destroy Allied airfields in China. It is from these that the new long-range US B29s bombed the Japanese mainland three days ago.

MARIANAS ISLANDS, SAIPAN: The 4th Marine Division reaches the west side of Saipan at Magicienne Bay. The 27th Division captures Aslito Airfield.

PACIFIC OCEAN: Allied CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 55, In the early morning of June 17 (West Longitude date) the enemy launched an amphibious counterattack against our forces on Saipan. A group of troop-carrying barges attempted a landing south of Garapan, but were re-pulsed by our armed landing craft. (Denis Peck)

The Japanese Naval forces continue toward the Marianas. Towards evening they sight the US 5th Fleet.

In the opening moves of the Battle of the Philippine Sea, nine IJN land-based bombers, Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber, Allied Code Name "Betty," are dispatched from their base in Yap Atoll to search for the U.S. fleet. The aircraft miss the ships of Task Force 58 but locate one of the Fifth Fleet escort carrier task groups. As a result of their sighting, the Japanese dispatch six land-based bombers, Kugisho P1Y Navy Bomber Ginga, Allied Code Name "Frances," escorted by eleven Mitsubishi A6M Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighters, Allied Code Name "Zeke," from Yap Atoll and  38 A6M "Zekes" and a Kugisho D4Y Navy Carrier Bomber Suisei, Allied Code Name "Judy," from Palau Island. These aircraft fail to locate the escort aircraft carriers but at 1545 hours local, they sight and attack a group of fleet oilers east-northeast of Guam; two oilers are hit and a third is damaged by a near miss.  


Submarines USS Chub and Lamprey launched.

Escort carrier USS Bouganville commissioned.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: Frigate HMCS Charlottetown arrived Bermuda for workups.

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18 June 1945

Yesterday                         Tomorrow

June 18th, 1945 (MONDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: William Joyce is put on trial in London. The charge is treason. He will be convicted and executed for broadcasting propaganda from Germany during the war as "Lord Haw Haw". (He will be hung in January 1946)

Mass demobilization begins today for servicemen in Britain's armed forces, even though the war continues in the Far East. Government officials predict that initially 30,000 men will return to "civvy street" each week, but this figure is expected to rise to around 60,000 a week by August. Some have already left, each kitted out in a "demob suit" and other civilian clothing on the day of release.

Destroyer HMS Camperdown commissioned.

U.S.S.R.: Moscow: 16 officers of the Polish Home Army are put on trial for fighting the Red Army.

CHINA: Chinese forces capture Wenchow port.

JAPAN: Six Eleventh Air Force B-24s join two US Navy Lockheed PV-2 Harpoons in attacking Kataoka, Shimushu Island and Tomari Cape, Paramushiru Island; cloud cover prevents observation of effects; 1 B-24 flies a radar-ferret  mission over the Kurile Islands.

The Submarine USS Bonefish (SS-223), CO Lawrence L. Edge, is sunk by ASW forces in Toyama Wan, West coast of Honshu. All hands are lost. (Joe Sauder)

COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: Organized Japanese resistance ends on Mindanao Island in the Philippines.

CANADA: Minesweeper HMCS St Joseph paid off.

U.S.A.: General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower receives a tumultuous welcome in Washington, D.C., where he addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

The Pacific Fleet issues a staff study that strongly implies that MacArthur"> MacArthur will not take command of ground forces during the invasion of Japan (Operation Olympic) until these forces were established ashore. MacArthur "announces that he is going ashore with the troops, and that he would exercise control, as required, of the actual assault." (Keith Allen)(211)

Escort carrier USS Puget Sound commissioned.

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