Yesterday           Tomorrow

June 22nd, 1939 (THURSDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Minesweeper HMS Bramble commissioned.

FRANCE: Colonial sloop FS La Grandiere launched.

U.S.S.R.: Soviet submarine M-99 laid down.

THE GOLD COAST: The West African colony suffers it's worse ever earthquake when a 6.5 Richter Scale one hits. 17 people are killed.

U.S.A.: Glenn Miller records 'Oh You Crazy Moon' at the radio City Music Hall, New York.


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Yesterday               Tomorrow


22 June 1940

Yesterday    Tomorrow

June 22nd, 1940 (SATURDAY)


RAF Bomber Command: 4 Group (Whitley). Bombing - industrial works at Wedau/Cologne.

102 Sqn. Six aircraft. All bombed. Opposition moderate.

The suspicion held for some time by the Air Ministry scientific intelligence expert Dr R V Jones and others that the Luftwaffe has a system of radio beams for guiding its bombers onto targets in England was finally confirmed last night.

An Avro Anson from the RAF’s Boscombe Down-based Blind Flying Development Unit located one such beam. Using a powerful US Hallicrafter receiver the crew identified a beam transmitted from Germany passing over the Rolls-Royce aeroplane engine factory at Derby. It was tracked down to a transmitter in Schleswig-Holstein. Urgent research is under way to counter the deadly system that the Germans call Knickebein [crooked leg].

Three German airmen who lost their lives when their bomber was brought down in an Essex town during Tuesday night’s raid were buried in the town’s cemetery yesterday. Full military honours were paid by officers and men of the R.A.F. and a firing party fired three volleys over the one large grave in which the three coffins covered with Nazi flags were interred. The Bishop of Chelmsford officiated. The Bishop’s wife was one of the mourners. There was a wreath from the R.A.F. and another from girl telephonists of the A.F.S. stationed in the town inscribed "When duty calls all must obey."

Manchester Guardian.

U-122 (Type IXB) Missing since today between the North Sea and the Bay of Biscay. 48 dead (all crew lost). (Alex Gordon)

Corvette FS Bastiaise mined and sunk off Hartlepool, having been commissioned that same day at Smith's Dock Middlesborough.

ASW trawler HMS Pirouette launched.

Corvette HMS Primula launched.

Rescue tug HMS Tenacity launched.


FRANCE: St-Jean-de-Luz: The remnant of the Polish army sails for England on the liner Batory.

Compeigne: Shortly after 6.30 this evening, General Wilhelm Keitel lost patience with the French. He told them to sign armistice terms within the next hour or they would be sent packing and the war would go on. In less than ten minutes the French capitulated.

In a voice choked with emotion General Charles Huntziger, the leader of the French delegation, said: "Forced by the fortunes of war to give up the struggle in which she was engaged on the side of her Allies, France sees very hard demands imposed on her under conditions which underline their severity." He expressed the hope that Germany "will be guided by a spirit which will permit the two neighbouring great peoples to live and work in peace."

Seated at a table in the railway carriage in which the Germans had been forced to sign the surrender at the end of the First World War, Huntziger signed the armistice terms. They are less harsh than had been expected. The Germans will occupy 60% of metropolitan France, but a French government will be responsible for the unoccupied zone and will be permitted to raise a small force for the preservation of order. However, all warships are to be recalled to France and laid up under German or Italian supervision.

France has found it difficult to swallow other German demands. All anti-Nazi German refugees are to be handed over to the German authorities; any French nationals caught fighting for Britain are to be shot at once; all French prisoners of war will remain in German camps. The armistice takes effect as soon as France has signed a similar agreement with Italy tomorrow.

The armistice teams met for the first time yesterday afternoon, with a triumphant Hitler, Göring  and von Ribbentrop">Ribbentrop present. A preamble to the terms, read by Keitel, consisted of a tirade against the 1918 armistice terms imposed on Germany "although the enemy had not defeated the German army, navy or air force in any decisive action." This ceremony in the coach at Compeigne would "blot out once and for all ... the greatest German humiliation of all time."

After listening to this polemic, the Fuhrer gave the Nazi salute and left the carriage. Outside, he read, with a grim expression, the inscription on the granite memorial to the 1918 Armistice and then ordered the stone to be blown up.

Since the beginning of the month Weygand and Petain have been resigned to defeat. When de Gaulle urged them to continue the war from North Africa, Weygand responded contemptuously: "Nonsense. In a week Britain will have her neck wrung like a chicken"

As the armistice was being signed, French troops were surrendering en masse. In Alsace-Loraine 500,000 have laid down their arms; in Brittany and the west 200,000; over 1,500,000 French soldiers are now in German hands. Panzers are roaming at will in central France; General Rommel, in a letter to his wife, cheerfully likens his advance to a holiday excursion. The charade of French military press conferences has been abandoned.

After the French had to sign their surrender document in the railroad wagon, Hitler ordered the wagon to be taken  to Berlin (Lustgarten) were it was displayed as a monument. Here it becomes a sort of mystery. Some mention, it was destroyed durng an RAF raid in 1943. Other say it was taken to Crawinkel/ Oberhof (Thueringen) at the end of the war. There it was blown up by the SS. When the debris was cleared after the war, they found the Franch emblem on the wagon. After the war the French government places a replica in Compiegne. (Michel van Best)


ITALY: Rome: The Italian High Command announced:

‘The Italian navy and air force have stepped up their activities in the Mediterranean. Powerful air attacks have been made on Marsa Matrub in North Africa. The enemy bombed the hospital and a military hospital in Tobruk. One English aeroplane was shot down. In East Africa a large number of operations have been undertaken against enemy bases in the Sudan and in Kenya. An English aeroplane was shot down during an enemy attack over Dire Dawa.’


MALTA: Flt. Lt. George Burges, in Faith, destroys the first Italian bomber over the island.

GULF of ADEN: Saga of the Galileo. The boat was finding it very difficult to stay surfaced long enough to adequately ventilate the crew compartments, and the noxious gasses were reaching dangerous levels inside, affecting the crew with serious symptoms of gas poisoning (chiefly fainting spells, nosebleeds, and a grotesque and painful swelling of the ankles). Repeatedly it seemed that the sub broke surface only to have to dive again almost at once at the sight of mastheads over the horizon or an approaching aircraft. Finally, on the morning of June 23rd, the GALLILEO's skipper realized that his men were at the end of their endurance, and determined to try to run for home on the surface. But the familiar pattern re-asserted itself. All too soon, the Italian boat was spotted by a British plane. The GALLILEO's captain took her down again, not realizing that his vessel was still quite visible from the air in the clear water. Thus the Italian sub continued to be tracked, until surface elements summoned by radio arrived on the scene. The first British sub-chaser to show up was the MOONSTONE, a converted trawler. With a large percentage of the Italian crew now incapacitated by the effects of the malfunctioning air conditioning, the GALLILEO's skipper made a decision. He had correctly guessed, by the sound of the screws, that his single adversary was a fairly small craft. Since the circling British plane had now also departed (I'm assuming due to lack of fuel), and since the GALLILEO was one of those large ocean-going subs which mounted not one but two 100-mm deck guns, he decided to take his chances shooting it out on the surface. This was not a bad decision, since the Italian boat indeed had the advantage against the MOONSTONE, which had a single 4-inch (102-mm) gun forward. And the Italian skipper's faith in his men's efficiency was also apparently warranted. When the GALLILEO burst to the surface, surprisingly close to its pursuer, it was the Italian sub's forward gun which got off the first shot. However, they missed, despite the point-blank range, and the crew of the MOONSTONE did not give them another chance. Demonstrating their own proficiency at gun drill, the British trawler's gunscrew rapidly replied with two shots of their own. One of these scored a direct hit on the GALLILEO's conning tower, which in effect ended the fight, killing the Italian commander and also killing or wounding virtually everyone else on the bridge and in the control room. With many of the crew already disabled by the poisonous gas, and most of the healthy sailors manning the guns (or their ammunition chain) fore and aft, the boat was literally left adrift. The British subsequently boarded it, a fortuitous coup because they thereby recovered documents including one which detailed the adjacent patrol area of the Italian sub GALVANI. Armed with this precise information, the British proceeded to lay on a careful search for the GALVANI, which in due course was also found and sunk. (Mike Yaklich)

K class destroyer HMS in company with HMS KANDAHAR and HMS Kingston and sloops HMS Shoreham and HMS Indus find Italian submarine Torricelli and fight it out for 40 minutes on the surface. Khartoum suffers a hit from a 10 cm shell which splinters the air vessel of a torpedo, and as the resulting fire could not be contained, the ship is beached on Perim Island in the Red Sea at 12 38N 43 24E.  (Alex Gordon)(108)

     About 35 minutes into the fight one of the destroyers scored a direct hit on the sub's conning tower, disabling the steering and wounding the commander, Lt-Commander Pelosi.  Shortly thereafter Pelosi ordered the boat to be scuttled. 

     This was a quite remarkable surface action, from the Italian point of view.  The Toricelli had been damaged in a previous encounter off Djibouti, and was unable to submerge.  It therefore had no choice (other than surrender) but to fight it out, despite the fact that, faced with three destroyers and two gunboats, it disposed a single 100mm deck gun and four 13.2mm machineguns to face 18 x 4.7-inch and four 4-inch guns on the five British warships. 

     Yet the Toricelli had begun the fight, firing the first shot, and its second shot hit the gunboat Shoreham, forcing it from the fight.  The Italian sub also emptied all its torpedo tubes during the action, but without effect, except to force evasive maneuvers and thus prolong the fight. 

     The British, who fired off 700 rounds of 4- and 4.7-inch to achieve their one hit, were impressed enough to fete Pelosi and his officers at a formal dinner. The survivors of the Italian sub were picked up and taken to Aden. One British officer toasted, "though we were five to one, we were able neither to sink you, nor capture you, nor force you to surrender". The British commanding admiral made a point of meeting the Italian sub skipper. (Mike Yaklich)

JAPAN: A new Japanese cabinet is formed by Prince Konoye Fumiaro, with General Tojo Hideki as Minister  of War and Matsuoka Yosuke as Minster of Foreign Affairs.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: At 0158, the Randsfjord, dispersed from Convoy HX-49, was hit by one torpedo from U-30 about 70 miles SSE of Queenstown. The torpedo struck on the port side in the foreship and caused the ship to sink capsizing after three minutes. The master and three crewmembers were lost. Two men were crushed and injured between the starboard lifeboat and the side of the ship when they lost their grip while lowering themselves down to the boat. Some men jumped overboard and were later picked up by the boat. The U-boat surfaced and the Germans questioned the survivors, handed them a bottle of Brandy before leaving the area at full speed after two destroyers were spotted. The survivors set sail for land, but were picked up after 36 hours by the British steam merchant Port Hobart and landed in Glasgow on 25 June, where three men were admitted to hospital.

The Eli Knudsen had been in Convoy HX-49, which was dispersed approx. 100 miles SW of Cape Clear after U-47 had torpedoed the San Fernando in the middle of the convoy at 2007 on 21 Jun, 1940. At 0336 hours the next day, U-32 torpedoed the Eli Knudsen (one of the slowest ships in the convoy). All crewmembers abandoned ship in lifeboats and were picked up a few hours later by HMS Sandwich and taken to Liverpool. The tanker remained afloat and an attempt was made the next day to tow her to port, but she sank on 24 June in tow of the British tanker Corinda at 50.36N/07.51W.

At 0217, the Neion was hit in the engine room by one stern torpedo from U-38 and sank by the stern after five minutes. The cargo of naphtha drums was recovered in 1948.

At 1804, the unescorted Monique was torpedoed and sunk by U-65 in the Bay of Biscay.

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Yesterday            Tomorrow


22 June 1941

Yesterday                             Tomorrow

June 22nd, 1941 (SUNDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: London: In a broadcast speech, Churchill promises to give all possible technical and economic help to the USSR. He says: "Any state who fights nazism will have our aid ... It follows therefore that we shall give whatever help we can to Russia."

Figures published today reveal that since the start of the war the British armed forces have lost 18,627 killed, whereas civilian casualties are 35,756 killed. Proportionally the RAF has lost more than either the army or navy, and that its ration of killed is higher than that of other categories of casualties. The toll for the air force is 6,326 dead, 1,338 wounded, 1,879 missing and 408 prisoners.

Minesweeping trawler HMS Beech sunk by German aircraft off Scrabster, Scotland.


The Wehrmacht High Command announced:-

Since the early morning hours of today, we have been engaged in hostilities along the Soviet Russian border. An attempt by enemy aircraft to fly into East Prussia, has been repelled with heavy losses. German fighter planes shot down large number of Red bombers. In the struggle against the British Isles, powerful German aerial formations bombed the harbour installations of Southampton last night. Extensive fires broke out in the docks, warehouses and food manufacturing works. Further air attacks were aimed at airfields in northern Scotland and the Midlands. A large British freight vessel was severely damaged by bombs north of Sunderland. Yesterday afternoon a small number of British bombers with powerful fighter cover flew against the French Channel coast. German fighter planes shot down 26 British aircraft in violent dogfights. German flak and naval artillery brought down two more enemy aircraft. [German ace] Lt. Col. Galland won three air victories in these struggles.

U-467 laid down.

MOSCOW: The NKVD requests all members of the German Embassy to leave their private residences and to assemble in the embassy chancellery. (Greg Kelley)(274 pp. 337-338)

SLOVAKIA severs diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

ROMANIA: 12 He 112s of Royal Romanian Air Force Grupul 5 escort a flight of Potez 63 light bombers on attacks on the Soviet airfields of Bolgrad and Bulgarica early in the morning. 

During this attack Sublocotenent Aviator Teodor Moscu became Romania's first fighter hero of the War, shooting down two Polikarpov I-16 fighters with credit for a third "probable"; Moscu's Heinkel was badly shot up in the ensuing air battle where the Romanians were outnumbered nearly three to one, making a wheels-up emergency landing from which he walked away from. Moscu soon added a pair of additional victories to his aerial score, while his Heinkel was eventually repaired and returned to frontline service with Escadrila 51. (Greg Kelley)

FINLAND: Officially Finland is neutral in the Russo-German war, but in all practical respects Finland has committed herself to join the Barbarossa. Finnish Defence Forces are fully mobilized and stationed along the eastern border. In northern Finland German ground forces are already operating against the Soviets, and Luftwaffe is freely using designated Finnish airfields to attack Soviet targets.

But Finns are not just waiting for a proper excuse to start military operations. Early tonight, Finnish submarines lay mines in the Gulf of Finland. One infantry regiment and a light artillery battalion occupy the demilitarized Ahvenanmaa (Aland) islands in the Baltic Sea. Soviet planes attack the Finnish armored ships in nearby waters, but make no damage.

A sixteen-man Finnish long-distance patrol, clad in civilian clothing, is flown by two German He 115's to the Soviet rear. Their mission is to destroy locks in the Stalin canal. The locks prove too well guarded, but on its way home the patrol cuts the Murmansk railway. It returns back to the Finnish lines on 11 July, with losses of two men.

U.S.S.R.: Operation Barbarossa: The German attack on the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, begins. The Soviets are taken almost completely by surprise. The Germans have 140 of their own divisions, including 17 Panzer and 13 motorized divisions. 

There are also 14 Rumanian, two Hungarian, and 21 Finnish divisions. Facing them are the 230 division of the Soviet Army. 170 divisions are in the western part of the Soviet Union and 134 are directly opposing the Germans. The attacks today begins at 0300 hours with ground and air attacks. Most German operations run according to plan. 

A most significant setback is the taking of the citadel within the town of Brest Litovsk. This slows the use of the German communications network planned to be centered here.

The story of the citadel of Brest-Litovsk in the Second World War is an interesting and ironic one. In some of my reading I have come to appreciate the changealbe nature of Brest's significance to first the Poles in 1939, then the Germans, and finally, to the Soviet Red Army during the opening phases of 'Operation Barbarossa' in 1941.

     The Germans had to mount a major assault on it twice in the small space of two years (1939 & 1941) - and both times it cost them dearly to to so. Both the Polish and Soviet garrisons, in first 1939, and then 1941 respectively, also suffered horrendous losses defending this citadel on the River Bug. In both instances the overwhelming German air and artillery barrages took a very heavy toll on the defending forces.

     General Heinz Guderian relates in his personal 'Erinnerungen' that after the 76th Infantry Regiment stormed and captured the main fortress ('alte festing') in Sept 1939, he set up his Corps Hq in what he calls the "Voivodschaft." (From a Polish term, meaning a central administrative district)

     A map of the Fortress, which is composed internally of concentrically defended islands, shows the inner-most, or central island with what is marked as the 'old fortress church.' This would in fact, be the final point of resistance ('to the death') for the bitterly defending Soviets nearly two years later in the opening rounds of the German-Soviet conflict. (Russ Folsom)

The Finnish Army in June 1941 comprised of 16 (infantry) divisions, three brigades (two light infantry and one cavalry), and numerous independent units, among them two infantry regiments.

Moscow: Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov made the following declaration in the name of the Soviet Government. (Entire speech)

At 4:00 A.M. German Fascist and Rumanian forces crossed our borders without any notification of cause and without a declaration of war. Kiev, Sevastapol, Kovno and other cities were bombed. More than 200 people have been killed or wounded according to reports so far.

Germany attacked the Soviet Union along an 1,800 mile front from the Baltic to the Black Sea. The Germans have thrown 151 divisions into the battle, accompanied by tanks, guns and aeroplanes.

Stalin, despite the warnings given to him by Churchill and his own spies, seems to have been taken completely by surprise. The first that the Russians knew of the invasion was when the guns fired. At 4.00 A.M. Vladimir Dekanozov, the Soviet ambassador to Berlin, was called to the Wilhelmstrasse to be told that Germany had entered Russia in response to "border violations".

In fact, the invasion is the culmination of months of planning by the German general staff, acting on Hitler's orders. Operation Barbarossa is designed to destroy the Soviet Union and Bolshevism. Hitler is certain of success. he has told General Alfred Jodl: "We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down." In a proclamation broadcast this morning Hitler boasted that the German army's movements were "the greatest the world has ever seen." First reports indicate that the Finns and Romanians are fighting alongside the German.

Six transport Gruppen are allocated to provide the Luftwaffes air transport component.

1., 2., and 3 Staffel of the OKL's Aufklarungsgruppe are present with the high-alititude Ju 86Ps.

7 Stukagruppen are placed at the disposal of II. and VIII. Fliegerkorps, II. and III./St.G 1 with 70 aircraft, I. and III./St.G 2 with 83 aircraft, and the whole of St.G 77 with 122 aircraft. In addition, IV.(St)/LG 1 is operational in northern Norway with 42 Ju 87Bs.

The Luftwaffe's fighter force consists of JG 3 under Maj Gunther Lutzow equipped with the Bf 109F; II and III./JG 27 under Maj Wolfgang Schnellmann with the Bf109E; JG 51 under Molders with the Bf109F, II and III./JG 52 under Maj Hans Trubenbach with the Bf109E; JG 53 under Maj Gunther von Maltzahn with the Bf 109F; JG 54 under Maj Hannes Trautloft with the Bf109F; and JG 77 under Maj Bernhard Woldenga with the Bf109E. There is a single Bf110 equipped Zerstorergeschwader, ZG 26 Horst Wesel.

The Luftwaffe claims 1,811 Soviet aircraft for the loss of 32 of its own machines.

The attack started at 03.15 hr with strikes against Russian airfields in an attempt to wipe the Red Air Force out on the ground. The airfields were so widely dispersed that it is only possible to allocate three bombers to attack each. Many of the Ju88s and Do17s carry 2kg SD 2 and 10kg SD 10 fragmentation bombs, the latter being dropped from high altitudes in bundles of four. These prove extremey effective against aircraft and personnel but have an unfortunate habit of failing to release from the aircraft's bomb racks. The bombs would become fused and a slight jolt would cause them to detonate and blow the aircraft to pieces.

The initial attack on the Soviet airfields is followed by the bombing of Moscow, by Ju88s of KG 3 and KG 54 and He 111s of III./KG 26, part of KG 28, KG 53 and Kgr 100. 127 bombers take part in the raid dropping 104 tons of HE and 46,000 indenciary bombs.

Romanians enter Bessarabia to retake it. Making a maximum effort, the Romanian Air Force also loses 11 planes on this day. Specifically four Blenheims, two SM-79Bs, two PZL P.37s, one Potez 63, one IAR-37 and one IAR-39. The Romanians in turn claim eight Soviet aircraft plus three to their anti-aircraft artillery and claim 37 Soviet aircraft destroyed on the ground. (Mike Yaklich)

ITALY: Rome: Italy declares war on the Soviet Union.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: A surface encounter takes place during the night between the Vichy French super-destroyer GUEPARD and the light cruiser HMS LEANDER. The GUEPARD is damaged by a 6" shell from LEANDER. (Peter Beeston)

SYRIA: After evacuation of Damascus, Colonel Keime’s weary French force of V/1st Moroccan, I and III/17th Senegalese, III/24th Colonial and I and III/29th Algerian battalions withdraw through the mountains to the Barada Gorge, dominating the Beirut-Damascus Road. At Palmyra, Habforce (4 Cav Bde, 1/Essex and Arab Legion) is under persistent French air attack. Maj-Gen Clark calls for urgent air support. Nine Gladiators arrive but airfield cannot be defended and they withdraw to Iraq. On the central axis, 6th Aust Cav have formed a horsed troop from captured French cavalry horses, which patrols from Merdjayoun. (Michael Alexander)

CANADA: Corvette HMCS Saskatoon arrived Halifax from builder Montreal, Province of Quebec.

NEWFOUNDLAND: US Marines sail from Argenta bound for occupation duty in Iceland. (Dave Hornford)

U.S.A.: In baseball, the Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees complete their three game series at Yankee Stadium in New York. Yankee star Joe DiMaggio goes 2-for-5 against Tiger pitchers Hal Newhouser and Bobo Newsom. DiMaggio's home run and single extend his hitting streak to 35-games.


At 0329, the Calabria, dispersed from Convoy SL-76, was torpedoed and sunk by U-141 about 100 miles 280° from Inishtrahull lightship.

At 2236, the weather ship Arakara was torpedoed and sunk by U-77 east of St John's. The U-boat misidentified the ship as the Greek steam merchant Alexandra. The master, 32 crewmembers and 12 Admiralty personnel were lost.

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Yesterday        Tomorrow


22 June 1942

Yesterday Tomorrow

June 22nd, 1942 (MONDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Battleship HMS Anson commissioned.

VICHY FRANCE: Prime Minister Laval broadcast on the desirability of a German victory and urges Frenchmen to work hard in German Industry.

EUROPE: : VIII Bomber Command Mission Number 65: In the first large-scale daylight raid on the Ruhr, 235 B-17s are dispatched to hit the chemical works and synthetic rubber plant at Huls; 183 bomb the target and claim 46-21-35 Luftwaffe aircraft; 16 B-17s are lost and 75 others are damaged; U.S. casualties are 2 KIA, 16 WIA and 151 MIA. This plant, representing a large percentage of German production capacity, is severely damaged. Eleven YB-40s accompany the Huls raid; 1 is lost.

In a second raid, 42 B-17s are dispatched to bomb the former Ford and General Motors plants at Antwerp; 39 hit the target; they claim 1-2-9 Luftwaffe aircraft against 4 B-17s lost, one damaged beyond repair and 17 others damaged; U.S. casualties are 1 KIA, 3 WIA and 40 MIA. An additional 21 B-17s fly an uneventful diversion.

U.S.S.R.: Italian motor torpedo boat unit XII Squadriglia MAS (4 boats) arrives to Lake Ladoga.

NORTH AFRICA: Rommel is promoted to Field Marshal.

TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: The crew of the USS S-27 (SS-132) that ran aground on the 19th spends their third full day in the abandoned buildings on Constantine Harbor, Amchitka Island, Aleutian Islands and continue to unload supplies from the destroyed submarine.

U.S.A.: German submarines sink two more unarmed U.S. merchant tankers. U-159 shells a tanker in the Caribbean about 175 miles (282 km) south of the Windward Passage. After the crew abandons ship, the ship is sunk by demolition charges set by a boarding party from the sub. The unescorted and unarmed E.J. Sadler was taken under fire by U-159 about 175 miles south of the Windward Passage, as the tanker was 36 hours out of port and proceeding on a nonevasive course at 8.4 knots. At 2035, U-159 began to shell the ship from a distance of about four miles. The lookouts on the tanker had not seen the U-boat until it opened fire, but now the vessel immediately swung the stern toward it and the radio operator began sending distress signals. Eight of the first ten rounds from the 10.5cm gun were hits and the crew of eight officers and 28 men abandoned ship in four lifeboats. U-159 then fired another 75 rounds and 175 rounds from the 37-mm Anti-Aircraft gun into the tanker at close range, which set the ship on fire, but the ship remained afloat. After four hours a boarding party was sent aboard and placed scuttling charges, which finally sank the ship. The next morning a PBY aircraft spotted the survivors and directed destroyer USS Biddle, which picked them up 20 hours after the attack and brought them to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

 In the Gulf of Mexico, U-67 torpedoes and sinks a tanker about 40 miles (64 km) off the coast of Louisiana.

Destroyer USS Meade commissioned.

Minesweeper USS Skill launched.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: At 1234, the neutral Rio Tercero was torpedoed and sunk by U-202 off the US East Coast. Linder reported that the ship displayed no neutrality markings and was recognized as Argentinean only after the attack when questioning the survivors.

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Yesterday Tomorrow


22 June 1942 22 June 1943

Yesterday     Tomorrow

June 22nd, 1943 (TUESDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: The rocket-firing version of the Bristol Beaufighter, the mark VIC is first used in strength today. (22)

GERMANY: The USAAF's VIII Bomber Command in England flies Mission Number 65: In the first large-scale daylight raid on the Ruhr, 235 B-17 Flying Fortresses are dispatched to hit the chemical works and synthetic rubber plant at Huls in the main attack; 183 bomb the target and claim 46-21-35 Luftwaffe aircraft; this plant, representing a large percentage of the country's producing capacity, is severely damaged. Sixteen B-17s are lost. Eleven YB-40s accompany the Huls raid; one is lost.

In a second raid, 42 B-17s are dispatched to bomb the former Ford and General Motors plants at Antwerp; 39 hit the target; they claim 1-2-9 Luftwaffe aircraft; four B-17s are lost. An additional 21 B-17s fly an uneventful diversion.

FINLAND: Koivisto islands are evacuated and troops transported to west side of Bay of Vyborg.

U.S.S.R.: Baltic Fleet and Ladoga Flotilla: GB "Kama" - by aviation, close to Lavensari Is. (later raised and went into service) (Sergey Anisimov)(69)

Moscow: On the second anniversary of the invasion, Radio Moscow claims that 6.4 million Germans have been killed or taken prisoner.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: At 2131, U-593 fired a spread of four torpedoes at Convoy Elastic about eight miles northeast of Cape Corbelin, Algeria and hit the USS LST-333 and LST-387 with one torpedo each. The first was beached and declared a total loss, while the latter was towed to Dellys and later repaired. The torpedoing of these two ships hampers the training for the forthcoming invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky). The torpedo struck USS LST-333 on the starboard side in the stern. The explosion demolished the stern section, carried away the screws and rudder and stopped the engines. About 20 minutes after the hit, the landing crafts USS LCT-244 and LCT-19 took the landing ship in tow and proceeded slowly towards the beach. After one hour, the submarine chaser USS SC-503 came alongside and took off 32 injured crewmembers and 24 injured passengers and brought them to Algiers. After five hours of towing, the stern of the landing craft came aground near Dellys. The crew and passengers were taken off by the landing craft and brought to Dellys. The USS LST-333 later sank during a salvage attempt on 6 July.

ALGERIA: Algiers: The Committee of National Liberation, a Free French group, decide that General Giraud will retain command of the French forces in North Africa and that General de Gaulle will command French forces elsewhere. This is a victory for Charles de Gaulle.

PACIFIC OCEAN: Japanese submarine I-7 is damaged by destroyer USS MONAGHAN (DD-354) near Kiska Island. (Marc James Small)(220, 221 and 222)

TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff approve the plan for the invasion of Kiska Island in the Aleutian Islands.

CANADA: Tug HMCS Glendevon laid down Vancouver, British Columbia.

U.S.A.: Destroyer escort USS Durik laid down.

Minesweeper USS Ardent launched.

Destroyer escort USS Rich launched.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: At 2046, U-572 fired a spread of four torpedoes at Convoy UGS-10 and sank the Lot with two of them. The fleet oiler USS Merrimack and an escorting corvette picked up the survivors.


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Yesterday     Tomorrow


22 June 1944

Yesterday     Tomorrow

June 22nd, 1944 (THURSDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: The Eighth Air Force in England flies four missions from England. 

Mission 431: In a morning mission 85 B-17s and 132 B-24 Liberators attack 12 CROSSBOW (V-weapon) installations in the Pas de Calais area; one B-17 is lost. Escort is provided by 165 P-47 Thunderbolts and 97 P-51 Mustangs; some of the support fighters strafe coastal defenses; a P-51 is lost. 

Mission 432: During the afternoon 797 bombers are dispatched to attack 22 targets in France and Belgium; nine bombers are lost: 

1. Of 319 B-17s dispatched, 76 hit Lille/Fimes marshalling yard, 69 hit Ghent/Maritime marshalling yard, 35 hit Rouen oil depot, 13 hit La Vaubaliers, 13 hit Furnes Airfield, 13 hit Tingry, 12 hit Abbeville, 12 hit a tank area north of Rouen, 12 hit Douai railroad, 11 hit Mazingarbe, ten hit Pont a Vendin and one hits Douai railroad; three B-17s are lost. Escort is provided by 108 P-47s; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft. 

2. Of 149 B-24s, 46 hit Guyancourt/Caudron Airfield, 43 hit St Cyr Airfield, 36 hit Buc Airfield, 13 hit targets of opportunity and five hit Tours/La Riche bridge; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft. Escort is provided by 187 P-38s and 36 P-47s; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; five P-38s are lost.

3. Of 216 B-17s, 70 hit Nucourt V-weapon site, 38 hit Brie-Comte-Robert Sug, 33 hit Etampes Airfield, 11 hit Lieusant railroad, 11 hit Melun bridge and 11 hit Melun marshalling yard; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; four B-17s are lost. Of 113 B-24s, 101 hit an oil dump at Paris and one hits Dreux Airfield; two B-24s are lost. Escort is provided by 78 P-51s; three P-51s are lost.

4. Nine B-24s use Azon glide bombs against the Samur Bridge; escort is provided by 41 P-51s.

Mission 433: A B-17 flies a daylight leaflet mission to La Glacrie, France.

Mission 434: Nine B-17s drop leaflets in France and the Low Countries during the night.

Ten B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions in France during the night.

    Personal Memory:  Today we are again doing tactical (No Ball) targets trying to slow the Buzz Bomb attacks. My diary for this date reads: "St. Omar, France, (Calais Area) robot plane installations. Flew low squadron lead. Flak meager but VERY accurate. Lost two ships, one was leader. three tenths CAVU. Only 14 went out. Rough!"I have no idea why we were carrying two, two thousand pound bombs for such a small target. Perhaps it was a mission changed from a bridge busting sortie. My own idea would have been to carry a bunch of smaller bombs. Of course I had no say in the matter and anyhow all we did was dig ponds for some farmer. My diary was wrong about the loss of two B-17s that morning as only one didn't return. That was our leader 1st Lt. R.W. Erickson who had Capt. R.J. Lynch flying as mission commander in his plane named "Mary Cary." Deputy lead was also hit by flak but managed to get to Grafton Underwood for an emergency landing. The original lead plane was last seen  headed for the English coast at Beachy head but they never made it after the runaway number two engine exploded.The crew was ordered to bail out but the plane exploded before they all got out and half were killed. The other half were rescued by naval vessels. Score: Milk runs 13, others: 7 Afternoon mission: This afternoon we are loaded with twelve 500 pound bombs to try to bust a railroad yard at Lille, France. Beiser and I were assigned position 8 which made us the leader of a three-plane element. Our old "Buzz Blonde" that was severely damaged at Hamburg a few days ago was trying to fly this mission but had to abort because it couldn't keep up. Just after bombs away the airplane in the eleventh position was hit by flak in the right wing just behind the number 3 engine causing a gasoline explosion. Only the radio operator, Tech. Sgt R. H. Johnson survived. He was able to evade capture and return to American control. All the rest of the crew died in the explosion.  Score:

 Milk runs 13, Others 8 (Dick Johnson)

Rescue tug HMS Enigma launched.

Light cruiser HMS Swiftsure commissioned.

FRANCE: A two hour air raid begins the final battle for Cherbourg in which 1,000 tons of bombs are dropped. The divisions of VII Corps then attack and meet fierce resistance.

Gnr Elmer Schauer of the 78th Battery, Canadian Army, showed particular Courage while in the OP (Observation Post) at Putot-en Bessin as a signaller. The OP was established in a slit trench on an exposed flank of the Company Area with the tank parked about 50 yards to the rear. The Company position came under heavy mortar and artillery fire during which time the enemy attacked and succeeded in infiltrating in and around the position. As the OP was in as exposed position, the enemy subjected it to heavy machine gun fire. Gnr. Schauer saw the predicament and on his own initiative climbed up on the tank and into the turret. With the help of Gnr's Braham and Toy brought down direct fire with the 75mm gun of the tank onto the enemy, succeeding in completely neutralizing the enemy fire from this sector. He then provided further covering fire for the OP Officer, who was able to direct artillery fire on other enemy troops.

For this action Gnr. Elmer Schauer was awarded the Croix-de-Guerre. (Daniel Ross)(Link)

Around 600 B-26 Marauders and A-20 Havocs and 1,200+ fighters of the USAAF's Ninth Air Force fly missions during the day; the main effort consists of an attack on the tip of the Cherbourg Peninsula in support of the US VII Corps assault on the port of Cherbourg; beginning one hour before the ground attack and continuing until the attack begins fighters and fighter-bombers pound the whole area south of the city from low level; as the ground assault begins, B-26s and A-20s strike a series of strongpoints selected by the US First Army, forming a 55-minute aerial barrage moving north in advance of ground forces; later in the day B-26s attack marshalling yards, fuel dumps and a German headquarters; fighter-bombers fly armed reconnaissance over various railroads and bomb rail facilities, trains, road traffic and gun emplacements; 25 fighter-bombers are lost during the day's operations.

GERMANY: U-1064 launched.

DENMARK: Saboteurs of the Danish Resistance wreck a rifle manufacturing plant in Copenhagen.

FINLAND: German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop">Ribbentrop arrives in Finland to negotiate about military aid to be given Finns to keep them in the war. The Red Army renews its offensive west of Viipuri. Soviet forces try to cross the narrow straits just west of the center of the city but are repelled by Finnish artillery fire. Maj. Gen. Alonzo Sundman's 17th Division relieves Col. Kai Savonjousi's 10th Division west of Viipuri.

POLAND: Chelm: The USSR sets up a puppet "Polish Committee for National Liberation."

U.S.S.R.: The Red Army has chosen today, the third anniversary of the German invasion, to launch a massive assault on the Nazi forces occupying Byelorussia. It is called Operation Bagration, after the Czarist general who was mortally wounded fighting Napoleon at Boridino in 1812, and its object is nothing less than to destroy Hitler's Army Group Centre.

Last night, partisans blew up railway lines, bridges and telephone cables in 10,500 separate places, effectively severing the Germans' supply and communications lines. Then the huge weight of the Red Army crashed into the German defences. The Russians have assembled nearly 1.2 million men in 124 divisions, 5,200 tanks and assault guns, and 6,000 aircraft to smash a German force of 400,000 men supported by just 900 tanks and heavy guns and 1,300 aircraft.

German intelligence reports had given General von Busch, the commander of Army Group Centre, clear warning of the Russian buildup, but Hitler, relying on his "intuition", has been deceived by a Russian maskirova (disinformation) operation into believing that the Red Army was planning a double thrust in the south to the Romanian oilfields and Warsaw He was so sure that he had outguessed the Russians that he sent 48 infantry divisions and three Panzer divisions to Galicia, leaving von Busch's forces dangerously thin on the ground. The man and tanks he switched to the south have now been bypassed and are playing no part in the battle.

Hitler's mistake became apparent at 5am today when the Red Army opened up with its customary overwhelming barrage from guns which were virtually wheel to wheel along the front. When the barrage lifted, hordes of T-34tanks scurried towards the German defences, each followed by a tight group of infantry. Sturmoviks lurked overhead to pounce on strongpoints. The speed and punching power of the assault soon tore gaping holes in the attenuated German lines.

The Russians are racing west through these gaps, heading for Minsk. General Bagramyan's First Baltic Front has made a double breakthrough against General Reinhardt's 3rd Panzer Army to isolate Vitebsk, and some 30,000 Germans are in danger of being surrounded. As the hammer blows descend the whole German position in Byelorussia is under threat.

Poltava: The Luftwaffe made a devastating attack on this Ukrainian airfield last night, killing 26 crewmen of the US Eighth Army Air Force, and destroying 47 and severely damaging 26 Flying Fortresses, which have landed here after attacking a German synthetic oil plant. They had flown on to Poltava, one of three airfields made available by the Russians. But they had been shadowed by a German plane, and later 75 He-111s and Ju88s attacked. A fuel dump containing over two million litres of fuel exploded and the aircraft burst into flames.

Because of the attack on USAAF Eighth Air Force B-17s at Poltava, USSR, on yesterday's shuttle mission, the B-17s at Mirgorod and P-51s at Piryatin are moved farther east; they are to be returned to Mirgorod and Piryatin to be dispatched to bases in Italy as soon as the weather permits; the move is fortunate as German bombers strike both Piryatin and Mirgorod during the night of 22/23 June.

ITALY: Following 5 consecutive days of bad weather, the USAAF's Fifteenth Air Force in Italy dispatches 600+ B-17s and B-24s to bomb targets in northern Italy; B-17s hit marshalling yards at Fornova di Taro, Modena and Parma; B-24s hit six marshalling yards and two bridges in Italy, an automobile factory at Turin and an automobile depot at Chivasso; fighters fly 250+ sorties in support of the missions.

INDIA: The siege of Imphal is raised as advance units of the British 2nd Indian Division link with the British 5th Indian Division at mile 107 of the Imphal-Kohima road.
The Japanese Fifteenth Army which invaded India in Operation U-Go has failed. Of the 100,000 Japanese who marched from Burma, 30,502 are dead and 23,003 wounded, at a total loss to the Allies of 2,700 killed and 10,000 wounded.

Imphal was under siege for three months. General Renya Mutaguchi sent three divisions of the Fifteenth Army against the Allies: the 33rd drove north from Tiddim, and the 15th and 31st attacked the Allied bases at Imphal and Kohima from the east. Against this the Allies mustered four Indian divisions under Lt-Gen Geoffrey Scoones. The 17th and 20th held the Imphal perimeter, and the 5th and 23rd hunted out the overstretched Japanese on the Imphal plain, hammering them against Imphal's anvil.

Allied control of the Imphal plain and the skies above it was backed by secure communications. Imphal has been supplied by air since April. Mutaguchi, however, refused to admit defeat at Imphal or Kohima, ignoring the realities of the field.

Lt-Gen Kotoku Sato withdrew his 31st Division from Kohima on 3 June with no prospect of supply, it ran out of ammunition and food rations; he had refused Mutaguchi's demand to regroup and attack Imphal without even finding food. Sato's withdrawal freed two more Allied divisions for Imphal.

Mutaguchi has been ordering the 15th Division to mount ever more ambitious operations, simultaneously stripping its commander Lt-Gen Masafumi Yamauchi, of manpower until today he commands a mere battalion and a half. No wonder Yamauchi has spent much of his time writing despairing haiku poetry.

The fighting has been close and bloody, with the besieging Japanese crawling over their dead to reach the trenches surrounding Imphal. Outside, the battle swayed to and fro, the highest casualties on both sides suffered on the Ukhrul road and the Shenam Saddle. Conditions are appalling: heavy rain, mist and thick jungle have made transport and observations difficult. The Imphal to Kohima road itself is a single track overlooked by high ridges from which the Japanese launched a series of deadly attacks and stubborn defences.

The turning-point in the battle came on 17 June, when the Japanese abandoned Mao Songsan ridge, the first time that they had given up a position without a fight in the entire campaign.

NEW GUINEA: The fighting for the island of Biak Guinea is essentially finished after the US attacks today.

MARIANAS ISLANDS, SAIPAN: The 2nd Marines take Mount Tipo Pale and move on to Mount Tapotchau. The 4th Marines are fighting east on the Kagman Peninsula.

USS NATOMA BAY launches 25 P-47 Thunderbolts for delivery to Saipan.

CANADA: Frigate HMCS Prestonian launched Lauzon, Province of Quebec.
Minesweeper HMS Seabear commissioned.

U.S.A.: Washington: US President Roosevelt">Roosevelt signs the "GI Bill". This will give a range of various benefits to returning veterans. Education and home loans are among the benefits included.

CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 59, 1. During the attack by enemy carrier-type aircraft on our ships on June 18 (West Longitude Date), 353 enemy aircraft were shot down of which 335 were destroyed by our carrier aircraft and 18 by our own antiaircraft fire. This is a revision of the estimate contained in communiqué No. 56.

Two of our carriers and one of our battleships received superficial damage. We lost 21 aircraft in combat.

2. The following information is now available concerning the attack of our carrier aircraft upon units of the Japanese fleet in the late afternoon of June 19 (West Longitude Date).

The enemy forces attacked consisted of: Four or more battleships, five or six carriers, five fleet tankers, and attached cruisers and destroyers.

On the basis of information presently available, our planes inflicted the following damage One carrier, believed to be the Zuikaku, received three 1,000-pound bomb hits. One Hayataka Class carrier was sunk. One Hayataka Class carrier was severely damaged and left burning furiously. One light carrier of the Zuiho or Taiho Class received at least one bomb hit. One Kongo Class battleship was damaged. One cruiser was damaged. Three destroyers were damaged, one of which is believed to have sunk. Three tankers were sunk. Two tankers were severely damaged and left burning. Fifteen to 20 defending aircraft were shot down.

Our losses were 49 aircraft, including many which landed in the water at night and from which an as yet undetermined number of pilots and aircrewmen have been rescued. Search for others is continuing.

3. The engagement was broken off by the Japanese fleet which fled during the night toward the channel between Formosa and Luzon The Pacific Fleet units in these two actions were commanded by Admiral R. A: Spruance. The carrier task force was under the immediate tactical command of Vice Admiral M. A. Mitscher.

CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 60, Our troops on Saipan Island have made further advances of more than a mile along the shoreline of Magicienne Bay to the town of Laulau and have advanced about a mile up Mount Tapotchau. The pocket of enemy resistance tat Nafutan Point has been reduced by one half, and our forces have gained the heights of Mount Nafutan on the east coast. Heavy pressure is being maintained night and day against enemy troop concentrations and defence works by our aircraft, Army and Marine artillery, and Naval gunfire.

At night on June 20 (West Longitude Date) several enemy aircraft dropped bombs near our transports and along shore but did no damage.

Sporadic fire has been directed against our ships by shore batteries but the enemy emplacements have been quickly knocked out.


"Under the circumstances our Fleet did a magnificent job, but the Navy is not going to be satisfied until the Japanese Fleet is wiped out.

"The Japanese were extremely cautious and never came very far to the eastward so that the bulk of our forces could engage them. As a result, we were able to send home but one air attack at very long range from our carriers just before dark.

"Some of the Japanese vessels which were damaged may be able to make port and eventually return to the fight. This is especially true of the war-ships, only one of which is reported as definitely sunk." (Denis Peck)

The first Boeing B-17G-80-B0, with the Cheyenne Turret, is delivered.

Destroyer USS Haynsworth commissioned.

Submarine USS Dogfish laid down.

Minesweepers USS Facility and Execute launched.


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22 June 1945

Yesterday     Tomorrow

June 22nd, 1945 (FRIDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Destroyer HMS Finisterre launched.

FRANCE: General Joseph Stilwell assumes command of the US Tenth Army, succeeding Buckner who was killed on Okinawa. (Marc James Small)

CHINA: Japanese troops quit Liuchow, setting it on fire before the advancing Chinese.

JAPAN: Okinawa: : The fighting on Okinawa ends. 12,500 US soldiers and Marines are dead. They also show 35,500 wounded. The US navy shows 36 ships sunk with 368 damaged. 763 US aircraft are lost. The Japanese show 120,000 military and 42,000 civilians dead. The US count is 7,830 aircraft and numerous naval vessels, including the battleship Yamato. There are also 10,755 Japanese prisoners taken. This is the first battle in which significant Japanese prisoners are taken.

:The Japanese Supreme Council for the Direction of the War, is requested by the Emperor to end the war. The SCDW is known as the Big 6 of the Japanese Cabinet. PM, FM, War Minister, Navy Minister, Army CofS, Navy CofS.
The submarine USS Barb (SS-220) surfaces off Hokkaido Island, Japan and fires twelve 5-inch (127 mm) rockets with 9.6-pound (4.4 kg) warheads at the town of Shari. This is the first ballistic missile launch by a U.S. submarine.

The USAAF's XXI Bomber Command in the Marianas dispatches 446 B-29s on six missions against targets on South Honshu Island, Japan during the day.

Mission 215: 162 B-29s attack the Kure Naval Arsenal and 12 others hit alternate targets; 72% of the roof area of the arsenal is damaged, the incomplete submarines I-204 and I-352 are destroyed and the escort destroyer HIJMS Nire and the submarine HIJMS RO 67 are damaged. Two B-29s are lost.

Mission 216: 108 B-29s hit the Mitsubishi aircraft plant at Tamashima destroying 135 of 231 machine tools and almost half the roof area; 10 others hit alternate targets; 2 B-29s are lost.

Mission 217: 52 B-29s attack the Kawanishi aircraft plant at Himeji causing great destruction among the buildings and total destruction of machine tools; 4 others hit alternate targets.

Missions 218 and 219: 34 B-29s hit the Mitsubishi and Kawasaki aircraft plants at Kagamigahara and 10 others hit alternate targets; 1 B-29 is lost.

Mission 220: 25 B-29s hit the Kawasaki aircraft factory at Akashi and 1 hits an alternate target.

Consolidated PB4Y-2s of the USN's Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred Eighteen (VPB-118) based at Yonton Airfield, Okinawa continues aerial mining of the waters off Korea.

FORMOSA: One of two B-32s bomb an alcohol plant at Heito, Formosa with 500 pound (227 kg) bombs but the second one misses flak positions with 260-pound (118 kg) frag bombs.

BORNEO: Japanese resistance on Tarakan island comes to an end.

CANADA: Corvette HMCS Lindsay departed refit Saint John, New Brunswick for Sydney Nova Scotia.
Corvette HMCS Bittersweet paid off and returned to RN at Aberdeen, Scotland
Corvettes HMCS Brandon and Sorel paid off Sorel, Province of Quebec.


Destroyer USS O'Hare launched.

Submarine USS Menhaden commissioned.


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