Yesterday           Tomorrow

June 27th, 1939 (TUESDAY)

COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: MacArthur"> MacArthur was instructed by Vargas to send all future communications to Quezon through him.  MacArthur"> MacArthur stated, “Jorge, some day your boss is going to want to see me a lot more than I am going to want to see him”.

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Yesterday                 Tomorrow


27 June 1940

Yesterday      Tomorrow

June 27th, 1940 (THURSDAY)

FRANCE: German troops reach the border with Spain.

Corvette FS Lobelia (ex-HMS Lobelia) laid down.

GERMANY: U-138 commissioned.

U.S.S.R.: Moscow: All factories in the USSR are put on a 7 day working week.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: To the south and west of Crete a patrol of Mediterranean Fleet destroyers including HMS Dainty and HMS Ilex sink Italian submarines 'Liuzzi' and 'Uebi Scebeli'

U.S.A.: President Franklin D. Roosevelt establishes a National defence Research Committee to correlate and support scientific research on the mechanisms and devices of war. Among its members are officers of the War and Navy Departments appointed by the respective Secretaries of War and the Navy. Although research on the problems of flight are specifically excluded from its functions, this organization makes substantial contributions in various fields of importance to aviation, including airborne radar. 

President Roosevelt invokes the Espionage Act of 1917 to exercise control over shipping movements off the U.S. coast and in the vicinity of the Panama Canal.

The USAAC Evaluation Board designates the proposals for the very long range bomber as XB-29, XB-30, XB-31 and XB-32 respectively. Both Lockheed and Douglas subsequently withdraw from the competition.

A confidential meeting is held between members of the British and Australian governments and US Secretary of State Hull regarding their concerns about the Japanese build up. They request either economic measures or movement of some naval vessels to the area of Malaysia or the Philippines. Cordell Hull does not agree to any of these proposals. They would constitute a more active foreign policy than the Administration believes the American public is prepared to tolerate. (Marc Small)

Battleship USS Iowa laid down.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: At 0338, the unescorted Lenda was missed by U-47 with one torpedo. Then the U-boat began shelling the ship for the next 20 minutes until she caught fire. The crew then abandoned ship in the starboard lifeboat, because the shelling had damaged the port lifeboat. The boat stayed near the ship for a while in the hope to find the first mate that was missing. The ship was on fire aft and amidships and the sea entered through holes at the waterline on the port side, so the U-boat left her in this sinking condition. But at dawn, some of the crew reboarded the vessel and they found the first mate dead on the port side of the upper bridge. A workboat was lowered and eight of the men transferred to it, whereupon both boats left and headed for the south of Ireland, just before two explosions were heard, followed by a tall column of fire which appeared to come from the engine room. Lenda remained afloat for a while on her cargo, but finally sank in 50°N/13°24W, about 160 miles southwest of Fastnet, Ireland. The survivors were picked up in the afternoon by destroyers HMS Hurricane and Havelock and taken to Plymouth on 30 June, respectively 2 July.

At 1705, the unescorted Leticia was attacked by U-47 with gunfire about 135 miles west of Ireland. The U-boat was only spotted when it opened fire from a distance of about 300 meters from the stern. The shelling killed the second engineer, seriously wounded the second mate and slightly wounded the master and a British donkeyman. Prien ceased fire to allow the crew to abandon ship in both lifeboats, but one British sailor fell overboard and drowned. After the lifeboats sailed away the U-boat again shelled the ship until she sank at 18.11 hours. Three men, which had remained on board, had to jump overboard and were picked up by U-47. They got dry clothing and schnaps and were brought to the lifeboats. First aid materials, some sausages and wine were given to the survivors before the U-boat left the area. The same day, the survivors were picked up by HMS Hurricane and landed at Plymouth two days later.

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Yesterday            Tomorrow


27 June 1941

Yesterday                                  Tomorrow

June 27th, 1941 (FRIDAY)


Stalin has accepted Churchill's offer of an alliance to fight Hitler. It has been agreed that military collaboration between the two nations will be on a "mutual and reciprocal basis." Military and economic missions are to be sent to Moscow to coordinate the joint war effort.

In his broadcast last Sunday after receiving the expected news of the German invasion. Churchill, who has often been outspoken in his opinions of the USSR, said that no-one had been a more consistent opponent of communism than he. "I will unsay not a word that I have spoken about it," he said, "But all this fades away before the spectacle which is now unfolding."

He insisted that "any man or state who fights against Nazidom will have our aid. Any man or state who marches with Hitler is our foe... We have but one aim and one irrevocable purpose. We are resolved to destroy Hitler and every vestige of the Nazi regime."

He forecast an even greater alliance: "The Russian danger is therefore our danger and the danger of the United States, just as the cause of any Russian fighting for his hearth and home is the cause of free men and free peoples in every quarter of the globe."

(Gazetted) Sub-Lt Geoffrey Gledhill Turner (1903-59), RNVR, disarmed many German mines in the early Blitz. One at Seaforth, Lancs, blew up in his face; amazingly, he survived. (George Cross)

DENMARK: Denmark severs diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

HUNGARY: Budapest: Hungary declares war on the USSR following air raids by the latter.

U.S.S.R.: Member of the Communist Party and of the Komsomol [League of Communist Youth] are mobilised as "political soldiers".

Bialystok: Over 2,000 Jews are killed when German troops rampage through the city.


The Soviet Information Bureau announced:

Our troops are fighting fiercly against large Fascist armoured units in the Minsk area. Battle is still going on. Violent armoured conflicts have been waged all day near Lutsk [western Ukraine; Polish 'Luck']. Our operations have proceeded favourably.

FINLAND: Helsinki: Romania, Hungary and Finland have now joined what Baron Mannerheim has described a a "holy war" against Russian Bolsheviks. The Romanians have fought with the German since the first day of Barbarossa. Hungary, a base for the German invasion, declared war today. The Finns have not declared war, but considered a Soviet air raid on Helsinki two days ago to be the start of new hostilities with their old foe, their resentment of whom has overridden all qualms about fighting with Hitler.

At 0427 the M-99 (SLt B.M. Popov) was hit by two torpedoes from U-149 and sank immediately east of Dagö Island.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Submarine HM S/M Triumph on patrol off the Egyptian coast sinks the Italian submarine Salpa.

SYRIA: After three attempts, a depleted company of 2/3 Bn scales Jebel Mazar and captures the summit. The French counter-attack immediately with elements of I/17th Senegalese, followed by V/1st Moroccan, I/24th Colonial and Moroccan Spahis. 2/2 Pnr Bn attack on ridge north of Merdjayoun held by two French battalions [which ones?] is decimated. French Foreign Legion garrison in Palmyra continues to hold it for Vichy against strong allied attack. (Michael Alexander)

NEWFOUNDLAND: The creation of a naval base in Newfoundland was vital to the provision of Trans-Atlantic convoy escort. This was due to the unanticipated high fuel consumption by 'short-legged' escorts while engaged in anti-submarine warfare. Eventually, the River-class frigates and Castle-class corvettes, with 7,000 nautical miles of endurance at medium speed, proved equal to the task. The use of over 200 escort oilers, beginning in the late 1942, was also vital to the efficient operation of the older warships that had much shorter cruising ranges. However, until the escort oilers and long-range escorts could enter service, the lack of fuel was a critical factor in the generally poor performance of RCN and RN warships.

U.S.A.: Baseball's New York Yankees go on the road and open a two-game series at Shibe Park in Philadelphia against the Philadelphia Athletics. Yankee star Joe DiMaggio goes 2-for-3, a home run and a single, against A's pitcher Chubby Dean, and extends his hitting streak to 39-games.

The Douglas XB-19 four-engined bomber makes its first flight. It has a length of 132.25 feet (40,34 meters), a wingspan of 212 feet (64,62 meters), an empty weight of 86,000 pounds (39 009 kilograms), normal range of 5,200 miles (8 369 kilometer) and a maximum range of 7,710 miles (12 408 kilometers).

Although not delivered with armament, it was designed to have one 37 mm cannon and one .30 calibre (7.62 mm) machine gun in the nose and forward dorsal turret; a .50 calibre (12.7 mm) machine gun in the tail, rear dorsal turret, ventral turret, left and right waist positions; and a .30 calibre machine gun on each side of the bombardier's position and on each side of the fuselage below the horizontal stabilizer. A normal crew consisted of 16-men but two additional flight mechanics and a six-man relief crew could be accommodated in a special compartment fitted with eight seats and six bunks. To feed this mob, a complete galley was included. The government paid Douglas $1.4 million ($17.32 million in 2006 dollars) but Douglas had spent an additional $4 million ($49.47 million in 2006 dollars) of their own money.

The aircraft was used as a flying laboratory and provided valuable data that was used to develop the Boeing B-29 and the Convair "Aluminum Overcast," aka, the B-36. During these tests, the plane had many engine-cooled problems and in 1943, the four 2,000 hp Wright R-3350 air-cooled radials engines were replaced with four 1,600 hop Allison XV-3420-1 liquid-cooled engines and the aircraft was redesignated XB-19A. This increased its maximum speed and eliminated the cooling problems. During the next 2-1/2 years, it was transferred from Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, to Patterson Field in Dayon, to Lockbourne AAAB in Columbus, Ohio, and finally to Clinton County AAFld, Wilmington, Ohio. Finally, it was placed in storage at Davis-Monthan Field, Tucson, Arizona on 17 August 1946 and was scrapped in 1949.


ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-556 is sunk SW of Iceland, in position 60.24N, 20.00W depth charges from corvettes HMS Nasturtium, Celandine and Gladiolus, they are escorting Halifax/UK convoy HX133 south of Iceland which has been attacked by 10 U-boats, 5 ships are lost. There are 5 dead and 41 survivors from the U-boat.

At 0155, U-564 fired three single torpedoes in one minute intervals at Convoy HX-133 in grid AK 2432, 300 miles (483 km) south of Iceland, and observed three hits. Dutch merchantmen Maasdam and Malaya II are sunk and Kongsgaard was damaged. The Kongsgaard was torpedoed amidships and caught fire in position 60°N/30°42W. The crew first abandoned ship in the lifeboats, but the master, one mate and nine crewmembers later reboarded the vessel and managed to extinguish the fire with the help of more men. After picking up the remaining crew, the tanker continued and arrived at Belfast on 2 July. Three days later, a telegram from the First Lord of the Admiralty arrived, congratulating them on bringing their ship safely to port after being torpedoed. Maasdam was hit by one torpedo on the port side at #2 hold. Several lifeboats were destroyed, but the most of the 48 crewmembers and 32 passengers (17 American Red Cross nurses and US Marines under Maj Walter L. Jordan, the advance detail for the Marine Detachment at the American Embassy in London) safely abandoned ship before she sank. Two passengers were lost. 44 survivors, among them nine of 17 American Red Cross nurses, were rescued by the Norwegian motor tanker Havprins and landed at Barry. The remaining survivors were picked up by another Norwegian vessel. The master, 38 crewmembers and four gunners from the Malaya II were lost. Six crewmembers were picked up by HMCS Collingwood and landed at Reykjavik. (Jack McKillop and Dave Shirlaw)

Italian submarine Glauco is scuttled west of Gibraltar, in position 35.00N, 12.41E, after being damaged by destroyer HMS Wishart.

At 0119, U-69 with her last torpedoes, fired a spread of two torpedoes at two overlapping steamers in Convoy SL-78 about 200 miles SE of the Azores and heard one detonation, but no hit can be confirmed from Allied sources. At 0149 hours, another torpedo was fired that hit the RIVER LUGAR amidships, which broke in two and sank within seconds. In a third attack at 0237, the EMPIRE ABILITY was hit by a torpedo, caught fire and sank after 21 minutes. The master, 60 crewmembers, two gunners, 17 military personnel and 27 passengers from the EMPIRE ABILITY were picked up by the British SS Amerika, transferred to corvette HMS Burdock and landed at Milford Haven. The master, 35 crewmembers and two passengers from the RIVER LUGAR were lost. Six crewmembers were picked up by Burdock and landed at Milford Haven. U-69 was on her return voyage from the South Atlantic, (the longest voyage then made by a type VIIC), and running on one engine to conserve fuel, encountered Convoy SL-78. U-69 also draws the convoy to the attention of U123 and U66. U69 departed on this voyage from Lorient 5 May 1941.

Corvette HMCS Bittersweet departed UK for Iceland and assignment to NEF

Corvettes HMCS Nanaimo and Trail arrived Halifax from Esquimalt.

At 2357, 2358 and 2400, U-123 fired one torpedo each at three ships in Convoy SL-78 from between the columns WSW of the Canary Islands. The first torpedo sank P.L.M. 22, the second the Oberon and the third missed the intended target, but was thought to have hit another ship in the convoy. Oberon was struck by a torpedo in the engine room, killing four men on watch below and a purser. A British corvette picked up the survivors, but one man later died of wounds. The master and 31 crewmembers from P.L.M. 22 were lost. Ten crewmembers and two French naval gunners were picked up by HMS Armeria, transferred to HMS Asphodel and landed at Freetown on 4 July.

At 0056, the Tibia was torpedoed and damaged by U-79 in Convoy HX-133 on position 59°55N/30°49W (grid: AK 2434).

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Yesterday        Tomorrow


27 June 1942

Yesterday Tomorrow

June 27th, 1942 (SATURDAY)


Frigates HMS Bayntun and Bazely launched.

Minesweeper HMS Circe launched.

Minesweeping trawler HMS Damsay launched.

Mooring vessel HMS Moorcock launched.

Submarine HMS Taurus launched.

Submarine HMS Saracen commissioned.

Destroyer HS Pindos (ex-HMS Bolebroke) commissioned.

Destroyer HMS Zetland commissioned.

GERMANY: Marshal Mannerheim returns Hitler's visit to his 75th birthday, arriving today for a two-day visit to Germany. He meets Hitler and attends a Wehrmacht situation conference. Later Mannerheim meets his old friend Reichmarschall Göring, in whose manor he spends the night.

EGYPT: Mersa Matruh: Pte. Adam Herbert Wakenshaw (b.1914), Durham Light Infantry had an arm blown off but fired his anti-tank gun until killed by a direct hit. (Victoria Cross)

PACIFIC: US forces bomb Japanese air bases on Wake Island.

CANADA: Corvette HMCS Louisburg completed refit Louisburg Nova Scotia.

U.S.A.: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announces the capture of eight the German saboteurs who had been put ashore from submarines. The first group of four had landed at Amagansett, Long Island, New York, on the night of 13 June; the second group of four had landed on Ponte Vedra Beach, south of Jacksonville, Florida, on 17 June. Two of the spies had turned themselves in to the FBI resulting in the roundup of the other six. They were to be charged as enemy soldiers and tried by military court martial but the US Army-appointed lawyer, Colonel Kenneth Royall, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus. The Supreme Court met on 29 July, the first special session since 1920, to decide if President Roosevelt">Roosevelt had the authority to deny the eight German spies a civil trial; on 31 July, the court ruled against the Germans and the military tribunal resumed on 3 August. The six spies who had not reported to the FBI were found guilty and sentenced to death and they were executed in the electric chair at the District of Columbia jail on 8 August.

Destroyer USS BROWN is laid down.

Minesweeper USS Swift laid down.

Escort carrier USS Breton launched.

Destroyer USS MacKenzie launched.

GULF OF MEXICO: Steam tanker Tuxpan sunk by U-129 at 20.15N, 96.20W.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: German submarines sink two U.S. merchant vessels in the Atlantic. U-128 sinks and unarmed freighter east of Trinidad while U-153 sinks an armed freighter east of Puerto Rico.

At 1507, the British Freedom in Convoy KS-514 was torpedoed and damaged by U-701 in position 34°45N/75°22W (grid DC 1231). No casualties among the crew of 55. The ship was en route in ballast and reached port safely.

At 1055, the unescorted Leiv Eiriksson was hit by one torpedo from U-126 west of Barbados. Since 0445 hours, the U-boat followed the tanker, which stopped off Barbados due to engine troubles. Just as a spread of three torpedoes was fired at 1044, the tanker got underway again and they missed. The torpedo fired at 1055 hours hit in the forward cargo hold, resulting in a large hole in her starboard bow. The ship settled by the bow until water started to wash across the foredeck, while some oil was leaking out. The most of the complement of 40 crewmembers and four gunners abandoned ship in three lifeboats, only the master and eight men, including the gun crew stayed on board to send radio messages and firing star shells to attract help from the nearby land. As the tanker was not sinking further, the U-boat fired at 1146 hours a coup de grâce, which struck on the port side a little forward of the bridge and out from #3 centre tank. The tanker immediately caught fire and sank rapidly by the bow, leaving a sea of burning oil on the surface. The men had to jump overboard and were picked up by a lifeboat, but the master and second mate had been very seriously burnt and the radio operator and the steward died in the flames. U-126 then surfaced, approached the lifeboats and Bauer asked the survivors the usual questions. He also said he regretted the loss of lives and asked if they needed first aid articles, but the two injured men were beyond such aid, so the offer was refused. Bauer then gave them the direction of Bridgetown, Barbados, which they could see in the distance, wished them a "good journey, and I hope that I will never see you again," then the U-boat left. The lifeboats headed for land, but 45 minutes later a British MTB arrived, took all survivors on board and then proceeded at full speed towards Bridgetown, arriving after 30 minutes. The two injured officers were taken to hospital, but they died and were buried at Bridgetown the following day with the entire crew present, as well as a large amount of people from the local population.

At 1552, the unescorted and unarmed Polybius was hit by one torpedo from U-128 about 250 miles east of Trinidad, while steaming a nonevasive course at 9 knots. The torpedo had been spotted by a lookout, but it was too late and it struck abaft the #5 hatch directly under the living quarters, blowing off the stern and killing ten crewmembers. She settled rapidly by the stern and sank within ten minutes. The survivors among the eight officers, 29 crewmen and seven passengers on board abandoned ship in four lifeboats immediately after the hit. The U-boat questioned the master before it left the area. Seven survivors in one boat were picked up the next day by the Dutch SS Dracos and taken to Georgetown, British Guyana. Twelve men in a second boat were picked up after three days by the steam merchant Clarona and brought to Trinidad. The remaining survivors in the other two boats were rescued by an Allied vessel after two days and landed in Trinidad.

At 1525, the unescorted Las Choapas was torpedoed and sunk by gunfire by U-129 in the Gulf of Mexico.

At 2152, the unescorted Potlatch was hit by one torpedo from U-153 about 650 miles east of the Virgin Islands, while steaming on a nonevasive course at 7 knots due of heavy smoke coming from the stack. The ship had stopped several times during the day to check the water content in the fuel oil. The torpedo struck on the port quarter near the engine room about ten feet below the waterline. The explosion blew a hole through the deck, threw the trucks and tanks on deck into the air, buckled the deck plates and damaged the steering gear. She immediately began settling on an even keel and sank by the bow within five minutes. The seven officers, 32 crewmen and 16 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, four 20mm and two .30cal guns) abandoned ship in one lifeboat, four liferafts and two doughnut rafts. The gunners manned their stations until the after gun was awash and then jumped overboard. The U-boat surfaced after the ship sank, picked up some spare tires from the cargo, questioned the survivors and handed over cigarettes to them before leaving the area (They reported the ship under her former name Narcissus). One officer and five crewmen were lost with the ship and two later died in the lifeboat (one from exposure on 29 June and another from an infected shark bite on 18 July) and were buried at sea. The lifeboat took the four rafts in tow, but soon all survivors were transferred into the boat because the rafts slowed down the sailing too much. They sailed in the only lifeboat for 26 days with little food or water until they made landfall on the uninhabited Great Inagua, Bahama Islands. They found some water by following some wild jackasses to a water hole, but had to sail to the also uninhabited Little Inagua for more where they stayed for two days and then continued to Aklins Island, landing on 29 July. From there they were brought by the yacht Vergermere (Owner Betty Carstairs) to Nassau, arriving on 1 August. The master, John Joseph Lapoint was awarded the US Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal for especially meritorious service under unusual stress and hazards. He had sailed the crowded boat to the nearest land only navigating by the sun and stars. He survived another sinking when his next ship, the Liberty Samuel Gompers was torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-10 in the South Pacific on 30 Jan, 1943.

At 2257, the unescorted Moldanger was torpedoed by U-404. The torpedo struck on the port side amidships. The torpedo struck on the port side amidships in the engine room, killing two men and disabling the radio equipment, so no distress calls were sent. The ship sank following a coup de grâce at 2302, which hit on the port side aft, near #5 hatch. The explosion killed eleven men, who were lowering a lifeboat just over the point where the torpedo hit. The master, an engineer and the carpenter were the last that left the ship by jumping overboard and swimming to a raft. The U-boat then surfaced and questioned the survivors before leaving the area. The survivors distributed themselves between a gig, a motor lifeboat and three rafts, because the other lifeboats were damaged and unusable. They all stayed together for three days, but towing the rafts in heavy seas slowed them down, so they let one raft go on the second day after the men and supplies had been transferred. It was decided to let the motorboat and the gig continue towards land to get the injured under medical care and later send help to the rafts. On 4 July, one injured man in the motorboat died and was buried at sea. The remaining 15 men (including the master and the chief engineer) were picked up by HMCS Buctouche on 7 July. The six survivors in the gig were sighted on 15 July by a USAAF aircraft about 100 miles SE of Ambrose Light. Food and water were dropped by USN blimp K-9, which then stayed nearby until USS PC-495 picked them up and landed them at Cape May, New Jersey, the same day. The nine survivors on the two rafts drifted around for 48 days before they were rescued by the Norwegian merchantman Washington Express on 14 August, all in remarkably good shape, considering what they had endured. They had travelled over 1000 miles towards the Azores and caught underway three large turtles and many fish.

ICELAND: Convoy PQ-17 leaves Reykjavik for Archangel, Russia. It consists of 36 freighters and a tanker. It is escorted by 6 destroyers and 13 smaller ships. PQ-17 will pass convoy QP-13 returning from Russia.

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Yesterday Tomorrow


27 June 1942 27 June 1943

Yesterday     Tomorrow

June 27th, 1943 (SUNDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Minesweeper HMS Pylades launched.

POLAND: Lwow: One of the last great Jewish ghettoes in Poland has now been destroyed. S Lt-Gen Fritz Katzmann has rounded up the remainder of this city's Jews, an estimated 20,000, and shipped them off to camps, mainly to the extermination centres of Auschwitz and Belzec.

But the SS came up against stiff resistance from those Jews strong enough to fight: they fought back with smuggled Italian handguns, and in the end 500 of them took to the sewers. The Germans are unaware of the Jews' secret weapon: in the last days, they released thousands of lice infected with deadly spotted fever, which they had saved up for the final reckoning.

BALTIC SEA: U-18 encountered a Soviet submarine in the Black Sea, but neither boat attacked.

GREECE: USAAF bombers attack German airfields at Eleusis and Hassani, near Athens.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: RFA Abbeydale damaged by U-73 at 36.53N, 01.55E.

U-73 was depth charged in the Mediterranean by escorts. Due to heavy damage,  the boat had to return to base.

U-81 was attacked by shore-based guns in the Mediterranean off Latakia (Syria).

NORTH AFRICA: Allied forces give strong resistance to the Germans at Mersa Matruh  before being forced to withdraw.

INDIAN OCEAN: At 0942, the unescorted Sebastian Cermeno was hit on the port side by two torpedoes from U-511. The torpedoes struck the after part of the #5 hold and the forward part of the #4 hold and blew off the after two hatches, destroyed the quarters of the armed guards, buckled the gun deck, disabled the engines and killed one officer and two men on watch below. A sailor who had been asleep on the #4 hatch later died of injuries. The survivors among the eight officers, 34 crewmen, 27 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) and five passengers on board abandoned ship in five lifeboats after five minutes. Ten minutes after the hits, the ship sank quickly by the stern. Then the U-boat surfaced and questioned the survivors before leaving the area. The first torpedo had smashed the radio but distress signals were sent daily from an emergency transmitter in one of the lifeboats. The boats became separated during the first night. On 14 July, the 19 survivors in the boat of the master were picked up by the American steam merchant Theodore Parker and landed at Durban the same day. The men in the second boat were picked up by a British corvette and landed at Durban on 23 July, while the 11 survivors in another boat were picked up by an Australian destroyer and landed in Durban on 27 July after being spotted by a patrol aircraft. One boat with 16 survivors made landfall in Madagascar on 5 July and the last was towed into Durban by an Allied ship after 16 days at sea. The first engineer died of exposure in one of the lifeboats on 13 July and was buried at sea. The master David Martin Nilsson took over the command of another Liberty ship, the Jean Nicolet, which was sunk by the Japanese submarine I-8 in the Indian Ocean on 2 Jul 1944. The Japanese crew massacred most of the survivors from the ship and the master was taken prisoner but did not survive the captivity.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: US Marines leapfrog up the coast via a short sea lift before beginning an overland advance against Viru Harbor from Segi Point, New Georgia. These Marines landed on New Georgia on June 21.

In preparation for Operation TOENAILS, the invasion of New Georgia Island in the Solomon Islands, Task Force 36 arrives in the area. TF 36 consists of two aircraft carriers:
USS Saratoga (CV-3) with Carrier Air Group Three (CVG-3) minus Fighting Squadron Six (VF-6). VF-6 has been replaced by the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm (FAA) No. 832 Squadron equipped with Grumman TBF-1 Avengers. 
HMS Victorious with the USN's VF-6 with F4F-4s and FAA No. 882, 896 and 898 Squadrons with Grumman Martlet Mk IVs. This exchange put four squadrons of Wildcat fighters on the RN ship. (Jack McKillop and Massimiliano Stola)

ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: Eight US Eleventh Air Force B-24's make a radar run on Kiska Island but return with their bombs due to weather. Later, 5 B-24's and 7 B-25's bomb the Main Camp area and vicinity north of Salmon Lagoon. 14 B-25's bomb Gertrude Cove, camp areas, and North Head, while 7 others abort due to weather. 2 P-40's fly reconnaissance over Segula Island but overcast prevents observations. A US Navy PV-1 Ventura on a weather reconnaissance flight bombs Kiska and later, two PV-1s bomb Gertrude Cove on Kiska.

The Japanese Navy issues a new order for the evacuation of personnel from Kiska. Known as Operation KE (Phase II), the evacuation will be carried out on one mission rather than by numerous submarine missions. The Rescue Force will consist of cruiser and destroyers and three groups of submarines that will search for American ships, report on weather and screen the surface forces. The submarine force will be divided into three groups; one group to operate between Kiska and Attu Islands and the other two groups deployed to the north and south of Amchitka Island. The operation is scheduled to begin in early July.


CANADA: Corvette HMCS Trillium completed foc’sle extension refit Boston Massachusetts.

Corvette HMCS Algoma completed work-ups and returned St. John's.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: Convoy PQ-17 leaves Reykjavik, Iceland for Archangel, Russia. It consists of 36 freighters and a tanker. It is escorted by 6 destroyers and 13 smaller ships. PQ-17 will pass convoy QP-13 returning from Russia.

At 1503, U-81 fired a spread of two torpedoes at the Michalios and hit her with one torpedo in the stern. The stern broke off, causing the ship to sink within two minutes three miles west of Latakia. The U-boat had missed the vessel, misidentified as the Greek steam merchant Livathos (1667 tons), at 1457 hours with a first spread of two torpedoes.

U-518 shot down an RAAF 10 Sqn Sunderland.

U-518 was attacked in the North Atlantic by an RAF 201 Sqn Sunderland with four bombs. The boat was damaged so badly that it had to return to base.

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Yesterday        Tomorrow


27 June 1944

Yesterday                                  Tomorrow

June 27th, 1944 (TUESDAY)

UNITED KINGDOMFlower class corvette HMS Pink is attacked by U-988 (Oberleutnant Erich Dobberstein). Damage was restricted to the loss of her propeller and shaft but after survey at Portsmouth it was decided that she was not worth repairing. Location: English Channel ENE of Barfleur at 29 48N 00 49W. (Alex Gordon)(108)

The US Eighth Air Force flies two missions from England.

Mission 443: 251 bombers and 191 fighters are dispatched to hit CROSSBOW (V-weapon) supply sites around Pas de Calais, Criel and Chantilly, France; 195 B-17s hit the Pas de Calais area, 12 B-24s hit targets of opportunity and 11 B-24s hit Criel Airfield; five B-24s are downed by AA fire, two B-24s are damaged beyond repair and 104 B-24s and eight B-17s are damaged. Escort is provided by 149 of 191 P-51s; they claim 6-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft and lose two; one P-51 is damaged; after completing the escort, the P-51s bomb and strafe targets of opportunity, including marshalling yards, bridges, railroads, transportation and airfield installations, and dispersal areas.

VIII Fighter Command fighter-bomber missions:

1. 46 P-38 Lightnings attack Connantre Airfield; three are lost.

2. 36 P-47 THunderbolts bomb Villeneuve/Zertes Airfield claiming 10-0-8 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air .

3. 32 P-51s attack Coulommiers Airfield and 246 others attack transport in the Paris area; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground. 

Mission 444: 4 of 4 B-17s drop leaflets in France during the night.

16 B-24s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions in France. A B-24 on a training flight in England is shot down by an intruder.

London: A V1 lands on Victoria station, killing 14 people.
Herbert Morrison, the home secretary and minister of home security, today told the war cabinet that in less than two weeks, since V1 attacks began, 1,600 people have been killed and 4,500 seriously wounded. The scale of the emergency is only being discussed behind closed doors. In a BBC broadcast yesterday the public heard that the "beastly, vicious things" were not upsetting southerners, who were "steadiness itself". The royal family are staying in London, though the King's tennis court was destroyed yesterday by a flying bomb.

London: Churchill was ploughing through his usual diet of documents today when he came across a telegram which upset him deeply. It came from the Jewish Agency in Switzerland, and contained a report of the gas chambers, allegedly based on the eye-witness account of some lucky escapees from Auschwitz-Birkenau. The report's authors, Chaim Weizmann and Moshe Shertok, beg the Allies to bomb the railway lines which being trainloads of victims to the camp. Churchill is minded to agree.

FRANCE: The capture of Cherbourg is completed by US VII Corps. Operations to clear the harbour of obstructions and booby traps can now begin.
In the battle for the port the Americans lost 1,800 dead and 15,000 wounded; they took 45,000 prisoners.

Discipline among men of the US VII Corps broke down when they came across huge stores of champagne and brandy and proceeded to get drunk.

The German commander, General von Schlieben, wanted to surrender two days ago. "Among the troops defending the town," he reported to Rommel, "there are 2,000 wounded who cannot be treated. Is the sacrifice of the others still necessary?" Rommel answered: "In accordance with the Fuhrer's orders you are to hold out to the last round."

Yesterday, after a naval bombardment by three battleships, four cruisers and 11 destroyers, the Americans started firing straight into the tunnel defences. Fuhrer or no Fuhrer, von Schlieben had had enough and gave himself up to the first American he met. This chanced to be Major-General Manton Eddy, commanding the 9th Division; he took the German general to lunch.

But von Schlieben, who brought 800 men with him, refused to order the rest of the garrison to surrender. It was another 24 hours before the Americans had cleared the port; now they face a ten-mile slog to attack Cap de la Hague, on the tip of the peninsula.

The British VIII Corps attacks east of Caen.

Bad weather precludes IX Bomber Command operations; 700+ fighters take part in various operations, most of them fly high cover over the assault areas and bomb and strafe rail and road traffic and communications centers.

GERMANY: U-927, U-2501 commissioned.

ITALY: The US Fifteenth Air Force dispatches around 300 bombers to attack targets in Hungary, Poland and Yugoslavia; B-17s bomb marshalling yards at Budapest, Hungary; B-24s hit marshalling yards at Brod, Yugoslavia and oil industry targets at Drohobycz, Poland; 75 to 90 enemy fighters attack the formations; three bombers are lost; the bombers and escorting fighters claim 30+ enemy planes shot down; 90 P-51s sweep Budapest area, claiming seven fighters destroyed.

BALTIC SEA: At 1558, U-19 attacked a Soviet tug convoy with torpedoes and sank the barge Barzha No 75 (approx. 1000 tons) NW of Tuapse.

An accident took place during U-1018's work-up period in the Baltic on 17 June which killed 1 man and wounded 2 from its crew. [Obersteuermann Walter Nellsen].

FINLAND: The Germans announce an agreement with the Finnish government to assist them against the Russians, since the Red Army has entered Finland.

Battle of Tali-Ihantala

Maj. Gen. Ruben Lagus's Armored Division continues its efforts to encircle the Soviet salient east of Lake Leitimonjärvi. Plan is to attack with Col. Albert Puroma's Jäger Brigade from west and Col. Sven Björkman's Detachment Björkman from east, while Col. V. Forsberg's battlegroup (IR 48's I and II battalions together with III/IR 13 [*]) attacks from north.

The Soviet salient contains four divisions (63rd Guards, 64th Guards, 46th Guards and 268th) together with one tank brigade and several independent tank and assault gun regiments. All of them, however, have suffered heavy losses.

Nor are the attackers at the top of their powers. Col. Puroma's jäger battalions have about fourth of their strenght left, and Col. Forsberg's forces are also badly worn.

Early in morning Col. Martti Aho's [**] IR 50 (11th Division) relieves the Jäger Brigade form the isthmus between lakes Kärstilänjärvi and Leitimonjärvi, and the Brigade is readied for attack. Mission is to advance to Talinmylly and then reach the old defence-line at the south-eastern end of Lake Leitimonjärvi. On Brigade's right flank, north of Lake Leitimonjärvi, attacks Maj. Eero Leppänen's battlegroup (Jäger battalions 4 and 5). North of Leppänen's force attacks Jäger Battalion 2, and Jäger Battalion 3 is the Brigade reserve.

North of the Jäger Brigade attacks II/IR 6, while Detachment Penttinen (an engineer company, parts of a panzer and assault gun battalion) together with III/IR 6 was to hold the line along the Portinhoikka-Ihantala -road. The two battalions of Col. Forsberg's IR 48 together with the III/IR 13, supported by elements of Sturmgeschütz-Brigade 303 were to clear the Portinhoikka-Ihantala -road of the enemy from the direction of Ihantala, and then continue their offensive south.

Col. Björkman's detachment's Border Jäger Battalion 2, II/IR 13 and Separate Battalion 14 were to attack and link with the Jäger Brigade around Talinmylly.

Col. Puroma's jägers began their offensive at 3 pm. after seven artillery battalions had fired a preparation. Initally they advanced without problems, but then Maj. Leppänen's battlegroup met a strong enemy force, that stopped its advance for few hours. Maj. Leppänen was mortally wounded [***], and replaced by Maj. Jouko Hynninen. The battlegroup continued its offensive, and around 6 pm. reached Aniskala, about half-way to its final objective. There Battlegroup Hynninen's offensive was stopped by fierce enemy resistance. On Hynninen's left flank Jäger Battalion 2 was also stopped short of its objective.

In Ihantala, Col. Forsberg's battlegroup, supported by German assault guns, succesfully cleared the Portinhoikka-Ihantala -road, but the already depleted forces suffered heavy losses in the process, esp. the III/IR 13. The German assault guns were forced to leave after running out of ammo [****]. Col. Forsberg informed Gen. Lagus that his men were unable to conduct offensive operations. Gen. Lagus ordered him to proceed as per his earlier orders: to advance towards Jäger Brigade's advancing men from north. Lagus reinforced Forsberg's men with an engineer company and an assault gun platoon. They were able to reach their first objective around midnight, but were forced to return to their starting positions after running out of ammo. Col. Forsberg's battlegroup had spent what strength it had left clearing the road of enemy.

East of the Soviet salient Col. Björkman's forces attacked in afternoon. Especially Maj. Martti Avela's Border Jäger Battalion 2 met success, but its commander was wounded and replaced by Capt. U. Petäjä. At best they were only a kilometer from Col. Puroma's men who were advancing from west. But again fierce Soviet resistance frustrated the Finnish hopes of closing the pocket. The Soviet forces in the salient were still able to bring in reinforcements. Time was running out, but the Armored Division was going to try one more time on the next night.

The Finnish and German air units were busy trying to cut the bridges the Red Army engineers had built at Tali. These bridges were of vital importance for the Soviet offensive, and no matter how often they were destroyed, the engineers, oblivious to all dangers, always rebuilt them.

[*] This unit also contained a company of Swedish volunteers, who distinguished themselves in today's battles.

[**] Col. Martti Aho was one of only four men who received the Mannerheim Cross, 2nd Class, twice.

[***] Maj. Eero Leppänen, who had already distinguished himself in numerous engagements, was awarded a posthumous Mannerheim Cross, 2nd Class.

[****] Germans didn't inform Finns why they left the battle. This caused bad blood among the Finnish units they had been supporting, who thought the Germans were running from battle.

BURMA: Mogaung: The Chindit 77th Special Force Brigade under Brigadier Mike Calvert, supported by two battalions of the Chinese 114th Regiment, has taken Mogaung. The Japanese 18th Division, fighting Lt-Gen Joseph Stilwell's Chinese troops and the remnants of "Merrill's Marauders" at Myitkyina, is now isolated.

The Gurkha, Lancashire Fusilier, Staffordshire and Liverpool men have been fighting for Mogaung for a month. Casualties of battle wounds and ill-health have been so high that for today's assault across the key railway bridge Calvert had only 230 Gurkhas, 110 Fusiliers and men of the King's Regiment (Liverpool), and 180 Staffordshire men from battalions once 800 strong.

MARIANA ISLANDS: US carrier aircraft from Task Force 58 attack Japanese ships in Apra Harbor, Guam destroying a water tanker that had been damaged by a US submarine. During the night, the Japanese mount a coordinated attack against Isely Field, Saipan. The attack involves nine Navy Type 1 Attack Bombers, Allied Code Name "Betty", six from Palau Island and three from Truk Atoll, and two Nakajima B6N Navy Carrier Attack Bomber Tenzan, Allied Code Name "Jill," from Guam. The raiders drop more than 20 bombs without damaging anything; two of the attackers are shot down.

AUSTRALIA: Frigate HMAS Burdekin commissioned.

NEWFOUNDLAND: Corvette HMCS Algoma completed workups and returned St John's.

U.S.A.: Submarine USS Quillback laid down.

Coast Guard-manned Army vessel FS-312 was commissioned at New York with LT E. L, Jennsen, USCGR, as commanding officer. On 20 August 1944, she departed New York for Los Angeles, towing the QS-22. She was assigned to and operated in the Southwest Pacific area during the war at Batangas, Philippines and elsewhere. She was decommissioned 15 October 1945

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27 June 1945

Yesterday                                  Tomorrow

June 27th, 1945 (WEDNESDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: HMS HERON, RNAS Yeovilton, 759 RN Sqn, Corsair aircraft JS700, Lt (A) John "Jack" Joseph FEENEY RCNVR, of Fredericton, New Brunswick lost, crashed short of runway during ADDLs. Interred YEOVILTON CHURCHYARD RNAS. EXTENSION Somerset. "ADDL's" is either Aerodrome Dummy Deck Landings or Airfield Dummy Deck Landings. In other words practice carrier landing on a "real runway".

Submarine HMS Thermopylae launched.

JAPAN: During the night of 27/28 June, 29 XXI Bomber Command B-29 Superfortresses fly Mission 233, the mining of the harbours of Hagi, Kobe, and Niigata, Japan. During the day, 148 P-51s of the XXI Bomber Command are dispatched from Iwo Jima, against Kasumigaura, Imba, and Tsukuba Airfields in the Tokyo area but abort because of weather. Twenty Seventh Air Force P-47s from Ie Shima Island hit shipping and a village on Kikai Island, Japan; Anti-Aircraft from vessels downs two P-47s. Twelve other P-47s hit shipping off Kakeroma Island, while 20 more attack vessels and targets of opportunity throughout the Sakishima Archipelago. During the night of 27/28 June, five P-61 Black Widows fly intruder attacks, hitting vessels off Amami Gunto Island and Wan Airfield.

Very long range fighter mission 25: 148 P-51s are dispatched from Iwo Jima Island, against Kasumigaura, Imba, and Tsukuba Airfields in the Tokyo area but abort because of weather.

USN PB4Y-2 Privateers operating from Okinawa continue laying mines off Korea.

Off Okinawa, a kamikaze plane hits the carrier USS BUNKER HILL, killing 373 men.

CANADA: Corvettes HMCS Arrowhead, Hepatica and Trillium paid off and returned to RN at Milford Haven.

Corvettes HMCS Guelph and Kamloops paid off at Sorel, Province of Quebec.

U.S.A.: Ford reduces the work force at Willow Run to 4,000 people. At it's peak, 42,000 workers turned out B-24's (Drew Halevy)

Washington: Edward Stettinius resigns as secretary of state to take up the post of ambassador to the United Nations.

Destroyer USS Samuel B Roberts laid down.

Escort carrier USS Mindoro launched.

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