Wednesday, June 12, 2024

80 Years Ago, Monday 12 June 1944



Planes from 15 carriers (CV-and CVL) of TF 58 (Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher) work over Japanese air facilities and coast defenses on Saipan, Tinian, Guam, Rota, and Pagan Islands, Marianas. Carrier strikes are repeated on 13 and14 June in preparation for the landings on Saipan. Aircraft from carrier Essex (CV-9) and small carriers Langley (CVL-27) and Cowpens (CVL- 25) (TG 58.4) smash Japanese convoy (which had sailed from Tanapag harbor for Japan the previous day) northwest of Saipan, sinking torpedo boat Otori, 17°32'N, 144°00'E, auxiliary netlayer Kokku Maru, 17°32'N, 144°01'E, transports Batavia Maru, 17°32'N, 143°17'E, Hinko Maru, 17°28'N, 144°19'E, Kamishima Maru and Imizu Maru, 17°32'N, 144°10'E, Nitcho Maru, 17°32'N, 143°10'E, Reikai Maru, 17°30'N, 144°00'E, and Tenryugawa Maru, 17°32'N, 144°01'E, cargo ship Bokuyo Maru, army cargo ships Fukoku Maru and Moji Maru, and merchant vessel Tsushima Maru; and damaging transport Tatsutakawa Maru (see 15 June 1944), Coast Defense Vessel No.4, 17°20'N, 144°10'E, submarine chaser Ch 50, 17°32'N, 144°10', and submarine chasers Ch 33 and Ch 51, auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 20 and auxiliary minesweeper Wa 6.15 Japanese minelayer Nichiyu Maru [torpedoed by submarine Halibut (SS-232) on 3 March 1943] is further damaged by carrier planes in Apra Harbor.

Destroyer Kalk (DD-611) is damaged by horizontal bomber off western New Guinea, 01°19'S, 136°19'E.

British submarine HMS Stoic attacks Japanese convoy, and sinks transport Kainan Maru off Phuket, Siam, 07°54'N,98°27'E


Eighth AF

With bad weather over top priority targets in Germany, Heavy Bomber efforts are directed against airfields and landing grounds in NE France and rail and road bridges on the Brest Peninsula. 1,278 Heavy Bombers, including 25 Pathfinders, drop 3,295 tons of bombs on 22 of the primary targets and on secondary and targets of opportunity. 8 Heavy Bombers are lost, mostly to ground fire. VIII FC furnishes support for Heavy Bomber missions and Ninth AF Medium Bombers, and attacks enemy communications and troop movements. Fighters damage MARSHALLING YARDs at Juvisy-sur-Orge and Melun and several freight trains, and destroy 108 locomotives, train cars, trucks, tanks, and other vehicles. One group of P-47’s is attacked by 50 German fighters in a fierce battle, 8 P-47’s and 5 Me-109’s being shot down. During the day VIII FC flies 1,002 sorties and claims 26 aircraft destroyed. Losses total 17.

Ninth AF

509 B-26’s and A-20’s bomb marshalling yards, road and rail junctions, bridges, arty, town areas, troop concentrations, and various Targets of opportunity in France. Aircraft of more than 15 fighter groups fly close and area support for bombers and bomb and strafe rail lines, gun batteries, bridges, fortifications, radar installation, tanks, ammo dumps, town areas and strong points in battle area of France.

Twelfth AF

Medium Bombers hit bridges, viaducts, and rail lines at Collazone, Perugia, Foligno, Massa Lombarda, Pietrasanta, Cattolica, Pesaro, Arezzo, and Bucine. Light Bombers hit Arcidosso and motor transport in the area. Fighter Bombers are restricted by bad weather but attack several bridges and roads in line of enemy retreat which at its farthest point is N and W of Viterbo.

Tenth AF

More than 30 B-25’s continue to supply troops at Imphal with ammo. 16 P-40’s hit Mogaung and targets of opportunity in N Burma.

Fourteenth AF

50 P-40’s, P-51’s, and B-25’s hit troop concentrations in Yellow R area at Lingroupao and S of Loyang. In Tungting Lake area about 100 P-40’s and P-51’s attack numerous supply boats and other river and lake traffic, and hit dock areas and warehouses at Lanchi, Yuankiang, and at scattered points. Also hit are villages and troops in Changsha and Kuanchuang areas.

Fifth AF

Fierce ground fighting continues on Biak I while Japanese airplanes attack Allied ground forces and shipping offshore; P-47’s battle attacking aircraft, shooting down several. P-47’s and A-20’s hit troop concentrations, comm, and various other targets in Wewak and Hansa Bay areas. B-24’s bomb Peleliu airfield and Dublon I.

Thirteenth AF

6 B-24’s bomb runways at Tobera and Rapopo. 22 P-39’s and 10 P-38’s join 20-plus Navy airplanes in attacks on supply dumps near Ralum. 20 B-25’s pound Malapau village. 44 P-39’s hit Baku airfield, Tsirogei plantation, barges and pier S of Kleine I, and occupied area W of Komai.

Seventh AF

Eniwetok-based B-24’s hit Truk during 11/12 Jun and again during the day.


FRANCE—21 Army Group: In U.S. First Army’s VII Corps area, 39th Inf of 9th Div, attached to 4th Div, is given part of 22d Inf’s sector along coast and takes Crisbecq, from which enemy has withdrawn, as well as Dangueville and Fontenay-sur-Mer, forcing enemy back to his MLR on Quinéville ridge. With strong fire support, including naval, 22d Inf makes concerted assault on Ozeville and captures it; 12th Inf moves forward again to Les Fieffes Dancel, at W end of Quinéville ridge; 8th Inf makes limited attack on Montebourg, but finds it strongly held and pulls back. W of the Merderet, 90th Div commits 359th Inf, which is returned to it by 4th Div, between 357th and 358th but is still unable to make much headway; night attack, 12–13, on Pont l’Abbé by 358th overruns the town, which has been leveled by artillery and aerial bombardment. 508th Para Inf of 82d A/B Div, reinf and organized as a TF, crosses the Douve at Beuzeville-la-Bastille, night 12– 13, in effort to make contact with 101st A/B Div at Baupte. 101st A/B Div envelops and captures Carentan: Brig Gen Anthony McAuliffe coordinates final assault, which is made by 506th Para Inf, replacing 502d, on right and 327th Gli and to its E 501st Para Regts on left; after 501st and 506th Regts close circle about Carentan, elements of latter and 327th Gli Inf drive rapidly into the town and eliminate stragglers; to secure approaches to Carentan, 506th and 501st Regts thrust toward Baupte and Priers, respectively, but are soon stopped; 327th Gli Inf pushes SE to Montmartin-en-Graignes region and makes contact with elements of V Corps. In V Corps area, 29th Div TF (2 cos of 115th Inf) crosses the Vire to reconnoiter in Montmartin-en-Graignes area and take bridges over Vire–Taute Canal but is halted by strong opposition in Montmartin-en- Graignes region. To meet expected enemy counterattack in weak sector between VII and V Corps, elements of 2d Armd Div are ordered to Montmartinen- Graignes area. V Corps begins attack toward St. Lô and is vigorously opposed on right. 115th Inf, 29th Div, makes futile attempt to cross Elie R SE of Ste Marguerite-d’Elle; 3d Bn crosses but is driven back with severe casualties. 116th Inf attacks through 115th in evening and succeeds in crossing. 23d Inf, 2d Div, attempts to reach Hill 192, which commands approaches to St. Lô from N and E, but is stopped at Elie R; 9th Inf, on div left, against lighter resistance, advances in conjunction with 1st Div and takes Litteau ridge. On left flank of V Corps, 1st Div, with 18th Inf on right and 26th on left, thrusts to edge of Caumont.

In Br Second Army’s 30 Corps area, 50th Div maintains pressure on enemy near Tilly-sur-Seulles. 7th Armd Div begins flanking attack on right flank of corps and pushes through Livry to positions E of Caumont.

ITALY—AAI: In U.S. Fifth Army area, Civitavecchia port is opened to LST traffic. IV Corps continues pursuit of enemy northward, advancing a little less rapidly than VI Corps had, against gradually increasing resistance. 36th Div, reinf by 361st Inf of 91st Div and tanks and tank destroyer units, is in assault, its advance screened by 117th Cav Recon Sq. TF Ramey, under Brig Gen Rufus S. Ramey, consisting of 91st Cav Recon Sq, reinf by 141st Inf of 36th Div and supporting units, is formed to screen right flank of IV Corps and maintain contact with French. Enemy is offering delaying opposition in vicinity of Orbetello.

CBI—On Salween front, Ch 115th Inf recovers Hongmoshu, in Huei-jen Bridge area.

NEW GUINEA—On Biak, 2d Bn of 163d Inf, 41st Div, arrives; 186th Inf remains on first phase line patrolling actively while awaiting forward movement of 162d Inf to right. Regimental boundary is extended 300 yards on N; 162d Inf is still furiously opposed on right, where 3d Bn works slowly forward, advance elements gaining but 300 yards; gap of almost 900 yards exists between 3d and 2d Bns at end of day. Engineers begin repairs on Mokmer airdrome. In Wakde-Sarmi area, Gen Sibert takes command of TF TORNADO. Hq, 6th Div, becomes headquarters of TF TORNADO, replacing Hq, RCT 158.

MARIANAS—Aircraft of TF 58 continue attacks to complete destruction of enemy planes and wreck airfields; attack enemy convoy attempting to escape, sinking 10–14 ships; sink a cargo vessel just off Saipan and severely damage another; sink enemy vessel in Tanapag harbor.

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