Friday, June 7, 2024

80 Years Ago Thursday 8 June 1944


USAAF B-25s (17th Reconnaissance Squadron), escorted by P-38s (475th Fighter Group), attack Japanese Biak-bound reinforcement convoy (seven destroyers, each towing a large landing barge), sinking Harusame 30 miles northwest of Manokwari, 00°05'S, 132°45'E, and damaging Shiratsuyu and Shikinami; three barges are lost. Later that same day, Allied surface forces, TF 74 and TF 75 (Rear Admiral Victor A.C. Crutchley, RN), including two U.S. light cruisers and accompanying destroyers, intercept the remaining six enemy ships and engage them; the battle continues into 9 June. Although Hamakaze claims damage to a U.S. cruiser none of the Allied ships are damaged; TF 74/TF 75 gunfire, however, damages Shigure, and Crutchley's force turns back the Japanese before they can accomplish their mission.

Submarine Hake (SS-256) sinks Japanese destroyer Kazagumo at mouth of Davao Gulf, about 20 miles southwest of Cape San Augustin, Mindanao, 06°04'N, 125°56'E.

Submarine Harder (SS-257) evacuates coast-watchers from northeast coast of North Borneo.

Submarine Rasher (SS-269) attacks Japanese convoy in the Celebes Sea, sinking underway replenishment vessel Shioya northwest of Menado, 03°15'N, 124°03'E.

Submarine Whale (SS-239) is damaged by depth charges north of the Bonins, 31°00'N, 143°55'E, but remains on patrol.

Aircraft sink Japanese army tanker No.5 Nippo Maru off northwest coast of New Guinea, 00°33'S, 132°53'E.


Off Normandy, mines continue to take their toll: destroyer escort Rich (DE-695), 49°31'N, 01°10'W, and tank landing ship LST-499, 49°30'N, 01°10'W, are sunk; destroyers Glennon (DD-620), 50°32'N, 01°12'W, and Meredith (DD-726),49°33'N, 01°06'W, are damaged.



Gen Spaatz, CG, places oil in first priority as target for USSTAF as result of the destructive effect achieved by several missions against oil centers in May.

Eighth AF

Attacks are made on comm to isolate German forward elements, and airfields are bombed to prevent German air support. Cloud conditions prevent over 400 Heavy Bombers from executing assignments but 735 attack targets including airfields at Rennes and Le Mans and bridges, marshalling yards and other railroad facilities, and various targets of opportunity at or near Tours, Nantes, Cinq Marsla-Pile, Pontaubalt, La Vicomte-sur-Rance, Angers, Orleans, la Friliere, Etampes, and Morigny. 3 bombers are lost. VIII FC, flying 1,405 fighter sorties on this day, sends Fighter Bomber attacks against nearly 75 targets, including railroad facilities, bridges, convoys, airfields, barges, radio towers, troop concentration, a transformer, and a coastal gun. Ftrs and Fighter Bombers destroy nearly 400 rail, ground transport, and military vehicles and claim 46 airplanes destroyed. 22 fighters of VIII FC are lost.

Ninth AF

Around 400 Medium Bombers attack rail and road bridges and junctions, rail sidings, marshalling yards, town areas, fuel storage tanks, ammunition dumps, troop concentration and strong points in the Calais area. Around 1,300 fighters provide support to Medium Bombers and high cover over assault area, and bomb and strafe bridges, marshalling yards, gun batteries, rail facilities, vehicles, towns, and troop concentrations.

Twelfth AF

Weather again restricts activity. Many Medium Bomber missions are abortive, though several bridges, railroad lines, and guns are attacked. A-20’s hit town of Bolsena and targets in surrounding areas. Fighter Bombers and fighters continue to patrol battle areas destroying motor transport, and attacking train cars, roads, rail-lines, and enemy concentrations, as US Fifth Army approaches Viterbo and British Eighth Army pushes toward Orvieto.

Fifteenth AF

52 B-17’s, with P-47 escort, bomb navy yard and dry-docks at Pola.

Tenth AF

B-24’s mine Bangkok and Mergui areas. B-25’s maintain ammo supply to Imphal. 9 B-25’s pound Imphal-Tiddim road and a few A-36’s and P-51’s hit the enemy in Mogaung area.

Fourteenth AF

19 P-40’s bomb docks, warehouses, and military installations at Ichang and Shasi and strafe 2 cav units at Nanying. 4 P-51’s attack railroad traffic in Singtai-Chengting area.

Fifth AF

B-25’s, P-38’s, B-24’s, and A-20’s battle enemy fighters over Manokwari and Efman-Schouten Is areas, bomb small freighter off Manokwari, and hit gun emplacements and occupied areas at Kamiri, at Namber, and near Sorido. P-40’s hit supply areas and villages in vicinity of Sarmi. A-20’s again hit Wewak area. B-24’s from the Admiralties hit Truk.

Thirteenth AF

24 B-25’s bomb supply area at Ratawul. 32 P-39’s bomb Tsirogei and supply area N of Buka. 6 P-38’s hit Monoitu Mission.

Seventh AF

During 7/8 Jun, B-24’s from Eniwetok bomb Truk and Ponape. B-25’s from Makin follow up during day with strike against Nauru.


FRANCE—21 Army Group: Contact is established between U.S. First and Br Second Armies near Port-en-Bessin.

In U.S. First Army area, VII Corps begins all-out. drive on Cherbourg with 4 refits—505th Para Inf (82d A/B Div) and 8th Inf (4th Div) on W and 4th Div’s 12th and 22d Regts on E. Enemy again halts assault of 22d Inf at edge of Azeville–Crisbecq fortifications; 12th Inf fights bitterly for Edmondeville. On W, attack reaches general line from Montebourg highway through Magneville to the Merderet. 82d A/B Div remains under strong enemy pressure along the Merderet. On VII Corps S flank, 101st A/B Div opens battle for Carentan in effort to effect speedy junction with V Corps: 506th Inf ( — ), strongly reinf, forces enemy from St. Cômedu- Mont; div then regroups along the Douve with orders to cross in vicinity of Brévands. V Corps secures D Day objectives. 116th Inf of 29th Div and Rangers succeed in relieving hard-pressed units of 2d Ranger Bn on Pointe du Hoe and push on to Grandcamp; 175th Inf continues rapid drive on Isigny and takes it with ease, night 8–9; 115th drives S to the Aure through Longueville. In 1st Div sector, Formigny falls to elements of 18th Inf from Engranville; 26th Inf, making main effort to trap enemy between U.S. and Br bridgeheads, overruns Tour-en-Bessin and, night 8–9, Ste Anne; 16th attempts to block enemy escape from Port-en-Bessin, but enemy retains escape corridor and withdraws bulk of his forces through it, night 8–9.

In Br Second Army’s 30 Corps area, Port-en- Bessin falls to 47th Royal Mar Cdo early in day. 50th Div compresses enemy’s escape corridor in conjunction with U.S. V Corps, taking Sully and château at Fosse Soucy, but pulls back under enemy pressure.

ITALY—AAI: Br 5 Corps, holding Adriatic coastal sector, finds that enemy is withdrawing and moves forward.

In U.S. Fifth Army’s VI Corps area, 133d Inf, leading 34th Div’s pursuit up Highway 1, encounters delaying opposition S of Tarquinia. II Corps, to speed advance, commits 2 TF’s ahead of 85th and 88th Divs—TF Howze on left and TF Ellis (91st Cav Rcn Sq, reinf) on right. Forward elements get to within 6 miles of Viterbo before corps is halted in order to give S African 6th Armd Div right of way. Shift of interarmy boundary to left greatly narrows zone of 88th Div.

In Br Eighth Army’s 13 Corps area, S African 6th Armd Div makes rapid progress toward Orvieto on left flank. E of the Tiber, Br 6th Armd Div encounters enemy positions extending W from Monte Maggiore and is held up at Passo Corese; puts infantry in the lead, night 8–9.

CBI—On Salween front, Ch 88th Div of 71st Army penetrates outer defenses of Lung-ling. Ch 87th Div reaches North Gate of the city and blocks Japanese supply route at Manio Bridge, on Tengchung- Lung-ling road.

NEW GUINEA—Seventh Fleet PT boats begin operating from Mios Woendi. On Biak, 186th Inf of TF HURRICANE improves and consolidates positions in Mokmer airdrome area. 2d Bn of 162d Inf meets heavy fire as it advances E to rejoin parent unit and halts on ridge N of East Caves. 162d Inf completes movement of bulk of its 1st and 3d Bns to Parai. Japanese continue to resist stubbornly in Parai Defile despite pressure from W and E by elements of 163d, 186th, and 162d Regts. Elements of 162d Inf pushing W from Parai toward Mokmer airfield are strongly opposed but reach positions near Mokmer village. In Hollandia–Aitape area, 1st and 2d Bns of 158th Inf, TF TORNADO, with tank support, attack W after brief arty preparation. Considerable resistance develops, but attack progresses to within 1,500 yards of the Tirfoam.

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