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November 9th, 1942 (MONDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz, Commanding General USAAF Eighth Air Force, in a memo to Lieutenant General Dwight D Eisenhower, Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force, agrees that any increase in air commitments to Northwest Africa must necessarily be made at the expense of U.S. forces in the U.K. as U.S. forces in other theaters are considered irreducible.

HMC ML 087 and 096 commissioned.

Sloop HMS Crane launched.

Frigates HMS Evenlode, Fal launched.

Destroyers HMS Tumult and Ulster launched.

Submarine HMS Vampire laid down.

Minesweeper HMS Bowen commissioned.

Corvette HMS Gardenia lost in collision with the Trawler Fluellen.

Minesweeping trawler HMS Ullswater torpedoed and sunk by a German motor torpedo boat in the English Channel.


FRANCE: In Vichy France, Prime Minister Pierre Laval agrees to allow the German use of airfields in Tunisia.

     The USAAF Eighth Air Force's VIII Bomber Command flies Mission 18: 31 B-17 Flying Fortresses and 12 B-24 Liberators bomb the U-boat base at Saint Nazaire from reduced altitude; only one of the 12 B-24 Liberators bombing from 17,500 to 18,300 feet (5 334 to 5 578 meters) suffers antiaircraft damage, but 31 B-17 Flying Fortresses at 7,500 to 10,000 feet (2 286 to 3 048 meters) lose three of aircraft and have 22 damaged by antiaircraft. This ends the experiment with low-level attacks of heavy bombers, against submarine bases.

     During the day, 12 RAF Bomber Command (A-20) Bostons bomb Le Havre and score a hit on the large German merchant ship which has been the objective of recent raids. The ship is put out of action for several months. No Bostons are lost.

     During the night of 9/10 November, 15 RAF Bomber Command Stirlings drop leaflets over France without loss.

GERMANY: RAF Bomber Command dispatches 213 aircraft, 74 Wellingtons, 72 Lancasters, 48 Halifaxes and 19 Stirlings, to bomb Hamburg; 155 aircraft hit the target. Fifteen aircraft, five Lancasters, four Stirlings, four Wellingtons and two Halifaxes, are lost, 7.0 per cent of the force. The bombers encounter cloud and icing and winds which had not been forecast. No clear identification or marking of Hamburg is made. Hamburg reports thick cloud and heavy rain and says that many bombs fall in the Elbe River or in open country. There are 26 fires in Hamburg of which three are large ones. Casualties are three people killed and 16 injured. Four other aircraft bomb Bremen and one each attack Husum and Sylt Island.

DENMARK: Copenhagen: The Germans force King Christian to appoint the pro-Nazi Erik Scavenius as prime minister.

POLAND: A concentration camp opens at Majdanek: 4,000 Jews arrive from Lublin.

SWITZERLAND: Allen Dulles arrives in Bern on the last train from Vichy France, only hours before the Germans occupy southern France and cut the rail link. Ostensibly taking up a post as assistant to the American minister in Bern, Dulles's real job is to organize the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Mission in Switzerland. He soon begins setting up a professional intelligence outpost on Germany's southern border.

ARCTIC OCEAN: Soviet submarine "M-121" of the Polar fleet and White Sea Flotilla is sunk supposedly mined, at Varanger-fjord (Sergey Anisimov)(69)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Minesweeper HMS Cromer mined and sunk off Mersa Matruh in the eastern Mediterranean.

At 1404, U-331 fired a spread of four torpedoes at the USS Leedstown, heard three hits and sinking noises. In fact, the ship was hit by two torpedoes amidships and was abandoned after ten minutes. After an unsuccessful bombing attack, the vessel sank at 1615. The ship was anchored near Cape Matifou, about 12 miles from Algiers.

In the Tyrrhenian Sea, the British submarine HMS/M Saracen (P 247) sinks the Italian submarine R.Smg Granito about 63 nautical miles (117 kilometers) west-northwest of Palermo, Sicily in position 38.34N, 12.09E.

     The British corvette HMS Gardenia (K 99) is sunk off Oran, Algeria, in a collision with the minesweeping trawler HMS Fluellen (T 157).

The British cruisers HMS AURORA and HMS JAMAICA sank Vichy ship EPERVIER and damaged TYPHON which retired to Oran harbour where she was scuttled. One French account states that it was the TYPHON that was damaged in yesterdays action action and that super-destroyer EPERVIER took part only today.

In both cases the French ships were attempting to sortie from Oran. (Peter Beeston)

ALGERIA: French General Henri Honeré Giraud arrives in Algiers. Since Admiral Jean-Francois Darlan, High Commissioner in Vichy French North Africa, is in Algiers, U.S. Major General Mark Clark, Deputy Commander Allied Expeditionary Force, is pressing him to declare for the Allies. Marshal Henri-Philippe Pétain, Head of the Vichy French Government, is secretly giving Darlan some encouragement to negotiate.

     General K. A. N. Anderson takes command of the British First Army at Algiers and prepares to move light forces as rapidly as possible to Tunis and Bizerte, Tunisia, in order to forestall the German seizure of these important objectives.

     A flanking attack on Oran continues to meet resistance as it reaches the outskirts of the city, but La Senia Airport, located 4.6 miles (7,4 kilometers) south of Oran, is captured and French resistance at St Cloud is bypassed and contained.

     Major General James H Doolittle, Commanding General USAAF Twelfth Air Force, arrives in Algeria from Gibraltar by B-17 Flying Fortress, escorted by 12 Spitfires of the 52d Fighter Group.

     USAAF Twelfth Air Force Spitfires of the 31st Fighter Group attack and halt an armored column moving north toward Tafaraoui, and also attack artillery and antiaircraft batteries southeast of Tafaraoui and along the coastal road at 1605 hours.

     The USN transport Leedstown (AP-73), bombed and torpedoed by German planes yesterday, is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-173 about 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) off Algiers.

TUNISIA: Vichy French Admiral Platon arrives in Tunis with orders for the Resident General, Admiral Esteva and the Port Director of Bizerte, Admiral Derrien, to permit German troop landings. The Germans invade Tunisia without opposition from the French, initial elements landing on El Aouina airport in Tunis.

FRENCH MOROCCO: The Western Task Force establishes headquarters at Fedala, where Rear Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, USN, transfers to Major General George S. Patton, Jr., USA, command of troops ashore. The French continue to resist strongly at the approaches to Port Lyautey and the airport. The 3d Infantry Division delays their advance on Casablanca to await unloading of heavy equipment and artillery. Regimental Combat Team 47, 9th Infantry Division, organizes the Safi beachhead.

EGYPT: The British Eighth Army resumes the pursuit of Axis forces as the weather improves. The New Zealand 2d Division reduces opposition at Sidi Barrani and continues west.

NEW GUINEA: US infantry troops are airlifted from Port Moresby to Natunga.

 In the Olivi-Gorari area of Papua New Guinea, Australian troops again attack Japanese troops but cannot budge them.

     In Papua New Guinea, USAAF Fifth Air Force A-20 Havocs hit Japanese troops at Oivi in support of an Australian offensive in the Owen Stanley Range and B-26 Marauders bomb Buna. Advance elements of the 2d Battalion, 126th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 32d Infantry Division, arrive at Natunga and the airlift of the 126th Infantry Regiment, less 2d Battalion, from Port Moresby to the forward area begins. Leading elements of 1st Battalion, are flown to Abel’s field, since Pongani Field is temporarily unserviceable, and start toward Pongani on foot. The rest of the 1st Battalion (Companies D and C, less two platoons) is flown to Pongani and starts march toward Natunga.

     In Northeast New Guinea, USAAF Fifth Air Force B-25 Mitchells attack a schooner off Salamaua.

AUSTRALIA: Melbourne: Conclusion to the "Brownout Strangler" killings of May, 1942.

Several other women now came forward to state that they had been attacked by an American serviceman, but had managed to escape. In one of these incidents the attacker had entered a women's flat. A person outside in the hallway distracted the attacker and the woman screamed. The attacker left in a hurry leaving behind a GI ringlet with the initials EJL on it. In another case the attacker had tried to force a woman into her house but was confronted by the woman's uncle who chased the attacker away.

The 15,000 servicemen at Camp Pell had been lined up by the Melbourne police so that witnesses could try to identify the murderer. 24 year old Edward Joseph Leonski of the 52nd Signal Battalion was eventually identified by the uncle of one of Leonski's victims who had managed to escape his attack. Leonski was then also identified by Private Seymour who had seen him covered in mud near Camp Pell on the night of the third murder. Leonski eventually confessed to the crimes.

Eddie Leonski was apparently a happy go lucky sort of fellow who would often be seen walking on his hands in a hotel bar after he had become intoxicated. This was apparently nearly every night. During his general court-martial he was cheerful, always grinning and joking during the proceedings. He was often seen taking notes during his trial.

Leonski was Court Marshalled by an American military court in a hall in Russell Street, Melbourne. He was sentenced to death by hanging. General Douglas MacArthur confirmed the sentence on 4 November 1942. Leonski was hung at Pentridge Prison today. (Denis Peck)

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Guadalcanal: On Guadalcanal, the 7th Marine Regiment, committing the 2d Battalion of the Army's 164th Infantry Regiment to its south, completes the encirclement of the Japanese along Gavaga Creek except for a small gap on the south at the creek line. They repel a spirited attempts by the Japanese to break out. During the night, most of the Japanese, under Colonel SHOJI, escape between the flanks of the two regiments. In preparation for renewing the attack on Kokumbona, the 164th Infantry Regiment units (Headquarters, Antitank Company and 3d Battalion) and Company B of the 8th Marine Regiment are withdrawn from Koli Point area to Lunga perimeter.

BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: USAAF Fifth Air Force B-25 Mitchells score a hit on a merchant vessel off the southern tip of New Ireland Island.

TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: Two USAAF Eleventh Air Force B-26 Marauders and four P-38 Lightnings bomb a cargo ship in Gertrude Cove on Japanese-held Kiska Island but no hits are scored; two P-38s then strafe the harbor area. A B-17 Flying Fortress and four P-38s attack Holtz Bay on Japanese-held Attu Island and the airfield destroying eight "Rufe" seaplane fighters (Nakajima A6M2-N, Navy Type 2 Fighter Seaplanes). Meanwhile, a B-17 flies weather reconnaissance over Attu, Kiska, and the Segula Islands.

CANADA: Ottawa: Within 24 hours of the severance of relations between the United States and Vichy France, Canada has broken off diplomatic relations with the Vichy government. Justifying Canada's two years of diplomatic relations with Vichy France, the prime minister, Mr. Mackenzie King, said that they had provided the Allies with vital political information, kept alive the concept of freedom in unoccupied France and helped "pave the way and prepare the background for" the Allied landings in North Africa.

The first German agent, Werner Alfred von Janowski, a trained German saboteur, comes ashore from German submarine U-518 off the Gaspé town of New Carlisle, Quebec. (New Carlisle is located on the north coast of Chaleur Bay between the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick.) His strong accent and out-of-place possessions lead to his capture within twelve hours. Once the counter-spy section of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) takes him into custody, they decide to "turn" him and so produce their first double agent, code-named “Watchdog.” (Dave Shirlaw & Jack McKillop)

U.S.A.: Destroyer USS Ordronaux launched.

Submarine USS Angler laid down.

Light cruiser USS Duluth laid down.

Destroyer escorts USS Otterstetter and Frederick C Davis laid down.

Destroyers USS Halligan and Haraden laid down.

Minesweepers USS Chickadee and Sustain commissioned.

MEXICO: Mexico City: Mexico severs diplomatic relations with France.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: In the North Atlantic, U-704 fired four torpedoes at the troop transport Queen Elizabeth, but all missed.

U-67 sank SS Nidarland.

U-154 sank SS Nurmahal.

U-177 sank SS Cerion.

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