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July 26th, 1943 (MONDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Both the VIII Air Support Command and the VIII Bomber Command in England fly missions:

- During VIII Air Support Command Mission Number 4: 18 B-26B Marauders attack Longuenesse Airfield at Saint-Omer, France; 15 hit the target at 1112 hours without loss.

- During VIII Bomber Command Mission Number 77, two targets in Germany and a convoy are hit; 24 B-17s are lost mostly to Luftwaffe fighters. In the first raid, 96 B-17s bomb rubber factories at Hannover losing 16 B-17s;

(1). 119 B-17 and 2 YB-40 Flying Fortresses are dispatched against rubber factories at Hannover; 96 hit the target at 1200-1243 hours and claim 40-9-28 Luftwaffe aircraft; 16 B-17s are lost.

(2) 49 of 61 B-17s dispatched against Hannover hit a convoy and other targets of opportunity losing 6 aircraft; they in turn claim 15-1-7 Luftwaffe aircraft.

(3) 54 of 121 B-17s dispatched against Hannover bomb the U-boat yards at Hamburg at 1159-1200 hours; they claim 5-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; losing 2 aircraft.

Frigates HMS Antigua, Bickerton, Bligh launched.

ASW trawler HMS Pollock commissioned.

GERMANY: Rastenburg: Hitler orders defensive preparations in Greece, which he assume will be the Allies' next landing site.
Essen: After a heavy raid on the Krupp armaments works last night, Dr. Gustav Krupp von Bohlen suffers a stroke when he sees the burning ruins.

U.S.S.R.: Orel: The Germans are pulling out of the great bastion at Orel. Having failed at great cost to cut off the Russian salient at Kursk, the Wehrmacht is having to withdraw from its own salient, 200 miles south of Moscow, in the face of a massive Soviet counter-offensive.

Hitler reluctantly gave permission for Field Marshal von Kluge to withdraw his armies from the salient two days ago after it became apparent that they were in danger of suffering another defeat  on the scale of Stalingrad. The Red Army has broken through the German's fortified lines east of Orel on a front 20 miles long and has defeated five German divisions.

Both sides are also weighing the lessons, as well as counting the cost, of the great tank battle at Kursk. Each deployed tank-busting aircraft fitted with large-calibre cannon. On the German side, the Stuka, fitted with two 37mm flak cannon, and the Henschel Hs-129 with its 30mm cannon performed with great effect. The Russians replied with Sturmovik Il-2s fitted with deadly 37mm cannon which on one occasion reduced 70 tanks of the 9th Panzer Division to burning wrecks within 20 minutes.

ITALY: Marshal Badoglio forms a new cabinet and declares martial law throughout Italy.

In Sicily during the night of 25/26 July, Northwest African Tactical Air Force medium bombers attack Milazzo, Adrano, and Paterno; throughout the day light bombers hit Regalbuto at intervals, and fighter-bombers harass shipping, rail, and road movements. Ninth Air Force B-25 Mitchells bomb Milazzo, Paterno, and Adrano while P-40s strafe and bomb Catania and shipping at Riposto harbor.

Northwest African Strategic Air Force B-26s bomb the Marina di Paola marshalling yard.

PACIFIC OCEAN: The last mission against Wake Island from Midway Island is flown. 8 Seventh Air Force B-24s bomb targets including oil storage area. 20+ fighters (including an aircraft identified as a possible Fw 190) intercept the formation. The B-24s claim 11 of the fighters shot down. 

SOUTH-WEST PACIFIC: Major USAAF_bong.html">Richard I. Bong (USAAF) flying a Lockheed P-38 Lightning shot down two Kawasaki Ki-61, Army Type 3 Fighter Hiens ("Tony") and two Nakajima Ki-43, Army Type 1 Fighter Hayabusas  ("Oscar")

SOLOMON ISLANDS: In the Solomon Islands, 24 USMC SBD Dauntlesses and 37 TBF Avengers attack Japanese AA gun positions in the Munda Field area of New Georgia Island. 

Later, 21 USMC F4U Corsairs strafe Kahili Airfield on Bougainville in support of 10 Thirteenth Air Force B-24s which drop fragmentation bombs on aircraft revetments. During the night, six B-17s also bomb the airfield.

B-25s, P-40s, and US Navy fighters over southern Kolombangara Island hit the east shore of Webster Cove and bivouac area and buildings on Simbo Island.

TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: 3 bombers and 5 fighters of the Eleventh Air Force fly 5 armoured reconnaissance missions to Kiska Island.

USAAF Eleventh Air Force operations: 32 B-24 Liberators, 38 P-40s, and 24 P-38 Lightnings fly 13 attack raids, bombing and scoring hits on numerous Kiska Island and Little Kiska Island targets, including North Head, Main Camp, the runway, Gertrude Cove, AA batteries, and on a suspected submarine in Kiska Island harbor. A submarine is sighted near Rat Island. AA fire claims 1 P-40 (pilot rescued), and damages 3 others. 1 B-25 and 15 P-38s fly 2 air cover missions to Kiska Island for the US Navy. Over 1O4 tons of bombs are dropped on Kiska Island this day, highest one-day bomb load so far dropped by the Eleventh Air Force. 
The Japanese Kiska rescue force refuels in the morning. In the evening, four ships are damaged by ramming in a thick fog.

U.S.A.: Nearly eighteen months after Hitler's declaration of war on the United States, six US citizens are indicted 'in absentia' by a federal grand jury in Washington D.C., on charges of wartime treason. These, all members of the RRG's (German Broadcast Corps.) North American Service, were Fred Kaltenbach, Edward Delaney, Constance Drexel, Douglas Chandler, Jane Anderson, and Robert Best. [HA-p.45] (247)(Russell Folsom)

 Destroyer escorts USS Koiner, Lloyd, Otter, Wiseman laid down.

Destroyer USS Meredith laid down.

Destroyer escort USS Amick commissioned.

CARIBBEAN SEA: U-359 (Type VIIC) is sunk in the Caribbean south of Santo Domingo, at position 18.06N, 75.00W, by depth charges from a PBM-3C Mariner (P-12) of Patrol Squadron VP-32 based at NAS Coco Solo, Canal Zone. All 47 crew of the U-boat perish.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: German submarine U-359 is sunk in the Caribbean south of Santo Domingo, in position 18.06N, 75.00W, by depth charges from a PBM-3C Mariner of Patrol Squadron Thirty Two (VP-32) based at NAS Coco Solo, Canal Zone. All 47 crewman of the U-boat perish.


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