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July 27th, 1943 (TUESDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: The US VIII Air Support Command flies Mission Number 5; 17 B-26Bs bomb Tricqueville Airfield, France at 1825 hours.

Westminster: Churchill says that if Italy does not surrender, it will be "scarred and blackened from one end to the other."

London: The Polish government in exile has received word of a new wave of mass murder in eastern Poland, as German forces clear the area to set up new lines of defence.

According to a report in today's Daily Telegraph, the Germans are expelling and murdering Poles from a belt 60 miles wide, settling ethnic Germans there in order to boost defences. Lublin, Cracow and Radom are understood to be the centre of the killings, in which the Germans are accused of massacring the entire population, mainly peasants.

Whole towns and villages have been emptied in the terror, and up to 100,000 people have fled to the forests for sanctuary, abandoning their farms and livestock. It is said that the SS are rounding up Polish civilians by cordoning off areas and using artillery and tanks to flush them out.

GERMANY: Rastenburg: Hitler orders Mussolini's liberation and his restoration as puppet leader in a German-occupied Italy.

U.S.S.R.: Polar Fleet and White Sea Flotilla: HS "Academic Shokalskii" - by U-boat gunfire, in Karsk Sea, close to Cape Sporii-Navolok  (Sergey Anisimov)(69)

In the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, the premier and dictator, issues Order Number 227 to motivate both the military and civilians in and around Leningrad; the order becomes known as the "Not one step backward" order. The order states that "panic makers and cowards must be liquidated on the spot. Not one step backward without orders from higher headquarters! Commanders…who abandon a position without an order from higher headquarters are traitors to the Fatherland."

ITALY: Northwest African Strategic Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses hit the airfield at Capua and the railroad at Lioni.

SICILY: The fighting at Agira and Nicosia is heavy and inconclusive.

On the ground in Sicily, the US Seventh Army reaches Tusa and San Mauro and pushes toward Nicosia. In the air, USAAF Ninth Air Force P-40s attack tactical targets in battle area in northeastern Sicily, and others hit shipping at Catania. Northwest African Strategic Air Force B-25 Mitchells and B-26 Marauders bomb the landing ground at Scalea while Northwest African Tactical Air Force fighters and light bombers continue bombing and strafing of ports, shipping, bridges, landing grounds, and motor transport.

INDIA: The Chinese-American Composite Wing (CACW) manned by American-trained Chinese pilots, is activated at Karachi and assigned to the USAAF's Fourteenth Air Force. The first two operational units are the 1st CACW Bombardment Group with B-25 Mitchells and the 5th CACW Fighter Group with P-40s. Each wing consists of four squadrons. These Chinese Air Force units will begin training in August and operational missions are scheduled to begin in October.

JAPAN: The Japanese Navy begins laying the LaPerouse minefield between Hokkaido and the Kurile Islands. This is an attempt to prevent US submarines from operating in this area.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: US Thirteenth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses bomb airfields at Kahili on Bougainville Island and Ballale Island; 8 P-38 Lightnings and 70+ US Navy and Marine Corps aircraft again attack the Munda area on New Georgia Island, hitting positions on Bibolo Hill and targets at Gurasai, Munda Point, and Munda Airfield.

US forces assault Horseshoe Hill in New Georgia and sink two Japanese destroyers at Rabaul.

Japanese submarine I-24 is sunk by the USS Scamp (SS-277) off the Admiralty Islands. (Mike Yared)(144&145)

TERRRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: 12 bombers and 20 fighters of the US Eleventh Air Force take off on 5 attack missions to Kiska Island. Several of the fighters jettison bombs. The other aircraft hit Main Camp, North Head and Little Kiska Island. The Japanese Navy's Operation "KE GO," the evacuation of their forces from Kiska, continues. The light cruisers HIJMS Kiso and HIJMS Abukuma and escorting destroyers take off 5,183 men undetected by US forces. Three midget submarines based on Kiska are destroyed by the retreating troops.

U.S.A.: It all started as a barroom dare, when two Army Air Corps pilots challenged each other to fly through a tropical storm. So, Maj. Joe Duckworth flew a propeller-driven, single-engine North American AT-6 "Texan" trainer into the eye of a tropical storm. Duckworth flew into the eye of that storm twice that day, once with a navigator and again with a weather officer.

These were generally considered to be the first airborne attempts to obtain data for use in plotting the position of a tropical cyclone as it approached land. Duckworth's pioneering efforts paved the way for further flights into tropical cyclones. (Drew Halevy)

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