November 22nd, 1943 (MONDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: William Jay Stone joins the 321st Glider Field Artillery, 101st Airborne Division. (William Jay Stone)
Minesweeper HMS Larne commissioned.
Escort carrier HMS Reaper launched.
NETHERLANDS: RAF"> RAF Bomber Command sends 14 Wellingtons to lay mines: eight lay mines in the Frisian Islands and four lay mines off Texel Island.
FRANCE: During the night of 22/23 November, an RAF">RAF Bomber Command bomber drops leaflets over the country.
GERMANY: During the night of 22/23 November, RAF Bomber Command dispatches 764 aircraft, 469 Lancasters, 234 Halifaxes, 50 Stirlings and 11 Mosquitos, to bomb Berlin; 670 aircraft bomb. This is the greatest force sent to Berlin so far but it was also the last raid in which Stirlings are sent to Germany. Bad weather again keeps most of the German fighters on the ground and the bomber force is able to take a relatively "straight in, straight out" route to the target without suffering undue loss. Twenty six aircraft, Lancasters, ten Halifaxes and five Stirlings, are lost, 3.4 per cent of the force. Berlin is again completely cloud-covered and returning crews can only estimate that the marking and bombing are believed to be accurate, In fact, this is the most effective raid on Berlin of the war. A vast area of destruction stretches from the central districts westwards across the mainly residential areas of Tiergarten and Charlottenburg to the separate suburb city of Spandau. Because of the dry weather conditions, several "firestorm" a reas are reported and a German plane next day measures the height of the smoke cloud as 6,000 meters (19,685 feet). It is estimated that 175,000 people are bombed out. Interesting entries among the lists of buildings destroyed or severely damaged are: the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche (the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church), the Charlottenburg Castle, the Berlin Zoo, much of the Unter den Linden, the British, French, Italian and Japanese embassies, the Ministry of Weapons and Munitions, the Waffen SS Administrative College, the barracks of the Imperial Guard at Spandau and, among many industrial premises, five factories of the Siemens electrical group and the Alkett tank works which has recently moved from the Ruhr. In secondary raids, 12 Mosquitos are dispatched to hit three targets: six bomb the city of Leverkusen, four attack the I.G. Farben chemical plant at Leverkusen and one bombs the city of Hannover.
NORWAY: Whilst undertaking operation Barbara, midget submarine Welman 46 (one of four such craft on the operation) which was commanded by Lt. B Pedersen of the Norwegian Army is spotted making an approach to the Laksevåg floating dock at Bergen and is captured. This is the only instance of operational use of the Welman submarines: Welman 45, 47 and 48 were abandoned by their operators (who were all later recovered to the UK by MTB). Lt. Pedersen made three escapes from naval PoW camp but his fourth was frustrated by the arrival of the British Army in May 1945. Welman features may have been used in the German Biber miniature submarines. (Alex Gordon)(108)
ITALY: The British bridgehead on the north side of the Sangro River is now 5 miles wide and 2,000 yards deep. Getting supplies across the river due to the rain is a very arduous task and the hold on the bridgehead remains tenuous.
Over 100 USAAF">USAAF Twelfth Air Force XII Air Support Command P-40s, B-25 Mitchells, and RAF Baltimores, attack strongpoints in the Lanciano-Fossacesia area, concentrating on gun positions. P-40s also hit roads and railways at Fabriano, the towns of Viticuso and Vallerotonda, and as far north as Urbino; A-36 Apaches hit chemical works, harbor and railroad yards at Civitavecchia and bomb the village of San Vittore del Lazio.
USAAF">USAAF Fifteenth Air Force while B-26 Marauders, escorted by P-38 Lightnings, hit the railroad center at Foligno, scoring numerous hits; others attack a bridge at Ciciana.
During the night of 22/23 November, forty three RAF aircraft of No. 205 (Heavy Bomber) Group bomb Ciampino Airfield while one aircraft drops leaflets over the battlefield.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Minesweeper HMS Hebe is mined in an area that had been swept twice the previous day There are 38 casualties and 72 survivors of whom 38 had received fractures due to being thrown into the air by the explosion. Location: off Bari at 41 08N 16 52E. (Alex Gordon)(108)
U-223 encountered an enemy submarine in the Mediterranean, but neither boat attacked.
EGYPT: The SEXTANT Conference between U.S. President Franklin D Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston S Churchill and Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek begins in Cairo. Talks last until 26 November and concern Operation OVERLORD (the overall plan for the invasion of western Europe), the possibility of expanding operations in the Mediterranean, and future operations against Japan. It is decided to make an amphibious landing and offensive in Burma (Operation CHAMPION) and to base B-29 Superfortresses in the China-Burma-India Theater (Operation TWILIGHT). They discuss Burma and China plans without making any decisions. They also do not prepare a plan for the upcoming discussions with Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin in Teheran, Iran.
LEBANON: The Lebanese President and ministers released by the Free French and Lebanese independence is also provisionally recognized. (Glenn Steinberg)
CHINA: Twelve USAAF"> USAAF Fourteenth Air Force P-40s strafe river traffic from Hofuh to Changte, and 16 attack numerous small troop boats on Tungting Lake, west of Changteh.
NEW GUINEA: In Northeast New Guinea, the Australian 9th Division continues to struggle for Sattelberg, the 26th Brigade reaching the southern slopes. The Japanese attack the Australian 2/43rd Battalion, 24th Brigade, 9th Division, north of Scarlet Beach and are wiped out.
Twenty two USAAF Fifth Air Force B-25 Mitchells and A-20 Havocs attack villages around Sattelberg, Northeast New Guinea New Guinea.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Over Bougainville, USAAF Thirteenth Air Force P-40s in a battle with 30-40 fighters over Empress Augusta Bay, claim five fighters shot down; P-38 Lightnings strafe barges and shore targets at Chabai on northern Bougainville. Over 20 B-25 Mitchells, along with five RNZAF Venturas, eight P-38 Lightnings and eight USN F4U Corsairs, attack the airfield on Buka Island north of Bougainville scoring hits on the airstrip and taxiways.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Over 100 USAAF Fifth Air Force B-25 Mitchells and B-24 Liberators bomb Gasmata and Cape Gloucester on New Britain Island.GILBERT and ELLICE ISLANDS, TARAWA: The Japanese resistance on Betio Atoll is fanatic. During the night many fierce counterattacks are mounted. By nightfall most of Butaritari has been captured. This does not stop a Japanese counterattack is wiped out.
After a preparatory bombardment on Makin Atoll, Boat Landing Team 3 of the 165th Infantry Regiment takes over the attack from Boat Landing Team 2 and drives east on Butaritari Island well beyond the East Tank Barrier, which the Japanese have abandoned. Though the eastern tip of the island remains to be explored, Admiral Richmond K. Turner, commander of the Amphibious Force Pacific Fleet, declares the island captured. Major Gen Ralph Smith, Commanding General 27th Infantry Division, assumes command ashore. During the night of 22/23 November, the Japanese are virtually wiped out when they make an unsuccessful counterattack. Steps are taken to cut off the Japanese escape from Butaritari: elements of Company A, Boat Landing Team 1, make a waterborne move to the narrow neck of the island to intercept the Japanese; a special detail moves to Kuma Island to halt the Japanese withdrawal there.
The Japanese on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, undergo heavy air, naval, and artillery bombardment as the battle for the island continues. The Japanese are brought under cross fire as artillery is emplaced on Bairiki Island. Passing through the 3d Battalion of the 2d Marine Regiment, the 1st Battalion of the 6th Marine Regiment drives east along the south coast on a narrow front, making contact with the 2d Marine Regiment force and continuing advance to the eastern end of the airfield. The 2d Battalion of the 8th Marine Regiment, with elements of the 3d Battalion attached, presses east along the northern coast to the eastern end of the airfield. The 1st Battalion of the 8th Marine Regiment, attached to the 2d Marine Regiment, attacks a strongpoint between Red Beaches 2 and 1 and succeeds in containing it. Thus by the end of the day the Japanese are compressed into the eastern part of Betio beyond the airfield and retains a pocket between Red Beaches 1 and 2. The 3d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, lands on Green Beach and moves forward along the south coast behind the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. Major General Julian C. Smith, USMC, establishes a command post ashore. During the night of 22/23 November, Japanese counterattacks are repelled by the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.
During the afternoon on Abemama Island, the 78 man scouting party, composed of the V Amphibious Corps Reconnaissance Company and an Australian scout call on the USN submarine USS Nautilus (SS-168) for gunfire support against the minute, 25-man, but game Japanese garrison . Rather than sacrifice marines in bringing the Japanese out of their bunkers, naval gunfire is requested. The gunfire proves accurate, killing 14; the remainder commit suicide. Thus, by the time the main assault force arrived on the 26 November, Abemama had been secured and preparations to turn it into an air base for the Marshalls' campaign had begun.
MARSHALL ISLANDS: Eleven USAAF Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators from the Phoenix Islands bomb Mili Atoll. The B-24 gunners claim two interceptors shot down.
PACIFIC OCEAN: USN destroyer USS Frazier (DD-607) is damaged when she intentionally rams Japanese submarine HIJMS I-35. Frazier and destroyer USS Meade (DD-602) depth charge the sub forcing her to the surface and then engage her with gunfire. Finally, Frazier rams the sub sinking her about 10 nautical miles (19 kilometers) west of Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, in position 01.22N, 172.47E.
USAAF Fifth Air Force B-24 Liberators on armed reconnaissance sink a Japanese cargo ship about 129 nautical miles (239 kilometers) northwest of Kavieng, New Ireland Island, Bismarck Archipelago, in position 01.00S, 149.20E.
CANADA: Frigate HMCS Hallowell laid down Montreal, Province of Quebec.
Corvette HMCS Asbestos launched Quebec City, Province of Quebec.
Destroyer escort USS Jesse Rutherford laid down.
Escort carrier USS Shipley Bay laid down.
Destroyer escorts USS Chambers, Lowe, Tatum commissioned.
Destroyer USS Uhlmann commissioned.
Escort carrier USS Gambier Bay launched.
BRAZIL: A Brazilian expeditionary force is to be sent to Europe, the Brazilians announced today. At least 60,000 men will cross the Atlantic to assist the Allied fight on European soil. Brazil's air force, though heavily engaged in the defence of Brazil's extensive coastline, will also send a contingent to Europe. Brazil declared war on the Axis powers on 22 August last year, after a series of U-boat attacks on several merchant ships in Brazilian waters.
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