June 7th, 1944 (WEDNESDAY)The Normandy Landings:
UNITED KINGDOM: London: Increased air bombardment of German fuel installations is ordered, following the interception of messages revealing a serious shortage of aviation fuel.
Britain: Millions of men waited and trained for yesterday, turning Britain into an international barracks while the D-Day invasion force was prepared. The culture shock for many British communities was intense, and nowhere more so than where the American servicemen were based. New dances, new fashions, new words and new foods (if chewing-gum can be so classified) have entered British life just as surely as many local girls will leave as "GI brides". Not everybody welcomed the brash newcomers, and one area of contention was the racial discrimination within US forces. Attempts by the US authorities to confine black troops to certain bars or pubs, for instance, were resisted and led to clashes between Americans in which some were killed.
ITALY: American forces capture Bracciano, Civitavecchia and Civita Castellana.
Squadron Leader Neville Duke while flying a Spitfire VIII on a low-level strafing operation is hit by anti-aircraft fire. He attempts to bale out but his harness snags on the open cockpit. Hi kicks violently to free his parachute before pulling the ripcord and lands in the middle of lake seconds later, where he nearly loses his life again as his parachute drags him through the water. Italian partisans rescue him and give him shelter until the arrival of US troops. (Scott Peterson)
The USAAF's Fifteenth Air Force in Italy reaches its planned operational strength of 21 heavy bomber groups and seven fighter groups. In Italy, 340 B-17s and B-24s, some with fighter cover, hit Leghorn dock and harbor installations, Volri shipyards, Savona railroad junction, and Vado Ligure marshalling yard; 42 P-38s bomb the Recco viaduct and 32 P-47s fly an uneventful sweep over the Fenara-Bologna area. In France, the Antheor viaduct and Var River bridge are hit.
BURMA: Sgt Hanson Victor Turner (b.1910), West Yorkshire Regt., led his men in holding a difficult position. He later carried out six lone sorties, on the last of which he was killed. (Victoria Cross)
NEW GUINEA: Mokmer Air Field on Biak Island is captured.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 435, Guam Island was bombed by Seventh Army Air Force Liberators and Liberator search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two during daylight on June 5 (West Longitude Date).
Antiaircraft fire ranged from moderate to intense. Our force was not attacked by enemy aircraft. All of our planes returned.
Nauru Island was bombed on June 5 by Mitchell bombers of the Seventh Army Air Force and Ventura search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two. The barracks area, phosphate plant, and gun positions were principal targets.
Ponape Island was attacked by Seventh Army Air Force Mitchells on June 5. Antiaircraft fire was meager.
On June 4 Mille Atoll in the Marshalls was attacked by Dauntless dive bombers and Corsair fighters of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing.
Runways were principal targets. Light calibre antiaircraft fire was intense.
A search plane of Fleet Air Wing Two sighted a group of small enemy cargo ships proceeding northwest of Truk on June 5, and attacked and damaged one of the vessels. Another search plane shot down an enemy torpedo bomber west of Truk on June 5 (Denis Peck)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-970 (Type VIIC) Sunk in the Bay of Biscay west of Bordeaux, in position 45.15N, 04.10W, by depth charges from a British Sunderland aircraft (Sqdn. 228/R). 38 dead, 14 survivors.
U-955 (Type VIIC) Sunk on in the Bay of Biscay north of Cape Ortegal, Spain, in position 45.13N, 08.30W by depth charges from a British Sunderland aircraft (Sqdn 201/S). 50 dead (all crew lost) (Alex Gordon)
HMCS Saskatchewan, a River-class destroyer, LCdr. Alan Herbert Easton, DSC, RCNR, CO, was attacked by U-984, OltzS. Heinz Sieder, Knight's Cross, CO. A Gnat acoustic-homing torpedo was exploded by Saskatchewan’s ‘CAT’ gear. There was no further contact after the attack.
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