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17th August 1943

WWII Timeline




Events On This Day

In Sicily. Island completely conquered after 38 day campaign. Messina captured by United States. Gun duel began across Messina Straits.

In the Mediterranean. Istres and Salon airfields near Marseilles raided by B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers first time targets in France attacked from Mediterranean bases.

In Australasia. Wewak (New Guinea) airfields bombed 120 enemy planes destroyed.

It was revealed that His Majesty the King in HMS Duke of York led the Home Fleet to battle practice in the North Sea during a 4 day visit.

Eighth Air Force. On first anniversary of United States heavy bomber operations from United Kingdom, 315 B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers launch two pronged attack into Germany, marking deepest penetration of German territory to date. The critical targets are the Messerschmitt complex at Regensburg and the anti friction bearing factories at Schwein-furt. The bombers unload a 724 ton bomb load, causing extensive damage. Every important building in the complex at Regensburg is damaged, and there are 80 HE hits on the 2 main bearing plants at Schweinfurt. 60 United States aircraft are lost in fierce air battle that extends to the targets and continues after the bombing. 4th Bomber Wing, after bombing Regensburg, continues to bases in North Africa. During 17-18 August 1943. The British Royal Air Force (RAF) begins CROSSBOW, massive attacks on German V-weapon sites. About 670 aircraft drop 2,000 tons of bombs on Peenemunde.

Northwest African Air Forces (NAAF). Sicily campaign ends with official entry of United States Seventh Army's 3d Division into Messina at 1000. British force from Ali arrives shortly there after. Fall of Sicily paves way for it stepped up air offensive against Italy. About 180 Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers attack Istres-IoTube and Salon-de-Provence airfields. Around 100 medium bombers attack command targets on North part of Italian toe, hitting Battipaglia and Castrovillari with damaging effect; escorting P-38 Lightning fighters strafe vehicles in the area. Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) fighters and light bombers pound shipping in Straits of Messina and Gulf of Gioia, hit rail centre at Lamezia, and harass enemy movement on the Italian toe.

Ninth Air Force. More than 200 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) P-40 fighters hit shipping at Messina, at Palmi, and in Gulf of Gioia.

Fourteenth Air Force. 23 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bombers, operating in 3 waves, bomb barracks at Cau Lo. 4 P-40 fighters bomb town of Mangshih.

Fifth Air Force. Approximately 50 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bombers and B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers make predawn attack on Wewak and satellite airfields at Boram, Dogaw, and But, and also hit Tadji and Madang. During midmorning, 30 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers, with over 80 P-38 Lightning fighters covering, carry out the day's second bombing and strafing strike on Boram, Wewak, and Dagaw. This begins campaign to neutralise Japanese airfields in preparation for offensive against Lae. A-20 Havoc light bombers again hit enemy forces in Salamaua area. B-24 Liberator heavy bombers bomb oil facilities at Balikpapan.

Eleventh Air Force. 1 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bomber flies over Kiska watching friendly forces land on shore of East Kiska Lake.

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Sources

The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

2194 Days Of War.
ISBN-10: 086136614X

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