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21st January 1943

WWII Timeline




Events On This Day

The United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Lockheed Ventura and Bostons bombers raided airfields at Caen and Le Havre, Cherbourg and Flushing docks also bombed. The British Royal Air Force (RAF) bombers carried out a night raid on Ruhr and surrounding areas.

Russian Front. Soviet troops occupied Voroshilovsk (Stavropol) in Caucasus.

Combined Chiefs of Staff. Casablanca Directive is issued. It broadly outlines the operations of the Bomber Commands of the United States and Britain located in United Kingdom as having primary object of destruction of German military, economic, and industrial systems and undermining of morale of German people. Primary targets listed in order of priority are submarine construction yards, aircraft industry, transportation, oil plants, and other war industries. It largely relieves VITI Bomber Command of supporting North African operations.

Eighth Air Force. General Eaker completes paper called The Case For Day Bombing which he presents to General Arnold at Casablanca Conference Eaker then discusses these ideas on the merits of daylight bombing with Mr. Churchill in attempt to convince him of its effectiveness. Mr. Churchill later concurs. This paper leads to development of Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) program.

Twelfth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-25 Mitchell medium bombers bomb highway and railroad bridge just North of Pont-du-Fahs. B-26 Marauder medium bombers hit 2 freighters Northeast of Cap Bon, sinking 1 and damaging the other. Fighters fly bomber and C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft escort and fly sweeps and reconnaissance, attacking and destroying large number of trucks on Gabes-Ben Gardane road. A-20 Havoc light bombers and fighters escort bomb and strafe tank and truck concentration near Ousseltia in support of elements of United States 1st Armoured Division which begins Allied assault in effort to push enemy back in Ousseltia Valley into which new enemy offensive under new Axis Commanding General, Colonel General von Arnim, has advanced in 4-day push.

Ninth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bombers bomb Tripoli harbour. B-25 Mitchell medium bombers attack targets along Surman-Az Zawiyah road. P-40 fighters fly fighter-bomber missions against ground targets as British Eighth Army overcomes resistance in area. Enemy strengthens Tarhunah area at expense of Homs front, causing General Montgomery to decide to make main effort along coast.

Fifth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers bomb airfields and shipping in Rabaul. In Northeast New Guinea B-25 Mitchell medium bombers hit supply dumps and airfield. A single B-24 Liberator heavy bombers attacks cruiser at Amboina harbour.

Thirteenth Air Force. Headquarters moves from New Caledonia to Espiritu Santo. B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers, B-26 Marauder medium bombers, and P-39 fighters pound bivouac and other targets in Munda. B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers also attack shipping East of Kieta.

Eleventh Air Force. Weather reconnaissance aeroplane flies. An attack run over Kiska and patrol over Amchitka are called off due to weather. Air searches for 2 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers missing since 18 January 1943 continues.

R119 R-boat
Launched 21 and January 1943

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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

For a complete list of sources
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