August 1943

Aug

11

1943

Lloyd Trigg and crew die as they sink U-Boat

A Lockheed Hudson 'J-Jig' of No 200 Squadron, Royal Air Force, in flight over a coastal region of Gambia.

Flying Officer Trigg had rendered outstanding service on convoy escort and antisubmarine duties. He had completed 46 operational sorties and had invariably displayed skill and courage of a very high order. One day in August 1943, Flying Officer Trigg undertook, as captain and pilot, a patrol in a Liberator although he had not previously made any operational sorties in that type of aircraft. After searching for 8 hours a surfaced U-boat was sighted. Flying Officer Trigg immediately prepared to attack.

Aug

10

1943

General George S. Patton slaps another soldier

A Sherman tank of 'A' Squadron, 50th Royal Tank Regiment, silhouetted by the setting sun, 1 August 1943.

Just as I was leaving the hospital, I saw a soldier sitting on a box near the dressing station. I stopped and said to him, ‘What is the matter with you, boy?’He said, ‘Nothing; I just can’t take it.’ I asked what he meant. He said, ‘I just can’t take being shot at.’ I said, ‘You mean that you are malingering here?’ He burst into tears and I immediately saw that he was an hysterical case.

Aug

9

1943

War artist Edward Ardizzone takes Italian surrender

Battle in an Orchard of Almond Trees in Sicily: Morning of July 21st 1943

In the meantime Geoffrey had sent a message by the hotel manager to the Italian commander, an Alpini Colonel, telling him to report at once to us alone with his Adjutant. I was on tenterhooks in case he should call our bluff and know more of the situation than we did, we had learned that he had four hundred men under his command. To my surprise he turned up with the Adjutant. We told him that the town was surrounded and that he must surrender and ordered him to disarm his troops and march them away southward. Over a glass of champagne he meekly and sadly complied.

Aug

8

1943

Lt Sallenger from USS Card spots another two U-boats

USS Card (ACV-11) underway in the Atlantic on 15 June 1943, with seven TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bombers and six F4F-4 Wildcat fighters of Squadron VC-1 parked on her flight deck.

The engine was popping and cutting out during this attack. My speed was reduced to 160 knots, and I was on a course of about 3300. During this run Ensign SPRAGUE was working over the other, unattacked sub. Again he was doing an excellent job, but the enemy AA fire seemed even heavier. On this run, the plane was hit in the left main gas tank at the wing root (It had about 30 gallons in it at the time), tearing a hole about a foot wide and immediately bursting into flames. There were other less effective hits.

Aug

7

1943

Two U-boats surprised by Avenger from USS Card

Avengers flying out of Fort Lauderdale in 1943

I made the first attack out of the sun with two Mk. 47 depth bombs set at 25 feet, selecting the submarine nearest me and slightly astern. I approached at a target angle of 1950, speed 220 knots, releasing at an altitude of 125 feet, plane course 2350 T. The submarines were apparently caught unaware and did not open fire with their AA guns until I was about 400 yards away. This fire was very intense from both U-boats, though the plane was not hit.

Aug

6

1943

US destroyers ambush Japanese at Vella Gulf

The Imperial Japanese Navy destroyer Arashi, photographed in 1940. The fast destroyers were used for the 'Tokyo Express'.

As the eighth torpedo was about to be released I caught sight of telltale white torpedo tracks fanning out in our direction, the nearest within 800 meters. I shouted again for hard starboard helm. In the same moment I saw a pillar of fire shoot up from amidship of Arashi, and two from Kawakaze. Lead ship Hagikaze was beyond and in line with these two victims so that I could not see her. Looking again at the water, I held my breath. Three torpedoes were streaking toward Shigure’s bow, which was swinging rapidly to the right.

Aug

5

1943

Shipwrecked John F. Kennedy finds Soloman islanders

Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, USNR, (standing at right) with other crewmen on board PT-109, 1943.

A little farther up the beach, alongside a native lean-to, a one-man canoe and a barrel of water were found. About this time a canoe containing two persons was sighted. Light showing between their legs revealed that they did not wear trousers and, therefore, must be natives. Despite all efforts of Kennedy and Ross to attract their attention, they paddled swiftly off to the northwest. Nevertheless, Kennedy and Ross, having obtained a canoe, food and water, considered their visit a success.

Aug

4

1943

The horror of Hamburg resounds around Germany

The last of the Operation Gomorrah raids took place on the 2nd August but added little to scale of the existing devastation.

The news from Hamburg is simply beyond the grasp of the imagination – streets of boiling asphalt into which the victims sank and were boiled alive, veritable cities of ruins, which cover the dead and surround those still alive like some jagged stone martyr’s crown. The talk is of 200,000 dead. I am not one who believes everything he is told. I much prefer seeing the thing for myself. And I think that in this case what I have seen with my own eyes suffices.

Aug

3

1943

A Japanese soldier faces up to a lost campaign

Aerial photograph of Vila Airfield on Kolombangara taken by a U.S. Navy at low level, circa August 1943.

Everybody picked coconuts. The enemy was hurriedly constructing an aireld opposite us. We could see them so clearly that it seemed we could have touched them. It only meant that more air attacks were in store for us. Our lives were worthless, for there was no order for withdrawal after all. I have come to hate the men who cause wars. The withdrawal order didn’t come through tonight either.

Aug

2

1943

A desperate escape attempt from Treblinka

Smoke rising from Treblinka on the 2nd August 1943, a picture taken by the Polish underground.

Shots are heard from all sides. The Ukrainians, whom our comrades have lured from the watchtowers, lie dead. Two S.S. excavator operators are dead. We head for the barbed wire shouting: – Revolgutsga v Berline! (Russian: Revolution in Berlin!) Several of the Ukrainians become disorientated and put up their hands. Their weapons are taken from them. We cut the wires one after the other. We are already at the third barbed-wire fence.