6 May 1945

6 May 1945

6 May 1945

War at Sea

German submarine U-236 sunk at Schliemunde

German submarine U-1008 scuttled off Skagens Horn

German submarines U-853 sunk with all hands off New London

German submarines U-881 sunk with all hands off Newfoundland

German submarines U-181, U-195, U-219 and U-862 transferred to the Japanese Navy

German submarine U-3523 sunk off Aarhus



What Happened on May 5, 1945

  • Jiří Svoboda, Czech director and politician (2nd Chairman of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia), born in Kladno, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
  • Kurtis "Kurt" Loder, American film critic, TV personality and columnist (Rolling Stone, New York, Time), born in Ocean City, New Jersey
  • Rodney H. Pardey, American poker player (2 x World Series of Poker C'ships World Series of Poker Bracelets 1991, 94), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 2020)

HistoryLink.org

At 6:00 a.m. on May 8, 1945, Washington state hears President Harry Truman (1884-1972) announce that the war in Europe is over with the surrender of Germany. But World War II as a whole is not over because Japan has not yet surrendered.

War (Almost) Over

Few in the state took time to celebrate because there was an enemy across the Pacific Ocean to defeat. To reduce the temptation to rejoice, liquor stores and taverns were ordered closed and extra police were assigned to downtown Seattle streets.

Across the state, Boeing Company airplane plants and other wartime manufacturing plants did not let up at all.

One of the few public demonstrations was a brief ceremony at Fort Lawton with a parade of troops stationed there and a brief speech by Colonel P. B. Parker, the commanding officer. During the day Allied flags appeared, but the United States flag was still flown at half mast.

Not A Time To Celebrate

To give a push to the war effort Seattle Mayor William F. Devin (1898-1982), who was Seattle mayor from 1942 to 1952, issued the following proclamation:

“With the thrilling news of victory in Europe which has just reached us, we seem to hear an audible sigh of relief go up from the American people, saying, ‘Thank God that much is done.' This utterance of gratitude is made in true sincerity and thankfulness to the Almighty for the victory which is ours over the forces of evil and despotism.

In many a home today throughout our nation there will be prayers for thanksgiving uttered, for now the hope of seeing their loved ones return home is closer than before. But in other homes, while there will be joy and anticipation, it will be dampened by the thoughts that their loved ones are still waging a bitter battle in the Pacific area.

To those forces in the Pacific and Far East the news of victory in Europe will be most encouraging, but it will not mean the end of the war to them. Neither must it mean the end of the war to any of us on the home front. It should serve as a stimulus to spur us on to even greater efforts to make victory complete on all fronts.

We must beware of overconfidence. We still are engaged in a bitter struggle against a powerful enemy. This enemy cannot be defeated without the continued total effort of all of us.

Let us therefore resolve to redouble our efforts and to swing the last crushing blows upon the enemy with unrelenting force. Let us resolve to stay on the job, buy war bonds, and work harder than before. Only in this way can we save the lives and stop the suffering of our American men who still are engaged in battle.

This is not the appropriate time to celebrate. Men still are dying. This is not the time to make revelry. Ships and planes still are needed. This is the time humbly and reverently to give thanks to God for the victory which is ours, to renew our hope and trust, and to work harder than ever before. -- William F. Devin, Mayor” (Star, p. 3).

President Harry Truman signing papers in Olympia, June 1948 (from a State Patrol home movie)

Courtesy UW Libraries Special Collections, MSCUA, and Moving Image Archive Project

William F. Devin, 1942

Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives (12293)

Sources:

“Seattle Takes V-E Day in Stride, Points for Japan,” The Seattle Star, May 8, 1945, p. 1, 2 “Devin Urges All to Remain On Job Until Final Victory,” The Seattle Star, May 8, 1945, p. 3.


HistoryLink.org

On May 6, 1945, U.S. Army Colonel Burton C. Andrus (1892-1977) becomes commandant of a new prison holding senior Nazi leaders facing war-crimes trials following Germany's defeat in World War II. The interrogation center and holding facility is initially located in a former hotel in Mondorf les Bains, Luxemburg. In August 1945 the prisoners will be moved to a prison in Nuremberg, Germany, adjacent to the Palace of Justice, where International Military Tribunal trials (often known as the Nuremberg trials) will begin on November 20, 1945. Andrus will command the Nuremberg prison and, following two suicides, will attempt to make the jail suicide-proof. However, security features Andrus institutes will not prevent Hermann Goering from killing himself hours before he is to be hanged. Andrus will be relieved of duty following Goering's suicide and for the rest of his life will blame himself for Goering's escape from the hangman. After retiring from the army Burton Andrus, who was born in Washington while his father served as an officer at Fort Spokane, will become a professor at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, fulfilling a lifelong desire to live in the Puget Sound region.

Burton Andrus

Burton C. Andrus Sr. was born at Fort Spokane while his father, Captain Frank B. Andrus (1859-1924), was an officer at the post. The family lived at Fort Spokane until 1895, when Captain Andrus received orders to Fort Sheridan in Illinois. Frank Andrus retired in 1908, with the rank of major, and settled the family in Buffalo, New York. Burton attended a Buffalo high school and graduated in 1910. He attended Buffalo University for two years and while at the university joined the Officer Reserve Corps.

Andrus left college and went to work for Standard Oil as a plant manager. In April 1916 he married Katherine E. Stebbins (1891-1972), with whom he had four children. When the United States entered World War I Andrus was a second lieutenant in the Officer Reserve Corps. He was commissioned in the regular army on October 25, 1917, as a cavalry officer, but was soon running a prison.

Army Officer

In 1917 Andrus was made commander of the stockade at Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia. When he arrived the stockade was one of the worst in the army. Prisoners were in kept in illegal leg irons. An inmate kangaroo court largely ran the prison. There were frequent escapes and general disorder. As soon as he reported for duty at the stockade, Lieutenant Andrus imposed tough strict rules. He placed anyone who caused problems in solitary confinement. He issued an order that guards could shoot to kill anyone trying to escape. Soon he had restored order.

In July 1919 he was promoted to captain and sent to the Presidio of Monterey in California, where he headed security. Andrus then served in cavalry units including tours at Fort Riley in Kansas and Fort Kent in Kentucky. In 1933 he was made commander of a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp in Oregon. While commanding the CCC facility Andrus attended training at Fort Lewis in Pierce County. He loved the Puget Sound area and promised himself that he would live in the region. The Andrus family expected to make the Puget Sound area their permanent residence, but it would be 20 years before that happened.

Additional cavalry assignments followed Andrus's Pacific Northwest tour. On August 1, 1935, he was promoted to major and then in 1940 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and left the cavalry. Lieutenant Colonel Andrus was made a security officer at the New York Port of Embarkation. He then trained in air-ground communications, learning the techniques for ground forces to effectively communicate with pilots attacking nearby enemy positions.

On June 6, 1942, six months after the U.S. entered World War II, Andrus was promoted to colonel and assigned to General George Patton's (1885-1945) Third Army as an air-ground observer using the lessons learned in the air-ground communications school. He became an admirer of Patton and copied the general's style, wearing a highly polished helmet and pressed uniforms and carrying a riding crop.

Nuremberg Jailer

With the war coming to an end in Europe, Supreme Allied Commander General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) selected Colonel Andrus to command a prison for German officials who would be facing trial for war crimes. Andrus's selection was based on his experience in security. On May 6, 1945, Andrus opened an interrogation center for senior Nazi leaders at Mondorf les Bains, Luxemburg. The center's code name was "Ashcan." Ashcan occupied a former hotel that underwent modification to remove any signs of luxury. On August 12, 1945, the Ashcan prisoners were moved by air to Nuremberg, where they would be held during International Military Tribunal trials that started on November 20, 1945.

Colonel Andrus served as commandant of the prison, which was located to the rear of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. The top Nazi officials tried at the International Military Tribunal were held there while on trial in the Palace of Justice. The first security issue at the prison was the suicide of Dr. Leonardo Conti (1900-1945). Conti had been the German health officer responsible for the Nazis' euthanasia program. He hanged himself in his cell on October 6, 1945. Later that month, on October 24, 1945, Robert Ley (1890-1945), a Nazi labor leader, became the second prisoner to hang himself in his cell. With his death Colonel Andrus promised that there would be no future suicides: The convicted would not be able to avoid the executioner.

American guards were required to maintain constant surveillance to prevent suicides, checking each cell every 30 seconds. Andrus also required that the inmates sleep with their hands outside their blankets. Tables that would collapse under a man's weight were used in the cells so prisoners could not stand on them to hang themselves. Razors, neckties, and shoelaces were taken away. When the prisoners had their daily exercise period, guards searched every cell. However, the anti-suicide efforts failed to prevent Hermann Goering (1893-1946), from taking his life, by means of a cyanide capsule, on October 15, 1946, hours before he was to be executed. Goering, who had headed the German air force, the Luftwaffe, was the top Nazi scheduled for hanging. Ten other Nazi leaders went to the gallows in the early morning hours of October 16.

The failure to prevent Goering's suicide led to Colonel Andrus being removed from his command in December 1946 just as a new group of prisoners arrived for new trials. Andrus accepted responsibility for Goering's suicide. The mystery of how Goering obtained the cyanide capsule has never been definitely answered. However he did so, the suicide severely tarnished Andrus's reputation. Colonel Andrus had not been popular with the press, and with the third suicide of a Nazi leader attacks on him grew. Time magazine in its October 28, 1946, issue called Colonel Andrus a "pompous, plump, unimaginative, thoroughly likeable officer who wasn't up to the job" and added that the colonel looked "like an inflated pouter pigeon" ("Down Without Tears"). The Time article dismissed Andrus's security measures as ineffective and placed the blame for Goering's suicide on him.

In a book written more than 20 years later, Andrus claimed he was not plump, but in fighting trim at 160 pounds and 5 feet, 10 inches tall. He did not challenge the Time assessment as to responsibility for Goering's suicide. After being relieved of his Nuremberg command, Andrus returned to the United States and was assigned to Headquarters, Military District of Washington, D.C.

College Professor

In 1948 Andrus completed Strategic Intelligence School. His next assignment was to Israel as Military Attache. After one year in Israel he was sent to Brazil with the same duties. He returned to the United States in April 1952 and a brief stateside tour.

Colonel Andrus retired from the army on April 30, 1953, and realized his wish to live in the Puget Sound area. He moved to Tacoma and attended the College of Puget Sound (later University of Puget Sound). Andrus studied under Professor Charles T. Battin (1888-1964) and assisted him in directing the debate team. Andrus earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in 1955 and a master's degree the next year.

The college asked him to stay on and teach in the School of Business Administration and Economics. He was teaching there when the college became a university. Andrus was a powerful advocate for veterans at the university. He was also active in the Boy Scouts. While a professor, he promoted the release of Rudolf Hess (1894-1987) from Spandau prison. Colonel Andrus was portrayed in a number of movies and television documentaries. Burton C. Andrus died at Fort Lewis's Madigan Army Hospital in 1977. He and his wife Katherine Andrus are buried in the Fort Worden Cemetery in Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula.

Their son Burton C. Andrus Jr. (1917-2004) graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1941. During World War II he became a bomber pilot serving in Italy and Commanding Officer of the 783rd Bombardment Squadron, 465th Bombardment Group. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while commanding the 783rd Bombardment Squadron. Burton Andrus Jr. retired as an Air Force colonel. He died in 2004 and was buried at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

Colonel Burton C. Andrus (1892-1977), Nuremberg, Germany, ca. 1945

Courtesy U.S. Army via Wikimedia Commons

Cover, I was the Nuremberg Jailer (Coward-McCann, 1969)


Hunting Hitler Part VI: The Search Begins, May 1945

With Adolf Hitler’s death just before 4pm on April 30, 1945, Hitler’s right-hand man Martin Bormann realized he had no position at all, unless Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz should confirm his appointment as Party Minister in the new government that Hitler had provided for in his political testament. He also knew it was improbable that any copy of Hitler’s political testament had yet reached Doenitz, who was therefore unaware of Hitler’s death, but also of his own right of succession. Sometime between 615pm and 750pm, Bormann, Goebbels, and Admiral Voss drafted and sent to Doenitz an ambiguous radio signal in the secure naval cipher, not bothering to mention Hitler was dead. It seemed as if Bormann wished to prolong yet a little longer the authority which he loved but could no longer legally exercise. [1] The message stated “In place of the former Reich-Marshal Goering the Fuehrer appoints you, Herr Grand Admiral, as his successor. Written authorization is on its way. You will immediately take all such measures as the situation requires. Bormann.” [2]

At Ploen, Doenitz, in the presence of Admiral Kummetz, the naval Commander-in-Chief, Baltic, and Albert Speer, received a message, which had just arrived from Berlin. The message was from Bormann announcing that Doenitz was Hitler’s successor in place of Goering. Doenitz was surprised. He incorrectly assumed that Hitler had nominated him because he wished to clear the way to enable an officer of the Armed Forces to put an end to the war. Doenitz did not find out until the winter of 1945-46, when for the first time he heard the provisions of Hitler’s will, in which he demanded that the struggle should be continued. [3] That evening Doenitz met with Keitel and Jodl and discussed the message. They agreed that Hitler was dead. They discussed making offers of an immediate armistice. [4]

On the morning of May 1, Bormann decided, or agreed, to inform Doenitz that his reign had begun. Still, he avoided an explicit admission of Hitler’s death. His message, which was sent for dispatch at 740am and received by Doenitz at 1053am stated: “The will has become effective. I shall come to see you at the earliest possible moment. In my opinion, publication should be postponed until we meet.” [5]

From that Doenitz presumed that Hitler was dead. Contrary to Bormann’s opinion to hold an announcement, Doenitz felt that the German Armed Forces ought to be told what had happened as quickly as possible. Doenitz would later write: “Of his suicide I knew nothing. Nor from the assessment of his character that I had formed did I for a moment think of suicide as a possibility. I assumed that he had met his end seeking death in battle in Berlin. I felt therefore that the announcement of his death should be couched in respectful terms.” [6]

On May 1 Doenitz broadcast the following announcement:

The Fuehrer has nominated me as his successor. In full consciousness of my responsibilities I therefore assume the leadership of the German people at this fateful hour. My first task is to save German men and women from destruction by the advancing Bolshevist enemy. It is to serve this purpose alone that the military struggle continues. For as long as the British and the Americans continue to impede the accomplishment of this task, we must also continue to fight and defend ourselves against them.

The British and the Americans in that case will not be fighting in the interest of their own people, but solely for the expansion of Bolshevism in Europe. [7]

He also issued his Order of the Day to the Armed Forces:

The Fuehrer has nominated me as his successor as Head of the State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. I assume command of all Services of the Armed Forces with the firm intention of continuing the fight against the Bolsheviks until our troops and the hundreds of thousands of German families in our eastern provinces have been saved from slavery or destruction. Against the British and the Americans I must continue to fight as long as they persist in hindering the accomplishment of my primary object. [8]

At 318pm Doenitz received a third and last signal from the Chancellery in Berlin, whence it had been dispatched at 246pm. It was from Goebbels and Bormann, and signed by Goebbels, who would commit suicide some six hours later. [9] It read:

The Fuehrer died yesterday at 1530 hours. Testament of 29 April appoints you as Reich President, Reich Minister Dr. Goebbels as Reich Chancellor, Reichsleiter Bormann as Party Minister, Reich Minister Seyss-Inquart as Foreign Minister. By order of the Fuehrer, the Testament has been sent out of Berlin to you, to Field-Marshal Schoerner, and for preservation and publication. Reichsleiter Bormann intends to go to you today and to inform you of the situation. Time and form of announcement to the Press and to the troops is left to you. Confirm receipt.-Goebbels. [10]

Doenitz decided not to wait for Bormann’s arrival to inform the Germans of Hitler’s death and did so that evening. At 930pm Hamburg Radio warned the German people that “a grave and important announcement” would be made then, came strains from Wagner’s operas and the slow movement of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony was played, followed at 10:26pm by Doenitz announcing Hitler’s death and his own succession. The Fuehrer, he said, had fallen “this afternoon” he had died fighting “at the head of his troops.” [11]

Meanwhile on the morning of May 1, Lorenz, Zander, Johannmeier (the three couriers with Hitler’s personal will, political testament, and marriage certificate) were on the Wannsee peninsula opposite Schwanenwerder. On May 2, the day Berlin surrendered, they were on the Havel, a tributary of the Elbe. Before dawn on May 3, they set out again, and made their way to Potsdam and Brandenburg, and on May 11 crossed the Elbe at Parey, between Magdeburg and Genthin, and passed ultimately, as foreign workers, into the area of the Western Allies, transported by American trucks. By this time the war was over, and Zander and Lorenz lost heart and easily convinced themselves that their mission had now no purpose or possibility of fulfillment. Johannmeier allowed himself to be influenced by them, although he still believed he would have been able to complete his mission. After abandoning their mission, the men split up. Zander and Lorenz went to the house of Zander’s relatives in Hanover. From there, Zander proceeded south until he reached Munich, where he stayed with his wife, and then continued to Tegernsee. At Tegernsee, Zander hid his documents in a trunk. He changed his name, identity, status, and began a new life under the name of Friedrich Wilhelm Paustin. Johannmeier meanwhile went to his family’s home in Iserlohn in Westphalia, and buried his documents in a bottle in the back garden. Lorenz ended up in Luxembourg and found work as a journalist under an assumed name. Their existence and mission would not be known to the Allies until November. [12]

The Moscow radio’s first announcement of the German report of Hitler’s death, broadcast at 312am on May 2 to the Russian people, declared that “The German radio statement evidently represents a new Fascist trick.” The radio announcement was prefaced by the phrase “it is asserted that,” indicating that the Russians were skeptical of the German version of Hitler’s fate. The broadcast said that Doenitz’s order to the German troops was repeating “the usual trickery and twists of Hitlerite propaganda.” The Moscow broadcast said that, “by the dissemination of the statement on the death of Hitler, the German Fascists evidently hope to prepare for Hitler the possibility of disappearing from the scene and going to an underground position.” [13]

The New York Times on May 2 carried an editorial entitled “The End of Hitler,” referencing the German radio announcement that Hitler had died the previous afternoon in his command post at the Reich Chancellery in Berlin “fighting to his last breath against bolshevism.” The editorial, after noting that the announcement indicated that Doenitz had been named as Hitler’s successor, observed that:

The Nazis have made lies so much a part of their politics, and their reports about Hitler’s alleged doubles have been so widely spread, that these announcements are bound to leave in many minds the suspicion that the master liar is attempting to perpetrate one last great hoax on the world in an effort to save himself, and perhaps prepare the way for his return at a later and more auspicious time. Yet, whether true or not, the announcement does mark the end of Hitler and the regime that plunged the world into this war and formed the core of the fanatical German resistance which has cost so much Allied blood and effort.

All things considered, there seems to be no good reason to doubt that Hitler is dead, or that he died as the announcement says he did. Logically, he had to die that way, and had he tried to evade his fate, it is difficult to believe that even his most devoted followers would have permitted him to do so.

The editorial added that it seemed probably that Hitler “fell as he was supposed to fall-in the roar and terror of battle, amid the crumbling walls of his capital, in the Chancellery which he had built as the seat of his world dominion, and at a moment when the conquering Russian armies were planting their victory banners on the scenes of his former triumphs.” [14]

Near the end of President Truman’s news conference on May 2, he was asked if he would care to comment on the death of Hitler or Mussolini. He responded “Well, of course, the two principal war criminals will not have to come to trial and I am very happy they are out of the way.” He was then asked if that meant “that we know officially that Hitler is dead?” Truman responded “Yes.” He was then asked if he knew how Hitler died, to which Truman said “No, we do not.” Truman was asked “Is it official? This is confirmation that Hitler is dead?” Truman responded: “We have the best–on the best authority possible to obtain at this time that Hitler is dead. But how he died we are not-we are not familiar with the details as yet.” Truman was asked if he could name the authority. “I would rather not” Truman replied. Finally, Truman was asked if he was convinced that the authority he gave was the best possible and that the information was true. “Yes” was his reply. The next day Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson followed the lead of Truman in expressing the opinion that Hitler was dead. [15]

Hans Fritzsche, former Ministerial Director of the Propaganda Ministry, on May 2, being held captive in Berlin, spoke about Hitler’s end. A reporter with the First U.S. Army on May 2 reported that a former high official of the German Foreign Office [Hans Fritzsche] said that day that he and his colleagues believed that Hitler was dead, his body would not be discovered, and that the Nazis would claim cremation. He also said “But admittedly there exists a possibility he is alive and attempting to disappear through feigning death.” A communiqué issued in Moscow during the night of May 2-3 announced that Hitler and Goebbels had committed suicide. This statement was attributed to Fritzsche. From London on May 3 a report was made, citing the Soviet communiqué that Fritsche had said General Krebs, Goebbels, and Hitler had all committed suicide. From London on May 3 it was reported that a deposition made by Goebbels’ chief assistant that both Goebbels and Hitler had committed suicide in Berlin was given to the world early that day by Red Army forces after they had occupied Berlin. Fritsche, was quoted in the Soviet communiqué as having reported also the suicide of Krebs. The statement of Fritsche, noted a reporter, added another version of Hitler’s demise to two already given: that he had died in battle and that he had succumbed to cerebral hemorrhage. [16]

From Moscow on May 3 came a story that the Soviets were looking for Hitler and were not convinced that he, Goebbels, and other Nazi leaders actually committed suicide. Well-known Pravda writer Nikolai Tikhonoff, wrote: “We shall see what has really happened to him. And if he escaped, we shall find him, no matter where he is.” [17]

The official Soviet news agency on May 6 sent a wireless communiqué to all communist newspapers published outside the Soviet Union that Soviet authorities were conducting a very thorough investigation into the matter of Hitler’s fate and the world would soon know the true facts. “Up to now Nazi deviousness and Machiavellian finesse have succeeded in shrouding this in mystery.” [18] An Associated Press reporter in Moscow on May 7 reported that Russian investigators combed Berlin again that day for evidence of Hitler, and although a group of German generals insisted anew that he was dead by his own hand there was nothing to indicate the Soviets were any closer to a final resolution of his reported death. A Pravda dispatch from Berlin said the examination of bodies discovered in the courtyard of the Chancellery annex, the Reichstag and other public buildings where high Nazis shot themselves, was continuing. Nothing had been discovered to back up the Hitler suicide theory, however, it stated. AP ended the piece: “As each day goes by without confirmation of Hitler’s and Goebbels’ reported suicides the suspicion grows here that Hitler and his henchmen are still alive. Most speculation is that they have gone to some neutral country, or perhaps by long-range submarine to Japan.” [19]

Time magazine on May 7 had as its cover the likeness of Hitler’s face with a red X on it. The related story stated that:

Adolf Hitler had been buried, dead or alive, in the rubble of his collapsing Third Reich. Whether or not he had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage (as reported from Stockholm), or had “fallen in his command post at the Reich chancellery” (as reported by the Hamburg radio, which said that he had been succeeded as Führer by Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz), or was a prisoner of Gestapo Chief Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler as a political force had been expunged. If he were indeed dead, the hope of most of mankind had been realized. For seldom had so many millions of people hoped so implacably for the death of one man. [20]

At Berlin on May 10, SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) issued a press release indicating that at least four bodies, one of which may be Hitler, had been found by the Russians in Berlin. However, none of them has been identified as being definitely that of Hitler. The press release added that the bodies of Goebbels and his family, of Martin Bormann, and of a number of other top Nazis had been found and identified with fair certainty. For a week, the press release continued, the Russians had searched through the ruins of the underground fortress where Hitler and his gang were. Somewhere amid the underground ruins, Hitler’s body charred beyond real recognition by flamethrowers, Hitler probably met his death. The Russians believe he might have been killed beforehand by the people around him. [21]

Hermann Goering on May 11, at Augsburg, told reporters that he was satisfied that Hitler was dead and that Hitler’s body had been disposed of so it would not fall into the hands of the Russians. On May 15, at Berchtesgaden, one of Hitler’s stenographers, Gerhard Herrgesell, told a reporter he thought there still was a possibility that Hitler was alive, but was personally convinced that Hitler died in the Bunker with Eva Braun, some SS men and probably Bormann. Herrgesell speculated that plans were made some time ago to prevent Hitler’s body from falling into the hands of the Russians. He thought the bodies of Hitler and a few close associates may have been placed in a vault in the basement of one of the government buildings and then sealed by blasting debris down upon it. Dr. Theodor Morrell, Hitler’s personal physician for eight years, told a reporter on May 21 that he did not believe Hitler had committed suicide, but believed that Hitler was dead, probably from a heart condition. [22]

During an informal exchange on May 13, Allied counter-intelligence officers were told by Russian officers that Soviet specialists had found new proof that Hitler, mentally unbalanced and partially paralyzed, had been killed in his bunker on May 1 by an injection of poison administered to him by Dr. Stumpfegger. [23]

Time magazine on May 14 carried a story with the title “Victory in Europe: The Many Deaths of Adolf Hitler,” in which it said that Hitler had died more deaths in one week than any man in history. The article noted that Hamburg radio had said that Hitler had died “at his command post in the Reich Chancellery, fighting the Russians to the last said Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, who had it from Heinrich Himmler on April 24 Hitler had a cerebral hemorrhage, might already be dead said Dr. Hans Fritzsche, captured Goebbels deputy: Hitler had committed suicide said the Tokyo radio: Hitler was killed by an exploding shell as he walked down the steps of his Berlin Chancellery said the Paris-Presse: After a quarrel with Hitler over the continuation of the war, other Nazi leaders blew him to bits by a bomb placed in his underground fortress in the Tiergarten on April 21 said the London Daily Express: Hitler is on his way to Japan in a U-boat and, said United Press war correspondent Edward W. Beattie Jr.: Germans believed that Hitler was killed in last year’s bomb plot.” The Time article stated that Soviet soldiers dug deep into the rubble of the Reich Chancellery for Hitler’s corpse. They did not find it, and Fritzsche explained to them: “The body has been hidden in a place impossible to find.” Time noted that the Russians were determined to find Hitler, dead or alive. Said Pravda: “Whether he escaped to hell, to the devil’s paws, or to the arms of fascist protectors, still he is no more. We shall find out what really happened to him. And if he escaped, we shall find him, no matter where he is.” [24]

On May 26 Harry L. Hopkins (Adviser and Assistant to the President), W. Averell Harriman (Ambassador to the Soviet Union), and Charles E. Bohlen (Assistant to the Secretary of State) met with Joseph Stalin at the Kremlin in Moscow. Near the end of the meeting, Hopkins said he hoped the Russians would find the body of Hitler. Stalin replied that in his opinion Hitler was not dead but hiding somewhere. He said the Soviet doctors thought they had identified the body of Goebbels and Hitler’s chauffeur [Kempka], but that he, personally, even doubted if Goebbels was dead and said the whole matter was “strange and the various talks of funerals and burials struck him as being very dubious.” Stalin said he thought that Bormann, Goebbels, Hitler and probably Krebs had escaped and were in hiding. Hopkins said that he knew the Germans had several very large submarines but that no trace of them had been found and added that he hoped they would track Hitler down wherever he might be. Stalin said he also knew of those submarines which had been running back and forth between Germany and Japan taking gold and negotiable assets from Germany to Japan. He added that he had ordered his intelligence service to look into the matter of the submarines but so far they had failed to discover any trace and therefore he thought it was possible that Hitler and company had gone in them to Japan. [25]

Office of Strategic Services officer Richard W. Cutler wrote that for a short time after their defeat, a number of Germans simply could not accept the fact that Hitler had died, even though the death had been proclaimed by Doenitz. Hitler’s body had not been found and rumors persisted that he was still alive. [26] Senior British intelligence officer Dick White had recognized from the start the importance of solving the mystery of Hitler’s death. “Hitler had captured the imagination of the German people so long as the possibility remained that he might be still alive, the stability and security of the occupied zones could not be guaranteed.” [27] White had convinced Field Marshal Montgomery, Commander-in-Chief of the British Zone, of the need for an inquiry into Hitler’s fate. After the German surrender he had gone, with Montgomery’s blessing, to Berlin, where the Russians assured him that both Hitler and Goebbels had committed suicide, and that their bodies had been burnt. White had been shown a set of false teeth identified as Hitler’s. [28] Now, at the end of May the mystery deepened and widened. Many Germans were convinced Hitler was not dead, and if he did die, he had done so in the matter explained by Doenitz. Meanwhile the Soviets seemed to be increasingly changing their story. During the summer the confusion and contradictions would continue.

[1] Joachimsthaler, The Last Days of Hitler, p. 184.

[2] Trevor-Roper, The Last Days of Hitler, p. 207. Copy of a complete teleprint of the message, timed at 750pm, in German can be found in Document Section (GAD/C), Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office, Ref. No. 54, Subject: Fragments of a “White Book” by the “Doenitz Government” on the German surrender and the last communicates exchanged with the Hitler Government in Berlin, August 20, 1945, File: Regular Intelligence Report No. 143123, Intelligence Reports (“Regular” Series), 1941-1945 (NAID 6050264) Record Group 226. Speer indicates the message was sent at 635 pm. Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich, trans. By Richard and Clara Winston (New York: Avon Books, 1971), p. 615, note. Another source indicates the message was sent at 540 pm. von Lang, The Secretary, p. 330. Another version reads: “Replacing former Reichsmarshall Goering, the Fuehrer appointed you, Grossadmiral, as his successor. Confirmation in writing dispatched. You are to take immediately any action resulting from the present situation.” Translation of Wireless message to Doenitz from Bormann, April 30, 1945, received 635pm, enclosure to Maj. Gen. Lowell W. Rooks, Chief, Control Party, SHAEF Control Party at OKW to Assistant Chief of Staff, G-5,, Subject: Transmission of Records, May 18, 1945, File: 383.6/4 Interrogation of Prisoners of War, Decimal File, May 1943-August 1945 (NAID 568109) Record Group 331.

[3] Admiral Karl Doenitz, Memoirs: A Documentary of the Nazi Twilight (New York: Belmont Books, 1961), pp. 188-189, 191.

[4] Testimony of Wilhelm Keitel, taken at Nuremberg, Germany, October 10, 1945, 1040-1305, by Mr. Thomas J. Dodd, OUSCC, File: Keitel, Wilh. (Vol. IV 4 Oct-10 Oct 45), I., Interrogations, Summaries of Interrogations, and Related Records, 1945-1946 (NAID 6105243) Record Group 238.

[5] Translation of Wireless message to Doenitz from Bormann, May 1, 1945, received 1053am, enclosure to Maj. Gen. Lowell W. Rooks, Chief, Control Party, SHAEF Control Party at OKW to Assistant Chief of Staff, G-5, Subject: Transmission of Records, May 18, 1945, File: 383.6/4 Interrogation of Prisoners of War, Decimal File, May 1943-August 1945 (NAID 568109)Record Group 331. A copy of this message in German can found in Document Section (GAD/C), Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office, Ref. No. 54, Subject: Fragments of a “White Book” by the “Doenitz Government” on the German surrender and the last communicates exchanged with the Hitler Government in Berlin, August 20, 1945, File: Regular Intelligence Report No. 143123, Intelligence Reports (“Regular” Series), 1941-1945 (NAID 6050264) Record Group 226. According Doenitz the message was dispatched at 740am on May 1. Doenitz, Memoirs, p. 191.

[6] Doenitz, Memoirs, pp. 191, 192.

[8] Doenitz, Memoirs, pp. 192-193. On May 1, Doenitz also issued the following declaration to the members of the German Armed Forces: “I expect discipline and obedience. Chaos and ruin can be prevented only by the swift and unreserved execution of my orders. Anyone who at this juncture fails in his duty and condemns German women and children to slavery and death is a traitor and a coward. The oath of allegiance which you took to the Fuehrer now binds each and every one of you to me, whom he himself appointed as his successor. Doenitz, Memoirs, p. 198.

[10] Trevor-Roper, The Last Days of Hitler, pp. 210-211. Copy of a teleprint of the message in German can be found at Document Section (GAD/C), Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office, Ref. No. 54, Subject: Fragments of a “White Book” by the “Doenitz Government” on the German surrender and the last communicates exchanged with the Hitler Government in Berlin, August 20, 1945, File: Regular Intelligence Report No. 143123, Intelligence Reports (“Regular” Series), 1941-1945 (NAID 6050264) Record Group 226. Another source indicates that this message was sent at 216pm on May 1 and was signed by both Goebbels and Bormann. von Lang, The Secretary, pp. 331-332. Another version of the message reads: “Fuehrer died yesterday 1530 hours. His will dated 29 April appoints you as President of the Reich, Reichminister Dr. Goebbels as Prime Minister, Reichsleiter Bormann as Party Minister, Reichsminister Seyss-Inequart as Foreign Minister. Upon the Fuehrer’s orders, copies of his will were dispatched to you and to Field Marshall Schoerner and taken away from Berlin in order to safeguard it for the public. Reichsleiter Bormann will try today to come to see you, in order to inform you about the situation. Form and time of announcement to public and troops are at your own discretion. Acknowledge receipt.” Translation of Wireless message to Doenitz from Goebbels, May 1, 1945, received 318 pm, enclosure to Maj. Gen. Lowell W. Rooks, Chief, Control Party, SHAEF Control Party at OKW to Assistant Chief of Staff, G-5, Subject: Transmission of Records, May 18, 1945, File: 383.6/4 Interrogation of Prisoners of War, Decimal File, May 1943-August 1945 (NAID 568109) Record Group 331.

[11] Document Section (GAD/C), Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office, Ref. No. 54, Subject: Fragments of a “White Book” by the “Doenitz Government” on the German surrender and the last communicates exchanged with the Hitler Government in Berlin, August 20, 1945, File: Regular Intelligence Report No. 143123, Intelligence Reports (“Regular” Series), 1941-1945 (NAID 6050264) Record Group 226 Trevor-Roper, The Last Days of Hitler, p. 211. Other sources indicated that Doenitz had made the announcement at 930pm on May 1 during which time Doenitz had indicated that Hitler, “fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism, fell for Germany this afternoon in his operational command post in the Reich Chancellery.” Fischer, Nazi Germany, pp. 568-569 Beevor, The Fall of Berlin 1945, p. 381.

[12] Memorandum, Arnold H. Weiss, Special Agent, CIC, Munich Sub-Regional Office to the Officer in Charge, Subject: Zander, Wilhelm, alias Paustin, Friedrich Wilhelm, Re: Location and Arrest and Recovery of Hitler’s Documents, December 30, 1945, attachment to Memorandum, 1 st Lt. Marvin L. Edwards, CIC, Commanding to Commanding Officer, 970/CIC, Regional Office IV, Subject: Zander, Wilhelm, alias Paustin, Friedrich Wilhelm, Adjutant to Bormann Unterholzner, Ilsa, secretary to Bormann, January 4, 1946 1 st Indorsement, 1 st Lt. Joseph E. Gagan, Executive, CIC Region, IV to Chief, CIC, CIB, Headquarters, USFET, January 4, 1946, File: D011874, Zander, Willi [Wilhelm], Personal Name File, Security Classified Intelligence and Investigative Dossiers, 1939-1976 (NAID 645054) RG 319 Third Interrogation of Willi Johannmeier, January 1, 1946, at CIB, BAOR [British Army of the Rhine], File: XE013274, Willi Johannmeier, ibid. Trevor-Roper, The Last Days of Hitler, pp. 219-220 Boldt, Hitler’s Last Days, p. 179 Adam Sisman, Hugh Trevor-Roper: The Biography (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2010), p. 139 Herman Rothman, ed. by Helen Fry, Hitler’s Will, (Glocestershire, United Kingdom: The History Press, 2009), pp. 101, 103.

[13] Associated Press, “Just a ‘Fascist Trick,’ Moscow Radio Asserts,” The New York Times, May 2, 1945, p. 2.

[14] “The End of Hitler,” The New York Times, May 2, 1945, p. 22.

[15] Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States Harry S. Truman Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President April 12 to December 31, 1945 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1961), pp. 38-39 Special to The New York Times, “Truman Believes Hitler Dead,” The New York Times, May 3, 1945, p. 10 Special to The New York Times, “Stimson Accepts Death Story,” The New York Times, May 4, 1945, p. 3.

[16] United Press, “Cremation Report Predicted,” The New York Times, May 3, 1945, p. 10 Joachimsthaler, The Last Days of Hitler, p. 243Cable to The New York Times, London, May 3, 1945, “Goebbels and Fuehrer Died By Own Hands, Aide Says, The New York Times, May 3, 1945, p. 1.

[17] Wireless to The New York Times, “Russians Find No Trace of Hitler in Berlin, Moscow Paper Reports,” The New York Times, May 4, 1945, p. 3.

[18] Joachimsthaler, The Last Days of Hitler, p. 244.

[19] Associated Press, “New Berlin Search Fails to Find Hitler,” The New York Times, May 8, 1945, p. 10.

[20] “Germany: The Betrayer,” Time, Vol. XLV, No. 19, May 7, 1945.

[21] Public Relations Division, SHAEF, SHAEF Release No. 1450, May 10, 1945, File: SHAEF Public Relations Division Releases, May 1-10, 21-31, 1945, Press Releases, Jun 1944-Jul 1945 (NAID 622519) Record Group 331.

[22] Associated Press, “Scared Goering Puts Entire Blame for Atrocities on Hitler,” The Washington Post, May 12, 1945, p. 2 Jack Fleischer, United Press, “Hitler in Fuddle for 2 Days Deciding He’d Die in Berlin,” Washington Times-Herald, May 16, 1945, p. 4 Tania Long, “Doctor Describes Hitler Injections,” The New York Times, May 22, 1945, p. 5.

[23] Joachimsthaler, The Last Days of Hitler, pp. 244-245.

[24] “Victory In Europe: The Many Deaths of Adolf Hitler,” Time, Vol. XLV, No. 20, May 14, 1945.


August 1945

On August 6, 1945, the United States military detonated the atomic bomb “Little Boy” 1,900 feet above Hiroshima, Japan, causing initial casualties of over 70,000. Three days later, “Fat Man” was detonated 1,540 feet above Nagasaki, causing initial casualties of over 40,000. After six days of debate between Japanese Emperor Hirohito and his military leaders, an announcement of unconditional surrender was delivered on August 15, effectively ending the Second World War. Debated to this day is the issue of whether these two weapons were needed to force Japan’s surrender.

On July 26, 1945, Allied forces signed the Potsdam Declaration giving Japan an ultimatum of unconditional surrender. If refused, the declaration would result in “the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland.” Japan did refuse and prepared for an invasion of the home islands. The Japanese felt that the expected high Allied casualties might work in their favor to negotiate better surrender terms. Four conditions were sought: preservation of the Imperial institution, responsibility for their own disarmament, no occupation, and responsibility to conduct any war crime trials.

Amphibious invasions never carry a guarantee of success, but they usually involve great cost in lives. The conquest of Okinawa had cost the Allies (mostly Americans) more than 84,000 casualties Japanese forces suffered nearly 83,000 casualties, not counting the more than 75,000 listed among the Japanese civilian population. The shock of these extremely high losses sparked an inquiry by the U.S. government. Yet, an invasion for Japan had to be planned.

Operation Downfall consisted of two parts, one in October 1945 and the second in the spring of 1946. Japan’s geography made the plans obvious to the Japanese and they would adjust their defensive plans accordingly. Depending upon Japanese civilian resistance, American casualty estimates ranged from 1.7 to 4 million, with 5 to 10 million for the Japanese.

Such unusually high casualty estimates for the invasion, combined with the Japanese refusal to accept the ultimatum, caused President Harry S Truman to force Japan’s hand. Hiroshima and Nagasaki ultimately were chosen as targets because of their military value. Radio Saipan broadcast warnings across Japan between bombings, but no reaction came from Japanese authorities.

Following the second bombing, the Soviet Union declared war and invaded occupied Manchuria. The culmination of events between August 6 th through 9 th caused Emperor Hirohito himself to broadcast his decision to accept unconditional surrender to spare the Japanese people from further destruction.

Below the Atlantic and Pacific victory pavilions within the World War II Memorial, there are lists of several of the campaigns and battles that brought about the end of the war. The Freedom Wall’s 4,048 Gold Stars represent the 405,399 Americans who paid the ultimate price for that ultimate victory the blood spilled from fully 150,000 of these fallen American heroes led to Japan’s shores—and victory.


Post-War: Chaos and Challenges

After the German surrender in May 1945, World War II ended in Europe. Its most immediate legacies were death, devastation, and misery. The scale and speed of the conflict had been unprecedented: the war ended up killing at least 19 million non-combatant civilians in Europe. 1 Of those, 6 million were Jews, a full two-thirds of the pre-war Jewish population of Europe. For all those who remained, Jews and non-Jews, the end of the war did not bring an end to their problems. Historian Doris Bergen explains:

The arrival of allied forces and the collapse of Nazi Germany were not miracles that could undo or even stop the spirals of violence and misery unleashed by years of brutality . . . Whether they had been victims, perpetrators, or bystanders in Nazi barbarity—and many Europeans had reason to count themselves in more than one of those categories—people faced the challenge of building lives for themselves and what was left of their families and communities with scarce resources and restricted freedom, and in a climate of distrust and grief. 2

The victorious Allies were faced with difficult decisions. How would they treat Germany and other defeated Axis powers? What would they do about the millions of people displaced by the war who were now homeless and often starving? Would it be possible to rebuild peace and stability in Europe? In August 1945, the Allies issued a communiqué that said:

It is not the intention of the Allies to destroy or enslave the German people. It is the intention of the Allies that the German people be given the opportunity to prepare for the eventual reconstruction of their life on a democratic and peaceful basis. If their own efforts are steadily directed to this end, it will be possible for them in due course to take their place among the free and peaceful people of the world. 3

The Allies were determined to destroy what remained of the Nazi Party and to hold its leaders accountable for their crimes (see Chapter 10, Judgment and Justice). Germany would be disarmed, its boundaries redrawn, and the country divided into four “zones of occupation.” Each zone would be governed by one of the Allied powers: the United States, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. At meetings between Allied leaders in 1945, they expressed a desire to restore democracy in Germany. 4 But the work of reconstruction in Europe would only become more complicated as the democratic western Allies and the communist Soviet Union competed for influence on the continent and their rivalries later hardened into what became known as the Cold War.

As the Allies made their plans, more than 10 million Europeans were on the move. Doris Bergen writes, “World War II sparked the movement of the largest number of people in the shortest period of time that the world had ever known. Refugees, fugitives, displaced persons, deportees, and expellees jammed the roadways and waterways of Europe and spilled over into Central Asia and the Americas.” 5

As soon as the war ended, the Allies tried to send all of those displaced persons (DPs) home as quickly as possible. Each of the Allied nations took responsibility for displaced persons in their own sector of Germany. Until transportation became available, they set up emergency centers to provide food, shelter, and medical care for the refugees. The project was extraordinarily successful: millions of people were home within weeks of the war’s end. Yet despite the Allies’ efforts, about 1.5 million DPs were still in emergency centers six months after the war.

How the Allies treated DPs depended on the DPs’ nationalities. Displaced persons from Allied nations received better treatment than those from Germany, Hungary, and other Axis nations. To many officials at the time, that policy seemed fair. To many Jews and other victims of the Nazis, it did not. It meant, for example, that German Jews recently liberated from concentration camps were treated as enemy aliens, not as survivors of an atrocity.

In February 1946, former American First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited displaced-persons camps in Germany. In her weekly newspaper column, she described some of what she saw:

There is a feeling of desperation and sorrow in this camp which seems beyond expression. An old woman knelt on the ground, grasping my knees. I lifted her up, but could not speak. What could one say at the end of a life which had brought her such complete despair? 6

You can measure the extent of damage done to cities, you can restore water supplies, gas and electricity, and you can rebuild the buildings needed to establish a military government. But how to gauge what has happened to human beings—that is incalculable. 7

These survivors often had already lost during the war years not only their homes and belongings but also much of what gave them their identity—their families, their physical appearance, their liberties, and their hopes. Displaced-persons camps were overcrowded and heavily guarded. Some were located in what had been Nazi concentration camps. Allied soldiers who managed DP camps were often bewildered or angered by the way Jewish survivors acted. Why did they sometimes fight for a loaf of bread or hoard food even when plenty was available? Why did some refuse to take showers or undergo de-lousing when other DPs did so without a fuss? The soldiers did not understand what was different about the Jewish DPs and how these survivors had been shaped by their experiences in Nazi camps. After hearing reports of poor camp conditions, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Allied military commander in Germany, agreed to create separate camps for Jewish DPs and to let Jewish relief agencies enter the camps so that they could work directly with survivors.

Many Jewish survivors tried to return to their pre-war homes and found that they were not welcome. Historian Tony Judt writes,

After years of anti-Semitic propaganda, local populations everywhere were not only disposed to blame ‘Jews’ in the abstract for their own suffering but were distinctly sorry to see the return of men and women whose jobs, possessions and apartments they had purloined. In the 4th arrondissement of Paris, on April 19, 1945, hundreds of people demonstrated in protest when a returning Jewish deportee tried to claim his (occupied) apartment. Before it was dispersed, the demonstration degenerated into a near-riot, the crowd screaming [France for the French!]. 8

The difficulty, even danger, of staying in Europe convinced many Jewish survivors to emigrate abroad. When they were able to obtain visas, they went to the United States, Latin America, South Africa, and to Jewish communities in Palestine. (The state of Israel was not established until 1948.)

The millions of displaced people within Europe also included Germans who had been settlers in lands conquered by the Third Reich during the war. As Nazi Germany claimed “Lebensraum,” these settlers had taken over homes, land, and possessions from local people (see reading, Colonizing Poland in Chapter 8). After the war, millions of German settlers were forcibly, even violently, expelled and sent back to Germany. Other ethnic Germans, whose families had lived in border regions like the Sudetenland for generations, also fled or were expelled. Allied opinion was divided about these expulsions. Joseph Stalin of the USSR saw them as a form of justice for Germany’s crimes. Some British and American leaders were worried by the violence and the hardship caused by the expulsions, but they also feared that pent-up anger would lead to even greater violence against the settlers if they were not sent back to Germany. Leaders like Winston Churchill believed that the “mixture of populations” could cause “endless trouble.” 9 Eventually, the German populations in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia had been expelled and returned to occupied Germany.


May Snowstorms: Are They Rare?

As we begin tracking the next snowstorm of the season, which has already dumped over a foot of snow in the Front Range, we wanted to look back at other notable May snowstorms.

(More: Winter Storm Achilles)

May snowfall is nothing unusual for the Rocky Mountains, but pretty much everywhere else, it's rare. One of the more recent May snowstorms outside the Rockies was on May 18, 2002 in Upstate New York. After hitting 91 degrees on April 17, Albany had its latest snowfall on record as two inches of snow blanketed the city.

On May 7, 1989, a record-setting May snowfall occurred in Buffalo, New York 7.9 inches fell, shattering the old record which was 80 years old. Not only was that the greatest for any calendar day in May, but it was the greatest 24-hour snow May as well as the greatest amount of snow so late in the season.

Upstate New York doesn't hold the market on May snowstorms. The Midwest sees the occasional freak May snowstorm as well. A May 10, 1990 storm brought 3 inches to Madison and Milwaukee, Wis., and a record-crushing 22.4 inches to Marquette, Mich.

An even later storm brought 5 to 10 inches of snow to the tri-state Siouxland area near Sioux City, Iowa, on May 28, 1947.

Other notable May snowstorms:

  • May 1, 1967 - Blizzard across the Dakotas 16" snow in Lemmon, S.D. and 30" in the Black Hills.
  • May 3, 1990 - Record snow in Pueblo, Colo. 9.4" snow.
  • May 4, 1812 - Philadelphia to Maine 12" near Keene, N.H.
  • May 9, 1966 - Record snow in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania 3.1" in Pittsburgh.
  • May 10, 1977 - Interior southern New England slammed 20" in Norfolk, Conn. and 9.5" at Bedford, Mass. (but only 0.5" in Boston).
  • May 11-12, 1946 - Minnesota 8" reported in Virginia, Minn. (photo above)
  • May 14, 1834 - Greatest May snowstorm for northern Atlantic coastal states 2-3' in higher elevations of N.H.
  • May 20 and 24, 1894 - Twin snowstorms in central and eastern Kentucky 2-8" with the first, up to 6" with the second.

A few city-by-city facts on May snow:

  • Denver: Not unusual. The top 10 May snow days since 1874 all had at least 6 inches of snow.
  • Amarillo, Texas: Surprisingly, 7.1" fell here May 6, 1917. Second place: 4.7" May 2, 2005, not long ago.
  • Minneapolis: Just six 1" snow days in May since 1875 top day was 2.8" May 11, 1946.
  • Chicago: Only two 1" snow events in May since 1884: 2.2" May 1-2, 1940, and 1.3" May 3-4, 1907.
  • Omaha, Neb.: Only four days with any measurable snow in May since 1881 (tops: 2" May 9, 1945).
  • Des Moines, Iowa: Had two separate snows on May 3 and May 15 in 1907 snowed again 10 years later May 3, 1917.
  • Kansas City: Only one measurable snow on record in May, also on May 3, 1907 (1.7").
  • St. Louis: Only two May snowfalls on record: 4" May 2, 1929, and 0.2" May 6, 1998.
  • Wichita, Kan.: No measurable snow ever recorded in the month of May!

"It is very difficult to get a major snowstorm in the lower elevations of the U.S. in May," said weather.com meteorologist Nick Wiltgen. "Even on May 1 you're only seven weeks away from the summer solstice, and with that comes strong sun and long days adding heat to the atmosphere.

"But if you can get some really cold air to pair up with a storm, there's usually plenty of moisture in the air by May so those rare snowstorms can happen."


Hoop Jr.

Start good from stall gate. Won easily second and third driving. HOOP JR., away well, opened up a clear advantage in the first three-sixteenths-mile, was taken in hand to make the pace under a steadying hold to the stretch, responded with much energy when called upon and won with something left. POT O' LUCK, away slowly, started up after reaching the final five furlongs, lost ground on the final turn but cut to the inside while closing fast and overtook AIR SAILOR and DARBY DIEPPE in swift succession near the end. DARBY DIEPPE bettered his position gradually from a sluggish start but weakened suddenly near the end. AIR SAILOR, forwardly placed on the outside from the start, rallied only mildly and faltered in the late stages. JEEP, always clear as he raced wide, did not respond when called upon. BYMEABOND, taken to the inside early, forced the early pace in hand, made a bold bid on the stretch turn but gave way steadily the last quarter. SEA SWALLOW had no mishap. FIGHTING STEP weakened after racing well to the final quarter and swerving in the last eighth. BURNING DREAM raced wide and never threatened. ALEXIS flattened out badly before going a mile. FOREIGN AGENT dropped out of contention on second turn.

Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, the “twin spires design”, and Churchill Downs Incorporated related trademarks are registered trademarks of Churchill Downs Incorporated.


US Air Operations in Europe Apr-May 1945

Post by David Thompson » 24 Jun 2003, 08:33

For those readers who would like to see what was the military justification for allied airstrikes in Europe toward the end of the war, here is a chronology of the US Army Air Force (USAAF) missions for April and May of 1945 -- I was unable to find a similar chronology for the RAF, RCAF, RAAF, RSAAF and other units under British command, so this is restricted to US operations:

USAAF Chronology:
COMBAT CHRONOLOGY OF THE US ARMY AIR FORCES - APR 1945
FTP SITES
1. ftp.rutgers.edu in directory pub/wwii/usaf
2. byrd.mu.wvnet.edu (129.71.32.152) in pub/history/military/airforce/ wwii_chronology

NOTE: A number in parenthesis after a target name indicates the number of bombers attacking.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Mission 921: 12 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany during the night without loss.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS
First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): Unit moves: HQ 64th Fighter Wing from Nancy, France to Edenkoben, Germany HQ 320th Bombardment Group (Medium), from Longvic Airfield, Dijon to Tavaux Airfield, Dole, France.
Ninth Air Force: No bomber operations due to weather. In Germany, fighters fly patrols, armed reconnaissance, and support the US 3d and 9th Armored Divisions in the Paderborn-Lippstadt and Warburg areas, the XX Corps astride and E of the Fulda River, and the XII Corps which reaches the Werra River W of Meiningen. The 72d Liaison Squadron, Ninth AF (attached to Sixth Army Group), moves from Kaiserlautern to Darmstadt, Germany with L-5s. During Apr 45, the following units move: HQ IX Fighter Command from Bruhl to Weimar, Germany HQ 9th Bombardment Division (Medium) from Reims, France to Namur, Belgium and HQ 99th Combat Bombardment Wing (Medium) from Beaumont, France to Tirlemont, Belgium.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): Almost 400 B-24s and B-17s bomb the Maribor, Yugoslavia railroad bridge, marshalling yards at Sankt Polten, Selzthal, Zeltweg, Graz, and Villach, Austria, the railroad bridge at Krieglach, Austria, and gun positions on the Adriatic coast near Venice, Italy 82 P-38s bomb the Ybbs, Austria railroad bridge while 52 P-51s strafe rail traffic in the Prague-Plzen, Czechoslovakia area other P-38s and P-51s fly reconnaissance and reconnaissance escort.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 31 Mar/1 Apr, A-20s and A-26s on intruder missions over the Po Valley continue to attack road and railroad bridges, motor transport, loading points, and other targets principal strikes are made at Po River bridges fighters and fighter-bombers during the day strike rail bridges, dumps, rail lines, marshalling yards, trains, vehicles, gun positions, several buildings (including an ammunition plant and truck factory), and a variety of targets of opportunity in the Po Valley and NE Italy medium bombers hit railroad bridges at Calcinato, Crema, Mantua, Monselice, Colle Isarco, San Ambrogio di Valpolicella, and Perea HQ 87th Fighter Wing is disbanded at Florence HQ 321st Bombardment Group (Medium) moves from Solenzara, Corsica to Falconara.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown.
Mission 922:
1. 447 B-17s, 261 B-24s and 572 P-47s and P-51s are dispatched against 6 airfields in Denmark but are recalled because of bad weather in the target area 1 B-17 and 1 P-47 (pilot MIA) are lost and 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair.
2. 26 of 27 P-51s fly a scouting mission without loss.
3. 15 P-51s escort 7 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.
Mission 923: During the night of 2/3 Apr, 9 of 10 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands, France and Germany without loss and 10 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions to Denmark without loss.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS
First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): Unit moves: HQ 358th Fighter Group from Toul, France to Sandhofen, Germany HQ 69th Tactical Reconnaissance Group and 22d and 111th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadrons from Nancy and Azelot, France respectively to Haguenau, France with F-6s 441st, 442d, 443d and 444th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 320th Bombardment Group (Medium), from Longvic Airfield, Dijon to Tavaux Airfield, Dole, France with B-26s.
Ninth Air Force: Weather prevents operations by the 9th Bombardment Division and XXIX Tactical Air Command (Provisional). In Germany, the IX and XIX Tactical Air Commands fly patrols and armed reconnaissance over wide expanses of Germany claiming 17 airplanes downed and the IX Tactical Air Command supports the US 9th Armored Division at the Diemel River bridgehead near Warburg. Unit moves: 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 10th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) (attached to 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group) from Euren to Ober Olm, Germany with F-6s 30th Photographic Reconnaissance and 109th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadrons, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, from Vogelsang to Limburg, Germany with F-5s and F-6s respectively 39th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Ninth AF [attached to 9th Tactical Reconnaissance Group (Provisional)] from Jarny, France to Maastricht, the Netherlands with F-5s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): Almost 600 B-24s and B-17s, with fighter escorts, bomb communications targets in Austria including the marshalling yards at Graz, Sankt Polten, and Krems, and a railroad bridge on the Sulm River 38 P-38s dive-bomb a railroad bridge at Wildon 71 P-38s and 55 P-51s strafe Vienna-Munich, Germany and Wiener-Neustadt-Maribor, Yugoslavia rail traffic others carry out photo and weather reconnaissance and reconnaissance escort flights.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): Major General Benjamin W Chidlaw takes command of the Twelfth AF and will shortly take over command of the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force (MATAF) also. In Italy, A-20s and A-26s continue intruder missions during the night of 1/2 Apr concentrating on Po River crossings and other Po Valley communications targets B-25s bomb railroad bridges at Fornovo di Taro, Drauburg, San Michele all' Adige, Matrei am Brenner, Steinach, and Colle Isarco, and a railroad fill at Vo Sinistro fighters and fighter-bombers again hit communications in the Po Valley but divert sizeable effort to attacks on methane plants in the C Po area the P-47s are attacked by about 40 fighters during the day, 13 are claimed destroyed HQ 340th Bombardment Group (Medium) moves from Alesan, Corsica to Rimini.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

AIRBORNE OPERATIONS (IX Troop Carrier Command): The 23d, 313th and 314th Troop Carrier Squadrons, 349th Troop Carrier Group, arrive at Barkston, England from the US with C-47s.

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 924: 752 B-17s and 569 P-51s are dispatched to hit U-boat yards at Kiel they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft 2 bombers and 4 fighters are lost:
1. 693 of 752 B-17s hit the Deutsche U-boat yard and 24 hit the Howardts U-boat yard 2 B-17s hit Flensburg Airfield a target of opportunity 2 B-17s are lost and 121 damaged 1 airman is WIA and 20 MIA. Escorting are 517 of 569 P-51s they claim 1-0-0 aircraft 2 P-51s are lost and 2 damaged beyond repair.
2. 98 of 100 P-51s fly a sweep of the Kiel area 1 is damaged beyond repair.
3. 4 P-51s escort 1 F-5 on a photo reconnaissance mission over Germany.
4. 17 of 18 P-51s fly a scouting mission 2 P-51s are lost.
Mission 925: 1 B-17 and 10 B-24s are dispatched to drop leaflets in the Netherlands, France and Germany during the night 1 returns to base.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS
First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): Unit moves in France: 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 69th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, from Nancy to Haguenau with F-6s (first mission is 17 Apr) 34th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, XII Tactical Air Command (attached to Provisional Reconnaissance Group), form Azelot to Haguenau with F-5s.
Ninth Air Force: In Germany, about 230 B-26s, A-20s and A-26s attack Holzminden and Hameln marshalling yards, the town of Gottingen, 2 targets of opportunity, and fly a leaflet mission fighters fly escort, fly patrols and armed reconnaissance, support the US 9th Armored Division in the Warburg area, the XX Corps E of the Werra River toward Muhlhausen and in the Kassel area, the XII Corps in the Gotha and Suhl areas, and the 2d and 8th Armored Divisions in the Teutoburger Forest and Neuhaus unit moves: HQ XXIX Tactical Air Command (Provisional) to Haltern HQ 84th and 303d Fighter Wings from Munchen-Gladbach to Haltern 14th Liaison Squadron, XIX Tactical Air Command (attached to Twelfth Army Group), from Oberstein to Berkersheim with L-5s
15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 10th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance), from Trier to Ober Olm with F-6s 507th and 508th Fighter Squadrons, 404th Fighter Group, from St Trond, Belgium to Keltz with P-47s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): 95 P-38s divebomb the Tainach-Stein railroad bridge in Austria other P-38s and P-51s fly reconnaissance and escort missions bad weather prevents bomber operations. HQ 325th Fighter Group and the 317th, 318th and 319th Fighter Squadrons move from Rimini to Mondolfo, Italy with P-51s.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 2/3 Apr A-20s bomb the marshalling yard at Mantua, several Po River crossings and other communications targets in the Po Valley weather hampers operations during the day medium bombers cancel most missions, but manage to bomb the Po Valley bridges at Camposanto, Usigliano, and Modena the XXII Tactical Air Command [including Brazilian and South African Air Force (SAAF) units] blast communications, fuel dumps, methane plants, trains, motor transport at numerous points in N Italy (mainly in the Po Valley), including Parma, Modena, Fidenza, Lodi, Bergamo, Reggio Emilia, and Piacenza. The detachment of the 414th Night Fighter Squadron, XXII Tactical Air Command, operating from Florennes, Belgium with Beaufighters, moves to Strossfeld, Germany.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 926: 1,431 bombers and 866 fighters are dispatched to hit airfields, a shipyard and a U-boat shipyard in Germany they claim 30-4-30 Luftwaffe aircraft 10 bombers and 4 fighters are lost.
1. 438 B-24s are sent to hit Parchim (33) and Perleberg (29) Airfields 97 hit Wesendorf Airfield, the secondary attacks are visual they claim 6-4-6 aircraft 6 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 76 damaged 1 airman is KIA and 59 MIA. Escorting are 324 P-47s and P-51s the P-47s claim 14-0-20 aircraft and the P-51s claim 9-0-3 aircraft 1 P-47 and 3 P-51s are lost.
2. 443 B-17s are sent to hit Fassberg Airfield (149) secondary targets hit are Hoya (37) and Dedelsdorf (13) Airfields targets of opportunity are Unterluss (39) and other (24) bombing is visual 1 B-17 is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 58 damaged 1 airman is KIA, 6 WIA and 4 MIA. The escort is 220 of 232 P-51s 1 is lost.
3. 505 of 526 B-17s hit the Deutsche shipyard at Kiel using H2X radar 2 others hit Eggebeck Airfield, a target of opportunity 3 B-17s are lost and 50 damaged 27 airmen are MIA. 208 of 223 P-51s without loss.
4. 22 of 24 B-17s fly a DISNEY mission attacking the Finkenwarder U-boat yard at Hamburg without loss.
5. 19 P-51s fly a scouting mission and claim 0-0-1 aircraft.
6. 25 P-51s escort 8 F-5s and 2 P-38s on photo and radar reconnaissance missions over Germany, claiming 1-0-0 aircraft.
7. 16 P-51s escort 1 OA-10 and 2 B-17s on air-sea-rescue patrols.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS
First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): The 405th Fighter Squadron, 371st Fighter Group, moves from Metz, France to Eschborn Airfield, Frankfurt, Germany with P-47s.
Ninth Air Force: HQ XXIX Tactical Air Command (Provisional) returns to the operational control of HQ Ninth AF (from the RAF Second Tactical AF) as the US Ninth Army reverts to control of the Twelfth Army Group (from the Twenty First Army Group) the British ground and air HQ have operationally controlled the XXIX Tactical Air Command and Ninth Army since shortly after the Ardennes breakthrough and the Battle of the Bulge.
In Germany, 330+ B-26s, A-20s and A-26s hit the Ebrach oil depot, Crailsheim marshalling yard and barracks area, Grossaspach supply depot, the town of Ellswangen, Backnang rail and road junction, and 2 targets of opportunity fighters escort the bombers, fly patrols, sweeps, and armed reconnaissance, attack special targets, and support the US 104th Infantry Division at Scherfede and Hardehausen, the 9th Armored Division in the Warburg area, the XX Corps in the Muhlhausen-Kassel areas, the 2d and 5th Armored Divisions in the Hameln and Minden areas on the Weser River, and the 8th Armored Division as it assaults the Ruhr pocket in the Lippstadt area. Units moving: the 107th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, from Vogelsang to Limburg, Germany with F-6s the 125th Liaison Squadron, IX Fighter Command (attached to Twelfth Army Group), from Munchen-Gladen to Haltern, Germany with L-5s the 155th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, from Le Culot, Belgium to Maastricht, the Netherlands with F-3s the 355th Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group, from Rosieres-en-Haye, France to Ober Olm, Germany with P-51s and the 494th, 495th and 496th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 344th Bombardment Group (Medium), from Cormeilles-en-Vexin, France to Juzaine Airfield, Florennes, Belgium with B-26s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

AAFMTO: HQ 90th Photographic Wing (Reconnaissance) begins a movement from San Severo, Italy to the US.

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): Again bad weather prevents bomber operations and limits efforts to reconnaissance and escort missions and to strafing attacks by 94 P-51s on rail traffic in the Munich and Regensburg, Germany Plzen, Czechoslovakia and Linz, and Gmunden, Austria areas.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, B-25s continue to blast communications along the Brenner rail line, ranging from the railroad bridge at Drauburg to the Camposanto railroad bridge the B-25s also inflict considerable damage on the Merano methanol plant P-47s concentrate on enemy movement, rail lines, and ammunition and fuel dumps throughout the Po Valley. The 489th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 340th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Alesan, Corsica to Rimini, Italy with B-25s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 928: 1,358 bombers and 662 fighters attack marshalling yards, ordnance depots, armament works and airfields in Germany they claim 8-0-6 aircraft 10 bombers and 1 P-51 are lost:
1. 436 B-17s are dispatched to hit munitions dumps at Ingolstadt (211) and Grafenwohr (94), and the marshalling yard at Bayreuth (73) targets of opportunity are Weiden (30) and Nurnberg (1) the attacks are made visually
1 B-17 is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 2 damaged 11 airmen are KIA and 2 WIA. Escorting are 182 of 201 P-51s they claim 0-0-1 aircraft in the air and 7-0-3 on the ground.
2. 397 B-24s are sent to hit the marshalling yard at Plauen (151) and the munitions dump at Bayreuth (39) targets of opportunity are the munitions dump at Grafenwohr (1) and munitions plant at Ingolstadt (1) bombing is with H2X radar 5 B-24s are lost and 5 damaged 1 airman is WIA and 44 MIA. 280 P-47s and P-51s escort they claim 1-0-2 aircraft in the air 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
3. 521 B-17s are sent to hit the Unterschlauersbach Airfield (59), an aircraft parts factory (13) and munitions depot (54) at Furth, and the Nurnberg S marshalling yard (37) 271 bombers hit the Nurnberg Station marshalling yard, the secondary bombing is visual 4 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 112 damaged 8 airmen are KIA, 7 WIA and 39 MIA. The escort is 91 of 104 P-51s.
4. 4 B-17s fly scouting missions.
5. 18 P-51s escort 5 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.
6. 35 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
Mission 929: 12 B-24s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS
First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): Unit moves: HQ 27th Fighter Group and 522d and 524th Fighter Squadrons from Ochey, France to Biblis, Germany with P-47s 406th Fighter Squadron, 371st Fighter Group from Metz, France to Eschborn Airfield, Frankfurt, Germany with P-47s 417th Night Fighter Squadron, 64th Fighter Wing [attached to First Tactical AF (Provisional)] from La Vallon to St Dizier, France with Beaufighters.
Ninth Air Force: Weather prevents operations by the 9th Bombardment Division. In Germany, fighters fly patrols, sweeps, and armed reconnaissance, and support the US 7th Armored Division's attack on the Ruhr pocket SW of Brilon, the XX Corps' drive E in the Muhlhausen area, the XII Corps' advance in the Meiningen area, the 2d Armored Division bridgehead astride the Weser River S of Hameln, the 8th Armored Division (preparing for an assault on Soest), and the 5th Armored Division near Minden. Units moving: HQ 10th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) and the 31st Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron from Evren Airfield, Trier to Ober Olm, Germany with F-5s HQ 344th
Bombardment Group (Medium) and the 497th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) from Cormeilles-en-Vexin, France to Juzaine Airfield, Florennes, Belgium with B-26s the 153d Liaison Squadron, IX Tactical Air Command (attached to Twelfth Army Group) from Bad Godesberg to Marburg, Germany with L-5s the167th Liaison Squadron, Ninth AF (attached to Sixth Army Group) from Vittel, France to Kaiserslautern, Germany with L-5s the 450th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 322d Bombardment Group (Medium), from Tille Airfield, Beauvais, France to Le Culot, Belgium with B-26s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): 457 B-24s and B-17s attack a railroad bridge at Dravograd, Yugoslavia, marshalling yards and locomotive depots at Brescia, Alessandria, and Turin, Italy, and the airfield at Udine, Italy 96 P-38s dive-bomb the Radovljica, Yugoslavia railroad bridge, 27 P-51s with 13 flying top cover, strafe rail communications in the Munich, Regensburg, and Passau, Germany, and Linz, Austria areas 20+ P-38s fly reconnaissance missions around 300 fighter sorties are flown to escort transport, reconnaissance, and bomber missions (including an RAF raid on the Monfalconei, Italy shipyards).

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): B-25s bomb 5 bridges in N Italy and Austria, at Steinach, Austria, and Matrei am Brenner, Modena, Salorno, and San Michele all'Adige, and blast gun positions at La Spezia, Italy these attacks follow night raids by A-20s and A-26s on bridges at Lavis, Ala, San Michele all'Adige, San Ambrogio di Valpolicella, Piazzola sul Brenta, Cittadella, and Montebello, Italy and other targets fighters and fighter bombers devote their largest effort to close support of ground forces, blasting occupied areas and gun positions in the Massa Lombarda area, and also attack communications and dumps in the Po Valley.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

AIRBORNE OPERATIONS (IX Troop Carrier Command): HQ 315th Troop Carrier Group and the 34th, 309th and 310th Troop Carrier Squadrons move from Stanhoe, England to Amiens, France with C-47s.

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Mission 930: 659 bombers hit rail targets in the Leipzig, Germany area using H2X radar 4 B-17s and 1 P-51 are lost:
1. 183 of 207 B-24s hit the marshalling yard at Halle 22 others hit Eisleben, a target of opportunity 3 B-24s are damaged. Escorting are 201 P-47s and P-51s.
2. 430 of 452 B-17s hit secondary targets, the main station and marshalling yard at Leipzig (321) and hit Gera (109) 11 others hit the marshalling yard at Halle 4 B-17s are lost and 2 damaged beyond repair 17 airmen are KIA, 1 WIA and 33 MIA. The escort is 392 of 410 P-51s 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
3. 26 of 27 P-51s fly scouting missions.
4. 11 P-51s escort 5 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions.
During the night, 3 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS
First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): The 523d Fighter Squadron, 27th Fighter Group, moves form Ochey Airfield, Toul, France to Biblis, Germany with P-47s.
Ninth Air Force: In Germany, 99 B-26s, A-20s and A-26s hit marshalling yards at Gottingen and Northeim and the city area of Herzberg, and drop leaflets over 3 city areas fighters fly escort, alerts, sweeps, and armed reconnaissance, and support the US VIII Corps in the Eisenach area, and the XX Corps E of the Werra River near Muhlhausen. Unit moves: 422d Night Fighter Squadron, IX Tactical Air Command, from Florennes, Belgium to Strassfeld, Germany with P-61s 451st Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 322d Bombardment Group (Medium), from Beauvais Airfield, Tille, France to Le Culot, Belgium with B-26s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): In Italy, 387 B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escort, bomb marshalling yard flak positions and an ordnance depot at Verona and a marshalling yard and small arms plant at Brescia 179 other bombers sent against targets in N Italy are recalled 81 P-38s dispatched to bomb a bridge in Austria abort due to weather 14 manage to attack bridges near the Austro-Italian border 6 P-51s (of 54 airborne) strafe railroad targets in the Straubing-Plattling, Germany area others fly reconnaissance missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): Brigadier General Thomas C Darcy takes command of the XXII Tactical Air Command.
In Italy, A-20s and A-26s on night intruder missions during the night of 5/6 Apr, bomb several bridges in the Po River Valley, scoring good results on 8 of the targets, also hitting an assembly area along the Po River XXII Tactical Air Command fighters and fighter-bombers hit lines of communications, mainly in the Po Valley, and support US Fifth Army forces attacking toward Massa Lombarda B-25s cancel missions against targets on the Brenner line due to weather, but hit 6 bridges in the C Po Valley and gun positions at La Spezia. The 446th and 448th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 321st Bombardment Group (Medium), move from Solenzara, Corsica to Falconara, Italy with B-25s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Mission 931: 1,314 bombers and 898 fighters are dispatched to hit airfields, oil and munitions depots and explosive plants in C and N Germany all primary targets are bombed visually they meet 100+ conventional fighters and 50+ jets the German fighters attack fiercely and in the ensuing air battle down 15 heavy bombers the AAF claims 104-13-32 aircraft including a few jets:
1. 529 B-17s are sent to hit airfields at Kaltenkirchen (143) and Parchim (134), an oil depot at Buchen (36) and a munitions depot at Gustrow (104) secondary targets hit are the marshalling yards at Neumunster (37) and Schwerin (48) 1 other hit Salzwedel Airfield, a target of opportunity they claim 26-10-10 aircraft 14 B-17s are lost and 117 damaged 1 airman is KIA, 5 WIA and 117 MIA. Escorting are 317 of 338 P-51s they claim 31-1-8 aircraft 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.
2. 340 B-24s are dispatched to hit explosive plants at Krummel (128) and Duneburg (168) 26 others hit the marshalling yard at Neumunster they claim 14-2-6 aircraft 3 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 44 damaged 6 airmen are KIA, 7 WIA and 25 MIA. The escort is 252 P-47s and P-51s they claim 30-0-7 aircraft 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond
repair.
3. 442 B-17s are sent to attack airfields at Wesendorf (107) and Kohlenbissen (93) and an oil depot at Hitzacker (115) 92 hit Lundeburg, the secondary targets of opportunity are Fassberg Airfield (12) and the marshalling yard at Uelzen (13) they claim 0-0-1 aircraft 27 B-17s are damaged 1 airman is KIA and 3 WIA. 209 of 222 P-51s escort without loss.
4. 3 of 4 B-17s and 29 P-51s fly scouting missions.
5. 23 of 25 P-51s escort 12 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.
The 374th and 376th Fighter Squadrons, 361st Fighter Group, move from Chievres, Belgium to Little Walden, England with P-51s.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS
First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): Unit moves from France to Germany: HQ 63d Fighter Wing from Vittel to Heidelberg HQ 371st Fighter Group and 404th Fighter Squadron from Metz to Eschborn Airfield, Frankfurt with P-47s 365th Fighter Squadron, 358th Fighter Group from Toul to Sandhofen with P-47s.
Ninth Air Force: In Germany, 268 A-20s, A-26s and B-26s strike marshalling yards at Northeim and Gottingen, plus 2 town areas fighters fly escort, patrols, and armed reconnaissance, and support the US 7th Armored Division at Schmallenberg, the 3d and 9th Armored Divisions along the Weser River E of Warburg, the VIII, XII, and XX Corps in the Muhlhausen, Eisenach, and Meiningen areas (including strong air support against a counterattack on the XII and XX Corps at Struth), the 2d Armored Division along the Sarstedt-Hildesheim road, and the XVI Corps between the Lippe and Ruhr Rivers in the Essen area. The 353d Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group, moves from Rosieres-en-Haye, France to Ober Olm, Germany with P-51s

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): 128 B-17s and B-24s attack the Mezzocorona railroad bridge and nearby road bridge, and the Verona-Parona di VaIpolicella railroad bridge in Italy, and marshalling yards at Innsbruck, Sankt Veit an der Glan, and Klagenfurt, Austria 500+ bombers return to base without bombing because of multi-layer clouds 82 P-38s bomb the Tainach-Stein railroad bridge in Austria 74 others sent against a bridge in S Austria abort due to weather.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, during the night of 6/7 Apr, A-20s and A-26s bomb bridges at Lavis, Ala, Rovereto, and San Ambrogio di VaIpolicella, and several Po River crossings during the day weather grounds the medium bombers XXII Tactical Air Command fighters and fighter bombers, operating on a limited scale, hit the Montechino oilfield, ammunition dumps and communications targets N of the battle area, and gun positions in the Monte Belvedere-Strettoia area in which US Fifth Army forces push N. Units moving from Corsica to Italy: HQ 57th Bombardment Wing and HQ 310th Bombardment Group (Medium) with the 380th, 381st and 428th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) from Ghisonaccia to Fano with B-25s the 486th, 487th and 488th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 340th Bombardment Group (Medium), from Alesan to Rimini with B-25s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 3 missions are flown. Mission 932: 1,173 bombers and 794 fighters attack various targets in Germany 9 bombers and 1 fighter are lost:
1. 339 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Derben oil depot (31) and Schafstadt Airfield (73) secondary targets hit are the Stendal marshalling yard workshops (73) and the marshalling yard at Halberstadt (218) Derben is hit visually and the others targets visually and with H2X radar 4 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 55 damaged 1 airman is KIA, 5 WIA and 35 MIA. Escorting are 239 of 252 P-51s.
2. 522 B-17s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yards at Plauen (86), Hof (101) and Eger (111) and an ordnance depot at Grafenwohr (203) the attacks are made visually and with H2X radar 5 B-17s are lost and 58 damaged 1 airman is KIA, 1 WIA and 43 MIA. 235 of 246 P-51s escort.
3. 302 B-24s are sent to hit the munitions depot at Bayreuth (51), the Blumenthal jet aircraft factory at Furth (89) and the Unterschlauersbach (57) and Roth (91) Airfields visually 39 B-24s are damaged. The escort is 245 P-47s and P-51s 1 P-47 is lost (pilot MIA).
4. 10 B-17s fly a screening mission.
5. 28 P-51s fly a scouting mission 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.
6. 16 P-51s escort 19 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.
Mission 933: 11 B-24s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.
Mission 934: 12 B-24s bomb the Travemunde port area using PFF methods during the night.
The 13th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance), moves from Mount Farm to Chalgrove, England with F-5s.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS
First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): The 367th Fighter Squadron, 358th Fighter Group, moves form Toul, France to Sandhofen, Germany with P-47s.
Ninth Air Force: In Germany, around 620 A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s bomb the Munchenbernsdorf oil storage depot, the Sonderhausen communications center, Nienhagen oil refinery, Celle marshalling yard, and 8 city areas fighters escort the bombers, attack an airfield, fly patrols and armed reconnaissance, and operate in conjunction with the US VIII, XII, and XX Corps in the Thuringer Forest and Erfurt areas. Unit moves in Germany: HQ IX Tactical Air Command from Bruhl to Lahn Airfield, Marburg HQ 36th Fighter Group and the 22d and 23d Fighter Squadrons from Aachen to Niedermennig with P-47s HQ 354th Fighter Group and 356th Fighter Squadron from Rosieres-en-Haye, France to Ober Olm with P-51s HQ 362d Fighter Group and 379th Fighter Squadron from Rouvres, France to Frankfurt with P-47s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): 500+ B-24s and B-17s, with fighter escorts, attack communications in N Italy, concentrating on the transportation system feeding into the Brenner Pass bridges, viaducts, and marshalling yards are hit at or near Bressanone, Campodazzo, Vipiteno, Fortezza, Campo di Trens, Mezzocorona, Avisio, Brescia, Gorizia, Pordenone, and Ponte Gardena a power dam at Ponte Gardena is also hit 168 P-38s bomb the Rattenberg, Austria and Garmisch, Germany railroad bridges and strafe rail traffic in the Munich, Germany and Salzburg and Linz, Austria areas.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 7/8 Apr, A-20s and A-26s hit command posts and dumps medium bombers, despite bad weather bomb railroad bridges at Salorno, San Michele all' Adige, Vo Sinistro, and Bondeno, a railroad fill and canal at Salorno, and gun positions at La Spezia XXII Tactical Air Command fighter-bombers concentrate their efforts on the Brenner area communications (cutting lines in 31 places and damaging 4 bridges), oil fields in the C Po Valley, and points further N the 445th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 321st Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Solenzara, Corsica to Falconara with B-25s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 3 missions are flown. Mission 935: 1,252 bombers and 846 fighters are dispatched to visually attack underground oil storage, an ammunition plant and 10 jet airfields they claim 85-1-60 Luftwaffe aircraft 7 bombers and 5 fighters are lost:
1. 333 B-17s are sent to hit a munitons plant at Wolfratshausen (76) and Oberpfaffenhofen (107) and Furstenfeldbruck (139) Airfields 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 12 damaged 1 airman is WIA. Escorting are 137 of 146 P-51s they claim 4-0-10 aircraft on the ground.
2. 289 B-17s are sent to attack an oil depot (89) and airfield (66) at Neuburg and Schleissheim Airfield (128) 3 B-17s are lost and 42 damaged 2 airmen are KIA, 5 WIA and 56 MIA. The escort is 193 of 203 P-51s they claim 1-0-3 aircraft in the air and 70-0-37 on the ground 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
3. 228 B-17s are dispatched to hit Riem Airfield at Munich (212) 10 others hit the secondary, the marshalling yard at Ingolstadt 3 B-17sa re lost. 149 of 151 P-51s escort they claim 6-0-4 aircraft on the ground 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
4. 402 B-24s are sent to hit airfields at Lechfeld (109), Memmingen (96), Leipheim (88) and Landsberg (62) and Landsberg E landing ground (33) 1 B-24 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 7 damaged 2 airmen are KIA, 1 WIA and 9 MIA. 193 of 205 P-51s escort claiming 4-0-5 aircraft on the ground.
5. 58 P-47s fly a freelance mission in support of the bombers.
6. 58 P-51s escort 32 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.
7. 24 of 25 P-51s fly scouting missions 1 is lost (pilot MIA).
Mission 936: 10 of 11 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and France during the night.
Mission 937: 14 B-24s bomb Stade Airfield during the night using PFF methods 5 Mosquito's escort the bombers.
HQ 361st Fighter Group moves from Chievres, Belgium to Little Walden, England.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS
First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): The 366th Fighter Squadron, 358th Fighter Group, moves from Toul, France to Sandhofen, Germany with P-47s.
Ninth Air Force: In Germany, 700+ A-20s, A-26s and B-26s strike marshalling yards at Jena and Saalfeld, oil targets at Bad Berka and Dedenhausen, ordnance depots at Naumburg and Amberg-Kummersbruck, and several targets of opportunity fighters escort the bombers, attack several airfields and a fuel storage facility, fly area patrols and armed reconnaissance, and support the III Corps along the Lenne River, the 3d Armored Division E of the Weser River toward Nordhausen, the VIII Corps in the Arnstadt area and the XII and XX Corps in the Thuringer Forest and around Erfurt. Unit moves: HQ 386th Bombardment Group (Medium) and 553d and 555th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) from Beaumont-sur-Oise, France to St Trond, Belgium iwht B-26s
107th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, from Limburg to Eschwege, Germany with F-6s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): In Italy, 825 B-24s and B-17s in close coordination with the British Eighth Army, pound gun positions and other forward military targets SE of Bologna, in the area immediately W and SW of Lugo 88 P-51s provide target cover. 150+ P-38s bomb and strafe railroad bridges at Rattenberg, Seefeld, and Telfs, Austria and Rosenheim, Germany, and to the S near the Austro-German border, and also hit rail lines in the Munich-Rosenheim, Germany area. 90+ P-51s escort supply (to N Italy) and transport missions and support MATAF aircraft attacking positions in the Imola, Italy area other airplanes continue reconnaissance operations.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, A-20s and A-26s on intruder missions during the night of 8/9 Apr, bomb bridges, vehicles, and targets of opportunity in the Po River Valley and NE Italy during the day B-25s and XXII Tactical Air Command fighter-bombers [in conjunction with RAF Desert Air Force (DAF) fighter-bombers and Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Force (MASAF) heavy bombers] blast gun positions, troop concentrations, enemy HQ, and strongroupoints in the Lugo-Imola area in support of a British Eighth Army offensive other XXII Tactical Air Command fighter-bombers bit communications in N Italy (including the Brenner line) and methane plant and ammunition and fuel dumps in the W C Po Valley.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 3 missions are flown. Mission 938: 1,315 bombers and 905 fighters are dispatched to attack airfields known or suspected to be used by jet aircraft about 60 jets and a few conventional fighters attack the formations 19 bombers and 8 fighters are lost the AAF claims 328-4-249 Luftwaffe aircraft:
1. 442 B-17s are sent to hit the Army HQ munitions depot (278) and airfield (139) at Oranienburg 11 hit Rechlin Airfield, the secondary they claim 7-1-8 aircraft 9 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 50 damaged 1 airman is KIA and 84 MIA. Escorting are 273 of 289 P-51s they claim 11.5-0-8 aircraft in the air and 56-0-32 on the ground 4 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
2. 132 of 144 B-17s hit Neuruppin Airfield 9 others hit the marshalling yard at Stendal, the secondary 1 B-17 is lost and 44 damaged. The escort is 112 of 117 P-51s claiming 128-0-94 aircraft on the ground 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
3. 372 B-17s are sent to hit the Briest Airfield at Brandenburg (138), and Zerbst (75) and Burg-Bei-Magdeburg (147) Airfields they claim 10-3-4 aircraft 8 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 160 damaged total losses for forces 2. and 3. are 1 KIA, 7 WIA and 80 MIA. 172 of 175 P-51s escort they claim 6-0-2 aircraft in the air and 84-0-43 on the ground 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
4. 357 B-24s hit Rechlin Airfield (159), Larz Airfield at Rechlin (103) and Parchim Airfield (32) 9 others hit the marshalling yard at Wittenberge, a target of opportunity 1 B-24 is lost 4 airmen are WIA and 11 MIA. The escort is 207 of 220 P-51s they claim 1-0-1 aircraft in the air and 20-0-21 on the ground.
5. 59 of 62 P-47s fly a freelance mission for the bombers they claim 2-0-2 aircraft in the air and 41-0-66 on the ground.
6. 15 P-51s escort 20 of 21 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.
7. 30 P-51s fly a scouting mission 1 is lost (pilot MIA).
Mission 939: 12 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands, France and Germany during the night.
Mission 940: 13 of 14 B-24s bomb the Dessau rail depot by PFF methods during the night.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 423 A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s strike oil storage and ordnance depots, rail bridge and viaduct (all primary targets) and several other targets including a marshalling yard and an industrial area fighters escort the bombers, fly patrols, rail cutting operations, and armed reconnaissance, and support the US 13th Armored Division crossing the Sieg River near Siegburg, the 3d Armored Division approaching Nordhausen, the 9th Armored Division in the Hain area, the XII Corps near Coburg, the XX Corps W of Weimar and the Saale River, the 2d and 5th Armored Divisions crossing the Oker River in the Ahnsen and Schladen areas, and the XVI Corps along the Ruhr River in the Essen area. Unit moves:
HQ 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group and 30th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron from Limburg an der Lahn to Eschwege, Germany with F-5s HQ 367th Fighter Group and 393d Fighter Squadron from Conflans, France to Eschborn Airfield, Frankfurt, Germany with P-47s 388th Fighter Squadron, 365th Fighter Group, from Aachen to Fritzlar, Germany with P-47s and 552d and 554th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 386th Bombardment Group (Medium), from Beaumont-sur-Oise, France to St Trond, Belgium with B-26s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): 648 B-24s and B-17s, in support of British Eighth Army forces, blast artillery positions, machinegun nests, and infantry defenses along the Santerno River in Italy this effort represents the largest number of Fifteenth AF heavy bombers attacking targets in a single day as of this date 88 P-51s fly target cover. 152 P-38s dive-bomb bridges, a tunnel and marshalling yards at Seefeld and Worgl, Austria.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 9/10 Apr, A-20s and A-26s hit guns and other close support targets along the British Eighth Army front (which stretches from W of Imola to Comacchio Lagoon and the coast) and also hit several Po River crossings and attack the Brenner line bridges at Lavis, Rovereto, and San Michele all'Adige during the day B-25s and XXII Tactical Air Command fighter-bombers continue pounding support targets along the battlefront fighter-bombers also attack bridges on the Brenner line and communications and other targets in the Po Valley.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 941: 1,303 bombers and 913 fighters are dispatched to hit a variety of targets in Germany 1 B-17 is lost:
1. 445 B-17s are sent to hit the Freiham oil depot (300) and Kraiburg munitions plant (133) secondary targets hit are the munitions depot at Landshut (1) and the marshalling yard at Treuchtlingen (1) 1 B-17 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 15 damaged 1 airman is WIA and 10 MIA. Escorting are 273 of 294 P-51s.
2. 509 B-17s are sent to hit the munitions depot (28) and marshalling yard (82) at Landshut the airfield (131) and marshalling yard (79) at Ingolstadt and the marshalling yards at Treuchtlingen (70) and Donauworth (108) no losses or casualties. The escort is 281 of 294 P-51s.
3. 346 B-24s are dispatched to hit Obertraubling Airfield (79), a munitions depot (31) and an oil depot (80) at Regensburg, and the marshalling yards at Neumarkt (71) and Amberg (73) 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair and 5 damaged 22 airmen are KIA. 211 P-47s and P-51s escort.
4. 3 B-17s and 28 of 29 P-51s fly scouting missions.
5. 52 P-51s fly a freelance sweep over Regensburg.
6. 28 P-51s escort 10 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.
Mission 942: 9 B-24s drop leaflets in Germany during the night and 11 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions in Denmark.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 689 A-20s, A-26s and B-26s strike marshalling yards at Bernburg, Oschersleben, Zwickau, and Kothen, the Naumburg ordnance depot, Bamberg motor transport plant, and several other targets fighters escort the bombers, fly patrols, sweeps, a leaflet mission, and armed reconnaissance (claiming 43 aircraft shot down), and support the US 3d and 9th Armored Divisions in the Nordhausen and Ringleben-Sachsenburg-Rothenberga areas, the 2d Armored Division as it reaches the Elbe River S of Magdeburg in a record drive of 57 miles (92 km), the XVI Corps along the Ruhr River at Witten, the XX Corps as it crosses the Saale River at Weimar and overruns the Buchenwald concentration camp and Allied prisoner camp nearby, the XII Corps in the Coburg-Rottenbach area, and the VIII Corps as it approaches the Saale River S of Weimar. Unit moves in Germany: HQ 366th Fighter Group from Assche, Belgium to Handorf Airfield, Munster the 14th Liaison Squadron, XIX Tactical Air Command (attached to Twelfth Army Group), from Berkersheim to Hersfeld with L-5s and the 392d and 394th Fighter Squadrons, 367th Fighter Group, from Conflans, France to Eschborn Airfield, Frankfurt with P-47s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): 544 B-24s and B-17s hit communications in N Italy, concentrating on the transportation system feeding into the Brenner area, in an effort to hamper the enemy's supply and escape routes the bombers bomb bridges at Padua, Vipiteno, Campodazzo, Ponte
Gardena, and Campo di Trens, marshalling yards at Bronzolo and Ora, a vehicle repair shop at Osoppo, and a fuel depot at Goito. 40 P-38s dive-bomb the Rosenheim, Germany railroad bridge. 40 other P-38s and 29 P-51s strafe rail traffic in the Munich and Regensburg, Germany Plzen, Czechoslovakia and
Linz and Salzburg, Austria areas. 250+ fighters escort the bomber missions, reconnaissance and supply missions, and operations against N Italian targets by MATAF aircraft.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 10/11 Apr, A-20s and A-26s bomb bridges at Lavis, Ala, Rovereto, San Michele all'Adige, and San Ambrogio di Valpolicella, and hit vehicles, Po River crossings and targets of opportunity in the Po Valley medium bombers continue to support British Eighth Army forces between Imola and Comacchio Lagoon, bomb guns SE of La Spezia in front of the US Fifth Army advance, and bomb 4 bridges on the Brenner line XXII Tactical Air Command fighter-bombers also fly support on the Eighth Army front, and hit communications (including the Brenner line) and fuel and ammunition dumps in the N.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 95 of 99 P-51s escort Ninth AF B-26s in an attack on an ordnance depot.
Mission 944: During the night of 12/13 Apr, 9 of 10 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany and 6 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions in Denmark.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 167 A-20s, A-26s and B-26s attack the Hof rail bridge, Kempten ordnance depot, and Goppingen marshalling yard, plus a town area and a casual target of opportunity 275+ planes abort because of weather fighters escort the bombers, attack the town of Kothen, fly armed reconnaissance and sweeps over wide areas and support ground forces fighters also support the US III, XVI, and XVIII Corps as they continue to reduce the Ruhr pocket, the 9th Armored Division on the Saale River near Werben and Bad Lauchstadt, the XX Corps from the Saale River N and S of Jena E across the Weisse Elster River, the VIII Corps along the Saale further S of Jena, the XII Corp SE of Coburg on the Hasslach River, the 2d Armored Division across the Elbe River near Randau S of Magdeburg, the 5th Armored Division on the W bank of the Elbe at Wittenberge, and the XVI Corps as it continues fighting in the Duisburg and Dortmund areas. Unit moves in Germany: HQ 404th Fighter Group and 506th Fighter Squadron from Keltz to Fritzlar with P-47s the 109th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, from Limburg to Eschwege with F-6s the 125th Liaison Squadron, IX Fighter Command (attached to Twelfth Army Group), from Haltern to Gutersloh with L-5s the 386th Fighter Squadron, 365th Fighter Group, from Aachen to Fritzlar with P-47s the 425th Night Fighter Squadron, XIX Tactical Air Command, from Etain, France to Frankfurt with P-61s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): 400+ B-17s and B-24s hit communications in N Italy and S Austria, attacking railroad bridges at Padua, Ponte di Piave and Nervesa della Bataglia, Italy, and Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria, an ammunition dump at Malcontenta, and supply dump at Peschiera del Garda, Italy 124 P-51s provide escort. 123 P-38s bomb railroad bridges at Unzmarkt and Arnoldstein, Austria 128 B-24s, with P-51 escort, sent against N Italian communications abort due to bad weather. 38 P-51s escort MATAF B-25s on raids in N Yugoslavia.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 11/12 Apr, A-20s and A-26s hit Po River crossings medium bombers, restricted by low clouds, bomb approaches to the Maribor, Yugoslavia bridge, hit targets along the Brenner rail line, and support the British Eighth Army in the
Argenta area fighter-bombers attack NE Italian railroad lines, including fuel dumps and communications targets in the Po Valley.
FRIDAY, 13 APRIL 1945

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 3 missions are flown.
Mission 945: The AAF claims 284-0-220 Luftwaffe aircraft.
1. 212 B-17s, escorted by 256 of 278 P-51s, attack the marshalling yard at Neumunster visually 2 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 3 damaged
8 airmen are KIA, 3 WIA and 17 MIA. The escort claims 137-0-83 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air 6 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
2. 97 P-47s and P-51s fly a freelance mission in support of the bombers they claim 147-0-137 aircraft on the ground 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost both pilots are MIA.
3. 8 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
4. 11 of 13 P-51s escort 10 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.
Mission 946: 10 of 12 B-24s bomb the Beizenburg rail junction during the night without loss.
Mission 947: During the night, 10 of 11 B-24s drop leaflets in France and Germany and 1 of 4 B-24s completes a CARPETBAGGER mission to Denmark. The 328th Fighter Squadron, 352d Fighter Group, moves from Chievres, Belgium to Bodney, England with P-51s.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Ninth Air Force): In Germany, a special mission is flown by IX Tactical Air Command fighter-bombers against the HQ of Field Marshall Walter Model's Army Group B at Haus Waldesruh in the Ruhr pocket the air attack is followed by an artillery barrage as a result the HQ is moved to Haan IX Tactical Air Command pilots sight Soviet fighters in the air for the first time weather grounds the 9th Bombardment Division fighters fly patrols and armed reconnaissance, and support the US XVIII Corps in the Huckeswagen and Hagen areas, the III Corps between the Ruhr and Honne Rivers, the 3d Armored Division on the Saale River in the Alsleben, Nelben and Friedeburg area, the XX Corps astride and between the Weisse Eister and Zwickauer Mulde Rivers N of Gera, the XVI Corps NW of Hagen, the 2d Armored Division in the Elbenau-Grunwalde area, and the 5th Armored Division along the Elbe River in the Tangermunde area. P-47 units moving to Fritzlar Germany: HQ 365th Fighter Group and 387th Fighter Squadron from Aachen the 507th Fighter Squadron, 404th Fighter Group, from Keltz.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): Bad weather limits operations to reconnaissance and escort missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, B-25s are restricted by weather to 1 mission, an attack on a road bridge at Mollinella fighter bombers continue to hit communications and dumps in the Po Valley and guns in the La Spezia area during the night of 12/13 Apr, A-20s and A-26s attack Po
River crossings at San Benedetto Po, Ostiglia, Piacenza, and Casalmaggiore bridges at San Ambrogio di Valpolicella, and motor transport and targets of opportunity in the Milan area.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 3 missions are flown. Mission 948: 1,167 bombers are dispatched without escort to visually attack enemy pockets on the French Gironde estuary 2 B-24s are lost other Allied AFs and French naval units attack similar targets the air attacks precede a ground assault by a French detachment of the Sixth Army Group on the defense pockets which deny the Allies use of port facilities in the Bordeaux area:
1. 480 of 490 B-17s hit 15 strongpoints and flak batteries in the Bordeaux/ Royan, Pointe Coubre and Pointe Grave areas 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged 1 airman is WIA.
2. 315 of 336 B-24s hit 12 strongpoints and flak batteries in the same area as Force 1 2 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged 18 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 12 MIA.
3. 338 of 341 B-17s attack 4 strongpoints and flak batteries in the Bordeaux/Royan area without loss.
4. 31 P-47s and P-51s fly scouting missions.
5. 9 of 11 P-51s escort 8 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Royan and Germany.
Mission 949: 10 of 11 B-24s drop leaflets in Germany, the Netherlands and France during the night.
Mission 950: An experimental bombing operation is flown by a Mosquito and B-24s against Neuruppin Airfield, Germany the mission is unsuccessful. 1 of 4 B-24s completes a CARPETBAGGER mission to Denmark during the night. HQ 352d Fighter Group and the 486th and 487th Fighter Squadrons move from Chievres, Belgium to Bodney, England with P-51s.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 18 B-26s fly a leaflet mission in the Ruhr area fighters fly patrols, sweeps, and armed reconnaissance, and support the US 3d Armored Division SW of the Elbe/Mulde River junction near Dessau, the 9th Armored Division in the Borna and Lobstadt area, XX Corps elements which continue to arrive at the Zwickauer Mulde River, the VIII Corps along the Weisse Elster River S of Gera, XII Corps elements in the Bayreuth area, the 2d and 5th Armored Divisions along the Elbe River in the Barby-Magdeburg and Tangermunde areas. Units moving in Germany: HQ XXIX Tactical Air Command (Provisional) to Gutersloh HQ 84th and HQ 303d Fighter Wings from Haltern to Gutersloh HQ 100th Fighter Wing from Metz, France to Konigstein 167th Liaison Squadron, Ninth AF (attached to Sixth Army Group) from Kaiserslautern to Pfaffengrund with L-5s the 377th and 378th Fighter Squadrons, 362d Fighter Group from Rouvres, France to Frankfurt with P-47s the 389th and 390th Fighter Squadrons, 366th Fighter Group, from Asch, Belgium to Handorf Airfield, Munster with P-47s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): 318 B-17s and B-24s hit ammunition factories at Avigliana, Spilimbergo, Malcontenta, and Palmanova, and a motor transport depot at Osoppo, Italy and the Klagenfurt, Austria marshalling yard as a target of opportunity 158 fighters provide escort 29 P-38s bomb and strafe railroad targets in the Munich and Regensburg, Germany-Linz, Austria areas 54 P-51s fly escort for MATAF B-25s bombing targets in N Italy.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 13/14 Apr, A-20s and A-26s continue to hit communications in the Po Valley bad weather over the N part of the Brenner line prevents medium bomber attacks but the B-25s hit alternates on the S part of line at Salorno, San Ambrogio di Valpolicella, and Chiusaforte, bomb guns SE of La Spezia in support of the US Fifth Army, and hit 5 defensive positions along the British Eighth Army front in the Argenta area fighter-bombers concentrate on supporting Fifth Army forces SW of Bologna.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 3 missions are flown. Mission 951: 1,348 unescorted bombers are dispatched to visually attack strongpoints on the French Atlantic coast the first two forces below make the sole operational employment of napalm bomb by the Eighth AF against German ground installations (pillboxes, gunpits, tank trenches, and heavy gun emplacements) the results are negligible and HQ recommends its discontinuance against this type of target:
1. 492 of 529 B-17s hit four strongpoints and flak batteries in the Royan area 5 B-17s are damaged.
2. 341 of 359 B-24s hit six strongpoints and flak batteries in the Royan area 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 3 damaged 2 airmen are KIA.
3. 442 of 457 B-17s hit 9 strongpoints and flak batteries in the Bordeaux/ Royan, Pointe Grave and Pointe Courbre area without loss.
4. 3 B-17s and 20 P-51s fly scouting missions.
5. 107 of 109 P-51s support Ninth AF B-26s 1 is lost (pilot MIA).
6. 6 of 7 P-51s escort 6 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Royan and Germany.
Mission 952: 1 Mosquito and 9 B-24s abort a mission to Lechfeld Airfield during the night.
Mission 953: 10 of 11 B-24s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 258 B-26s and A-26s bomb marshalling yards at Gunzburg and Ulm (primary targets) and several other targets including 3 marshalling yards fighters escort the bombers, fly patrols and armed reconnaissance, and support the US 3d Armored Division near Dessau and across the Mulde River near Torten, the 9th Armored Division along the Mulde NW of Borna, the VIII Corps along Weisse Elster River between Gera and Plauen, the XX Corps astride the Mulde NE of Chemnitz (where the 6th Armored Division awaits Red Army forces), and the 2d Armored Division on the Elbe River near Magdeburg. Unit moves in Germany: HQ 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Group from Venlo, the Netherlands to Gutersloh HQ 368th Fighter Group and 395th and 396th Fighter Squadrons from Metz, France to Frankfurt-am-Main with P-47s HQ 406th Fighter Group and 512th, 513th and 514th Fighter Squadrons from Assche, Belgium to Handorf with P-47s 72d Liaison Squadron, Ninth AF (attached to Sixth Army Group) from Darmstadt to Kitzingen with L-5s 153d Liaison Squadron, IX Tactical Air Command (attached to Twelfth Army Group) from Marburg to Bad Wildungen with L-5s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): In Italy, 830 B-17s and B-24s, in support of the US Fifth Army, blast gun positions, supply dumps, troop concentrations, maintenance installations, and German HQ along highways leading from Bologna 145 P-38s furnish escort another force of 312 B-17s and B-24s bomb rail diversion bridges at Nervesa della Battaglia, Ponte di Piave, and Casarsa della Delizia, and an ammunition factory and stores at Ghedi 191 P-51s provide escort. 36 P-38s and 36 P-51s strafe rail communications in the area bounded by Munich, Germany, Salzburg and Linz, Austria, Plzen, Czechoslovakia, and Regensburg, Germany 12 of the P-38s skipbomb rail targets in the Salzburg-Linz, Austria area, including the Vocklabruck marshalling yard 8 P-38s furnish top cover for the strafing missions. 128 P-51s provide uneventful escort for MATAF bombers on 3 missions to N Italy. Other P-38s and P-51s carry out reconnaissance and reconnaissance escort operations. Today's effort is the largest of World War II by the Fifteenth AF (most fighters and bombers dispatched and attacking, and the largest bomb tonnage dropped) during a 24-hour period 1,142 heavy bombers bomb targets.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 14/15 Apr, A-20s and A-26s concentrate on communications targets in the Po Valley, particularly the Po River crossings during the day medium bombers and fighter-bombers concentrate on direct support of the US Fifth and British Eighth Army drives, hitting troop concentrations, guns, strongpoints, and a variety of targets in areas S of Bologna, around Medicina and Sasso Marconi and at other points in battle areas.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 3 missions are flown. Mission 954: In the afternoon, 1,252 bombers and 913 fighters are dispatched to attack rail targets in Germany they claim 727-0-373 Luftwaffe aircraft 1 B-24 and 31 fighters are lost.
1. 273 of 306 B-24s bomb the marshalling yard at Landshut 1 B-24 is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 8 damaged 7 airmen are MIA. Escorting are 299 P-47s and P-51s they claim 228-0-109 aircraft on the ground 1 P-47 and 16 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
2. 454 B-17s are sent to hit the marshallling yard (148), East rail bridge (72) and West rail bridge (74) at Regensburg, the Platting marshalling yard (77) and rail bridge at Straubing (76) 2 B-17s are damaged. The escort is 240 of 262 P-51s they claim 2-0-0 aircraft in the air and 86-0-66 on the ground 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
3. 286 of 298 P-51s fly a freelance mission in support of the bombers attacking 40+ landing grounds in Germany and Czechoslovakia they claim 1-0-1 aircraft in the air and 410-0-198 on the ground 9 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
4. 19 of 22 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
5. 16 P-51s escort 10 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
Mission 955: During the morning, 485 of 489 B-17s bomb the tank ditch defense line at Pointe de Grave on the S side of the Gironde estuary in the Bordeaux area in support of the ground assault in that area 14 B-17s are damaged.
Mission 956: During the night, 11 of 12 B-24s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS
First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): The 526th Fighter Squadron, 86th Fighter Group, moves from Tantonville, France to Braunschardt, Germany with P-47s.
Ninth Air Force: In Germany, about 450 A-20s, A-26s and B-26s bomb the Zerbst communications center, Gunzenhausen marshalling yard, Kempten ordnance depot, and Wittenberg marshalling yard and gun positions the IX Tactical Air Command's fighters claim 25 air victories during the day as they escort the bombers, fly patrols, area cover, and armed reconnaissance, attack airfields and other targets, and support the US 3rd Armored Division SW of Dessau, the 9th Armored Division in the Bennewitz-Colditz area along the Mulde River, the XX Corps which remains at the Zwickauer Mulde River bridgehead NE of Chemnitz, the VIII Corps crossing the Weisse Elster River between Gera and Plauen, the 2d Armored Division on the Elbe River near Magdeburg, the XIX Corps E of Barby, and the V Corps near Leipzig the 354th Fighter Group (the pioneer P-51 group of the Ninth AF) claims its 900th air victory. Unit moves:
HQ 391st Bombardment Group (Medium) and 572d Bombardment Squadron (Medium) from Amy Airfield, Roye, France to Assche, Belgium with B-26s 33d Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Group, from Venlo, the Netherlands to Gutersloh, Germany with F-5s the 160th and 161st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadrons, 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Group, from Venlo, the Netherlands to Gutersloh, Germany with F-6s the 397th Fighter Squadron, 368th Fighter Group, form Metz, France to Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany with P-47s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): 98 B-24s, escorted by 102 P-51s, bomb positions SW of Bologna, Italy almost 700 B-24s and B-17s abort due to bad weather. 36 P-51s sweep areas S of Munich, Germany, Plzen, Czechoslovakia, and Linz, Austria and 4 strafe an airfield E of Munich, Germany. Other P-51s and P-38s fly escort and reconnaissance missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 15/16 Apr, A-20s and A-26s hit Po River crossings, the towns of Vignola, Zoeca, and Sassuolo, and several targets of opportunity in the Po Valley during the day medium bombers bomb bridges on the Reno River near Bologna, blast troop reserve areas SE of Portomaggiore on the British Eighth Army front, and attack troop concentrations S of Portomaggiore fighters and fighter-bombers concentrate most of their effort on close support targets in the US Fifth Army battle area S and SW of Bologna.


Hitler Committing Suicide

The other crucial moment that closed the battlefields on the western side of the world was when Hitler was forced to search for shelter in a bunker. Hitler was hiding from the Soviets, who made it all the way through Berlin, closing upon his location. At the time, Nazi forces were suffering losses all over Europe, which put Hitler in a situation of no escape.

With troops in shatters, hiding inside a bunker, Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945. Even though Germany finally surrendered on May 8, 1945, the Soviets insisted on another one that happened a day later, which later became the day Great Patriotic War ended, as it was celebrated in USSR.

After both sides of the world signed the peace treaties, and Germany and Japan surrendered unconditionally, the bloodiest battle in human history was put to an end. World War II took millions of lives, and the highest estimates say that close to 80 million people died in World War II. Most of them were civilians, and as much as 55 million of them lost their lives in both the west and the east. Among them, close to 6 million people were killed in concentration camps of Nazi Germany. Around 25 million soldiers lost their lives on the battlefield.


Watch the video: 6th May 1974