Yesterday                Tomorrow

July 2nd, 1939 (SUNDAY)

GERMANY: Max Schmeling becomes world heavyweight boxing champion when he knocks out Adolf Heuser in the first round at Stuttgart today.

U.S.A.: Sigurd Hall and Andy Hennig complete the first ski ascent of Mount Rainier in Washington state and make a partial ski descent from 12,000 feet.

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2 July 1940

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July 2nd, 1940 (TUESDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: RAF Bomber Command: 4 Group (Whitley). Bombing - marshalling yards at Hamm. Evere (Brussels) airfield.
10 Sqn. Three aircraft to Hamm. All bombed successfully. One aircraft damaged by Flak. Opposition heavy.
51 Sqn. Three aircraft to Hamm. All bombed successfully. One man baled out over target. Opposition heavy.
77 Sqn. Ten aircraft to Evere. Only six bombed due to bad weather.

Corvette HMS Gloxinia launched.

Corvette HMS Mallow commissioned.

GERMANY: Hitler orders a study into a possible invasion of Britain. OKW issues an order entitled: The War Against England. It begins "The Führer and Supreme Commander has decided that a landing in England is possible."

The Wehrmacht High Command announced:

In the course of raids on north and west Germany on the night of 1-2nd July, bombs were dropped on (among other places) Kiel, but caused only slight material damage. Several civilians were killed. A total of 5 enemy aircraft were show down by flak artillery; besides these, 2 more enemy planes were brought down by German navy flak during the night attack on Kiel. Three of our own aircraft are missing.

Göring  gives instructions for intensifying the air blockade in response to Hitler's order. He specifies attention to attacks on shipping.

U-107 launched.

JAPAN: At a joint army-navy conference, President of the Privy Council Hara Yoshimichi questions the Japanese army's assumptions concerning the construction of bases in that region for eventual use against Britain and the United States. Would not the two Western powers react to the building itself rather than wait for further Japanese moves? Sugiyama disagreed. He did not feel that either nation would resort to strong measures... (201)(Will O'Neil)

U.S.A.: Congress passes the Export Control Act allowing the President to prohibit or curtail the exportation of military equipment, munitions, tools, and materials when he feels that it is "necessary in the interest of national defence."

Ferry Kalakala chosen for final ferry run at Tacoma Narrows.
Lake Washington Floating Bridge dedication ceremonies are held.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: German submarine U-47 sinks the 15,500-ton British transport SS Arandora Star about 192 nm (356 km) northwest of Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The ship sailed from Liverpool on 1 July without escort or in convoy carrying 1,216 Italians and Germans who were being shipped from the U.K. to Canada, many of them Jewish refugees. A decision had been made by the British War Cabinet to export these internees/aliens to Canada and Australia; a total of 7,500 were to be selected and three ships were to sail by 24 June, if possible. This internment policy is a result of the hysterical fears of fifth column activity, which will relax in the coming months. The Arandora Star was the second ship to sail. At 0705 hours, one torpedo struck the ship below the waterline and she sank at 0740 hours. At 1100 hours a seaplane appeared and the lifeboats lit red flares.

After circling several times the plane made off and returned shortly afterwards when it dropped a message that help would be coming soon. At about 1430 hours, the RCN destroyer HMCS St. Laurent, approached and at once started to take on board survivors off the rafts, while the boats were making for the destroyer, which had also lowered its own motor-launch. Only 586 people of the 1,216 aboard were saved. (John Nicholas)

U-47 was a medium-range Type VIIB U-boat built by Germaniawerft, at Kiel. Commissioned on 17 Dec 38. U-47 conducted 10 patrols and quickly compiled a most impressive record of 31 ships sunk for a total of 193,808 tons and 8 ships damaged for a further 63,282 tons. Among the ship sunk by U-47 was HMS ROYAL OAK, which was sunk in daring raid on the fleet anchorage at Scapa Flow on 14 Oct 1939. Winston Churchill described this event as "an outstanding feat of arms". He was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves on 20 Oct 40, the first in the Kriegsmarine. There is no certain fate for U-47. Previously, it was believed that HMS WOLVERINE DD, sank U-47 on 08 Mar 41 but this was actually U-A (the ex-Turkish submarine Batiray), which was damaged and returned to base. U-47 is listed a 'missing' effective 07 Mar 41 in the North Atlantic near the Rockall Banks in approximate position 60.00N, 019.00W. It is now thought that U-47 was hit by one of her own torpedoes launched in an attack against convoy OB 293 that circled back due to a steering malfunction. All of her 45 crewmembers were lost. GÜNTHER PRIEN was born in 1908, at Osterfeld, in Thüringen. He joined the navy in 1931 after service in the merchant marine. His first naval service was in the light cruiser KÖNIGSBERG. He transferred to the U-boat force in Oct 35 and saw service in U-26 during the Spanish Civil War. Prien was the first U-boat commander to win the Knight's Cross (18 Oct 39). He was often the first submarine to make contact with a convoy and took the dangerous task of vectoring in other boats. During the next 18 months Prien repeatedly demonstrated great skill and daring in convoy battles making him the fourth highest scoring U-boat ace of the war, ranking behind only Otto Kreschmer, Wolfgang Lüth, and Erich Topp. Prien was the only one of the top five German U-boat commanders to be killed during the war.

At 2352, the Athellaird, a straggler from Convoy OB-176, was hit by one torpedo from U-29 about 350 miles NW of Cape Finisterre. At 0210 three coup de grâce were fired of which two missed and the third sank the tanker. The master and 41 crewmembers were picked up by sloop HMS Sandwich and landed at Greenock.

At 1125, the unescorted Santa Margarita was stopped by U-29 and was sunk by gunfire at 1345 according to the prize rules because the ship was enroute under British charter with a Yugoslavian crew. Three of the 21 survivors that were picked up by the British merchantman King John were lost when this ship was sunk by the German raider Widder on 13 July.


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2 July 1941

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July 2nd, 1941 (WEDNESDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: The American Eagle Squadron of the RAF has suffered its first fatalities. During a raid by Blenheim bombers on a German aerodrome in northern France, the American escorts encountered stiff resistance from about 60 Me 109 fighters.

In a confused close-quarter dog-fight two RAF fighters were destroyed in a mid-air collision. One or both are thought to be Eagles. But the RAF fighters in turn shot down three Messerschmitts. Two were shot down by young US pilot officers. A third fell to the British flight leader. In the same action a British sergeant pilot shot down two planes with a single fusillade.

FRANCE: RAF bombers damage the cruiser Prinz Eugen at Brest.

LATVIA: German forces break through the Russian border defences on the Dvina River.

U.S.S.R.: Moscow: Marshal Semyon Konstantinovich Timoshenko is appointed western front commander.

Heavy rains affect to roads, the armoured reconnaissance detachment of the German 7th Panzer Division under General Baron von Funck reported that it had been forced to halt its drive "because the prescribed roads have been reduced by heavy rainfall to an untrafficable swamp."

Hoeppners Fourth Panzer Group attacks toward Ostrov. The Romanian Third and Fourth Armies and the German Eleventh Army begin full scale attacks in the South.

ETHIOPIA: Debra Tabor: A force of 4,500 Italians and levies besieged by Ethiopian patriots surrender to a British force of one squadron and one company.

JAPAN: Tokyo: Japan is preparing for war against Britain and the US over Indochina by conscripting one million men and recalling all its merchant ships from the Atlantic. While 400,000 conscripts will reinforce the Kwantung army in China, the rest will be committed to south-east Asia. The decision to open up the southern front - known as the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere - has been spurred by the speed of the German successes in Europe. At an imperial conference at which the emperor made rare appearance the war minister, Hideki Tojo, urged the cabinet that now is the time to secure more empire or risk missing the bus. These are repeats of Liaison Conferences. Liaison Conferences are held between military and political leaders. Imperial Conferences repeat the information for the Emperor and obtain his approval. This Conference ratifies the decision to attempt to take bases in French Indochina, even at the risk of war. (Additional Imperial Conferences will appear on other dates.)

CANADA: The Canadian Women's Auxiliary Air Force is set up.

Patrol vessel HMCS Talapus launched Victoria British Columbia.

U.S.A.: The motion picture "Sergeant York" premieres at the Astor Theater in New York City. This biographical film of World War I Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant Alvin C. York, is directed by Howard Hawks and stars Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie, George Tobias, Margaret Wycherly, Ward Bond, Noah Beery, Jr., and June Lockhart. Guests at the premiere include Cooper, Sergeant Alvin C. York, Eleanor Roosevelt, General John J. Pershing, Henry Luce and General Lewis B. Hershey, the head of Selective Service. The film is nominated for eleven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Cooper), Best Supporting Actor (Brennan) and Best Supporting Actress (Wycherly); the film wins two, Cooper as Best Actor and a technical award.  

In baseball, the New York Yankees again play the Boston Red Sox on a sweltering day before 52,832 fans in Yankee Stadium, New York City. If Yankee star Joe DiMaggio can get a hit today, he will set a new major league record of hitting in 45 consecutive games. Before the game, Joe DiMaggio had invited his brother, Boston center fielder Dom DiMaggio, to dinner after the game. Despite Joe's hospitality, Dom went out and made a sensational catch of Joe's drive to center, robbing him of an extra base hit. "It was a great catch," admitted Joe. "It was one of the best Dom ever made, but at that moment the only thing on my mind was the temptation to withdraw the dinner invitation." However, in his third at-bat, Joe DiMaggio ripped a 2-1 Dick Newsome fastball into the left-field seats for a three-run homer, thus breaking Willie Keeler's 1897 major league consecutive game hitting record.

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2 July 1942

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July 2nd, 1942 (THURSDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: The American and British Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) approve of the Arnold-Portal-Towers agreement. This agreement, signed on 21 June 42, deals with US air commitments and provides for a strong air force for Operation BOLERO, the build-up of US forces in the UK.

The first formal vote of censure on the direction of the war is defeated 476 to 25 with 30 abstentions, in the House of Commons. With last months fall of Tobruk serious doubts were raised about the outcome of the vote. Opinion polls show less than half the public are satisfied with the conduct of the war, and press criticism is strong too. Churchill speaks to the criticisms, the PM has too heavy a burden with both the conduct of government and the war being his direct responsibility. He says that Parliament should either change the government or support it, but should not meddle with its composition. 

The British Board of Trade announces an agreement to control the supply of wheat involving the USA, UK, Argentina, Australia and Canada.

Escort carrier HMS Vindex laid down.

Submarine HMS Unseen commissioned.

FRANCE: Tony Brooks, an agent of the British Special Operations Executive, parachutes in to set up a resistance movement among railway workers.

GERMANY: U-629 is commissioned.

NORWAY: The German battleship Tirpitz, heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and six German destroyers sail from Trondheim (mid-Norway) to Altenfjord (northern Norway) where they refuel. (Alex Gordon)

ARCTIC OCEAN: Convoys PQ-17, eastbound, and QP-13, westbound, pass each other. Faulty reports cause the Germans some problems in finding these convoys and aircraft and U-Boats are unsuccessful in their attacks today.

U.S.S.R.: Black Sea Fleet and Azov Flotilla: Shipping loss: MS "TSch-405 "Vzrivatel"" - by field artillery, close to Eupatoria (later raised) (Sergey Anisimov)(69)

Soviet destroyer Bditel'ny bombed and sunk at Novorosiysk.

NORTH AFRICA: US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF) B-17s and B-24s bomb Tobruk, Libya  Harbour during the night of 2/3 July.

EAST AFRICA: British forces occupy Mayotte, an island off the north-east coast of Mozambique.

TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: USAAF 11th Air Force flies it first mission against Japanese-occupied Attu Island when 7 B-24s and 1 B-17 fly photo and bombing missions to Attu Island, which appears deserted, and to Kiska and Agattu Islands; near misses are scored on a Japanese transport and a destroyer at Agattu.  This is the first USAAF mission to Attu.

U.S.A.: The US Government seeks the death penalty in Florida case. 

The German intelligence organization, the Abwehr, had recruited eight German citizens who had lived in the U.S., spoke fluent English, and had enthusiastically quit the U.S. for Germany prior to Pearl Harbor. The eight were trained at the Abwehr's spy school to attack strategic bridges, railways, factories and especially aluminium plants in the U.S.

In June 1942, the eight were split into two groups of four and placed in U-boats for transport to Florida and Long Island, New York. They carried nearly US $200,000 and enough fuses and explosives to keep them busy for two years.

Their saga is reminiscent of Jimmy Breslin's book THE GANG THAT COULDN'T SHOOT STRAIGHT; the book describing them could be titled THE SPIES WHO COULDN'T SPY.

Herbert Haupt, Edward Kerling, Hermann Neubauer, and Werner Thiel were the four landed in Florida. (Drew Helevy and Jack McKillop)

The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff define three stages for the occupation of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago. The first phase is the occupation of the eastern Solomon and Santa Cruz Islands; second, an advance through the rest of the Solomons and along the northeastern coast of New Guinea; and finally, the liberation of New Britain and New Ireland Islands and further advances in northeastern New Guinea. The first offensive will be the occupation of eastern Solomons with the code name Operation WATCHTOWER assigned to the invasion of Tulagi Island scheduled for 1 August 1942.

This also includes the directive for the Guadalcanal operation which states that Direct command of the tactical operations of the amphibious forces will remain with the Naval Task Force Commander [i.e., the attack force or amphibious commander] throughout the conduct of all three tasks"--meaning the seizure of the Santa Cruz Islands, Tulagi, and "adjacent positions," capture of the remainder of the Solomons and northeastern New Guinea; and seizure of Rabaul and adjacent areas.
(Jack McKillop and Keith Allen)

William T. Paull (US Marine Corps) leaves San Diego docks to go to war. (William T. Paull)

Destroyer escort USS Edsall laid down.

Minesweeeper USS Symbol launched.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: At 0616, the unescorted Gundersen was torpedoed and sunk by gunfire by U-129. 22 survivors were picked up by the SS Dea and taken to Progreso on 3 July.


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2 July 1943

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July 2nd, 1943 (FRIDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Merchant Aircraft Carrier SS EMPIRE MACMAHON is launched.

ITALY: Heavy Allied air raids continue on major ports in central and southern Italy. (Glenn Steinberg)

USAAF's Ninth Air Force dispatches B-24 Liberators to bomb airfields at Lecce, Grottaglie and San Pancrazio Salentino. 

In Sicily, Ninth Air Force B-25 Mitchells hit the airfield and surrounding area at Sciacca; P-40s, escorting bombers to Sciacca, shoot down a fighter and damage one; two P-40s are lost. Northwest African Strategic Air Force Wellingtons hit Palermo and Cagliari during the night of 1/2 July; and Northwest African Tactical Air Force B-25s hit Castelvetrano during the day.

U.S.S.R.: Polar Fleet and White Sea Flotilla: Submarine "Sch-422" - mined and then finished by surface ASW ships, close to Maakur lighthouse, in Varde area. (Sergey Anisimov)(69)

INDIAN OCEAN: At 2107, the unescorted Hoihow was torpedoed and sunk by U-181 105 miles WNW of Mauritius. The master, 90 crewmembers, seven gunners and 47 passengers were lost. Three crewmembers and one passenger were picked up by the American SS Mormacswan and landed at Montevideo on 25 July.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: The Japanese forces on Rendova Island in the Solomon Islands hold on in the face of the US build up on the island. A IJN naval force bombarded US positions during the night.

Aerial support for the invasion of New Georgia includes B-25s and US Navy F4Us bombing and strafing a small vessel in the anchorage at Bairoko, New Georgia. 
In the early afternoon, all Allied air support is withdrawn because of a approaching weather front. 
The Japanese use this opportunity to dispatch an estimated 18 Navy Type 1 Attack Bombers, Allied Code Name "Betty," and 20 Mitsubishi A6M Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighters, Allied Code Name "Zeke," to attack US ground forces on Rendova Island; 59 Americans are killed in the bombing raid which start at 1330 hours local time.
During the night, the IJN cruiser HIJMS YUBARI and nine destroyers bombard US beachhead positions on Rendova. The IJN warships are engaged by three USN motor torpedo boats but the PTs do not score any hits.
New Georgia: The MacKechnie Forces, holding a beach-head at Nassau Bay makes contact with the Australian 3rd Division.

NEW GUINEA: Supporting the invasion of Nassau Bay, New Guinea, B-25s pound defenses in the Kela Point area and a trail near Logui while a lone B-24 bombs the Salamaua area. The Allied invasion force (the MacKechnie Force) holds firm a beachhead on Nassau Bay, and makes contact with Australian forces to the north. B-17s and B-24s again attack airfields at Rabaul on New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago. 

Allied aircraft fail to detect ten Japanese bombers that make unopposed bombing and strafing attacks on the Allied beachhead.

TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: In the Aleutian Islands, the US Eleventh Air Force dispatches 3 bombers and 4 P-38s to fly 4 reconnaissance missions over Kiska and Segula Islands. 17 B-24s and 16 B-25s then attack Kiska Island in 5 missions, 2 of them radar-guided. Fires are started at several of the targets, which include Gertrude Cove, the harbor, and buildings in the Main Camp area. Intense AA fire damages 3 aircraft. 2 B-25s on a submarine attack hit the Kiska seaplane ramp after making no contact with the target. 2 P-40s cover US troops that make an unopposed landing on Rat Island.

The Japanese task force tasked with evacuating personnel from Kiska Island.

The second XB-32, s/n 41-142, finally flew; this aircraft had a stepped cockpit canopy but the AAF soon reported that this aircraft was obsolete and recommended a large number of changes. 

(Operation KE) departs Paramushiru Island in the Kurile Islands.

U.S.A. Destroyer escort USS William C Miller commissioned.

CANADA: Frigate HMCS Lauzon (ex HMCS Glace Bay) laid down Levis Province of Quebec.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: The unescorted Empire Kohinoor was torpedoed and sunk by U-618 about 250 miles SW of Freetown. Six crewmembers were lost. The master, 72 crewmembers and eight gunners were rescued. The first boat was rescued by destroyer HMS Wolverine and landed at Takoradi. The second boat was rescued by the British merchantman Gascony and the third landed at Lumley Beach, Sierra Leone on 7 July.

At 0008, the unescorted Bloody Marsh was on her maiden voyage, when the ship´s torpedo indicator sounded after detecting the approach of a torpedo from U-66. The master ordered a course change to hard left, but 30 seconds later the torpedo struck the port side at the engine room, destroying the room completely, flooding the compartment and killing one officer and two men on watch below. The hull was ruptured on the port side from midship to the engine room. As the tanker settled slowly by the stern, gradually losing headway, the after gun crew reported a conning tower but could not open fire because the explosion had jammed the gun. The forward gun did not get into action because it could not be brought to bear. Most of the ten officers, 40 men and 27 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) left the ship in four lifeboats and three rafts, with the exception of the armed guard commander and three of his men. 20 minutes after the attack, a second torpedo struck the port side amidships, broke the ship in two and immediately sank the tanker about 75 miles east of Savannah, Georgia. The four armed guards jumped overboard as the water reached the after gun platform. At 06.00 hours, a Navy blimp sighted the survivors and signaled that help was on the way. USS SC-1048 picked them up at 0900 and landed them at Charleston, South Carolina.

U-543 (Type IXC/40) sunk in the mid-Atlantic SW of Tenerife, in position 25.34N, 21.36W, by depth charges and a homing torpedo from an Avenger aircraft (VC-58) of the US escort carrier USS Wake Island. 58 dead (all crew lost).


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2 July 1944

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July 2nd, 1944 (SUNDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: The US Eighth Air Force in England dispatches 350 bombers and 171 P-51s on Mission 450 to hit 13 V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais area; 1 B-24 is lost:

1. Of 78 B-17s, 24 hit Fleury, 24 hit Fressin, 21 hit Blengermont and 1 hits a target of opportunity; 33 B-17s are damaged.

2. Of 272 B-24s, 36 hit Crepy, 35 hit Fiefs, 24 hit Vignacourt, 23 hit Blanc Pignon, 22 hit Courbronne, 21 hit Renescure, 13 hit Haute Cote Island, 13 hit Mont Louis Ferme, 13 hit Santrecourt and 12 hit Belloy-sur-Somme; 1 B-24 is lost and 1 damaged beyond repair.

Escort for the above is provided by 166 of 171 P-51s without loss.

37 B-24s CARPETBAGGER missions in France during the night.  

FRANCE: All USAAF IX Bomber Command missions are cancelled due to bad weather; fighters of seven groups of the IX Tactical Air Command fly interception missions in the Caen area and cover over the beach area, attack rail lines along the Loire, and hit a HQ and supply dumps and strongpoints near La Haye-du-Puits.

Paris: The review of Camus' Le Malentendu appears in the Pariser Zeitung, the last opening night review of the German occupation newspaper.

GERMANY: U-3008 is laid down.

AUSTRIA: 26 USAAF Fifteenth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses bomb the industrial area at Gyor.

HUNGARY: USAAF Fifteenth Air Force bombers attack nine targets: (1-3) 509 bombers attack three targets in Budapest, the marshalling yard (253 aircraft), Vecses Airfield (142 aircraft) and the Shell Oil Refinery (114 aircraft) with the loss of 14 bombers; (4-5) one each aircraft bombs the city of Paks and the city of Kiskunhalas; (6) five bombers hit the Szolnok railroad bridge with the loss of one aircraft; and (7-9) four bombers hit targets of opportunity. Eighth and Fifteenth Air Force fighters sweep over the Budapest area; bombers and fighters claim 50+ fighters shot down;

ROMANIA: Liberators of the RAF No. 205 Group hit three targets. During the day, 44 hit the Prahova Oil Refinery at Bucharest with the loss of two aircraft. During the night, ten aircraft, in two groups of five, mine the Danube River.


Battle of Tali-Ihantala

This day is relatively quiet at the Finnish 6th Division's front. While the Soviet artillery is active all day, the

only Soviet attacks come at the right flank, around Tähtelä. One attempt is repelled early in the night, and another, more serious, commences at 3.30 pm. This time the Soviet forces, supported by tanks, are able to penetrate the Finnish positions, but are beaten back by the reserves. Finnish artillery is again crucial in repelling the Soviet attacks.

But this evening the Red Air Force manages to launch a surprise attack at the Finnish airfield in Immola, where the German Stukas and Fw 190's of Obstlt. Kurt Kuhlmey's force are based. The attack, starting at 7.59 pm, destroys 9 German aircraft and damages 24. This succesful Soviet operation greatly weakens the German air forces supporting Finns.

U.S.S.R.: Russian forces west of Minsk cut several railway lines.
 Baltic Fleet, Ladoga Lake and Chudskoe Lake Flotillas: MS "T-210 "Gak"" - mined at Ola-Laht bay of Viborg Gulf (later raised).  (Sergey Anisimov)(69)

ITALY: Foiano is liberated by the British 4th Infantry Division.

YUGOSLAVIA: The USAAF Fifteenth Air Force hits four targets: (1) 37 bombers hit the Brod marshalling yard; (2) 26 hit the Vinconvivi marshalling yard (2 lost); (3-4) two aircraft bomb two targets of opportunity.

The Hungarian Air Forces admit to losses of 28 planes this day. (Jack McKillop and Mike Yaklich)

INDIAN OCEAN: The US freighter SS Jean Nicolet is torpedoed by the Japanese submarine HIJMS I-8. The 99 people aboard the ship, 41 merchant seaman, 28 Armed Guards and 30 passengers, abandon ship and take to the lifeboats. HIJMS I-8 surfaces and sets the freighter afire with gunfire. The 99 survivors are taken aboard the submarine where they are searched, bound and questioned. One man is shot and some of them are made to run a gauntlet and beaten. The Japanese sink the lifeboats with gunfire and take the captain, radio operator and one passenger below deck. The hands of the remaining survivors are bound and they are left on deck as the submarine submerges and left to drown. However, some manage to free their hands and swim to the burning freighter where they launch rafts which had not been destroyed; a total of 28 are rescued on 4 July and only one of the three interned on the sub survives Japanese captivity.

MARIANAS ISLANDS, SAIPAN: The remains of Garapan village are overrun by US forces during their advance.

NEW GUINEA: In Operation TABLETENNIS, the USN's Task Force 57 lands the USA's 158th Regimental Combat Team (Reinforced) (General Patrick) and RAAF personnel on Noemfoor Island in the Schouten Islands off New Guinea. Noemfoor, located 60 miles (96.6 km) west of Biak Island, is small, 15 by 12 miles (24.1 by 19.3 km), but has three airfields, Kamiri, Kornasoren and Namber, and is invaded because of the delay in capturing the airfields on Biak Island. The invasion is support by the USN's Task Force 75 consisting of heavy and light cruisers and destroyers.

The USAAF's Fifth Air Force also supports the invasion. In the morning, A-20 Havocs, B-24s, B-25s and fighter-bombers attack the island and provide air support throughout the day.

 No 62 Works Wing RAAF, with American engineer units under command , were involved in the Numfoor assault, landing 30 mins after the initial assault. They were mortared on the beach, two Americans being wounded. (Ric Pelvin)

The rejuvenated USAAF 17th Reconnaissance Squadron begins operating from Mokmer Airfield on Biak.


Corvette HMCS Guelph departed Halifax as escort for passage of submarines HMS P-553 and P-554 to Philadelphia.

Minesweepers HMCS Melville arrived Halifax from workups in Bermuda and assigned to Sydney Force.


Heavy cruiser USS Bremerton launched.

Submarine USS Bugara launched.

BRAZIL: The first contingent of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force has set sail from Rio de Janeiro heading for Naples to join the Allies forces in the desperate battle to liberate Italy. About 5,000 officers and men left aboard the American troop transport GENERAL W. A. MANN, escorted by three destroyers MARCILIO DIAS, MARIZ E BARROS and GREENHALGH. Brazil declared war on the Axis in August 1942 and its navy has participated in joint Allied action in the Atlantic. Last November it decided to send troops to join the fighting in Europe. The forces are to operate under the strategic command of the Americans. 

ATLANTIC OCEAN: Minesweepers HMCS Melville arrived Halifax from workups in Bermuda and assigned to Sydney Force.
HMC MTB 460 sunk by mine in English Channel.

The German Type IXC/40 submarine U-543 is sunk about 335 nm (621 km) west-southwest of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Las Palmas Island, Canary Islands, in position 25.34N, 21.36W, by depth charges and a FIDO homing torpedo from a TBM Avenger of Escort Carrier Air Group Fifty Eight (VC-58) in the USN escort aircraft carrier USS Wake Island (CVE-65). All hands (58 men) in the U-boat are lost. (Alex Gordon)

At 0130, the unescorted Bodegraven was torpedoed and sunk by U-547, which took one man on board as POW.


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2 July 1945

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July 2nd, 1945 (MONDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: London: Mountbatten is ordered to launch Operation Zipper, the liberation of Malaya in August.

GERMANY: A "Special Statement of Fact" memo to SMGO (Senior Military Government Officer) Det. F1H2, in the American Zone, is issued on the subject of an "Asylum at Kaufbeuren, Swabia".

Although this is two months after the end of the war and the insane asylum was within "rifle shot" of a US Army Military Government detachment, inmates were still dying by the nurses' actions of "slow starvation", and "fast starvation." "A more of less alive boy weighed 10 kilos."

(Stan Sandler from [Det F1F3] "Special Statment of Fact, 2 July (sic), ibid., memo to SMGO [Senior Military Government Officer] Det. F1H2, Subject: "Asylum at Kaufbeuren, Swabia, 5 July 1945; memo, Regional Military Governor, Headquarters, Regional Military Government, Bavaria, Subject: "Report on Kaufbeuren (Murder Camp)", 7 July 1945, RG 332, ECAD, 1944-45, box 54, "Detachment F1F3 folder. (Apparently the US Holocaust Museum also has documentation on this episode.))

JAPAN: During the night of 2/3 July, the Twentieth Air Force flies Mission 245; 39 B-29s bomb an oil refinery at Minoshima, Japan and one other hits and alternate target.

In the first mission of its kind, the submarine USS Barb (SS-220) surfaces and launches rockets at Japanese shore installations on Kaiyho Island.

BORNEO: The US Thirteenth Air Force supports Australian troops in Borneo. B-24s bomb defenses in the Balikpapan area, P-38s and carrier based Navy and Marine aircraft support Australian forces as they complete the capture of Balikpapan and its oil installations and B-25s hit the Bintula personnel area.

CANADA: Cruiser HMCS Ontario departed the Clyde for 4th Cruiser Sqn of the British Pacific Fleet.
Minesweepers HMCS Ingonish and Lockeport paid off and returned to RN at Sheerness.
Corvettes HMCS Orillia and Riviere Du Loup paid off Sorel, Province of Quebec.
HMC ML 092, 093, 097 and 099 paid off.

1983:  U.S.A.:    Lt. Gen.  James H. Doolittle, USAF (Ret.) was presented with the AVG Flying Tiger Award. Since 1952 this award has been presented to many flyers that have made pioneer contributions to flying and included such names as Chennault, Stafford, Armstrong, Yeager and Barry Goldwater.

     Some of General Doolittle's accomplishments included in 1922 the first transcontinental flight alone in a D-H4. He executed the first outside loop in 1927 an in 1929 he made the first "blind Flight" on instruments. He received at the age of 28 a Doctor of Science in the new field of aeronautical engineering (one of the first in the world) from MIT In the 1930s he headed the aviation Dept. of Shell Oil Company. For his organizing and leading the raid on Tokyo he received the Medal of Honor and during the course of W.W.II Doolittle was Commanding General of four different Air Forces.

      I have had the honor of shaking his hand and have his signature on my 1983 Reunion Program. (Chuck Baisden)


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