United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Consolidated B24
Liberators based in the Mediterranean make a low level
attack on the Ploesti oil refineries in Romania. This
is the first low level mission against this vital Axis
target and is the longest bombing raid to date. 177
aircraft are despatched, 164 reach their targets, 49
are shot down and a further 7 are interned in Turkey.
Northwest African Air Force aircraft attack Wiener
Neustadt. This is the first attack on Austria by United
States Army Air Force (USAAF) forces based in the
During daylight attacks on Regensburg and Schweinfurt
the 8th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) loses 59
The first operational use of the Henschel HS293
remotely-controlled glide bomb. German Dornier Do217Es
of II/KG100 carry out an anti-shipping strike against
British ships in the Bay of Biscay.
The first use of a guided missile in warfare. HMS
Egret, a corvette, is sunk by an air-launched Henschel
Hs293 remotely-controlled glide bomb while on patrol in
the Bay of Biscay.
United States Navy (USN) squadron VF5, operating off
USS Yorktown makes the first operational use of the
Grumman F6F Hellcat, in an attack on Japanese positions
on Marcus Island.
Peace negotiations between the Allies and Italy are
concluded in secret. An Armistice will become effective
on the 8 September.
British and Canadian troops cross the Straits of
Messina and land on the mainland of southern Italy.
The 46,200 ton Italian battleship Roma is sunk by two
Ruhrstahl/Kramer Fritz X1 radio controlled bombs
launched from Luftwaffe Dornier Do217s.
Benito Mussolini is rescued by German glider
(sailplane) troops from a hotel in the Gran Sasso
mountains where he is being held prisoner. He is
airlifted to safety in a Fieseler Fi156 Storch
Italy declares war on Germany, but there are in fact
two Italian factions in the war. Those in Northern
Italy continue to fight alongside the Germans.
A second United States Army Air Force (USAAF) attack is
made on the Schweinfurt ball-bearing factories. The
Americans lose 60 of the 288 heavy bombers despatched.
The 9th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) is
reorganised in the United Kingdom to act as a tactical
air arm of the USAAF in North-west Europe.
In order to evaluate the capability of the helicopter,
the United States Navy (USN) acquires a single example
of the Sikorsky YR4B from the United States Army Air
The United States Navy (USN) achieves the first aerial
victory with the use of airborne interception (AI)
radar, when an AI equipped Vought F4U2 Corsair destroys
a Japanese aircraft in New Guinea.
The newly formed 15th United States Army Air Force
(USAAF) takes on its first mission, when twelve heavy
bombers attack aircraft factories at Wiener Neustadt in
Japanese cruisers and destroyers steaming between Truk
and Rabaul are attacked and damaged by United States
carrier aircraft operating off USS Princeton and USS
Further attacks by United States aircraft operating
from the USS Bunker Hill, Essex and Independence cause
severe damage to Japanese naval vessels off Rabaul.
Aircraft of the 5th and 13th United States Army Air
Force (USAAF) co-ordinate their attacks with the United
States carrier forces.
Lockheed P38 Lightnings, North American B25 Mitchells
and North American P51 Mustangs of the 14th United
States Army Air Force (USAAF) make their first attack
on Formosa from their bases in China.
German aircraft drop bombs and parachute mines at Bari
in Italy. An ammunition ship explodes and seventeen
vessels are set on fire or sunk. Nearly 1,000 people
are killed. The Germans drop, for the first time,
metallised paper strips to confuse radar stations.
Known as 'Window' in Bomber Command, it had been first
used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the 24-25 July
raid on Hamburg.
Japanese bombers make their first daylight raid on
Calcutta and 500 people are killed or injured in the
The 8th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) begins
long range fighter escort missions.
Orville Wright, on the 40th Anniversary of making his
first flight, presents the Collier Trophy for
outstanding achievement in aviation to his former pupil
General H.H. 'Hap' Arnold.
Intensive pre-invasion bombing of Cape Gloucester in
New Britain by the 5th United States Army Air Force (USAAF).