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18 Jul 1944
  • German Luftwaffe Hauptmann Werner Thierfelder, commander of the special test unit (Eprobungskommando) tasked with evolving tactics for the new Me 262 jet-powered fighter was killed when his plane crashed in flames near Landsberg, Germany. The cause of the crash was not determined, but it was likely to be either a mechanical failure or due to poor fuel quality. ww2dbase [Me 262 Schwalbe | AC, CPC]
  • US XIX Corps troops entered Saint-Lô, France. British troops launched Operation Goodwood against Caen with Allied 2,200 aircraft supporting the ground assault, but stubborn German defense cost the British VIII Corps 200 tanks and 1,500 men, while just over 100 Panzers were destroyed. After sundown, 25 American B-24 bombers flew in support of resistance activities. ww2dbase [Normandy Campaign, Phase 1 | TH]
  • In Germany, 291 American B-17 bombers, escorted by 48 P-38 and 84 P-51 fighters, attacked the port facilities at Kiel and oil refineries at Cuxhaven. To the east, 377 American B-17 bombers, escorted by 294 fighters, attacked Peenemünde, Zinnowitz, and Stralsund. In southern Germany, B-17 and B-24 bombers of US Fifteenth Air Force attacked Memmingen Airfield and the Dornier factories at Manzell; 20 aircraft were lost. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • The keel of British minesweeper Styx was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Zambesi was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British frigate HMS Balfour sank German submarine U-672 with depth charges north of Guernsey in the English Channel. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A Catalina aircraft of British No. 210 Squadron RAF sank German submarine U-742 west of Narvik, Norway; all 52 aboard were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-2504 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-3003 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-327 was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-2323 was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German troops round up the 2,000 Jews at Rhodes and Kos in Greece; most of them would soon be deported to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • German submarine U-479 fired a spread of two torpedoes at Soviet submarine chaser MO-304 in Vyborg Bay, Russia; U-479 reported that the attack had failed, but one of the torpedoes actually struck MO-304, which required towing back into port. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In the Mariana Islands, American P-47 fighters based on Saipan attacked Japanese positions on Tinian and Pagan. ww2dbase [Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot | CPC]
  • Hideki Tojo submitted his letter of resignation for his position as the Prime Minister of Japan. He would be officially replaced by Kuniaki Koiso four days later. ww2dbase [Hideki Tojo | CPC]
  • American destroyer escort USS Ulvert M. Moore was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa was named the commanding officer of the Southwest Area Fleet. ww2dbase [Gunichi Mikawa | CPC]
  • The Japanese Navy 14th Air Fleet was officially disbanded; it had been wiped out at Saipan, Mariana Islands ten days earlier. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • A Mosquito aircraft of the British No. 333 (Norwegian) Squadron RAF damaged German submarine U-286 in the North Sea; 1 was killed, 7 were wounded. U-286 would be able to sail to Kristiansand, Norway later on the same day. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • While at Blanche Harbor, Treasury Islands, Solomon Islands, Destroyer Squadron 21 (DesRon21), USS Nicholas flagship, experienced a routine change of command with Captain John K.B. Ginder relieving Captain Alvin Chandler. ww2dbase [Nicholas | Blanche Harbor, Solomon Islands | DS]
Caroline Islands
  • In the Caroline Islands, aircraft of the Allied Far East Air Forces attacked Yap and Sorol, while 25 B-24 bombers of the US Seventh Air Force attacked Truk. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Otozo Yamada succeeded Yoshijiro Umezu as the commanding officer of the Japanese Kwantung Army in northeastern China. ww2dbase [Otozo Yamada | CPC]
  • Wang Guangfu, flying a P-40N fighter, damaged three Ki-44 aircraft over China. ww2dbase [Wang Guangfu | CPC]
  • An attack of the marshalling yards near the French town of Revigny by 107 Lancaster bombers of No. 5 Group, RAF Bomber Command met with disaster when the bombers were intercepted by Luftwaffe fighters as the bombers approached their target East of Paris. Twenty-four of the attackers were shot down including five from No. 619 Squadron. Only two men from the squadron's losses survived - the bomb-aimer from Flying Officer Begernie's crew and the rear gunner from Flying Officer Morcan's crew. ww2dbase [Bombing of Cities in France and Low Countries | AC]
Germany Guam Italy
  • As Polish II Corps advanced toward Ancona, Italy, it captured Agugliano, Chiaravalle, and finally the port city itself by 1430 hours. Meanwhile, troops of US IV Corps began an attack on Leghorn. In the air, US Fifteenth Air Force attacked various German positions throughout the country. ww2dbase [Advance to the Gothic Line | Ancona, Marche | TH, CPC]
Mariana Islands
  • Casablanca-class escort carrier USS Sargent Bay arrived off Saipan, Mariana Islands, launched all 43 aircraft of the USAAF's 333rd Fighter Squadron for transfer to Isley Field, Saipan, and then reversed course for Eniwetok, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Sargent Bay | Saipan | DS]
Marshall Islands
  • Destroyer USS Shaw departed Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands as flagship of an anti-submarine screening force bound for Guam in the Mariana Islands. ww2dbase [Shaw | Eniwetok | DS]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Ray sank Japanese tanker Janbi Maru in the South China Sea, expending 22 torpedoes during the pursuit, 8 of which hit. ww2dbase [Ray | South China Sea | CPC]
Panama Canal Zone
  • USS Ranger departed the Panama Canal Zone bound for San Diego, California. ww2dbase [Ranger | Balboa | DS]
  • Soviet First Byelorussian Front launched a heavy attack across the Bug River aimed at Lublin in Poland, the Third Baltic Front attacked toward Pskov in Russia, while the First Ukraine Front advanced toward Lvov in Ukraine. ww2dbase [Operation Bagration | TH]
Puerto Rico
  • Escort carrier USS Card arrived at San Juan, Puerto Rico for repairs to the main bearings of her single turbine. ww2dbase [Card | San Juan | DS]
  • Kamoi completed receiving a new coat of paint at Singapore. ww2dbase [Kamoi | Singapore | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Heinkel aircraft of III/KG3 flew 14 sorties to launch V-1 flying bombs against London, England, United Kingdom; all aircraft returned safely. Meanwhile, another German squadron was working up to operational level at Gilze-Rijen. The borough of Beckenham in London was the scene of the worst bomb incident of the day when the bus station was hit; 18 were killed including 2 soldiers, the petrol supply tanks at the depot exploded adding to more damage and injuries to firemen. ww2dbase [Vergeltungswaffe 1 | V-Weapons Campaign | London, England | HM]
Photo(s) dated 18 Jul 1944
King, Nimitz, and Spruance aboard USS Indianapolis,18 Jul 1944ATO Owl entered Cherbourg harbor, France, towing two barges loaded with engineer equipment, 18 Jul 1944; she was the first ship carrying supplies to enter Cherbourg harbor after Allied victoryCruiser USS Nashville arriving in Sydney harbor, Australia, 18 Jul 1944. Note the OS2U Kingfisher float planes on her catapults and her new Measure 33, Design 21D paint scheme.Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell with Lieutenant General Hu Su of Chinese 30th Division, Myitkyina, Burma, 18 Jul 1944
See all photos dated 18 Jul 1944

18 Jul 1944 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal

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