World War II Today: August 13

Roosevelt agrees to supply 50 First World War destroyers to Britain in return for the lease of naval bases in the Caribbean. Colonel E.L.M. Burns proposes developing a Canadian parachute force. The idea is rejected by the Director of Military Operations in headquarters.

World War II Today: August 13 - Eagle Day - Adler Tag - Battle of Britain

‘Eagle Day’, the first day of the maximum offensive by the Luftwaffe to destroy RAF airfields and gain air supremacy over England in preparation of Operation Sea Lion. The Luftwaffe launches 1,485 sorties, but because of confusion and delays, the main attacks were not mounted until the afternoon. Some airfields were attacked, but not the primary fighter bases. Luftwaffe losses were heavy with 39 aircraft being lost (mainly Ju-87 Stuka’s), while the RAF lost just 15 aircraft. Twelve RAF Blenheim bombers attack Hemsteds airfield in Holland. Only one plane returns.

An air crash in Canberra kills three UAP ministers and Chief of the Australian General Staff.

Canadian Women’s Army Corps established.

Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) formed.


Lieutenant General Bernard Montgomery assumes command of British Eighth Army in Egypt.

Japanese secure Buna-Kokoda Trail on New Guinea.

US Army forms Manhattan Engineering District for secret atomic research.

US 10th Engineer Btn. builds “bridge in the sky” along steep seaside cliff at Cape Calava, Sicily.

British & Indian troops cross into northern Florence via historic Ponte Vecchio, securing city with help of Italians.

The Mongolian People’s Republic declares a Holy War against the Japanese.

Surrender documents are sent to MacArthur in Philippines.

Lt. Oscar Perdomo of US 507th Fighter Group becomes the last air ace of the war when he shoots down 5 Japanese fighters over Kyushu.

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