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March 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

WEDNESDAY, 1 MARCH 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): XI Strategic Air Force (Provisional) is activated at Shemya . It includes all units of the XI Bomber Command and XI Fighter Command stationed at Near Island, and is only a tactical operating agency without administrative functions.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 P-40s score 3 hits on a bridge at Namkwin; four others hit the Myitkyina Airfield dispersal area; 56 A-36s and P-51s attack stores and personnel areas at Sawnghka. 93d Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group, arrives at Karachi from Italy; they will be equipped with P-47Ds and enter combat on 14 Aug. Moves in India during March: 90th Fighter Squadron, 80th Fighter Group, from Jorhat to Moran with P-40s; 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, AAF, India-Burma Sector (attached to Tenth Air Force), based at Gushkara sends detachments to Chakulia and Kharagpur with P-51s (first mission is 28 Mar).

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 14 B-25s and 16 P-40s pound a military zone in the NE part of Nanchang.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): A-24s and P-40s from Makin hit Jaluit and Mille Atolls, Marshall while B-25s pound Maloelap Atoll, Marshall . During March, 531st Fighter Squadron, Seventh Air Force, moves from Makin to Bellows Field with A-24s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 10 B-24s from the 5th BG, 23rd BS and 11 B-24s from 5th BG, 31st BS bomb Kahili Airfield, damaged by anti-aircraft fire, B-24D "Snow Job" 42-41230 force landed; P-38s hit Ballale and Buka; P-39s bomb and strafe Monoitu Mission on Bougainville.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SW100+ B-24s, B-25s, A-20s, and fighter aircraft, along with Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) about 30 B-24s and B-25s hit Los Negros and Lorengau. Other B-24s and B-25s drop supplies to Allied pound forces on Los Negros. Aircraft, pound Hansa Bay, Awar Point, an airfield in the Wewak area, and enemy installations and positions at Madang, Alexishafen, and Saiba. 82nd TRS Airacobras strafe barges off Madang, lost is P-39Q piloted by Graham.

Detachment of 26th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, ceases operating from Port Moresby and returns to Finschhafen with F-5s. Moves in New Guinea during Mar: HQ 309th Bombardment Wing from Lae to Saidor; 17th Reconnaissance Squadron (Bombardment), 71st Reconnaissance Group, from Dobodura to Finschhafen with B-25s; 65th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), from Dobodura to Nadzab with B-24s.

THURSDAY, 2 MARCH 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 9 B-24s fly a futile shipping search over the Kurile; turned back by a weather front, they either jettison or bring back their bombs.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 5 P-51s bomb artillery positions in the Maingkwan area; Twenty P-40s hit a fuel dump at Myitkyina, artillery at Shingban, and trucks on a road near Walawbum; 8 A-36s and P-51s hit an encampment on Pagoda Peak near Mogaung. HQ 81st Fighter Group arrives at Karachi from Italy.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, 4 B-25s sink a small steamer near Mon Cay and bomb railroad shops and coal treating plant at Campho. In China, 10 P-38s damage 2 bridges and strafe 2 barracks areas N of Nanchang; 2 P-40s bomb and strafe the airfield and barracks at Kengtung.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24's from Makin and Abemama bomb Ponape and Kusaie. B-25s bomb Maloelap.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): P-40s join USN fighters in covering a USN dive bomber strike on shipping installations in the Keravia Bay area; 12 B-25s pound Rabaul while 11 others, with USN fighter support, bomb Rapopo; shortly afterwards, 20 escorted B-24's blast the town area of Rabaul; 14 P-38s follow immediately with a strike on the same target. P-39s hit Japanese-occupied Piano and Monoitu Missions on Bougainville. 67th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, based in the Russells begins operating from Bougainville with P-39s; the squadron will convert to P-38s in Apr.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, 80+ B-24s and P-40s hit the Hansa Bay area, the airstrip at Nubia, and the Madang-Alexishafen area. 60+ B-25s and A-20s pound enemy forces on Los Negros as Allied ground forces occupy Momote Airfield; P-47s providing cover for the B-25s claim 7 enemy fighters shot down.

FRIDAY, 3 MARCH 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 9 B-24s take off from Shemya to search for enemy shipping, but return due to heavy icing and squalls; 6 P-40s fly a search mission between Shemya and halfway to Attu; and HQ XI Bomber Command moves from Adak to Shemya.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 22 B-25s, some supported by Royal Air Force (RAF) Spitfires and Hurricanes, bomb the Ft White area; 10 B-25s and 4 P-51s pound airfields at Katha, Mawlu and Shwebo; 12 B-25s and 8 P-51s hit railroad targets and a warehouse at Kyaikthin and Kyunhla; 14 B-24s covered by 22 P-40s hit airfields at Lashio, Hsenwi and Loiwing; 70+ P-40s, A-36s, P-51s, and B-25s hit fuel storage, supply areas, roads, and other
targets over widespread areas of Burma, including Shingban, Myitkyina, Zigyun, Mogaung, Manywet, and Washawng; 6 P-38s attack the Okshitpin bridge but the target is not damaged.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): P-40s damage a coal grading building at Campha Port, French Indochina.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s out of Makin bomb Ponape . B-25s from Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert , hit Maloelap Atoll. This date marks the beginning of Operation FORAGER, the capture of the S Marianas (Saipan, Tinian, and Guam ) for bases for B-29 strikes against Japan. Seventh Air Force aircraft maintain neutralization strikes against airfields in the Caroline and continue hitting Wake and the bypassed Marshalls.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): P-40s and USN fighters cover a USN dive bomber strike on Rabaul and Simpson Harbor; 24 B-25s follow with an attack on Rabaul, which later in the day is bombed by 20 B-24s. five P-38s bomb radar installations at Cape Saint George, while ten P-38s bomb Buka Airfield. P-39s hit targets of opportunity on the eastern part of Shortland and the western part of Buka.

RNZAF - 18 Squadron F4Us spot a pair of Japanese tanks near Ruri Bay on Bougainville, and return to bomb them. Later, seven more aircraft bomb and strafe them, leaving one on fire and exploding.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 30+ B-24s hit the Hansa Bay and Alexishafen areas while 20 P-39s attack Madang and Bogadjim and 22 A-20s pound Erima. 14 A-20s and B-25s hit enemy positions on Los Negros. Lost is F-5B Lightning 42-67363 (MIA)

SATURDAY, 4 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 60+ A-36s, P-51s and P-40s, and a single B-25 bomb dumps, roads, bivouac area, and other targets in the Seton, Sawnghka, Pinbaw and Walawbum areas; numerous fighters carry out patrol and armed reconnaissance sorties in the Sumprabum area. 459th Fighter Squadron, 80th Fighter Group, moves from Kurmitola to Chittagong with P-38s.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Five B-25s and twenty-three P-40s (16 of them Chinese) pound Kiungshan Airfield; the airfield is heavily damaged and several parked aircraft are destroyed; 17 Japanese aircraft are claimed shot down; 4 P-38s and 2 Chinese B-25s claim a freighter, a tanker, and a motor launch sunk in the Shihhweiyao and Wuhu areas; 6 waves of Japanese aircraft bomb Suichwan Airfield, causing considerable damage. In French Indochina, 6 B-25s bomb the Thanh Hoa chromium mine and Campha Port; 2 P-40s strafe railroad yards and warehouses at Hongay and Campha Port; 5 P-40s are dispatched to bomb Cao Bang but because of bad weather attack Chinese-held Lungchow, China by mistake.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): P-40s from Makin bomb and strafe runways at Mille Atoll. B-25s from Tarawa bomb airfield installations and runways at Wotje Airfield.

RNZAF - In the morning, the remaining two Japanese tanks at Ruri Bay are attacked yesterday were discovered camoflaged by a Boomerang and attacked by three other 18 Squadron F4Us, but they arrived too late to destroy them.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): On New Britain , P-40s join USN fighters and dive bombers in a strike on AA positions and targets of opportunity in the Rabaul area; 4 patrolling Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Venturas hit targets of opportunity along both coasts and at Vunalama and Mandres Plantations; 48 B-25s and 12 P-38s, along with 20+ USN fighters, hit the Rabaul town area in 3 closely spaced attacks. P-38s also attack targets of opportunity on Duke of York Island. 12 P-39s hit Monoitu and targets of opportunity along the SW coast of Bougainville. RNZAF Venturas join USN planes in attacks on Japanese embarkation ports around Choiseul Bay. Shortland targets of opportunity are hit by P-40s on patrol.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 20+ A-20s and B-25s support ground forces on Los Negros. More than 30 B-24s with fighter escort, pound airfields in the Wewak area; 20+ other B-24s bomb Hollandia; and A-20s bomb buildings and gun positions in the Saidor area. Moves in New Guinea: HQ 38th Bombardment Group (Medium) from Port Moresby to Nadzab; HQ 43d Bombardment Group from Dobodura to Nadzab. Lost is P-38G "Veni Vidi Vici" 42-12705 on a patrol mission. On Los Negros, the Japanese launch a series of suicide charges against the Americans and are defeated.

SUNDAY, 5 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): B-25s, A-36s, P-51s and P-40s fly more than 60 sorties against targets in Burma, including artillery positions, storage areas, ground troops, roads, and a bridge; the targets are in the Zigon,
Shingban, and Myitkyina areas.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 8 B-25s bomb and strafe Chiengmai Airfield, destroying 9 aircraft, the water tower and nearby railroad station; the barracks area is also damaged.

EASTERN AIR COMMAND (EAC): During the night, British Major General Orde C Wingate's Special Force of long-range penetration troops begin dropping by glider onto Japanese lines of communication in C Burma. US engineer troops drop first, followed by the British 77 and 111 Brigades. USAAF Colonel Philip G Cochran's Air Commando unit flies them in, dropping them on a strip designated Broadway, about 50 miles northeast of Indaw. Another projected drop site, Piccadilly, is unusable as the Japanese have blocked it with fallen trees. Of 67 gliders dispatched, 32 reach Broadway. 539 men, 3 mules and 65,972 pounds (29,925 kg) of supplies are safely put down, including such items as bulldozers and lighting apparatus.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): P-40s from Makin carry out fighter-bomber mission against runways and airfield installations at Mille Atoll; B-25s hit Maloelap and Mille; B-24s bomb Ponape and last resort targets at Kusaie and Mille.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 22 B-25s, with USN fighter escort, bomb Simpson Harbor; 4 RNZAF Venturas on patrol hit barges anchored off a supply dock at nearby Raulavat Plantation; 9 B-24s follow with a raid on the Rabaul town area; 13 B-24, with USN fighters covering, blast the revetment area and airstrip at Tobera; 11 P-38s hit Borpop Airfield, and P-40s and USN fighters hit barges at Kabanga Bay and off the Warangoi River; 16 P-39s attack AA positions at Monoitu bridge, and 3 P-38s hit Siar.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): About 30 B-24s bomb enemy positions on Los Negros. In NE Nea Guinea, elements of the US 32d Infantry Division land at Yaula; A-20s bomb and strafe the area; P-39's pound the areas around Madang and Erima; P-47 sweep the Wewak / Dagua area. Lost are P-47D "Fiery Ginger IV" 42-22668, B-24D "Ready, Willing & Able" 42-41135 and F5B Lightning 42-67360. Australian ground forces break out of the Ramu Valley and Japanese retreat toward Madang. 71st Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 38th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Port Moresby to Nadzab, New Guinea with B-25s.

RAAF: Crashed on Goodenough is Beaufort A9-480.

MONDAY, 6 MARCH 1944
BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 4 B-25s knock the center span out of the Sittang bridge and blast 2 AA positions; 14 B-25s lay mines around Kham Yai bomb nearby Prong and hit the marshalling yard at Pegu; 18 P-51s and P-40s attack Sawnghka bridge with poor results, start fires near Lalawng Ga, and bomb dumps near Walawbum. A flight of the 20th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, AAF India-Burma Sector (attached to Tenth Air Force), begins operating from Kisselbari with P-40s; the squadron is based at Guskhara.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): A-24s and P-40s from Makin bomb and strafe runways at Mille Atoll. B-25s from Tarawa pound Wotje Airfield.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville, P-39s hit Monoitu Mission and huts and bridge on the Miwo River. 24 B-25s with fighter escort, pound Tobera, while 24 B-24s and 12 P-38s hit Kavieng and Panapai Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): B-25s continue to hit Japanese forces on Los Negros.  B-24s bomb the airstrip and other targets in the Awar-Nubia area; P-39s and RAAF aircraft hit Japanese forces around Madang. P-39s and P-38s strafe and dive-bomb the Cape Hoskins-Talasea area as US Marines land about midway up the coast of the Willaumez Peninsula in preparation for a drive on Talasea. 405th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 38th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Port Moresby to Nadzab with B-25s. Lost is C-47A "Our Lillian Ethel Form 1A" 42-24228 and P-39Q 42-19939.

TUESDAY, 7 MARCH 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian , B-24s and B-25s fly a negative search mission for an enemy submarine.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 20+ P-51s and A-36s on armed reconnaissance hit targets of opportunity from Walawbum to Shaduzup; 2 B-25s hit troop concentrations NW of Shaduzup and another attacks road bridge and barges near Shwebo and along the Irrawaddy River; offensive reconnaissance over several airfields in Burma results in no major action.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Abemama hit Kusaie and Jaluit. P-40s bomb and strafe the airfield at Mille Atoll. B-25s pound runways, AA positions, storage areas, and barracks on Taroa.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 24 B-25s, with USN fighter support, hit Tobera Airfield; 19 P-40s bomb and strafe Rabaul. 24 B-24s and 14 P-38s hit Panapai Airfield. Fighter aircraft pound tactical targets on Bougainville including Koromira Mission, a supply area on the Jaba River, and bivouac S of the Maririei River near Menoavi.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): B-24s and B-25s continue to hit targets on Los Negros and other of the Admiralty and bomb Boram Airfield. P-38s and RAAF aircraft attack targets in the Talasea area. 823d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 38th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Port Moresby to Nadzab with B-25s.

USN: Sunk is PT-337. Lost is PB4Y "Whata-Honey" 32079.

WEDNESDAY, 8 MARCH 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian , bombers fly negative search and patrol missions for an enemy submarine; B-24s fly cover for a convoy en route from Adak to Shemya.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 28 P-51s hit the airfields at Anisakan, Shwebo, and Onbauk, destroying 30+ Japanese aircraft; later 5 B-25s and 2 P-51s hit Shwebo, scoring hits along the runway and in the dispersal area and leaving several Japanese aircraft aflame; 3 B-25s hit 2 bridges at Lalawng Ga and Warazup, knocking out the latter; and 16 A-36s and P-51s hit targets of opportunity from Chanmoi to Shaduzup.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 26th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, based at Kunming with P-51s sends a detachment to operate from Nanning.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s striking from Makin bomb Ponape and Kusaie. A-24s and P-40s, also from Makin bomb and strafe runways and AA positions at Mille. Tarawa based B-25s pound Wotje.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 23 B-24s and 23 B-25s pound Rabaul, blasting Chinatown and the wharf area; 46 P-40s and P-39s pound the dock area E of Rabaul; Nine P-38s, turning back from Rabaul bomb Buka Airfield. 390th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 42d Bombardment Group (Medium), based in the Renard Field with B-25s begins operating from Stirling.

USN: Lost is PBY Catalina 48259.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): B-25s carry out a number of low-level strikes as Allied ground forces capture Lombrun Plantation, virtually completing the capture of the island. 70+ B-24s, B-25s, and A-20s bomb Nubia and Awar airstrips; the bombers and escorting fighters claim 17 aircraft shot down in the Wewak area, lost is B-24D "Sunshine" 42-41225. On a fighter sweep over Aitape attacking barges, lost is P-38J 42-103987. Fighters continue to strafe coastal targets in NE New Guinea and on New Britain. 822d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 38th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Port Moresby to Nadzab with B-25s.

THURSDAY, 9 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 6 B-24s bomb Tavoy Airfield and office area while 8 others hit the town of Mogaung; the town area, supply dumps and road bridge at Kamaing are pounded by 10 B-24s, 16 P-51s, and 10 P-40s; the bridge is knocked out; Ten B-25s score numerous hits on Indaw Airfield and Katha Airfield; and P-51s, P-40s, and A-36s hit storage at Pyindaw, and support ground forces at Walawbum and Shaduzup.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 18 Chinese-American Composite Wing (CACW) B-25s and 24 Chinese P-40s pound a foundry and floating docks at Shihhweiyao, China. In French Indochina, 40+ P-40s carry out several sea sweeps off the coast and fly armed reconnaissance over the NE; the fighters damage vessels off Campha Port, strafe the airfield at Mon Cay, bomb the airfield at Weichow (causing heavy damage), hit barracks at Luc Nam, damage vessels at Hongay and bomb military installations at Cao Bang.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s based on Abemama attack Taroa. B-24s from Tarawa hit Ponape and Kusaie.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 24 B-25s bomb the dock area along the north shore of Simpson Harbor at Rabaul; 19 B-24s follow with a strike on Rabaul town and wharf area and also hit airfields in the vicinity; and 40+ P-39s and P-40s hit the dock area east of Simpson Harbor. Two squadrons of B-25s hit Japanese installations on the hills inland from Empress Augusta Bay. Detachment of 17th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 4th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance), begins operating from Munda with F-5s; the squadron is based on Guadalcanal.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): B-25s pound Lorengau and other targets on Manus. Numerous other Fifth Air Force aircraft carry out armed reconnaissance over wide reaches of the SWPA, attacking a variety of targets.

USN: Lost over Kapingamarangi (Greenwich) is PB4Y-1 Liberator 32069.

USMC: Lost in a mid-air collision is F4U Corsair 02618.

FRIDAY, 10 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 23 B-24s pound the town areas of Mogaung and Kamaing during the afternoon, following an earlier B-25 raid on Kamaing; 40+ P-40s, P-51s, and P-38s hit gun positions S of Walawbum, troops and storage areas W of Mogaung at Pahok, trains near Myitnge and Anisakan, the airfield at Anisakan, and the town area of Laban.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 6 B-24s bomb Kowloon Docks; B-25s from Suichwan sink a motor launch and damage 2 cargo vessels and a barge in the Anking area; escorting P-38s shoot down several interceptors; P-40s and P-51s on armed reconnaissance bomb or strafe barracks and shipping at Foochow, Nanchang Airfield and barracks, factory, barracks, and bridge near Sienning, and in French Indochina, freighters at Hongay and Campha Port, barracks at Ha Coi, and the area E of Lang Son.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): A-24s and P-40s from Makin and B-25s from Tarawa attack airfields, AA positions and radio installations at Mille and Wotje. B-25s, operating out of Engebi (secured by invading forces on 22 Feb) for the first time, bomb Kusaie.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): P-40s and P-39s attack the Vunapope supply area; 19 B-24s pound the Rabaul area, starting several large fires. Forty B-25s hit Japanese positions in the hills near Empress Augusta Bay; P-39s attack targets at Kepiai Plantation.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Eleven B-25s bomb Lorengau and several targets of opportunity on Manus. B-24s and P-39s, operating singly or in pairs, attack numerous scattered targets of opportunity throughout the SWPA during armed reconnaissance flights. Lost is B-25D "Buzzin' Buzzard" 41-30632.

SATURDAY, 11 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 70+ fighter-bombers (P-40s, P-51s and A-36s) and 2 B-25s hit fuel and ammunition dumps, gun positions, roads and general targets of opportunity in or near Saungka, Pandaw, Walawbum, Labang Gahtawng, Shaduzup and Mogaung.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, 10 P-40s damage 3 barges at Campha Port, hit buildings on Weichow , China and attack the town area at Ha Coi.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s, operating out of Kwajalein, for first time, carry out the Seventh's first raid from the Marshall against Wake. P-40s and B-25s, operating from bases in the Gilbert , pound Mille and Maloelap Atolls.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 40+ B-24s and B-25s, supported by 20+ P-38s, pound Rabaul town area; and 20 P-40s bomb Vunapope. On Bougainville , 43 P-40s bomb the Mosigetta area while 4 B-24s pound Monoitu Mission.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Twelve B-25s pound Lorengau while 7 B-24s bomb enemy positions to the W of the town, as the preliminaries for invasion of Manus increase. 80+ B-24s, B-25s, and A-20s hit Boram Airfield while 40+ A-20s and P-39s attack targets in the Madang area; P-47s strafe the Hansa Bay area; other aircraft carry out armed reconnaissance and sweeps over wide reaches of NE New Guinea and the New Britain coastal areas. 64th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Dobodura to Nadzab, New Guinea with B-24s. Lost are B-24D "Heaven Can Wait" 42-41216 and P-47D 42-22896.

SUNDAY, 12 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 50+ P-40s, A-36s, and P-51s, along with a single B-25, pound troops and supply areas at Shedwiyang and near Kamaing, bomb the town of Shaduzup, and hit storage areas near Manywet and Malakawng.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Tarawa bomb Mille, Wotje and Maloelap and Nauru. B-25s hit Jaluit.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 22 B-25s, with USN fighter cover, pound the Rabaul area, concentrating on the north rim of Simpson Harbor; 18 B-24s, with USN fighter cover, follow with a strike against Rabaul customs wharf area; the B-24 strike is followed by an attack on the town area of Rabaul by 64 P-40s, P-38s, and P-39s. Missing is P-39Q 44-2451.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Twelve B-25s hit enemy positions and communication at Lorengau as landings on small offshore continue with a beachhead being established on Hauwei. 40+ B-24s B-25s, and A-20s hit the Wewak area including Boram Airfield. Lost are A-20G 42-86625 (MIA), A-20G 42-86618 (MIA), A-20G 42-86730 (MIA), A-20G 42-86747, A-20G 42-86614, A-20G 42-86778 and A-20G "A Touch of Texas" 43-9623. Lost on a ferry flight is B-24J 42-100205. 403d Bombardment Squadron, 43d Bombardment Group, moves from Dobodura to Nadzab with B-24s.

MONDAY, 13 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 140+ P-40s, A-36s, and P-51s along with 2 B-25s pound numerous targets of opportunity in the Shaduzup area, knock out a span of a bridge in Shaduzup, hit the town of Loilaw, pound supply and ammunition dumps near Warazup and Seton, and bomb a building area N of Namti.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Eight B-24s and four P-40s attack Kiungshan Airfield and Kiungshan Seaplane Base; and 16 P-40s bomb a bridge at Puchi, scoring direct hits on both approaches. HQ 312th Fighter Wing is activated at Kunming.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s from Engebi bomb Kusaie while B-24s from Tarawa hit Ponape. B-25s from Abemama and Tarawa pound Mille. 38th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Nanumea to Kwajalein; the squadron continues operating from Makin with B-24s until 22 Mar.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): On New Britain , 2 B-24s, with USN fighter escort, and 22 B-25s bomb the Rabaul area, hitting the NW part of Rabaul and harbor and waterfront section; and 27 P-39s, P-40s, and P-38s pound the Vunapope supply area. 31st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), ceases operating from Munda, New Georgia with B-24s and returns to base on Guadalcanal .

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 160+ B-24s, B-25s, A-20s, P-47s, and P-40s thoroughly pound the Wewak, New Guinea area; US aircraft claim 8 interceptors shot down. Other aircraft, operating singly or in flights of 2 or 3, attack several targets in the NE New Guinea-New Britain area. 312th BG strikes Alexishafen and loose three planese due to weather: A-20G 42-54117, A-20G 42-54082 and A-20G 42-54085. Lost is B-25D "How's Your Ole' Tomato" 41-30664. In the Admiralties, Hauwei is cleared of enemy opposition and artillery is brought ashore. 340th Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, moves from Finschhafen to Saidor with P-47s.

TUESDAY, 14 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 90+ P-51s, A-36s, and P-40s, along with 3 B-25s, hit Japanese troops, bridges, dumps, and villages in the Mogaung Valley.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Twenty Japanese bombers hit Hengyang Airfield and Suichwan Airfield; surprise prevents effective interception by AAF fighters.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s from Engebi bomb Kusaie. B-25s from Tarawa hit Wotje.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 22 P-40s and P-39s hit Vunapope; 23 B-24s, with USN fighter cover, bomb the northern waterfront area of Simpson Harbor; and 22 B-25s, with USN fighter escort, bomb the east section of town of Rabaul. P-39s, P-38s, P-40s, and USN fighters hit barges and other targets of opportunity around the coast of Bougainville and along the NE coast of New Ireland .

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 80+ B-24s, B-25s, and A-20s, supported by Allied fighters, pound the Wewak area. Lost is P-47D 42-22920. Two force land but the pilots return to duty: P-47D piloted by Murr and P-47D piloted by Schatzman; 17 other B-24s bomb the airfield at Tadji; and 8 A-20s carry out a sweep over the Madang area while 12 bomb the airstrip at Alexishafen. HQ 8th Fighter Group and 35th and 36th Fighter Squadrons move from Cape Gloucester to Nadzab with P-40s and P-47s respectively.

RAAF: Lost is Avro Anson AW659.


WEDNESDAY, 15 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): 31 B-24s and 20+ Royal Air Force (RAF) Wellingtons and Beaufighters pound supply dumps and targets of opportunity in the Rangoon area while eight other B-24s hit barracks near Bangkok; numerous US and RAF medium and fighter-bombers attack villages, Japanese positions, ammunition dumps, tanks, and many other targets of opportunity in the Chin Hills, at Chindwin, in the Mogaung Valley, and in areas around Mandalay.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Kwajalein Atoll fly the first Seventh Air Force mission against Truk, hitting Dublon and Eten before dawn; alternate targets of Oroluk Anchorage and Ponape Town (Colonia) are also hit. B-25s from Tarawa hit Maloelap. A-24s, P-39s, and P-40s used against Mille and Jaluit during Operations FLINTLOCK (operations against Kwajalein and Majuro) and CATCHPOLE (have returned to Oahu for rest and re-equipment. 27th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Nanumea to Kwajalein Atoll with B-24s; they have been operating from Abemama since 26 Feb.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): Major General Hubert R Harmon, Commanding General Thirteenth Air Force, becomes Commander Air Solomons (COMAIRSOLS). 50+ B-25s, P-40s, P-39s and P-38s and USN fighters pound Vunapope supply areas; 24 B-25s, with USN fighter escort, bomb Lakunai Airfield; 22 unescorted B-24s, finding Tobera clouded over, bomb the airfield at Rapopo as a secondary target.

USMC - Marine Bombing Squadron 413 flies its first combat mission over Rabaul in the PBJ (B-25 Mitchell).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 200+ B-24s, B-25s, A-20s, P-38s, P-47s and P-40s pound Wewak township, blasting docks, warehouses, gun positions, and numerous other targets; fighters claim 11 enemy aircraft shot down. 36 B-25s bomb Tingo village and Lugos Mission area on Manus, where elements of the 1st Cavalry Division make an amphibious landing, take the mission and head E toward Lorengau.

THURSDAY, 16 MARCH 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 3 B-24s take off from Shemya shortly before midnight 15/16 Mar to fly armed reconnaissance over Matsuwa, Kurile , but turn back prematurely. Some of the bombers jettison their bombloads over the target area.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): Six B-25s damage a bridge at Nattalin near Rangoon.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 7 P-40s on a Yangtze River sweep damage 2 launches near Yoyang and pound barracks and storage at Sienning.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s from Tarawa and Abemama pound Wotje and Mille and Ormed.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 13 B-24s bomb Vunakanau Airfield, and 12 B-25s follow with a raid on Vunakanau radar installations; 9 B-25s, 12 P-39s, and 11 P-40s hit Vunapope supply areas; 10 P-38s attack Cape Tawui while 11 B-25s pound the northern edge of Simpson Harbor; and seven P-38s strafe barges west of Raluana Point. At Monoitu Mission on Bougainville , a raid by B-24s demolishes several buildings.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): On New Guinea, 70+ B-24s, B-25s and A-20s hit AA positions, buildings and salvage dumps at Wewak and nearby Brandi Plantation; 19 B-25s bomb personnel and storage areas at Nubia; and B-24s and Catalinas attack a Japanese convoy near Hollandia. Other B-24s bomb docks and factory area at Soerabaja. 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, moves from 14 Mile Drome to Nadzab with F-5s.

FRIDAY, 17 MARCH 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 3 B-24s fly armed reconnaissance over Onnekotan , Kurile , before dawn releasing bombs through the overcast.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 24 B-24s and 12 P-38s attack supply dumps in the Kalewa area in the Chin Hills region; 30+ B-25s, P-51s and A-36s damage Shweli and Mogaung bridges and hit positions and supply dumps in the Kamaing area. Lost is B-25H 4229; 37 P-40s blast the Myitkyina Airfield; numerous other aircraft fly miscellaneous sorties over the Sumprabum area; and 2 B-25s cause fires among oil installations at Chauk. 24th Photographic Squadron (Heavy), Tenth Air Force, based at Guskhara with F-7s, sends a detachment to operate from Hsinching.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, 5 B-25s bomb and strafe boatyards at Vinh and hit lumber stores and sawmills at nearby Ben Thuy.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s and B-25s from Tarawa bomb, respectively, Ponape and Jaluit. 392d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Abemama to Kwajalein with B-24s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 31 fighter-bombers and 31 B-25s pound supply areas at Vunapope and at Ralum. A few fighter-bombers hit a Japanese bivouac area on Matchin Bay. Twenty plus B-24s pound Namatanai Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Almost 100 B-24s, B-25s and A-20s attack the Wewak area; P-38s hit the Hansa Bay area while other B-25s bomb the Madang-Alexishafen area. Soerabaja naval base is bombed by B-24s.

SATURDAY, 18 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 22 B-25s attack villages and oil storage areas near Kalewa while 16 B-24s and 41 RAF Vengeance's pound the same general area hitting Japanese positions and causing many fires; 20+ P-51s and B-25s support ground forces near Chindwin; Fourteen B-25s others hit a truck park and supply area near Mandalay; and 20+ fighter-bombers (P-51s, P-40s and A-36s) bomb the Kamaing area while 10 more damage several riverboats near Katha.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Sixteen P-40s on a Yangtze River sweep sink one large sailboat and strafe a transport ship at Chiuchiang. Two P-40s damage a bridge north of Haiphong and attack targets of opportunity in the area, while 2 others sink 2 large junks at Thuong Mo; 12 P-40s on armed reconnaissance from Nanning, China sink a barge and damage other craft at Quang Yen, sink a transport vessel at Campha Port and damage a nearby bridge, attack a train and several buildings in the Lang Son area, and damage a railroad bridge between Lang Son and Phu Lang Thuong.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): Two B-25s from Engebi bomb and strafe Ponape. 13 B-25s from Abemama bomb Jaluit while 5 from Tarawa hit Jaluit with bombs and cannon fire. 1 B-24 from Tarawa bombs Mille Atoll and photographs Mille and Majuro.

USN - Task Group 50.10 (Rear Admiral W. A. Lee), composed of the Lexington, two battleships, and a destroyer screen, bombed and bombard bypassed Mili.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 12 P-40s pound fuel stores on Keravia Bay; 13 P-38s follow with a strike on an ammunition dump at nearby Cape Tawui; 12 P-39s later hit the Keravia Bay area; and still later, 24 B-24s and 13 B-25s blast the town of Rabaul and foothills nearby. On Bougainville, 18 P-39s, along with several USN fighter-bombers hit shipping at the mouths of the Jaba and Tavena Rivers.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force) 100+ B-24s, B-25s, and A-20s continue to pound the Wewak area, hitting AA positions and nearby Brandi Plantation; a Japanese supply convoy reaches Wewak but escapes bombardment. Lost is A-20G 43-9626.

USN: Lost attacking Milli is SBD 36540 (MIA)

SUNDAY, 19 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 20+ B-25s and P-38s hit Wuntho; 70+ fighter-bombers and 2 B-25s over the Mogaung Valley bomb supply dumps, enemy positions, and targets of opportunity throughout the area, concentrating attacks in and near Kamaing, Mogaung and Sumprabum; and 16 P-51s hit barracks and a supply area at Meiktila Airfield while B-25s hit Indaw. 82d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium), arrives at Tezgaon from Italy with B-25s; first mission is 21 Apr.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 2 B-25s, 9 P-38s and 3 P-51s on a Yangtze River sweep damage several river vessels, hit a fort at Chihchow and bomb Nanchang Airfield.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s pound Wake from Kwajalein. B-25s from Abemama and Tarawa Atoll hit Maloelap, Jaluit, and Mille Atolls. 1 B-24 from Tarawa bombs Mille and photographs Mille and Majuro Atolls.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 30+ fighter-bombers over the Rabaul area pound an ammunition dump and other targets around Cape Tawui; and 24 B-25s blast the Vunapope area, concentrating on workers' quarters. 24 B-24s bomb Panapai Airstrip causing considerable damage to the runways.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, 100+ B-24s, B-25s, A-20s and P-47s pound the Wewak area, hitting the Cape Moem and Cape Boram areas; other B-25s and P-39s, along with RAAF aircraft, bomb the Hansa Bay, Nubia, Madang, and Alexishafen areas and hit targets along Bogadjim Road; and 130 B-24s, B-25s, A-20s, and P-38s virtually destroy a supply convoy proceeding from Wewak toward Hollandia, sinking at least 5 vessels. P-40s attack a bivouac area and AA on Garove Island. Lost are Lost is B-24D "Big Ass Bird II" 42-72801 (MIA), B-25D "Miss Ellen" 41-30185 (MIA) and A-20G 43-9477 (crew rescued).

MONDAY, 20 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In the Arakan area of Burma, 12 RAF Vengeance's hit Japanese positions near Kaladan and Buthidaung while 6 P-38s severely damage a bridge at Lamu; 20+ B-25s and P-51s hit communication and transportation targets in the Katha area; 6 B-24s bomb the Moulmein-Martaban area; and 100+ fighter-bombers strike Mogaung Valley buildings and supply areas, and fuel dumps at Mogaung, Myitkyina, Sumprabum and Sahmaw. 81st Bombardment Group (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium), arrives at Tezgaon from Italy with B-25s; first mission is 16 Apr.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Photo reconnaissance sorties are flown orer C China and NE Burma.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): 12 B-25s from Tarawa bomb the radio station and pier on Emidj. 1 other B-25 from Tarawa bombs Mille, rearms at Majuro, and again bombs Mille on the return trip. HQ 30th Bombardment Group moves from Abemama to Kwajalein.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 20+ fighter-bombers hit the Ratawul supply area; later 20+ fighters attack barges in the Rabaul area while 3 RNZAF Venturas blast several buildings at nearby Massava Bay; and 23 B-24s bomb the airfield at Vunakanau while 24 B-25s pound Lakunai. Ten P-40s and P-39s bomb Numa Numa and strafe coastal targets of opportunity. A reconnaissance patrol of snooper B-24s cover US Marines moving onto Emirau a fighter patrol is unnecessary due to unexpected lack of opposition and after the initial landing by the Marines other Allied ground forces move ashore; by the afternoon of 21 Mar the occupation of the is complete and construction of a base begins shortly. 868th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), Thirteenth Air Force, moves from Munda to Los Negros with B-24s; this squadron uses radar-equipped "snooper" B-24s for low-level attacks at night and for pathfinder operations.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 30+ B-24s bomb Tadji Airfield at Aitape; 20+ P-39s and A-20s hit Japanese HQ and other targets along the Bogadjim Road while B-25s and P-39s on armed reconnaissance hit targets at Milhanak, along the Gogol River, at Yeschan, Burui Airfield and at Erima; and at night B-24s bomb remnants of a supply convoy off Cape Terabu. On New Britain, P-40s on armed reconnaissance hit villages and barges along the Bangula Bay coast. Lost is B-24D "The Dorothy Anne/ Not in Stock" 42-41093.

(USN) Two escort carriers provided cover and airspot for the battleship and destroyer bombardment of Kavieng and nearby airfields in a covering action for the occupation of Emirau.

TUESDAY, 21 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 25 B-25s and P-51s destroy 1 bridge and damage another near Meza, pound buildings and targets of opportunity in the Mawlu area and hit a locomotive and several trucks in the Banmauk-Indaw area; 6 P-38s bomb Monywa oil dumps, causing several large fires; and 80+ fighter-bombers and 2 B-25s hit Manywet Town, storage area at Myitkyina, buildings at Kamaing and Myitkyina, and warehouses, bypass, and bridge at Hopin. HQ 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) arrives at Tezgaon and 83d and 434th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) arrive at Kurmitola from Italy with B-25s; first mission is 27 Apr.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Tarawa hit Mille and Maloelap and Ponape. Tarawabased B-25s also pound Maloelap.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 30+ fighter-bombers and 24 B-25s pound the Lakunai Airfield area; 22 B-24s bomb Vunakanau Airfield; and fighters carry out barge sweeps in the Rabaul area. Fourteen P-39s hit Numa Numa; small strikes are flown against Monoitu and a bridge at Meive, and fighter-bombers support ground forces and bomb a bivouac along Empress Augusta Bay.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 140+ B-24s, B-25s, A-20s, P-38s and P-40s attack numerous targets at Kairiru Island, Wewak-Tadji- Hansa Bay-Schouten areas; and P-39s and RAAF fighter-bombers blast Japanese positions in the Madang area. P-40s and A-20s on armed reconnaissance attack targets on New Britain and Garove Island.

WEDNESDAY, 22 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): Japanese troops move into India from Burma and penetrate to 30 miles (48 km) E of Imphal. In Burma, 100+ fighters and fighter-bombers over the Mogaung Valley attack troops, storage, and other targets and cause several fires throughout the area; 20+ P-51s and B-25s carry out ground support missions in the Mawlu area near Katha; near Rangoon four B-24s set fire to the target. P-38 damages railroad bridges and several trucks at Pyinmana. 92d Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group, arrives at Karachi from Italy; they will be equipped with P-47s and enter combat on 1 Jun.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, 4 B-25s from Yangkai hit several targets in and around Phu Dien Chau, Ha Trung, Dong Giao and Nam Dinh; results include 3 locomotives destroyed and another damaged, 3 125-ft (38 m) steamers damaged, and a bridge roadbed weakened; 1 B-25 is lost.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s from Abemama and Tarawa Atoll bomb Mille and Jaluit. 38th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group (Heavy), ceases operating from Makin and returns to base on Kwajalein with B-24s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville , 30+ fighter-bombers hit a supply area along the Laruma River. Thirteen B-24s carry out small strikes against Buka, Monoitu, Kahili, and Kara. 23 B-25s pound Lakunai Airfield, 10 B-24s bomb Tobera, and a single B-24 hits Rabaul.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 130+ B-24s, B-25s, A-20s, and P-40s attack the Wewak area, hitting enemy positions, AA guns, storage areas at Wewak, Boram, and Yeschan and hitting shipping offshore at Kairiru Island. Japanese HQ and troops are hit by 25 other aircraft in the Aitape-Tadji area; P-47s hit barges at Alexishafen while P-39s hit a HQ and supply dump along the Bogadjim Road: and A-20s hit barges near Pondo Plantation and hit Ewasse village. 49th FG P-40 bomb the Tadji area. Lost is P-40N piloted by Cash and B-24D "Weezie" 42-41081 on a courier flight. Also P-38J "Marge" 42-103993.


THURSDAY, 23 MARCH 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): A detachment of the 11th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group, begins operating from Amchitka with P-40s and P-38s; the squadron is based on Adak .

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In the Chin Hills region of Burma, 12 B-24s and 10 P-38s bomb Kalewa, and 9 B-25s attack Kaing and Shwebo; in the Katha area 12 P-51s bomb Naba Station while 12 others join 9 B-25s in attacking ammunition and gas dumps at Indaw; 4 P-40s bomb stores at Kamaing while 30+ other fighters fly armed reconnaissance over the Mogaung Valley in general; and 12 B-24s pound Moulmein jetty and attack Moulmein-Bangkok railroad targets, destroying 2 bridges, damaging several others, and scoring effective hits on 2 trains.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, B-25s on a railroad sweep N from Vinh destroy 2 engines and several boxcars at Van Trai Station yards and attack 3 bridges between Vinh and Thanh Hoa. HQ 312th Fighter Wing moves from Kunming to Chengtu.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Kwajalein bomb Wake; B-25s flying out of Eniwetok hit Ponape; and Tarawa based B-25s strike Maloelap and Jaluit, commencing a series of B-25 shuttle-missions between Tarawa or Makin and the USN's new base at Majuro which is used as the rearming base for the return strike.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 14 P-38s bomb targets of opportunity at Komaleai Point on Bougainville. Twenty-four B-25s hit Buka after weather prevented scheduled attacks on Rabaul. Fighters fly sweeps over Rabaul and general New Ireland area, and 12 P-40s bomb fuel dump at Keravia Bay; 15 B-24s out of 24 dispatched plow through the bad weather and bomb the Ratawul supply area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Nearly 100 B-24s, B-25s, A-20s and P-47s hit numerous targets in the Aitape, Wewak, Alexishafen, and Hansa Bay areas; and B-24s bomb Babo and during the night attack shipping in the Bismarck Sea. Twenty-nine P-40s attack Talasea and nearby bivouacs, including Gogosi.

Colgate University professor Harold Whitnail presents a propsal to the US military that recommends bombing Japan's numberous volcanoes, theorizing that explosives might trigger eruptions.

FRIDAY, 24 MARCH 1944


ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 3 B-24s fly a photographic mission over Onnekotan .

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In the Mandalay area, 12 B-24s and 10 P-38s bomb Pyingaing dump, 9 B-25s hit Shwebo railroad yards and a nearby factory, and 8 P-51s attack Gokteik Viaduct; 4 P-40s bomb Japanese positions near Shaduzup. British General Orde Wingate is killed in a plane crash, he had been in chage of organizing guerrilla units throughout Bruma and China.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s from Tarawa bomb Jaluit while others, flying out of Eniwetok, hit Ponape and Ant Island.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 20+ B-25s hit the airstrip at Tobera; a few which lost contact with the formation bomb Vunakanau instead; and 30+ P-38s, P-39s, and P-40s hit Vunapope with incendiary clusters, causing numerous fires.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): P-39s and P-40s hit Alexishafen with a dive bombing and strafing attack at midday; a single B-24 bombs nearby Sek; other B-24s on armed reconnaissance score a hit on a minesweeper. Organized Japanese resistance ends on Los Negros and Bougainville, although considerable time will be required for mopping-up operations. HQ 475th Fighter Group moves from Dobodura to Nadzab, New Guinea. Lost on a ferry flight to Horn Island is B-17E "Tojo's Nightmare" 41-2497

SATURDAY, 25 MARCH 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 2 Shemya based B-24s bomb Kurabu Cape and the N coast of Onnekotan.

CARIBBEAN (Sixth Air Force): 29th and 31st Fighter Squadrons, XXVI Fighter Command, begin a movement from Casa Larga, Panama and Howard Field respectively, to the US.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 B-24s hit Mogaung supply dumps, causing fires and much smoke; 12 P-40s bomb the Kamaing area; Japanese aircraft (5 medium bombers and 30 fighters) attack Allied airstrips at Chittagong and Cox's Bazaar, India and Anisakan, Burma; Tenth Air Force and RAF interceptors claim 7 aircraft shot down.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 6 B-24s from Chengkung bomb a motor pool and fuel dump at Mangshih, demolishing a sizeable portion of the target area.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): Advanced HQ Seventh Air Force in Tarawa is disbanded and the Seventh's operations in the C Pacific forward area are placed under the VII Bomber Command at Kwajalein. B-25s from Eniwetok pound Ponape and claim 4 fighters shot down. B-25s from Abemama bomb Maloelap HQ VII Bomber Command moves from Tarawa Atoll to Kwajalein Atoll.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 23 B-25s pound the Ratawul supply area while 34 fighter-bombers hit Keravia Bay fuel stores. On Bougainville, 20+ fighter-bombers hit a Miwo River bridge and nearby bivouac area and bomb a truck park W of the Omoi River.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, 100+ B-24s, B-25s, and A-20s continue pounding of the Wewak area, destroying supply dumps along the coast from Wewak Point to the airfield, a fuel dump W of Boram, and targets along the Sauri road and in the Cape Wom area; other A-20s attack the coastal area around Bunabun Harbor; and B-24s bomb the Babo-Urarom area. On New Britain , P-40s attack a Japanese HQ at Cape Hoskins. On Manus, the last major battle takes place; isolated enemy positions remain to be eliminated. Moves in New Guinea with P-38s: 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, from Cape Gloucester to Nadzab; 432d Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group from Dobodura to Nadzab.

USN: Lost on a mission against Shumshu is PV-1 Ventura 34614.

USMC: Lost is SNJ Texan 7008 (two MIA).

RNZAF: Damaged is TBF NZ2510.

SUNDAY, 26 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 3 B-24s and 3 B-25s bomb troops along the Imphal-Tiddim road near Chindwin; 70+ fighter-bombers and a lone B-25 attack targets in the Mogaung Valley area, including Manywet Airfield and Myitkyina Airfield, and bridges, roads, railroads and targets of opportunity at Mogaung, Kamaing and Myitkyina; in the Katha area 8 P-51s and 3 B-25s hit a Japanese bivouac NE of Bhamo and claim 6 warehouses destroyed at Nankan. 20th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Tenth Air Force [attached to 5320th Air Defense Wing (Provisional)] moves from Guskhara to Kisselbari with P-40s.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 4 B-25s hit the Bakli Bay area; 2 merchant vessels are claimed sunk, and damage is done to tracks and loading equipment. Four P-40s on a sweep of the N coast of the Gulf of Tonkin sink an ore boat and damage 4 barges.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): Eniwetok based B-25s strike Ponape, lost is B-25G 42-64832 (MIA). and B-25G 42-64954 (four rescued) B-25s from Tarawa hit Jaluit, rearm at Majuro, and hit Jaluit again on the return flight to Tarawa.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 23 B-25s hit Vunakanau Airfield and 37 fighter-bombers attack supply areas along Talili Bay; B-25s continue to heckle the Rabaul area during the night. In the Bougainville area 3 B-24s and 20 fighter-bombers hit pillboxes and targets of opportunity on off the Tekessi River mouth and near Monoitu; fighter-bombers again support ground forces along Empress Augusta Bay, hitting a supply dump N of the Reini River and enemy positions near the mouths of the Tekessi and Maririei Rivers; the fighter-bombers claim destruction of a bridge over the Puriata River. 24 B-24s on a mission against Truk Atoll fail to reach the target and bomb Pulusuk, Caroline instead; several of the B-24s are forced to land on Green Island because of fuel shortages.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 220+ B-24s, B-25s, A-20s and fighters hit Wewak, Boram, Cape Wom, Aitape, the Hansa Bay coast, Mushu, and the general area along the N coast of NE New Guinea, blasting storage areas, barges, shipping, grounded aircraft, fuel dumps and enemy troops; other A-20s hit Bunabun Harbor while P-39s hit the Madang area. Lost is A-20G 43-9625. P-39s and P-40s attack Cape Hoskins and troops in the Talasea area. On Manus, A-20s hit buildings and Japanese positions on the S shore. Lost on local flight is B-25D 41-30259. 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, moves from Dobodura No 12 to Nadzab No 3 with P-38s. Lost is A-20G 43-9118 (MIA)

MONDAY, 27 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 B-24s hit supply dumps at Kamaing, while about 50 fighter-bombers and 2 B-25s hit troops in in the Myitkinya area and support ground forces near Kamaing; in the Katha area 12 B-25s and 16 P-38s and P-51s hit a bridge and railroad facilities near Meza and a railroad near Kawlin.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 6 B-25s pound the Viet Tri, French Indochina area, damaging 2 factories, a bridge and several railroad cars. In China 60+ P-40s, P-38s, and P-51s attack troops and buildings at Sienning and Kwanyinchow, hit a bridge, warehouse, and general area at Anyi, damage bridges at Kienchang and Puchi and pound Nanchang Airfield and surrounding areas.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s and B-24s from Tarawa hit Maloelap, Mille and Wotje; B-25s from Eniwetok bomb Jaluit and strafe Ponape; and a single B-24 from Tarawa bombs Jabor in Jaluit. 9th Troop Carrier Squadron, Seventh Air Force, moves from Hickam Field to Abemama with C-47s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 23 B-25s hit Vunapope with incendiaries; and 34 fighter-bombers follow in rapid succession with another incendiary strike, leaving the entire vicinity in flames. 9 P-40s hit fuel dump at the mouth of Tekessi River on Bougainville.
.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 200+ B-24s, B-25s, A-20s, P-47s, P-40s and P-39s attack storage areas, shipping, bridges, fuel dumps, enemy troop concentrations and other targets in areas around Wewak, Hansa Bay, Ulipan Harbor, and Madang. Other aircraft carry out sweeps and armed reconnaissance over New Britain and the Bismarck Sea. 341st Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, moves from Finschhafen to Saidor with P-47s. Lost is B-25H 43-4179 (MIA).

USN: PT-121 and PT-353 were attacked by RAAF P-40.

RAAF: Lost on an operational reconnaissance is Hudson A16-230.

TUESDAY, 28 MARCH 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 18th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group, moves from Amchitka to Attu with P-38s.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In the Mogaung Valley of Burma, 8 B-24s bomb the Kamaing storage area, while 60+ fighter-bombers and nine B-25s furnish ground support in the Sumprabum, Mogaung, and Kamaing areas, and bomb storage at Manywet Town, Mohnyin and Kamaing.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 4 B-25s bomb the barracks area at Vinh Yen, French Indochina, scoring direct hits on 4 buildings.

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (XX Bomber Command): HQ XX Bomber Command arrives at Kharagpur from the US.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s from Abemama and Tarawa Atoll pound Jaluit, Mille and Maloelap Atolls; a single B-24 from Kwajalein Atoll, en route to Eniwetok Atoll, bombs Rongelap Atoll; and B-24s, flying a night mission from Kwajalein, bomb targets at Truk Atoll.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 24 B-25s bomb Tobera Airfield, causing considerable damage to the landing strip; fighter-bombers hit the Ratawul supply area and SW part of Rabaul. A few P-40s attack the Numa Numa supply area, a single B-24 scores damaging hits on the Japanese-held mission at Monoitu, and other planes hit scattered targets of opportunity.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): B-24s hit Hollandia and Penfoei. Moves in New Guinea: 26th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, from Finschhafen to Nadzab with F-5s; and 418th Night Fighter Squadron, 308th Bombardment Wing, from Dobodura to Finschhafen with P-61s. Force landed is B-25D 41-12920.

In the Indian Ocean, MV Tulagi is sunk by torpedoes fired by U-532.

WEDNESDAY, 29 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 20+ P-51s and B-25s over the Katha area hit the railroad and warehouse at Indaw in support of the ground forces nearby; 12 P-38s join numerous RAF aircraft in strikes on airfields, railroads, riverboats, and a variety of targets in the Mandalay area; Twelve B-24s pound the Victoria Lake region near Rangoon; 80+ fighter-bombers and a few B-25s blast targets throughout the Mogaung Valley, including the Waingmaw area, Mogaung, Nanyaseik, guns NE of Kamaing, and numerous scattered fortifications, supply areas, troop concentrations and pillboxes; 80+ other fighters maintain patrol of the Sumprabum area. HQ 1st Air Commando Group is activated at Hailakandi Airfield; the group consists of a HQ plus the following sections: bomber with B-25s, fighter with P-51s, light-plane with L-1 and L-5s, transport with C-47s, glider with CG-4As and TG-5s and light-cargo with UC-64s.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 12 P-40s and 3 P-51s attack the railroad station area at Nanchang, causing much damage to buildings and yards; the fighter-bombers also strafe Nanchang Airfield and attack a nearby bridge.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s from Kwajalein hit Jaluit and Rongelap Atolls; B-25s from Eniwetok strike Ponape while others from Tarawa bomb Maloelap and Jaluit. Lost on a mission against Truk is B-24J 42-73466.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): In the Rabaul area, 19 fighter-bombers hit targets of opportunity along the Miwo River and at Mawareka and Kimaku; 8 others abort because of bad weather; fighters sweeping the vicinity of Rabaul strafe shipping in Keravia Bay and knock out a gun position at Cape Tawui; 24 B-25s and 11 P-40s get through the bad weather and pound supply areas at Vunapope and Ratawul, respectively. On Bougainville, a few P-38s hit Numa Numa while other fighter-bombers again support ground forces at the mouth of the Tekessi River. B-24s of the 307th Bombardment Group carry out the first daylight raid on Truk Atoll, bombing Eten Airfield; the mission is staged from Munda, through Torokina for arming and Nissan for refueling before the strike; the unescorted B-24s claim 31 interceptors destroyed, along with almost 50 aircraft on the ground; 2 B-24s are lost.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Brigadier General Paul H Prentiss is announced as Commanding General V Air Force Services Command and Brigadier General Warren R Carter as Commanding General 64th Troop Carrier Wing. B-24s bomb Hollandia; B-25s and A-20s pound the Wewak area, hitting targets at Cape Wom and Dagua and attacking shipping throughout the day; Lost is B-25D 41-30040. More A-20s pound the Bogia-Bunabun area and P-39s hit an AA position at Erima; and P-47s and P-40s on a fighter sweep and armed reconnaissance strafe coastal targets of opportunity in NE New Guinea and New Britain.

Moves in New Guinea: HQ 348th Fighter Group from Finschhafen to Saidor; 433d Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, from Dobodura to Nadzab with P-38s.

THURSDAY, 30 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): 6 P-51s hit Anisakan Airfield, Burma.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Two B-24s fly a sea sweep from Kunming around Hainan and across the Gulf of Tonkin to Nam Dinh, French Indochina; en route, a freighter is strafed; 1 B-24s bombs spinning mills at Nam Sinh, causing considerable damage.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Kwajalein and Eniwetok hit Truk Atoll before dawn. B-25s from Kwajalein and Tarawa strike Wotje, Mille, Jaluit and Maloelap.

USN - Lost on a strike to Palau is TBF Avenger 25217.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 11 B-24s fly a long-range strike against Moen in Truk Atoll; the B-24s score damaging hits on the airfield and claim 11 fighters shot down; 1 B-24 is lost B-24D "Fuzzy Wuzzy" 42-40752; this raid follows a snooper strike by 2 B-24s the previous night. In the Rabaul area, 10 P-38s hit the SW part of the town with incendiaries while 24 B-25s pound nearby Vunapope. On Bougainville fighters and B-25s, operating mainly in pairs, hit a supply area on the Mupeka River and Japanese-occupied areas at the mouths of Puriata and Mamaregu Rivers; Fighter-bombers continue to support ground forces along the Empress Augusta Bay perimeter hitting a bivouac and truck park at Numa Numa, fords across the Hongorai River, and a bridge across the Puriata River.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 60+ B-24s, with support from more than 90 P-38s and P-47s, hit Hollandia in the first big daylight raid; airfields and fuel dumps are bombed; a large number of enemy aircraft are destroyed or damaged on the ground; escorting fighters claim about 10 interceptors shot down; B-25s, A-20s, P-47s, P-40s, and P-39s continue to blast Japanese installations and forces in areas around Wewak, Tadji and Madang. Lost is P-38H 42-66746 (MIA). Moves in New Guinea: HQ 91st Photographic Wing (Reconnaissance) to Nadzab from the US; and 342d Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, from Finschhafen Airfield to Saidor Airfield with P-47s.

FRIDAY, 31 MARCH 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 9 B-25s hit the Pinlebu area; 10 P-51s hit Japanese positions near the "Broadway" airstrip; 12 P-40s bomb the Warong area while others patrol around Sumprabum; near Katha 3 B-25s and 6 P-51s hit a warehouse, railroad cars and track at Zawchaung. HQ 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Group arrives at Bally, India from the US. The 9th Photographic Reconnaissance, 20th Tactical Reconnaissance and 24th Combat Mapping Squadrons will be assigned on 25 Apr; the 40th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron will be assigned on 18 Jul.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Eniwetok bomb Truk in a predawn mission. B-25s from Eniwetok hit Ponape while others, flying out of Tarawa, pound Maloelap and Jaluit Atolls. 431st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Tarawa Atoll to Kwajalein Airfield with B-24s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 23 B-25s bomb a Ratawul supply point; 11 P-40s hit Vunapope and 26 P-39s and P-38s bomb the NE part of Rabaul with incendiaries;

Father Benson writes in Prisoner's Base and Home Again:
"March 31st. Day of a thousand firesl incendiaries everywhere. The last sentance describes what seemed like a deliberat attempt to set the whole of the Gazelle Peninsula on fire. There had been no rain for a week and the blistering sun had turned the vegitation to tinder. The planes came early. Being on the coast we were hit by the first wave of bombers and when we came out of our shelters there were fires everywhere."

Fighter sweeps over Rabaul and New Ireland continue. twenty-five fighter-bombers pound the Numa Numa supply area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 60+ B-24s, with P-38 support, pound Hollandia for the second successive day; 3 airfields in the area are thoroughly blasted and a large number of enemy aircraft destroyed; US aircraft claim 14 interceptors shot down; supplies, enemy troops, and coastal targets in the Tadji, Wewak, and Hansa Bay areas are hit by 120+ A-20s and B-25s.

USN - American F6F Hellcat fighters finish sweeping the Japanese out of the sky over Palau. Mine laying aircraft are used for the first time to block Japanese shipping from escaping the Allied invasion.

RAAF: Lost is Walrus HD865 with one missing

Last Updated
April 22, 2014

 

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