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February 18, 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

FRIDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 40+ B-25s, A-36s and P-51s attack the town of Ye-u and nearby bridge, bivouacs N of Laban, bridges in the Pyingaing area and along the Mu River, supply and troop concentrations at Waingmaw radio station and a supply area near Kamaing and gun emplacements SE of Taihpa Ga; the strikes are generally successful. 58th Fighter Squadron, 33d Fighter Group, arrives at Karachi from Italy; they will be equipped with P-47Ds.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Four B-25s on a sweep of the Gulf of Tonkin damage two large boats north of Bakli Bay, destroy an ammunition dump at Phu Ly and knock out a nearby railroad bridge.

USN: "Operation Hailstone" for the second day, U. S. Navy carrier aircraft attack Japanese vessels and warships in Truk Lagoon. 400 tons of bombs and torpedo rained down on the lightly defended base. After the attacks, forty ships and thousands of men went to the bottom. Sunk are San Francisco Maru and Sankisan Maru.

USMC: 22nd Marine Regiment lands on Engebi and after a six hour battle. secures most of the island.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): P-40s from Makin bomb and strafe Jaluit and Mille. US forces land on Engebi Island in Eniwetok Atoll.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 34 B-25s and 18 B-24s, both forces with fighter escorts, pound Vunakanau Airfield; two B-25s and four P-38s hit Tobera. Lost on an experimental strafing mission over Buka is B-25H Mitchell Number 321, two of the crew and a dead body were rescued by PBY Catalina NZ4013.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): B-25s and RAAF Beaufighters hit Koepang, P-39s strafe targets of opportunity at Madang and Cape Raoult, New Britain Island. 499th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 345th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Dobodura to Nadzab with B-25s. Lost is B-25C "Hellzapopin II" 41-12464 (MIA).



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