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

MONDAY, 1 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, six B-24s bomb Mingaladon Airfield; another hits the airfield at Nyaungbinwun; 32 P-51s and A-36s and a single B-25 hit Myitkyina Airfield; some of the aircraft then strafe the Radhapur transport depot and storage area to the NW.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China during Feb 44, a detachment of the 16th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, based at Chengkung, operates from Nanning with P-40s; 449th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, transfers from Kunming to Suichwan with P-38s.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Makin hit the beach defenses on Kwajalein; P-40s on armed reconnaissance over Mille Atoll, Marshall Islands strafe a beached schooner. Operation CATCHPOLE is begun to occupy and defend Eniwetok Atoll, which is to furnish a striking base for operations against the Marianas. During the operation, Seventh Air Force aircraft operating from newly acquired bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands neutralize airfields in the Marianas and continue to pound by-passed airfields in the Marshalls.

USN - Operation CATCHPOLE (operations against Eniwetok and Ujelang Atolls in the Marshall Islands) is begun to occupy and defend Eniwetok Atoll. Lost are F6F Hellcat 40121 and OS2U Kingfisher 5906.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Weather prevents 50 B-24s sent against installations in the Admiralty Islands from reaching the target; 2 B-24s bomb a freighter NE of Vanimo while a single B-24 on armed reconnaissance strafes barges in the Solomon Sea. HQ 308th and 309th Bombardment Wings and 310th Bombardment Wing (Medium) are activated at Oro Bay, Lae and Gusap respectively; the wings will operate with various groups that are attached for brief periods. Lost on a ferry flight is B-25D 41-30532. Transfers in New Guinea: 8th Bombardment Squadron from Dobodura to Nadzab with A-20s; 421st Night Fighter Squadron, V Fighter Command, from Milne Bay to Nadzab with P-70s. During Feb 44, a detachment of the 26th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, based at Dobodura, begins operating from Port Moresby with F-5s.

WEDNESDAY, 2 FEBRUARY 1944

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): A-24s and P-40s from Makin bomb runways and gun positions on Mille Atoll and along with P-39 escort strafe NE tip of the island; B-24s from Tarawa Atoll bomb Rongelap Island, Marshall Islands.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 31st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based at Carney Field begins operating from Munda Airfield with B-24s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): B-24s bomb Sorong and Alexishafen; nearly 50 A-20s pound installations in the Madang area. B-25s hit coastal targets on New Britain Island from Cape Gauffre to Rein Bay. Other B-25s attack shipping off Tingwon Island in the Bismarck Archipelago and off the SE coast of New Britain. Lost is B-25G 42-64810 (MIA) and C-47A "Shack Trooper" 42-23487 (MIA).

THURSDAY, 3 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 16 P-38s attack bridges, encampments, and buildings along the Prome-Taungup road; 1 bridge is knocked out and another damaged; a tugboat is sunk at Akyab; 14 A-36s and a B-25 attack troops and camp area at Kumnyen and Lalawng Ga, and hit a motor pool and repair depot at Shingban; 16 P-51s hit an encampment at Sawnghka.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): P-40s from Makin bomb and strafe Mille Atoll.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): P-40s and US Navy fighters cover a USN dive-bomber strike on Tobera; 15 B-24s with P-38 and USN fighter escort bomb Lakunai Airfield; Allied aircraft claim 13 Japanese interceptors downed during the 2 strikes. Lost is F4U Corsair 56039.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Nearly 100 B-24s and B-25s, supported by P-38s, P-40s and P-47s, pound airfields in the Wewak area; about 80 aircraft are destroyed on the ground and in the air; A-20s attack Alexishafen and the Hansa Bay areas; P-39s and B-25s on armed reconnaissance hit trucks at Erima, barges on the New Britain coast, shipping in the N Bismarck Sea, and Momote and Hyane Harbor. Transfers in New Guinea: HQ 3d Bombardment Group from Dobodura to Nadzab; 25th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, from Brisbane to Lae with F-5s, first mission on 5 Feb; 673d Bombardment Squadron, 417th Bombardment Group, from Cape Sudest to Dobodura with A-20s, first mission on 25 Mar.

USMC: Lost are PV-1 33254 and F4U Corsair 56039.

FRIDAY, 4 FEBRUARY 1944


BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): Twelve P-51s strafe runways and buildings at Indaw Airfield.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s, flying from Tarawa and Makin bomb Wotje, Maloelap and Mille; B-25s from Tarawa and Abemama also hit Wotje and Maloelap; P-40s based on Makin bomb and strafe Mille.

USN - U.S. 27th Army defeat organized Japanese resistance Kwajalein.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 25 B-25s, escorted by 40+ fighters, pound the airfield at Tobera; 18 B-24s, covered by 30+ P-38s and USN fighters, hit the airfield at Vunakanau. HQ 5th Bombardment Group transfers from Guadalcanal to Munda. 68th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, transfers from Fiji to Torokina with P-38s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): B-24s and B-25s carry out small raids against Ambon, Namlea and Amboina. 170+ B-24s, A-20s. and B-25s bomb But Airfield and Dagua Airfield, Marienberg and the Madang-Alexishafen area; P-39s bomb and strafe Atemble and strafe targets of opportunity in the Alexishafen area. 672d, 674th and 675th Bombardment Squadrons, 417th Bombardment Group, transfer from Cape Sudest to Dobodura with A-20s, first mission on 25 March. Lost is A-20G 43-9122 (MIA).

SATURDAY, 5 FEBRUARY 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): In the Kurile Islands, six B-24s and sixteen P-38s join USN aircraft to fly air cover in several relays during retirement of US light cruisers and destroyers following bombardment of installations in the Kurabu Cape to Musashi Bay areas; shortly afterwards, the aircraft also photograph and attack installations at Paramushiru and Shimushu.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma during the early morning hours, eight B-24s bomb at Heho Airfield while 6 others hit Aungban Airfield; Nine B-25s follow with strikes on Heho Airfield, Sagaing and Myittha Airfields. During the daylight hours 14 fighter-bombers hit the marshalling yard at Wuntho; during the night of 5/6 Feb, 9 B-24s again hit Heho and 4 bomb Aungban.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 8 B-24s during the night of 5/6 Feb bomb Bangkok. 3 others hit Nakhon Nayok and an unidentified airfield on the Mekong River both in French Indochina. 2 B-24s and 2 B-25s attack a convoy E of Hong Kong and claim 2 freighters and 3 smaller cargo vessels sunk. In Burma, 4 P-40s on armed reconnaissance strafe a big wagon and truck column N of Hsenwi; 4 others bomb and strafe Hopang, causing large fires in the village.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): P-40s from Makin dive-bomb and strafe oil storage area, radio facilities, and small craft at Jaluit Atoll, Marshall Islands; P-39s strafe runways on Mille Atoll.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 24 P-40s join 40+ USN fighters in covering a strike by more than 60 USN dive bombers on Lakunai. This strike is followed by an attack of 13 B-24s, with 30+ P-38 and USN fighter escort, on the same target.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 70+ B-25s and A-20s attack the Hansa Bay area; 48 B-24s pound Hoskins Airfield, and some also bomb Gasmata, after weather prevents an attack on Kavieng. B-24s fly a light raid on Kaimana. B-25s on armed reconnaissance in the Bismarck Sea claim 1 freighter sunk; others bomb wrecked ships off New Hanover.

RNZAF: Lost are P-40N 3120 and P-40N NZ3126.

SUNDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 1944


BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): 12 P-51s hit warehouses and freight cars at Wuntho, Burma and claim 4 warehouses destroyed.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 11 P-40s on armed reconnaissance strafe sampans and power launches between Yoyang and Puchi, China. 6 B-25s knock out bridges and damage 3 trains at Anxuan, Tien An, Phong Loc and Dong Hoi, French Indochina.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Tarawa Atoll hit Maloelap and Wotje; A-24s and P-40s from Makin attack Mille Atoll; Tarawa-based P-39s strafe Jaluit Atoll.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): P-39s and RNZAF Ventura's hit barges in the Green Island area. Lakunai Airfield is hit by 32 B-25s, covered by 60+ AAF and USN fighters, and shortly afterwards by 19 B-24s, escorted by nearly 50 Allied fighters; Allied aircraft claim 16 aircraft shot down; Lakunai is practically unserviceable as a result of cumulative damage.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): B-25s and B-24s pound Bunabun Harbor, Madang, and targets from Bogia to Cape Croisilles; P-39s strafe and sink barges near Nubia; and A-20s hit shipping near Kairiru and Mushu causing considerable damage and destruction. Other bombers hit targets in the Admiralties, concentrating on Momote and carry out light attacks on Talasea village and Cape Dampier gun positions on New Britain Island. Lost are P-39N piloted by Gilpatrick, B-25D "Sticky Kitty" 42-87286.

USMC: Lost on a mission against Rabaul is F4U 55916

MONDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 1944


BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): A single B-25 bombs a motor pool at Sumprabum, Burma.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 16 P-40s and 4 P-51s damage railroad bridges at Kienchang and Puchi and strafe warehouses at Teian. In French Indochina, 2 B-25s score 2 direct hits on the powerplant at Thanh Hoa, strafe nearby barracks, and attack the radio station at Vinh.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s from Tarawa and Abemama hit Wotje and Maloelap and P-40s from Makin hit a storage area at Jaluit.

USN - In one of the most effective strategic air operations of the war, planes from American carriers strike Truk.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): P-40s join USN fighters in covering a USN dive-bomber strike on Tobera; several gun positions and grounded aircraft are hit and the runway is bombed into unserviceable condition; 11 aircraft are claimed shot down; Vunakanau Airfield is bombed by 17 B-24s, escorted by P-38s and USN fighters.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Fourteen B-24s bomb Amboina and Lautem. P-39s fly strafing sweeps over New Britain. Single B-25s on reconnaissance bomb Garua Harbor, Cape Dampier on New Britain and Kavieng. Lost is L-4 Grasshopper 43-29071 near Saidor. Transfers in New Guinea: HQ 35th Fighter Group from Nadzab to Gusap; HQ 417th Bombardment Group from Cape Sudest to Dobodura; 25th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, from Lae to Nadzab with F-5s; 110th Reconnaissance Squadron (Fighter), 71st Reconnaissance Group, from Port Moresby to Gusap with P-39Qs.

RAAF: Lost on a mission against Kavieng is Catalina A24-24 (crew POW).

TUESDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 7 B-25s bomb bridges at Budalin and Songon, displacing a section of the former and destroying an approach to the latter; 7 others hit the stronghold at Badana; 16 A-36s and P-51s and 1 B-25 hit a camp at Mogaung; Four P-51s strafe railroad cars northwest of Myitkyina while one B-25 bombs a camp at Kumnyen.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Makin and Abemama hit Maloelap and Mille.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): P-39s over Bougainville Island bomb and strafe Tiaraka huts and bivouac area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, nearly 50 A-20s and B-25s hit the Alexishafen and Madang areas; P-39s strafe targets of opportunity during sweeps over wide areas of NE New Guinea and New Britain Island; during the night of 8/9 Feb, B-25s bomb Toeal.

WEDNESDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, B-25s, P-51s, P-38s, P-40s, and A-36s carry out 75 attack sorties against Seinnyinba, bivouac and supply areas in the Mogaung-Loilaw area, bivouac and buildings at Pyindaw, camps at Kumnyen and near Maingkwan and Shingban, and storage area and bivouac on the Mogaung-Kamaing road near Sawnghka; a bridge over the Namtamng River near Maingkwan also is destroyed.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 16 P-40s strafe and bomb large barracks and oil storage at Chefang and pound town areas of Homun and Mangshih. Two B-25s demolish a radio station SW of Haiphong.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): A-24s from Makin Island along with supporting P-40s, bomb and strafe oil storage and gun positions on Jaluit Atoll; during a dusk-to-dawn operation on 9/10 Feb B-24s operating at intervals from Tarawa maintain strikes against Wotje and Taroa.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): P-40s and USN fighters cover a USN dive-bomber attack on Vunakanau Airfield, scoring many hits on AA positions, buildings, and runways; 24 B-24s with USN fighter escort follow with a strike on the same target hitting runways and revetment area; 19 B-24s with 20 P-38s supporting, hit Tobera Airfield, thoroughly saturating the runway.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): The occupation of the Huon Peninsula is completed as US and Australian forces meet SE of Saidor; A-20s pound the village of Mindiri. B-24s bomb Amboina and Lautem.

THURSDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 1944


BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): 9 B-24s bomb the Ban Mah arsenal at Bangkok and Don Maung Airfield immediately to the N. In Burma, 3 B-24s bomb Prome and Akyab, 9 B-25s pound Chiradan and Godusara, and 16 P-51s hit barracks and a road at Chishidu.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 8 P-40s bomb Wanling and vicinity while 3 others fly top cover; the target area, a supply staging and training center, is heavily damaged; 5 B-24s during the night of 9/10 Feb mine the mouth of the Yangtze River; B-25s on sea sweeps claim 2 freighters sunk near Hainan and SW of Hong Kong; Twelve P-51s and P-38s strafe boats and parked aircraft in the Chiuchiang area; Twelve P-40s strafe power boats and sampans along the Yangtze River from Puchi to Yoyang.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s from Tarawa hit Wotje and Maloelap; 9 B-24s from Abemama sent to bomb a weather and radio station on Rongelap Island, abort due to a fuel leak in the lead B-24; an attempt to bomb Jaluit Atoll during the return flight is unsuccessful.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): P-40s, USMC and USN fighters cover a USN dive-bomber attack on Vunakanau Airfield; B-25s with fighter escort bomb the same target later in the day; Tobera is pounded by 21 B-24s supported by P-38s and USN fighters; the Allied aircraft claim 30+ aircraft downed in the New Britain area. Lost are F4U Corsair 02566 (rescued) and TBF Avenger 25303 (KIA). P-39s hit buildings at Bonis and barges in Matchin Bay and near Green Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 50+ B-24s bomb Boram Airfield and harbor at Wewak. 6 B-25s and a B-24 hit Momote Airfield and jetties at Manus. P-39s strafe targets of opportunity during a sweep over wide areas of New Britain. The junction of Allied forces from Arawe and Cape Gloucester marks the completion of the campaign for the W end of New Britain; occasional missions will still be flown in the area, but most will be restricted to barge sweeps and patrols. Lost is C-47 Dakota 42-92051.

RAAF - P-40K Kittyhawk A29-183 force lands at Vivigani Airfield and is abandoned.

USN - F4U 02566 is lost over Rabaul.

USMC - F4U 14241 is lost over Palau.

FRIDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 77th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 28th Bombardment Group (Composite), moves from Amchitka to Attu with B-25s.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 10 A-36s and P-51s hit the supply area at Sawnghka; 12 A-36s and P-51s and a single B-25 bomb a supply and bivouac area at Pyindaw; 8 P-51s hit a road junction near Mogaung and nearby supply area; 8 P-51s and P-40s on armed reconnaissance strafe a large river steamer and a launch in the Mandalay-Shwebo area.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 12 P-38s knock out 1 bridge and damage another at Sheklung; Six B-25s, escorted by twenty US and Chinese P-40s, bomb the storage area at Kai Tek Airfield; the P-40s claim 5 Japanese fighters shot down; Japanese aircraft bomb and strafe Namyung putting the field out of use for several days.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): P-40s and P-39s dive-bomb and strafe hangar, airfield installations and gun positions on Mille Atoll.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): P-40s join USN fighters in covering a USN dive-bomber strike on Vunapope; 22 B-25s, escorted by USN fighters, pound Vunakanau Airfield; Tobera Airfield is bombed by 15 B-24s with P-38 and USN fighter escort. SBD NZ5037 is lost on a training flight on Espiritu Santo.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): About 50 B-24s pound the airfield at Kavieng, and two B-24s bomb Garove Island. Seven B-24s bomb Kendari Airfield and Dili. P-40s and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft pound Japanese forces still remaining in the Saidor area. Fighter sweeps and armed reconnaissance continue over wide areas of the SWPA. 25th Liaison Squadron, 512th Photographic Wing (Provisional), arrives at Lae, New Guinea from Brisbane, Australia with L-5s.

USN - F4U Corsair 55908 is lost south of Rabaul.

SATURDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 P-40s hit the town of Ransa and motor convoys S of Sumprabum; 40 P-51s and A-36s attack bivouacs at Walawbum, bivouac and motor pool at Padaw, storage area at the road junction near Chishidu and the town of Chishidu; 30+ P-51s and B-25s hit camps between Tsumhpawng Ga and Walawbum, storage area and motor pool S of Kamaing, motor convoy on the Myitkyina-Sumprabum road, the town of Namting and bridges at Meza and Kanni. 59th Fighter Squadron, 33d Fighter Group, arrives at Karachi from Italy; they will be equipped with P-47Ds.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Nine P-40s pound the warehouse area at Wanling, Burma. In French Indochina, 6 P-40s bomb the barracks at Vinh and strafe Dong Cuong Airfield, railroad yards at Cam Duong, and sampans at Phu Tho; Five B-25s on a sea sweep in the Gulf of Tonkin claim 2 trawlers sunk and hit shore targets of opportunity SW of Haiphong; a single B-25 damages a bridge at Ha Trung. 24 P-38s, P-51s, and P-40s intercept 25 Japanese fighters near Suichwan, China, claiming 7 shot down; 2 US fighters are lost.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s from Tarawa and Abemama hit Wotje and Maloelap; A-24s and P-39s from Makin bomb and strafe Mille Atoll.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 23 B-25s, with US Navy fighters in support, bomb Tobera Airfield; 21 B-24s, escorted by P-39s and USN fighters, pound Vunakanau Airfield. Lost is B-24D 42-72818. P-40s join USN fighters in covering a USN dive-bomber strike on Lakunai.

USMC - Lost is SBD Dauntless 35954.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Brigadier General Carl W Connell resumes command of the V Air Force Services Command. About 50 A-20s blast occupied areas SE of Wewak, New Guinea. Lost on a flight is C-47A "Ghost of Billie L" 42-23713.

SUNDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 6 P-51s and a B-25 damage a road bridge and 2 warehouses in the Wuntho area; 32 P-51s and A-36s hit the supply area and radio installations S of Kamaing and blast bivouacs S of Walawbum; 18 P-51s hit the road and railroad junction north of Sahmaw, a bivouac north of Kamaing and a camp between Tsumhpawng Ga and Walawbum; during the night, Sixteen B-24s bomb Heho Airfield.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, 23 B-24s pound railroad shops at Vinh; 4 B-25s hit a convoy E of Foochow, China claiming 3 freighters and a transport sunk; four other B-25s damage two vessels off southwest Hainan and bomb dock, railroad, and oil dump at Bakli; 6 P-40s bomb and strafe barracks and hangars at Phu Tho and strafe freight cars at Yen Bay and Suo Ha.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): During the night of 13/14 Feb, B-24s from Tarawa operating individually at intervals, bomb Wotje, Mille and Taroa.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 20 B-25s bomb Tobera Airfield and 23 B-24s of the 5th BG bomb Lakunai Airfield; both forces are escorted by fighters; P-40s and USN fighters escort USN SBDs and TBFs dive-bombing runway and AA positions at Vunakanau. Lost is P-40N Kittyhawk NZ3165

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 24 A-20s from the 3rd BG hit Aitape and Tadji Airfield. 70+ B-25s pound Momote Airfield and 35 B-24s bomb Kavieng Airfield.

MONDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): P-51s and A-36s carry out 70+ sorties against a variety of targets in Burma; targets include the supply area at Shingban, a truck convoy N of Maingkwan, supply dumps and motor transport in the Kamaing area, a bivouac near Mogaung, troop and vehicle concentrations between Mogaung and Kamaing, artillery positions at Laawn Ga, and railroad station and warehouses at Lundaung.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): 40+ B-24s from the 11th and 90th Bombardment Groups (Heavy), flying out of Makin and Tarawa strike Ponape in the first Seventh Air Force raid on the Caroline Islands; two of the B-24s hit the alternate target Emidj.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 30 escorted B-25s pound Vunakanau Airfield while 28 B-24s, also with escort, bomb Rapopo Airfield; B-24s bomb the Rabaul area in a diversionary strike while USN TBFs lay mines in Simpson Harbor at dark, six are lost: TBF 47506, TBF 06311, TBF 24264, TBF 24340, TBF 25327, TBF 25316.  P-40s and USN fighters escort a USN dive-bomber raid on Tobera gun positions and airfield revetments; 4 B-25s also bomb Tobera. On Bougainville weather clears, permitting the first attacks, by 19 B-25s, on Kara and Kahili, in recent weeks; P-39s attack Puriata River bridges.

New Zealand Army seize Green Island in the Solomons. The island is developed into a forward air base for Allied strikes on Rabaul.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): A-20s with P-40 support, bomb and strafe Dagua Airfield destroying and damaging 20+ aircraft. Lost are P-40N 42-104986 and P-47D 42-22662. Crashed in an emergency landing attempt is L-5A 42-98066. 80+ plus B-25s pound Momote Airfield. 40+ B-24s bomb the airfields at Kavieng Airfield and Panapai. 20th Combat Mapping Squadron, 6th Photographic Group, moves from Port Moresby to Nadzab with F-7s; first mission is 5 April.

USN: Lost is is PV-1 33361 (MIA).

TUESDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): P-40s, P-51s, and A-36s hit targets in Burma, including rice mill and radio station at Waingmaw, targets of opportunity along the Hukawng-Walawbum road, motor pool and dumps in the Kamaing area, troops and supplies at Padi Ga and a canal bridge at Ye-u; P-40s also drop land mines on Nampaung. HQ 443d Troop Carrier Group is moved from the US to Sylhet, India without personnel and equipment. The 1st, 2d and 27th Troop Carrier Squadrons, already in the theater, will be assigned on 6 Mar.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Four B-25s on a sweep over northern Indochina score a direct hit on a steamer at Haiphong and nearby railroad station, damage bridges near Viet Tri and a patrol launch at Hanoi, and hit engine sheds at Thanh Hoa.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Tarawa and Makin pound Mille and Ponape; 10 P-40s from Makin Island bomb and strafe runways and a disabled vessel at Mille.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 23 B-25s, with fighter cover, bomb the runway and dispersal area of Vunakanau Airfield; 20 B-24s hit Borpop Airfield causing heavy damage in the runway and revetment areas. In ground action, US and New Zealand troops land on Nissan, opposition is weak and organized resistance ends on 23 Feb. 424th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy), ceases operating from Munda with B-24s and returns to base on Guadalcanal.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): On New Ireland Island, 70+ B-24s, A-20s, and B-25s bomb the Kavieng town, harbor, and shipping and Panapai Airfield. Lost are B-25C "Stubborn Hellion" 42-32314, B-25D "Gremlins Holiday" 41-30041, B-25C "Pissonit" 41-30370, B-25D 41-30531, B-25G 42-64873, A-20G 42-86728, and A-20G 42-86616. Several of the crews are rescued by PBY Catalina "Arkansas Traveller" 08139 piloted by Nathan G. Gordon, later he earns the Medal of Honor for this action. Seventeen other B-24s, prevented by weather from reaching Panapai bomb Talasea.

WEDNESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 1944


BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, A-36s and P-51s hit supply dumps, troop concentrations and an encampment area near Myitkyina, Kamaing, Tonkin and Walawbum; B-25s and P-51s destroy 3 locomotives at Kyaingkwin. 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, AAF, India-Burma Sector (attached to Tenth Air Force), arrives at Gushkara, India from the US with P-51s.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 2 B-25s knock out a railroad bridge at Yen Bay, French Indochina and damage 2 other bridges to the S near the coast. 74th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group, based at Kweilin with P-40s, sends a detachment to Liuchow.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Tarawa bomb Wotje and Taroa; P-40s from Makin fly two bombing-strafing strikes against Jaluit; A-24s bomb Mille.

USN - Operation Hailstone: US Navy carrier aircraft catch a fleet of Japanese Merchant vessels and warships by surprise in Truk Lagoon. 400 tons of bombs and torpedo rained down on the lightly defended base. After a day of attacks, forty ships and thousands of men went to the bottom.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): Twelve B-24s escorted by 30+ P-38s and USN F4Us, pound the runway at Vunakanau Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 40+ B-25s attack a convoy off New Hanover. 30+ B-24's bomb Panapai Airfield and Kavieng and some hit Cape Balangori and Talasea. 19 B-24s and B-25s bomb Halong. P-40s hit shipping and barges in the Wewak area. Sunk is HA-52 Type B Midget Submarine. Transfers in New Guinea: HQ 345th Bombardment Group (Medium) from Dobodura to Nadzab; 25th Liaison Squadron, 5212th Photographic Wing (Provisional), from Lae to Nadzab with L-5s. Lost is P-39N Airacobra 42-18812.

USN: "Operation Hailstone" carrier aircraft attack Truk and destroy 200 enemy aircraft and sink 20 ships. Sunk is Gyoraitei No.10. American forces make an amphibous landing at Eniwetok.

THURSDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 38 A-36s and P-51s on armed reconnaissance hit troops and supplies from Lonkin to Kamaing; Six P-51s hit supply areas along roads around Lonton and Manywet; 2 others hit a road junction near Maingkwan; 2 B-25s and 6 P-51s strike a road bridge, railroad station, and rail cars in the Pyingaing area; 2 B-25s and 6 P-51s attack but fail to damage a bridge near Ye-u.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Four B-25s on a sweep of the Gulf of Tonkin score 2 direct hits on a freighter at Vinh, damage a bridge approach and locomotive at Yen Xuon Station, and destroy a locomotive at Yen Ly Station.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Tarawa and Abemama hit Ponape, Kusaie and Jaluit. P-40s strafe floatplanes off Emidj.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 20 P-40s join 40+ USN fighters in covering an attack by 70 USN dive bombers on shipping in Keravia Bay; eight Japanese aircraft are claimed shot down; two USN fighters are lost. Fighters hit Queen Carola Harbor, Kessa Plantation and a bridge north of Kahili.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Forty B-24s bomb Panapai Airfield and Talasea. 16 B-25s claim two surface vessels and a submarine sunk off New Hanover. 16 P-47's strafe targets of opportunity in the Alexishafen area. HQ 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group moves from Port Moresby to Nadzab.

IJN: G4M1 Betty departs Rabaul to Truk and then onward to Japan. Aboard are six Allied prisoners.

USN: During the night of February 17-18, Task Group 38.4, composed of the destroyers USS Farenholt (DD-491), USS Buchanan (DD-484), USS Lansdowne (DD-486), USS Lardner (DD-487) and USS Woodworth (DD-460) conducted a shore bombardment of targets on East New Britain near Rabaul known as the "Battle of Karavia Bay". They fired on batteries at Praed Point (141 rounds) and a gun battery at Raluana (56 rounds). Heavy gunfire was observed from Simpson Harbor and Karavia Bay areas. At 0124 torpedoes were fired through the center of the mine field across the entrance to Karavia Bay. At 0126 to to the south into Vunapopo bivouac and supply area (244 rounds), cleared Credner Island. At 1136 our observation plane dropped a stick of bombs on Cape Gazelle shore batteries. At 0137 ceased firing Vunapopo area, shifted to Cape Gazelle shore battery (284 rounds) which had opened fire on the formation. At 0140 opened fire on Cape Gazelle shore batteries, passed the center of channel between Duke of York Islands and Cape Gazelle. At 0200 on the fantail of USS Lardner, the bloomer on the No. 4 gun had caught fire from the heat of firing, but was quickly extinguished. At 0230 unidentified plane reported. Until 0515, “bogies” were reported at intervals, singly and in groups (about four) one dropped flares on starboard beam at about 0310. One “bogie” approached as close as as 3 miles. Due to heavy overcast and rain squalls, the Squadron Commander felt reluctant to allow the ship to return fire and reveal our presenc, at 0335 cleared St. George's Channel. At least one fighter, A6M Zero piloted by Komachi that took off from Tobera Airfield and dropped two 60kg wing bombs and made several strafing the first destroyer and making a bomb run on the second until ammunition was expended then departed. References Siege of Rabaul page 24, IJN Aces page Imperial Japanese Navy Aces page 33.

USN; Operation Hailstone: US Navy carrier aircraft catch a fleet of Japanese merchant vessels and warships by surprise in Truk Lagoon. 400 tons of bombs and torpedo rained down on the base. The U. S. claims 200 enemy aircraft destroyed and 20 ships sunk. Sunk are: Gosei Maru, Fujiyama Maru, Hoki Maru, Fujikawa Maru, Hoyo Maru, Tachikaze, Aikoku Maru, Nagano Maru (partial list). Lost is TBM-1C Avenger 25270 (MIA).

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, US Navy carrier aircraft catch a fleet of Japanese Merchant vessels and warships by surprise in Truk Lagoon. 400 tons of bombs and torpedo rained down on the lightly defended base. After a day of attacks, forty ships and thousands of men went to the bottom. Sunk are San Francisco Maru and Sankisan Maru.

USN: American forces land on Engebi and secure most of the island after a six hour battle.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): P-40s from Makin bomb and strafe Jaluit and Mille Atolls. 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.

SATURDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): 60+ A-36s and P-51s and a few B-25s hit a variety of targets in Burma; targets including fuel and supply dumps at Manywet and in the Shaduzup area, the Tonkin-Kansi road and a junction west of Manywet, the Mu River bridge at Ye-u, railroad cars and tracks, locomotives, and river traffic between Monywa and Natyekan and between Alon and Segyi; rail and road traffic in the Bhamo and Hukawng Valley-Kamaing areas is also hit.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): B-24s, B-25s, and P-40s fly sea sweeps over wide-spread coastal areas from the Formosa Straits to French Indochina, claiming 3 ships sunk and others damaged; railroad bridges, trains, and other targets of opportunity near coastal areas are also attacked.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Tarawa and Makin pound Ponape and Kusaie; B-25s from Tarawa hit Wotje while Makin based P-40s bomb and strafe Mille Atoll. US forces land on Eniwetok Island.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 20 P-40s and 40+ USN fighters escort about 70 USN dive bombers in an attack on Lakunai Airfield; fighter cover claims 22 Japanese aircraft shot down; 6 B-24s bomb the same target immediately afterward; 14 B-24s, with P-38 and USN fighter escort, hit Tobera Airfield. 12th Fighter Squadron, 18th Fighter Group, based on Guadalcanal with P-38s, begins operating from Stirling. 69th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 42d Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from the Renard Field to Stirling with B-25s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 12 B-25s attack shipping SW of New Ireland Island, claiming a small freighter and a patrol boat sunk and other vessels damaged. 7 A-20s hit shipping at Kavieng. Single B-24s and B-25s carry out armed reconnaissance over wide areas of the Bismarck Sea. 26th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, from Dobodura to Finschhafen with F-5s (detachment is at Port Moresby); 35th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, from Finschhafen to Cape Gloucester with P-40s. Crashed is C-47A Dakota 42-24398 (2 KIA, 2 WIA, rescued).

SUNDAY, 20 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): Bad weather limits operations to a routine patrol over Sumprabum, Burma.
HQ 33d Fighter Group and 60th Fighter Squadron arrive at Karachi from Italy; they will be equipped with P-47Ds.

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

USN - On completion of the strike on Truk, a small unit composed of the Enterprise, one cruiser, and six destroyers (Rear Admiral J. W. Reeves) separated from the main force and launched two air strikes on Jaluit.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 35 B-25s, with fighter escort, pound Lakunai Airfield. P-39s attack barge traffic, which has greatly increased off SE and NW Bougainville Island, claiming 20 of the craft sunk. 18th Combat Mapping Squadron, 4th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance), is inactivated on Espiritu Santo Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, 38 B-24s bomb the Alexishafen to Hansa Bay area. 18 B-24s bomb the airfield at Laha, Ambon and 12 others hit shipping off Kavieng. Transfers in and out of New Guinea: HQ Fifth Air Force advance echelon and HQ V Bomber Command from Port Moresby to Nadzab; HQ 8th Fighter Group from Finschhafen to Cape Gloucester; 498th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 345th Bombardment Group (Medium), from Dobodura to Nadzab with B-25s.

MONDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 50+ P-51s and A-36s and a few B-25s hit a command post at Shingban, the town of Mohnyin, a bridge at Loilaw, a camp at Shaduzup, 2 bridges at Namkwin, and warehouses and other buildings at Kawlin and Wuntho; fighter-bombers attacking a fuel dump at Pin Hmi drop bombs in the wrong area; B-25s, escorted by RAF Spitfires and Hurricanes, score effective hits on a tunnel on the Maungdaw-Buthidaung road.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Tarawa and Abemama hit Ponape and Kusaie, Jaluit Atoll. B-25s from Abemama bomb Maloelap Atoll. P-40s from Makin hit Mille Atoll. US forces gain complete control of Eniwetok Island. 9th Troop Carrier Squadron, Seventh Air Force, arrives at Hickam Field from the US with C-47s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 15 B-24s bomb Lakunai Airfield; 4 others, with fighter support, attack the airfield at Rapopo; 20 P-38s join USN fighters in covering a USN dive bomber strikes on Lakunai gun positions. In the Bougainville Island area 3 B-24s bomb Kara Airfield while P-39s hit buildings at Tsundawan and in the area south of Tabut, and bomb barges and jetty in the Matchin Bay area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Almost 30 A-20s hit Madang and the Hansa Bay area. On New Britain Island, P-39s hit Raiven Plantation; 40+ B-24s bomb the Rein Bay and Eleonora Bay areas; others attack shipping off New Hanover sinking Kokai Maru and Kowa Maru. Lost on a transport flight is B-25D 41-30374. Crashed in an emergency landing attempt is L-5A "Termite" 42-98085. Lost is P-47D Thunderbolt 42-22941.

TUESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): 70+ B-25s, P-51s, and P-40s again hit a variety of targets in Burma; bridges are severely damaged or put out of use at Zawa, Tindeinyan, Ye-u, Namkwin, and Loilaw; warehouses and supply dumps are hit at Segyi and at Chantha, and the Pahok road and railroad junction are blasted; also hit are targets of opportunity at Kawlum and along the Walawbum-Kamaing road.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): P-40s on armed reconnaissance strafe the airfield at Kengtung, China and nearby truck convoy. At Bhamo, Burma a large rivercraft is hit and left sinking.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): One B-24 bombs Kusaie. 8 A-24s and 9 P-40s from Makin bomb Mille Atoll; 1 P-40 launches rockets against airfield targets in the first such attack by a Seventh Air Force aircraft.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 20 P-40s and 40+ USN fighters cover 70 USN dive bombers attacking Keravia Bay shipping; 40+ B-24s, with fighter escorts, bomb Lakunai and Keravat Airfields. 370th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Carney Field to Munda with B-24s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 30+ B-25s and P-39s attack the Madang area. 60+ B-25s and B-24s pound Iboki Plantation in support of US Marines (USMC) advancing on the area from Natamo (and who capture Perry Island). 319th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 90th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Dobodura to Nadzab, New Guinea with B-24s.

USN: Lost F6F Hellcat 40671.

WEDNESDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 1944


BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 14 B-24s bomb airfields and other targets at Akyab and Dabaing; 3 B-25s and 12 P-51s hit a radio station at Man Pang; 4 other P-51s hit warehouses at Chantha.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Four B-25s attack two ships in the Gulf of Tonkin and hit railroad cars and engine shed at Van Trai Station, French Indochina. 4 P-40s strafe Lashio Airfield.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): P-40s from Makin bomb Mille; 2 small boats are destroyed by strafing; B-25s from Abemama hit Taroa. B-24s from Makin and Tarawa bomb Kusaie and Ponape and Jaluit.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 4 B-24s on armed reconnaissance strafe the Cape Saint George area and bomb buildings and pier at Labur Bay and 4 B-24s attack bivouacs in the upper Saua River area. 9 B-25s, with USN fighter support, bomb Vunakanau Airfield; 10 other B-25s hit Keravat Airfield; 16 P-38s dive-bomb the Vunapope supply area and some attack the town of Rabaul; this is the first P-38 bombing raid on the Rabaul area; (P-38s, now free from constant responsibility of guarding bombers against interceptors, will continue to dive-bomb the Rabaul area through Apr 44; during the latter part of this campaign against the famed Japanese garrison, which is to be bypassed by Allied ground forces, P-39s will add their strength due to completion of a runway at Nissan Island (Green Island); by 20 Aprll only 120 of 1,400 buildings in Rabaul will still be standing).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Almost 50 A-20s and B-24s blast the airfield, buildings, and AA positions in the Wewak, New Guinea area. Units moving from Dobodura to Nadzab: HQ 90th Bombardment Group and 320th, 321st and 400th Bombardment Squadrons with B-24s; 500th and 501st Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 345th Bombardment Group (Medium), with B-25s.

USN: U.S. air attacks against Rota, Tinian and Saipan. U.S. caotures Engebi.

THURSDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 3 B-24s from Shemya search for enemy shipping; 1 B-24 crashes during takeoff, the others find nothing.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 6 B-25s hit bridges and trains between Pintha and Kinu; 1 bridge is damaged and several boxcars are destroyed; Thirteen B-24s bomb the marshalling yard at Mandalay and targets of opportunity at Akyab, Monywa, and Pakokku; P-51s, A-36s and P-40s attack bridges, radio stations, supply dumps, bivouacs, troop concentrations, railroad by-passes, AA positions, and other targets at Seton, Sinkan, Ye-u, Kawlin, Loilaw, Namkwin, Shaduzup, and the Mogaung-Kamaing area.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Six P-40s on armed reconnaissance strafe Myitkyina Airfield.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): P-40s from Makin strafe and bomb the runway and radio installation on Mille Atoll; B-25s from Tarawa pound Wotje Airfield.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): On New Britain Isladn, 22 B-25s, with fighter escort, pound Rabaul; 9 minutes later 12 P-38s glide-bomb Rabaul; 2 minutes afterward 11 B-24s pound the same target; 6 other B-24s bomb Rapopo; P-40s and USN fighters escort USN dive bombers in a strike on Vunapope; P-39s attack Monoitu Mission. 394th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based on Guadalcanal with B-24s, begines operating from Munda.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, 23 B-24s and 39 A-20s thoroughly pound the Hansa Bay area. Nearly 20 other B-24s bomb Nubia Airfield and Awar Airfield. In preparation for the Allied landing, 50+ B-25s and B-24s pound Momote, Lorengau and other targets in the Admiralty Islands. 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, moves from Dobodura to Cape Gloucester with P-38s.

USN: PT-193 and PT-146 attack gun positions at Astrolabe Bay and search for targets off Madang.

RAAF: Twelve Vengeances from 23 Squadron escorted by twelve P-40 Kittyhawks attack anti-aircraft gun positions around Hansa Bay. Lost are Vengeance A27-275 (MIA) and Vengeance A27-276 (POW/MIA/KIA).

USMC: Lost is FG Corsair 13212.

FRIDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): Three B-24s from Shemya are over Matsuwa shortly after midnight 24/25 Feb on a photographic reconnaissance and bomb run; the mission is not completed due to weather.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 B-25s and 4 P-51s attack bridges at Meza, Sinthe, and Natmauk, causing light damage to the bridges and destroying 3 locomotives and several railroad cars. 91st Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group, arrives at Karachi from Italy; they will be equipped with P-47Ds and enter combat on 16 Jun.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, 16 P-40s attack docks, railroad yards and warehouses at Hongay; in the harbor 1 large boat is sunk and another damaged; 2 P-40's hit a cargo vessel at Campha Port, leaving it sinking; 2 others bomb and strafe Weichow Island.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): P-40s out of Makin bomb and strafe targets at Jaluit; B-25's from Tarawa and Abemama hit Mille and Wotje; B-24s from Abemama and Tarawa pound Ponape.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): P-39s on armed reconnaissance bomb an AA position at Monoitu, hit the Aitara area, and attack a barge in the Cape Gazelle area; 20+ B-25s hit Matupi and Rapopo; 21 B-24s and 17 P-38s follow shortly with another strike on Rapopo.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): B-25's pound Lorengau and the Alexishafen-Madang areas and Momote Airfield and A-20s bomb Alexishafen Airfield. HQ 85th Fighter Wing arrives at Gusap from the US. Lost is P-40N Warhawk 42-105306 (pilot KIA).

JAAF: Shot down is Ki-21 Sally between Kavieng and Rabaul.

SATURDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): XI Bomber Command (Air Striking Group Task Group 90.1) is directed to conduct armed photographic reconnaissance missions in the Kurile Islands, day or night, as weather permits. HQ 28th Bombardment Group (Composite) moves from Adak to Shemya.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 15 B-25s and P-51s demolish warehouses in Naba and Hopin, attack bridges at Yeu, Bawgyo and Tantabin, and strafe railroad cars and tracks at Tangon, Namyao, and Pyintha; the Tantabin bridge is rendered unusable while approaches of the Ye-u and Bawgyo bridges are damaged.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 11 B-25s from Nanning, China attack targets at Tourane, destroying 5 warehouses and a hangar at Tourang Airfield and a locomotive and 4 buildings at the railroad yard.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s from Tarawa and Abemama attack Wotje and Jaluit; P-40s from Makin bomb and strafe targets on Mille Atoll. 27th and 38th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based on Nanumea begin operating from Abemama and Makin respectively with B-24s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): P-40s join USN fighters in covering a USN dive bomber strike on Vunapope supply and shipping facilities; 22 B-25s, with fighter support, follow up with the day's second strike on Vunapope; shortly afterwards, seventeen P-38s strike the same target; twelve P-39s bomb and strafe Monoitu, Ruisei, Makapeko and Mawareka.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): B-24s bomb Wewak and Momote; B-25s, along with P-39s, hit the Madang-Alexishafen area and A-20s hit Angorum.

SUNDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 1944


BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 30+ P-51s and A-36s and 2 B-25s hit ammunition dumps near the Kamaing-Walawbum road, warehouses, railroad and power facilities, bridges, and targets of opportunity in the Ye-u and Tindeinyan areas.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, 4 B-25s fly a sea sweep from Vinh to Nam Dinh, bombing the Nam Dinh distillery and railroad yards; no ships are sighted. 8 P-40s hit the railroad bridge at Puchi, China, rendering it unusable.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): A-24s and P-40s from Makin pound Jaluit and Mille, while B-25s from Abemama hit Wotje and Mille; B-24s from Makin and Tarawa bomb Ponape.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 16 P-39s strafe barges and other targets of opportunity along the southwest coast of Bougainville throughout the day. Vunapope is attacked by 21 B-24s and 24 B-25s (both forces supported by fighter escorts) and by 14 P-38s; P-40s and USN fighters cover a USN dive bomber strike on Lakunai AA positions. 3 P-38s strafe a radar station at Cape Saint George. Lost is P-38 pilot 1st Lt. George I. Gombert, Jr. (MIA).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Colonel Jarred V Crabb becomes Commanding General V Bomber Command. 30+ B-24s, with P-40 support, hit airfields at Boram, Wewak, and Tadji, 27 B-25s hit the Hansa Bay area, and over 30 A-20s attack Alexishafen and Marakum village with RAAF 24 Squadron Vultee Vengances attack Alexishafen. Lost returning from the mission is Vengance A27-83. 30+ other B-25s attack Momote, Lorengau and other targets. P-39s maintain armed reconnaissance over New Britain. Lost on a reef is SS President Grant.

RAAF: Lost is Vultee Vengeance A27-83.

MONDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 1944

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 3 B-24s from Shemya search for enemy shipping; 1 B-24 crashes during takeoff, the others find nothing.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 6 B-25s hit bridges and trains between Pintha and Kinu; 1 bridge is damaged and several boxcars are destroyed; Thirteen B-24s bomb the marshalling yard at Mandalay and targets of opportunity at Akyab, Monywa, and Pakokku; P-51s, A-36s and P-40s attack bridges, radio stations, supply dumps, bivouacs, troop concentrations, railroad by-passes, AA positions, and other targets at Seton, Sinkan, Ye-u, Kawlin, Loilaw, Namkwin, Shaduzup, and the Mogaung-Kamaing area.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Six P-40s on armed reconnaissance strafe Myitkyina Airfield.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): P-40s from Makin strafe and bomb the runway and radio installation on Mille Atoll; B-25s from Tarawa pound Wotje Airfield.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 22 B-25s, with fighter escort, pound Rabaul; 9 minutes later 12 P-38s glide-bomb Rabaul; 2 minutes afterward 11 B-24s pound the same target; 6 other B-24s bomb Rapopo; P-40s and US Navy fighters escort USN dive bombers in a strike on Vunapope; P-39s attack Monoitu Mission. 394th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based at Carney Field with B-24s, begins operating from Munda Airfield.

Father Benson writes in Prisoner's Base and Home Again:
"Feb 28. March of of 100 Liberators and 200 dive-bombers. Earth trembled. We all expected the end. Entrance to the tunnels blown in. 20 great craters in the banana grove. All been living in tunnels for eight days now... That raid on the 28th was the most terrible and agonizing we ever had to endure."

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, 23 B-24s and 39 A-20s thoroughly pound the Hansa Bay area. Nearly 20 other B-24s bomb Nubia Airfield and Awar Airfield. In preparation for the Allied landing, 50+ B-25s and B-24s pound Momote, Lorengau and other targets. 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, moves from Dobodura to Cape Gloucester with P-38s. Lost are B-24D "Milk Run/Hit Parader" 42-41087 and B-24J 42-100292.

RAAF - Lost after a mission against Alexishafen is A-31 Vengence A27-83.

TUESDAY, 29 FEBRUARY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 7 B-25s knock spans out of 2 bridges N of Taungtha and damage bridges S of Myingyan and between Panaing and Mahlaing; 7 B-25s and 4 P-51s bomb a radio station at Sinkan, score near misses on a bridge below Kawlin, and knock out 2 bridges in the Ye-u area. 40+ P-51s, A-36s and P-40s hit a supply area S of Seton, camp and stores near Mogaung (at Pagoda Peak), and railroad station at Myitkyina.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 23 B-24s pound the warehouse area at Yoyang, causing several fires and secondary explosions; 12 B-25s bomb Yoyang railroad yards; 16 P-40s provide support; 2 B-25s on a sweep of the NE China coast sink 3 sampans and damage a merchant ship at Siachwan Tao; 6 P-40s bomb and strafe ammunition dumps at Kunlong; 12 P-38s and P-51s sink a large motor launch NE of Anking, strafe barracks and 3 tugs in the Teian area, hit barracks NW of Nanchang and strafe railroad installations at Yangsin; 4 P-40s hit a barracks W of Nanchang; 2 B-25s sink a large river craft on the Yangtze River near Chiuhsienchen and damage 2 more nearby.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s bomb Maloelap, Mille and Wotje; B-25s hit Jaluit and Mille; P-40s attack Mille.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 23 B-25s, with USN fighter escort, pound the Rabaul area; later 12 P-38s hit targets in the same area. 16 AAF fighters, along with 16 USN fighters, hit targets of opportunity throughout S Bougainville and Shortland. Numerous other fighters, in forces of varying sizes, attack barges and scattered targets of opportunity throughout the N Solomons, Bismarck Archipelago, and waters in between.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Allied amphibious forces land on Los Negros, temporarily taking Momote Airfield and then falling back to the beachhead on Jamandilai Point; weather prevents full air support but 7 B-24s and 8 B-25s manage to attack enemy positions and guns; Other B-24s and A-20s hit Erima, Wewak, Tadji, Awar, and Hollandia. Lost is B-24D 42-72899 and B-25D "BAR-FLY" 41-30593.

RAF: Liberators bomb Rangoon. Over the target, enemy fighters intercept the formation. Lost is Liberator VI "Daring Diana" BZ962.

 

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