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March 11, 1945
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

SUNDAY, 11 MARCH 1945

CHINA THEATER (Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, four B-25s knock out 1 bridge and hit numerous boxcars at Kep and near Don Met. Five B-24s over the South China Sea and Gulf of Tonkin claim one freighter sunk and another damaged; 10 P-40s and P-51s blast locomotives on the Tsinpu railroad and demolish 3 villages E of Lohochai; the 1st Combat Cargo Group, 1st Combat Cargo Group, based at Hsinching with C-47s, sends a detachment to operate from Liangshan.

INDIA-BURMA THEATER (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 14 B-25s pound stores, troops, vehicles, and ammunition dumps at Konghsa, Kwai-Kong, Man Kat, and Mong Yai; 4 P-38s knock out a bridge at Mong Tong; 8 P-47s hit troop concentration at Kyaukme; 30+ P-47s hit targets of opportunity during a road sweeps behind enemy lines. Transports fly 547 sorties to forward areas.

AAFPOA Seventh Air Force: Eleven B-24s from Guam again hit Susaki Airfield, while eight more during the night of 11/12 March, hit the Susaki Airfield individually. VII Fighter Command: Iwo Jima based P-51s also bomb Susaki Airfield and strafe Okimura and Kitamura on Haha Jima.

IJN: Operation Tan No. 2 Twenty-four P1Y1 Ginga (Frances) took off from Kanoya Airfield on a tokko (special attack) kamikaze mission each armed with a single single 1,764 pound bomb against U. S. Navy (USN) carriers at Ulithi Lagoon. Before departing, the Combined Fleet sent a message to the air group: "Go forward, all of you, pledging yourself to defend our sacred land by surely destroying the arrogant enemy by ramming yourself into the enemy." Inbound, five abort the mission and return to base. Twelve ditched into the sea unable to locate the target area. Three became lost due to a navigational error and ended up at Yap Island.

Only two bombers reached Ulithi Lagoon anchorage at high altitude and dropped tin foil chaff to deceive American radar. Undetected, the pair dove in low and found the ships and islands fully illuminated and no red alert was sounded. The first P1Y Ginga radios "successful attack!” before making a kamikaze attack and at 8:07pm crashed into USS Randolph (CV-15) off Sorlen Island. The second Ginga mistook Sorlen Island for an aircraft carrier and crashed into a warehouse on the island.

The fates of the twenty-four P1Y1 Ginga that participated in the Operation Tan No. 2 mission:
5 x P1Y1 Ginga aborted the mission and returned to land at Kanoya Airfield.
2 x P1Y1 Ginga ditched into the sea, crews missing.
12 x P1Y1Ginga ditched into the sea near Ulithi, crews missing.
P1Y1 Ginga Tail 762-24 pilot WO Ochiai landed safely at Colonia Airfield on Yap Island.
P1Y1 Ginga Tail 762-T25 pilot Captain Kuromaru was damaged landing at Colonia Airfield on Yap Island.
P1Y1 Ginga Tail 762-T22 ditched off Rumung Island near Yap Island (this aircraft).
P1Y1 Ginga pilot Lt Koetsu Fukuda, obs CPO Takeshi Igai and RG CPA Kenji Ota crash USS Randolph (CV-15) in Ulithi Lagoon.
P1Y1 Ginga pilot CPO Yuji Hayasaka, obs Lt(jg) Hiro Miyazawa, RG PO2 Nishikawa Shigemasa crash Sorlen Island in Ulithi Lagoon.

USN: At 8:07pm USS Randolph (CV-15) anchored off Sorlen Island in Ulithi Lagoon was hit by a kamikaze P1Y Francis in the starboard side to the aft just below the flight deck, but had so little fuel left it did not burst into flames but the explosion of its bomb destroyed parked planes in the vicinity and hanger decks causing damage and killed 26 with 105 wounded. Afterwards, repaired locally and in early April 1945 returned to duty as the flagship of Task Force 58 (TF-58) during the latter part of the Okinawa campaign.

HQ AAF (Twentieth Air Force): Mission 41: during the night of 11/12 March 285 of 310 B-29s bomb the Nagoya urban area with incendiaries from altitudes ranging from 5,100' to 8,500' destroying 2.05 square miles (5.31 square km); 6 other B-29s hit a secondary target; 1 B-29 is lost.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA [SWPA, Far East Air Force (FEAF)]: B-24s bomb the Zamboanga area, Mercedes village, and San Roque Airfield and B-25s hit Mercedes, support ground forces near Zamboanga, and in conjunction with PT boats hit Isabela, Barlak, Taluksangay, and a HQ north of Zamboanga. B-24s hit the Aparri area and support ground forces at Wawa; A-20s and fighter-bombers fly ground support missions and attack supply dumps and numerous targets of opportunity throughout Luzon. On Formosa, fighter-bombers hit Takao and B-24s bomb Mako.



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