Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces

December 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT: A-20, Douglas Havoc A-24, Douglas Dauntless A-36, North American Apache B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress B-24, Consolidated Liberator B-25, North American Mitchell B-26, Martin Marauder Beaufighter, Bristol C-39, Douglas C-45, Beechcraft Expeditor C-47, Douglas Skytrain C-49, Douglas F-4, Lockheed Lightning F-5, Lockheed Lightning F-6, North American Mustang F-7, Consolidated Liberator F-9, Consolidated Liberator F6F, Grumman Hellcat (USN) P-38, Lockheed Lightning P-39, Bell Airacobra P-40, Curtiss P-47, Republic Thunderbolt P-51, North American Mustang PB4Y, Consolidated Liberator (USN) Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine Ventura, Lockheed

WEDNESDAY, 1 DECEMBER 1943

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands during the month of Dec 43, the detachment of the 344th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group, operating from Attu Island with P-40's, returns to it's base at Shemya Island.

ANTISUBMARINE OPERATIONS

(First Air Force): During the month of Dec 43, the detachment of the air echelon of the 23d Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), I Bomber Command, operating from Zandery Field, Surinam with B-25's returns to base at Edinburgh Field, Trinidad.

CARIBBEAN

(Sixth Air Force): The two detachments of the 20th Troop Carrier Squadron (Special), Sixth Air Force Service Command, operating from Waller Field, Trinidad and Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico with C-39's, C-45's, C-47's and C-49's, return to their base at Albrook Field, Canal Zone.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 4 B-24's, flying out of Funafuti Atoll in the Ellice Islands, bomb Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA-INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, B-24's bomb Insein; the B-24's and escorting P-38's encounter a large number of Japanese fighters over the targets; P-51's which failed to make rendezvous with the B-24's before the attack join the formations on the return trip; US losses are high: 6 B-24's and a P-51 shot down and 5 more B-24's are seriously damaged; B-25's hit the newly repaired bridge at Myitnge rendering it temporarily unserviceable.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 19 B-25's, 24 P-40's, and 10 P-51's pound Kowloon shipyards; 2 B-25's hit nearby Taikoo Docks in Hong Kong; 4 P-40's strafe a truck convoy near Lashio, Burma, 16 sink about 30 boats in the area around Changte, and 8 bomb Bac Ninh, French Indochina and vicinity.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 145: The industrial area at Solingen, Germany is the target. 206 of 215 B-17's, 69 of 78 B-24's and 5 of 6 B-17 PFF aircraft hit the target at 1159-1212 hours; they claim 4-5-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 19 B-17's and 5 B-24's are lost, 2 B-17's and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair and 85 bombers are damaged; casualties are 13 KIA, 23 WIA and 227 MIA. The mission is escorted by 42 P-38's and 374 P-47's; the P-47's claim 20-4-7 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-38's and 5 P-47's are lost, 1 each are damaged beyond repair and 3 P-47's are damaged; casualties are 7 MIA. HQ VIII Air Support Command is disbanded at Sunninghill, England. HQ 448th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrives at Seething, England from the US. The 362d, 363d and 364th Fighter Squadrons, 357th Fighter Group, arrive at Raydon, England from the US with P-51B's. They will fly their first mission on 11 Feb 44. The 708th, 709th, 710th and 711th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 447th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrive at Rattlesden, England from the US with B-17G's. They will fly their first mission on 24 Dec.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): 175+ B-26's bomb airfields at Chievres, Belgium; and Cambrai/Epinoy, Lille/Yendeville, and Cambrai/Niergnies, France. 28 P-51's execute a sweep over NW France, marking the first Ninth Air Force fighter operation from the UK. HQ IX Troop Carrier Command transfers from Cottesmore to Grantham, England.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): In Italy, 100+ B-17's bomb the Turin ball bearing works and marshalling yard; escorting P-38's battle enemy fighters without either losses or victories; the B-17's claim 2 enemy fighters shot down; B-24's and other P-38's are recalled because of weather; B-26's, with fighter escort, attack bridges and railroad facilities at Aulla, Cecina, and Sestri Levante. HQ Fifteenth Air Force and 5th Bombardment Wing transfer from Tunis, Tunisia to Bari and Foggia, Italy, respectively.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): B-25's bomb gun positions in the Sant' Ambrogio area; fighter-bombers, including some Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and South African Air Force (SAAF) aircraft, hit trucks, gun positions, and other military targets E of Casoli, at Lanciano, near Guardiagrele, W of Mignano, W of Minturno, and near Chieti. Several of these missions are in support of the US Fifth and British Eighth Armies. During the month of Dec 43, HQ XII Bomber Command transfers from Tunis, Tunisia to Bari, Italy. HQ 52d Fighter Group and it's 5th Fighter Squadron transfer from Boccadifalco and Bo Rizzo, Sicily respectively to Corsica with Spitfires.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 18 B-25's and 8 P-38's attack Malai; P-39's strafe Tonolai and support US Navy (USN) dive bombers in an attack on the Jaba River area near Empress Augusta Bay; other Army Air Forces (AAF) and USN fighters cover dive bomber strikes on Kara and Ballale Island supply areas and strafe targets at Tenekow, Chabai, and Mutupina Point; 6 B-25's bomb Sarime Plantation. A detachment of the 339th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, ceases operating from Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands with P-38's and returns to it's base on New Caledonia Island. During the month of Dec 43: 1. HQ XIII Fighter Command transfers from Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides Islands to Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands. 2. The 68th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, based on Fiji Island ceases operating from Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands with P-39's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):In New Guinea, 40+ B-24's bomb Wewak, the B-24's and P-47 escorts claiming 11 enemy fighters shot down out of interception force of about 50; 3 B-24's are lost. On New Britain Island, 16 A-20's hit the Cape Gloucester area. 35 B-25's and B-26's bomb the Borgen Bay, New Guinea area. The 20th Combat Mapping Squadron, 4th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance), begins a movement from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea with B-24's and F-7's. They will fly their first mission on 5 Apr 44. The 387th Bombardment Squadron (Dive), 312th Bombardment Group (Dive) arrives at Port Moresby, New Guinea from the US with P-40's. The squadron and group will be redesignated Bombardment Group/Squadron (Light) on 6 Dec. During the month of Dec 43: 1. The 90th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and it's 319th, 320th, 321st and 400th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) transfer from Port Moresby to Dobodura, New Guinea with B-24's. 2. The 82d Fighter Squadron (Reconnaissance), 71st Reconnaissance Group, based at Dobodura, New Guinea with P-39's sends a detachment to Finschhafen, New Guinea.

THURSDAY, 2 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 18 Japanese bombers and 30 Zekes attack Suichwan airfield; 9 P-40's intercept, shooting down 1 Japanese airplane; 2 P-40's are lost; 6 P-40's on armed reconnaissance bomb villages between Sha Nyao and Chiao Tou Chieh; 16 others bomb Japanese positions NE of Changte.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(AEAF): The Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) authorizes AEAF to attack "sky sites" in the Pas de Calais area and on the Cherbourg Peninsula in France, which RAF photography and British intelligence have virtually identified as missile-launching sites.

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 146: 1 B-17 flies an Oboe test over Huls, Germany at 2139 hours dropping two 2,000 pound (907 kg) GP bombs and 1 photoflash bomb. 4 B-17's drop 2.09 million leaflets on Bremen, Oldenburg and Hamburg, Germany. No casualties on either mission.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): In Italy, B-24's, with fighter escort, bomb the town area, railroad bridge and marshalling yard at Bolzano; B-26's achieve excellent results in a raid on a bridge S of Orvieto and the marshalling yard at Arezzo. B-17's blast submarine pens at Marseilles, France. HQ 2d Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers from Massicault to Bizerte, Tunisia.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): B-25's, A-20's, and RAF light bombers support ground forces in the Monte Trocchio area, and other B-25's, A-20's, and RAF and SAAF airplanes support ground forces near Sant' Ambrogio; more B-25's hit bridge and approaches near Chieti; fighters strafe trucks and trains while fighter-bombers blast gun positions along the US Fifth and British Eighth Army fronts, and hit harbors and shipping along the Yugoslav coast at or near Omis, Drvenicki, Trogir, Vrbnik, and Ston.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solmon Islands, 20+ B-25's hit Malai and attack positions on the Porror River and Rigu Mission at Kieta; 20+ B-24's bomb Korovo; fighter patrols strafe the Chabai area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):In New Guinea, 50+ B-25's pound the Borgen Bay area; 20 B-25's and B-26's hit enemy forces in the Finschhafen area; and the Sio area is bombed by 2 B-24's.

FRIDAY, 3 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 8 P-40's attack barracks and other buildings at Wanling, China.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): A note from Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles F Portal, RAF, to the CCS states that OPERATION POINTBLANK, the Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) of the USAAF and RAF against the Luftwaffe and the German aircraft industry, is 3 months behind in relationship to the tentative date for OPERATION OVERLORD, the overall plan for the invasion of W Europe, which had been set for 1 May 44. This brings more pressure on the Eighth Air Force to destroy industrial plants of importance to aircraft production. The 365th and 366th Fighter Squadrons, 358th Fighter Group, transfer from Goxhill, England to Leiston, England with P-47D's. They will fly their first mission on 20 Dec.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): B-24's, with fighter escort, hit the Rome/Casale airfield in Italy; B-26's and escorting P-38's are recalled due to weather. Other P-38's escort a supply mission to Yugoslavia.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): The Twelfth Air Force transfers its entire II Air Service Area Command with all of its subordinate units to the Fifteenth Air Force, where it shortly becomes the XV Air Force Service Command. This is a major step toward making the Fifteenth a separate, self-sufficient air force. B-25's bomb harbor and marshalling yard at Sibenik, Yugoslavia. In Italy, fighter-bombers, along with RAF Desert Air Force (DAF) airplanes, hit tanks and trucks in the Guardiagrele-Lanciano areas. Other fighter-bombers attack a vessel at Sibenik, Yugoslavia and vehicles and trains N of Rome. Anzio and Nettuno, Italy are also bombed. The 2d Fighter Squadron, 52d Fighter Group, transfers from Boccadifalco, Sicily to Corsica with Spitfires.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 23 B-25's bomb Kieta Harbor and nearby supply and bivouac areas; 6 others hit Aitara Mission; 21 B-24's pound Bonis; fighter aircraft, USAAF and USN on patrol, hit targets of opportunity in areas from Numa Numa to Koromira, at Mosiga and Chabai, and W of Rlutupina Point; B-24's on armed reconnaissance hit a variety of targets, including Kieta, Green Island, Greenwich Island, and Korovo. The 372d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based on Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides Islands with B-24's, ceases operating from Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):In the Bismarck Archipelago, 60+ B-24's and B-25's bomb Cape Gloucester airfield on New Britain Island; 1 B-24 sinks several barges in Johann Albrecht Harbor while another bombs a large transport near New Hanover Island. 20+ B-24's bomb Waingapoe on Sumba Island in the Sunda Islands. In New Guinea, A-20's attack villages around Finschhafen; P-47's shoot down several airplanes over Wewak.

SATURDAY, 4 DECEMBER 1943

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): 3 bombers return early from an armed seasearch, due to weather.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 34 B-24's from the Ellice Islands and Canton Island bomb Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands; 20+ others abort due to bad weather. 8 B-24's from Funafuti Atoll in the Ellice Islands attack Nauru Atoll in the Pacific.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA-INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 5 B-24's mine the Rangoon River while 12 others mine the Salween River at Moulmein during the night of 4/5 Dec.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 11 B-25's and 12 P-40's bomb Changte, which was taken by the Japanese earlier in the day; 11 more B-25's and 24 P-40's follow with 2 more attacks on Changte; other P-40's drop ammunition to Chinese troops on Tehshan Mountain.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 147: 4 B-17's drop 800,000 leaflets on Rouen, Lille and Paris, France at 0222-0333 hours. VIII Bomber Command Mission 148: 4 B-17's drop 800,000 leaflets on Le Mans, Orleans, Tours and Laval, France at 2037-2125 hours. The 367th Fighter Squadron, 358th Fighter Group, transfers from Goxhill to Leiston, England with P-47D's.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): A Ninth Air Force directive establishes Operation CROSSBOW (operations against German missile launching sites) for the IX Bomber Command and provides a list of targets to be attacked immediately. 203 B-26's dispatched to attack the airfields at Chievres, Belgium and Lille/Vendeville, France must abort mission due to bad weather. HQ IX Air Support Command is activated at Aldermaston Court, England.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

The Second Cairo conference, Operation SEXTANT, opens and lasts until 6 Dec. President Franklin D Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston S Churchill, and President Ismet Inonu of Turkey attend. Churchill discusses the possibility of Turkey entering the war; the plan for the amphibious assault in the Bay of Bengal is cancelled; A tentative timetable is set up for Pacific offensive; and a unified Command is established in the Mediterranean effective 10 Dec.

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): All missions are cancelled by bad weather.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): Weather grounds Twelfth Air Force elements of Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF). The 4th Fighter Squadron, 52d Fighter Group, transfers from Boccadifalco, Sicily to Corsica with Spitfires.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 21 B-24's attack Chabai; 17 B-25's follow with a strike on the same target.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, nearly 50 bombers hit Cape Gloucester airfield and attack shore targets from Rottock Bay to Rein Bay. In New Guinea, 12 A-20's hit villages and supply dumps in the Finshaffen area. 30+ P-40's sink an oil laden lugger and 2 barges off Bogia and bomb bridge near Bogadjim.

SUNDAY, 5 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA-INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma during the night of 5/6 Dec, B-24's mine waters in the Moulmein area while 5 others lay mines in the Rangoon River.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 16 P-40's over the Changte area damage several large supply sampans near Ansiang and strafe various targets of opportunity in the Tehshan and Hsutu Lake areas; 20+ P-40's on patrols over the Changte area attack numerous boats and other targets throughout the nearby lake region.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 149. Airfields in France are targetted; 8 B-17's and 1 B-24 are lost. 1. 216 B-17's are dispatched to La Rochelle/Laleu, St Jean D'Angely, Paris/Ivry, Paris/Bois and D'Colombes airfields; none hit the target due to weather; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged. 2. 96 B-24's are dispatched to Cognac/Chateaubernard Airfield; 2 hit St Nazaire; 1 B-24 is lost and 7 damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 10 MIA. 3. 236 B-17's are dispatched to the Bordeaux/Merignac air depot; 1 hits the target; they claim 12-5-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 B-17's are lost and 19 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 4 WIA and 50 MIA. These missions are escorted by 34 P-38's and 266 P-47's plus 36 Ninth Air Force P-51's; 1 P-47 is lost; the pilot is MIA.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): 52 B-26's bomb Ligescourt, Campagne- les-Hesdin, and Saint-Josse, France. 200 others are forced to abandon the mission because of heavy cloud cover over the targets, including V-weapon sites which the Ninth had scheduled to attack for the first time. Ninth Air Force P-51's from the 354th Fighter Group fly their first escort mission, accompanying Eighth Air Force heavy bombers in a raid against targets in the area near Amiens, France.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

At the Cairo Conference, President Roosevelt decides on General Dwight D Eisenhower as the Supreme Allied Commander for Operation OVERLORD, the invasion of W Europe. The CCS issue a directive for the organization of the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces (MAAF) consolidating British and US forces of the Mediterranean Air Command (MAC) and Northwest African Air Force (NAAF).

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): The 37th and 95th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 17th Bombardment Group (Medium), transfer from Djedeida, Tunisia to Villacidro, Sardinia with B-26's.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): Weather hampers medium bomber operations, but B-25's manage to bomb a bridge at Pescara, Italy and marshalling yard and shipyards at Split, Yugoslavia. In Italy, US fighter- bombers and fighters (and a number of other Allied airplanes) hit gun positions S of Chieti, Italy, a vessel in Poljud, Yugoslavia harbor (near Split), trains and trucks W of Aquino, bridges near Mignano and Ladispoli, the town of Arezzo, airfields at Piombino and Aviano, and building S of Garda Lake. HQ Twelfth Air Force transfers from Tunisia to Italy.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 23 B-25's and 20+ USN dive bombers hit the Monoitu, Aitara Mission, and Mosigetta area; fighter patrols hit several areas on Bougainville and on Shortland Island, including Chabai, Numa Numa, Mosigetta, Monoitu, and Faisi Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):40 B-24'a bomb Cape Gloucester on New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago; A-20's destroy small craft off New Britain. In New Guinea, A-20's hit enemy forces in the Finschhafen area; B-25's, B-26's, and P-40's attack targets along the Bogadjim Road. The 110th Reconnaissance Squadron (Fighter), 71st Reconnaissance Group, arrives at Brisbane, Queensland, Australia from the US with P-39Q's. The 531st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 380th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Manbulloo to Long Strip, Northern Territory, Australia with B-24's. The group is attached to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

MONDAY, 6 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, Changte is pounded throughout the day by 30+ B-25's and numerous fighters; other fighters strafe targets of opportunity in the railway yard at Hsipaw and damage a train at Hopong.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): HQ 70th Fighter Wing transfers from Greenham Common to Boxted, England while HQ 100th Fighter Wing transfers from Boxted to Greenham Common.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): In Greece, 45 B-24's bomb Eleusis Airfield while 56 B-17's hit Kalamaki Airfield; other B-17's return to base with bombs because of a heavy overcast; the heavy bombers and escorting P-38's claim several enemy fighters shot down; 1 B-24 is lost to flak. The 34th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 17th Bombardment Group (Medium), transfers from Djedeida, Tunisia to Villacidro, Sardinia.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, P-40 and A-36 fighter- bombers bomb bridges at Ceprano and W of Mignano; weather cancels other operations. The 91st Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group, transfers from Castelvetrano, Sicily to Montecorvino Airfield, Italy with P-39's. The 347th Fighter Squadron, 350th Fighter Group, transfers from Rerhaia, Algeria to Corsica with P-39's. A detachment of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron, 64th Fighter Wing, based at Cantania, Sicily, begins operating from Gaudo Airfield, Italy with Beaufighters.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 6 B-25's bomb the Monoitu Mission area, and 24 others, with fighter support, pound Tarlena village; P-40's carry out a strafing strike in the Arawa Bay area near Kieta; P-38's strafe W the coast of Buka Island; general fighter patrols strafe the Chabai, Koromira, and Monoitu areas; the Kieta supply area is bombed by a B-24 on armed reconnaissance.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, nearly 100 B-24's and B-25's hit the Cape Gloucester and Borgen Bay areas; P-40's strafe Cape Hoskins. In New Guinea, A-20's and B-25's attack villages and supply dumps around Finschhafen.

TUESDAY, 7 DECEMBER 1943

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR: The Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) accept the US plan for a strategic air command, the US Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSAFE), to coordinate the operations of the Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): During the night of 6/7 Dec, 14 B-24's, staging through Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands, hit targets on Maloelap and Wotje Atolls in the Marshall Islands. 6 B-24's from Nukufetau Island in the Ellice Islands bomb Maloelap Atoll, and 1 other, failing to reach the primary, drops bombs on Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands. This date marks the beginning of Operation FLINTLOCK (operations against Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls in the Marshall Islands).

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, Changte is hit twice by a total of 13 B-25's and several escorting fighters. In Burma, 8 P-40's strafe freight cars between Mogaung and Myitkyina. The detachment of the 76th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group, that has been operating from Suichwan, China since Oct, returns to it's base at Kweilin with P-40's.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): Heavy cloud cover severely restricts operations. 1 B-26 attacks a bridge S of Arma di Taggia, Italy.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, B-25's and A-36's bomb the harbor and town of Civitavecchia; B-25's also attack Pescara, hitting the railroad, road, and town area; A-36's, P-40's, and RAF DAF fighters hit a gun position W of Orsogna, the towns of Viticuso and San Vittoria, and a bridge at Civitella Roveto.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomon Islands, 18 B-25's carry out strikes against Kahili and Kieta Harbor on Bougainville Island. Torokina Island is bombed by 2 Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Ventura's on patrol. The 23d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based on Espiritu Santo Island in the New Hebrides Islands with B-24's, ceases operating from Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, 90+ B-24's and B-25's attack the Cape Gloucester and Borgen Bay areas. On New Guinea, A-20's bomb troop encampments and dumps in the Finschhafen area; P-40's strafe boats and barges near Madang. B-24's bomb the airfield and village on Haroekoe in the Moluccas Islands.

WEDNESDAY, 8 DECEMBER 1943

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): 3 B-24's fly armed reconnaissance. During the night of 8/9 Dec, another B-24 off on a photographic mission over Kasatochi Island in the Aleutian Islands, turns back because of mechanical trouble. ZONE OF INTERIOR (HQ AAF): General Henry H "Hap" Arnold, Commanding General Army Air Forces, notifies Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz, Commanding General Twelfth Air Force, that he is to command USSAFE.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 22 B-24's from Nanumea Island in the Ellice Islands, bomb Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands, and 11 from Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands bomb Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 9 B-25's, escorted by 16 P-40's, pound Changte; 9 other B-25's bomb Hofuh and the 16 escorting P-40's bomb 2 villages to the N.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): 120+ B-24's and B-17's attack Tatoi and Eleusis airfields in Greece, and railroad bridges near Orbetello Lake and the town of Porto Santo Stefano in Italy. In Italy, B-26's hit Spoleto viaduct, Orte marshalling yard, and Civitavecchia harbor; other B-26's abort the mission because of weather. HQ 1st Fighter Group and it's 71st Fighter Squadron, transfer from Sardinia to Gioia del Colle, Italy with P-38's. The 20th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 2d Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Massicault, Tunisia to Amendola, Italy with B-17's.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, B-25's bomb bridges, industrial targets, marshalling yard, and town areas of Pescara, Ancona, and Aquila; A-20's hit gun emplacements and bivouac area near Sant' Elia Fiumerapido; other A-20's, operating with RAF and SAAF aircraft attack troop concentration and gun positions near Miplinnico; fighter-bombers of the AAF, RAF, RAAF, and SAAF bomb targets in support of ground troops near Orsogna; A-36's and P-40's hit communications targets (roads, railroads, bridges) at Avezzano, Frosinone, Viticuso, Gaeta, and Sant' Elia Fiumerapido. HQ 3d Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) and it's 12th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron transfer from La Marsa, Tunisia to San Severo, Italy with F-4's and F-5's. HQ 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Group transfers from La Marsa, Tunisia to San Severo, Italy.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, fighter patrols and aircraft on armed reconnaissance bomb and strafe several targets of opportunity near Kieta, SE of Cape Torokina, at Baniu Plantation, and along the NE coast.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):B-25's attack the Penfoei-Koepanp area on Timor Island. In New Guinea, B-25's and B-26's pound enemy supply dumps on the Huon Peninsula near Finschhafen; P-39's strafe barges from Saidor to Fortification Point.

THURSDAY, 9 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 19 B-24's from Funafuti Atoll in the Ellice Islands bomb Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands. The B-24's claim 5 fighters destroyed.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 15 B-25's bomb Wuchang and Hankow, and 3 bomb Changte; P-40's strafe sampans above Nanhsien and attack targets of opportunity in the Salween River area, including road traffic S of Hsia Chai, barracks at Tachai, and the town of San Tsun.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): P-38's carry out weather reconnaissance over the Adriatic Sea; B-17's of the 2d and 99th Bombardment Groups (Heavy) are recalled because of weather; all groups of the 47th (B-24) and 42d (B-26) Bombardment Wings cancel operations. HQ 2d Bombardment Group (Heavy) and it's 429th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) transfer from Bizerte, Tunisia to Amendola, Italy with B-17's. The 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, transfers from Monserrato, Sardinia to Gioia del Colle, Italy with P-38's. The 318th and 319th Fighter Squadrons, 325th Fighter Group, transfer from Soliman, Tunisia to Foggia, Italy with P-40's. The 342d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Depienne, Tunisia to Cerignola, Italy with B-17's. The 352d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Oudna, Tunisia to Cerignola, Italy with B-17's.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, B-25's bomb railway and road bridges at Giulianova, tracks at Pescara and Teramo, and a marshalling yard and ironworks at Terni; A-20's hit gun positions and bivouac area at Sant' Elia Fiumerapido; A-36's and P-40's attack Orsogna and coastal targets in support of the British Eighth Army, Avezzano marshalling yard and villages along the US Fifth Army front, troops at San Pietro Infine and Viticuso and nearby gun positions, viaduct and railway bridge E of Guidonia airfield, crossing at Furbara, and trains and trucks in the Rome area. Brigadier General George H Beverley takes over as the new Commanding General, XII Troop Carrier Command (Provisional).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):50 B-25's bomb and strafe the coast of New Britain Island from Borgen Bay to Rein Bay. In New Guinea, 19 B-25's and A-20's hit barges, coastal installations, and roads in the Fortification Point area; 60+ P-39's hit Bogadjim Road, barges and enemy held villages along the N coast of Huon Peninsula, and enemy positions in the Ramu River valley.

FRIDAY, 10 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 12 B-25's and 15 P-40's attack the marshalling yard at Hanoi, French Indochina; the warehouse area and railroad station suffer heavy damage. Japanese aircraft bomb Hengyang Airfield in China; 8 P-40's intercept 1 wave of airplanes over the field, shooting down 3 of them; 2 P-40's are lost in the combat.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 150: 1 B-17 is dispatched on an OBOE test flight but turns back due to an oxygen leak; two 2,000 pound (907 kg) bombs and a Photoflash are jettisoned off the French coast. In the second part of this mission, 6 of 6 B-17's drop 1.2 million leaflets on Rouen, Paris, Caen and Amiens, France and Ghent, Belgium at 2026-2102 hours. No losses. HQ 2d Bombardment Division transfers from Horsham St Faith to Ketteringham Hall, England.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): 20 German aircraft attack 4 Ninth Air Force airfields in the UK (Gosfield, Andrews Field, Earls Colne, and Great Dunmow), killing 8 and wounding 20+ men. HQ 434th Troop Carrier Group and it's 71st, 72d, 73d and 74th transfer from Fulbeck to Welford Park, England with C-47's.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): B-24's, with fighter escort, bomb a marshalling yard at Sofia, Bulgaria; P-38's fly weather reconnaissance in the Sofia and Zara, Yugoslavia areas. B-26's hit bridge approaches W and E of Ventimiglia, Italy. The 94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, transfers from Monserrato, Sardinia to Gioia del Colle, Italy with P-38's. The 96th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 2d Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Massicault, Tunisia to Amendola, Italy with B-17's. The 317th Fighter Squadron, 325th Fighter Group, transfers from Soliman, Tunisia to Foggia, Italy with P-47's. The 353d and 419th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfer from Oudna, Tunisia to Cerignola, Italy with B-17's.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, P-40's and A-36's attack oil tanks, warehouses, railroads, and vessel at Civitavecchia, the town of Acquafondata, and with RAF, SAAF, and RAAF airplanes, hit tactical targets along the British Eighth Army front, and later strafe road traffic in the Canosa Sannita-Chieti area. Fighters also bomb a vessel in the harbor at Split, Yugoslavia. HQ 310th Bombardment Group (Medium) transfers from Philippeville, Algeria to Corsica. The 23d Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, transfers from Foggia to San Severo, Italy with P-38's and F-5's.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, B-25's bomb the Kahili supply area and airfield; P-39's bomb the supply area and AA positions at Tonolai and strafe 4 barges in the harbor; RNZAF Ventura's hit buildings at Arigua Plantation.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):27 B-24's bomb targets at Cape Gloucester on New Britain Island and the Huon Peninsula on New Guinea. In New Guinea, 40 B-25's and B-26's bomb supply and bivouac areas and bridges along the Bogadjim Road; P-39's strafe barges in the Madang area. HQ 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group and it's 20th Combat Mapping Squadron transfer from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea with B-24's and F-7's. HQ 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy) and it's 64th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) transfer from Port Moresby to Dobodura, New Guinea with B-24's.

SATURDAY, 11 DECEMBER 1943

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CARIBBEAN

(Sixth Air Force): The 10th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 25th Bombardment Group (Medium), transfers from Waller Field, Trinidad to France Field, Canal Zone with B-25's.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 14 B-25's and 10 P-40's attack Shihshow and Ansiang; 3 B-24's bomb Hankow airfield; 9 P-40's intercept about 30 Japanese airplanes over Nanchang shortly after the enemy force bombs Suichwan; the P-40's claim 10 aircraft shot down.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 151: 437 of 490 B-17's and 86 of 93 B-24's hit the industrial area at Emden, Germany at 1220-1312 hours; they claim 86-22-23 Luftwaffe aircraft; 15 B-17's and 2 B-24's are lost, 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 120 B-17's and 18 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 2 KIA, 20 WIA and 185 MIA. This mission is escorted by 31 P-38's, 313 P-47's and 44 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 21-0-7 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-47's and 1 P-51 are lost; 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are damaged beyond repair and 3 P-47's are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 4 MIA. VIII Bomber Command Mission 152: 4 of 4 B-17's drop 800,000 leaflets on Laval, Rennes, Le Mans and Nantes, France at 2026-2039 hours; no casualties.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): HQ 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group and it's 107th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron transfer from Membury to Middle Wallop, England with Spitfires and F-6's.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): All operations except weather reconnaissance are cancelled or recalled because of bad weather. HQ 99th Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers from Oudna, Tunisia to Tortorella Airfield, Italy. HQ 325th Fighter Group transfers from Soliman, Tunisia to Foggia, Italy. The 32d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Oudna, Tunisia to Cerignola, Italy with B-17's. The 414th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Depienne, Tunisia to Cerignola, Italy with B-17's.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, P-40's and A-36's attack Anzio, Nettuno, Viticuso, San Vittore del Lazio, Pontecorvo, Acquafondata, the railway siding at Arce, tracks and junction N of Ostia, and railway between Ostia and Lido di Roma. Weather causes abandonment of B-25 operations.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 16 B-25's, in 2 waves, attack Kahili; several other B-25's hit Arigua Plantation; 20+ B-24's bomb the village and wharf area at Tsirogei; 8 P-39's bomb Tonolai; several aircraft on armed reconnaissance, operating individually or in small flights, attack targets of opportunity scattered throughout Bougainville and the Shortland Island area; Allied night fighters carry out a strike on a Japanese bivouac along the Jaba River; others hit Buka and Bonis. A detachment of the 17th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 4th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance), based on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands, begins operating from Bougainville Island with F-5's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):B-25's bomb and strafe the Borgen Bay area on New Britain Island. In New Guinea, B-25's and B-26's hit bivouacs and other installations near Fortification Point and in the Finschhafen area. B-24's bomb Makassar on Celebes Island and Balikpapan, Borneo. The 65th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Port Moresby to Dobodura, New Guinea with B-24's. The 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, transfers from Port Moresby to Dobodura, New Guinea with P-38's.

SUNDAY, 12 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 25 B-24's flying out of Ellice Island bases, bomb Emidj Island in the Marshall Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA-INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 28 B-25's and 13 B-24's carry out a saturation bombing strike against bridge at Myittha, over which a large volume of Japanese goods is flowing to the N. Despite this large air effort only the approach spans suffer effective damage.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 41 Japanese bombers and fighters bomb the W side of Hengyang Airfield, causing considerable damage; 31 P-40's and 6 P-38's intercept the enemy force, claiming 20 airplanes shot down; 2 P-40's are lost. 9 B-24's bomb Hankow airfield.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 153: 4 B-17's drop 800,000 leaflets on Paris, Amiens and Orleans, France at 2033-2044 hours; no casualties. HQ 92d and 94th Combat Bombardment Wings (Heavy) transfer from Polebrook to Camp Blainey and Alconbury, England respectively. HQ 95th Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy) is activated at Attlebridge, England.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): The 109th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, transfers from Membury to Middle Wallop, England with Spitfires and F-6's.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): Operations are limited to weather reconnaissance. HQ 14th Fighter Group and it's 37th Fighter Squadron transfer from Ste-Marie-du-Zit, Tunisia to Triolo Airfield, Italy with P-38's. The 341st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Depienne, Tunisia to Cerignola, Italy with B-17's.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): Weather curtails operations. In Italy, B-25's bomb the road, railroad, and landing ground at Terracina; P-40 and A-36 fighter-bombers hit trucks along roads in the Chieti-Francavilla area and bomb the town of Itri; fighters fly patrols and reconnaissance over the battle area. The 10th Troop Carrier Squadron, 60th Troop Carrier Group, transfers from Gerbini, Sicily to Pomigliano, Italy with C-47's.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 6 B-25's strafe Arigua Plantation; 9 others, with fighter support, bomb the supply area at Bonis; the fighters afterwards strafe Japanese forces between Kieta and the Aropa River; other fighter aircraft strafe the harbor at Tonolai and cover USN dive bomber strikes against targets in the Ratsua-Porton-Chabai-Soraken areas and the Kieta Harbor-Tobera Bay area; and 20+ B-24's bomb the Kahili area and Poporang.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):In New Guinea, P-40's dive-bomb Bogadjim Road. B-24's make light raids on Ceram Island in the Moluccas Islands and in the far W part of Netherlands New Guinea.

MONDAY, 13 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 10 B-24's, staging through Baker Island from Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands, bomb Wotje Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA-INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In India, 20 Japanese bombers, escorted by 25 fighters, hit Dinjan Airfield before US interceptors make contact; however, little damage is done and the US fighters catch the attackers shortly afterward; 12 Japanese bombers and 5 fighters are claimed shot down. The 436th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Panagarh to Madhaiganj, India with B-24's.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 12 B-25's, with fighter escort, bomb Li-Chou and Kungan; 8 B-25's pound Wuchang Airfield; and 16 P-40's on armed reconnaissance strafe targets of opportunity from Changte to Linli to Li-Chou.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 154; the port area at Bremen and Kiel, Germany are hit; 5 aircraft are lost. This is the first mission where more than 600 aircraft are dispatched. 1. 171 of 182 B-17's dispatched to Bremen hit the target at 1159-1206 hours; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 30 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 3 WIA. 2. 367 of 403 B-17's, 93 of 107 B-24's, 12 of 12 B-17 PFF and 6 of 6 B-24 PFF aircraft are dispatched to Kiel; heavy frosting and poor visibility disrupts the formation and 78 B-17's hit targets of opportunity in Hamburg at 1300-1305 hours; the remaining aircraft hit Kiel at 1245-1317 hours; 7-3-17 Luftwaffe aircraft are claimed; 4 B-17's and 1 B-24 are lost; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 136 B-17's and 4 B-24's are lost; casualties are 4 KIA, 16 WIA and 50 MIA. These missions are escorted by 31 P-38's, 322 P-47's and 41 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 1-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost, 1 P-38 and 1 P-47 are damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 is damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 1 MIA. P-51's escorting the heavy bombers reach the limit of their escort range for the first time. VIII Bomber Command Mission 155: 5 B-17's drop 1 million leaflets on Le Mans, Rennes, Tours, Nantes and Chartres, France at 2138-2155 hours; no losses.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): Nearly 200 B-26's attack Schiphol Airfield in The Netherlands.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): Operations are restricted to weather reconnaissance. The 346th, 347th and 348th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 99th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfer from Oudna, Tunisia to Tortorella Airfield, Italy with B-17's.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Yugoslavia, B-25's bomb an oil depot, harbor, warehouses, and railway yard at Sibenik and Split. In Italy, P-40 and A-36 fighter-bombers attack defended points in the Miglionico area; quays, roads, railway yard, and gun emplacements at Terracina; and bridges at Pontecorvo and W of Isolella; town areas and bridges at and near Atina and Acquafondsta are also hit. The 91st Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group, based at Montecorvino Airfield, Italy with P-38's and P-39's, begins operating from Capodichino, Italy.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 17 B-25's bomb Porton, and their fighter escorts strafe Tenekow bivouac areas during the return flight; 24 B-24's bomb Bonis; 6 B-25's carry out low-level strikes against concentrations on Numa Numa. The 72d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based on Espiritu Santo Island in the New Hebrides Islands with B-24's, begins operating from Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):100+ B-24's and B-25's and several P-40's bomb Gasmata Island in the Bismarck Archipelago. In New Guinea, A-20's hit villages along Bogadjim Road; a small flight of P-39's strafe barges along the Huon Peninsula. The 340th Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, transfers from Port Moresby to Finschhafen, New Guinea with P-47's. The 403d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Port Moresby to Dobodura, New Guinea with B-24's.

TUESDAY, 14 DECEMBER 1943>

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 16 B-24's, flying out of bases in the Ellice Islands, bomb Maloelap Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 13 B-25's, with fighter escort, bomb Shasi; 2 P-40's strafe supply trucks S of Tengchung. 6 P-40's on armed reconnaissance strafe Gia Lam Airfield and railroad yard in French Indochina.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): 150+ B-17's and B-24's, with fighter escorts, bomb Greece. The B-24's hit the Tatoi air depot at Athens; the B-17's hit the Kalamaki and Eleusis air depots at Athens and the docks and shipping at Piraeus. The heavy bombers claim 10 fighters shot down. HQ 90th Reconnaissance Wing transfers from La Marsa, Tunisia to San Severo, Italy. The 340th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Depienne, Tunisia to Cerignola, Italy with B-17's. The 416th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 99th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Oudna, Tunisia to Tortorella Airfield, Italy with B-17's.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, medium bombers hit Orte, concentrating on the marshalling yard; light bombers attack road bridge SW of Pontecorvo in front of US Fifth Army lines; P-40 fighter-bombers hit bridges S of Roccasecca and E of Atina; A-36's destroy a bridge at Ceprano and bomb railroad yards, the town area, and highway at Sora, and docks and town area of Civitavecchia.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomon Islands, 18 B-24's, with fighter support, bomb positions on Sohano Island. 18 B-25's and 8 fighters hit Manob village E of Buka Passage. Other Thirteenth Air Force fighters hit gun positions, communications targets, and other targets of opportunity at scattered points in the Bougainville-Shortland areas and cover US Navy (USN) dive bomber strikes against AA positions in Chabai area on Bougainville Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):In New Guinea, in the heaviest raid to date in the Southwest Pacific Area, 228 B-24's, B-25's, and A-20's bomb Arawe in an almost continuous attack from 0645 to 1548 hours; P-39's strafe barges along the Huon Peninsula. Gasmata Island off the S coast of New Britain Island is hit by B-25's and B-26's. B-24's on armed reconnaissance hit Saidor, New Guinea; and Gasmata and Unea Islands in the Bismarck Archipelago.

WEDNESDAY, 15 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 20 B-24's from Nanumea Island in the Ellice Islands, hit Maloelap Atoll in the Marshall Islands. 10, staging from Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands through Baker Island, bomb Wotje Atoll in the Marshall Islands. 1 B-24 is lost on Maloelap Atoll raid; 2 enemy fighters are claimed destroyed.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN AIR COMMAND

Eastern Air Command (EAC), a combined US-British Command, is formed under Lieutenant General George E Stratemeyer (USAAF), with Air Vice Marshall Thomas M Williams (RAF) as Assistant Commander. HQ, at New Delhi, India, will control all operational air units in Assam and Burma which presently make up the US Tenth Air Force and RAF Bengal Air Command. Major components of EAC are to be the Third Tactical Air Force under Air Marshall Sir John E Baldwin (RAF), Strategic Air Force under Brigadier General Howard C Davidson (USAAF), Troop Carrier Command under Brigadier General William D Old (USAAF), and Photo Reconnaissance Force under Group Captain Stewart G Wise. The Strategic Air Force and Troop Carrier Command are activated on this date, the former having HQ at Belvedere Palace, Calcutta, India and the latter at Comilla, India.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 25 P-40's strafe parked aircraft, trucks, and several buildings at Pailochi; at least 3 enemy airplanes are destroyed; 2 B-25's on a sea sweep over the Gulf of Tonkin claim 1 ocean- going tug sunk; 16 P-40's on armed reconnaissance strafe the towns of Owchihkow and Shihshow; 6 others attack the town of Luchiangpa and villages in the area.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): The Ninth Air Force comes under operational control of the AEAF. A new directive for tactical bomber operations lists reduction of enemy fighter forces as the basic objective. A Ninth Air Force planning staff, composed of officers who have had service with the Chief of Staff, Supreme Allied Commander (COSSAC), is set up in London.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): B-17's. with P-38 and P-47 escorts, bomb marshalling yards at Bolzano, Italy and Innsbruck, Austria. B-24's, with P-38 escort, attack Avisio, Italy viaduct. All targets suffer considerable damage.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Yugoslavia, B-25's bomb the airfield at Mostar and A-36 and P-40 fighter-bombers attack vessels, vehicles, and parked aircraft N and E of the Peljesac Peninsula, near Mostar, and at the Zemonico landing ground. In Italy, B-25's and A-20's bomb roads at Pontecorvo and N of Frosinone; fighter-bombers blast gun positions along the US Fifth Army front.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomon Islands, 21 B-24's strike Sohano Island; 6 B-25's hit installations in the Numa Numa-Arigua area; 23 B-25's and 16 fighters attack Buka Island, causing heavy damage in the Chinatown area; P-40's destroy bridge at Runai. Numerous targets of opportunity are attacked by AAF aircraft, operating individually and in small flights, on armed reconnaissance over Bougainville Island and other N Solomons areas.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):As a preliminary to the main invasion of New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, US forces under command of Brigadier General Julian W Cunningham land on the W coast of the Arawe Peninsula on New Britain Island about 0700 local following a naval and air bombardment; B-25's pound villages in the Arawe area; B-24's bomb Cape Gloucester while P-39's strafe barges at Reiss Point. B-25's hit 2 freighters on Timor Island in the Sunda Islands. The 39th Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group, transfers from Port Moresby to Nadzab, New Guinea with P-47's.

THURSDAY, 16 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 9 B-25's and 11 P-40's hit the NW part of Owchihkow; 4 B-25's on sweeps over the S China Sea damage freighter S of Nampang Island, bomb Tunguan docks, and shoot down 1 bomber; 15 P-40's on armed reconnaissance strafe Pailochi Airfield; 11 others strafe boats in channels N of Nanhsien; 6 P-38's strafe a troop train near Changanyi and attack 25 sampans (destroying most of them) on the Yangtze River just above Huangtang Lake.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 156: the port area at Bremen, Germany is the target. 402 of 479 B-17's, 133 of 141 B-24's and 10 of 11 PFF aircraft hit the target at 1309-1322 hours; they claim 18-11-11 Luftwaffe aircraft; 10 B-17's are lost; 2 B-17's and 2 B-24's are damaged beyond repair; 128 B-17's, 22 B-24's and 5 PFF aircraft are damaged; casualties are 6 KIA, 8 WIA and 104 MIA. The mission is escorted by 31 P-38's, 131 P-47's and 39 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-47 is lost, 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 1 MIA. VIII Bomber Command Mission 157: 4 B-17's drop 1.952 million leaflets over Hannover, Germany; Brussels, Belgium; and Lille, France at 1903-1943 hours; no losses or casualties.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): A basic directive for IX Bomber Command training is issued on this date. Since most of IX Bomber Command's combat units have been operational for some time earlier under the VIII Air Support Command, extensive training will not begin until after the first of the year when inexperienced units begin to arrive.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): In Italy, B-24's attack a railroad bridge and tunnel at Dogna and the railroad between Dogna and Chiusaforte; escorting P-38's strafe trains and oil tanks between Portogruaro and Latisana; B-17's, escorted by P-38's and P-47's, bomb the Padua marshalling yard and rail junction; rail lines, rolling stock, and buildings are damaged extensively. .

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Yugoslavia, B-25's bomb shipping at Zara and the harbor and marshalling yard at Sibenik; P-40's and P-47's hit a vessel S of Zara and strafe targets of opportunity on the Peljesac Peninsula. In Italy, A-20's attack gun positions near Mignano; P-40's and A-36's hit gun batteries and strongpoints along the British Eighth Army front S and E of Chieti, gun emplacements and troop concentrations all along the US Fifth Army front, especially NE and S of Cassino, and also bomb Roccasecca and docks at Civitavecchia.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomon Islands, 14 B-24's bomb Monoitu on Bougainville Island. Smaller flights of B-24's bomb Poporang and Sohano Islands, and dispersal areas at Bonis Airfield on Bougainville. 5 B-25's, with fighter cover, hit Sankau Island. RNZAF Ventura's attack targets on Green Island and in the Mawareka, Marveiropa, and Mamaregu areas. Fighter aircraft support USN dive bomber strikes on Sohano Island and gun positions at Bonis and afterwards strafe targets of opportunity at several points on Bougainville. The 67th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, which has been operating from New Georgia Island with P-39's since Oct 43, returns to it's base on Woodlark Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):B-24's hit Cape Gloucester Airfield on New Britain Island. On New Guinea, B-25's hit Sio and Kelana Harbor and P-40's hit the Timoeka area. HQ 348th Fighter Group transfers from Port Moresby to Finschhafen, New Guinea. The 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, transfers from Dobodura to Gusap, New Guinea with P-47's.

FRIDAY, 17 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 10 B-24's are dispatched from Nanumea Island in the Ellice Islands to bomb Maloelap Atoll in the Marshall Islands; 9 are recalled because of weather; 1 bombs the alternate target of Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands. HQ 41st Bombardment Group (Medium) transfers from Hickam Field, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii to Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 6 P-40's bomb and strafe barracks near Kunlong. 6 others bomb and strafe targets of opportunity in Hanoi, French Indochina.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): The Ninth Air Force planning group joins the 21 Army Group, AEAF, and the RAF's Second Tactical Air Force in preparation of the air section of the initial joint plan (Operation NEPTUNE) for Operation OVERLORD (the invasion of Normandy). This begins planning which later results in a massive Ninth Air Force plan for moving the Ninth into battle on the continent of Europe.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): Operations are restricted to weather reconnaissance.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, A-20's strike an artillery concentration near Sant'Elia Fiumerapido; All B-25 missions are abortive; A-36's and P-40 fighter-bombers bomb positions at Monte Trocchio, Cervaro, and Cardito, and the marshalling yard, barracks, warehouses, and docks at Nettuno and Anzio. In Yugoslavia, P-40's and P-51's, with SAAF escort, strafe a vessel near Trpanj.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 18 B-25's strike Malai; 6 others join USN dive bombers in pounding the Mutupina Point Area; 5 RNZAF Ventura's hit Poroporo and Tarekekori.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, P-47's intercept 35-40 aircraft attacking Allied forces on the Arawe peninsula; at least 10 airplanes are claimed shot down; Cape Gloucester and nearby shipping are attacked by B-24's and B-25's. In New Guinea, B-25's bomb the Sio area and P-39's sink 2 barges during a sweep along the Huon Peninsula. The 341st and 342d Fighter Squadrons, 348th Fighter Group, transfer from Port Moresby to Finschhafen, New Guinea with P-47's.

SATURDAY, 18 DECEMBER 1943

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(HQ AAF): General Henry H "Hap" Arnold sends to Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles F Portal (RAF) announcement of the US air officers for top commands in Europe in 1944. The list includes Lieutenant General Ira C Eaker, Allied Air Forces in the

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

Lieutenant General John K Cannon, Twelfth Air Force; Lieutenant General Nathan F Twining, Fifteenth Air Force; General Carl Spaatz, US Strategic Air Forces (USSAFE); Lieutenant General James H Doolittle, Eighth Air Force; and Lieutenant General Lewis H Brereton, Ninth Air Force.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 14 B-24's bomb Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands. The 46th and 72d Fighter Squadrons, 15th Fighter Group, transfer from Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands and Wheeler Field, Territory of Hawaii respectively to Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands with P-39's. The 531st Fighter-Bomber Squadron, Seventh Air Force, transfers from Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands to Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands with A-24's.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN AIR COMMAND

The Third Tactical Air Force is activated under Air Marshall Sir John E Baldwin (RAF) as a major component of EAC.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 27 B-24's, supported by 28 P-40's, pound the airfield at Namsang; some of the P-40's strafe Laihka Airfield; 2 B-25's on a sea sweep claim damaging hits on a freighter and a tanker in the Hainan Straits; 5 B-25's bomb SW part of Nanhsien.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): In France, B-26's bomb Var River bridges, destroying a highway bridge and damaging a railroad bridge; other B-26's have less success against the Antheor viaduct, although there are several near misses.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): Weather limits operations. In Italy, P-40 fighter-bombers attack positions in Tollo, Canosa Sannita, and Orsogna, and strafe a schooner off Trogir; A-36's hit defended areas near Cassino and at Viticuso, a supply dump and gun emplacement near Tenacina, and positions at Monte Trocchio.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 10 B-24's bomb the Kahili supply area, 5 more hit the Bonis supply area, and 19 others hit targets in the Chabai-Porton area; 5 B-25's carry out low-level strike on troop concentrations at Poroporo and 11 bomb Korovo; B-24's, operating individually and in small flights, on armed reconnaissance attack Kahili, Kieta, and Poporang; fighters strafe targets of opportunity at Numa Numa, Cape Pui Pui, and the E coast of Buka.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, 70+ B-24's, B-25's, and B-26's bomb Cape Gloucester; 20+ B-25's bomb the Borgen Bay area; and nearly 40 B-24's hit Hoskins Airfield. In New Guinea, 33 A-20's bomb and strafe dumps and bivouacs N of Finschhafen.

SUNDAY, 19 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 29 B-24's from Nanumea Island in the Ellice Islands and Baker Island bomb barracks, hangars, and wharf areas on Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands and Maloelap Atoll in the Marshall Islands; they claim 7 fighters shot down. P-39's from Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands strafe Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands, destroying 3 airplanes and firing an oil dump; 2 P-39's are lost.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA-INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): 20 B-24's fly a night strike against newly expanded dock area at Bangkok, Thailand causing considerable destruction.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, about 35 Japanese bombers and fighters attack Hengyang Airfield; 26 P-40's are sent up against the attacking force and shoot down 9; 2 P-40's are lost. 12 B-25's and 8 P-40's attack Nanhsien and Ansiang.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 158: 5 B-17's drop 1 million leaflets on Paris, Amiens and Chartres, France at 2059-2135 hours; no losses or casualties.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): In Austria, about 50 B-24's attack the Messerschmitt plant at Augsburg and and about 100 B-17's hit the marshalling yard at Innsbruck. P-38's and P-47's provide partial escort. 9 heavy bombers are lost; US aircraft claim 37 fighters shot down. In Italy, P-47's of the 325th Fighter Group, dispatched for escort duty, miss the rendezvous with the heavy bombers and instead strafe Ancona Airfield, truck convoys at Porto Civitsnova, a train near Senigallia, and a vessel at Roseto degli Abruzzi; B-26's bomb the Perugia railroad installations and marshalling yards at Castiglione della Valle and Foligno. HQ 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and it's 343d, 344th and 415th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) transfer from Brindisi to Manduria, Italy with B-24's.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, B-25's bomb the Terni marshalling yard and the Orte marshalling yard and airfield; A-20's attack road, bridge, and the town of Orte and hit Cassino; P-40's bomb Orsogna, Sant' Elia Fiumerapido, and dump near Arce, and hit shipping at Split, Trogir, and Solin, Yugoslavia. A-36's hit railroad and harbor area at Civitavecchia, Italy.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 24 B-25's bomb the Moisuru bivouac and supply dump; other planes on armed reconnaissance hit targets of opportunity at Buka, Bonis, Ratsua, Poporang, Kara, Kahili, Koiaris, and on Nissan Island. 16 B-24's, escorted by 50 AAF and RNZAF fighters, bomb the town of Rabaul and Simpson Harbor on New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, Cape Gloucester is bombed by more than 140 B-24's, B-25's, and B-26's as pre-invasion operations increase; 37 P-40's hit Gasmata Island off the S coast of New Britain; and 20 A-20's pound forces NE of Arawe. In New Guinea, about 30 B-25's, A-20's, and P-39's hit barges, bivouac areas, and gun positions N and W of Finschhafen; 30 B-25's and B-26's pound Madang; and P-47's sweep the coastline of NE New Guinea. HQ 375th Troop Carrier Group transfers from Dobodura to Port Moresby, New Guinea. The 2d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 22d Bombardment Group (Medium), transfers from Dobodura to Nadzab, New Guinea with B-25's.

MONDAY, 20 DECEMBER 1943

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

MEXICO

(First Air Force): A detachment of the 19th Photographic Charting Squadron, 11th Photographic Group (Mapping), operating from Mexico City, Mexico with F-9's, returns to it's base at Bradly Field, Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 16 B-24's flying out of Nanumea Island in the Ellice Islands and Baker Island bomb Maloelap Atoll in the Marshall Islands; 3 B-24's are shot down; they claim 8 fighters destroyed.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 11 B-25's and 6 P-40's from Kweilin pound the Yoyang railroad yards; P-40's from Hengyang also provide support for the B-25's.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 159: the port area at Bremen, Germany is hit. 357 of 407 B-17's, 103 of 127 B-24's and 12 of 12 PFF aircraft hit the target at 1142-1214 hours; they claim 21-14-23 Luftwaffe aircraft; 21 B-17's and 6 B-24's are lost; 3 B-17's are damaged beyond repair; 213 B-17's and 34 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 9 KIA, 41 WIA and 270 MIA. Window-metal foil strips which, when dropped from an airplane, provide an echo which confuses radar locating equipment is used for the first time on an Eighth Air Force mission. This mission is escorted by 26 P-38's, 418 P-47's and 47 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 19-3-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-47's and 4 P-51's are lost; 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 5 P-47's are damaged; casualties are 1 WIA and 5 MIA. Twin-engine, rocket-firing Luftwaffe fighters attack under protection of single engine airplanes. VIII Bomber Command Mission 160: 5 B-17's drop 1 million leaflets on Lille and Lens, France and Ghent and Brussels, Belgium at 2005-2015 hours; no losses.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): 35 B-26's attack V-weapon sites in N France; 150+ others abort because of weather. The 381st Fighter Squadron, 363d Fighter Group, arrives at Keevil, England from the U.S. without aircraft.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

MEDITERRANEAN ALLIED AIR FORCE (MAAF): The MAAF is established, retroactive to 10 Dec 43. Commanded by Air Chief Marshall Sir Arthur Tedder (RAF), MAAF is comprised of all Allied air elements (RAF, USAAF, French, and other) which are operating in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. These elements previously were part of the Mediterranean Air Command (MAC) and Northwest African Air Force (NAAF), which are disbanded. US Army Air Forces, North African Theater of Operations (USAAFNATO) is established with General Carl Spaatz as commander, to facilitate administration of AAF units of the Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces.

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): 30+ B-24's bomb a marshalling yard at Sofia, Bulgaria and more than 100 B-17's hit Eleusis Airfield in Greece. Heavy bombers and escorting fighters claim 30+ fighters destroyed in combat; 9 of the escorts are lost. HQ 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers from Depienne, Tunisia to Cerignola, Italy. HQ 450th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrives at Manduria, Italy from the U.S. The 345th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Brindisi to Manuria, Italy with B-24's.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, P-40's and RAF, SAAF, and RAAF fighter-bombers blast vehicles and heavily defended areas near Chieti and Orsogna, and hit a fuel dump near Manoppello. A-36's bomb Terracina and hit water towers, a train, and a railway station S of Rome.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomon Islands, 13 B-25's, with fighter cover, bomb Korovo village and docks on Shortland Island. 8 others, with fighter escort, hit Buka on Buka Island. Afterwards the fighters strafe Kieta and Tenekow on Bougainville Island. Other fighters and RNZAF Ventura's on armed reconnaissance, patrol, and night snooper missions attack numerous targets of opportunity throughout Bougainville.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, A-20's hit the Arawe area and P-38's in the area claim 10 enemy along S coast; B-24's on armed reconnaissance bomb a merchant ship off Cape Pomas. In New Guinea, B-26's and B-25's hit bivouacs in the Finschhafen area and bomb the town of Alexishafen.

TUESDAY, 21 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 8 B-24's from Nanumea Island in the Ellice Islands escort 4 USN PB4Y's on a photo mission over Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The B-24's bomb shipping and aircraft landing grounds and other facilities at Roi, Ennuebing, and Kwajalein Islands in the Marshall Islands. A-24's, along with USN and US Marine Corps (USMC) aircraft, hit shipping and airfields at Emidj Island in the Marshall Islands. 16 P-39's strafe fuel dumps, shipping, and AA at Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 29 B-24's pound the railroad yards at Chiengmai; the warehouse area along the W side of the yards suffers very heavy damage; 14 B-25's, with fighter escort, attack Hwajung.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): 84 B-26's bomb V-weapon sites and other targets in France.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): Operations are restricted to weather reconnaissance and to air-sea rescue patrols N of Corfu Island, Greece.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): Lieutenant General John K Cannon takes command. In Italy, B-25's bomb Terracina; P-40's hit the same target and also bomb positions and munitions factory S of Sant' Elia Fiumerapido; A-36's bomb positions, a fuel dump, and munitions factory in the Cervaro area, and hit trains, a seaplane base, a radar station, trucks, and other targets in the Rome-Civitavecchia area.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 6 B-25's attack Monoitu Mission; during the night of 21/22 Dec, snoopers bomb various bivouac areas.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, pre-invasion air strikes continue against Cape Gloucester as 100+ B-24's, B-25's, and A-20's pound the area; P-39's strafe targets along Borgen and Rein Bays; P-40's and A-20's hit Hoskins Airfield; and P-47's claim 17 fighters shot down in the Arawe area. In New Guinea, A-20's hit camps N of Finschhafen; B-25's bomb and cannon Madang; and P-40's hit Kaukenau. B-24's bomb Amahai Airfield on Ceram Island. The 110th Reconnaissance Squadron (Fighter), 71st Reconnaissance Group, transfers from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea with P-39Q's. They will fly their first mission on 21 Jan 44.

WEDNESDAY, 22 DECEMBER 1943

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(HQ AAF): Orders are issued for General Carl Spaatz to take command of US Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSAFE). Lieutenant General Ira C Eaker, Eighth Air Force Commanding General, is to Command Allied Air Forces in the MTO, after remaining in the UK until mid-Jan to advise Spaatz and Lieutenant General James H Doolittle, the new Commanding General, Eighth Air Force.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 11 A-24's from Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands dive-bomb cargo ships in Mille Atoll lagoon in the Caroline Islands; escort is provided by 32 P-39's and USN F6F's; the P-39's strafe the ship and AA and gasoline dumps on the island and the vessel is left burning.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 7 B-25's, with fighter escort, bomb Hwajung; 2 others claim 3 direct hits on a freighter 105 miles (168 km) S of Hong Kong. 65 Japanese bombers and fighters attack Kunming Airfield; 10 P-40's and a P-38 from Kunming and several fighters from Yunnani engage the enemy force in a 50-minute running battle, claiming 12 airplanes shot down; 2 US aircraft are destroyed on the ground; damage to airfield is not serious. 7 P-40's intercept a force of 58 airplanes heading toward Chengkung, shooting down 3 of them and preventing an attack on the airfield.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 161: Marshalling yards at Osnabruck and Munster, Germany are targetted; 22 US bombers are lost. Heavy cloud conditions along with a malfunction of Pathfinder equipment result in a large number of heavy bombers failing to attack targets. 1. 147 of 225 B-17's, 87 of 121 B-24's and 2 PFF aircraft hit the Osnabruck at 1356-1434 hours; they claim 18-8-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 B-17's and 12 B-24's are lost; 2 B-17's and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair; and 21 B-17's and 11 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 6 KIA, 13 WIA and 160 MIA. 2. 164 of 177 B-17's, 30 of 43 B-24's and 3 PFF aircraft hit Munster at 1353-1417 hours; 3 B-17's and 2 B-24's are lost, 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair, and 29 B-17's are damaged; casualties are 1 WIA and 50 MIA. The bombers are escorted by 40 P-38's, 448 P-47's and 28 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 15-1-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-38's and 2 P-47's are lost and 1 P-47 is damaged; casualties are 4 MIA> VIII Bomber Command Mission 162: 6 B-17's drop 1.212 million leaflets on Paris, Amiens, Chartres, Orleans and Rennes, France at 1942-2018 hours; no casualties. VIII Bomber Command Mission 163: 1 B-17 drops two 2,000 pound (907 kf) general purpose bombs and 1 Photoflash on Cologne, Germany at 2020 hours; no casualties. RAF light bombers attack numerous NOBALL (V-weapons) targets in France in conjunction with the Osnabruck-Munster raids.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): 210 B-26's sent to bomb special targets in France are recalled because of bad weather. HQ 365th Fighter Group and it's 387th and 388th Fighter Squadrons arrive at Gosfield, England from the US with P-47's. They will fly their first mission on 22 Feb 44. The 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 73d Tactical Reconnaissance Group, arrives at Aldermaston, England from the US without aircraft. They will be equipped with Spitfires and fly their first mission on 26 Mar 44.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): Operations are again limited to weather reconnaissance.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): Major General Paul L Williams reassumes command of the XII Troop Carrier Command (Provisional). In Italy, P-40's and Spitfires of the Twelfth Air Force, RAF, SAAF, and RAAF hit strong points in the Tollo-Miglianico-Chieti areas; P-40's blast bridge, locomotives, trucks, and railroad tracks at and near Tortoreto and Benedello; P-47's strafe targets of opportunity in the area around Zara, Yugoslavia.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, B-25'a carry out strikes against Numa Numa, the Kahili supply area, the Chinatown area on Buka Island, and scattered targets of opportunity; fighter aircraft and B-24's attack barge concentrations and hide-outs at Sohano Island, the Chabai-Porton area, Anewa Bay, and Ambitle Island, and several targets of opportunity throughout Bougainville; B-24's, operating individually and in pairs, attack targets of opportunity near Bonis, near Porton, and at Sohano Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, 30+ B-24's, B-25's, and A-20's continue bombardment of Cape Gloucester; a Japanese air raid on Arawe causes minor damage. In New Guinea, nearly 40 B-25's, with P-38 escort, bomb Wewak and Boram; the P-38's, B-25's, and some P-47's on sweep claim at least 13 aircraft shot down; B-25's and P-39's bomb airfield and barges at Madang and the town of Alexishafen; and A-20's and B-26's pound occupied area N of Finschhafen. The 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, transfers from Port Moresby to Nadzab, New Guinea with P-47's. The 408th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 22d Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Dobodura to Nadzab, New Guinea with B-25's.

THURSDAY, 23 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): During the night of 23/24 Dec, P-39's are airborne over Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands to intercept enemy bombers; 2 bombers are shot down; 1 P-39 is lost. During the day, 19 B-24's, staging through Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands from Nanumea Island in the Ellice Islands, bomb Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands; 9 others, staging through Baker Island from Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands, hit Wotje and Maloelap Atolls in the Marshall Islands. 10 A-24's, escorted by 20 P-39's, attack Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands, hitting shore installations and a cargo vessel (wrecked by the previous day's raid) in the lagoon.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA-INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): 19 B-24's on a night raid bomb the railroad terminal at Bangkok, Thailand; heavy explosions and large fires result.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 29 B-24's, escorted by 7 P-51's and 23 P-40's, pound White Cloud Airfield in the area; the and fighters claim 11 interceptors downed. 14 P-38's dive-bomb and strafe Huang Shan Kou. 2 B-25's claim 1 gunboat sunk in the Formosa Straits. . HQ 68th Composite Wing transfers from Kunming to Kweilin, China.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 92 P-47's are dispatched to Gilze-Rijen Airfield in The Netherlands; 2 squadrons dive-bomb the target while the 1 squadron provides escort; no casualties. HQ 453d Bombardment Group (Heavy) and it's 732d, 733d, 734th and 735th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) arrive at Old Buckenham, England from the US with B-17's. They will fly their mission on 5 Feb 44.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): HQ 71st Fighter Wing arrives at Aldermaston, England from the US. HQ 363d Fighter Group and it's 380th and 382d Fighter Squadrons arrive at Keevil, England from the US without aircraft. They will be equipped with P-51's and fly their first mission on 24 Feb 44. The 386th Fighter Squadron, 365th Fighter Group, arrives at Gosfield, England from the US with P-47's. They will fly their first mission on 22 Feb 44.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): B-26's hit the viaduct at Antheor, France and railroad bridge and marshalling yard at Imperia, Italy. The Ventimiglia, Italy railroad bridge is attacked; the bridge is not hit but the overpass, tunnel, tracks. and transformer station nearby are damaged.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): P-40's and P-47's attempt to support Yugoslav partisans resisting the German invasion of Korcula Island off the Peljesac Peninsula, but bad weather prevents location of targets.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomon Islands, 17 B-25'a attack gun positions and other targets at Sohano Island, and 6 hit positions at Malevoli in Choiseul Bay on Choiseul Island. 6 RNZAF Ventura's attack a radar station and lighthouse on Cape Saint George on Bougainville Island. 16 P-39's on patrol bomb and strafe targets on Shortland Island. 18 B-24's bomb Taharai Airfield in the Rabaul area of New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago; Vunakanau also is hit; fighter escorts claim 30 aircraft shot down over the Rabaul area. This begins a Commander Air Solomons (COMAIRSOLS) all-out offensive against the Rabaul area that continues until the end of Mar 44.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, 61 B-24's bomb Cape Gloucester during the day; B-24's follow during the night of 23/24 Dec with harassing attacks with small bombs, hand grenades, and beer bottles; P-39's hit barges between Borgen Bay and Rein Bay, and P-40's bomb Gasmata Island off the S coast of New Britain and strafe Cape Hoskin. In New Guinea, 80+ B-25's, B-26's and A-20's attack coastal targets from Wewak to Hansa Bay, wide areas of the Huon Peninsula, and airfields at Alexishafen; and B-24's bomb Nabire. HQ 8th Fighter Group transfers from Port Moresby to Finschhafen, New Guinea. The 501st Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 345th Bombardment Group (Medium), transfers from Port Moresby to Dobodura, New Guinea with B-25's.

FRIDAY, 24 DECEMBER 1943

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ANTISUBMARINE OPERATIONS

(I Bomber Command): The air echelon of the 23d Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), I Bomber Command, transfers from Edinburgh Field, Trinidad to Drew Field, Tampa, Florida with B-25's . The squadron will be disbanded in Feb 44.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 18 B-24's, staging through the Gilbert Islands from the Ellice Islands, bomb Wotje Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The 396th and 820th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), transfer from Hickam Field, Territory of Hawaii to Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands with B-25's. They will fly their first mission on 19 Jan 44 and 28 Dec respectively.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 18 B-24's bomb a Tien Ho satellite airfield. The B-24's and 18 escorting fighters claim 20 interceptors shot down. 1 B-24 is lost over the target.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 26 heavy bomber groups are now operational. VIII Bomber Command Mission 164: 23 V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais area of France are hit. 478 of 526 B-17's 192 of 196 B-24's hit the targets at 1330-1510 hours; 2 B-24's are damaged beyond repair and 85 B-17's are damaged; casualties are 4 WIA. This is the largest number of aircraft carrying out attacks of any Eighth Air Force mission to date and the first of its major strikes against missile sites. The heavies are escorted by 40 P-38's, 459 P-47's and 42 Ninth Air Force P-51's; 2 P-38's are damaged beyond repair and 2 P-51's are damaged; no casualties.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): 60+ B-26's attack NOBALL (V-missile sites) targets in Pas de Calais area of France. 30+ B-26's abort due to bad weather.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): In Italy, 100+ B-26's dispatched to bomb the Pisa, Italy marshalling yard fail to locate the target due to overcast. 24 B-26's bomb the marshalling yard at Cecina.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): Weather severely hampers operations. P-40's fail to locate the target, a vessel at Ugljan Island, Yugoslavia, but shoot down 1 airplane in the Adriatic Sea.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomon Islands during the night of 23/24 Dec, single aircraft carry out harassing strikes against Buka on Buka Island, Kieta on Bougainville Island and Faisi Island. During the day, 24 B-25's attack seaplane anchorage at Bonis on Bougainville. On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, 18 B-24's bomb Vunakanau Airfield at Rabaul; 6 others hit Lakunai; fighter cover for the strike fights a fierce air action with interceptors, claiming 25 shot down; 7 Allied fighters are lost. RNZAF Ventura's on armed reconnaissance bomb barges and troops on N Bougainville and claim 2 fighters shot down E of Cape Saint George.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, the pre-invasion bombing effort against Cape Gloucester reaches its peak as nearly 190 B-24's, B-25's, and A-20's pound the area in a day-long bombardment; P-39's hit a disabled destroyer offshore; and Japanese forces in Arawe area are hit by A-20's. A-20's also sweep the NE New Guinea coastline. B-25's bomb Atamboea on Timor Island.

SATURDAY, 25 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 10 A-24's from Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands, supported by P-39's, attack Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands, hitting the runway, ammunition storage, and an AA position.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 2 B-25's claim heavy damage to a passenger ship S of Hong Kong.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): In Italy, B-26's pound the Pisa-Porta Nuova area, scoring especially damaging hits in the marshalling yards. B-17's hit the Bolzano marshalling yard; and B-24's hit the Pordenone marshalling yard and targets of opportunity at Vicenza. B-17's of 2 groups fail to locate targets due to bad weather, and many fighters ticketed for escort duty fail to rendezvous with heavy bombers in the overcast skies.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): A-36's bomb road, trucks, and the town area at Pontecorvo, Italy. P-40's, with a few SAAF Spitfires, hit a motor launch in Peljesac Channel of Yugoslavia.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): A few B-24's, fighting bad weather, attack the Rabaul area on New Britain Island, concentrating on Lakunai airfield; covering fighters claim 13 airplanes shot down. 2 P-38's are lost.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, Cape Gloucester is subjected to almost around the clock air attacks by l80+ B-24's, B-25's, B-26's, and A-20's; A-20's attack Japanese forces in the Arawe area where Allied outposts and observation posts are being pushed back by fierce enemy assaults on the beachhead. The 35th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, transfers from Port Moresby to Finschhafen, New Guinea with P-40's. The 386th and 387th Bombardment Squadrons (Light), 312th Bombardment Group (Light), transfer from Port Moresby to Gusap, New Guinea with P-40's. They will fly their first mission on 27 and 26 Dec respectively.

SUNDAY, 26 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 16 B-24's, staging through Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands, bomb Wotje Atoll in the Marshall Islands. P-39's fly reconnaissance and strafing missions over Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands. The 19th Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group, transfers from Stanley Field to Kualoa Field, Territory of Hawaii with P-47's.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): The 76th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group, transfers from Kweilin to Suichwan, China with P-40's.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): B-26's bomb marshalling yards at Prato, Empoli, and Pistoia, Italy.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): Weather limits operations to uneventful reconnaissance flights. The 415th Night Fighter Squadron, 64th Fighter Wing, transfers from Cantania, Sicily to Montecorvino, Italy with Beaufighters. A detachment is operating from Gaudo Airfield, Italy.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 7 B-25's, with 34 fighters, attack the Cape Saint George area; 25 B-25's pound the bivouac and supply area at Kahili. RNZAF Ventura's on reconnaissance bomb Chivaroi and Faisi Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, the US 1st Marine Division lands at Cape Gloucester at 0746 hours; 270+ B-25's. B-24's, and A-20's plaster the area between the Cape and Borgen Bay from 0714 to l614 hours; enemy aircraft attacking the landing force sink a destroyer and cause considerable damage to other ships, but P-38's, P-40's, and P-47's claim 60+ airplanes shot down over the invasion area.

MONDAY, 27 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 10 P-40's strafe buildings on Pailochi Airfield and sink a nearby river boat; 2 locomotives N of Yoyang are also destroyed. 36 Japanese airplanes attack Suichwan Airfield, destroying 1 B-25, the alert shack, and 3 fuel dumps; US interceptors claim 4 of the attackers shot down; 1 P-40 is lost. In French Indochina, 4 P-40's bomb Phu Tho Airfield, and strafe the airfield at Dong Cuong.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 165: 7 B-17's drop 1.392 million leaflets on Paris, Lille, Evreux, Rouen and Caen, France at 1735-1812 hours; no losses. VIII Bomber Command Mission 166: 1 B-17 is dispatched to Quadrath (??) but drops two 2,000 pound (907 kg) bombs and a Photoflash bomb on an unknown target.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): In Italy, B-26's hit viaducts at Zoagli and Recco and attack, but fail to hit, the marshalling yard at Poggibonsi.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): B-25's attack a vessel near Zara, Yugoslavia. A-36's attack targets in Italy, hitting a factory and railroad at Anagni, harbor and railroad facilities at Civitavecchia, a bridge at Pontecorvo, and several gun positions and vehicles. A detachment of the 416th Night Fighter Squadron, Twelfth Air Force, based at Grottaglie, Italy with Beaufighters begins operating at Rerhaia, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 20+ B-25's bomb the seaplane anchorage at Buka, strafe AA puns SE of Ramandata, bomb Kahili supply dumps, and attack a Kieta bivouac and other targets in the area. A few RNZAF Ventura's hit barges at Ambitle and Anir Islands; and 16 P-38's join 70+ USN dive bombers in strikes on Buka AA positions. About 40 Allied fighters sweep the Rabaul area on New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, claiming 17 aircraft shot down.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, A-20's attack positions in the Cape Gloucester battle zone; B-25's hit villages and tracks from Rottock Bay to Riebeck Bay and strafe barges along New Britain's S coast; and B-24's bomb the airfield at Hoskins. In New Guinea, B-25's bomb Madang and hit coastal targets along the Huon Peninsula; B-24's bomb Alexishafen; and P-47's strafe a road near Bogia.

TUESDAY, 28 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 15 B-24's from Funafuti Atoll in the Ellice Islands and Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands, staging through Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands and Baker Island, hit Maloelap and Majuro Atolls in the Marshall Islands and Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands. 18 A-24's from Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands, with an escort of 20 P-39's, attack Mille Atoll; this attack is followed by another against the atoll carried out by 9 B-25's from Tarawa, supported by 12 Makin-based P-39's.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 4 B-25's and 4 P-51's attack Yangtze River shipping at Chihchow; 1 cargo ship is claimed sunk, 2 others damaged, and an armed motor vessel set aflame. 7 P-40's bomb a building on the railroad siding at Yun-chi.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): The 20th Fighter Group (P-38) becomes operational, making a total of 11 operational fighter groups in the Eighth Air Force. The VIII Fighter Command has flown over 17,500 sorties and destroyed more than 200 aircraft. The VIII Bomber Command is charged with forming and training a special organization (the Radio Counter Measure Unit) to use radio countermeasures against enemy defenses; 24 specially equipped B-17's are to operate in support of both night and day raids. VIII Bomber Command Mission 167: A B-17 drops two 2,000 pound (907 kg) bombs and a Photoflash bomb on Dusseldorf, Germany in an Oboe test. VIII Bomber Command Mission 168: 6 B-17's drop 2.84 million leaflets on Hannover, Osnabruck, Hildsheim, Germany; Zwolle, The Netherlands; and Amiens, France at 1950-2027 hours. No losses.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): In Italy, 100+ B-26's hit Guidonia and Centocelle Airfields and railroad bridges N and S of Orvieto; a like number of B-17's and B-24's bomb the Rimini marshalling yard and on the return flight, hit a bridge over the Foglia River at Pesaro and road- railway intersection S of town; 17 B-24's dispatched to hit the Vicenza the marshalling yard are attacked by about 50 fighters before reaching the target; 10 of the unescorted B-24's are lost; several B-24's salvo their bombs over the target area and, in the fierce battle, claim 18 fighters shot down. The 15th Photographic Squadron (Heavy), 3d Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) transfers from Grottaglie to Bari, Italy with B-17's, B-25's and F-5's.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): B-25's, A-20's, and A-36's, in coordination with Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Force (MASAF) heavy and medium bombers operating against targets in the Rome area, bomb landing grounds at Ciampino, a bridge at Roccasecca and a road and railway to the E of town, ships and harbor at Civitavecchia, and railway sidings W of Frosinone; and P-40's hit the harbor at Anzio and communications in the Pontecorvo and Atina areas. The 486th and 487th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 340th Bombardment Group (Medium), transfer from Foggia to Pompeii, Italy with B-25's.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 14 B-24's bomb supply areas at Bonis and 22 B-25's hit the Kahili supply area. Another large fighter sweep of the Rabaul, New Britain Island area results in claims of 20+ airplanes shot down.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):HQ 58th Fighter Group and it's 310th and 311th Fighter Squadrons transfer from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to Dobodura, New Guinea with P-47's. They will fly their first mission on 24 and 2 Feb 44 respectively.

WEDNESDAY, 29 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 4 P-40's on armed reconnaissance strafe the railroad station, yards, and town area at Hsipaw, hit numerous freight cars between Hsipaw and Mansam Falls, and attack railroad yards at Hopong; 3 B-25's on a shipping sweep along the Yangtze River claim a cargo vessel and an armed passenger ship sunk SW of Wuhu.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): In Italy, B-26's attack the marshalling yard and bridge at Certaldo, the marshalling yards at Poggibonsi and the viaduct at Bucine, and a bridge in the NW part of Orvieto; B-17's blast marshalling yards at Ferrara and Rimini. HQ 304th and 305th Bombardment Wings (Heavy) are activated at Cerignola and Foggia, Italy respectively.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): P-40's hit a vessel on the N side of the Peljesac Peninsula in Yugoslavia and a railway station at Anagni, Italy. In Italy, A-36's attack the railway station at Ferentino, harbor and railroad yard at Civitavecchia, and truck park near Aquino.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): HQ 347th Fighter Group and it's 339th Fighter Squadron transfer from New Caledonia Island to Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands with P-38's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, 120+ B-24's, B-25's, and B-26's pound positions at Cape Gloucester as the US Marines take the major objective, the airfield. In New Guinea, B-25's hit Madang; B-24's bomb bivouac and communications targets near Sio, and other B-24's fly a light attack against Manokwari, hitting the town and shipping. The 69th Fighter Squadron, 58th Fighter Group, transfers from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to Dobodura, New Guinea with P-47's. They will fly their first mission on 17 Feb 44.

THURSDAY, 30 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): 17 B-24's, flying from Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands, bomb Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands and 9 B-25's from Tarawa hit the town of Jabor on Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands. A-24's from Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands, escorted by 24 P-39's, dive-bomb gun positions on Mille Atoll in the Caroline Islands. Advance HQ, Seventh Air Force, is moved from Funafuti Atoll in the Ellice Islands to Tarawa, where it remains until the completion of the main campaign in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA-INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): 20 B-24's pound Monywa, Burma, hitting railway facilities and the area in general.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 8 Japanese fighters strafe Suichaan Airfield while 12 others provide cover; 2 US airplanes are destroyed on the ground; 8 P-40's intercept the formation after the attack and shoot down 3 aircraft.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 169: The port area and oil refinery at Ludwigshafen, Germany are hit at 1156-1300 hours. 502 of 530 B-17's 145 of 168 B-24's, and 11 of 12 PFF aircraft attack the target; they claim 12-4-9 Luftwaffe aircraft; 14 B-17's and 9 B-24's are lost, 4 B-17's and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair and 106 B-17's and 11 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 11 KIA, 19 WIA and 200 MIA. The mission is escorted by 79 P-38's, 463 P-47's and 41 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 8-3-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 11 P-47's and 2 P-51's are lost, 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 5 P-47's are damaged; casualties are 12 MIA. VIII Bomber Command Mission 170: 5 B-17's drop 1 million leaflets on Antwerp, Ghent, Lens, Belgium and Cambrai, France at 2319-2340 hours; no losses.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In France, about 100 B-26's bomb Saint-Omer Airfield and V-weapon sites on the French N coast. About 100 others abort missions because of bad weather.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): In Italy, B-17's bomb the marshalling yards at Rimini and Padua; 2 B-17's are lost on the the Rimini mission; The B-17's and escorting P-38's and P-47's claim the destruction of 9 fighters during air battles in the Padua-Vicenza area, off the coast E of Ravenna, and S of Aquila; B-26's hit the Borgo San Lorenzo marshalling yard and viaduct, the marshalling yard at Viareggio, and a road junction near Roccasecca.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): B-25's bomb Zara, Yugoslavia, hitting a junction, railway station, repair shops, warehouse, and harbor. In Italy, A-20's hit Atina; P-40's and A-36's support ground forces, hitting targets in the Chieti-Miglianico area; vessels are hit at Crkvice, Yugoslavia, railway sidings near Frosinone, gun positions near Arce and W of Minturno, and the town areas of Sant' Elia Fiumerapido, Ferentino, and Atina are bombed.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, 16 B-24's and 35 B-25's bomb Kahili and the bivouac and supply areas in the vicinity and 6 B-25's bomb the Korovo area. On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, 19 B-24's, with 25 fighters covering, attack shipping at Rabaul and also hit Tobera airfield. The escorts encounter aggressive fighter opposition and claim 12 shot down.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island, A-20's hit positions in the Cape Gloncester area as US Marines completely secure the airfield. In New Guinea, B-24's and B-25's bomb the Alexishafen and Madang areas, Sio, and targets of opportunity along the coast of the Huon Peninsula; P-39's strafe barges along the Huon Peninsula; and P-47's strafe the Madang area and huts between Sio and Vincke Point.

FRIDAY, 31 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): The air echelon of the 26th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), operating from Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands since 12 Nov, returns to base on Nukufetau Island in the Ellice Islands with B-24's.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 25 B-24's pound the Lampang railroad yards, causing several big fires and many secondary explosions. 6 B-25's hit Yangtze River shipping in the Anking and Lu-Kuan areas, claiming 3 cargo vessels and a troop carrier sunk; and 2 others on a sea sweep damage a passenger vessel in the Hainan Straits.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 171: Various targets in France are hit; 19 B-17's and 6 B-24's are lost. 1. 200 of 236 B-17's and 57 of 60 B-24's hit the Bordeaux-Merignac, Cognac-Chateaubernard and Landes Bussac Airfields at 1211-1315 hours; they claim 17-13-27 Luftwaffe aircraft; 18 B-17's and 5 B-24's are lost, 8 B-17's and 2 B-24's are damaged beyond repair and 103 B-17's and 5 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 9 KIA, 36 WIA and 231 MIA. 2. 57 B-17's are dispatched to hit a blockade running ship at Gironde but cannot find the target; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 3 damaged; casualties are 2 KIA and 5 WIA. 3. 87 of 94 B-24's hit the St Jean D'Angely Airfield at 1211-1235 hours; they claim 9-1-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-24 is lost, 3 are damaged beyond repair and 5 damaged; casualties are 10 MIA. 4. 120 of 125 B-17's hit the industrial areas at Paris-Ivry and Bois-Colombes at 1207-1227 hours; 1 B-17 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 49 damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 10 MIA. These missions are escorted by 74 P-38's, 441 P-47's and 33 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 9-1-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38, 2 P-47's are 1 P-51 are lost; 1 P-38 and 6 P-47's are damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 is damaged; casualties are 3 WIA and 2 MIA. The total bomb tonnage dropped by the Eighth Air Force in Dec 43, 13,142 tons (14,486 tonnes), for the first time exceeds that dropped by the RAF Bomber Command.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): Around 200 B-26's bomb V-weapon sites in the French coastal area.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): The 154th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 68th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, is attached to the Fifteenth Air Force for the purpose of flying weather reconnaissance, a duty presently being handled by a P-38 unit called the Fifteenth Air Force Weather Reconnaissance Detachment (and by some B-26's of 3 medium bomber groups which are transferred to the Twelfth Air Force after this date). Personnel and equipment of the 154th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron and the Weather Reconnaissance Detachment are subsequently integrated, and the unit is redesignated the 154th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium) on 12 May 44. Operations are limited to weather reconnaissance.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, P-40's and Spitfires of the AAF, RAF, RAAF, and SAAF, strike infantry and heavy artillery around Tollo, Orsogna, Miglianico, Ripa, and Teatina in support of the British Eighth Army. A-36's bomb the town of Formia and hit gun positions.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): The 371st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy), ceases operating from Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands with B-24's and returns to base on Espiritu Santo Island in the New Hebrides Islands.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force):On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, A-20's hit troop concentrations in the Cape Gloucester area; nearly 50 P-40's and P-47's intercept a small force of airplanes attacking the Arawe beachhead area and 12 aircraft are claimed shot down. In New Guinea, almost 150 B-24's and medium bombers pound the Madang, Alexishafen, and Bogadjim areas.