Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces

December 1944

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT: A-20, Douglas Havoc A-26, Douglas Invader B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress B-24, Consolidated Liberator B-25, North American Mitchell B-26, Martin Marauder B-29, Boeing Superfortress C-46, Curtiss Commando C-47, Douglas Skytrain UC-64, Noorduyn Norseman F-5, Lockheed Lightning F-6, North American Mustang F-7, Consolidated Liberator L-1, Stinson Vigilant L-4, Piper Cub/Grasshopper L-5, Stinson Sentinel Lancaster, Avro P-38, Lockheed Lightning P-40, Curtiss P-47, Republic Thunderbolt P-51, North American Mustang P-61, Northrop Black Widow Spitfire, Supermarine Spitfire NOTE: A number in parenthesis after a target name indicates the number of bombers attacking.

FRIDAY, 1 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 6 B-24s attack targets of opportunity in the S China Sea. 8 B-25s destroy 3 storage buildings and damage 6 others at Wanling, Burma; 9 fighter-bombers pound troop positions in the area and destroy or damage several trucks. Several other fighter-bombers hit trucks, locomotives, and villages in the Chefang, China area; between Lashio and Hsenwi, Burma; and from Linfen to Taiyuan, and at Kunlong, China.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 30+ P-47s continue support of ground forces in the Bhamo area; town areas, troops, warehouses, and supply dumps at Myitson, Mingon, Alezeik, Lenaung, and Old Lashioare are pounded by 30+ P-47s; 17 more hit bridges in N Burma and 8 strafe the Hsenwi landing ground. 290 transport sorties are flown to forward areas. In India, a detachment of the 6th Fighter Squadron (Commando), 1st Air Commando Group, begins operating from Fenny with P-47s (squadron is based at Asansol); the 14th and 15th Combat Cargo Squadrons, 4th Combat Cargo Group, arrive at Sylhet from the US with C-46s; during Dec 44, the detachment of the 1st Combat Cargo Squadron, 1st Combat Cargo Group, operating from Hathazari with C-47s, returns to base at Tulihal, the 427th Night Fighter Squadron, AAF, India-Burma Theater, moves from Pandaveswar to Myitkyina, Burma with P-61s, and the 436th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based at Madhaiganj, India with B-24s sends a detachment to Luliang, China to ferry gasoline to Suichwan, China.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Mission 733: 7 B-17s and 7 B-24s drop leaflet in the Netherlands, France and Germany during the night.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 134 B-26s and A-20s strike defended areas at Fraulautern, Ensdorf, and Saarlautern; fighters fly sweeps, armed reconnaissance, and bombing missions over W Germany and support US VII Corps elements at Inden and the Hurtgen Forest and the 8th Infantry Division of the V Corps at Tiefenbach Creek and Brandenberger Forest. In France, HQ 354th Fighter Group and the 355th Fighter Squadron move from Orconte to Meurthe-et-Moselle and Rosieres-en-Haye respectively with P-47s (the 355th is operating from St Dizier); the 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 10th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance), moves from St Dizier to Giraumont with F-6s; the 72d Liaison Squadron, Ninth AF, moves from Epinal to Buhl with L-5s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):During Dec 44, HQ 305th Bombardment Wing (Heavy) moves from Bari to Torremaggiore, Italy.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, B-25s attack 4 railroad bridges in the W Po Valley, damaging the bridges at Voghera and Torre Beretti; the XXII Tactical Air Command hits motor transport and train cars at several points in N Italy and hits rail lines over a widespread area N of the Apennines Mountains, including the Brenner Pass where lines are cut at 3 points; the 524th Fighter Squadron, 27th Fighter Group, moves from Tarquinia to Pontedera with P-47s.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 26 Guam Island, Mariana Island-based B-24s pound the airfield on Iwo Jima Island, Volcano Islands. During the night of 1/2 Dec, a B-24 bombs Iwo Jima during a snooper mission.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): Major FEAF strikes in the Philippine Islands include B-24 raids on Bacolod and Fabrica Airfields on Negros Island, and a B-25 attack, with P-47 support, on Lahug Airfield on Cebu Island; and B-25s attack Cagayan Airfield on Mindanao Island. B-25s and fighter-bombers also hit several airfields and numerous targets of opportunity on Halmahera Island, Moluccas Islands, during a series of raids. Other FEAF aircraft maintain armed reconnaissance and sweeps over a wide area of the Netherland East Indies and Philippine Islands. HQ 3d Air Commando Group, the 3d Fighter Squadron (Commando) and the 157th, 159th and 160th Liaison Squadrons (Commando), arrive on Leyte Island from the US with P-51s and UC-64s and L-5s (first mission is 8 Jan and 7 Feb 45); a detachment of the 4th Photographic Charting Squadron, 311th Photographic Wing (attached to Thirteenth AF), begins operating from Morotai Island, Moluccas Islands, with F-7s (squadron is based at Hollandia, New Guinea); the 342d Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, moves from Noemfoor Island, New Guinea to Tacloban, Leyte Island with P-47s; the 408th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 22d Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Leyte Island to Angaur Island, Palau Islands, Caroline Islands with B-24s.

SATURDAY, 2 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 4 B-25s damage several buildings at Hsenwi, Burma. 39 P-51s, P-40s, and P-38s on armed reconnaissance attack troops, horses, trucks, railroad yards, shipping, storage facilities, and road machinery between Yungfengshih and Paoching, China; N of Wanling, from Wanling to Lashio and in Lashio Burma; in the Chiuchiang area, Nan Tan, and at Kichang, China.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 40 fighter-bombers fly close support strikes in the Bhamo battle sector; supply areas, ammunition dumps, personnel and tank concentrations, and strongholds at Mayathein, Kwingyi, Nanthe, Hsai-hkao, Hsenwi, Man Hkam, Wuntho, Tedaw, and Old Lashio are hit by 60+ fighter-bombers; 16 others hit rolling stock on the rail line between Hsipaw and Lashio and strafe a supply train in Pangkyawng; 10 B-25s pound several N Burma bridges, knocking out road bridges at Tonglau and Nam Nung and 2 railroad bridges at Tangon. Transports fly 286 sorties to forward areas.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 734: 455 bombers and 604 fighters make GH attacks on marshalling yards and fighter bomber attacks; they claim 34-3-7 Luftwaffe aircraft; 11 bombers and 4 fighters are lost: 1. 135 of 143 B-24s hit the Bingen marshalling yard; 1 others hit a target of opportunity; they claim 2-1-1 aircraft; 11 B-24s are lost and 4 damaged; 2 airmen are WIA and 102 MIA. Escorting are 97 of 104 P-51s; they claim 4-1-2 aircraft without loss. 2. 152 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Lutzel marshalling yard at Koblenz (9) and the Oberlahnstein marshalling yard (125); 6 others hit targets of opportunity; no losses. Escorting are 158 of 169 P-51s; they claim 6-0-0 aircraft without loss. 3. 160 B-17s are dispatched to Koblenz but abort the mission due to heavy clouds. Escorting are 153 of 156 P-51s; they claim 7-0-0 aircraft without loss. 4. 133 P-47s and P-51s fly fighter sweeps over the Cologne, Kassel, Meiningen, Mannheim and Frankfurt area; they claim 15-1-4 aircraft; 3 P-47s and 1 P-51 are lost (pilots MIA) and 2 P-51s are damaged beyond repair. 5. 28 of 30 P-51s fly a scouting mission. Mission 735: 7 B-17s and 6 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands, France and Germany during the night.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 210 A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s bomb areas of Saarlautern, Ensdorf, and Fraulautern; fighters escort the 9th Bombardment Division, fly armed reconnaissance over W Germany (targets hit include a marshalling yard and bridges), and support the US 1st Infantry Division at Luchem, 104th Infantry Division at Inden, and 8th Infantry Division in the Brandenberger Forest-Tiefenbach Creek area.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):Around 500 B-17s and B-24s attack Blechhammer N and S and Odertal, Germany oil refineries; the Floridsdorf oil refinery at Vienna and the marshalling yard at Strasshof, Austria; Celldomolk, Hungary marshalling yard; and Medvedov, Czechoslovakia highway bridge, plus scattered targets of opportunity in C and E Europe; fighters fly escort and carry out reconnaissance missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, medium bombers hit several bridges in N and NE Italy, scoring effective hits on 2 bridges across the Piave and Brenta Rivers and 4 on the Brenner line; fighters and fighter- bombers attack communications in the Po Valley and support US Fifth Army forces in the battle area S of Bologna; on the night of 1/2 Dec, A-20s hit Ghedi Airfield and targets of opportunity in the NC Po Valley and trains on the Brenner line; HQ 350th Fighter Group and the 347th Fighter Squadron move from Tarquinia to Pisa with P-47s.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 23 B-24s from Guam Island hit Iwo Jima Island. During the night of 2/3 Dec 3 B-24s on snooper missions from Saipan Island, Mariana Islands and Guam Island bomb an airfield on Iwo Jima.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): In the Philippine Islands, B-24s hit Dumaguete Airfield on Negros Island and Matina and Cagayan Airfields on Mindanao Island. B-24s and B-25s attack Borebore Airfield and Kendari on Celebes Island. Fighter-bombers in the C Philippine Islands and Mindanao Island support ground forces and hit supplies, communications, and a variety of targets of opportunity. B-25s bomb Namlea Airfield on Buru Island and attack shipping off Ceram Island. The 19th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 22d Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Leyte Island to Angaur Island with B-24s.

SUNDAY, 3 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 5 B-24s place delayed action bombs near Pengpu bridge; 4 B-25s and 10 P-51s bomb a storage area at Sintsiang; 67 fighter-bombers on armed reconnaissance blast trucks, railroad targets, warehouses, shipping and other targets of opportunity at Wanling, Burma, and in China, Loyang, Yuncheng, Hei-Shih Kuan, Wuhu, and particularly in areas around Shihhweiyao and from Hengyang to Siangtan and Lingling.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 32 P-47s continue close support of ground forces attacking Bhamo; 18 others damage road bridges at Hay-ti and Tonbo and 6 attack several railroad bridges in N Burma; 4 drop delay-fuse bombs on the Myitson ferry landing; 30+ fighter-bombers hit troop and equipment concentrations, fuel and other supplies, artillery, ammunition dumps, and general town areas in or near Hopaw, Loipao, Man Kat, Namhpai, and Indaw; 9 strafe targets of opportunity along the Shwebo-Wuntho rail line; 4 B-25s during the night of 3/4 Dec, destroy a train on the Tangon railroad bridge and attack several other targets of opportunity. 323 transport sorties are flown to forward bases and frontline areas.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): Weather cancels bomber operations. In Germany, fighters fly defensive patrols and armed reconnaissance, hitting rails and bridges and dive-bomb targets in W Germany including the marshalling yard at Grevenbroich; the 104th Infantry Division is supported as it extends the Inde River, Germany bridgehead beyond Lucherberg, Germany, the US 1st Infantry Division as it seizes Luchem, the US 8th Infantry Division in the Brandenberger Forest-Tiefenbach Creek area, and units of the US XII Corps at Sarre-Union, France as it checks a counterattack. The 353d Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group, moves from Orconte to Rosieres-en-Haye, France with P-47s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):In Austria, 85 B-24s and B-17s bomb the Vienna SE freight depot, Linz industrial area, marshalling yards at Innsbruck, Villach, and Klagenfurt, and various targets of opportunity; P-38s and P-51s escort the bombers and fly reconnaissance and reconnaissance escort. 14 B-17s and B-24s drop supplies in Yugoslavia.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, weather hampers operations; many missions are aborted; medium bombers score effective hits only on a bridge E of Mantua; the 57th and 350th fighter Groups fly 60 sorties against targets in the US Fifth Army battle area S of Bologna and against communications in N Italy; during the night of 2/3 Dec, A-20s bomb lights throughout the Po Valley; the 345th Fighter Squadron, 350th Fighter Group moves from Tarquinia to Pisa with P-47s; the 522d and 523d Fighter Squadrons, 27th Fighter Group, moves from Tarquinia to Pontedera, Italy with P-47s.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 17 Guam Island-based B-24s pound Iwo Jima Island; 7 others, escorting photo aircraft over the Bonin and Kazan Islands, bomb Haha Jima and Iwo Jima Islands. B-24s on snooper missions from the Mariana Islands during the night of 3/4 Dec, continue to bomb Iwo Jima.

(Twentieth Air Force): Mission 10: 86 Mariana Island-based B-29s are dispatched to attack the Musashino aircraft plant and docks and urban areas in Tokyo, Japan; 60 B-29s hit the primary target and 15 hit alternate targets; they claim 10-11-18 Japanese aircraft; 5 B-29s are lost.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): Major B-24 strikes include raids against Malimpoeng and Mandai on Celebes Island. B-25s pound 4 airfields on Halmahera Island while A-20s attack Point Noejew, New Guinea. In the Philippine Islands, fighter-bombers hit a storage area at Palompon on Leyte Island and airfields near Masbate Island.

MONDAY, 4 DECEMBER 1944

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): A weather aircraft aborts shortly after takeoff.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 24 B-25s, supported by 12 P-40s, hit bridges, buildings, and river, road, and rail traffic at several points in China, French Indochina, and Burma including Lashio, Kutkai and Namhkai, Burma; and Saiping, Hsiangcheng, Lingling, the Kweilin area, between Minkiang, and Sinantien, and between Sinyang and Saiping, China; 90+ fighter-bombers on armed reconnaissance pound numerous targets of opportunity from Hsenwi, Burma to Nanning, China; Lang Son, French Indochina; and Namhkai, Burma and across S China from the Burma border to Amoy, China.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 28 P-47s attack and damage bridges at Kawnghka, Namyao, Nampawng, Namhkai, and Hsenwi and demolish the main bridge at Ho-kho; 8 P-47s support ground forces in the Bhamo area; 60+ fighter-bombers hit enemy-held positions, troop concentrations, supply areas, warehouses, and general targets of opportunity at Man Mau, Nwegyo, Mogok, Hkayanzatkon, Pangpong, Namahokgyi, Kyu-sa, Man Maw, Mongnaw, and Man Htam. Transports fly 308 sorties to forward areas. The 319th Troop Carrier Squadron (Commando), 1st Air Commando Group, based at Asansol, India with C-47s begins operating from various forward bases in Burma.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 736: 1,191 bombers and 977 fighters are dispatched to make PFF attacks on rail targets in Germany; 3 bombers and 3 fighters are lost: 1. 419 B-17s are dispatched to hit marshalling yards at Kassel (212) and Soest (188); 2 others hit targets of opportunities; 4 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 3 damaged. Escorting are 375 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA). 2. 315 B-24s are sent to hit the Bebra marshalling yard (199); targets of opportunity are marshalling yards at Koblenz (78) and Giessen (21) and other (1); 1 B-24 is lost and 15 damaged; 10 airmen are MIA. Escorting are 290 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 6-0-11 aircraft on the ground. 3. 457 B-17s are sent to hit marshalling yards at Mainz (221) and Giessen (62); targets of opportunity are the Friedburg marshalling yard (119), Fulda (24), barges on the Rhine River (11) and other (6); 2 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 106 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 18 MIA. Escorting are 238 of 244 P-51s; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA). 4. 36 of 37 P-51s fly a scouting mission. Mission 737: 10 of 11 B-17s and B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands, France and Germany during the night.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): Weather prevents bomber operations. In Germany, fighters fly armed reconnaissance and support the US 1st, 8th, and 104th Infantry Divisions at Luchem, Bergstein, and E of Inde River; and the XII and XX Corps in drive toward the Saar River and around Saarlautern.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):26 P-38s bomb a railroad bridge at Zenica, Yugoslavia. 14 B-17s and B-24s drop supplies in N Italy; P-38s and P-51s fly reconnaissance and escort missions. Bad weather prevents heavy bomber operations.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, B-25s hit defenses in the Bagnaeavallo and Faenza areas and an ammunition dump at Tortona; XXII Tactical Air Command aircraft hit targets in the US Fifth Army battle area S of Bologna in the Apennines Mountains and communications to the N of the battle zone. During the night of 3/4 Dec, A-20s again bomb targets of opportunity in the Po River Valley; the 7th Troop Carrier Squadron, 62d Troop Carrier Group, moves from Tarquinia to Brindisi with C-47s.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 3 B-24s from Guam Island hit Marcus Island in the North Pacific Ocean while 3 from Saipan Island bomb Pagan Island in the Mariana Islands. Snooper missions continue as 2 Mariana Islands-based B-24s bomb Iwo Jima Island during the night of 4/5 Dec.

(Twentieth Air Force): HQ XXI Bomber Command arrives at Harmon Field, Guam Island from the US.

TUESDAY, 5 DECEMBER 1944

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): 6 B-24s off for a strike on Kakumabetsu in the Kurile Islands abort due to weather and B-25s cancel a shipping sweep.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 7 B-24s on sweeps over the Gulf of Tonkin, the S China Sea, and Formosa Strait bomb Ft Bayard, China and Kowloon Docks in Hong Kong and damage a freighter. 6 B-25s pound targets of opportunity from Liuchow to Liuchenghsien, China; 61 P-40s, P-51s, and P-38s on armed reconnaissance hit river, road, and rail traffic and other targets of opportunity at scattered points mainly in S China.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 31 fighter-bombers support ground forces in the Bhamo area; 25 fighter-bombers hit Hay-ti, Meza, and 3 other road bridges; 20+ fighter-bombers attack town areas, troop concentrations and storage facilities in or near Kawngwai, Kunmong, Settawagon, and Thitpoklwin; 8 attack targets of opportunity along the Shwebo-Wuntho rail line; transports complete 285 sorties carrying troops to forward bases and dropping supplies to frontline forces; 10 B-25s bomb a communications center, supplies, and personnel concentration at Mogok; on this date Tenth AF aircraft begin Operation GRUBWORM, flying the Chinese 14th and 22d Divisions from Burma to China in preparation for the Yunnan campaign to counter a probable Japanese drive toward Kunming, China; the 9th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, moves from Barrackpore, India to Myitkyina with B-25s and F-5s (a detachment is operating from Chittagong, India); the 317th Troop Carrier Squadron (Commando), 2d Air Commando Group, moves from Bikram, India to Myitkyina with C-47s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 3 missions are flown. Mission 738: 589 bombers and 884 fighters are dispatched to make attacks on Germany; an estimated 275-300 Luftwaffe fighters attack and AAF fighters claim 90-7-30 aircraft; 12 bombers and 17 fighters are lost: 1. 451 B-17s are dispatched to make PFF attacks on munitions and tank plants at Berlin (404); targets of opportunity are Nienburg (2) and other (23); 12 B-17s are lost and 169 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 8 WIA and 115 MIA. Escorting are 630 of 711 P-51s; they claim 90-7-23 aircraft in the air and 0-0-2 on the ground; 15 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 2. 114 of 129 B-24s hit the marshalling yard at Munster; 10 B-24s are damaged. Escorting are 141 P-47s and P-51s; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 P-47 damaged beyond repair. 3. 6 of 6 B-24s fly a screening mission. 4. 23 of 25 P-51s fly a scouting mission. Mission 739 is an APHRODITE mission with 2 B-17 Castor drones, 3 B-17 control and observation aircraft, a P-38 observation aircraft and 17 of 17 P-51s as escort; the P-51s claim 1-0-0 aircraft. Mission 740: 11 of the 4 B-17s and 8 B-24s dispatched drop leaflets in the Netherlands, France and Germany.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 172 A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s attack a marshalling yard, road junction, fuel storage dump, defended positions, and rail bridge at 8 locations; fighters escort 9th Bombardment Division aircraft, fly numerous armed reconnaissance missions, and provide cover for the US 1st, 8th, and 104th Infantry Divisions in the Luchem, Bergstein, and Lucherberg areas.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):Bad weather again cancels heavy bomber operations. P-38s, escorted by P-51s, fly photo and weather reconnaissance missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, bad weather severely restricts operations; medium bomber missions are cancelled except for a weather reconnaissance flight; fighters and fighter-bombers hit a few rail lines and other communications targets in the E Po River Valley but devote a major effort to closely support the US Fifth Army in the battle area S of Bologna; HQ 79th Fighter Group and the 85th and 86th Fighter Squadrons move from Iesi to Fano with P-47s.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): P-47s from Saipan Island strafe the runway on Pagan Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): On Halmahera Island, B-24s strike Hate Tabako, Galela, and Djailolo Airfields while B-25s and A-20s lightly raid Miti and Kaoe Airfields. B-25s hit Langoan on Celebes Island while B-24s flying in pairs hit targets of opportunity nearby and in N Borneo. Fighter-bombers over the C Philippine Islands area hit Japanese positions, barges, and communications targets.

WEDNESDAY, 6 DECEMBER 1944

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): 4 B-24s bomb Suribachi Airfield on Paramushiru Island, scoring hits on the runway, and blast batteries; on the return flight, 1 is hit by AA fire. 1 B-25 flies a negative shipping search. A B-24 weather airplane force-lands in the USSR.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 P-51s attack road traffic in the Hsenwi area and from there to Wanling.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 9 P-47s damage a bridge at Namhkai and knock out a bridge at Mongmit; 10 B-25s knock out the main bridge at Bawgyo and damage the bypass; 15 P-47s support ground forces in the Bhamo area, 4 bomb Hsenwi Airfield, and 8 strafe Bawgyo AA positions; 12 P-47s hit troops, artillery, and supplies at Banmauk, the W side of Indawgyi Lake, and Namhkam. Transports fly 300 sorties to forward areas.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 741: 818 bombers and 830 fighters are dispatched to hit oil and rail targets in Germany; all except 9 aircraft bomb using H2X; 4 bombers and 1 fighter are lost: 1. 533 B-17s, in 2 forces, are sent to hit the Leuna oil plant at Merseburg (446); targets of opportunity are Hannover (16), Merseburg (14) and other (24); 4 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 172 damaged; 4 airmen are WIA and 37 MIA. 12 of 12 B-17s fly a screening mission. Escorting are 534 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA), 1 damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged. 2. 112 of 119 B-24s hit the marshalling yard at Bielefeld; 1 hits a target of opportunity; 52 B-24s are damaged. Escorting are 94 of 104 P-51s without loss. 3. 140 of 154 B-24s hit Minden Aqueduct; 9 hit the Lockum rail junction; 26 B-24s are damaged. Escorting are 91 P-47s and P-51s without loss. 4. 28 of 32 P-51s fly a scouting force mission. Mission 742: 11 of the 4 B-17s and 11 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands, France and Germany during the night.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 154 A-20s and B-26s bomb the defended areas of Munstereifel, Erkelenz, Nideggen, and Daun; fighters escort the bombers, fly armed reconnaissance and night patrol, attack bridges, gun positions, and other targets, and provide air cover for the US V, VII, and XII Corps in the areas of Sarreguemines, France and Bergstein, and Lucherberg, and along the Saar River, Germany.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):270+ B-17s and B-24s attack marshalling yards at Graz, Austria; Szombathely, Sopron, Nagycenk, Hegyeshalom, and the town of Zalaegerszey, Hungary; Maribor, Yugoslavia; and Bratislava, and Devinska Nova Ves, Czechoslovakia, plus scattered targets of opportunity; P-51s and P-38s escort the bombers, cover Royal Air Force (RAF) supply missions to Yugoslavia, and strafe Vienna, Austria.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, heavy cloud cover, increasing in density throughout the day, severely restricts operations; medium bombers are grounded except for 1 reconnaissance sortie; XXII Tactical Air Command fighters and fighter-bombers fly less than 100 sorties, attacking communications in the Brescia, Verona, and Mantua areas; the 87th Fighter Squadron, 79th Fighter Group, moves from Iesi to Fano with P-47s; the 97th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 47th Bombardment Group (Light), moves from Rosignano Airfield to Grossetto with A-20s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): B-24s pound Bacolod Airfield on Negros Island; P-38s over Bacolod and others covering a convoy off S Leyte Island claim several aircraft downed; B-25s, with P-47 support, hit Cagayan, Jacgol, and Del Monte Airfields on Mindanao Island. B-24s hit airfields at Kendari and Borebore on Celebes Island. Fighter- bombers and B-25s attack Halmahera Island airfields while A-20s and B-25s bomb the Namlea area on Buru Island. HQ 417th Bombardment Group (Light) and the 672d, 673d, 674th and 675th Bombardment Squadrons move from Noemfoor Island to Tacloban, Leyte Island with A-20s.

THURSDAY, 7 DECEMBER 1944

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): 9 bombers fly 2 negative shipping searches.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 8 B-25s hit a storage area at Lashio, Burma. In China, 4 B-25s and 8 P-40s attack and considerably damage Sankiao; 4 B-25s, operating individually, attack truck convoys and other targets of opportunity in the Hengyang area and in Siang-Chiang Valley; 2 B-24s claim 1 cargo vessel sunk in the S China Sea while 15 P-51s hit shipping at Hong Kong, claiming a destroyer and freighter sunk; 65 P-51s, P-40s, and P-38s on armed reconnaissance over wide areas of China attack storage areas, troops, bridges, railroad targets, and gun positions around Paoching, Anking, Hengyang, Tuhshan, Nan Tan, Kengtung, and Luchai and between Kweilin and Liuchow.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 9 B-25s knock out the E span of the road bridge at Tonbo; 21 P-47s support ground forces in the Bhamo area; 63 blast concentrations of enemy troops and supplies at Male while 4 others hit supplies at Myauk-le; 14 P-47s knock out a bridge at Mansam and damage 3 bridges at Mongmit and Namyao; 17 others hit Nawnghkio and bomb supply areas at Na-kawnkongnyauiig. Transports fly 267 sorties to forward areas. The 16th Combat Cargo Squadron, 4th Combat Cargo Group, arrives at Sylhet, India from the US with C-46s.

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Twentieth Air Force): Mission 19: 108 B-29s, operating from Chengtu, China, are dispatched to bomb the Manchuria Airplane Manufacturing Company and an adjacent arsenal at Mukden, Manchuria; 80 hit primary target and 10 other B-29s bomb a rail yard short of the primary target, and several other bombers strike alternate targets; the B-29s claim 10-10-30 fighters; 7 B-29s are lost.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): All missions except a few fighter patrols are cancelled because of bad weather. In Belgium, the 107th and 109th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadrons, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, based at Gosselies begin operating from Chievres with F-6s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):In Austria, 31 B-17s and B-24s make a predawn raids on Salzburg, Klagenfurt, Villach, and the Lienz marshalling yards, communications targets in Wolfsberg, Spittal an der Drau, Mittersill, and Sankt Veit in Defereggen, and Trieste, Italy. P-38s, and P-51s fly reconnaissance and reconnaissance escort missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, weather grounds medium bombers; fighters and fighter-bombers, despite the weather, attack railroads, roads, bridges, rolling stock, and other targets over widespread areas of N Italy, from La Spezia to N of the Po River Valley; bad weather obscures most primary targets but alternate targets are fairly successfully hit.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): Immediately following an enemy bombing raid on Saipan Island, 4 P-47s fly reconnaissance over Pagan Island searching for aircraft but observe none.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): In the Philippine Islands, B-24s pound Malogo Airfield, the town of Masbate on Masbate Island, and Legaspi Airfield on Luzon Island. On Halmahera Island, B-25s hit Miti, Kaoe, Galela, and Lolobata Airfields. Other FEAF aircraft fly armed reconnaissance and harassing missions over Mindanao Island, N Borneo, and Makassar, Celebes Island areas, attacking various targets of opportunity.

FRIDAY, 8 DECEMBER 1944

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CARIBBEAN

(Sixth Air Force): The 3d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), VI Bomber Command, moves from Rio Hato to David, Panama with B-24s; and the 29th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), VI Bomber Command, moves from Rio Hato to Howard Field, Canal Zone with B-24s.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 4 B-25s hit the Nan Tan area, killing many horses; 14 P-51s hit the airfield and other targets at Nanking, claiming 24 airplanes, a freighter, and 2 locomotives destroyed; 15 P-40s blast railroad targets and buildings from Nan Tan area to Liuchow; 25 P-51s hit Hochih and troops, warehouses, trucks and ammunition dump in the area; 20+ other fighter-bombers on armed reconnaissance hit various targets of opportunity around the Lipo, Shihhweiyao, Tuhshan, Santon, Paoching, Hengyang, Taiyuan, and Linfen areas.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 30+ P-47s support ground forces in the Bhamo area; 28 hit supply areas at Kyingyi, Loi-lun, and Hke-hkun; 12 bomb troop concentrations at Namti and 4 hit village on the Nawnghkem River; 16 fighter-bombers attack a Shwebo motor pool and radio station while 6 others hit the Namun ferry landing; 7 aircraft knock out a bypass bridge at Namhkai and 8 fighter-bombers hit railroad targets of opportunity between Sedaw and Nawnghkio. Large-scale transport operations continue.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): As part of a move to create self- sustaining, mobile air divisions, all sub-depots are relieved from assignment to the VIII Air Force Services Command and assigned to the 3 bomb divisions with VIII Air Force Services Command retaining technical supervision.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 29 A-26s hit the Sinzig rail bridge; fighters escort the RAF, bomb gun positions, bridges, and city areas, fly armed reconnaissance, and support the US V and VII Corps W of Schmidt and Duren, and XX Corps and XII Corps in the Sarreguemines, France and Dillingen areas. In Belgium, the 30th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, based at Gosselies with F-5s, begins operating from Florennes Juzaine. The 72d Liaison Squadron, Ninth AF (attached to the Sixth Army Group), based at Buhl, France, sends a detachment to Steinbourg, France with L-5s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):In Austria, again hitting communications targets in a predawn attack, 24 B-17s and B-24s bomb the Moosbierbaum oil refinery and Graz, Klagenfurt, and Villach marshalling yards. Later in the day P-38s fly photo and weather reconnaissance missions; P-51s escort the photo reconnaissance flights over the Vienna area, W Hungary, and N Yugoslavia.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, weather again greatly curtails operations; 4 P-47s on weather reconnaissance of the W Po River Valley attack trains, claiming the destruction of 4 locomotives and damage of almost 100 train cars. During the night of 7/8 Dec 3 A-20s bomb targets of opportunity in Po River Valley.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 89 B-24s from Guam and Saipan Islands join B-29s and naval vessels in bombarding Iwo Jima Island airfields; 28 P-38s escort the B-29s; the strikes are aimed at reducing the raids against US bases in the Mariana Islands.

(Twentieth Air Force): Mission 11: 82 B-29s from the Mariana Islands join Seventh AF P-38s, B-24s and Navy cruisers in a strike against airfields on Iwo Jima Island from which Japanese strikes against US airfields in the Mariana Islands are being launched; 61 B-29s bomb the airfields and 4 bomb other targets without loss; [Japanese aircraft strike the Mariana Island airfields on 2, 7, and 27 Nov, 7 and 25 Dec (the largest attack-25 aircraft), and from 25 Dec 44 to 2 Jan 45 in very minor degrees; altogether about 80 Japanese aircraft attack, and nearly 40 are downed; 11 B-29s are destroyed and 43 damaged on the ground in these attacks].

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): 60+ B-25s and fighter-bombers, along with Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft, hit airfield and various other targets on Halmahera Island. 60+ B-24s bomb Mandurriao, Lahug and La Carlota Airfields on Cebu and Negros Island while fighter-bombers hit the San Isidro area. FEAF aircraft fly armed reconnaissance and light raids over N Borneo, N Celebes, Flores Island in the Lesser Sunda Islands, and the Wewak, New Guinea area.

SATURDAY, 9 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 12 B-25s bomb Lipo, Tuhshan, and Hochih; a B-25 attacks a truck convoy in the Siang-Chiang Valley while a B-24 claims 1 cargo ship sunk in the S China Sea; 19 P-40s and P-51s hit river, road, and rail shipping and other targets of opportunity from Kweiyi to Siangtan; 65 P-51s and P-40s hit similar targets of opportunity around Kweilin, Liuchow, Lingling, Hengyang, Tuhshan, and Chuchou; 50 more fighter-bombers hit targets of opportunity at several other locations scattered throughout S China.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 12 P-47s knock out a bridge at Mongmit, damage another and blast approach to the Namyao bridge; villages and building areas, supply dumps, and targets of opportunity are attacked at Man Mao, Etgyi, Namhsim, Tawma and other points in N Burma. Transports continue flying men and supplies to forward areas, completing nearly 300 sorties.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 743: 413 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Unterturkheim marshalling yard (262) and Boblingen (94) and Echterdingen (25) Airfields at Stuttgart, Germany using GH; targets of opportunity are Halingen (10) and other (4); 1 B-17 is lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 63 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 9 MIA. Escorting are 247 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft without loss; 6 of 7 P-51s fly a scouting mission. Mission 744: 4 B-17s and 7 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands, France and Germany during the night without loss.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 254 A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s bomb defended villages, storage depots, barracks area, and marshalling yard in W Germany; fighters escort the 9th Bombardment Division, sweep the Landau and Saarbrucken areas, attack Zulpich and a bridge at Euskirchen, and support the XII and XX Corps in the Sarreguemines, France and Saar River area and around Dillingen.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):170 B-17s and B-24s attack the Linz industrial area and Villach marshalling yard in Austria, an oil refinery at Regensburg, Germany, and several armament works at Plzen, Czechoslovakia. P-51s and P-38s escort the heavy bombers and fly reconnaissance missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, bad weather grounds medium bombers; fighters and fighter-bombers attack communications in the C and NE Po River Valley.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): During the night of 9/10 Nov, 2 B-24s from Saipan Island fly harassment strikes against Iwo Jima Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): In Borneo, B-24s bomb the Lingkas tank farm, Dondang River bridge and Sanga Sanga oil installations, and 3 airfields in the Ambon Island-Ceram Island area. P-38s hit Old Namlea Airfield on Buru Island. B-25s attack the Wasile Bay area in the Moluccas Islands.

SUNDAY, 10 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 8 B-25s bomb Kutkai, Burma and hit targets of opportunity in the Liuchow, China area. In China, 25 B-24s bomb the city of Hankow; 3 others bomb Samah Bay docks on Hainan Island; 118 P-40s, P-51s, and P-38s on armed reconnaissance over wide areas of China attack numerous targets of opportunity, concentrating on rail, river, and road traffic, especially in the Hochih, Changsha, and Yuncheng areas.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 20 P-47s fly close support strikes in the Bhamo area; 8 others blast approaches to the Hay-ti road bridge; 50+ P-47s hit warehouses and other storage areas, troop concentrations, and positions at Daungbin, Myebalin, Kyaunghkam, Pongon, Thinbaung, Kawnghkang, Pangteng, and Hsipaw; 12 B-25s hit storage areas at Meza, Namun, and Kungmong. Transports fly 178 sorties to forward areas.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Mission 745: 534 bombers and 690 fighters are dispatched to make PFF attacks and a fighter sweep in Germany; 2 fighters are lost: 1. 173 of 225 B-24s hit the marshalling yard at Bingen and 3 hit targets of opportunity; 4 B-24s are damaged. Escorting are 287 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost and 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are damaged beyond repair. 2. 277 of 309 B-17s hit the Lutzel marshalling yard at Koblenz and 13 hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 27 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA. Escorting are 226 P-47s and P-51s without loss. 3. 96 of 111 P-51s make a fighter sweep E of the bomber's targets; they claim 0-0-1 aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 4. 22 of 22 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, about 130 B-26s bomb defended positions at Birkesdorf, and Huchem-Stammeln; fighters escort the 9th Bombardment Division, strafe and dive-bomb numerous targets in W Germany, and support the US 8th, 9th, 83d, and 104th Infantry Divisions and 3d and 5th Armored Divisions in areas around Bergstein, Duren, and along the W bank of the Roer River.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):550+ B-17s and B-24s dispatched to bomb oil targets in Germany are recalled because of overcast weather; 6 B-17s manage to bomb the Klagenfurt, Austria marshalling yard as a target of opportunity.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, medium bombers bomb bridges, fills, and a tunnel in the Brenner Pass area, hit the Fidenza bridge and barracks at Bologna, and support the British Eighth Army in the Faenza area, bombing defensive positions; XXII Tactical Air Command targets are again predominantly communications N of the US Fifth Army battle zone; the 85th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 47th Bombardment Group (Light), moves from Rosignano Airfield to Grosseto with A-20s.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 3 B-24s from Saipan Island and 1 from Guam Island fly harassment strikes against Iwo Jima Island during the night of 10/11 Dec.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): In principal strikes of the day B-24s hit the Pamoesian tank farm and nearby alternates of Lingkas tank farm, Labuan Islands docks, and Lutong refinery all in Borneo, while B-25s pound Sidate Airfield on Celebes Island. In smaller raids P-38s hit Port Misamis on Mindanao Island. B-25s bomb airfields on Boeroe Island in the Sunda Islands and Ambon Island in the Moluccas Islands, and fighter- bombers pound storage facilities and targets of opportunity in the C Philippine Islands.

MONDAY, 11 DECEMBER 1944

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): 4 B-25s fly a negative enemy shipping search.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 6 B-24s and 6 B-25s, supported by 8 P-51s, pound the Hai Duong, French Indochina area. 12 B-25s bomb Kutkai, Burma. 16 fighter-bombers attack Tien Ho Airfield at Canton and the Kengtung barracks in China; and Lashio, and Wan Lai-Kam, Burma.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 12 B-25s hit the stores area at Hpaklon; 16 P-47s support ground forces in the Bhamo area; 21 P-47s knock out and damage bridges at Mongmit, Man Aitau, Ho-hko, and Pa-mao; 7 fighter-bombers severely damage the Hsipaw ferry; supply and personnel concentrations and town areas are hit at Lawa, Myitson, Pemnegon, Nam Pan, Hsenwi, and Nawngpeng. 270 transport sorties are flown to forward areas.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 746: The largest number of bombers so far dispatched, 1,586, and 841 fighters are sent to hit rail targets and bridges in W Germany using PFF means; 5 bombers and 2 fighters are lost: 1. 319 of 334 B-17s hit the marshalling yard at Frankfurt; 2 others hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 9 damaged. Escorting are 167 of 181 P-51s without loss. 2. 297 of 353 B-24s hit the marshalling yard at Hanau; 5 hit the secondary, Karlsruhe, and 2 hit targets of opportunity; 4 B-24s are lost and 7 damaged; 36 airmen are MIA. Escorting are 143 of 159 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 3. 353 of 540 B-17s hit the marshalling yard at Giessen; 135 hit the secondary, the marshalling yard at Koblenz; targets of opportunity are Euskirchen (12) and other (11); 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 9 damaged; 2 airmen are WIA. Escort is provided by 349 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 0-0-1 aircraft on the ground; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 4. 171 of 182 B-17s hit bridges at Mannheim; 1 B-17 is lost and 18 damaged; 9 airmen are MIA. Escorting are 54 of 59 P-51s without loss. 5. 154 of 177 B-24s hit a bridge at Maximiliansau; 6 other hit the secondary, the marshalling yard at Hanau; 8 B-24s are damaged; 2 airmen are MIA. Escorting are 34 of 37 P-47s without loss. 6. 30 of 30 P-51s fly a scouting mission. Mission 747: 3 B-17s and 8 B-24s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany; 1 B-24 is lost.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 200+ bombers dispatched to bomb defended villages and storage areas are recalled because of weather; 1 bomber manages to bomb a stores depot at Reichenbach; fighters escort the RAF, divebomb targets in cities, and support the US 3d Armored Division in the Echtz-Geich area, the 104th Infantry Division at Merken, the 9th Infantry Division at Merode and Derichsweiler, and the 83d Infantry Division at Strass.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):In Austria, 435 B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escorts, attack the Moosbierbaum oil refinery, and in Vienna, the Matzleinsdorf railroad station, S ordnance depot, and SE goods depot; alternate targets include the Kapfenberg tank works, the town of Tulln, Parndorf Airfield, Graz marshalling yard, and various targets of opportunity.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, medium bombers hit the Motta di Livenza bridge; fighters and fighter-bombers hit occupied areas, houses, guns, and defensive positions S of Bologna and attack railroad targets in the C Po River Valley; during the night of 10/11 Dec, A-20s attack vehicles, lights, railway lines, roads, river ferries, and pontoon bridges in the Po River Valley; HQ 47th Bombardment Group (Light) moves from Rosignano Airfield to Grosseto.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): Colonel Lawrence J Carr becomes Commanding Officer of the VII Bomber Command. On Iwo Jima Island, 28 B-24s from Guam Island pound the airfield and ammunition storage area; night harassment continues as individual B-24s from Guam and Saipan Islands fly 3 snooper strikes against the island during the night of 11/12 Dec.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): In major air activity B-24s bomb Mandurriao Airfield on Cebu Island; B-25s, with P-47 support, hit Padada Airfield on Mindanao Island and Fifth AF fighters join US Marine Corps aircraft in attacks on a 13-ship convoy off NW Leyte Island. B-25s, A-20s, and fighter-bombers hit Goeroea in the Moluccas Islands. Other FEAF planes make small raids on oil and shipping targets around N Borneo.

TUESDAY, 12 DECEMBER 1944

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): The weather aircraft aborts the mission due to the weather.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 6 B-25s bomb Kutkai, Burma, damaging 3 warehouses and 2 other buildings. 50+ P-40s, P-51s, and P-38s on armed reconnaissance attack many targets of opportunity including town areas, road and rail traffic, and supplies at or near Wan Pa-Hsa, Burma, Chiengmai, Thailand, and Sinantien, Paoching, Hengyang, Changsha, Kweilin, Nan Tan, Hochih, and Szeenhsien, China. Several fighter-bombers drop napalm on Yangtong Airfield, China. The 2d Combat Cargo Squadron, 1st Combat Cargo Group, moves from Imphal, India to Tsuyung, China.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 11 B-25s bomb several storage areas N of Lashio; 20+ P-47s knock out bridges at Namyao and Inailong, Burma, and Kunlong, China, and damage others at Ho-hko, Burma and Hinlong, and Kunlong, China; 40+ fighter-bombers hit Japanese HQ, trucks, town areas, troop concentrations, and supplies at Sedo, Pale, Chaunggyi, Tada-u, Hsenwi, Shwebo, and Thabyetha. 263 transport sorties are flown to forward areas. The 166th Liaison Squadron (Commando), 1st Air Commando Group, moves from Yazagyo to Inbaung, Burma with UC-64s and L-5s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 748: 895 bombers and 928 fighters are dispatched to make a H2X attack on Merseburg, Germany and visual attacks on rail targets in Germany; 4 bombers and 7 fighters are lost: 1. 337 of 380 B-17s hit the Leuna synthetic oil plant at Merseburg, 10 hit the secondary, Nordhausen and 12 hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost and 25 damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 10 MIA. Escorting are 392 of 447 P-51s; they claim 0-0-1 aircraft on the ground; 7 P-51s are lost (6 pilots MIA) and 2 damaged beyond repair. 2. 378 B-24s are sent to hit the Hanau (270) and Aschaffenburg (69) marshalling yards; 17 hit the secondary, Gelnhausen and 8 hit a last resort target, the marshalling yard at Friedburg; 3 B-24s are lost and 45 damaged; 11 airmen are KIA and 20 MIA. Escorting are 193 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair. 3. 461 of 497 B-17s hit the marshalling yard at Darmstadt, 9 hit a last resort target, Dieburg and 4 hit a target of opportunity; 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 7 damaged. Escort is provided by 214 P-47s and P-51s without loss. 4. 15 of 20 B-17s and B-24s fly a screening mission. 5. 32 of 32 P-51s fly a scouting mission. Mission 749: 7 B-24s and 4 B-17s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 90 B-26s and A-20s strike the defended villages of Gemund, Harperscheid, Hellenthal, Schleiden, Schoneseiffen, and Wollseifen, and the towns of Dorsel, Mayen, and Wiesbaden; fighters fly armed reconnaissance and strafing and bombing missions in W Germany and support the US 83d Infantry Division in the Strass-Gey area, cover the VII Corps in the Duren area and support the XII and XX Corps in the Habkirchen and Bliesbruck areas (the 35th Infantry Division assault across the Blies River) and Saarlautern-Dillengen.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):75 B-17s and B-24s bomb Blechhammer S oil refinery, Germany; Moravska-Ostrava, Czechoslovakia; and several targets of opportunity; around 40 P-51s and P-38s fly reconnaissance and reconnaissance escort.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, bad weather cancels all except 11 weather reconnaissance sorties.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 24 Saipan Island-based B-24s pound Iwo Jima Island. Individual B-24s from Saipan and Guam Islands fly 5 snooper strikes against Iwo Jima during the night of 12/13 Dec.

(Twentieth Air Force): The service groups of the 313th Bombardment Wing (Very Heavy) arrive on Tinian Island, Mariana Islands.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): B-24s, with fighter cover, bomb Bacolod Airfield on Negros Island while B-25s hit San Roque Airfield on Mindanao Island. B-24s pound Kendari Airfield on Celebes Island. In the Ambon-Ceram-Boeroe Islands area B-25s hit 3 airfields and attack barges. A-20s hit the airfield on Efman Island, New Guinea. HQ 4th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) moves from Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands to Morotai Island. The 460th Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, moves from Tacloban to Tanauan, Leyte Island with P-47s.

WEDNESDAY, 13 DECEMBER 1944

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): 4 B-25s weather abort a shipping search.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 6 B-25s severely damage the warehouse area at Hsenwi, Burma. 2 bomb the town of Wuming, China. 24 P-51s and P-38s hit the town of Bac Ninh and the rail yards at Phu Lang Thuong, French Indochina, and damage a bridge at Chiengmai, Thailand. HQ 341st Bombardment Group (Medium) moves from Kunming to Yangkai, China.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 12 B-25s bomb the storage and personnel area at Mongmit; 7 P-47s damage the approach to the Hay-ti road bridge while 4 support US infantry forces near Tonkwa; supply areas, personnel, Japanese-held buildings, vehicles, and general targets of opportunity are hit by 60+ fighter-bombers at several places including Hosi, Longkin, Kyauktaing, Tigyaing, Kantha, Man Pwe, and Konnyaung. 260+ transport sorties carry men and supplies to forward areas.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 250 A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s hit a supply dump at Schleiden, plus defended positions in several villages and marshalling yard at Euskirchen; fighters escort the 9th Bombardment Division, fly night bombing missions, attack targets in the Cologne area, and support the XX Corps in the Dillengen-Saarlautern bridgehead area, and the XII Corps in the Habkirchen-Bliesbruck area along the Blies River. The 158th Liaison Squadron, Ninth AF, arrives at Nantwich, England from the US with L-1s and L-4s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): Weather restricts operations to reconnaissance and escort missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, weather again hampers operations; the only B-25 bombing mission of the day aborts; fighters and fighter-bombers attack mainly occupied areas and buildings in the battle area S of Bologna, communications throughout the C Po River Valley, and coastal defense and AA guns S of La Spezia.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): With most of its personnel aboard the SS Sea Flasher and its equipment aboard the SS Cape Catoche, HQ Seventh AF arrives at Tanapag, Saipan Island from Hawaii; the remainder of HQ arrives by air, 14-19 Dec. 15 Guam Island-based B-24s bomb Iwo Jima Island; 3 from Saipan Island, on an armed reconnaissance mission, bomb Marcus Island in the North Pacific Ocean. During the night of 13/14 Dec, 6 B-24s make individual harassment raids against Iwo Jima Island from Saipan and Guam Islands.

(Twentieth Air Force): Mission 12: 90 B-29s from the Mariana Islands are dispatched to attack the Mitsubishi aircraft engine plant at Nagoya, Japan; 71 hit the primary target causing considerable damage as bombing accuracy is improved; 9 others hit alternate targets; they claim 4-1-0 Japanese aircraft; 4 B-29s are lost.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): B-24s bomb Carolina and Talisay Airfields on Negros Island. B-25s bomb San Roque Airfield on Mindanao Island; Haroekoe Airfield on Haroekoe Island, Moluccas Islands; Amahai Airfield on Ceram Island; Old Namlea Airfield on Buru Island; and Liang Airfield on Ambon Island. B-25s, P-38s, and P-47s on small raids hit shore positions at Galela Bay on Halmahera Island, while covering an attempted rescue of a downed pilot by a PT boat, and bomb the Goeroea supply area in the Moluccas Islands. Other B-25s and B-24s on reconnaissance hit targets of opportunity in the Sulu Archipelago. The 2d Photographic Charting Squadron, 311th Photographic Wing (attached to FEAF), moves from Hollandia, New Guinea to Morotai Island with F-7s.

THURSDAY, 14 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 6 B-25s bomb Loi Mwe, Burma while 10 P-38s and P-51s hit Kentung, China.

(Twentieth Air Force): Mission 20: 48 B-29s, flying out of the Calcutta, India area, are sent to bomb a railroad bridge at Bangkok, Thailand; 33 hit the primary and 14 others hit targets of opportunity and alternate targets; they claim 0-1-0 enemy aircraft; 4 B-29s are lost.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 12 B-25s again bomb the supply and personnel area at Mongmit; Bodegon railroad bridge is severely damaged by 4 P-47s; 48 P-47s hit troop concentrations, supplies, and areas of active enemy movement at Nawngkyaung and Kunlong, China and Panghkam, Hohai, Dobin, Kyaukpyintha, and Ho-naw; 4 others support ground forces near Tonkwa. Large-scale transport operations to forward areas continue. The Japanese garrison at Bhamo, Burma prepares to withdraw. The 1st Fighter Squadron (Commando), 2d Air Commando Group, arrives at Kalaikunda, India from the US with P-51s (first mission is 14 Feb 45).

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): Bad weather grounds the bombers. In Germany, fighters fly armed reconnaissance, hit rail targets and bridges, and support the US 2d and 99th Infantry Divisions in the Monschau Forest, the 8th Infantry Division in the Bergstein area, the 78th Infantry Division in the Simmerath-Resternich area, and the XII and XX Corps around Habkirchen and Saarlautern.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force): Bad weather cancels all operations except 1 P-38 reconnaissance mission.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, medium bombers score effective hits on railroad bridges at Parma and Chivasso; fighters and fighter-bombers attack rail lines N of the immediate battle area and in the Po River Valley and hit guns and occupied areas on the US Fifth Army front S of Bologna.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 24 Saipan Island-based B-24s pound Iwo Jima Island. During the night of 14/15 Dec, 6 B-24s from Guam and Saipan Islands fly individual snooper strikes against Iwo Jima Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): B-24s pound airfields on Negros Island. B-25s hit Zettlefield airdrome on Jolo Island, Philippine Islands and Namlea on Buru Island. Other planes carry out sweeps, armed reconnaissance, and light raids against various targets in the C Philippine Islands, Luzon, Mindanao and Palawan Islands, Halmahera Island, N Borneo, and the Sulu Archipelago. The 38th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Thirteenth AAF [attached to 4th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance)] arrives at Hollandia, New Guinea from the US with B-25s (first mission is 21 Feb 45); the 340th Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, moves from Tacloban to Tanauan, Leyte Island with P-47s; the 550th Night Fighter Squadron, XIII Fighter Command, arrives at Hollandia, New Guinea from the US with P-61s (first mission is 15 Jan 45).

FRIDAY, 15 DECEMBER 1944

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

HQ Continental AF is activated at Bolling Field, Washington, DC, to coordinate the work of the domestic AFs (First, Second, Third and Fourth) and the I Troop Carrier Command but will not assume jurisdiction until 8 May 45. General Henry H "Hap" Arnold, Commanding General USAAF and Commanding General Twentieth AF, is promoted to General of the Army.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 6 B-25s blast a storage building at Kunlong, China. 5 P-51s hit and damage a bridge and a building S of Huizan, Thailand. 4 P-38s knock out a bridge at Hawng Luk, Burma.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 10 B-25s destroy the Hsipaw railroad bridge and a bypass bridge at Namhkai and damage other bridges at Namhkai; 4 P-47s severely damage 2 bridges at Ho-hko; 7 P-47s fly close support strikes along the Namh-Kam-Bhamo road; the Japanese garrison at Bhamo escapes through Chinese lines early in the morning and later Chinese troops occupy the town; 13 P-47s hit Lashio Airfield; town areas, troop concentrations, and supply areas are attacked at Panglong, Nanponpon, Panghkam, Kinu, Man Hpai, and Namhkam; a steady air movement of men and supplies to forward bases and frontline areas continues. The 2d Fighter Squadron (Commando), 2d Air Commando Group, arrives at Kalaikunda, India from the US with P-51s (first mission is 14 Feb 45).

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 750: 674 B-17s and 434 fighters are dispatched to attack rail targets and an armored car factory in Germany using H2X; 1 bomber and 2 fighters are lost: 1. 318 of 334 B-17s hit the marshalling yard and tank factories at Kassel; 5 others hit targets of opportunity; 6 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 11 damaged; 25 airmen are KIA and 1 WIA. Escorting are 268 of 296 P-51s; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 2. 327 of 340 B-17s bomb the marshalling yard at Hannover and 6 hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost and 7 damaged. Escorting are 241 P-47s and P-51s without loss. 3. 19 of 24 P-51s fly a scouting mission. Mission 751: 2 of 3 B-17s drop leaflets in France and Germany during the night. SUPREME HEADQUARTERS, ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCES (SHAEF): Major Alton Glenn Miller, s/n 0505273, Director of the USAAF band, boards a UC-64A for a flight to Paris. Miller's big band was one of the most popular prior to WWII; he enlisted in the AAF in 1942 and formed a band to entertain the troops in the ETO. Miller is on his way to Paris to make arrangements for a Christmas Show; he and the Flight Officer pilot takeoff, disappear in low cloud and are never seen again.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 300+ A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s hit defended positions, camp area, and oil storage at Heimbach, Wollseifen, Harperscheid, Schonau, Ruthen, and Dorsel; fighters escort the 9th Bombardment Division, hit supply and ammunition dumps and other targets during bombing attacks and armed reconnaissance, and support the US 2d and 99th Infantry Divisions in the area of Westwall fortifications, the 78th Infantry Division at Kesternich, and the 8th Infantry and 5th Armored Divisions N of Kesternich; fighters support the XX and XII Corps in the Dillingen-Saarlautern area and at Habkirchen and heights along the Blies River.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):330+ B-17s and B-24s attack main marshalling yards, main station, and freight yard at Linz, marshalling yards at Amstetten, Salzburg, and Innsbruck, Austria, and Rosenheim, Germany (all primary targets) and targets of opportunity including the Klagenfurt and Waldhausen marshalling yard and the town of Sankt Johann in Tirol, Austria; the Schwaz, Austria marshalling yard is also hit (due to malfunction of instruments). 250+ P-38s and P-51s provide escort

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, B-25s, attack ammunition dumps at Cremona, Bologna, and Pavia, a fuel dump at Castellar Guidobono, and severely damage railway bridges S of Asti and at Voghera; fighters and fighter-bombers again hit targets in the US Fifth Army battle area S of Bologna and communications in the C Po River Valley and make numerous rail cuts throughout the area (especially on the vital Brenner Line) destroying many vehicles and train cars; several bridges are hit, 3 being left impassable.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 13 B-24s from Guam Island bomb Iwo Jima Island. During the night of 15/16 Dec, a B-24 on a snooper raid from Guam hits Iwo Jima.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): In major strikes of the day in the Philippine Islands, fighter-bombers hit a fuel dump at San Fernando on Negros Island; B-24s and B-25s bomb Sasa and San Roque Airfields on Mindanao Island; and B-24s bomb Puerto Princesa on Palawan Island. B-25s hit airfields on Ceram and Ambon Islands. Miscellaneous armed reconnaissance and light raids by fighters and bombers are flown against airfields on Boeroe and Halmahera Islands; shipping and other targets of opportunity are attacked at several points throughout the Netherland East Indies. HQ 310th Bombardment Wing (Medium) moves from Leyte Island to San Jose, Mindoro Island, Philippine Islands; the 36th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Fifth AF, arrives are Hollandia, New Guinea from the US with F-5s (first mission is 25 Mar 45); the 341st Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, moves from Tacloban to Tanauan, Leyte Island with P-47s; the ground echelon of the 418th Night Fighter Squadron, Thirteenth AF, arrives at San Jose, Mindoro Island from Dulag, Leyte Island (air echelon is on Morotai Island with P-61s.

SATURDAY, 16 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, the 16th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, based at Chengkung with P-51s, sends a detachment to operate from Liangshan.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 4 P-47s support US ground forces near Tonkwa; locomotives, storage areas, buildings, personnel, and areas of Japanese activity are attacked at Se-eng, Nanponpon, Kangon, Winghsa, Inywa, Molo, and Mabein. Large-scale air supply to forward areas continues. The 127th, 155th and 156th Liaison Squadrons (Commando), 2d Air Commando Group, arrive at Kalaikunda, India from the US with UC-64s and L-5s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Mission 752: 236 B-17s are dispatched to attack rail targets at Stuttgart, Germany but extremely poor weather conditions result in many aborts; primary targets are the marshalling yard at Stuttgart (81) and Bietingheim (33); 1 other B-17 hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-17s is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 9 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA and 9 MIA. Escorting are 106 of 114 P-51s without loss. 10 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): Bad weather cancels 9th Bombardment Division combat operations. In Germany, fighters escort RAF aircraft, fly night patrol and intercept missions, and support US First Army elements in the Ardennes in Belgium as Field Marshall Gerd von Rundstedt begins an allout counteroffensive, and the XII and XX Corps at Saarlautern the bridgehead and in Saint-Avold-Saarbrucken area where news of the Ardennes counteroffensive cancels the XII Corps plans for an assault on the Westwall. HQ IX Air Defense Command moves from Versailles to Paris, France.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):Almost 600 B-24s and B-17s bomb a synthetic oil plant at Brux and armament works at Plzen, Czechoslovakia; a benzol plant at Linz and marshalling yards at Innsbruck and Villach, Austria; plus several scattered targets of opportunity; P-38s and P-51s escort operations to Czechoslovakia; other P-38s fly reconnaissance missions while P-51s fly reconnaissance escort.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, bad weather grounds medium bombers; XXII Tactical Air Command fighter-bombers hit occupied buildings and guns in the battle zone S of Bologna, continue attacks on the Brenner rail line effecting 16 rail cuts, hit and set aflame 3 vessels in La Spezia drydock, and blast several railroad bridges N of the battle area.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): Daytime activities are limited to reconnaissance flights by B-24s over the Bonin and Kazan Islands and by P-47s over Pagan Island. During the night of 16/17 Dec, 3 B-24s from Guam and Saipan Islands fly individual snooper strikes against Iwo Jima Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): In the Philippine Islands, major operations of FEAF include B-24 strikes on Padada Airfield on Mindanao Island and Puerto Princesa Airfield on Palawan Island. B-25s, A-20s, and fighter-bombers attack airfields and targets of opportunity including shipping in the Ceram Island area and in the C Philippine Islands. Targets of opportunity are also attacked in N Borneo and in the Vogelkop Peninsula area. The 342d Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, moves from Tacloban to Tanauan, Letye Island with P-47s.

SUNDAY, 17 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 9 B-24s pound the Camranh Bay area of French Indochina. 5 B-25s bomb a road at Wan Pa-Hsa, Burma while 12 fighter-bombers hit a nearby railroad bridge, damaging it severely.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 P-47s support ground forces in the Namhkam sector; 8 more P-47s hit rail targets of opportunity between Kyaikthin to Kinu, then E to the Irrawaddy River and up the river to Tigyaing; 4 hit rivercraft at Tagaung; 50+ fighter-bombers attack storage areas, vehicles, bivouacs, personnel areas, and general targets of opportunity at Pang-hsao, Kyaukme, Manai, Kutkai, Ma-ugon, Hpa-ye, and Man Namman; 12 more strafe targets of opportunity during a Kyaukme-Nampyao railroad sweep. 290 transport sorties are flown. The 493d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based at Pandaveswar, India with B-24s, sends a detachment to operate from Luliang, China to transport gasoline to Suichwan, China.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Mission 753: 3 B-17s and 7 B-24s are dispatched to drop leaflets on France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night. The 859th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 492d Bombardment Group (Heavy) is detached to Italy and begins a movement to Brindisi today.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, weather prevents bomber operations; 1,000+ fighters fly armed reconnaissance, defensive patrols, and attacks on bridges and gun positions; the IX and XIX Tactical Air Commands also support ground forces (8th, 28th, 78th, 99th, and 106th Infantry Divisions, 5th Armored Division, and V, VII, VIII, XII, and XX Corps) against the counteroffensive in the Ardennes and in a battle to hold the Saarlautern, Germany bridgehead.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):550+ B-17s and B-24s bomb oil refineries at Blechhammer N and S and Odertal, Germany, and Moravska-Ostrava, Czechoslovakia; marshalling yards at Gross Strehlitz, Germany, and Villach, Saak, Salzburg, and Wels, Austria. P-38s and P-51s escort the bombers, fly reconnaissance, strafe the railroad running from Rosenheim, Germany into Austria, and escort photo reconnaissance operations; enemy fighters appear in force for the first time since Aug 44; the AAF claims 55 air victories.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, bad weather again cancels medium bomber operations; the XXII Tactical Air Command hits communications in the Po River Valley and attacks the Trento marshalling yard on the rail line running N to the Brenner Pass.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 24 B-24s from Saipan Island and 26 from Guam Island pound Iwo Jima Island. 3 B-24s from Saipan, on armed reconnaissance, bomb Woleai and Eauriprik Atolls, Caroline Islands. During the night of 17/18 Dec, B-24s from Saipan and Guam fly 3 single-plane harassment strikes against Iwo Jima.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): In the Philippine Islands, on Negros Island B-24s pound Bacolod Airfield while B-25s hit Silay Airfield, P-40s join US Marine Corps fighter-bombers in attacking the Cananga area and P-38s destroy several aircraft during sweeps; B-25s bomb Likanan on Mindanao Island while B-24s with P-47 support, hit the airfield on Jolo Island; and fighter-bombers hit positions at Valencia on Mindanao Island. B-24s and fighter-bombers attack Jesselton Airfield in Borneo and Laha Airfield on Ambon Island.

MONDAY, 18 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 33 B-24s bomb barracks and administrative buildings at Hankow; 23 B-25s hit Wuchang; 7 B-25s bomb barracks and damage a bridge at Siaokan Airfield while 6 others pound storage buildings at Kunlong; 149 P-40s and P-51s support the Hankow, Siaokan, and Wuchang raids and claim 42 aircraft downed and destroyed on the ground; 20 P-51s and P-38s follow the B-25 strike on Kunlong with napalm attacks, causing considerable damage; 28 other P-40s and P-51s attack various targets of opportunity around Hochih, Nanning and Mengmao, China; Wanling, Burma; and Sang Song and and Phu Lang Thuong, French Indochina.

(Twentieth Air Force): Mission 21: 94 B-29s, flying out of the Chengtu, China area, are dispatched to drop incendiaries on the docks at Hankow, China in the first mass firebomb attack by B-29s; the strike is made in conjunction with 200 aircraft of the Fourteenth AF; 84 bomb the primary target and 5 others hit alternate targets; they claim 1-3-10 Japanese aircraft.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): 17 P-47s destroy bypass bridges at Hinlong, China and Wingkang, Burma. In Burma, 12 B-25s knock out two railroad bridges at Wetlet and damage another at Saye; 11 P-47s hit the airfield at Nawnghkio while 12 others sweep airfields at Anisakan, Hsumhsai, and Nawnghkio; 9 fighter-bombers provide close support to ground forces in Namhkam; 17 P-47s attack personnel and supply areas at Man Ton and Hseing- hkai. 292 transports fly men and supplies to forward bases and battle areas. The 427th Night Fighter Squadron, Tenth AF, based at Myitkyina, Burma with P-61s, sends a detachment to operate from Kunming, China.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 754: 985 bombers and 773 fighters are dispatched to hit communication and tactical targets in Germany using PFF; 4 fighters are lost: 1. Extensive cloud formations force the recall of 358 B-24s without loss. Escorting are 103 of 110 P-51s. 2. 385 B-17s are sent to hit the Kalk marshalling yard at Cologne (32); secondary targets hit are the Lutzel marshalling yard at Koblenz (102) and Kaiserslautern (74) marshalling yard; 11 hit Bonn, a last resort target; 1 B-17 is damaged. The escort is 110 of 116 P-51s; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA). 3. 157 of 220 B-17s hit the marshalling yard at Mainz; 13 others hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost and 2 damaged beyond repair; 1 airman is MIA. Escort is provided by 150 of 162 P-51s without loss. 4. 22 of 22 B-17s fly a screening mission. 5. 255 P-47s and P-51s fly a fighter sweep in W Germany; they claim 3-0-0 aircraft; 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost (pilots MIA). 6. 29 of 31 P-51s fly a scouting mission. Mission 755: 4 B-17s and 9 B-24s are sent to drop leaflets in France, Germany and the Netherlands during the night.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 160+ A-26s, A-20s, and B-26s hit defended positions at Harperscheid, Hellenthal, Blumenthal, Dreiborn, and Herhahn; fighters fly sweeps and armed reconnaissance over W Germany (claiming 40+ enemy airplanes downed plus hitting numerous ground targets) and support the US 2d, 4th, 28th, and 106th Infantry Divisions W of Butgenbach and W of Trier; SE of Clervaux, Luxembourg; and SE of Saint-Vith, Belgium; and the XII Corps at Niedergailbach; the IX Tactical Air Command hits Panzer units spearheading the Bulge. In Belgium, the detachments of the 30th Photographic Reconnaissance and 107th and 109th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadrons, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, operating from Florennes Juzaine and Chievres with F-5s and F-6s respectively, return to base at Gosselies; the 153d Liaison Squadron, IX Tactical Air Command (attached to Twelfth Army Group), based at Spa with L-5s, begins operating from Liege.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):560+ B-17s and B-24s hit oil refineries at Blechhammer N and S and Odertal, Germany; Floridsdorf refinery at Vienna, Austria; Moravska-Ostrava, Czechoslovakia; and Auschwitz, Poland; marshalling yards at Graz and Studenzen, Austria, and Sopron, Hungary; the Bruck an der Mur, Austria industrial area, and various scattered targets of opportunity; fighters fly escort and reconnaissance missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, weather again curtails operations; the XXII Tactical Air Command fighters and fighter-bombers hit communications in the E Po River Valley, scoring particular success against lines in the N part of the Valley in the Padua region, and support US Fifth Army operations in the battle area S of Bologna.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): On Truk Atoll, Caroline Islands, 6 Guam Island- based B-24s flying armed photo reconnaissance over Moen, Param, and Eten Islands and bomb Dublon Island; after photographing the airfields on the 3 islands, the B-24s return by way of Woleai and Puluwat Atolls, and Namonuito Island in the Caroline Islands and photograph all 3. During the night of 18/19 Dec, 4 B-24s from Guam and Saipan Islands fly snooper strikes against Iwo Jima Island.

(Twentieth Air Force): Mission 13: 89 B-29s flying out of the Mariana Islands are sent to hit the Mitsubishi aircraft plant at Nagoya, Japan; 63 hit the primary target and 10 bomb last resort targets and targets of opportunity; they claim 5-11-12 enemy aircraft; 4 B-29s are lost.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): On Leyte Island, Philippine Islands, fighter-bombers destroy a bridge on the the Palompon- Cananga road and pound Calatagan Airfield; B-25s hit San Roque Airfield on Mindanao Island; fighter-bombers attack Tanao harbor and airfield and targets of opportunity in the Tarakan Island, Borneo area, strafe seaplane facilities at Sanga Sanga, Borneo, and bomb Haroekoe Airfield on Haroekoe Island.

TUESDAY, 19 DECEMBER 1944

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR (HQ AAF): 4 fighters of the Fourth AF, directed by the Los Angeles Control Group to search for a Japanese balloon reported over Santa Monica, California, are unable to locate the target.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 16 B-25s, escorted by 24 P-40s, attack Pengpu; 4 P-51s claim 2 freighters sunk off Hong Kong; and 2 P-40s destroy 3 locomotives and a truck at Sinyang. In Burma, 4 P-38s bomb the Wanling-Mongyu road causing a traffic block.

(Twentieth Air Force): Mission 22: 36 B-29s, from the Chengtu, China area, are dispatched to hit an aircraft plant at Omura, Japan; 17 hit the primary target and 13 others hit secondary target of Shanghai, China, and another 2 strike other alternates; they claim 5-4-12 Japanese aircraft; 2 B-29s are lost.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 12 B-25s hit road junctions at Mongmit and S of Kyaukme, the Kyaukme railroad station, and Hsenwi bridge; 7 P-47s severely damage the Tonbo road bridge, and 11 others hit targets of opportunity during a Onmaka-Hsoplong rail sweep; 42 P-47s pound supply and personnel areas and troops at Myadaung, Tantabin, and Twinnge, the village of Nyaugbintha, and a truck park near Humon. 300+ transport sorties are flown to forward areas; the 164th Liaison Squadron (Commando), 1st Air Commando Group, moves from Asansol, India to Inbaung with UC-64s and L-5s (first mission is today) replacing the 166th Liaison Squadron (Commando) which moves from Inbaung to Asansol.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Mission 756: 328 bombers and 45 fighters are dispatched to hit tactical targets (rail and road junctions, rail and road chokepoints and railheads) in the Luxembourg and Ehrang and Koblenz, Germany area to impede the German counteroffensive launched in the Ardennes on 16 Dec using PFF: 1. 144 of 172 B-17s hit 6 tactical targets and 24 hit the secondary target, the Koblenz marshalling yard without loss. 2. 62 of 156 B-24s hit 2 tactical targets and 82 hit the secondary target, the Ehrang marshalling yard; 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair; 11 airmen are KIA. 3. The missions above are escorted by 37 of 41 P-47s; they claim 7-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-47s are damaged beyond repair; 1 pilot is WIA.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): All administrative sections and extra operational equipment of the XXIX Tactical Air Command (Provisional) are moved from Maastricht, the Netherlands to Saint-Trond, Belgium to avert transportation problems should the XXIX Tactical Air Command be subsequently forced into a hasty withdrawal. Weather grounds the bombers. Fighters fly armed reconnaissance in W Germany, escort RAF Lancasters, fly patrols from Belgium to the Rhine River, support the US 1st, 2d, 99th, and 106th Infantry Divisions, and 7th Armored Division (N and E of Malmedy and SE and SW of Saint-Vith, Belgium), and fly cover for US Twelfth Army troops and the XII Corps near Verdun and Saint- Avold, France. In Belgium, the 153d Liaison Squadron moves from Spa to Olne (the squadron is operating from Liege with L-5s).

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):400+ B-24s and B-17s attack Blechhammer N and S, Germany and Moravska-Ostrava, Czechoslovakia oil refineries; Rosenheim, Germany rail sidings and marshalling yard; marshalling yards at Strasshof, Villach, Klagenfurt, Graz, and Innsbruck, Austria, and Sopron, Hungary; the town of Sternberk, Czechoslovakia; and several scattered targets of opportunity; P-38s and P-51s fly reconnaissance missions and escort the bombers.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, weather grounds the medium bombers; XXII Tactical Air Command fighters and fighter-bombers, unable to reach the primary targets further N, hit communications N of the battle area but concentrate mainly on gun positions in the La Spezia area.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): HQ Seventh AF is officially opened at Tanapag, Saipan Island. 27 B-24s from Saipan Island and 25 from Guam Island strike Iwo Jima Island. 3 B-24s on armed reconnaissance from Guam bomb Marcus Island. 14 P-38s from Saipan, with 3 B-29s as navigational escort, strafe airfields on Iwo Jima. 4 B-25s from Guam and Saipan carry out 3 snooper strikes against Iwo Jima during the night of 19/20 Dec.

(Twentieth Air Force): HQ 505th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) arrives at North Field, Tinian Island, Mariana Islands from the US.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): On Negros Island in the Philippine Islands, fighter-supported B-25s bomb Fabrica Airfield, fighters on a sweep over Ponay, and Leyte Islands hit Fabrica, Bacolod, Silay, Dumaguete and Alicante Airfields, and the town of Palompon on Leyte Island; on Luzon Island, B-24s bomb Legaspi Airfield while P-38s hit Batangas Airfield. B-25s, A-20s, and P-38s pound the Kairatoe area on Celebes Island. Other FEAF aircraft on armed reconnaissance, sweeps, and small strikes hit targets of opportunity at many locations throughout the Netherland East Indies and Philippine Islands.

WEDNESDAY, 20 DECEMBER 1944

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): A B-24 flies armed reconnaissance over the Kurile Islands; another B-24 strikes Onnekotan Island installations, while 2 more flying armed photo mission over Kashiwabara, Paramushiru Island, and Katoaka, Shimushu Island also strafe buildings on Onnekotan Island and bomb Nemo Bay. 4 B-25s abort a fighter-decoy mission due to weather.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 118 P-51s and P-40s on armed reconnaissance over S China and E Burma attack road, rail, and river traffic and other targets of opportunity, mainly in or near Wanling, Mongyu, Monhkong, and Lashio, Burma; and Hochih, Chinchengchiang, Hong Kong, Sinyang, Lohochai, Leiyang, Kweilin, Sintsiang, Siangtan, Paoching, Liuchenghsien, Hengshan, and Hengyang, China. HQ 1st Combat Cargo Group moves from Tulihal, India to Tsuyung, China.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 9 B-25s destroy 3 road bridges at Mongmit, bypass bridges at Tangon and Tantabin, and 3 bridges in N Burma; 3 other B-25s blast the ferry area at Thabeikkyin; 12 P-47s knock out the Hay-ti road bridge and damage the Pa-mao bridge; 12 other fighter-bombers sweep the Irrawaddy River from Sheinmaga to Twinnge, strafing several targets of opportunity; 13 P-47s support ground forces in the Namhkam sector; troops, supply areas, and buildings are pounded at Hseing-kai, Tigyaing, Na-kawnkongnyaung, and Man Hkunhawng. Transport operations to front areas total 284 sorties. The 492d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based at Madhaiganij, India with B-24s, sends a detachment to Luliang, China to ferry gasoline to Suichwan, China.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): The 859th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 492d Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrives at Brindisi, Italy from Harrington, England with B-24s and C-47s; the squadron is detached to the 15th Special Group (Provisional) and will fly CARPETBAGGER missions in the MTO beginning 31 Dec. TACTICAL OPERATIONS First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): In France, HQ 371st Fighter Group and the 404th and 406th Fighter Squadrons move from Tavaux Airfield, Dole to Tantonville with P-47s. Ninth Air Force: Bad weather prevents all combat operations, except a night intruder mission by 2 fighters.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):For the fifth consecutive day, bombers hit Axis oil production; 454 B-17s and B-24s hit the Regensburg, Germany oil refinery, marshalling yards at Linz, Salzburg, and Villach, Austria, and armament works at Plzen, Czechoslovakia; 300+ P-38s and P-51s provide escort; 40+ others fly reconnaissance and reconnaissance-escort missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, continued bad weather limits operations; medium bombers are grounded and overcast prevents fighters and fighter-bombers to reach many targets in the C and E Po Valley however, the Brenner rail line is cut S of Trento and trains are successfully attacked near Padua and Treviso; armed reconnaissance in the W Po Valley accounts for several locomotives, vehicles, and other targets of opportunity, and railroads, bridges, and targets of opportunity are hit in the La Spezia and Genoa areas; during the night of 19/20 Dec, A-20s attack lights at 5 locations in the E Po Valley.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 23 B-24s, based on Saipan Island, pound Iwo Jima Island. During the night of 20/21 Dec, 6 B-24s from Guam and Saipan Islands hit Iwo Jima with 5 snooper strikes.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): 150+ B-24s, B-25s, and fighter-bombers pound 10 airfields throughout the C Philippine Islands and 3 on Mindanao Island. In the Netherland East Indies B-24s hit Malang Airfield on Java and B-25s hit Haroekoe Island. Numerous other single FEAF flights and small forces attack a large variety of targets of opportunity throughout the Netherland East Indies and the Philippine Islands. HQ 8th Fighter Group and the 35th, 36th and 80th Fighter Squadrons move from Morotai Island to San Jose, Mindoro Island, Philippine Islands with P-38s.

THURSDAY, 21 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 145 P-40s and P-51s fly armed reconnaissance over wide expanses of S China, E Burma and N French Indochina; the fighters attack chiefly troops and river, road, and rail traffic and a variety of targets of opportunity at numerous locations; 9 B-25s bomb Kunlong and Minkiang, China. The 4th Combat Cargo Squadron, 1st Combat Cargo Group, moves from Tulihal, India to Chengkung, China with C-47s.

(Twentieth Air Force): Mission 23: 49 B-29s from Chengtu, China are dispatched to attack Mukden, Manchuria; 19 hit the primary objective (the Manchuria Airplane Manufacturing Company) but it suffers little damage and a nearby arsenal and rail yards are slightly damaged; 8 other B-29s bomb alternate targets and targets of opportunity; they claim 21-6-19 Japanese aircraft; 2 B-29s are lost.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 12 B-25s bomb a supply and personnel area at Magyidon; 13 P-47s damage bridges at Hay-ti, Mong Long, and Pa-mao; rail targets of opportunity from Hsumhsai to Hsipaw are attacked by 12 P-47s; 20+ fighter-bombers hit troop concentrations at several points including Man Ka-lao and the general area E of the Shweli River; 12 P-47s bomb and strafe the Lashio area. 290+ transport sorties are flown to forward bases and frontline areas. The detachment of the 9th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, operating from Chittagong, India with F-5s, returns to base at Myitkyina, Burma.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

TACTICAL OPERATIONS First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): In France, the 405th Fighter Squadron, 371st Fighter Group, moves from Tavaux Airfield in Dole to Tantonville with P-47s (the air echelon is operating from Dijon). Ninth Air Force: Operational control of the IX and XXIX Tactical Air Commands is transferred from the Ninth AF to the RAF Second Tactical AF to operate against the N line of the Bulge. The XIX Tactical Air Command flies armed weather and intruder reconnaissance in the Saarbrucken-Trier, Germany area. Weather grounds all operations.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):84 B-24s bomb the main marshalling yard and railroad sidings at Rosenheim, Germany; 40 P-51s provide escort; 40+ P-38s fly photo reconnaissance and reconnaissance escort missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 20/21 Dec, A-20s attack highways, secondary roads, and targets of opportunity in the N and C Po Valley. During the day, bad weather grounds the medium bombers and reduces fighter and fighter-bomber operations of the XXII Tactical Air Command however, aircraft are effective against railroad targets in the Treviso area and damage Ghedi Airfield; trains, vehicles, guns, and buildings are attacked in or near Mantua, Milan, Turin, La Spezia, Padua, and Mestre.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 23 Guam Island-based B-24s hit Iwo Jima Island. During the night of 21/22 Dec, 4 B-24s from the Mariana Islands fly 3 harassment strikes against Iwo Jima.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): B-24s, B-25s, and fighter-bombers pound 10 airfields mostly on Negros Island and elsewhere in the C Philippine Islands; Leyte Island-based fighter-bombers fly 100+ attack sorties; Likanan Airfield on Mindanao Island is also hit by B-24s. In the Moluccas Islands, B-25s pound Goeroea, Anggai, and Lolobata on Halmahera Island. The 311th Fighter Squadron, 58th Fighter Group, moves from San Roque, Leyte Island to San Jose, Mindoro Island with P-47s.

FRIDAY, 22 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 4 B-25s damage a bridge at Song Hoa, French Indochina and 2 B-25s bomb Yungning, China. 80+ P-51s and P-40s on armed reconnaissance over wide reaches of S China, E Burma, and N French Indochina hit numerous targets of opportunity. Airfields at Heho, Burma and Tien Ho in Canton, China are strafed and several aircraft are destroyed in battles over Canton and Kai Tek Airfield in Hong Kong. Rail facilities, river and road traffic, and other targets of opportunity are hit at several locations including Wanling, Burma; Gia Lam, French Indochina; and Chinchengehiang and the Pingsiang-Yungning, China area.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 12 B-25s bomb a supply area at Magyidon; 8 P-47s knock out the Namhkai bypass bridge and damage 2 bridges at Kinu and 16 hit targets of opportunity along the Irrawaddy River from Tagaung to Thabeikkyin and along the road E and N to Mongmit; 12 P-47s bomb and strafe a personnel area at Onbauk and bridge at Na-lang. 300+ transport sorties are flown to forward areas.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

TACTICAL OPERATIONS First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): In France, the 404th Fighter Squadron, 371st Fighter Group, ceases operating from Dijon with P-47s and returns to base at Tantonville. Ninth Air Force: 3 fighter groups of the IX Tactical Air Command are transferred to the XIX Tactical Air Command to concentrate air power for cooperation with the US Third Army to which the main effort against the Bulge has been assigned; the groups return to control of the IX Tactical Air Command on 25 Dec. Fighters fly a few strafing, weather reconnaissance, intruder patrol, and alert missions; bad weather cancels all other missions. In Belgium, the 153d Liaison Squadron, IX Tactical Air Command (attached to Twelfth Army Group), moves from Olne to Tongres (air echelon operating from Liege with L-5s).

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):Bad weather restricts operations to reconnaissance, supply dropping, and escort missions over Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Yugoslavia.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 21/22 Dec, A-20s hit scattered targets in the Po Valley; clearing weather during the day enables medium bombers to hit bridges at Torre Beretti, Pontetidone, and at Chiari; fighter-bombers concentrate on railway targets, destroying 5 bridges in N Italy and making numerous cuts in rail lines, several on the important Brenner Pass line; motor transport and guns N of the battle area are also successfully attacked.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): During the night of 22/23 Dec, 2 Guam and Saipan Islands-based B-24s make harassing strikes on Iwo Jima Island.

(Twentieth Air Force): Mission 14: 78 B-29s from the Mariana Islands are dispatched to hit the Mitsubishi aircraft industrial complex in Nagoya, Japan; 48 hit the primary target and 14 hit alternate targets; total cloud cover prevents accuracy, and damage is light; they claim 9-17-15 Japanese aircraft; 3 B-29s are lost.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): On Luzon Island, Philippine Islands, B-24s, with P-47 support, bomb Clark Field while P-40s bomb and strafe Lipa Airfield. On Negros Island, B-24s bomb Carolina Airfield while B-25s, with P-47 cover, hit Fabrica Airfield. On Mindanao Island, B-24s bomb storage and personnel areas while B-25s hit the waterfront at Zamboanga. FEAF aircraft fly numerous shipping searches, armed reconnaissance, and sweeps over Mindanao Island and throughout the Netherland East Indies. In the Moluccas Islands, numerous fighter-bombers pound the Wasile River and Goeroea areas and Hate Tabako Airfield on Halmahera Island. US and RAAF B-24s, B-25s, and fighter-bombers bomb Lolobata and Hate Tabako Airfields on Halmahera Island and the Goeroea area. Units moving from Letye Island to San Jose, Mindoro Island: HQ 417th Bombardment Group (Light) and the 672d, 673d, 674th and 675th Bombardment Squadrons (Light) from Tacloban with A-20s; the 69th and 310th Fighter Squadrons, 58th Fighter Group, from San Roque with P-47s.

SATURDAY, 23 DECEMBER 1944

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): The weather mission finds squall conditions and is aborted.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 8 B-25s pound points along the Burma Road. 13 B-25s hit town areas, trains, and other targets of opportunity at Vinh, French Indochina, from Dap Cau, French Indochina to Lungchow, China, and from Lang Son, French Indochina to Yungning, China. In China, 3 B-25s and 5 P-40s damage about 50 railroad cars in the area S of the Yellow River; 16 P-51s over Wuchang and Hankow damage 2 ferry ramps and blast 3 oil dumps. 12 P-51s and P-38s damage 2 hangars at Heho Airfield, Burma, and in China, 12 P-51s pound railroad shops at Chenghsien and bomb Houmachen with napalm.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 15 P-47s knock out and damage bridges at Mong Long, Pa-mao, and Man Pwe; 12 B-25s destroy bridges at Tonbo, Saye, Ketka, and Nampawng, and damage several others; 40+ fighter- bombers attack storage areas, bivouacs, and enemy-held points at Namhkam, Nyaunggyin, Hseing-hkai, Mongyin, and Kutkai. Transport sorties to forward bases and frontline areas total 353.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

AIRBORNE OPERATIONS

(IX Troop Carrier Command): 260 C-47s drop 334 tons of supplies in parapacks on several drop zones inside the besieged American positions at Bastogne, Belgium.

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 757: 423 bombers and 636 fighters are dispatched to hit marshalling yards, communication centers and a rail junction in the rear of the battle area; 75-150 Luftwaffe aircraft are encountered and the AAF claims 75-5-23; 7 fighter are lost: 1. 148 of 153 B-17s hit the marshalling yard at Ehrang; 45 B-17s are damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 1 WIA. Escorting are 54 of 62 P-51s; they claim 20-0-3 aircraft without loss. 2. 113 B-24s are sent to bomb communication centers at Ahrweiler (48), Junkerath (31) and Dahlem (27); 74 B-24s are damaged; 3 airmen are WIA. Escort is provided by 243 of 254 P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 3. 152 B-17s are dispatched to hit marshalling yards at Homburg (58) and Kaiserslautern (40) and the rail junction at Homburg; 6 others hit targets of opportunity; they claim 6-4-5 aircraft; 77 B-17s are damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 7 MIA. Escorting are 112 of 117 P-51s; they claim 2-0-0 aircraft without loss. 4. 6 of 6 B-17s fly a screening mission. 5. 163 P-47s and P-51s fly a fighter sweep of the Bonn, Germany area; they claim 46-1-15 aircraft; 3 P-47s and 3 P-51s are lost (all pilots MIA). 6. 20 P-51s fly a scouting mission without loss. Mission 758: 5 B-17s and 7 B-24s are dispatched to drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night; only 10 aircraft drop leaflets. The 374th, 375th and 376th Fighter Squadrons, 361st Fighter Group, based at Little Walden, England with P-51s, begin operating from St Dizier, France; the 486th and 487th Fighter Squadrons, 352d Fighter Group, based at Bodney, England, begin operating from Asch, Belgium with P-51s. TACTICAL OPERATIONS First Tactical Air Force (Provisional): The 405th Fighter Squadron, 371st Fighter Group, ceases operating from Dijon, France with P-47s and returns to base at Tantonville. Ninth Air Force: In Germany, around 500 B-26s and A-20s attack rail bridges, communications targets, villages, a rail junction and targets of opportunity losing 31 bombers; fighters fly bomber escort, armed reconnaissance, and patrols (claiming 100+ aircraft downed and 3 airfields bombed), and support ground forces between Werbomont, Belgium and Butgenbach, Germany along the N battleline of Bulge and the US III, VIII, and XII Corps forces along the S battleline of the Bulge. In Belgium, the L-5s of the 153d Liaison Squadron, IX Tactical Air Command (attached to Twelfth Army Group), cease operating from Liege and return to base at Tongres; the 161st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Group, based at Le Culot begins operating from Conflans, France with F-6s and P-51s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):Bad weather again limits operations to reconnaissance, supply dropping, and escort missions over C and E Europe.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 22/23 Dec, A-20s on intruder patrols hit Po River crossings and targets of opportunity; bad weather during the day grounds the medium bombers; fighter- bombers operate in the W Po Valley, mainly against railway communications; an airfield near Milan is attacked, and several enemy airplanes destroyed.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 12 B-24s from Saipan Island and 14 from Guam Island hit Iwo Jima Island; 3 others from Guam Island, flying armed reconnaissance mission, bomb Woleai Atoll. During the night 2 B-24s from Guam and Saipan fly harassing strikes against Iwo Jima.

(Twentieth Air Force): HQ 313th Bombardment Wing (Very Heavy) and HQ 504th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) and the 398th and 421st Bombardment Squadrons (Very Heavy) arrive at North Field, Tinian Island from the US with B-29s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): In the Philippine Islands, B-24s bomb Fabrica and Silay Airfields on Negros Island; P-38s and P-47s provide cover. B-24s bomb Grace Park Airfield in the suburbs of Manila; on Mindanao Island, B-25s pound San Roque Airfield and the Davao and Zamboanga areas. On Halmahera Island, B-25s and fighter-bombers blast Lolobata, Hate Tabako, and the Goeroea area. Again numerous FEAF aircraft fly various small strikes, armed reconnaissance, and sweeps over the Philippine Islands and the Netherland East Indies; fighter-bombers are especially active against targets in the C Philippine Islands and Halmahera Island. The air echelon of the 17th Reconnaissance Squadron (Bombardment), 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, moves from Biak Island to San Jose, Mindoro Island with B-25s (the squadron is based at Tacloban, Leyte Island).

SUNDAY, 24 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 6 B-25s blast the Kunlong ferry area; 3 B-24s claim 1 tanker sunk in the S China Sea; 100+ P-40s, P-51s, and P-38s on armed reconnaissance attack targets of opportunity throughout S China, especially river, road, and rail traffic, troops, and buildings around Hengyang, Lingling, Siangtan, and Changsha; also Hong Kong area shipping is pounded (1 tanker claimed sunk and other ships damaged) and 30+ enemy aircraft claimed destroyed at Tsinan Airfield; the 16th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, based at Chengkung with P-51s, sends a detachment to operate from Kwanghan (another detachment is at Liangshan).

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 38 P-47s hit troop concentrations and supply areas at Pangkai, Man Namman, Man Om, Mong Nge, and Kyanhnyat; 6 support ground forces in the Si-U sector while 12 hit targets of opportunity along the Sinlum-Nawghkio rail line; and 8 P-47s strafe the Lashio Airfield. 287 transport sorties are flown to forward areas. The detachment of the 6th Fighter Squadron (Commando), 1st Air Commando Group, operating from Fenny, India with P-47s, returns to base at Asansol, India.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

AIRBORNE OPERATIONS

(IX Troop Carrier Command): 160 C-47s drop 160 tons of supplies at Bastogne, Belgium.

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 759: 10 of 12 B-24s hit the La Pallice coastal battery in France without loss. Mission 760: A high pressure front across W Europe brings clear weather and the Eighth AF launches a maximum effort against airfields and communications in W Germany; this was the largest air strike of WWII; 2,034 bombers and 853 fighters are dispatched; they claim 92-6-21 Luftwaffe aircraft; 12 bombers and 10 fighters are lost: 1. 858 B-17s are dispatched to hit airfields at Darmstadt (189), Frankfurt- Rheine (143), Bilbis (100), Babenhausen (96), Zellhausen (85) and Gross Ostheim (60); secondary targets hit are marshalling yards at Pforzheim (37) and Kaiserslautern (24) and Haildraum (60); 26 targets of opportunity are hit by 37 B-17s; they claim 18-5-1 aircraft; 8 B-17s are lost, 11 damaged beyond repair and 337 damaged; 15 airmen are KIA, 21 WIA and 76 MIA. Escorting are 343 of 358 P-51s; they claim 53-0-6 aircraft; 7 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 2. 542 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Merzhausen air depot (198) and airfields at Giessen (74), Kirchgons (54), Nidda (53) and Ettinghausen (43); secondary targets hit are Koblenz (42), Darmstadt (7), Kaiserslautern (5) and Babenhausen (4); 20 B-17s hit a target of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost, 9 damaged beyond repair and 109 damaged; 21 airmen are KIA, 23 WIA and 18 MIA. Escort is provided by 350 of 368 P-51s; they claim 13-1-13 aircraft; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 3. 634 B-24s are dispatched to hit Euskirchen (62), Wittlich (62), Gerolstein (59), Mayen (59), Ahrweiller (54), Bitburg (35), Eller (32), Pfazel (28), Ruwer (27), Schonecken (26), Rheinbach (25), Daun (24), Wetteldorf (18), and Cochem (11); 75 others hit 18 targets of opportunity; 2 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 150 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 5 WIA and 20 MIA. Escorting are 87 of 92 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 4-0-0 aircraft without loss. 4. 24 of 24 P-51s fly a scouting mission; they claim 3-0-1 aircraft without loss. 5. 9 of 11 P-51s escort 9 Spitfires and 8 F-5s on a photo reconnaissance mission over Germany; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft without loss.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): 276 B-26s and A-20s hit rail bridges and communications centers in W Germany; fighters escort the 9th Bombardment Division, fly armed reconnaissance, and support the US III, VIII, and XII Corps along the S battleline of the Bulge, stretching from Echternach, Luxembourg to the area NW of Neufchateau, Belgium as the 4th Armored Division reaches the enemy's ring around Bastogne. The 160th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Group, based at Le Culot, Belgium with F-6s and P-51s, begins operating from Conflans, France.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):Unfavorable weather curtails all but photo and weather reconnaissance missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, weather again holds operations to a minimum however, P-47s carry out very successful raid on Thiene Airfield, causing considerable damage and destroying several enemy airplanes; other missions find little activity and result in the destruction of only a few trucks and trains.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 12 B-24s from Saipan Island and 38 from Guam Island strike Iwo Jima Island and 17 Saipan-based P-38s make a low-level strafing attack on Iwo Jima. 23 other B-24s, based on Saipan, bomb Chichi Jima Island. 2 B-24s on harassment strikes from the Mariana Islands hit Iwo Jima during the night of 24/25 Dec.

(Twentieth Air Force): Mission 15: 29 Mariana Island-based B-29s are dispatched to attack 2 airfields on Iwo Jima Island; 23 hit the primary targets and 1 hits an alternate target without loss. The 482d, 483d and 484th Bombardment Squadrons (Very Heavy), 505th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy), arrive at North Field, Tinian Island from the US with B-29s (first mission is 30 Dec).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): B-24s bomb Clark Field on Luzon Island, Puerto Princesa Airfield on Palawan Island, and Kudat Airfield in Borneo. B-25s and fighter-bombers blast the Goeroea area in the Moluccas Islands, bomb Silay Airfield on Negros Island and on Mindanao Island, hit San Roque barracks, the Zamboanga waterfront, and Davao Bay shipping. Again FEAF aircraft on miscellaneous small operations attack many targets throughout the Netherland East Indies and Philippine Islands.

MONDAY, 25 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 6 B-25s and 8 fighter-bombers knock out a bridge at Wan Pa-Hsa, Burma. 22 P-51s pound a railroad ferry, damage a tanker at Nanking, China, and hit a nearby airfield, claiming 13 aircraft destroyed. 30+ other P-51s, P-40s, and P-38s on armed reconnaissance hit various targets of opportunity around Yungning, Kunming, Kiungshan, and Paoching, China; and Wanling, Man Pong, and Mong Long, Burma. The detachment of the 426th Night Fighter Squadron, Fourteenth AF, operating from Kunming with P-61s, returns to base at Chengtu.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 4 P-47s bomb and strafe troop concentrations and supplies at Mabein; 8 others sweep Burma Road stretches and strafe Lashio Airfield. Transports fly 259 sorties delivering men and supplies to forward bases and frontline areas.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Mission 761: 422 bombers and 460 fighters are dispatched to hit communications centers and rail bridges W of the Rhine River; they claim 49-7-12 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 bombers and 9 fighters are lost: 1. 248 B-24s are sent to hit communications centers at Hallschlag (41), Prum (40), Pelm (37), Murlenbach (33), Pronsfeld (16) and Wahlen (12); targets of opportunity are communications centers at Budesheim (21), Hillesheim (12), Marmegen (11), Nettersheim (10) and Mechernich (9); they claim 3-1-3 aircraft; 4 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 92 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 4 WIA and 40 MIA. Escorting are 144 of 156 P-51s; they claim 6-0-1 aircraft; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 2 damaged beyond repair. 2. 174 B-17s are sent to hit railroad bridges at Ahrweiler (44) and Bad Munster (9), the Kaiserslautern railroad (38) and the Hermeskeil Simmern communications center and Marscheid railroad bridge (36); targets of opportunity are railroad bridges at Bad Kreuznach (17) and Eller (11) and other (1); they claim 0-0-1 aircraft; 1 B-17 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 36 damaged; 9 airmen are MIA. Escorting are 278 of 294 P-51s; they claim 40-6-7 aircraft; 6 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 3. 10 of 10 P-51s fly a scouting missions without loss.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): Nearly 650 B-26, A-20s and A-26s hit rail and road bridges, communications centers and targets of opportunity in W Germany and the breakthrough area; fighters, including an Eighth AF group loaned to the Ninth AF, escort the 9th Bombardment Division, fly patrols and armed reconnaissance, and support the US III, VIII, and XII Corps along the S battleline of the enemy salient from Echternach, Luxembourg to NW of Neufchateau, Belgium.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):253 B-17s and B-24s hit the Brux, Czechoslovakia synthetic oil plant and main marshalling yard at Wels, Austria; 145 others bomb marshalling yards at Plattling and Rosswein, Germany; and in Austria, Villach, Hall, Graz, and 2 at Innsbruck and Innsbruck AA position and rail siding; 30+ fighters escort the Brux-Wels- Rosswein-Plattling raids; other P-38s and P-51s fly reconnaissance escort and cover Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force (MATAF) B-25s on a Yugoslav supply run.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, clearing weather in the Po Valley permits fighter-bombers to successfully cut numerous rail lines running N to the Brenner Pass, and lines in the E Po Valley, destroying or damaging several locomotives; HQ 87th Fighter Wing moves from Caserta to Florence.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 12 B-24s from Saipan Island bomb Iwo Jima Island; B-24s from Guam and Saipan Islands continue night strikes against Iwo Jima during the night of 25/26 Dec.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): B-24s, with fighter support, bomb Mabalacat Airfield on Luzon Island, Sasa Airfield on Mindanao Island, and Sandakan and Jesselton Airfields in Borneo. B-25s, along with RAAF fighter-bombers, hit the Galela area on Halmahera Island. Other B-25s and fighter-bombers pound Mindanao and Halmahera Islands targets again during several smaller raids throughout the day. The 110th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, based at Dulag, Leyte Island, begins operating from San Jose, Mindoro Island with P-40s.

TUESDAY, 26 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 6 B-25s bomb Wan Lai-Kam, Burma and in China, 5 B-25s hit targets of opportunity in the Formosa Strait, in the Siang-Chiang Valley, and at Ikiawan and Changsha and 12 P-51s attack the Tsinan Airfield. 46 P-51s, P-38s, and P-40s hit railroad targets, shipping, storage and other targets of opportunity at or near Kinkiang, Anking, and Ka-chun, China; Lampang, Thailand; and the Mong Long Valley, and Man Pong, Burma.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 B-25s knock out and damage bridges at Taunggon, Padan, and Kyaukhlebein; 34 P-47s hit troop concentrations at Panghai, Mongyu, Na-hsang, Man Om, and Hpa-lin; 8 others hit stores area and a distributing point at Hsenwi, 11 attack supplies at Pangpao, and 2 bomb rafts, boats, and landing points at the Myitson ferry; 4 B-25s fly offensive night reconnaissance against communications lines; HQ 33d Fighter Group moves from Nagaghuli, India to Sahmaw. 275 transport sorties are flown to forward areas. In India, HQ 4th Combat Cargo Group and the 16th Combat Cargo Squadron move from Sylhet to Agartala with C-46s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 762: Poor weather inhibits operations but 151 bombers and 336 fighters are dispatched to hit rail targets behind the Bulge; they claim 11-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 fighters are lost: 1. 74 B-17s are sent to hit the railroad bridge at Neuwied (23) and the Andernach marshalling yard (9); secondary targets hit are the marshalling yard at Neuwied (12) and communications center at Sinzig (12); 1 B-17 hits a target of opportunity, the communication center at Mayen; they claim 0-0-1 aircraft; 30 B-17s are damaged. 2. 77 B-24s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yard at Niederlahnstein (36) and the rail bridge at Sinzig (35) without loss. 3. The bombers are escorted by 249 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 11-0-0 aircraft without loss. 4. 70 of 73 P-51s make a sweep in the Bonn area to support the bombers; they claim 3-0-0 aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 5. 2 of 2 P-51s fly a scouting mission without loss. Mission 763: 3 B-17s and 6 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany during the night.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): The 9th Bombardment Division attacks road junctions, rail bridges, rail head, communications and casual targets in the breakthrough area as the enemy's westward drive ends short of the Maas River; fighters fly escort, armed reconnaissance, sweeps, and support the US III and VIII Corps S of Bastogne, Belgium, as the US 4th Armored Division breaks the ring around the city.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):Around 380 B-24s and B-17s bomb Odertal, and Blechhammer S, Germany, and Auschwitz, Poland oil refineries, a railroad bridge at Ora and viaduct at Avisio, Italy, plus scattered targets of opportunity; 26 P-38s bomb railroad bridge at Latisana, Italy; P-38s and P-51s escort the bomber missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, good weather permits operations in force for the first time in several days; during the night of 25/26 Dec, A-20s bomb the area between the battleline and Bologna, attack lights, motor transport, and railroads in the Po Valley, and hit Vicenza Airfield; during the day medium bombers concentrate on the Brenner Pass and hit Padua, San Ambrogio di Valpolicella, Ponte di Piave, Dolce, the Pordenone railroad bridge, and 2 dumps in the Bologna area; fighter-bombers bomb railways, especially the Brenner line, bridges in the Po Valley, and NE Italy, support US Fifth Army forces S of Bologna and in the Serchio River Valley where the Germans begin a series of counterattacks, and hit shipping at La Spezia and Genoa.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 13 Guam Island-based B-24s hit Iwo Jima Island. 3 from Saipan Island fly armed reconnaissance and bomb Marcus Island. 2 B-24s from the Mariana Islands strike Iwo Jima during the night of 26/27 Dec.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): In the Philippine Islands, B-24s pound Clark Field on Luzon Island; on Mindanao Island, B-25s hit Matina Airfield, shipping in the Davao River, and bomb nearby Samal Island; and B-24s hit Libby airfield; the 418th Night Fighter Squadron, 310th Bombardment Wing (Medium), moves from Morotai Island to San Jose, Mindoro Island with P-61s. On Halmahera Island, B-25s, B-24s, and fighter-bombers hit Galela, Lolobata, and Hate Tabako. Miscellaneous attacks by other FEAF aircraft are flown against targets in N Borneo, NE Celebes, and Halmahera Islands. The 36th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, moves from Hollandia, New Guinea to Biak Island with F-5s (first mission is 25 Mar 45).

WEDNESDAY, 27 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 6 B-25s bomb the area W of Kengtung; 2 B-25s and 8 P-40s hit the Ishan area; 29 P-40s and P-51s attack the area S of Puchi; 17 P-51s over White Cloud, Whampoa, and Tien Ho Airfields in Canton, claim 10 airplanes destroyed; 2 P-51s are lost. 40+ P-40s and P-51s hit targets of opportunity at or near Kweiyi, China; Vinh, Yen, and Mong Khong, French Indochina; and Lungan, Mong Long, and Namtao, Burma.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 B-25s attack bridges at Kin and Kyaukhlebein, damaging the former; 28 P-47s hit troop and supply areas at Se-hai, Man Hkam, Mong Yok, and Mong Nge. 285 transport sorties are flown to forward areas. 4 B-25s continue offensive reconnaissance against communications lines during the night of 27/28 Dec. The 9th Combat Cargo Squadron, 3d Combat Cargo Group, moves from Moran, India to Warazup, Burma with C-47s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 764: Freezing fog at bases in the UK restrict operations but 641 bombers and 390 fighters are dispatched against rail targets in W Germany in support of the battlefront in the Bulge; they claim 29.5-1-9 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 bombers and 5 fighters are lost: 1. 227 B-17s are sent to hit marshalling yards at Fulda (118) and Andernach (63) and the rail bridge at Neuwied (7); 13 others hit a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 45 damaged; 9 airmen are KIA. The escort is 44 of 46 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA). 2. 182 B-24s are dispatched to hit marshalling yards at Neunkirchen (57), Homburg (46) and Kaiserslautern (33) and the rail bridge at Kaiserslautern (19); targets of opportunity are the marshalling yard at St Wendel (9) and the rail junction at Enkenbach (8); 1 B-24 is lost, 5 damaged beyond repair and 60 damaged; 18 airmen are KIA, 11 WIA and 6 MIA. Escorting are 88 of 96 P-51s; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA). 3. 232 B-17s are sent to hit the marshalling yard at Euskirchen (72), the Gerolstein rail junction (58) and rail bridges at Bullay (34) and Altenahr (25); targets of opportunity are Hillesheim (12) and Eckfeld (1); 1 B-17 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 83 damaged; 9 airmen are KIA, 6 WIA and 9 MIA. Escort is provided by 46 of 48 P-51s without loss. 4. 163 P-47s and P-51s fly a fighter sweep and engage about 200 Luftwaffe fighters; they claim 29.5-1-9 aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA). 5. 15 of 15 P-51s fly a scouting missions without loss. Mission 765: A night leaflet mission is flown over Germany.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): The 9th Bombardment Division attacks rail bridges, communications centers, and targets of opportunity in Germany and Belgium; fighters escort the bombers, fly patrols and armed reconnaissance, and support the US 3d Armored and 82d Airborne Divisions in the Manhay and Trois-Ponts area of Belgium, and the III, VIII, and XII Corps in Saint-Hubert-Bastogne-Martelange area of Belgium. Units moving from Chievres, Belgium: HQ 365th Fighter Group and the 388th Fighter Squadron to Metz, France with P-47s; HQ 368th Fighter Group and 395th, 396th and 397th Fighter Squadrons to Juvincourt, France with P-47s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):520+ B-17s and B-24s bomb the Vosendorf oil refinery, Linz ordnance depot, marshalling yards at Wiener- Neustadt, Villach, Klagenfurt, Bruck an der Mur, and Graz, Austria; and Maribor, Yugoslavia and Feldbach, Austria railroad junction; Brenner rail line; Venzone viaduct, and Vipiteno and Bressanone railroad bridges in Italy. 44 P-38s bomb bridges at Latisana and Casarsa della Delizia, Italy. 29 P-51s strafe railroad targets between Vienna and Linz, Austria. Other fighters fly 250+ escort sorties.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, on the night of 26/27 Dec, A-20s bomb pontoon bridges at Ficarolo, road bridges at Ostiglia and Castel Maggiore, San Benedetto Po crossing, Turin Airfield, and several Po Valley roads; medium bombers blast 3 Brenner area routes leading into Austria and Yugoslavia, and bomb 2 supply dumps in the Bologna area; fighter-bombers devote their main effort to support the US Fifth Army in the Serchio Valley area where counterattacks are being successfully halted; other fighter- bombers hit communications in the Po Valley and escort medium bombers and C-47s dropping supplies to Italian partisans.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 13 Saipan Island-based B-24s hit Iwo Jima Island while 21 more bomb Chichi Jima Island; 35 B-24s from Guam Island also pound Iwo Jima while P-38s strafe the island on which 2 B-24s also make snooper strikes during the night of 27/28 Dec.

(Twentieth Air Force): Mission 16: 72 B-29s from the Mariana Islands are sent to bomb Tokyo's Nakajima and Musashino aircraft plants; 39 hit the primary targets and 13 attack alternates and targets of opportunity; enemy fighters are active, flying 250+ individual attacks on the B-29s; B-29s claim 21-10-7 fighters; 3 B-29s are lost, 1 to fighters and 2 to mechanical difficulties. B-29s and crews of the 313th Bombardment Wing (Very Heavy), commanded by Colonel John H Davies, begin to arrive on Tinian Island, joining the the 73d Bombardment Wing (Very Heavy) as the XXI Bomber Command's second operational wing.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): B-24s bomb San Jose and Talisay Airfields on Negros Island and Matina Airfield on Mindanao Island. Small miscellaneous strikes are carried out over Borneo, Celebes Islands, and the Lesser Sunda Islands. HQ 345th Bombardment Group (Medium) and the 498th, 499th, 500th and 501st Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) move from Dulag to Tacloban, Leyte with B-25s.

THURSDAY, 28 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 2 B-25s and 16 fighter- bombers hit town areas, railroad targets, and gun positions in the Hengyang-Leiyang area. 20 P-51s and P-38s attack Gia Lam Airfield, French Indochina, pounding the barracks area, hangars, shops, and railroad facilities. 40+ other P-51s, P-40s, and P-38s on armed reconnaissance over S China and over French Indochina hit targets of opportunity at several locations including areas around Anking, Kinkiang Yungning, Siangtan, and Yuncheng, China; Wanling, Mongyu, Man Pong, and Namtao, Burma; and Hanoi and Lang Son, French Indochina.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 23 P-47s knock out a bridge at Nampawng and damage others at Man Pwe and Hsenwi; 8 B-25s destroy bridges at Kin and Kyaukhlebein, hit an already unserviceable bridge at Padon, damage a bypass road at Lashio and bomb troop concentrations, supplies, and artillery at Mong Hseng, Mong Tat, and Kathe. 297 transport sorties are flown to forward areas. 4 B-25s continue offensive reconnaissance over communications lines during the night of 28/29 Dec. In India, the 5th Fighter Squadron (Commando) moves from Asansol to Fenny with P-47s. The 165th Liaison Squadron (Commando), 1st Air Commando Group, moves from Asansol, India to Kawlin, Burma with UC-64s and L-5s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 3 missions are flown. Mission 766: 1,275 bombers and 606 fighter are dispatched to hit rail and road bridges and several cities in the W German tactical area; 2 bombers are lost: 1. 361 B-24s are sent to hit marshalling yards at Kaiserslautern (123), Homburg (28) and Neunkirchen (18), the Kaiserslautern rail bridge (31) and the bridge at Bullay (20); secondary targets hit are Bierbach (32) and Zweibrucken (20); 12 other hit a target of opportunity; 2 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 121 damaged; 10 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 22 MIA. Escorting are 147 of 161 P-51s without loss. 2. 535 B-17s are dispatched to hit the rail bridge at Irlich (109); 399 hit the secondary, the Mosel marshalling yard at Koblenz; 2 other hit a target of opportunity; 4 B-17s are damaged; 1 airman is KIA. Escort is provided by 236 of 247 P-51s without loss. 3. 379 B-17s are sent to hit marshalling yards at Koblenz/Lutzel (131), Bruhl (75), Sieburg (36), and Troisdorf (11), and the Remagen Bridge (71); 1 B-17s hit the secondary, Sinzig; and 5 hit a target of opportunity; 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 2 damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 2 WIA. Escorts are 158 of 168 P-51s without loss. 4. 27 of 30 P-51s fly a scouting mission. Mission 767: During the night, 7 of 16 B-24s hit de la Colibre, France without loss. Mission 768: During the night, 2 B-24s drop leaflets in Belgium without loss.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): Weather prevents all combat operations except night-fighter missions.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):480+ B-17s and B-24s attack Regensburg oil storage and freight yard in Germany; marshalling yards at Zwettl, Amstetten, Kallwang, Hieflau, and Salzburg, Austria; oil refineries at Kralupy nad Vltava, Kolin, and Pardubice and oil storage and sidings at Roudnice nad Labem and the Nymburk railroad bridge at Kammern, Czechoslovakia; the Brenner rail line; and Bressanone and Venzone railroad bridges in Italy; P-38s and P-51s fly 350+ sorties in support of the bombers.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, medium bombers attack troop concentration at Aulla, a dump at Mirabello Monferrato, 3 rail lines from Austria and Yugoslavia into NE Italy by hitting bridges at Chiusaforte and Bodrez, Yugoslavia, and the viaduct at Borovnica; XXII Tactical Air Command planes support the US Fifth Army in the Serchio Valley, where counterattacks are repulsed, hit roads and bridges, and destroy a number of vehicles, many at a motor transport depot near Aulla which the fighters bomb and strafe; during the night of 27/28 Dec, A-20s bomb lights and motor transport at almost 50 places throughout the Po Valley and Brenner area.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 13 B-24s, flying out of Saipan Island, bomb an airfield on Iwo Jima Island which is hit again during the night of 28/29 Dec when B-24s from Guam and Saipan Islands fly 2 single-plane strikes.

(Twentieth Air Force): Units arriving at North Field, Tinian Island from the US with B-29s: HQ 6th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) and the 24th and 39th Bombardment Squadrons (Very Heavy) (first mission 27 Jan 45); HQ 9th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) and the 1st, 5th and 99th Bombardment Squadrons (Very Heavy) (first mission 25 Jan 45).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): B-25s pound airfields at Laha on Ambon Island, Kairatoe on Celebes Island and Haroekoe on Haroekoe Island while fighter-bombers hit Namlea Airfield on Buru Island. In the Soembawa-Flores Island area in the Lesser Sunda Islands, B-24s attack Japanese shipping. FEAF fighters and bombers on numerous small raids hit targets on Palawan, Mindanao, Borneo, Celebes, Halmahera, Timor and Tanimbar Islands, the Lingayen Gulf, and W of Mindoro Island. The 38th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Thirteenth AF [attached to 4th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance)], moves from Hollandia, New Guinea to Morotai Island with F-5s (first mission is 21 Feb 45).

FRIDAY, 29 DECEMBER 1944

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): 3 B-25s on a fighter decoy mission abort due to weather; 2 of them are missing on the return flight. A B-24 bombs Katoaka on Shimushu Island in the Kurile Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 4 B-25s attack targets of opportunity from Dong Hoa to Lang Son, French Indochina; 37 P-51s and P-40s on armed reconnaissance attack Gia Lam Airfield in French Indochina and hit various targets of opportunity E of Man Pong and N of Mongyu, Burma; and at Shanhsien and Hei-Shih Kuan and E of Tsingsinghsien, China.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 9 B-25s bomb troops and supplies at Panma; 15 P-47s hit the supply area at Twinnge and troop concentration at Wetwun; 4 B-25s continue armed night reconnaissance over communications facilities. Transports fly 289 sorties to forward bases and frontline areas. A detachment of the 166th Liaison Squadron (Commando), 1st Air Commando Group, begins operating from Arakan, Burma with UC-64s and L-5s (squadron is based at Asansol, India).

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Mission 769: 827 bombers and 724 fighters hit communications targets in W Germany; 4 bombers and 3 fighters are lost: 1. 219 B-17s are dispatched to hit marshalling yards at Frankfurt (124), and Aschaffenburg (67); 10 hit the secondary, the Frankfurt S marshalling yard; and 9 hit a target of opportunity; 1 B-17s is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 101 damaged; 5 airmen are WIA and 12 MIA. Escorting are 267 of 282 P-51s; 2 are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 2. 304 B-17s are sent to hit the Bingen marshalling yard (144), Bullay rail bridge (74) and communication center at Wittlich (50); targets of opportunity are Grosslittgen (12) and one near Diekirch (13); 2 B-17s are lost and 132 damaged; 11 airmen are WIA and 15 MIA. Escorting are 61 of 64 P-51s; 1 is lost. 3. 262 B-24s are sent to hit communications centers at Schleiden (9), Zulpich (31), Stadtkyll (32) and Drum (10), the Irlich rail bridge (51), the Gerolstein marshalling yard (26) and the Remagen Bridge (30); targets of opportunity are Fensbach (19), Duppach (8) and 10 others; 1 B-24 is lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 95 damaged; 17 airmen are KIA and 5 WIA. Escort is provided by 106 of 119 P-51s without loss. 4. 38 B-17s are sent to hit the Lunebach communications center (35); 1 hits the Telm marshalling yard; 23 B-17s are damaged. Escorting are 101 of 104 P-51s without loss. 5. 4 of 4 B-17s fly a screening mission. 6. 81 P-47s and P-51s fly a fighter sweep against rail transportation without loss. 7. 26 of 27 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): Weather causes the recall of 100+ bombers except for 7 which bomb Saint-Vith, Belgium communications center and Keuchingen, Germany road bridge; the XIX Tactical Air Command flies armed reconnaissance over Belgium and Germany and supports the US III, VIII, and XII Corps in the Neufchateau-Bastogne-Arlon areas of Belgium. In France, HQ 100th Fighter Wing moves from St-Dizier to Metz; the 386th Fighter Squadron, 365th Fighter Group, moves from Chievres, Belgium to Metz with P-47s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Fifteenth Air Force):Almost 450 B-17s and B-24s attack marshalling yards at Innsbruck and Salzburg, Austria; Passau, Rosenheim, and Landshut, Germany; and 2 at Verona, Italy; the Brenner rail line, and in Italy, the Castelfranco Veneto and Udine locomotive repair depots, and Bressanone railroad bridge. 14 P-38s bomb road a bridge S of Rosenheim, Germany. Around 300 other P-38s and P-51s fly escort and reconnaissance missions.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 28/29 Dec, A-20s pound motor transports, ferry crossings, road bridges, rail line, and targets of opportunity throughout NW and NC Po Valley; medium bombers during the day blast the Rovereto bridge and Lavis viaduct, attack several bridges in NE Italy destroying the center span of the bridge at Pordenone, and severely damage the bridge at Motta di Livenza; fighter-bombers concentrate on communications targets in the extreme W end of the battle area, with excellent results on bridges in the Massa Lombarda area and destroy numerous vehicles and several locomotives.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 26 B-24s, based on Guam Island, pound Iwo Jima Island which is bombed again for a 6-hour period during the night of 29/30 Dec, by 9 B-24s, flying at varying intervals.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): B-24s bomb Sasa Airfield on Mindanao Island while B-25s and fighter-bombers hit Namlea on Buru Island. Fighter-bombers hit NE Celebes airfields while B-24s bomb Limboeng on Celebes Island. FEAF aircraft fly small strikes against a wide range of targets in N Borneo, the C Philippine Islands, S Luzon Island, and on Timor Island. The air echelon of the 82d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, begins operating from San Jose, Mindoro Island with F-6s and P-40s (squadron is based on Morotai Island).

SATURDAY, 30 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 4 B-24s damage a bridge W of Kengtung, China while 2 others NE of Thanh Moi, French Indochina, damage a bridge, railroad tracks, and 40+ boxcars. 40+ P-51s and P-40s on armed reconnaissance attack targets of opportunity at several points including areas around Mong Nawng, Man Pong, and Mong Long, Burma; and Ka-chun, Shanhsien, Ichang, and Shayang, China.

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 12 P-47s knock out and damage bridges at Man Pwe, Ho-hko (2 bridges), and Inailong; 17 B-25s blast a troop and supply area at Kyatpyin; 28 P-47s and P-38s hit troops, supplies, and areas of enemy activity at Myethin, Manna, Nanponpon, Lawa, Sabenago, Hmattawmu, and Hosi. Transports complete 338 sorties to forward areas. 4 B-25s continue a single-plane offensive reconnaissance over communications lines during the night of 30/31 Dec.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 770: 1,315 bombers and 572 fighters are sent to attack rail and communications targets in W Germany; 4 bombers and 2 fighters are lost: 1. 526 B-17s are dispatched to hit marshalling yards at Kassel (314) and Mannheim (181); 9 other hit a targets of opportunity; 3 B-17s are lost and 37 damaged; 24 airmen are MIA. Escorting are 301 of 325 P-51s; 2 are lost (pilots MIA). 2. 414 B-17s are sent to hit rail bridges at Bullay (72) and Kaiserslautern (72) and the marshalling yard at Bischoffsheim (35); secondary targets are the marshalling yards at Kaiserslautern (144) and Mainz (45); and 25 hit the city of Kassel; 1 B-17 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 24 damaged; 12 airmen are KIA and 6 MIA. Escort is provided by 144 of 154 P-51s without loss. 3. 369 B-24s are sent to hit rail bridges at Altenahr (61), Auskirchen (91), and Irlich (58), the Irlich rail bridge (58), the Remagen Bridge (57) and the marshalling yard at Mechernich (87); 1 B-24 is damaged. The escort is 63 of 72 P-47s without loss. 4. 6 of 6 B-17s fly a screening mission. 5. 20 of 21 P-51s fly a scouting mission. Mission 771: 8 B-24s and 3 B-17s drop leaflet in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany during the night.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): Weather forces the recall and cancellation of the 9th Bombardment Division and IX Tactical Air Command missions; the XXIX Tactical Air Command (Provisional) flies armed reconnaissance over the battle area and around Wallersheim, Germany and the XIX Tactical Air Command covers large areas of France, Belgium, and Germany hitting numerous ground targets and supports the US III, VIII, and XII Corps in the Saint-Hubert and Bastogne, Belgium and the Diekirch, Luxembourg areas.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy, medium bombers concentrate a major effort on rail line running N to the Brenner Pass, hitting a fill at Dolce and bridges at Calliano, Ala, and Santa Margherita d'Adige, and ammunition dump at Bologna; fighter-bombers blast road bridges, support the US Fifth Army SE of La Spezia, and hit bridges in the Mantua and Modena areas; during the night of 29/30 Dec, A-20s hit targets of opportunity at numerous N Italian locations, including Ghedi Airfield, and a train S of Mantua.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): 14 Saipan Island-based B-24s bomb Iwo Jima Island which is hit again over an almost 7-hour period during the night of 30/31 Dec by 9 B-24s singly operating from Guam Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): In the principal action of the day, fighter-bombers pound airfields in the C Philippine Islands, N Borneo, and N and SW Celebes Island while B-25s hit a barge anchorage and supplies at Haroekoe Island. Smaller strikes by B-25s, B-24s, and fighter-bombers are flown against shipping, oil targets, airfields, and targets of opportunity throughout the Philippine Islands and the Netherland East Indies. HQ 322d Troop Carrier Wing is activated at Hollandia, New Guinea. Units moving from Leyte Island to San Jose, Mindoro Island: HQ 3d Bombardment Group (Light) and the 8th, 13th, 89th and 90th Bombardment Squadrons (Light) from Dulag with A-20s; HQ 49th Fighter Group and the 7th and 9th Fighter Squadrons from Tacloban with P-38s; and HQ 58th Fighter Group from San Roque.

SUNDAY, 31 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): 4 B-24s claim 1 freighter sunk and another damaged off Hainan Island. 4 B-25s damage 2 bridges and destroy or damage 5 buildings at Mong Ping, Burma. In China, 35 P-40s and P-51s attack troops, horses, town areas, and railroad targets at or near Hankow, Saiping, Siangtan, Hengyang, Lingling, and Kweilin. 29 other fighters on armed reconnaissance hit targets of opportunity at several points in N French Indochina, E Burma, and S China. The detachment of the 16th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, operating from Liangshan with P-51s, returns to base at Chengkung (another detachment is operating from Kwanghan).

INDIA-BURMA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 28 P-47s strafe Laihka, Namsang, Aungban, Kunlon, and Heho Airfields; 5 P-47s damage a bridge at Namhkai; a total of 65 P-47s and P-38s hit Japanese Division HQ at Ongyaw and troop concentrations and supply areas at Mongmit, Nawngka, Kawngtawng, Pangnim, Mong Tat, Kutkai, and Man Namman; a few B-25s fly night harassment missions against airfields. About 300 transport sorties are flown to forward areas throughout the day.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown. Mission 772: 1,327 bombers and 785 fighters hit both strategic and tactical targets in Germany; they encounter about 150 Luftwaffe fighters, mostly in the Hamburg area, and claim 88.5-11-21 aircraft; 27 bombers and 10 fighters are lost: 1. 526 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil industry targets at Hamburg (68), the Wilhemsburg refinery at Hamburg (92), the Grassbruk refinery at Hamburg (71) and the Misburg refinery (96), and the industrial area at Wenzendorf (62) and Hamburg (72); targets of opportunity are Stade (13) and Nordholz (9) Airfields, Heligoland Island (1) and other (17); they claim 26-8-16 aircraft; 27 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 288 damaged; 5 airmen are KIA, 29 WIA and 248 MIA. 316 P-47s and P-51s escort and claim 59.5-2-5 aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; 2 P-47s and 7 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA). 2. 418 B-17s are sent to hit marshalling yards at Neuss (109) and Krefeld- Urdingen (83), the Kordel railroad at Ehrang (69), communications targets at Buzburg (34), Prum (37), and Blumenthal (34), the Lutzweiler Bridge at Koblenz (48) and the Remagen Bridge (54); 22 hit the secondary target at Monchen-Gladbach; and 2 hit a target of opportunity; 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 29 damaged; 1 airman is WIA. Escorting are 162 of 171 P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft without loss. 3. 371 B-24s are sent to hit bridges at Engers (60) and Irlich (56) and the Gus Rail Bridge at Koblenz (62) and the rail junction and rail bridge at Euskirchen (30); 10 hit the secondary, the Bingen marshalling yard and 36 hit a target of opportunity; they claim 0-1-0 aircraft; 3 B-24s are damaged beyond repair and 49 damaged; 1 airman is WIA. Escort is provided by 198 of 211 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 4. 13 of 16 P-51s escort 7 F-5s and 2 Spitfires on a photo reconnaissance of the Berlin area without loss. 5. 32 of 33 P-51s fly a scouting mission claiming 1-0-0 aircraft. Mission 773: 8 B-24s and 2 B-17s drop leaflets in France, Germany and Belgium.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): Weather grounds the bombers; fighters fly sweeps and armed reconnaissance, attacking numerous ground targets; the XIX Tactical Air Command supports the US III, VIII, and XX Corps around Bastogne, Belgium and between the Mosel and Saar Rivers, in Germany in the Merzig area. The 14th Liaison Squadron, XIX Tactical Air Command (attached to Twelfth Army Group) moves from Nancy, France to Luxembourg City, Luxembourg with L-5s. The 387th Fighter Squadron, 365th Fighter Group, moves from Chievres, Belgium to Metz, France with P-47s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 30/31 Dec, A-20s again fly intruder missions, bombing a variety of targets, including motor transport, bridges, and railroads in the Po Valley; during the day medium bombers hit the bridge at Bodrez, railroads at Piazzola Sul Brenta and near Padua, and a dump; the XXII Tactical Air Command fighter- bombers destroy 5 and damage 2 railway bridges in the Po Valley, cut rail lines at numerous places, destroy several locomotives, and destroy or damage 200+ railway cars.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): From Guam Island 19 B-24s hit Iwo Jima Island airfields during the day; 10 more B-24s hit the island with individual harassment raids over a 6-hour period during the night of 31 Dec/1 Jan.

(Twentieth Air Force): Brigadier General Haywood S Hansell, Jr, and his XXI Bomber Command Forward Echelon HQ staff close the Saipan Island HQ and move to Guam Island where the ground echelon arrived in early Dec.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): B-24s and B-25s bomb airfields in the C Philippine Islands, on Luzon and Mindanao Islands. Other B-24s bomb Ambesia Airfield on Celebes Island, hit Dili on Timor Island, and pound airfields and supply areas throughout Halmahera Island. Fighter-bombers are active against airfields, shipping, AA guns, and various targets of opportunity on Halmahera Island and on N Celebes Island. The 63d Troop Carrier Squadron, 403d Troop Carrier Group, based on Biak Island with C-47s, ceases operating from Noemfoor Island. The ground echelon of the 82d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, begins a movement from Morotai Island to Luzon Island (air echelon is operating from San Jose, Mindoro Island with F-6 and P-40s). The 550th Night Fighter Squadron, XIII Fighter Command, based at Hollandia, New Guinea with P-61s, sends a detachment to operate from Middleburg Island.