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January 3, 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology


(CBI) BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 22 A-36's and P-51's hit warehouses and dump area at Sahmaw; 19 B-25's, along with 16 P-38's, bomb a pumping station at Yenangyaung, setting oil tanks afire; 10 B-24's follow with a strike on the same target, causing explosions and leaving the target in flames.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 28 B-24's attack the railroad yards at Lampang; 5 fighter-bombers attack the town of Pingkai.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): Twenty-four A-24s from Makin dive-bomb AA positions and radar and radio facilities on Mille. Twenty supporting P-39's strafe the runway of Mille Airfield and oil storage.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 30+ Allied fighters sweep the Rabaul area claiming 6 Zekes shot down. 6 B-24's bomb Kavieng and several others abort due to bad weather. Six B-25's bomb Moisuru bivouac area near Kahili, and fifteen B-25s hit supply areas near the Buka Passage. 23d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), begins movement from Bomber 1 to Munda Airfield with B-24's.

(USN, USMC) Gregory 'Pappy' Boyington commanded 46 fighters, including 8 F4Us from VMF-214, 12 F4Us from VMF-211 and 16 F6F from VF-33 flying from Ondonga. Several planes aborted due to mechanical failures (three from VMF-214). The fighters reached Rabaul for a fighter sweep, flying from 20,000' to 24,000', spotting Zeros below, they dove to intercept (probably 29 Zeros of the 253 Kokutai).  Also, 27 Zeros of the 204 Kokutai already in the air, joined the fight. Lost is F4U Corsair 17915 pilot Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington (POW) and his wingman F4U Corsair 02723 piloted by Captain George M. Ashmun (MIA).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 50+ B-24's and B-25's bomb the Alexishafen area. 20+ A-20's hit positions at Borgen Bay. 388th Bombardment Squadron, 312th Bombardment Group, transfers from Port Moresby to Gusap with P-40's; first mission is 13 Jan; they will transition to A-20's in February. Lost is P-47D piloted by Ghramm (KIA).

RAAF: Force landed is Beaufighter A19-144.

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