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January 20, 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
THURSDAY, 20 JANUARY 1944

(CBI) BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In N Burma, 40+ A-36's and P-51's hit storage dumps along the railway in the Mogaung area and billets and warehouse area at Mohnyin. In S Burma, 16 P-38's and 6 B-25's knock out a railroad bridge, pipeline, and railroad tracks in the Nattalin area.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Two B-24's on sweep from Hong Kong to Swatow, China attack a freighter and a tanker, which are reported sinking.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): 13 B-24's, staging through Tarawa hit Wotje during the night of 19/20 Jan. Lost is B-24D "Sexy Sue" 41-23938. Eight B-25's from Abemama bomb Rakaaru; other B-25's sent from Tarawa Atoll against shipping at Ailinglapalap Atoll, abort because of bad weather; nine P-40's from the Gilberts strafe a corvette and a schooner at Jaluit, mortally damaging both vessels; four other P-40's bomb Mille. HQ 11th Bombardment Group and 98th Bombardment Squadron transfer from Funafuti and Nukufetau respectively to Tarawa with B-24's.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): Several targets on Bougainville are bombed by two squadrons of B-24's. 18 B-25's, with about 70 escorting fighters, pound Vunakanau Airfield including a fuel dump and gun positions. Lost is B-25C "Skilla" 42-64570 (MIA), B-25 pilot Warner (rescued) and P-38J "Hollywood Hep Cat" 42-67618 (MIA). HQ 42d Bombardment Group (Medium) and 75th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) transfer from the Renard Field to Sterling with B-25's.

USMC: Lost are F4U 02402 (MIA), F4U 17914 (POW) and F4U 55835 (MIA).

IJN: Shot down is A6M Zero piloted by Ishida.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 37 B-25's and a B-24 bomb and strafe the Hansa Bay area; P-39's strafe troops at Weber Point. 25 A-20's hit positions between Borgen Bay and Rein Bay and hit barge hideouts and enemy held areas on Gasmata. Transfers in New Guinea: HQ 71st Reconnaissance Group from Port Moresby to Nadzab; "A" flight of the 110th Reconnaissance Squadron (Fighter), 71st Reconnaissance Group, based at Port Moresby, begins operating from Gusap with P-39 Airacobras. Lost is P-39Q 42-19041 (KIA).

60+ B-25s from the 38th BG bomb escorted by P-47s attack Shaggy Ridge. On the ground, Australian Army troops used grey pannels to mark their positions and the forward lines. The bombers made solo attacks dropping 500 pound bombs then made multiple strafing runs. The P-47s also strafed. Afterwards, the 38th BG received a special commendation from the Australian Army. Reference: Sun Setters of the Southwest Pacific Area pages 269-270



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