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January 23, 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

SUNDAY, 23 JANUARY 1944

(CBI) BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 19 B-24's, in 2 waves, attack shipping at Mergui, claiming a 350-ft (107 m) vessel and 2 small boats destroyed; 6 B-25's and 16 P-38's knock out a bridge at Myittha, damage a bridge at Samon, and damage several trucks and railroad cars; 28 A-36's and P-51's and a single B-25 pound supply dumps at Kamaing and Mogaung, achieving excellent results; Sixteen P-40's hit Myitkyina Airfield, railroad cars at Pidaung, and a railroad bridge at Loilaw.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 28 P-40's and 9 B-25's from Kweilin pound Kai Tek Airfield and two B-25's heavily damage 3 merchant vessels south of Wenchow.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): 21 B-25's from Tarawa and Abemama hit Taroa; the B-25's claim 3 fighters shot down; 23 B-24's, flying out of Makin and Abemama bomb Wotje at dusk. A single B-24 bombs Mille during return flight after developing engine trouble.

USMC / SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 80 AAF, USN and US Marine Corps fighters support 60+ USN SBD Dauntless on a strike against Lakunai Airfield and Matupi Harbor. They claim 30+ Japanese aircraft; 3 Allied fighters are lost including F4U Corsair 50166 (pilot rescued); later, 40+ fighters sweep the Rabaul area. During the night of 23/24 Jan, 7 B-25's hit Tobera and Lakunai. Twenty P-39's strafe targets of opportunity in the Shortland area. 67th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, transfers from Woodlark to Russells with P-39's.

USMC: Lost is F4U Corsair 50166 (rescued) and F4U Corsair 49891 (POW).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 35 B-24's, with fighter escort bomb Wewak; 50 Japanese fighters intercept; in the ensuing air battle U. S. aircraft claim 12 of the fighters shot down; five US fighters are lost lost is P-40N piloted by Crowley (MIA), P-38H 42-66539 (MIA), P-38J 42-67152 (MIA) and P-38H 42-66852 (MIA); P-39's strafe barges and AA positions at Uligan Harbor and on the Rai Coast, lost is P-39 piloted by McAlarney (MIA). In New Britain, A-20's hit forces and AA positions near Cape Raoult and Gasmata. B-24's hit Flores. 25th Liaison Squadron, V Bomber Command attached to 512th Photographic Wing (Provisional), begins moving from Brisbane to Lae with L-5's.

JAAF: Shot down is Ki-43 pilot Nongo (MIA).



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