February 1, 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
MONDAY, 1 FEBRUARY 1944
BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, six B-24s bomb Mingaladon Airfield; another
hits the airfield at Nyaungbinwun; 32 P-51s and A-36s and a single B-25 hit Myitkyina Airfield; some of the aircraft then strafe the Radhapur
transport depot and storage area to the NW.
CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China during Feb 44, a detachment of the 16th
Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, based at Chengkung, operates from Nanning
with P-40s; 449th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, transfers from Kunming to Suichwan with P-38s.
PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Makin hit the beach defenses on Kwajalein; P-40s
on armed reconnaissance over Mille strafe a beached
schooner. Operation Catchpole is begun to occupy and defend Eniwetok, which
is to furnish a striking base for operations against the Marianas.
During the operation, Seventh Air Force aircraft operating from newly acquired
bases in the Gilberts and Marshalls neutralize airfields in the Marianas
and continue to pound by-passed airfields in the Marshalls.
USN: "Operation Catchpole" against Eniwetok and Ujelang in the Marshalls is begun to occupy and defend Eniwetok Atoll. Lost are F6F Hellcat 40121 (MIA) and OS2U Kingfisher 5906.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Weather prevents 50 B-24s sent
against installations in the Admiralty Islands from reaching the target; 2
B-24s bomb a freighter NE of Vanimo while a single B-24 on armed
reconnaissance strafes barges in the Solomon Sea. HQ 308th and 309th Bombardment
Wings and 310th Bombardment Wing (Medium) are activated at Oro
Bay, Lae and Gusap respectively; the wings will operate with
various groups that are attached for brief periods. Lost on a ferry flight is B-25D 41-30532 (MIA). Transfers in New Guinea:
8th Bombardment Squadron from Dobodura to Nadzab with
A-20s; 421st Night Fighter Squadron, V Fighter Command from Milne Bay to Nadzab with
P-70s. During Feb 44, a detachment of the 26th Photographic Reconnaissance
Squadron, 6th Photographic Reconnaissance
Group, based at Dobodura, begins operating from Port Moresby with F-5s.