March 3, 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
FRIDAY, 3 MARCH 1944
ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 9 B-24s take off from Shemya to search for enemy shipping, but return due to heavy icing and squalls; 6
P-40s fly a search mission between Shemya and halfway to Attu; and HQ XI Bomber
Command moves from Adak to Shemya.
BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 22 B-25s, some supported by Royal
Air Force (RAF) Spitfires and Hurricanes, bomb the Ft White area; 10 B-25s
and 4 P-51s pound airfields at Katha, Mawlu and Shwebo; 12 B-25s and 8 P-51s
hit railroad targets and a warehouse at Kyaikthin and Kyunhla; 14 B-24s covered
by 22 P-40s hit airfields at Lashio, Hsenwi and Loiwing; 70+ P-40s, A-36s,
P-51s, and B-25s hit fuel storage, supply areas, roads, and other
targets over widespread areas of Burma, including Shingban, Myitkyina, Zigyun,
Mogaung, Manywet, and Washawng; 6 P-38s attack the Okshitpin bridge but the
target is not damaged.
CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): P-40s damage a coal grading building at Campha
Port, French Indochina.
PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s out of Makin bomb Ponape . B-25s from Tarawa hit Maloelap Atoll. This date marks the beginning of
Operation FORAGER, the capture of the S Marianas (Saipan, Tinian, and Guam
) for bases for B-29 strikes against Japan. Seventh Air Force aircraft maintain
neutralization strikes against airfields in the Caroline and continue hitting Wake and the
SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): P-40s and
USN fighters cover a USN dive bomber strike on Rabaul and Simpson Harbor; 24 B-25s follow with an attack on Rabaul,
which later in the day is bombed by 20 B-24s. five P-38s bomb radar installations
at Cape Saint George, while ten P-38s bomb Buka Airfield. P-39s hit targets of opportunity on the eastern part of Shortland and the western part of Buka.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): 30+ B-24s hit
the Hansa Bay and Alexishafen areas
while 20 P-39s attack Madang and Bogadjim and 22 A-20s pound Erima. 14 A-20s
and B-25s hit enemy positions on Los Negros. Lost is F-5B Lightning 42-67363 (MIA).
RAAF: P-40 Kittyhawks from 78 Squadron fly a mission to strafe barges on the north coast of New Guinea. Lost is P-40N Kittyhawk A29-537 (KIA) over Uligan Harbor.