March 23, 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
THURSDAY, 23 MARCH 1944
ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): A detachment of the 11th Fighter Squadron, 343d
Fighter Group, begins operating from Amchitka with P-40s and P-38s; the squadron
is based on Adak.
BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In the Chin Hills region of Burma, 12 B-24s
and 10 P-38s bomb Kalewa, and 9 B-25s attack Kaing and Shwebo; in the Katha
12 P-51s bomb Naba Station while 12 others join 9 B-25s in attacking ammunition
and gas dumps at Indaw; four P-40s bomb stores at Kamaing while 30+ other fighters
fly armed reconnaissance over the Mogaung Valley in general; and 12 B-24s
pound Moulmein jetty and attack Moulmein-Bangkok railroad targets, destroying
2 bridges, damaging several others, and scoring effective hits on 2 trains.
CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, B-25s on a railroad sweep
north from Vinh destroy 2 engines and several boxcars at Van Trai Station yards
and attack 3 bridges between Vinh and Thanh Hoa. HQ 312th Fighter Wing moves
from Kunming to Chengtu.
PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Kwajalein bomb Wake; B-25s flying out of Eniwetok hit Ponape;
and Tarawa based B-25s strike Maloelap and Jaluit, commencing
a series of B-25 shuttle-missions between Tarawa or Makin and
the USN's new base at Majuro which is used as the rearming base
for the return strike.
SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 14 P-38s bomb targets
of opportunity at Komaleai Point on Bougainville. Twenty-four B-25s hit Buka after
weather prevented scheduled attacks on Rabaul. Fighters fly sweeps over Rabaul and
general New Ireland area, and 12 P-40s bomb fuel dump at Keravia Bay;
15 B-24s out of 24 dispatched plow through the bad weather and bomb the
Ratawul supply area.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): Nearly
100 B-24s, B-25s, A-20s and P-47s hit numerous targets in the Aitape, Wewak, Alexishafen,
and Hansa Bay areas; and B-24s bomb Babo and
during the night attack shipping in the Bismarck Sea. Twenty-nine P-40s attack Talasea and nearby
bivouacs, including Gogosi.
Colgate University professor Harold Whitnail professor of geology presents a proposal to the U. S. military that recommends bombing Japan's numerous volcanoes, theorizing that explosions might trigger eruptions. Little did he know, exactly a year prior a 5th Air Force B-17 tried bombing Tuvuvur volcano near Rabaul without results.