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April 18, 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology


ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): Three B-24s fly armed reconnaissance over Matsuwa, Onnekotan, and Paramushiru; cloud cover and lack of moonlight permit only bombing of Kashiwabara Airfield and the Banjo Cape area.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 7 B-24s bomb an oil plant at Yenangyaung while 5, along with 7 P-38s, hit Ywataung; Six B-25s score numerous hits on the Mandalay-Shwebo railroad; and 15 B-25s and 4 P-51s bomb Kamaing and hit the Myitkyina-Bhamo road.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): HQ 33d Fighter Group moves from Karachi to Shwangliu, China. Lost on a sea search anti-shipping sea sweep off Hong Kong is B-24D "Sweepy Time Gal" 42-40622 (MIA / POW).

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): The first 7th Air Force attack against the Mariana Islands takes place as B-24s escorting USN aircraft on a photographic reconnaissance mission from Eniwetok bomb Saipan. Other B-24s staging through Eniwetok hit Truk. B-25s from Tarawa bomb Ponape; B-24s from Kwajalein bomb Wake after failing to find shipping reported in the area; and B-25s from Abemama bomb Jaluit and Maloelap, using Majuro as a shuttle base between strikes. 19th Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group, moves from Kualoa Field to Bellows Field with P-47s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 14 B-24s bomb the airfield at Satawan. 23 B-25s, weathered out of Vunakanau, bomb Tobera Airfield; 12 others and 9 fighter-bombers which fail to reach Rapopo bomb the airstrip at Keravat; Vunapope is hit by about 40 fighter-bombers, with considerable damage to the supply area. Lost is F-5B 42-67328 (MIA) and P-38J 42-67788 (MIA).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): The newly created (11 Apr) Thirteenth Air Task Force (Provisional) commanded by Major General St Clair Streett and temporarily composed of elements of the Thirteenth Air Force (which is being moved to the SWPA), a few Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) squadrons, USN Seventh Fleet air units, and Fifth Air Force units in the Admiralty Islands and New Britain, is placed under operational control of Fifth Air Force Advanced Echelon. Operating out of Momote Airfield, B-24s of Thirteenth Air Task Force bomb Woleai and Mariaon. B-24s of the Fifth Air Force hit Manokwari and Babo; and the Madang area is hit by fighter-bombers. HQ 54th Troop Carrier Wing moves from Port Moresby to Nadzab.

RAAF: Lost on a delivery flight is Spitfire A58-309 (KIA)

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