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May 15, 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

MONDAY, 15 MAY 1944

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 19 B-25s pound targets of opportunity along the Tiddim road; 20+ B-25s and fighter-bombers hit gun positions at Hopin and hit Myitkyina Airfield; 17 P-38s attack Heho and Kangaung Airfield, claiming 15 aircraft destroyed, most of them in the air; Seven B-24s bomb Myitkyina, Kalewa and Mandalay.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): B-25s strike Kengluang bridge, Siam and hit installations near Wan Pa-Hsa, Burma. P-40s strafe troops near Pingkai, Burma, and along Mamien Pass and in the Mengta area of China. 92d Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group, moves from Karachi to Kwanghan with P-47s; first mission is 1 Jun.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): Operations are limited to photo reconnaissance of Jaluit from Kwajalein.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): 24 B-25s and 40+ P-40s, P-38s, and P-39s, along with TBFs and SBDs, pound the area north of Muguai and hit the Maika area between Muguai and Ebery's Lease; 40+ fighters on sweeps over Bougainville and Shortland attack AA positions, trucks and huts at several locations including the Kieta, Cape Friendship and Chabai areas. Allied fighter sweeps continue over the Rabaul area; several targets of opportunity, including a concentration of barges in Keravia Bay, are hit.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): The Wewak-Hansa Bay area is again hit by A-20s, B-24s and fighter-bombers. Lost attacking Dagua Airfield is A-20G "Sweet Milk / Baby Doll II" 43-9113 (MIA). B-24s and B-25s attack numerous targets in the Wakde-Sawar-Sarmi-Maffin Bay areas and on Biak; and HQ 475th Fighter Group and 431st, 432d and 433d Fighter Squadrons move from Nadzab to Hollandia with P-38s. Thirteenth Air Task Force B-24s from Los Negros bomb supply and bivouac areas on Mariaon and Tagaulap and AA guns on Woleai and Paliau at Woleai. Crashed on take off is B-24J 42-110051 (crew KIA, one survivor).

USN: Task Force 77 (TF-77) commanded by RAdm William M. Fechteler, supported amphibious landing at Wakde.

U. S. Army: "Operation Straight Line" amphibious landing at Wakde including the 41st Infantry Division, 163rd Regimental Combat Team (163rd RCT) with the 3rd Engineer Special Brigade, 593rd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment (593rd EBSR). After two days of bitter fighting and moping up, the island was declared secured on May 18, 1944. The battle resulted in 40 KIA and 107 WIA Americans. Nearly the entire Japanese force died including 759 KIA. Four Japanese POWs were captured.



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