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


ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): Two B-24s fly armed photo reconnaissance over Shimushiru.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): 27 A-36s, P-51s, and P-40s pound Mogaung and Myitkyina, Burma. In India, 30 B-25s fly ammunition to the Imphal area; and 82d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Tezgaon to Pandaveswar with B-25s.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 24 P-40s hit Japanese cavalry forces at Chuchou and several supply boats on the Siang-Chiang River; 10 P-40s destroy or damage several tanks, trucks, and train cars between Loyang and Shanhsien; Twenty-four B-24s bomb the warehouse area at Canton, causing heavy damage.

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Twentieth Air Force): B-29's bomb take off from Chengtu to raid the steel works at Yawata, with the exception of the Eleventh Air Force's raids on the Kuriles, this is the first air attack against Japan since the Doolittle's Raid on April 18, 1942. 47 B-29s operating out of Chengtu bomb the primary target, the Imperial Iron and Steel Works at Yawata. The Twentieth's first combat loss during a bombing mission results when Japanese fighters destroy a B-29 down with engine trouble at Neihsiang Airfield, China.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): HQ 494th Bombardment Group and 864th, 865th, 866th and 867th Bombardment Squadrons arrive at Barking Sands, Territory of Hawaii from the US with B-24s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Thirteenth Air Force): Commander Air Solomons (COMAIRSOLS) is dissolved, to be replaced by a new command, Commander Air North Solomons (COMAIRNORSOLS). HQ Thirteenth Air Force moves from Guadalcanal to Los Negros, from which the B-24s have been operating since Apr as the Thirteenth Air Task Force. Major General St Clair Streett becomes Commanding General Thirteenth Air Force, which becomes part of Far East Air Force (FEAF) (see below). The B-25s and fighters, together with other COMAIRSOLS aircraft, continue to maintain the neutralization of Rabaul and the pounding of the Buka area through July and into August 1944. Lost is TBF Avenger 24390.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA [SWPA, Far East Air Force (FEAF)]: FEAF is formed with jurisdiction over the Fifth and Thirteenth Air Forces. General George C. Kenney becomes Commanding General FEAF, with HQ in Brisbane; HQ Fifth Air Force moves from Brisbane to Nadzab and Lieutenant General Ennis C. Whitehead becomes Commanding General Fifth Air Force. FEAF B-24s, B-25s, A-20s and fighters attack barges in the Manokwari area and a village in the Wakde area. Also bombed are airfields on Timor and Truk. Thirteenth Air Force aircraft still in the Solomon area hit Tobera Airfield and forces on Bougainville.

USN: The Navy supports the amphibious landing on Saipan while carrier aircraft conducts attacks on airfields and shipping in the Bonin and Volcano Islands to the north. Lost is F6F Hellcat 41525 (MIA) on a practice dive-bombing mission on Oahu. Lost in combat SB2C-1C Helldiver 00342 (MIA) and TBF Avenger 48106 (MIA).

USMC: 5th Amphibious Corps including the 2nd Marine Division and 4th Marines Division lands on Saipan with the U. S. Army 27th Infantry Division held in reserve. In total, the American force was approximately 70,000. During initial amphibious landing 20,000 Americans went ashore on the south under heavy Japanese fire.

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