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August 5, 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology


ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): A weather mission is followed by a shipping sweep flown by 2 B-25s which is aborted early due to weather.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 14 B-25s bomb the town area of Taungni and stores area at Bilumyo; 50 P-51s also pound the Taungni area; 21 P-47s attack targets of opportunity throughout the widespread area around Bhamo. In India, the 10th Combat Cargo Squadron, 3d Combat Cargo Group, moves from Sylhet to Dergaon with C-47s.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 15 B-25s bomb the town of Wanling; Three B-25s hit Lashio Airfield; 36 P-40s again pound Tengchung; in the Tungting Lake area 50+ P-40s attack communications targets, troops, and numerous trucks.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-25s from Saipan fly two strikes against Guam.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA [SWPA, Far East Air Force (FEAF)]: B-24s bomb personnel and supply areas on Yap; other B-24s bomb oil facilities at Boela a few bomb Sasa Airfield, Philippine Islands while B-25s hit villages and small boats near Seleman Bay, Celebes Islands and afterwards bomb Besar Island, Sunda Islands. B-24s attack a seaplane anchorage at Kokas while P-39s strafe barges in the west Geelvink Bay area; despite bad weather, P-39s manage to hit Luain gun positions and ammunition dump; Lost is B-25H 43-4129 (MIA). HQ 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group and 26th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron move from Nadzab and Hollandia respectively to Biak with F-5s. Lost is B-24J "Blondes Away" 42-110006 (MIA).

Australian Army: At 2:00am inside Cowra POW Camp a bulge sounded by Japanese prisoner Hajime Toyoshima signals the start of the Cowra Breakout (Cowra Riot) when hundreds of Japanese Prisoners Of War (POWs) some armed with tools and sticks make a suicidal charge at the gate and perimeter fence and officers compound. The Australian guards return fire with four dead including Pte Benjamin G. Hardy and Pte Ralph Jones. Some of the Japanese manage to breech the barbed wire using blankets and baseball gloves and escape into the country side but are later rounded or killed. In total, 231 Japanese POWs died in the attempted breakout and three others later died of wounds. Many of the Japanese had self-inflicted injuries or walked into gunfire to kill themselves. The Cowra Breakout was the largest prison break attempt in history.

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