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August 20, 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

SUNDAY, 20 AUGUST 1944
ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, four B-25s fly a negative shipping sweep.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 24 P-47s and P-51s fly close support strikes for ground forces immediately S of Thaikwagon; four P-51s hit targets of opportunity at Myintha and Aledaw; and the detachment of the 88th Fighter Squadron, 80th Fighter Group, operating from Myitkyina with P-47s returns to base at Shingbwiyang.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 4 B-25s and 7 P-40s damage buildings and a pontoon bridge and strafe about 30 sampans in the Hengyang area; 13 P-40s hit buildings, trucks, and river shipping in the Hengshan area; and 60+ P-40s and P-51s attack numerous trucks, rivercraft, and general targets of opportunity at Tingka, Anjen, Yangtien, S of Yoyang, between Hankow and Chinchiang, and between Sinshih and Changsha.

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Twentieth Air Force): During the day, 61 B-29s from Chengtu Airfield bomb the Yawata Steel Works. Over the target, the formation experiences anti-aircraft fire and is intercepted by over 100 Japanese fighters. B-29 gunners claimed 15 Japanese fighters destroyed. Fourteen B-29s are lost, including 1 to AA and 4 to enemy aircraft (1 by air-to-air bombing and two from a single ramming by a Ki-45 piloted by Sgt Nobe); B-29 gunners claim 17 air victories. Lost are: B-29 "Gertrude C" 42-6368 (MIA), B-29 "Calamity Sue" 42-6368 (MIA / POW), B-29 42-24474 (MIA / POW), B-29 "Praying Mantis" 42-6286 (MIA), B-29 "O'Reily's Daughters" 42-6264 (Rescued / MIA). During the night of 20/21 Aug, ten B-29s hit five targets other than the primary.

JAAF: Defending Yawata Steel Works, 87 JAAF fighters intercept including Ki-45 Nicks from the 4th Sentai, Ki-84 Franks of the 16th Flying Brigade (51st Sentai and 52nd Sentai), Ki 61s of the 59th Sentai and a few Ki-43s fighters of the 48th Sentai. The Army fighters claimed 12 sure victories for two fighters lost. Ki-45 piloted by Sgt Nobe rams B-29 "Gertrude C" 42-6368 the first deliberate ramming of B-29s over Japan and a piece of wreckage hit the tail of B-29 "Calamity Sue" 42-6368 causing it to enter a spin and also crash.

IJN: Defending Yawata Steel Works, 33 A6M Zeros plus four J1N1 Gekkos from 352 Kokutai. The Navy fighters claimed four including two by Lt(jg) Sachio Endo whose Gekko went down in a crash landing with Endo surviving.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): B-24s from Saipan bomb Yap for the first time. A single B-24 bombs Alamagan, while P-47s pound Pagan. B-24s from the Marshalls bomb Truk.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA [SWPA, Far East Air Force (FEAF)]: B-24s bomb Namlea and Namlea Airfield and others pound personnel areas and warehouses at Tobelo, Halmahara Island. In New Guinea, B-25s bomb Langgoer Airfield; P-39s hit Windissi and enemy shipping off Manokwari while P-40s pound gun positions, buildings and stores at Manokwari; other P-40s support ground forces by hitting troop concentrations at Napido; A-20s and fighter-bombers hit a personnel center near Marubian, supplies at Wom, and numerous targets during coastal sweeps in the Wewak general area; and the 23rd Bombardment Squadrons and 31st Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), move from Momote Airfield to Wakde Airfield with B-24s. The 528th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 380th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Fenton to Darwin with B-24s.

USN: Force landed on the Kamchatka Peninsula is PV-1 49507 (survived, interned).



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