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December 17, 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

SUNDAY, 17 DECEMBER 1944

CHINA THEATER (Fourteenth Air Force): Nine B-24s pound the Camranh Bay area. Five B-25s bomb a road at Wan Pa-Hsa, Burma while 12 fighter-bombers hit a nearby railroad bridge, damaging it severely.

INDIA-BURMA THEATER (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, eight P-47s support ground forces in the Namhkam sector; 8 more P-47s hit rail targets of opportunity between Kyaikthin to Kinu, then E to the Irrawaddy River and up the river to Tigyaing; 4 hit rivercraft at Tagaung; 50+ fighter-bombers attack storage areas, vehicles, bivouacs, personnel areas, and general targets of opportunity at Pang-hsao, Kyaukme, Manai, Kutkai, Ma-ugon, Hpa-ye, and Man Namman; 12 more strafe targets of opportunity during a Kyaukme-Nampyao railroad sweep. 290 transport sorties are flown. The 493d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based at Pandaveswar with B-24s, sends a detachment to operate from Luliang to transport gasoline to Suichwan, China.

AAFPOA (Seventh Air Force): Twenty-four B-24s from Saipan and Twenty-six from Guam pound Iwo Jima. Three B-24s from Saipan on armed reconnaissance bomb Woleai and Eauriprik Atolls, Caroline Islands. During the night of 17/18 Dec, B-24s from Saipan and Guam fly three single-plane harassment strikes against Iwo Jima.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA [SWPA, Far East Air Force (FEAF)]: B-24s pound Bacolod Airfield while B-25s hit Silay Airfield, P-40s join U. S. Marine Corps fighter-bombers in attacking the Cananga area and P-38s destroy several aircraft during sweeps; B-25s bomb Likanan while B-24s with P-47 support, hit Jolo Airfield; and fighter-bombers hit positions at Valencia on Mindanao. B-24s and fighter-bombers attack Jesselton Airfield and Laha Airfield.

USN: The newly created five star rank of "Fleet Admiral" is bestowed on Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King. He was the second of four Admirals in U.S. Navy promoted to five start during World War II. The others were: Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and Fleet Admiral William Halsey, Jr.



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