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December 18, 1944
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology


CHINA THEATER (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, Thirty-three B-24s bomb the Wuhan area including barracks and administrative buildings at Hankow; Twenty-three B-25s hit Wuchang; Seven B-25s bomb barracks and damage a bridge at Siaokan Airfield while 6 others pound storage buildings at Kunlong; 149 P-40s and P-51s support the Hankow, Siaokan, and Wuchang raids and claim 42 aircraft downed and destroyed on the ground; 20 P-51s and P-38s follow the B-25 strike on Kunlong with napalm attacks, causing considerable damage; 28 other P-40s and P-51s attack various targets of opportunity around Hochih, Nanning and Mengmao, China; Wanling, Burma; and Sang Song and and Phu Lang Thuong, French Indochina. Roughly 200 aircraft from the 14th Air Force carry out a raid on Hankow in conjunction with 77 B-29 Superfortresses from the 20th Air Force.

HQ AAF (Twentieth Air Force): Mission 21: 94 B-29s, flying out of the Chengtu area, are dispatched to drop incendiaries on the docks at Hankow in the first mass fire bomb attack by B-29s; the strike is made in conjunction with 200 aircraft of the Fourteenth AF; 84 bomb the primary target and 5 others hit alternate targets; they claim 1-3-10 Japanese aircraft.

INDIA-BURMA THEATER (Tenth Air Force): Seventeen P-47s destroy bypass bridges at Hinlong, China and Wingkang, Burma. In Burma, 12 B-25s knock out two railroad bridges at Wetlet and damage another at Saye; P-47s hit the airfield at Nawnghkio while 12 others sweep airfields at Anisakan, Hsumhsai, and Nawnghkio; nine fighter-bombers provide close support to ground forces in Namhkam; 17 P-47s attack personnel and supply areas at Man Ton and Hseing- hkai. 292 transports fly men and supplies to forward bases and battle areas. The 427th Night Fighter Squadron, Tenth AF, based at Myitkyina with P-61s, sends a detachment to operate from Kunming.

AAFPOA (Seventh Air Force): Six B-24s from Guam flying armed photo reconnaissance over Moen Airfield, Param Airfield, Eten Airfield and bomb Dublon; after photographing the airfields on the 3 islands, the B-24s return by way of Woleai and Puluwat Atolls, and Namonuito and photograph all three. During the night of 18/19 Dec, four B-24s from Guam and Saipan fly snooper strikes against Iwo Jima.

HQ AAF (Twentieth Air Force): Mission 13: 89 B-29s flying out of the Marianas are sent to hit the Mitsubishi aircraft plant at Nagoya, Japan; 63 hit the primary target and 10 bomb last resort targets and targets of opportunity; they claim 5-11-12 enemy aircraft; 4 B-29s are lost.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA [SWPA, Far East Air Force (FEAF)]: On Leyte, fighter-bombers destroy a bridge on the the Palompon-Cananga road and pound Calatagan Airfield; B-25s hit San Roque Airfield; fighter-bombers attack Tanao Harbor and Tarakan Airfield and targets of opportunity in the Tarakan, Fighter-bombers including P-47s of the 41st Fighter Squadron (41st FS) strafe seaplane facilities at Sanga Sanga lost is P-47D 42-28513 (POW/MIA). Others bomb Haroekoe Airfield.

USN: PT Boats in in Mangarin Bay off San Jose on Mindoro are attacked by three Ki-51 Sonias (misidentified as D3A Vals). During the engagement, a Ki-51 Sonia made a low diving kamikaze attack on PT-300 hitting starboard quarter amidships of the engine room and causing the vessel to break into two pieces with the bow on fire but still afloat for eight hours and the stern sinking immediately.

U. S. Army: The newly created five star rank of "General of the Army" bestowed on General Douglas MacArthur.

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