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


ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): A B-24 flies armed reconnaissance over the Kuriles. Another B-24 strikes Onnekotan installations, while two more flying armed photo mission over Kashiwabara and Katoaka, Shimushu Island also strafe buildings on Onnekotan and bomb Nemo Bay. Four B-25s abort a fighter-decoy mission due to weather.

CHINA THEATER (Fourteenth Air Force): 118 P-51s and P-40s on armed reconnaissance over southern China and eastern Burma attack road, rail, and river traffic and other targets of opportunity, mainly in or near Wanling, Mongyu, Monhkong, and Lashio and Hochih, Chinchengchiang, Hong Kong, Sinyang, Lohochai, Leiyang, Kweilin, Sintsiang, Siangtan, Paoching, Liuchenghsien, Hengshan, and Hengyang. HQ 1st Combat Cargo Group moves from Tulihal, India to Tsuyung, China.

INDIA-BURMA THEATER (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 9 B-25s destroy 3 road bridges at Mongmit, bypass bridges at Tangon and Tantabin, and 3 bridges in N Burma; 3 other B-25s blast the ferry area at Thabeikkyin; 12 P-47s knock out the Hay-ti road bridge and damage the Pa-mao bridge; 12 other fighter-bombers sweep the Irrawaddy River from Sheinmaga to Twinnge, strafing several targets of opportunity; 13 P-47s support ground forces in the Namhkam sector; troops, supply areas, and buildings are pounded at Hseing-kai, Tigyaing, Na-kawnkongnyaung, and Man Hkunhawng. Transport operations to front areas total 284 sorties. The 492d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based at Madhaiganij with B-24s, sends a detachment to Luliang to ferry gasoline to Suichwan, China.

AAFPOA (Seventh Air Force): 23 B-24s from Saipan pound Iwo Jima. During the night of 20/21 Dec, six B-24s from Guam and Saipan hit Iwo Jima with 5 snooper strikes.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA [SWPA, Far East Air Force (FEAF)]: 150+ B-24s, B-25s, and fighter-bombers pound 10 airfields throughout the C Philippine Islands and 3 on Mindanao Island. In the Netherland East Indies B-24s hit Malang Airfield and B-25s hit Haroekoe. Numerous other single FEAF flights and small forces attack a large variety of targets of opportunity throughout the Netherland East Indies and the Philippine Islands. HQ 8th Fighter Group and the 35th, 36th and 80th Fighter Squadrons move from Morotai to San Jose with P-38s.

U. S. Army: The newly created five star rank of "General of the Army" bestowed on General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

RNZAF: Crashed is PV-1 Ventura NZ4634 (KIA, one survivor) dropping supplies on Bougainville sole survivor FSgt Neville R. Gardiner.

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