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May 21, 1945
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

MONDAY, 21 MAY 1945

CHINA THEATER (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, eight B-25s bomb a bridge approach north of Hankow, 1 damages the railroad track between Changsha and Kweiyi, and 2 score near misses on a bridge at Kuanshuishih; 3 B-25s and 6 P-51s damage a bridge at Chihsien and hit railroad targets of opportunity in the Anyang area; 50+ fighter-bombers on armed reconnaissance continue attacks against river, road, and rail traffic, positions, troops, bridges, and numerous other targets in S and E China.

AAFPOA (VII Fighter Command): During the night of 21/22 May P-47s fly heckler strikes against Kyushu.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA [SWPA, Far East Air Force (FEAF)]: On Luzon, B-25s blast numerous targets in the Cagayan Valley while A-20s and P-51s support ground forces in NW sectors; P-38s napalm-bomb the Ipo Dam and Marikina River sectors and hit positions throughout Negro Island. In Borneo, B-24s hit Brunei, Samarinda Airfields shipyards, and troop concentrations on Tarakan. P-38s strafe railroad rolling stock in the Saigon area.

U. S. Army: During a night attack against high ground near Shuri, U. S. Army medic Pfc Desmond T. Doss remained exposed to enemy fire and risked being mistaken as an enemy infiltrator in order to give first aid to wounded Americans until injured in the legs by a grenade and tended to his own wounds. Instead of exposing anyone else, he waiting five hours before litter bearers reached him but were caught by an enemy tanks and had to take cover. Spotting a more wounded solider nearby, he crawled off the stretcher and directed his rescuers to help the other man first and was hit in his left arm causing a compound fracture. Doss used a rifle stock as a splint for his arm and crawled 300 yards over rough terrain back to the aid station. Afterwards, his injuries were severe enough that he was evacuated to USS Mercy (AH-8). On Okinawa, he was wounded four times and would later earn the Medal of Honor for his actions saving lives.

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