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July 16, 1945
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

MONDAY, 16 JULY 1945

ZONE OF INTERIOR (ZI): At 5:30am the first atomic device "gaget" is successfully detonated at Trinity Site on White Sands Proving Ground near Alamogordo in New Mexico.

ALEUTIAN ISLANDS (Eleventh Air Force): Two B-24s fly a negative shipping search mission to Shimushiru. Four B-25s on an enemy shipping sweep deck-level bomb and strafe an enemy freighter; 3 of the bombers then bomb and strafe Torishima Retto, the secondary target.

CENTRAL PACIFIC (Twentieth Air Force): HQ Twentieth AF is officially moved from Washington, DC to Harmon Field, Guam Island; HQ XX Bomber Command is inactivated, effective 18 Jul, and HQ and HQ Squadron XXI Bomber Command is redesignated HQ Squadron, Twentieth AF; thus the Bomber Commands are brought to an end as actual establishments and their wings pass to direct control of HQ Twentieth AF of which Major General Curtis Emerson LeMay takes command on this date. During the night of 16/17 Jul, 469 B-29s fly 4 incendiary raids against Japanese cities without loss. Mission 271: 119 B-29s attack the Namazu urban area destroying 1.4 sq mi (3.6 sq km), 89.5% of the city. Mission 272: 124 B-29s hit the Oita urban area destroying 0.555 sq miles, 25.2% of the city. Mission 273: 94 B-29s attack the Kuwana urban area destroying 0.63 sq mi, 77% of the city; Two other B-29s hit alternate targets. Mission 274: 129 B-29s hit the Hiratsuka urban area destroying 1.04 sq mi, 44.2% of the city; 1 other hits an alternate target. During the day, 5 P-47s hit Yanagawa and 96 P-51s from Iwo Jima hit targets (mainly airfields) at Kameyama, Kiyosu, Komaki Airfield, Okazaki, Suzuko, and Akenogahara; 22 air victories are claimed; 1 P-51 is lost. HQ 21st Fighter Group moves from Central Field to South Field on Iwo Jima.

CHINA THEATER (AAF, China Theater) Fourteenth Air Force: Five B-25s pound enemy truck convoys moving supplies through the Siang-Chiang Valley and south of Kweilin; 60+ P-51s, P-38s, and P-47s continue to hit river, road, and rail traffic, bridges, troops, supplies, and other targets at many points in French Indochina and S and E China.

INDIA-BURMA THEATER (AAF, India-Burma Theater) Major General Thomas J Hanley, Jr assumes command of AAF, India-Burma Theater.

WESTERN PACIFIC [Far East Air Force (FEAF)]: B-24s bomb warehouses at Watampone on Celebes Island. On Luzon, P-51s and B-25s support ground forces in the Kiangan-Baguio sector and an area E of Manila. On Formosa, P-51s on a sweep attack communications targets, hitting a railroad station and a locomotive shed at Byoritsu and scoring a direct hit on bridge SW of Koryu. B-24s, A-26s, B-25s, P-51s and P-47s from Okinawa and Ie Shima pound targets on Kyushu; P-51s hit several east coast targets, concentrating in the Kagoshima Bay area; 27 A-26s, 1 B-24, and 39 P-47s hit the airfield and bridge at Miyazaki; 33 B-24s bomb bridges at Nobeoka; 36 B-25s, a B-24 and an A-26 pound Sadohara bridge; 6 B-24s bomb harbor and town of Aburatsu; and 5 P-47s hit Yanagawa. The 64th Troop Carrier Squadron, 403d Troop Carrier Group, moves from Biak to Dulag with C-47s.

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