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July 20, 1945
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

FRIDAY, 20 JULY 1945

ALEUTIAN ISLANDS (Eleventh Air Force): Eight B-24s fly the heaviest and most successful mission of the month, bombing hangars and revetments at Matsuwa Airfield. The detachment of the 11th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group, operating from Amchitka with P-38s and P-40s since March 44, returns to Adak.

CENTRAL PACIFIC [US Army Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific (USASTAF)] Twentieth Air Force: The 393d Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy), 509th Composite Group, begins a series of 12 precision attacks over Japan for the purpose of familiarizing the crews with the target area and tactics contemplated for the scheduled atomic bomb missions; the strikes (on 20, 24, 26, and 29 Jul) are mostly against (or near) cities previously bombed, in the general area of cities chosen for possible atomic attack, and involve from 2 to 6 aircraft in order to accustom the Japanese to sight of small formations of B-29s flying at high altitudes. 94 P-51D Mustangs from Iwo Jima are dispatched against targets, mainly airfields, at Kamezaki, Meiji Airfield, Okazaki, Nagoya, Kagamigahara Airfield, Hamamatsu, and Komaki Airfield; they claim 1-11 Japanese aircraft on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost.

CHINA THEATER (AAF, China Theater) Fourteenth Air Force: Ten B-25s and six P-51s hit truck convoys around Hengyang and Wuchang, and storage on an island near Changsha, China, locomotive shops at Phu Thuong, and power plant and railroad targets in the Vinh, French Indochina area. 50+ P-51s, P-38s, and P-61s disrupt enemy movement and general withdrawal in Indochina and S and E China, attacking river, road, and rail traffic, coastal shipping, supplies, and other targets. The 115th Liaison Squadron, Fourteenth AF, moves from Nagaghuli to Chengkung, China with L-1s, L-4s and L-5s.

WESTERN PACIFIC [Far East Air Force (FEAF)]: P-38s attack the town of Langkon, Borneo. On Celebes Island, B-24s pound Togian Island and P-38s hit targets of opportunity on the SW. B-25s hit Itu Aba Island, China and west of Palawan for the second consecutive day. On Luzon, A-20s and fighter-bombers support the ground action in the Kiangan area and in the lower Cagayan Valley while B-25s and fighter-bombers hit Japanese positions in the Marikina and Infanta areas. B-24s bomb an area S of Fabrica. Unit moves: The detachment of the 419th Night Fighter Squadron, XIII Fighter Command, operating from Zamboanga with P-61s, returns to base at Puerto Princesa; 498th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 345th Bombardment Group (Medium), from Clark Field, Luzon to Ie Shima with B-25s. Lost is P-38L "Blood & Guts" 44-25600.



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