Saturday, May 25, 2024

80 Years Ago, Thursday 25 May 1944

 Operation FORAGER

The first elements of the Saipan invasion force depart their training areas in Hawaii. (see USMC below)  The troops will not land until 15 June, after three weeks at sea and a 3700 mile transit.   The vast distance meant that the FORAGER troops deployed two weeks ahead of their counterparts in England for OVERLORD and landed a week later.  The logistics build up, moving supplies and equipment to the staging areas had started many months ahead of that. 



Submarine Flying Fish (SS-229) attacks Japanese convoy, sinking guardboat Daito Maru and merchant cargo ship Osaka Maru north of Palau, 11°14'N, 135°12'E.


Destroyer Kendrick (DD-612) shells German positions in the Ardea, Italy, area; enemy shore battery fire improved but inflicts no damage.


Eighth AF

859 B-17’s and B-24’s operating in 4 forces bomb marshalling yards at Mulhouse, Troyes, Tonnerre, Belfort, Sarreguemines, Thionville, Metz, Blainville-sur-l’Eau, Liege, Brussels, Alost, and Charleroi; airfields at Esseyles-Nancy and Bretigny-sur-Orge; and coastal batteries at Fecamp and Saint-Valery-en-Caux. 2 heavy bombers are downed by AA fire and 2 are lost to unknown causes.

Ninth AF

Over 225 medium bombers attack bridges near Liege and airfields at Lille/ Nord and Monchy-Breton. About 250 P-47’s dive-bomb various targets in NW Europe.

Twelfth AF

Twelfth AF has most active day to date against enemy forces in Italy. Some medium bombers continue to pound bridges in NC Italy, damaging several bridges and viaducts, while others join fighter bombers and light bombers in close support of ground troops in battle area and behind enemy lines. Motor transport N and S of Rome and N of Anzio is hit hard by the air attacks. US Fifth Army achieves a solid front with junction of VI Corps (Anzio force) and II Corps (advancing along W coast) during the morning near Borgo Grappa.

Fifteenth AF

340-plus B-17’s and B-24’s attack marshalling yards at Lyon, Carnoules, Amberieu-en-Buguey, and Givors, while another 250-plus heavy bombers hit Porto Marghera oil stores, Monfalcone harbor and shipping, and Piacenza A/F and dispersal area. P-38’s and P-51’s fly more than 200 sorties in support.

SE Europe

German paratroops attack Marshal Tito’s HQ in Bosnia, but Tito and Maj Randolph Churchill escape to the mountains.

Tenth AF

28 P-38’s sweep over Mandalay area. 12 of them hit about 10 railroad cars near Shwebo, leaving them burning. In the Chindwin area 20 A-31’s attack a bivouac and score hits on Manipur R bridge at Tonzang. B-24’s hit targets in Katha area, 6 of them bombing Indaw and 4 bombing Naba rail junction area.

Fifth AF

B-24’s attack shipping at Halmahera and hit Mokmer and targets in Wakde area. 90-plus fighter bombers, A-20’s, B- 25’s, and B-24’s pound numerous targets in Wewak area.

Thirteenth AF

3 B-24’s bomb Rabaul, Lakunai, and Rapopo. 8 P-38’s hit Vulcan Crater barge hideout. 12 B-25’s, clouded out of Vunakanau, hit Talili Bay supply area. 15 B-25’s, 32 P-39’s, and P-40’s, and 25 Navy dive bombers hit supply areas at Porton. 4 other P-40’s hit trucks at Monoitu Mission. 16 P-39’s attack several targets of opportunity, including Cape Lalahan radar station.

Seventh AF

B-25’s flying out of Engebi bomb Ponape.

Eleventh AF

1 Shemya-based B-24 flies reconnaissance and bombing mission in the C Kurils. Another B-24 aborts due to equipment failure.


NEW GUINEA—Command of TF TORNADO (Wakde-Sarmi) passes from Gen Doe, 41st Div ADC, to Brig Gen Edwin D. Patrick. HQ, RCT 158, replaces HQ, RCT 163, as TORNADO HQ. Gen Doe is to head assault force for Biak operation. TF HURRICANE leaves Humboldt Bay for Biak in evening. Continuing W toward Sarmi, with 1st Bn in the lead, 158th Inf takes Maffin No. 1 against scattered opposition. 1st and 2d Bns cross Tirfoam and press W toward next objective, Lone Tree Hill, against strong resistance.

CBI—In NCAC area of Burma, Ind 3d Div columns begin withdrawal, some elements up Bhamo–Myitkyina road and others toward Mogaung, abandoning roadblock (BLACKPOOL) on railway near Namkwin. This is a matter of some concern to Gen Stilwell, who wants blocking of enemy on S continued. Outflanking enemy, elements of Ch 38th Div block Kamaing road at Seton, evoking strong enemy reaction.

On Salween front, Ch 88th Div is ordered to join 87th and New 28th Divs (71st Army) in drive on Lung-ling, leaving Ch 2d Army responsible for operations in Pingka–Hsiangta–Mangshih area. 2d Army orders 76th Div to bypass Pingka, leaving 226th Regt to besiege the valley. 226th maintains thin line before Pingka until Japanese yield the valley in late September. Japanese are finally forced from defensive positions at E end of Tatangtzu Pass and fall back 8 miles to another line of defense.

ITALY—AAI: U.S; Fifth Army achieves a solid front with junction of VI and II Corps during morning. Brett Force (1st Bn of 36th Engrs, TD’s, and reconnaissance elements of Br 1st Div) makes contact with 91st Cav Rcn Sq of II Corps below Borgo Grappa. Opening of Highway 7 permits supplies to move northward for assault on Rome. VI Corps overruns Cisterna, Cori, and M. Arrestino as enemy opposition collapses. Supporting aircraft take extremely heavy toll of German vehicles fleeing toward Velletri and Valmontone. Over 2,600 prisoners are taken by noon. 1st Armd Div makes little progress toward Velletri but cuts Giulianello–Velletri road just W of Giulianello. 34th Div ( - 133d Inf) takes up positions behind 1st Armd Div. In center, 3d Div seizes Cisterna and Cori 3d Regt, 1st SSF, attacks through 133d Inf on right flank of VI Corps and secures M. Arrestino. II Corps is informed of impending relief by IV Corps; maintains current positions while waiting for FEC to come up abreast it to right. 339th Inf, 85th Div, crosses Amaseno R into hills W of Priverno. FEC overcomes organized resistance within its sector, at S. Giovanni Incarico on right and Vallecorsa on left. 3d Algerian Div takes former and Mtn Corps, latter. 1st Motorized Div is withdrawn as FEC reserve.

Br Eighth Army also makes rapid progress as enemy begins general withdrawal. Cdn 1 Corps expands bridgehead across the Melfa and passes infantry through armor to exploit toward the Liri. 13 Corps begins forward movement, taking Aquino without opposition and reaching the Melfa, where bridgehead is established. Pol 2 Corps secures rest of Piedimonte as Germans withdraw.

FRANCE—U.S. Eighth Air Force joins in air offensive against coastal batteries, attacking Fecamp and St Valery.


LSTs carrying assault elements of the 2d and 4th Mar Divs depart Pearl Harbor.

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