Sunday, May 19, 2024

80 Years ago Today, Monday, 15 May 1944


Monday, 15 May 1944



Naval Air Bases, Ebeye and Roi-Namur, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshalls, are established.

During amphibious training exercises in the Hawaiian Operating Area, heavy seas break the moorings of three LCTs carried as deck cargo on board three tank landing craft. LCT-988 sinks, 20°00'N, 157°00'W; LCT-984 founders and is scuttled by submarine chaser PC-1079; LCT-999 is salvaged.

Submarine Aspro (SS-309) attacks Japanese convoy, sinking transport Jokuja Maru about 175 miles northwest of Palau, 10°10'N, 131°48'E.

Japanese destroyer Shiratsuyu is sunk in collision with Seiyo Maru west of Mindanao, 09°09'N, 126°51'E.


PBY-5s (VP 63) and British escort vessels HMS Kilmarnock and HMS Blackfly sink German submarine U-731, western Mediterranean, 35°54'N, 05°45'W.


Eighth AF

38 B-17’s attack V-weapon site at Marquise/Mimoyecques while 90 B-24’s bomb similar tgt at Saint-Pol/Siracourt.

Ninth AF

45 A-20’s and B-26’s bomb A/Fs at Creil and Evreux/Fauville, and Somain M/Y. Over 300 others are forced to abandon missions because of thick clouds.

Twelfth AF

MBs and LBs again hit comm lines N and NW of the front while FBs in close spt of Allied ground assault through Gustav Line blast gun positions, motor transport, ammo supplies, bridges, rolling stock, and other military tgts in the battle area. The MBs and LBs also hit harbors and vessels along coasts at Piombino, Talamone, Portoferraio, and Ancona.

Fifteenth AF

Weather cancels all operations except ftr sweep over Toulon-Marseille area.

Tenth AF

20-plus A-31’s hit gun positions W of Buthidaung and signal center to the SE. 19 B-25’s pound T/Os along Tiddim road while 36 A-31’s hit Moirang. 20-plus B-25’s and FBs hit gun positions at Hopin and A/F at Myitkyina. 17 P-38’s attack Heho and Kangaung A/F, claiming 15 aircraft destroyed, most of them in the air. 7 B-24’s bomb Myitkyina, Kalewa, and Mandalay.

Fourteenth AF

B-25’s strike Kengluang bridge and hit installations near Wan Pa-Hsa. P-40’s strafe troops near Pingkai, along Mamien Pass, and in the Mengta area.

Fifth AF

Wewak-Hansa Bay area is again hit by A-20’s, B-24’s, and FBs. B-24’s and B-25’s attack numerous tgts in Wakde-Sawar-Sarmi-Maffin Bay areas and on Biak I. Thirteenth Air TF B-24’s from the Admiralties bomb supply and bivouac areas on Mariaon and Tagaulap Is and AA guns on Woleai and Paliau Is.

Thirteenth AF

24 B-25’s and 40-plus P-40’s, P-38’s, and P-39’s, along with TBF’s and SBD’s, pound area N of Muguai, and hit Maika area between Muguai and Ebery’s Lease. 40-plus ftrs on sweeps over Bougainville and Shortland Is attack AA positions, trucks, and huts at several locations including Kieta, Cape Friendship, and Chabai areas. Allied ftr sweeps continue over Rabaul area; several T/Os, including a concentration of barges in Keravia Bay, are hit.

Seventh AF

Operations are limited to photo rcn of Jaluit from Kwajalein.


NEW GUINEA—U.S. outposts at Ulau and Marubian are withdrawn by sea to Nyaparake.

BURMA—In NCAC area, H Force reaches upper Namkwi R, about 15 miles from Myitkyina.

ITALY—In U.S. Fifth Army’s II Corps area, 337th Inf of 85th Div overruns Castellonorato. To left, 3d Bn of 338th reaches junction of Highway 7 and Ausonia road. 88th Div, thrusting to Spigno, finds town undefended and in ruins; is ordered to push on to Itri at once. On left flank in FEC sector, one gp of Mtn Corps pushes steadily W along difficult mountain trails toward M. Revole. Another gp continues northward, scaling Fammera escarpment; 6th Moroccan Inf is relieved of containing role at Ausonia and joins main body. Enemy is driven from Ausonia by noon but retains La Bastia Hill to N in effort to keep control of Esperia road. 3d Algerian Div relieves holding force at Ausonia; armored elements push on to Castelnuovo, which 2d Moroccan Div has cleared earlier in day, thereby gaining control of Ausonia Defile. German fire prevents forward movement of 1st Motorized Div from S. Giorgio on right flank of FEC.

In Br Eighth Army area, 13 Corps continues working through the Gustav Line, with 78th Div moving forward between 4th Div and Ind 8th Div, in preparation for concerted assault with Poles on Cassino. Cdn 1 Corps begins passing through 13 Corps and relieving Ind 8th Div.

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