Wednesday, May 22, 2024

80 Years Ago Today Monday 22 May 1944



Destroyers Bancroft (DD-598) and Edwards (DD-619) bombard installations at Wotje Atoll, Marshalls.

Destroyer escort England sinks Japanese submarine RO-106, 250 miles north of Kavieng, New Ireland, 01°40'N,150°31'E.

Submarine Bluegill (SS-242) is damaged by aerial bombs off Halmahera, 04°00'N, 128°06'E, but remains on patrol.

Submarine Picuda (SS-382), patrolling the South China Sea, comes across Japanese gunboat Hashidate Towing crippled merchant passenger/cargo ship Tsukuba Maru [the latter had been damaged by USAAF B-24s (14th AirForce) on 20 May 1944], accompanied by salvage vessel Sonju Maru. Picuda sinks Hashidate and Tsukuba Maru Off Pratas Island, 21°08'N, 117°20'E; Sonju Maru flees in haste and reaches Hong Kong without further incident.

Submarine Pollack (SS-180) attacks Japanese convoy, and sinks destroyer Asanagi, 180 miles west-northwest of Chichi Jima, Bonins, 28°19'N, 138°54'E.

Submarine Ray (SS-271) attacks same Japanese convoy sought by Cero (SS-225) the day before, and sinks army cargo ship Tempei Maru off south coast of Mindanao, 05°42'N, 127°37'E.

British submarine HMS Sea Rover sinks Japanese gunboat Koshu Maru off southern entrance to Penang harbor, Malaya, in Strait of Malacca, 04°52'N, 100°18'E.


Eighth AF

Occupancy of all planned Eighth AF stations in Britain is completed with transfer of A/F at N Pickenham from RAF to the Eighth. Total stations number 77, including 66 A/Fs, occupied by 82 operational or HQ units. 269 B-17’s bomb shipyards at Kiel and 23 others release bombs prematurely in Kiel area. 94 B-24’s attack V-weapon site at Siracourt.

Ninth AF

Around 330 B-26’s and A-20’s bomb A/Fs and other tgts in Cherbourg, Calais, and Paris areas while a like number of P-47’s and P-51’s dive-bomb M/Ys, A/Fs and other tgts in same general areas.

Twelfth AF

332d Ftr Gp is assigned to Fifteenth AF. This move, following a series of reassignments of ftr gps to Fifteenth AF and to India, leaves XII FC with only 1 ftr gp. MBs are inactive or abortive except for a raid on Cave. FBs maintain close spt of the ground adv, hitting at motor transport, roads, and bridges in battle areas and nearby points in C Italy, including Terracina, Ceccano, Sezze, Bastia, points between Rome and Bracciano Lake, and near Balsorano.

Fifteenth AF

As weather again clears, 550-plus B-17’s and B-24’s concentrate on comm and military tgts in C and NW Italy, attacking P-49 Pescina, troop concentrations at Avezzano, port and oil depot at La Spezia, supply and ammo dumps at Marina di Carrara, port and harbor installations at Piombino, railroad and highway bridges in Pineto area, railroad from Ancona to Pescara and N of Pescara, and towns of Valmontone and Palestrina. Ftrs fly over 200 sorties in escort to HBs. There is no ftr opposition.

Fourteenth AF

2 B-25’s attack large concentration of sampans in Honghai Bay. 2 others heavily damage a 150-ft cargo vessel near Hong Kong. 22 P-51’s pound town of Anking and military area NE of Nanchang. 24 P-40’s hit Sienning area, bombing factory W of town, damaging bridge near town, and strafing numerous trucks in the vicinity. 23 P-40’s hit road and river traffic in areas around Loyang, Loning, and Itu. 5 P-40’s bomb Yangsin.

Fifth AF

B-24’s and B-25’s bomb Manokwari, shipping E of Cape Manggoear, and storage areas and Sorido village on Biak I. P-40’s hit supply and fuel dumps, trucks, and other T/Os in area of Wakde Is. B-24’s, B-25’s, and FBs continue to bomb and strafe various tgts in Wewak-Hansa Bay area.

Thirteenth AF

40-plus P-39’s, P-38’s, and P-40’s hit T/Os in coastal area near Talili Bay. 24 B-25’s pound Mioko I. 40-plus P-39’s bomb Bonis supply area and blast 4 small bridges near Kieta.

Seventh AF

8 B-25’s based on Engebi bomb Ponape. Weather cancels other strikes.

Eleventh AF

2 Attu-based B-25’s on a shipping strike near Paramushiru bomb and strafe a picket boat, which is left sinking.


NEW GUINEA—Gen Krueger enlarges mission of TF TORNADO, whose task of securing Wakde airdrome and adjacent strip of mainland is completed. Drive is to continue W toward Sarmi, 16 miles W of the Tor. Since enemy stragglers are interfering with work on Wakde airdrome, Co L of 163d Inf moves to Insoemoar I., to mop up. In Aitape sector, Nyaparake Force, now consisting of 32d Rcn Tr and Co A, 127th Inf, continues active patrolling against increasing enemy resistance, which forces it back along beach to Parakovio.

BURMA—In NCAC area, 3d Marauder Bn withdraws to Charpate.

ITALY—AAI is preparing for major effort: Br Eighth Army against Hitler Line, and U.S. Fifth Army to effect junction between VI and II Corps. U.S. Fifth Army revokes order to 509th Para Inf Bn and directs it to be prepared to drop in mountains above Pontine Marshes to facilitate drive of II Corps on Terracina. This does not become necessary. 36th Div closes in Anzio beachhead. In II Corps area, 337th Inf of 85th Div recovers part of M. S. Croce under enemy fire from Terracina. 338th, attacking to block Highway 7 behind Terracina, is diverted by lively action at RR tunnel. 350th Inf, 88th Div, pushes from M. Calvo toward Roccasecca; 349th secures M. Monsicardi; 351st thrusts to M. Chiavino. In FEC area, Hitler Line collapses. One Mtn Corps gp seizes Lenola and links left flank with U.S. II Corps. 7th Inf, 3d Algerian Div, and another gp of Mtn Corps converge on Pico and clear it.

In Br Eighth Army area, as a preliminary to main offensive, Cdn 1st Div of Cdn 1 Corps tries unsuccessfully to outflank enemy from left in limited attack.

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