Monday, May 20, 2024

80 Years Ago Today Thursday 18 May 1944



Naval base and Naval Air Station, Manus Island, Admiralty Islands, are established.

Submarine Puffer (SS-268) attacks Japanese convoy in Java Sea, sinking army cargo ship Shinryu Maru

about 40miles east-southeast of Surabaya, 07°33'S, 113°16'E.

Japanese merchant tanker Nichiyoku Maru is sunk by mine (laid by British submarine HMS Tally Ho on 14 May),03°41'N, 99°04'E.

Japanese army cargo ship Fukko Maru sinks as the result of damage inflicted by submarine Sand Lance (SS-381) the previous day.

USAAF B-25s damage Japanese cargo ship No.3 Shinnan Maru.


Twelfth AF

MBs continue to hit rail bridges, bombing farther into the N of Italy and thus putting more pressure on the strained German comm system. LBs hit storage areas. FBs continue close spt to Allied ground forces, hitting town areas, roads, enemy positions, railroads, and numerous other tgts in battle area, including points in or around Pico, Pontecorvo, Fondi, Terracina, Ceccano, Pastena, San Giovanni Valdarno, Perugia, Terni, Spoleto, Sant’ Elpidio a Mare, Pedaso, and N of Rome, as British Eighth Army completes reduction of Gustav Line in Liri R Valley with capture of Cassino, while US Fifth Army takes Formia.

Fifteenth AF

Almost 450 B-17’s and B-24’s, most with ftr escort, attack M/Ys at Belgrade and Nish and oil refineries at Ploesti. Over 300 other HBs abandon missions because of bad weather. Ftrs strafe Nish and

Scutari A/Fs.

Tenth AF

12 A-31’s bomb Daletme while 36 hit tgts SW of Homalin, S of Bishenpur, and at Moirang. 140-plus FBs and 6 B-25’s pound numerous tgts throughout Mogaung Valley, concentrating on bridges (at least 4 are knocked out) and spt of ground forces in areas around Myitkyina, Nanyaseik, Kamaing, Namkwin, Kazu, Lonkin, and Katkyo. 8 B-25’s knock out Mu R bridge and damage Chaungu bridge approaches. 12 P-38’s destroy several airplanes at Shwebo.

Fourteenth AF

6 B-25’s and 12 P-40’s pound barracks and warehouse areas at Chienyangi, causing many fires. 30 P-40’s spt ground forces in Salween area, hitting troops and positions at Tengchung, Tatangtzu, Mamien Pass, and Luchiangpa. 12 B-24’s bomb towns of Lungling and Tengchung. 25 CACW and CAF P-40’s attack trucks, armor, and troops at Chueh-shan and Loning, causing widespread destruction.

Fifth AF

More than 100 FBs, A-20’s, B-25’s, and B-24’s pound T/Os in Wewak-Hansa Bay area throughout the day. B-24’s hit T/Os on Halmahera I and bomb Bosnik. B-25’s hit Larot and Saumlakki.

Thirteenth AF

10 P-39’s hit barges off Porton. 40-plus P-38’s and P-39’s pound supply area N of Muguai.

Seventh AF

B-25’s based at Makin bomb Taroa, rearm at Majuro, and attack same tgt during return flight to base.

Eleventh AF

Over the Kurils, a B-24 on weather rcn hits a Japanese aircraft and 2 B-25’s sink an auxiliary vessel. Another is sunk shortly before midnight by 2 other B-25’s.


ADMIRALTY Is.—Campaign is officially terminated by CG Sixth Army. Air and naval bases have been developed. Japanese casualties during operation total 3,280 killed and 75 captured as against U.S. casualties of 326 killed, 1,189 wounded, and 4 missing.

NEW GUINEA—After preparatory bombardment, 163d Inf lands 3 cos of 1st Bn and Co F of 2d on S coast of Insoemoar I., main island of Wakde group and site of Wakde airfield; despite opposition from mutually supporting pillboxes and bunkers, clears most of airfield and island. Enemy retains NE end of the island and counterattacks unsuccessfully, night 18–19. On mainland, 3d Bn, 163d Inf, begins westward advance across Tor R, establishing small bridgehead.

BURMA—In NCAC area, Marauders begin assault on town of Myitkyina while elements of 89th Regt, Ch 30th Div, defend Myitkyina airfield. 1st Bn overruns Zigyun, S of Myitkyina. 150th Regt, Ch 50th Div, attacks from N, seizing RR station.

ITALY—AAI: In U.S. Fifth Army area, 36th Div begins movement to Anzio beachhead. In II Corps area, 338th Inf of 85th Div mops up Formia and pushes N to M. di Mola and W to M. Conca against rear-guard resistance, while 337th, swinging SW, reaches Highway 7 between Formia and Itri and thereby protects flank of 338th. 339th Inf moves forward along Highway 7, night 18–19. In 88th Div sector, 351st Inf remains in place under intense fire that abates with arrival of supporting arty; 349th reverts to control of 88th Div. FEC meets strong resistance as it attacks toward Pico. While one Mtn Corps column continues to clear left flank, another reaches heights commanding S. Oliva. 3d Algerian Div reduces opposition on M. Oro feature in conjunction with 1st Motorized Div to right and drives enemy from Monticello and S. Oliva. 1st Motorized Div continues along S bank of the Liri to Forma Quesa Creek.

Br Eighth Army completes reduction of Gustav Line in Liri Valley with capture of Cassino. Cdn 1 Corps continues toward Hitler Line at Pontecorvo. In 13 Corps area, Cassino, now in ruins, falls to 4th Div. Detachment of 78th Div thrusts to outskirts of Aquino, key position in Hitler Line. In Pol 2 Corps area, 3d Carpathian Div takes Cassino Monastery

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