Thursday, May 30, 2024

80 Years Ago, Tuesday 9 May 1944



Submarine chaser PC-558 is sunk by German submarine U-230, 28 miles northeast by north of Palermo, Sicily.

Japanese TAKE No.1 convoy reaches Wasile Bay, Halmahera, having lost four of its original nine Marus during its passage to its destination.


Eighth AF

A total of 797 B-17’s and B-24’s bomb airfields at Saint Dizier Robinson, Thionville, Juvincourt-et-Damary, Laon/Athies, Laon/Couvron, Lille, Nivelles, Saint-Trond, and Florennes; and marshalling yards at Liege, Thionville, and Luxembourg. This is start of an offensive against airfields, set within a month of Normandy invasion so that the GAF will not have time to recover before D-Day.

Ninth AF

The 367th and 406th FGs become operational, bringing the fighter group total of the Ninth AF to 18. Over 40 Medium Bombers attack marshalling yards, railway batteries, coastal defense batteries, bridges, and NOBALL sites in France.

Twelfth AF

B-26’s hit Incisa in Valdarno railroad bridge and viaduct while A-20’s attack fuel dumps. Fighter Bombers again blast roads and railroads and other targets at various locations N of Rome, including Lake Bolsena, Civitavecchia, Colleferro, Civita Castel-lana, Orte, and San Giovanni Valdarno.


Soviet Army captures Sevastopol.

Tenth AF

20-plus A-31’s continue attacks on Buthidaung area, hitting troop concentrations and supply dumps Myothit, and SE of Palel, and severely damage bridge over Uyu R near Nawngpuawng. Mogaung Valley targets, including targets in support of ground forces near Kamaing, are pounded by more than 60 B-25’s, A-36’s, P-51’s, and P-40’s. 9 P-51’s hit troops and gun positions at Mawlu and Namkwin and hit Nalong area. 3 B-24’s blast barracks area at Nagorn Sawarn while 3 P-51’s hit Anisakan airfield, destroying or damaging 20-plus trucks, 2 airplanes, and a locomotive. 8 B-24’s lay mines in Moulmein area, 2 others make diversionary strike on Martaban, and 5 mine Mergui waterfront.

Fifth AF

More than 50 B-24’s and B-25’s bomb Langgoer and Faan airstrips, and Bosnik supply area and Mokmer airfield. 220-plus A-20’s and Fighter Bombers continue to blast numerous targets of opportunity along NE New Guinea coastline from Wewak to Hansa Bay area. 12 B-24’s of Thirteenth Air TF bomb Woleai.

Thirteenth AF

33 Fighter Bombers pound A/ F at Lakunai. Fighter sweeps over New Ireland and New Britain continue. On Bougainville 30-plus P-39’s and P-38’s hit barges in Porton-Chabai area, huts at Kieta, and ammo dump S of Aitara Mission. 10 other P-38’s and 12 B-25’s bomb Bonis airfield and nearby targets of opportunity in Buka Passage.

Seventh AF

During 8/9 May B-24’s stage through Kwajalein to bomb Truk. Makin-based B-25’s hit Wotje and Jaluit, using Majuro as a rearming point between attacks.


NEW GUINEA—Planners meeting at ALAMO Force hq decide to undertake the Wakde-Biak operation as proposed by Gen MacArthur with forces originally assigned to the Wakde-Sarmi operation. D Day for Wakde is set for 17 May and Z Day for Biak for 27 May. Japanese withdraw their MLR to line Sorong–Halmahera. Nyaparake Force patrols, using coastal trail and an inland one paralleling it, advance almost 5,000 yards E of the Dandriwad against some resistance and retire to Babiang at dusk.

BURMA—In NCAC area, Ch 198th Div, Y– Force, is ordered to move forward to crossing site over Salween. Salween crossings are to be made night 10 or 11 May. Japanese are driven from Ritpong, and Chinese troops remain there to mop up while Marauders move S to Lazu and block trail. 114th Regt, Ch 38th Div, overruns East Wala and Hlagyi and is approaching 112th Regt’s outposts just N of Manpin.

USSR—Sevastopol falls to Soviet forces.

FRANCE-BELGIUM—U.S. Eighth Air Force begins large-scale attacks on airfields, striking at Laon, Florennes, Thionville, St Dizier, Juvincourt, Orleans, Bourges, and Avord. The offensive against airfields, in which RAF BC, AEAF, and U.S. Eighth Air Force are to participate, is started less than a month before Normandy invasion so the enemy will not have time to recover by D Day.

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