Friday, May 31, 2024

80 Years Ago, Wednesday 31 May 1944



Operations against the Japanese NA line continue: destroyer escort England (DE-635), assisted by destroyers McCord (DD-534) and Hazelwood (DD-531) and destroyer escorts George (DE-697), Raby (DE-698), and Spangler (DE-696),sink submarine RO-105 200 miles north-northwest of Kavieng, 00°47'N, 151°30'E.

Submarines Barb (SS-220) and Herring (SS-233) rendezvous in Sea of Okhotsk about 150 miles west of Matsuwa Island, Kurils, to plan operations against Japanese shipping in the vicinity. Subsequently, Herring attacks convoy NE, sinking escort vessel Ishigaki and army cargo ship Hokuyo Maru west of Matsuwa Island, 48°00'N, 153°00'E' (see 1June 1944); Barb comes across convoy NE and sinks army cargo ship Madras Maru, 48°21'N, 151°20'E, and transport Koto Maru southwest of Paramushiro, 47°55'N, 151°42'E.

Chinese aircraft sink Japanese river gunboat Kotaka in the Yangtze River.


Eighth AF

371 Heavy Bombers attack marshalling yards at Schwerte, Hamm, Osnabruck, Geseke, and Roosendaal; airfields at Luxeuil-les- Bains, Gilze-Rijen, and Florennes; and 5 bridges in France. The mission against the bridges, using radio-controlled bombs, is unsuccessful. 6 combat wgs sent to bomb airfields, marshalling yards, and factories in France are recalled because of bad weather. 79 P-47’s using dive bombing and ‘Droopsnoot’ (fighter equipped with bombsight) tactics attack Gutersloh airfield. 35 P-38’s, unable to locate primary target of Lingen airfield, bomb airfield NE of Rheine, believed to be Hopsten.

Ninth AF

About 200 B-26’s bomb lock and highway bridges at Bennecourt, Courcelles-sur-Seine, and Rouen.

Twelfth AF

Medium Bombers of 43d and 57th Bomb Wings give close support to ground forces in fierce fighting S of Rome, hitting numerous troop concentrations, roads and town areas, including points in or near Albano Laziale, Genzano di Roma, Ariccia, Frascati, Civitella Roveta, Subiaco, Cave, Nettuno, and Grottaferrata. XII TAC A-20’s and Fighter Bombers blast targets in same general area, hitting troops bridges, supplies, guns, and vehicles at or near Rocca di Papa, Ariccia, Marino, Frascati, Grottaferrata, Lanuvio, Montalto di Castro, and Manciano. C-47’s evacuate casualties from Anzio.

Fifteenth AF

480-plus B-17’s and B-24’s bomb oil refineries and comm targets in Ploesti area. Fighters fly over 200 sorties in support. 15 Heavy Bombers are lost to flak and fighters. Over 40 enemy airplanes are shot down.

Tenth AF

12 B-25’s hit Tiddim road while 36 A-31’s hit supply dumps, villages, and gun positions in the Ukhrul- Moirang area. 130-plus B-25’s, A-36’s, P-51’s, and P-40’s hit troops, defensive positions, arty emplacements, boats, railroad facilities, and villages in Myitkyina-Mogaung area, buildings at Tahona, river boats at Lonkin and Kamaing, docks at Bhamo, railroad cars at Namti, and positions NW of Mohnyin. 21 other B-25’s and Fighter Bombers pound the Bhamo town area and airfield. 10 B-24’s bomb Ye-u, demolishing several buildings.

Fourteenth AF

51 P-51’s and P-40’s pound shipping along the Yangtze, claiming direct hits on 5 small ships. 16 P- 51’s and P-40’s bomb Kweiyi and Yoyang and installations on river to the S. 10 P-38’s bomb bridge and warehouse area at Nanchang. 12 P-40’s bomb Pingkiang. 4 B-25’s bomb Hankow airfield, Pailochi, and motor convoy at Yoyang. 6 other B-25’s knock out bridge at Kengluang. 13 B-24’s pound town of Lungling, causing big fires, while 14 B-24’s, supported by P-40’s blast warehouse area at Lashio. 4 P- 40’s destroy several aircraft during strafing runs on Linfen and Hohsien airfields.

Fifth AF

B-25’s and A-20’s hit Babo area, bomb airfield near Ransiki R, cover beachhead on Biak I, and attack fishing boats on shore of Japen I. P-47’s and B-25’s pound villages, barges, and gun positions in WakdeSarmi battle area. B-24’s, P-39’s, and RAAF airplanes continue to hit Wewak and Hansa Bay areas.

Thirteenth AF

12 P-38’s bomb Vulcan Crater barge hideout. 22 P-39’s and 12 P-40’s blast supply dumps near Ratawul. 33 B-25’s pound Rabaul truck concentrations, wharf area, and NE section of town. 5 B-25’s bomb targets of opportunity along NW New Ireland coast. P-39’s bomb several targets, including Soraken, Arigua, and several barges and vehicles.

Eleventh AF

During the morning 2 B-25’s and 4 P-38’s fly guardship cover. A bmr flies a weather mission while another reconnoiters and hits Buroton Bay.


NEW GUINEA—On Biak, TF HURRICANE continues patrolling and regroups in preparation for renewing attack. 1st and 3d Bns of 163d Inf arrive. In Wakde-Sarmi area, Gen Patrick reduces defense perimeter of TF TORNADO. Main position is between the Tor and Tementoe, but bridgehead is retained across the Tor. In Hollandia–Aitape area, Co G of 127th Inf relieves Nyaparake Force. 1st Bn, 126th Inf, begins offensive from East Sector to drive enemy back across the Drindarai, advancing against light resistance through Yakamul to Parakovio. Japanese are becoming aggressive in 127th Inf sector along the Driniumor and begin crossing the river.

CBI—On Salween Front, Ch 53d Army’s supplies are replenished during period 28–31 by 27th Troop Carrier Sq.

ITALY—AAI: U.S. Fifth Army orders offensive for Colli Laziali by VI and II Corps. In VI Corps area enemy continues stout defense of Albano. 1st Armd Div is withdrawn to reserve. 34th Div is still stalled by stubborn resistance below Lanuvio. Germans thin out between Lanuvio and Velletri after nightfall. 36th Div makes substantial progress on right flank: 142d Inf takes Maschio d’Ariano and positions commanding Velletri–Nemi road; 143d moves forward to M. Artemisio; 141st pushes slowly toward Velletri. II Corps attacks toward line of departure for main offensive, 1 June. 85th Div, which takes over left half of II Corps line leaving right half to 3d Div, attacks with 337th Inf on left and 338th on right, securing positions on M. Artemisio, clearing Lariano, and reaching positions across Velletri–Artena road. 88th Div is attached to II Corps. IV Corps sector is taken over by 4th Mtn Div, FEC. FEC extends positions northward in Lepini Mountains to Supino and Carpineto.

In Br Eighth Army area, Cdn 1 Corps finds Frosinone undefended. 10 Corps seizes Sora.

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