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15th December 1943

WWII Timeline




Events On This Day

Ninth Air Force. Ninth Air Force comes under operational control of Allied Expeditionary Air Force (AEAF). New directive for tactical bomber operations lists reduction of enemy fighters forces as basic objective. A Ninth Air Force planning staff, composed of officers who have had service with Chief of Staff, Supreme Allied Commander (COSSAC), is set up in London.

Twelfth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-25 Mitchell medium bombers bomb airfields at Mostar, and A-36 Apache dive bomber and P-40 fighter-bombers attack vessels, vehicles, and parked aircraft North and East of Peljesac Peninsula, near Mostar, and at Zemonico landing ground. B-25 Mitchell medium bombers and A-20 Havoc light bombers bomb roads at Pontecorvo and North of Frosinone. Fighter-bombers blast gun positions along United States Fifth Army front.

Fifteenth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers, with P-38 Lightning fighters and P-47 Thunderbolt fighters escorts, bomb marshalling yards at Bolzano and Innsbruck. B-24 Liberator heavy bombers, with P-38 Lightning fighters escort, attack Avisio viaduct. All targets suffer considerable damage.

Eastern Air Command (EAC). Eastern Air Command (EAC), a combined United States British Command, is formed under General Stratemeyer, with AVM Williams as Assistant Commander. Headquarters, at New Delhi, will control all operational air units in Assam and Burma which presently make up Tenth Air Force and The British Royal Air Force (RAF) Bengal Air Command. Major components of Eastern Air Command (EAC) are to be Third Tactical Air Force under AM Baldwin, Strategic Air Force under General Davidson, Troop Carrier Command under General Old, and Photo Reconnaissance Force under Group Captain Stewart G Wise. Strategic Air Force and Troop Carrier Command are activated on this date, the former having Headquarters at Belvedere Palace, Calcutta, and the latter at Comilla.

Fourteenth Air Force. 25 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) P-40 fighters strafe parked aircraft, trucks, and several buildings at Pailochi. At least 3 enemy aeroplanes are destroyed. 2 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers on sea sweep over Gulf of Tonkin claim 1 ocean going tug sunk. 16 P-40 fighters on armed reconnaissance strafe towns of Owchihow and Shihshow. 6 others attack town of Luchiangpa and villages in the area.

Fifth Air Force. As a preliminary to main invasion of New Britain, United States forces under command of General Cunningham land on West coast of Arawe peninsula about 0700 following naval and air bombardment B-25 Mitchell medium bombers pound villages in Arawe area. B-24 Liberator heavy bombers bomb Cape Gloucester while P-39 fighters strafe barges at Reiss Point. B-25 Mitchell medium bombers hit 2 freighters on Timor.

Thirteenth Air Force. 21 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bombers strike Sohano Island. 6 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers hit installations in Numa Numa-Arigua area. 23 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers and 16 fighters attack Buka, causing heavy damage in Chinatown area. P-40 fighters destroy bridge at Runai. Numerous targets are attacked by Army Air Force aircraft, operating individually and in small flights, on armed reconnaissance over Bougainville and other North Solomons areas.

Seventh Air Force. 20 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bombers from Nanumea hit Maloelap. 10, staging from Canton Island through Baker Island, bomb Wotje. 1 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers is lost on Maloelap raid. 2 enemy fighters are claimed destroyed.

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Sources

The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

2194 Days Of War.
ISBN-10: 086136614X

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