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31st December 1943

WWII Timeline




Events On This Day

Eighth Air Force. Approximately 500 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) heavy bombers attack targets in France and off French coast. Targets include a blockade runner, industries at Paris, and airfields at Bordeaux, Cognac, Saint-Jean-d' Angely, La Rochelle, and Landes de Bussac. 25 aeroplanes are lost to antiaircraft fire and fighters. Total bomb tonnage dropped by the Eighth in December 1943, 13,142 tons, for the first time exceeds that dropped by The British Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber command.

Ninth Air Force. Around 200 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-26 Marauder medium bombers bomb V-weapon sites in French coastal area.

Twelfth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) P-40 fighters and Spitfires of Army Air Force, The British Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and South African Air Force (SAAF), strike infantry and heavy artillery around Tollo, Orsogna, Miglianico, Ripa, and Teatina in support of British Eighth Army. A-36 Apache dive bomber bomb town of Formia and hit gun positions.

Fifteenth Air Force. 154th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron is transferred from XII Training Command to Fifteenth Air Force for purpose of flying weather reconnaissance, a duty presently being handled by a P-38 Lightning fighters unit called Fifteenth Air Force Weather Reconnaissance Detachment (and by some B-26 Marauder medium bombers of 3 medium bombers groups which are transferred to Twelfth Air Force after this date). Personnel and equipment of the 154th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron and the Weather Reconnaissance Detachment are subsequently integrated, and the unit is redesignated the 154th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (Weather). Operations are limited to weather reconnaissance.

Fourteenth Air Force. 25 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bombers pound Lampang railroad yards, causing several big fires and many secondary explosions. 6 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers hit Yangtze River shipping in Anking and Lu-Kuan areas, claiming 3 cargo vessels and a troop carrier sunk. 2 others on sea sweep damage passenger vessel in Hainan Straits.

Fifth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) A-20 Havoc light bombers hit troop concentrations in Cape Gloucester area. Nearly 50 P-40 fighters and P-47 Thunderbolt fighters intercept small force of aeroplanes attacking Arawe beachhead area. 12 aircraft are claimed shot down. Almost 150 heavy bombers and medium bombers pound Madang, Alexishafen, and Bogadjim areas.

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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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