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15th March 1944

WWII Timeline




Events On This Day

Eighth Air Force. 330 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers and B-24 Liberator heavy bombers bomb industrial area of Brunswick. 2 P-47 Thunderbolt fighters each carrying 2 1,000 lb bombs, escorted by 6 P-47 Thunderbolt fighters, fly mission against enemy barge in Zuider Zee to test feasibility of this type of operation. The fighter-bombers score near misses.

Ninth Air Force. Ninth Air Force directive states that the Ninth is released from first priority commitment to assist Eighth Air Force. P-51 Mustang fighter-bombers of the Ninth Air Force (committed to Allied Expeditionary Air Force (AEAF)) will continue to escort heavy bombers when required by the Eighth. Ninth Air Force Advance Headquarters assumes function of target selection and mission planning for IX Bomber command. Allied Expeditionary Air Force (AEAF) Headquarters has authority to indicate percentage of effect to be expended on each type of target on a long-term basis. 118 B-26 Marauder medium bombers attack marshalling yards at Aulnoye and Haine-Saint-Pierre and Chievres airfield. During the afternoon, 10 medium bombers using 'Oboe' to test its accuracy, bomb Coxyde airfield with poor results. Dive-bombing missions using fighters begin with a 7-aircraft attack on Saint-Valery-en-Caux airfield.

Twelfth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) medium bombers and fighter-bombers, together with Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Force (MASAF) heavy bombers and other aircraft of Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force (MATAF) in greatest air effort yet made in Mediterranean Theatre of Operations (MTO), rain bombs upon enemy concentrations in Cassino and surrounding areas as New Zealand Corps begins third battle of Cassino. Light bombers and medium bombers also hit a command post East of Ceprano and town of San Benedetto de Marsi. Fighters on patrol and sweep over Anzio, Cassino, and Rome meet no air opposition.

Fifteenth Air Force. More than 300 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bombers and B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers bomb Cassino, area South of Cassino, and areas near Venafro, in support of United States Fifth Army. Over 250 other heavy bombers return to base without bombing because of complete cloud cover of their target areas. Extensive fighters cover over Cassino area is provided by P-38 Lightning fighters, and P-47 Thunderbolt fighters fly 2 sweeps over Viterbo, Canino area. There is no fighters opposition.

Tenth Air Force. 24 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) A-31 Vengeance dive bomber's join British aircraft in pounding villages and Japanese positions in Arakan area. 31 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers and 20 The British Royal Air Force (RAF) Wellingtons and Beaufighters pound supply dumps and targets in Rangoon area while 8 other B-24 Liberator heavy bombers hit barracks near Bangkok. Numerous United States and The British Royal Air Force (RAF) medium bombers and fighter-bombers attack villages, Japanese positions, ammunition dumps, tanks, and many other targets in the Chin Hills, at Chindwin, in the Mogaung Valley, and in areas around Mandalay.

Fifth Air Force. More than 200 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bombers, B-25 Mitchell medium bombers, A-20 Havoc light bombers, P-38 Lightning fighters, P-47 Thunderbolt fighters, and P-40 fighters pound Wewak township, blasting docks, warehouses, gun positions, and numerous other targets. Fighters claim 11 enemy aeroplanes shot down. 36 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers bomb Tingo village and Lugos Mission area on Manus, where elements of 1st Cavalry Division make amphibious landing, take the mission, and head East toward Lorengau.

Thirteenth Air Force. General Hubert Harmon, Commanding General Thirteenth Air Force, becomes Commander Air Solomons (COMAIRSOLS). 50 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers, P-40 fighters, P-39 fighters, and P-38 Lightning fighters and Navy fighters pound Wunapope supply areas. 24 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers, with Navy fighters escort, bomb Lakunai airfield. 22 unescorted B-24 Liberator heavy bombers, finding Tobera clouded over, bomb airfields at Rapopo as a secondary target.

Seventh Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bombers from Kwajalein fly first Seventh Air Force mission against Truk Atoll, hitting Dublon Island and Eten Island before dawn; alternate targets of Oroluk Anchorage and Ponape Town are also hit. B-25 Mitchell medium bombers from Tarawa hit Maloelap. By this date the A-24 Banshee dive bomber, P-39 fighters, and P-40 fighters used against Mille and Jaluit during FLINTLOCK and CATCHPOLE have returned to Oahu for rest and re-equipment.

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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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