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20th March 1944

WWII Timeline




Events On This Day

Eighth Air Force. 51 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers bomb industry and transportation targets at Frankfurt Main. 99 heavy bombers attack targets, including Bingen, Mannheim area, and Mainz area. Bad weather and malfunction of blind bombing equipment cause nearly 300 heavy bombers to abandon mission.

Ninth Air Force. 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group completes series of 83 missions begun on 23 February 1944 during which photos were made of 160 miles of French coastline and 2 inshore strips, each 120 miles long; 9,500 prints are produced and no aircraft are lost. Over 200 B-26 Marauder medium bombers and A-20 Havoc light bombers bomb 4 NOBALL targets and Creil marshalling yard. 85 P-47 Thunderbolt fighters dive-bomb airfields at Abbeville, Poix, and Conches.

Twelfth Air Force. 310th Bomber Group (M) is transferred from XII Fighter Command to 57th Bomber Wing, thus consolidating all B-25 Mitchell medium bombers units of the Twelfth under 1 wing. B-25 Mitchell medium bombers strike harbour and shipping at Piombino, Poggibonsi railroad bridge, Port' Ercole, and area around Orvieto railroad bridge. B-25 Mitchell medium bombers hit Orvieto marshalling yard and underpass and road bridge nearby, Terni marshalling yard, and dock at San Stefano al Mare. Factory at Fontana Liri is accurately bombed by A-20 Havoc light bombers. P-40 fighters hit troop concentrations, guns, and fuel dump in Cassino, Fontana Liri area while A-36 Apache dive bomber blast railway station at Frosinone and also drop food for troops in Cassino area. P-47 Thunderbolt fighters hit fuel dump at Fontana Liri.

Tenth Air Force. In the Arakan area, 12 A-31 Vengeance dive bomber's hit Japanese positions near Kaladan and Buthidaung while 6 P-38 Lightning fighters severely damage bridge at Lamu. 20 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers, and P-51 Mustang fighter-bombers hit command and transportation targets in Katha area. 6 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers bomb Moulmein, Martaban area. More than 100 fighter-bombers strike Mogaung Valley buildings and supply areas, and fuel dumps at Mogaung, Myitkyina, Sumprabum, and Sahmaw.

Fourteenth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) carry out photo reconnaissance sorties are flown over Central China and Northeast Burma.

Fifth Air Force. 30 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bombers bomb airfields at Aitape. Over 20 P-39 fighters and A-20 Havoc light bombers hit Japanese Headquarters and other targets along Bogadjim Road while B-25 Mitchell medium bombers and P-39 fighters on armed reconnaissance hit targets at Milhanak, along Gogol River, at Yeschan, Burui airfield, and at Erima. P-40 fighters on armed reconnaissance hit villages and barges along Bangula Bay coast. At night B-24 Liberator heavy bombers bomb remnants of supply convoy off Cape Terabu.

Thirteenth Air Force. 20 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) fighter-bombers hit Ratawul supply area. Later 20 fighters attack barges in Rabaul area while 3 B-34 Lexington bomber blast several buildings at nearby Massava Bay. 23 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers bomb airfields at Vunakanau while 24 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers pound Lakunai. 10 P-40 fighters and P-39 fighters bomb Numa Numa and strafe coastal targets. Reconnaissance patrol of SB-24 Liberator heavy bombers cover Marines moving onto Emirau Island. Fighter patrol is unnecessary due to unexpected lack of opposition. After initial landing by Marines other Allied ground forces move ashore. By afternoon of 21 March 1944 the occupation of the island is complete. Construction of a base begins shortly.

Seventh Air Force. 12 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-25 Mitchell medium bombers from Tarawa bomb radio station and pier on Emidj. 1 other B-25 Mitchell medium bombers from Tarawa bombs Mille, rearms at Majuro, and again bombs Mille on return trip.

Go To: 21st March
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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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