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31st December 1944

WWII Timeline




Events On This Day

Eighth Air Force. 1,200 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) heavy bombers hit 5 oil refineries, an aircraft plant, U-boat yards, 2 airfields, targets in North Germany, 6 bridges, 3 command centres, 3 marshalling yards, a detraining point, a city area, several targets in West Germany and Helgoland Island. 14 escorting fighters groups engage about 150 Luftwaffe fighters, mostly in Hamburg area, and claim about 60 kills. Heavy bombers lose 14 to the fighters, and claim 26 fighters destroyed.

Ninth Air Force. Weather grounds bombers. fighters fly sweeps and armed reconnaissance, attacking numerous ground targets. XIX Tactical Air Command supports United States III, VIII, and XX Corps around Bastogne and between Mosel and Saar Rivers in Merzig area.

Twelfth Air Force. During 30-31 December 1944, United States Army Air Force (USAAF) A-20 Havoc light bombers again fly intruder missions, bombing a variety of targets, including motor transport, bridges, and railroads in Po Valley. During the day medium bombers hit bridge at Bodrez, railroads at Piazzola Sul Brenta and near Padua, and a dump. XXII Tactical Air Command fighter-bombers destroy 5 and damage 2 railway bridges in Po Valley, cut rail lines at numerous places, destroy several locomotives, and destroy or damage 200 railway cars.

Tenth Air Force. 28 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) P-47 Thunderbolt fighters strafe Laihka, Namsang, Aungban, Kunlon, and Heho airfields. 5 P-47 Thunderbolt fighters damage bridge at Namhkai. A total of 65 P-47 Thunderbolt fighters and P-38 Lightning fighters hit Japanese Divisional Headquarters at Ongyaw and troop concentrations and supply areas at Mongmit, Nawngka, Kawngtawng, Pangnim, Mong Tat, Kutkai, and Man Namman. A few B-25 Mitchell medium bombers fly night harassment missions against airfields. About 300 transport sorties are flown to forward areas throughout the day.

Fourteenth Air Force. 4 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bombers claim 1 freighter sunk and another damaged off Hainan Island. 4 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers damage 2 bridges and destroy or damage 5 buildings at Mong Ping. 35 P-40 fighters and P-51 Mustang fighter-bombers attack troops, horses, town areas, and railroad targets at or near Hankow, Saiping, Siangtan, Hengyang, Lingling, and Kweilin. 29 other fighters on armed reconnaissance hit targets at several points in North Indochina, East Burma, and South China.

Far East Air Force (FEAF). United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bombers and B-25 Mitchell medium bombers bomb airfields in Central Phil, on Luzon and Mindanao. Other B-24 Liberator heavy bombers bomb Ambesia airfield, hit Dili, and pound airfields and supply areas throughout Halmahera Island. Fighter-bombers are active against airfields, shipping, antiaircraft guns, and various targets on Halmahera and in North Celebes.

Twentieth Air Force. General Hansell and his XXI Bomber Command Forward Echelon Headquarters staff close Saipan Headquarters and move to Guam where ground echelon arrived in early December 1944.

Seventh Air Force. From Guam 19 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bombers hit Iwo Jima airfields during the day. 10 more heavy bombers hit the island with individual harassment raids over a 6 hour period during 31 December 1944 to 1 January 1945.

Hungary declares war on Germany.

V-2 rocket launched against England, hit Ramsden Heath.

V-2 rocket launched against England, hit Enfield.

V-2 rocket launched against England, hit Rush Green, Romford.

V-2 rocket launched against England, hit Noak Hill, near Brentwood.

V-2 rocket launched against England, hit Stow Maries, near Maldon.

V-2 rocket launched against England, hit near Shoeburyness.

V-2 rocket launched against England, hit Cavey Island.

V-2 rocket launched against England, hit Islington.

M445 Minesweeper
Sunk 31 December 1944

M603 Minesweeper
Commissioned 31 December 1944

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V-2 rocket

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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

For a complete list of sources
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