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WWII - 70 Years Ago


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Monday, February 19, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 835 – 1,135 bombers and 560 fighters are dispatched to hit oil, industrial and rail targets in Germany.

 

The RAF sends 168 Lancasters to Wesel, hitting the railway area, and one Halifax on a radio countermeasure sortie. One Lancaster and crew is lost.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 254 Lancasters and six Mosquitos to Böhlen.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In the Canadian First Army area, British XXX Corps continues the battle of Goch, where the enemy is resisting from street-to-street.

 

In the US Third Army’s VIII Corps area, the 358th Infantry, of the 90th Division, seizes Masthorn and a hill west of Pronsfeld. The 359th Infantry takes Ober and Nieder Uttfeld, and heads for a hill north of Houf. Combat Command R, of the 11th Armored Division, captures Herzfeld and mops-up in the Leidenborn area. The 6th Cavalry Group crosses a platoon of the 28th Squadron over the Our River, just north of Vianden, and constructs a footbridge at the crossing site.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 80th Division, continuing northeast toward the Pruem with the 318th and 317th Regiments, clears Hommerdingen, Freidlingerhohe, and Nusbaum. The 319th Infantry begins envelopment of the enemy remaining within West Wall positions, with elements capturing Niedergegen. The 5th Division, employing the 2nd Battalion, of the 2nd Infantry, clears Stockem. On the southern flank of XII Corps, a Task Force of the 2nd Cavalry Group crosses the Moselle River, at Ehnen, under cover of darkness, and captures the road center of Wincheringen.

 

XX Corps opens an attack to clear the Saar–Moselle triangle. After intense artillery preparation, the 94th Division attacks with the 376th Infantry, the 301st Infantry, and the 302nd Infantry, with the 5th Ranger Battalion attached, abreast from left to right, at 0400 hours. The initial objective is to clear the Borg–Munzingen highway and ridge. The attack, closely supported by air and artillery, goes well, breaching the West Wall switch line defenses, on a broad front, on the left and overrunning the towns of Oberleuken, Keblingen, Faha, and Munzingen.

 

In the US Seventh Army’s XV Corps area, the 276th Infantry, of the 70th Division, breaks into Forbach and begins street fighting there. The 253rd Infantry, of the 63rd Division, recovers Auersmacher and takes Kleinblittersdorf.

 

Eastern Europe
Vigorous fighting is reported on the Samland Peninsula, in Prussia, as the Germans attempt to escape westward, from Koenigsberg.

 

In northwestern Poland, Red Army troops are pressing northward toward Danzig and have encircled Grudziadz.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of almost 500 B-24s and B-17s, escorted by a group of about 220 P-51s and P-38s, to bomb two marshalling yards and the south station area in Vienna, the marshalling yards at Klagenfurt, Graz, and Bruck an der Mur, in Austria, the marshalling yards at Maribor, Yugoslavia, shipyards in Fiume, Italy, and the harbor and military installations at Pula, Yugoslavia.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 10th Mountain Division maintains positions on the Sarasiccia–Campania ridge against counterattacks. At 2300 hours they begin a main attack on the Belvedere- Gorgolesco mass, with the 87th and 85th Regiments, omitting artillery preparation in an effort to surprise the enemy. Substantial progress is made during the night against sporadic resistance.

 

India – Burma Theater (India)

20th Air Force (XX Bomber Command) Mission 37 – In the Mayalan States, 59 B-29s bomb the Central Railroad Repair Shops at Kuala Lumpur, with some bombing from only 1,000 feet.

 

India – Burma Theater (Burma)

In the Allied Land Forces Southeast Asia (ALFSEA) XV Corps area, the Japanese begin determined operations against the Indian 25th Division’s bridgehead at Ru-ywa.

 

In the Northern Combat Area Command (NCAC) area, the 30th Division of the Chinese New First Army takes Hsenwi.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

In Formosa, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s bomb the Koshun, Heito, and Takao airfields and B-25s and fighters, on sweeps, attack a large number of targets of opportunity including trains, parked aircraft, buildings, and coastal vessels. In the central Philippine Islands, US Marines F4Us, under the tactical command of the 13th Air Force, fly napalm strikes against airfields and other targets. On Luzon Island, fighters, B-25s, and A-20s continue to support ground forces at San Augustin, Carranglen, Balete Pass, and the Bataan Peninsula, and bomb Japanese-held sectors on Corregidor Island. B-24s bomb the Miri Airfield, on Borneo.

 

In the XI Corps area, East Force suspends its drive across the Bataan Peninsula, while the 149th Infantry searches for enemy positions. Rock Force repels a Japanese counterattack on Corregidor. Probing of the Ternate area, on the southern coast of Manila Bay, is begun.

 

In the US Eighth Army area, X Corps begins a series of amphibious operations to clear a shipping route through the San Bernardino Strait to the port of Manila. A provisional Task Force, of the Americal Division, lands elements at Allen, on the northwestern tip of Samar, and the 1st Battalion, of the 182nd Infantry, on Capul Island, at the west entrance to the San Bernardino Strait. The landing parties begin searching for enemy forces.

 

Americal Division units are eliminating enemy pocket in Villaba area, of Leyte.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

The 7th Air Force dispatches 44 B-24s, from Saipan Island, to Iwo Jima Island. They pound defense positions and bivouac and storage areas, a little more than an hour before the amphibious landing on the southeastern coast at 0900 hours.

 

20th Air Force (XXI Bomber Command) Mission 37 – 150 B-29s are dispatched to hit the Musashino aircraft plant in Tokyo, hoping to draw air reinforcements away from the Iwo Jima invasion. Thick clouds completely cover the primary target so 119 bomb the port and urban area of Tokyo, while others hit targets of last resort and targets of opportunity. The bombers shoot down 39 Japanese aircraft. Six B-29s and crews are lost.

 

After intense preparatory bombardment by warships and carrier-based and land-based planes, the V Amphibious Corps (VAC) Landing Force, Task Group 56.1, commanded by General Schmidt, USMC, goes ashore on the southeastern coast of Iwo Jima, beginning at 0900 hours. Two Regimental Combat Teams, from each of the 4th and 5th Mar Divisions (four teams all together) land abreast, against initial light resistance. As the attack progresses inland, enemy fire becomes increasingly heavy, particularly on the right, and Marines incur heavy casualties and loss of equipment. On the right flank of VAC, the 4th Marine Division, with Regimental Combat Team 25 on the right and Regimental Combat Team 23 on the left, lands on beaches Blue 1 and Yellow 2 and Yellow 1, from right to left. Right flank elements turn right, to secure Beach Blue 2, while the rest of the 4th Marine Division attacks frontally, across the heights commanding the beaches to the eastern edge of Airfield Island. On VAC’s left, the 5th Marine Division, with Regimental Combat Teams 27 and 28, lands on beaches Red 2, Red 1 and Green 1, from right to left, and drives across the island, to the heights overlooking the west coast. Left flank elements turn south, toward Mt. Suribachi, the highest point of the island and located on the southern tip, while elements to the right start north. Tanks and artillery go into action, as soon as the land on the fireraked beaches.

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Tuesday, February 20, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 836 – 1,264 bombers and 726 fighters are dispatched to targets in Germany, using visual and H2X radar methods.

 

During the night, the RAF sends 1,283 aircraft to targets in Germany.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In the US Third Army area, main opposition to VIII Corps centers in Lichtenborn, in the 90th Division sector, from which enemy fire is direct and intense, as the Germans attempt to protect their withdrawal. The 359th Infantry, of the 90th Division, breaks through the woods east of Ober and Nieder Uttfeld. The 2nd Battalion, of the 357th Infantry, takes Houf and a hill to the north, but Task Force Gassman and Company A are unable to clear Binscheid. Combat Command R, of the 11th Armored Division, clears Sengerich and the heights around the town, against decreasing opposition. Along the Our River, the 6th Armored Division renews its offensive. Making the main effort on the north, Combat Command B overruns West Wall fortifications within its zone, north of Dahnen, gaining about two miles, while Combat Command A provides diversionary fire and smoke, largely in Dasburg area.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 318th Infantry, of the 80th Division, reaches favorable position for an assault on the heights south of Mettendorf. The 317th Infantry dears the high ground north of Nusbaum, crosses the Enz River, and captures Enzen. The 319th Infantry continues the reduction of West Wall positions, within its sector. The 5th Division mops-up along the west bank of the Pruem River. Elements of the 2nd Infantry take Halsdorf.

 

In the XX Corps area, the 10th Armored Division, reinforced by Regimental Combat Team 376, of the 94th Division, enters the offensive to clear the Saar–Moselle triangle. On the left, Regimental Combat Team 376 clears Kreuzweiler and Thorn, and Combat Command R overruns Palzem, Dilmar, Sudlingen, Wehr, Helfant, and Rommelfangen. On the right, Combat Command A takes Kirf, Meurich, Kelsen, Dittlingen, Korrig, and Fisch. Pressing east toward the Saar River, the 301st Infantry, of the 94th Division, clears Kollesleuken and Freudenberg, while the 302nd Infantry takes Weiten and Orscholz.

 

In the US Seventh Army’s XV Corps area, the 276th Infantry, of the 10th Division, continues street-fighting in Forbach. The 275th Infantry takes the villages of Alsting, Zinzing, and Hesseling.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of over 520 B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escort, to bomb the oil refineries at Lobau, Vienna and Schwechat, in Austria, and the Floridsdorf marshalling yard at Vienna, the steel works at Kapfenberg, Austria, the harbor at Pula, Yugoslavia, and the shipyards at Trieste and Fiume, Italy.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 10th Mountain Division, after gaining the crests of Monte Belvedere and Monte Gorgolesco, during the early morning hours, drives toward the saddle of the ridge leading to Monte Torraccia.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s bomb runways and a warehouse at Jesselton Airfield, in Borneo. Buildings at Puerto Princesa, on Palawan Island, and underground installation on Corregidor Island, in Manila Bay, are also pounded. B-25s and fighters, over Formosa, thoroughly blast the town of Choshu, and also hit railroad yards, vehicles, railway rolling stock, and buildings.

 

In the US Sixth Army area, the 7th Cavalry Division, of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade, seizes the crossings of the Mariquina River, in the Ugong–Rosario area.

 

In the I Corps area, the 1st Battalion, of the 161st Infantry (25th Division), gains control of three of the four enemy positions under attack, northwest of Lumboy.

 

In the US Eighth Army’s X Corps area, the Americal Division’s Provisional Task Force sends land and amphibious patrols from Allen, on Samar Island, along the northwestern coast, to Lavezares. Elements make an uncontested landing on Macarite Island and cross the channel to establish a beachhead on Biri Island, at the east entrance to the San Bernardino Strait.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

V Amphibious Corps (VAC) enlarges its beachhead against stubborn opposition. The 4th Marine Division reinforces each of its assault Regimental Combat Team’s with a boat landing team of Regimental Combat Team 24, which is in reserve. They then overrun Airfield 1. After repelling a predawn counterattack, the 5th Marine Division continues its drives to the north and south. With tanks spearheading, Regimental Combat Team 27, reinforced by Regimental Combat Team 26, drives slowly north, on the left flank of VAC. Meanwhile, Regimental Combat Team 28, assisted by flame-throwing tanks and close naval gunfire support, works south toward Mt. Suribachi, from which the enemy is pouring a heavy volume of fire. Regimental Combat Team 28 is systematically reducing the numerous emplacements in its path. Maximum gain of 1,000 yards is made in the center of VAC. Casualties to men and equipment continue to be high. Tank casualties, after two days of bitter fighting, are estimated at 20 to 30 percent.

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Wednesday, February 21, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 839 – 1,262 bombers and 792 fighters are dispatched to again attack targets around Nurnberg, Germany.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 362 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitos to Duisburg, on the last major Bomber Command raid on this city. 288 Halifaxes, 36 Lancasters, and 25 Mosquitos are sent to Worms, in the first and only large Bomber Command raid on this city, which destroyed about 39 percent of the town's built-up area. 165 Lancasters and 12 Mosquitos again attempt to breach the Mittelland Canal, near Gravenhorst. Bomber Command claims that the canal is now “100 per cent unserviceable.”

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In the Canadian First Army’s British XXX Corps area, the 51st Division overcomes the final resistance in Goch.

 

In the US Third Army’s VIII Corps area, the 359th Infantry, of the 80th Division, seizes Strickscheid and Euscheid. The 357th Infantry, assisted by aircraft, takes the high ground above Lichtenborn, clears Stalbach, and assists Task Force Gassman in capturing Binscheid. The 358th Infantry clears the draw between Halenbach and Hickeshausen, and takes both towns. Combat Command R, of the 11th Armored Division, widens the breach in the West Wall, seizing Roscheid and reducing pillboxes to the northeast and the northwest. The 6th Armored Division makes good progress east of the Our River, with the 9th Armored Infantry Battalion, driving south and bypassing pillboxes along the east bank of river, seizing Dahnen and Dasburg, and the 50th Armored Infantry Battalion, moving east, clearing Reipeldingen and Daleiden.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 318th Infantry, of the 80th Division, clears the high ground south of Mettendorf. The 317th Infantry is checked by heavy enemy fire as it attempts to reach the heights west of Niehl. The 319th Infantry, reinforced by the 53rd Armored Infantry Battalion, of the 4th Armored Division, envelops and destroys the enemy in West Wall positions between the Our River and the Gay River, with the capture of Roth. They also clear Korperich and Lahr. The 385th Infantry, of the 76th Division, clears additional pillboxes within its zone.

 

In the XX Corps area, the 10th Armored Division, against disorganized resistance, drives to their final objective in the Saar–Moselle triangle and attacks toward the Kanzem and Wiltingen bridges. The 94th Division clears eastward, to the Saar River, within its zone, between Orscholz and Saarburg, overrunning a number of towns and villages.

 

In the US Seventh Army’s XV Corps area, the 276th Infantry, of the 10th Division, gains about a third of Forbach, as street-fighting continues. The 274th Infantry and elements of 275th Infantry capture Spicheren and reach the heights beyond, commanding Saarbruecken and Stiring Wendel.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of over 500 B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escort, to bomb the central yards, south station, and Matzleinsdorf marshalling yard at Vienna, the marshalling yards at Bruck an der Mur, Wiener-Neustadt, and Zeltweg, all in Austria, the marshalling yards at Sopron, Hungary, and the shipyards at Trieste and Fiume, Italy.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

12th Air Force medium bombers bomb bridges at Dogna, Crema, and Romano di Lombardia.

 

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 10th Mountain Division continues toward the crest of Monte Torraccia, against strong opposition. The Brazilian 1st Division begins an attack toward Monte Castello, with the 1st and 11th Regiments, gaining the feature and taking the village of Abetaia.

 

India – Burma Theater (Burma)

In the British Fourteenth Army’s IV Corps area, elements of the Indian 17th Division open a drive toward Meiktila, from the Nyaungu bridgehead.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

On Luzon Island, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s bomb Japanese positions in the hills west of Ft. Stotsenburg, while P-47s pound Corregidor Island and strafe the Bagae-Pilar road, and P-40s support ground forces at Marikina, San Mateo, and on Corregidor Island.

 

In the US Sixth Army area, XI Corps successfully concludes operations on the Bataan Peninsula, with the junction of East Force and South Force, south of Bagac. The US suffers about 50 killed or missing, while the Japanese total about 200 dead. A small Japanese force remains in the Mt. Natib area, but it is eventually destroyed.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

After preparatory air, naval, and artillery bombardment, the V Amphibious Corps (VAC) attacks north, toward Airfield 2, and south, toward Mt. Suribachi. Progress is slow and costly, as the effective tank strength, at end of day, is about 50 percent. While clearing northward to positions generally along the phase line O–1, which includes the southern part of Airfield 2, assault forces encounter severe opposition from well-organized enemy positions around the airfield. Regimental Combat Team 28, of the 5th Marine Division, is viciously opposed, as it continues the methodical reduction of enemy positions, but reaches the base of Mt. Suribachi. During the night, the enemy makes several local counterattacks and repeated infiltration attempts. Although the Americans control the air over Iwo Jima, a few Japanese planes get through to attack shipping, sinking the USS Bismarck Sea (CVE 95) and damage other vessels.

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Thursday, February 22, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 841 – 1,428 bombers and 862 fighters commence Operation CLARION, a joint RAF, 8th Air Force, 9th Air Force and 15th Air Force operation, with the objective of paralyzing the already decimated German rail and road system. Most attacks are made visually, and bombing was conducted from an optimum 10,000 feet altitude to achieve accuracy at the target, without flak defenses.

 

The RAF sends 167 Lancasters, in groups of 85 and 82 aircraft, to the oil refineries at Gelsenkirchen and Osterfeld.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In Operation CLARION, the 9th Air Force sends a force of over 450 A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s to bomb targets in southwestern Germany, including 46 rail bridges, 12 marshalling yards, 11stations, plus junctions, roundhouses, a viaduct, a crossing, and a workshop.

 

In the Canadian First Army’s Canadian II Corps area, Moyland, on the road to Calcar, falls to the Canadian 2nd Division.

 

In the US First Army area, the 82nd Airborne Division clears III Corps’ sector.

 

In the US Third Army area, enemy resistance to VIII Corps disintegrates. On the 80th Division’s northern flank, the 359th Infantry clears its zone and patrols to the Pruem River, at Lunebach. The 357th Infantry quickly overruns Lichtenborn. The 358th Infantry, reinforced by the newly formed Task Force Spiess, takes Arzfeld, Holzchen, and the heights extending from southwest of Heckeshausen, to southeast of Neurath. The 11th Armored Division gains its final objectives, as Combat Command R clears Eschfeld and Reiff, and, attacking through Eschfeld after its capture, Combat Command B pushes to the division’s southern boundary, where contact is made with the 6th Armored Division. Combat Command B, of the 6th Armored Division, takes Irrhausen and Olmscheid. Elements of Combat Command A cross the Our River and drive south along the east bank, taking Preischeid and Afer. West of the Our River, the 15th Tank Battalion, after supporting the crossings, moves south and captures Ober Eisenbach, completing the reduction of West Wall positions within the 6th Armored Division’s zone. The 6th Cavalry Group crosses the rest of the 28th Squadron over the Our River, at Vianden, where a Bailey bridge is completed, and makes contact with the 80th Division, of XII Corps, at Obersgegen.

 

XII Corps consolidates its positions and begins regrouping. The 80th Division’s 318th Infantry mops-up near Mettendorf and drives toward Nieder Geckler and Sinspelt. The 319th Infantry clears Geichlingen. Under command of the 80th Division, Combat Command B, of the 4th Armored Division, begins an attack through the 319th Infantry, around midnight. The 385th Infantry continues to clear its zone, west of the Pruem River.

 

In the XX Corps area, the 10th Armored Division clears the rest of Saar–Moselle triangle. Attempting to secure a bridgehead across the Saar River, near Ockfen, the attached Regimental Combat Team 376, of the 94th Division, is prevented from crossing before dawn, by the lack of assault boats, and in the afternoon by heavy enemy fire, but succeeds in crossing during night. To the south, the 94th Division begins crossing the 302nd and 301st Regiments, in assault boats in the Staadt–Taben region in the morning and partly clears Serrig, located opposite Staadt, against determined resistance. Elements of Task Force Polk, and the attached 5th Ranger Battalion, clear the region between the old and new northern boundaries.

 

In the US Seventh Army’s XV Corps area, the 276th Infantry, of the 10th Division, gains control of two-thirds of Forbach, while other elements of the 10th Dovision are clearing the objective heights below Saarbruecken.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force’s participation in Operation CLARION includes a force of over 350 B-17s and B-24s bombing over 50 separate communications targets in Germany, Austria, and Italy.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

12th Air Force B-25s bomb railroad bridges and marshalling yards at Lavis, Bressanone, and Ala, cutting the bridge at Lavis, and the through tracks at the Ala marshalling yard.

 

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the enemy still clings to the crest of Monte Torraccia, but all of the 10th Mountain Division objectives to the left are now clear.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

On Luzon Island, 100 B-24s, from the Far East Air Force (FEAF), hit troop concentrations northwest of Ft. Stotsenburg, P-47s pound Corregidor Island, A-20s hit concentrations at Pugo, southwest of Baguio, B-24s bomb supply areas north and west of Baguio, while P-51s hit Angin and Marikina. B- 24s bomb the Tarakan and Labuan airfields, in Borneo.

 

In the US Sixth Army area, I Corps begins a drive toward the Balete Pass. The 35th Infantry, of the 25th Division, attacks with the 2nd Battalion, along a crude trail leading north from Rizal through Pantabangan, and with the 1st Battalion, toward the Pampanga River valley. The 127th Infantry, of the 32nd Division, with artillery and air support, renews its attack on the Villa Verde Trail, taking knoll positions in the bowl. The 33rd Division gains Question Mark Hill and Bench Mark Hill, concluding four days of limited attacks on these objectives.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

After a preparatory bombardment, the V Amphibious Corps (VAC) continues their northward attack toward the phase line O–2, which extends generally from Tachiiwi Point, on the east coast, to Motoyama village, in the center, to the west coast, south of Hiraiwa Bay. Elements are virtually pinned down by resistance from the main enemy defenses, consisting of mutually supporting pillboxes on the high ground, between Airfield 1 and Airfield 2. Regimental Combat Team 28 works slowly around the base of Mt. Suribachi, encircling it, except for 400 yards on the west coast. The enemy continues local counterattacks and infiltration attempts under the cover of darkness.

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Friday, February 23, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

American Theater

In California, a P-38, from the Santa Rosa Army Airfield, shoots down a Japanese balloon over Calistoga.

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 843 – As a follow-up to the yesterday's attacks on transportation facilities as part of Operation CLARION, 1,274 bombers and 705 fighters are dispatched to hit marshalling yards in Germany

 

The RAF dispatches 297 Halifaxes, 27 Lancasters, and 18 Mosquitos to Essen. 133 Lancasters fly a Gee-H attack on the Alma Pluto benzol plant, at Gelsenkirchen.

 

During the night, the RAF sends 367 Lancasters and 13 Mosquitos, with a Film Unit Lancaster, on the first and only, area-bombing raid of the war on Pforzheim. Meanwhile, 73 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos attack a possible U-boat base at Horten, on the Oslo Fjord.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force hits communications centers east of the Roer River, as the US Ninth Army crosses the river and begins an assault, Operation GRENADE, toward the Rhine River.

 

In the US Ninth Army area, Operation GRENADE begins at 0330 hours, following heavy artillery preparation lasting for 45 minutes. XIII Corps and XIX Corps attack across the Roer River, while XVI Corps stages a demonstration at jump-off time. The enemy is taken by surprise and assault troops move forward rapidly, against light-to-moderate resistance. Engineers putting in bridges are greatly handicapped by the swift current of the river, as well as accurate enemy ground fire and aerial attacks on crossing sites. The enemy fire delays movement of rear elements and supporting armor.

 

In the XIII Corps area, the 84th Division crosses the Roer River at Linnich, while the 102nd Division cross at Linnich Roerdorf. On the left, the 84th Division’s 334th Infantry makes excellent progress against unexpectedly light resistance, clearing Koerrenzig, Rurich, and Baal. On the right, the 102nd Division, employing the 407th Infantry, on the left, and the 405th Infantry, on the right, takes Glimbach, Gevenich, and Boslar.

 

XIX Corps uses the 29th and 30th Divisions in its assault across the Roer River, with the 29th Division, on the left, making the main effort. The 29th Division crosses in the Broich–Juelich area, with the 115th Regiment on the left and the 175th Regiment on the right. The 115th Infantry seizes Broich and the heights northeast and southeast of the town, blocks the Mersch–Pattern road, and patrols toward the towns of Mersch and Pattern. The 175th Infantry’s crossing at Juelich is delayed because of bridging difficulties, but a large portion of Juelich is cleared and a containing force is left at the Citadel. The 3rd Battalion, of the 116th Infantry, attached to the 175th Infantry to help mop-up Juelich, crosses the Roer River in the afternoon. Regimental Combat Team 330, of the 83rd Division, moves to the Schleiden area and is attached to the 29th Division. The 30th Division crosses in the vicinity of Schophoven, as the 119th Infantry seizes the villages of Selgersdorf, Altenburg, and Daubenrath, and at 2300 hours opens an attack for Hambach. To the south, the 120th Infantry clears the villages of Selhausen and Krauthausen, and begins an attack on Niederzier.

 

In the US First Army area, VII Corps, after 45 minutes of intense preparatory fire, attacks across the Roer River, at 0330 hours. Two regiments of the 104th Division and two of the 8th Division, each of them initially employing two assault battalions, cross abreast, in the vicinity of Dueren. On the north, the 104th Division’s 415th Infantry takes Huchem and Stammeln, while the 413th Infantry clears Birkesdorf and that part of Dueren north of the railroad. On the south, the 8th Division’s 13th Infantry enters Dueren, south of the railroad. The 28th Infantry, driving on Stockheim, passes through the woods just west of town.

 

In US Third Army’s VIII Corps area, enemy resistance is becoming increasingly disorganized. The 357th Infantry, of the 90th Division, overruns Kopscheid and pushes to the Pruem River line, at Waxweiler, where the enemy blows the bridge, and Manderscheid. The 358th Infantry and Task Force Spiess clear the Lauperath area and capture Krautscheid, Heilbach, Upperhausen, and Berkoth. Combat Command B, of the 6th Armored Division, takes the last of its objectives, Jucken and the heights near that town and Olmscheid. Combat Command A mops-up within its bridgehead, east of the Our River. The 15th Tank Battalion crosses at Ober Eisenbach and clears the region southward, between the Our River and the Irsen River.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 80th Division mops-up and clears Ober Geckler. Combat Command B, of the 4th Armored Division, takes Nieder Geckler and pushes on to Sinspelt, where the bridge is captured intact.

 

In the XX Corps’ 10th Armored Division zone, Regimental Combat Team 376 gains its objectives east of the Saar and clears Ockfen. Against heavy fire, the 94th Division continues crossing troops into the Serrig bridgehead, first by assault boats and later by foot bridge erected near Taben, and completes the capture of Serrig. On the west bank of the Saar River, the 94th Reconnaissance Troop clears Krutweiler.

 

Eastern Europe

Moscow announces the collapse of enemy resistance in Arnswalde, Pomerania, and Posen, Poland.

 

In Silesia, the Russians continue fighting in the suburbs of Breslau and push into the southern part of the city.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of about 380 B-17s and B-24s to attack the marshalling yards in Austria and Italy.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

In the US Sixth Army’s XIV Corps area, the 37th Division begins an assault on Intramuros, the final enemy stronghold in Manila, at the conclusion of a powerful program of artillery bombardment. The 145th Infantry enters by the Quezon Gate and the Parian Gate. The 3rd Battalion, of the 129th Infantry, works its way through the Mint building, after crossing the Pasig River in assault boats. Stunned by the preliminary bombardment, the enemy, at first, offers light resistance, but later rallies. The 2nd Cavalry Brigade, of the 1st Cavalry Division, drives east and northeast from the Taytay area, meeting fire from the enemy’s Shimbu line. The 20th Infantry, of the 6th Division, crosses the Mariquina River and takes the edge of the heights south of San Mateo, but gives ground a little under enemy fire after nightfall. Elements of the 11th Airborne Division, in an amphibious, overland, and airborne operation, take the Japanese internment camp at Los Banos.

 

In the I Corps area, Company B, of the 35th Infantry (25th Division), reaches Pantabangan. The 27th Infantry prepares to attack a strong enemy force, which was located by patrols during the wide movement to the east. On the Villa Verde Trail, the 127th Infantry, of the 32nd Division, completes the reduction of enemy positions within the bowl.

 

In the XI Corps area, the 40th Division renews its attack to clear the final enemy positions in the Zambales Mountains, of Luzon, employing the 108th and 185th Regiments.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

Surface vessels, aircraft, and artillery continue to support the V Amphibious Corps (VAC) closely, as it attacks toward the O–2 line, making the main effort in the center against Airfield 2. Limited progress is made on the flanks, but the enemy retains a re-entrant in the center. On the left flank of VAC, Regimental Combat Team 26, of the 5th Marine Division, is also slowed by heavy enemy fire. Regimental Combat Team 28, continuing the assault on Mt. Suribachi, gets elements to summit, where the American flag is raised. They complete the circle around the mountain and begin to methodically eliminate the enemy on its slopes.

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Saturday, February 24, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 845 – 1,114 bombers and 592 fighters are dispatched to hit oil refineries and rail targets, using H2X radar.

 

The RAF sends 290 Halifaxes, 26 Lancasters, and 24 Mosquitos to a synthetic-oil plant in Bergkamen, just north of Kamen. Elsewhere, 166 Lancasters and four Mosquitos abandon a raid on the Dortmund-Ems Canal, because of cloud cover. One Halifax and its crew are lost.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 74 training aircraft on a diversionary sweep over Northern France to draw German fighters into the air. Meanwhile, 63 Mosquitos are sent to Berlin, 18 to Neuss and three on “siren tours” of Dessau, Erfurt and Halle.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force dispatches a force of nearly 500 B-26s, A-20s and A-26s to attack five communications centers, two marshalling yards, three rail bridges, six town areas, and a target of opportunity, as part of interdiction operations against troops during the Rhineland campaign.

 

In the US Ninth Army’s XIII Corps area, after an unsuccessful enemy attempt to regain Rurich, the 335th Infantry, of the 84th Division, attacks to enlarge its bridgehead, passing through the 334th Infantry, at Baal, and turning northwest toward Doveren, which falls to the 1st Battalion, assisted by newly arrived armor. The 102nd Division withstands enemy thrusts against its right flank early in day, then attacks, swinging due north, to clear the villages of Kofferen and Dingbuchhof, on the left, and Hompesch and Hottorf, on the right. A Treadway Bridge is completed at Linnich, permitting artillery to follow.

 

In the XIX Corps area, the 29th Division’s 175th Infantry completes capture of Juelich and reduces the Citadel, with the assistance of flame-throwing tanks. The 30th Division completes the capture of Hambach, by 0130 hours, gains all of Niederzier, by 0630 hours, and clears the Grosse Forst and Lindenberger Wald portions of Staats Forst Hambach, by 2130 hours. The 117th Infantry crosses the Roer River and attacks northeast from the Niederzier area, toward Steinstrass, at 1630 hours, but encounters mine fields and felled trees that halt supporting armor. Infantry elements dismount from the tanks and continue to within 1,000 yards of Steinstrass.

 

The US First Army expands its Roer River bridgehead toward the VII Corps bridgehead line, east of the Elle River, and moves additional units into it. The 415th Infantry, of the 104th Division, clears Oberzier and more than half of Arnoldsweiler. At midnight, they open a drive on Ellen. The 413th Infantry mops-up in Dueren and takes the marshaling yards northeast of the city. The 8th Division’s 13th Infantry continues to clear southern Dueren and its suburbs. The 28th Division takes Krauthausen and Niederau, but pulls back slightly northwest of Stockheim.

During the night, the 413th Infantry secures the heights northeast of Arnoldsweiler and at 2100 hours begins a drive toward Morschenich, from the bridgehead line. The 414th Infantry, committed on the 104th Division’s right, attacks at 0300 hours, toward Merzenich.

 

In the US Third Army’s VIII Corps area, the 90th Division, in limited attacks, clears its right flank, with the capture of Bellscheid, Ringhuscheid, and Ober and Nieder Pierscheid. The 6th Armored Division gains its final objectives, during which, Combat Command B takes Leimbach, Neuerburg, and Muxerath and continues south to make contact with the 80th Division, of XII Corps, north of Ober Geckler, and Sevenig falls to a combat patrol of Combat Command A. The 6th Cavalry Group seizes Karlshausen, in conjunction with the 6th Armored Division, and easily overruns Herbstmuhle, Rodershausen, Koxhausen, Berscheid, Nasingen, and Bauler.

 

In the XII Corps area, elements of the 318th Infantry, of the 80th Division, clear the high ground north of Ober Geckler. Combat Command B, of the 4th Armored Division, reaches Outscheid and Brimingen, against moderate resistance. During the night, the 5th Division and the 76th Division begin crossing the Pruem River.

 

In the XX Corps area, the 10th Armored Division expands Regimental Combat Team 376’s Ockfen bridgehead, toward Schoden and Beurig, and moves three armored infantry battalions, under Combat Command A control, into it by assault boats, since enemy fire prevents bridging. The 94th Division’s 301st and 302nd Regiments expand the Serrig–Taben bridgehead, under heavy fire, and the last battalion west of river crosses into it. The 5th Ranger Battalion, driving northeast behind enemy lines, to cut the Irsch-Zerf road, reaches positions overlooking the road, where it is isolated. Engineers build a Treadway Bridge at Taben. Task Force Polk continues a destructive fire demonstration with all available weapons.

 

In the US Seventh Army’s XV Corps area, the 63rd Division, renewing a limited attack northward, completes the reduction of the Welferding salient, with the capture of Buebingen and Bliesransbach, and the heights between.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of over 500 B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escorts, to attack the Udine, Padua, Verona, and Ferrara marshalling yards and Ferrara railroad bridge, in Italy, the marshalling yards at Graz and Klagenfurt, in Austria, and several targets of opportunity.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

12th Air Force medium bombers bomb rail lines, bridges, bridge approaches, and fills. Fighter-bombers hit communications, mainly airfields, railroad bridges, lines, and marshalling yards.

 

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 10th Mountain Division reaches the summit of Monte Torraccia, during the morning, and the Brazilian 1st Division clears La Serra.

 

India – Burma Theater (India)

20th Air Force (XX Bomber Command) Mission 38 – In an all-incendiary attack, 116 B-29s hit the Empire Dock area at Singapore, in the Malayan States, burning out about 40 percent of the warehouse area. One B-29 is lost. This is the last 100-aircraft strike by the XX Bomber Command.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

In the US Sixth Army’s XIV Corps area, the 37th Division overcomes organized resistance in Intramuros. Fire is placed on the last three strongpoints in Manila: the Legislative, Finance, and Agriculture buildings. Against increasing resistance, the 2nd Cavalry Brigade, of the 1st Cavalry Division, drives toward Antipolo, reaching positions less than two miles from that objective. The 6th Division attacks with two regiments. The 63rd Infantry takes Montalban and San Isidro, and the 20th Infantry reaches the heights south of Mataba.

 

In the I Corps area, while the 35th Infantry, of the 25th Division, patrols, the 1st Battalion, of the 27th Infantry, continues to clear Highway 5.

 

In the XI Corps area, Rock Force clears all of Corregidor, except for 3,000 yards at the east end of the island. The 40th Division continues action against enemy positions in the Zambales Mountains, of Luzon, committing the 160th Infantry in an assault on Sacobia Ridge.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

After a preparatory bombardment, the V Amphibious Corps (VAC) attacks toward the limited objective line O–A, extending across the island, 800 yards north of Airfield 2, in the region between lines O–1 and O–2. Both flanks reach the O–A line and the enemy re-entrant, in the center, is eliminated. Regimental Combat Team 28, of the 5th Marine Division, continues to mop-up on Mt. Suribachi.

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Sunday, February 25, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 847 – 1,197 bombers and 755 fighters are dispatched to hit tank factories, airfields associated with jet aircraft, oil depots and rail targets.

 

The RAF sends 153 Lancasters on a Gee-H attack on the synthetic-oil refinery at Kamen. One Lancaster and crew is lost.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In the Canadian First Army’s British XXX Corps area, the 53rd Division, about a mile from Weeze, halts its drive upon orders.

 

In the US Ninth Army’s XVI Corps area, the 35th Division begins crossing the Roer River, at Linnich, to join in the offensive.

 

XIII Corps presses northward, toward Erkelenz. The 84th Division’s 335th Infantry, reinforced, takes Houverath. The 334th Infantry clears Hetzerath and Granterath. The 405th Infantry, of the 102nd Division, after the 3rd Battalion clears Ralshoven, drops back to protect the 102nd Division’s right flank and is replaced by the 406th infantry. The 407th Infantry takes Loevenich and the 406th Infantry clears Katzem and a number of other villages.

 

In the XIX Corps’ 29th Division zone, Regimental Combat Team 330 captures Pattern, Mersch, and Muentz. The 116th Infantry secures Welldorf and from there continues to Guesten, sending elements north, that seize Serrest. The 175th Infantry is pinched out. The 30th Division’s 119th Infantry takes Hollen and Rodingen. The 117th Infantry clears Steinstrass and opens an assault on Lich.

 

In the US First Army area, VII Corps completes the capture of Dueren and reaches the bridgehead line. During the early morning, the 415th Infantry, on the 104th Division’s left, battles for Ellen and rest of Arnoldsweiler, taking both. The 413th Infantry secures the heights northeast of Arnoldsweiler and, around midnight, begins a drive toward Morschenich, from the bridgehead line. The 414th Infantry, committed on the 104th Division’s right, attacks at 0300 hours, toward Merzenich, which is clear by noon, and at 2100 hours begins drive on Golzheim. The 13th Infantry, of the 8th Division, mops-up final resistance in southern Dueren and takes the barracks. Passing through the 13th Infantry, the 121st Infantry captures Binsfeld and part of Girbelsrath. The 28th Infantry clears most of Stockheim and takes Rommelsheim.

 

III Corps opens an assault across the Roer River, with the 1st Division. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions, of the 16th Infantry, cross over the bridges, in VII Corps zone, and drive south from Niederau, to secure crossing sites within the 1st Division’s zone. The 2nd Battalion takes Kreuzau and Drove, but the 3rd Battalion is stopped by the enemy at Stockheim. Using a newly constructed bridge in the 1st Division’s zone, the 1st Battalion, of the 16th Infantry, crosses in the afternoon and drives south from Kreuzau. The 26th Infantry begins crossing later in afternoon.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 80th Division clears Mettendorf and mops-up to the rear of the 4th Armored Division, to which Combat Command B reverts. The 4th Armored Division regroups, while continuing to attack. Combat Command B, consisting of the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion, the 37th Tank Battalion, and supporting units, drives east against disorganized resistance, crossing the Pruem River, at Hermesdorf, and establishing a bridgehead across the Nims River, at Rittersdorf. Combat Command A, consisting of the 10th Armored Infantry Battalion, the 8th Tank Battalion, and supporting units, moves from Brimingen to the Pruem River, and during the night, starts across at Oberweis. The 5th Division crosses the 1st and 3rd Battalions, of Regimental Combat Team 2, and three battalions of Regimental Combat Team 10, over the Pruem, near Peffingen, and drives northeast toward Bitburg. Regimental Combat Team 2, on the left , takes Wettlingen and the high ground to the northeast. West of the Pruem River, the 2nd Battalion clears Olsdorf and Bettingen. On the right, Regimental Combat Team 10 seizes Peffingen and reaches positions west of the Nims River, overrunning Ingendorf. Two battalions of Regimental Combat Team 304, of the 76th Division, cross the Pruem River, at the 5th Division crossing site, early in morning and clear Holsthum.

 

In the XX Corps area, since the enemy continues to prevent bridging in the 10th Armored Division zone, Combat Command B crosses the Saar, in the Taben area, of the 94th Division zone, driving through Irsch toward Zerf. Regimental Combat Team 376 slowly improves and expands its Ockfen bridgehead. The 94th Division’s 301st and 302nd Regiments expand the Serrig–Taben bridgehead, against heavy fire. The isolated 5th Ranger Battalion withstands strong pressure, with the aid of artillery, and improves its positions south of the Irsch–Zerf road.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of over 600 B-17s and B-24s to bomb marshalling yards in Amstetten, two in Linz, two in Villach, and Salzburg, plus the Linz benzol plant and ordnance depot and several targets of opportunity, all in Austria.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

In the US Sixth Army area, the 63rd Infantry mops-up and patrols toward Mt. Pacawagan. The 20th Infantry gets to within about a mile of the Mt. Mataba peak.

 

In the I Corps area, the 2nd Battalion, of the 35th Infantry (25th Division), reaches the vicinity of Carranglan with ease, and repels counterattack, during the night. The 1st Battalion closes in on Pantabangan. The 27th Infantry continues to clear the hill commanding Lumboy and Highway 5. The 161st Infantry completes the capture of Bryant Hill, northwest of Puncan.

 

In the XI Corps area, the 185th Infantry, of the 40th Division, completes its mission, with the capture of Hill 1700, on Luzon.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

20th Air Force (XXI Bomber Command) Mission 38 – 229 B-29s bomb the urban area of Tokyo, while 29 others hit alternates and targets of opportunity. This is the XXI Bomber Command's largest mission to date.

 

The V Amphibious Corps (VAC), with three divisions abreast, continues to attack toward the O–2 line, making the main effort in the center, where, by the end of the day, the east-west strip and two thirds of the north-south strip of Airfield 2 are secured. The 3rd Marine Division, resuming command of Regimental Combat Team 21 and passing Regimental Combat Team 9 through it, begins an attack in the center for the rest of Airfield 2, and gains several hundred yards, under heavy fire from the heights commanding both runways. On the right flank of VAC, the 4th Marine Division employs Regimental Combat Team 24, on the right, and Regimental Combat Team 23, which is released from VAC reserve, on the left. They secure a portion of the east-west runway of Airfield 2, within its sector.

 

Lieutenant General Millard Harmon, Commanding General of the Army Air Forces in the Pacific Ocean Area (AAFPOA) and Deputy Commander of the 20th Air Force, is lost near Kwajalein Atoll, in the Marshall Islands, when his aircraft disappears en route to Washington DC.

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Monday, February 26, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 849 – 1,207 bombers and 726 fighters are dispatched to make H2X radar attacks on three Berlin rail stations

 

The RAF sends 149 Lancasters on a Gee-H attack on the Hoesch benzol/oil plant at Dortmund.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force dispatches a force of 235 A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s to attack the communications center at Wickrath, rail and road junctions at Zieverich and Gladbach.

 

In the Canadian First Army area, Canadian II Corps begins Operation BLOCKBUSTER, to take Calcar and Udem, and exploit between them to Xanten. The Canadian infantry leads off at 0430 hours and the two armored divisions join in the attack, which continues during night. The first day’s advance gains an escarpment south of Calcar, Keppeln, and positions near Udem.

 

In the US Ninth Army’s XVI Corps area, the 137th Infantry, of the 35th Division, attacking northeast from Doveren, drives through Bruck, toward Hueckelhoven. The 134th Infantry, seizing the bridge at Hilfarth, crosses the Roer River and gains a bridgehead almost a mile deep.

 

In the XIII Corps area, the 84th Division cuts the Erkelenz–Gerderath road and assists the 102nd Division with tank destroyer fire on Erkelenz. Golkrath falls to the 335th Infantry and Matzerath falls to the 334th Infantry. Continuing north, with the 407th Infantry on the west and the 406th Infantry on the east, the 102nd Division clears Tenholt, Kueckhoven, Bellinghoven, and Wockerath, then launches a concerted assault on Erkelenz, which falls after moderate resistance. Advancing north, on the right flank of XIII Corps, Combat Command B, of the 5th Armored Division, clears Terheeg, Hauthausen, and Mennekrath.

 

In the XIX Corps area, the 29th Division attack gains momentum, as Hasselsweiler and Gevelsdorf fall to the 330th Infantry. The 116th Infantry, after completing the capture of Guesten early in day, is replaced on right flank by the 115th Infantry, which takes Speil, Ameln, and Titz. The 30th Division’s 120th Infantry captures Kalrath. The 117th Infantry clears Oberembt, Kirch, and Troisdorf.

 

In the US First Army area, on VII Corps’ northern flank, the 24th Squadron, of the 4th Calvary Group moves through the Hambach Forest, making contact with the enemy at the northeast edge. Troop B, of the 4th Cavalry Squadron, reconnoiters toward Esch, passing through Steinstrass. The 3rd Armored Division, after crossing into the bridgehead and being reinforced by the 13th Infantry, of the 8th Division, spearheads an attack northeast. On the 3rd Armored Division’s left, Combat Command B, employing Task Force Welborn and Task Force Lovelady, drives through the woods, to outskirts of Elsdorf, Wuellenrath, and Berrendorf. Combat Command A, blocking on the south, with Task Force Kane and Task Force Doan, takes Buir and Blatzheim. The reinforced 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, advancing between Combat Command B and Combat Command A, attempts to secure a bridgehead across the Erft Canal, near Bergheim, but halts at Manheim, which it takes with the assistance of Task Force Kane. Morschenich falls to the 413th Infantry, of the 104th Division, and Golzheim falls to the 414th Infantry before dawn. The 415th Infantry, passed through by the 4th Cavalry Group, is held in reserve. In the 8th Division zone, the 121st Infantry completes the capture of Girbelsrath and takes Eschweiler, then continues northeast, without making contact with enemy. The 28th Infantry clears the rest of Stockheim and captures Frauwullesheim and the villages near Rommelsheim. Elements of the 104th and 8th Divisions follow in the wake of the 3rd Armored Division, occupying captured towns.

 

In the III Corps area, the 1st Division expands its bridgehead to the east and southeast, against moderate resistance. The 16th Infantry clears Soller, while the 26th Infantry takes Udingen, Leversbach, Rath, and Boich. The 18th Infantry relieves the 8th Division, of VII Corps, of its responsibility for Stockheim and takes Jakobwuellesheim.

 

In the US Third Army’s VIII Corps area, at 1500 hours, the 87th Division, with elements of the 345th and 346th Regiments in the battle line, attacks north, toward Hallschlag and Ormont, meeting strong resistance and obstacles of all types as the attack continues through the night.

 

The 80th Division finishes clearing the region west of the Pruem River, on XII Corps northern flank. The 319th Infantry takes Phillipsweiler and Mauel. Combat Command B, of the 4th Armored Division, seizes the high ground north of Bitburg, but is unable to clear Erdorf, on the Kyll River. The 5th Division’s Regimental Combat Team 2, of the 3rd Battalion, which crosses the Pruem River and joins in the advance, pushes northeast to the Nims River, taking Stahl and Birdingen. Regimental Combat Team 10 clears Messerich and Dockendorf, on the west bank of the Nims River and crosses to take Ober and Nieder Stedem. Regimental Combat Team 2 crosses the Pruem River and begins attacking through the 10th Infantry. Elements of 304th Infantry secure the bridgehead across the Nims River, in the vicinity of Wolsfeld. The 1st Battalion, of the 385th Infantry pushes south, from Holsthum, toward Irrel.

 

In the XX Corps area, the 10th Armored Division and the 94th Division expand and join the Ockfen and Serrig bridgeheads. They jointly clear the Beurig area, permitting a heavy ponton bridge to be put in at Saarburg.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s, over Formosa, hit the Takao Airfield, while fighters, on a sweep, strafe railroad targets. On Luzon Island, B-24s bomb troop concentrations, in the Ipo Dam area, and support ground forces northeast of Manila. A-20s and fighter-bombers support ground forces in the Echague Airfield area, at Ternate, Trinidad, and Antipolo, and hit troops west of Ft. Stotsenburg. A-20s, P-38s, and P-47s hit Puerto Princesa, on Palawan Island, and B-25s bomb the Zettle Airfield, on Jolo Island. In Borneo, B-24s hit the Manggar and Sepinggang airfields.

 

In the US Sixth Army area, XIV Corps begins an assault on the last three strongpoints in Manila. The Japanese defeat efforts of the 1st Infantry to take Mt. Mataba.

 

In the XI Corps area, the 40th Division completes its immediate mission in the Zambales Mountains sector, when the 108th Infantry captures Hill 12. Rock Force concludes its operations on Corregidor, except for mopping-up, by 1600 hours.

 

The VICTOR III Attack Group, Task Group 78.2, under the command of Admiral Fechteler, and the Close Covering Group, Task Group 74.2, commanded by Rear Admiral R. S. Riggs, sails from Mindoro for Palawan, covered by the 5th Air Force and the 13th Air Force. The Attack Group commences an intensive aerial bombardment of the Puerto Princesa area, of Palawan.

 

The Americal Division completes the encirclement of enemy forces in the northwestern coastal sector of Leyte. The Division’s Provisional Task Force finishes clearing the southern part of the San Bernardino Strait, from northwest of Samar, through Balicuatro Island, and west, to Capul and Naranjo Ilands.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

Although still closely supported by air, naval, and artillery bombardment, the V Amphibious Corps’ (VAC) progress toward the O–2 line is measured in hundreds of yards, as strong enemy resistance continues. Regimental Combat Team 9, of the 3rd Marine Division, again making the main effort in the center of VAC, is supported by massed artillery fire, on the heights commanding Airfield 2, as it inches forward. On the right flank of VAC, the 4th Marine Division withdraws Regimental Combat Team 24 to reserve and continues to attack with Regimental Combat Team 25, on the right, and Regimental Combat Team 23, on the left, Regimental Combat Team 23 gains up to 300 yards, reaching the southwestern slopes of Hill 382, where the enemy is firmly entrenched.

 

Regimental Combat Team 26, of the 5th Marine Division, pushes north, on the left flank of VAC. Their center elements move ahead of those on the flanks, which are echeloned, on the left rear, to the commanding ground overlooking the west coast and, on the right rear, to conform with the advance of the 3rd Marine Division. Observation planes land on Airfield 1 and start spotting for artillery. Anti-aircraft artillery begins neutralization of Kangoku and Kama Rocks, off the west coast.

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Tuesday, February 27, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 851 – 1,107 bombers and 745 fighters are dispatched to hit road and rail communications at Halle and Leipzig, using H2X radar.

 

The RAF sends 311 Halifaxes, 131 Lancasters, and 16 Mosquitos to Mainz, in what is reported as this city's worst raid of the war. Elsewhere, 149 Lancasters fly a Gee-H attack on the Alma Pluto benzol plant, at Gelsenkirchen.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force sends a force of 118 A-20s, A-26s and B-26s to attack the Ahrweiler rail bridge, communications centers at Glessen, Munstereifel, and Monheim, and a target of opportunity.

 

In the Canadian First Army’s Canadian II Corps area, the British 43rd Division overruns Calcar and Grieth, on the Rhine. The Canadian 3rd Division clears Udem and the British 11th Armoured Division drives from Udem, toward Kervenheim.

 

In the US Ninth Army’s XVI Corps area, the 35th Division advances rapidly, east of the Roer River, against moderate resistance. Its 137th Infantry clears Altmyhl, Myhl, Gerderath, and Gerderhahn, and the 134th Infantry takes Millich, Schauffenberg, Ratheim, Luchtenberg, Orsbeck, Wassenberg, and two other towns.

 

In the XIII Corps area, the 84th Division organizes Task Force Church, a motorized task force, based on 334th Infantry, for a breakthrough attack, since the enemy appears to be thoroughly disorganized. Spearheaded by Company B, of the 771st Tank Battalion, the Task Force drives about 10 miles north, from Matzerath, to the road junction southeast of Waldniel, where opposition is met. Beeck, Wegberg, Rickelrath, and many other villages are cleared. On the right flank of XIII Corps, Combat Command B, of the 5th Armored Division, though handicapped by extremely muddy terrain, gets elements to Guenhoven and the south edge of Rheindahlen, before bogging down. The 102nd Division’s 406th Infantry attacks through the halted armor, clearing Rheindahlen and continuing north. The 405th Infantry, to the right, reaches the east-west railway line between Wegberg and Rheydt.

 

In the XIX Corps area, the 29th Division advances to the east-west road between Erkelenz and Garzweiler, against token resistance. The 30th Division advances north, to a line from Garzweiler to Koenigshoven, with Garzweiler falling to the 120th Infantry and Koenigshoven falling to the 119th Infantry.

 

In the US First Army area, VII Corps advances steadily across the Cologne Plain, despite the enemy’s stubborn defense of the approaches to Cologne. The 4th Cavalry Group takes Tollhausen and Esch. The 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion clears Grouven and Zieverich. A Combat Command B task forces take Elsdorf, Wuellenrath, Berrendorf, and Giesendorf. Combat Command A’s Task Force Kane takes Heppendorf and Sindorf, while Task Force Doan, in conjunction with the 8th Division, clears Bergerhausen and part of Kerpen. The 104th and 8th Divisions follow the 3rd Armored Division closely, mopping-up and occupying captured towns. Regimental Combat Team 395, of the 99th Division, assembles near Stolberg.

 

In the III Corps area, the 16th Infantry, of the 1st Division, clears Frangenheim and Vettweiss. Attacking toward the Neffel River, at 1900 hours, the 18th Infantry reaches Kelz and Irresheim. The 9th Division’s 39th Infantry, reinforced, attacks south, through the 1st Division bridgehead, and takes Thum and Nideggen, and begins a drive on Berg.

 

In the V Corps area, the 69th Division begins limited attacks for a ridge east of the Prether River, to insure the safety of the Hellenthal-Hollerath highway as a mian supply route, with the 271st Infantry taking Dickerscheid and the 273rd Infantry taking Giescheid.

 

In the US Third Army’s VIII Corps area, the 87th Division makes limited gains toward Ormont and Hallschlag. Combat Command A, of the 6th Armored Division, establishes a small bridgehead across the Pruem River, and the 9th Armored Infantry Battalion crosses near Manderscheid and seizes Heilhausen.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 317th Infantry, of the 80th Division, crossing the Pruem River, on the northern flank, takes Wissmannsdorf. Combat Command B, of the 4th Armored Division, clears Nattenheim and Fliessem, while Combat Command A takes Matzen. Regimental Combat Team’s 2 and 10, of the 5th Division, drive east abreast, cutting the Bitburg–Trier highway, as Regimental Combat Team 2 enters the southern outskirts of Bitburg and overruns Masholder and Moetsch, and Regimental Combat Team 10 clears Esslingen. The 76th Division pushes southeast, toward Trier, from the Wolsfeld bridgehead, as the 304th Infantry takes Meckel and Gilzem. Between the Pruem River and the Nims River, the 1st Battalion, of the 385th Infantry, clears Irrel. The 2nd Battalion, crossing the Pruem and Nims rivers, takes Niederweis.

 

In the XX Corps area, Combat Command A, of the 10th Armored Division, begins a drive on Trier, moving north through Combat Command B, at Zerf, to the Pellingen area, where extensive mine fields are found. Combat Command B, leaving elements to block to the south and east of Zerf, follows Combat Command A and takes Baldringen.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of over 540 B-24s and B-17s, with fighter escort, to bomb the marshalling yards at Augsburg, Germany, and Salzburg, Lienz, and Jenbach, Austria, plus several targets of opportunity.

 

India – Burma Theater (Burma)

In the British Fourteenth Army’s XXXIII Corps area, Japanese opposition to the Indian 20th Division subsides and the Irrawaddy bridgehead is firmly established.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s, A-20s, and P-38s strike Puerto Princesa, on Palawan Island, in preparation for the following morning's allied amphibious landings. On Luzon Island, ground support continues on a large scale, including a strike on Baguio by P-51s. On Mindanao P- 38s and USMC aircraft hit airfields. B-24s bomb the Tarakan and Jesselton airfields, in Borneo. On Formosa, Takao is hit by B-24s, while fighters sweep the west coast. Sweeping the China coast, B-25s hit a fleet of junks and sampans near Hong Kong, destroying and damaging over 25.

 

In the US Sixth Army’s XIV Corps area, the 148th Infantry, of the 37th Division, clears a stubborn enemy from most of the Legislative building, in Manila. 1st Infantry positions in the Mt. Mataba area are untenable and Company’s I and L withdraw. Company C is unable to progress against the mountain and also falls back.

 

In the I Corps area, the 27th Infantry, of the 25th Division, captures a Japanese plan for the defense of Balete Pass.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

The V Amphibious Corps (VAC) continues their attack toward the O–2 line, after intense preparatory fire. In the center, Regimental Combat Team 9, of the 3rd Marine Division, penetrates enemy positions to secure the rest of Airfield 2 and the heights beyond. Regimental Combat Team 23, making the main effort of the 4th Marine Division, reaches the top of Hill 382, but withdraws to a more favorable position for the night. Regimental Combat Team 25 is delayed, on the left, by a troublesome pocket near Minami, but gains ground along the east coast. The 5th Marine Division, replacing Regimental Combat Team 26 with Regimental Combat Team 27, advances slowly but steadily north, on VAC’s left flank.

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Wednesday, 28 February , 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 854 – 1,104 bombers and 737 fighters are dispatched to make PFF attacks on rail targets in Germany.

 

The RAF sends 156 Lancasters on a Gee-H raid on the Nordstern synthetic-oil plant at Gelsenkirchen.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force dispatches a force of over 340 A-20s, B-26s and A-26s to bomb rail bridges at Mayen, Niederscheld, and Colbe, the Unna ordnance depot, Kamp road junction, Siegen and Sankt Wendel marshalling yards, the town of Rheinburg, and targets of opportunity.

 

In the Canadian First Army area, the British 43rd Division continues southeast along the Rhine River, on the left flank of Canadian II Corps. The Canadian 2nd Infantry and the Canadian 4th Armoured Divisions deepen their penetration into the Hochwald Forest and between there and the Balberger Forest. The Canadian 3rd Division, followed by the British 11th Armoured Division, advances to the Balberger Forest.

 

In the US Ninth Army area, XVI Corps’ 35th Division gains 3½ miles, as the 137th Infantry takes Rogden, Wildenrath, and Station Vlodrop, and the 134th Infantry seizes Ophoven, Steinkirchen, Effeld, Birgelen, and Rosenthal. Task Force Byrne, of the 320th Infantry, prepares for a motorized drive on Venlo, Holland, some 200 miles to the north. Combat Command A, of the 8th Armored Division, pushing north past Wegberg, overruns Merbeck and Tetelrath. Combat Command B and Combat Command R, upon relief by the 15th Cavalry Group, cross the Roer River, at Hilfarth. Combat Command B sends a task force north, that captures Arsbeck, and Combat Command R, moves to the Wegberg area.

 

In the XIII Corps area, the 84th Division, against stiffer resistance, gains about two miles. One 334th Infantry column begins clearing Waldniel, while another drives to Birgen. The 102nd Division continues north, with the 406th Infantry taking Hardt and the 405th infantry clearing Hehn and Vorst.

 

XIX Corps overruns numerous towns and villages during a rapid advance. The 29th Division drives quickly toward Munchen–Gladbach, with the 175th and 116th Regiments. In a five to eight mile advance, from the Otzenrath–Garzweiler region, the 2nd Armored Division reaches positions within five miles of Neuss and six miles of the Rhine River.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, the 3rd Armored Division expands its shallow bridgeheads at Glesch and Paffendorf, and crosses armor over a newly completed bridge at Paffendorf. They repel a tank-infantry counterattack on the Paffendorf bridgehead. The 104th Division mops-up west of the Erft and prepares to cross. While the 3rd Battalion, of the 121st Infantry (8th Division), mops-up stragglers in Kerpen, the 1st and 2nd Battalions attack for Moedrath, wading the Erft Canal to reach the west edge.

 

In the III Corps area, the 18th Infantry, of the 1st Division, clears several towns along Neffel River. The 16th Infantry takes Gladbach, by noon, and Luxheim, in a nighttime attack. The 39th Infantry, of the 9th Division, clears Berg and the heights between Berg and Thum. The 60th Infantry assists in the capture of Berg. The 47th Infantry crosses the Roer River and clears Abenden. Elements of the 60th and 47th Regiments clear the rest of the east bank of the Roer River, within the 9th Division’s zone. The 311th Infantry, of the 78th Division, crosses the Roer River, in the 9th Division zone, and drives south to secure crossing sites for the main division crossings. The 9th Armored Division crosses the Roer River. Combat Command B attacks south, from the assembly area at Soller, in the afternoon.

 

In the V Corps area, the 69th Division clears the rest of its objective heights, east of the Prether River, from Honningen to Rescheid.

 

In the US Third Army’s VIII Corps area, enemy opposition to the 87th Division is unabated, but the 345th Infantry gains Neuenstein. To the south, VIII Corps attacks across the Pruem River in force, starting before dawn. The 4th Division’s 8th Infantry takes Klienlangenfeld, while the 22nd Infantry captures Dausfeld. The 6th Armored Division enlarges its bridgehead. Crossing near Lunebach, Combat Command B places outposts at Pronsfeld and captures Lunebach, Lierfeld, and Merlscheid. The 9th Armored Infantry Battalion expands its bridgehead and is passed through by the 44th Armored Infantry Battalion, which then takes Dackscheid and Eilscheid. Elements of the 6th Cavalry Group cross at Waxweiler and clear that town.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 317th Infantry, of the 80th Division, drives north between the Pruem and Nims rivers, taking Liessem and Niederweiler. The 5th Division clears to the west bank of the Kyll River, within its zone. The 76th Division continues southeast, between the Pruem and Kyll rivers, toward Trier, clearing Hofweiler, Ittelkyll, Idesheim. Helenenberg, and Eisenach.

 

In the XX Corps area, continuing north toward Trier, Combat Command A, of the 10th Armored Division, followed by Combat Command B, breaches a mine field near Pellingen and clears Paschel and Obersehr. The 94th Division’s Regimental Combat Team 376, still attached to the 10th Armored Division, and the 301st and 302nd Regiments continue to clear pillbox resistance and expand the Ockfen-Serrig bridgehead, to the northeast, protecting the 10th Armored Division’s drive on Trier.

 

Eastern Europe

Moscow announces the capture of Pomeranian communications centers of Neustettin and Prechlau, and further gains in Breslau, Silesia.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of about 680 B-17s and B-24s to bomb marshalling yards at Lienz, Austria, Ora, Bolzano, Vipiteno, Vicenza, Fortezza, Bressanone, Brunico, Brescia, and Conegliano, Italy, and bridges at Albes and Verona-Parona di Valpolicella, Italy. Meanwhile, 109 P-51s provide escort

 

India – Burma Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force flies 552 transport sorties, landing men and supplies at forward bases and dropping supplies to frontline troops.

 

In British Fourteenth Army’s IV Corps area, the Indian 17th Division begins an assault on Meiktila, against strong opposition.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

With the reduction of opposition in the Legislative building, only the Agriculture and Finance buildings remain to be cleared, in Manila. Company C, of the 63rd Infantry (6th Division), reaches the crest of Mt. Pacawagan, which is largely clear.

 

In the US Eighth Army area, at Palawan, Attack Group VICTOR III, Task Group 78.2, arrives off Puerto Princesa at dawn. After an air and naval bombardment, Attack Group VICTOR III lands assault waves of Regimental Combat Team 186, reinforced, of the 41st Division, without opposition. The town of Puerto Princesa and its airfields are quickly seized and radar installations are established. In a shore-to-shore operation, the 2nd Battalion lands at the mouth of the Iwahig River and moves inland.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

V Amphibious Corps (VAC) continues their attack toward the O–2 line, several hundred yards distant. The 3rd Marine Division, still making the main effort in the center of VAC, passes Regimental Combat Team 21 through Regimental Combat Team 9, and presses north under a rolling artillery barrage, overrunning Motoyama village and reaching the commanding ground overlooking Airfield 3. Regimental Combat Team 25 gains additional ground along the east coast, but an enemy pocket remains near Minami. On the left flank of VAC, Regimental Combat Team 27, of the 5th Marine Division, gains the forward slopes of Hill 362, south of Nishi.

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Thursday, March 1, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 857 – 1,228 bombers and 488 fighters are dispatched to attack marshalling yards in central and southern Germany.

 

The RAF sends 372 Lancasters, 90 Halifaxes, and 16 Mosquitos to Mannheim, in Bomber Command’s last large-scale raid on the city, and 151 Lancasters to attack an oil plant at Kamen.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force sends a force of over 340 B-26s, A-20s and A-26s to attack targets in Germany.

 

In Canadian First Army’s British XXX Corps area, the 3rd Division clears Kervenheim.

 

In the US Ninth Army area, on XVI Corps north flank, the 35th Division’s Task Force Byrne, based on the 320th Infantry, speeds more than 20 miles north, from the Wildenrath area, of Germany, and captures Venlo, in Holland. The surprised enemy yields 20 towns and villages.

 

XIII Corps begins a coordinated attack before dawn, with the 84th and 102nd Divisions. Speeding north, from the Birgen area, motorized Task Force Church, of the 84th Division, overruns Boisheim and is then dissolved. The 333rd Infantry captures Duelken and passes through Suechteln to reach the Niers Canal, at Oedt.

 

In the XIX Corps area, Munchen–Gladbach falls to the 29th Division. A final assault, with the 175th Infantry on the left and the 116th Infantry on the right, meets moderate resistance. The 2nd Armored Division, employing Combat Command A, on the left, and Combat Command B, on the right, speeds north over the Cologne Plain, for gains of up to nine miles. Combat Command A takes Kleinenbroich, crosses the Nord Canal, over bridges captured intact, and continues north to a line from Willich to Osterath, clearing both of those towns. Combat Command B heads for the Adolf Hitler bridge, at Uerdingen, moving via Grefrath and Buettgen, to the Nord Canal, where a Treadway bridge is put in.

 

In the US First Army area, VII Corps continues its attack toward Cologne and the Rhine River, from the Erft.

 

III Corps drives steadily east toward the Rhine River. On the 1st Division’s left flank, the 18th Infantry takes Wissersheim, Rath, Pingsheim, and Dorweiler, while the 16th Infantry, to the right, overruns Eggersheim and crosses the Neffel River.

 

In the US Third Army area, VIII Corps, disposed astride the Pruem River, continues east against strong resistance, particularly on the north. The 87th Division, with its left flank protected by the attached Combat Command A, of the 11th Armored Division, battles fortified positions on the north flank of VIII Corps, with elements of three regiments, reducing strongly defended pillboxes and clearing Ormont.

 

In the XX Corps area, the 10th Armored Division, reinforced by Regimental Combat Team 376, of the 94th Division, enters Trier, an important communications center, in the afternoon, and begins to clear it. During the night, the Moselle bridge is taken intact.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of over 630 B-24s and B-17s to bomb the Moosbierbaum oil refinery and alternate targets and targets of opportunity in Austria.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

In Formosa, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s bomb the Takao aluminum plant, the Tainan Airfield and a nearby satellite field, and fighters hit buildings at Keishu and storage tanks, railroad yards, and targets of opportunity. On Luzon Island, in the Philippine Islands, enemy troops on Corregidor Island and west of Ft. Stotsenburg are hit with napalm. In Borneo, B-24s bomb airfields on Tarakan Island, Labuan Island, and at Manggar. B-25s hit Zettle Field, on Jolo Island, in the Philippine Islands.

 

In the US Sixth Army’s XIV Corps area, the 5th Cavalry clears the Agriculture building, leaving a single strongpoint in Manila, the Finance building.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

The V Amphibious Corps (VAC) attacks toward Line O–3, from positions generally along Line O–2, in the center and on the left, but far to rear, on the right. The 3rd Marine Division attacks with Regimental Combat Team 21, but upon encountering well-organized enemy position, about 1,000 yards due east of Motoyama village, commits Regimental Combat Team 9, as well. The 5th Marine Division, confronted with the west flank of the enemy’s cross-island defenses, replaces Regimental Combat Team 27 with Regimental Combat Team 28, and completes the capture of Hill 362.

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Friday, 2 March , 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 859 – 1,232 bombers and 774 fighters are dispatched to hit synthetic oil plants and a tank factory in Germany, with most using H2X radar methods.

 

The RAF sends 531 Lancasters, 303 Halifaxes, and 24 Mosquitos to Cologne, attacking in two waves.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force hits five bridges, two communications centers, three ordnance and motor transport depots, several city areas, and six targets of opportunity. Over 1,700 fighters escort the bombers, and hit special targets.

 

In the Canadian First Army’s British XXX Corps area, the 53rd Division clears Weeze and heads for Geldern. Winnekendonk falls to the 3rd Division.

 

In the US Ninth Army’s XVI Corps area, Task Force Byrne, of the 35th Division pushes rapidly from Venlo, northeast into Germany, via Straelen and Nieukerk, and takes Sevelen.

 

In the XIII Corps area, the 84th Division crosses the Niers Canal, near Suechteln and Oedt.

 

In the XIX Corps area, continuing north, toward Uerdingen, the 2nd Armored Division’s Combat Command A advances through Krefeld Oppum. Combat Command B reaches the southern edge of Krefeld Oppum. Combat Command R withstands a strong counterattack against Schiefbahn. The 83rd Division’s 329th Infantry completes the capture of Neuss, before dawn, and secures the western approach to the Rhine River bridge there, but the enemy blows the bridge.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, the 99th Division, with the mission of clearing to the Rhine River, on the northern flank of VII Corps and protecting the Ninth Army’s flank, crosses the 4th Cavalry Group and the 393rd Infantry over the Erft River, near Glesch. The 4th Cavalry Group overruns Bedburg, Broich, Buchholz, and Frimmersdorf, and helps the 393rd Infantry take Neurath.

 

In the III Corps area, the 1st Division, continuing east, toward the Rhine River, with the 18th Infantry, on the left, and the 26th Infantry, on the right, overruns Gymnich, Lechenich, Poll, and Erp.

 

In the US Third Army’s VIII Corps area, the 87th Division improves its positions around Ormont, against determined resistance, taking some 60 pillboxes. The 6th Armored Division gets forward elements to the Nims River. Against disorganized resistance, the 44th Armored Infantry Battalion, of Combat Command A, thrusts east to the Nims River, northwest of Heisdorf, bypassing and later clearing that town, and crosses dismounted troops to the east bank, after the enemy blows the bridge.

 

XII Corps begins assault crossings of the Kyll River, at midnight, when the 5th Division opens its attack for a bridgehead between Erdorf and Philippsheim.

 

In the XX Corps area, the 10th Armored Division completes the capture of Trier. Continuing north, Combat Command B finds the Kyll River bridge, near Ehrang, out.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of 470 B-24s and B-17s, with fighters flying escort, to bomb marshalling yards in Austria and Italy.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

In the US Sixth Army area, I Corps is ordered to press their attack northward, as XIV Corps is winding up their battle for Manila. On the Villa Verde Trail, the 2nd Battalion, of the 127th Infantry (32nd Division), reduces the strongpoint barring its progress.

 

In the XI Corps area, the 43rd Division completes relief of the 40th Division. The 40th Division, less the 103rd Infantry, which is given garrison duty on Leyte, assembles in Sixth Army reserve. Rock Force finishes clearing Corregidor, to which General MacArthur pays a return visit. For Japanese losses of about 4,500 killed and 20 captured, in addition to some 200 killed while trying to escape and about 500 sealed in caves or tunnels, American casualties number over 1,000 killed, wounded, injured, or missing. Parachute Regimental Combat Team 503 remains on Corregidor for garrison duty.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

20th Air Force (XXI Bomber Command) Mission 41 – In the Malayan States, 64 B-29s are dispatched to bomb the shop and warehouse area at the naval base in Singapore.

 

The V Amphibious Corps (VAC), now in control of about two thirds of the island, attacks in greater strength, in order to exploit its gains in the center. The 3rd Marine Division, in the center of VAC, gains control of Airfield 3, which the enemy continues to rake with fire, and continues north, into the 5th Marine Division’s zone, to Hill 362. Regimental Combat Team 9 is virtually pinned down on the 3rd Marine Division’s right. Regimental Combat Team 24 concentrates on clearing the reverse slope of Hill 382 and Regimental Combat Team 25 concentrates on reducing the enemy re-entrant near Minami. Additional elements of Regimental Combat Team 26 are committed on the 5th Marine Division’s right, as their zone is broadened by a northeastward attack of the 3rd Marine Division.

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Saturday, March 3, 1945

** Selected Highlights**

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 861 – 1,102 bombers and 743 fighters are dispatched to bomb oil refineries, oil plant equipment works, motor transport factory, tank plant, and rail bridge in north central and eastern Germany.

 

During the night, the RAF sends 201 Halifaxes, 21 Lancasters and 12 Mosquitos on a repeat attack on Kamen, targeting the synthetic-oil refinery at Bergkamen. Elsewhere, 212 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos attack the Ladbergen aqueduct on the Dortmund-Ems Canal, breaching it in two places and putting it completely out of commissiion.

 

The Luftwaffe mounts Operation Gisella, sending approximately 200 night fighters to follow the RAF bomber forces back to England. Taking the British defenses partly by surprise, the Germans shoot down 13 Halifaxes, five Lancasters, one Fortress and one Mosquito.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force hits Wiesbaden, Giessen, Bergisch Born, and Nahbollenbach ordnance and storage depots, rail bridges at Remagen and Simmern, a communications center at Heimersheim, motor transport concentration at Schwelm, the Rheinbach ammunition dump, Kirn marshalling yard and town, and several targets of opportunity.

 

In the US Ninth Army’s XVI Corps area, Task Force Byrne, of the 35th Division, meets firm opposition and its progress is limited to a small advance, east of Sevelen.

 

In the XIII Corps’ 84th Division sector, Regimental Combat Team 334 meets and overcomes the first determined resistance at Rath and continues toward Homberg.

 

In the XIX Corps area, the 2nd Armored Division, reinforced by the 379th Infantry, of the 95th Division, continues north, over the Cologne Plain.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, on the 99th Division’s left, the 24th Squadron, of the 4th Cavalry Group, takes Grevenbroich and Wevelinghoven.

 

In the III Corps area, the 1st Division reaches the Erft River and gets elements across. The 18th Infantry takes Dirmerzheim, while the 26th Infantry seizes Blessem and Liblar.

 

In the V Corps area, the 102nd Cavalry Group advances to the high ground south of Heimbach. Task Force S, of the 2nd Division, crosses the Roer River, at Heimbach, and drives south, toward Gemund.

 

In the US Third Army’s VIII Corps area, the 87th Division, with tank and tank-destroyer support, makes slow progress generally north of Ormont and in the vicinity of Reuth. The enemy continues its stubborn resistance to the 8th Infantry, of the 4th Division, in and around Gondelsheim.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 5th Division, with two regiments abreast, secures a small bridgehead east of the Kyll River.

 

In the XX Corps area, Combat Command R, of the 10th Armored Division, continues toward Sweich, halting at the Ruwer River line, near Eitelsbach, where the bridge is out.

 

In the US Seventh Army area, XXI Corps begins limited attacks in the zones of the 70th and 63rd Divisions to improve its positions.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

In Formosa, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s pound the Tainan area and Kiirun, while fighters hit numerous targets of opportunity and fighter-bombers bomb the Koshun Airfield. B-25s bomb the San Roque Airfield, on Mindanao Island, in the Philippine Islands.

 

In the US Sixth Army’s XIV Corps area, the 37th Division overcomes the final resistance within Manila. Elements of the 11th Airborne Division conclude operations to clear Manila Bay, with the reduction of resistance in the Ternate area.

 

In the I Corps area, the 35th Infantry, of the 25th Division, seizes Digdig and is eliminating pockets in the vicinity of Puncan, as other elements of the 25th Division work toward Puncan, on Highway 5.

 

In the US Eighth Army area, the 1st Battalion, of the 132nd Infantry, reinforced, lands on Burias and Ticao islands, without opposition.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

The V Amphibious Corps makes slow progress toward the O–3 Line, against increased resistance. In the center, the 3rd Marine Division’s Regimental Combat Team 9 is still unable to reach Hill 362, in the region east of Motoyama. Regimental Combat Team 21 reaches Hill 357, northeast of Airfield 3, and moves elements southeast, in an effort to outflank Hill 362 and help Regimental Combat Team 9 capture it. Left flank elements of the 3rd Marine Division, on Hill 362, north of Airfield 3, are relieved by elements of Regimental Combat Team 25, of the 4th Marine Division, as the 4th Marine Division’s zone is expanded eastward. The 5th Marine Division, with Regimental Combat Team 28 on the left and Regimental Combat Team 26 on the right, continues their battle for Nishi ridge, on the left flank of VAC. On VAC’s right flank, the 4th Marine Division’s Regimental Combat Team 24 secures the rest of Hill 382. Regimental Combat Team 23 passes through Regimental Combat Team 25, on VAC’s right, and isolates an enemy pocket near Minami.

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Sunday, March 4, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 863 – 1,028 bombers and 522 fighters are dispatched to bomb targets in southwest Germany.

 

The RAF sends 128 Lancasters on a Gee-H attack on Wanne-Eickel.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force dispatches a force of about 180 B-26s, A-20s, and A-26s to hit marshalling yards and a rail junction.

 

In the Canadian First Army area, Canadian II Corps makes substantial gains, as resistance suddenly slackens.

 

In the British XXX Corps area, the 53rd Division clears Geldern and Issum, then makes contact with the US 35th Division, at Geldern.

 

In the US Ninth Army’s XVI Corps area, Task Force Byrne, of the 35th Division, presses slowly northeast, toward the Rhine River, against strong resistance, reaching the Camperbruch area.

 

In the XIII Corps area, Combat Command R, of the 5th Armored Division, overcomes house-to- house resistance in Repelen and, to the southeast, cuts the enemy escape route, the Rheinberg–Moers road.

 

In the XIX Corps area, the 95th Division begins an attack toward the Rhine River, on the north flank.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, the 99th Division, employing three regiments, speeds northeast along the Erft River, on a broad front, overrunning more than 30 towns and villages, and halting a little short of the Erft–Rhine river junction, on a line from Derikum to Uekerath.

 

In the III Corps area, the 14th Cavalry Group completes relief of the 18th Infantry, of the 1st Division, and organizes defensive positions along the Erft Canal.

 

The 102nd Cavalry Group, with the mission of protecting V Corps’ northern flank, secures a line from Vlatten to Hergarten to Duttling, southwest, to the 2nd Division’s zone, near Gemund.

 

In the US Third Army’s VIII Corps area, the 87th Division reduces some 110 pillboxes, on the northern flank.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 5th Division expands the Kyll River bridgehead, to include Erdorf, Badem, Dudeldorf, and Ordorf.

 

In the XX Corps area, Combat Command A, of the 10th Armored Division, begins a drive on the Sweich bridge.

 

In the US Seventh Army’s XXI Corps area, the 276th Infantry, of the 10th Division, pushes from Forbach, into the Forbach Forest.

 

Eastern Europe

Red Army troops break through to the Baltic coast, splitting enemy forces, remaining in Pomerania, and severing communication lines between Danzig and Stettin.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of over 630 B-24s and B-17s, with fighter escort, to bomb marshalling yards.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 10th Mountain Division makes substantial progress, with the 87th Infantry taking Monte Acidola, Madonna di Brasa, and Monte della Croce, while the 86th Infantry clears its objective, Monte Grande d’Aiano.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

On Mindanao Island, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s bomb the Sasa and Likanan airfields and the town of Zamboanga. On Luzon Island, B-24s bomb targets of opportunity in the Cagayan Valley, gun positions, ammunition storage, and targets of opportunity at Antipolo and Wawa, supply dumps and the town area at Bamban, fortifications on Caballo Island, in Manila Bay, and airfields at Aparri and Tuguegarao.

 

In the US Eighth Army area, Company B, of the 186th Infantry, with flame-thrower assistance, secures Hill 1125, on Palawan. On Samar, the Mauo region is searched carefully for enemy forces.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

20th Air Force (XXI Bomber Command) Mission 39 – 192 B-29s, based in the Mariana Islands, are airborne against Musashino aircraft factory at Musashi, Japan, but heavy clouds prevent bombing the primary target. 159 B-29s bomb the secondary target, the urban areas of Tokyo, and 18 others hit alternate targets.

 

V Amphibious Corps continues attack with three divisions, each employing two Regimental Combat Team’s abreast, but is unable to advance appreciably.

 

A B-29 makes an emergency landing on Iwo Jima Island. This begins a series of over 2,400 such emergency landings on the island, during World War II.

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Monday, March 5, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 865 – 429 bombers and 689 fighters are dispatched to hit oil targets in Germany.

 

The RAF sends 170 Lancasters on a Gee-H attack on the Consolidation benzol plant at Gelsenkirchen.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 498 Lancasters, 256 Halifaxes, and six Mosquitos to Chemnitz , to continue Operation Thunderclap. Elsewhere, 248 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos attack the synthetic-oil refinery at Böhlen.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force dispatches a force of 565 B-26s, A-20s and A-26s to attack six marshalling yards, a communications center, an ordnance depot, a city area and targets of opportunity.

 

In the US Ninth Army’s XVI Corps area, Task Force Byrne, of the 35th Division, clears Camperbruch and Camp.

 

In the XIII Corps area, Combat Command R, of the 5th Armored Division reaches the Rhine River, at Orsoy, capturing that town and Rheinkamp, and fires on enemy columns attempting to escape.

 

In the XIX Corps area, the 95th Division overcomes negligible resistance, west of the Rhine River, within its zone, concluding XIX Corps’ part of Operation GRENADE.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, the 99th Division continues toward the Rhine River, with Company K, of the 393rd Infantry reaching it at Grimlinghausen.

 

In the III Corps area, the 1st Division’s 26th Infantry thrusts to the high ground southwest of Dorf Pingsdorf and to Walberberg.

 

In the V Corps area, the 102nd Cavalry Group takes Irnich, Schwerfen, Gehn, Kommern, Schaven, and Ober Gartzem, as the enemy falls back toward the Rhine River.

 

In the US Third Army’s VII Corps area, the 87th Division’s current mission is concluded, as the 345th Infantry clears the heights east of Reuth.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 80th Division’s zone, west of the Kyll River, is clear, except for a small pocket in the Usch–St. Thomas area, with the capture of Neidenbach and Malberg, by the 318th Infantry.

 

In the XX Corps’ 10th Armored Division zone, Regimental Combat Team 417, less the 2nd Battalion, passes through Combat Command A, to which it is temporarily attached, in the Ruwer River bridgehead, near Eitelsbach, and expands the bridgehead 1,500 yards to the northeast.

 

In the US Seventh Army’s XXI Corps area, the 276th Infantry, of the 10th Division continues to clear the Forbach Forest and the woods northwest of Marienau.

 

Eastern Europe

First White Russian troops overrun Stargard, the outer bastion of Stettin.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

In the US Fifth Army area, IV Corps completes the second phase of a limited offensive. While the 86th Infantry mops up on the left flank, of the 10th Mountain Division, the 87th Infantry reaches the final phase line, at Castel d’Aiano, and the 85th Infantry, committed on the right flank, pushes forward to Monte della Spe.

 

 

India – Burma Theater (Burma)

In the Allied Land Forces Southeast Asia’s (ALFSEA) XV Corps area, the 25th Indian Division, on the Arakan coast, takes Tamandu, where a forward supply base for DRACULA is organized, before the 25th Indian Division moves to Akyab.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-25s hit the San Roque Airfield, on Mindanao Island. On Luzon Island, B-24s, with fighter support, hit troops, in the Antipolo area, while fighter-bombers dive-bomb San Pablo, hit Fort Drum, in Manila Bay, attack troops, west of Ft. Stotsenburg, and support guerrilla forces, northeast of the Lingayen Gulf.

 

In the XIV Corps area, the 11th Airborne Division, reinforced by Regimental Combat Team 158, begins operations to open Balayan Bay and Batangas Bay, in southern Luzon.

 

In the I Corps area, the 33rd Division continues northward, toward Baguio and San Fernando, threatening to close the pincers on the Japanese, between it and the guerrillas.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

The V Amphibious Corps remains in place, improving their current positions and reorganizing for concerted attack on March 6.

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Tuesday, March 6, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

The RAF dispatches 119 Lancasters on a Gee-H attack on the Wintershall oil refinery at Salzbergen, and 48 Mosquitos attack Wesel.

 

During the night, the RAF sends 191 Lancasters and seven Mosquitos to attack the port of Sassnitz, on the island of Rügen, in the Baltic Sea.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force sends a force of over 260 A-26s, and B-26s to attack the Recklinghausen, Siegburg, and Opladen marshalling yards, a Siegburg storage depot, and the town of Bochum, as a target of opportunity.

 

In the Canadian First Army’s Canadian II Corps area, the British 43rd and Canadian 2nd Divisions slightly improve their positions, before Xanten, under heavy fire, and prepare for a concerted assault on the town.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, the 395th Infantry, of the 99th Division, overcomes weak resistance, west of the Rhine River, on VII Corps northern flank, taking the four remaining towns, among them Udesheim, and a zinc works.

 

A III Corps attack is directed southeast, instead of due east, as a result of boundary changes.

 

V Corps pursues the enemy toward the Rhine River and the Ahr River.

 

In the US Third Army area, the 6th Cavalry Group, to which the 6th Squadron reverts, completes its assembly on VIII Corps northern flank and takes over its new mission of protecting the northern flank and maintaining contact with the First Army.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 318th Infantry eliminates the last enemy pocket, west of the Kyll River, in the 80th Division’s zone.

 

In the XX Corps area, Combat Command B, of the 10th Armored Division, crosses additional elements into the Kyll River bridgehead, near Ehrang.

 

In the US Seventh Army’s XXI Corps area, the 10th Division continues to clear the Forbach Forest and the woods northwest of Marienau, as patrols reach outposts of the West Wall.

 

Eastern Europe

Troops of Second White Russian Front complete the reduction of Grudziadz, in Poland.

 

India – Burma Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force dispatches 31 P-47s to support British 36th Division forces, in the Mogok area. Transport operations continue on a large scale with 663 sorties completed to forward areas throughout the day.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

On Mindanao Island, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s pound the San Roque and Zamboanga areas. On Luzon Island, other B-24s, B-25s, and fighter-bombers hit the Antipolo area, bomb the Balete Pass and Ft. Drum, and Caballo Island, in Manila Bay, and support guerrillas near San Fernando. B-25s and P-38s attack Hainan Island and considerably damage the Samah Airfield on the island. Fighters sweeping over Formosa and hit the Koshun area.

 

In the US Sixth Army area, on the Villa Verde Trail, the 1st Battalion, of the 127th Infantry (32nd Division), crosses the Cabalisian River and drives east, toward Salacsac Pass No. 2.

 

In the US Eighth Army area, 21st Infantry patrols find two other islands, of the Lubang Group, free of enemy troops. On Palawan, the Japanese on Hill 1445 repulse attacks of the 2nd Battalion, of the 186th Infantry.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

After the most intensive massed artillery preparation of this operation, supplemented by US naval gunfire, V Amphibious Corps renews its efforts to break through to the O–3 line, but is still so bitterly opposed that progress is negligible.

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Wednesday, March 7, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 869 – 946 bombers and 322 fighters are dispatched to hit oil and communication targets in Germany.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 526 Lancasters and five Mosquitos to Dessau. Meanwhile, 256 Halifaxes and 25 Lancasters attempt to attack the Deutsche Erdoel refinery, at Hemmingstedt, near Heide, with little success.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

Except for limited offensive activity by XVI Corps to extend its northern flank to Wesel, the US Ninth Army front is quiet.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, Cologne, the third largest city in Germany, falls to the 3rd Armored Division and the 104th Infantry Division, which overcome organized resistance during the morning and declare the city secure by 1600 hours.

 

In the III Corps area, the 9th Armored Division, in a momentous drive, reaches the junction of the Rhine River and the Ahr River, and establishes bridgeheads across both.

 

In the V Corps area, the 102nd Cavalry Group, driving southeast, reaches the Ahr River, in the Altenahr–Kreuzberg area.

 

In the US Third Army’s VIII Corps area, the 87th Division, with the 346th, 347th, and 345th Regiments in line, from left to right, thrusts rapidly northeast toward the Ahr River.

 

In the XII Corps area, Combat Command B, of the 4th Armored Division, leapfrogging tank-infantry teams with excellent effect, advances to the high ground overlooking the Rhine River, south of Andernach, along the axis from Ulmen to Kaisersesch to Dungenheim to Kehrig to Polch to Ochtendung.

 

In the XX Corps area, one 10th Armored Division column drives northeast, toward Wittlich, while others converge on Sweich.

 

India – Burma Theater (Burma)

10th Air Force transports fly 630 sorties supplying forward areas with men and equipment.

 

In Northern Combat Area Command (NCAC) area, the 112th Regiment, of the 38th Division (Chinese New First Army), occupies Lashio, successfully concluding the second phase of Operation CAPITAL.

 

In the British Fourteenth Army’s IV Corps area, the Japanese make a determined effort to recover Meiktila, succeeding by capturing Taungtha, and cutting off the Indian 17th Division troops, at Meiktila.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

On Luzon Island, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s hit the Balete Pass area, while A-20s and fighter-bombers hit troop concentrations and gun positions near Antipolo and near San Fernando, northwest of Ft. Stotsenburg, and in the Bayombong-Solano area.

 

In the US Sixth Army’s XIV Corps area, the 6th Division and the 1st Cavalry Division continue preparations for a coordinated drive eastward, against the Shimbu line, as artillery and aerial bombardment destroys or uncovers enemy positions.

 

In the I Corps area, the 1st Battalion, of the 130th Infantry (33rd Division), takes the Aringay bridge and town, without opposition, and probes toward Mt. Magabang.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

The V Amphibious Corps begins an assault in the center, before dawn, withholding preparatory fire and moving forward with great secrecy. Regimental Combat Team 21, of the 3rd Marine Division, captures Hill 362, east of Motoyama, but Regimental Combat Team 9, to the right, is pinned down, after a limited advance at daybreak. Elements on the extreme left of the 3rd Marine Division continue to attack, in conjunction with the 5th Marine Division, but are unable to advance. The 5th Marine Division, again attacking with three regiments abreast, on the left flank of VAC, makes limited progress on the right and in the center. On the left, where terrain is a greater handicap than the enemy, the 5th Marine Division overruns Hill 215 and gains up to 600 yards. On the right flank of VAC, the 4th Marine Division’s Regimental Combat Teams 23 and 24 advance slowly, but Regimental Combat Team 25 is unable to move and continues to mop up rear areas. The Island Commander takes responsibility for base development. Since use of naval gunfire is now greatly restricted, most of the Gunfire and Covering Force, Task Force 54, leaves for Ulithi.

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March 7, 1945

The 9th Armored Division discovers the Ludendorff Bridge across the Rhine at Remagen is still standing. 6 Allied divisions will cross before the weakened bridge finally collapse 10 days later.

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"Get to those men in Bastogne" - (then) LTC. Creighton Abrams, battalion commander of the 4th Armored Division spearhead that broke the seige on Dec. 26, 1944.


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Thursday, March 8, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 872 – 1,353 bombers and 326 fighters are dispatched to hit benzol plants, an oil plant and rail targets in Germany.

 

During the night, the RAF sends 241 Halifaxes, 62 Lancasters, and nine Mosquitos to attack Hamburg. 262 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitos are sent on the first large raid on Kassel since October 1943.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force sends a force of 328 B-26s, A-20s and A-26s to hit seven communications centers, two marshalling yards, a road overpass, and a military transport depot.

 

In the Canadian First Army’s Canadian II Corps area, the British 43rd Division and the Canadian 2nd Division, in a concerted assault on Xanten, clear the town.

 

In the US Ninth Army’s XVI Corps area, Task Force Byrne, of the 35th Division, takes Huck and Millingen, southeast of Alpen.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, the 28th Infantry clears the remaining resistance west of the Rhine River, in the 8th Division and VII Corps’ zone, in the morning, whereupon VII Corps’ sector is extended south, to include Bonn.

 

III Corps is largely concerned with the build-up and expansion of the Remagen bridgehead. Traffic congestion proves a more serious handicap than enemy opposition, though the Germans make strong attempts to knock out the bridge by air and with artillery.

 

In the V Corps area, the 102nd Cavalry Group, of the 2nd Division, and the 28th Division finish clearing their sectors north of the Ahr River and consolidate positions along the river.

 

In the US Third Army area, VIII Corps drives rapidly toward the Rhine River, against scattered resistance.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 4th Armored Division mops-up west of the Rhine River and searches for crossing sites.

 

In the XX Corps area, Combat Command A, of the 10th Armored Division, drives east, from the Orenhofen sector, toward the Salm River, through Heidweiler, Naurath, Dierscheid, and Erlenbach, to the vicinity of Sehlem.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of over 550 B-17s and B-24s to bomb the marshalling yards at Hegyeshalom and Komarom, in Hungary, and Verona, in Italy, the locomotive depot at Maribor, in Yugoslavia, and the steel works at Kapfenberg, in Austria.

 

India – Burma Theater (Burma)

10th Air Force transports fly 554 sorties to advanced bases and over frontline areas.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s pound the Zamboanga area, on Mindanao Island. On Luzon Island, B-24s hit road targets at Balete Pass, while A-20s support guerrilla forces in the San Fernando area. Fighter-bombers hit fuel dumps, gun positions, and other targets near Angat and the Ipo dam, and numerous targets of opportunity, in the Antipolo area, personnel and storage areas near Baguio, and several targets in the Cagayan Valley, including the town of Caggay, the Dummun River area, and barges at Naguilian.

 

In the US Sixth Army area, XIV Corps begins an eastward drive against the Shimbu line, with the 6th Division, on the south, and the 1st Cavalry Division, on the north. The 1st Cavalry Division, with the 5th, 12th, 7th, and 8th Cavalry Regiments abreast, from north to south, attacks toward the hills near Antipolo, taking one, Bench Mark 11.

 

In the I Corps area, Company C, of the 130th Infantry (33rd Division), seizes Mt. Magabang, northeast of Aringay. The 1st Battalion, of the 35th Infantry (25th Division), takes Putlan, on Highway 5, but the Japanese destroy the Putlan bridge, to the north.

 

In the US Eighth Army area, on Palawan, Company G, of the 186th Infantry, reaches the top of Hill 1445, without incident. This ends organized resistance on Palawan, but patrols continue searching for enemy remnants.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

V Amphibious Corps attacks toward the coast after artillery and naval gunfire preparation, with the 4th Marine Division leading off, at 0620 hours, and the 3rd and 5th Marine Divisions following, at 0750 hours. A few hundred yards are wrested from enemy in some sectors. In the center, the 3rd Marine Division’s Regimental Combat Team 21 gets elements to the O–3 line. Regimental Combat Team 9 starts toward the coast, from Hill 362, gaining about 400 yards. The 4th Marine Division, profiting a little by the early hour of attack, makes limited progress in Regimental Combat Team 23’s zone, but is unable to advance its right flank. Regimental Combat Team 23 withstands a counterattack, in force, against the left flank. The 5th Marine Division, attacking on the left flank of VAC with three regiments, gains some ground on the left.

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Friday, March 9, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 875 – 1,045 bombers and 443 fighters are dispatched to hit marshalling yards and industrial plants in Germany.

 

The RAF sends 159 Lancasters to bomb the North and South plants of the Emscher Lippe benzol plant, near Datteln.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force sends a force of over 600 A-20s, A-26s and B-26s to attack six marshalling yards, storage and vehicle depots, ammunition-filling plants, and 12 targets of opportunity as part of the ongoing interdiction campaign.

 

During the night, the Germans abandon their Wesel bridgehead, across the Rhine River and blow the last remaining bridge.

 

In the Canadian First Army’s Canadian II Corps area, the British 43rd and Canadian 2nd Divisions clear the last enemy positions in the immediate vicinity of Xanten.

 

In the US Ninth Army’s XVI Corps area, Task Force Murray completes the capture of Ossenberg and pushes north past Borth and Wallach.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, German resistance west of the Rhine River ends, as the 1st Division’s Regimental Combat Team’s 16 and 18 complete the capture of Bonn, by 1600 hours.

 

In the V Corps area, the 2nd Division’s 23rd Infantry advances to the Rhine River, along an axis from Bruck to Sinzig.

 

In the US Third Army area, VIII Corps completes their drive to the Rhine River.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 5th Division’s 2nd Infantry, employing leapfrog tactics, makes rapid progress, clearing Bleckhausen, Manderscheid, Bettenfeld, and Pantenburg.

 

In the XX Corps area, Combat Command A, of the 10th Armored Division, closes in along the Salm River, clearing Hotzerath, Rievenich, and Sehlem, before turning north to the Dorbach area, where a bridge is put in and a bridgehead established.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of 372 B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escorts, to bomb the marshalling yards at Graz, Klagenfurt, Sankt Stefan, and Sankt Paul, in Austria, and Ljubljana, in Yugoslavia.

 

India – Burma Theater (Burma)

In the British Fourteenth Army’s XXXIII Corps area, the Indian 19th Division breaks into Mandalay, where lively fighting ensues.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

V Amphibious Corps continues its efforts to clear the rest of Iwo Jima. The 3rd Marine Division breaks through to the coast in VAC’s center, splitting the enemy forces remaining on the island, and continues the reduction of bypassed pockets in the division’s rear. On VAC’s right flank, the 4th Marine Division gains ground along the boundary of Regimental Combat Teams 23 and 24, but is unable to advance its flanks. The 5th Marine Division, on VAC’s left flank, is still checked on the right and in the center, but pushes slowly forward along the west coast.

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Saturday, March 10, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 877 – 1,374 bombers and 670 fighters attack rail targets in Germany.

 

The RAF sends 155 Lancasters on a Gee-H attack on the oil refinery at Scholven/Buer.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force dispatches a force of 383 A-20s, A-26s and B-26s to hit five marshalling yards, a communications center, two city areas, miscellaneous targets in the Koblenz-Braubach area, and a target of opportunity.

 

In the Canadian First Army’s Canadian II Corps area, the battle of the Rhineland, Operations VERITABLE and BLOCKBUSTER, is successfully ended. The Canadian 2nd Division is almost unopposed as it pushes southeast along the Xanten–Rheinberg road.

 

In the US Ninth Army’s XVI Corps area, Regimental Combat Team 134 continues the 35th Division’s drive toward Wesel, overrunning Buederich. Task Force Byrne is dissolved and Task Force Murray is pinched out.

 

In the US First Army’s III Corps area, the 9th Division further expands the Remagen bridgehead, against stubborn resistance.

 

In the V Corps area, elements of 23rd Infantry, of the 2nd Division, move south, along the Rhine River, and clear half of Nieder Breisig. The 3rd Battalion, of the 9th Infantry, reaches the Rhine River, near Rheinbeck. Patrolling south and southeast to destroy an enemy pocket to its right, the 102nd Cavalry Group reaches Dedenbach, Nieder Zissen, Waldorf, and Gonnersdorf, all south of the Ahr River. The 102nd Squadron continues its mopping-up mission, under command of the 2nd Division.

 

In the US Third Army area, VIII Corps units mop-up within their prescribed zones. The 11th Armored Division holds the Rhine River line and methodically clears the sector west of the Rhine River, overrunning a number of towns. Combat Command B establishes contact with V Corps, completing the encirclement of large body of enemy remaining, west of the Rhine River, between the First and Third Armies.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 4th Armored Division continues to mop-up west of the Rhine River, from Andernach to Koblenz, and north of the Moselle River, from Koblenz to Cochem. Driving southeast, from Darscheid, the 5th Division’s Task Force Graham reaches the Moselle River, at Cochem. The 1st Battalion, of the 2nd Infantry, drives southeast, from Puetzborn, to take Udler, Gillenfeld, Strohn, Nieder and Ober Winkel, Immerath, and Strotzbusch. The 76th Division’s 385th and 304th Regiments reach positions astride a line from Klein Kyll River to the Lieser River, from Karl to Wittlich. On the right flank, the 42nd Cavalry Squadron, after clearing Dreis and Bergweiler, moves elements through the 10th Armored Division, of XX Corps, at Wittlich, to Dorf and Flussbach.

 

In the XX Corps area, the 10th Armored Division gains its final objectives, in the Wittlich area, and begins clearing toward the Moselle River. Combat Command A easily takes Wittlich and Bombogen and the high ground in between. Combat Command B establishes a bridgehead across the Salm River, in the Sehlem area, where a bridge is put in, and clears Esch, Karmes, and Clausen. Combat Command R cleans out the Lorsch–Polich-Ensch bend of the Moselle River, expanding the Ruwer bridgehead, while Regimental Combat Team 417 clears Kirsch, Longuich, and the heights near Mertesdorf.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends 191 heavy bombers to hit the Verona-Parona di Valpolicella railroad bridge, and the Voghera marshalling yard.

 

China Theater

The Japanese, fearing a US amphibious operation against French Indochina, in which French troops might participate, begin the expulsion of the French garrisons from key positions.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

On Mindanao Island, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s and B-25s, over the Zamboanga Peninsula area, bomb the town of Zamboanga, the Calarian Airfield, Pangasahan, Port Holland, Kulibato Point, and Sibago Island. On Luzon Island, B-24s bomb the Ipo area and the Aparri Airfield. B-25s and A-20s support guerrilla forces near San Fernando and bomb Cabugao, while fighter-bombers hit Caballo Island, in Manila Bay, bomb the town of Minanga, hit enemy concentrations. B-24s bomb the Kudat and Jesselton airfields, in Borneo.

 

In the US Sixth Army’s XIV Corps area, the 1st Infantry, of the 6th Division, gains about 300 yards, taking a small ridge north of Bench Mark B. Advance elements of the 1st Cavalry Division reach the crest of Bench Mark 9.

 

In the US Eighth Army area, on Mindanao, following an air and naval gunfire preparation, the 41st Division, less Regimental Combat Team 186, lands on the Zamboanga Peninsula, virtually unopposed, and secures the Wolfe Airfield and the village of San Roque, and advances on Mindanao City.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

20th Air Force (XXI Bomber Command) Mission 40 – During the predawn hours, 325 B-29s, based on Guam Island, Tinian Island, and Saipan Island, in the Mariana Islands, blast the Tokyo urban area with incendiaries, destroying 267,171 buildings, about one-fourth in the city, killing 83,793 and wounding 40,918 people, and destroying 15.8 square miles. Alternate targets and targets of opportunity are also hit. 14 B-29s are lost. The raids are flown at levels ranging from 4,900 to 9,200 feet.

 

On the right flank of V Amphibious Corps, the 4th Marine Division continues southeast, toward the coast, against decreasing resistance, with Regimental Combat Team 23 on the left and Regimental Combat Team 25 on the right, each bolstered by a battalion from Regimental Combat Team 24. Regimental Combat Team 23, pushing through Higashi, gets forward elements to within 400 yards of the beach and patrols to the coastline, at Tachiiwi Point. Regimental Combat Team 25 eliminates an enemy re-entrant on the 4th Marine Division’s right, but is unable to keep pace with Regimental Combat Team 23. The 3rd Marine Division’s Regimental Combat Team 21 clears the right half of its sector. Regimental Combat Team 9 makes little headway against a troublesome pocket, on the extreme right of the 3rd Marine Division’s zone. The 5th Marine Division is practically halted on the left flank of VAC by rugged and well defended terrain, but Regimental Combat Team 28, on the left flank, inches forward to the southern rim of a rocky gorge, about 200 yards wide and 700 yards long.

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Sunday, March 11, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 881 – 1,256 bombers and 814 fighters are dispatched to make H2X radar attacks on U-boat yards at Kiel and Bremen and the shipyard and refinery area at Hamburg, Germany.

 

The RAF sends 750 Lancasters, 293 Halifaxes, and 36 Mosquitos to attack Essen, with the largest number of aircraft sent to a target thus far in the war, and the last RAF raid on this target.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force sends a force of 696 A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s, to attack four airfields, three communications centers, two ammunition filling plants, and several city areas and other casual targets.

 

In the US Ninth Army’s XVI Corps area, patrols of the 134th Infantry, of the 35th Division, take Fort Blucher, concluding the 35th Division’s drive toward Wesel.

 

In the US First Army’s III Corps area, attacking with the 39th Infantry and the 309th Infantry, the 78th Division makes slow progress toward the Cologne–Frankfurt Autobahn, against determined resistance.

 

In the V Corps area, the 2nd Division improves its positions along the Rhine, with the 23rd Infantry completing the capture of Nieder Breisig and making contact with the 9th Infantry, which has meanwhile cleared Rheinbeck and Ober Breisig.

 

In the US Third Army area, VIII Corps continues to mop-up west of the Rhine River.

 

XII Corps continues mopping-up along the Rhine and Moselle rivers and prepares for an assault across the Moselle River

 

In the XX Corps area, Combat Command A, of the 10th Armored Division, reinforced by the 2nd Battalion, of the 417th Infantry, begins a drive toward the Moselle River, at Bullay, halting at Bausendorf, where the Alf River bridge is out.

 

Eastern Europe
Soviet forces are investing the Baltic ports of Danzig and Gdynia.

 

India – Burma Theater (Burma)

In the British Fourteenth Army’s XXXIII Corps area, the Indian 19th Division continues to battle for Mandalay, taking a hill strongpoint commanding the northeast part of the city.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

On Mindanao Island, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s bomb the Zamboanga area, Mercedes village, and the San Roque Airfield, and B-25s hit Mercedes, support ground forces near Zamboanga, and, in conjunction with US Navy PT boats, hit Isabela, Barlak, Taluksangay, and a headquarters north of Zamboanga. On Luzon Island, B-24s hit the Aparri area and support ground forces at Wawa. A-20s and fighter-bombers fly ground support missions and attack supply dumps and numerous targets of opportunity throughout Luzon. On Formosa, fighter-bombers hit Takao and B-24s bomb Mako.

 

In the XIV Corps area, the 43rd Division begins relieving the 1st Cavalry Division, which is now generally on the first phase line, except at Antipolo. After nightfall, the Japanese begin series of abortive counterattacks, all small, against the 6th Division. Efforts to penetrate the positions of all three regiments fail. In the 11th Airborne Division sector, of southern Luzon, the 2nd Battalion, of the 158th Infantry, clears Batangas and the immediate vicinity, while the rest of regiment is cleaning out the region to the west and northwest. The 1st Battalion, of the 187th Infantry, completes the capture of Hill 660. The 3rd Battalion, of the 511th Infantry, is brought to a halt by Japanese firmly entrenched on Mt. Bijang.

 

In the US Eighth Army area, the 163rd Infantry, of the 1st Division, secures the airfield and Zamboanga City, on Mindanao, and pushes toward Pasananca. The 162nd Infantry extends its positions toward Caldera Point. The east entrance of the Visayan Passage is now secure and Filipino guerrillas take over the occupation of Burias and Ticao islands. During the night, and shortly after midnight, Company C, reinforced, of the 19th Infantry, makes an unopposed landing on Romblon.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

20th Air Force (XXI Bomber Command) Mission 41 – During the night, attacking at altitudes ranging from 5,100 to 8,500 feet, 310 B-29s bomb the Nagoya urban area, in Japan, with incendiaries, destroying 2.05 square miles.

 

The 4th Marine Division, of the V Amphibious Corps, overcomes organized resistance within its zone, on the right flank of VAC, except for a stubborn pocket on the 4th Marine Division’s right. In the center of VAC, the 3rd Marine Division’s Regimental Combat Team 21 mops-up and protects the right flank of the 5th Marine Division, while Regimental Combat Team 9 envelops an enemy pocket on the 3rd Marine Division’s right. Withdrawing Regimental Combat Team 26 from the battle line, the 5th Marine Division continues to attack on the left flank of VAC, with Regimental Combat Team 27 on the right and Regimental Combat Team 28 on the left. Terrain, as well as the enemy, makes progress slow, despite close artillery support.

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Monday, March 12, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 883 – : 1,355 bombers and 797 fighters are dispatched to hit marshalling yards in Germany by PFF.

 

The RAF sends 748 Lancasters, 292 Halifaxes, and 68 Mosquitos to attack Dortmund, in the RAF’s largest raid of the war to a single target.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

9th Air Force A-20s, A-26s and B-26s attack eight marshalling yards, an ammunition-filling plant, city areas and targets of opportunity. The attacks on the marshalling yards are aimed at blocking troop movements by rail into the Ruhr and Remagen areas.

 

In the US First Army’s III Corps area, in the northern part of the Remagen bridgehead, the 78th Division withstands counterattacks against Honnef, where isolated pockets of enemy remain, and, with the 39th Infantry, drives east toward Kalenborn.

 

In the US Third Army area, VIII Corps completes organized mop-up west of the Rhine River.

 

XII Corps continues to mop-up and prepares for an attack across the Moselle River. The 89th Division enters combat for the first time, driving through the 5th and 6th Divisions, with the 353rd Infantry on the left and 355th Infantry on the right, toward the Cochem–Alf sector, of the Moselle River.

 

XX Corps completes preparations for its offensive. Clearing Bausendorf with dismounted infantry and taking the bridge near Olkenbach, Combat Command A, of the 10th Armored Division, drives from Alf River to the Moselle River.

 

Eastern Europe
First White Russian Front forces capture Kuestrin, an enemy stronghold astride the Oder River, on the east approach to Berlin, after prolonged fighting.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of 790 B-24s and B-17s to bomb the Floridsdorf oil refinery, at Vienna, and alternate targets, the marshalling yards at Graz, Zeltweg, and Wiener-Neustadt.

 

India – Burma Theater (India)

20th Air Force (XX Bomber Command) Mission 44 – 49 B-29s hit oil storage facilities on Bukum Island, in the Malayan States, Samboe and Sebarok islands, in Sumatra, and Arang Hill, in the Malayan States. Bombing results are poor.

 

India – Burma Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force dispatches 13 B-25s and 35 P-47s to attack troop concentrations, supplies, vehicles, and anti-aircraft guns along the battlefront and behind enemy lines. 66 P-47s hit transportation targets and a bridge during several road sweeps in central Burma, while 12 others damage a bypass bridge at Hay-ti. Transports complete 677 sorties delivering men and supplies to advanced bases and dropping supplies to frontline forces.

 

In the British Fourteenth Army’s XXXIII Corps area, the Indian 20th Division is rapidly clearing the region southwest of Mandalay, and takes communications center of Myotha.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s hit Mercedes and Malabang, on Mindanao Island. On Luzon Island, other B-24s bomb Japanese troops near Ipo, B-25s hit supply area at Bangued and troops at Pattao, A-20s and fighter-bombers fly ground forces support missions.

 

In the US Sixth Army’s XIV Corps area, the 6th Division commits the 20th Infantry to attack against the Shimbu line, and repels further small-scale enemy counterattacks. The 20th Infantry, driving east on the left flank of the 6th Division, gains its objective. In the 11th Airborne Division sector of southern Luzon, the 3rd Battalion, of the 158th Infantry, drives on Mabini, at the neck of the Calumpan Peninsula, until stopped north of Mainaga by the Japanese. Strong Japanese positions on Mt. Bijang are being neutralized by aircraft and artillery.

 

In the US Eighth Army area, the 162nd Infantry reaches Recodo, on Caldera Point, Mindanao, and finds abandoned enemy positions. At dawn, Company B, of the 19th Infantry, lands on Simara, without opposition, after naval bombardment and diversionary air attack on another part of island. On Romblon, Company C, of the 19th Infantry takes Romblon town with ease and begins clearing scattered opposition elsewhere on the island.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

The 7th Air Force sends 16 P-51s to bomb and strafe Okimura, on Haha Jima Island. 13 B-24s fly a daylight strike against the Susaki Airfield, on Chichi Jima Island. 24 B-24s, from Angaur Island, hit a Saragani Bay storage area on Mindanao Island.

 

The 4th and 3rd Marine Divisions, of the V Amphibious Corps, mop-up their respective sectors and reduce pockets of resistance remaining on each of their right flanks. The 5th Marine Division is assisted by air, US naval gunfire, artillery, and tanks as it continues their assault on the final defenses of the enemy, a network of mutually supporting pillboxes and prepared positions on the broken terrain of northern Iwo Jima. Although little ground is gained, enemy positions are softened and many caves and pillboxes are overrun.

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Tuesday, March 13, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

The RAF sends 319 Halifaxes, 24 Lancasters, and 20 Mosquitos to Wuppertal and Barmen.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 195 Lancasters and 32 Mosquitos to attack benzol plants at Herne and Gelsenkirchen.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force sends 450 A-26s, A-20s, and B-26s, to bomb three marshalling yards, two airfields, rail sidings, and several targets of opportunity in the continuing interdiction campaign.

 

In the US First Army’s III Corps area, the 78th Division continues to meet strong resistance as it expands its bridgehead to the northeast. The 311th Infantry, further strengthened by the attachment of the 60th Armored Infantry Battalion, of the 9th Armored Division, and the 78th Reconnaissance Troop, occupies a Rhine island just west of Honnef, mops up within Honnef, and presses slowly northeast, over difficult terrain. The 309th Infantry coordinates its attack to the northeast with that of 39th Infantry, which secures the high ground immediately west of Kalenborn. The 9th Division completes the capture of Hargarten and makes limited gains in the Kalenborn–Notscheid–Hargarten region.

 

In the US Third Army area, XX Corps attacks southeast from the Saarburg bridgehead, at 0300 hours, after a heavy artillery preparation. Rugged terrain and West Wall defenses make progress slow. The 94th Division, with the 302nd Infantry on the north, and the 301st Infantry on the south, crosses the Ruwer River, by ford and bridge, and takes Bonerath, Holtzerath, Schondorf, and Bergheid, a village west of Heddert. The 80th Division drives through the 94th and 26th Divisions, as the 318th Infantry, on the left, breaks through enemy lines to block the one good road through the Wadern Forest, at a point near the center of forest, and the 317th Infantry captures Greimerath.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of 569 B-24s and B-17s to bomb the marshalling yard at Regensburg, Germany. A group of over 280 P-38s and P-51s provide escort and several strafe rail traffic in Germany and Austria, during the return flight.

 

India – Burma Theater (Burma)

In the Allied Land Forces Southeast Asia’s (ALFSEA) XV Corps area, elements of the Indian 26th Division conduct the final amphibious operation on the Arakan coast, landing on the mainland, in the vicinity of Letpadan, to cut the Ruywa–Taungup road.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

On Mindanao Island, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s hit targets in the Saragani Bay area and effectively hit the town of Lagao, and B-25s support ground operations in the Zamboanga area. B-25s, A-20s, and fighters support ground forces, hitting enemy forces and positions in the Cagayan Valley, on Luzon Island.

 

In the XIV Corps area, the 6th Division repels further piecemeal counterattacks with little difficulty. Elements of the 103rd Infantry, of the 43rd Division, reach the west base of Bench Mark 7. In the 11th Airborne Division sector, the 3rd Battalion, of the 158th Infantry, is unable to outflank an enemy strongpoint, north of Mainaga, and is jeopardized as the enemy, in an amphibious operation, blocks the road behind it, at the Baliti River.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

20th Air Force (XXI Bomber Command) Mission 42 – During the night, in the third of the 20th Air Force’s great fire raids, 301 B-29s begin bombing Osaka, Japan, shortly after 2400 hours. Because of heavy cloud cover, bombing is by radar. The B-29s shoot down one Japanese aircraft. Two B-29s and crews are lost. The heart of the city, an area of 8.1 square miles, is wiped out during three hours of bombing from altitudes of 5,000 to 9,600 feet . 134,744 houses are destroyed, 1,363 houses damaged and Japanese casualties are 3,987 dead, and 678 missing.

 

The 4th and 3rd Marine Divisions, of the V Amphibious Corps, continue to mop-up and reduce small enemy pockets within their sectors. The 5th Marine Division encounters fewer pillboxes and makes relatively good progress on the right flank. Tanks, flame throwers, and artillery are again employed to flush the enemy from concealed positions, but the restricted area denies troops air support.

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Wednesday, March 14, 1945

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 886 – 1,262 bombers and 804 fighters are dispatched to hit oil, rail and industrial targets in Germany.

 

The RAF sends 169 Lancasters on Gee-H attacks on oil plants at Datteln and Hattingen, near Bochum.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 244 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitos to attack the Wintershall synthetic-oil refinery at Lützkendorf. Meanwhile, 121 Lancasters, 98 Halifaxes, and 11 Mosquitos are sent to Zweibrücken, to block the passage of German troops and stores to the nearby front line. In a similar raid, 127 Halifaxes, 23 Lancasters, and 11 Mosquitos, on the same task as the Zweibrücken raid, proceeded to Homburg.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force sends a force of over 350 A-20s, A-26s and B-26s to attack three airfields, four rail bridges, a junction, five towns, and three targets of opportunity, as the interdiction operations continue.

 

In US Third Army area, XII Corps begins a drive from the Moselle River to the Rhine River, at 0200 hours. The 90th Division, with two regiments in assault, crosses the Moselle River in the Kattenes–Moselkern region and clears the heights east of river. The 357th Infantry, on the left, takes Alken, Brodenbach, Noerdershausen, Udenhausen, Herschwiesen, and Oppenhausen, but is unable to gain Pfaffenheck. The 359th Infantry secures Burgen and part of Morshausen and Macken. Crossing the Moselle, to the right of the 90th Division, the 5th Division, with the 11th Infantry on the left and the 2nd Infantry on the right, seizes Treis, Lutz, and Eveshausen, and the commanding ground near these towns. The 89th and 76th Divisions clear all, but small pockets west and north of the Moselle River.

 

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of 634 B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escorts, to bomb the Szony and Almasfuzito oil refineries and marshalling yards at Komarom, in Hungary, Nove Zamky, in Czechoslovakia, Zagreb, in Yugoslavia, and Wiener-Neustadt, Graz, and Knittelfeld, in Austria.

 

India – Burma Theater (Burma)

In the British Fourteenth Army’s XXXIII Corps area, the Indian 19th Division clears the city area of Mandalay, but the enemy retains Fort Dufferin, a target for heavy air attacks and close-range artillery fire for the next few days.

 

Southwest Pacific Area (Battle of Luzon)

In the US Sixth Army’s XIV Corps area, the 6th Division continues to repel small counterattacks. All enemy efforts to mount a concerted counterattack have proved unsuccessful and costly. The 43rd Division, less the 169th Infantry, begins a full-scale attack against the enemy’s Shimbu line, employing the 172nd Infantry on the left and the 103rd Infantry on the right.

 

In the Eighth Army area, the 162nd Infantry begins a converging drive on Mt. Capisan, on Mindanao, with the 1st and 2nd Battalions, while the 3rd Battalion clears San Roque and gains the trail junction 500 yards northwest of Masilay. The 163rd Infantry, with air support, seizes the Pasananca road junction.

 

Central Pacific Area (Battle of Iwo Jima)

The 7th Air Force dispatches 11 B-24s, from Guam Island, to bomb the Susaki Airfield, on Chichi Jima Island, while 23 more B-24s, from Angaur Island, hit a Saragani Bay supply area, on Mindanao Island.

 

The V Amphibious Corps raises the American flag on Iwo Jima, at 0930 hours. The 4th and 3rd Marine Divisions continue to mop-up and considerably reduce pockets in their respective sectors. The 4th Marine Division begins re-embarkation. The 5th Marine Division, committing Regimental Combat Team 26, between Regimental Combat Team 28 on the left and Regimental Combat Team 27 on the right, renews their assault on northern Iwo Jima. They gain up to 600 yards on the right, although the left flank remains in about the same position.

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