CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 27, FEBRUARY 1, 1944
Powerful forces of all types, commanded by Vice Admiral R. A. Spruance, U. S. Navy, have begun operations the objective of which is the capture of the Marshall Islands.
Following intensive preparatory bombardment of enemy installations by carrier‑based aircraft and by battleships and light surface units, Army and Marine assault forces have initially established beachheads on islands in the vicinity of Roi and Kwajalein Islands, in Kwajalein Atoll. Installations on Wotje and Maloelap Atolls were heavily bombarded by carrier aircraft and by surface forces.
All amphibious operations are commanded by Rear Admiral R. K. Turner,
U. S. Navy. The assault troops are directed by Major General H. M. Smith, USMC. The landing attacks in the Roi Island area are being made by troops of the Fourth Marine Division, commanded by Major General Harry Schmidt, USMC. The landings are being effected in the Kwajalein Island area by troops of the Seventh Infantry Division, commanded by Major General Charles H. Corlett, U. S. Army.
Strong opposition is being encountered in both assault areas. Initial information indicates that our casualties are moderate.
Supporting air attacks are being made at Kwajalein, Maloelap, Wotje, Mille, Jaluit, Eniwetok and Wake by carrier task forces commanded by Rear Admiral M. H. Mitscher, U. S. Navy, by units of the Seventh Army Air Force, commanded by Major General Willis H. Hale, U. S. Army, and by Units of Fleet Air Wing Two commanded by Rear Admiral John D. Price, J. S. Navy. All shore‑based aircraft in the Gilberts are operating under the direction of Commander Aircraft, Central Pacific Force, Rear Admiral John H. Hoover, U. S. Navy.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 247, FEBRUARY 1, 1944
The following information supplementing that contained in Communiqués Number 25 and Number 26 is available concerning Naval air strikes in the Marshall Islands and at Wake Island on January 29 and 30 (West Longitude Date):
In the attack on Taroa Island on January 29 our carrier‑based aircraft shot down four enemy planes and destroyed or damaged 39 others on the ground. In the attack on Wotje, one enemy plane was shot down and fuel and ammunition storage leas were set on fire. Large explosions were observed in the ammunition dump. Our reported losses in the Taroa and Wotje strikes were comparatively minor. Several pilots were rescued.
On January 30 our carrier planes attacking Roi Island, shot down 18 enemy planes and machine‑gunned and bombed 51 others on the ground airdrome facilities, gasoline storage tanks, magazines, and gun positions were heavily hit. Here also our losses were minor.
Our Coronados which raided Wake on the night of January 30‑31 dropped more than 20 tons of bombs on runway and ground installations, starting large fires. Antiaircraft was light and no fighter opposition was encountered.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 248, FEBRUARY 1, 1944
Twenty‑two planes of a squadron of 23 Marine Corsair fighters failed to reach their destination in a routine flight from Gilbert Islands to a base in the Ellice Islands on January 25 (West Longitude Date), when they ran into a severe local weather disturbance.
One plane reached base safely, one made a crash landing on another island in the Ellice group, and the remainder, as far as is known, landed at sea.
Search operations were started immediately, and all but six of the pilots are safe. One body has been recovered and five of the pilots are missing. their next of kin have been notified.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 28, FEBRUARY 2, 1944
Our forces have captured Roi Island.
Landings have been made on Kwajalein and Namur Islands and the action is progressing favorably. On Namur the enemy has been contained in the extreme northern portion of the island, and at Kwajalein our troops are firmly established and are pushing the enemy back.
Continuous bombardments of beaches by our warships, planes, and land-based artillery enabled our forces to make landings on the three principal objectives with little resistance.
We have suffered no Naval losses and casualties are very moderate. It is now apparent that the attack took the enemy completely by surprise.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 29, FEBRUARY 3, 1944
Our forces have captured Namur and several adjacent islands.
Resistance continues on Kwajalein Island, but we have landed troops and mechanized equipment in force and are proceeding with the annihilation of the enemy.
FEBRUARY 3, 1944
BRITISH AND AMERICAN DESTROYERS ACCOUNT FOR ANOTHER U‑BOAT
Close cooperation between the British destroyer HMS Calpe and the United States destroyer USS Wainwright resulted in the destruction of a German U‑boat recently, in the Mediterranean.
Earlier, Allied aircraft had conducted a search for 36 hours which was credited with materially hampering the submarine's activities.
There was relative calm, after the tumult of gun battle, for at the actual sinking not a shot was fired—and the Commanding Officer of the Wainwright abandoned his plan to ram the U‑boat, when he saw that it was in its death throes.
A white sea serpent was painted on either side of the German craft's conning tower, but beyond that, there was no identification mark visible.
Commander Walter W. Strohbehn, United States Navy, 36, 904 West Sixth Street, Davenport, Iowa, Commanding Officer of the Wainwright, reported to Admiral Ernest J. King, United States Navy; Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, that 36 hours of harassing the U‑boat received from the constant air search accounted for the submarine's slow speed and sluggish evasive maneuvers. Commander Strohbehn complimented the United States Army Air Forces for its part in keeping the submarine hampered.
The Calpe made a sound contact with the submarine at 8:16 a.m. From then on the surface hunt went forward persistently, as eyes and ears were alert for the German craft.
About 2:47 p.m., the submarine surfaced, under the unremitting depth charge attacks by the British and American destroyers. The U‑boat was engaged by gunfire, but the battle waned when it was observed that the undersea craft was about to sink. The Commanding Officer of the American destroyer planned to ram the submarine, but abandoned this, when it was observed that the U‑boat was doomed.
The submarine sank at 3 :08 p.m.
Commander Strohbehn wrote in his official report that it was "a pleasure to work with" the British warship. He declared:
"She turned in a polished performance, always being in the proper place, always being ready and she was quick to grasp the intentions of this ship."
The Commander of the American Destroyer Squadron to which the attacking United States vessel was attached—Captain James P. Clay, United States Navy, 43, 3060 Porter Street, Northwest, Washington, D. C.—attributed the victory over the German craft to the fine teamwork between the British and American warships—despite the fact that no prior joint drills had been held.
The British Admiralty officially extended its congratulations for the sinking of the enemy craft. The Commanding Officer of the Calpe was Lieutenant Commander H. Kirkwood, Royal Navy.
Vice Admiral Henry K. Hewitt, United States Navy, Commander of the United States Naval Forces in Northwest African Waters, likewise complimented those who took part in the destruction of the U‑boat.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 501, FEBRUARY 4, 1944
On the night of February 2‑3, two Navy Catalinas from the Aleutian Islands bombed enemy installations on the southeast coast of Paramushiru. Results of the bombing were not observed. No enemy planes were encountered. Both of our planes returned.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 502, FEBRUARY 4, 1944
1. Within the space of 48 hours early in January, three German blockade runners, heavily laden with vital war materials, were sent to the bottom of the South Atlantic by surface forces of the United States Navy operating under the command of Vice Admiral Jonas Ingram, USN.
2. The enemy ships sunk were the Burgenland, Rio Grande and Weserland, en route from Far Eastern Japanese‑held ports. Their holds were filled with thousands of tons of rubber, tin, fats and strategic ores.
3. The blockade runners were sunk by the USS Somers, destroyer, and the light cruiser Omaha and the destroyer Jouett. A large number of prisoners were picked up following the sinkings. In two of the sinkings, Navy search planes found the enemy ships and called for the surface force to complete their destruction. The Weserland fell to the Somers alone while the other two were scuttled by their crews and their sinking hastened by gunfire from the Omaha and the Jouett.
4. Summoned by planes, the Somers found her target in the darkness of early morning and, on identifying the vessel as hostile, opened fire with her main battery of five‑inch guns. The first salvo hit the Weserland, forcing the crew to abandon ship. The destroyer then sank the vessel after internal explosions were set of by the crew as they left. Survivors were picked up at daylight.
5. A scouting plane from the Omaha and a lookout in the ship's foretop were the first to sight the Rio Grande. As the Omaha and the Jouett closed to investigate the stranger she burst into smoke and flame, the result of
demolition charges placed by the crew. The two American warships fired six-inch and five‑inch shells into the blockade runner and she soon sank.
6. On the following day the Omaha and Jouett found the Burgenland. As the U. S. warships approached, a similar scene to that enacted by the Rio Grande took place. However, destruction was completed as in the former case by shell fire.
7. Hundreds of tons of baled rubber found floating amid the debris after the sinkings were recovered and are now on their way to the United States
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 30, FEBRUARY 4, 1944
Operations at the Kwajalein Atoll continue satisfactorily.
Our forces have landed on Ebeye, north of Kwajalein Island. The landing was unopposed but resistance was encountered a short distance inland from the beach. We have now occupied half the island.
Two small islands between Kwajalein and Ebeye have been occupied following neutralization of moderate opposition. Gugegwe and Loi Islands, north of Ebeye, have been taken under attack by bombing and Naval gunfire, and the enemy is answering our fire.
Resistance on Kwajalein Island continues, but progress is being made. Our casualties continue to be moderate.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 31, FEBRUARY 5, 1944
Kwajalein, Ebeye, and Loi Islands have been captured by our forces.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 253, FEBRUARY 5, 1944
Carrier‑based aircraft attacked Eniwetok Atoll on February 3 (West Longitude Date), dropping many tons of bombs on the airfield and nearby tanks. Two enemy planes were destroyed on the ground.
Warhawk fighters of the Seventh Army Air Force machine‑gunned and bombed Mille Atoll on February 3. On the same day Army Ventura medium bombers sank a small freighter and dumped bombs on Imieji Island in the Jaluit Atoll. We suffered no casualties in either raid.
Wake Island was bombed on the night of February 4‑5 by two squadrons of Coronados of Fleet Air Wing Two. None of our planes was lost.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 32, FEBRUARY 6, 1944
Occupation of the Kwajalein Atoll is nearly complete.
Gugegwe, Bigej, and Ebler Islands have been captured after moderate resistance, and several additional undefended islands occupied.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 254, FEBRUARY 6, 1944
Carrier‑based aircraft struck Eniwetok on February 5 (West Longitude Date). No further information is presently available.
On the same day Warhawk fighters of the Seventh Army Air Force hit Jaluit, bombing and strafing ground installations.
On February 4 Seventh Army Air Force Liberators and Mitchell bombers dropped bombs on Wotje, starting large fires among ground facilities. Mitchells and Liberators hit airdrome installations and gun emplacements at Maloelap, and Liberators and Warhawks struck Mille.
No fighter opposition was encountered in these raids, and all of our planes returned to their bases.
On February 3, Navy search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed radio facilities and ground installations at Wotje, Ujelang and Taroa Island. None of our planes was lost.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 503, FEBRUARY 7, 1944
1. At 10:00 p.m. February 4 (Tokyo Time) U. S. Naval surface units bombarded enemy installations on the south and east coast of Paramushiru. A number of fires were started, and one unidentified enemy ship was hit and beached. Enemy coastal guns returned fire, but U. S. units sustained no damage.
2. During the same night a flight of our aircraft bombed Paramushiru and Shimushu. All U. S. planes returned.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 255, FEBRUARY 7, 1944
The following details regarding casualties in the assault on Kwajalein Atoll have been compiled on the basis of reports received as of the evening of February 6 (West Longitude Date)
In the Southern Attack Force, which captured Kwajalein Island and adjacent objectives, our dead number 157, our wounded 712, our missing 17. In the same area the enemy dead number 4,650, enemy prisoners 173.
In the Northern Attack Force, which captured Roi and Namu Islands and adjacent objectives, our dead number 129, our wounded 436, our missing 65. In the same area the enemy dead number 3,472, enemy prisoners 91.
It is expected final figures will vary only slightly from the above.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 504, FEBRUARY 8, 1944
1. The U. S. Submarine Cisco and the U. S. Submarine S-44, are overdue from patrol and must be presumed to be lost.
2. The next of kin of personnel in the Cisco and the S‑44 have been so informed.
FEBRUARY 8, 1944
NAVY CONSOLIDATED CATALINA SINKS GERMAN U‑BOAT.
Struck by heavy flak from the antiaircraft guns of a Nazi submarine, while still a considerable distance from her target, a United States Navy Consolidated Catalina kept straight on her course to make a definite "kill" of the U‑boat, in the South Atlantic some months ago.
Survivors of the U‑boat sinking were subsequently rescued by the USS Siren, a converted yacht acting as a patrol vessel, after they had been adrift
in the ocean for some 16 days in life rafts dropped by the Naval flyers at the time of the submarine's sinking. The USS Siren is commanded by Lieutenant Commander Charles K. Post, USNR, 47, of Bayport, Long Island, New York.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 33, FEBRUARY 8, 1944
1. Organized resistance on Kwajalein Atoll has ceased and its capture and occupation have been completed.
JOINT STATEMENT, FEBRUARY 9, 1944
The following Joint Anglo‑American statement on submarine and antisubmarine operations is issued under the authority of the President and the Prime Minister:
"The year 1944 has opened with a very satisfactory first month for the Allies in their continued campaign against the U‑boat.
"In spite of the limited opportunities to attack U‑boats owing to the extreme caution now exercised by them, more were destroyed in January than in December. This has been accomplished by unrelenting offensive action of our surface and air forces.
"The amount of merchant ship tonnage sunk by U‑boats during January 1944 is amongst the lowest monthly figures for the whole war.
"The German claims should, as usual, be ignored as they are grossly exaggerated and issued purely for propaganda purposes."
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 258, FEBRUARY 9, 1944
Aircraft of the Seventh Army Air Force, search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two and warships of the Pacific Fleet continued attacks on enemy‑held atolls in the Marshall Islands on February 6 and 7 (West Longitude Date).
Several small enemy boats were sunk at Jaluit Atoll on February 6, by search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two and fighters of the Seventh Army Air Force.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 261, FEBRUARY 9, 1944
The USS Burns, a destroyer commanded by Lieutenant Commander Donald T. Eller, sank an entire convoy of four enemy ships in the Marshall Islands area on January 31 (West Longitude Date).
The Burns was attached to a carrier task force and was sent to rescue Navy fliers forced down at sea. Returning toward the task force, she encountered a tanker, a medium cargo vessel, and two smaller craft, and sank all with gunfire.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 263, FEBRUARY 10, 1944
Air attacks on enemy‑held islands in the Central Pacific continued during February 7, 8, and 9 (West Longitude Date).
On the night of February 8‑9, Coronado bombers of Fleet Air Wing Two
raided Wake, with bomb hits on the airdrome and barracks areas. All of our planes returned safely.
During February 7, Seventh Army Air Force Warhawk fighters and Mitchell medium bombers dropped 33 tons of bombs on enemy bases in the Marshall Islands without loss or casualties to our forces.
On February 8, Seventh Army Air Force Warhawk fighters, Dauntless dive bombers and Liberators dropped 24 tons of bombs on Marshall Islands targets.
On February 9 Army Liberators dropped a total of 57 tons of bombs on Marshall Atolls.
During the same period covered by these raids, units of the Pacific Fleet shelled two enemy‑held atolls in the Marshalls while Navy search planes carried out individual bombing and strafing missions.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 505, FEBRUARY 11, 1944
Pacific and Far East.
1. U. S. submarines have reported the following results of operations against the enemy in these waters:
1 large auxiliary.
2 medium transports.
1 medium cargo transport.
2 large tankers.
5 medium freighters.
1 small freighter.
2. These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 266, FEBRUARY 11, 1944
Wake Island was attacked by Coronado bombers of Fleet Air Wing Two on February 10 (West Longitude Date). This was the second attack on Wake within two days. We suffered no loss.
Seventh Army Air Force Liberators, Mitchells, Dauntless dive-bombers and Warhawk fighters continued raids against enemy‑held Marshall Islands atolls during February 10. The Liberators dropped 72 tons of bombs in the target areas, the Mitchells 13 tons and the dive‑bombers and fighters more than 15 tons, in addition to their heavy strafing. No fighter opposition was encountered in any of these raids.
Our warships bombarded an important enemy‑held atoll in the Marshalls group without drawing return fire.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 270, FEBRUARY 14, 1944
Pacific Fleet carrier‑based aircraft attacked Eniwetok Atoll on February 10, 11, and 12 (West Longitude Date). Airdrome and other ground Installations were heavily bombed. There was no fighter opposition, and no antiaircraft fire was encountered.
Carrier planes attacked Ujae Atoll before dawn on February 12, damaging ground facilities.
On the same day, Seventh Army Air Force Mitchell bombers, Dauntless dive bombers and Airacobra fighters attacked three enemy‑held atolls in the Marshall Islands dropping bombs and strafing with machine guns and cannon. Navy search planes made small scale bombing attacks on Ujelang and Utirik Atolls.
Small force of enemy bombers raided Roi Island in the Kwajalein Atoll during the night of February 11 and 12. Our damage and casualties were moderate.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 271, FEBRUARY 16, 1944
Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force attacked Ponape in considerable force at noon February 14 (West Longitude Date). More than 55 tons of bombs were dropped, principally on shore installations. A small cargo ship was sunk in the harbor. There was no fighter opposition and all of our planes returned to base.
Liberators, Mitchells, Dauntless dive bombers and Warhawk fighters of the Seventh Army Air Force and search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two continued attacks on enemy‑held bases in the Marshall Islands during February 14‑15, bombing installations on five atolls.
Gjit Island, in the eastern Marshall Islands, was attacked by a Navy search plane on February 14.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 34, FEBRUARY 17, 1944
At daylight yesterday morning, February 16, (West Longitude Date), powerful Naval task forces of the U. S. Pacific Fleet commenced an attack on the Japanese Naval base at Truk with several hundred of our planes participating. No further details available.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 35, FEBRUARY 18, 1944
The capture of Eniwetok Atoll has been undertaken by forces of the Pacific Ocean Areas. Army and Marine assault troops have landed and established beachheads.
The initial landings took place after strong preliminary attacks by carrier‑based aircraft and by heavy ships of the Pacific Fleet.
The troops went ashore under the cover of battleship gunfire and with the close support of low flying Naval aircraft.
All forces participating are under the immediate command of Rear Admiral R. K. Turner. The amphibious forces are commanded by Rear Admiral H. W. Hill. The assault troops comprising the Twenty‑second Marines and elements of the One Hundred and Sixth Army Infantry are commanded by Brigadier General T. E. Watson, USMC.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 506, FEBRUARY 19, 1944
Pacific and Far East.
1. Two U. S. submarines recently returned from patrols deep in Japanese Empire waters report sinking 13 enemy merchant ships totaling 68,200 tons.
2. These sinkings have not been reported in any previous Navy Department Communiqué.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 36, FEBRUARY 19, 1944
Our forces have captured the enemy air base at Engebi and several other Islands in the northern portion of the Eniwetok Atoll. Preliminary reports Indicate our casualties have been light.
Assaults on other portions of the atoll are proceeding according to schedule.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 273, FEBRUARY 19, 1944
Supplementing the major attacks on Truk and Eniwetok, our forces have continued to neutralize other enemy bases in the Central Pacific Area.
On February 16 (West Longitude Date) Liberators, Dauntless dive bombers, and Warhawk fighters of the Seventh Army Air Force attacked four atolls in the Eastern Marshall Islands. At one base Warhawks blew up a fuel dump, damaged a small cargo ship, and sank three small craft. On the same day search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed ground installations at two other atolls.
On February 17, Army Liberators bombed warehouses and docks at Ponape, and harbor installations at Kusaie. Army Liberators and Warhawks attacked an Eastern Marshalls base, and Navy search planes bombed and strafed installations at two other atolls.
Between February 14‑18 our warships repeatedly shelled important enemy positions in the Eastern Marshalls.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 37, FEBRUARY 20, 1944
The Pacific Fleet has returned at Truk the visit made by the Japanese Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and effected a partial settlement of the debt. Initial approach was undetected.
During attacks on February 16 and 17 (West Longitude Date) our carrier planes destroyed at least 201 enemy aircraft, 127 of which were shot down in combat. More than fifty additional enemy aircraft were damaged on the ground. There was no enemy air opposition on the second day of the attack.
Enemy surface ships sunk included two light cruisers, three destroyers, one ammunition ship, one seaplane tender, two oilers, two gunboats, and eight cargo ships. Additional enemy ships probably sunk included one cruiser or large destroyer, two oilers, and four cargo ships.
Shore facilities on the principal islands, including airdrome runways and installations, were thoroughly bombed and strafed.
Our losses were 17 planes. None of our ships was lost, but one sustained moderate damage.
Admiral R. A. Spruance, U. S. Navy, was in over‑all command of the operation and Rear Admiral Marc A. Mitscher, U. S. Navy, former commanding officer of the Hornet, directed the carrier air attack.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 274, FEBRUARY 20, 1944
Aircraft of the Seventh Army Air Force and Navy search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two continued bombing attacks on enemy positions in the Marshall and Caroline Islands during February 18 (West Longitude Date).
Army Liberators bombed docks and shipping at Kusaie, sinking a small ship.
Army Warhawks and Navy Ventura and Liberator search planes attacked four Marshall atolls, scoring hits on ground installations, an airfield and a radio station.
None of our planes was lost.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 38, FEBRUARY 21, 1944
Our forces have landed on Eniwetok Island. Have possession of the western half of the island. The attack is being carried out by elements of the 106th Infantry supplemented by a unit of the 22nd Marines.
Except for Parry Island, the remainder of the Atoll is in our hands.
Our casualties continue to be light.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 39, FEBRUARY 21, 1944
Our forces have captured Eniwetok Island. Enemy resistance has been stubborn, and small pockets of troops are yet to be overcome. Parry Island is being heavily attacked by our air and surface forces.
Preliminary reports indicate that our over‑all casualties in the capture of the Eniwetok Atoll as of last night are approximately 150 dead and 350 wounded.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 275, FEBRUARY 21, 1944
Ventura search planes of Fleet Air Wing Four attacked Paramushiru and Shimushu Islands in the Kuriles during the night of February 19 and 20, (West Longitude Date). More than five tons of bombs were dropped. Antiaircraft fire was encountered at all targets, but all of our planes returned safely to base.
Army Warhawk fighters and Mitchell bombers and Navy Ventura search planes on February 19 dropped twenty‑four tons of bombs on three Marshall Atolls, damaging airfields, strafing shipping and hitting ground installations.
Ships of the Pacific Fleet bombarded enemy‑held positions in the Marshall Islands on February 19.
FEBRUARY 20, 1941
U. S. NAVAL COMMANDS NAMED
Rear Admiral Alan Goodrich Kirk, USN, has been named Commander of the United States Task Force, operating as part of the Combined Naval Force in England.
In addition, Rear Admiral John Lesslie Hall, Jr., USN, and Rear Admiral John Wilkes, USN, have been placed in command of units of Rear Admiral Kirk's Task Force.
Admiral Harold R. Stark, USN, is the Commander of all United States Naval Forces in the United Kingdom Area.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 40, FEBRUARY 23, 1944
1. The conquest of Eniwetok Atoll was completed on the evening of February 22 (West Longitude Date) with the capture of Parry Island.
The enemy garrison which defended the atoll is estimated at 3,000.
2. A strong Pacific Fleet Task Force, including several hundred carrier-based aircraft, struck Saipan and Tinian Islands in the Mariana Group, on February 22 (West Longitude Date). Further details are not now available.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 281, FEBRUARY 25, 1944
1. The following information has been received supplementing Communiqué No. 40:
Our task force commanded by Rear Admiral Marc A. Mitscher was detected approaching Tinian and Saipan in the afternoon of February 21 (West Longitude Date).
Attacks on our ships were carried out continuously during the night and the morning of February 22 by enemy land‑based torpedo planes and bombers. Fourteen of the attacking planes were shot down by our antiaircraft fire and five more were shot down by our air patrols.
In spite of the persistent and continuing attacks, our carriers launched their planes according to schedule.
Two attacks were carried out in force against the principal targets, and a smaller raid was made at Guam. A total of 29 enemy planes were shot down over the targets, and an additional 87 planes were wrecked on the ground. A total of 135 enemy aircraft was destroyed.
Few enemy ships were found; one cargo ship was sunk, another was severely damaged and apparently beached, and another was set afire. One patrol craft was blown up and seven other small ships were damaged. Small boats in the harbor areas were strafed.
Runways, seaplane aprons, and other airdrome facilities, fuel dumps and buildings were heavily bombed and strafed.
Our losses were six planes. None of our ships was sunk or damaged.
2. On February 23 (West Longitude Date) Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force bombed wharves, radio facilities, and the cantonment area at Kusaie. On the same day Navy search Liberators of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed Kusaie dock areas, sinking one ship and damaging another. In addition a hit was made on an ammunition dump, which exploded.
Army Mitchell bombers, Warhawk fighters, and Navy search Venturas bombed and strafed ground installations on four enemy‑held atolls in the Western Marshall Islands. Although several planes were damaged, all returned to their base.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 276, FEBRUARY 23, 1944
Enemy‑held positions in the Caroline and Marshall Islands were attacked by aircraft of the Seventh Army Air Force and search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two during February 21 and 22 (West Longitude Date).
On February 21, Army Liberators dropped 30 tons of bombs on Ponape and bombed Kusaie twice with a total of 6 tons of bombs. Fires were started in the harbor areas of both targets. Nauru Island was also bombed by a Navy search Ventura.
On the same date, Army Mitchell bombers, Warhawk fighters and Navy
search planes struck five enemy‑held Marshall Atolls, hitting ground installations, airfields and shipping.
On February 22, Army Warhawk fighters twice attacked a single enemy-held atoll in the Marshall Group, strafing small vessels in the harbor and bombing the airfield.
None of our planes was lost.
On February 21 an atoll in the Eastern Marshalls, which is still occupied by the enemy was bombarded by ships of the Pacific Fleet.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 277, FEBRUARY 24, 1944
Carrier based planes of the Pacific Fleet twice attacked an enemy‑held atoll in the Marshall Islands on February 20 (West Longitude Date).
More than thirty tons of bombs were dropped on three islands of the atoll. On the first island, fires were started in two hangars, a radio station was demolished, barracks and ammunition storage areas were hit. On the second, ground installations were bombed and strafed. On the third, dock areas, radio facilities and a power station were hit.
Although several of our planes were damaged by antiaircraft fire, none was shot down. There was no fighter interception.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 286, FEBRUARY 27, 1944
1. A study of reconnaissance photographs of Truk has revealed total damage to shipping greater than was originally announced.
The photographs disclose that 23 ships were sunk, six probably sunk, and eleven damaged; earlier reports had indicated 19 sunk, seven probably sunk and none damaged.
2. On February 25 and 26 (West Longitude Date) enemy bases in the Central Pacific area were attacked by aircraft of the Seventh Army Air Force and Fleet Air Wing Two.
On the 25th, Army Liberators dropped 30 tons of bombs on Ponape, scoring hits on docks, airdrome installations, a gasoline dump, and a cargo ship.
On the same day Army Mitchells and Warhawks and Navy Venturas attacked four enemy‑held Marshall Island bases. An Army Liberator bombed Kusaie and a Navy search plane bombed Nauru.
On the 26th Army Mitchells and Warhawks, and Navy Venturas attacked three enemy‑held atolls in the Marshalls.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 507, FEBRUARY 29, 1944
Pacific and Far East.
1. U. S. submarines have reported the sinking of 14 enemy vessels in operations in these waters, as follows:
1 large tanker
1 medium cargo transport
1 small cargo vessel
11 medium cargo vessels
2. These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 287, FEBRUARY 29, 1944
Aircraft of the Seventh Army Air Force and search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two on February 26 and 27 (West Longitude Date) bombed and machine-gunned Japanese‑held positions in the Caroline and Marshall Islands.
Army Liberator bombers hit Ponape with 30 tons of bombs on February 27, causing fires and explosions. Navy search planes strafed dock areas and a small ship at Kusaie on February 26.
Nearly 50 tons of bombs were dropped on seven enemy‑held atolls in the Marshall Islands on February 27 by Army Liberator and Mitchell bombers, Army Warhawk fighters, Army Dauntless dive‑bombers and Navy search Venturas.
Several of our planes were damaged by antiaircraft fire, but all returned to their base.