(Distances are in nautical miles)


The year 1944 saw a great amphibious offensive unfold in the Pacific. The forces of the United Nations, spearheaded and sustained by the United States Pacific Fleet, drove in massive lunges through Japan's ill-gotten conquests, moving 1830 miles westward from Tarawa and Makin to anchor their armed night securely in the Marianas. From there systematic bombarding of Tokyo and other Japanese industrial centers has begun.

From the jungles of New Britain the front was pushed 1600 miles north and west to the Philippines. As of today, the enemy's defensive arc from Paramushiru in the northern Kuriles to Manila, 2780 miles in extent, is within effective range of our fleet and shore based aircraft. To U. S. offensive forces in the Marianas and Philippines, as elsewhere in the Pacific, a constant procession of cargo vessels is carrying thousands of tons of supplies. These two points are 4938 miles and 6056 miles, respectively, from San Francisco. No military operation has ever embraced such dimensions.

There is evidence that the enemy counted on slow and painful forward steps by our forces, instead of swift advances. Radio Tokyo told its listeners recently that speed is an "outstanding trait" of the American people. "The enemy has come pressing upon us," Tokyo explained, "skipping three or four steps in one jump, for the step‑by‑step method was not speedy enough for him."

In seizing positions in the pivotal Philippines, a strategic victory has been consummated. A string of island bases along the southern perimeter of Japan's inner sea has been established. From them can be launched drives against the home Empire. At the same time Japan is being cut off from the rich military resources of the Indies‑the empire she coveted, won and planned to exploit without hindrance.

Japan's leaders are well aware of the strategic import of the battle of the Philippines. It is a battle which, according to their own propaganda, they know they must not lose. This was indicated when the Japanese Imperial Fleet, long in hiding, steamed forth in a supreme effort to destroy the forces covering the beachhead won on Leyte. The U. S. Navy then came to grips with, and thoroughly defeated, a major force of the Japanese Navy in the three actions of Surigao Straits, Samar and of Cape Engano.

These three actions constituted the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, the culminating sea engagement of the year, which was symbolic of the destruc­tion wrought upon the Japanese military machine throughout the Pacific.




During the year U. S. surface ships and aircraft sank two of the enemy's battleships, five of his aircraft carriers, seven of his heavy cruisers, well over 300 cargo ships and transports, and about 200 other vessels, with the grand total reaching 550 ships, according to tentative figures now available. These figures do not include any ships probably sunk or damaged, or any ships de­stroyed by our submarines. They do not include any of the hundreds of barges, luggers and other small cargo craft sunk. And they refer only to activity in the Pacific Ocean Areas exclusive of the Southwest Pacific command.

U. S. submarines sank 468 Japanese ships during the first 11 months of 1944, according to Navy Department communiqués. This total includes four light cruisers and 17 destroyers. Forty‑three tankers, 377 cargo ships and transports were sent to the bottom. In December an enemy aircraft carrier was sunk by a submarine. The tonnage of Japanese ships sunk during 1944 by U. S. submarines alone is in excess of 2,500,000 tons. The number of ships damaged by submarines has not been announced.

During 1944, 6,650 enemy aircraft were destroyed in the Pacific Ocean Areas. Of these approximately 5,450 were destroyed by carrier aircraft, and 1,200 by land‑based airplanes. Of the year's total, approximately 3,975 enemy aircraft were destroyed in the air, and 2,675 on the ground. These figures also do not include reports from the Southwest Pacific command.

No review of the year would be complete without mention of our land-­based air forces. As we have moved the battlefront steadily across the Pacific, we have drawn after us a net of air and surface blockade, entangling, pinning down, choking the by‑passed Japanese holdings. An estimated 225,000 enemy troops, and strong enemy bastions such as Truk, Kavieng and Rabaul, have been reduced to impotence or to ashes.

In addition to ceaseless patrolling by surface units, many hundreds of land‑based air strikes have been necessary to enforce this blockade. Many of these strikes were in force, with heavy bomb loads dropped on important targets. Others were small. When practicable they were closely coordinated with carrier‑based attacks and amphibious landings. Together with our surface patrolling, these air strikes destroyed enemy strength in by‑passed zones and made possible our rapid advance.

The year 1944 has brought success and added momentum to our advancing forces. But the Pacific is an ocean of fantastic distances. The road to Tokyo is rough and long. The enemy has just begun to defend his Home Empire. We have just begun to meet the tremendous problems of logistics, of supplying our forces‑problems that grow greater with every forward step.

The vast quantity of material required to prepare the way for our ad­vancing troops can be measured in terms of ammunition. Our naval forces alone used 36,260 tons of it in the Marianas campaign for air and surface bombard­ment. This does not include any ammunition used by troops ashore. At Peleliu surface and air bombardment consumed 9,000 tons. A myriad of other commodities are required to supply and sustain our advancing forces.

The decisive battles, the greatest battles, the hardest battles of the war in the Pacific are still to come. They must be fought with supreme effort on the part of all of us; in factories throughout our country, across the long sea lanes, and in the forward areas where the men of all our armed services, and those of our Allies, are fighting‑for the enemy, like ourselves, has just begun to fight.







Explanatory Notes


All dates are West Longitude.

For the months January to July, inclusive, revised figures are used in showing our own and enemy losses. By "revised" is meant the figures arrived at as result of assembling, analyzing and tabulating all the final returns‑a process which takes many weeks after the action concerned. These revised figures often differ, to a minor degree, from the figures originally announced in communiqués.

For the months August to December, inclusive, revised figures are not available; that is, the figures used in this portion of the chronology are drawn entirely and only from communiqués issued in that period.

The purpose of this chronology is primarily to list events occurring in the Pacific Ocean areas. However, the campaigns of the Southwest Pacific Area are strategically speaking, an inseparable part of the Pacific offensive, and repeatedly during the year the activities of the two commands had a direct and important tactical relationship. For these reasons the major events oc­curring in the Southwest Pacific Area are included in this chronology.


January 194/4


All dates are West



31 December 1943


3 January 1944

A carrier force commanded by Rear Admiral F. C. Sherman, USN, made bombing, strafing and torpedo attacks on enemy cruisers, destroyers and other shipping near Kavieng, New Ireland.

1 January

Under cover of heavy air and naval bombardment, elements of the 6th Army under General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander, Allied Forces, Southwest Pacific Area, landed at Saidor on the north coast of New Guinea. The landings were unopposed and con­trol of the Saidor area and airstrip was soon gained.

3‑25 January

Enemy troop and supply concentrations and staging points in the northern Solomons were subjected to six surface bombardments. Four were in broad daylight. There was no air or surface opposition, and negligible reply from shore batteries. Two strikes on Southern Empress Augusta Bay, two on northeastern Bougainville  and one on Choiseul Bay were conducted by destroyers. One on the Shortland area was by cruisers and destroyers.

29‑30 January

During the night the USS Burns, a destroyer operating with our naval forces in the Marshall Islands, en­countered and sank an enemy convoy of four vessels including a 6000‑ton oiler, a 4500‑ton cargo ship and two smaller vessels.

U. S. carrier and heavy surface forces heavily at­tacked Jap bases in the Marshall Islands. Airfields and





other installations on Wotje, Maloelap and Kwajalein atolls, previously softened up by our land‑based air power, were bombed and strafed by our carrier aircraft and bombarded by our battleships, cruisers and destroyers. The enemy's air strength in the Marshalls was paralyzed. On the 30th our carrier forces began air attacks on Eniwetok atoll which continued daily until 6 February.

31 January

U. S. landings began in the Marshall Islands with unopposed occupation of Majuro atoll by Amphibious Reconnaissance Company of 5th Amphibious Corps (now Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific). Majuro was the first pre‑war Japanese territory to be taken by United States forces.


In preparation for main assault on Roi and Namur Islands in Kwajalein atoll, Marines landed on five smaller islets flanking Roi, meeting with little opposition. In preparation for assault on Kwajalein Island at the southern tip of the atoll, by the Seventh Infantry Division, U. S. Army troops landed on islands flanking Kwajalein Island. Opposition was slight.


February 1944

1 February

Fourth Marine division landed on Roi and Namur Islands, about 45 miles north of Kwajalein Island, in Kwajalein atoll. Seventh Infantry Division landed on Kwajalein Island.

1‑6 February

Powerful force of battleships, cruisers, destroyers, carriers and land‑based aircraft supported Kwajalein landings. Fleet air attacks were carried out also on other atolls of the Marshalls and on Wake Island. Roi. Namur, Kwajalein, Ebeye, Lot, Gugegwe, Bigej and Eller Islands, all in Kwajalein atoll, were captured. (Kwajalein is the world's largest atoll, 66 miles long, 18 miles wide and including more than 30 islets.)

4 February

Cruisers and destroyers commanded by Rear Admiral W. D. Baker, USN, bombarded Japanese installations on Paramushiru in the Kurile Islands‑the first surface bombardment of this Japanese base by our forces.

8 February

Organized resistance ceased on Kwajalein atoll. Japanese killed 8112, prisoners 437. Our casualties: 286 killed, 1148 wounded, 82 missing.

10‑12 February

Eniwetok bombarded by our carrier aircraft.

12 February

Arno atoll, Marshall Islands occupied. No opposition.

14 February

First heavy land‑based air attack on Ponape, base in the Carolines. U. S. and New Zealand troops under General Mac­ Arthur landed on Green Islands off southern New Ire­ land. Naval attack force was commanded by Rear Admiral T. S. Wilkinson, USN. Resistance was light. This thrust flanked Rabaul.





16‑17 February

Enemy positions and installations on Eniwetok atoll were bombed and strafed by carrier aircraft and shelled by heavy surface units.


Covering the Eniwetok landings, a U. S. carrier and battleship force struck a heavy surprise blow at Truk. On the 16th our aircraft strafed and bombed airfields and enemy aircraft; and strafed, bombed and torpedoed shipping in Truk lagoon. Enemy air power was paralyzed: 129 enemy aircraft were shot down, 82 were destroyed on the ground, 70 were damaged on the ground according to photographic evidence. (No Jap aircraft were airborne the second day of the attack.) Meantime, a force including battleships and cruisers made sweep around the atoll attacking Japanese merchant and Naval vessels in the vicinity of Truk. There were few targets left by the 17th, and on that day our force retired. Sunk by our air and surface action were 2 light cruisers, 3 destroyers, 2 patrol craft, 1 Ammunition Ship, 8 Freighters, 7 Oilers, 2 Barges. Damaged were 16 other vessels (only 14 out of a total of 55 vessels at Truk escaped undamaged). This anti‑shipping assault was the heaviest yet delivered by our fleet air arm in terms of bomb tonnage, sorties flown, and targets available. . Our losses: 25 aircraft lost, 1 ship moderately damaged.

17 February

Eniwetok landings began with establishment of artillery positions on islands flanking Engebi Island.

18 February

22nd Marines and 106th Infantry seized Engebi Island. Opposition was light.

19‑21 February

Eniwetok Island was invaded and seized by the 106th Infantry Regiment and the 104th Artillery Battalion.

22‑‑23 February

Parry Island, Eniwetok atoll, was invaded and seized by the 22nd Marines and the 4th Tank Battalion. This completed our control of Eniwetok atoll. Japanese killed, 2665 ; prisoners, 66. Our casualties: 169 killed, 521 wounded, 26 missing.

17‑29 February

U. S. Destroyers bombarded Kavieng, New Ireland and Rabaul, New Britain and conducted anti‑shipping sweeps in the Bismarck area. These were our first surface bombardment of these enemy bases. There was no air nor surface opposition and only slight resistance from shore batteries.

19 February

On or about this date the Japs evacuated their air force from Rabaul and virtually stopped defending the Bismarck with aircraft. Interception of our aircraft over Rabaul virtually ceased after 19 February.

20 February

Aircraft from our carriers strafed and bombed enemy installations on Jaluit atoll, Marshall Islands.

21‑22 February

A carrier force under command of Rear (now Vice) Admiral Marc A. Mitscher, USN, bombed and strafed enemy installations on Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Guam in the Marianas. Air battles were fought with enemy





 aircraft. Virtually all of the enemy's aircraft in the Marianas were destroyed or damaged (total about 135). Of the few enemy ships located, 2 were destroyed and 9 damaged. Our losses were 6 aircraft.

28 February

Troops under General MacArthur landed at Los Negros, in the. Admiralty Islands, from a Naval force commanded by Rear Admiral W. M. Fechteler, USN. This advance into the Admiralties was the first step toward development of strategic airfields and a major fleet anchorage in these islands. It further flanked Rabaul. Resistance was light and the Momote Airstrip was quickly seized.


March 1944

4 March

Mindiri, 30 miles west of Saidor on New Guinea coast, was invaded by troops under General MacArthur.

7 March

Jap ground forces attacked our positions in Tororina area on Bougainville. Fighting continued until 2:i March when the Japs abandoned their effort and retired.


Troops under the Supreme Commander, Allied Forces, Southwest Pacific Area, landed on Willaumez Peninsula, near Talasea, on northern coast of New Britain, 160 miles from Rabaul. Opposition was quickly overcome.

9 March

Wotho atoll, Marshall Islands, was secured.

11 March

Ujae atoll and Lib Island, in the Marshall Islands were secured.

13 March

Lae atoll, Marshall Islands, was secured.

14 March

Manus Island, Admiralty group, invaded by troops under General MacArthur. Ships of the 7th Fleet sup ported with shore bombardment; aircraft of the Southwest Pacific air forces ,gave air cover. Lorengao Airbase was captured in 72 hours. (Occupation of the Admiralty Islands was virtually completed by the end of April).

15 March

B‑24's of the Central Pacific air force made first land­ based air attack on Truk. The island was not blacked out. Installations were bombed; fires were started.

16 March

Gasmata, on the south shore of New Britain, opposite Willaumez Peninsula, was invaded by troops under General MacArthur. No opposition was encountered.

17‑18 March

U. S. destroyers bombarded Wewak, New Guinea. (This base and shipping in that area were subjected to heavy, continued shore‑based attacks from 11‑27 March.)

18 March

Mille Island, Mille atoll, Marshall Islands, was bombed by carrier aircraft and shelled by heavy surface units.

19 March

Fourth Marines landed unopposed on Emirau Islands, St. Matthias group (75 miles northwest of Kavieng), thus completing the encirclement of Rabaul, Kavieng, and other enemy positions in the Bismarck Archipelago





 and Solomon Islands. Diversionary bombardment of Kavieng was conducted by heavy surface ships, which poured in more than 1,000 tons of shells. Operation was under general direction of Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., USN, Commander, South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force of the U. S. Fleet.

22 March

U. S. Pacific Fleet destroyers bombarded Mussau island, largest of St. Matthias Group, 15 miles northwest of Emirau. Ailinglapalap atoll, Marshall Islands, was secured.

23 March

Namu atoll, Marshall Islands, was secured.

24 March

Ebon atoll, Marshall Islands, was secured.

26 March

Namorik atoll, Marshall Islands, was secured.

27 March

Kill Island, Marshall Islands, was secured. U. S. Pacific Fleet destroyers bombarded Kapingamarangi (Greenwich) atoll, north of New Ireland.

29‑31 March

In the deepest penetration yet made of enemy defenses, carrier forces under tactical command of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, USN, heavily attacked the Palau Islands with additional strikes at Yap, MIMI and Woleai in the western Carolines. The approaching force was detected, and many enemy ships, including heavy units, fled from Palau anchorages. However, on 20‑30 March, 29 Japanese ships were sunk at Palau: 3 destroyers; 2 large, 6 medium and 9 small freighters: 3 large, 1 medium and 1 small tanker; and 4 smaller vessels. 4 18 other vessels were severely damaged, some of them fired or beached, 114 Jap aircraft were shot down; 46 destroyed on the ground. Yap and Ulithi were hit on the 30th. At Yap, 1 small craft was sunk; at Ulithi, 1 sunk, 1 damaged. At Woleai on the 31st, 7 aircraft were destroyed on the ground, 3 barges destroyed. Installations at all four locations suffered heavy damage. Our losses were 25 aircraft lost in combat.

30 March

Bikini atoll, Marshall Islands, was secured.


April 1944

1 April

Ailuk atoll, Marshall Islands, was secured.

2 April

Mejit atoll and Jemo Island (uninhabited), Marshall Islands, was secured.

3 April

Rongelap, Likiep, Ailinginae and Rongerik atolls (latter two uninhabited), Marshall Islands, were secured.

5 April

U. S. troops land on Ram Buyto in the Admiralty Islands, without opposition. Utirik, Bikar and Taka atolls (latter uninhabited), Marshall Islands, secured.

11 April

"Major portion" of New Britain is ours, according to announcement from General MacArthur's headquarters. Formerly strong enemy positions at Cape Hoskins and Gasmata have been abandoned and the Japanese have fled for a last stand at Rabaul.




15 April

Alaska and Aleutians separated from 13th Naval District and made the 17th Naval District.


Rear (now Vice) Admiral John H. Hoover, USN, was designated Commander Forward Area, Central Pacific, by Admiral C. W. Nimitz, USN, with command over all forces assigned to the Forward Area, including land-based air forces.

18 April

Saipan, Tinian and Aguijan Islands in the Marianas were bombed in daylight by PB4Ys of Fleet Air Wing 2 and B‑24's of 7th AAF.

19 April

Sabang, enemy base off the northern tip of Sumatra, was bombarded by an Allied task force of carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines. Among the capital ships was the USS Saratoga. Admiral Sir James Somerville, Royal Navy, commanded the force. This was the first time in World War II that ships of the Pacific Fleet had operated with British units on an offensive mission in the Indian Ocean.

20‑23 April

Forces of the 5th Fleet provided air and surface support for landings of Southwest Pacific forces at Aitape and Hollandia on the northern coast of New Guinea. 5th Fleet carrier aircraft bombed and strafed Japanese airfields at Wakde, Sawar and in the Hollandia area, 5th Fleet cruisers and destroyers bombarded Japanese airfields at Wakde and Sawar at night. Ground Installations, fuel and ammunition dumps were destroyed in these strikes. It is estimated that 5th Fleet aircraft whose operations were coordinated with those of the Southwest Pacific Air Forces‑destroyed 88 Japanese aircraft on the ground, 34 in the air; and 1 small cargo vessel and 6 small craft. 5th Fleet losses: 10 aircraft in combat.

21 April

Under cover furnished by ships of the 5th and 7th Fleets, and shore‑based aircraft of the Southwest Pacific forces, troops under command of General MacArthur went ashore at Humboldt Bay and Tanahmerah Bay to secure Hollandia, and also at Aitape. Opposition was light. Beachheads were quickly secured and by the 28th, all airfields and airdromes at both areas were in hand.


This move effectively isolated at least 60,000 Japs of the Japanese 18th Army between Aitape and Madang, and made it possible to blockade them as enemy troops in the Solomons, the Bismarck Archipelago and the Marshalls were being blockaded.


In this operation the 5th Fleet units were under tactical command of Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher, USN, and the 7th Fleet units were under Rear Admiral D. E. Barbey, USN.


Erikub and Aur atolls, Marshall Islands, were secured.

23 April

Ujelang atoll, Marshall Islands, was secured without opposition. This completed the Marshalls Operation. In





period of about 12 weeks, our forces had captured about 90% of the enemy possessions in the Marshalls, and completely dominated the 330,000 square miles of sea and air in their environs. So effective had been our air and surface covering operations that of the 24 atolls and 3 islands taken, only Kwajalein and Eniwetok had been heavily defended. Enemy casualties: 10,902 killed and 523 prisoners of war. Our casualties: 566 killed and missing, 1683 wounded. Japanese bases on the fol­lowing four atolls, completely bypassed, blockaded and pounded by daily air attacks, were left to "wither on the vine": Jaluit, Mille, Wotje, Maloelap.

24 April

Madang on the coast of Northeast New Guinea occupied by Australian and United States troops. On the 26th these troops occupied Alexishafen in the same area. This seizure gave Allied forces control of Vitiaz Strait off Northeast New Guinea, and major base and port facilities.

29‑30 April

Returning from the Hollandia operation, 5th Fleet units under Vice Admiral Mitscher attacked Truk. Carrier aircraft heavily bombed and strafed ground installations, doing extensive damage. Other enemy losses 63 aircraft shot down, 60 destroyed on the ground; 4 small craft sunk. We lost 27 aircraft.

30 April

Pacific Fleet cruisers and destroyers bombarded Satawan, in the Nomoi Group, Caroline Islands. The target area, which the Japanese had been developing as an air base, was thoroughly covered with heavy projectiles. Rear Admiral J. B. Oldendorf, USN, commanded the forces.


May 1944

1 May

Battleships of the 5th Fleet, supported by carrier aircraft, bombarded Ponape in the Carolines. Numerous buildings in Ponape town, the seaplane base, and the wharf area were destroyed. (Ponape and other Japanese bases in the Carolines had suffered increasingly heavy shore‑based air attacks during the months of March and April. Such attacks were further stepped up during May).

13‑14 May

Land‑based bombers heavily attack Jaluit, Marshall Islands.

16‑19 May

Wakde Islands, 115 miles west of Hollandia along the New Guinea coast, seized by U. S. Army units under the Supreme Commander, Allied Forces, Southwest Pacific area.

17 May

Soerabaja, Java attacked by carrier aircraft of the Allied naval force which had attacked Sabang on 19 April. This raid coincided with landings at Wakde. Damage inflicted: At least 10 enemy ships damaged, some heavily. 26 aircraft destroyed. Ground installations damaged. Our losses: 1 aircraft. Destroyers bombarded Maloelap.




19‑20 May

Pacific Fleet carriers bombed and strafed enemy installations on Marcus Island in two‑day air attack.

20 May

Cruisers and destroyers bombarded enemy positions in the Shortland Islands, just south of Bougainville.

21 May

Land‑based aircraft heavily bombed Wotje, Marshall Islands.

22 May

Destroyers bombarded Wotje.

23 May

Carrier aircraft bombed Wake Island.

26 May

Destroyers bombarded Mille, Marshall Islands.

27 May

Biak Island, 180 miles west of Wakde off New Guinea coast, was invaded by U. S. Army units under command of General MacArthur. They were supported by bombing and naval bombardment by ships of the 7th Fleet. From Biak, Davao, in the Philippines is less than 80 miles and the Palau Islands are slightly over 500 miles.

29 May

Medina, on northern coast of New Ireland, was bombarded by Pacific Fleet destroyers.


June 1944

9 June

Japanese base at Fangelawa Bay, New Ireland, was bombarded by Pacific Fleet destroyers.

10 June

Aircraft of a fast carrier task force struck at enemy airpower on Saipan, Tinian, Rota, Pagan and Guam in the Marianas. Installations, positions and parked aircraft were bombed and strafed. Approximately 150 enemy aircraft were destroyed, about three‑fourths of them in the air. Our losses: 11 aircraft.

11 June

Japanese convoy of about 20 vessels fleeing the Marianas was attacked by our carrier aircraft west of Pagan. Most of the ships were sunk or heavily damaged. Another enemy convoy consisting of 6 vessels was similarly attacked west of Guam, and damaged. Other shipping in the Marianas area was attacked by our aircraft. Ground installations on Saipan, Tinian, Rota, Pagan and Guam were bombed and strafed.

12 June

Attacks by carrier aircraft on the Marianas were continued. Battleships conducted a day‑long bombardment of Saipan. Night of 12‑‑13 June: Destroyers bombarded Saipan and Tinian.

13 June

Carrier air strikes on the Marianas were continued. Battleships bombarded Saipan and Tinian. Pacific Fleet cruisers, destroyers and aircraft attacked enemy installations on Matsuwa Island in the Kuriles.

14 June

Covered by heavy air and surface bombardment, our troops went ashore at Saipan, main Japanese base in the Marianas and headquarters of the Japanese Commander in Chief, Central Pacific Area. Vigorous opposition had developed. Fighting on Saipan ranked with the severest in the Pacific war, but its seizure constituted a major breach in the Japanese line of





 inner defenses. The expeditionary force included the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions and the 27th Infantry Division, United States Army. The Saipan operation, like the other invasions in the Marianas, was under the general direction of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, USN, Commander, Fifth Fleet, with Vice Admiral Richmond K. Turner, USN, in charge of the expeditionary forces. (Saipan is 3300 miles from Pearl Harbor, 1000 miles from Eniwetok and 1260 miles from Tokyo.)


During the evening, Japanese aircraft attacked our ships in the Saipan Area. 15 aircraft were shot down.


Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands and Chichi Jima and Haha Jima in the Bonins were attacked by our carrier aircraft. Installations were bombed and strafed. Jap losses: 39 aircraft shot down, 25 destroyed on the ground. Two freighters were sunk, several heavily damaged. Our losses: 8 aircraft. This was our first carrier strike on the Volcanos and Bonins.

15 June

Installations on Iwo Jima were bombed and strafed by our carrier aircraft. There was no airborne opposition but antiaircraft fire was heavy. We lost 3 aircraft. Carrier strikes continued on the Marianas area. China‑based B‑29's bombed Yawata, steel center on northern Kyushu, in Japan. This was the first attack by land‑based aircraft on the main Japanese Islands, and the first time B‑29 bombers were used in an offensive invasion. Vice Admiral J. H. Newton, USN, relieved Admiral William F. Halsey, USN, as Commander South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force. Admiral Halsey remained Commander 3rd Fleet.

16 June

Carrier aircraft continued to bomb enemy Installations in the Marianas in support of our expanding beachhead.

17 June

U. S. forces on Saipan captured Aslito (later Iseley) air field.

18 June

Aircraft from Japanese carrier striking force attacked our sea forces covering the Saipan operation in the first stage of the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The enemy attack continued for several hours. The Japanese aircraft were intercepted and a high percentage of them shot down. Enemy losses for the day: 402 aircraft, all but 17 of which were destroyed in the air; two carriers damaged. Our losses: 17 aircraft and superficial damage to two carriers and a battleship.

19 June

Aircraft from our carriers attacked the Japanese carrier striking force, in the second stage of the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Jap losses: 1 aircraft carrier, 1 light aircraft carrier, 2 destroyers, 1 tanker sunk; 1 aircraft carrier, 1 destroyer and 1 tanker possibly sunk; 1 aircraft carrier, 1 or 2 light aircraft carriers, 1 battle­ ship, 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 1 destroyer and





3 tankers damaged. 26 Japanese aircraft were shot down. Our losses: 93 aircraft (many of the personnel were rescued from these planes, a large percentage of which had been forced to land on the water in the darkness that night).


From this date until 7 July Guam and Rota were attacked each day by at least one strike from our carrier forces. On that day continued heavy surface bombardment‑coordinated with the air strikes‑began.

20 June

Our fleet attempted to pursue and to contact the enemy fleet, which was in a full speed retreat. The enemy eluded our search.

22‑23 June

Installations on Pagan were bombed and strafed b our carrier aircraft.

23 June

Our carrier aircraft struck at Iwo Jima. Japanese losses: 68 aircraft near Iwo Jima, 46 in unsuccessful thrusts at our carriers‑total 114 aircraft lost in the air. Our losses: 5 aircraft.

25‑26 June

Kurabu Zaki, an important enemy base on Paramushiru in the Kuriles, was bombarded at night by our cruisers and destroyers. Guam was bombarded by surface units.

30 June‑1 July

Guam again bombarded by surface units.


July 1944

1 July

Under cover of Naval and air bombardment troops under command of General MacArthur landed at Kamiri on Noemfoor Island, 100 miles west of Biak Island off Dutch New Guinea. Key Kamiri airfield was captured without much opposition 1 hour and 51 minutes aft the landing.

2‑3 July

Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands and Haha Jima the Bonins were heavily attacked by carrier aircraft. Bombs, machine guns and rockets were used. On the 3rd Iwo Jima was shelled by surface units. Meanwhile Iwo Jima was attacked by a fast carrier task group. In these strikes 9 ships were sunk, 8 damaged, together with a larger number of small craft. 26 Japanese aircraft were shot down and 128 were left inoperable on the ground. We lost 22 aircraft.

 6 July

Several thousand Japanese troops launched a desperate counterattack on our forces at Saipan. Our casualties were severe, but the charge was thrown back with more than 1500 enemy troops killed.

7 July

Guam was bombarded by surface units. From this time until the landing on the 20th, Guam was and constant surface bombardment, with coordinated strikes by our carrier aircraft. Continued attacks were also made on Rota.

8 July

Organized resistance ended on Saipan. This was one of the most significant victories won by U. S. forces






 in the Pacific. It led directly to the fall of the Tojo cabinet in Tokyo. Mopping up continued. Through 9 December, 26,571 Japanese had been killed and 2,099 captured on Saipan.


B‑29's based on the continent of Asia bombarded the Japanese naval base at Sasebo and the steel center of Yawata in Japan. This was the second B‑29 raid on the Japanese homeland, the first having occurred on 15 June.

12 July

Second Marine Division landed on Maniagassa Island, 2 miles off the northwestern coast of Saipan.

13 July

Iwo Jima was bombed by aircraft of the Central Pacific shore‑based air forces. This was the first raid on the Nanpo Shoto by land‑based aircraft of the Pacific Ocean Areas.

15‑17 July

Guam was shelled at close range by battleships, cruisers and destroyers, in the heightening campaign to obliterate gun emplacements and other installations. Tinian was shelled during the night of the 15‑16th by destroyers.

20 July

Supported by carrier aircraft and heavy surface bombardment, our troops invaded Guam, largest and southernmost of the Marianas, establishing beachheads on both sides of Apra Harbor. The landing forces included the 3rd Marine Division, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade and the 77th Infantry Division. There was little opposition to the landings themselves, but determined opposition developed inland. From this date until 7 August, our battleships, cruisers and destroyers furnished fire support to the troops ashore on Guam. Carrier aircraft also provided continued support.

21 July

Artillery and naval gunfire were directed against Tinian.

23 July

Second and 4th Marine Divisions landed on Tinian supported by carrier and land based aircraft and artillery and naval gunfire. Casualties in the landing forces were light. As at Guam, naval gunfire and carrier aircraft support was provided our troops on Tinian in the days following the assault.

24‑27 July

Carrier aircraft of a fast carrier task group attacked enemy installations in the Palau Islands. Also attacked were Yap, Ulithi, Fais, Ngulu and Soror in the western Carolines.

29 July

Tinian town was captured. Apra Harbor, site of former U. S. Naval Base on Guam, was again put into use by our ships.

29‑30 July

Supported by Allied naval and air forces, troops under General MacArthur landed on the 29th on the islands of Amsterdam and Middleburg and at Cape Opmari,





near Sansapor in northwestern Vogelkop, near the western tip of Netherlands New Guinea. These islands are nearly 200 miles beyond our base on Noemfoor Island and slightly more than 600 miles southeast of the Philippines. On the 30th, we landed at Cape Sansa­por. There was little opposition to these landings. This move by‑passed Manokwari, pivotal enemy base in the Vogelkop Peninsula, and effectively neutralized New Guinea as an enemy base of operations.

31 July

Organized resistance ceased on Tinian. Mopping up continued. Through 9 December, 6,932 Japanese had been killed, 321 taken prisoner on Tinian.


August 1944

2 August

American flag was formally raised on Tinian.

3 August

Air and surface units of a fast carrier task force virtually wiped out a Japanese convoy and raided airfields and installations in the Bonin and Volcano Islands (Muko Jima, Chichi Jima, Haha Jima, Ane Jima, Iwo Jima). Japanese losses were 11 ships sunk, 8 ships damaged; 6 aircraft shot down, 7 destroyed on the ground. We lost 16 planes.

9 August

Organized Japanese resistance ended on Guam. Mopping up continued. Through 9 December, 17,436 Japanese had been killed, and 512 captured on Guam.

30‑‑31 August & 1 September

Chichi Jima and Haha Jima in the Bonins, and Iwo Jima in the Volcanos were bombed and strafed by aircraft of a fast carrier task force on 30th and the 1st, Chichi Jima and Haha Jima were bombarded by cruisers and destroyers. Japanese losses were: 6 ships sunk, 4 ships probably sunk, 3 ships damaged; 11 aircraft shot down, 35 destroyed on ground. Installations, airfields and supply dumps were damaged. We lost 5 aircraft.

31 August

Admiral Nimitz announced that Lt. General Millard F. Harmon had assumed command of all Army Air Force units operating in the Pacific Ocean Areas.


September 1944

3 September

Cruisers and destroyers did extensive damage to enemy installations on Wake Island by surface bombardment. There was no air opposition.

5 September

Aircraft of a fast carrier task force group bombed Palau Islands. Installations were damaged. 17 small craft were left burning.

5‑7 September

Carrier aircraft bombed and strafed Yap and Ulithi in the western Carolines.

6 September

Enemy installations in the Palau Islands were shelled by cruisers and destroyers of the Pacific Fleet.

8 September

Carrier aircraft attacked Mindanao Island in the Philippines. 68 enemy aircraft were shot down, 32 loaded freighters in convoy were sunk by combined air





 and surface attack; 20 ships in Davao Gulf were dam­ aged ; 20 small craft were sunk, 17 damaged.

9 September

Carrier aircraft attacked Angaur, Peleliu and Koror Islands in the Palau Group, and bombed installations and shipping.


September Babelthuap, Peleliu and Angaur were attacked by carrier aircraft of the Pacific Fleet. On the 11th these islands were bombarded by battleships.


September Carrier aircraft shot down 156 enemy aircraft and destroyed 277 on the ground in strikes at Leyte, Cebu, Negros and Panay Islands in the Visayas group, Philippines. 40 enemy ships were sunk, 44 damaged. Ground installations were damaged.

12 September

Carrier aircraft hit Angaur, Peleliu and Ngesebus in the Palau Islands.

14 September

Supported by fleet air and surface units the 1st Marine Division landed on Peleliu in the Palau Islands. The amphibious operations were commanded by Vice Admiral T. S. Wilkinson, USN, Commander, Third Amphibious Force. Expeditionary troops were commanded by Major General Julian C. Smith, USMC Ground opposition was fairly stiff. The fast carrier task force supporting the operation was commanded by Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher, USN At almost the same hour, our troops under command of General MacArthur landed on Morotai in the Halmaheras. Opposition was negligible and an airfield was captured the first day.

15 September

Carrier aircraft bombed enemy positions and installations on Babelthuap and Peleliu in the Palau Islands.

16 September

The 81st Infantry Division, U. S. Army, invaded Angaur, southernmost of the Palau Islands, under cover of air and surface bombardment. Opposition was light. Military government was set up on Peleliu Island.

19 September

Organized resistance ceased on Angaur Island.


September Elements of the 81st Infantry Division, covered by ships of the Pacific Fleet, occupied Ulithi atoll in the western Carolines. They were unopposed. The Pacific war came back, after 2 1/2 years, to the Island of Luzon, with a smashing two‑day attack by carrier‑based aircraft of the Pacific Fleet. Japanese losses:


40 ships sunk.


11 ships probably sunk.


6 small craft sunk.


11 small craft damaged.


2 floating drydocks damaged.


169 aircraft shot down.


188 aircraft destroyed on the ground.


45 aircraft damaged on the ground.


3 aircraft damaged by ships gunfire.


Extensive, widespread damage to military targets.


Our losses: 11 aircraft.





8 September

Carrier planes of the Pacific Fleet struck at Cebu, Leyte, Negros, Luzon, and Nactan, in the Visayas Group of the Philippine Islands. Japanese losses were 22 ships sunk, 43 ships damaged, 20 to 30 small craft sunk or damaged; 7 aircraft shot down, 29 destroyed on the ground.

27 September

First Marine Division landed on Ngesebus and Kongauru in the Palaus Islands, with the usual air and surface bombardment cover. Both islands were quickly secured.

30 September

Military government was proclaimed on Angaur. Military government was set up on Kongauru and Ngesebus Islands.


October 1944

8 October

Marcus Island was bombarded by surface units of the Pacific Fleet. Elements of the 81st Infantry Division landed on Garakayo in the southern Palau Islands. The island was secured the following day.

9 October

For the first time of the war, carrier aircraft of the Pacific Fleet attacked the Ryukyu Archipelago. The strikes were in great force. 46 enemy ships and 41 small craft were sunk. 20 ships were probably sunk; 20 ships damaged. 23 enemy aircraft were shot down, 59 destroyed on the ground; 37 were damaged on the ground. Ground installations were heavily damaged. Our losses: 8 aircraft.

10 October

Troops of the 81st Infantry Division landed on Bairakaseru Island, Palau. There was no opposition. Our carrier planes attacked Luzon Island in force.

12 October

Organized resistance on Peleliu ceased. Mopping up continued. Through 9 December, total Japanese casualties on Peleliu and Angaur were 13,354 killed, 433 taken prisoner.

11‑15 October

Aircraft of a fast carrier task force struck Formosa in force 11‑13 October. Air battles ensued which lasted until the 15th. Enemy losses were: 416 aircraft destroyed; 32 ships sunk, 13 probably sunk, 55 damaged. We lost 66 aircraft. Ground installations were extensively damaged. (Following our carrier attacks on Formosa and Luzon, Tokyo announced a great Japanese victory, claiming 11 U. S. carriers were sunk, 6 damaged; 2 battleships sunk, 1 damaged; 3 cruisers sunk, 4 damaged etc. These figures were raised in a broadcast of 25 November to the following: 50 carriers, 20 battleships, 2 battleships or cruisers, 30 cruisers, 16 cruisers or destroyers, 7 destroyers and 22 unidentified craft sunk or damaged. See entry for October 17 below).

13 October

Luzon was attacked by carrier aircraft. No airborne opposition.




15 October

 Carrier aircraft struck again at Manila Bay area. Ngulu Atoll, in the western Carolines, was occupied. Resistance was slight.

16 October

Carrier aircraft attacked Manila area. Japanese losses were: 20 aircraft shot down, 30‑40 destroyed on the ground.

17‑18 October

Carrier aircraft attacked northern Luzon and the Manila area. 56 enemy aircraft were destroyed; four ships were sunk, 23 damaged. Our losses were: 7 aircraft.

17 October

The Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, announced that no U. S. battleship or aircraft carrier had been damaged in the Formosa and Luzon battles. Two medium sized ships had been damaged.

19 October

Carrier aircraft of a fast carrier task force bombed, rocketed and strafed targets in the Visayas Group, Philippine Islands. U. S. 6th Army, under command of General MacArthur began landings on Leyte supported by the largest concentration of Allied forces yet assembled in the Pacific. This goaded the Japanese Navy to action. Three powerful enemy task forces converged on the landing beaches from the South China Sea and the Japanese home islands. Thus the stage was set for the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea.

20 October

Carrier aircraft strafed and bombed enemy aircraft and shipping targets in the Philippine Islands.

22‑27 October

Second Battle of the Philippine Sea. This was one of the decisive victories of the war in the Pacific. Enemy losses: 2 battleships, 4 carriers, 6 heavy cruisers, 3 light cruisers, 3 small cruisers or large destroyers, 6 destroyers. Severely damaged, may have sunk: 1 battleship, 5 cruisers, 7 destroyers. Damaged: 6 battleships, 4 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 10 destroyers.

U. S. losses: Sunk: the light carrier Princeton; 2 escort carriers, the Saint 'Lo and the Gambier Bay; 2 destroyers, the Johnston and the Hoel; 1 destroyer escort, the Samuel B. Roberts; and a few lesser craft.

Our units involved were from the 3rd and 7th Fleets. In this battle the Japanese fleet was divided into three forces: Force "A": 5 battleships, 10 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 13‑15 destroyers. Two heavy cruisers were sunk west of Palawan on the 22nd as Force "A" proceeded north. A third, damaged, turned back. On the 23rd, Force "A" was attacked by our carrier air­craft in the Mindoro Straits. 1 light cruiser was sunk. 1 battleship and 1 light cruiser were heavily damaged and turned back. Several other ships were hit. This force continued through the San Bernardino Straits on the 24th, however, and on that date was met by escort carriers and other light units of the 7th Fleet east of Samar. Aircraft of the 3rd Fleet entered the engage‑






ment about noon. At least one enemy heavy cruiser was sunk, 1 destroyer left dead in the water. The entire Japanese force turned back. Later in the day the force again was attacked by our aircraft, and a damaged cruiser was sunk by our surface units. On the 25th this fleeing force again was attacked by carrier aircraft and 1 heavy cruiser and 1 light cruiser were sunk and other vessels damaged. Force "B" : 2 battleships, 2 heavy cruisers, 7 destroyers and possibly 2 light cruisers. This force was attacked in the Sulu Sea on the 23rd by our carrier aircraft, and damaged. As it passed through Surigao Straits (night of October 24‑‑25) it was attacked by our force and all units sunk or decisively defeated.


Force "C" : 1 carrier, 3 light carriers, 2 battleships with flight deck aft, 5 cruisers, 10 destroyers.‑ This force, proceeding southward off the east coast of Luzon, was surprised by our 3rd Fleet carrier planes early on the 24th. All carriers were sunk. 1 battleship with a flight deck aft was damaged, 2 cruisers or destroyers sunk. 1 damaged cruiser was sunk during the next night by a U. S. submarine.

28 October

Carrier aircraft attacked southern Luzon and the Central Philippines. Enemy losses: 3 cargo vessels sunk, 1 cruiser probably sunk, 2 cruisers and 1 tanker damaged; 78 aircraft shot down, 12 destroyed on the ground.


November 1944

1 November

A carrier group of the 3rd Fleet was attacked in the western Pacific by enemy aircraft. Damage was inflicted on several ships. Ten of the attacking aircraft were destroyed.

4 November

Carrier aircraft of the 3rd Fleet attacked Manila Harbor and five nearby airfields, 191 enemy aircraft were destroyed. Two enemy cruisers, 3 destroyers and several cargo ships were damaged.

5 November

Carrier aircraft of the 3rd Fleet continued attacks on Luzon. In addition to the enemy's aircraft losses of 4 November, 249 aircraft were destroyed. 3 cargo vessels and an oiler were sunk. 6 other vessels were damaged. Ground installations were heavily damaged.

7‑8 November

Approximately 200 Japanese landed on Ngeregong Island northeast of Peleliu where a small Marine patrol had previously landed. The Marines were evacuated without loss.

10 November

Iwo Jima was bombarded by ships of the Pacific Fleet. Carrier aircraft of the 3rd Fleet attacked a 10‑ship enemy convoy just outside Ormoc Bay, destroying 7 ships, probably sinking 2 others, and damaging the other ship. 15 enemy aircraft were downed. We lost 9 aircraft.




12 November

Carrier aircraft attacked shipping in Manila Bay. 1 light cruiser, 4 destroyers, 11 cargo ships and oilers were sunk. 28 enemy aircraft were downed, 130‑140 strafed on the ground.

14 November

Troops of the 81st Infantry Division reoccupied Ngeregong in the Palau Islands, which had been heavily attacked with bombs and gunfire. There was no resistance.

18 November

Aircraft from a carrier task force struck shipping and airfields in and around Manila. 10 ships were damaged, 1 sunk; 100 enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground.

21 November

Matsuwa in the Kuriles was bombarded by a Naval task force. Shore batteries did not reply.

24 November

Carrier based aircraft of the 3rd Fleet attacked Luzon. 18 vessels were sunk; 16 were damaged. 87 enemy aircraft were destroyed. In the first B‑29 raid on Japan from our newly established super‑bomber base on Saipan, high explosives and incendiaries were poured on the Tokyo water­ front area and on the Musashina aircraft plant. (Prior to this raid, B‑29's based in the India‑China theater had attacked Japan six times, beginning with the first of such raids on 15 June 1944; and Major General James H. Doolittle's filers had struck Japan once with B‑26's taking off from the US$ Hornet, on 18 April 1942. 


December 1944

6 December

Japanese aircraft raided B‑29 base at Saipan. 6 enemy aircraft shot down. 1 B‑29 was destroyed, 2 damaged.

7 December

A very heavy attack on Iwo Jima was carried out by a large force of B‑29's, together with 108 Liberators and 30 Lightnings. On the same day Naval surface units bombarded the island.

8 December

CinCPac communiqué announced that Lt. General Millard F. Harmon had been assigned to command the Strategic Air Force, Pacific Ocean Areas, including all shore‑based aircraft of the Pacific Ocean Areas normally employed on offensive missions.

11 December

Great Britain announced that a British Pacific Fleet would be sent to the Pacific theater, under command of Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, GCB, KBE. On the 19th it was announced that Fleet Admiral Nimitz and Admiral Fraser and their respective staffs were engaged in a series of conferences at Fleet Admiral Nimitz' head­ quarters.

13‑15 December

Carrier aircraft of the Pacific Fleet bombed and strafed harbor and airfield installations on Luzon. Enemy losses: 34 ships sunk, 36 damaged; 61 aircraft destroyed in the air, 208 destroyed on the ground. We lost 27 aircraft. 318




15 December

Army troops under General MacArthur Invaded Min­doro Island, South of Luzon, in the Philippines.

19 December

Admiral C. W. Nimitz, CinCPac and CinCPoa, assumed the rank of a Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy.

20 December

Organized resistance on Leyte has ended, according to announcement from General MacArthur's headquarters on Leyte.