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Communiqué No. 936 30 October 1944 from G.H.Q. Southwest Pacific Area
Released to the Press at 0630 hours, 28 December 1944
G.H.Q. Southwest Pacific Area
Communiqué No. 995. 28 December 1944
An enemy naval force comprising on battleship, one heavy cruiser and six
destroyers was located approaching at dusk and was immediately attacked by our
medium bombers and fighters and our PT boats. Repeated assault sorties by our
air elements forced the enemy to withdraw after some fruitless and inaccurate
shelling of the coastline. Three of the destroyers were sunk and hits were
scored on the battleship and the cruiser. Light enemy air attacks on our
ground positions caused minor damage. Three enemy planes were shot down.
In general mopping-up operations during the day 827 enemy were killed. Units
of the 77th Division are clearing a small pocket of enemy resistance in the
mountains northeast of Palompon. Enemy planes in local raids in the Tacloban
area caused minor damage.
Heavy bombers with fighter escort again attacked Clark airbase starting large
fires in dispersal areas. Twenty enemy planes attempted interception, losing
thirteen shot down by our fighter cover. We lost one. An additional
thirty-nine planes not previously reported were destroyed or damaged in the
attack on 25 December. This brings to 124 the number of enemy planes destroyed
in the last three days at this field. Patrol planes harassed airdromes on
Lubang Islands and at Laoag on the northwest coast; others sank a 1,000 ton
freighter and shot down two enemy float planes.
Heavy units concentrated fifty-nine tons on Puerto Princesa airdrome at
Palawan. The runway was heavily damaged and a parked plane destroyed.
Fighters bombed waterfront installations at Masbate harbor.
Heavy and medium bombers hit airdromes and shipping at Zamboanga and Davao,
scoring hits on runways followed by fires and explosions. Three small
freighters, a coastal vessel, barge and jetty were destroyed in Davao Gulf.
Fighters attacked minor targets at Jolo.
Heavy units carrying 161 tons of bombs struck Sandakan, Kudat and
Jesselton airfields and adjacent installations, scoring hits on runways and
railroad shops. Patrol planes over coastal sectors destroyed two small
freighters and drove a third aground. Others harassed harbor facilities at
Tawao and Brunei Bay.
Our air patrols bombed Menado powerhouse and installations at Mapanget and
Medium and light bombers continued neutralization attacks on the enemy's
Halmahera bases, dropping over 160 tons. Airdrome, bivouac, supply and defense
areas were heavily hit with resulting fires and explosions. Air and naval
patrols demolished a bridge, two warehouses and destroyed or damaged five
barges. Enemy planes raided our Morotai positions causing slight damage, one
being shot down by our night fighters.
Our medium reconnaissance units bombed Viqueque on Timor and heavily damaged a
small coastal freighter to the north.
Our medium units strafed water craft of Sorong, damaging a barge, and started
fires in enemy bivouac areas near Wewak. One of our aircraft is missing.
Our heavy and medium units and fighters dropped ninety tons of bombs on
airfield and supply installations at Rabaul while fighter bombers destroyed a
wharf at Kavieng and attacked enemy encampments in northern New Ireland and
Bougainville. Two of our aircraft were shot down by antiaircraft defenses but
the crews were rescued.
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