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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

PHILIPPINES
Mindoro:
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.

Leyte:
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.

Luzon:
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.

Visayas:
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.

Mindanao:
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.

BORNEO
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.

CELEBES
Our air patrols bombed Menado powerhouse and installations at Mapanget and Kendari.

MOLUCCAS
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.

LESSER SUNDAS
Our medium reconnaissance units bombed Viqueque on Timor and heavily damaged a small coastal freighter to the north.

NEW GUINEA
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.

BISMARK-SOLOMONS
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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