March 5th, 1944 (SUNDAY)
GERMANY: The first American bombers and fighters appear over Berlin. The raid had been cancelled because of weather. One group proceeded to the target with fighter escort. Göring later said, "When I saw the American fighters over Berlin I knew the jig was up." (Hal Turrell)
219 B-24's are dispatched to hit French airfields; 62 hit Bergerac Airfield, 60 hit the Chateau-Bernard Airfield at Cognac; 41 hit Landes de Bussac Airfield and 1 hits La Roche Airfield. The group participating were the 44th, 93d, 389th, 392d, 445th, 446th 448th, 453d and 458th Bombardment Groups (Heavy). Fighter support consisted of 34 P-38's, 185 P-47's and 88 P-51's. (Jack McKillop)
ARCTIC OCEAN: U-366 sunk NW of Hammerfest, in position 72.10N, 14.44E, by rockets from an RN 816 Sqn Swordfish off escort carrier HMS Chaser. 50 dead (all hands lost). (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: In a new Ukrainian offensive Soviet troops advance 31 miles and retake Izyaslav, Ostropol and Yampol.
BURMA: Chinese forces capture Maingkwan as three Chindit brigades land behind enemy lines at Indaw.
Air Commando Combat Mission N0.18 3:05 Flight Time Hailakandi to Okkyi, Burma. Photo mission of landing strip. This field not covered with logs. Our gliders went in during the night and established a fairly good runway for the transports that followed. The landing area was called "Broadway"
Note: Not from my journal but USAF sources. Colonel John Alison and his assault force landed successfully around 2200 hours and set up a lighting landing system to assist the main force. There was no enemy opposition. The glider landings were not exactly a piece of cake as the field was covered in dense elephant grass that hid logs, ruts and crevices from the camera. The gliders were heavily loaded and came in very fast. Some missed the field and crashed into the jungle, some hit obstructions and others landed and piled into the ones ahead. twenty four men were killed in the jungle crashes and four killed in Broadway crashes. Some 500 soldiers, 18 tons of supplies plus 3 mules and a smuggled horse were all brought in by the gliders. Only 3 of the 37 CG-4 gliders were flyable after the landings. These "faraway places with the strange sounding names" can be easily found on the maps in my book. (Chuck Baisden)
U.S.A.: Destroyer USS Willard Keith laid down.
Minesweeper USS Instill launched.
Destroyer USS Collett launched.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: The unescorted SS John Holt was torpedoed and sunk by U-66 60 miles south of the Opobo River in the Gulf of Guinea. The master and one passenger were taken prisoner and were later lost with the U-boat. 41 crewmembers, nine gunners, three passengers and 40 Krooboys were picked up by the British tanker Empire Ruby and landed at Port Harcourt. (Dave Shirlaw)
Top of Page