February 25th, 1945 (SUNDAY)
NORTH SEA: SS Egholm in Convoy FS-1739 was torpedoed and sunk by U-2322 SE of Holy Island. Two crewmembers and three gunners were lost. The master and 20 crewmembers landed in Tyne. (Dave Shirlaw)
ENGLISH CHANNEL: U-1018 is sunk in unknown depth Depth charged; 2 self escape with Drager gear during sinking. They are made PoWs. (Mark Horan)
NETHERLANDS: NETHERLANDS: Sgt Aubrey Cosens (b.1921), Canadian Army, seized several farm buildings, killing or capturing the defenders. A sniper killed him soon after. (Victoria Cross)
GERMANY: Düren is taken by the US VII Corps of the 1st Army.
The American M-26 Pershing tank sees action for the first time in a combat crossing of the Roer river with the 3rd Armored Division.
The Red Army takes the fortress of Preussisch Friedland in the east.
The German army stages a short-lived counter-attack from Stettin to Pyritz.
US Strategic Air Operations in Europe:
* The Eighth Air Force flies 2 missions:
* * Mission 847: 1,197 bombers and 755 fighters are dispatched to hit tank factories, airfields associated with jet aircraft, oil depots and rail targets visually in Germany; they claim 34-0-21 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 bombers and 8 fighters are lost:
* * * 377 B-17s are sent to hit the Maybach tank factory at Friedrichshaffen (63) using Gee-H, and the station and marshalling yard (73) and oil storage tanks and marshalling yard (174) at Munich; 51 hit the secondary target, the marshalling yard at Ulm; 1 other hit Kenzingen, a target of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost. Escorting are 136 P-51s; they claim 1-0-2 aircraft on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost.
* * * 452 B-17s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yard at Munich (315) and Neuburg (88); targets of opportunity are Kaufbeuren (13), Ludwigsfeldt marshalling yard (12), Kempten (1), Durladingen (2), Rortwell (1) and other (5); 3 B-17s are lost; 140 P-51s escort and claim 2-0-3 aircraft on the ground.
* * * 368 B-24s are sent to hit the marshalling yard (115) and tank factory (54) at Aschaffenburg and the airfields at Giebelstadt (96) and Schwabishch Hall (93). The escort is 126 P-51s.
* * * 262 P-47s and P-51s fly close escort and area patrols claiming 21-0-4 aircraft in the air and 10-0-12 on the ground; 6 P-51s are lost.
* * 8 P-51s escort 4 F-5 Lightnings on a photo reconnaissance mission over Germany.
* * 32 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
* * Mission 848: 12 B-24s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.
* The Fifteenth Air Force attacks targets in Austria: 600+ B-17s and B-24s bomb marshalling yards in Amstetten, 2 in Linz, 2 in Villach, and Salzburg, plus the Linz benzol plant and ordnance depot and several targets of opportunity. Fighters escort and some afterwards strafe targets of opportunity in Austria, southeastern Germany, and western Czechoslovakia. In Germany, 37 P-51s strafe railroad targets in the Rosenheim-Muhldorf-Landshut-Augsburg areas. Routine reconnaissance and supply missions continue.
US Tactical Air Operations in Europe:
* In Germany, bombers of the Ninth Air Force strike 4 rail bridges, 4 communications centers, a marshalling yard and 9 targets of opportunity as part of the interdiction campaign against Germany; fighters escort the bombers, attack assigned ground targets, fly armed reconnaissance, and support the 8th and 104th Infantry Divisions in the Duren area, the XIII and XlX Corps east of the Roer River, and the VIII, XII, and XX Corps along the Prum and Saar Rivers.
* In Italy during the night of 24/25 February, Twelfth Air Force A-20s attack marshalling yards at Villafranca di Verona, Cittadella, Castelfranco Veneto, Trento, and Turin, and airfields at Villafranca di Verona and Bergamo; medium bombers cut or damage bridges at Vipiteno, Dogna, Ala, and Campo San Pietro, and a railroad fill at San Felice del Benaco; XXII Tactical Air Command fighters and fighter-bombers are restricted by ground haze in the Po Valley but attack rail lines, marshalling yards, rolling stock, motor transport, and dumps. (Jack McKillop)
A flight of 16 Me-262s from KG(J)-54 are jumped by P-51s as they emerge from a cloudbank. They are taken completely by surprise and six are shot down without any US losses. Later other P-51s strafe KG(J)-54s main jet base, destroying five more Me-262s on the ground, and damaging three others. Finally two Me-262s from the unit attempt to land after dark, but crash killing both pilots. (Mike Yaklich)
TURKEY declares war
on Germany. (Gene Hanson)
BURMA: In joint operations with the British and Chinese army forces, 16 Tenth Air Force P-47s support the British 36 Division in the Mongmit sector while 31 P-47s support the Chinese 38th and 50th Divisions near Lashio and Namtu, respectively; a low B-25 strike knocks out a suspension bridge at Namsang; 9 B-25s and 85 fighter-bombers blast troop concentrations, supply areas, road traffic, and general targets of opportunity behind enemy lines.
600+ transport sorties are completed to forward areas.
CHINA: 6 Fourteenth Air Force B-25s, supported by 5 P-40s, hit sampans and buildings in the Puchi area; 3 B-25s and 19 P-40s pound the Isuho ferry and attack river and road traffic from Siangtan to Hengyang; a single B-25 bombs truck convoys S of Hengyang; 4 B-24s over the Gulf of Tonkin and South China Sea claim damaging hits on 2 vessels; 44 P-51s and P-40s hit bridges, river shipping, troop areas, and motor transport at Kweiyi, Paoching, and Siangtan, from Lingling to Hengyang and Leiyang, from Anjen to Chaling, north of Liuchow, and west of Ishan. (Jack McKillop)
FORMOSA: FEAF B-24s bomb Takao and P-51s hit targets of opportunity along the east coast. (Jack McKillop)
JAPAN: Task Force 58 attacks targets in the Tokyo area despite bad weather. NineUSNcarrier aircraft are lost, along with four pilots, but the raids destroy 150 Japanese aircraft on the ground plus five small ships. Two aircraft factories are also hit.
Navy and Marine pilots, flying F6F Hellcats and F4U Corsairs respectively, down 46 Japanese aircraft in the air over the Tokyo area; 46 are destroyed between 0850 and 1040 hours and Marine F4U pilots destroy another seven over Tokyo Bay between 0930 and 1015 hours. Plans for afternoon strikes are canceled at 1215 hours when the weather deteriorates. (Jack McKillop)
The USAAF's XXI Bomber Command flies Mission 38: 172 B-29s bomb the urban area of Tokyo; 29 others hit alternates and targets of opportunity; this is the XXI Bomber Command's largest mission to date and its first 3-wing strike against Japan as the 73d and 313th Bombardment Wings (Very Heavy) are joined by the 314th; 3 B-29s are lost. 450 tons of incendiaries are dropped and 28,000 buildings gutted. (Jack McKillop)
PACIFIC OCEAN: The IJN escort SHONAN is sunk south of Hainan by the submarine USS Hoe. (James Paterson)
Two USN destroyers sink three guardboats; USN submarines sink a guardboat, two merchant cargo vessels, and an escort vessel; an RN submarine sinks a cargo vessel; and aircraft sink a merchant cargo ship.
Lieutenant General Millard F Harmon, Commanding General Army Air Forces Pacific Ocean Area (AAFPOA) and Deputy Commander of the Twentieth Air Force, is lost near Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands when his aircraft disappears en route to Washington DC. (On 2 March Major General Willis H Hale, AAFPOA deputy commander for operations, assumes Harmon's positions). (Jack McKillop)
COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: FEAF B-24s attack troop concentrations on the east side of the Ipo River and bomb Japanese positions between Ipo and Osboy on Luzon. (Jack McKillop)
VOLCANO ISLANDS: 9 Guam Island-based Seventh Air Force B-24s hit blockhouses, and mortar and rocket-launching positions on the northwestern part of Iwo Jima Island; 8 B-24s, flying separate harassment strikes, pound airfields on Chichi Jima during the night of 25/26 February.
IWO JIMA: Motoyama Airfield Number 2 is captured by US Marines and Motoyama Airfield Number 1 is declared operational for emergency use. (Jack McKillop)
BORNEO: Far East Air Forces (FEAF) B-24s bomb Tawau and Labuan Airfields. (Jack McKillop)
CANADA: A mob of more than 1,000 drove out 100 police who had rounded up deserters and military call-up delinquents in Drummondville, Quebec. (Dave Shirlaw)
Destroyers USS Norris and Goodrich launched.
Destroyer USS Duncan commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-1018 depth charged and sunk. 2 crewmembers self escape with Dräger gear during sinking and taken POW. (Dave Shirlaw)
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