04 Feb 1944
take Kwajalein Island in Marshall's, losing 486 killed and 1,495 wounded, but inflicting 8,386 casualties on the
14 Feb 1944
Americans announce that the Japanese remaining in Solomon's are now trapped.
22 Feb 1944
Japanese losses as the U.S. Navy bombard the Marianas in the Pacific.
27 Feb 1944
60,000 Japanese are reported to be trapped in New
Britain and New Ireland, in the South
29 Mar 1944
U.S. Navy bombards the Palau Islands to the East of the Philippines,
destroying 150 planes, six naval vessels and 100,000 tons of shipping.
11 Apr 1944
majority of New Britain is now held by the Allies.
22 Apr 1944
allies land unopposed at Hollandia, on the northern coast of New Guinea.
24 Apr 1944
troops secure Hollandia and Aitape in New
Guinea inflicting 9,000 Japanese
casualties, while only suffering 450 dead themselves. Australians troops enter Madang in New Guinea.
27 Apr 1944
U.S. Army completes their capture of Hollandia's airfields and isolates 200,000 Japanese for the duration of war.
is Island secured, during which 800 Japanese are killed.
U.S. troops land on Biak in the Schouten Island Group, 350 miles
West of Hollandia. MacArthur says, 'this marks the strategic end of the New Guinea
16 Jun 1944
Marines meet strong opposition to their Saipan Island landing despite the heavy bombardment of the Marianas islands during past
week. USAAF B-29s from China pound the Yawata steel works in the first land based air attack on Japan.
19 Jun 1944
'Battle of the Philippine
09 Jul 1944
Marines defeat the Japanese on Saipan after a final Banzai charge. 27,000 Japanese and 3,116 Americans were killed
21 Jul 1944
Marines land on Guam, establishing beach-heads up to a mile inland.
24 Jul 1944
U.S. 4th Marine Division (15,000 men) lands on Tinian.
25 Jul 1944
Japanese are killed in a Banzai charge in Tinian, another 3,000 die on Guam.
01 Aug 1944
Marines complete the capture of Tinian Island losing 389 killed for 9,000 Japanese.
10 Aug 1944
Japanese resistance on Guam finally ends with them suffering 18,250 killed and the U.S. more than 1,744 killed.
18 Aug 1944
escort carrier is sunk by a U.S. submarine off northwestern Luzon, Philippine Is. A Japanese cruiser is
sunk by a U.S. submarine east of Samar, Philippine Is.
31 Aug 1944
from a U.S. carrier force (Task Force 38) commence a 3-day attack on Iwo Jima
and the Bonin Island in the western Caroline's and Visayas Archipelago, which is the next step to
03 Sep 1944
Wake Island and other strategic targets in Pacific
are strafed by U.S. Navy aircraft for two days, during which 13 Japanese ships are reported
07 Sep 1944
Shinyo Maru POW an unmarked Japanese ship carrying 750 Allied prisoners is sunk by U.S. off Sindangan Point in Northern Zamboanga
and only eighty-two survived.
10 Sep 1944
U.S. Navy begins a two-day bombardment of the Palau Islands in
21 Sep 1944
planes hit Manila in the Philippines destroying
10 Oct 1944
B29 Superfortresses pound Formosa and Okinawa. The Formosa bombardment lasts
seven days, during which over 650 Japanese planes are reported as destroyed.
16 Oct 1944
Rangers land on islands in an approach to Leyte Gulf, in the Philippines.
20 Oct 1944
U.S. Sixth Army under cover of the Seventh Fleet lands on the East Coast of Leyte in the Philippines, but the 60,000 men sent ashore encounter stiff Japanese resistance. Japanese decided to risk a major
sea battle to destroy the American forces. Three Japanese fleets were concentrated for the”Battle For Leyte Gulf”.
The first moved toward Leyte from its base near Singapore
proceeding south of Palawan through the Sulu Sea. The second naval group was already attacking Americans at Leyte Gulf.
The third was the northern force which included the Japanese main carrier strength that was protecting home waters near Japan. The 7th Division of the WWIV Corps on the left took the Dulag Airfield then drove west and south. The
96th Division captured San Jose and moved against the enemy to the northwest. The 24th Division of
the X Corps on the right, overcoming strong resistance on the beaches, fought its way inland. The 1st Cavalry Division
on the right flank seized Tacloban and its airfield, then advanced north in coordinated amphibious and land operations secured
San Juanico Strait, the west coast of Samar and the shore of Caragara Bay on the northern coast of Leyte. Japanese rushed
reinforcements from neighboring islands from the Asiatic mainland the U.S.
5th Air Force pounded them at Ormoc Bay but was able to concentrate strong positions in the Ormoc
MacArthur wades ashore in the Philippines
On October 20, 1944, a few hours after his troops landed, MacArthur waded ashore onto the Philippine island of Leyte. That day, he made a radio
broadcast in which he declared, "People of the Philippines, I have returned!"
Carl Mydans of Life took the dramatic photograph of General Douglas
MacArthur and staff coming ashore at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, in the Philippines
on January 9, 1945. MacArthur was commander of the United States forces in the Pacific. When the United States lost the Philippines, he promised to return. Here’s Mydans’ description of that event:
"Luck is forever at play in a photographer’s
life. It is part of his intellectual training to know where luck is most likely to lie and to take advantage of it. In January
1945 I was the only press photographer aboard General Douglas MacArthur’s command ship as he prepared to invade Luzon, in the Philippines. I was invited to
go ashore with him. As our landing craft neared the beach, I saw the Seabees had got there before us and had laid a pontoon
walkway out from the beach. As we headed for it, I climbed the boat’s ramp and jumped on to the pontoons so that I could
photograph MacArthur as he stepped ashore. But I suddenly heard the boat’s engines reversing and saw the boat rapidly
backing away. I raced to the beach, ran some hundred yards along it and stood waiting for the boat to come to me. When it
did, it dropped its ramp in knee-deep water, and I photographed MacArthur wading ashore."
23 Oct 1944
decisive three-day Battle of Leyte Gulf begins. American submarines, PT Boats, destroyers and gunfire from heavier ships hit
their mark as Japanese lose four carriers, three battleships, six heavy and four light cruisers, 11 destroyers, one submarine
and some 500 planes, with approximately 10,000 sailors killed. The first organized use of Kamikaze's by the Japanese are reported.
24 Oct 1944
of Leyte Gulf – The Arisan Maru sunk 200 miles off the coast of China with 1,790 prisoners. Five prisoners survived. Nearby Japanese destroyers saw the POWs in the water and pushed them
away when they came near.
Battle of Leyte Gulf
05 Nov 1944
planes pound the harbor at Manila in the Philippines and also destroy
249 Japanese aircraft.
07 Nov 1944
defy U.S. troops in the Ormoc Valley and organized strong resistance in the mountains to the east. The terrain was rugged and torrential rains slowed
the Americans advance.
24 Nov 1944
B29s from Saipan Island in Pacific, bomb Tokyo for first time, but has
25 Nov 1944
last Japanese resistance in Peleliu ends. 14,000 Japanese are killed or captured for 9,300 U.S. casualties.
27 Nov 1944
bombers from Saipan again pound Tokyo, but this time the Japanese reply with raids against the U.S. airbases on Saipan.
Navy’s Third and Seventh Fleets and the Air Forces continue to bombard the western coast of Luzon with
tremendous accuracy hitting airfields, supply centers and transportation systems. Japanese withdraw their main forces from
the beaches and concentrate defensive positions in mountainous areas of the interior.
08 Dec 1944
Japanese airborne counter-attack on Leyte achieves some success against US airfields. The USAAF begins a 72-day bombardment
of Iwo Jima Island 700 miles to the South of Japan.
10 Dec 1944
U.S. 77th Infantry Division captures Ormoc on Leyte after a landing earlier
along the east coast of Ormoc Bay in the rear of the Japanese. Japanese make their last seaborne reinforcement
13 Dec 1944
Oryoku Maru a prisoner of war ship sunk with 1,619 POWs; 1300 survived. Also the USAAF make the first damaging raid on Japanese
14 Dec 1944
troops capture an important Japanese supply post on Leyte, at the southern tip of the ‘Yamashita defense line’.
15 Dec 1944
A U.S. task force of the 6th Army convoyed by the 7th Fleet land on Mindoro
Island in the western Philippines without loss.
Also a third Japanese prison ship is mistakenly sunk by US planes off the Philippines,
with less than half of POWs surviving, to be recaptured.
17 Dec 1944
troops capture San Jose airbase on Mindoro enabling American Forces to establish bases and airfields for close support
for an impending Luzon operation.
20 Dec 1944
airstrip in Mindoro completed in five days to enable US Forces to bomb Manila and Luzon.
21 Dec 1944
the Carigara Bay area to the north the X Corps fought through the mountainous terrain near Limon
and drove southward to unite with the XXIV Corps advancing up the valley. Troops break through opposing lines and met near
Kananga and isolating the Japanese to the east.
25 Dec 1944
last Japanese port on Leyte is captured and MacArthur proclaims that Leyte is secure. Isolated Japanese escaped to
the north and west to join other enemy units. Severe fighting continued against the 8th Army now in control.
28 Dec 1944Construction of a second airstrip is complete in Mindoro to enable bombing of
Manila and Luzon.