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17 May 1944

Burma
  • At Myitkyina, Burma, Colonel Charles Hunter ordered Chinese 150th Regiment to attack the airstrip west of the city, and ordered 1st Battalion of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) under Lieutenant Colonel William Osborne to capture the ferry terminal at Pamati one mile southwest of the airstrip on the Irriwady River. The Chinese attack began at 1030 hours and the airstrip was captured at 1200 hours, with most Japanese troops falling back into the city aboard trucks. 1st Battalion Red Combat Team remained at the ferry terminal and White Combat Team moved to the airstrip to reinforce the Chinese. At 1530 hours, Joseph Stilwell learned of the success, and gleefully noted in his diary that this capture would embarrass the British. When informed of the capture, Louis Mountbatten was angered by Stilwell's decision to hide this offensive from him. Nevertheless, Mountbatten gracefully sent a message to Stilwell to praise his leadership and to congratulate the success. Stilwell, however, did not think of sending any messages to the commanders in the field to thank them. Colonel Charles Hunter, the tactical commander, was surprised that his superior Frank Merrill failed to show in the first group of aircraft to land at Myitkyina Airfield; instead, Merrill sent a team of engineers to repair an airstrip even though Hunter had already reported that the airfield was captured in tact. Merrill also failed to send any badly needed food and ammunition. Shortly after capturing the airfield, Hunter ordered K Force of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) to move toward the airfield with speed. On the Japanese side, troops were quickly gathered at Tingkrukawng to the northeast and would arrive at Myitkyina within 24 hours. ww2dbase [Charles Hunter | Frank Merrill | Louis Mountbatten | Joseph Stilwell | Battle of Myitkyina | William Osborne | Myitkyina | CPC]
18 May 1944

Burma
  • Joseph Stilwell arrived at Myitkyina Airfield, Burma, not with badly needed food and ammunition for the US US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) and its Chinese allies, but instead with 12 war correspondents who happily took photographs of the general on the newly captures airfield. The next transport again failed to bring any supplies, instead it disembarked anti-aircraft gunners. In the afternoon, Stilwell ordered a Chinese battalion to probe Japanese defenses at the city of Myitkyina to the east, which by this time had grew to a strength of 700 men. Meanwhile, K Force of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) marched toward the village of Charpate five miles northwest of Myitkyina near the Mogaung-Myitkyina Road while H Force White Combat Team of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) captured the ferry terminal at Zigyun southeast of Myitkyina. ww2dbase [Battle of Myitkyina | Joseph Stilwell | Myitkyina | CPC]
19 May 1944

Burma
  • Frank Merrill finally arrived at Myitkyina Airfield in Burma, but would suffer another minor heart attack; rather than appointing Charles Hunter, who had spearheaded the recent successes for US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), to take Merrill's place, Stilwell chose Colonel John McCammon; McCammon had a history of going along with Stilwell's orders without any questions. Meanwhile, M Force (Lieutenant Colonel George McGee, Jr.) of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) arrived at Namkwi, four miles northwest of Myitkyina, Burma; 25 men were ordered to be sent to Myitkyina Airfield for evacuation by air due to sickness. ww2dbase [John McCammon | George McGee | Charles Hunter | Frank Merrill | Battle of Myitkyina | Myitkyina | CPC]
20 May 1944

Burma
  • Food and ammunition arrived at the Myitkyina Airfield in Burma for the first time. Meanwhile, three battalions of Chinese 150th Regiment attacked the city of Myitkyina in the afternoon; strong Japanese defenses led to high casualties, and battlefield confusion led to a series of fatal friendly fire incidents. ww2dbase [Battle of Myitkyina | Myitkyina | CPC]
22 May 1944

Burma
  • Joseph Stilwell promoted John McCammon to the rank of brigadier general to command all American and Chinese troops in the Myitkyina area in Burma, despite his recent arrival and lack of field command experience. On the front lines, after dark, men of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), tired from spending so long fighting in the Burmese jungles without rest, allowed a Japanese force to march right past their foxholes as they slept, losing several men, including Lieutenant Warren Smith who might not had woken from his sleep when he was killed. By this date, the strength of 2nd Battalion of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) was down to only about 400 soldiers who were fit for combat. ww2dbase [Battle of Myitkyina | Joseph Stilwell | John McCammon | Myitkyina | CPC]
25 May 1944

Burma
  • Joseph Stilwell flew to Myitkyina Airfield. Charles Hunter personally handed him a letter listing all the grievances from the field officers and men of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), noting that the area commanders had betrayed them by depriving them of rest and treating them as expendable, leading to the whole of 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) becoming practically ineffective as a combat unit. ww2dbase [Joseph Stilwell | Battle of Myitkyina | Charles Hunter | Myitkyina | CPC]
30 May 1944

Burma
  • Brigadier General Haydon Boatner relieved John McCammon as the commanding officer of all American and Chinese units in the area of Myitkyina, Burma. ww2dbase [Battle of Myitkyina | John McCammon | Myitkyina | CPC]
1 Jun 1944

Burma
  • US Brigadier General Haydon L. Boatner was appointed to command the Myitkyina Task Force in Burma. On this date, the strength of 1st Battalion of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) was down to 18 officers and 366 men. ww2dbase [Battle of Myitkyina | Myitkyina | AC]
2 Jun 1944

Burma
  • Lieutenant Colonel George McGee, Jr. requested 2nd Battalion of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) to be relieved and be evaluated from Myitkyina, Burma to India. Both Colonel Charles Hunter and Brigadier General Haydon Boatner agreed. ww2dbase [Battle of Myitkyina | Charles Hunter | George McGee | Myitkyina | CPC]
3 Jun 1944

Burma
  • The men of 2nd Battalion of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), whom on the previous day received Brigadier General Haydon Boatner's approval to be evacuated to India for rest, began boarding aircraft at Myitkyina Airfield in northern Burma. ww2dbase [Battle of Myitkyina | Myitkyina | CPC]
4 Jun 1944

Burma
  • By this date, most of the men of 2nd Battalion of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) had been evacuated from Myitkyina, Burma for India. A few were left behind to train the two freshly arrived replacements, coming directly from the United States, not yet acclimatized and inexperienced in combat. ww2dbase [Battle of Myitkyina | Myitkyina | AC]
19 Jun 1944

Burma
  • Joseph Stilwell inspected the troops at Myitkyina Airfield in northern Burma. ww2dbase [Myitkyina | CPC]
26 Jun 1944

Burma
  • Brigadier-General Theodore F. Weasels took over command of the Myitkyina Task Force from the sick Brigadier-General Haydon Boatner following another bout of malaria. ww2dbase [Battle of Myitkyina | Myitkyina | AC]
  • Brigadier General Theodore Wessels relieved Haydon Boatner as the commanding officer of American and Chinese troops in the Myitkyina, Burma region. ww2dbase [Battle of Myitkyina | Myitkyina | CPC]
17 Jul 1944

Photo(s) dated 17 Jul 1944
Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell, with M1 carbine, at Myitkyina airfield, Burma, 17 Jul 1944Brigadier General Stanley Arms speaking to US and Chinese officers, Myitkyina, 17 Jul 1944
18 Jul 1944

Photo(s) dated 18 Jul 1944
Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell with Lieutenant General Hu Su of Chinese 30th Division, Myitkyina, Burma, 18 Jul 1944Colonel Joseph Stilwell, Jr., Lieutenant General Hu Su, Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell, and Colonel Yang Yee in Myitkyina, Burma, 18 Jul 1944US Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell speaking with Major General Pan Yukun of Chinese 50th Division, Myitkyina, Burma, 18 Jul 1944Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell (second from left) and Lieutenant General Hu Su (center) at Myitkyina, Burma, 18 Jul 1944
See all photos dated 18 Jul 1944
3 Aug 1944

Burma
17 Dec 1944

Photo(s) dated 17 Dec 1944
Landscape outside of Myitkyina, Burma, 17 Dec 1944, photo 1 of 2; photo taken by photographer attached to US 5332nd Brigade (Provisional)Landscape outside of Myitkyina, Burma, 17 Dec 1944, photo 2 of 2; photo taken by photographer attached to US 5332nd Brigade (Provisional)
18 Dec 1944

Photo(s) dated 18 Dec 1944
Pack mules of US 5332nd Brigade (Provisional) preparing to march shortly after daybreak, near Myitkyina, Shan, Burma, 18 Dec 1944

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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