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15 Jan 1945 Australian New Guinea
  • 36 US Navy F4U fighters and several New Zealand fighters took off from Green Islands east of Australian Papua and attacked the Toboi wharf area of Rabaul, New Britain and the nearby floatplane anchorage. 7 aircraft were lost to poor weather en route back to Green Islands. ww2dbase [New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 3 | Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
  • Libelle was renamed Jagd. ww2dbase [F1 | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland to move from East Prussia, Germany to Poland to counter the Soviet Vistula-Oder Offensive. This counterattack would be repulsed by the Soviet 1st Byelorussian Front. ww2dbase [Vistula-Oder Offensive | Ostpreußen | CPC]
  • Roza Shanina reached Eydtkuhnen, Ostpreußen (East Prussia), Germany (now Chernyshevskoye, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia). ww2dbase [Roza Shanina | Eydtkuhnen, Ostpreußen | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler departed the Adlerhorst headquarters in Wetterau, Germany, returning to Berlin. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | Berlin | CPC]
Hawaii Hong Kong
  • Allied aircraft attacked Japanese shipping in Hong Kong. ww2dbase [CPC]
Marshall Islands Pacific Ocean
  • USS Ticonderoga launched Air Group 80 aircraft for strikes on Taiwan, hitting Kaneka Soda Company chemical plant (mis-identified as a magnesium plant) in Tainan, among other targets. In a separate strike by Air Group 80, Air Group Commander Albert Vorse led 8 Hellcat fighters and 13 Helldiver bombers on a strike against shipping in the harbors of Takao-Toshien (Kaohsiung) on Formosa (Taiwan). Vorse led the fighters in a masthead attack on the destroyer Hatakaze making her way along the coast. Vorse scored a bomb hit against the ship's hull at the waterline but Hatakaze anti-aircraft fire shot away the outboard third of Vorse's starboard wing. The remaining fighters pressed home their attack and the Hatakaze exploded in a sheet of flame before sinking immediately. Barely able to control his plane after losing a large section of one wing, Vorse recovered at just 200 feet above the water. Fighting his plane to keep it in the air, Vorse flew along the wave tops at high speed toward the US fleet. Upon reaching the American destroyer screen, Vorse executed a very dangerous high-speed water landing. Within a few minutes, he was picked up by the destroyer USS Caperton with no injuries. For his actions this day, Albert Vorse was awarded the Navy Cross. Vorse's plane was the only aircraft lost by Air Group 80 this day. ww2dbase [Albert O. Vorse, Jr. | Ticonderoga | Raid into the South China Sea | DS, CPC]
  • Destroyer USS Shaw departed Lingayen Gulf, Luzon bound for San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf, Leyte. ww2dbase [Shaw | Lingayen Gulf, Luzon | DS]
Taiwan United Kingdom United States Photo(s) dated 15 Jan 1945
Australian Boomerang fighter of No. 5 Squadron RAAF taxiing past RNZAF F4U-1 Corsair fighters, Cape Torokina, Bouganville, Solomon Islands, 15 Jan 1945Lt Fred Eberle of the USAAF 333rd Fighter Squadron nursing his damaged P-38 Lighting back to Saipan after receiving battle damage over Iwo Jima, 15 Jan 1945. Photo taken from an accompanying B-24 Liberator.HMS Formidable berthed at the Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia, circa Jan 1945Underside view of B-24L Liberator “Flying Ass” of the 451st Bomb Group just prior to bomb release over railroad yards in Vienna, Austria, 15 Jan 1945.
See all photos dated 15 Jan 1945

15 Jan 1945 Interactive Map

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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Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944

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