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18 Dec 1944
  • Douglas MacArthur was promoted to the rank of General of the Army. ww2dbase [Douglas MacArthur | CPC]
  • Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was relieved as the commanding officer of German forces in Norway. ww2dbase [Nikolaus von Falkenhorst | CPC]
  • The Fletcher-class destroyer USS Spence capsized and sank in a typhoon off Luzon, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [AC]
  • USS Manta was commissioned into service with Lieutenant Commander Edward P. Madley in command. ww2dbase [Manta | CPC]
  • 84 B-29 bombers made a daylight incendiary raid on the Yangtze River port of Hankou, the main supply base of the Japanese Army China Expeditionary Force and springboard for the recently ended Ichi-go offensive. The B-29 bombers were followed in by Liberator bombers, Mitchell bombers, and Mustangs fighters of the US 14th Air Force. Warehouses and storage sheds in Hankou blazed fiercely for three days after the attack. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Waldemar Kophamel was sunk by Allied aircraft. ww2dbase [Waldemar Kophamel | CPC]
  • USS Missouri with USS Bailey and Terry as escort departed San Francisco bound for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. ww2dbase [Missouri | Bailey | DS]
Australian New Guinea
  • USS Luce supported landing operations training at Huon Gulf, Australian New Guinea. ww2dbase [Luce | Huon Gulf | CPC, DS]
  • The German offensive in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium began to stall after Americans began to fight back. American artillery units were finally authorized to use the secret proximity fuzes on their shells to create air bursts over enemy positions which inflicted demoralizing losses on men and equipment below. One American artillery commander even employed these shells without authorization a day or two before this date. ww2dbase [Battle of the Bulge | VT Radio Proximity | TH]
  • William Slim met with Montagu Stopford of Indian 33rd Corps and Frank Messervy of Indian 4th Corps regarding Operation Extended Capital which aimed at the total defeat of Japanese forces in Burma. ww2dbase [Battle of Meiktila-Mandalay | CPC]
  • The Yangtze River Raiders of Sino-American Special Technical Cooperative Organization (SACO) rescued P-51 fighter pilot John Wheeler near Xiushui, Jiangxi Province, China. ww2dbase [Xiushui, Jiangxi | CPC]
Germany Pacific Ocean Poland
  • British bombers raided Gdynia, Poland (Gotenhafen), fatally damaging German torpedo boat T10. ww2dbase [T10 | Gdynia, Pomorskie | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Two aircraft from the US 9th Air Force based at RAF Barkston Heath in Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom were involved in a mid-air collision. The crash involved a new C-109 flown by Lieutenant Dan Wolf and an elderly B-24 Liberator, known as Lazy Lou, which had already survived two combat tours and was now being used to train C-109 crews. The C-109 was a B-24 Liberator converted into a fuel tanker aircraft with additional internal fuel tanks to carry aviation fuel to Allied airfields in liberated Europe. The C-109 plummeted into the ground killing the entire crew. Lazy Lou lost two engines and her commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis Frederick, struggled desperately with the controls in an attempt to land at RAF Cranwell but crashed short of the runway killing Colonel Frederick and Flight Engineer Paul Sattler, while "Major Jerry" was severely injured. Major Jerry was, in fact, the pet dog of Lewis Frederick who not only had his own rank but also his own log book and parachute. American personnel paid for Jerry's vet bills to ensure he received the best care in the supply section armament tent, but sadly the animal died on Boxing Day (December 26) greatly mourned by the personnel of Barkston Heath. ww2dbase [Grantham, England | AC]
United States Photo(s) dated 18 Dec 1944
Radar image of Typhoon Cobra, captured by radar system of a US Navy ship, 18 Dec 1944Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery recording his Christmas message to be broadcast in Britain on Christmas Eve, 18 Dec 1944.Pack mules of US 5332nd Brigade (Provisional) preparing to march shortly after daybreak, near Myitkyina, Shan, Burma, 18 Dec 1944A British paratrooper with the 5th Scots Parachute Battalion takes cover in Athens, Greece during operations against ELAS (the Greek People
See all photos dated 18 Dec 1944

18 Dec 1944 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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Winston Churchill

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