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24 Dec 1944

Atlantic Ocean
  • The troopship Leopoldville, carrying 2,000 American soldiers across the English Channel, was torpedoed by German submarine U-486. Escorting warships lifted off many soldiers, although quite a few who suffered broken bones jumping onto the wildly pitching steel decks, but 819 men perished. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Near Liége, Belgium, Brigadier General Frederick Castle, flying as a co-pilot in the US Eighth Air Force's massive operation to frustrate the movement of German troops and supplies in the Ardennes, was killed after ordering the surviving members of his severely damaged aircraft to bale out. His intrepidity and willingness to sacrifice his own life to save others would earn him the Medal of Honor. He was the highest ranking officer in the Eighth Air Force to be so honoured. ww2dbase [AC]
  • At the village of Bande some thirty SS personnel rounded up some seventy male Belgian civilians as they left a mass at the village church. Those between the ages of seventeen and thirty-one were taken to a nearby sawmill, interrogated and taken outside and shot. One survivor, 21-year-old Léon Praile, managed to escape, but when the village was ultimately liberated by British paratroopers a false rumour accused Praile of escaping death by betraying his comrades. Praile was forced to flee from the region and would never return. ww2dbase [AC]
Caroline Islands
  • USS Yorktown (Essex-class) arrived at Ulithi, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • USS Ticonderoga arrived at Ulithi, Caroline Islands together with other ships of Task Group 38.3. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • USS Astoria arrived at Ulithi, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Alabama arrived at Ulithi, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Cero arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her sixth war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • USS Boarfish departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her first war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Air Group 90 departed. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • Fighting between German and Soviet forces began inside of Budapest, Hungary. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese Navy landing ship No. 186 was completed and was transferred to the Army as a SB craft. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Kamoi departed Ise Bay, Japan at 0600 hours and arrived at Oshima Bay at 1600 hours. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • A Board of Enquiry was held on board HMS Ajax at Malta regarding the sinking of HMS Neptune. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Mariana Islands
  • USS Kete departed Saipan, Mariana Islands, resuming her first war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Barbero sank Japanese tanker Junpo Maru and damaged a transport in the South China Sea, hitting them with 9 of 14 torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 157 was sunk by a US destroyer in the Pacific Ocean off Iwo Jima, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Fifty German Heinkel bombers air-launched V1 flying bombs from off the eastern coast of Britain targeting the Manchester area. Most fell harmlessly all over the north of England but a handful came down in the Oldham area, killing 42 and injuring more than 100. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
United States
  • USS Missouri arrived at San Francisco, California, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Hackleback arrived at the Fleet Sonar School at Key West, Florida, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Guards at the Camp Papago Park in Phoenix, Arizona, United States realized that 25 prisoners of war had escaped on the previous day. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The USAAF announced Glenn Miller's disappearance over the English Channel nine days prior. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
US Pacific Islands
  • USS Finback arrived at Midway Atoll, ending her eleventh war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Soviet UKR operatives attached to Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front arrested Russian monarchist Vasili Shulgin, who had not been active in politics for many years, in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 24 Dec 1944
Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffeBomb bay view of Martin B-26 Marauder bombers of the 323rd and 394th Bomb Groups drop 122 tons of bombs in an effort to take down the railroad bridge across the Moselle river at Trier, Germany, 24 Dec 1944.Air Group 81 aircraft parked on the flight deck of USS Wasp arriving at Ulithi Atoll, Caroline Islands, 24 Dec 1944View aboard USS Wasp during 5-inch gun firing practice, 24 Dec 1944
See all photos dated 24 Dec 1944

24 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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Famous WW2 Quote
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Winston Churchill, on the RAF