Daily Newspaper of U.S. Armed Forces
VOL. 5 No. 91—Id.
in the European Theater of Operations
SATURDAY, Feb. 17. I945
In the boldest challenge of the Pacific war, an estimated 1,500 rocket- anJ
bomb-bearing carrier planes blasted Tokyo's airdromes and defense zones
for nine hours yesterday as Adm. Chester W. Nimitz sent the most powerful
fleet in the Navy's history to within 300 miles of Japan and assigned other
mighty surface units to blast Iwo Jima, in the Volcano Islands, 750 miles
south of the Nippon capital.
The giant raid—the first by carrier-launched planes since the Doolittle
blow in April, 1942, and described by Nimitz as "long planned" and fulfilling
"the deeply cherished desire of every officer and man of the Pacific Fleet"—
was carried out under the direction of Vice-Adm. Marc A. Mitscher, whose
flat-tops were supported by battleships, cruisers and destroyers of Adm.
Raymond A. Spruance's 5th Fleet, spread out in line for 200 miles.
Mitscher's goal, as his Hellcats, Helldivers and Avengers swept over
Tokyo's 214-square-mile defense area, tangling in dogfights over the capital,
appeared to be to knock out Japan's home-based air force.
While Tokyo was under attack, surface vessels of Spruance's fleet leveled their
guns at Iwo Jima, Jap island base on the Superior! route to Tokyo which has been
hammered incessantly by both Army and Navy aircraft for the last two months.
The sea assault was accompanied by Army plane raids on Iwo Jima and nearby
Prelude for New Invasion
Tokyo Radio, which quoted an official Jap communique as saying the raid on the capital had lasted from 7 AM to 4 PM yesterday, described the naval bombardment of Iwo Jima as the prelude to an invasion of that island, and a step to insure U.S. fighter-plane protection for Superforts striking from the Marianas against Japan.
Berlin Echoes Claim
of Japs That Yanks
Invade Bonin Islands
By FRANK TREMAINE
(United Press War Correspondent)
U. S. PACIFIC FLEET HEADQUARTERS,
Adm. Chester W. Nimitz announced today that a powerful American battle fleet had carried the bombardment of two island into a third day, and Tokyo claimed American troops had begun invading that "doorstep" island to Japan, 750
miles south of the Nipponese capital.
A bulletin issued at 6:30 p. m. Saturday CWT reported that one ship in a task force of Adm. Raymond A. Spruance's U. S. Fifth fleet had been damaged by "intense"
Japanese fire from Iwo, which was being blasted by naval artillery shells or airplane bombs for the 74th consecutive day.
A late Tokyo broadcast claimed two landing attempts on Iwo had been repulsed, but warned Japan that the situation "warrants us no optimism" because American warships were still massed offshore and were "persistently watching for an opportunity to make a landing."
1,000 Heavies Hit Nazi Oil
More than 1,000 8th Air Force heavy bombers struck powerful blows to destroy the remaining one-fifth of German oil production yesterday when they bombed oil refineries and benzol plants at Dortmund, Salzbergen and Gelsenkirdien, and raised more havoc with German rail communications to the Western Front by blasting the large marshaling yards of Hamm, Osnabruck and
Out for the third successive day of improved weather, Fortresses and Liberators,
escorted by approximately 200 Mustangs, hit two oil refineries at Dortmund
and Salzbergen, as well as two plants making benzol, a vital compound for manufacture of synthetic oil, in the Ruhr industrial area, near Dortmund and
Blasted 3rd Day in Row
Other German oil targets and rail communications in the Vienna area were blasted for the third successive day by strong forces of 15th Air Force heavy
bombers, as RAF medium and heavy' bombers hit an oil refinery in northern
With the Canadian 1st Army's push into the Ruhr gateway between the Rhine and the Maas slowed by determined German counter-attacks and heavy artillery barrages, tactical planes struck yesterday against enemy front-line strongpoints and dugouts and smothered the communications centers of Udem and Weeze, through which the Wehrmacht was rushing support to the threatened Siegfried town bastion of Goch.
The Germans, with an estimated 300 ffeld pieces, were said to be pounding the
roads behind the Allied lines as well as providing cover for counter-attacking infantry, described as second-rate but thrown in on a scale sufficient to compensate
for their lack of fighting skill. In two counter-attacks yesterday south of Cleve
the Germans succeeded in making some penetrations of the British line before the
situation was restored.
Gain a Ten-mile Grip In the flooded northern sector of this front, Canadian troops captured Binsberden village, giving them a ten-mile grip along the Rhine facing Emmerich.
With the steady dropping of the Roer River floods, German shelling from opposite