1 Jan 1945
  • Some time during this month, Oberleutnant Otto Wermuth took command of German submarine U-530. ww2dbase [U-530 | CPC]
  • Fregattenkapitän Frotz-Henning Brandes took command of cruiser Köln. ww2dbase [Köln | CPC]
  • Air Vice Marshal J. W. Baker became the commanding officer of the No. 12 Group RAF. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • When his 9 Squadron Lancaster bomber from Bardney was hit and set on fire in a raid on the Dortmund-Ems canal, wireless operator RAF Flight Sergeant George Thompson gallantly braved the flames to save his mid-upper and rear gunners who were trapped in the inferno. The rear gunner later recovered but Thompson's burns were so severe that three weeks later he developed pneumonia and died in a hospital. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. ww2dbase [AC]
  • US aircraft attacked Japanese airfields on Negros Island, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Philippines Campaign, Phase 2 | CPC]
  • USS Kete began lifeguard duty off Ryukyu Islands, Japan. ww2dbase [Kete | CPC]
  • Otto Skorzeny departed Cologne, Germany to return to the field headquarters of German Armored Brigade 150. ww2dbase [Otto Skorzeny | CPC]
  • Captain Chuzaburo Yamazumi was named the chief of staff of the Japanese Navy 3rd Air Fleet. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Wake Island arrived at Kossol Roads, Palau Islands, loaded ammunition and other supplies, and departed for the Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Wake Island | CPC]
  • USS Pintado arrived in Brisbane, Australia, ending her third war patrol. ww2dbase [Pintado | CPC]
  • German submarine control requested a position report from U-869, which did not respond. ww2dbase [U-869 | CPC]
  • Heinz Guderian requested Adolf Hitler to allow reinforcements to be sent to German units in Hungary and Poland. ww2dbase [Heinz Guderian | CPC]
  • Léon Degrelle was promoted to the rank of SS-Obersturmbannführer. ww2dbase [Léon Degrelle | CPC]
  • German troops began a withdrawal from the Ardennes Forest in the Belgian-German border region. Meanwhile, in retaliation for the Malmedy massacre, US troops massacred 30 SS prisoners at Chenogne, Belgium. In the air, the German Luftwaffe launched Unternehmen Bodenplatte, which consisted of 800 aircraft conducting low-level strikes against snow-bound Allied airfields in the Netherlands and Belgium. They destroyed 220 aircraft, mainly on the ground, but lost 188 aircraft of their own, as well as many experienced pilots who could not be replaced. This operation failed to achieve its goal of wiping out Allied air power based in the region. ww2dbase [Battle of the Bulge | TH]
Caroline Islands
  • US Army troops landed on Fais Island in the Caroline Islands to capture and destroy a Japanese radio station. ww2dbase [Fais | CPC]
  • Xiao Yisu was awarded the Order of Blue Sky and White Sun. ww2dbase [Xiao Yisu | CPC]
  • Chiang Kaishek made a special radio announcement on the occasion of a New Year's Day, noting that the past 8th year of the war of resistance against the Japanese was the most perilous, but the tide was about to turn. The coming 9th year would be the decisive year in the war against Japan. ww2dbase [Chiang Kaishek | CPC]
Dutch East Indies
  • Fairey Firefly Fighters from the No. 1770 Squadron FAA, recently arrived in Ceylon to join the British Pacific Fleet, attacked the Japanese-held oil refineries at Pangkalan Brandan, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies using rocket projectiles (RP). ww2dbase [Firefly | Pangkalan Brandan, Sumatra | AC]
Germany Japan
  • 19 American B-24 bombers based in Saipan, Mariana Islands struck Japanese positions at Iwo Jima. ww2dbase [Battle of Iwo Jima | Iwo Jima | TH]
  • Five Japanese submarines departed Inland Sea, Japan with Kaiten submarines aboard. I-36 sailed for Ulithi in the Caroline Islands, I-48 for Hollandia in New Guinea, I-53 for Palau Islands, I-56 for the Admiralty Islands, and I-58 for Guam in the Mariana Islands. ww2dbase [I-58 | Kaiten-class | CPC]
Philippines Poland South Africa United Kingdom
  • Andrew Geddes was mentioned in despatches. ww2dbase [Andrew Geddes | CPC]
United States
  • A group of German prisoners of war, having escaped from Camp Papago Park in Phoenix, Arizona, United States, were captured 30 miles north of the US-Mexico border. ww2dbase [Camp Papago Park | Arizona | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 1 Jan 1945
Japanese top level meeting before Emperor Showa, 1 Jan 1945RA-24B-15-DT Banshee aircraft (serial number 42-54736) preparing for take off on Morotai in the Moluccas, 1 Jan 1945; note C-47 Skytrain and hulk of C-45 Expeditor fuselageUSS Bennington steaming out of San Diego, California en route Pearl Harbor, Hawaii with a deck load of aircraft, 1 Jan 1945.

1 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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