3 Jan 1945
  • In preparation for the attacks on Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and mainland Japan, Admiral Chester Nimitz was given command of all involved naval forces, while General Douglas MacArthur was placed in command of all ground forces. ww2dbase [Douglas MacArthur | TH]
Australia Belgium
  • US First Army launched an attack on the northern flank of the Ardennes bulge in Belgium. Meanwhile, 1,100 Allied bombers, escorted by 11 fighter groups, bombed railroad and communications centers in western Germany. ww2dbase [Battle of the Bulge | TH]
  • Kamoi and the rest of convoy HI-87 laid anchor in the Zhoushan Islands off the coast of Zhejiang Province, China. ww2dbase [Kamoi | Zhoushan Islands, Zhejiang | CPC]
  • German submarine control expressed "considerable anxiety" over the fate of U-869, which had not responded to requests for report for the past four to five days. Meanwhile, around the same time, the Americans had intercepted enough German radio messages to deduce that a German submarine was heading toward New York City, New York, United States and began to assemble a hunter-killer group to intercept it. ww2dbase [U-869 | CPC]
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched a bombing raid against rail facilities in Hermülheim, Germany. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | Hermülheim | DS]
Greece Japan Pacific Ocean
  • 14 SB2C-3, 6 TBM-3, and 12 F6F-5 aircraft of Air Group 80 from USS Ticonderoga attacked Taichu Airfield in central Taiwan; six of the SB2C aircraft turned back after running into poor weather, one of the F6F aircraft became lost and joined fighters from USS Wasp in the strafing of a train, and two of the TBM-3 aircraft got lost and joined another group in the attacking of Suo (now Suao). On a separate mission later on this day, Air Group 80 conducted a fighter sweep over Koryu Airfield on Taiwan; Ensign Philip Manella's F6F fighter was shot down, forcing him to bail out, and his wingman Lieutenant (jg) R. C. Wagg reported that the parachute was strafed by Japanese fighters. ww2dbase [Ticonderoga | Taichu Airfield | DS, CPC]
  • When coming alongside Casablanca-class escort carrier USS Sargent Bay, destroyer escort USS Robert F. Keller collided with the carrier's starboard side amidships resulting in a 16-inch hole in the hull. There were no injuries. ww2dbase [Sargent Bay | Philippine Sea | DS]
  • In the Philippine Islands, the forward elements of the American invasion fleet for Luzon passed through the Surigao Strait. In support, aircraft of Task Fleet 38 struck Japanese airfields in Taiwan. ww2dbase [Philippines Campaign, Phase 2 | CPC]
  • USS Wake Island transited the Surigao Strait in the Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Wake Island | Surigao Strait | CPC]
  • Casablanca-class escort carrier USS Steamer Bay and her task group transited the Surigao Strait in the Philippines bound for the Lingayen Gulf, Luzon. ww2dbase [Steamer Bay | Surigao Striat | DS]
  • 6 TBM-1C aircraft and 12 F6F-5 fighters, both of Air Group 44 from USS Langley, attacked Hokuto Airfield (referred by the Americans as "Keishu Airfield") in Hokuto (now Beidou) in central Taiwan with 60 100-pound bombs, rockets, and strafing. No Japanese aircraft rose to defend. ww2dbase [Langley (Independence-class) | Hokuto Airfield | Hokuto, Taichu | CPC]
  • 18 F6F-5 fighters of Air Group 81 from USS Wasp attacked Koryu Airfield in Taiwan with rockets, bombs, and strafing; no Japanese fighters rose to defend. These attacking fighters regrouped over Taiwan Strait after the attack, flew back over Taiwan, and attacked targets of opportunity; they sank a small fishing boat along the coast, destroying a cargo train (carrying oil) at present day Dashan Station of Houlong Township, and heavily damaging a 10-car passenger train further northeast. A separate group of 4 F6F-5 fighters of the same air group conducted a photographic reconnaissance mission over Koryu Airfield, Shinchiku Airfield, and Koko Airfield in Taiwan. ww2dbase [Koryu Airfield | Wasp (Essex-class) | Shinchiku | CPC]
  • USS Yorktown (Essex-class) launched raids on airfields on Formosa (Taiwan). ww2dbase [Yorktown (Essex-class) | Philippines Campaign, Phase 2 | DS]
  • Aircraft from USS Cowpens conducted a reconnaissance mission over Karenko Airfield, Taiwan. ww2dbase [Karenko Airfield | Cowpens | Karenko | CPC]
United Kingdom United States Photo(s) dated 3 Jan 1945
M36 Jackson tank destroyer, camouflaged in white, operating near Dudelange, Luxembourg, 3 Jan 1945USS Columbia in Surigao Strait, Philippine Islands, 3 Jan 1945; note Measure 33 Design 1d camouflage; photograph taken from USS Makin IslandMembers of US 5332nd Brigade (Provisional) at a village between Ningpawn and Pranglui, Burma, 3 Jan 1945Village at Franglui, northern Burma, 3 Jan 1945; photo taken by personnel of US 5332nd Brigade (Provisional)
See all photos dated 3 Jan 1945

3 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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Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal

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