12 Jan 1945
  • Light carrier Ryuho departed for Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • The US submarine Swordfish became missing, presumably sunk by either Japanese depth charges or in a minefield, off Okinawa, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • USS Baya arrived at Fremantle, Australia, ending her second war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • The Operation Nordwind offensive into France was finally stopped just 13 miles from Strasbourg. In Belgium, north of Bastogne, US and British forces linked up near La Roche-en-Ardenne. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • General Erik Heinrichs was placed in charge of Finland's defense forces. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • The Japanese Army launched its final special attack mission in the Philippine Islands area. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Men of the British No. 42 (Royal Marine) Commando landed in southeastern Myebon Peninsula, Burma. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Kaiten submarines launched by Japanese submarines I-36, I-53, I-56, and I-58 struck targets at Ulithi in the Caroline Islands, Palau Islands, Admiralty Islands, and Guam in the Mariana Islands, respectively. The motherships reported 18 sinkings total, but actual damage done was far less and no ship was sunk. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
French Indochina
  • Kashii, sailing in convoy off Indochina, was sunk by American SB2C Helldiver dive bombers and TBF Avenger torpedo bombers. Only 19 out of her complement of 640 survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • USS Yorktown (Essex-class) planes hit the vicinity of Saigon, French Indochina (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam). TF 38 aviators sunk 44 enemy ships including 15 combatants. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | DS]
  • USS Ticonderoga and other Task Force 38 carriers launched aircraft that sank 44 Japanese ships off of Indochina, totaling 130,000 tons; Ticonderoga lost 1 aircraft. Part of the pre-launch intelligence was provided by agents of Katiou Meynier, who observed a 26-ship convoy enter Cam Ranh Bay, although no such convoy was found specifically. Hoang's intelligence reached the US Navy via the Sino-American Special Technical Cooperative Organization (SACO) in China. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | DS, CPC]
  • La Motte-Picquet was sunk at Saigon, French Indochina by US carrier aircraft of Task Force 38. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The first over-land supply convoy to reach China from India departed Ledo, India. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Tatsunosuke Ariizumi arrived at Tokyo, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The German Navy U-Boat pens at Bergen, Norway were attacked by a force of 32 Lancaster and one Mosquito aircraft, drawn from Nos. 9 and 617 Squadrons RAF, both units being experienced in the use of "Tallboy" bombs. Contemporary reports recorded that three "Tallboy" bombs caused serious damage to the U-Boat pens after penetrating their 3.5-meter concrete roof. Two submarines suffered minor damage, a cargo ship was severely damaged and a minesweeper was sunk. Four Lancaster bombers were lost (one from No. 9 Squadron and the others from No. 617 Squadron). ww2dbase [AC]
  • Jack Heyn received orders to rotate home while on Mindoro island, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Soviet forces launched an offensive with 2,000,000 men from bridgeheads of the Vistula River in Poland toward the Oder River in eastern Germany. On the same day, three Soviet armies encircled Warsaw, Poland. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Kamoi received word of US carrier attack on Kirun, Taiwan thus her destination would be Hong Kong rather than Mako, Pescadores Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • After dark, three B-24 bombers of USAAF 5th Air Force (two from 43rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) and one from 90th Bombardment Group (Heavy); the latter was equipped with H2X radar) took off from Tacloban, Leyte island, Philippine Islands to attack the Japanese airfield at Heito (now Pingdong), Taiwan. One of the 43rd Bombardment Group aircraft developed engine trouble and turned back. The remaining two bombers each dropped three 1,000-pound bombs and incendiaries, starting some fires. They were met with anti-aircraft fire but did not suffer damage. This was the first time 5th Air Force attacked Taiwan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German V-2 rocket hit a row of cottages in Ilford, London, England, United Kingdom. 17 were killed and 60 were injured. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | CPC]
United States
  • Franklin Roosevelt departed Washington DC, United States for Hyde Park, New York, United States by train; Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd accompanied him on this journey. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 12 Jan 1945
US Army Signal Corps Technical Sergeant Harry A. Downard looking at a killed paratrooper of US 101st Airborne Division, near Bastogne, Belgium, 12 Jan 1945Strike photo of a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver from USS Hancock over burning Japanese merchant ships off French Indochina (Vietnam), 12 Jan 1945.Gun camera photo from an F4U Corsair from Marine Fighting Squadron VMF-213 showing a USAAF B-24 Liberator bomber shot down by friendly fire over Cam Ranh Bay, French Indochina (Vietnam), 12 Jan 1945.Sgt Dee Perry of the 10th Armored Division applying winter paint to his M4 Sherman tank in Belgium, 12 Jan 1945.
See all photos dated 12 Jan 1945

12 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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Famous WW2 Quote
"Since peace is now beyond hope, we can but fight to the end."

Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937