12 Jan 1945
  • 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 [Battle of the Bulge | TH]
  • General Erik Heinrichs was placed in charge of Finland's defense forces. ww2dbase [Erik Heinrichs | TH]
  • The Japanese Army launched its final special attack mission in the Philippine Islands area. ww2dbase [Philippines Campaign, Phase 2 | CPC]
  • The US submarine Swordfish became missing, presumably sunk by either Japanese depth charges or in a minefield, off Okinawa, Japan. ww2dbase [Swordfish | AC]
  • USS Baya arrived at Fremantle, Australia, ending her second war patrol. ww2dbase [Baya | AC]
  • Light carrier Ryuho departed for Japan. ww2dbase [Ryuho | CPC]
  • Men of the British No. 42 (Royal Marine) Commando landed in southeastern Myebon Peninsula, Burma. ww2dbase [Third Battle of Arakan | CPC]
  • In Minton, Saskatchewan, Canada, a Japanese Fu-Go balloon bomb was observed to descend, drop one 15kg incendiary bomb and two 5kg incendiary bombs, and then rise again disappearing from sight. One 5kg incendiary bomb exploded, the others did not. ww2dbase [Minton, Saskatchewan | DS]
  • In Minton, Saskatchewan, Canada, a Japanese Fu-Go balloon bomb was observed to descend, drop one 15kg incendiary bomb and two 5kg incendiary bombs, and then rise again disappearing from sight. One 5kg incendiary bomb exploded, the others did not. ww2dbase [Fu-Go | Minton, Saskatchewan | DS]
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 [I-58 | Kaiten-class | Ulithi | CPC]
French Indochina
  • 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 [Albert O. Vorse, Jr. | Raid into the South China Sea | Ticonderoga | DS, CPC]
  • La Motte-Picquet was sunk at Saigon, French Indochina by US carrier aircraft of Task Force 38. ww2dbase [La Motte-Picquet | Saigon, Cochinchine | CPC]
  • 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 [Kashii | Raid into the South China Sea | Qui Nhon, Annam | 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 [Raid into the South China Sea | Yorktown (Essex-class) | Saigon, Cochinchine | DS]
  • The first over-land supply convoy to reach China from India departed Ledo, India. ww2dbase [Ledo, Assam | CPC]
Japan Norway
  • 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 [Bergen | AC]
  • M1 was sunk in Nordbyfjord about 40 kilometers east of Bergen, Norway by bombs from British Lancaster bombers. ww2dbase [M1 | Nordbyfjord | CPC]
  • Jack Heyn received orders to rotate home while on Mindoro island, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Jack Heyn | 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 [Vistula-Oder Offensive | Warsaw | TH]
  • 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 [Heito Airfield | Heito, Takao | CPC]
  • Kamoi received word of US carrier attack on Kirun, Taiwan thus her destination would be Hong Kong rather than Mako, Pescadores Islands. ww2dbase [Kamoi | Taiwan Strait | CPC]
United Kingdom United States 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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