Year beginning : Rommel is trapped in Tunisia between British and Americans; the German Army is encircled at Stalingrad; and the Japanese are ready to abandon Guadalcanal and have been stopped in New Guinea.
- Jan 1 . Yesterday Essex (CV-9) the first of 17 ships of her class commissioned during World War II. First combat at Marcus, 31Aug43.
- Jan 2 . Marine and USAAF bomb ten Japanese supply-carrying destroyers (RAdm Tomiji) west of Rendova, Solomons; SBD's damage destroyer. Eleven motor torpedo boats attack the force off Cape Esperance without success.
- Jan 2 . Army I Corps (LtGen Eichelberger) captures Buna, New Guinea, significantly reducing the threat to Port Moresby.
- Jan 5 . Helena (CL 50) makes first use of proximity-fuze shells in combat, downing a Japanese "Val", carrier bomber.
- Jan 5 . USAAF B-17's and B-24's bomb Japanese shipping at Rabaul, New Britain.
- Jan 6 . USAAF B-17's and B-24's bomb Japanese shipping at Rabaul.
- Jan 7 . USAAF B-17's, B-24's, B-25's and B-2'6s, supported by P-38's and P-40's, and RAAF or RNZAF Hudsons and RAF Catalinas, set upon Japanese convoy bound for Lae, New Guinea.
- Jan 8 . USAAF B-17's, B-24's, B-25's and A-20's, supported by P-38's, attack Japanese convoy unloading off Lae, New Guinea.
- Jan 10. Transport submarine Argonaut (APS-1) attacks convoy SE of New Britain, is sunk by Japanese aircraft and destroyers.
- Jan 11. Nine motor torpedo boats operating from Tulagi attack 8 DD Japanese Reinforcement Unit off Cape Esperance, Guadalcanal.
- Jan 12. TF 8 (RAdm Kinkaid) covers unopposed landing of Army troops to occupy Amchitka, Aleutians. Destroyer Worden (DD-352) runs aground and sinks.
- Jan 14. Casablanca Conference begins. Roosevelt, Churchill, and staffs meet to plan future operations against the Axis.
- Jan 15. The Pentagon dedicated; the highest-capacity office building in the world.
- Jan 15. SBD's from Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, and USAAF B-17's, escorted by F4F's and USAAF P-39's, attack nine Japanese destroyers northeast of New Georgia, Solomons, damaging 4.
- Jan 15. Japanese attempt to reinforce the Solomons begins as first group of ships --Section A-- three transports accompanied by destroyer, departs Truk for Bougainville. The soldiers are being transferred from China.
- Jan 15. USAAF B-24's bomb Japanese convoy, sinking army cargo ship Nichimei Maru and damaging another, about 200 miles south-southwest of Rangoon, Burma. Unknown to the aviators, she is transporting Allied POWs, 500 of whom are lost.
- Jan 17. Section B of Japanese Solomons reinforcement convoy sails from Truk, bound for the Shortlands.
- Jan 18. USAAF B-17's and P-39's sink Japanese cargo vessel Yamafuku Maru off Shortland Island.
- Jan 18. Soviets announce they have broken the Wehrmacht's siege of Leningrad. Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins.
- Jan 19. Japanese land at Wewak, New Guinea.
- Jan 19. Carrier Ranger (CV-4) launches USAAF P-40's off Accra, Gold Coast, for transfer to the North Africa.
- Jan 20. Silversides (SS-236) encounters Section C of Japanese Solomons reinforcement convoy, and sinks army transport Meiu Maru and irreparably damages another.
- Jan 20. First destroyer escort type ship, Brennan (DE-13), is commissioned at Mare Island, California.
- Jan 21. Submarine Gato (SS-212) encounters Section B of Japanese Solomons reinforcement convoy and damages army transport just east of Kieta, Bougainville.
- Jan 23. British forces capture Tripoli from the Nazis.
- Jan 23. Casablanca Conference ends. Major decisions: to invade Sicily and to delay a cross-channel invasion of the European continent until 1944. With German U-boats taking an increasing toll of Allied shipping in the Battle of the Atlantic, to accord priority to building antisubmarine weapons. Allies will pursue a policy of "Unconditional Surrender" of the Axis.
- Jan 24. Destroyers (RAdm Ainsworth) bombards Japanese fuel and munitions dumps in the Stanmore area, Kolombangara, Solomons. Later that same day, TBF's, SBD's and F4F's from carrier Saratoga (CV-3) air group (RAdm Ramsey) bomb the same objectives.
- Jan 26. Wahoo (SS-238) attacks Japanese convoy about 270 miles north of Dutch New Guinea, sinks four ships.
- Jan 27. 50 US bombers mount the first all American air raid against Germany (Wilhelmshaven).
- Jan 29. Battle of Rennell Island begins as Japanese land planes attack TF 18 cruisers and destroyers covering the movement of transport force toward Guadalcanal ; damage heavy cruiser Chicago (CA 29) taken under tow.
- Jan 30. Battle of Rennell Island ends as Japanese land planes torpedo and sink crippled Chicago (CA 29).
- Jan 31. Germany surrenders 6th Army at Stalingrad. Up to 2 million causualties in 6-mo battle.
- Jan 31. USMC flying from Guadalcanal sink Japanese transport Toa Maru between Vella Lavella and Kolombangara.
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