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Today in World War II History—December 18, 1939 & 1944

Chinese troops at Kunlunguan Pass, Guangxi Province, 18 Dec 1939 (public domain via WW2 Database)

Chinese troops at Kunlunguan Pass, Guangxi Province, 18 Dec 1939 (public domain via WW2 Database)

80 Years Ago—December 18, 1939: Battle of Helgoland Bight—German Luftwaffe aircraft shoot down 10 of 22 RAF Wellington bombers, and two more Wellingtons ditch at sea.

Chinese troops defeat Japanese at Longhua in Hubei Province and at Kunlunguan Pass in Guangxi Province, China.

Light carrier USS Cowpens rolling in heavy seas in Typhoon Cobra, 18 Dec 1944 (US Navy photo)

Light carrier USS Cowpens rolling in heavy seas in Typhoon Cobra, 18 Dec 1944 (US Navy photo)

75 Years Ago—Dec. 18, 1944: In its first mass incendiary raid, US Twentieth Bomber Command B-29s destroy Japanese-held Hankow, China.

In Typhoon Cobra off Samar in the Philippines, US Third Fleet loses destroyers Hull (202 killed), Monaghan (257 killed), and Spence (315 killed)—only 91 survive on all three ships.