24 December 1941
War came to Yangon before Christmas in 1941
On 23 December and Christmas Day 1941 the Japanese Empire attacked Rangoon for the first time. Over 80 Mitsubishi bombers supported by Nakajima fighters flew from bases in Thailand and Indochina. They were resisted by the Tomahawks and Buffaloes of the (UK) Royal Air Force and the (American) "Flying Tigers", but still managed to inflict very heavy damage. High-explosive and incendiary bombs destroyed Mingaladon airfield and large parts of downtown. Approximately 2,000 people were killed and many more injured (out of a total population of around 400,000) The land invasion would begin two weeks later. Rangoon fell to the Japanese Fifteenth Army of Lt. General Shōjirō Iida on March 1942. The photograph shows the bombing of the area south of Government House, around St. John's College and Lady Dufferin Hospital.