Sunday, February 14, 1943
Saint Valentines Day Massacre (St. Valentines Day Massacre)
SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) On a morning visual and photographic reconnaissance mission, F5A 42-12678 (MIA) is shot down. Next, nine PB4Y-1 Liberators from VB-101, each armed with a single 1,000 lbs bomb took off from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal on a mission to bomb shipping in the Buin-Shortland area, escorted
by ten P-38 Lightnings from the 347th Fighter Group, 339th Fighter Squadron plus twelve F4U Corsairs from VMF-124 that took off from Fighter 2 (Kukum). Over the target, the bombers score several hits on enemy cargo ships including the Hitachi Maru and near misses on two
others. The formation is then attack by 30 A6M Zeros and about 15 A6M2-N Rufes floatplanes.
During the air combat, the Americans claim 14 Zekes and 1 F1M2 Pete shot down; Japanese records
reveal they lost only one plane. The Americans lost a ten aircraft including: PB4Y-1 31948 and PB4Y-1 31970, P-38G piloted Finkenstein (MIA), P-38G piloted by White (MIA), P-38G piloted by Mulvey (rescued), P-38G piloted by Huey (POW), F4U-1 02187 (MIA) and F4U-1 02249 (MIA). Due to the severe American losses, this mission became known as the "Saint Valentines Day Massacre".
and Navy aircraft bomb and strafe Munda Airfield and hit
AA positions and other targets at Munda Point. Because of the
losses suffered yesterday and today, all daylight bombing missions in the northern
Solomons are halted until adequate fighter protection can be furnished.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17s and B-24s bomb Rabaul, Kokopo and Watom plus vessels off Kokopo and Cape Nelson; individual B-24s hit the sawmill at Ubili. Individual B-24s attack the Madang area while B-25s bomb
CBI (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, B-25s unsuccessfully attack the bridge at Myitnge.
Fourteen P-40s hit the town area of Maingkwan and the barracks to the southwest.
ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) In the Aleutians, the weather reconnaissance aircraft turns back due to weather, as does the morning patrol of 1 B-25 and 4 P-38s flying over Allied held Amchitka. Other missions
from Adak are also called off. Seven enemy float-type aircraft bomb and strafe the Constantine Harbor area on Amchitka without effect.
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