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December 1943
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

WEDNESDAY, 1 DECEMBER 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian during the month of Dec 43, the detachment of the 344th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group, operating from Attu Airfield with P-40's, returns to Shemya.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 4 B-24's, flying out of Funafuti bomb Mille Atoll.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, B-24's bomb Insein; the B-24's and escorting P-38's encounter a large number of Japanese fighters over the targets; P-51's which failed to make rendezvous with the B-24's before the attack join the formations on the return trip; US losses are high: 6 B-24's including B-24J "Bugs Bunny" 42-73222 , B-24J 42-73055, B-24J 42-73159, B-24J 42-73183 , B-24J 42-73196 and a P-51 43-60?0 shot down and 5 more B-24's are seriously damaged; B-25's hit the newly repaired bridge at Myitnge rendering it temporarily unserviceable.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 19 B-25's, 24 P-40's, and 10 P-51's pound Kowloon shipyards; 2 B-25's hit nearby Taikoo Docks in Hong Kong; Four P-40's strafe a truck convoy near Lashio, 16 sink about 30 boats in the area around Changte, and 8 bomb Bac Ninh, French Indochina and vicinity.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 18 B-25's and 8 P-38's attack Malai; P-39's strafe Tonolai Harbor and support US Navy dive bombers in an attack on the Jaba River area near Empress Augusta Bay; other Army Air Forces (AAF) and USN fighters cover dive bomber strikes on Kara and strafe targets at Tenekow, Chabai, and Mutupina Point.

USMC VMF-214 "Black Sheep" lead by Pierre Carnnagey provide an eight plane F4U escort for bombers. After discovering their primar target Chabai covered in clouds, the formation of 48 US Navy SBD dive bombers from VMSB-236, and 24 TBFs preform strikes on Ballale supply areas. They met and observed no fighters at Ballale supply areas, only anti-aircraft fire.  Two SBDs were lost, SBD 11002 and SBD 35976.

Six B-25's bomb Sarime Plantation. A detachment of the 339th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, ceases operating from Fighter 2 (Kukum) with P-38's and returns to it's base on New Caledonia. During the month of Dec 43: 1. HQ XIII Fighter Command transfers from Espiritu Santo , New Hebrides to Guadalcanal. 2. The 68th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, based on Fiji ceases operating from Guadalcanal with P-39's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 40+ B-24's bomb Wewak, the B-24's and P-47 escorts claiming 11 enemy fighters shot down out of interception force of about 50; 3 B-24's are lost including: B-24D-155 "Ten Knights in a Bar Room" 42-72806, B-24D-145-CO "Pistol Packin' Mama II" 42-41209 and B-24D 42-40830. 16 A-20's hit the Cape Gloucester area. 35 B-25's and B-26's bomb the Borgen Bay, New Guinea area. The 20th Combat Mapping Squadron, 4th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance), begins a movement from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea with B-24's and F-7's. They will fly their first mission on 5 Apr 44. The 387th Bombardment Squadron (Dive), 312th Bombardment Group (Dive) arrives at Port Moresby from the US with P-40's. The squadron and group will be redesignated Bombardment Group/Squadron on 6 Dec. During the month of Dec 43: 1. The 90th Bombardment Group and it's 319th, 320th, 321st and 400th Bombardment Squadrons transfer from Port Moresby to Dobodura with B-24's. The 82d Fighter Squadron (Reconnaissance), 71st Reconnaissance Group, based at Dobodura with P-39's sends a detachment to Finschhafen. Lost on a local flight is C-47 "The Amazon" 42-23659.

USN: Lost is F6F Hellcat 26179.

THURSDAY, 2 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 18 Japanese bombers and 30 Zekes attack Suichwan airfield; 9 P-40's intercept, shooting down 1 Japanese airplane; 2 P-40's are lost; 6 P-40's on armed reconnaissance bomb villages
between Sha Nyao and Chiao Tou Chieh; 16 others bomb Japanese positions NE of Changte.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 20+ B-25's hit Malai and attack positions on the Porror River and Rigu Mission at Kieta; 20+ B-24's bomb Korovo; fighter patrols strafe Chabai area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, 50+ B-25's pound the Borgen Bay area; 20 B-25's and B-26's hit enemy forces in the Finschhafen area; and the Sio area is bombed by 2 B-24's.

FRIDAY, 3 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 8 P-40's attack barracks and other buildings at Wanling, China.

USN - Sunk at Kwajalein by aircraft is Asakaze Maru.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 3 B-25's bomb Kieta Harbor and nearby supply and bivouac areas; 6 others hit Aitara Mission; Twenty-one B-24's pound Bonis; fighter aircraft, USAAF and USN on patrol, hit targets of opportunity in areas from Numa Numa to Koromira, at Mosiga and Chabai, and W of Rlutupina Point; B-24's on armed reconnaissance hit a variety of targets, including Kieta, Green, Greenwich, and Korovo. The 372d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based on Espiritu Santo with B-24's, ceases operating from Guadalcanal in the Solomon .

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 60+ B-24's and B-25's bomb Cape Gloucester Airfield; 1 B-24 sinks several barges in Johann Albrecht Harbor while another bombs a large transport near New Hanover . 20+ B-24's bomb Waingapoe on Sumba in the Sunda . A-20's attack villages around Finschhafen; P-47's shoot down several airplanes over Wewak. B-24D 42-40475 is lost on a reconnaissance mission.

RAAF: Crashed is P-40E A29-41.

SATURDAY, 4 DECEMBER 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 3 bombers return early from an armed sea search, due to weather.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): Thirty-four B-24's from the Ellice and Canton bomb Mille Atoll 20+ others abort due to bad weather. 8 B-24's from Funafuti attack Nauru.

USN - At the close of the Gilberts Campaign, two groups of Task Force 50 (Rear Admiral C. A. Pownall), composed of four heavy and two light carriers and screening ships, bombed airfields and shipping at Wotje and Kwajalein.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): Five B-24's mine the Rangoon River while 12 others mine the Salween River at Moulmein during the night of 4/5 Dec.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 11 B-25's and 12 P-40's bomb Changte, which was taken by the Japanese earlier in the day; 11 more B-25's and 24 P-40's follow with 2 more attacks on Changte; other P-40's drop ammunition to Chinese troops on Tehshan Mountain.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 21 B-24's attack Chabai; 17 B-25's follow with a strike on the same target. Lost is B-24D 42-40636.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): Nearly 50 bombers hit Cape Gloucester Airfield and attack shore targets from Rottock Bay to Rein Bay. 12 A-20's hit villages and supply dumps in the Finshaffen area. 30+P-40's sink an oil laden lugger and 2 barges off Bogia and bomb bridge near Bogadjim. Lost in a training excercise is P-38H "Japanese Sandman II" 42-66905.

RAAF - Six Beauforts took off on a torpedo strike against shipping in the St George's Channel to Blanche Bay. Lost is Beaufort A9-262, two prisoners.

IJN - US Navy aircraft damaged Choko Maru which sinks the following day in Kwajalein Southern Atoll.

SUNDAY, 5 DECEMBER 1943

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): During the night of 5/6 Dec, B-24's mine waters in the Moulmein area while 5 others lay mines in the Rangoon River.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 16 P-40's over the Changte area damage several large supply sampans near Ansiang and strafe various targets of opportunity in the Tehshan and Hsutu Lake areas; 20+ P-40's on patrols over the Changte area attack numerous boats and other targets throughout the nearby lake region.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Twenty-three B-25's and 20+ USN dive bombers hit the Monoitu, Aitara Mission, and Mosigetta area; fighter patrols hit several areas on Bougainville and on Shortland, including Chabai, Numa Numa, Mosigetta, Monoitu, and Faisi.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 40 B-24's bomb Cape Gloucester; A-20's destroy small craft off New Britain. In New Guinea, A-20's hit enemy forces in the Finschhafen area; B-25's, B-26's, and P-40's attack targets along the Bogadjim Road. The 110th Reconnaissance Squadron (Fighter), 71st Reconnaissance Group, arrives at Brisbane, Queensland, Australia from the US with P-39Q's. The 531st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), (Heavy), transfers from Manbulloo to Long Strip with B-24's. The group is attached to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Force landed is F-4 Lightning piloted by Kross.

MONDAY, 6 DECEMBER 1943

Force landed is P-39Q 44-2485.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, Changte is pounded throughout the day by 30+ B-25's and numerous fighters; other fighters strafe targets of opportunity in the railway yard at Hsipaw and damage a train at Hopong.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 6 B-25's bomb the Monoitu Mission area, and twenty-four B-25s with fighter support pound Tarlena village; P-40's carry out a strafing strike in the Arawa Bay area near Kieta; P-38's strafe the west coast of Buka; fighter patrols strafe the Chabai, Koromira, and Monoitu areas; the Kieta supply area is bombed by a B-24 on armed reconnaissance.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): Nearly 100 B-24's and B-25's hit the Cape Gloucester and Borgen Bay areas; P-40's strafe Cape Hoskins. A-20's and B-25's attack villages and supply dumps around Finschhafen.

TUESDAY, 7 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): During the night of 6/7 Dec, 14 B-24's, staging through Tarawa, hit targets on Maloelap and Wotje. 6 B-24's from Nukufetau bomb Maloelap and 1 other, failing to reach the primary, drops bombs on Mille Atoll. This date marks the beginning of Operation FLINTLOCK (operations against Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls in the Marshalls).

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, Changte is hit twice by a total of 13 B-25's and several escorting fighters. Eight P-40's strafe freight cars between Mogaung and Myitkyina. The detachment of the 76th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group, that has been operating from Suichwan, China since Oct, returns to it's base at Kweilin with P-40's.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Eight B-25's carry out strikes against Kahili and Kieta Harbor. Torokina is bombed by two Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Ventura's on patrol. The 23d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based on Bomber 1 with B-24's, ceases operating from Guadalcanal. Lost on a ferry flight is B-24D "Mammy Yokum" 42-40221.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): On New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago, 90+ B-24's and B-25's attack the Cape Gloucester and Borgen Bay areas. On New Guinea, A-20's bomb troop encampments and dumps in the Finschhafen area; P-40's strafe boats and barges near Madang. B-24's bomb Haroekoe Airfield and Haroekoe village.

WEDNESDAY, 8 DECEMBER 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 3 B-24's fly armed reconnaissance. During the night of 8/9 Dec, another B-24 off on a photographic mission over Kasatochi in the Aleutian , turns back because of mechanical trouble.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): Twenty-two B-24's from Nanumea bomb Jaluit Atoll, and eleven from Canton bomb Mille Atoll.

USN - A striking force of two carriers, six battleships, and 12 destroyers bombed and bombarded enemy installations on Nauru. Shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Nauru are F6F Hellcat 26088 and TBF 47589.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 9 B-25's, escorted by 16 P-40's, pound Changte; 9 other B-25's bomb Hofuh and the 16 escorting P-40's bomb 2 villages to the N.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Fighter patrols and aircraft on armed reconnaissance bomb and strafe several targets of opportunity near Kieta, southeast of Cape Torokina, at Baniu Plantation, and along the NE coast.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-25's attack the Penfoei-Koepanp area on Timor . In New Guinea, B-25's and B-26's pound enemy supply dumps on the Huon Peninsula near Finschhafen; P-39's strafe barges from Saidor to Fortification Point. Ditched is C-47A Dakota 42-23851 (crew rescued).



THURSDAY, 9 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 19 B-24's from Funafuti Atoll in the Ellice bomb Mille Atoll. The B-24's claim 5 fighters destroyed.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Fifteen B-25's bomb Wuchang and Hankow, and three bomb Changte; P-40's strafe sampans above Nanhsien and attack targets of opportunity in the Salween River area, including road traffic south of Hsia Chai, barracks at Tachai, and the town of San Tsun.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 50 B-25's bomb and strafe the coast of New Britain from Borgen Bay to Rein Bay. In New Guinea, 19 B-25's and A-20's hit barges, coastal installations, and roads in the Fortification Point area; 60+ P-39's hit Bogadjim Road, barges and enemy held villages along the N coast of Huon Peninsula, and enemy positions in the Ramu River valley.



FRIDAY, 10 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 12 B-25's and 15 P-40's attack the marshalling yard at Hanoi, the warehouse area and railroad station suffer heavy damage. Japanese aircraft bomb Hengyang Airfield. Eight P-40's intercept 1 wave of airplanes over the field, shooting down 3 of them; 2 P-40's are lost in the combat.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): B-25's bomb the Kahili supply area and Kahili Airfield; P-39's bomb the supply area and AA positions at Tonolai and strafe 4 barges in the harbor; RNZAF Ventura's hit buildings at Arigua Plantation.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 27 B-24's bomb targets at Cape Gloucester and the Huon Peninsula. 40 B-25's and B-26's bomb supply and bivouac areas and bridges along the Bogadjim Road; P-39's strafe barges in the Madang area. HQ 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group and it's 20th Combat Mapping Squadron transfer from Brisbane to Port Moresby with B-24's and F-7's. HQ 43d Bombardment Group and it's 64th Bombardment Squadron transfer from 7-Mile Drome to Dobodura with B-24's. Force landed is P-40N Piloted by Linder. Crashed on a training mission is P-70 piloted by Crum.

RAAF - Force landed is F-4 Lightning A53-3.



SATURDAY, 11 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 14 B-25's and 10 P-40's attack Shihshow and Ansiang; 3 B-24's bomb Hankow Airfield; 9 P-40's intercept about 30 Japanese airplanes over Nanchang shortly after the enemy force bombs Suichwan; the P-40's claim 10 aircraft shot down.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville, 16 B-25's, in 2 waves, attack Kahili; several other B-25's hit Arigua Plantation; 20+ B-24's bomb the village and wharf area at Tsirogei; 8 P-39's bomb Tonolai; several aircraft on armed reconnaissance, operating individually or in small flights, attack targets of opportunity scattered throughout Bougainville and the Shortland area; Allied night fighters carry out a strike on a Japanese bivouac along the Jaba River; others hit Buka and Bonis. A detachment of the 17th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 4th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance), based on Guadalcanal begins operating from Bougainville with F-5's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-25's bomb and strafe the Borgen Bay area. B-25's and B-26's hit bivouacs and other installations near Fortification Point and in the Finschhafen area. B-24's bomb Makassar and Balikpapan. The 65th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from 7-Mile Drome to Dobodura with B-24's. The 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, transfers from Port Moresby to Dobodura with P-38's.

SUNDAY, 12 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 25 B-24's flying out of Ellice bases bomb Emidj.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 28 B-25's and 13 B-24's carry out a saturation bombing strike against bridge at Myittha, over which a large volume of Japanese goods is flowing to the north. Despite this large air effort only the approach spans suffer effective damage.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Forty-one Japanese bombers and fighters bomb the west side of Hengyang Airfield, causing considerable damage; 31 P-40's and 6 P-38's intercept the enemy force, claiming 20 airplanes shot down; 2 P-40's are lost. Nine B-24's bomb Hankow Airfield.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Six B-25's strafe Arigua Plantation; Nine B-25s with fighter support, bomb the supply area at Bonis; the fighters afterwards strafe Japanese forces between Kieta and the Aropa River; other fighter aircraft strafe Tonolai Harbor and cover USN dive bomber strikes against targets in the Ratsua-Porton-Chabai-Soraken areas and the Kieta Harbor-Tobera Bay area; and 20+ B-24's bomb the Kahili area and Poporang.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): P-40's dive-bomb Bogadjim Road. B-24's make light raids on Ceram in the Moluccas and in the far W part of Netherlands New Guinea.

MONDAY, 13 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): Ten B-24's from Canton staging through Baker bomb Wotje.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): Twenty Japanese bombers, escorted by 25 fighters, hit Dinjan Airfield before US interceptors make contact; however, little damage is done and the US fighters catch the attackers shortly afterward; 12 Japanese bombers and 5 fighters are claimed shot down. The 436th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Panagarh to Madhaiganj with B-24's.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, Twelve B-25's, with fighter escort, bomb Li-Chou and Kungan; eight B-25's pound Wuchang Airfield; and 16 P-40's on armed reconnaissance strafe targets of opportunity from Changte to Linli to Li-Chou.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 17 B-25's bomb Porton, and their fighter escorts strafe Tenekow bivouac areas during the return flight; Twenty-four B-24's bomb Bonis; Six B-25's carry out low-level strikes against concentrations on Numa Numa. The 72d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based on Espiritu Santo with B-24's, begins operating from Guadalcanal.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 100+ B-24's and B-25's and several P-40's bomb Gasmata. A-20's hit villages along Bogadjim Road; a small flight of P-39's strafe barges along the Huon Peninsula. The 340th Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, transfers from 7 Mile Drome to Finschhafen with P-47's. The 403d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from 7-Mile Drome to Dobodura with B-24's.

USMC: Lost is F4U Corsair 17452.


TUESDAY, 14 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 16 B-24's, flying out of bases in the Ellice , bomb Maloelap Atoll in the Marshall

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 13 B-25's, with fighter escort, bomb Shasi; 2 P-40's strafe supply trucks S of Tengchung. Six P-40's on armed reconnaissance strafe Gia Lam Airfield and railroad yard.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Eighteen B-24's with fighter support, bomb positions on Sohano. Eighteen B-25's and eight fighters hit Manob village east of Buka Passage. Other 13th Air Force fighters hit gun positions, communications targets, and other targets of opportunity at scattered points in the Bougainville-Shortland areas and cover US Navy (USN) dive bomber strikes against AA positions in Chabai area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): In the heaviest raid to date in the Southwest Pacific Area, 228 B-24's, B-25's, and A-20's bomb Arawe in an almost continuous attack from 0645 to 1548 hours; P-39's strafe barges along the Huon Peninsula. Gasmata is hit by B-25's and B-26's. B-24's on armed reconnaissance hit Saidor, Gasmata and Unea.

RAAF: Lost on a flight from Cooktown to Horn Island is C-47 Dakota A65-3. Lost is Beaufort A9-211 (MIA).

WEDNESDAY, 15 DECEMBER 1943


CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 20 B-24's from Nanumea hit Maloelap. Ten B-24s staging from Canton through Baker, bomb Wotje. 1 B-24 is lost on Maloelap Atoll raid; 2 enemy fighters are claimed destroyed.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 25 P-40's strafe parked aircraft, trucks, and several buildings at Pailochi; at least 3 enemy airplanes are destroyed; 2 B-25's on a sea sweep over the Gulf of Tonkin claim 1 ocean going tug sunk; 16 P-40's on armed reconnaissance strafe the towns of Owchihkow and Shihshow; 6 others attack the town of Luchiangpa and villages in
the area.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 21 B-24's strike Sohano; Six B-25's hit installations in the Numa Numa-Arigua area; Twenty-three B-25's and sixteen fighters attack Buka, causing heavy damage in the Chinatown area; P-40's destroy bridge at Runai. Numerous targets of opportunity are attacked by AAF aircraft, operating individually and in small flights, on armed reconnaissance over Bougainville and other N Solomons areas.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): As a preliminary to the main invasion of New Britain, US forces under command of Brigadier General Julian W Cunningham land on the west coast at Arawe at 0700 following a naval and air bombardment; B-25's pound villages in the Arawe area; B-24's bomb Cape Gloucester while P-39's strafe barges at Reiss Point. B-25's hit 2 freighters on Timor in the Sunda. The 39th Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group, transfers from Port Moresby's 14 Mile Drome to Nadzab with P-47's. Written off during a taxi accident is B-24D "Career Girl" 42-41234.

THURSDAY, 16 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 9 B-25's and 11 P-40's hit the NW part of Owchihkow; 4 B-25's on sweeps over the S China Sea damage freighter S of Nampang , bomb Tunguan docks, and shoot down 1 bomber; 15 P-40's on armed reconnaissance strafe Pailochi Airfield; 11 others strafe boats in channels N of Nanhsien; 6 P-38's strafe a troop train near Changanyi and attack 25 sampans (destroying most of them) on the Yangtze River just above Huangtang Lake.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Fourteen B-24's bomb Monoitu on Bougainville. Smaller flights of B-24's bomb Poporang and Sohano and dispersal areas at Bonis Airfield. 5 B-25's, with fighter cover, hit Sankau. RNZAF Ventura's attack targets on Green and in the Mawareka, Marveiropa, and Mamaregu areas. Fighter aircraft support USN dive bomber strikes on Sohano and gun positions at Bonis and afterwards strafe targets of opportunity at several points on Bougainville. The 67th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, which has been operating from New Georgia with P-39's since Oct 43, returns to Woodlark.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): Lost on a mission against Gasmata is B-24D 42-41043. B-24's hit Cape Gloucester Airfield. On New Guinea, B-25's hit Sio and Kelana Harbor and P-40's hit Timoeka. HQ 348th Fighter Group transfers from 7 Mile Drome to Finschhafen. The 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, transfers from Dobodura to Gusap with P-47's.

JAAF - Six Ki-49 Helens of the 9th Sentai take off to attack Arawe, but are intercepted over Cape Gloucester. Five are shot down, the last Ki-49 Helen 3297 force lands at Cape Gloucester.

USMC: Lost is SBD Dauntless 35968.


FRIDAY, 17 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 10 B-24's are dispatched from Nanumea in the Ellice to bomb Maloelap Atoll in the Marshall; 9 are recalled because of weather; 1 bombs the alternate target of Mille Atoll. HQ 41st Bombardment Group (Medium) transfers from Hickam Field to Tarawa Airfield.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 6 P-40's bomb and strafe barracks near Kunlong. 6 others bomb and strafe targets of opportunity in Hanoi.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville in the Solomon , 18 B-25's strike Malai lost is B-25D 41-30661 Six other B-25s join USN dive bombers in pounding the Mutupina Point Area; 5 RNZAF Ventura's hit Poroporo and Tarekekori.

USN, USMC & RNZAF: A 75 aircraft fighter sweep over Rabaul. USN 22 Hellcats, 31 USMC Coursairs and 24 RNZAF P-40s from 16 and 14 Squadrons took off from Ondonga at 5:30am. They flew to Torokina Airfield to refuel, then split up into two groups, led by Freeman and Arkwright to Rabaul. Two P-40s aborted on the way to the target due to mechanical failures.  The Japanese launch a total of 72 fighters to intercept: 15 from the 201st Kokutai, 32 from 204th Kokutai and 25 from 253rd Kokutai. Three P-40s were lost, and two pilots: P-40 NZ3153 over southern New Ireland and P-40 NZ3175/65. Nine Japanese aircraft were claimed, 5 by RNZAF, 4 by USN. Force landed was F4U 17777. The Japanese claimed nine planes shot down.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): P-47's intercept 35-40 aircraft attacking Allied forces on the Arawe peninsula; at least 10 airplanes are claimed shot down; Cape Gloucester and nearby shipping are attacked by B-24's and B-25's. B-25's bomb the Sio area and P-39's sink 2 barges during a sweep along the Huon Peninsula. The 341st and 342d Fighter Squadrons, 348th Fighter Group, transfer from 5 Mile Drome (Wards) to Finschhafen with P-47's. Lost on a local flight is L-5 piloted by Mueller (crew KIA).

SATURDAY, 18 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 14 B-24's bomb Mille Atoll. The 46th and 72d Fighter Squadrons, 15th Fighter Group, transfer from Canton and Wheeler Field respectively to Makin with P-39's. The 531st Fighter-Bomber Squadron, Seventh Air Force, transfers from Canton to Makin with A-24s.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 27 B-24's, supported by 28 P-40's, pound the airfield at Namsang; some of the P-40's strafe Laihka Airfield; Two B-25's on a sea sweep claim damaging hits on a freighter and a tanker in the Hainan Straits; 5 B-25's bomb the southwestern part of Nanhsien.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Ten B-24's bomb the Kahili supply area. Five B-24smore hit the Bonis supply area, and 19 others hit targets in the Chabai-Porton area; 5 B-25's carry out low-level strike on troop concentrations at Poroporo and 11 bomb Korovo; B-24's, operating individually and in small flights, on armed reconnaissance attack Kahili, Kieta, and Poporang; fighters strafe targets of opportunity at Numa Numa, Cape Pui Pui, and the east coast of Buka.

USN: Lost is SBD Dauntless 35961.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 70+ B-24's, B-25's, and B-26's bomb Cape Gloucester; 20+ B-25's bomb the Borgen Bay area; and nearly 40 B-24's hit Hoskins Airfield. 33 A-20's bomb and strafe dumps and bivouacs N of Finschhafen.

JAAF - Four Ki-43 Oscars of the 248th Sentai joined with Ki-43 Oscars of the 59th Sentai and flew a fighter sweep to Arawe , along with Ki-61 Tonys. The U.S. Army Air Force reference history described the combat: “[E]nemy pilots displayed considerable skill and aggressiveness. This was especially true on 18 December when 16 P-38s of the 475th FG, 433rd FS jumped 10 to 15 ZEKES (sic), OSCARS, and TONYS at midday. The P-38s dove through the enemy fighters and were in turn jumped by about 15 fighters, which had been hiding in cumulous clouds. Definitely on the defensive and outmaneuvered, the P-38s destroyed only three of the enemy while losing two P-38s…” The 248th Sentai claimed one P-38 shot down and no losses. The Japanese lost a single Ki-61 Tony fighter. Lost in an aerial collision over Arawe is P-38H "Regina Coeli" 42-66856.

SUNDAY, 19 DECEMBER 1943


CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 29 B-24's from Nanumea and Baker bomb barracks, hangars, and wharf areas on Mille Atoll and Maloelap Atoll; they claim 7 fighters shot down. P-39's from Makin strafe Mille Atoll destroying 3 airplanes and firing an oil dump; 2 P-39's are lost.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): 20 B-24's fly a night strike against newly expanded dock area at Bangkok, causing considerable destruction.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Roughly 35 Japanese bombers and fighters attack Hengyang Airfield; 26 P-40's are sent up against the attacking force and shoot down 9; 2 P-40's are lost. 12 B-25's and 8 P-40's attack Nanhsien and Ansiang.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Twenty-four B-25's bomb the Moisuru bivouac and supply dump; other planes on armed reconnaissance hit targets of opportunity at Buka, Bonis, Ratsua, Poporang, Kara, Kahili, Koiaris, and on Nissan. 16 B-24's, escorted by 50 AAF and RNZAF fighters, bomb Rabaul and Simpson Harbor.

USN: Lost flying an escort mission over Rabaul is F4U 17806.

USMC: Lost was F4U 17845. Written off on landing is F4U 17736.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): Cape Gloucester is bombed by more than 140 B-24's, B-25's, and B-26's as pre-invasion operations increase; 37 P-40's hit Gasmata; and 20 A-20's pound forces NE of Arawe. In New Guinea, about 30 B-25's, A-20's, and P-39's hit barges, bivouac areas, and gun positions N and W of Finschhafen; 30 B-25's and B-26's pound Madang; and P-47's sweep the coastline of NE New Guinea. HQ 375th Troop Carrier Group transfers from Dobodura to Port Moresby, New Guinea. The 2d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 22d Bombardment Group (Medium), transfers from Dobodura to Nadzab with B-25's. Crashed is C-47 "Hoosier Traveler" 43-30742.

MONDAY, 20 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 16 B-24's flying out of Nanumea and Baker bomb Maloelap Atoll; 3 B-24's are shot down; they claim 8 fighters destroyed.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 11 B-25's and 6 P-40's from Kweilin pound the Yoyang railroad yards; P-40's from Hengyang also provide support for the B-25's.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Thirteen B-25's, with fighter cover, bomb Korovo village and docks on Shortland. Eight B-25s with fighter escort hit Buka. Afterwards the fighters strafe Kieta and Tenekow. Other fighters and RNZAF Ventura's on armed reconnaissance, patrol, and night snooper missions attack numerous targets of opportunity throughout Bougainville.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): On New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago, A-20's hit the Arawe area and P-38's in the area claim 10 enemy along S coast; B-24's on armed reconnaissance bomb a merchant ship off Cape Pomas. In New Guinea, B-26's and B-25's hit bivouacs in the Finschhafen area and bomb the town of Alexishafen.

TUESDAY, 21 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 8 B-24's from Nanumea escort 4 USN PB4Y's on a photo mission over Kwajalein Atoll. B-24's bomb shipping and aircraft landing grounds and other facilities at Roi, Ennuebing, and Kwajalein. A-24s, along with USN and US Marine Corps (USMC) aircraft, hit shipping and airfields at Emidj. 16 P-39's strafe fuel dumps, shipping, and AA at Mille Atoll.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 29 B-24's pound the railroad yards at Chiengmai; the warehouse area along the W side of the yards suffers very heavy damage; 14 B-25's, with fighter escort, attack Hwajung.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville in the Solomon , 6 B-25's attack Monoitu Mission; during the night of 21/22 Dec, snoopers bomb various bivouac areas.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): Pre-invasion air strikes continue against Cape Gloucester as 100+ B-24's, B-25's, and A-20's pound the area; P-39's strafe targets along Borgen and Rein Bays; P-40's and A-20's hit Hoskins Airfield; and P-47's claim 17 fighters shot down in the Arawe area. In New Guinea, A-20's hit camps N of Finschhafen; B-25's bomb and cannon Madang; and P-40's hit Kaukenau. B-24's bomb Amahai Airfield. The 110th Reconnaissance Squadron (Fighter), 71st Reconnaissance Group, transfers from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea with P-39Q's. They will fly their first mission on 21 Jan 44.

WEDNESDAY, 22 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 11 A-24s from Makin dive-bomb cargo ships in Mille Lagoon; escort is provided by 32 P-39's and USN F6F's; the P-39's strafe the ship and AA and gasoline dumps on the and the vessel is left burning.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 7 B-25's, with fighter escort, bomb Hwajung; 2 others claim 3 direct hits on a freighter 105 miles (168 km) S of Hong Kong. Sixty-five Japanese bombers and fighters attack Kunming Airfield; Ten P-40's and a P-38 from Kunming and several fighters from Yunnani engage the enemy force in a 50-minute running battle, claiming 12 airplanes shot down; 2 US aircraft are destroyed on the ground; damage to airfield is not serious. Seven P-40's intercept a force of 58 airplanes heading toward Chengkung, shooting down 3 of them and preventing an attack on Chengkung Airfield.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): B-25'a carry out strikes against Numa Numa, the Kahili supply area, the Chinatown area of Buka and scattered targets of opportunity; fighter aircraft and B-24's attack barge concentrations and hide-outs at Sohano, Chabai-Porton area, Anewa Bay, and Ambitle and several targets of opportunity throughout Bougainville; B-24's, operating individually and in pairs, attack targets of opportunity near Bonis, Porton, and at Sohano.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 30+ B-24's, B-25's, and A-20's continue bombardment of Cape Gloucester; a Japanese air raid on Arawe causes minor damage. B-25's and P-39's bomb airfield and barges at Madang and the town of Alexishafen; and A-20's and B-26's pound occupied area N of Finschhafen. The 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, transfers from Port Moresby to Nadzab, New Guinea with P-47's. The 408th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 22d Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Dobodura to Nadzab, New Guinea with B-25's. Nearly 40 B-25's, with P-38 escort, bomb Wewak and Boram; the P-38's, B-25's, and some P-47's on sweep claim at least 13 aircraft shot down. Lost are P-38 piloted by Donaldson (MIA), P-38H 42-66631 (MIA) and B-25D "Shif'less Skonk" 41-30021 (force landed, crew survived).

JAAF: Ki-61 Tonys from the 68th Sentai and 78th Sentai took off to intercept American aircraft over Wewak and engage P-38 Lightnings. Lost are Ki-61 piloted by Takatsuki (MIA / KIA), Ki-61 Tony piloted by Motoyama (WIA, rescued, died) and Ki-61 piloted by Tahata (WIA, rescued).

RAAF: Force landed is Spitfire A58-51

THURSDAY, 23 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): During the night of 23/24 Dec, P-39's are airborne over Makin to intercept enemy bombers; 2 bombers are shot down; 1 P-39 is lost. During the day, 19 B-24's, staging through Tarawa from Nanumea, bomb Kwajalein; Nine B-24s from Canton staging through Baker hit Wotje and Maloelap. 10 A-24s escorted by 20 P-39's, attack Mille Atoll hitting shore installations and a cargo vessel (wrecked by the previous day's raid) in the lagoon.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): 19 B-24's on a night raid bomb the railroad terminal at Bangkok; heavy explosions and large fires result.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 29 B-24's, escorted by 7 P-51's and 23 P-40's, pound White Cloud Airfield; the and fighters claim 11 interceptors downed. 14 P-38's dive-bomb and strafe Huang Shan Kou. 2 B-25's claim one gunboat sunk in the Formosa Straits. HQ 68th Composite Wing transfers from Kunming to Kweilin.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Seventeen B-25'a attack gun positions and other targets at Sohano, and 6 hit positions at Malevoli in Choiseul Bay. 6 RNZAF Ventura's attack a radar station and lighthouse on Cape Saint George. 16 P-39's on patrol bomb and strafe targets on Shortland. 18 B-24's bomb Taharai Airfield in the Rabaul area; Vunakanau also is hit; fighter escorts claim 30 aircraft shot down over the Rabaul area. This begins a Commander Air Solomons (COMAIRSOLS) all-out offensive against the Rabaul area that continues until the end of Mar 44.

USN - Lost over Rabaul is F6F 25801. Lost over Bougainville is TBF Avenger 23871.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 61 B-24's bomb Cape Gloucester during the day; B-24's follow during the night of 23/24 Dec with harassing attacks with small bombs, hand grenades, and beer bottles; P-39's hit barges between Borgen Bay and Rein Bay, and P-40's bomb Gasmata and strafe Cape Hoskin. 80+ B-25's, B-26's and A-20's attack coastal targets from Wewak to Hansa Bay, wide areas of the Huon Peninsula, and airfields at Alexishafen; and B-24's bomb Nabire Airfield. Lost is B-24D "Flying Wolf" 42-41091. HQ 8th Fighter Group transfers from Port Moresby to Finschhafen. The 501st Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 345th Bombardment Group (Medium), transfers from Port Moresby to Dobodura with B-25's. Lost on a flight from Dobodura to 5-Mile Drome is C-47 "Windy City" 42-23500. Lost is P-38H 42-66909 pilot taken prisoner.

FRIDAY, 24 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 18 B-24's, staging through Ellice, bomb Wotje. The 396th and 820th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), transfer from Hickam Field to Tarawa with B-25's. They will fly their first mission on 19 Jan 44 and 28 Dec respectively.

Gilbert Islands - Escort carrier Liscome Bay, claiming 642 sailors, is sunk by a Japanese submarine. General "Howlin' Mad" Smith blames the Army's slowness for the sinking of an American carrier with all hands. The ship had been forced to stay in the area an extra day to provide cover.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Eighteen B-24's bomb a Tien Ho Airfield. The B-24's and eighteen escorting fighters claim twenty interceptors shot down. One B-24 is lost over the target.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): During the night of 23/24 Dec, single aircraft carry out harassing strikes against Buka, Kieta and Faisi. During the day, twenty-four B-25's attack the Buka Passage Seaplane anchorage. Eighteen B-24's bomb Vunakanau; Six others hit Lakunai; fighter cover for the strike fights a fierce air action with interceptors, claiming 25 shot down; Seven Allied fighters are lost. RNZAF Ventura's on armed reconnaissance bomb barges and troops on northern Bougainville and claim two fighters shot down east of Cape Saint George.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): The pre-invasion bombing effort against Cape Gloucester reaches its peak as nearly 190 B-24's, B-25's, and A-20's pound the area in a day-long bombardment; P-39's hit a disabled destroyer offshore; and Japanese forces in Arawe area are hit by A-20's. A-20's also sweep the NE New Guinea coastline. B-25's bomb Atamboea on Timor.

RNZAF - Lost after a mission against Rabaul are P-40N NZ3134 (MIA) and P-40N NZ3199 (rescued)

USN - Lost are F6F 09028 and SOC-1 Seagull 9938 , both pilots rescued

SATURDAY, 25 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 10 A-24s from Makin supported by P-39's, attack Mille Atoll hitting the runway, ammunition storage, and an AA position.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 2 B-25's claim heavy damage to a passenger ship S of Hong Kong.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): A few B-24's, fighting bad weather, attack Lakunai Airfield; covering fighters claim 13 airplanes shot down. Two P-38's are lost including P-38H 42-66892 and P-38J 42-67773 (MIA).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): Cape Gloucester is subjected to almost around the clock air attacks by l80+ B-24's, B-25's, B-26's, and A-20's; A-20's attack Japanese forces in the Arawe area where Allied outposts and observation posts are being pushed back by fierce enemy assaults on the beachhead. The 35th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, transfers from Port Moresby to Finschhafen with P-40's. The 386th and 387th Bombardment Squadrons, 312th Bombardment Group, transfer from Port Moresby to Gusap. They will fly their first mission on 27 and 26 Dec respectively.

USN - Aircraft from a two-carrier task group (Rear Admiral F. C. Sherman) attacked shipping at Kavieng as a covering operation for landings by the Marines in the Borgen Bay area of New Britain on the following day.

SUNDAY, 26 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 16 B-24's, staging through Tarawa bomb Wotje. P-39's fly reconnaissance and strafing missions over Mille Atoll. The 19th Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group, transfers from Stanley Field to Kualoa Field with P-47's.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): The 76th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group, transfers from Kweilin to Suichwan, China with P-40's.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 7 B-25's, with 34 fighters, attack the Cape Saint George area; 25 B-25's pound the bivouac and supply area at Kahili. RNZAF Ventura's on reconnaissance bomb Chivaroi and Faisi.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): The US 1st Marine Division lands at Cape Gloucester at 0746 hours; 270+ B-25's. B-24's, and A-20's plaster the area between the Cape and Borgen Bay from 0714 to l614 hours; enemy aircraft attacking the landing force sink a destroyer and cause considerable damage to other ships, P-38's, P-40's, and P-47's claim 60+ airplanes shot down over the invasion area. Lost is A6M2 Zero 8224. Twelve P-38s of the 80th Fighter Squadron, lead by Major Edward Craig shoot down 9 aircraft: BW Adams got 2 Vals, Ed Cragg got an Oscar, Ken Ladd got 2 Val's, CB Ray got a Val, Jay Robbins got 2 Zero's and "Corky" Smith got an Oscar. Lost are P-38H "Porky II" 42-66506 (MIA) P-47D 42-8095 (MIA), P-47D 42-22640 (MIA) P-47D piloted by Heckerman (rescued). Also two Michells are lost due to friendly fire: B-25D "Crabb 2nd" 41-30517, B-25D "Here's Howe" 41-30279. Also lost is B-17E "R.F.D. Tojo" 41-2627 after take off from 14-Mile Drome. Japanese losses include: A6M2 Zero 8224.



MONDAY, 27 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 10 P-40's strafe buildings on Pailochi Airfield and sink a nearby river boat; 2 locomotives N of Yoyang are also destroyed. 36 Japanese airplanes attack Suichwan Airfield, destroying 1 B-25, the alert shack, and 3 fuel dumps; US interceptors claim 4 of the attackers shot down; 1 P-40 is lost. In French Indochina, 4 P-40's bomb Phu Tho Airfield, and strafe the airfield at Dong Cuong.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 20+ B-25's bomb the Buka Passage Seaplane Base, strafe AA puns SE of Ramandata, bomb Kahili supply dumps, and attack a Kieta bivouac and other targets in the area. A few RNZAF Ventura's hit barges at Ambitle and Anir; and 16 P-38's join 70+ USN dive bombers in strikes on Buka AA positions. About 40 Allied fighters sweep the Rabaul area, claiming 17 aircraft shot down.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): A-20's attack positions in the Cape Gloucester battle zone; B-25's hit villages and tracks from Rottock Bay to Riebeck Bay and strafe barges along New Britain's S coast; and B-24's bomb Hoskins Airfield. In New Guinea, B-25's bomb Madang and hit coastal targets along the Huon Peninsula; B-24's bomb Alexishafen; and P-47's strafe a road near Bogia. Lost on a ferry flight is P-39Q 42-19943 (survived), ditched is P-47D 42-22702 (survived).

US Navy: Lost on a mission against Rabaul is F4U Corsair 17734

IJN: Lost attacking Aware beachhead is D3A2 Val piloted by Ishisugi.


TUESDAY, 28 DECEMBER 1943


CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): Fifteen B-24's from Funafuti and Canton, staging through Tarawa and Baker, hit Maloelap and Majuro and Mille. 18 A-24s from Makin with an escort of 20 P-39's, attack Mille; this attack is followed by another against the atoll carried out by 9 B-25's from Tarawa, supported by 12 Makin-based P-39's.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 4 B-25's and 4 P-51's attack Yangtze River shipping at Chihchow; 1 cargo ship is claimed sunk, 2 others damaged, and an armed motor vessel set aflame. 7 P-40's bomb a building on the railroad siding at Yun-chi.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Fourteen B-24's bomb supply areas at Bonis and Twenty-two B-25's hit the Kahili supply area. Another large fighter sweep of the Rabaul, New Britain area results in claims of 20+ airplanes shot down.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): HQ 58th Fighter Group and the 310th Fighter Squadron and 311th Fighter Squadrons transfer from Brisbane to Dobodura No. 7 with P-47's. They will fly their first mission on 24 and 2 Feb 44 respectively. Lost is P-38G "Beautiful Lass" 43-2204 (MIA) and P-47D Bissonnette (KIA).

WEDNESDAY, 29 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 4 P-40's on armed reconnaissance strafe the railroad station, yards, and town area at Hsipaw, hit numerous freight cars between Hsipaw and Mansam Falls, and attack railroad yards at Hopong; 3 B-25's on a shipping sweep along the Yangtze River claim a cargo vessel and an armed passenger ship sunk SW of Wuhu.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): HQ 347th Fighter Group and it's 339th Fighter Squadron transfer from New Caledonia to Guadalcanal with P-38's.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): B-24s bomb Taroa Airfield, after dropping their bombs, the bombers were reportedly attacked by B-24J "Baby Sandy 2" 42-73013.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 120+ B-24's, B-25's, and B-26's pound positions at Cape Gloucester as the US Marines take the major objective, the airfield. B-25's hit Madang; B-24's bomb bivouac and communications targets near Sio, and other B-24's fly a light attack against Manokwari, hitting the town and shipping. The 69th Fighter Squadron, 58th Fighter Group transfers from Brisbane to Dobodura with P-47's. They will fly their first mission on 17 Feb 44.

THURSDAY, 30 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 17 B-24's, flying from Tarawa Atoll, bomb Kwajalein Atoll and 9 B-25's from Tarawa hit the town of Jabor. A-24s from Makin, escorted by 24 P-39's, dive-bomb gun positions on Mille. Advance HQ, Seventh Air Force, is moved from Funafuti Atoll in the Ellice to Tarawa, where it remains until the completion of the main campaign in the Gilbert and Marshalls.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): 20 B-24's pound Monywa, Burma, hitting railway facilities and the area in general.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 8 Japanese fighters strafe Suichaan Airfield while 12 others provide cover; 2 US airplanes are destroyed on the ground; 8 P-40's intercept the formation after the attack and shoot down 3 aircraft.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 16 B-24's and 35 B-25's bomb Kahili and the bivouac and supply areas in the vicinity and 6 B-25's bomb the Korovo area.

19 B-24's, with 25 fighters covering, attack shipping at Rabaul and also hit Tobera airfield. The escorts encounter aggressive fighter opposition and claim 12 shot down. Lost is B-24D "Pretty Prairie Special" 41-24186.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): A-20's hit positions in the Cape Gloucester area as US Marines completely secure the airfield. B-24's and B-25's bomb the Alexishafen and Madang areas, Sio, and targets of opportunity along the coast of the Huon Peninsula; P-39's strafe barges along the Huon Peninsula; and P-47's strafe the Madang area and huts between Sio and Vincke Point. Lost is F-4 "Alice the Goon" 41-2209.

USN: Lost returning from a search mission is PV-1 Ventura 33346.

FRIDAY, 31 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): The air echelon of the 26th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), operating from Canton since 12 Nov, returns to base on Nukufetau with B-24's.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 25 B-24's pound the Lampang railroad yards, causing several big fires and many secondary explosions. 6 B-25's hit Yangtze River shipping in the Anking and Lu-Kuan areas, claiming 3 cargo vessels and a troop carrier sunk; and two B-25s on a sea sweep damage a passenger vessel in the Hainan Straits.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): The 371st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy), ceases operating from Guadalcanal in the Solomon with B-24's and returns to base on Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): On New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago, A-20's hit troop concentrations in the Cape Gloucester area; nearly 50 P-40's and P-47's intercept a small force of airplanes attacking the Arawe beachhead area and 12 aircraft are claimed shot down. Almost 150 B-24's and medium bombers pound the Madang, Alexishafen, and Bogadjim areas.

RAAF: Crashed in the Shaggy Ridge area is Boomerang A46-134. Lost is Spitfire A58-145 over New Britain.

USMC: Lost is SBD Dauntless 35949.

 

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