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

THURSDAY, 1 JULY 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) During the month of July: The 21st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group based on Umnak ceases operating from Amchitka Island, and The detachment of the 344th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group that has been operating from Amchitka with P-40's since May 43 returns to it's base on Shemya, and The 632d and 633d Bombardment Squadrons (Dive), 407th Bombardment Group (Dive) based at Drew Field, Tampa, Florida begin operating from Amchitka Island with A-36's.

ANTISUBMARINE WARFARE (AAF ANTISUBMARINE COMMAND) The 27th, 30th and 392d Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group based at March Field, California with B-24's, ceases flying ASW missions. The squadrons have been flying these missions since Jan 42.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) The 2d Troop Carrier Squadron, Assam Air Base Command, transfers with C-47's from Yangkai to Dinjan. During the month of July, the detachment of the 9th Photographic Squadron, Tenth Air Force operating from Dinjan, India with F-4's and F-5's returns to its base at Pandaveswar.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) During the month of July, the 69th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 42d Bombardment Group (Medium) transfers with B-25's from Henderson Field to New Caledonia; the squadron continues to operate from Guadalcanal until Oct 43.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, A-20's bomb and strafe forces in the Duali area as nearby Allied troops consolidate positions along the Sarm of the Bitoi River; other A-20's strafe the Lae area; and B-25's hit Kela Point and Logui. B-17's and B-24's bomb airfields at Rabaul on New Britain. The 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group transfers with P-38's from Charters Towers to Amberley Field. The squadron has yet to enter combat.

FRIDAY, 2 JULY 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Three bombers and four P-38's fly four reconnaissance missions over Kiska and Segula . 17 B-24's and 16 B-25's then attack Kiska in 5 missions, 2 of them radar-guided. Fires are started at several of the targets, which include Gertrude Cove, Kiska Harbor, and buildings in the Main Camp area. Intense AA fire damages three aircraft. 2 B-25's on a submarine attack hit the Kiska seaplane ramp after making no contact with the target. Two P-40's cover troops which make an unopposed landing on Rat.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-25's and US Navy F4U's bomb and strafe a small vessel in the anchorage at Bairoko, sinking the Kashi Maru.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's pound defenses in the Kela Point area and a trail near Logui while a lone B-24 bombs the Salamaua area. The Allied invasion force (the MacKechnie Force) holds firm a beachhead on Nassau Bay, and makes contact with Australian forces to the north. B-17's and B-24's again attack airfields at Rabaul.

(JAAF) Japanese bombers, 18 Ki-21 Sallys (misidentified as Bettys) attack the American beachhead near Munda and Rendova, without loss of any bombers, and unusually accurate bombing results.

SATURDAY, 3 JULY 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Six B-24's bomb Main Camp on Kiska and take photos of Segula.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) B-25's hit the oft-bombed bridge at Myitnge, Burma, knocking the S end span into the river.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-25's bomb the airfield and AA positions at Munda.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24's bomb airfields in the Rabaul area and hit Kendari Airfield. Koepang is attacked by 2 B-25's. A lone B-17 bombs Cape Gloucester Airfield.

SUNDAY, 4 JULY 1943

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) B-24's attack the Shweli, Burma road bridge but fasil to cause appreciable damage.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) On the ground at Nadzab Airfield parked A-20G 43-9391 exploded in its revetment and damaged ten other parked A-20s including: A-20G 43-21627.

(Thirteenth Air Force) B-17's pound Bairoko

(JAAF) 16 Ki-21Sallys of the 14th Sentai (misidentified as Bettys), escorted by Oscars and Zeros, attack the newly landed American forces on the beachheads of Munda and Rendova, they are met by heavy anti-aircraft fire and fighters, losing five bombers, and shooting down three American fighters.

(USN) Grounded and scuttled is PT-153.

MONDAY, 5 JULY 1943

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) Nine B-24's over Buin fail to find shipping and instead bomb Munda and Ballale.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's bomb and strafe Salamaua Airfield, Komiatum Track, and HQ areas at Kela and Salamaua.

RAAF: Shot down by US Navy anti-aircraft fire over Nassau Bay is Boomerang A46-88.

USN - Battle of Kula Gulf (night of July 5-6). Sunk is USS Helena CL-50
Grounded and destroyed near Munda Point is PT-158.

TUESDAY, 6 JULY 1943


ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Two B-24's and two P-40's on three weather reconnaissance missions report Kiska overcast, and take photos of Segula. Six B-24's bomb Main Camp on Kiska. Eight B-25's abort a radar run over Kiska when one has engine trouble and the others fail to locate a PV Pathfinder. They sight a submarine which crash-dives immediately.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force)
In China, 5 B-25's and 8 P-40's hit runway and revetment area at Pailochi Airfield.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-17's and B-24's pound bomb Kahili Airfield, Ballale Airfield and Buka Airfield. Lost are B-24D 42-40230 (MIA) and B-24D 41-24093 (MIA). B-25's hit a beached destroyer at Bamberi, New Georgia Island. Heavy raids on Bougainville soften it up for a future target for invasion forces.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's attack the airfield at Penfoei on Timor Island and hit Labu Lagoon area in New Guinea.

USN: PB4Y Liberator 31992 performs a lone reconnaissance over Kapingamarangi to report enemy movements. Over the target, the bomber came under anti-aircraft fire and aerial opposition. Van Voorhis made six ground attacks on the base, hitting radio station, and claimed one plane in the air shot down, and three destroyed in the water. Likely caught by its own bomb blast or accurate anti-aircraft fire, it crashed into the lagoon only 700 meters from the base, near the beach area it was atacking. Everyone aboard was killed. For his actions, Van Voorhis earned the Medal of Honor, the only navy PB4Y-1 pilot awarded one.

RAAF: Force landed is Spitfire A58-31 (pilot survived)

WEDNESDAY, 7 JULY 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) Seven B-25's and twenty-two P-40's attack shipping at Canton. At least two interceptors are claimed shot down.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-25's and P-38's attack Vila Airfield and B-24's bomb Kahili Airfield. Lost are B-24D "Scrap Iron" 42-40384 and Hudson NZ2033

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24's and B-25's, along with Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) airplanes, operate in direct support of Allied ground operations in the Mubo area, dropping over 100 tons of bombs on numerous targets as the MacKechnie Force begins an assault on Bitoi Ridge. Australian Army 2/6 Battalion forces capture Observation Hill, an important terrain feature west of Mubo.

USN: Lost on a training mission off Hawaii is PB4Y-1 Liberator 32005.

THURSDAY, 8 JULY 1943


ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) 9 B-25's fly a special mission to Attu.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) 22 B-24's, escorted by 13 P-40's, attack shipping, docks, and a cement works at Haiphong.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's continue to pound enemy positions around Mubo and along the coast of northeast New Guinea, hitting Kela Point and village, Malolo, Buigap Creek, and trails from Salamaua Airfield and Kennedy's Crossing to Logui. Lost is B-25D "Blunder Bus" 41-30028. The 319th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 90th Bombardment Group transfers with B-24's from Darwin to Port Moresby.

FRIDAY, 9 JULY 1943

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) B-25's bomb the railroad bridge on the Mu River between Ywataung and Monywa, Burma scoring 2 direct hits and leaving the bridge temporarily unusable.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) During the night of 8/9 Jul, B-24's bomb Kahili Airfield and Buin and Poporang. B-25's and several fighters sent against forces near Vella Lavella, fail to locate the target and strafe Buki and Ganongga Islands, and a destroyer beached on southeastern Kolombangara.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's hit forces in the vicinity of Old Bobdubi, Malolo, and Busama. B-25's hit Dili Airfield and Cape Chater Airfield. Lost on a weather mission is B-25 piloted by Webster. Lost is P-39D 41-38340.

RAAF: Four Hudsons took off on a bombing mission against Penfoei Airfield. One aborts due to engine problems. Lost is Hudson A16-195 (MIA).

SATURDAY, 10 JULY 1943


ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) The Eleventh Air Force attacks the Japanese Home Islands for the first time as eight B-25's raid the southern part of Shimushu and northern Paramushiru, in dead reckoning runs when solid cloud cover prevents a maximum altitude attack. No AA fire is encountered and no enemy aircraft are sighted. The B-25's stage through Attu Airfield on returning to Adak Airfield. Six B-24's, originally slated to accompany the B-25's to Paramushiru and five other B-25's are on short notice dispatched to attack a convoy off Attu instead. They claim two medium freighters sunk in deck-level strikes.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) Nine B-24's bomb the dock area at Haiphong.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-24's pound Kahili Airfield. Lost is B-24D "Alley Cat" 42-40646. Seabees report a 3,300' airstrip at Segi Point available for limited operations; this provides an emergency landing field only 40 mi (64 km) from Japanese facilities at Munda. Lost is B-25C 42-53433.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's pound Salamaua, Logui, and the SE bank of the Francisco River as Allied ground forces effect junction at Buigap Creek cutting communications between Salamaua and Mubo; a single B-24 bombs the village of Kela. B-24's bomb Boela and Babo lost is B-24D "Esmeralda II" 42-40507. Also lost is P-38G 43-2271 (MIA).

SUNDAY, 11 JULY 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Five B-24's take off to attack Paramushiru and fly a shipping search but are turned back by bad weather. A shipping search by five B-25's finds nothing. Six B-25's and six B-24's in three missions (one by radar) attack North Head and Main Camp on Kiska sighting new excavations near Sredni Point, strafe a tent near Haycock Rock, and also fly over Segula.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) 3 B-24's from Funafuti Island in the Ellice Islands fly a photo reconnaissance mission to Makin; 2 of the B-24's bomb the island.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) B-24's hit the port of Haiphong.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) Three B-24's bomb the Haiphong Harbor area, 3 bomb shipping in the Campha Port area, and 8 pound positions and barracks area at Kunlong, China; and P-40's strafe traffic between Lao Kay and Cha Pa, and hit oil storage area SW of Lao Kay.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-24's and B-17's attack Kahili Airfield, hitting revetments E and W of the strip.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20's and B-25's blast positions in the battle zone from Nassau Bay inland to the Mubo area, hitting the trail ketween Logui and Kennedy's Crossing, the Bobdubi and Bobdubi Ridge areas, Salamaua, Kela Point and villages scattered through the area. Other B-25's bomb Penfoei . B-17's and B-24's pound airfields in the Rabaul area. Crashed after take off is B-24D "Double Troble" 42-40671. B-17F "Black Jack" 41-24521 ditches near Boga Boga. Lost are P-38G piloted by Neater and B-24D 42-40060.

The 19th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 22d Bombardment Group (Medium) transfers with B-26's from Woodstock to Dobodura. The 19th, which has been in combat in the SWPA since Apr 42, was pulled out of combat in Jan 43 for R&R. The squadron will fly it's first combat mission on this tour on 27 Jul 43.

MONDAY, 12 JULY 1943


CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In French Indochina, 7 B-24's attack docks and shipping at Campha Port, shipping at Ha Long Bay, and railroad yards, power plant, and warehouses at Hongay. The B-24's claim critical damage to 2 freighters; and P-40's strafe trucks S of Ha Giang. The flight of the 9th Photographic Squadron (Light), Tenth Air Force operating from Kunming and it's detachment operating from Kweilin with F-4's return to their base at Pandaveswar. The 21st Photographic Squadron, 5th Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group dispatches a flight with F-5's from Bishnupur to Kunming and Kweilin.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) 10 B-25's attack Vila Airfield, which is hit later in the day by B-24's on armed reconnaissance. 17 B-24's bomb Ballale Airfield. Several fighters join US Navy dive bombers in strikes on AA and bivouacs in the Munda area.

USN - Lost is PBY Catalina 08246

RAAF - Lost is Beaufort A9-225 off Bougainville.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) 13 B-24's bomb airfields and the town area in Rabaul. Two B-25's hit Lingat Airfield and villages on Selaroe Island. A lone B-17 bombs Garove Island. Lost is B-24D "Seafood Mama" 41-24219.

TUESDAY, 13 JULY 1943

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) 16 B-25's lay mines in the Irrawaddy River, Burma.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) Four 43rd BG, 64th BS B-17's and one B-24, operating individually, bomb Lae Airfield, Lae town area, Lae Harbor; B-25's blast positions in the Salamaua area, along the road between Kela and MacDonald's Junction, and hit AA guns at Salamaua and MacDonald's Junction; and ground forces clear the Mubo area and Lababia Ridge of the enemy. Ditched is B-25D "Jelly Belly" 41-30013 (crew rescued, two KIA). HQ 375th Troop Carrier Group arrives at Brisbane from the US. Lost are P-38 Lightning piloted by Love (survived), B-25D "Jelly Belly" 41-30013 (MIA) and P-400 AP357 (survived).

WEDNESDAY, 14 JULY 1943

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) In the Solomon Islands, B-25's and P-40's strike small craft in Hunda Cove and Beagle Channel off New Georgia Island; Two barges and a small vessel are claimed destroyed. B-24's and B-17's pound Ballale Airfield and Buka Airfield. 5th BG B-24s bomb Kahili Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, A-20's bomb and strafe the Orodubi area; and a single B-17 hits Lae. B-24's bomb Koepang. Lost are P-39 piloted by Dannacher (survived), P-40K "Pistoff" 42-45979 (survived) and B-25C "RHIP" 42-32293 (MIA).

THURSDAY, 15 JULY 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) One B-24 and two P-39's fly reconnaissance over Kiska and Segula. Nine B-24's and fourteen B-25's bomb Kiska targets including AA batteries at North Head, Jeff Cove and Gertrude Cove. Fires are started. One bomber turns back with three engines and jettisons bombs, another crashes on return. AA fire damages a B-25.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) The 71st Liaison Squadron is activated at Ondal, India, assigned to the Tenth Air Force. The squadron will be equipped with L-4's and L-5's and enter combat in Oct 43.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) In the Solomon Islands, B-25's, P-40's, and P-38's strafe 2 barges NE of Ganongga Island, leaving them sinking. A large enemy force, estimated at 27 bombers and 40-50 Zekes, is intercepted over Vella Lavella by USAAF and other Allied fighters, which claim 15 bombers and 30 Zekes destroyed, against 3 losses.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20's hit positions along the Orodubi-Komiatum Track.

FRIDAY, 16 JULY 1943

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) 30+ B-24's and B-17's pound Kahili Airfield. In the Buin-Faisi area, seven B-24's join 70+ US Navy dive bombers and 100+ USAAF, Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), US Navy, and US Marine Corps fighters in an attack on shipping. Allied airplanes claim 40+ aircraft destroyed or damaged; 7 vessels, including a destroyer, are sunk.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A single B-24 bombs forces at MacDonald's Junction, New Guinea. Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) airplanes hit positions to the SW. Lost are P-38G Lightning piloted Sineath (MIA), P-38 piloted by Steele (MIA) and P-38F 42-12650 (pilot rescued).

USN: Damaged by Japanese bombers is USS Chincoteague (AVP-24).

SATURDAY, 17 JULY 1943

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) The 71st Liaison Squadron, Tenth Air Force, transfers from Ondal, India to Ramgarh, India and begins training with L-4's and L-5's.

(USN) Five PB4Ys that took off from Guadalcanal on a predawn attack on Kahilli Airfield. Two from VB-102 and three from VB-101 dropped cluster bombs from 12,000' over the airfield. On the return leg, two from VB-102 were jumped by a J1N1 Irving night fighter. One fighter was seen to crash and burn. PB4Y-1 31952 was observed to going down. Also, lost on a training accident on Espiritu Santo is TBF Avenger 06240.

(Thirteenth Air Force) Seven B-24's and 70+ US Navy and Marine Corps airplanes, escorted by 100+ USAAF and Allied fighters, attack shipping off Buin. The B-24's claim hits on two cargo vessels, and the dive bombers claim serious damage of three destroyers, a patrol ship, an oiler, a merchant ship, and the two cargo vessels. Sunk is Hatsuyuki. In the air battle, Allied aircraft claim 40+ Zekes and at least 4 float planes shot down; 5 Allied airplanes are lost. F4U 02421 (MIA), SBD 10586 (MIA), SBD 10918 (MIA) P-38G 42-13361 (MIA) P-38G 43-2206 (rescued).

The 75th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 42d Bombardment Group (Medium), which has been operating from New Caledonia with B-25's, returns to it's base on Guadalcanal.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) During the night of 17/18 Jul, B-25's bomb Lautem while B-24's bomb Adaoet Island in the Moluccas Islands. In New Guinea during the day, B-25's pound the airfield, Army HQ and defensive positions, and the general area in and around Salamaua as Allied forces from the Nassau Bay-Mubo area begin a drive on Salamaua; the drive is a secondary effort designed to divert enemy attention from a subsequent Allied campaign to secure the Markham River Valley and Huon Peninsula and thus gain control of Vitiaz Strait and Dampier Strait.

SUNDAY, 18 JULY 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Two B-24's and six B-25's bomb Gertrude Cove and Main Camp on Kiska. Six B-24's bomb shipping targets between Paramushiru and Shimushu and completed runway at Murakami Bay on Paramushiru, which is also photographed. They observe fires among buildings S and E of this runway. Some of the observed aircraft take to the air and vainly pursue the attackers.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) 6 B-24's, flying out of Funafuti Island in the Ellice Islands, bomb Betio, Tarawa. Japanese bombers attempt to bomb Canton, but are forced to jettison their bombs at sea because of intense AA and fighter defense.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) Seven B-24's bomb shipping at Haiphong and Hongay, French Indochina.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) A B-25 off New Georgia Island strafes a motor launch. 21 B-24's, 20+ P-40's and P-38's, and 140+ US Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers and fighters bomb Kahili Airfield; 15 B-24's concentrate on the airfield; many AA positions are attacked, as are revetments and runways. Hits are claimed on 2 destroyers, and a light craft is sunk. The Allied airplanes claim 21 fighters shot down; 9 US aircraft are lost including F4U piloted by Rhodes (MIA), F4U piloted by Winnia (MIA/POW), F4F Wildcat 03472 (MIA) TBF 05992 (?), TBF 05923 (rescued).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) During the night of 18/19 Jul, B-24's bomb Makassar Harbor area. In New Guinea, several B-25's, a B-24, and an A-20 bomb and strafe Lokanu, Boisi, Tambu Peninsula, Dot Island, Salamaua, and Komiatum as US forces secure the south headland of Tambu Bay for a supply base. Other B-25's attack barges and shipping off New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago sinking a small cargo vessel off Cape Kwoi.

JAAF: Shot down over Darwin is Ki-46 Dinah 2414.

MONDAY, 19 JULY 1943


ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) The 633d, 634th and 635th Bombardment Squadrons (Dive), 407th Bombardment Group (Dive), based at Drew Field begin operating from Amchitka with A-24s. The squadron will fly combat missions 4-13 Aug.

ANTISUBMARINE WARFARE (AAF Antisubmarine Command) The 14th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), 25th Antisubmarine Wing, based at Camp Edward Army Air Field, Falmouth, Massachusetts, begins operating from Langley Field, Hampton, Virginia with B-24's.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) B-25's damage the approaches to the Shweli, Burma road bridge.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) Four B-24's attack cement works at Haiphong.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-17's bomb Kahili Airfield. Lost is B-17E "Tokyo Taxi" 41-9153 and ditched is J1N1 piloted by Tokumoto. B-17's and B-25's bomb Ballale Airfield. B-25's in support of ground forces hit positions in the Bairoko battle area where enemy resistance is fierce.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, a B-25 bombs a bridge over the mouth of the Francisco River; a B-17 hits Finschhafen Airfield; and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Bostons attack a gun position at Komiatum and a military camp at Erskine Creek.

TUESDAY, 20 JULY 1943

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) B-24's attack Mandalay. The 491st Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 341st Bombardment Group (Medium), based at Chakulia sends a detachment of ground personnel to Gaya.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In China, 4 P-40's bomb a warehouse area at Tengchung; 6 others strafe
river traffic and railroad targets of opportunity at Sinti, Changanyi, Tingszekiao, Kaiyu, and near Puchi.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) 18 B-24's bomb airfields at Kahili and on Ballale. Fighters strafe barges in Pakoi Bay, New Georgia.

USN - Three PT Boats returning from patrol are mistaken for enemy ships and strafed by four B-25 Mitchel

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea US ground forces begin the struggle for the heights commanding Tambu Bay and Dot Inlet; A-20's and B-25's pound Madang Airfield and area, Komiatum, Logui, areas along the Gum River and south of the Gogol River, the Gori River bridge area, and Bogadjim. B-25's bomb Lautem, Dili, and Cape Chater Airfield. A single B-24 bombs Arawe. Lost is B-24D "Virgin III" 42-40327 (MIA).

WEDNESDAY, 21 JULY 1943


ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) NIne B-24's bomb Kiska targets, including the runway, North Head, and Main Camp area where fires are observed. Poor weather cancels other scheduled missions.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) A series of sorties in support of ground forces, 22 B-25's, 50+ USAAF and US Navy fighters, and 170+ US Navy dive bombers blast positions in the Bairoko area; 135 tons of bombs are dropped.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) 50+ B-25's again thoroughly pound the Madang area; other B-25's hit the junction of the Gori and Ioworo Rivers and the village of Bogadjim; and B-26's bomb barges and jetties west of Voco Point. Single B-24's bomb Finschhafen Airfield, and Rabaul. Lost is P-38H 42-66517 (survived) and P-38 piloted by McCarthy (MIA). The 66th Troop Carrier Squadron, Fifth Air Force, arrives at Port Moresby from the US with C-47's. The squadron will begin aerial transportation in the theater on 27 July.

THURSDAY, 22 JULY 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) 26 B-25's, 17 B-24's, 13 P-40's, and 20 P-38's hit North Head, Main Camp, and the submarine base at Kiska, as well as coastal defenses and AA guns at both Kiska and Little Kiska, starting numerous fires. Intense and heavy AA fire downs one B-25 (crew saved) and damages 18 aircraft of which another B-25 crashes at base. 1 B-25 photographs the S and W Kiska shores. 1 B-24 flies radar reconnaissance over Kiska. The 77th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 28th Composite Group, based on Adak Airfield begins operating from Attu Airfield with B-25's.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) 20+ B-17's and B-24's, 40+ US Navy dive bombers, and 100+ Allied fighter aircraft attack shipping in the area off Buin. Sunk is Nisshin, a seaplane carrier, and damaging hits are claimed on several other vessels.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) 50+ B-24's, B-25's, and B-26's blast troops, AA guns, defensive positions and targets of opportunity in the battle zones at Komiatum on Komiatum Ridge, Kela Mountain, Salamaua, and along trails near Komiatum and Salamaua. B-24's bomb an oil refinery, docks, and railroad yards at Soerabaja. B-25's hit targets of opportunity on Selaroe Island.

FRIDAY, 23 JULY 1943

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-25's and P-40's, and USN SBDs, pound the Rekata Bay area. The 67th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, transfers with P-39's to Woodlark. Lost is SBD Daunttless 10348 ditching into Rendova Harbor, both crew rescued.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's, B-26's, B-24's, and B-17's again pound targets in coastal NE New Guinea, hitting Malolo, Asini, Busama, Voco Point, and Salamaua, blasting barges from Hanisch Harbor to Wald Bay and Cape Busching, and thoroughly bomb Bogadjim. Lost are B-25C piloted by Bromage (two MIA) and B-25C Mitchell 41-12962 (KIA remains recovered).


SATURDAY, 24 JULY 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Sixty-two P-40's fly nine missions to Kiska, two of them with Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilots, bombing the runway and scoring many hits. An AA battery takes a direct hit and explodes. AA guns are strafed on North Head and Little Kiska. Intense AA fire downs P-40 piloted by Lt. Levi.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) 8 B-24's from Midway attack Wake, bombing oil storage, barracks, and a gun emplacement. 20-30 Zekes attack the formation; 9 fighters are claimed destroyed; 1 B-24 is lost in a collision with a falling Japanese fighter.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) 48 fighters join US Navy and Marine dive bombers in support of ground forces in the Bairoko area. Later in the day gun positions at Bibolo Hill near Munda are hit, along with other targets.

RNZAF - Lost on a patrol is Hudson NZ2021.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's bomb Lautem, Fuiloro, Koepang, and Tenau on Timor Island, surrounding areas at Lae Airfield, and attack barges in the Wapelik and Cape Busching area of New Britain Island and villages on the Itni River on New Britain.

(RAAF) 31 Squadron Beaufighters attack Taberfane Seaplane Base. Lost is Beaufighter A19-118.

(JAAF) Shot down is Ki-61 Tony.

SUNDAY, 25 JULY 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Forty P-40's fly seven attack missions, two by Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilots against Kiska, bombing and strafing North Head AA batteries, the runway, Main Camp, and Little Kiska. HQ 343d Fighter Group transfers from Adak to Amchitka. The 406th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), based at Elmendorf Field begins operating from Adak with B-25's.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) The 72d Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group, transfers from Wheeler Field to Hilo Field with P-39's.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) 9 B-25's, escorted by 17 P-40's and P-38's, bomb Hankow Airfield.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) Lieutenant General Nathan F Twining, USAAF, becomes Commander Air Solomons (COMAIRSOLS). Fighter Command and Bomber Command, Solomons, are taken over by Brigadier General Dean C Strother USAAF, and Colonel William A Matheny, USAAF, respectively; Strother retains his position as Commanding General XIII Fighter Command. The Japanese try to hit US forces on Rendova but Allied fighters shoot down several Zekes (8 claimed) and force the enemy bombers to drop their bombs indiscriminately. The final push on the Japanese base at Munda opens with a bombardment by 7 destroyers and the heaviest air attack in the South Pacific (SOPAC) Theater to date; 170+ B-24's, B-25's, B-17's, TBF's, and SBD's, covered by 70+ fighters, pound the target thoroughly, dropping more than 145 tons of bombs in little more than a half hour; later in the afternoon 10 more B-24's, with fighter cover, bomb Bibolo Hill, and SBD's and TBF's dive-bomb gun positions; and later in the day, gun positions NE of Kindu Village are hit. The 43d and 37th Infantry Divisions open the ground assault against the firmly entrenched enemy. Lost is B-24D 42-40856.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) Single B-24's attack a large transport vessel WNW of Buka Passage and bomb Lingat and Adaoet Islands in the Moluccas Islands, and the area near Finschhafen.

MONDAY, 26 JULY 1943


ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Three bombers and five fighters fly five armed reconnaissance missions to Kiska. 32 B-24's, 38 P-40's, and 24 P-38's fly 13 attack raids, bombing and scoring hits on numerous Kiska and Little Kiska including North Head, Main Camp, the runway, Gertrude Cove, AA batteries, and on a suspected submarine in Kiska Harobr. A submarine is sighted near Rat. AA fire claims 1 P-40 (pilot rescued) and damages 3 others. 1 B-25 and 15 P-38's fly two air cover missions to Kiska for the US Navy. Over 104 tons of bombs are dropped on Kiska this day, highest one-day bomb load so far dropped by the Eleventh Air Force.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) The last mission against Wake from Midway is flown. 8 B-24's bomb targets including oil storage area. 20+ fighters (including an aircraft identified as a possible Fw 190) intercept the formation. The B-24's claim 11 of the fighters shot down.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) 5 B-25's, escorted by 12 fighters, bomb Hankow Airfield. An estimated 30-50 fighters intercept the force; the B-25's and fighters claim 14 airplanes shot down and 17 probably destroyed; 1 P-40 is lost.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-24's, P-38's, P-40's, and Navy aircraft hit a bivouac area and the runway at Kahili. B-25's, P-40's, and US Navy fighters over southern Kolombangara hit the E shore of Webster Cove and bivouac area and buildings on Simbo Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) 40+ B-24's and B-17's bomb Salamaua, Malolo Mission, Komiatum, Komiatum Ridge and Lae Airfield. The 65th Troop Carrier Squadron, Fifth Air Force, arrives at Port Moresby from the US with C-47's. The squadron flies it's first mission upon arrival.

TUESDAY, 27 JULY 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Twelve bombers and twenty fighters take off on five attack missions to Kiska. Several of the fighters jettison bombs. The other aircraft hit Main Camp, North Head and Little Kiska. The 21st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group transfers from Umnak to Shemya. The air echelon is operating from Amchitka.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) Ten B-24's attack shipping in the Samah Bay area, claiming severe damage to 2 vessels; 25-30 fighters intercept the B-24's. 13 fighters are claimed shot down; no B-24's are lost. 6 B-25's, supported by 14 fighters, attack targets of opportunity on Stonecutter's Island, in the Hong Kong area after failing to locate a reported freighter in the area.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) Brigadier General Ray L Owens becomes Commanding General, Thirteenth Air Force. During the early morning, B-17's from the 5th BG bomb Kahili Airfield and Ballale Airfield. Lost B-17E "De-Icer" 41-9128 and damaged is B-17E "Jap Happy" 41-2520. During the day, 8 P-38's and 70+ US Navy and  Marine Corps aircraft again attack the Munda area, hitting positions on Bibolo Hill and targets at Gurasai, Munda Point, and Munda Airfield. Lost strafing Rekata Bay is P-39D 41-7112. The 371st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group based on Espitu Santo begins operating with B-24's from Funafuti.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) 35 B-25's and 18 B-24's pound the Salamaua area in one of the largest single-strike attacks of Southwest Pacific Area including Salamaua Airfield and supply storage, the town of Kela and nearby hilltop positions, and defensive positions between the road and beach at Logui are hit; 5 other B-25's hit barges between Pommern Bay and Finschhafen, and the concentration and supply area at Voco Point; a lone B-24 on armed reconnaissance bombs targets of opportunity on Mundua and Unea. Lost is L-4 Grasshopper 43-1137 near Berry Drome (12-MIle). Lost on a practice bombing mission is B-25D 41-30496 (MA / KIA).

WEDNESDAY, 28 JULY 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) The 333d Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group, transfers from Hilo Field to Bellows Field with P-39's.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) 6 B-25's, with escort of 9 P-40's, bomb Taikoo Docks at Hong Kong.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) In the Solomon Islands, B-25's and US Navy aircraft hit gun positions and other targets at Webster Cove on New Georgia Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's attack barges and fuel dump between Cape Raoult and Rein Bay and hit Cape Gloucester Airfield and 2 destroyers offshore. Lost is B-25C "Johnny Pom Pom / Eager Eagle" 41-12906. Sunk is Mikazuki. Single B-24's bomb Unea and unsuccessfully attack shipping in Saint George Channel. B-24's bomb Manokwari and Larat and Boela. B-25's hit Lautem Town and Cape Chater Airfield.

THURSDAY, 29 JULY 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) A B-17 scouts Kiska and bombs the Main Camp area.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 2 flights of B-25's blast the previously bombed Mu River bridge between Ywataung and Monywa. The bridge is hit heavily with 1 span left submerged in the river.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) 18 B-24's, with fighter escort, bomb shipping and dockyard installations at Hong Kong. Kowloon and Taikoo Docks and the old Royal Navy yards are hit. Four P-40's attack a Japanese force of 23 bombers and 30 fighters attacking Hengyang; 1 Japanese fighter is downed. Lost is B-24D "Flamingo" 42-40848.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17's, B-24's, and B-25's bomb Kela Point and village, and Salamaua town and peninsula area. On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, B-25's, B-26's, and a B-24 attack Army HQ, barges, and villages in the Natamo vicinity, shipping off Cape Gloucester, Borgen Bay, along the coast from Ring Ring Plantation to Roebuck Point and barges off Cape Dampier, New Guinea. P-40's strafe targets of opportunity.

FRIDAY, 30 JULY 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) Fiftteen P-40's over the Hengyang area make contact with 39 Japanese fighters and 24 bombers. In the ensuing battle, 3 bombers and 2 fighters are downed; 2 P-40's are lost.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (13th AF & RNZAF) 9 B-24's, with an escort of 16 P-38's and 16 RNZAF 16 Squadron P-40's and 40+ US Navy F4U's to bomb Kahilli Airfield, but found it covered in clouds. Instead they hit Ballale Airfield. A6M Zeros took off from Ballale before they reached the island, and released two phosphorus bombs into the fomation.   Flak over target was severe, but the bombers dropped 22 tons of bombs. Zeros attacked when the formation left the target. RNZAF made no claims and had two planes slightly damaged. Lost is F4U Corsair 02375 (MIA).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24's bomb Salamaua and Kela; B-25's hit barges off Huon Peninsula and villages in the Finschhafen area; and A-20's destroy several barges at Hanisch Harbor and Langemak Bay. Single B-24's bomb Cape Gloucester and Unea.

SATURDAY, 31 JULY 1943


CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) The 78th Fighter Squadron, 15th Fighter Group, transfers from Barking Sands to Haleiwa with P-40's.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) Nine B-24's mine the Rangoon River during the night of 31 Jul/1 Aug.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) HQ 402d Bombardment Group (Medium) is disbanded at Kunming. This group, which had been activated in China on 19 May 43, never had any squadrons assigned nor was it fully manned.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) 17 P-40's and P-39's join 90+ US Navy and Marine Corps aircraft in pounding guns and defensive positions on Bibolo Hill as Allied ground forces close in on airfield at Munda. B-17's, B-25's, P-40's, and US Navy aircraft attack the airfield at Vila.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's hit the Finschhafen area and barges at Hanisch Harbor and Mange. B-25's and A-20's blast several barges in the Cape Gloucester area. B-24's bomb Waingapoe on Sumba Island in the Sunda Islands. Lost is F4 41-2014. HQ 375th Troop Carrier Group transfers from Brisbane to Port Moresby.

 

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