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Japanese missions against Horn Island and Horn Island Airfield
March 14, 1942 - March 4, 1944

March 14, 1942
(Raid 1) First Japanese air raid against Horn Island. At 7:10am, eight G4M1 Betty bombers from the 4th Kokutai took off from and proceed to Lae where they are escorted by twelve A6M2 Zeros. Arriving over Horn Island at 11:25am, they dropped 78 x 60kg bombs while the Zeros strafed the airfield. Intercepted by P-40s of the 49th Fighter Group, 7th Fighter Squadron that shot down two Zeros and claimed one bomber. Thirty-two bombs hit the western portion of Horn Island Airfield destroyed Hudson A16-136 and damaging Hudson A16-102 along with a fuel dump and some damage to the RAAF bivouac area. No one was killed on the ground. During the air combat, P-40E piloted by Sanford was lost. Japanese losses were A6M2 Zero 4443 and A6M2 piloted by Oishi.

War Diary 1942 adds:
"Raid by 20 aircraft, including 8 G3M "Nells" (sic) and 9 Zeros (sic). USAAF 7th FS, 49th FG intercepted the Japanese force, shot down 2 Zeros and one bomber for the loss of one Kittyhawk. One Hudson was destroyed on the ground, another damaged.'

March 18, 1942
(Raid 2) Took off from Lae Airfield at 9:30-10:00am. At 1:00pm, twenty A6M2 Zeros lead by three G4M1 Betty bombers of the 4th Kokutai patrol over Horn Island Airfield to reconnaissance the field and attack it. After finding no fighters at the airfield, they depart. On the return flight, they locate the steam ship Canberra and strafe the ship firing 700 rounds at it and wounding 13 aboard. All attacking aircraft successfully return to Lae Airfield at 2:40pm.

War Diary 1942 adds: "At 1:00pm, twenty Zeros patrol over Horn Island Airfield, attempting to lure any defending fighters into combat. Finding no aircraft, on the return flight they strafed Canberra off Cape York, 4 crew wounded. (sic)"

April 30, 1942
(Raid 3) Attacked at 10:55am eight G3M2 Nell bombers escorted by six A6M2 Zeros attack Horn Island. Forty bombs were dropped and one man was killed on the ground: Gnr Joseph Davodicvich. Three Zeros strafed the runway, damaging one Wirraway A20-471 and destroyed P-40 Warhawk A29-472 both of 24 Squadron.

War Diary 1942 adds: "14 aircraft, 8 Nells, 6 Zeros. 1 Wirraway destroyed, 1 damaged."

May 11, 1942
(Raid 4) Nine G3M2 Nell bombers departed Rabaul at 4:50am, and met an escort of five Zeros at 7:27am. The bombers dropped their bombs at 9:50am, damaging the runway, near hits on two hangers and other damage. All bombers returned to Rabaul at 12:45pm. No casualties on the ground.

War Diary 1942 adds: 18 aircraft 9 Nell, 9 zeros. Wirraway previously damaged, destroyed

June 17, 1942
C5M2 Babs took off from Lae Airfield at 6:40am piloted by Lt. Shigenori Kizuka and observer F/O Eisaku Shimizu. Arrived over Horn Island at 9:00-9:15 performing reconnaissance. Returned to Lae Airfield at 11:15am. The flight was observed by the garrison on Horn, but not intercepted.

July 6, 1942
C5M2 Babs took off from Rabaul and staged from Lae Airfield to refuel and departed at 7:30. Arrived over Horn Island at 9:35 - 9:40 and preformed reconnaissance. Returned to Rabaul at 1:25pm. The flight was observed by the garrison on Horn, but not intercepted.

July 7, 1942
A single C5M2 Babs piloted by Lt. Shigenori Kizuka and observer F/O Eisaku Shimizu took off from Rabaul at at 4:30am and refueled at Lae Airfield, departing at 7:00am. Arrived over Horn Island from 9:25 - 9:35am. They spotted a B-17 at the airfield, two B-26s landing and two fuel browsers. Their information was relayed to the bombers about to strike Horn Island.

(Raid 5) Eighteen G3M2 Nell bombers took off from Vunakanu Airfield. Two aborted and landed at Lae Airfield due to oil problems. Sixteen G3M2 Nell bombers attacked Horn Island at 1:55pm from roughly 23,000' dropping 160 x 60kg anti-personnel bombs, wounding four RAAF personnel and damaged fuel, oil, equipment and tents. This was the last daylight bombing raid against Horn Island. All bombers returned safely.

War Diary 1942 adds: 16 G3M2 Nell attack, 4 RAAF personnel wounded.

July 20, 1942
A single G4M1 Betty bomber took off from Lae Airfield at 7:15am and arrived over Horn Island at 9:00 - 9:30am, crew members took photos of the island and nearby Thursday Island harbor. They observed ten planes at Horn Island and a ship of 5,000 tons at Thursday Island. Returned to Rabaul at 12:45pm. Information from this reconnaissance was used for the next bombing mission on July 30th.

July 30, 1942
(Raid 6) At 2:15am a single H8K2 Emily flying boat commanded by WO Yoshio Nishikawa dropped seven bombs on Horn Island, but did no damage. Only the windows of a Hudson were shattered from the impacts. Pieces of the bomb casings, deemed to be 'armor piercing' were collected and shipped south for evaluation aboard the SS Wandana on August 4th.

August 1, 1942
(Raid 7) 2 Emilys, no damage

April 24, 1943
Unidentified Japanese aircraft seen over Cape York, Jacky Jacky, Muttee Head and Prince of Wales Islands

May 14, 1943
At 11:57pm a reconnaissance plane was spotted

May 18, 1943
One enemy plane overhead for 25 minutes beginning at 9:57pm

June 15, 1943
Reconnaissance plane in vicinity of Jacky Jacky within 17 miles of Horn Island at 11:23pm

June 17, 1943
(Raid 8) 1 Emily, no damage

August 29, 1943
Ki-46 Dinah overhead Horn for 77 minutes beginning at 9:4am, the onto Possession Island, Cape York, Albany Island, Higgins Field, Horn Island, Thursday Island then departed northward.

August 30, 1943
10:28 enemy aircraft reconnaissance at high altitude

September 9, 194
Unidentified enemy aircraft overhead at 3:59pm

March 3, 1944
Unidentified aircraft overhead at 1:25am

March 4, 1944
Unidentified aircraft overhead at 2:00am estimated at 20,000'

References
Horn Island pages 15 - 30

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