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American missions against Arawe (Cape Merkus) and Arawe Harbor
November 5, 1942 - January 16, 1944

November 5, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s unsuccessfully attack a schooner near Arawe, New Britain.

November 22, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s and B-25s hit warships 68 miles SW of Arawe

December 22, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s hit a ship in the harbor at Arawe

December 23, 1942
(5th AF) B-24s attack a cargo ship at Arawe

December 24, 1942
(5th AF) Single B-24 bombs the harbor of Arawe.

February 4, 1943
(5th AF) Heavy bomber scores hits on vessel off Arawe

March 19, 1943
(5th AF) Single B-17's strike Arawe

December 14, 1943
(5th AF) 228 B-24's, B-25's, and A-20's bomb Arawe in an almost continuous attack from 0645 to 1548 hours.

April 10, 1943
(5th AF) Single B-17 bombs the airfield at Arawe

May 18, 1943
(5th AF) Single heavy bomber hits Arawe

July 20, 1943
(5th AF) Single B-24 bombs Arawe

December 15, 1943
(USN) Task Force 76 (TF 76) commanded by USN Admiral Barbey departed Goodenough on December 13 and makes and arrives at Arawe on December 14. The force includes 2 cruisers, 13 destroyers, 2 high speed transports, 1 landing ship, 1 transport, landing 1,600 soldiers.
(US Army) The 112th Cavalry Regiment lands 1,600 soldiers at Arawe.
(5th AF) In support of US Army landing, B-25s pound villages in Arawe.

December 17, 1943
(5th AF) P-47's intercept 35-40 aircraft attacking Allied forces on the Arawe peninsula; at least 10 airplanes are claimed shot down.

December 19, 1943
(5th AF) 20 A-20's pound forces NE of Arawe

December 20, 1943
(5th AF) A-20's hit the Arawe and P-38's claim 10 enemy along S coast

December 21, 1943
(5th AF) P-47's claim 17 fighters shot down in the Arawe area.

December 24, 1943
(5th AF) Japanese forces in Arawe area are hit by A-20's

December 25, 1943
(5th AF) 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.

December 31, 1943
(5th AF) P-47's intercept a small force of airplanes attacking the Arawe beachhead area and 12 aircraft are claimed shot down.

January 7, 1944
(5th AF) A-20's hit forces near Arawe

January 8, 1944
(5th AF) A-20's hit positions near Arawe

January 16, 1944
(5th AF) B-24's and B-25's attack positions near Arawe.

Japanese missions against Arawe (Cape Merkus)
December 15–31, 1943

December 15, 1943
(IJN) Japanese D3A2 Vals from the 582 Kokutai and 552 Kokutai based Rabaul, escorted by 40+ Zeros made several raids against Arawe beachhead. Mission #1 of 7 s over six days, with 40 killed in action among the Vals, attempting to strike the shipping and shore positions.

December 17, 1943
(IJN) Japanese D3A2 Vals from the 582 Kokutai and 552 Kokutai based Rabaul, escorted by 40+ Zeros made several raids against Arawe beachhead. Mission #2 of 7 s over six days, with 40 killed in action among the Vals, attempting to strike the shipping and shore positions. They report the American forces as APC 21, YMS 50, SC743 and 4 LSTs.

December 21, 1943
(IJN) Japanese D3A2 Vals from the 582 Kokutai and 552 Kokutai based Rabaul, escorted by 40+ Zeros made several raids against Arawe beachhead. Mission #3 & 4 of 7 s over six days, with 40 killed in action among the Vals, attempting to strike the shipping and shore positions.

December 27, 1943
(IJN) Japanese D3A2 Vals from the 582 Kokutai and 552 Kokutai based Rabaul, escorted by 40+ Zeros made several raids against Arawe beachhead. Mission #6 of 7 s over six days, with 40 killed in action among the Vals, attempting to strike the shipping and shore positions. Lost is D3A2 Val piloted by Ishisugi.

December 31, 1943
(IJN) Japanese D3A2 Vals from the 582 Kokutai and 552 Kokutai based Rabaul, escorted by 40+ Zeros made several raids against Arawe beachhead. Mission #7 of 7 over six days, with 40 killed in action among the Vals, attempting to strike the shipping and shore positions.

The following eight known Vals were likely lost during the December 15-31, 1943 missions against Aware (Cape Merkus) including:
1) D3A2 Val off Arawe, 2) D3A2 Val crashed Wako, 3) D3A2 Val crashed Angap Island, 4) D3A2 Val 1520, 5) D3A2 Val 3487, 6) D3A2 Val 3450, 7) D3A2 Val 3373, 8) D3A2 Val 3179.

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