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Japanese missions against Buna
July 1942

Middle July 1942
Japanese seaplane circles Buna and attempts to bomb the ship Mackerel King anchored in the bay. The seaplane landed in the sea and started to machine gun the radio shack and sunk a mission launch. There were no casualties.
References: Japanese Seaplane Lands At Buna by Allan Champion

November 26, 1942
(IJN) Japanese fighters and bombers of the 582 Kokutai attacked the Buna area of ground combat.

American missions against Buna and Buna Airfield (Old Strip)
July 21, 1942 - January 23, 1943

July 21, 1942
(5th AF) A Japanese invasion force heads for Buna and lands during the night of July 21-22, 1942.

July 23, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s, B-26s, A-24s and fighters pound shipping, landing barges, storage dumps, AA positions, and troop concentrations at Buna.

July 26, 1942
(5th AF) A B-25 strike against Gasmata is repulsed by fighter interception over Buna area. Two B-25 were shot down: B-25C 41-12470 (4 MIA, 1 recovered) and B-25C "Arora" 41-12792 (4 missing, resolved).

July 27, 1942
(5th AF) B-26s and A-24s hit targets along the Buna trail.

August 25, 1942
(5th AF) P-400s destroyed on the ground 4 A6M3 Zeros and 1 G6M1 Betty transport from the Tainan Kokutai.

August 26, 1942
(5th AF) P-400s strafe Buna Airfield and catch Japanese fighters while they were taking off and destroyed (shot down) six A6M3 Zeros. Lost is P-400 BW112 (pilot survived).
(IJN) The Japanese lost six A6M3 Zeros including three from the 2nd Kokutai killing all three pilots including PO/1 Kiichi Iwase, PO/3 Daïzô Ihara and PO/3 Kiyochi Nakano) plus three A6M3 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai.

August 27, 1942
(5th AF) Seven B-26 Marauders from the 22nd BG, 19th BS led by B-26 "Kansas Comet II" 40-1433 took off at dawn on a mission to bomb Buna Airfield escorted by fourteen P-400 Airacobras from the 35th FG. This mission was to prevent the Japanese aircraft at the airfield from operating over Milne Bay while another force of B-26s bombed the Japanese at Milne Bay. By 7:15am, Krell's force was the target when the escorting Airacobras were intercepted by Zeros. The B-26s experienced minor anti-aircraft fire before releasing their 100 pound bombs from an altitude of 1,500' but many bombs failed to release over the target. The escorting Airacobras were intercepted by Zeros, claiming five shot down. Four Zeros attempted to intercept the B-26s, but the Airacobras managed to drive them away. References: Revenge of the Red Raiders page 134.

August 29, 1942
(5th AF) B-26s and P-400s hit Buna Airfield.

September 5, 1942
(5th AF) Buna Airfield is strafed and bombed by P-400s and A-20s.

September 9, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s bomb AA positions at Buna.

September 11, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s and B-26s hit Buna Airfield.

September 12, 1942
(5th AF) P-400s, B-26s, A-20s, and B-17s bomb Buna Airfield and strafe barges off Buna. Hit by AA fire and ditched into the sea is B-17E 41-2663 (5 MIA, 1 POW, 4 survived).

September 15, 1942
(5th AF) Medium bombers hit Buna.

September 17, 1942
(5th AF) P-400s, P-40s, and P-39s strafe and bomb landing barges at Buna.

September 21, 1942
(5th AF) P-40s bomb and strafe bridges and targets of opportunity along Buna-Kokoda Trail.

September 22, 1942
(5th AF) P-40s strafe AA positions, huts, and barges and Buna Airfield. One B-25 bombs the north end of Buna Airfield.

September 23, 1942
(5th AF) P-40s, P-39s, P-400s, and B-17s hit tanks, buildings, and Buna Airfield at Buna and targets of opportunity along the Buna-Kokoda Trail.

September 28, 1942
(5th AF) P-40s and P-400s bomb and strafe targets of opportunity along the Buna-Kokoda Trail.

September 29, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s bomb AA positions at Buna.

October 1, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s andP-400s pound the Buna-Wairopi Trail.

October 3, 1942
(5th AF) P-40s strafe the Efogi-Buna Trail.

October 4, 1942
(5th AF) P-40s strafe Buna.

October 5, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s attack a convoy off Buna. B-17s bomb the airfield at Buna.

October 8, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s bomb the Buna area while A-20s pound the Buna-Kokoda Trail.

October 10, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s hit targets along the Buna-Kokoda Trail.

October 12, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s bomb Buna and targets along the Buna-Kokoda Trail.

October 13, 1942
(5th AF) A B-17 bombs Buna.

October 16, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s and B-25s hit the Buna-Kokoda Trail.

November 2, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s attack shipping northeast of Buna.

November 9, 1942
(5th AF) B-26s bomb Buna.

November 15, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s and B-26s pound AA positions at Buna.

November 16, 1942
(5th AF) B-26s, B-25s, and A-20s pound the areas around Buna.

November 18, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s attack warships 17 miles north of Buna. B-26s bomb and strafe the area between Cape Endaiadere and Buna.

November 21, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s and B-25s pound the airfield, AA positions, and bridge at Buna. US forces driving on Buna are halted by strong bunker positions at The Triangle where trails to Buna mission and Buna village meet.

November 22, 1942
(5th AF) B-26s hit the Buna area.

November 24, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s, B-25s, B-26s, B-17s, P-40s, P-39s, and P-400s hit the Buna area.

November 26, 1942
(U. S. Army, Australian Army) Allied ground forces carry out limited attacks on the Buna front, making little progress; in an effort to break Japanese airsuperiority over Buna, P-40s, A-20s, and B-25s pound airfields and AA positions in the area.

November 28, 1942
(5th AF) B-26s bomb Buna Airfield.

December 1, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s, B-25s, B-26s and P-400s pound the Buna area, but Allied ground troops fail in another attempt to capture Buna village.

December 2, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s, B-17s, B-25s and P-400s attack four destroyers off Guna and Gona, and Buna Airfield and positions in the Buna area between Watutu Point and Cape Killerton.

December 4, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s, B-25s and P-400s bomb and strafe the Buna area.

December 5, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s and B-25s pound the Buna area. Allied ground forces again fail to take the village, but some elements push to within 50 yards of Buna, some break through to the sea, and others invest the west bank of Entrance Creek; Buna is thus completely isolated.

December 6, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s pound the area around Buna as ground forces attack the village and clear a trench at the southern edge.

December 8, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s and B-25s pound AA positions at Buna and the area around Buna Mission and Cape Endaiadere as ground forces attack bunker positions on the southern end of Buna. Six destroyers carrying troops to reinforce the Buna-Gona, New Guinea beachhead are bombed by B-17s and a lone B-24 and turn back to Rabaul.

December 9, 1942
(5th AF) B-26s pound the Buna area as ground forces prepare for the final assault on the village.

December 11, 1942
(5th AF) B-26s bomb the airfield and targets of opportunity in the Buna area.

December 14, 1942
(US Army) American troops capture Buna.

December 16, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s and B-26s hit forces in the Buna area.

December 17, 1942
(5th AF) B-26s bomb Buna Mission while US ground forces make fruitless attacks on the Triangle now dubbed "Bloody Triangle."

December 19, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s and B-25s hit the Buna Mission area in which Australian forces attacking 'The Triangle' are halted by fierce crossfire.

December 20, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s and B-25s pound Giropa Point and the area around Buna Mission near which are located strong bunker positions.

December 22, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s bomb Buna when Japanese ground forces continue to resist stubbornly.

January 2, 1943
(U. S. Army) Buna Mission is finally overrun by Australian and US forces.

January 3, 1943
(5th AF) P-40s strafe troops in the waters off Buna as US and Australian ground forces are mopping up in the nearby Buna Missions area.

January 23, 1943
(U. S. Army, Australian Army) Allied counteroffensive secures the Buna-Sanananda area.

 

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