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American missions against Kairiru Island and Kairiru Seaplane Base
April 10, 1943 - August 27, 1944

April 10, 1943
B-17's bomb Kairiru Island

February 6, 1944
A-20s hit shipping near Kairiru and Mushu Islands causing considerable damage and destruction.

February 4, 1944
Click For EnlargementClick For Enlargement(17th TRG) Three B-25s, piloted by Captain Bert N. Smiley (Operations Officer), Lt. Herb Young and Lt. Pruitt, all from the 17th TRG "Fight'in 17th" experience their first significant combat on an armed reconnaissance mission. They flew over Kar Kar Island, but found nothing.  They proceeded to Wewak with clear weather, and low scattered clouds. Spotting a ship off Muschu and Kairiru Islands, they split up to attack a variety of targets. Prutt attacked a barge setting it on fire, and a direct hit on a 'Sugar Charlie (500 ton cargo vessel) in a cove on Kairiru. Smiley attacked a ship getting near misses and a lugger, and strafing another barge, then strafed two PETE seaplanes moored off Kairuru, and targets on land.  Young bombed a gun boat, and near missed a cargo vessel. On the south side of Muschu Island, a large concentration of barges, reportedly the largest ever seen in SWPA was strafed. The costs were Smiley's top turret gunner S/Sgt Victor McMullen, who was KIA. Young's plane was damaged, a fire in navigator's compartment and causing the left gear to drop out of the plane, and belly landed back at base. Reference: 17th TRG "Fight'in 17th" History "The Battle of Kairiru and Muschi Islands", pages 131 - 132.

Click For EnlargementMarch 20, 1944
USAAF aerial reconnassance photo taken of St. Johns Mission area and Japanese seaplane anchorage.

March 21, 1944
140+ B-24s, B-25s, A-20s, P-38s and P-40s attack St. John's Mission area of Kairiru Island.

Click For EnlargementMarch 22, 1944
B-24s, B-25s, A-20s, and P-40s hit shipping off Kairiru Island and St. Johns Mission area.

April 27, 1944
B-24s, B-25s and A-20s attack Mushu and Kairiru Island

May 2/3, 1944
PT Boat Grounding Code Book Raft, Barge Attacks
After attacking barges west of Bogia, PT-114 and PT-144 proceeded to Kairiru arriving at 1:30am, PT-114 grounded off Yarin on a reef 400 yards off shore, it jettisoned its torpedoes and depth charges, and was pulled off the reef by PT-144. Before it was, the ship was prepaired to be abandoned, and a raft with code books and secret information accidently drifted away. When the incident was reported, PT-134 and PT-129 were sent out to try and find the raft. They spotted it on the beach. Crew member Bob Leeson swam across the reef in daylight to tow the raft back to the PT-Boat, the code books were still aboard and not discovered. Ten minutes later, a 3" gun opened up on the boats from Yarin, they returned fire and withdrew. After dark, they returned again, discovering loaded barges on the south coast of Kairiru, and followed them. They turned towards shore, to get in range of shore batteries, but the PT-Boats sank two of them., and damaged the third.  A 20mm shell damaged PT-129, putting a hole in the exhaust stack and small fire in the engine. Two of her crew passed out from the fumes, but were revived, and their lives saved. After airing out the engine room, they returned to the beach area and fired their 24 rockets against beached barges, while shore batteries fired at them. During the entire action, the boats were under inaccurate fire from large batteries near Yarin.

June 25, 1944
Fifth Air Force and RAAF aircraft attack barges at Mushu Island and Kairiru Island.

July 9, 1944
B-25s and fighter-bombers hit dums on Kairiru Island.

July 20, 1944
A-20s and a B-25 bomb stroops on Kairiru Island.

July 21, 1944
P-47s attack Kairiru Island.

August 11, 1944
P-39s hit the Kairiru Island barge terminal, coastal guns at several points.

August 27, 1944
Fighter bombers hit a fuel dump and barges at Kairiru Island.

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