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Allied missions against Simpson Harbor
February 3, 1942 - 1945

February 3, 1942
(RAAF) Five Catalinas attack shipping in Simpson Harbor off Rabaul. Newly arrived A5M4 Claudes of the Chitose Kokutai fly continuous combat air patrols over Rabaul and intecept the flying boats (operating in tandem with the searchlight crews). Damaged are Catalina A24-3 and Catalina A24-5. Cruisers and transports were observed and attacked with a possible direct hit on one large vessel NW of Dawapia Rocks (The Beehives). Several near misses were also reported.

February 11, 1942
(RAAF) At 14:30 four Hudsons attack the Kinryu Maru and Kozui Maru, recieve hits and the loss of several crew members and damage to engine sectionss.  Four A5M4 Claudes of (Chitose Kokutai redesignated) 4th Kokutai attack the bombers.

February 14, 1942
(RAAF) Aerial Reconnassance photo taken

February 19, 1942
(RAAF) PBYs bomb Rabaul

February 22/23, 1942
(RAAF) PBYs bomb Rabaul at night.

February 23, 1942
(USAAF) First American bombing mission against Rabaul.  A group of 9 B-17s are scheduled to strike shipping in Rabaul's harbor. Operating out of Townsville, Australia the force suffers mechanical trouble and runs into bad weather.  Only two B-17s manages to bomb the target, and all are intercepted by 4th Kokutai fghters. B-17E 41-2446 (aka 'The Swamp Ghost') runs out of fuel and force lands in a swamp off northern New Guinea.

February 24, 1942
(RAAF) PBYs bomb Rabaul, one failed to return.  One returned damaged, one engine out dumped bombs.

February 25, 1942
(RAAF) Catalina piloted by Squadron Leader Choen dive bombs and releases twelve bombs from 1,300' over Toboi wharf.

February 28, 1942
(RAAF) Rabaul bombed causing damage to two H6K flying boats and four fighters.

April 8, 1942
(USAAF) Four B-26s from the 22nd Bomb Group fly a bombing mission over Rabul targeting shipping in Simpson Harbor and Vunakanau Airfield. Over the harbor, they are intercepted by three A5M4 Claudes that attempted to intercept, but were unable to catch the bombers.

April 18, 1942
(5th AF) During a bombing mission by six B-26 against Rabaul, two B-26s attacked shipping in Simpson Harbor. B-26 "Shittenengitten" 40-1404 scored a single 500lbs bomb hit on Komaki Maru. The other B-26 40-1400 arrived late over the target and was intercepted by a pair of Tainan Kokutai A6M2 Zeros, damaged in the left engine and crashed near shore. Two crew bailed out and were taken prisoner.

May 12, 1942
(5th AF) B-17's and B-26's hit shipping in Simpson Harbor.

May 13, 1942
(5th AF) B-17's and B-26's hit shipping in Simpson Harbor.

July 17, 1943
(5th AF) B-17s bomb Simpson Harbor.

August 12, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s bomb shipping Simpson Harbor claiming hits damaging three vessels.

September 15, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s bomb Simpson Harbor

December 25, 1942
(5th AF) Six B-17s, of the eleven dispatched, bomb Simpson Harbor near Rabaul. Two aircraft score three hits on a large cargo ship, while four bomb wharves and airfields. There are no US losses.

December 19, 1943
(13th AF) 16 B-24's, escorted by 50 AAF and RNZAF fighters, bomb Rabaul and Simpson Harbor.

January 22, 1943
(5th AF) B-24s bomb Simpson Harbor shipping

January 23, 1943
(5th AF) B-17s bomb Simpson Harbor shipping

February 3, 1943
(5th AF) B-17s and B-24s attack Simpson Harbor.

February 15, 1943
(5th AF) B-17s again bomb the town of Rabaul and hit the area nearby west of Simpson Harbor.

November 11, 1943
(RAAF) Beauforts join the attack on shipping in Simpson Harbor off Rabaul.

December 19, 1943
(13th AF, RNZAF) 16 B-24's, escorted by 50 AAF and RNZAF fighters, bomb the town of Rabaul and Simpson Harbor.

January 14, 1944
(13th AF, USN, USMC) 70+ Allied fighters support a strike by 50+ USN & USMC dive bombers against shipping in Simpson Harbor; the fighters claim 27 aircraft shot down. Lost are SBD-5 35971, F4U 17722, F4U 17807 and SBD 36230 (pilot MIA gunner POW, executed).

January 17, 1944
(13th AF, USN) AAF and US fighters support 48 SBDs and 18 TBFs attacking shipping in Simpson Harbor off Rabaul; they claim 18 Japanese airplanes; Kanshin Maru is sunk. 10 Allied fighters are lost. Japanese Zeros from the 204th Kokutai at Lakunai Airfield and 16 Zeros from the 252nd Kokutai at Tobera Airfield intercept. Lost are eight P-38s from the 339th and 44th FS, who claim six victories and five probables. Lost are P-38J piloted by Munson (MIA), P-38J 42-67785 (MIA), P-38J 42-67179 (MIA), P-38J 42-67611 (MIA), P-38H 42-66680 (MIA), P-38H 42-66897 (MIA), P-38H 42-66897 (rescued), P-38J 42-67171 (MIA), F6F 26031 (MIA), SBD-5 28316 (MIA), TBF-1C 24363 (MIA). Damaged are TBF-1 24489 and SBD-5 35933.

January 24, 1944
A large concentration of USAAF, USN, USMC, and RNZAF fighters support USN and USMC TBF's dive-bombing shipping in Simpson Harbor.

February 17-18, 1944
(USN) During the night of February 17-18, Task Group 38.4, composed of the destroyers USS Farenholt (DD-491), USS Buchanan (DD-484), USS Lansdowne (DD-486), USS Lardner (DD-487) and USS Woodworth (DD-460) conducted a shore bombardment of targets on East New Britain near Rabaul known as the "Battle of Karavia Bay". They fired on batteries at Praed Point (141 rounds) and a gun battery at Raluana (56 rounds). Heavy gunfire was observed from Simpson Harbor and Karavia Bay areas

March 3, 1944
(13th AF, USN) P-40s and USN fighters cover a USN dive bomber strike on Rabaul and Simpson Harbor

March 5, 1944
(13th AF, USN) 22 B-25s, with USN fighter escort, bomb Simpson Harbor;

March 9, 1944
(13th AF) 24 B-25s bomb the dock area along the noeth shore of Simpson Harbor at Rabaul. Also, 40+ P-39s and P-40s hit the dock area east of Simpson Harbor.

March 12, 1944
(13th AF, USN) 22 B-25s, with USN fighter cover, pound the Rabaul area, concentrating on the north rim of Simpson Harbor.

March 14, 1944
(13th AF, USN) 23 B-24s, with USN fighter cover, bomb the northern waterfront area of Simpson Harbor

March 16, 1944
(13th AF) 11 B-25s pound the northern edge of Simpson Harbor

April 1, 1944
(13th AF) 28 P-39s and P-40s hit the Toboi wharf area at Simpson Harbor

May 12, 1944
(13th AF, USN) 12 P-39s and about 70 USN SBDs and TBFs sink numerous barges throughout the Rabaul area, including Simpson Harbor.

USAAF Combat Chronology 1942 - 1945
Hostages To Freedom (page 479-480)

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