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Japanese missions against Vunakanau Airfield
January 6 - 20, 1942

January 6, 1942
(IJN) Nine Kawanishi H6K2 Mavis bomb Vunakanau

January 7, 1942
(IJN) 18 Japanese bombers attack Vunakanau.

January 16, 1942
(IJN) 17 Flying boats bomb Rabaul

January 20, 1942
Japanese raid on Rabaul area three Wirraways from Vunakanau (plus others from Lakunai) scrambled to intercept Japanese aircraft unsuccessfully. Two of the Wirraways are still missing: Wirraway A20-179 : F/O J C Lowe & Sgt C A Ashford and Wirraway A20-319 : Sgt R A Blackman & Sgt S E Woodcroft.

Allied missions against Vunakanau Airfield
January 22, 1942 - June 16, 1944

January 22, 1942
(RAAF) The last RAAF aircraft, a Hudson takes off with wounded aboard before the Japanese landings at Rabaul.

May 4, 1942
(5th AF) B-26's bomb Vunakanau.

May 25, 1942
(5th AF) B-17's bomb Vunakanau Airfield at Rabaul, New Britain

June 12, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s bomb the building area and Vunakanau and Lakunai Airfields at Rabaul

June 19, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s pound shipping at Vunakanau Airfield

June 24, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s hit Vunakanau Airfield

August 7, 1942
(5th AF) 13 B-17s of the 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy), led by Lieutenant Colonel Richard H. Carmichael hit Vunakanau Airfield. Lost is B-17E "Why Don't We Do This More Often" Serial Number 41-2429 (Medal of Honor)

October 13, 1942
B-17s attack Vunakanau

May 20, 1943
(5th AF) B-17's and B-24's bomb Vunakanau Airfield

June 19, 1943
(5th AF) B-17's and B-24's thoroughly pound Vunakanau Airfield

Click For EnlargementSeptember 11, 1943
Recon photograph taken from altitude

October 12, 1943
Click For Enlargement(5th AF) Almost 350 B-24's, B-25's, P-38's, and RAAF airplanes pound the Rabaul area, including the first parafag bomb attack on Vunakanau Airfield.

October 24, 1943
(5th AF) At least 45 bombers are destroyed on the ground at Vunakanau during attacks by B-25's; the B-25's including 345th BG and 50+ escorting P-38's claim 40+ Japanese airplanes shot down over Rabaul.

December 23, 1943
(5th AF) Bombers hit Vunakanau.

December 24, 1943
(5th AF) 18 B-24's bomb Vunakanau Airfield; Fighter cover for the strike fights a fierce air action with interceptors

January 9, 1944
(13th AF) 2 squadrons of B-24's pound Vunakanau Airfield

January 10, 1944
(13th AF) Morning raid by 10 B-24's against Vunakanau Airfield

January 12, 1944
(13th AF) 13 B-25's of the 42d BG, on their first mission against the Rabaul area, bomb Vunakanau Airfield in the early morning

January 14, 1944
(13th AF) During the night of 13/14 Jan, 15 B-24's bomb Vunakanau just before dawn.

January 18, 1944
(13th AF) A single B-24's on armed reconnaissance bombs Vunakanau

January 19, 1944
(13th AF) During the night of 19/20 Jan B-24's, in 2 waves, fly strikes against Vunakanau

January 20, 1944
(13th AF) B-25's, with escorting fighters, pound the airfield, fuel dump and gun positions, at Vunakanau

January 30, 1944
(13th AF) 18 B-24's, supported by fighters, hit Vunakanau Airfield

February 4, 1944
(13th AF) 18 B-24s, covered by 30+ P-38s and USN fighters, hit the airfield at Vunakanau

February 7, 1944
(13th AF) Vunakanau Airfield is bombed by 17 B-24s, escorted by P-38s and USN fighters.

February 9, 1944
(13th AF) P-40s and USN fighters cover a USN dive-bomber attack on Vunakanau Airfield, scoring many hits on AA positions, buildings, and runways; 24 B-24s with USN fighter escort follow with a strike on the same target hitting runways and revetment area

February 10, 1944
(13th AF) P-40s and USN fighters cover a USN dive-bomber attack on Vunakanau Airfield; B-25s with fighter escort bomb Vunakanau later in the day

February 11, 1944
(13th AF) 22 B-25s, escorted by USN fighters, pound Vunakanau Airfield

February 12, 1944
(13th AF) 21 B-24s, escorted by P-39s and USN fighters, pound Vunakanau Airfield

February 13, 1944
(13th AF) P-40s and USN fighters escort USN SBDs and TBFs dive-bombing runway and AA positions at Vunakanau

February 14, 1944
(13th AF) 30 escorted B-25s pound Vunakanau Airfield

February 15, 1944
(13th AF) 23 B-25s, with fighter cover, bomb the runway and dispersal area of Vunakanau Airfield

February 16, 1944
(13th AF) 12 B-24s, with 30+ P-38s and USN F4Us, pound the runway at Vunakanau Airfield

February 18, 1944
(13th AF) 34 B-25s and 18 B-24s, both forces with fighter escorts, pound Vunakanau Airfield

February 23, 1944
(13th AF) 9 B-25s, with USN fighter support, bomb Vunakanau Airfield

March 16, 1944
(13th AF) 13 B-24s bomb Vunakanau Airfield, and 12 B-25s follow with a raid on Vunakanau radar installations

March 20, 1944
(13th AF) 23 B-24s bomb the airfield at Vunakanau

March 21, 1944
(13th AF) 22 B-24s bomb Vunakanau Airfield

March 24, 1944
(13th AF) A few B-25s that lost contact with the formation bomb Vunakanau as an alternate target

March 26, 1944
(13th AF) 23 B-25s hit Vunakanau Airfield

April 7, 1944
(13th AF) 11 bomb Vunakanau Airfield

April 9, 1944
(RNZAF) F/Lt N H James (30 Squadron, RNZAF) leads 93 RNZAF and USMC aircraft comprising of TBF Avengers and SBD Dauntlesses against Vunakanau. 30 Squadron TBF Avenger NZ2512 and TBF Avenger NZ2518 are damaged by anti-aircraft fire.

April 12, 1944
(13th AF) 23 fighter-bombers blast the concrete airstrip at Vunakanau

April 26, 1944
(RNZAF) 30 Squadron TBF Avengers attack Vunakaunu Airfield. Hit by anti-aircraft fire and shot down is TBF Avenger NZ2507.

April 28, 1944
(13th AF) 30 fighter- bombers hit the runway and revetments at Vunakanau

April 30, 1944
(13th AF) 30+ P-40s and P-38s bomb Vunakanau Airfield

May 4, 1944
(13th AF) 43 fighter-bombers hit Vunakanau Airfield

May 11, 1944
(13th AF) 12 B-25s, 12 P-40s and 3 B-24s hit Vunakanau Airfield

May 14, 1944
(13th AF) 44 fighter-bombers pound supply and personnel areas at Vunakanau

May 16, 1944
(13th AF) 40+ fighter-bombers hit the Vunakanau area

May 17, 1944
(13th AF) 43 P-39s, P-40s and P-38s, in conjunction with 40+ USN dive bombers, blast the Vunakanau area.
(USMC) Forty-two SBD Dauntless dive bombers from VMSB-244 and VMSB-236 dive bomb and strafe Vunakanau Airfield claiming hits on the runway and experiencing moderate to intense anti-aircraft fire with varying degrees of accuracy. Lost returing from the mission is SBD Dauntless 28161 (MIA).

May 21, 1944
(13th AF) 40+ USN dive bombers hit Vunakanau Airfield and nearby plantation

May 28, 1944
(RNZAF) 31 Squadron make their first attack on Vunakanau. Lost is TBF Avenger NZ2530 listed as missing. Many other aircraft were damaged with several crew members being wounded.

May 29, 1944
(RNZAF) Lost on a bombing mission to Vunakanau is TBF Avenger NZ2530

June 2, 1944
(13th AF) P-39s, and P-40s attack the Vunakanau area

June 16, 1944
(FEAF) B-24s hit Vunakanan Airfield

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