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Japanese missions against Wau and Wau Airfield
February 6, 1943 - June 13, 1943

February 6, 1943
A large Japanese air raid of 29 Ki-43 Oscars of the 11th Sentai escorting nine Ki-48 Lilys from the 45th Sentai took off from Lae Airfield on a mission to attack Wau Airfield. The fighters were incorrectly identified by the Allies as 'Zeros'.

Over the target, the bombers drop their bombs over Wau Airfield. One stick of bombs fell along the runway destroying Wirraway A20-447, three were killed in the Air Cooperation Signals hut which received a direct hit. Meanwhile, three C-47s arrived in the area and were about to land with the escorting Ki-43 Oscars intercepted and shot down C-47 "Early Delivery" 41-38658.

After releasing their bombs, the Japanese formation was intercepted by U. S. fighters over Wau township and the air combat happened over the Bulolo Valley and out over the mountains. The C-47s were escorted by eight P-39 Airacobras from the 35th Fighter Group, 40th Fighter Squadron plus eight P-40E Warhawks from the 49th Fighter Group, 7th Fighter Squadron. None of the U. S. fighters were shot down, but one P-40E was damaged by a dozen machine gun bullet hits.

The Japanese claimed ten Allied aircraft shot down (2 claimed by WO Haruo Takagaki). Americans claimed 25 Japanese planes shot down (12 claimed by 40th FS and 7 by the 7th FS). In fact, Japanese losses were two Ki-43 Oscars shot down by fighters, and two by the 156th Light Anti-aircraft battery. Lost were: Major Katsuji Suguira (C.O.), Captain Shigenori Miyabashi, Tomechi Takaga and Ki-43 piloted by Sato. Three bombers were lost, one claimed by the 156th Light Anti-aircraft battery.

May 15, 1943
(JAAF) During the morning, Ki-21 Sallys from the 14th Sentai took off from Rapopo Airifeld near Rabaul escorted by fighters on a mission to attack Wau. The bombers release their bombs over Wau Creek but fail to cause any damage.

June 13, 1943
Japanese bombers hit Wau and Port Moresby.

References
The Battle for Wau page 212-213
Ki-43 'Oscar' Aces of World War 2 page 75-76

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