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February 13, 1943
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

Saturday, February 13, 1943
(11th AF) A weather reconnaissance is flown over Kiska, Attu, Agattu, Semichi and Buldir. Five heavy bombers, 6 medium bombers and 10 P-38s bomb and strafe Kiska targets including the Camp area, landing strip, and shipping. Of 5 float-type fighter which attack, P-38s shoot down 3. Four P-38s and one B-25 fly a patrol mission over Amchitka and Little Kiska; a B-25 shoots down a floatplane.This is was the last mission the B-17 was used in the Alaska theater in combat.

CBI (Tenth Air Force) Seven heavy bombers from Gaya bomb the Rangoon marshalling yard, scoring over 30 direct hits on the target. P-40s hit a headquarters at Lonkin, buring 12 barracks. Nine B-25s hit rolling stock in the marshalling yard at Paukkan and along the rail line from Shwebo to Sagaing.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, A-20s pound forces in and around Mubo while B-25s hit the Lae area. In the Bismarck Archipelago, a single B-24 bombs the sawmill area at Ubili and a B-17 hits targets of opportunity in the Rabaul area.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) This is the baptism of fire in the Solomons for the B-24s of the 424th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) which has just come down from Hawaii. The F4U Corsair was used for the first time in combat in the South Pacific.

9 PB4Ys of VP-51 escorted by 4 P-38s and 11 F4Us of VMF-124 and 6 B-24s escorted by 4 P-38s and 7 P-40s of the 18th FG, 44th FS. Take off on separate missions to hit shipping in the Shortland-Kahilli-Buin area. The PB4Ys drop their bombs on a cargo ship at 1130 hours, score no hits and return to base with their escort. The B-24s attack a cargo ship from 14,000' just after 1200 scoring 1 hit. On the way to the target, 3 P-40s and 2 P-38s aborted the mission due to engine trouble, leaving the B-24s with an escort of 2 P-38s and 4 P-40s: P-40F 41-14102 pilot Johnson (MIA), P-40F 41-14110 pilot Morrissey (MIA), P-40F piloted by Lt. Jack Bade DSC, P-40F pilot Lt. Bob Westbrook. This force is attacked by 39 enemey fighters over the target including Zeros and floatplanes. Lost are B-24D 41-23597 (some rescued, others MIA), B-24D 41-23980 (MIA), B-24D 41-23975 (MIA), P-38G piloted by Rist (MIA), P-38G pilot Morton (rescued), P-38G pilot Cramer (rescued) and P-38G pilot Lockridge (rescued).

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