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March 1943
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

MONDAY, 1 MARCH 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) P-40s jettison their bombs when bad weather prevents a sweep over Kiska.

(Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 46 P-40s hit targets of opportunity in the Nsopzup area and throughout the Hukawng Valley.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s bomb and strafe forces at Guadagasal and along the trails throughout the Mubo, Komiatum and Salamaua areas. B-17s bomb the runway on Gasmata. In the Sunda Islands of the Netherland East Indies, B-24s carry out single-plane attacks on shipping off Soemba and Soembawa Islands, and in the Solomon Sea. Lost is P-40E piloted by Lynd.

TUESDAY, 2 MARCH 1943

(Tenth Air Force) In Burma, more than 20 B-24s pound targets. Seven splinter part of the Ahlone docks and destroy a nearby warehouse, 6 hit the Mahlwagon roundhouse, and 9 attack the bridge at Pazundaung, tearing up its S approach. Six B-25s, with P-40 escort, hit a camp and storage area at Lamaing while twenty-four B-25s, also with fighter escort, pound Myitkyina.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) P-40s, P-38s and a single PB4Y fly photographic reconnaissance over Munda Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) The Battle of the Bismarck Sea begins. On 28 Feb, the Japanese had dispatched a force of 8 destroyers and 8 transports from Rabaul to reinforce their New Guinea forces; this convoy was spotted yesterday. Today, 28 B-17s of the 43d Bombardment Group attack in 2 waves, the first 8 B-17's sinking 1 transport and claim 3 Zekes shot down. Two destroyers pick up 850 troops from this transport and land them that night at Lae. At dusk, 11 more B-17's attack the convoy without result. Sunk is Kyokusei Maru. Lost is P-38 piloted by Levitan (MIA).

(IJN): At 2:34pm six A6M2 Zeros strafe Coomalie Creek Airfield. Destroyed on the ground is Beaufighter "Feaubighter" A19-31. Another Beaufighter was slightly damaged. On the ground, three men were wounded, none seriously.

WEDNESDAY, 3 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) Four P-40s sweep Kiska dropping demolition and fragmentation bombs. Admiral Thomas C. Kincaid, Commanding Officer of the Alaska Defense Command, tables the Kiska invasion plan and substitutes an Attu invasion plan.

(Tenth Air Force) Thirteen B-24s bomb the Mahlwagon marshalling yard and the dock area at Rangoon. Nine others attack the Pazundaung railroad bridge but fail to knock it out. Six B-25s bomb the railroad sheds at Maymyo.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) The Battle of the Bismarck Sea continues as heavy bombers are joined by medium and light bombers and fighters (US and Australian) in pounding the Japanese convoy as it moves in the Huon Gulf. After 2 RAAF Beauforts fail to score hits with torpedoes, the main attack begins with strafing runs by 13 RAAF Beaufighters. Simultaneously, 13 B-17's of the 43d Bombardment Group sink a transport. Then they and their 28 escort P-38's are jumped by Zekes escorting the convoy; the B-17's claim 5 Zekes and the fighters (from the 9th and 39th Fighter Squadrons) claim 15; Lost is B-17F "Ka-Puhio-Wela" 41-24356 and P-38F 42-12623, P-38F 42-12633 and P-38G 42-12715. During this dogfight, 13 B-25's of the 38th Bombardment Group (Medium) and 12 B-25C gun-nosed aircraft of the 90th Bombardment Squadron (Dive) attack from 500 to 200 feet followed by 12 A-20's of the 89th Bombardment Squadron (Dive) and 6 B-25's of the 13th Bombardment Squadron (Dive); these attacks sink 2 destroyers and 3 transports. In the afternoon, 16 B-17's, 23 B-25's and 5 RAAF Bostons attack; 8 90th Bombardment Squadron sink a destroyer and 2 transport while the Boston's sink a destroyer. That night, Seventh Fleet PT Boats sink the last transport. By the end of the day, all 8 transport have been sunk and Allied aircraft have destroyed 4 of the 8 destroyers and a large number of fighter aircraft covering the convoy. Dick Bong gets his 6th kill when he destroys and Oscar.

THURSDAY, 4 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) Four P-40s fly over Kiska but drop no bombs due to weather.

(Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 3 B-25s bomb the railroad facilities at Ywataung.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-24s hit Ballale Airfield and bomb Kahili.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) Allied aircraft continue to bombard remnants of the Japanese convoy in the Huon Gulf, thus ending The Battle of the Bismarck Sea, a decisive victory. Fifth Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft sink 12 of 16 vessels in 3 days. This is the last enemy attempt to use large vessels to reinforce positions on the Huon Gulf. In New Guinea, A-20s hit Lae Airfield and vicinity, B-17s attack power launches off Lae. Several B-25s, a single B-17 and B-24s hit the harbor and airfield at Lae and barges off Finschhafen. B-17s attack Ubili and power launches off Cape Gloucester.

FRIDAY, 5 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) A B-24 flies negative weather reconnaissance over Kiska, Semichis, Attu, Agattu and Buldir.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) Heavy bombers, operating individually, hit Gasmata. A-20s pound Lae Airfield while heavy bombers, operating individually, hit Lae and Alexishafen. In the Netherlands East Indies, heavy bombers, operating individually, hit Saumlakki on Yamdena Island in the Mulaccas Islands. Force landed is P-38G 43-2195 (survived).

USN: At 1:30am nine PBY4-1 Liberators from VB-101 took off from Henderson Field at 1:30am on a mission to bomb Kahilli Airfield, Ballale Airfield and Vila Airfield. They proceeded through searchlights and anti-aircraft fire to drop 500 pound bombs from medium altitude. Lost are PB4Y-1 31947 (MIA) and PB4Y-1 31950 (MIA).


SATURDAY, 6 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) A B-24 flies uneventful reconnaissance over Kiska, Attu, Agattu, Buldir and Semichis.

(Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 4 B-24's bomb shipping near Pagoda Point, scoring near misses. On the return flight, they strafe the lighthouse on Alguada Reef, a lightship off China Park, and a radio station at Diamond Island. Three B-24s intending to bomb Pazundaung bridge fail to reach the target; 1 manages to bomb the airfield at Pagoda Point. The others return to base without bombing. Six B-24s unsuccessfully attack the Myitnge bridge.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-24s bomb Kahili Airfield and Ballale Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, A-20s hit the Guadagasal area. Single B-24s attack shipping off Manus and Talasea and hit Gasmata Airfield. HQ 49th Fighter Group and it's 9th Fighter Squadron with P-38Fs transfer from Port Moresby to Dobodura.

SUNDAY, 7 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) The first flight of B-25s is brought up to Amchitka. Nine B-24s and 4 P-38s bomb and strafe the Chichagof Harbor area and Holtz Bay installations on Attu. A fighter sweep plus 6 B-24s, and 10 B-25s hit North Head and the Main Camp area on Kiska. HQ 343d Fighter Group transfers from Elmendorf Field to Adak.

(Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 12 B-25's attack Gokteik Viaduct, causing only minor damage. The 1st Troop Carrier Squadron, Tenth Air Force, transfers from Chabua to New Delhi.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) Single B-24s hit Vila Airfield and Kahili. Eight B-24s bomb Munda Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, A-20s attack the Guadagasal area and barges offshore; B-25s bomb Toeal. Single B-24s attack a ship NW of Madang and bomb Salamaua. Single B-24s bomb Gasmata and Cape Gloucester.

JAAF - Ki-46 Dinah piloted by Tonoi crashed into the sea off Bathurst Island.

MONDAY, 8 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) The 344th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group with P-40's transfers from Ft. Randall to Ft. Glenn.

(Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 12 B-25s strike at the Myitnge bridge and AA positions. Results are poor. Four B-24s bomb Bassein docks. P-40s hit military targets near Pebu and Wan-hat.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) Airfields at Munda and Vila on are again hit by light B-24 raids.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) Heavy bombers, operating individually, hit occupied areas in the SE coastal region of NW New Guinea and also strike at Saumlakki and Babo.

USN - s'Jacob is sunk by Japanese aircraft.



TUESDAY, 9 MARCH 1943

CARIBBEAN (Sixth Air Force): The 32d Fighter Squadron, 36th Fighter Group with P-36s, P-39s and P-40s transfers from Arecibo, Puerto Rico to Hato Field, Curacao with detachments operating from Dakota Field, Aruba and Losey Field, Puerto Rico. The detachments of the 51st Fighter Squadron, 32d Fighter Group at Salinas and Talara return to their base at Seymour Island.

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) 6 B-24s, 10 B-25s, 12 P-38s and 4 P-40s attack Kiska. The P-40s and 6 of the B-25s return to base due to bad weather; the other bombers bomb the Main Camp area, North Head and the submarine base.

(Tenth Air Force) In Burma, P-40s hit the town area and bridge at Mogaung. Many fires are started and the bridge is severely damaged.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) 3 B-24s bomb the airfields at Munda Airfield, Kahili Airfield and Ballale Airfield.

WEDNESDAY, 10 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force)A reconnaissance airplane is attacked by 5 enemy aircraft in the Aleutians. Kiska is attacked by 10 B-25s, 6 B-24s, 12 P-38s (4 of them flying top cover), and 1 F-5A. Eight of the P-38s strafe ground installations; the B-25s bomb a radar site and pound North Head, silencing AA fire; the B-24s hit the Main Camp area. Four Amchitka-based P-40s bomb the submarine base.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) Heavy bombers strike the Rangoon area at two points. Five B-24s hit the Pazundaung bridge; 4 others pound runways, buildings. and revetments at Mingaladon Airfield. After the attack, several fighters attack the flight. The heavy bombers claim 3 shot down. The China Air Task Force (CATF) is is absorbed by the Fourteenth Air Force (see below).

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In China, the Fourteenth Air Force is activated at Kunming assigned to U.S. Army Forces, China-Burma-India Theater. This new Air Force is responsible for all USAAF units in China; Major General Claire L. Chennault is named Commanding General. P-40s from Kunming fly armed reconnaissance into Burma, crossing the Salween River and covering areas SW of Lashio.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17s bomb Wewak Airfield and shipping off Wewak. Single heavy bombers attack shipping off New Guinea.

THURSDAY, 11 MARCH 1943

(Sixth Air Force): A detachment of the 23d Fighter Squadron, 36th Fighter Group with P-39's and P-40's begins operating from Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

(Tenth Air Force) In Burma, seven B-25s bomb the Myitnge bridge, causing little damage.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) HQ 18th Fighter Group transfers from Wheeler Field to Espiritu Santo and is reassigned from the Seventh to Thirteenth Air Force.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, A-20s bomb and strafe Vickers Ridge and the Guadagasal area. Single B-24s attack Finschhafen. B-24s bomb the airfield at Rabaul while single B-24s attack Cape Gloucester and Powell Point. Dick Bong gets his 7th and 8th kills when he shoots down 2 Oscars. Lost on a cargo drop is C-47B 41-38662.

FRIDAY, 12 MARCH 1943

CARIBBEAN (Sixth Air Force): The 3d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 6th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24's and LB-30's transfers from the Galapagos Islands to David Field.

(Eleventh Air Force) Twelve Amchitka based P-40s scout Kiska. The 54th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group with P-38's transfers from Adak to Amchitka.

(Tenth Air Force) In Burma, six B-24s attack Pazundaung bridge, causing negligible damage.

(Fourteenth Air Force) The 74th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group with P-40's transfers from Kunming to Yunnani.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) Munda Airfield, Ballale Airfield and Kahili Airfield are hit by light B-24 raids. P-38's destroy small a vessel off NE coast of Rendova.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s attack the Guadagasal Gap area and Salamaua Airfield. B-24s and B-25s attack shipping off Ambon and bomb Fuiloro. B-17s bomb Rabaul Airfield while individual B-24s hit a wreck off Talasea and bomb Cape Gloucester.

SATURDAY, 13 MARCH 1943

(11th AF) A B-24 on reconnaissance returns early because of adverse weather. Twelve P-40s strike Kiska beach, camp and runway. Hits are observed on these targets and among 14 parked airplanes. Eight P-38s with 8 P-40s flying top cover again take off for Kiska. Only 3 of the P-38s reach the target and strafe aircraft on Kiska beach. Another sights a submarine SW of Rat.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 4 B-24s attack and slightly damage the Pazundaung bridge.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) Vila Airfield and Munda Airfield are again attacked by B-24s in light raids. Also bombed is Faisi Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17s bomb shipping off Wewak and Wewak Airfield. A B-l7 bombs the airfield on Gasmata and warehouses on Wide Bay, while a B-24 attack shipping off Netherlands New Guinea. HQ 54th Troop Carrier Wing is activated at Brisbane, Australia to control all Fifth Air Force troop carrier units.

SUNDAY, 14 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) HQ 28th Composite Group transfers from Elmendorf Field to Adak.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 4 B-24s bomb the Moulmein docks. Eight B-25s hit the oft bombed Gokteik Viaduct but the structure remains serviceable.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17s and B-24s bomb Wewak, Tring, and Madang. A single B-17s bomb Gasmata, and strafe a vessel off Talasea, AA positions at Cape Gloucester, and Finschhafen Airfield. A lone B-24 bombs Dili.

USN - Lost on an emergency landing F4F 12068.

MONDAY, 15 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) Six B-25s, with four P-38s flying top cover, bomb North Head on Kiska, hitting the Main Camp and gun emplacements. Six B-24s with 4 P-38s for top cover then bomb Main Camp. Revetments and the hangar area are strafed by the P-38s one of which is lost to AA. Next, 5 B-24s and 16 P-38s bomb and strafe the Main Camp area and North Head. Four P-40s then unsuccessfully search for 3 enemy fighters which had earlier attacked a weather plane. Main Camp is hit two more times by 3 B-25s and by 8 P-38s.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 8 B-25s bomb the Gokteik Viaduct and 8 others attack Myitnge. Neither target suffers effective damage. Eight fighter-bombers damage the bridge at Kadrangyang.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In French Indochina, 12 B-25's bomb the power plant and railroad yards at Luo Kay.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) Single B-17s hit Munda Airfield and Vila Airfield. P-38's strafe the airfield at Viru.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25s and 4 P-38s, along with Royal Australian Air Force aircraft, bomb shipping at Dobo and Wokam. B-17s on single-plane flights bomb Gasmata and Cape Gloucester.

RAAF: Shot down is Spitfire A58-88.

TUESDAY, 16 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) 16 B-25s, 13 B-24s, 8 P-40s and 32 P-38s (cover/escort) sorties are flown to Kiska and one weather reconnaissance and 2 attack missions from Adak and three more missions from Amchitka. Targets hit are North Head, the Main Camp area, radar sites, and the submarine base. On the last Amchitka mission one enemy floatplane is shot down and 2 more are probables. Four heavy bombers are hit and 1 B-25 does not return.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 6 B-24s damage the approaches to the Pazundaung bridge. Eight B-25s attack the Myitnge bridge, scoring at least 2 hits, but the structure remains intact. P-40's hit positions north of Sumprabum.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In French Indochina, P-40s strafe the Mong Yaw storage area and docks, warehouse area, and rail-river terminal (for phosphate mines) at Lao Kay.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-17s and B-24s on harassing raids bomb Kahili Airfield, Vila Airfield and Ballale Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25s bomb Lae. In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s bomb Rapopo Airfield and attack Ubili, a sub off Cape Turner, Marienberg, and Cape Gloucester area. B-24's unsuccessfully attack cargo ships between Bitsjaroe Bay and Fak Fak. Lost returning from a mission to Wewak is B-17F "Hell From Heaven Men" 41-24424. Lost is F-4A 41-2140 (MIA).

WEDNESDAY, 17 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) Eight P-38s patrol Kiska without making contact.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 8 B-25s again attack the bridge at Myitnge, damaging the northern approach. Fourteen P-40s hit bridges at Kadrangyang and northeast of Myitkyina and the motor pool at Hpunkizup. The motor pool suffers considerable damage.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-17s continue harassing raids against Vila, Kahili and Ballale.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25s bomb Langgoer.

RAAF - Wirraway A20-405 is lost on a training mission.

USN - Burned and sunk in a refueling accident are PT-67 and PT-119.


THURSDAY, 18 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) Taking off from Adak, six B-24's bomb the main camp area on Kiska, six B-25's bomb North Head, and 12 P-38's fly top cover and strafing attacks. Twelve Amchitka-based P-38's then blast Kiska runway and Main Camp area, starting fires. At Amchitka, the 54th Fighter Squadron is reinforced by several F-5A's.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 16 P-40's bomb and strafe the stronghold of Seniku, claiming a high enemy casualty rate. Seven others attack Nalong. Sixteen B-24's bomb the Pazundaung bridge, causing considerable damage to the structure. Eight B-25's damage the Myitnge bridge; 8 other B-25's hit AA positions in the Myitnge general area. A detachment of the 9th Photographic Squadron, Tenth Air Force begins operating from Dinjan, India.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) HQ 307th Bombardment Group and it's 370th and 424th Bombardment Squadrons with B-24's transfer from the Territory of Hawaii to Guadalcanal. Both squadrons has been operating from Espirtu Santo since 6 Feb.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24's pound the town of Madang. In the Bismarck Archipelago, single B-17's strafe a launch at Talasea and barges northeast of Cape Gloucester, while a lone B-24 bombs Timoeka and Langgoer. Lost is P-39K 42-4312.

RAAF - Ditched off Salamaua is DB-7 Boston A28-3.


FRIDAY, 19 MARCH 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) All missions are cancelled due to weather except local fighter patrols. HQ XI Bomber Command is activated on Adak Island.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 8 B-25's score 4 direct hits on the bridge at Myitnge, rendering it unserviceable. A single P-40 uses a 1,000-lb bomb against the bridge near Mogaung in a test to see if the fighter can carry such "blockbusters" and deliver them effectively. Despite negligible damage, suffered by the target, both the carrying and releasing of the bomb are considered successful.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In French Indochina, 12 B-25's, with an escort of 6 P-40's, bomb the power plant and railroad yards at Lao Kay. The P-40's strafe the target area and a barracks s few miles down the Red River.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-17's and B-24's on armed reconnaissance bomb Kahili Airfield and Ballale Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20's pound forces in the Mubo area while B-25's bomb a submarine and barges in Lae Harbor. B-24's hit Amboina. Single B-17's strike Arawe, Gasmata, Cape Gloucester, barges off Cape Gauffre and a cargo boat at Lorengau.

SATURDAY, 20 MARCH 1943


BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, seven B-25's again attack the Myitnge bridge, inflicting little additional damage to the structure.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) HQ 308th Bombardment Group and it's 373d, 374th, 375th and 425th Bombardment Squadrons with B-24's arrive in China from the U.S. The HQ and 425th are based at Kunming; the 373d at Yangkai; and the 374th and 375th at Chengkung. The four squadrons will fly their first combat mission on 4 May.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) During the night of 19/20 March, forty-two Navy and Marine aircraft lay mines off Bougainville in the Buin-Tonolai area while 18 B-17's and B-24's pound Kahili Airfield in a diversionary strike. This mission inaugurates mine-laying operations by aircraft in the South Pacific (SOPAC). Ditched is B-17E "'Busy Beavers / Goonie" 41-2523.

USN - 42 Navy and Marine Corps Avengers, on a night flight from Henderson Field, mined Kahili Harbor (Tonolei), while USAAF aircraft are hitting Kahili

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's bomb Langgoer and Kaimana. The landing strip at Finschhafen and the harbor area at Salamaua are bombed by single B-24's.

SUNDAY, 21 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) Thirteen B-24's, 9 B-25's, 50 P-38's, 16 P-4O's, and 2 F-5A's fly 8 bombing and strafing missions to Kiska. Some of the missions abort due to weather. The others hit the Main Camp area, while two P-40's make no contact when trying to intercept reported enemy aircraft.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 15 B-24's pound the Gokteik Viaduct, causing considerable damage to the structure. Six other B-24's, unable to bomb the viaduct due to haze and clouds, attack the previously damaged bridge at Myitnge. P-40's again dive-bomb targets in the Mogaung area, using 1,000-pound bombs for the second time. Three of the fighters bomb the town area, causing heavy destruction over 2 blocks. Three others attack the bridge south of town, claiming damaging hits in the area. Others attack targets of opportunity in northern Indochina.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In French Indochina, P-40's strafe the Lao Kay phosphate mine area and targets of opportunity in the vicinity.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A B-24 claims a direct hit on a cargo vessel ESE of Cape Gloucester. Other isolated attacks on shipping are unsuccessful. The 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group with P-38F's transfers from Mareeba to Port Moresby.

MONDAY, 22 MARCH 1943


(Eleventh Air Force) Six B-25's, twelve B-24's and twenty-two P-38's attempt three missions to Kiska. Only 8 of the P-40's get through but fly uneventful patrol. The 404th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 28th Composite Group with B-24's transfers from Elmendorf to Adak.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 17 B-25's, operating in 2 forces, bomb the Gokteik Viaduct. Several damaging hits are scored on the base and structure. Seven B-25's pound the Thazi rail junction. Considerable damage is caused to warehouses, yards, sidings, tracks, and rolling stock.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In French Indochina, P-40's again strafe the phosphate mine area at Lao Kay.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) In the Solomons, P-38's strafe the Rekata Bay area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) Heavy bombers pound the Gasmata Airfield. In single-plane strikes, heavy bombers attack Finschhafen, Lae and Madang. In single-plane strikes, heavy bombers attack the harbor at Lorengau. The 400th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 90th Bombardment Group with B-24's transfers from Iron Range to Port Moresby.

IJN: Five G4M1 Bettys from the 705 Kokutai took off from Buka Airfield on a patrol mission both return safely to land (no losses). Reference: Kodochosho, 705 Kōkūtai, March 22, 1943



TUESDAY, 23 MARCH 1943


(Eleventh Air Force) Weather grounds all missions except the weather reconnaissance flight and an unsuccessful intercept attempt of an enemy reconnaissance airplane by two P-40's.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) Nine B-25's bomb barracks, warehouse, railroad tracks, and Meiktila Airfield.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In French Indochina, P-40's strafe the operations building at Dong Cuong and hit troop trucks between Tuyen Quang and Ha Giang.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17's thoroughly pound the airfields in the Rabaul area and strafe a vessel off Cape Gazelle. Single B-24s attack Gasmata Airfield. A-20's bomb and strafe forces in the Mubo area and at the mouth of the Bitoi River. B-25's strafe targets of opportunity in the Salamaua, Labu Lagoon and Nadzab areas, and at the mouth of the Markham River. Single B-24's attack Lorengau Harbor and Salamaua Airfield.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) Destroyed by Japanese bombing overnight at Henderson Field are six bombers including: B-17E "Buzz King" 41-9124, B-17E "Zero Six Zero" 41-9060, B-24D "Flying Gator" 41-23898, B-24D "Shamrock", B-24D "Lone Wolf"and Hudson from 3 Squadron, RNZAF destroyed.

RAAF: Crashed on landing is Hudson A16-139 (crew survived)

WEDNESDAY, 24 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) In the Aleutians, 10 B-24's, 3 B-25's, and 12 P-38's fly 5 attack missions to Kiska. North Head runway and the Main Camp area are
bombed.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 23 B-24'a and 2 B-17's (the B-17's attack from 50 feet) attack the bridge at Myitnge but fail to score damaging hits. Eight B-25's bomb the engine sheds at Maymyo.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-17's and Navy dive-bombers hit Kahili Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's hit Langgoer and Faan. B-25's and B-17's, operating individually, attack shipping in the Netherlands East Indies and Gasmata Airfield and targets of opportunity at Mubo.

USN: Lost is PBY Catalina 08136.

THURSDAY, 25 MARCH 1943


(Eleventh Air Force) A weather airplane take photos of Holtz Bay and Chichapof Harbor on Attu. Fourteen B-24's, 3 B-25's, 12 P-38's, and 2 P-40's fly four missions against Kiska. Targets include the beach, runway, hangar area, North Head, the Main Camp and submarine base.

In Burma, 8 B-25's bomb the engine sheds at Maymyo for the second consecutive day. Considerable damage is done although the main shed is not hit.

B-24's pound Rabaul. Single B-17s hit Gasmata and Ubili. B-24s hit shipping, the wharf and town area at Amboina. A single B-17's hit Lae.

FRIDAY, 26 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) A reconnaissance aircraft covers Attu, Agattu, Semichi and Alaid where a cabin is strafed. Upon report of Navy contacts with enemy surface force that results in the Battle of Komandorskies, Thirteen B-24's, eleven B-25's and eight P-38's are ordered to hit the enemy, reported 150 miles west of Cape Wrangell on Attu. Because of mechanical failures and weather, airplanes cannot take off until six hours after the surface force is sighted. Thus, Japanese ships have fled when aircraft arrive at the interception point. Some of the returning B-25's bomb a radar site, hangar, and Main Camp area on Kiska.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) Six B-24's mine the Rangoon River during the night of 26/27 March. Six others fly a diversion raid on the city of Rangoon, scoring hits on Mingaladon Airfield, between the central railroad station and Pazundaung Creek, and in the Syriam area.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) B-24's bomb Nauru Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17's attack shipping, the harbor and town area at Wewak. A-20's pound forces and targets of opportunity in the Mubo, Lahang, and Salamaua area. Lost is A-20A "Minnie Ha Ha" 40-170. A single B-17 bombs Finschhafen and unsuccessfully attacks a ship east of Talasea. Lost on an administrative flight B-17F 41-24384.

SATURDAY, 27 MARCH 1943


(Eleventh Air Force) In the Aleutians, 7 B-24's from Adak and 6 Amchitka-based B-25's attempt unsuccessfully to attack naval targets. From Amchitka, 1 B-25 and 6 P-38's (of which 1 turns back with mechanical trouble) provide cover for US surface force until 1300 hours local. Six P-38's and 1 B-l7 depart Adak for a second cover mission, but do not find the surface force. A detachment of the 11th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group based on Adak with P-40's begins operating from Amchitka Island.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) The 46th Fighter Squadron, 15th Fighter Group with P-39's transfers from Hilo Field to Canton Airfield.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) Five B-24's mine the Rangoon River for the second consecutive night.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) P-39's join Navy aircraft attacking Vila Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's hit Lae and Salamaua. B-24s attack the harbor and shipping at Bogia. In the Moluccas, B-24s bomb Saumlakki.

SUNDAY, 28 MARCH 1943


SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) The last remaining personnel of the battle-weary 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-17's leave SOPAC to return to Hawaii. P-38's of the 70th FS, and eight F4U's of VMF-124. Due to engine trouble and weather, seven Corsairs and three P-38s were forced out of the mission. The remaining planes hit the seaplane bases at Poporang and Shortland, claiming 8 aircraft destroyed, and attack a destroyer east of Shortland, leaving it listing.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) Medium and heavy bombers on individual missions attack Langgoer, Dobo, Gasmata, and barges and a small boat off Finschhafen and Kerema. Lost is P-40 piloted by Dewees (MIA).

IJN: D3A Val dive bombers attack Oro Bay , destroy the liberty ship wharf and sink SS Masaya and SS Bantam.

RAAF: P-40E Warhawk A29-150



MONDAY, 29 MARCH 1943

CARIBBEAN (Sixth Air Force): The 29th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 40th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with A-17's transfers from Aguadulce to Anton.

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Seven heavy and medium bombers, with fighter escort, bomb and strafe Kiska runway and nearby Main Camp area. Heavy AA fire damages 6 bombers and 2 P-38's

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 4 B-24's bomb shipping and dock area at Tavoy. Nine B-25's bomb the Maymyo railroad yards, 7 P-40's blast possible Japanese HQ north of Maingkwan. Eight others pound positions WNW of Sumprabum.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In Burma, P-40's strafe trucks at Bhamo and fuel drums at Chefang, China.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-17's and B-24's pound Buin and Kahili. P-38's strafe a seaplane base at Faisi.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A lone B-l7 bombs the Gasmata Airfield while another attacks the Mur-Weber Point area. Dick Bong gets his 9th kill when he shoots down a Doris (mis-identified medium bomber).

TUESDAY, 30 MARCH 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) Six missions are dispatched against Kiska and Attu. From Adak, 6 B-24's, 6 B-25's, and 4 P-38's are over Kiska at 1200 hours local but cannot bomb due to weather. Four B-24's, 4 P-38's, and 2 F-5A's then bomb the runway at Attu. Next, 5 B-24's and 4 P-38's bomb the Main Camp; intense AA fire downs 1 B-24. From Amchitka, four P-38's bomb Little Kiska. Next, 4 P-38's bomb Kiska through the overcast, followed by 6 B-25's bombing and strafing radar, radio installations, Main Camp, runway, and personnel on Kiska.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 5 B-25's bomb the Maymyo railroad yards, scoring hits on machine shops, sheds, and tracks. Sixteen P-40's hit targets of opportunity at Npyentawng, Wuja, and Mohnyin.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) P-40's strafe 8 locomotives southwest of Lashio, exploding 3 of them.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) Heavy bombers continue snooper strikes on Vila and Kahili Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20's, B-25's, B-24's, and B-17's pound shipping, the harbor, and town area at Finschhafen. B-24's hit Gasmata. Single aircraft attack several targets, mostly shipping and coastal areas, in the Netherlands East Indies, northeastern New Guinea, and New Britain.

NEIAF - Force landing after a recon mission is B-25C N5-133

WEDNESDAY, 31 MARCH 1943


(Eleventh Air Force) A reconnaissance airplane finds impenetrable weather and returns to base. Two P-38's make an uneventful sweep.

BURMA AND INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 9 B-25's bomb the marshalling yard at Pyinmana, blasting railroad tracks and warehouses.
Lost is B-24 piloted by Jensen.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) The 16th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group with P-40's transfers from Chenyi to Kweilin. The 75th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group with P-40's transfers from Yunnani to Lingling.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) P-40's and P-38's hit the Suavanau Point area on Rekata Bay. The 23d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group based on Espiritu Santo begins operating it's B-17's from Guadalcanal.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20's hit Salamaua, while B-24's bomb Babo. Individual B-24's attack Lae Airfield, Finschhafen, and Samoa Point and Timper River bridges.

 

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