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

SATURDAY, 1 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) Sixteen attack missions on Kiska and Attu are flown by 16 B-24's, 15 B-25's, 35 P-38's, 38 P-40's, and 4 F-5A's. Kiska targets include the Main Camp, hangar, submarine base (where a fire is started), runway, radar, ship, North Head, AA guns and Gertrude Cove. Attu targets include east Attu, Holtz Bay and Chichagof Harbor installations.

CBI CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) The forward echelon of the Fourteenth Air Force, under Colonel Clinton D Vincent and Lieutenant Colonel David L. "Tex" Hill, moves into eastern China along the Hengyang-Kweilin line. This brings US aircraft within range of all major Japanese held bases from north China to Indochina and Thailand, and makes shipping in the China Sea more vulnerable to US air strikes.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24's bomb Nabire Airfield and hit a vessel off Manokwari.

10th AF: Lost is B-24D piloted by Kavanagh (MIA / POW).

RNZAF - Lost on a traning mission is P-40E Kittyhawk NZ3031 (KIA).

SUNDAY, 2 MAY 1943
(Eleventh Air Force) Six B-25's, eight P-40's, and eight P-38's fly bombing, photographic and attack missions to Kiska. Targets include North Head, South Head and buildings and AA gun batteries on Gertrude Cove.

CBI CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In China, 17 P-40's intercept 30-40 fighters near Lingling and in a running battle to just N of Changsha claim at least 7 Zekes downed. One P-40 is shot down.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-17's on harassing strikes hit the Rekata Bay area and Munda Airfield. P-38's and P-39's join Navy aircraft in pounding the runway area at Munda.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In Timor, B-25's bomb Penfoei. In New Guinea, other B-25's unsuccessfully attack a vessel off Toeal. A single B-17 bombs dock area at Finschhafen.

MONDAY, 3 MAY 1943

(Eleventh Air Force) Seven B-24's, eleven B-25's, twenty P-38's, twenty-seven P-40's and two F-5A's participate in a weather reconnaissance mission to Attu and in 9 attack missions to Kiska including Main Camp, North Head, radar, and runway.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) P-40's and P-38's join Navy dive bombers and fighters in attacks on buildings and AA positions in the Rekata Bay area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's strafe Gasmata Airfield while a B-17 strafes launches north of Lolobau, claiming one boat sunk. HQ 54th Troop Carrier Wing transfers from Brisbane to Port Moresby.

TUESDAY, 4 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Five B-24's, six B-25's, eight P-38's, two P-40's and two F-5A's take off on two Kiska and Attu missions. Missions to Kiska abort due to weather. Attu targets include Chichagof Harbor, AA positions at Holtz Bay, and a floatplane. The 36th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 28th Composite Group with B-24's transfers from Fort Greeley on Kodiak to Amchitka.

CBI CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) Eighteen B-24's bomb dock installations, coal yards, and oil storage area at Samah; 9 B-25's pound docks at Haiphong; 19 P-40's escort B-17's and B-25's to Hanoi and then proceed with B-25's to Haiphong and strafe the target area following the bombing strike.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-17's fly snooper strikes during the night of 3/4 May against Vila Airfield and the Rekata Bay area. P-40's join Navy aircraft in a strike on Vangavanga.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24's bomb Babo and Wewak Town, Wewak Harbor, and shipping off Wewak. A single B-24's hit barges off the north coast of New Britain.

WEDNESDAY, 5 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) A weather reconnaissance airplane over Attu observes a floatplane burning on the water. Fourteen B-24's, 17 B-25's, 16 P-38's, 32 P-40's, and 5 F-5A's fly 4 attack missions to Attu and 6 [partly with Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilots] to Kiska targets include Main Camp, a radar site, North and South Head, runway, and Gertrude Cove installations. Bombs are dropped on Attu installations and fighters strafe and set afire one seaplane and silence AA guns.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) The 73d Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group with P-40's transfers from NAS Kaneohe to Mokuleia. The squadron will begin transitioning to razorback P-47D's in late 1943.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) In the Solomons, P-38's and Navy F4U's administer thorough strafing to Nyanga.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, B-25's pound Toeal. A lone B-24 bombs Cape Gloucester Airfield and Gasmata Airfield. Ditched is A-20A "Cindy" 40-176 (crew unhurt)

THURSDAY, 6 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) B-24's, B-25's and P-38's drop over 52 tons on Attu targets including Holtz Bay, Sarana Bay, and the Chichagof Harbor area and nearby gun positions. Kiska is also hit. Targets include radar gun positions and the Gertrude Cove and Main Camp areas. Returning P-38's also bomb and strafe a hut on Rat. P-40's blast Kiska and Little Kiska.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) P-40's and Navy dive bombers and fighters hit Munda Airfield. During the evening, B-24's carry out harassing strikes on Kahili Airfield, Fauro and Ballale. HQ 4th Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group transfers from Espiritu Santo to Guadalcanal.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, A-20's hit forces in the Green's Hill area. Single B-24's hit Madang and Finschhafen while other B-24's hit Manokwari and Toeal. B-25's pound Dili.

(RAAF) Five 31 Squadron Beaufighters attack Taberfane Seaplane Base. They claim 9 aircraft on the water. Lost is Beaufighter A19-60.

USN: Lost is F4F Wildcat 11992 (MIA).

FRIDAY, 7 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) An attempted mission to Kiska by six P-40's is aborted due to weather.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17's and B-24's bomb supply dumps, and other targets at Madang and Madang Airfield. Meanwhile, Japanese fighters from Wewak were on patrol and intercepted seven B-17s and six B-24s over Madang. The B-17s reported interception by seven Japanese fighters including two that dropped aerial bombs that missed by a considerable distance. Four B-17s were damaged, one seriously, in conventional attacks. A-20's hit forces in the Green's Hill area. In Timor, B-25's pound Penfoei. Lost is B-17F "Reckless Mountain Boys" 41-24518. Lost on a training flight is P-70 Havoc 39-790.

RAAF - Lost returning from a mission to Aru is Hudson A16-116.

SATURDAY, 8 MAY 1943
CBI CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) Sixteen B-24's and eleven B-25's bomb Tien Ho Airfield, the shop and factory area, and White Cloud Airfield. Twenty-four escorting P-40's strafe the target areas following the bombing strikes. Considerable damage is done, including the destruction of about 20 enemy aircraft.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) P-40's join Navy aircraft in an attack on destroyers in Blackett Strait. Other P-40's and P-38's hit AA positions at Vila. Lost is F-5A 42-12680.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17's bomb the airfield at Rabaul, and single B-17's attack barges and small boats off the north coast of New Britain. A 43rd BG B-17F on armed reconnaissance mission radioed its discovery of shipping between Wewak and Madang. Lost on reconassance missions is B-17F "Fighting Swede" 41-24520 B-17F "Fighting Swede" 41-24520, likely rammed by escorting Ki-43 fighters.

B-25 strafers along with 8 x Beaufighters of the RAAF, escorted by 16 x P-38s of the 39th FS claim the destruction of 2 cargo vessels at Madang. The two Japanese sea trucks (small transports, 550 and 950 tons each) were entering Madang Harbor carrying vital supplies and full of troops. Beaufighters swooped down and strafed the larger ship setting fires. A few minutes later the B-25s followed up against the ships with bombs and gunfire. Both ships were lost with all their supplies and heavy casualties. This included many of the personnel and much of the equipment of the 11th Airfield Construction Unit moving from Wewak to Madang.

Beaufighters strafed and destroyed a fighter at Madang Airfield but aborted further attacks when eight or more Type 1 (Ki-61 Tony) fighters appeared over Madang. Some of the Japanese fighters attacked the Beaufighters, damaging one, and chased them down the coast toward Saidor. Other Japanese fighters headed for the B-25s but the P-38s finally arrived on the scene and reported encountering three ZEKES and two HAMPS a few miles south of Madang. Three P-38s jumped these at 5,000 feet, dispersed the formation and claimed one damaged. On the return flight a single fighter identified as a HAMP was sighted at 1,000 feet. This was jumped by Capt. Thomas Lynch’s flight. In the low level combat that followed double ace Lynch claimed a HAMP destroyed but this cannot be verified. Lynch went into this action despite having difficulty dropping one of his external fuel tanks. [Reference via Richard Dunn]

SUNDAY, 9 MAY 1943
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24's and B-17's bomb Manokwari, Nabire, Kaimana, and Madang Airfield, and the Wewak-But area. B-25's hit the airfield at Gasmata. The 89th Bombardment Squadron (Dive), 3d Bombardment Group (Dive) with A-20's transfers from Port Moresby / 3-Mile Drome (Kila) to Dobodura. Both the squadron and group will be redesignated Bombardment Group/Squadron on 25 May 43 to reflect it's true equipment and mission.

MONDAY, 10 MAY 1943
CBI BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 6 P-40's bomb and strafe Kwitu, leaving several areas burning fiercely. CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In French Indochina, eight P-40's fly an offensive sweep against communications in the Nam Dinh and Hanoi areas. Four locomotives and 3 riverboats are destroyed, a train carrying troops and supplies is heavily damaged, and several trucks of troops are destroyed.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) P-38's join Navy and Marine aircraft in a strike against gun emplacements, runway, and revetments at Munda Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, A-20's bomb and strafe the Labu area. B-25's pound Cape Gloucester Airfield. B-17's and B-24's, operating individually attack coastline targets in NE New Guinea; New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago; and on Jamdena Island. The 35th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group with P-39's transfers from Mareeba to Port Moresby.

RAAF - Lost is Spitfire A58-81.

TUESDAY, 11 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) The following missions are flown to support US forces landing on Attu: 1 air-ground liaison sortie by 1 B-24; a B-24 supply sortie dropping supplies to ground forces; and 5 attack missions, flown by 11 B-24's and 12 B-25's. The first attack mission cannot find the target and instrument-bombs targets which include the runway, radar, submarine base, and camp area. Because of poor visibility the next two missions hit Kiska, where the runway and Main Camp are attacked. Two B-24's then bomb the Chichagof Harbor area through fog while another drops leaflets on Attu.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) The 26th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), with B-17's, transfers from Bellows Field to Wheeler Field and begins transitioning to B-24D's.

CBI BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 6 B-24's pound Syriam, causing large fires in the town area.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) B-17's fly harassing strikes during the night of 10/11 against Kahili Airfield and Shortland. The 390th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 42d Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-25's, transfers from the Fiji to Henderson Field.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17's and B-24's hit the airfield and general area at Rabaul. B-25's bomb Penfoei and Dili. The 403d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), with B-24's transfers from Mareeba to 7-Mile Drome.

WEDNESDAY, 12 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) A P-39 reconnaissance sortie over Kiska and Rat encounters poor weather and turns back. At Attu, an air-ground liaison B-24 watches US forces land on beach "Red" while another B-24 drops supplies. Seven attack missions flown by 10 B-24's, 12 B-25's, and 24 P-38's bomb and strafe assigned Attu targets. Four barges are set afire in the west arm of Holtz Bay.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) During the night of 11/12 May, B-17's fly snooper strikes against Kahili Airfield. During the early morning hours, P-40's and Navy aircraft hit AA positions, runway and revetments at Kahili Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's bomb Finschhafen Airfield and the surounding area. In the Moluccas B-24's hit Saumlakki. Single heavy bombers hit Salamaua and Gasmata. Lost is C-47 41-18661.

THURSDAY, 13 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Bad weather keeps the air-ground liaison B-24 from observing or helping friendly ground forces on Attu and returns to base. An air-ground support mission of six B-24's divert from Attu to Kiska; two of the bombers don't get the message, proceed to Attu, and bomb Chichagof Harbor and Holtz Bay. The other 4 bomb the Main Camp area on Kiska. Eight P-40's dispatched to Kiska in tow waves cannot see the target and instead bomb Little Kiska installations.

CBI CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) The 76th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group, with P-40's, transfers from Kunming to Lingling.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) During the night of 12/13 May, 2 B-24's on snooper missions bomb Kahili Airfield and Ballale Airfield. They are followed shortly by 6 B-17's which pound the same targets. During the day, 34 P-38's, P-39's, and P-40's, along with 62 Navy and Marine fighters and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P-40's, intercept 20+ airplanes over the Russells-Tulagi area. Allied pilots claim 16 aircraft shot down (1 by USAAF fighters). During the early evening, five B-17's again hit Kahili Airfield and Ballale Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17's bomb airfields at Rabaul and Boram Airfield. 38th BG B-25's blast the airfield, town area, and targets of opportunity at Gasmata while A-20's hit Cape Gloucester Airfield and area. Single B-24's and B-17's attack various shoreline and offshore targets, including landing strips, buildings, gun positions, barges, and vessels, on the NE New Guinea coast, New Britain, and the Admiralty Islands.

IJN: Seven G4M1 Bettys from the 705 Kokutai took off from Buka Airfield on a night mission to bomb Guadalcanal. Over the target, intercepted by P-38 Lightning piloted by Lt. William E. Smith from the 12 Fighter Squadron who claimed an aerial victory over a Betty, likely this bomber at 7:46pm and claimed a Betty probable at 7:47pm.

USMC: Lost is F4U 02178 (MIA).

FRIDAY, 14 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) In the Aleutians, poor weather curtails bombings. The air-ground liaison B-24 flies reconnaissance and photo reconnaissance over Attu throughout the day. One B-24 carrying supplies for the ground forces hits a mountain side ten miles west of the drop zone. Six B-24 and 5 B-25's fly ground support bombing missions over Attu. Two P-40's bomb Kiska through overcast.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) Single B-24's fly early evening snooper strikes against airfields at Kahili, Ballale Airfield, and Munda. During the night of 14/15 May, B-17's on a snooper mission bomb Kahili

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's administer a thorough pounding to the airfield and surrounding area at Gasmata while B-24's and B-17's pound Rabaul Airfield. B-25's bomb Penfoei Airfield and the Dili area. Single heavy bombers hit various targets in northeast New Guinea, New Britain and the Netherlands East Indies. The 475th Fighter Group and it's 431st, 432d and 433d Fighter Squadrons are activated at Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia. The unit will be equipped with P-38F and P-38H Lightning fighter aircraft and will enter combat in August 43. Lost is P-38 piloted by Bauhof (MIA).

SATURDAY, 15 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) In the Aleutians, weather again curtails operations. The air-ground liaison B-24 observes and directs air operations at Attu throughout the day as visibility permits and directs a supply drop for ground forces by another B-24 in two air-ground support missions. Six B-24's bomb Holtz Bay and Chichagof Harbor and six P-38's strafe AA installations in the Holtz Bay area.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) Seven B-24's from Midway bomb Wake; four others abort and seven others fail to find the target. 22 fighters intercept the formation; the B-24's claim four shot down; One B-24 is lost.

CBI CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) 25-35 Japanese bombers and 30-40 fighters attack Kunming. Nearly all of the bombs fall in W and SW of Kunming Airfield, causing little damage. 28 P-40's intercept, claiming 13 fighters and two bombers shot down.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's pound Lae Airfield; A-20's strafe the aircraft and building at Lae; and B-24's hit Nabire. In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-25's pound Gasmata Airfield; B-24's bomb the airfield at Rabaul; and single heavy bombers hit Gasmata, Cape Gloucester, and barges SW of Ubili. Lost is B-25C 41-12487.

JAAF: The first Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) close air support missions are flown in New Guinea. During the morning, nine Ki-51 Sonias from the 14th Fighter Regiment, 83rd Independent Air Chutai escorted by Ki-43 Oscars from the 24th Sentai took off from Madang Airfield on a mission to provide close air support against Australian forces at Bobdubi and a bridge but fail to cause any damage to Allied forces, afterwards the bombers land at Lae Airfield to re-arm then fly a second mission against Wau but bomb Wau Creek without causing any damage to Allied forces. Meanwhile, during the afternoon Ki-48 Lilys from the 208th Sentai escorted by Ki-43 Oscars from the 11th Sentai attempted to hit Bobdubi but accidentally bomb Japanese positions near Salamaua, hitting Japanese forces and killing and wounded nearly fifty Japanese. There were no JAAF aircraft losses, none of the raids were intercepted by Alled fighters.

SUNDAY, 16 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) Air-ground liaison B-24 bomb Chichagof Harbor with unobserved results. Another B-24 drops supplies to ground forces on Attu. 8 B-24's, 12 B-25's, and 12 P-38's fly ground support missions to Attu; because of weather, only the P-38's get through and strafe AA guns, installations and barges, scoring several hits. Bombers bomb Kiska. 2 P-40's fly reconnaissance mission over Kiska.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24's bomb the Kendari Airfield area. Single heavy bombers attack coastal or offshore targets in northeast New Guinea, New Britain and New Ireland. HQ 8th Fighter Group transfers from Mareeba to Port Moresby.

MONDAY, 17 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) In the Aleutians, two attempted ground support missions to Attu by a B-24, 5 B-25's, and 6 P-38's are recalled due to weather. The detachment of the 11th Fighter Squadron (P-40's), 343d Fighter Group that has been operating from Amchitka returns to it's base at Adak.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) P-39's and Navy airplanes bomb and strafe a bivouac and AA positions in the Rekata Bay area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's bomb Dili, Penfoei, and Barique. B-25's bomb Gasmata; single heavy bombers hit Gasmata and Cape Gloucester. Single heavy bombers hit Lae and Finschhafen.

TUESDAY, 18 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) Six B-24's, weathered out of Attu, bomb the Gertrude Cove area on Kiska leaving large fires. Four P-40's reconnoiter Kiska and strafe barges. One B-25 flies photo reconnaissance over Kiska.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) Heavy bombers, operating individually, hit Gasmata Airfield and Rabaul Airfields twice and Cape Gloucester, and Arawe; in addition to Lorengau once. Lost on a ferry flight is B-25D-5 "Dittum-Dattum" 41-30073.

WEDNESDAY, 19 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) Six B-24's and eleven B-25's fly three air-ground support missions to Attu, bombing the Sarana Valley. Four P-40's fly two reconnaissance missions to Kiska.

CBI CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) HQ 402nd Bombardment Group (Medium) is activated at Kunming. No squadrons are assigned and headquarters is never fully manned.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24's hit Gasmata Airfield. Single heavy bombers hit Gasmata twice during the day. Lost on a daylight reconnaisance mission is B-24D 41-24269. B-25's attack the Salamaua area and targets of opportunity off the NE coast of the Huon Peninsula. In Timor, B-24's hit Penfoei.

USN: Avengers damage Houn Maru forcing her to run aground at Tonolei Harbor .

THURSDAY, 20 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) All air-ground support missions to Attu are cancelled due to weather. Twenty P-40's bomb the Main Camp and submarine area at Kiska, and strafe barges in Kiska Harbor. The remaining Japanese on Attu are concentrated in the Chichagof Harbor area.

Alaska - Japanese forces on Attu are defeated. Only 29 out of 2,500 surrender, the rest are either killed or commit suicide. Americans suffer 2,000 casualties.

CBI BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) The 490th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 341st Bombardment Group (Medium) based at Ondal begins operating from Chakulia with B-25's.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) During the night of 20/21 May, heavy bombers on snooper missions bomb he Kahili area and Ballale.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) The airfield and surrounding areas on Gasmata are hit by A-20's during the night of 20/21 May and by B-17's during the day. B-17's and B-24's bomb Vunakanau Airfield. B-25's sink several barges offshore between Madang and Cape Cretin. HQ 3d Bombardment Group (Dive) transfers from Port Moresby to Dobodura. The group and it's 4 squadrons will be redesignated Bombardment Group/Squadron on 25 May to reflect their true aircraft.

USN - Lost on a mine laying mission in the Bougainville area is TBF Avenger 06239.

FRIDAY, 21 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) Ten B-24's, twelve B-25's, and 24 P-38's are dispatched to Attu but only 3 missions, totalling 6 P-38's and 1 B-24, are able to bomb and strafe troops and installations. Four other missions, after vainly waiting for a break in the overcast over Attu, instead bomb the Kiska submarine base through the overcast.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17's bomb airfields in the Rabaul area. A J1N1 Irving night fighter shoots down two: B-17E Number 41-9011 and B-17E "Honi Kuu Okole" 41-9244 B-24's hit the airfield at Gasmata, Nabire Airfield is hit by B-24's. In the Moluccas, B-25's blast AA positions, supply dumps, and town area, at Saumlakki. Lost on a reconnassance mission is F-4 "Dotin' Donna" 41-2177. The 90th Bombardment Squadron (Dive), 3d Bombardment Group (Dive) transfers with B-25's from Port Moresby to Dobodura. The squadron will be redesignated Bombardment Squadron on the 25th.

NEIAF - Three B-25s took off from Darwin for an attack on Saumlaki on Jamdena. Lost is B-25C N5-147.

SATURDAY, 22 MAY 1943
ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Bad weather forces cancellation of all missions. 15 enemy bombers make a torpedo attack on the gunboat USS Charleston (PG-51) and destroyer USS Phelps (DD-360) patrolling Attu. The ships suffer only negligible damage.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, B-24's bomb the town of Kaimana and strafe power launches off Koer Island. Lost is B-25C 41-12981 (MIA). The 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group transfers with P-39's from Mareeba to Port Moresby.

SUNDAY, 23 MAY 1943
(Sixth Air Force): The 3d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 6th Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers with B-24's from Talara to Salinas.

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) Six B-24's and 12 B-25's fly 3 air-ground support missions to Attu, due to bad weather they are routed to Kiska. Weather there is also poor and only one B-25 bombs the Main Camp area of Kiska. Next, 3 B-24's and 18 P-38's fly 3 air cover missions to Attu. The last of these missions is notified by a PBY that 16 Japanese bombers are west of Attu. 5 of the P-38's then intercept the bombers over Attu, which jettison their bombs and close formation. The P-38's score 5 kills and 7 probables. 2 P-38's are lost. The 344th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group begins a movement from Umnak to Shemya. The air echelon is operating with P-40's from Amchitka Island.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) In the Territory of Hawaii, a flight of P-40's on patrol from Kauai bomb a submarine from 1,500', after which an oil slick and debris are seen.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) 5 B-24's bomb Kahili Airfield and Ballale Airfield during the night of 23/24 May. 10 B-17's, attempting a follow-up strike, abort because of bad weather. While other aircraft are successfully laying mines off the Buin area, 19 B-17's and B-24's, in a diversionary raid, bomb the Buin-Kahili-Tonolai shoreline area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24's and B-17's hit the harbor and airfield at Kavieng, the airfield at Gasmata, and the village of Ubili. The 13th Bombardment Squadron (Dive), 3d Bombardment Group (Dive) transfers with B-25's from Port Moresby to Dobodura.

RAAF: Force landed is Vengeance A27-208 crew survived.

MONDAY, 24 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) 2 of 3 air-ground support missions to Attu, together 6 B-24's, 11 B-25's, and 1 F-5A, bomb Attu. The third mission is cancelled, except for 2 B-25's which do not hear the cancelling order. 3 B-24's and 14 P-38's fly 3 more air cover missions over Attu but make no contacts.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24's pound Lakunai Airfield while B-25's hit the runway at Gasmata. In Timor, B-25's bomb Penfoei. Lost are B-17E "Gypsy Rose" 41-9193 (ditched) B-24D 42-40359 (KIA).

RAAF: Lost is Catalina A24-39 (KIA).

USN: SS Stanvac Manila sinks one fatality and PT-165 and PT-173 aboard.

TUESDAY, 25 MAY 1943
CBI BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) HQ 341st Bombardment Group (Medium) and it's 490th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) transfer to Kurmitola. 341st Bombardment Group HQ transfers from Chakulia while the 490th, which has been operating from Chakulia since 20 May, transfers with B-25's from Ondal.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) Single heavy bombers bomb coastal airfields and villages; in New Guinea they hit Madang, Kakakog, and Simbang; in the Bismarck Archipelago, they hit Cape Gloucester and attack barges off Gavuvu.

WEDNESDAY, 26 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) Eight B-24's and eleven B-25's, flying air-ground support, bomb enemy positions. 2 B-24's and 12 P-38's fly air cover sorties and also patrol and strafe Attu. Kiska is covered by three F-5A's photo sorties and three attack missions, flown by 9 B-25's and 16 P-40's. Targets include gun emplacements on North Head and the east end of the runway.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) Three B-24's from Canton fly a reconnaissance-bombing mission over Abemama and bomb the barracks area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) 9 B-24's and B-25's bomb Madang town area and Madang Airfield. Damaged on the ground is B-25D "Junior Bat" 41-29697.

THURSDAY, 27 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) Attu is covered by one B-25 flying ground support, bombing and strafing troops and dropping photos taken on the previous day to friendly forces, and by 1 B-24 and 6 P-38's flying air cover. Six P-40's fly an attack and reconnaissance mission to Kiska, concentrating on Little Kiska and on the Main Camp area.

7th AF: Lost on a search mission is B-24D "Green Hornet".

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24's and B-25's pound the Lae town area and airfield. Other B-25's hit enemy forces at Labu and Jacobsens Plantation. Finschhafen, Saidor, Kakakog, and Langgoer are hit by single-plane strikes.

FRIDAY, 28 MAY 1943

USAAF: Ditched is P-38G 42-13381 (survived).

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) Three B-24's from Canton fly a reconnaissance-bombing mission over Abemama, dropping six 500 pound bombs.

CBI CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In China, 16 P-40's, operating in 2 forces, dive-bomb railroad yards at Yoyang damaging tracks, warehouses, and the roundhouse.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) P-38's and P-40's, along with naval aircraft, attempt a strike on the Kolombangara area and Munda but are hampered by bad weather. Some of the Navy TBF bombers manage to bomb the runway and revetment area of Munda Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17's and B-24's attack Wewak, Dagua Airfield, and Boram Airfields and bomb the Wewak-Dagua coast road.

SATURDAY, 29 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) In the Aleutians, no missions are flown. All of Attu is secure after 19 days of fighting. US ground forces land on Shemya.

CBI CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) 9 B-24's bomb Ichang. 4 P-40's hit targets of opportunity in Tengchung and Lungling areas.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17's bomb Madang and Alexishafen. Heavy and medium bombers, operating individually or in flights of 2 bombers, attack the town, airfields, shipping, docks, and other targets at various places, including Babo, Nabire, Saidor, Finschhafen, and Manam; Cape Gloucester; Damar Island, Soemba, and Soembawa in the Sunda Islands; and Dili and Penfoei.

IJN: Kamikawa Maru is sunk by a torpedo fired by USS Scamp (SS-227)

SUNDAY, 30 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) US Army retakes Attu. 8 P-4O's fly 4 reconnaissance missions to Kiska. Three air-ground support missions to Attu by seven B-24's and twelve B-25's drop no bombs there and instead bomb Kiska installations. Two B-24's and twevle P-38's fly air cover missions over Attu and patrol the area. Three F-5A's fly photo reconnaissance and eight P-40's attack and strafe tents and troops and blast the runway at Kiska.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) The 19th Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group transfers with P-40's from NAS Barbers Point to Kipapa Field.

CBI CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In China, 7 B-24's bomb artillery positions S of Ichang. 4 P-40's bomb and strafe Tengchung and targets of opportunity along the Burma Road and at Lamaing, Burma; 8 others on offensive sweep strafe several targets of opportunity in the Ichang area; 11 others hit riverboats at Shasi and trains NE of Yoyang.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17's bomb Wewak, Boram, and Madang. In the Celebes, B-24's hit the Kendari area.

Ditched is P-39 piloted by Fitzgerald

MONDAY, 31 MAY 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eleventh Air Force) FIve F-5A's fly separate photo missions. 6 B-24's, 10 B-25's, 37 P-40's and 8 P-38's fly attack missions to Kiska. Their targets include Gertrude Cove, AA installations, trenches, the North Head runway, and a vessel.

CBI CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In China, nine B-24's, escorted by US and Chinese P-40's, bomb Ichang Airfield. The heavy bombers and fighters shoot down 5 fighters of an intercepting group of about 20. 1 Chinese P-40 is lost. 6 P-4O's on armed reconnaissance over the Siaokan area blast a train and strafe a troop concentration.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) Three B-24's on armed reconnaissance over southern Bougainville bomb the Numa Numa area and Tinputs. A small coastal vessel at Tinputs is set afire by B-24D "Frenisi" 42-40323.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24's bomb Lae Airfield and the Lae area.

RAAF: Five 31 Sqaudron Beaufighters attack Langgoer Airfield, during which one bomber and one fighter were destroyed on the ground. One fighter was downed while airborne and another damaged. Two Beaufighters were damaged in the raid. Lost on a training flight is Beaufighter A19-73.

 

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