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

SUNDAY, 1 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): Seven B-24's bomb the Main Camp area on Kiska through the overcast.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): 8 B-25's hit the E approach of the road bridge at Shweli, Burma, damaging cable anchorages and pylons but leaving the bridge usable.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): P-40's and US Navy aircraft again hit Munda bombing AA positions, ammunition dumps, and other targets.

21 B-24's, 16 P-38's, and 10 44th FS P-40 Warhawks with 30+ US Navy SBDs and TBFs during an afternoon attack on Kahili Airfield; other P-40's and 80+ Navy aircraft hit shipping in nearby waters. Returning from the mission five P-40s were attacked from behind by 25-30 Zeros over Gizo Island. Lost was P-40F 41-19819 and three others damaged.

The 64th Troop Carrier Squadron, 403d Troop Carrier Group, arrives at Tontouta, New Caledonia from the US with C-47's and begins flying missions on 7 Aug 43. The 371st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) ceases operating from Funafuti with B-24's and returns to it's base on Espiritu Santo for R&R.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): A lone B-24 bombs the airfield at Lae, New Guinea.

USN: Sunk in Rendova Harbor by Japanese aircraft are PT-164 and PT-117.

MONDAY, 2 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): Eight B-24's, nine B-25's, and eight P-38's hit Kiska in two waves, bombing and strafing North Head, and coast guns on Little Kiska scoring several hits. 1 or 2 enemy aircraft over Attu cannot be intercepted due to weather.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): B-25's, B-17's, P-40's, and US Navy fighters pound the shores of Bairoko Harbor; and B-24's, B-25's, P-40's and Navy F4U's hit a supply area on the W side of Webster Cove. Crashed on takeoff is B-17E "Yankee Doodle" 41-2463.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-17's bomb supply dumps on the shores of Hansa Bay and targets of opportunity along the Francisco River; A-20's hit Buiambun and B-25's pound barges from Lae to Bogadjim, from Lae to Kepler Point lost is B-25D 41-30221, and from the Bubui River to Lepsius Point; and B-24's bomb Lae harbor, Salamaua, and the W shore of Voco Point.

USN: PT-109 was sunk after a colison with Japanese destroyer Amagiri.

RAAF: Eighteen P-40s escort Beaufighters and Bostons attacking Gasmata Airfield. Force landed is P-40K Kittyhawk A29-201.

TUESDAY, 3 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): Six attack missions, two of which abort, are flown to Kiska by B-24's, B-25's, P-38's, and P-40's; numerous targets hit and strafed include installations at North Head and South Head.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-25's, B-17's, and B-24's bomb barges, small craft, villages, grounded planes, trails, and military camps at numerous points, including areas in or around Bogadjim, Salamaua, Manokwari, and Larat and along the Bubui, Masaweng, Mindjim, and Kofebi Rivers and Bogadjim Road. Lost is B-17E "Red Moose Express" 41-2634. The W coast of Borgen Bay and an island in Marien Harbor are also hit. Force landed at Bulldog Airfield is P-400 Airacobra AP-335.

RAAF - Vengence A27-235 crashes on a training mission near Cooktown.

WEDNESDAY, 4 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): Between 0855 and 1846 hours, 153 tons of bombs are dropped on Kiska, a new one-day record; 6 armored weather, photo and reconnaissance missions, flown by 3 B-24's, 2 P-40's, and 2 F-5A's bomb through clouds, take photos and observe fires in Main Camp and on Little Kiska; later 48 B-25's, 22 B-24's, 16 A-24s, 8 P-40's, and 40 P-38's fly 17 bombing and strafing attacks against Kiska; targets include buildings near the radio station, and the gun battery area on North Head. Little Kiska and Segula is also strafed.The 36th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 28th Composite Group, which has been operating from Adak with B-24's since Jun 43, returns to it's base on Amchitka.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): On New Georgia Island in the Solomons Island, B-25's, and US Navy dive bombers, bomb the Gurasai-Kindu Village area; some of the B-25's also strafe areas emitting intense small arms fire, silencing it. P-38's and P-40's claim 11 fighters downed in a series of running battles over the Central Solomons.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-25's bomb and strafe the Itni River area on New Britain and hit several villages on Selaroe Island. Single B-24's bomb a dump area on the Francisco River and Cape Gloucester Airfield.

THURSDAY, 5 AUGUST 1943

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): B-24's bomb the shore of Rekata Bay W of the Borokeiello Point area. B-25's and US Navy fighters strafe barges on the NE coast of Gizo. The principal objective of Central Solomons campaign: Munda Airfield is taken by XIV Corps forces after 12 continuous days of fierce fighting in the jungle area. The 372d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based on Espiritu Santo begins operating from Guadalcanal with B-24's. The squadron will fly it's first mission on Saturday.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 30+ B-25's pound barges near Madang and at Alexishafen. Lost is B-25D 41-30118 Also they hit the Nuru River bridge and towns of Bogadjim and Saidor; a single B-24 bombs Finschhafen while another hits Vitu Island in the Bismarck Archipelago. Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm A Moore takes command of the newly formed Second Air Task Force based at the recently constructed advance airfield at Tsili Tsili, New Guinea; strikes from here will facilitate operations against Lae, New Guinea.

RAAF - Crashed on a training flight is P-40E A29-1.

FRIDAY, 6 AUGUST 1943

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 20 P-39's and P-40's hit the Tanagaba Harbor area; and 24 B-17's and B-24's, 24 B-25's, and 50+ US Navy and USMC fighters and dive bombers pound the Rekata Bay area, hitting bivouac and supply areas.

A F5A photo recon lightning, escorted by eight F4Us from VMF-221 on Banika preform an armed reconnassiance flying 50-100 feet off the water against the seaplane base at Shortland Harbor. They suprise enemy Rufe and Jake seaplanes taking off, but are attacked by about a dozen A6M Zeros in the air. They shoot down five enemy planes. Two F4Us are damaged, lost is F4U Corsair 02492 (MIA).

The 63d Troop Carrier Squadron, 403d Troop Carrier Group, arrives on Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Islands from the US with C-47's. The squadron begins flying missions upon arrival.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): During the night of 6/7 Aug, B-24's bomb Laha Airfield.

SATURDAY, 7 AUGUST 1943

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 16 B-24's and 40+ B-25's, plus nearly 30 US Navy airplanes, pound the harbor and shore areas of Bairoko. The 64th Troop Carrier Squadron, 403d Troop Carrier Group, transfers with C-47's from Tontouta, New Caledonia to Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-24's thoroughly pound the Salamaua area and also hit Kela Village. B-25's hit Cape Chater Airfield and Lautem. Lost on a flight from Townsville to Brisbane is C-47 41-7733 aboard 27 crew and passengers died in this crash. Lost on a flight to Brisbane is C-47 41-7733. Crashed on a training flight is B-25C 41-12946. Landing accident P-39N 42-18807 (repaired).

SUNDAY, 8 AUGUST 1943

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): On Kolombangara 23 B-25's, with P-38's, P-39's, and US Navy F4U's as cover, bomb Vila and Buki Harbor. The 72d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), which has been operating from Guadalcanal with B-17's since Oct 42, ceases combat operations and regroups at it's base on Espiritu Santo. The squadron will transition to B-24D's and re-enter combat in Oct 43.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-24's attack Larat, shipping at Semboh, and barges at Kokas. Lost is B-24D "Big Emma" 41-23751. The 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, based at Amberley Field begins operating from Port Moresby with P-38's. The squadron will fly it's first mission on Thursday (August 12th).

USN: Grounded and abandoned is PT-113.

MONDAY, 9 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): A B-24 flies photo reconnaissance over Kiska.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 10 B-25's, with fighter cover, bomb Vila. Shortly thereafter 22 B-24's strike the same target.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-17's, B-24's, and B-25's bomb Salamaua, Lae, Nuk Nuk, Samoa Harbor at the mouth of the Francisco River, a barge near Reiss Point, and bridges on the Bogadjim-Ramu road. Barges and machine gun positons along Borgen Bay, installations at Unea and targets of opportunity at Alilit in the Moluccas Islands are bombed. Amboina is thoroughly pounded.

TUESDAY, 10 AUGUST 1943


ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): P-38's, P-40's, A-24s, B-24's and B-25's bomb and strafe various targets on Kiska; direct hits are scored on revetments W of the Wheat Grove and on gun emplacements, as well as on buildings on Little Kiska. HQ Eleventh Air Force transfers from Elmendorf Field to Adak.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Colonel William A Matheny becomes acting Commanding General, XIII Bomber Command, a position he is officially assigned to on 30 September 1943. P-40's and P-39's turn back about 40 fighters attacking US bulldozers repairing Munda Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 20+ B-24's pound airfields in the Salamaua area; 12 B-25's hit barges in the Lae area and AA positions W of Borgen Bay; and 6 A-20's bomb and strafe barges in Labu Lagoon and Gasmata. Lost after a mid-air collision is C-47 42-23700 near Terapo.

WEDNESDAY, 11 AUGUST 1943


ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): B-24's, B-25's, A-24s, and P-38's pound Kiska during 11 attack missions; later, tem reconnaissance, strafing and photo missions to Kiska are flown by 3 P-38's, 26 P-40's, 4 F-5A's and 1 B-24. Nine B-24's from Attu Airfield drop  bombs and incendiaries on Paramushiru, including Kashiwabara Airfield and Shimushu where the Kataoka naval base and staging area are hit. Forty enemy aircraft challenge the attackers, which claim four confirmed kills, one probable, and four possibles.

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

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Five B-24's hit a supply area on the east side of Suavanau Point and Papatura Fa.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-24 on armored reconnaissance sinks an enemy freighter NW of Kavieng on New Ireland Island in the Bismarck Archipelago. The Second Air Task Force  completes a movement to Tsili Tsili Airfield, New Guinea.

RAAF - Crashed on takeoff is Beaufighter A19-74.

THURSDAY, 12 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): From Adak B-24's and B-25's fly 26 bombing, strafing, and radar and photo reconnaissance sorties over Kiska. From Amchitka P-40's, P-38's, B-24's, B-25's, and A-24s fly 70 bombing sorties over Kiska and are joined by B-24's, P-40's, and F-5A's flying 6 reconnaissance and photo sorties. Targets include the runway, harbor and shipping installations, army barracks, and the Rose Hill area. Lost is B-24D 42-40309 (crew interned, returned to duty, one died).

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 16 B-24's from the 307th BG and 9 B-24s from the 5th BG, 31st BS escorted by eight P-40s of the 44th FS and 22 F4Us from VMF-124 on a bombing mission over Kahili Airfield. The bombers drop 520 x 100lbs bombs on the runway and revetment areas and claim twenty aircraft destroyed on the ground. Returning, the formation is attacked by roughly 30 A6M Zeros over Ballale. 70th FS Cosgrove claimed a Zero and F4U piloted by Ken Walsh claimed two. In total, they the Allies claim 11 Zekes shot down. Lost is P-40F piloted by Smith and F4U Corsair.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-25's hit the Bogadjim-Yaula road. A-20's bomb and strafe Gasmata and nearby barges; and a B-24 hits Cape Gloucester Airfield. The 432d Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, based at Amberley Field begins operating from Port Moresby with P-38's. The squadron will fly it's first combat mission on Friday.

FRIDAY, 13 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): Seven B-25's from Adak bomb targets at Main Camp and North Head on Kiska and Little Kiska. A B-24 flies a special reconnaissance mission. From Amchitka B-24's, B-25's, A-24s, and P-38's fly 8 more bombing missions against Kiska pounding the Camp area, gun emplacements, buildings, shipping, and Kiska Airfield revetments. The 406th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), ceases operating from Adak with B-25's and returns to it's base at Elmendorf Field. During the latter part of August 1943, the 515th Fighter-Bomber Squadron and 516th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 407th Fighter-Bomber Group, cease operating from Amchitka with A-24s and return to their base at Drew Field, Tampa, Florida.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 4 P-40's bomb and strafe enemy installations at Lungling, China.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Four P-40s from the 44th Fighter Squadron become the first Allied aircraft to land on the reconstructed Munda Airfield; after refueling, they are sent on a sweep over Kolombangara. Nine B-17s, with fighter cover, bomb a Kape Harbor depot; and 2 others on armored reconnaissance bomb Vila. 12 B-25's bomb supply areas in the Rekata Bay area; two B-24's on armed reconnaissance hit Suavanau Point. Eight B-24 bomb Ballale Airfield. 25 B-24s escorted by 8 US P-40s and 22 F4Us bomb Kahili Airfield, they loose one P-40 and one F4U. Lost are F4U 02409, F4U 02679.

Guadalcanal - USS John Penn is sunk by aerial attack off Guadalcanal.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 59 B-24's, B-17's, and B-26's drop 175 tons of bombs in the Salamaua area in the heaviest single day strike by the Fifth Air Force to date. Taking off from airfields south of Darwin, eleven B-24's of the 380th Bomber Group took off on a mission to bomb the oil center at Balikpapan during a late night raid. Two B-24s aboard the mission due to bad weather during the outbound leg of the mission. The mission covers 1,200 miles and bombers return the next day.

SATURDAY, 14 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): Two B-24's fly a special radar ferret and reconnaissance mission; 1 B-25, 8 B-24's, and 10 P-38's then fly two attack missions over Kiska bombing with unobserved results.

SOUTH PACIFIC (Thirteenth Air Force): 9 B-17's bomb the Rekata Bay area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC (Fifth Air Force): Force landed returning from the Balikpapan mission is B-24D "Shady Lady" 42-40369. 50+ B-24's, B-17's, and B-25's pound the Salamaua area battle zone; with  close air and artillery support, US forces push to the crest of Roosevelt Ridge; the enemy retains several ridges along Dot Inlet; and A-20's strafe  barges near Finschhafen. On New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago,  B-25's hit barges at Talasea and Rein Bay, and other B-25's bomb Koepang. HQ 475th Fighter Group and it's 431st, 432d and 433d Fighter Squadrons transfer from Amberley Field to Dobodura with P-38's. The 431st and 432d are operating from Port Moresby, the 431st until Oct 43 and the 432d until Sep 43; the 433d will fly it's first mission tomorrow.

SUNDAY, 15 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): US and Canadian troops land on Kiska and discover that the Japanese, under the cover of fog, evacuated their garrison. A P-38 bombs and strafes Sniper Hill. The 635th Bombardment Squadron (Dive), 407th Fighter-Bomber Group, based at Drew Field, but operating from Amchitka is disbanded and it's A-24s are transferred to other units.

SOUTH PACIFIC (Thirteenth Air Force): Commander Air (COMAIR), New Georgia command post, recently opened at Munda Point by Major General Francis P. Mulcahy, USMC, conducts its first full day of operations. Fighters are sent to cover amphibious landings at Vella Lavella where elements of the 25th Infantry Division, and supporting units, go ashore at Barakoma and establish a beachhead. Allied airplanes knock down about 25 Japanese aircraft including seven 13th Air Force fighters attacking the landings. F4Us also claim 10 Japanese shot down over Kahili. B-25's bomb Papatura Fa and Ighiti Islands in the Rekata Bay area of Santa Isabel.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC (Fifth Air Force): Heavy bombers hit the Salamaua area. HQ 35th Fighter Group transfers from Port Moresby to Tsili Tsili. Ki-48 Lilys of the 208 Sentai led by 1/Lt Imai, escorted by 22 Ki-43 Oscars of the 59th Sentai and 12 Ki-43 Oscars of the 24th Sentai attack Tsili Tsili Airfield for the first time; intercepting P-39's claim 14 airplanes downed for the loss of 3 P-39's. Lost are P-39N piloted by Hilbert (survived) P-39N piloted by Bomar (survived), P-39N piloted by Bomar (survived) and P-39N piloted by Mikiska (survived) P-39N piloted by Topolcany (KIA) C-47 "Liliane" 41-18682 and C-47 41-18668. the passengers were personnel of the 41st FS. The 41st was one of the units intercepting. American claims included 9 of a total of 11 claims for Lily. (Actually only 7 Ki-48s were in the raid). They also claimed 2 of the 3 OSCARS shot down. Japanese losses 6 bombers, 3 fighters. Among the Ki-48 Lily losses were 1210, 1235, 1242, 1249 and 1250 (wrecks inspected at Tsili Tsili, Pesen, and Babauf). Also lost are P-400 AP 347 and B-24D "Hells Angels" 41-11903 (MIA).

Thanks to Richard Dunn for additional information, he adds:
"Souces are confused on Lilys versus Sallys. On 15 Aug there really is no dispute. Captured docs clearly establish them as Type 99 Light Bombers. In addition Impact magazine (Dec 43) has gun camera photos of several Lilys in the action. I also have the crash reports and s/ns from most of the losses. Escort of 22 from 59th and 12 from 24th. Strangely the Type 99 LBs shot down on the 16th were claimed as Kates! There were also 7 LBs in that raid."

IJN: Crashed is D4Y1 Judy 330.

RAAF: Lost is Hudson A16-181 (MIA).

MONDAY, 16 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): A B-24 reconnaissance flight reconnoiters North Head, Main Camp, and northern Kiska, and observes friendly forces unopposed advance into Main Camp.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): Bombers hit and claim two small vessels sunk about 130 miles south of Rangoon. The 89th Fighter Squadron, 80th Fighter Group, transfers from Karachi to Gushkara with P-40's. The squadron will fly it's first mission on 8 Sep 43.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 4 P-40's bomb town of Tengchung, China.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): NIne B-24's bomb Papatura near Rekata Bay. 12 B-25's, 5 B-17's, and 30+ US Navy planes attack Vila Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): Two B-24s bomb the oil tanks at Balikpapan. Two B-25's bomb Larat. Near Tsili Tsili, 33 Ki-43 Oscars (other sources claim 25) escort seven Ki-48 Lily bombers attack Tsili Tsili Airfield. Meanwhile, twenty four C-47s took off from Port Moresby, moving aviation fuel and supplies to the new airbase at Tsili-Tsili and Marilinan. The 5th Air Force provided a much stronger fighter escort for the C-47s following the loss of two transports to Japanese Army fighters the previous day at Tsili Tsili. Escorting the transports were 32 P-47 Thunderbolts (16 from the 340th FS, 348th FG and 16 from the 341st FS, 348th FG plus 12 P-38's of the 475th FG, 431st FS which had only recently begun operations in New Guinea provide escort. The Japanese strike is completely thwarted and twelve Japanese fighters claimed as shot down. All of the 24 transports landed safely at Tsili Tsili Airfield. While unloading was underway a Japanese strike from Wewak consisting of 33 Ki-43 Oscars escorting seve (other sources claim 3) Ki-48 Lilys attempt to attack Tsili Tsili Airfield. Each US Squadron became involved in separate combats with the escorting Ki-43s and numerous claims were made on both sides. P-47D piloted by Leighton was lost and P-38 piloted by Blythe is damaged and lands at Tsili Tsili Airfield. This mission marked the first the combat use of the P-47 in the Southwest Pacific Theater.

RAAF: Ditched off Fergusson Island is Beaufighter A19-130.

USN: Lost is PBY Catalina 2446.

TUESDAY, 17 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): A B-24 flies over Kiska watching friendly forces land on the shore of east Kiska Lake.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 23 B-24's, operating in 3 waves, bomb barracks at Cau Lo, French Indochina. 4 P-40's bomb town of Mangshih, China.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 50+ B-24's and B-17's make a predawn attack on Wewak and satellite airfields at Boram, Dagua Airfield, and But, and also hit Tadji and Madang. Over Boram Airfield searchlights and intense anti-aircraft fire met the attacking bombers, including Ki-45 nightfighters, that claim one shot down and one probable. Japanese also emply barrage balloons over the coastal area and vessels in Wewak Harbor. Lost are B-24D 42-40981, B-24D "Yanks From Hell II" 41-23716 and B-24D "Twin Niftys" 42-40348. During the midmorning, 30+ B-25's, with 80+ P-38's covering, carry out the day's second bombing and strafing strike on Boram, Wewak, and Dagua Airfield; this begins a campaign to neutralize Japanese airfields in preparation for offensive against Lae. On the ground around Wewak, the Japanese reported 13 Japanese aircraft were destroyed, 20 badly damaged and 34 slightly damaged. ; A-20's hit enemy forces in the Salamaua area. B-24's bomb oil facilities at Balikpapan.

JAAF: Lost is Ki-46 Dinah 2250 near Channel Point. Lost is Ki-46 Dinah 2273 is lost near Bathurst Island. Ki-46 Dinah 2237 is lost near Fenton.

RAAF: Crash landed is Hudson A16-129 (survived)

WEDNESDAY, 18 AUGUST 1943

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 70+ B-24's, B-25's, and B-17's, with cover of almost 100 fighters, blast airfields at Wewak, Boram, Dagua, and But. The midmorning attacks cause heavy destruction of Japanese airplanes on the ground, and US fighters and bombers claim 30+ enemy aircraft shot down. Lost are P-38H 42-66572, B-25D 41-30526 and B-25D 41-30117. Lost on an escort mission due to weather are P-47D 42-8059 and P-47D 42-8144.

THURSDAY, 19 AUGUST 1943

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): Brigadier General Howard C Davidson becomes Commanding General Tenth Air Force.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomon Islands, B-25's, operating in pairs and with fighter escort, hit barges at Timbala Bay on Vella Lavella, Kakasa radio station on Gill Island,  and a beached vessel in Paraso Bay. From this date through 28 Aug, Japanese airplanes attack Allied forces in the Barakoma area of Vella Lavella, losing a considerable number of aircraft (claims total about 50) to Allied fighters and ground fire without doing any great damage to the Allies. HQ 5th Bombardment Group transfers from Espiritu Santo to Carney Field.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-24's attack Manokwari, sink a small craft near Babo, and bomb Larat and Saumlakki in the Tanimbar Islands. B-25's hit Koepang, Fuiloro, and Lautem. HQ 375th Troop Carrier Group transfers from Port Moresby to Dobodura. Force landed is B-25D 41-30529.

FRIDAY, 20 AUGUST 1943

CBI: Army Air Forces, India-Burma Sector, China-Burma-India Theater is activated at New Delhi. Lieutenant General George E Stratemeyer assumes command. Components include the Tenth Air Force, China-Burma-India Air Service Command (Provisional),  China-Burma-India Training Unit (Provisional) and several lesser units.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): X Air Force Service Command (AFSC) personnel and organizations are absorbed by CBI ASC (Prov), see above.  Brigadier General Robert C Oliver, Commanding General X AFSC, becomes  Commanding General CBI ASC (Prov).

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Six B-25's, with fighter escort,  bomb Tien Ho Airfield, they claim five interceptors shot down. 15 P-40's intercept 21 fighters over Kweilin; 2 P-40's and 2 Zekes are shot down.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): HQ XIII Bomber Command transfers from Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides Islands to Guadalcanal.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 24 B-24's, escorted by 46 P-38's, hit Boram Airfield in the late morning; P-38's claim 19 fighters shot down. Force landed is B-24D "Joltin Janie II" 42-40233. A-20's bomb Lae and hit the Salamaua area where enemy forces have abandoned positions on Mount Tambu and Komiatum Ridge and are manning last-ditch defensive position at Salamaua. B-25's strafe barges near Cape Gloucester. Lost are P-38G 43-2201 (MIA), P-38H piloted by Camp (KIA, BR) and B-24D "Miss Carriage" 41-24207 (MIA/POW).

SATURDAY, 21 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): During the Aleutian Campaign, 3 Jun 42 to 21 Aug 43, the Eleventh Air Force destroyed 69 aircraft, sank 21 and damaged 29 ships, and lost 29 of its own aircraft.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 14 B-24's, 7 B-25's, and 11 P-40's attack docks at Hankow and Hankow Airfield; a large force of fighters, estimated at 50+, attacks the B-24 formation, shooting down 2 of the B-24's; gunners on the B-24's claim 40+ fighters shot down. In the Hengyang area, 19 P-40's battle 33 airplanes, shooting down 5 Zekes. S of Changsha, 9 P-38's clash with 12 Zekes, shooting down 3.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): B-25's and fighters strafe barges in Doveli Cove and Marquana and Paraso Bays in the Central Solomons.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 38th BG B-25's attack But Airfield and Dagua Airfield, with close escort by sixteen P-38s of the 80th FS. There were scattered clouds over the target and an overcast en route over the mountains. The formation was attacked by between 20 and 40 Ki-43 Oscars about 15 miles south of Dagua, eleven of which were claimed to have been shot down. Lost are P-38G piloted by Guttel (MIA), P-38 piloted by Feehan (MIA) and P-38G piloted by Krisher (MIA) also P-38F 42-12637 (survived) and B-25D 41-30166 (survived). Japanese sources indicate 25 fighters intercepted from 13th Sentai (mostly flying Type 1 fighters at this time), 59th Sentai and 68th Sentai, and seven were lost (another source lists 6 pilots killed: 2 from 68th Sentai and three from 13th Sentai and one from 59th Sentai). Japanese claims 11 plus 4 uncertain.

L2D Tabby is shot down over Bono Bay by 380th BG B-24D "Juarez Whistle".

B-17's bomb the Bogadjim area; and single B-24's hit the Salamaua area and targets of opportunity at Lahang. B-24's carry out a damaging strike against Pombelaa in the Celebes.

RAAF: Seven Beaufighters attack Taberfane Seaplane Base. Lost in an aerial collision over the target are: Beaufighter A19-47 and Beaufighter A19-63.

SUNDAY, 22 AUGUST 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 4 P-40's bomb Japanese HQ and a supply dump at Tengchung, and strafe trucks and troops in the area; 2 others strafe road traffic between Tengchung and Lungling. The 12th Photographic Squadron, Fourteenth Air Force, transfers from Bishnupur to Kunming with F-5's. The flight which has been operating from Kweilin since Jul will remain there until Sep 43.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): B-25's and US Navy dive bombers, escorted by fighter aircraft, bomb barge centers on the W coast of Vella Lavella.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-25's strike Dili. As a result of the air offensive against Wewak and satellite airfields, Japanese airpower on New Guinea is sufficiently neutralized.

USN - Four Allied destroyers to proceed along the coast from Milne Bay to Finschhafen; after bombarding Finschhafen during the night of 22/23 Aug, then return to Milne Bay. Lost is TBF Avenger 06240.

MONDAY, 23 AUGUST 1943

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): B-25's fly low-level strike against Myitnge, Burma bridge, knocking out a center span and badly damaging 2 others.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): B-24's and P-39's strafe targets of opportunity on Wagina Island in the Solomon Islands.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-24's bomb Kendari town and Kendari Airfield. B-25's hit targets in the Aroe Islands. In New Guinea, B-26's pound Kela; and B-25's hit Marawasa, Finschhafen, and Lillum Saun. Lost is P-38G piloted by Mathers.

TUESDAY, 24 AUGUST 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 7 B-24's and 6 B-25's, escorted by 22 P-40's and P-38's, bomb Hankow Airfield and Wuchang Airfield; 4 B-24's are lost; they claim 24 enemy interceptors shot down.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Twenty-five B-24's with fighter escort, bomb Papatura Fa and attack the eastern shore of Ringa Cove on New Georgia. P-39's strafe barges at Kakasa on Choiseul. The 23d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), which has been operating from Guadalcanal with B-17's since Mar 43, returns to it's base on Espiritu Santo for R&R

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-24's bomb Salamaua; and B-25's bomb Larat and barges east of Wotap. B-24s from the 43rd Bombardment Group bomb Wewak. Over the target they are intercepted by Ki-43-II Ocars from the 24th Sentai and 59th Sentai plus Ki-61 Tonys from the 68th Sentai. Force landed returning from the mission to Wewak is P-38H 42-66745 (pilot rescued).

RNZAF Lost is Lockheed Hudson NZ2034.

WEDNESDAY, 25 AUGUST 1943

RN - Admiral Louis F Mountbatten is appointed Supreme Allied Commander, Southeast Asia.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 8 B-25's, with fighter escort, bomb Kowloon Docks at Hong Kong.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 13 B-25's, along with 40+ US Navy dive bombers and an escort of fighter aircraft, pound barge centers at Webster and Ringa Coves on New Georgia Island. Other P-40's strafe large motor vessels and a barge in the NW part of the Slot.

Six B-24's, along with 24 fighters, hit Kahili Airfield. Lost is P-40F 41-19838.

The 371st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based on Espiritu Santo begins operating from Guadalcanal with B-24's; they will fly their first mission tomorrow.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): Almost 100 B-24's, B-25's, and B-17's carry out an hour-long strike against the Hansa Bay area, Nubia, and Awar, and nearby shipping; and small flights of B-24's attack Finschhafen and hit a transport off New Hanover. A-20's hit Gasmata; and B-25's bomb targets on Timor Island. HQ 433d Troop Carrier Group arrives at Port Moresby, New Guinea from the US. They will remain at this station until Oct 44. P-39N 42-18807 suffered a landing accident at Mallett.

THURSDAY, 26 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): The Eleventh Air Force's striking power shrinks rapidly as the the following squadrons are ordered to prepare for departure to the Zone of Interior (ZI): 21st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group (Heavy), on Umnak with B-24's, 36th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 28th Composite Group, on Amchitka with B-24's, 73d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 28th Composite Group, on Amchitka with B-25's, and 406th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), at Elmendorf Field with B-25's.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 15 B-24's, with an escort of 17 fighters,  bomb Kowloon Docks at Hong Kong; 5 Japanese interceptors are shot down. Five B-25's, supported by eleven P-40's, bomb Tien Ho Airfield; in a battle with enemy interceptors one P-40 is lost; the B-25's and P-40's claim five Zekes downed. In China, the 449th Fighter Squadron is activated at Kunming and is assigned to the 51st Fighter Group. The squadron forms at Lingling and begins training with P-38's.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 11 B-25's and 50+ US Navy dive bombers, escorted by fighters,  pound AA positions and barges at Ringa and Webster Coves on New Georgia  and at Nusatuva Island; P-40s strafe two large motor boats and a  100' steam vessel off Ganongga; Fifteen B-24's bomb Papatura Ite and supply areas on Papatura Fa; Fifteen B-24's, with fighter escort including three P-40s from RNZAF 16 Squadron bomb Kahili Airfield; and P-39's strafe buildings at Gizo and at Kolulavabae Inlet.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): Lost on a landing accident at 30-Mile Drome is B-25D "Butch" 41-30163.

FRIDAY, 27 AUGUST 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 5 P-40's strafe a large truck convoy between Sintsiang and Yoyang, destroying 5 trucks and damaging 15 others; 1 P-40 is downed by ground fire; 6 other P-40's hit communication lines between Yoyang and Hankow; targets include 2 small steamboats, a gunboat, several railroad cars, and a water tower.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 10 B-24's Snoopers equipped with radar devices that permit blind bombing, begin operations from Carney Field, Guadalcanal. Twelve B-25's, eight P-40's, and eight US Navy F4U's strafe barges and shoreline targets at Kakasa on Choiseul; and P-39's strafe barges and shore targets at Ringa Cove on New Georgia.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-26's attack bridges in the Bogadjim area; and A-20's strafe barges and troops along the Babui River in the Lae area. B-25's bomb Dili and Cape Chater Airfield. The 67th Troop Carrier Squadron, 433d Troop Carrier Group, arrives at Port Moresby, New Guinea from the US with C-47's. Lost is C-47A Dakota 42-23698. Crashed on take off is B-17E "Topper" 41-2481.

SATURDAY, 28 AUGUST 1943

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomon Islands, B-25's, P-40's, and US Navy F4U's bomb and strafe barges, buildings, and personnel in the Sigolehe Island-Barora Ite Island area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 26 B-25's bomb and strafe dumps and shipping in the Hansa Bay area, sinking  a small freighter, a power launch, and 8 barges and luggers. Lost is B-25D "Reluctant Dragon" 41-30345; and 20 B-17's and A-20's bomb jetties at Lae and Voco Point and hit barges in Samoa Harbor between Lae and Salamaua. P-47 Thunderbolt force lands at Redscar Beach.

USMC: VMF-214 F4U Corsairs took off on a fighter sweep over Kahili Airfield (Buin). En route to the target, the formation experienced bad weather and became separated with only F4U piloted by Lt. Alvin J. Jensen strafing the target and claiming 24 aircraft burned, Japanese records indicate only five were burned. Lost is F4U Corsair 02577 pilot Lanphier taken POW, died May 15, 1944.

SUNDAY, 29 AUGUST 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 9 B-25's, with fighter escort, bomb the airfield at Chingmen, China.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, 35 B-24's, escorted by 44 P-38's, strike airfields at Wewak and Boram. Lost is B-24D "Pete The Carrier" 42-40920. Also, 48 B-25's and 2 B-17's bomb and strafe Alexishafen and Bogadjim areas. A-20's hit dumps at Gasmata. B-24's bomb Babo, New Guinea and Adodo in the Moluccas Islands.

MONDAY, 30 AUGUST 1943

ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): The 73d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 28th Composite Group, based at Amchitka with B-25's, begins a movement back to the US.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 13 B-25's, some with P-40 support, attack Owchihkow and Shihshow, blasting fuel stores and several buildings; the P-40's strafe gun positions outside Shihshow; 10 P-38's and P-40's on armored reconnaissance from Sinti to Yoyang to Sienning, strafe and bomb several targets of opportunity; 3 locomotives are exploded and  another damaged, a water tank is knocked down, and several railroad stations are heavily damaged. 4 other P-40's attack a convoy E of Hong Kong; 1 freighter is hit amidships, causing heavy damage; 2 other vessels are also effectively damaged.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 24 B-24's, along with 20 P-40's and P-39's and 20+ US Navy F4U's, pound Kahili Airfield. Allied airplanes claim more than 30 Japanese shot down; six US aircraft are lost including B-24D 42-40217, P-39 piloted by Stratton, F4U 02516 and F4U 02351.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-24's pound Dagua Airfield, But, and Tadji; and A-20's hit barges on the Bubui River. Lost is P-38H 42-66502. B-26's bomb Cape Gloucester Airfield while B-25's sweep along the NW coast, bombing and strafing barges and enemy-occupied villages. The 8th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, transfers from Dobodura to Tsili Tsili with P-40's.

IJN: Shot down is D4Y1 Judy 340.

(RAAF) Six Beaufighters from 31 Squadron that attacked Taberfane Seaplane Base. Lost is Beaufighter A19-119.

TUESDAY, 31 AUGUST 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Seven B-24's bomb Gia Lam Airfield; and 22 P-40's and 2 P-38's bomb a dike near Co Bi barracks. 6 B-25's hit Ichang Airfield, China while 3 others attack an oil storage area to the E; P-40's also hit the oil stores. 3 P-40's claim heavy damage to a freighter off Stonecutter's Island near Hong Kong. In China, 4 P-38's dive-bomb Yoyang railroad yards and Sinti warehouses; a P-38 is shot down by ground fire.

USN - Second Strike on Marcus Island - Task Force 15 (Rear Admiral C. A. Pownall), built around Essex, the new Yorktown and Independence launched nine strike groups in a day-long attack on Japanese installations on Marcus Island, the first strikes by Essex and Independence Class carriers, and the first combat use of the F6F Grumman Hellcat.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): P-40's, in a running battle over Vella Lavella, claim 5 Japanese airplanes shot down; other P-40's strafe barges in Timbala Bay on Vella Lavella. 22 B-25's and 50 US Navy airplanes bomb gun positions and the radio station at Vila.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): Bombers fly scattered strikes against shipping and shore targets in the Saint George Channel and in the Netherlands East Indies. Lost is B-24D "Little Beaver" 42-40984.

 

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