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Allied missions against Magusaiai (Morgusaia) and Maleai
September 6, 1943–December 17, 1943

September 6, 1943
(13th AF, USN) Fighters and bombers fly a strike mission against a suspected a radar site on Morgusaia (Magusaiai). F4U Corsairs and F6F Hellcats (first combat mission in the South Pacific theater) fly top cover, including 14 F6F Hellcats from VF-33. Also escorting are eight P-39 Airacobras from the 68th Fighter Squadron. TBF Avengers bomb and strafe the target area. Ensign Warren flying 50 miles SE of Shortlands, due south of Farou Island, made contact with enemy aircraft and claimed one Zero shot down, the first Hellcat fighter victory in the South Pacific. Japanese records indicate a force of bombers and fighters attacked at 10:50 Tokyo Time (12:50 local time). They claimed 12 fighters and 1 bomber as uncertain. The Japanese lost one plane crashed, 1 heavily damaged and 1 moderately damaged.

References: History of Fighting Squadron 33 page 2 "On 6 September 1943, while escorting bombers over Morgusaia Island Ensign James A. Warren of Sparta, Michigan made contact with enemy fighters and in the ensuing action shot down the first enemy plane credited to the F6F 'Hellcat'." Thanks to Richard Dunn for additional information.

November 30, 1943
(13th AF) 17 B-25's bomb Malai.

December 1, 1943
(13th AF) 18 B-25's and 8 P-38's attack Malai.

December 2, 1943
(13th AF) 20+ B-25's hit Malai.

December 17, 1943
(13th AF) 18 B-25's bomb Maleai. Damaged by anti-aircraft fire is B-25D Mitchell 41-30661 that crashes on flight back to base.

December 30, 1943
(13th AF) B-24J Liberator 42-73268 drops four 1,000 pound bombs on Maleai on Magusaiai.

January 6, 1944
(13th AF, RNZAF) B-25's and RNZAF Ventura's bomb and strafe targets on Morgusaia.



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