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Japanese missions against Tulagi and Guvutu
January 22 - May 5, 1942

January 22, 1942
(IJN) Japanese aircraft bombed the Tulagi. This was the first Japanese air raid against the Solomon Islands. On the ground, Solomon Islands Defense force member Fala opened fire on the attacking aircraft.

May 5, 1942
(IJN) A Japanese flying boat attacked the island and sank the RAAF crash boat. Occupied that same day by the Japanese 3rd Kure Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF). The island became a main Japanese base in the Florida Islands.

American missions against Tulagi and Guvutu
May 4 - August 7, 1942

Click For EnlargementMay 4, 1942
(USN) Carrier aircraft from USS Yorktown CV-5 arrived over Tulagi and find only small vessels and landing craft. They attacked and sink Kikuzuki, Tama Maru and WA-1, WA-2.

July 3, 1942
(5th AF) One A-24 bombs Tulagi

July 23, 1942
(SOPAC) 11th Bombardment Group B-17s on New Caledonia begin photo reconnaissance of the Guadalcanal-Tulagi-Gavutu area.

July 30, 1942
(SOPAC) 11th Bombardment Group B-17s on New Caledonia begin photo reconnaissance of the Guadalcanal-Tulagi-Gavutu area.

Click For EnlargementAugust 7, 1942
((USN) Dive bombers strike Gavutu and seaplane anchorage, buring seven large seaplanes (H6K Mavis). US Navy ships bombard the island, damaging the seaplane ramp. A pre invation bombardment hits targets on Gavutu, damaging the seaplane ramp and Tanambogo.

(USMC) At 12:00, US Marines of the 1st Parachute Battalion landed at Gavutu Air support for the U.S Marines' first amphibious landing of World War II was provided by three carriers of Air Support Force (Rear Admiral L. Noyes), and by Navy, Marine, and Army units of Aircraft, South Pacific (Rear Admiral J. S. McCain) operating from bases on New Caledonia and New Hebrides.

Japanese missions Against Tulagi and Guvutu
August 7, 1942 - June 16, 1943

August 7, 1942
Japanese G4M1 Betty bombers escorted by A6M2 Zeros attack shipping off Tulagi.

April 1, 1943
42 fighters (P-38's and Navy and Marine aircraft) are sent over the Russell Islands to intercept Japanese enroute to Tulagi / Guadalcanal, and the incomplete airstrips in the Russells. A large IJN strike force of Aichi D3A1 Type 99 (Val) carrier based dive-bombers, with Mitsubishi A6M2 Type 0 carrier fighter, Model 21s (Zeke) from the IJN Carrier Division Two (CARDIV 2), commanded by the IJN Rear Admiral Kakuta Kakuji, which included the carriers ZUIKAKU, SHOKAKU, and the ZUIHO. The IJN CARDIV 1 was composed of the carriers RYUJO, JUNYO, and HIYO. Aircraft from all of these carriers had been shore based since February to replace the relocation of the Fourth Kokutai transfer of its aerial assets of approximately 200 aircraft to Wewak. The air battle lasts for nearly 3 hours. Six US fighters are lost, against claims of 20 Japanese airplanes destroyed.

April 7, 1943
a large force of Japanese dive bombers and fighters is reported by coast watchers to be moving down the "Slot." In its path are a convoy off the E coast of Guadalcanal, shipping at Koli Point, and a Task Force at Tulagi. Every operable fighter (76) on Guadalcanal is sent up, and the bombers are moved to the SW tip of the island for safety. The air battle takes place off the Russells, near Tulagi, and over the convoy.

May 13, 1943
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 Russell Island-Tulagi area. Allied pilots claim 16 aircraft shot down (1 by USAAF fighters).

June 16, 1943
About 120 Japanese aircraft converging on Allied vessels off Tulagi and Guadalcanal Islands in the Solomon Islands are met by more than 100 Allied fighters (USAAF, Royal New Zealand Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps). The skies over Savo and Tulagi, and Cape Esperance and Koli Point on Guadalcanal Island are filled with dogfights and flak from ship and ground guns. The battle results in the largest single-day Allied aerial victory of the Solomon Islands campaign; 79 airplanes are claimed shot down by Allied fighters, and AA claims 17 more; 6 Allied fighters are lost. The Japanese succeed in damaging 3 ships (2 of which have to be beached) and cause considerable destruction on Guadalcanal.

 

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