Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 13, 2021 14:50:43 GMT 12
AA guns and the runway at Vunakanau were struck at 1135 by 36 SBD's and 22 TBF's from Piva. The SBD's dropped 36x1000#, and the TBF's, 50x500# and 7x2000# bombs. The AA was moderate and accurate, generally from heavy positions, damaging two SBD's and two TBF's. On the withdrawal, one SBD made a water landing; the pilot and gunner were rescued by a Dumbo. The field was made unserviceable by 14 hits on the concrete runway, 12 on the west coral and 15 on the east coral strip. Strike Command, Green, executed a shipping strike at Keravia Bay with 18 SBD's and six TBF's, which released 18x1000# and 3x2000# bombs, respectively. Pilots reported five damaging or destroying hits on barges and one on a 300-foot freighter. A PV shipping search was negative. Twelve sorties were flown by SBD's, dropping 2x1000# bombs on artillery spotting missions. Ground support against the barge hideout at the mouth of the Mariropa River was carried out by six SBD's and nine TBF's, which hit the area with 6x1000# and 95x100# bombs, respectively.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 13, 2021 14:54:02 GMT 12
Fifty Piva SBD's and 18 TBF's dropped 47x1000# and 32x500# bombs, plus 9x2000#, respectively, on the Lakunai runway and antiaircraft guns at 1150. SBD's reported the AA as being generally light to moderate and inaccurate, while the TBF's reported moderate and accurate fire. One TBF, Lieut. Lechlider, VC 40, pilot, made a water landing in St. George Channel. The pilot and crewmen were rescued by a Dumbo. One five-inch AA gun and its fire control apparatus, south of Sulphur Creek were destroyed. Eighteen craters were blasted out of the concrete runway, and 17 in the matting, making the strip unserviceable. Three TBF's, whose bombs did not release over Lakunai, later struck Cape St. George, dropping 8x500# bombs. The PV shipping search was negative. Strike Command, Green, reported 17 SBD's and 12 TBF's released 17x1000# and 43x500# bombs, respectively, in the Talili Bay supply area, and six SBD's and six TBF's hit shipping in Simpson Harbor with 6x1000# and 24x500# bombs respectively. SBD's flew 16 artillery spotting sorties, with 2x1000# bombs being dropped. Six SBD's and six TBF's attacked a bridge on the Puriata River, dropping 6x1000# and 23x500# bombs respectively. A barge was destroyed.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 14, 2021 10:54:13 GMT 12
Twenty percent of the Rataval supply area was destroyed by 26x 1000# bombs and 99x500# incendiary clusters in an attack by 28 SBDs and 25 TBF's drom Piva at 1015. Anti-aircraft fire generally was inaccurate, with one TBF being holed in the left aileron. The PV shipping search was negative. Sixteen SBDs, spotting artillery fire, dropped 6x1000# and 4x100# bombs. Twelve SBD's and 12 TBF's bombed a supply area on the Maririci River with 12x1000# and 43x500# bombs respectively. Strike Command, Green, sent out two shipping strikes-one, consisting of 16 SBDs and 12 TBFs, to Keravia Bay, and the second, eight SBDs and two TBFs, to Simpson Harbor.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 14, 2021 10:55:49 GMT 12
Raluana Point, the secondary target, was hit by a coordinated Piva Green strike when the primary, Rabaul town, was closed in by clouds. Piva sent out 51 SBDs and 27 TBFs; Green, 12 SBDs. The SBDs dropped 63# 1000# bombs and 102x125# incendiary clusters; the TBFs, 108x500# incendiary clusters. Automatic and machine gun AA fire was moderate and generally inaccurate, resulting in a TBF making a water landing off Buka and slightly damaging one SBD. A Dumbo rescued the pilot and crew of the TBF. Two New Zealand SBDs were destroyed, one pilot and two gunners injured, when the planes' 125# incendiary clusters, which had hung up and not been released, exploded after the aircraft had landed. There was no photographic coverage of the strike, but pilots reported many buildings destroyed, several fires started, and hits on barges off the point. Three TBF spares started fires on Cape St. George with 8x500# incendiary clusters. The search by two SBDs for a downed B-25 was negative. Two SBDs assisted the Dumbo in finding the survivors of the TBF that went down off Buka. Sixteen SBDs did artillery spotting. Six TBFs, dropping 24x500# bombs, destroyed a bridge over the Puriata River, and six other TBF's attacked coastal guns in the Mamagata area with 24x500# bombs. Ten SBDs from Green attacked the Raluana Point supply area, claiming three buildings destroyed and one barge sunk. Another Green strike—15 SBD's and 12 TBF's—bombed the Talili Bay supply area, reporting three buildings destroyed and an ammunition dump fired.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 14, 2021 10:58:29 GMT 12
When cloud cover prevented a Piva strike from making the planned attack on primary target of Vunakanau, the planes released over three targets in the Rabaul area. Twenty-four TBF's dropped 45x500# and 10x2000# bombs on the Talili Bay area, starting a fire. Four small warehouses were reported to have been destroyed at Kabagada. Twenty-two SBD's released 21x1000# bombs over Vunakanau, while 37 SBD's dropped 35 x1000# on Tobera. Anti-aircraft fire was moderate and inaccurate over Talili Bay, intense and accurate to inaccurate at Vunakanau and moderate and inaccurate at Tobera. Three TBF's and one SBD suffered minor damage. The PV on the shipping sweep reported negative. Thirteen artillery spotting sorties were flown by TBF's. The Talili Bay area also was hit by six SBD's and six TBF's from Green. The planes dropped 6x1000# and 6x2000# bombs.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 14, 2021 11:00:30 GMT 12
A scheduled strike against Lakunai was cancelled because of unflavorable weather. The PV shipping search was negative. Fourteen SBD's—four of which released 1x1000# bomb each-did artillery spotting before the weather closed in locally.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 14, 2021 11:02:33 GMT 12
For the second consecutive day, a scheduled strike on Lakunai was cancelled because of weather. The PV shipping search and an artillery spotting mission by two SBD's also were weathered out. On ground support, 12 SBD's dropped 12x1000# and 20x100# bombs, and TBF's released 44x500# bombs on a suspected enemy supply area between Hill 280 and the Saua River. Army observers reported "excellent coverage" of the target area. Four SBD's, releasing 4x1000# bombs during artillery reconnaissance flights, damaged several huts at Toko Mission. Ten other artillery spotting sorties were flown by SBD's. A J2F special search for a downed New Zealand P-40 pilot was negative, but two SBD pilots sighted the New Zealander afloat near Inus Point, Northeast Bougainville, and led a Dumbo to the rescue. Green Island strikes were cancelled because of weather. VT 305, Lieut. A.V. Vorndam, USNR, commanding, with 25 pilots reported aboard at Piva.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 14, 2021 11:04:13 GMT 12
From Piva, 62 SBD's and 25 TBF's hit the supply area at Talili Bay at 1205. The SBD's dropped 114x100# and 62x1000# bombs, while the TBFs released 12x1000# bombs and 46x500# incendiary clusters. Photographs revealed 25 buildings demolished and six supply dumps set afire. The anti-aircraft fire generally was moderate and inaccurate, mainly from the ridge west of Rabaul. No planes were damaged. Sixteen SBD's flew artillery spotting missions. Two SBD's, on Pistol Petes, gave the Japs, 2x1000# bombs. The PV shipping search was negative. Twenty-two SBD's from Green hit the Talili Bay supply area with 22x1000# bombs. VMSB 341, Major J.T. McDaniel, USMC, commanding, with 40 pilots, reported aboard at Green.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 14, 2021 11:06:04 GMT 12
The Talili Bay supply area was struck at 1050 by 39 SBD's and 35 TBF's from Piva. A total of 67x100# and 39x1000# bombs and 135x500# incendiaries were dropped. AA, which was moderate to intense and accurate, inflicted minor damage to two TBF's. Negative was the report from the PV on the shipping search. Four of 14 SBD's on artillery spotting missions harassed the Japs with 1x1000# bomb each. Green sent 30 SBD's and 15 TBF's to Kavieng, where they dropped 4x2000#, 29x100# and 42x500# bombs, scoring hits on three heavy AA emplacements and putting 22 craters in the runway. First Lieut. J.E. Ball, Sgt. Kane and Corp. Merryman of VMTB 134 were lost when their TBF crashed in flames at Kavieng.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 14, 2021 11:08:16 GMT 12
The Rataval supply area was hit at 0945 with 46x1000# and 88x100# bombs and 65x500# incendiary clusters by 48 SBD's and 17 TBF's from Piva; six SBD's were damaged by intense and accurate AA fire. Photographs disclosed three heavy AA guns were destroyed and a fourth damaged during this strike or the one on 7 April. Damage to supply dumps was not assessed. The PV shipping search was negative. Two Pistol Pete SBD's dropped 2x1000# and 4x100# bombs. Twelve SBD's, on ground support, well covered the area of pillboxes at the mouth of the Mosiga River with 12x1000# bombs. Five TBF's and six SBD's spread 20x500# and 6x2000# bombs over a Jap supply area between the Saua and Torokina Rivers. Green planes, not participating in a strike, searched for a missing plane.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 14, 2021 11:10:58 GMT 12
The principal strike was against the Vunakanau airfield and AA guns. A total of 8x2000#, 47x500# and 57x1000# bombs were released by 59 SBD's and 23 TBF's, leaving six craters in the concrete runway and six in the coral. AA fire was intense and accurate, with eight SBD's and four TBF's sustaining minor damage. The PV shipping search again was negative. Six SBD's and 12 TBF's harassed Japs near Hill 500 outside the perimeter with 6x1000# and 48x500# bombs respectively. Fourteen TBF's. four of which let loose with 14x500# bombs, did artillery spotting. One TBF made an early morning weather hop. Two SBD's, on a special mission, photographed coastal gun positions at Mamagata Mission. To Rapopo, Green sent a strike of 34 SBD's and 12 TBF's, which reported 24 hits on the runway and several on AA guns out of 33x1000# and 45x500# bombs and 16 rockets released. VC 40—SBD's Lieut. Comdr. Pennoyer, USN, Commanding, 16 pilots, and TBF's, Lieut. H.S. Jackson, USN, commanding, 14 pilots—was detached; and VMTB 242, Major W.W. Dean, USMC, commanding 41 pilots, reported aboard at Piva.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 14, 2021 11:13:49 GMT 12
The primary target at Talili Bay was closed in by clouds, and 40 SBDs and 18 TBFs from Piva bombed targets of opportunity at Raluana Point, Keravia Bay and Vunapope at 0945. Several fires were started at Raluana Point. Four SBDs and one TBF were damaged by AA fire, with Ensign DeJung of VB 305 suffering a slight wound. The PV shipping search was negative. Artillery spotting missions had been cancelled because of the quietness of the local ground situation, but four SBDs were sent out posthaste for artillery spotting after Jap field guns shelled the Piva Uncle revetment area for the first time since 24 March. Both Piva and Green sent out an early morning TBF weather flight. Nine TBF's and 12 SBDs from Green destroyed 13 buildings in the Talili Bay supply area with eight rockets, 18x500# and 11x1000# bombs. VB 98 (Detachment A), Lieut. R.T. Lord, USNR, commanding, 35 pilots, relieved VB 98 (Detachment B), Lieut. E.T. LaRoe, USNR, commanding, 27 pilots, at Green.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 15, 2021 10:55:59 GMT 12
Fifty SBD's and 24 TBF's (Piva) hit AA guns and Rabaul town on the west side of Simpson Harbor at 1000, dropping 50x1000# and 80x100# bombs and 82x500# incendiary clusters. A large fire was started. AA was light, with only two planes sustaining minor damage. ARM3c Fry, an SBD gunner, suffered a slight wound. One TBF made a weather flight. Fourteen TBF's did artillery spotting. One coastal gun was destroyed in a strike of six SBD's, dropping 5x1000# bombs, and 12 TBF's releasing 11x2000#, against beach positions near Mamagata Mission. From Green, 32 SBD's and nine TBF's attacked the Kavieng airfield and AA guns with 29x1000# and 29 x 500# bombs. VMTB 232, Major R.W. Smith, USMCR, commanding, 41 pilots, was detached.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 15, 2021 10:58:14 GMT 12
Six ammunition storage bays were wiped out at Talili Bay by 36 SBD's and 22 TBF's from Piva, which hit ths target area at 1010 with 34x1000# and 45x500# bombs. One SBD and one TBF sustained slight damage from AA fire. Enroute to the target, a TBF developed an oil leak and went down at sea 20 miles west of Green Island. Ensign White, pilot, and his crew of VT 305 were rescued. In the second attempted fighter interception against a strike of this command (since 15 March) a Hamp started to attack the first SBD away from the target, but four escorting Corsairs drove off the enemy plane. Two SBD's damaged several houses near the Kieta airfield with 2x1000# bombs. Sixteen Dauntless, two of which each released 1x1000# bomb, flew artillery spotting missions. Jap artillery opened up on the revetment area north of Piva Uncle about 2300, destroying one TBF and damaging six SBD's. To counteract this shelling and similar future attempts, Avengers resumed their night Pistol Pete schedules. From Green, 21 Dauntless and 11 Avengers destroyed one automatic AA gun, two buildings and three supply dumps in the Talili Bay area with 20x1000# and 41x500# bombs.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 15, 2021 11:00:37 GMT 12
The primary Piva strike was against Lakunai, which 50 SBDs and 18 TBF's pounded with 68x100#, 68x500# and 46x1000# bombs at 0810. The Photographic Interpretation Unit report, based on poor photos, credited the strike with destroying two machine guns and blasting an undetermined number of craters in the runway. A PV shipping search of Simpson Harbor was negative. On the local front, eight TBF Pistol Petes spread 16x500# bombs over enemy positions east of the Saua River. Fifteen Avengers dropped 23x500# bombs while flying artillery spotting sorties. A special ground support mission of four Dauntless and three TBF's attacked coastal guns east of the Buka airfield with 3x1000#, 4x500# and 4x100# bombs. From Green, 27 SBD's and 12 TBF's hit Kavieng airstrip and AA gun positions with 27x1000#, 36x500# and 1x2000# bombs. One Dauntless of VB 98 was hit by AA fire and crashed in the water between Kavieng and Panapai. There was no survivor.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 15, 2021 11:02:22 GMT 12
A Piva strike of 48 Dauntless and 34 Avengers hit Vunakanau at 0820. Two automatic AA guns destroyed and 70 craters in the runway were the results of 77x100#, 129x500# and 46x1000# bombs. AA fire was intense and accurate, five SBD's and seven TBF's being hit. One TBF of VMTB 132 made a forced water landing south of Cape St. George. The pilot and crew were rescued by a PT boat. The PV shipping search of the Rabaul area was negative. Eight Avengers flew Pistol Petes, with 4x500# bombs dropped. Artillery spotting was handled by 14 TBF's, with 3x500# bombs released. Three SBD's and three TBF's returned to the task of demolishing the Jap coastal guns at Hahela Mission on southeast Buka. The planes reconnoitered the area from a low altitude, located the guns, and bombed with 3x1000# and 3x2000#. Two other TBF's later in the day attacked the coastal guns with 2x2000# bombs, and a Dauntless photographed them from a low altitude. One of the coastal guns was destroyed and an ammunition dump fired in the day's activities. Two SBD's destroyed two buildings and damaged a third near Kieta airstrip. Six TBF's, aiming at the coastal guns near Mamagata Mission with 6x2000# bombs, razed three huts. Six other Avengers later in the day demolished one of the guns. Green sent out two strikes. One flight of 23 SBD's and five TBFs destroyed 30 buildings and damaged 20 others in the Kabaira Bay supply area with 22x1000# and 20x500# bombs. The second strike—27 Dauntless and 13 Avengers—dropped 27x1000# and 132x100# bombs in the Keravat supply area.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 15, 2021 11:04:14 GMT 12
Fifty Dauntless and 17 Avengers from Piva dumped 32x250#, 74x500# and 25x1000# bombs on Lakunai at 0900. AA fire was intense and fairly accurate, damaging four SBD's. Preliminary interpretation of incomplete photographic coverage showed one machine gun destroyed and at least eight bomb hits on the runway. The PV shipping search of Simpson Harbor was negative. Six TBF's and four SBD's, dropping 6x2000#, 3x500# and 6x250# bombs, attacked the Mamagata Mission coastal guns with unobserved results. Two Avengers took low altitude, oblique photographs of the shore line in the Ruri Bay-Sorum area on the northeast Bougainville coast where PT boats had reported receiving fire from coastal guns. Five TBF's and four SBD's bombed the suspected locations of the guns at Serum with 7x250#, 4x500# and 5x2000# bombs. Neither photographic nor visual reconnaissance located the coastal batteries. Eight Avengers, flying Pistol Petes, dropped 10x500# on enemy installations east of the Saua River. Two of 12 Dauntless doing artillery spotting released 1x1000# bomb each. A Green strike of 29 SBD's and 11 TBF's attacked a supply area 3500 yards north of Keravat with 29x500# and 132x100# bombs. They did not sight a possible airstrip and several camouflaged planes which had been reported in the area. Two to five silver, unidentified fighter planes were spotted over the Keravat field. Corsair escorts shot down one Zeke.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 15, 2021 11:06:25 GMT 12
Vunakanau airfield and AA guns were pounded at 0900 by the 48 SBDs and 24 TBFs from Piva. AA was moderate, ranging from accurate to inaccurate, damaging four SBD's and four TBF's. Photographs, covering only the airstrip, showed 21 craters in the concrete, nine in the east coral and 20 in the west coral. The PV shipping search was negative. Twelve Avengers flew artillery spotting hops, on which 12x500# bombs were dropped. TBF's also handled seven Pistol Pete sorties, harassing the Nips with 11x500# bombs. Ground support missions were directed against coastal guns at Mamagata Mission and Hahela Mission. The former received 6x2000# bombs from TBF's and 6x250# and 3x500# bombs from the SBD's; the latter was hit with 6x2000# from TBF's and 6x250# and 2x500# from SBD's. One hut was wrecked. Two other SBD's, hitting targets of opportunity, demolished a score of huts with 4x250# and 2x500# bombs dropped along the east coast of Buka Island. A Green strike of 12 TBF's and 38 SBD's was airborne to hit Tobera. Only the TBF's were able to get into Tobera, the primary target, because of clouds. They dropped 46x500# bombs, putting at least eight craters in the runway. The SBD's got eight hits on the Rapopo strip out of 37x1000# bombs dropped.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 15, 2021 11:08:11 GMT 12
Forty-eight Dauntless and 31 Avengers hit Lakunai airfield, AA guns and the Matupi causeway at 0835. The SBD's released 6x1000#, 36x500#, 65x250# and 12x100# bombs; the TBF's, 13x2000# and 71x500# bombs. The SBD's destroyed two automatic AA guns and fired one supply dump, while the TBF's blasted 33 craters in the runway and scored several hits on the road south of the causeway, although they missed the causeway itself. AA was moderate and inaccurate from positions around the field; intense and accurate from Hospital Ridge and the south tip of Matupi Island. One SBD of NZ 25, Pilot Officer Cray and Sgt. Bell was shot down over the target. A VMTB 242 TBF, damaged by AA, was forced to make a water landing 25 miles southeast of Cape St. George, but the pilot and crew were rescued by a Dumbo. Three TBF's and two SBD's suffered minor damage from anti-aircraft fire. Two local strikes were made in the afternoon. Two SBD's dropped 2x500# and 4x250# bombs, and six TBF's dropped 6x2000# bombs on AA and coastal guns at Hahela Mission. One automatic AA and one machine gun were destroyed and one heavy AA was damaged. Four Avengers were damaged by AA, with one radioman, ARM3c Pettit, suffering a leg wound. On the second attack, three Dauntless released 3x500# and 6x250# bombs, and five Avengers dumped 5x2000# bombs in the area of the coastal guns at Mosiga. Bad weather forced curtailment of Pistol Petes to four sorties by TBF's. Two of them dropped 7x500# bombs. Twelve TBF's spotted for artillery, dropping 16x500# bombs on Jap positions. Thirty-one SBD's and 12 TBF's from Green attacked the supply area at Bulong Plantation north of Kabanga Bay. A total of 30x1000# and 72x500# bombs were dropped.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 15, 2021 11:10:07 GMT 12
Because the primary target, Rabaul town, was closed in by clouds, 37 SBD's and 24 TBF's from Piva dropped 60x250# and 124x500# bombs on the Bulong Plantation supply area. Twelve buildings were destroyed in this attack and in that of Green on 17 April. The PV shipping search was negative. Six Avengers flew Pistol Petes, dropping 4x500# bombs. Twelve SBD's flew artillery spotting missions, on which 1x1000# and 6x500# bombs were released. Two SBD's, with four Corsairs as escort, photographed the coastal guns at Hahela Mission. Two of the Corsairs were hit by AA fire. One crashed four miles east of Hangan, the pilot being lost. The pilot of the other, which made a water landing east of Buka Passage, was rescued by Dumbo. G-2 of the XIV Corps advised that army patrols operating to the north and east of the perimeter had found the following wrecked Jap artillery pieces: 5x150mm near Hill 65, 1x77mm on Hill 1111, 1x77mm on Hill 1000—all apparently destroyed by Strike Command bombs. The Green strike hit Tobera with 39x1000# and 47x500# bombs from 39 Dauntless and 12 Avengers. AA, while only moderate and accurate to inaccurate, accounted for two SBD's and one TBF. Pilots and crews of the SBD's—Capt. W.B. Reardon, 2nd Lieut. J.H. Shrieback, and Staff Sgts. R.C. Gould and A.D. Capria, all of VMSB 243—were lost. A VMTB 134 TBF water landed 25 miles from Cape St. George, and the pilot and crew were rescued by a Dumbo.