Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 15, 2021 11:14:05 GMT 12
A projected strike by 48 SBD's and 35 TBF's from Piva against Matupi Island, and the PV shipping search were turned back by weather. TBF's flew eight Pistol Petes, on which 4x500# bombs were dropped. Fourteen SBD's did artillery spotting, two of them dropping 1x500# each. One of these SBD's water landed after the engine cut out; the pilot and gunner were rescued by a PT. Eleven Avengers well covered the Numa Numa Plantation supply area with 38x500# bombs. The Green Strike went to Lakunai; 45 SBD's releasing 43x1000# and 12 TBF's dropping 37x500# bombs. Two each of the SBD's and TBF's received minor damage from AA fire.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 16, 2021 10:58:32 GMT 12
The Piva strike of 34 Dauntless and 18 Avengers hit the AA gun positions on the ridge west of Simpson Harbor and a supply area in West Rabaul town. A total of 50x250# and 33x500# bombs and 67x500# incendiaries were dropped. Photographs showed many fires were started and all buildings, except 25 huts, destroyed. Three automatic AA guns were destroyed and three heavies damaged. The PV shipping search of Rabaul Harbor was negative. Two TBF's and 10 SBD's flew artillery spotting missions. Two of three TBF's on Pistol Petes dropped 8x500# bombs on an area of enemy activity east of the Jaba River. Two SBD's on the 0500 artillery spotting flight spotted five Japs at the mouth of the Jaba and strafed them. A ground patrol later found three dead Japs at the location. A special ship search to Buka by two SBD's was negative. Strike Command, Green, sent 45 SBD's and 12 TBF's against the runway and AA guns at Vunakanau. The SBD's dropped 39x1000# and the TBF's 44x500# bombs. After-strike photographs showed 12 new craters in the concrete, 12 in the east coral strip and eight in the west coral. According to two reports by the Photographic Interpretation Unit, ComAirSols, the following damage had been caused. "Excellent photos show that much of the remaining (Rataval) supply areas has been destroyed by recent strikes." "Recent strikes on the Kulon Plantation area have destroyed a total of 90 buildings and supply piles. Only 15 buildings are left in Targets A and B, and five small buildings in Target C." VB 306, Lieut. Cmdr. Claybrook B. Cottingham, USNR, commanding, with 32 pilots, reported aboard at Piva.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 16, 2021 11:01:26 GMT 12
A solid weather front 25 miles southeast of Cape St. George forced a Piva strike of 54 SBD's and 28 TBF's against Matupi Island to turn back. One TBF of VT 305—Ens. W.F. Milburn, pilot, and ARM2c Zeghibe, and AOM2c Fisher, all USNR—failed to return to base. The plane last was seen in the clouds at the point where the strike turned back. A search by two Dumbos and six TBF's from Piva was negative. Three TBF's on Pistol Pete patrols and two TBF artillery spotters reported negative. The danger of further attack or shelling of the Torokina-Piva area had alleviated to such an extent that the XIV Corps command cancelled all night Pistol Petes and daylight artillery spotting missions, but six planes were held on standby for the Army. Weather also prevented 18 SBD's and 16 TBF's from carrying out a strike on the coastal guns at Hahela Mission. Two TBF's on a special mission, investigating the possible sighting of a submarine off Torokina Point, reported negative. Four large buildings and 13 small buildings and supply dumps were destroyed by a Green strike against the Kabanga Bay supply area. Thirty-four dropped 30x1000# and 36x100#; seven TBF's, 28x500# bombs.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 16, 2021 11:02:53 GMT 12
Fifty-three SBD's and 24 TBF's from Piva struck Rapopo at 1135 because the scheduled primary and secondary targets were closed in by clouds. The SBD's dropped 77 x 250# and 51 x 500# bombs, while the TBF's released 16 x 100#, 8xx 250# and 51 x 500# bombs. Fighter-bombers also hit Rapopo. Photographs taken after all the strikes showed 23 craters in the runway. Two TBF's flew a special submarine search, which was negative. Two TBF's did artillery spotting. In a ground support mission, all but four shacks at Ibu were wrecked by six TBF's and one SBD. The TBF's hit with 69 x 100# and 9 x 250# bombs; the SBD, 1 x 500#. A ship search by a PV was negative. From Green, 10 Avengers carried 36 x 500# and 38 Dauntless, 36 x 1000# bombs, to put 15 craters in the Kavinng runway. VB 305, Lieut. J. F. Spivey, USN, with 25 pilots, was detached at Piva.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 16, 2021 11:04:14 GMT 12
Bad weather forced cancellation of the scheduled Piva strike on Vunakanau. A PV made a negative search for shipping in the Rabaul area. All other strike planes were grounded because of the weather. Twenty-one Dauntless and nine TBF's struck the supply area at Talili Bay, achieving good coverage with 20 x 1000# and 102 x 100# bombs. Four fires, including two large ones, were started.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 16, 2021 11:05:59 GMT 12
Bad weather prevented both Piva and Green from getting off a strike. Two SBD's flew artillery spotting sorties, and three TBF's, made weather hops. VMTB 242, Major W. W. Dean, USMC, commanding, with 40 pilots, was detached at Piva.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 16, 2021 11:07:50 GMT 12
Forty-seven SBD's and 17 TBF's from Piva dropped 44 x 500# and 70 x 250#, and 67 x 500# bombs, respectively, on Lakunai AA guns and the runway at 1045. AA was meager to intense, inaccurate to accurate, with a barrage at 10,000 feet over the target. One SBD, damaged by AA fire, went down off Cape Gazelle. The pilot, Capt. Robert Seely, was picked up by a Dumbo, but the gunner, Tech Sgt. Rolla L. Patton, was lost. The PV shipping search was negative. SBD's flew two artillery spotting sorties. Twelve SBD's dropped 12 x 1000# bombs on Manuaran Island (Shortland group) where enemy coastal guns were suspected to be. The designated area was well covered with bombs, but there was no evidence of enemy guns nor activity. A Green strike, comprising 36 Dauntless and 12 Avengers, bombed Borpop. The SBD's dropped 34 x 1000# and the TBF's, 43 x 500# bombs. RNZAF PV Squadron 2, Wing Commander Arthur Greenaway commanding, reported at Piva.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 16, 2021 11:10:29 GMT 12
Vunakanau AA guns and the runway were hit by Piva planes at 1005. 48 SBD's dropped 47 x 1000# and 84 x 100# bombs and 21 TBF's, 75 x 500#. Anti-aircraft fire was meager to intense, inaccurate to accurate. One TBF of RNZAF 30 Squadron went down in flames over the target. All aboard—Flight Officer R. D. Gardner, Flight Officer C. Nichoels and the gunner, H. H. Sheather—were lost. One SBD caught two machine gun bullets. A daylong search by SBD's for a submarine reported off Gog Island was negative, as was a PV search for a sub at 00 degrees, 40 minutes South 152 degrees 00 minutes East. The PV shipping search in Simpson Harbor also was negative. In an afternoon local strike, 17 SBD's (1 x 1000# and 2 x 100#) and 11 TBF's (4 x 500#) hit the coastal guns at Hahela Mission. Cloud hampered the attack. Buildings were strafed at Hahela Mission and one fire was started. Thirty-six SBD's and 12 TBF's from Green dropped 34 x 1000# and 44 x 500# bombs, respectively, on Borpop.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 16, 2021 11:13:13 GMT 12
The Talili Bay supply area was bombed by 23 Dauntless and 24 Avengers from Piva. The Dauntless dropped 18 x 500# and 5 x 1000# bombs; the Avengers, 85 x 500#. Two TBF's were damaged slightly by AA fire. The Photographic Interpretation Unit reported 13 buildings destroyed and stated: "Complete assessment of damage from today's strikes cannot be determined due to smoke and clouds over the target area. However, one fire is noted in Target 201B; two fires in 202B and 11 fires south of the target area. Additional fires in the target area may be obscured by smoke from the two fires noted." The Green strike, consisting of 42 SBD's and 12 TBF's, bombed the Kavieng runway and AA guns. The planes dropped 40 x 1000# and 47 x 500# bombs, blasting 21 craters in the runway, and destroying one automatic gun and one building. VMSB 236, Major W. A. Cloman, Jr., USMCR, commanding, with 40 pilots, relieved VMSB 243, Major T. J. Ahern, USMC, commanding, 37 pilots, at Green.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 16, 2021 11:14:48 GMT 12
Weather turned back 47 SBD's and 18 TBF's that were airborne at Piva to strike Lakunai. The PV shipping search was negative, as was the anti-submarine patrol by two PV's. Two SBD's flew artillery spotting sorties. Green sent 42 SBD's and 12 TBF's against Tobera. The SBD's were weathered out completely, and the TBF's bombed Kerevat with 122 x 100#.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 16, 2021 11:16:30 GMT 12
The major Piva strike, scheduled to hit gun positions on Hospital Ridge, was turned away from the primary target by bad weather. On returning, two TBF's dropped 8 x 500# bombs on the Buka coastal guns. The SBD's split into two groups of 18 each. One flight bombed the buildings on the east coast of Buka with 18 x 1000# and 32 x 100#. The other flight dropped on Lanahan, also on the east coast of Buka, with 18 x 1000# and 32 x 100# bombs. In the afternoon, 12 TBF's (1 x 2000#) and 13 SBD's (1 x 1000# and 2 x 100#) hit the Buka coastal guns at Hahela mission. A fourteenth SBD took pictures of the attack. Six SBD's flew artillery spotting sorties and a seventh had a negative patrol for an active target of opportunity. Two PV sweeps of St. George Channel were negative, as was the daily PV shipping search in the Rabaul-New Ireland area. Four PV's flew the Able and Charlie searches along the Bougainville coast. They dropped 6 x 500# at Sinanai village, 4 x 500# at Katsinkoveri, 4 x 500# on a beached barge and derelict launch at Porton Plantation and 1 x 500# on Hitan Island. A scheduled Green strike on Tobera was weathered out.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 16, 2021 11:18:38 GMT 12
Thirty-six Dauntless, dropping 64 x 250# and 35 x 500#, and 18 Avengers, dropping 18 x 2000#, hit Lakunai AA guns and runway in the major Piva strike of the day. A VB 306 SBD, Ensign G. V. Hendstrand, pilot, and ARM3c C. L. Coward, gunner, was shot down by AA fire over the target. Photographs showed that the strike cratered the runway extensively, destroyed one machine gun and damaged two automatic AA guns. Two PV's on the St. George Channel search reported negative. One PV on the Able search and another on the Charlie dropped a total of 12 x 500# bombs on targets of opportunity. Twelve SBD's did artillery spotting. In the major Green strike, 12 TBF's dropped 48 x 500# and 16 SBD's released 16 x 1000# bombs on the Rataval supply area, demolishing nine large and 21 small buildings. Twelve SBD's destroyed two buildings with 12 x 1000# bombs on Vunakambi. Thirty-two SBD's searched, with negative results, for a missing plane. Three TBF's missed the target of a damaged Val on the ground with 8 x 500# bombs. PIU reported: "Only a few scattered buildings remain in the area formerly designated as Target 300, the buildings and supplies along the coast of the Kulon Plantation."
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 17, 2021 10:53:22 GMT 12
Thirty-six SBD's dropped 35 x 1000# and 58 x 100# bombs; and 22 TBF's, 10 x 2000# and 43 x 500# on AA guns on Hospital Ridge. The AA fire was intense and accurate from most of the target guns when the SBD's opened the attack, but was reduced to meager and inaccurate when the TBF's followed in. Smoke and dusty debris obscured the target area after the strike. Photographs confirmed that three automatic AA guns were destroyed, five other autos damaged, and two personnel shelters demolished. The SBD flown by Major G. L. Todd, squadron leader of VMSB 235, was forced to make a water landing east of the Mother after it was hit by AA during its attack dive. Major Todd was rescued by a Dumbo, but his gunner, M/T Sgt. G. M. Anson, was not recovered. Three PV's had negative results on the Channel search. Two PV's on the Able and Charlie searches hit Jap gardens and a foot bridge at Meivo with 6 x 500# bombs. Twelve Dauntless did artillery spotting. Twenty-six SBD's (2 x 100# and 1 x 1000#) and 12 TBF's (12 x 100#) from Green bombed Vunakambi, destroying seven to 10 buildings. Reported damage in recent strikes, PIU stated: "All but about 40-50 of the original 155 revetted storage bays in Target Area 201 (Talili Bay))have been destroyed or badly damaged."
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 17, 2021 10:56:44 GMT 12
Forty-two SBD's dropped 39 x 1000# and 79 x 100#, and 24 TBF's, 86 x 500# bombs, on Tobera at 1110 when the primary target, Vunakanau, was closed by local cloud cover. A fire was started and 30 bomb craters scattered throughout the runway, rendering it unserviceable. AA fire caused minor damage to seven planes. At 1550, 12 Dauntless hit the Buka coastal guns with 12 x 1000# bombs. Photographs showed that Strike Command planes had destroyed one of the three coastal guns and damaged another. Artillery spotting sorties were flown by 12 SBD's. Three PV channel searches were negative. The PV on the Charlie search dropped 6 x 500# bombs on targets of opportunity, and the PV on the Able released 4 x 500# on oil drums on an island off Porton. The Green strike consisted of 47 Dauntless which dropped 47 x 1000# and 21 x 100# bombs on Tobera at 1010. Two of the planes were shot down by AA fire. The pilots, Capt. W. C. Jordon and Lieut. W. W. Harkins, and the gunners, S/Sgt. R. W. Anderson and S/Sgt. V. C. Swearington, were lost. Damage caused in recent strikes was reported by PIU as follows, "Excellent photos reveal that no undamaged targets remain in areas 100A_B_C_D and 123A_B_C_D (Rataval supply area) with the exception of a few scattered buildings." VMTB 134, Major A. C. Robertson, USMC, commanding, 36 pilots, was detached at Green.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 17, 2021 10:59:08 GMT 12
The Piva strike, 35 SBD's and 23 TBF's, bombed Vunakanau at 1130. The SBD's attacked AA guns with 34 x 1000# and 64 x 100# bombs; the TBF's went after the runway with 88 x 500# bombs. Incomplete photographic coverage showed six craters in the runway. The Dauntless encountered intense and accurate heavy AA fire, while the TBF's reported meager and inaccurate. Three PV Channel searches were negative. Two PV's, on Able searches, dropped 6 x 500# and 5 x 500# bombs on a jetty at Chabai and gardens at Sinanai. A PV special submarine search was negative. Two SBD's, on an experimental mission, released 2 x 500# magnesium incendiary clusters on Kieta gardens. The test was unsuccessful, two other SBD's attacked Kieta village with 2 x 500# and 4 x 250# bombs. Eleven Dauntless hit the Buka coastal gun position with 11 x 1000# bombs. Thirty-four Green SBD's plastered Vunakambi with 58 x 250#, 29 500# and 5 x 1000# bombs, destroying two of the few remaining buildings. According to PIU, All visible targets in the Vunakambi Plantation now have been destroyed with the exception of three or four scattered buildings in Target 350C." VMSB 241, Major James A. Feely, USMC, commanding, with 40 pilots, reported aboard at Piva.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 17, 2021 11:01:31 GMT 12
Twenty-four SBD's and 17 TBF's from Piva participated in the destruction of 25-35 buildings, huts and supply piles in a strike on Matupi Island at 0910. The SBD's bombed with 21 x 1000# and 35 x 100#, and the TBF's dropped 68 x 500#. AA fire was moderate and inaccurate to accurate from emplacements on Matupi and north of Vulcan Crater. The shipping search by one PV and the Channel search by two PV's were negative. The Able search PV dropped 3 x 500# bombs on a clearing near Amun and 2 x 500# for a miss of a pier. The PV on the Charlie search demolished half of a pier at Kingeraia (Shortlands) with 1 x 500# and several huts at Piano Mission with 3 x 500#. The flight's last bombs, 2 x 500#, missed a ford across the Mibo River. The special search by a PV for reported coastal guns, other than those previously pinpointed, on southwest Bougainville was negative. Twelve Dauntless spotted for artillery. Weather turned back 22 SBD's scheduled to strike AA guns on Sohana Island. Two SBD's, on a special mission, dropped 1 x 500# magnesium incendiary cluster and one Mark 69 on Kieta gardens. Negative was the search by six SBD's for coastal guns between Ruri Bay and Sorum. They started fires in a village in the Sorum area with 5 x 500# bombs. The Green strike hit the same target—Matupi Island—that the 7 Piva planes struck. Twenty-four Green SBD's dropped 21 x 1000# and 17 TBF's, 68 x 500# bombs. Further damage assessed by PIU was: "Nearly all of the supplies in Targets 100E and 123E (Rataval) have been destroyed. These areas included a dump containing about 30 revetted storage bays and 10 buildings. All of the buildings and 23 of the bays appear to be destroyed." VMSB 235, Major G. L. Todd, USMC, commanding, was detached at Piva.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 17, 2021 11:03:52 GMT 12
Twenty-three Dauntless and 16 Avengers from Piva hit Tobera AA guns and the runway at 0845, dropping 21 x 1000# and 44 x 100#, and 60 x 500# bombs, respectively. The strike rendered the runway unserviceable with 34 new bomb craters. AA was meager to intense and inaccurate. Six SBD's, unsuccessful in a recconnaissance for AA guns reported at Mt. Boeder, southeast Bougainville, bombed Muguai Mission with 6 x 1000#. Six other SBD's also could not find a reported searchlight and coastal guns south of Sorum, and dropped 6 x 1000# bombs on a clearing three miles south of Sorum. Twelve Dauntless hit Sohana Island guns with 12 x 1000# at 1450. Twelve SBD's carried out artillery spotting missions. Three PV's, with negative results, covered a possible submarine sighting at 07 degrees 25 minutes South 153 degrees 00 minutes East. The planes coordinated their search with surface vessels. One PV, on the Charlie search, was unable to locate the coastal guns at Mosiga, dropping 2 x 500# bombs on three Japs on the beach and 2 x 500# on another lone Jap. A PV, failing to find a reported radio station at Amun Point on the Able search, bombed a clearing with 6 x 500#. The Green strike, 24 SBD's, bombed Borpop coastal and AA guns with 24 x 1000# at 1010. According to a further assessment of damage by PIU, "At least 40 of a total of about 150 revetted bays and storage piles in Target 202 (Talili Bay) are shown to be destroyed." VB 98 (Detachment B), Lieut. E. T. Laroe, USNR, commanding, 27 pilots, relieved VB 98 (Detchment A), Lieut. R. T. Lord, commanding, 38 pilots, at Green.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 17, 2021 11:05:19 GMT 12
The major Piva strike—24 SBD's and 18 TBF's—bombed the Rataval supply area at 1035 with 41 x 250#, 24 x 500# and 173 x 100#. A fire was started along the Karakakaul road and one large explosion blasted a crater 60 feet in diameter and cleared coconut trees from an area 250 feet in diameter in the Kurakakaul Plantation. Two TBF's were holed by AA. Three PV's flew the Channel patrol with negative results, one of the planes being holed by AA from Cape St. George. One PV reported negative on the Rabaul shipping count. A PV, on the Charlie search, dropped 1 x 500# on a native village north of Aku and 5 x 500# bombs on garden plots around Shishigatero. The PV on the Able search demolished three houses and a truck at Porton with 4 x 500# bombs. Negative were three PV searches for a submarine reported west of Treasury. After they failed to find suspected gun position at Mt. Boeder, two SBD's bombed Kara buildings with 2 x 1000#. Unable to find any of the reported gun positions on Rantan Island, at Olava village and in the Abai River area, five TBF's and nine SBD's bombed targets of opportunity: 2 x 2000# and 3 x 1000#, Olava; 2 x 2000#, Luluai River area; 3 x 1000#, Rantan; 3 x 1000# at mouth of Abia River. Twenty-four Green SBD's (1 x 1000#) hit Borpop at 0800, destroying three heavy AA guns. The same number of Green SBD's hit the same target again at 1515. The two coastal guns on Cape Matanatamberan were not damaged in either strike.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 17, 2021 11:07:19 GMT 12
The major Piva strike, scheduled to hit Lakunai, was turned back by bad weather. The PV shipping count of the Rabaul area was negative. The report of three PV's on a special sub search also was negative. The PV on the Able search dropped 5 x 500# bombs, sinking two barges and a 20-foot craft and damaging a pier. The PV on the Torokina-Rabaul rescue patrol dropped 5 x 500# on targets of opportunity. One PV bombed Tsirogei with 6 x 500#. Ten artillery spotting sorties were flown by SBD's. Twelve Dauntless scattered 21 x 250# and 11 x 500# bombs over the Tsirogei supply area. Eight SBD's, two of which were photographic planes and carried no bombs, went after reported Rantan Island gun positions, dropping 6 x 1000# bombs. The guns were not located. Six SBD's bombed the east Buka coastal guns with 5 x 500#. Fourteen TBF's and 1 SBD spread their bomb load—47 x 500#—over Sahana Island, Tarlena, Porton and Baniu Plantations. An ammunition dump was fired on Sohana and a large building razed at Baniu. Twenty-four SBD's from Green bombed coastal guns at Namarodu with 44 x 100# and 22 x 1000#. Six SBD's covered PT operations near MikMik Island from 1115 to 1440.