Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 17, 2021 11:09:23 GMT 12
Vunakanau runway and AA guns were targets of 18 Dauntless and 11 TBF's from Piva at 0955. The SBD's dropped 17 x 500# and 31 x 250#; the TBF's, 33 x 500# bombs. Two large fires were started and seven new craters made the concrete runway unserviceable. RNZAF No. 2 maintained cover over the area of a sub sighting off Buka from 0700 until 1800, using four PV's. The search was negative. One PV on the Rabaul shipping count, two on the Torokina-Rabual rescue sweep and one on the Emirau-Mussau patrol were all negative. Another PV attacked supply areas at Chabai with 2 x 500# bombs and 2 x 500# incendiary clusters. Five SBD's (1x1000#) and six TBF's (4 x 500#) at 1415, hit the area of possible coastal gun positions at Cape Friendship. No enemy installations nor activities were sighted. Six SBD's, firing rockets, and one, dropping 1 x 1000# bomb, hit the northernmost of the three east Buka coastal guns at 1445. Photographs showed this gun damaged or knocked out, one of the flanking automatics destroyed, and the center coastal gun knocked out—accumulative damage in recent strikes. Green SBD's also attacked coastal guns. Twenty-three bombed the guns on Cape Namaroda with 23 x 1000# at 1000. The same number of Dauntless attacked the guns at Borpop in the afternoon, starting four fires in the area.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 17, 2021 11:11:12 GMT 12
Twelve SBD's dropped 11 x 1000# and 21 x 100#, and 12 TBF's released 121 x 100# bombs on Sohana Island after being turned back by weather from the primary target, Lakunai. Two PV's, on the Able and Charlie searches, hit targets of opportunity on Bougainville with 11 x 500# bombs. Negative reports were made by two PV's on the Torokina-Rabaul rescue patrol, one PV on the Mussau search and one PV on the shipping count. Fourteen TBF's, with 15 B-25's doing diversionary bombing in the area, mined Buka Passage, the waters around Sohana Island, the waters off Chabai and the mouth of Baniu Harbor. Twelve of 14 special mines were laid at designated points. The operation, executed at night, was highly successful, and was praised by ComAirSoPac. All planes returned undamaged. Six SBD's put 3x1000# and 2x100# bombs in the area of coastal gun positions on Kerukeruai Islands (Shortlands). The Green strike again was directed against the Borpop coastal guns. Twenty-four Dauntless dropped 24x1000#, scoring a direct hit, confirmed by photographs, on one of the Namarodu guns.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 17, 2021 11:13:27 GMT 12
Two planes—a TBF and a SBD—were lost to AA fire on a Piva strike of 18 SBD's and 12 TBF's on the Lakunai runway and gun positions. The SBD crashed in Greet Harbor and the TBF, 300 yards off Sulphur Point. No personnel was rescued. Missing were Flight Lieut. J.S. Edwards, Flight Officer A.M. Bailey, Warrant Officer R.B. Curtis, and Flight Sgts. L. Hoppes and Schleigner—all New Zealanders. The Dauntless released 18x1000# and the Avengers, 47x500# bombs. One PV on the Rabaul shipping count, two PV's on the Torokina-Rabaul rescue patrol and one on the Emirau sweep were all negative. The Able search PV dropped 1x500# and 3x500# bombs on huts at Chabai. The Charlie PV spread 6x500# bombs on gardens between Mamagata and Monoitu Missions. Two SBD's did artillery spotting. The morning search by three SBD's for a wrecked plane off Schwarze Point, east Bougainville, was negative; but the same three pilots found the wreckage in the afternoon and completed its destruction with 1x500# and 1x250# bombs. From Green, 42 SBD's, carrying 1x1000# bomb each, hit the Kavieng runway and gun positions. The anti-aircraft fire was intense and accurate from both heavy and automatic guns, inflicting considerable damage to three aircraft and holing several others. Ten hits were scored on the runway, three in the fighter dispersal area; and two blast pens were damaged. Twenty-four Dauntless, with 24x1000# bombs went after the coastal guns at Cape Namarodu. VMTB 232, Major M. Doswell, USMCR, reported aboard at Green.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 18, 2021 10:53:52 GMT 12
Weather fouled up the Piva strike planned for Vunakanau, with Tobera as the secondary, at 1000. Vunakanau was closed in and Tobera two-thirds covered by clouds. Six Dauntless, loaded with rockets, made no attack on any target. Twenty-four SBD's plumped down 25x1000# bombs on the Tobera runway, buildings and revetments. The AA was heavy and automatic, moderate, inaccurate to accurate, damaging no planes. The remaining planes, eight SBD's and 23 TBF's covered well the Mamaregu-Marawaka supply and bivouac area. Small fires and much debris were observed after the attack. All the New Zealand PV searches were negative for sightings. The Charlie patrol dropped 2x500# bombs on a supply area north of Aitara Mission, 2x500# at Aku and 1x500# on huts near Mawaraka. In the afternoon, one SBD and one TBF made a special flight to Kieta. The TBF sprayed diesel oil from 150 feet on the Kieta runway garden; the SBD dropped a dud 500-pounder on buildings near the runway. The Cape Namaroda coastal guns and two nearby buildings were damaged in a Green strike of 17 SBD's, dropping 17x1000#, and 11 TBF's. releasing 28x500# and 4x2000# bombs. At 1515, Green planes struck on New Ireland again, with 18 Dauntless and 12 Avengers releasing 18x1000#, 30x500# and 4x2000# bombs on Borpop. Four automatic AA guns west of ths south end of the runway were destroyed.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 18, 2021 10:56:29 GMT 12
The major Piva strike in the Rabaul area—48 SBD's and 21 TBF's — was directed against Matupi Island, the Talili Bay supply area and Keravia Bay barges. Five of the Dauntless were loaded with rockets and went after barges. Forty-three SBD's carried 1x1000# bomb each; five TBF's had 1x2000# and 16 carried 4x500# each. Good coverage of the targets was reported. The planes staged in at Green, were reloaded and fueled, and attacked the Chabai and Sorum areas enroute back to Piva. Forty-five Dauntless and 20 Avengers participated in this second strike. Twenty-five of the SBD's carried 1x500# and 2x250# bombs each; the other 20, 1x500# bomb each. The individual bomb load of 12 of the TBF's was 4x500# incendiaries; five, 10x120# frag clusters; three, 8x120# incendiary clusters. No plane suffered any damage on either strike. Two PV's, on the Able and Charlie searches, each dropped 6x500# bombs on targets of opportunity in North Bougainville and the Shortlands, respectively. The Rabaul shipping count, Torokina-Rabaul rescue patrol, and Mussau search—each executed by a PV—were all negative. One PV flew a local photographic hop. Two TBF's, looking for wreckage that might have resulted from our mining operation, reported ten to 12 large explosions in Buka Passage. No wreckage was observed; and it was not believed the explosions were the mines, but might have been Japs taking counter measures to the mining. Two SBD's, spotting for artillery, returned early because of radio trouble. One SBD reported negative on a search for a mine near the mouth of the Reini River. Thirty-six Green Dauntless (1x1000#) and 12 Avengers (4x500#) put 20 craters in the Tobera runway, making it unserviceable.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 18, 2021 10:58:57 GMT 12
This was a maintenance day at Piva, without a major strike. Negative were the PV Mussau and Rabaul shipping searches. The Able PV started a fire with 6x500# bombs on the Porton Plantation, while the Charlie Ventura scattered the same bomb load between Maigi and Monoitu Missions. On local missions, the pamphlet bombs of two SBD's were duds. Two SBD's did artillery spotting. Four Dauntless searched for mines off the east entrance of the Buka Passage, with two expending all their ammunition without detonating two mines; the two planes on the afternoon search did not find the mines. Four TBF's flew experimental Potato Patch flights. In the morning, one of these TBF's sprayed 1500x60 feet of the Kieta runway with 75 gallons of oil. In the afternoon, one TBF sprayed 1500x40 feet of the Kieta runway and the other hit targets of opportunity in the area with 11x100# bombs. Twenty-four SBD's (1x500# incendiary and 2x100# bomb) and 12 TBF's (4x500# incendiaries) hit Rataval, causing three explosions and starting six fires. One of the explosions caused a 100-foot crater and cleared coconut trees for 400 feet. Seventeen buildings were demolished. VMSB 241, Major James A. Feeley, USMC, commanding, with 40 pilots, was detached at Piva.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 18, 2021 11:00:53 GMT 12
The Piva strike at 1015 blasted 15 craters in the Vunakanau runway. The strike comprised 24 SBD's, eight carrying rockets and the other 18, 1x1000# and 2x100# bombs each, and 24 TBF's, of which 12 carried 4x500# bombs and 12, 12x100# butterfly clusters. The AA fire was moderate to intense and generally accurate, severely damaging two TBF's and inflicting minor damage on one TBF and one SBD. Two TBF's, one equipped with an oil tank and the other loaded with 12x100# bombs, made a morning and an afternoon Potato Run. In the morning, a Kieta garden was sprayed and 11x100# bombs released on huts and a bridge in the area. The afternoon planes sprayed a garden at Mission Point and got one direct hit out of 12x100# bombs aimed at a bridge. Six SBD's bombed the Tarlena bivouac area and a garden with 1x1000#, 4x500#, 7x250# and 2x100# in the morning. Six Dauntless (1x500# and 2x250# bombs) attacked the Tsirogei area in the afternoon. Six SBD's, searching in the Buka area, found three mines but were unable to detonate them by strafing. A PV on the Charlie search dropped 6x500# bombs on garden plots one-half mile north of Moroo while the Ventura on the Able search bombed and strafed barges in the Porton-Chabai area. The Rabaul shipping count, the Torokina-Rabaul rescue patrol and the Mussau search were negative. Forty-two Green SBD's (1x1000#) put 15 craters in the Lakunai runway, rendering it unserviceable.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 18, 2021 11:02:51 GMT 12
A Piva strike of 17 SBD's (1x1000# bombs) and 24 TBF's (12x100# bombs) at 0930 was part of a ComAirSols major attack on Kahili supplies and gun positions. Photographs taken after a series of attacks, including fighter-bomber and B-25 strikes, showed two heavy AA guns and one automatic destroyed and one heavy damaged. Five SBD's hit the Chabai supply area at 1100 with 5x500 and 10x250# bombs. Six SBD's, after reported coastal guns, dropped 5x1000# bombs on Cape Friendship. No gun was seen. Two Potato Runs were flown by TBF's. A garden at Kieta and a rice field at Taiai were sprayed; several huts and a bridge were hit by the escort planes, which released 22x100# bombs. A search by two SBD's for possible wreckage from mines in Buka Passage was negative. Two SBD's searched negatively for mines off Sorum, but two other Dauntless later sunk one of three mines with rockets. One PV, on the Able search, had a 30-foot miss out of 6x500# bombs aimed at a building at Tsirogei. The PV on the Mussau search reported negative. There was no green strike. VMSB 244, Capt. Richard Belyea, USMCR, commanding, reported; and VMTB 232, Major M. Doswell, commanding, and VMSB 341, Major J.T. McDaniels, USMC, commanding, were detached at Green.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 18, 2021 11:05:42 GMT 12
Eighteen Dauntless and 12 Avengers from Piva hit the supply area north of Tobera with 10x500# and 18x250# bombs and 41x500# incendiary clusters at 1025, starting fires and destroying at least two large buildings. SBD's and TBF's—12 each—struck AA guns and the runway at Boni at 1430. Six SBD's bombed native huts at Tabut with 5x500# at 1035. Four TBF's—two in the morning and two in the afternoon-did Potato Runs at Kieta. One of the escort TBF's bombed targets of opportunity with 12x100#; and the other dropped 4x500# incendiaries on the Kieta runway garden which had been oiled previously. The incendiaries started a fire which burned out an acre. A mine and debris search by four SBD's in the Buka Passage area was negative. Seven TBF's and six SBD's were dispatched at 0545 after a ship was reported moving and trailing oil off Chabai in Matchin Bay. One TBF carried 4x325# depth bombs, which were not dropped. The other TBF's were loaded with 4x500# bombs, and the SBD's with 1x1000# bombs. Direct hits were scored on a hulk, but no other ship was sighted. Three of the SBD's bombed the Tabut area. The Torokina-Rabaul sweep and the Rabaul shipping count, made by PV's, were negative. The Able PV tried for a barge at Bonis Plantation with 6x500# bombs—five duds and a miss. The Charlie PV spread 6x500# bombs on gardens near the Mibo River. The Rataval supply area was bombed by Green planes—29 SBD's (1x500# and 2x100#) at 1115. Many small fires were started. Ten SBD's (1x1000#) tookoff at 0910 after a reported 200-foot freighter in Keravia Bay. The reported ship was not found. Seven of the planes bombed hulks; two bombed the mainland; and the tenth returned without attacking, after being hit by AA.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 18, 2021 11:08:00 GMT 12
The Lakunai runway and gun positions were the targets of 29 SBD's (1x1000#) and 12 TBF's (4x500#) at 1010, with six Dauntless (8 rockets) striking barges on the east side of Simpson Harbor at the same time. Ten craters were added to the portion of the bomber strip which was being repaired, and others blown in other portions of the runway which apparently had been abandoned. AA fire, both heavy and automatic, was moderate to intense and inaccurate to accurate. One SBD was shot down in flames, crashing into the water east of Hospital Ridge. The pilot, Lieut. John N. Anderson, Jr., and the gunner, William Lundy, ARM2c, were lost. The search by two TBF's for mines and mine wreckage around Buka Passage was negative. Morning and afternoon Potato Runs were made by two Avengers, which sprayed and fired a portion of the Taia rice field and sprayed the Kieta runway. The afternoon escort plane blew up a bridge over the Topopura River and damaged another over the Kokevika River. Two SBD's made a negative barge hunt around Baniu Harbor. Six SBD's and three TBF's harassed Japs on the east coast of Bougainville in the afternoon, bombing a village south of Putputun with 5x500# and 10x250# and the Hanahan Mission bivouac with 32x100#. The Charlie search PV sighted no target better than a road intersection between Shishigatero and Aku, and dropped 3x500# bombs. The Able search PV had four duds out of 6x500# bombs dropped on buildings north of Tsirogei. The PV on the Torokina-Rabaul sweep had negative results in searching for survivors of the SBD shot down east of Hospital Ridge and of two other SBD's reported in the water off Cape Gazelle. Forty-two Green SBD's (1x1000#), hitting Vunakanau at 1100, started fires in the supply areas around the field and cratered the runway into unserviceability with their 42 bombs. Heavy and Auto AA fire was reported meager and inaccurate around the target, but one SBD, with Capt. J.A. Anderson and S.Sgt. C.D. Faella aboard, crashed over the Warongoi River. "Excellent photos," P.I.U. reported, "show that only 35 to 40 of the original 155 revetted storage bays in target 201 (Talili Bay area) remain undamaged. Of approximately 150 bays in target area 202, only 45 to 50 now appear to be undamaged."
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 18, 2021 11:09:39 GMT 12
Weather caused postponement of the Piva strike—12 SBD's (1x 1000#) and 17 TBF's (4x500#) against the Kahili AA guns and supply area until 1545. Photos showed only possible damage to a command post. Two SBD's and two TBF's flew weather hops. Weather prevented the two TBF's from carrying out the morning Potato Run. In the afternoon, the two Avengers oiled a Bigu garden and released 12x100# bombs on huts at Bigu and Kieta. Two SBD's flew an artillery spotting mission. An anti-submarine patrol by three PV's was negative. The Green strike on Borpop was cancelled because of weather.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 18, 2021 11:11:35 GMT 12
Six Dauntless and 12 Avengers from Piva dropping 6x1000# and 12x100#, 48x500# bombs, respectively, on AA guns and the supply area at Talili Bay at 0935., started six fires which destroyed six storage bays. Three SBD's and six TBF's dropped 6x250# and 10x500# bombs on a derelict gunboat south of the Chabai Pier and targets of opportunity in the area. At least one hit was made on the gunboat. One SBD, on a special flight, damaged huts at Porton Plantation with 1x500# and 2x250 pound bombs. Two Dauntless flew a photographic mission over Kieta. Three SBD's, on a truck reconnaissance around the north tip of Bougainville, scored only misses in dumping their 6x250# and 3x500# bombs on targets of opportunity. Two Potato Runs—two TBF's on each—were flown. A garden at Bigu was sprayed in the morning, during which flight the escort TBF was damaged heavily by AA from the Tonolei Harbor area. Execution of the afternoon mission was prevented by engine trouble. One PV each on the Torokina-Rabaul sweep and the Rabaul shipping count reported negative. Green sent 18 SBD's (1x1000#) after a possible seaplane anchor age at Nabuto Bay, New Ireland, at 1700. Two buildings were razed. RNZAF PV Squadron No. 9, Wing Cmdr. A.C. Allen, commanding, 17 pilots, relieved RNZAF PV Squadron No. 2, Wing Cmdr. Greenaway, commanding, at Piva. VB 98 (Detachment B) Lieut. E.T. LaRoe, USNR, commanding; VMSB 236, Major William A. Cloman, Jr., commanding, and VMSB 244, Capt. Belyea, USMCR, commanding, were detached at Green.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 18, 2021 11:14:34 GMT 12
Fourteen Dauntless and 17 Avengers hit a supply area and AA guns at Kahili at 1030 with 13x1000# and 201x100# bombs, well covering the area and starting small fires. Two heavy anti-aircraft guns were destroyed. One TBF sustained minor damage from AA fire, which was heavy and automatic, moderate to intense, accurate to inaccurate. Two TBF's, on an early morning barge search, released 10x100# bombs at a 30-foot camouflaged barge at Porton Plantation, possibly damaging it; 6x100# on a possible gunboat in a cove south of Chabai 2x100# at Chabai and 1x100# at Porton. On a Potato Run in the morning two TBF's coiled a Taiai garden and bombed huts and bridges in the vicinity with 10x100#. Two TBF's in the morning and two SBD's in the afternoon photographed the area of suspected radar and radio installations on the west coast of Buka. The TBF's also photographed the area of a reported tunnel at Koropa, northern Bougainville. VMSB 236, Major William A. Cloman, Jr., commanding, with 40 pilots, reported aboard at Piva, and RNZAF SBD 25, Squadron Leader T.J. Mel DeLong commanding, was detached. Strike Command, Green, secured operations.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 19, 2021 13:15:57 GMT 12
Twenty SBD's and 24 TBF's bombed Vunakanau at 0945 with 19x1000#, 31x100# and 84x500#, cratering the runway with 14 new holes and starting fires which burned three huts in the revetment area. One TBF was shot down by AA, and the pilot, Ensign D.D. Atkins, VT 305, and the crew, J.B. Ketchia, ARM2c, and R.I. Lanegan, AOM2c, were lost. Mechanical difficulties prevented the Potato Run TBF's from oiling a Jap garden, but 5x100# bombs were dropped on Kieta huts. SBD did the Able and Charlie searches, two on each, with a total of 2x500# and 4x250# bombs being released on targets of opportunity. Local afternoon missions were weathered out. A PV on the Torokina-Rabaul rescue patrol saw the TBF on the Vunakanau strike crash into the water west of the Duke of York Island. No survivor was seen.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 19, 2021 13:17:38 GMT 12
Twelve Dauntless aimed 12x1000# and 21x100# bombs at AA gun positions and 12 TBF's spread 110x100# bombs over the supply area at Talili Bay at 1000. AA was meager and generally inaccurate, inflicting minor damage on one Avenger. The Rabaul shipping count and the Torokina-Rabaul sweep, each flown by one PV, were negative. Two SBD's on the Charlie search reported negative. Two Dauntless on the Able patrol released 4x250# and 1x500# bombs, wrecking a wharf at Kessa Plantation and damaging two buildings. One of the two TBF's on a Potato Run jettisoned the oil tank by mistake; the other scored a direct hit on each of two bridges out of 12x100# bombs dropped on targets of opportunity. Three TBF's made a negative barge sweep in the Put Put Plantation area.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 19, 2021 13:18:58 GMT 12
Finding Hospital Ridge gun positions closed by weather, 21 Dauntless and 10 Avengers turned to the secondary target, Tobera, at 1010. The SBD's dropped 20x1000# and 34x100# bombs, and the TBF's, 29x500# bombs on gun positions. One TBF bombed Put Put village with 1x500#. Two automatics and two machine guns were damaged. AA fire caused minor damage to four planes and considerable damage to one. The Torokina-Rabaul sweep by a PV was negative. Two SBD's on the Able patrol wiped out 11 huts with 2x500# and 3x250# bombs. On the Charlie search, two SBD's released 1x500# and 3x250# bombs on targets of opportunity. Six TBF's made a familiarization flight to IBU, preparatory to bombing a Jap bivouac there. Two SBD's, accompanying fighter-bombers, made photographs of the Mabiri area where coastal guns had been reported. Two Dauntless made a negative search for a PT missing between Torokina and Treasury.
Planes Available Planes in Commission Piva 45 SBD 39 TBF 6 PV 44 SBD 30 TBF 4 PV
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 19, 2021 13:20:20 GMT 12
Eighteen TBF's, dropping 70x500# bombs, and 23 SBD's, dropping 21x1000# and 34x100# bombs, struck at Hospital Ridge gun positions at 0955, coordinating with B-25's and fighter-bombers. Three Strike Command planes suffered minor damage from AA fire. Photographs after the coordinated strikes showed no damage to gun positions. Two SBD's, on the Charlie search, bombed huts and gardens in southwest Bougainville with 2x500# and 4x250# bombs. The two SBD's on the Able search dropped the same number of bombs, destroying one hut. Two SBD's made a photographic mission to Cape Lalahan. RNZAF TBF 31, Squadron Leader M. Wilkes, commanding, reported aboard.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 19, 2021 13:22:30 GMT 12
Nine Avengers and 18 Dauntless covered well the Porton Plantation Supply area at 0934 with 18x1000#, 3x2000# and 30x100# bombs, 4x500# oil incendiaries and 8x500# magnesium incendiary clusters. One SBD and 12 TBF's hit the Jap bivouac at Ibu at 0720. The TBF's dropped 131x100#; the SBD's, 1x500# and 1x250# bombs. The area was well covered with bombs and thoroughly strafed. Two SBD's, making the Able search, released 2x500# and 4x250# bombs on targets of opportunity. The two Charlie search Dauntless released 2x500# and 4x250# bombs, firing four huts at Korara. A barge search by two SBD's, loaded with rockets, was negative. A five acre garden at Tokapa was arrayed with 75 gallons of oil by a Potato Run TBF, while the escort TBF destroyed four small buildings in dropping 8x100# and 4x500# bombs. Two SBD's, on a photographic mission, were unable to find a radar station reported on Cape Lalahan. One PV on the Torokina-Rabaul sweep and another on the Rabaul shipping count had negative reports. RNZAF, TBF 30, Squadron Leader H.N. James commanding, was detached.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 19, 2021 13:23:46 GMT 12
Air activities of Strike Command were curtailed by weather which forced 18 SBD's and 18 TBF's enroute to Rabaul to turn back before reaching Buka. One SBD made a weather hop. In the afternoon, two SBD's flew an experimental mission to drop leaflets off Motupena Point, with unsatisfactory results. The Torokina-Rabaul sweep by a PV was negative. Two PV's, on the Able search, photographed dummy installations at Lalahan Plantation. The installations previously were thought to have been radar. The pair of planes destroyed several huts in dropping 12x500# bombs, knocking out the approach to a bridge over the Mobiai River.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 19, 2021 13:25:26 GMT 12
Twenty-four SBD's and 18 TBF's racked off 39x100# and 23x1000#, and 215x100# bombs, respectively, through a 10/10 cloud cover over Hospital Ridge AA gun positions. Fighter-bombers and Mitchells also bombed the Ridge. Photographs showed one heavy and two automatics destroyed, one heavy and two auto damaged. The Torokina-Rabaul sweep was flown by one PV, with negative results. Seven PV's flew the Able search, dropping 24x100# and 18x500# bombs on targets of opportunity in northern Bougainville and Buka. One PV, releasing 6x500# bombs, did the Charlie search. Four TBF's on Potato Runs sprayed gardens at Tokapa with 150 gallons of diesel oil.