Post by aircraftclocks on Oct 28, 2020 0:38:24 GMT 12
WAR DIARY Com Air Piva during this period directed operations and exercised tactical control of the following squadrons based at the Piva South Fighter strip and Piva North Bomber strip at Torokina: VMSB 235 (SBD) VMSB 236 (SBD) RNZAF 31 (TBF) RNZAF 9 (PV) RNZAF 3 (PV) VMF(N) 531 (PV-N) VMO 251 (F4U) VMF 212 (F4U) VMF 223 (F4U)
Missions carried out included bombing and strafing attacks against enemy installations on New Britain, New Ireland, Buka and Bougainville Islands, searches, patrols, reconnaisance, liaison and support of U.S. Army ground forces on Bougainville Island.
The following are the day to day accounts of the specific missions carried out during the period.
15 June 1944
18 SBD's (1x1000) and 12 TBF's (1x2000) hit Rabaul AA Target "C" at 0925. The area was reported as well covered by the attack, SBD's dropping 18x1000 and TBF's dropping 11x2000. AA was mostly meagre, many of the positions not firing. A few bursts were observed from the heavies at the south end of the target area. Some of the revetments appeared empty. Photo coverage was provented by failure at the camera to operate in the Photo Plane. 3 PV's (4x500 GP and 4x500 M69 incendiaries) hit targets of opportunity from Borpop to Namatanai, New Ireland at 0920. Dropped 11x500 GP and 6x500 M69, destroying 3 buildings, 2 houses and three huts. 2 TBF's made an experimental drop of 8x100 gasoline incendiaries and 4x500 M69 incendiaries on Inus plantation, with results observed to be generally unsatisfactory. 2 TBF's made an experimental spraying run on gardens within our perimeter, only one plane's spray releasing, 75 gallons were sprayed, with good coverage reported. 2 TBF's sprayed a total of 150 gallons of diesel oil on gardens near the Kurur River, the area being reported as well covered. 1 PV(N) was scrambled from Green at 0220 when a bogey was picked up over Buka. No interception was made. Dropped 1x125 at south end of Buka with unobserved results, due to darkness. The dawn and dusk PV(N) patrols of Rabaul reported negative results. The Torokina-Rabaul sweep, and the Rabaul ship count both were negative. 4 PV's searching for a downed B-24 between Torokina and Nadzab, New Guinea, had full coverage of the assigned area, with negative results.
AVAILABILTY On Hand Available SBD 20 20 TBF 19 18 PV 10 7 PV(N) 7 3
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 3, 2020 1:45:38 GMT 12
16 June 1944
18 SBD (1x1000) and 12 TBF (4x500) hit the south third of Rabaul #1 and gun positions at 1000. Fifteen SBD's reporting, claimed 15x1000 dropped in the target area. TBF's dropped 42x500. One SBD crashed into Simpson Harbor. The crew, 1st. Lt. Major Alford, pilot and Corporal Gene T. Baler, gunner are missing. AA fire, principally from Rabaul Town and Talili Bay, was moderate to intense, inaccurate to accurate. 4 PV's made a return flight this morning from Nadzab searching for a missing B-24 enroute and reported negative results. The Able search from Numa Numa to Amun Point, Bougainville PV dropped 3x500 GP and 2x500 M69 incendiaries on northern Bougainville and Buka targets, destroying 6 huts, results otherwise unobserved. The Charlie search from Numa Numa to Motupena Point dropped 1x500 GP on a garden at Aku, and returned all other bombs when suitable targets not located. Some strafing was done in the Kieta area, results unobserved. The PV on the Torokina-Rabaul sweep made a two hour search for possible survivors of the downed SBD, which was unsuccessful. The Rabaul ship count was negative. Of 4 TBF's on the Potato Run, two were turned back by weather. One sprayed gardens at Tairogei, and the other released prematurely over Kateteiora. Two TBF's made an experimental bombing, each with 4x200, with generally unsatisfactory results. Two PV(N)'s on the night Rabaul patrol had negative results. One bogey, which was picked up by PT's, disappeared before interception could be made.
On Hand Available SBD 20 20 TBF 19 18 PV 10 7 PV(N) 7 3
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 3, 2020 10:18:14 GMT 12
17 June 1944
18 SBD's and 12 TBF's took off to hit AA Target "C". One TBF returned early due to engine trouble and the remaining planes were over target at 0945. Meagre, inaccurate M/G and auto AA was recieved. The SBD's dropped 16x1000 and the TBF's 11x2000. Photos show one auto in the eastern group of 5 guns was destroyed. 2 PV night fighters from Green had negative patrols along with the PV on the Torokina-Rabaul run. 3 PV's sub search to Towui Point was negative. One PV returned early due to engine trouble. One PV on dawn patrol from Green was negative. 2 TBF's on the morning potato hop both sprayed about an acre of garden each in the Gohi area with 75 gallons of diesel oil. 2 TBF's on the early afternoon potato hop covered a 2 acre garden SE of Gohi. One plane failed to release. 2 TBF's on the late afternoon potato hop sprayed 2 acre garden at Gohi. One plane returned early without releasing because of radio trouble. One PV on the Able search carrying 4x500 GP and 2x500 incendiaries dropped 4 bombs on a village near Talum destroying one hut and 2 bombs on Tainope destroying 7 huts. One PV on the Charlie search carrying 6x500 dropped 2 bombs on Vila destroying 6 huts, 2 bombs in some area were misses and 2 bombs were returned.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available SBD 20 18 TBF 19 17 NZ-PV's 14 10 Nav-PV's 7 3
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 4, 2020 10:58:55 GMT 12
18 June 1944
17 SBD's (1x1000 1/10) and 11 TBF's (12x100 inst.) hit RALUM 46 at 1124. SBD's reporting 17 hits in the area and the TBF's 110 (TBF's jettisoned 17 and 5 hung up). Area reported well covered and black smoke seen on retirement. Target area and Credner Island strafed on retirement. A/A was very meagre from known positions and no planes were damaged. One TBF turned back early because canopy blew off. Dropped 12x100 on PUTO with unobserved results, and strafed PUTO, SABINE and SIPAAI. Observed 6 small barges west of ROLUM Pier, also 3x20' oil drums in target area.
5 PV's were over Borpop-Namatanai area around 1000 each loaded with 4x500 GP and 2x500 M69 Incend. Score was three huts; long low building, one large and three small fires and a road crater. Huts strafed caused white smoke to 700'. A/A received from Namatania, no damage. Observed truck activity at MAGER, coral jetty 2 miles north BOM; underwater coral embankments at NAVWAUM Pltn.
2 PV on negative barge hunt Cape St. George - LABUR BAY each loaded with 4x500 GP and 2x500 M69 Incendiaries, at about 1100. Score: three buildings, two houses and six huts. Much activity noted near KORU Pt. BOM-NAMATAMAI Road well used.
1 PV(N) On station 1755/1900 over Rabaul had negative patrol except for relaying messages from ONYX 21 to Shephere relative to planes taxing on VUNAKANAU strip (7 planes reported by PV, 11 subsequently by VF).
PV on Torokina Rabaul Sweep and PV on Shipping count report negative.
One pair of TBF's oiled gardens at MATETSIORA at 1100. One sprayed prematurely, one well. Both strafed in area. Second pair of TBF's went to gardens south or KURUR River. One sprayed 1/2 acre garden completely, one escorted. Strafed at SARINE.
On Hand Available SBD 20 19 TBF 19 17 PV 14 11 PV(N) 7 3
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 4, 2020 23:28:59 GMT 12
19 June 1944
18 SBD's (1x1000 inst.) attacked RALUM 49 at 1015 reporting all bombs in target area or close to nearby buildings with results unobserved. A/A was heavy and light, meagre and inaccurate from known positions slightly damaging one plane. Pilots observed two barges near RALUM Pier and one near Duke of York.
7 PV's (4x500 GP and 2x500 M69) at 0900 dropped 25x500 GP and 12x500 M69 and expended 20,000 rounds on an area approx. 2000 yds. x 200 yds. along S.E. edge of NUMA NUMA Pltn. resulting in two small fires and white smoke to tree top height. 3x500 GP and 2x500 M69 hung up.
7 PV's (4x500 GP & 2x500 M69) at 1230 dropped 25x500 GP & 12x500 M69 and expended 15,000 rds. on reported bivouac and stores area at NUMA NUMA, ARIGUA Pltn., and Cape MABIRI. Only observed results were two small fires at Cape MABIRI. 3x500 GP & 2x500 M69 hung up.
The PV on the Torokina-Rabaul sweep and the PV on the weather hop and shipping count had negative patrols. The TBF's were given a day off from strikes and potato hops.
1 PV-1(N) had a routine patrol at dawn over Rabaul fields and dropped 2x250 bombs on TAWVI Point, bombs failed to explode. 1 PV-1(N) made a routine patrol over Rabaul at dusk.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available SBD 20 17 TBF 19 19 PV 14 11 PV(N) 7 6
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 4, 2020 23:35:37 GMT 12
20 June 1944
17 SBD's (1x1000, 1/100 sec. delay) and 12 TBF's (4x500 GP inst.) attacked AA guns in target Dog at 0950 and reported good coverage of the target. The SBD's reported 2 confirmed direct hits, 1 confirmed damaging hit, and 4 reported damaging hits on target guns. TBF's dropped 44x500 (4x500 hung up) and scored 4 reported direct hits and 8 reported damaging hits. AA was not received over the target although TBF's report target heavies firing during approach; heavy intense, inaccurate barrage from the vicinity of Tobera. P-38's also hit AA target DOG on 20 June. PIU reports that one heavy position in the westernmost group of 3 heavies was destroyed. Also 2 auto AA positions in the NF group of 8 unoccupied positions were destroyed.
5 New Zealand PV's (4x500 GP and 2 M69 incendiaries) bombed targets of opportunity in the Rabulul-Labur Bay area. 2 large buildings, 3 smaller buildings, 7 huts and one house were destroyed.
The Able search PV fired 4 huts at TSINOPE and observed a possible truck park in the vicinity of LALUM. The Charlie search PV fired a hut on PUKPUK Island.
One PV with 2 VF for escort was sent to bomb and destroy trucks in the possible truck part at LALUM; 2 large camouflaged trucks were destroyed by direct hit.
A PV patrolling the Torokina-Rabaul line and one PV on the Rabaul shipping count both reported negative patrols.
4 TBF's made local reconnaissance flights to search for gardens to be sprayed.
The morning PV(N) patrol over Rabaul was negative except for observation of a white light which blinked twice from the S.E. end of VUNAKANAU. The evening Rabaul patrol was weathered out.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available SBD 20 17 TBF 19 19 PV-1 14 11 PV-1(N) 8 4
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 5, 2020 10:11:39 GMT 12
21 June 1944
The SBD and TBF strike on VUNAPOPE 58 was cancelled because of bad weather.
4 PV's (4x500 GP & 2x500 M69) were over the Duke of York area from 0920-1010. 14x500 GP & 7x500 M69 dropped in various localities accounted for nine huts and two buildings and caused six small fires and three large fires with white smoke to 800'. Planes also thoroughly strafed a launch and canoe. No AA was received and target was clear though there was a continuous light rain. 2x500 GP hung up. 1x500 M69 did not open.
The PV Able Searcher (4x500 GP & 2x500 M69) demolished three long sheds raising a column of black smoke to 500' as well as bombing huts at LALUN and TABUT with unobserved results. No AA, weather showery.
Charlie Search and Torokina-Rabaul sweep were cancelled and the shipping count PV had negative patrol.
4 SBD's (1x1000 inst.) were scrambled to find a reported burning ship in Matchin Bay. Search of the area proved negative. (Indicated sighting was oil fire, on small island east of TAIOF, caused by strafing by Fighters. 2 TBF's completely oiled 1 1/2-2 acres of garden three miles SW of Kieta Strip. Also strafed huts at TOVIBUM and south of Kieta Harbor firing one at each place.
1 PV-1(N) patrolled over 3 LCI gunboats operating off the west coast of New Ireland; patrol was routine. Second patrol was cancelled.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available SBD 20 19 TBF 19 19 PV 14 9 PV(N) 7 3
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 6, 2020 10:33:25 GMT 12
22 June 1944
18 SBD's (1x1000 1/100) and 12 TBF's (4x500) struck the Nordup "75" supply area at 1020 on today's major strike. All SBD bombs fell within the target and one bomb caused an explosion in the central portion of the target followed by smoke to 1000'. The TBF's dropped 46 bombs in the target area and returned two. AA was meagre, inaccurate from the target area, moderate from Hospital Ridge and Matupi; intense and inaccurate from Sulphur Creek, and meagre light M/G fire from Credner.
4 New Zealand PV-1's struck targets of opportunity in the Labur Bay area. 5x500 GP bombs were direct hits on a slipway north of Labur Bay, rendering it unserviceable. A long low hut at Labur Bay was fired by four Mark 69's at Labur Bay, while one building was destroyed and another damaged at Matakan. A camouflaged 48' barge was fired by strafing at Matakan and a thorough strafing of the vicinity results in a large explosion in the bush.
A PV on the Able search scored 2 direct hits on a jetty north of Chabai and knocked a ten-foot gap in it; fired one hut at Tohatei and five huts in a village south of Cape Putputun.
2 TBF's on a Potato Hop to a 1 1/2-2 acre garden plot 3 miles SW of the Kieta strip; coverage good, second spraying of plot first sprayed on 21 June. 2 TBF's (only one was equipped for spraying) on a Potato Hop sprayed a 600'x100' garden plot at Poroporo; complete coverage. This was the second spraying of a garden plot that was first sprayed 11 June; plot appraised in good condition. Strafed Sipuai and Ratson areas with unobserved results.
A PV on a special search to Kilinailau and Taluu Islands had a negative search; saw only natives waving on the beaches.
The PV patrolling the Torokina-Rabaul line escorted 2 Emirau SBD's to Green after the Nordup "75" strike; otherwise a negative patrol.
The Charlie search was cancelled.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available SBD 20 17 TBF 19 19 PV-1 14 11 PV-1(N) 5 4
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 7, 2020 13:41:55 GMT 12
23 June 1944
18 SBD's (1x1000, 1/100) and 12 TBF's (4x500 inst.) were on AA target Charlie at 1025. SBD's dropped 17 bombs (1 hung) in area scoring 3 confirmed direct and one damaging hits on gun positions. TBF's dropped 48 in area with four reported direct and eight damaging hits on guns, 12 seen in area, balance unobserved due to smoke and dust from SBD bombs. No AA from target guns. Meagre, inaccurate, M/G medium and heavy were seen in the general area. SBD's from 400' reported north heavies definitely vacated and other positions appear deserted.
4 PV (4x500 GP, 2x500 M69) were out from 0745-1120. First searched 26 mile wide track from Green to Cape St. George and then up St. George Channel to north of Duke of York - negative. Then went into Duke of York area for strike 7x500 M69 and 15x500 GP were dropped - one of each hung up. Score: 1 church, 1 building, 1 shed, 1 pier, 12 huts, 6 fires, one large. Two M69s failed to ignite.
The Able search was cancelled. The Charlie search (PV-4x500 GP and 2x500 M69) damaged at least one building at Butenkombe and burned three huts at Chivarante. One M69 hung up.
The PVs on Toro-Rabaul Sweep and on shipping count reported negative results.
The PV (N)s cooperated with LCI gunboats from 2055-0310 from 25 miles south of Duke of York to 20 miles north. Mission negative except for : Observation of searchlight at Praed Pt., observation of tracer or flares seeming to come up from water 40 miles, 225º from Green (reported to Green). Tried to contact 48B22 and then relayed message to all boats that plane was overdue. Communications with boat having controller, were very poor.
Two TBFs at 1045 gave second and complete spraying to 600'x100' garden at Porporo. Garden still green and looked in excellent condition. Strafed with unobserved results.
Two TBFs at 1350 were at garden 3 miles SW of Kieta. As the first plane, #545 piloted by Halford and with Lt. William Emmons? as passenger, started to spray there was a sheet of orange flame. Fire came into plane through tunnel gun position setting gear on fire. Fl/Sgt Waters, the navigator, and Fl/Sgt Blaikie, the gunner, succeeded in extinguishing the fire. Waters received burns on one leg, both arms and back and was hospitalised. Damage confined to tunnel gun, window and parachute. Cause of fire unknown. Other Plane did not release.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available SBD 20 20 TBF 18 15 PV 14 10 PV(N) 7 3
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 7, 2020 17:23:02 GMT 12
24 June 1944
No major strikes were scheduled for Airops Piva planes today: VMSB 235 left Piva to continue operations from Green and the TBFs had a day for resting. No Potato Hops were flown today because the spray gear was being overhauled.
4 New Zealand PVs were dispatched to Green to conduct a search for missing planes under instructions from Airops Green. On arrival at Green, the search was cancelled and the PVs were diverted to strike barges at Cape Reis. The PVs made an unsuccessful search for the Cape Reis barges and then crossed New Ireland to Nakadukudu Bay where the weather plane had sighted several barges. The PVs dropped 16x500 and 8 M69 incendiaries on 5 barges in northern Nakudukudu Bay, demolishing 2 barges, rendering other 3 barges definitely unserviceable; one bomb landing in the bush caused an explosion and a large sheet of flame. Moderate inaccurate light M/G and 20mm fire was received from possibly 6 positions in the area. Strafing set 2 of the barges afire briefly.
The PV on the weather hop discovered 5 barges in NAKUDUKUDU Bay and dropped one depth charge in the vicinity; the depth charge failed to explode because the water was too shallow. Strafed area with unobserved results.
On the Able Search 4 huts were set afire at LALAMAN plantation and 2 huts were fired at Sing. 6 Japs on the beach at RALABANG were strafed with unobserved results.
The first PV-1(N) covering LCI gunboats off W. New Ireland saw them engage, fire and explode a probable class A tanker-barge just off Chinese Plantation; another barge was engaged, but no results were observed.
The 2nd nightfighter patrol over the LCI gunboats was routine.
On Hand Available SBD 20 20 TBF 18 15 PV-1 14 10 PV-1(N) 5 1
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 7, 2020 23:43:11 GMT 12
25 June 1944
12 TBF's (4x500 inst.) coordinated with 18 SBD's from Green hit AA target Dog. 42 bombs covered target well (6 hung and were jettisoned) causing explosions, two columns of black smoke to 2000' and a large cloud of white smoke from center of target. .6-.7 cumulus over target and smoke and dust from SBD bombs obscured accurate observation of results. TBF's report several SBD hits on three northern heavies. Planes strafed Credner and Duke of York on retirement. AA confined to 2 flashes from area and possible M/G from Credner.
2 PV's (4x500 GP, 2x500 M69) destroyed four buildings and 2 huts in MILIM-WAITAUALU area. Recco of MILIM-PALMALMAL disclosed no signs of Jap activity, only many native huts and usual plantation buildings. Roads not well used and bridges not in good repair.
2 PV's (4x500 GP, 2x500 M69) definitely rendered unserviceable three remaining barges at Cape Roloss, also started 2 fires in shore. 6000 rounds used strafing drum filled barge and general area.
The PV on Toro-Cape Archway sweep the PV on Toro-Rabaul sweep and the shipping count PV all report negative patrols.
PV(N) on evening patrol (24th) had negative patrol except for observation of three barges two burning in cove off HABASHERE? Bay. Also saw several fires in Rabaul area and on New Ireland.
TBF afternoon Potato Hop also completely sprayed for 3rd time (both planes) the 1 1/2-2 acre garden 3 miles SW of KIETA. TBF morning Potato Hop also completely sprayed for third time the 600'x100' garden at PURPORO. Garden turning yellow.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available TBF 18 17 PV-1 14 9 PV-1(N) 7 3
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 8, 2020 12:05:00 GMT 12
26 June 1944
12 TBF's (4x500 1/100) of NZ 31 scheduled to attack AA target EASY were turned back by bad weather in St. George Channel. No bombs were dropped.
The PV (4x500 GP and 2x500 inc) on the Charlie Search dropped 2x500 incendiaries and 3x500 GP burning two huts at TABUT, five huts at HAPAN, destroying one building at KOHISO and overshot with two bombs at SOROKEN Plantation.
The PV (4x500 GP and 2x500 inc.) on the Able Search discovered a look-out post and 5-6 coastal guns on the promintory south of Cape Friendship. One incendiary and three GP's destroyed the lookout post and several huts in the vicinity of the guns.
The 1 Baker 30 swept the Torokina-Cape Archway line and 2 Baker 30 (both PV's) flew the Rabaul Sweep. Both were negative.
2 PV's (4x500 GP and 2x500 inc) round the reported barges near Brown Island in the MILAM area and left seven of them definitely unserviceable. Reconnaissance of the coast line from MILAM to PALMALNAN revealed nothing not previously reported.
The TBF Potato runs were discontinued after it was decided that the deisel oil did not permanently damage the Jap gardens and the danger of fire to the spraying aircraft was considerable.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available TBF 18 17 PV-1 13 7 PV-1(N) 7 2
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 8, 2020 12:50:49 GMT 12
27 June 1944
12 TBF's (4x500) hit Rabaul AA target EASY at 1030, with 42x500 hits in target area, 4x500 wild misses and 2x500 jettisoned. Smoke was observed over the target following the attack, results otherwise unobserved. AA was heavy, meagre to moderate, fairly accurate, damaging two planes slightly. All planes returned.
1 PV on the Able Search dropped 3x500 GP and 2x500 M69 incendiaries destroying 2 huts at Gohi, firing 2 huts at Wariki, and a near miss on a bridge at Wakurai.
1 PV on the Charlie Search dropped 3x500 GP and 2x500 M69 incendiaries on gun positions between Cape Friendship and Tonoli Harbor. All bombs fell in area of gun positions with unobserved results.
The PV on the Torokina-Rabaul sweep was forced to turn back because of a small fire due to electrical trouble, landing safely at Piva.
The PV making the Rabaul Ship count reported negative results.
One PV (N) on the Rabaul patrol from 0525 - 0800 reported negative results except for the sighting of two flares in the Rabaul area.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available TBF 18 17 PV 13 7 PV(N) 7 3
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 10, 2020 10:24:19 GMT 12
28 June 1944
12 TBF's (4x500) hit Vunapope 30 Supply area at 1245, reporting 47x500 bomb hits in the target area. There was no AA fire from the target, or from other positions. All planes returned, none damaged.
4 PV's (4x500 GP, and 2x500 M incendiaries), hit targets of opportunity from Cape Gazelle to Cape Pollister. 8x500 GP and 4x500 M 69 were dropped in Kabanga Bay area starting 3 large fires and scoring a direct hit on a garden. Dropped 6x500 GP and 4x500 M69 on Put Put Plantation destroying one building, results other-wise unobserved. Only AA was M/G fire near Kabanga Plantation. No planes were damaged.
2 PV(N)'s on the Rabaul patrol from 0015 until 0600 reported negative results.
The PV on the Torokina - Rabaul sweep was negative, as was the PV on the Rabaul Ship count.
VMO-251, Major W.C. Humberd, U.S.M.C., Commanding, reported for duty this date.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available TBF 18 15 PV 13 7 PV(N) 7 3
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 10, 2020 11:17:57 GMT 12
29 June 1944
16 F4U's (1x1000) of VMO-251, hit AA target EASY at 1012, reporting 12x1000 dropped in target area, 2x1000 unobserved and 2x1000 jettisoned. AA was heavy, moderate and accurate. No planes were damaged, all returned.
5 TBF's bombed at tank trap across trail about 2 miles east of Tenema, Bougainville, scoring 23x500 hits in the area, results otherwise unobserved because of jungle.
2 PV's (4x500 GP and 2x500 M69 incendiaries) struck targets at Mataken Plantation as 0905, dropping 6x500 GP and 4x500 M69 in Mataken supply area, with unobserved results.
The Charlie Search PV (4x500 GP and 2x500 M69 incendiaries) dropped only 2x500 GP, both doing no damage, one a dud. All other bombs were returned because of lack of suitable targets.
The Able Search PV (4x500 GP and 2x500 M69 incendiaries) dropped 3x500 GP and 2x500 M69 on targets at Cape Patputau, Lemankea and Hitau Island, firing 6 huts, destroying 6 huts and damaging one building.
2 PV(N)'s on the Rabaul patrol had negative results.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available TBF 18 15 PV 14 7 PV(N) 7 1
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 11, 2020 10:09:01 GMT 12
30 June 1944
16 F4U's scheduled to hit Rabaul AA target George, turned back without releasing their bombs, where both the primary and secondary targets were found closed by weather. One plane piloted by Lt. D. J. Schoetz of VMO-251 made a water landing off Torokina, when the engine cut out. The plane was lost. The pilot was rescued by Dumbo.
During the day, a total of 27 TBF's and 17 PV's bombed Jap troop concentrations in the Pakei - Paresi area, dropping a total of 108x500 in this area. Most results were unobserved because of dense ground cover, but the target area was described as well covered.
The Torokina-Rabaul Sweep PV reported negative results, and the PV on the Rabaul Ship count was also negative.
2 PV(N)'s, working with gunboats off Rabaul, the night of 29-30 June reported negative results.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available TBF 19 10 PV 16 9 PV(N) 7 3 F4U 20 19
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 11, 2020 23:29:31 GMT 12
1 July 1944
12 TBF's (4x500) bombed and strafed Rabaul AA target George at 1005 claiming 38x500 hits in target area. 3x500 jettisoned. 3x500 returned. 1 TBF, Hit by AA fire, was observed to spin in over target with 1 parachute blossoming. F/S Aitchison (Note - Aitchison subsequently made his way to the shore and was picked up four days later in St. Georges Channel) pilot, F/S Mathieson, navigator, F/S Walker, Gunner all missing. AA, M/G, auto and heavy, was meagre, and accurate. Other planes and personnel returned without damage.
14 of 16 F4U's (1x1000), 1 as escort and 1 with engine trouble, returned early, bombed and strafed Rabaul AA target George at 0937 claiming 4 confirmed damaging hits and 3 area hits on East heavies, 2 confirmed damaging hits and 3 area hits on west heavies, 1 unobserved and 1 hit on huts Kulon Plantation. AA was meagre and accurate, but all planes and personnel returned undamaged.
12 of 15 F4U's (1x1000), three returning, 2 with engine trouble, one as escort, bombed and strafed Ralum 41 at 1445 claiming 6 hits in area Ralum 41, 3 overshots into Ralum 42, 2 unobserved, 3 jettisoned, 1 returned. Meagre AA punctured 1 wing tank.
2 PV's searching for downed pilot Cape Archway - Adler Bay, Duke of York area and 3 PV's searching for downed pilot Adler Bay area, negative. PV Torokina-Rabaul sweep negative except for large fire Mango, New Ireland.
1 PV(N) working with gunboats at Duke of York to N.I. reported negative results.
2 PV's on targets of opportunity Borpop to Namatanai dropped 6x500 on Mango destroying large hut and causing explosion with 1000' smoke column, 2x500 damaging house at Maget Plantation, 1x500 firing 5 huts at Rabulut Plantation, 1x500 was a near miss and 2x500 hung.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available TBF 18 13 PV 23 9 F4U 19 15
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 12, 2020 10:33:19 GMT 12
2 July 1944
15 of 16 F4U's (1x1000) bombed and strafed Rabaul AA George at 1002, scoring 7 confirmed damaging hits on east heavies, 2 confirmed damaging, 3 hits in area 1410 on west heavies, and 2 on supply area northeast of east heavies resulting in flame and smoke. AA fired at TBF's and not at F4U's. 1 F4U failed to get off R/W because bomb dropped off but other 15 returned safely.
12 TBF's (1x2000) bombed and strafed AA target George at Rabaul at 1005 scoring 11 hits in area and 1 jettisoned. AA medium and heavy but inaccurate. Observed F4U attack to be excellent. All planes and crews returned safely.
12 F4U's (1x1000) bombed and strafed Ralum "47" at 1430 scoring 10 hits in area, one dud and one miss. No AA observed but one plane received minor damage from light AA. Lt. Lawrence Neil of VMO 251, who crashed on take-off completely destroying #112, received severe burns and died on July 3, 1944.
2 F4U's, 1 F6F (1x500) dropped at 1815 on Northern Choiseul. Light meagre but accurate AA caused minor damage to 1 F4U and F6F. 6 M/G's firing were observed on north bank of Sui River.
PV on Rabaul sweep - negative.
1 PV on Able Search returned because of engine trouble.
2 PV's on search for F4U - Adler Bay, Cape Archway, Duke of York. 1 PV landed at Green because of engine trouble. 1 PV covered area, but holed by AA over Waranjoi returned with negative results.
2 PV's on barge hunt, Waranjoi - Cape Gazelle returned to Green because of engine trouble in 1 PV.
2 PV's on search for missing F4U received M/G fire from Put Put holing 1 in 3 places and knocking out engine of other - results negative.
2 PV's on barge hunt destroyed 7 huts at Muai with 6x500 and 3 hits at Put Put with 2x500. Dropped 2x500 on Kabanga - results unobserved. 1 PV hit by M/G fire from Kabanga. After refueling at Green the PV's destroyed 2 huts at Leimammonu Mission with 2 incendiaries. Observed great activity and many trenches at Kabanga Bay.
1 PV(N) night 1-2 July on Rabaul patrol reported negative results.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available TBF 18 13 PV 24 9 F4U 19 13
Post by aircraftclocks on Nov 12, 2020 23:50:23 GMT 12
3 July 1944
11 TBF's (4x500) bombed and strafed Pawairi Bivouac area at 0845. 39x500 in target area, 5x500 straddled area, demolishing several huts. 1 of original 12 TBF's returned because of hydraulic trouble.
12 F4U's (1x1000) bombed and strafed AA target "J", Rabaul, scoring 4 hits in area on south 9 m/g; 2 confirmed direct hits, 1 confirmed damaging hit and 1 in area on west guns; 1 hit in area and 2 mines on north 3 autos. SBD' got excellent coverage of same target but were 15 minutes ahead of schedule thus confusing the attack.
11 TBF's (4x500) attacked targets of opportunity on Bougainville when turned back by clouds from Pavairi. Results were mainly unobserved. 1 of original 12 TBF's returned early because of engine trouble.
1 PV(N) for night of July 2-3 was negative except for seeing forest fire inland from Cape Tawii and a small surface craft in Simpson Harbor.
1 PV on Torokina-Rabaul sweep was negative.
2 PV's dropped 3x500 on Po destroying 15 huts and 4x500 scoring direct hits on Nauatanai-Ulupatur Plantation Road. 3x500 damaged west approach to bridge to Magen Plantation, and 2x500 set fire to several huts southeast of Nauatanai.
AVAILABILITY On Hand Available TBF 18 13 PV 24 10 F4U 19 17