Post by aircraftclocks on May 18, 2021 0:53:25 GMT 12
16 August 1943 to 21 October 1943.
On 16 August 1943, Colonel W. O. Brice, Commanding Officer, Major A. R. Stacy, Operations Officer, five other officers, and thirty five enlisted men debarked Auckland, New Zealand via air transportation enroute to Munda Airfield via New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Guadalcanal and Russell Islands, arriving at Munda on 20 August 1943.
The period from 20 August to 24 August was spent in relieving the second Marine Aircraft Wing Headquarters from their duty as immediate Fighter Command.
During the period of 24 August to 21 October 1943, the following squadrons have been under command of Marine Aircraft Group Fourteen: VMF-123, VMF-124, VMF-213, VMF-214, VMF-215, VMF-221, VMF-222, VF-12, VF-33, VF-38, VF-40, Army Fighter Squadron 70 and RNZAF.
Our Combat losses amounted to 1/2 of 1%, the Operational losses to 1/2 of 1% and Combined-Operational losses to 1%. The Pilot losses for this period was 1/2 of 1% of all aircraft losses.
The weekly aircraft losses were as follows:
September: Combat losses: Oper. losses: Com-Oper losses: 1 to 7 1 0 0 8 to 14 5 1 4 15 to 21 5 1 1 22 to 28 1 1 5 29 to 30 0 1 0 October: 1 to 7 0 0 1 8 to 10 0 1 0
16 August 1943: Seven officers and thirty five enlisted men left Auckland, New Zealand for Munda Airfield. 20 August 1943: Arrived at Munda Airfield. 26 August 1943: First echelon left Auckland; nineteen officers and 330 enlisted men. 3 September 1943: First echelon arrived at Guadalcanal. 9 September 1943: First echelon left Guadalcanal for Munda. 15 September 1943: First echelon, 4 officers, 73 enlisted men and 5 corpsmen, arrived Munda. 21 September 1943: Second echelon left Guadalcanal. 22 September 1943: Second echelon, 4 officers, 81 enlisted men and 3 corpsmen, arrived Munda. 7 October 1943: The remainder of Headquarters Squadron left Guadalcanal for Ondongo, New Georgia. 8 October 1943: The remainder of Headquarters Squadron arrived Ondongo, New Georgia.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 18, 2021 10:22:46 GMT 12
24 August 1943:
The morning patrol was negative. Four Corsairs were ordered off at 1115L to strafe a corvette reported near Boo, Choiseul Island. The flight returned due to bad weather in the vicinity of the target. At 1157L, fourteen Corsairs of VMF 123 and VMF 124, were scrambled, 1st Lt. H.H. Harter cracked up on takeoff and was killed. Contact was made between 16 and 18,000 feet over Vella LaVella with 60 to 70 Jap aircraft, half VALs and half zeros, at 1230L. The score was nine zeros and two VALs destroyed and six zero probables. All our VF returned.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 18, 2021 10:24:00 GMT 12
25 August 1943:
At 0750L, twelve Corsairs were scrambled to intercept a bogey over Vella LaVella. Bogey completed attack on Barakoma and started home at 0830L. Our VF arrived over the area too late to intercept, again showing the need for longer raid warning, as our VF were over the target twenty five minutes after the first bogey plot. All our planes returned and no damage was reported at Vella LaVella. Coastwatcher reported bogey as fourteen zeros and ten VALs. Nine Corsairs of VMF-215, escorted the afternoon strike on Kahili and landed at Munda at 1615 to be based here. Three of the nine planes landed at Munda early because of mechanical difficulty. The six remaining Corsairs made contact with 50 to 60 planes 40 miles south of Kahili at 14,00 feet on the return trip. The score for VMF-215 was four zeros (three were in-line type) and six zero probables. All our planes returned safely.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 18, 2021 10:26:13 GMT 12
26 August 1943:
The morning patrol of eight P-39s, returning from station over Barakoma, strafed two houses on the coast near Sipo Island, and five houses on the hill east side of the bay. Unobserved results. The morning patrol over task group proceeding to Barakoma observed one VAL drop bombs near ships while they were in the vicinity of Gizo Strait, with no damage. This VAL escaped and was the only enemy aircraft seen. Munda based fighters covering three squadrons of Liberators striking Kahili, consisted of eight Corsairs, nine New Zealand P-40s, and three P-39s. They made contact with twenty to thirty ZEKES at 17,000 to 23,000 feet at 1550L. The score: The Corsairs destroyed three ZEKES, and three TONYS. The New Zealand P-40s destroyed one ZEKE and one HAMP. Four Corsairs of this mission returned early due to mechanical trouble. All our planes returned safely. At 1630L, five New Zealand P-40s strafed a small steamer and launch at Buri, north tip of Ganongga Island. Both boats were strafed thoroughly and set afire. At 1500L, four Corsairs strafed a beached life boat, thought to be carrying ten Japs on Mulunbu Island. The boat was badly damaged. At 1730L, four Corsairs strafed two barges hidden in mangroves at southeast corner of Niraharpa Island, just off Mamberi Cove. Both barges were set afire, and burned violently. One exploded as if loaded with oil and gas. Coast-watcher later reported this strafe as the Hamberi Blitz. At 1230L, four Corsairs strafed three barges located just west of the mouth of the Kolombara River. Two were set afire and one damaged.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 18, 2021 10:27:11 GMT 12
27 August 1943:
At 0827L, a flight of four Corsairs contacted a lone TONY between Faisi and Vella Lavella. The TONY came out of a cloud and was chased to the vicinity of Ballale Island, where he escaped. At 1155L, four F4Us of VMF-215, on mission to Dolo Cove, found and strafed three barges reported there, setting fire to two of them. No other contacts were made during the day.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 18, 2021 10:29:00 GMT 12
28 August 1943:
At 0610L, five planes of VMF-214 and VMF-213 (F4Us) on Kahili strafing mission, entered a heavy squall area between Fauro Island and Kahili. All were tossed about and flew on instruments. Two of the planes came out of the front about 5,000 feet, not in position to strafe, so went up to 8,000 feet to cover any plane which went in. Lt. Lamphier was not seen after entering the squall area, and is missing. Lt. Jensen, the only one to reach the target, made a run from north to south, and started many fires among the parked aircraft along the strip. Sixteen F4Us (eight from VMF-214 and eight from VMF-215) searched the Vella Lavella-Fauro-Choiseul area at low altitude for 1st. Lt. Lamphier. No trace was found after long search.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 18, 2021 10:31:00 GMT 12
29 August 1943:
At 1300L, four F4Us from VMF-214 with 1st. Lt. V. Carpenter as flight leader, on strafing mission to Dolo Cove, strafed and set on fire a barge well offshore. Also thoroughly strafed the shoreline for twenty-five minutes, with unobserved results. The barge was left burning. At 1630L, four F4Us from VMF-214, with 1st. Lt. S. Synar as Flight leader, strafed and left burning two barges at Tombulu, on the north coast of Vella Lavella. On return trip, found a good sized rubber boat aground, on a reef offshore from Gungulo Point, on the northeast coast of Vella Lavella. They made several runs on it, and worked it over thoroughly. It was set afire and left burning, visible ten miles away.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 18, 2021 10:34:06 GMT 12
30 August 1943:
Four F4Us from VMF-214 and VMF-215, Capt. B.K. Shaw leading, went to Sipo Sipolo on Gizo Island to strafe huts and barge reported to be in that area. Unable to find huts they strafed and left burning the barge. The regular Moonbeam patrol, while over Vella Lavella, received a vector from Sirius base, to proceed to west of Vella Lavella, where they immediately engaged twenty to thirty ZEKES and TONYS that were attacking B-24s returning from Kahili. The Moonbeam patrol accounted for three ZEKES. Our losses were one B-24, one P-39, and one F4U.
There were reports today of a new type of A/A fire over Kahili. The bursts were white, as compared with the usual black, and the smoke descented in a cone shape.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 18, 2021 10:35:50 GMT 12
31 August 1943:
The Patrol covering T.G. in Barakoma area, Vella Lavella, missed contact when approximately twenty Zeros and twelve VALS attacked the T.G. There was no damage to the ships. A strafing mission of four F4Us (VMF-215), led by Lt. Smith, arrived Timbala Bay on northwest Vella Lavella at 1325L. They strafed the ? two barges thoroughly, although they did not burn ? from Timbala Bay, they found another barge which they also strafed. It also did not burn.
aircraft clocks, Any idea what the "regular Moonbeam patrol" was - perhaps a P-70? Then again, no USAAF Fighter squadron included in the list at top of thread, so maybe USMC. Also have you figured out what "T.G." means? Task Group?
Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 10:40:15 GMT 12
2 September 1943:
Four F4Us, led by Capt. Aldrich of VMF-215, provided cover for a PT boat. While flying over the north end of Choiseul, they observed a barge on a reef about one-half mile offshore. They made a run on the barge and left it smoking. While making their run, they observed another barge close to shore. They strafed and left it smoking. Proceeding up the coast to Choiseul, they observed another well-camouflaged barge close to shore. After making numerous runs, they left it smoking too.
Fourteen F4Us, of VMF-215 and VMF-123, were off at 0600L, for a strafing mission to Kahili. They arrived at Kahili at 0700L. Four of the planes made a strafing run on the strip. They hit and set fire to one VAL, and one twin-engine bomber, exploded one VF parked in revetment filled with personnel, strafed and caused considerable damage among a group of planes parked wing to wing at the east end of the strip. A/A positions at the east end of strip also strafed. Major R.G. Tomes, VMF-215, was hit by A/A at northeast end of strip at Ballale. He was seen to explode and crash. On retiring over water, they strafed and set fire to four surface vessels, believed barges; also a large launch, sixty to seventy feet long, loaded with supplies, was hit and left burning. Also observed a barge in a cove on the southern part of Ballale, made a strafing run on it, and set it on fire.
Fourteen F4Us provided high cover for a B-24 bombing mission on Kahili, arriving over target at 1600L. They contacted an estimated twenty ZEROS at 16,000 to 17,000 feet.
Results of this contact: Four ZEKES, with no losses to ourselves.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 10:41:47 GMT 12
3 September 1943:
Sixteen F4Us, VMF-215 and VMF-123, were off at 1335L on a strafing mission to Kahili. They arrived over target at 1430L. Twelve planes provided cover for four strafing planes. Their run on the Kahili field was made from west to east, passing over the northwest end of the strip. Hall started firing just before clearing the trees bordering the field, and continuing firing for three seconds. Three of the strafers had no opportunity to observe damage done by the strafing, but the fourth strafer found himself lined up with, and in perfect position, to strafe a large revetment with about ten VF in it. At least four exploded, and others are believed damaged. No enemy planes were seen in the air during the attack.
Ten F4Us (VMF-215 and VMF-123) were off at 1635L for a B-25 strike on Vila. No contact was made during the strike. The bombing run was made at 1,000 feet, and strafing runs made at lower altitudes. No personnel, A/A fire, or activity seen.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 10:42:33 GMT 12
4 September 1943:
Four F4Us were off at 1100L for escort on Vila Airfield and Dolo Cove strike. They arrived over the target at 1130L. No contact, but observed considerable A/A about 4,000 feet over Vila. Bombing was good. Observed one SBD crash in water. The crew of this plane was seen to be picked up by a barge.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 10:43:54 GMT 12
5 September 1943:
Two F4Us were off at 0952L to strafe a barge at Kundu Kundu Bay, Kolombangara. They were over target at 1005L. The barge was thoroughly strafed and left smoking. They received small machine gun fire from shore, but it did no damage.
A reconnaisance mission was off at 1316L for Vila Airfield with instructions to strafe any target observed. They passed over the field twice at altitudes from twenty to five hundred feet, and saw no activity whatsoever. They received some A/A from the mountainside well north of the north end of the strip.
Eleven F4Us were off at 1330L to strafe Zoga, a village on the east side of Sambi Point, Choiseul Island, which was reported to be occupied by Japs. The whole area was thoroughly gone over, and all the huts strafed. There was no sign of Japs anywhere.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 10:45:06 GMT 12
6 September 1943:
At 1602L, four F4Us were off to strafe two barges reported to be in Sanu Bay and one in Moloco Bay. The flight made several runs over both areas, but was unable to find the targets; so they returned to base without seeing a thing or firing a shot.
Acting on dispatch from ComAirSols regarding six barges in Ringi Cove, two moving in Webster Cove, and three in Split Tail area, eight planes were off at 1749L to strafe targets. Arriving in the area they found one barge in Ringi Cove and one in Webster Cove; both were strafed thoroughly. They were not set on fire, and due to darkness the pilots were unable to assess damage.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 10:46:21 GMT 12
7 September 1943:
There were no contacts made today as far as the fighters were concerned. Four flights of Fighters covering T.G. observed splashes in the water north of Kundurumbangara Point at about 0800L. They looked like splashes from bombs or shells. One flight saw a similiar splash off Hambari.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 10:48:12 GMT 12
8 September 1943:
Four F4Us were sent at 1020 to strafe a barge that was found by the Moonbeam patrol at Hunda Cove. By the time the four strafers arrived, the barge had moved; they found another barge on a reef near Hunda Cove, which they strafed and set afire.
At 1337L, four F4Us were sent out to strafe a sixty-five foot barge that was found between Ropa Point and Waugh Rock, off coast of northeast Kolombangara. Upon arriving at reported area, they found a barge, and strafed it several times. The barge caught on fire and later exploded. Again at 1640L, four F4Us were sent out to strafe a barge reported on the western coast of Kolombangara. It was found in Kukundu Bay, loaded with boxes. They made several runs, and set it afire and destroyed it completely.