Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 10:50:16 GMT 12
9 September 1943:
Sixteen planes were off at 0812L, to make a fighter sweep over Kahili, immediately following a heavy bomber attack. Contact was made at 27,000 feet over the harbor at Kahili with approximately fifteen ZEKES and TONYS. Our score was one ZEKE and one probable. Two of our planes did not return from the attack, both the pilots were later picked up safely. On return to field two of our planes landed in the water close to the field due to gas shortage. Both pilots were picked up unhurt. The bombing was reported very good.
Four F4Us were off barge strafing again at 1620L. This barge was located between Hunda and Dolo Cove. On the first pass the barge was set on fire, and on the second pass it blew sky high. Again at 1747L, four F4Us went after more barges. This time five were reported to be in Warambari Bay, Vella Lavella. The barges were there. Several runs were made, expending nearly all the ammunition. The barges were left burning.
At the some time two other F4Us were sent out to strafe three barges on a reef near Hunda Cove. They made three runs on them and left them burning.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 10:51:34 GMT 12
10 September 1943:
At 1221L, our fighters provided high cover for a B-25 and SBD strike at Dolo Cove. There was no interception. Reported fair bombing. Six fighters scrambled at 1353L to intercept a bogey headed for Munda. The bogeys disappeared and no contact was made.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 10:53:42 GMT 12
11 September 1943:
Twenty-four planes were off at 0745L for Kahili, four to strafe and twenty to cover. Due to bad weather the strafers did not find Kahili and returned. The cover on the return trip strafed and set fire to a large barge and oil drums at Vanga ? Kolombangara.
Four F4Us and 4 P-39s were off at 1158L to strafe two barges at Marquena Bay on the north shore of Vella Lavella. They were unable to locate the barges and returned.
Eight F4Us, cover for a B-24 strike on Kahili, were off at 1025L. They were high cover and made no contact, although they saw several ZEROS. The other fighters made contact at about 21,000 feet, and their score was five ZEKES and two TONYS. One of the fighters is missing.
Four of our F4Us returned to Kahili at 1731L to strafe. They started several fires. Over the water, off the end of the strip, they strafed a large DD, hitting it squarely between the stacks. Results were unobserved.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 10:55:59 GMT 12
12 September 1943:
Eight F4Us, cover for B-25s on Jap convoy search, were off the southeast coast of Bougainville when one flight ran into bad weather and returned. The other flight missed the B-25s, and then preceeded to Kahili, and strafed the field from North to South. One plane was set on fire, and others damaged; three barges offshore were also strafed, and one caught on fire. One F4U was hit by A/A, which broke his oil line. He lagged behind and the others, looking back, saw a splash in the water. They returned to the area, but could see no trace of pilot or plane.
Twenty-four planes were scrambled at 0630L to intercept a flight of bombers and fighters reported over Vella Lavella. Just a few of the planes made contact, and they accounted for two ZEKES and one TONY. They also saw about thirty bombers, but made no contact, and saw no bombs dropped. One of our fighters is reported missing, and another had to bail out between Rendova and Munda. He was picked up safe.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 10:57:14 GMT 12
13 September 1943:
At 1515L, twelve F4Us were scrambled to intercept a bogey over Vella Lavella. One flight made contact at 16,000 feet, with twelve ZEKES, and accounted for three ZEKES. On return to field one of our F4U pilot bailed out south of the field and was recovered.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 11:00:26 GMT 12
14 September 1943:
Twenty F4Us were off at 0725L to provide high cover, medium and low cover for a B-24 strike on Kahili. They made contact at 25,000 to 28,000 feet with twenty to twenty-five ZEKES, north of Kahili. With no losses to ourselves, they destroyed four ZEKES and one TONY, and three ZEKES probables.
Four F4Us were off at 1??9L to strafe Ballale. They made a tree-top approach from the southeast and strafed one bomber and seven ZEKES at the south end of the strip, starting fires among the ZEKES. Three ZEKES were taking off; they shot down one of these and hit the second. The third one got away. Also off at 1159L were ? F4Us to cover a PB4Y strike on Kalili. The covering altitude was 25,000 feet. They made no contact. The bombing was good.
At 1201L, sixteen F6Fs, cover for a SBD and TBF strike on Ballale, arrived over Ballale at 1315L and followed the bombers down in their dive to engage twenty ZEKES at between 1,000 and 5,000 feet. Their score was eight ZEKES, with no losses to ourselves. The bombing was very good, starting many fires. Two planes made crash landings at Munda, one in the water and one on the strip with wheels up. Both pilots were injured due to combat, but both will recover.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 19, 2021 11:02:24 GMT 12
15 September 1943:
Twelve ? were off at 1035L to provide top cover for heavy bombers on a Kahili strike. The only interception was by one plane which contacted one to four HAMPS over Ballale, shooting down one HAMP. We lost no planes. The bombing was reported very good.
Eight F4Us and eleven F6Fs were off at 1030L to provide high and medium cover for a SBD and TBF strike on Ballale. They were over the target at 1140L. Contact was made over Ballale at 7,000 to 9,000 feet with approximately twenty ZEKES and four HAMPS. Our fighters accounted for seven ZEKES, with the loss of one plane. This plane failed to return, but no one saw him go in.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 20, 2021 10:32:26 GMT 12
16 September 1943:
Sixteen F4Us were sent off at 0520L to provide cover for nine B-24s. Target was unnamed. The fighters were on station over Cape Alexander, the rendezvous point, from 0555 until 0620L. No bombers appeared. At that time eight of our planes proceeded to within usual visual distance of Kahili, but could see no bombers. All our fighters returned and pancaked by 0719L. There was no contact made; no enemy planes sighted.
A search mission was sent out with thirteen F4Us and eight P-40s (from Segi) escorting Dumbo. The search was for missing pilots around the Shortland Island area. They made a thorough search but sighted nothing. However, one P-40 sighted a ZEKE about ten feet off the water and shot it down.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 20, 2021 10:37:41 GMT 12
18 September 1943:
Seventeen F4Us, providing cover for the convoy enroute to Vella Lavella, sighted twenty VALS and 20 ZEROS around Baga Island, at about 15,000 to 18,000 feet. The score was ten VALS and three ZEKES, and one VAL probable. Three of our planes were shot down, and one pilot was rescued by the coastwatcher.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 20, 2021 10:38:54 GMT 12
19 September 1943:
A search mission of twelve F4Us was sent out at 1017L to look for our missing pilots that went down the 18 th. They searched Vella Lavella, Arundel, Wana Wana, Gizo and Vella Gulf, and also along the south coast of Choiseul. All searches were negative.
Twelve F4Us provided high and low cover for a SBD and TBF strike on gun positions east of Vila airfield. They were off at 1325L, and there was no contact made. The bombing was reported very good.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 20, 2021 10:40:30 GMT 12
20 September 1943:
The Diamond Patrol was off at 0545L. Shortly after the take-off they were vectored over NW Vella Lavella to contact a two plane bogey reported there. At the same time ten F4Us were scrambled, but due to late take-off did not contact the bogey. The Diamond Patrol shot down one BETTY. The other BETTY was overtaken by Capt. Cupp, who received 20 mm. fire from the tail gunner and had to bail out with his clothes afire. He was rescued in the water by a PT boat on the same day.
Eight F4Us were off at 1640L to strafe eight barges reported to be at Katukasele, southwest coast of Choiseul. The barges were found as reported, and were strafed. Three caught on fire and the others were damaged. A camp area along shore was also thoroughly strafed.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 20, 2021 10:43:21 GMT 12
23 September 1943:
Twenty-two F4Us, cover for a Kahili bombing mission, contacted thirty to forty ZEROS over Kahili and accounted for five ZEKES. Three of our fighters were forced down. Two are still missing and one pilot was recovered. Eight P-39s were off at 1515L to strafe barges at Vagara. They found the reported barges and left them burning furiously.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 20, 2021 10:44:43 GMT 12
24 September 1943:
The Diamond Patrol, returning from dawn take-off, strafed the house and docks on the southeast tip of Gizo, causing black smoke. The four F4Us expended all their ammunition.
Eight F4Us took off to cover a bombing mission to Vila at 1510L. Vila was closed in, and after fifteen minutes on station without sighting the bombers, the flight leaders took their planes to the southeast tip of Gizo again, and strafed native huts and wooden houses. The huts burned, the houses smoked.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 20, 2021 10:46:07 GMT 12
25 September 1943:
While eight F4Us were covering the returning task force of seven ?s and eight APs, twelve F6Fs intercepted and broke up a force of eighteen to twenty VALS, covered by twenty ZEKES. An F6F shot down one ZERO over Vella Lavella.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 20, 2021 10:47:09 GMT 12
26 September 1943:
Fifteen F4Us and twenty F6Fs provided cover for an SBD and TBF strike on A/A positions at Kangu Hill at Kahili. An estimated forty ZEKES in the air were not anxious to fight, but one ZEKE was shot down and one probable at 1435L.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 20, 2021 10:48:11 GMT 12
27 September 1943:
Five barges were strafed near Wugai Point, Choiseul, by four P-39s at 0945L; four were left burning and one left smoking. The weather was bad. Sixteen F4Us and eight P-39s provided cover for twenty-seven B-24s making at 1240L strike on Kahili. Twenty to thirty ZEKES were contacted, out of an estimated forty to fifty ZEKES and HAMPS seen in the air. Seven ZEKES were shot down by the F4Us. 1st. Lt. W.R. Harris is missing, last seen about thirty miles SE of Treasury Island.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 20, 2021 10:50:05 GMT 12
28 September 1943:
Four F4Us, returning from cover for DDs retiring from Vella, found and strafed two barges, one near Rei Cove, Kolombangara, and Hamberi Cove, sinking the one near Rei at 0730L.
Four F6Fs found two camouflaged barges anchored at Taro Island, Choiseul, strafing them and set them on fire at 1330L. Personnel was seen on one of the barges.
Two F4Us caught a rowboat with twelve to fifteen Japs in Kape Harbor on Kolombangara at 1540L. Several strafing runs were made, killing some in the boat; another strafing run was made when the boat got to the beach, and all were killed.