Post by aircraftclocks on May 21, 2021 10:41:01 GMT 12
3 October 1943:
Eight F4Us were scrambled at 0650L to intercept a bogey of forty to sixty ZEKES off Kundurumbangara Point. More fighters were scrambled but failed to find the bogey. One plane of the first eight returned early. Seven F4Us shot down six ZEKES and three probables. One pilot was shot up, made a water-landing near Munda, and was rescued. This was probably a familiarization flight for a new JAP unit, the pilots think, as many brand-new planes were seen.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 21, 2021 10:42:07 GMT 12
4 October 1943:
Four F4Us and four P-39s found, strafed and destroyed sixteen enemy barges along the route from Kolombangara to Choiseul at 1145L. Between 1640L and 1800L, four F4Us and four P-39s strafed barges on northern coast of Choiseul, exploding what must have been an oil barge. Also strafed a small barge or sail boat and some very small row boats. These four P-39s pilots in their two flights for the day were airborne for five hours and twenty-nine minutes.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 21, 2021 10:44:06 GMT 12
6 October 1943:
With four F4Us and four P-39s strafing, and four F4Us and four P-39s acting as cover, a total of four barges were strafed, one of which was set afire, and one other left smoking at ? off the northwest coast of Choiseul. Two of these barges were well camouflaged.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 21, 2021 10:45:19 GMT 12
7 October 1943:
Four P-39s of a flight of six) and two F4Us (of a flight of thirteen) made contact with twelve to fifteen ZEKES, twenty miles west of Baga Island at 0730L. Two P-38s were shot up while searching for survivors of a destroyer reported sunk in a naval engagement the previous night, but both made safe crash landings, one at Munda and one at Barakoma. The other two P-38s shot down one ZEKE, and one of the F4Us shot down one ZEKE. Score: Two ZEKES.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 21, 2021 10:47:20 GMT 12
9 October 1943:
Eight P-39s, with cover of twelve F4Us, strafed and set fire to the radar tower and nearby buildings on Poporang Island and Shortland at 0950L. The run from the base to the target was made at less than 100 feet above the water to avoid warning the radar. On the retirement they strafed and left smoking two barges at Kugokubo Point, Choiseul.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 21, 2021 10:48:33 GMT 12
10 October 1943:
Eight F4Us took off from the Russells to provide medium cover for twenty-seven B-24s attacking Kahili, the F4Us later landing at Munda to be based here. The sixteen high cover P-38s withdrew to the north tip of Choiseul after the attack to intercept enemy planes chasing the bombers. Two F4Us pancaked early, leaving only six F4Us as total cover for the twenty-seven B-24s. Twelve to fifteen ZEKES intercepted the bombers at 1125L, and shot one B-24 up, which crashed at Ondongo with one good motor, killing the pilot and co-pilot. One F4U shot down one ZEKE and one probable. Eleven of the P-38s landed at Munda, and reported shooting down four ZEKES and two probables. Score: Five ZEKES and three probables. As part of the fifty-six VF cover, sixteen Munda based F4Us and sixteen Segi based P-39s escorted eighteen SBDs and twelve TBFs in an attack at 1135L on A/A positions near Kahili. There was no interception, although the ZEROS were observed attacking the B-24s.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 21, 2021 10:49:40 GMT 12
11 October 1943:
Seven ?, providing medium cover for B-24s, shot down one ZEKE out of an intercepting force of five or six ZEKES over Kahili at 0935L. Six F4Us, providing medium cover for TBFs, shot down four ZEKES and two probables of an intercepting force of fifteen ZEKES near Kahili at 0925L.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 21, 2021 10:53:08 GMT 12
14 October 1943:
Two F4Us, out of six F4Us, seven P-39s, and eight P-40s on patrol over Task Group at Barakoma, Vella Lavella, made contact with two ZEKES between Vella Lavella and Shortland. Lt. Case shot down one ZEKE and damaged one ZEKE. The F4Us were able to stay with the ZEKES in a tight loop; this was possible because of the high speed, 250 knots indicated. As far as is known, this is the first Allied plane to accomplish this feat.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 21, 2021 10:56:20 GMT 12
15 October 1943:
Four ? part of a cover of twenty F4Us, over three squadrons of ? supposed to strike Kahili at 1200, engaged ten to fifteen ZEKES, some of them having just taken off Kahili field at altitudes varying from 12,000 to 20,000 feet.
The F4Us shot down seven ZEKES and three probables. When the strike arrived at 1215L, no other contacts were made with enemy planes, either by fighters or the bombers. The bombs started four to five fires and made much smoke, but many of the bombs fell in the water.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 22, 2021 12:58:29 GMT 12
16 October 1943:
Twenty-seven F4Us covered a TBF and SBD strike on Kara Airfield, taking off at 0845L. One plane made a water-landing off Vella Lavella, and the pilot was picked up. 1st Lt. W.T. Emrich (VMF-214) became seperated from his flights while flying through terrible weather over Tonolei Harbor. He saw much surface craft activity in the harbor, and decided to wage war. He went to Sirius Base, refueled, and returned to Tonolei Harbor. He made a strafing run up the harbor, hitting first a fifty foot barge (loaded with troops, killing all personnel, burning the barge and sinking it), next another barge (which sank) next a Chinese junk (fifty foot, which burned), and then his most important target, an apparent tug with a huge purple number "4" painted along the superstructure by the pilot's house. Not satisfied because the tug did not burn, he did an immelmann back and restrafed this craft. The only A/A received was 20 mm. from the tug.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 22, 2021 12:59:25 GMT 12
17 October 1943:
At 0820, twenty-four F4Us (three returned early) made a fighter sweep to Kahili. At 0900L, twenty-one planes made contact with thirty to forty ZEKES and HAMPS at 15,000 to 17,000 feet over Kahili. With no losses to ourselves, the F4Us shot down thirteen ZEKES and one HAMP, and also made one ZEKE probable and one HAMP probable.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 22, 2021 13:01:43 GMT 12
18 October 1943:
Twelve F4Us took off at 0950L to assist in covering thirty SBDs attacking Ballale. Twenty-three enemy VF were seen in the area but they failed to close with our planes. One of ? pilots, his motor cutting out, started home, near Choiseul he sighted two ZEKES five hundred feet below him. He made one high, 6 o'clock pass at extreme range, neither ZEKE smoked or burned, but both crashed in the water.
At 1542L, twelve F4Us took off to make a fighter sweep on Kahili, picking up seven F4Us at Vella Lavella to assist. One of our planes returned early, leaving eighteen planes on the sweep. At 1650L, they met fifteen to twenty ZEKES, shooting down eight ZEKES and two probables. Lt. Tucker lost the flight when it nosed down into combat, and decided to go to the Shortlands, where he fired 1400 rounds into the bivouac area on Korovo Point.
Major Boyington saw a ZEKE on the tail of Lt. W.N. Snider (one of the Vella based planes), halfway between Kahili and Ballale, and saw Lt. Snider crash into the water after receiving 20 mm. fire. The only Munda casualty was Lt. Case, who received a superficial scalp wound from a 12.7 bullet.