Post by aircraftclocks on May 26, 2021 10:16:12 GMT 12
23 November to 1 January 1944.
During this period the following squadrons have been under this command: U.S. Navy Fighting Squadron 33, USAAF Fighting Squadron 70, and RNZAF Fighting Squadrons 14, 16 and 17. On December 17, 1943, Wing Commander T.O. Freeman was missing in action, and Lt. Colonel M. Adams assumed command of all Fighter Operations at Ondongo on 18 December 1943. Major F.E. Beard relieved Major A.R. Stacy as Acting Executive Officer of Marine Aircraft Group Fourteen on 24 November 1943. Lt. Maurice Quint, USNR, was relieved of duty as Assistant Intelligence Officer by ComSoPac on December 28 1943. Lt.(jg) Walter Marshall, USNR, relieved 1st Lt. R.T. Harris, USMCR, as Assistant Intelligence Officer on 31 December 1943. During this period the following score was made by Fighter Squadrons based here: Navy Fighting Squadron 33 downed sixteen enemy aircraft and four probable aircraft. RNZAF Fighting Squadron 14 downed one enemy aircraft, RNZAF Fighting Squadron 16 downed eight enemy aircraft, and three probable aircraft. RNZAF Fighting Squadron 17 downed ten enemy aircraft and two probable aircraft.
The weekly aircraft losses were as follows:
Combat Losses Operational Losses Com-Op Loss November 26 to December 3 2 December 3 to December 10 1 December 10 to December 17 1 1 December 17 to December 24 3 6 3 December 24 to January 1 5 4
Post by aircraftclocks on May 26, 2021 10:18:25 GMT 12
26 November 1943:
Ondongo Fighters patrolled Empress Augusta Bay from 0630 to 1745. Eight P-40s that took off at 0855 strafed two forty-foot barges at the SE corner of the bay of Fauro, opposite Asie Island; an unmanned MG post at the N point of the entrance, results unobserved. Six F4Us, on patrol from 1000-1200, strafed two small islands due W of Soraken. A good fire was started among ten to twelve oil drums. Eight F4Us set fire to a shed at Rorovana Bay, and a building one mile E of Rankama, Arawa Bay. All groups covering the Task Group reported negative. Eight P-39s escorted TBFs and SBDs on a strike on Kara Airfield. The bombing was reported excellent.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 26, 2021 10:21:10 GMT 12
27 November 1943:
Patrol over Empress Augusta Bay was maintained throughout the day by our VF. All Patrols were negative. Eight F4Us that took off at 0830L strafed Sankau Island and three men on Soraken Plantation. Results unobserved. The cover for Task Group reported negative. Eight F4Us escorted six B-25s on a successful bombing mission to Queen Carola Harbor.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 26, 2021 10:24:14 GMT 12
29 November 1943:
For the third consecutive day our Fighter Patrols over Empress Augusta Bay were negative. The P-40s and F4Us carried out various individual strafing missions with good results. Four P-40s escorted B-25s on a strike to Tinputz Harbor. The Harbor was bombed and strafed with good results, as well as Rauau and Baniu Harbors. Four other P-40s escorted six B-25s to Tinputz Harbor. The fighters strafed a barge beached in the Harbor. Four F4Us of VMF-216 escorted six B-25s attacking Numa Numa from 1000 to 1100. The B-25s also strafed Kieta, and started a large fire on Puk Puk Island. Eight P-39s took off at 1245 to escort SBDs and TBFs to strike Moisigetta.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 26, 2021 10:25:40 GMT 12
30 November 1943:
Five patrols of Ondongo based Fighters were designated for a destroyer squadron cover, during the day. NO enemy air contacts were reported. Eight P-39s provided cover for four DDs moving NW about thirty-five miles W of the N tip of Ganongga. Negative. The Empress Augusta Bay area was patrolled by four F4Us of VMF-216 with negative results. Twenty-three P-39s and eight F4Us escorted forty-five SBDs and thirty TBFs striking the Kangu Hill-Jakohina area at noon. Both groups reported a successful bombing with one large fire started near the Kahili strip. After the rally the P-39s and P-40s seperated and carried out strafing missions. Four P-40s took off at 1000 to strafe Ballale. The Ballale coastline was also strafed. Dawn and Dusk Patrols were negative.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 26, 2021 10:26:45 GMT 12
1 December 1943:
Ondongo VF provided cover for a Task Group of four DDs during the day. Negative results. The Empress Augusta Bay patrols were also negative. Eight F4Us provided medium cover and sixteen P-40s low cover for forty-eight SBDs and twenty-four TBFs which struck Kara Airfield. Neither group met with interception. Good bombing was reported. Two SBDs were shot down.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 26, 2021 10:27:58 GMT 12
2 December 1943:
Three patrols of Ondongo-based VF were scheduled to cover for a destroyer squadron during the day. All flights failed to find the destroyer squadron because of bad weather. No contacts made. Three searches were made for the crew of an SBD that was reported down after the Kara-Ballale strike of the previous day. All searches were negative. Two Empress Augusta Bay patrols were carried out without incident. Bad weather hampering operations. Condition Red was set at 1102, and Condition Green at 1108. Negative.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 26, 2021 10:29:04 GMT 12
3 December 1943:
Ondongo Fighters covered a Task Group from 0600 to 1815, escorting it without incident. The Empress Augusta Bay Patrols were negative this day. Various individual strafing missions were carried out by the flights, with unobserved results. Four F6Fs escorted TBFs on a strike at Monoitu Mission and were over the area from 0740 to 0840. They reported no fires from bombs, but did not observe results otherwise. One TBF was seen to crash and burn, one mile from the mission, and the crew is believed to have been killed. No contacts were reported. Four P-40s were off at 1405 to cover TBFs hitting Monoitu area. They reported that bombers did not release their bombs as target was closed in by rain. No contacts.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 27, 2021 10:23:13 GMT 12
4 December 1943:
Seventeen groups of Ondongo based Fighters patrolled Augusta Bay, from 0545 to 1605. All patrols were negative. The flights strafed various installations, huts, and buildings in the area covered. Lt. McBee's plane was forced down on the Torokina strip at 1605 with a prestone cooling leak. Safe landing. A DUMBO rescue mission for the pilot and gunner of an SBD from Tomass Island was successful. The entire mission was carried out according to plan, and absolutely no flak was fired at DUMBO or the escort.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 27, 2021 10:23:56 GMT 12
5 December 1943:
Ondongo VF provided cover for three DDs in a destroyer squadron. No enemy was sighted and all patrols were negative. Our Fighters also covered a Task Force, which consisted in six DDs, eight LSTs, six LCIs and one YP. The patrols were negative. Two patrols of Ondongo Fighters were over Empress Augusta Bay. Both patrols were negative, but both reported strafing missions afterward. Four P-40s were airborne at 0635 to carry out a sweep for enemy planes over the area between Mosigetta and Monoitu Missions area by TBFs and SBDs. No contacts were made and no activity seen. The Dusk Patrol was negative.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 27, 2021 10:24:59 GMT 12
6 December 1943.
All Torokina patrols were negative. Two searches were carried out without incident. Four P-39s escorted a C-47 to Augusta Bay to drop supplies on Torokina strip. Entire mission was negative. Off at 0930, eight P-39s provided low cover for SBDs and TBFs striking Kieta Harbor area. The bombing was reported very good. No contacts were made. Five F6Fs were high cover for B-24s bombing Bonsi supply area. Airborne at 0950, they could not observe bombing results but reported heavy, meagre, inaccurate A/A from this area.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 27, 2021 10:25:45 GMT 12
7 December 1943:
Only one of the three groups of fighters which left base was able to penetrate the weather surrounding Augusta Bay and carry out it's scheduled patrol. Eight F4Us (VMF-216) were on station 0835 to 1010, but reported negative, except for a water-landing, caused by engine trouble, made by one of the flight off Torokina. The pilot was picked up by a crash boat. All other flights were cancelled due to bad weather. Eight P-40s were on scramble alert at Barakoma all day, but carried out no missions.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 27, 2021 10:26:26 GMT 12
8 December 1943:
Three groups carried out patrols over Empress Augusta Bay with negative results. The cover for a Task Force was negative. Fifteen P-39s started for Barakoma, but returned because of the front, by 0655. Sixteen P-39s took off at 1005, spent the day at Barakoma on alert, and returned here at 1750.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 27, 2021 10:26:59 GMT 12
9 December 1943:
Only two of the scheduled flights took off to cover Torokina. The remainder of the patrol were cancelled due to soppy weather. The two patrols were negative. Eight P-39s of USAAF 70th. Fighter Squadron covered a Task Group from 0600 to 0745. Negative. Four P-40s escorted seven C-47s to Torokina without incident. Eight P-40s were on scrabble alert all day at Barakoma.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 27, 2021 10:28:03 GMT 12
10 December 1943:
Ondongo Fighters patrolled Torokina with negative results. Bad weather hampered operations. One of the F6Fs that took off at 1124 cracked up on the take off and the plane burned completely. The pilot was unhurt. Eight RNZAF P-40s escorted five C-47s to Torokina. The mission was carried out without incident. Four P-39s escorted a DUMBO to Treasury. No contact. Eight P-39s spent the day at Barakoma on scramble alert. Negative. Eighteen F4Us of VMF-216 took off at 0530 to go to Torokina, where they spent the day on scramble alert. No missions were carried out, and ten returned here at 1900. Eight remained at Torokina.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 27, 2021 10:28:47 GMT 12
11 December 1943:
Ondongo Fighters covered a Task Group. No contact was made and all patrols reported negative. Eight RNZAF P-40s took off at 1205 as low cover for forty-eight SBDs and TBFs on a strike to Jakohina. No contact was made. The target was well covered, with the largest concentration hitting between Kangu Hill and Poroei River.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 27, 2021 10:29:46 GMT 12
12 December 1943:
Four P-40s of RNZAF squadron 14 took off at 0715 to strafe tonolei harbor. The mission was completed with good results. Flight leader Eaton had engine trouble on the return and water-landed on the NE side of Arundel Island. He was picked up safely by a crash boat. Sixteen F6Fs of VF-33, eight F4Us (VMF-216) and eight RNZAF P-40s covered forty-eight SBDs and twenty-four TBFs on a strike on Ratsoa. Ratsoa reported well covered. The majority of hits were on a clearing on the W side of Ratsoa village. Other hits were made on Pau Plantation, Cape Suaba and Chabai Plantation. Eight P-40s took off 0900 to act as medium cover for B-25s hitting Bonsi at 1100. The bombers made only one run, and the bombs mainly fell in supply area. The P-40s in return strafed huts on the beach, between Kieta Airfield and the Aropa River, with unobserved results. Sixteen F6Fs took off to escort twenty-one SBDs and sixteen TBFs on a shipping strike at Metong Point at 1730. Bombing was reported very good. Eight P-39s escorted Two Dumbo's to Torokina without incident. Eight P-40s were on alert all day at Barakoma. Negative. Eight P-39s were on station all day at Torokina.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 27, 2021 10:30:35 GMT 12
13 December 1943:
Sixteen F6Fs of VF-33 took off from Ondongo at 0951 as medium cover for SBDs and TBFs hitting Porton Mission at 1217. No contacts were made. The Mission area was well covered. Individual strafing missions were carried out on the return flights. Eight RNZAF P-40s of Squadron 14 were low cover for TBFs striking Porton Mission at 1150. No contacts. The bombing was reported very good. Eight P-40s of RNZAF Squadron 16 took off at 1000 as low cover for SBDs on a strike to Porton Mission. No contacts reported. The bombing of Porton and Chabai was accurate. The P-40s strafed Tenekow and Monoitu Missions on the return. Unobserved results. Eight P-40s were low cover for B-25s bombing Porton Plantation at 1205. No contacts. The area was covered with good results. Sixteen P-39s escorted Skytrains to Torokina without incident The Local Patrols over Ondongo were negative.
Post by aircraftclocks on May 27, 2021 10:31:29 GMT 12
14 December 1943:
Ondongo VF covered a destroyer squadron and a Task Group throughout the day with negative results. Eight F6Fs of VF-33 escorted forty-eight SBDs and Twenty-four TBFs bombing Chabai at 1115. The bombing was reported good, with all bombs landing in the target area. Four P-40s of RNZAF Squadron 16 took off at 0910 on a special bridge hunt. Two P-40s equipped with two 100 pound bombs each dropped their bombs on a sixty foot, two-way trestle traffic bridge about one mile beyond Shishagatero. One direct hit was scored. Fifteen P-39s of the 70th., Fighter Squadron took off at 0445 to go to Torokina for the day. All Local Patrols over Torokina were negative. The planes returned to Ondongo at 1828. Eight P-39s of the 70th., Fighter Squadron were on scramble alert all day at Barakoma. No missions.