Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 2, 2021 10:36:28 GMT 12
20 November 1943 - 13 March 1944 On 20 November 1943, Strike Command was based at Munda, New Georgia, under command of Colonel D.F. O'Neill, who assumed command on 26 July 1943 at Guadalcanal. On 25 January 1944, headquarters of Strike Command was moved to Piva, Bougainville. This command for varying periods of time directed operations of and exercised tactical control of the following squadrons:
1. Attack Bomber Squadrons: (A) SBD's (B) TBF's
(A) SBD'S; VC-38—Lieut. A.R. Barber, USN and Lieut. Ben Tappan, USNR; VC-40—Lt. Comdr. John H. Pennoyer, USN; VB-98A-Lieut. Comdr. J. R. Little, USNR, Lieut(jg) W.G. Maerki, USNR, and Lieut. R.T. Lord, USNR: VB98B-Lieut. Comdr. J.R. Little, USNR, and Lieut. E.T. LaRoe, USNR: VMSB-144—Major F.E. Hollar, USMCR; VMSB-234—Major H.B. Penne, USMCR; VMSB-235—Major E.E. Munn, USMCR; VMSB-236A—Major E.P. Paris, Jr., USMC; VMSB-236B—Major W.A. Cloman, Jr., USMC; VMSB-241—Major James A. Feeley, Jr., USMC; VMSB-243—Major Thomas J. Ahern, USMC; VMSB-244—Major R.J. Johnson, USMC, and Major Harry W. Reed, USMCR: VMSB-341—Major George J. Waldie, USMCR, and Major Janes T. McDaniel, USMC. (B) TBF'S: VMTB-143—Capt. G.U. Smith, USMCR and Capt. H.W. Hise, USMCR: VMTB-232—Major R.W. Smith, USMCR: VC-40 —Lt. H.S. Jackson, USN: VC-38—Comdr. C.E. Brunton, USN, who also was Group Commander; VMTB-233—Major R.W. Coln, USMC; VMTB-134—Major A.C. Robertson, USMC.
2. Search and Reconnaissance: RNZAF #1 (PV-1)—Squadron Leader H.C. Walker. RNZAF #2 (PV-1)—Squadron Leader Greenway. VS-64 (SBD) —Lt. Comdr. Alfred D. Horgan, USNR. VB-138 (PV-1) —Lt. Comdr. Hanson, USN. VB-140 (PV-1) —Lt. Comdr. V. Williams.
Missions carried out included bombing and strafing attacks against enemy installations, positions, airfields and shipping, support for our ground forces in the Bougainville campaign, reconnaissance, area searches, patrols, artillery spotting, liaison with ground forces and direction of rescues.
The following are brief accounts of the specific missions carried out during the period:
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 2, 2021 10:37:42 GMT 12
THIRTY-FIVE TBFs and 61 SBDs, escorted by 8 F4Us and 7 P39s, bombed and strafed Jap concentrations, supplies and transportation lines between the Mibo River and Mawaraka at 1550L/20th. Numerous small fires were started and many Japs were caught crawling into their foxholes. Heavy Jungle growth made it difficult to assess definite damage done, but the area was well covered. Bombs load for the SBDs was 1x1000 and 2x100 lb. instantaneous; and for the TBFs, 12x2000, 11x4x500, and 12x12x100 lb. instantaneous. Four of the TBFs carrying 12x100 lb. did not drop because the target was obscured by rain, and 4x1000 and 8x100 carried by the SBDs hung up and were jettisoned. A few bursts of machine gun fire was the only AA encountered and no enemy planes intercepted. All planes returned to base. Both the bombers and fighters report that this area is honey combed with buildings of a permanent nature, concentrations of supplies and graded roads and tracks indicative of constant use. Two of the Corsair escort returned via Kara and strafed the area from tree top level. A Betty, near the strip was hit and set afire.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 2, 2021 10:38:52 GMT 12
FIFTY-EIGHT SBDs and 35 TBFs escorted by 16 Corsairs dropped 59 1/2 tons of bombs on Kara, and gun positions and installations at Kangu and Malabita Hills at 1400L/21st. Fifteen one-tonners and 2 half-tonners hit the runway, 4 fires were started in the bivouac area at Jakohina, 2 on the east side of Kangu Hill, and an oil fire between the Porarei River and Kangu Hill. Gun positions and buildings on top of Kangu Hill were demolished. The SBDs were loaded with 1000 lb. 1/10 delay and the TBFs with 2000 lb. 1/10 delay bombs. Weather over the targets was overcast from 3000 to 10,000 feet so that the bombs were released in glides from 1500 to 2000 feet. No AA was encountered at Kara, but moderate intensity medium and heavy came from known gun positions at Malabita and Kangu Hills. No enemy planes intercepted and all blue planes returned. TWO SBD artillery spotter and ground liaison planes were over Cherry Blossom from 0703 to 1600L/21st, at which time the weather closed in. Trails, trenches and foxholes were seen 3000 yds. north of Old Piva Village and 4-50 ft. barges were seen concealed beneath trees in the lower Gazelle Harbor. Several trucks were seen and strafed with unobserved results just west of the bridge across the Mibo River. Huts in the Mawaraka area were also strafed with unknown results.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 2, 2021 10:39:50 GMT 12
FIFTY-TWO SBDs and 24 TBFs escorted by 16 F4Us dropped 52 tons of bombs on gun positions, installations and the runway at Kahili at 1445L/22nd. Twenty-six bombs hit on or near the runway, 18x2000 and 8x500 pounders, 2 fires were started near an ammo dump west of the south end of the strip, many hits were in the taxiways, and 1 direct hit was made on a gun position between the south end of the strip and Moisuru. The SBDs carried 1x1000 1/10 delay and 2x100 lb. instantaneous and the TBFs, 19x2000 1/10 delay, 5x4x500 1/10 delay bombs. Weather over the target was clear and good dives were made. Automatic and heavy AA was moderate from known gun position with those at Kangu Hill especially active. A new position firing automatic was reported 50 yards east of the south tip of the runway. A few bursts of automatic was encountered at Moila Point and only automatic came from the mouth of Moliko River. Six SBDs and 3 TBFs were damaged by AA. No enemy planes intercepted and all blue planes returned. Photos taken after the strike indicate 9 new craters on the runway and many in taxiways. A direct hit was shown on a gun position. The runway is definitely unserviceable. An enemy submarine was sighted at 1425 20 miles west of the north tip of Canongga by the gunner in one of the returning TBFs. The sub was surfaced at the time of the sighting but had crash dived and disappeared by the time the plane circled for another look. The sub was painted black. TWO SBD artillery spotters and 2 ground liaison planes were over Cherry Blossom most of the day. AA was encountered from an automatic gun position 4000 yds. northeast by east of Old Piva Village This is the first AA from Jap positions at Cherry Blossom encountered by any of our planes. Seven barges were seen in the area: 4 beached at the mouth of the Laruma River, 2 beached at the lagoon south of Atsinima, and 1 beached near Kuraio Mission.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 2, 2021 10:42:14 GMT 12
TWO SBD ARTILLERY spotter were on station over Cherry Blossom from 0700 to 1700L/23rd, and 2 as ground liaison from 0650 to 1530L/23rd. Enemy shell fire was seen coming from a position 8000 yards north of the mouth of the Torokina River, and another position, either artillery or mortar was located 6000 yards NE of Old Piva village. Other activity was routine. One SBD developed motor trouble and made a crash landing off the north tip of Treasury. The pilot and gunner were rescued. TWO SBDs, LOADED with 1000 pounders, were over Cherry Blossom in 2 hour patrols from 0645 to 1745L/23rd, except the last group which consisted of 4 SBDs. A total of 14x1000 pounders were dropped during the day on targets designated by the ground command. Several houses were destroyed in a clearing 4000 yards up the Suava River. Other results were unobserved.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 2, 2021 10:43:31 GMT 12
FIFTY-SEVEN SBDs and 37 TBFs, escorted by 48 fighters, bombed and, strafed the Chabai area at 1000L/24th. The SBDs carried 1x1000 instantaneous plus 2x100 instantaneous: the TBFs, 14x2000 instantaneous, 12x4x500 instantaneous; and 11x11x100 instantaneous plus 1 incendiary cluster. Weather over the target was clear and good diving and strafing runs were made. Numerous fires were started at Porton, Chabai, Tarlina and Tsirogei. A row of houses and a large warehouse were destroyed, and a large explosion in a supply dump caused at Chabai. Many buildings, believed to be supply storages, were destroyed at Tarlina, and several buildings and a fuel dump were set afire at Tsirogei. The entire area was well strafed causing considerable damage to installations at Soraken and Pau Plantations, Katitu Island, and Katsoa village. A row of buildings were destroyed at Tortai village (northeast coast of Bougainville) by 4x500 lb. bombs dropped there. AA was practically stopped during the attack by many direct or near misses on gun posits. Intense light and medium AA, and slight heavy was encountered. AA was accurate as to altitude but leading. No enemy planes intercepted. One SBD was damaged by AA and made a successful emergency landing at Cherry Blossom. All other planes returned. One TBF from the Chabai group, turned back from the primary target, dropped 11x100 lb. bombs and one indendiary cluster on Kara at 1000L/24th, starting a fire among a group of huts in a clearing. The only AA was machine gun fire. The plane returned safely to base. TWO SBDs ARTILLERY spotters and 2 as ground liaison planes were over Cherry Blossom the 24th. No unusual sightings were made.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 2, 2021 10:47:14 GMT 12
THIRTY-SEVEN AVENGERS and 57 Dauntless escorted by 8 fighters bombed and strafed Kara, Kangu and Malabita Hills at 1510L/ 26. Bomb load for the Avengers was 1x2000 lb. 1/10 delay and for the SBDs, 1x1000 lb. 1/10th and 2x100 lb. bombs. A total of 23 hits were made on the strip and gun positions at Kangu and Malabita Hills were well covered. Heavy smoke was seen coming from Kangu from 15 miles away. Photos show the strip to be definitely unserviceable. A group of huts 1/2 mile east of the strip were destroyed by one bomb hit. AA from the vicinity of the Kara strip itself was light but appreciably more than has been encountered there in recent strikes. Known positions at Kangu and Malabita were firing with moderate to heavy intensity automatic and heavy caliber. Numerous hits were made on or near gun positions and the volume of fire decreased with at least 6 positions ceasing to fire altogether as the planes completed their attack. No enemy planes intercepted and all planes returned. SBDs ON STATION over Torokina expended 700x50 caliber and 1000 x 30 caliber in strafing a fresh clearing near the inland defense line in the northeast sector (4000 yards, 60° from Old Piva Village). Another new clearing was reported just east of the Torokina River mouth. Searches inland from the coast were generally negative. Four Venturas dropped 24 x 500 lb. bombs and strafed from tree level, bivouac and supply areas at Green Island at 1420/L/26th. One barge was sunk and installations heavily damaged. No AA nor enemy planes were encountered and all our planes returned. SEARCHES 8 X-Rays averaged 96% track, 97% cover. Negative, except that X-Ray 2 sighted much oil and oil slicks between Buka and New Ireland. X-Ray 4 sighted a 190' sub looking for survivors 40 miles WNW of north tip of Buka Island and dropped 5 depth charges after the sub dived. It circled under water, leaving a trail of oil and bubbles, resurfaced half an hour later stern first and lacking headway, was strafed with .50s and .30s, and dived again, leaving 5 swimmers and a large oil slick. All of this action covering an hour around noon west of Buka Island.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 2, 2021 10:48:05 GMT 12
Nip bivouac and supply areas behind their lines facing our east flank at Torokina were bombed and strafed from 1000 to 1020/L 27th by 60 SBDs and 37 TBFs escorted by 8 P39s. Targets were Motupena possible location of a radio and/or lookout station, and supply and bivouac areas at Mawaraka and Mosigetta. Six large and 24 small buildings were destroyed, an ammo dump exploded, and 10 to 15 fires started at Mosigetta, 9 hits were made in an area of shacks starting a large fire, and on the road between there and Mosigetta numerous hits were made for a mile inland damaging and destroying many huts. The radio station at Motupena, if present was not observed, and the bombs were dropped in the general area, 6 hitting on the beach. The three areas were thoroughly strafed with 1 fire started between Mawaraka and Maramego. The SBDs were loaded with 1 x 1000 and 2 centuries; the TBFs with 13 x 2000, 12 x 4 x 500, 12 x 12 x 100. All fuzing was instantaneous. One 1000 lb., 12 x 100 lb. bombs hung up and 6 x 1000 lb. and 12 x 100 lb. bombs fell in the water. No AA was seen although 2 SBDs were found to have been nicked by machine gun fire upon there return. No enemy planes intercepted and all our planes returned. Two to three miles east of Mosigetta a new clearing with a large group of buildings was seen. This may be Mosigetta as there is no photo coverage pin pointing it. A crashed Zero was seen in a clearing between Mabirici River and Mawaraka - Mosigetta road. Three Venturas laid a setting of 18 x 500 4-5sec. delay bombs on the possible radio station at Motupena at 1525/L/27th. The attack followed the heavy light bomber raid of the morning with the PVs likewise being unable to locate the radio station. The village area was well bombed and strafed although no fires were hatched. The only was a few bursts of machine gun fire. Two SBD ground liaison and artillery spotters were over Cherry Blossom the 27th. A heavy caliber gun, not believed to be AA, was located near Mavavia. No other important observations were made.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 2, 2021 10:49:08 GMT 12
SEARCHES Six regular X-Rays averaged 86% track and 79% cover, while nine special antisubmarine X-Rays were also run. All were negative, with the following important exceptions which made it an unpleasant day for Jap submarines: At 0819 X-Ray 1 sighted a surfaced sub about 50 miles west of Queen Carola Harbor Bay (510-153 40) the sub fired three rounds from a gun aft of the conning tower and submerged, the search plane dropped 3 D/C which failed to explode. X-Ray 2 sighted an oil slick with a possible submerged sub below it, circled for some time to detect movement, dropped three D/C at 0925, and noted a heavier oil slick, which was under way on course 340 true, speed two knots. This happened at 6.05-154.03, about 50 miles west of Cape Moltke. Later in the morning X-Ray 12 sighted an oil slick at the same spot (6.05-154.03). X-Ray 42, at 1555, at 6.08-154.10 (about 45 miles west of Cape Moltke, found a crippled sub submerged and dropped two D/Cs which had 25' settings, probably too shallow to damage the sub. X-Ray 41, which was on station from 1310 to 1455, found an oil slick which proceeded in a zigzag course from the point at which he initiated his search (6.25-154.03) to the coast of Bougainville and up toward Buka. These facts add up to a certain two, probably three, Jap subs harrassed by X-Ray during the day, with propable damage to one or two. X-Ray 4 sighted an unidentified plane 20 miles south of Cape St. George at 1105; a Bougainville perimeter 10 Baker search for the night of 27/28 sighted lights on the Kilinailau group, 45 miles ENE north tip of Buka Island. Otherwise 10 and 11 Baker searches were negative for 27/28; for 28/29 they were cancelled because of weather.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 2, 2021 10:50:16 GMT 12
Thirty eight TBFs escorted by 8 Airacobras bombed and strafed the Mosigetta area at 1350/L/29th. About 8 large buildings and 20 small buildings were destroyed, and a large tin warehouse, 4 to 6 miles north of Mosigetta was damaged. One hut was set afire and numerous other Nip facilities were hit and probably damaged. Several fires were started. The bomb load was: 13 x 2000 instantaneous, 13 x 4 x 500 instantaneous and 12 x 11 x 100 instantaneous plus 1 incendiary. No enemy planes or AA were encountered but 2 planes were damaged by bomb fragments. All planes returned. Weather over the target was overcast with rain below the ceiling of 2500 ft. An urgent request from ComAirNorSols for air-ground support in aid of our patrol in the Saua-Tekessi River area was answered by dispatching three groups of SBDs to act on order from Cherry Blossom. Progressively poorer weather during the afternoon hindered the support efforts. Seventeen SBDs at 1345/L/29th and 12 at 1600 to 1620/L/29th were ordered to bomb and strafe the Jaba River mouth area and the Koiaris area. Very little signs of enemy activity were seen in the area, possibly because of heavy jungle growth and bad weather. A total of 23 x 1000 lb. and 46 x 100 lb. bombs were dropped with no results observed. Three trucks were strafed at Motupena without visible results. Little automatic fire, and 1 medium automatic 1 2/3 miles north of the Tekessi river mouth, were encountered. Six of the planes in the 1600 mission were unable to find the target because of closed in weather, but those that did get through did a fine job and brought back some pertinent information on the ground situation. Later twelve SBDs took off at 1456 on the same mission but were unable to reach the target because of bad weather. SEARCHES Five regular X-Ray averaged 90% track, 77% cover, and were all negative except that X-Ray 2, at 0855 saw explosion on coast E of Cape Torokina, with 40 barges and LCs off beach. At 0721, saw several small oil slicks and debris at 6.20-154.02E.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 2, 2021 10:53:42 GMT 12
10 SBDs and 12 TBFs accompained by 4 P39s, bombed and strafed Mosigetta at 1545/L/30th. Two warehouses, one large and 8 small houses were destroyed, a large explosion caused, and 3 to 5 fires started in huts at Mosigetta. Two huts were set afire at Motupena Point. Pilots report that one of the buildings destroyed at Mosigetta looked like a radio station. Numerous near misses damaged other houses and buildings. The SIDs carried one half tonner and 2 centuries instanteously fuzed and the TBFs 4 x 500 lb. instantaneous, AA meager, inaccurate and of light intensity, probably .50 caliber. Gun positions were noted 5000 yards east of the source of the Mamaregu River, the tip of Motupena Point and 2000 yards south of Mawaraka. Two cars were seen moving on the Motupena Point Mosigetta road and 9 buildings were observed beside a clearing immediately north of the Hongorai River, midway between the road and the coast. Fifty SBDs and 22 TBFs escorted by 23 P39s and 8 F4Us dropped 43.50 tons of bombs on the Jakohina Mission area, and gun positions at Kangu and Malabita Hills at 1150/L/30th. Ten buildings and an ammo dump were destroyed and 3 to 5 fires started at Jakohina Mission. Three direct hits were made on gun positions at Malabita Hill and 2 at Kangu Hill, in addition to numerous near misses at both. A warehouse at the mouth of the Uguimo River was damaged by a near miss. The entire area was throughly strafed and clouds of smoke hung over the entire area after the attack was completed. The SBDs carried 1 x1000 delay plus 2 x 100 instantaneous; the TBFs, 4 x 500 instantaneous. Seventeen 500 pounders hung up and were jettisoned and 4 x 1000 lb. bombs went in the water. AA from Kangu Hill gun positions was moderate to intense heavy and automatic and light to moderate automatic in the Jakohina Mission area. A new automatic position was noted inland along the Purata River. One heavy AA position on northwest Ballale fired; meager and inaccurate. Three SBDs were hit by AA fire and 2 of then had to make emergency landings at Barakoma, one of which was a belly landing. None of the pilots or crew was injured. No enemy planes intercepted and all our team returned. After the attack, the P39s in groups of 8, 7, and 8 strafed the northwest coast of Choiseul where reports indicate a large concentration of Japs. The western bank of the Warwior River, and Redman and Taro Islands were strafed by 1 group. The west coast of Cape Alexander and huts in the Naleevoli and Malavogue Villages were also covered. Seven P39s strafed a plantation north of the Mulamabuli River and Torama Island and 2 fighters of 4 each made runs across islands in Choiseul Bay. Heavy foliage prevented observation of damage. Three PVs, carrying 6 x 500 4-5 sec. delay bombs attacked Jap positions and stores in the Mawaraka area at 1525/L/30th from the tree top level. Three bombs were dropped on Tavera, 3 on Mawaraka, 6 in a bunch on Manaregu, and 6 individually in clearing with huts in the general area. One large fire was started which was visible for many miles. Two planes were damaged by a 20 mm gun firing at Tavera. All returned.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 3, 2021 10:53:32 GMT 12
Chabai, the primary target, was closed to 51 SBDs and 26 TBFs which hit Kara and Ballale at 1310/L/1st. Thirty two fighters escorted the bombers. Two quarter tonners and 3 half tonners hit the Kara strip, and 4 half tonners hit the Ballale strip. One building was destroyed south of the Kara strip, and a group damaged or destroyed 1 1/2 miles northwest of the strip. An oil fire was started west of the Kara strip, and an explosion noted northwest of it. Several hits were made in taxiways at Ballale. The SBDs carried 1 x1000 and 2 x 100 lb. bombs, instantaneously fused; the TBFs, 4 x 500 lb. bombs instantaneous. All fire from Kara was inaccurate and slight. Automatic and light came from known AA positions, northeast of the strip. Automatic medium and heavy AA was reported from unobserved positions and machine gun fire from 200 yards in woods off southwest corner of strip. Accurate and intense AA came from known light and medium automatic and heavy positions on Ballale. Excellent barrages were noted at 6, 8, 10 and 12000 ft. levels. Four SBDs were damaged by AA, one SBD crashed in the water and the crew were seen to bail out, landing in the water 3 miles west of Ballale. Another SBD is missing. All others returned. Ten SBDs and 3 TBFs, escorted by 8 P39s, dropped 9 tons of bombs on a reported Jap gun position in the Jaba River area at 1545/L/ 1st. All bombs hit in the assigned area. Results were not visible. The SBDs carried 1 x 1000 plus 2 x 100 instantaneous fuzed bombs and the TBFs 4 x 500 lb. instantaneous. No AA or enemy planes were encountered and all blue planes returned. Most of the time for these planes was spent in searching the area for possible targets but no enemy was reported. New huts were seen 8000 and 10,000 yards inland from the Saua River mouth and 1500 yards northeast of Mopara 5 or 6 structures similar to Quonset huts, were reported. The buildings were identified as possible supply warehouses. The mouth of the Atsinima River and the lagoon to the south were searched early in the morning. Two beached barges were on the coast west of the lagoon. One plane reported a probable 20mm between Maririci River and Mawaraka.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 3, 2021 10:55:30 GMT 12
Japs at Monoitu Mission, Mosigetta, Porro River area, and in the Shishigatero Mibo Bridge area spent the day ducking bombs and bullets when 36 TBFs and 58 SBDs in groups of 5, 6 and 7 planes raided those areas at approximate 45 minute intervals from 0800 to 1600/L/ 3rd. Dives and strafing runs were deliberate with targets well spotted before. Thirty to 40 buildings were destroyed and numerous fires started in the areas which seemed alive with Jap activity although no personnel were seen. The 250 ft. bridge over the Porro River near Aku was destroyed and the facilities damaged. Avengers carried 4 x 500 lb. inst. and the SBDs, 1 x1000 plus 2 x 100 lb. inst. bombs. AA was meagre and of light caliber. One TBF went down and crashed, burning immediately. All other planes returned. THE SHIPPING strike to Kahili and Moisuru Bay by 17 SBDs and 15 Avengers the afternoon of 3rd, to hit reported DDs there became a practice session when all the DDs turned out to be the six old beached AKs that have been there for a considerable time. The hulks were reworked with one, and half-tonners. Runs were made from the north and several hits were scored with all the bombs falling within 200 feet of the targets. Slight light AA came from some of the ships and some heavy from shore positions. All planes returned. ARTILLERY FIRE was registered by the usual SBD ground liaison and spotter planes on centers of Jap resistance near Mavavia and also a Jap gun, 75mm or larger, in the same general area. Fire from a 155mm gun was registered on foxholes and trails northwest of Mupeka Village. Three large empty gun emplacements were reported 1 1/2 miles inland on the south bank of the Maririci River. Returning planes reported a bronze oil slick and a round yellow object the size of a pack life raft, 6 miles south of Aitara Mission.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 3, 2021 10:56:52 GMT 12
FOR THE second successive day the lower west sector of Bougainville was attacked practically continuously from 0740 to 1700 L/4th by groups of 5 and 6 SBDs or TBFs. A total of 58 SBDs and 41 TBFs in relays, hitting at approximately 45 minute intervals, blanketed the Monoitu Mission - Moisigetta area with a total of 58 x 500, 362 x 250, and 246 x 100 lb. bombs. Thirty to 40 buildings and the bridge over the Silibai River were destroyed, plus innumerable huts and houses damaged. Meagre light AA was encountered. Four fighters gave area cover during the time of the SBD and TBF attacks. TWO DAUNTLESSES acted as spotters for the DDs shelling Jap installations in the Koiaris - Mawaraka area the morning of the 4th. In addition to these, two other Dauntlesses, loaded with 1x500 and 2x250 lb. bombs protected the DDs from Jap shore batteries indiscreet enough to fire when threatened by dive bombers. These planes supplemented the rain of bombs of their cousins hitting Monoitu Mission and Moisigetta by dropping a total of 16x500, 24x250 and 2x100 lb. bombs. A warehouse at Koiaris and 3 buildings at Monoitu Mission were destroyed in addition to damage to numerous huts. All planes returned. ARTILLERY FIRE was registered by 2 SBDs over Cherry Blossom the 4th on Jap positions in the Mavavia area. Ground liaison SBDs searched the Laruma River area and up the coast to Kuraio Mission for barges with negative results. To the southeast, the area was searched to Mawaraka with no positive results.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 3, 2021 10:58:20 GMT 12
CLIMAXING AND as a final touch for the 3 days of bombing and strafing of the lower west coast of Bougainville, 10 SBDs and 12 TBFs in groups of 5 and 6 planes destroyed 5 to 10 buildings, exploded an ammo dump, and started numerous fires at Monoitu and Mamagata Missions. A total of 10 quarter tonners, 90 x 250 lb. and 72 centuries were dropped when 2 to 3 runs over the target were made. The flight striking Mamagata encountered accurate machine gun fire, those attacking Monoitu no AA. Two afternoon strikes were turned back by weather and succeeding ones were cancelled. THREE TBFs, 2 as spotters and one observer, registered the shelling by 3 DDs of the Choiseul Bay area. The planes were on station from 0845 to 1050, 5th. Two TBFs dropped 23x100 on Nukiki Village as the DDs retired - one century failed to release. The TBFs report that Nukiki Village was razed, most of Para Para destroyed, an a ammo dump exploded and other areas probably damaged but not observed.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 3, 2021 11:00:09 GMT 12
AFTER SEVERAL days of poor flying weather, conditions improved the sixth and with it, the daylight pounding of the lower southwest coastal area of Bougainville, which had been carried on for 3 days, was slackened to a sporadic strafing and 1 bombing mission, and the intense raids were diverted once again to the familar targets of Bonis and Tarlena on upper Bougainville and to Kieta Harbor on the central east coast. FIFTY-ONE SBDs and 28 TBFs escorted by 8 F4Us and 8 P39s bombed and strafed the Kieta Harbor area at 1115L/6th dropping a total of 51x500 lb., 270x250 lb and 168x100 lb. bombs. Photos after the strike show 21 buildings were destroyed, 13 heavily damaged and large fires started at Rigu Mission, Punapa Head and the Chinatown area. A large fire was started on the coast of Toborei Bay with 5 other smaller ones at Kieta Harbor. Both TBFs and SBDs strafed the entire area with free and fixed guns. Bomb load: for the TBFs, 6x100 inst. and 6x250 inst; for SBDs, 1x500 lb. inst, and 1x250 lb. inst. and 1x250 lb. 1/10 delay. AA was light to moderate and automatic from three positions. One new gun position fired (20mm) from a point on the southwest of Puk Puk Island, and another (probably machine gun) from Rigu mission. A known position on the ridge at the southern end of Toromaro Point also was firing. All planes returned. BATTERIES WERE registered by SBDs on targets in the Torokina River valley just east of the no-bombing line and near Mavavia village. A reported heavy gun position near the Jaba river mouth was shelled by 155s, but there was no estimate of damage although hits were as close as 20 feet.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jun 3, 2021 11:01:09 GMT 12
VERY POOR flying conditions in the Solomons restricted air activity to a minimum. Of two scheduled missions for the B25s, one was turned back by weather, and the other was spilt when only a few of the planes bombed the primary target, with others going to an alternate. The B24s cancelled their flight before take off. Fighter planes were grounded after the first few flights.