COMBAT CHRONOLOGY OF THE US ARMY AIR FORCES

February 1943

MONDAY 1 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • F-4, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, all missions are cancelled due to weather. Enemy aircraft bomb and strafe Amchitka harbor and shipping without inflicting damage.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): The 424th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24s ceases operating from Funafuti Atoll in the Ellice Islands and returns to base (Dillingham Field, Territory of Hawaii).

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 7 B-24s of the India Air Task Force from Pandaveswar, India bomb the Arakan tea sheds on the Rangoon River near Rangoon harbor. The 9th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Tenth Air Force, with F-4s, is based at Pandaveswar, India with a detachment at Kunming, China. A detachment of the detachment begins operating from Kweilin, China sometime in February 1943. On 6 Feb 43, this squadron is redesignated the 9th Photographic Squadron (Light).

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): The 4th Fighter Group dispatches 20 Spitfire Mk Vs on uneventful defensive and fighter patrols.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): HQ 9th Fighter Wing is established at El Kabrit upon arrival from the U.S.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s bomb the harbor and shipping at Tunis and shipping in La Goulette harbor. Fighters escort bombers and cover ground forces in the Sened-Maknassy area. A-20s and P-40s bomb tank and vehicle a concentration near Sidi Khalif.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-38s, P-39s and P-40s, along with Navy and Marine aircraft, attack 4 destroyers of the Tokyo Express north of Vangunu Island; unlike previous missions, these destroyers are dispatched to evacuate the Japanese troops from Guadalcanal. Hits on 2 of the ships cause fires. At night, 19 more destroyers come in, evacuate troops and, after losing one destroyer to a mine, are well away by dawn. B-17s attack shipping in the Shortland-Bougainville area, claiming 3 direct hits on cargo vessels.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s bomb the runway and aircraft dispersal areas at Rabaul, New Britain Island. In New Guinea, a lone B-24 bombs the runway at Finchhafen, then flies east to New Britain Island where it bombs the runway at Cape Gloucester and unsuccessfully attacks a ship in Open Bay.

TUESDAY, 2 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • C-47, Douglas Skytrain
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine
  • Ventura, Lockheed

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, P-40s strafe aircraft, AA positions and targets of opportunity at Kentung. The 1st Troop Carrier Squadron, Tenth Air Force, attached to the India-China Wing, Air Transport Command, with C-47s arrives at Chabua, India from the U.S.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 32: 61 B-17s and 22 B-24s are dispatched against the Hamm, Germany marshalling yards. The formation encounters bad weather over the North Sea and returns to base. VIII Fighter Command Circus 257 (a Circus was a heavy fighter escort of a small force of attack or bomber aircraft to entice the Luftwaffe up): 25 Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group escort 12 Venturas on an uneventful Circus. Nine other Spitfires of the 4th Fighter Group fly an uneventful ship patrol.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): HQ 324th Fighter Group and it's 314th Fighter Squadron with P-40s transfers from El Amiriya, Egypt to El Kabrit, Egypt.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-25s and B-26s, in coordinated attacks, bomb El Maou Airfield at Sfax. A-20s, with P-40s and P-39s escorting, bomb a munitions dump in the battle area. Other fighters fly cover missions for ground forces along the battleline and carry out reconnaissance operations.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, B-17s, along with escorting P-40s and P-38s, attack shipping off Shortland Island. Of 20 Japanese aircraft which intercept, 9 are claimed destroyed. Other B-26s, P-38s and P-39s attack Munda Airfield on New Georgia. The 18th Photographic Mapping Squadron, 4th Photographic Group with B-25s transfers from Dumbea, New Caledonia to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. The bulk of the air echelon remains in the U.S. This squadron is redesignated 18th Photographic Squadron (Heavy) on 6 Feb 43.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s bomb the airfield at Rabaul. B-24s attack shipping between Lolobau Island and New Britain and north of Open Bay, bomb Gasmata Island runway and hit Timika. In New Guinea, A-20s continue to bomb and strafe positions on the high points between Mubo and Komiatum. The 319th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 90th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24s transfers from Iron Range, Queensland, Australia to Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

WEDNESDAY, 3 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine
  • Ventura, Lockheed

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Fighter Command Circus 258 (a Circus was a large force of fighters escorting a small force of bombers to entice the Luftwaffe up to fight): 22 Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group escort 12 Venturas on an uneventful Circus 258. The 4th Fighter Group also flies 25 sorties on uneventful offensive missions.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy, B-24s hit the harbors at Palermo, Sicily and Messina, Italy; one bombs Plati, Italy. The 316th Fighter Squadron, 324th Fighter Group with P-40s transfers from El Amiriya, Egypt to El Kabrit, Egypt.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-26s attack Gabes and vessels between Tunisia and Sicily. B-25s hit bridges over the river north of Maknassy, damaging the railroad bridge. A-20s hit tanks and vehicles further north, and attack a large howitzer and numerous trucks east of Ousseltia. The 81st Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-25s transfers from Tmed El Chel, Libya to Berteaux, Algeria. These units are attached to the XII Air Support Command.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-39s, P-38s and P-40s, along with Navy and Marine aircraft, attack Munda Airfield on New Georgia.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s continue to strike along the Mubo-Komiatum Track. B-25s bomb Dobo on Wamar Island. In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s and B-24s attack the runway on Gasmata Island, Simpson Harbor, the Cape Gazelle area and the airfield at Cape Gloucester.

THURSDAY, 4 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • C-47, Douglas Skytrain
  • F4F, Grumman Wildcat
  • Ju 88, Junkers
  • Me 110, Messerschmitt
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • SBD, Douglas Dauntless
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine
  • TBF, Grumman Avenger
  • Zeke, Mitsubishi A6M, Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, the weather reconnaissance aircraft over Kiska, jumped by 3 fighters, shoots 1 down. It is followed by 3 B-17s, 3 B-24s, 3 B-25s, 4 P-38s and 8 P-40s. The B-24s blast the North Head submarine base, and score near misses on a cargo ship. The B-25s hit the vicinity of the Main Camp area; 3 of 5 floatplanes which intercept are shot down. The P-40s strafe Kiska ground installations and sight a fighter strip southwest of Salmon Lagoon. Two Amchitka fighter patrols are flown; the first also strafes gun emplacements on Vega Point. Five enemy bombers strike Amchitka.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 6 B-25s, bombing from 6,000 feet, and 7 B-24s, bombing from 14,500 feet, attack the Myitnge bridge south of Mandalay, damaging the southern approach; 3 other B-25s bomb the Myitnge railroad shops.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Lieutenant General Frank M. Andrews, USAAF, assumes command of the European Theater of Operations, US Army. (Also see WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN below.) VIII Bomber Command Mission 33: 65 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 21 B-24s of the 2d Bombardment Wing are dispatched against the Hamm, Germany marshalling yards. The B-24s turn back before hitting the Dutch coast when the temperature drops below the lowest limit of the thermometers (-40 degrees C). Heavy clouds cover Hamm so three of four B-17 groups (39 B-17s) attack the marshalling yard, port area and industries in Emden, Germany between 1200 and 1215 hours local dropping 92.25 tons of bombs. We claim 25 enemy fighters destroyed, 8 probably destroyed and 6 damaged; 5 B-17s are lost; human casualties are 17 WIA and 50 MIA. Bombers are opposed for the first time by Ju 88 and Me 110 twin-engine fighters. The 4th Fighter Group dispatches 21 Spitfire Mk Vs on uneventful fighter patrols and an air-sea rescue search.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): The 82d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-25s transfers from Tmded El Chel, Libya to Berteaux, Algeria.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): The North African Theater of Operations, US Army is established with Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower as commander. (Also see European Theater of Operations above.) In Tunisia, B-17s hit Gabes Airfield and a landing ground west of the town. Weather prevents completion of a medium bomber mission against a landing ground further southwest. Fighters escort the bombers and C-47s and fly reconnaissance over the battle area.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, a single B-17 joins Navy aircraft in pounding Kahili Airfield on Bougainville. Other Navy aircraft hit Munda Airfield on New Georgia. The second evacuation Tokyo Express, 22 destroyers covered by 25 Zekes, comes down The Slot. The destroyers are attacked 200 miles (320 km) north of Guadalcanal by 12 SBDs and 13 TBFs covered by 8 P-39s, 4 P-38s and 16 F4Fs; 1 destroyer is disabled and another slightly damaged. The P-39s get 1 Zeke, the F4Fs claim 6, the TBFs 2 and the SBDs 1; we lose 1 F4F, 1 SBD and 4 TBFs. An hour later, the same Express is hit by 12 SBDs escorted by 10 F4Fs and 4 P-40s of the 44th Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group; 2 destroyers are slightly damaged. The P-40s claim 3 Zekes, the F4Fs 4 and the SBDs 2; we lose 1 P-40, 2 F4Fs and 2 SBDs. The destroyers successfully evacuate Japanese troops. The 70th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 38th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-26s returns to its base on Fiji Island after operating from Guadalcanal since 9 Jan 43.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s and B-25s bomb Lae Airfield and harbor and nearby AA positions, and hit forces in the Mubo, Komiatum, Zaka and Wau areas. Japanese forces begin retreating in disorder from the Wau area toward Mubo. In the Bismarck Archipelago, heavy bombers hit the airfields at Rabaul, Gasmata Island and Cape Gloucester, score hits on a vessel off Arawe, and attack small boats at Lorengau, sinking 1 boat. HQ 22d Bombardment Group (Medium) and it's 19th and 33d Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) with B-26s transfer from Iron Range, Queensland, Australia to Woodstock, New South Wales, Australia. The group, which has been in combat since Apr 42, ceased combat operations in Jan 43 for R and R. The B-26s of the 19th are overhauled and stripped of all paint and bear the title "The Silver Fleet." The 33d, and the group's other two squadrons, the 2d and 408th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) at Reid River, Queensland, Australia, begin transitioning from B-26s to B-25Ds.

FRIDAY, 5 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • C-47, Douglas Skytrain
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 6 B-24s bomb the railroad station area at Rangoon. P-40s bomb a railway cut west of Meza, and having blocked the line, strafe a halted train. Six B-25s attack the Myitnge bridge but fail to knock out the target but damage the approaches. P-40s hit targets of opportunity in the Kentung area.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Spitfires of the 4th Fighter Group fly 8 sorties; 2 on uneventful patrols and 6 to strafe an shipping convoy. Two corvettes and a merchant ship are damaged in the convoy; 1 Spitfire is shot down and the pilot is listed as MIA.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, bad weather cancels heavy and medium bomber missions. Fighter fly reconnaissance missions (strafing trucks near Jabal Ash Shamsi), local patrols and escort for C-47s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s bomb Rabaul Airfield on New Britain Island. Heavy bombers carry out individual attacks on shipping off Papua and New Britain Island and hit the town of Rabaul and the airfield on Gasmata Island. In the Moluccas Islands, B-24s blast docks and shipping at Amboina. In New Guinea, B-25s hit Dobo. A-20s continue to bomb and strafe forces around Zaka, Sappa, Mubo and Gona.

SATURDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • Beaufighter, Bristol
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • P-400, Bell Airacobra
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine
  • Zeke, Mitsubishi A6M, Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, a weather reconnaissance is flown over Kiska and Attu Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 16 fighters follow the Mali River to Hpunkizup where they destroy about 20 trucks loaded with bridge repair equipment and completely decimate the village. Heavy bombers attack the bridge at Myitnge but fail to seriously damage the target.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Six Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly uneventful shipping patrols.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): The 515th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24s transfers from Abu Sueir, Egypt to Gambut, Libya.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, XII Bomber Command cancels missions because of weather. P-40s and P-39s fly reconnaissance and strafing missions between Sidi bou Zid and Sfax. Spitfires escort transport and evacuation missions. The Luftwaffe attacks an Allied convoy between Oran and Algiers and badly damages some ships. The 308th and 309th Fighter Squadrons, 31st Fighter Group with Spitfire Mk Vs transfer from Tafaraoui, Algeria and La Senia, Algeria respectively to Thelepte, Tunisia.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): The 370th and 424th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) based at Kipapa Field and Dillingham Field, Territory of Hawaii respectively with B-24s begin operating from Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. The 371st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) based at Wheeler Field, Territory of Hawaii with B-24s begins operating from Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s bomb and strafe forces along the track from Mubo to Komiatum to Salamaua and hit the enemy in the Mambare River delta. An Australian coast watcher reports that there are 60+ Japanese aircraft on Lae Aerodrome; the Fifth Air Force dispatches 7 B-25s, 1 B-24, 22 P-38s, 11 P-39s, 5 P-400s and 8 P-40s plus 5 Royal Australian Air Force Beaufighters to attack the airfield. When they arrive, they find the aircraft gone; the Japanese are attacking Wau Airfield. The airfield is attacked and bombed and on the way back to base, the Allied aircraft encounter 9 Japanese bombers escorted by several dozen Zekes. In the melee that follows, we claim 25 aircraft shot down without any losses; 12 Zekes were shot down by the P-39s and P-400s of the 40th Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group while the 7th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group with P-40s claim 7. A single B-24 hits cargo vessels off Finschhafen and Powell Point, claiming 1 vessel destroyed, and attacks troop barges in Riebeck Bay, causing several casualties. The 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group with P-39s and P-400s transfers from Port Moresby, New Guinea to Mareeba, Queensland, Australia. This unit has been operating in New Guinea since Jul 42.

SUNDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 1 B-17 flies weather reconnaissance over Kiska.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy, B-24s it the harbor at Naples, scoring a direct hit on 1 vessel and hits on others.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In Sardinia, over 50 B-17s and B-26s bomb Elmas Airfield and the seaplane base at Cagliari; P-38s provide escort. In Tunisia, fighters and A-20s fly reconnaissance over large areas of eastern Tunisia; fighters strafe gun batteries in the Gafsa-Maknassy area. HQ 31st Fighter Group transfers from La Senia, Algeria to Thelepte, Tunisia. The 307th Fighter Squadron with Spitfire Mk Vs, assigned to the 31st, transfers from Maison Blanche, Algeria to Thelepte The 58th Fighter Squadron, 33d Fighter Group with P-40s transfers from Thelepte, Tunisia to Telergma, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): During the night, the third and last Tokyo Express comes down to Guadalcanal covered by a rain squall. The three Expesses have taken off 11,706 men from Guadalcanal to fight another day. The 12th Fighter Squadron, 15th Fighter Group with P-39s transfers from Efate Island, New Hebrides to Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, a single B-24 bombs Dobo and Babo, while another bombs Timika and Kaukenau.

MONDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, weather reconnaissance is flown over Kiska, Agattu, and Attu Islands. Five B-24s and 5 B-25s bomb the Kiska Camp area and hit a water tank and buildings. Two B-25s bomb North Head through the overcast. Four P-38s and a B-25 patrol over Amchitka Island.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 18 B-24s of the India Air Task Force pound the Rangoon marshalling yard, wrecking locomotive ships and destroying the railroad station. Three other B-24s bomb the runway at Mingaladon.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy, B-24s attack ferry installations at Messina.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s bomb the docks and shipping at Sousse; B-26s and B-25s bomb Gabes Airfield, also hitting the nearby marshalling yard. Two forces of A-20s attack a vehicle and troop concentration east of Faid. Fighters escort the bomber missions, strafe the Sened-Maknassy area and the landing ground at Kebili, and fly routine reconnaissance and patrols. HQ 33d Fighter Group transfers from Thelepte, Tunisia to Youks-les- Bains, Algeria for R&R. The group is short of pilots and has only 13 P-40Fs left after continuous combat since Nov 42. The group's 3 squadrons, the 58th, 59th and 60th Fighter Squadrons, all transfer this week. HQ 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and its 340th and 341st Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) with B-17s transfer from Biska, Algeria to Chateau-du- Rhumel, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-38s and Navy aircraft bomb Munda Airfield on New Georgia Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s pound Japanese forces in the Mubo area; B-25s bomb the Dobo town area. In the Bismarck Archipelago, a single B-24 bombs the airfield on Gasmata Island.

TUESDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): HQ 318th Fighter Group transfers from Hickam Field to Bellows Field, Territory of Hawaii. The 19th Fighter Squadron, 18th Fighter Group with P-40s transfers from Bellows Field to NAS Barbers Point, Territory of Hawaii.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Crete, B-25s bomb several airfields. HQ 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers from Fayid, Egypt to Benina, Libya.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s bomb Kairouan Airfield. Fighters strafe AA and machineguns and trucks in the Faid Pass, buildings near Mezzouna, trucks in the Station de Sened area, and fly escort and reconnaissance missions.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, B-26s, escorted by P-38s and P-39s, pound the airfield at Vila on Kolombangara Island. Other P-38s join Navy aircraft in attacking Munda Airfield on New Georgia Island. Organized Japanese resistance ends on Guadalcanal at 1625 hours local and the island is declared secure even though some isolated pockets of Japanese troops remain. The 69th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 38th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-25s and B-26s permanently transfers from the New Hebrides Islands to Guadalcanal and participates in the mission described above.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Celebes, B-24s bomb Kendari Airfield. In New Guinea, A-20s hit the Malahang area.

WEDNESDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, the weather reconnaissance aircraft aborts the mission due to radio failure. Four B-24s, 2 B-17s, 8 B-25s and 8 P-38s attack Kiska Island; hits are observed on the landing strip and near the hangar and buildings. Two patrol missions, each by 4 P-38s and 1 B-25, are flown over the American-held Amchitka Island. CARIBBEAN (Sixth Air Force) The 30th Fighter Squadron, 37th Fighter Group with P-40s transfers from Anton, Panama to Aguadulce, Panama.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 B-25s bomb rolling stock at Maymyo.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): German submarine, U-519, is sunk northwest of Spain (47-05N 18-34W) by a B-24 of the 2d Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), 25th Antisubmarine Wing attached to the 1st Antisubmarine Group (Provisional). Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly two uneventful sorties on shipping patrol.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Sicily, B-24s sent to attack Palermo are forced to abort due to bad weather. They jettison their bombs or return to base with them. One aircraft scores a direct hit on a Sicilian highway. In Libya, rainfall delays the British Eighth Army assault on the Mareth Line positions at Ben Gardane. HQ 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and its 512th, 513th and 514th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) with B-24s transfer from Abu Sueir, Egypt to Gambut, Libya.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In the Mediterranean, B-25s attack shipping between Tunisia and Sicily, claiming 1 vessel sunk and another badly damaged. In Tunisia, weather cancels heavy and medium bomber missions. P-39s and Spitfires of the XII Air Support Command strafe gun batteries, machinegun nests, vehicles and troops in the Maknassy-Station de Sened-Bou Hamran area. The 59th Fighter Squadron, 33d Fighter Group with P-40s transfers from Thelepte, Tunisia to Youks-les-Bains, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-38s and Navy aircraft attack Munda Airfield on New Georgia Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): HQ 90th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and its 320th and 321st Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) with B-24s transfer from Iron Range, Queensland, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea.

THURSDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT: A-20, Douglas Havoc B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress B-24, Consolidated Liberator B-26, Martin Marauder Liberator, Consolidated P-38, Lockheed Lightning P-39, Bell Airacobra

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Crete, RAF Liberators under operational control of the IX Bomber Command are sent against Heraklion Airfield during the night of 10/11 Feb. Severe weather causes them to abort near the south coast of Crete. The 415th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24s transfers from Tobruk, Libya to Benina, Libya.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): Bad weather cancels all heavy and medium bomber missions. In Tunisia, A-20s hit Station de Sened. Fighters escort light bombers and transports, and fly reconnaissance and patrols. A detachment of the 111th Observation Squadron, 68th Observation Group based at Oujda, French Morocco with A-20s begins operating from La Senia, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, B-26s, P-38s and P-39s bomb the airfields at Munda on New Georgia Island and Vila on Kolombangara Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s carry out a predawn harassing strike over Rabaul on New Britain Island.

FRIDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • C-47, Douglas Skytrain
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • P-400, Bell Airacobra
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, weather reconnaissance and attack missions against Kiska Island and a fighter patrol over Amchitka Island are broken off due to weather.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): The 371st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24s based at Wheeler Field, Territory of Hawaii ceases operating from Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands after 6 days.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 7 B-24s of the India Air Task Force pound the Myitnge bridge area but fail to damage the bridge itself. This strike marks the first use of 2,000 pound blockbusters in the CBI Theater. Twelve other B-24s bomb the Mahlwagon marshaling yard and railway station at Rangoon. Twelve P-40s hit barracks near Lonkin.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 18 uneventful sorties, 16 on shipping patrols and 2 on defensive patrols.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, heavy and medium bomber missions are cancelled due to weather. A-20s attack gun installations west of Station de Sened. Fighters escort A-20s and C-47s, and fly routine patrols. The 347th Fighter Squadron, 350th Fighter Group with P-39s and P-400s transfers from Oujda, French Morocco to La Senia, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-38s, along with Navy aircraft, attack the Munda, New Georgia area, hitting AA at Rapa and setting fires at Kokengolo. B-26s and P-39s follow with a strike on the Munda Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-24s, operating individually, attack a sawmill at Ubili, a runway at Cape Gloucester, and the harbor and airfield at Rabaul, New Britain Island, and score a possible hit on a 6,000-ton vessel in the Solomon Sea between New Britain Island and Bougainville Island in the Solomons.

SATURDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • F4U, Vought Corsair
  • LB-30, Liberator, Consolidated
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • PB4Y, Consolidated Liberator
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, weather reconnaissance is flown over Kiska, Attu, Agattu, the Semichis, and Buldir Island. Five heavy bombers, 6 medium bombers and 10 P-38s bomb and strafe Kiska targets including the Camp area, landing strip, and shipping. Of 5 float-type fighter which attack, P-38s shoot down 3. Four P-38s and 1 B-25 fly a patrol mission over Amchitka Island and Little Kiska; a B-25 shoots down a floatplane.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 7 heavy bombers from Gaya, India bomb the Rangoon marshalling yard, scoring over 30 direct hits on the target. P-40s hit a headquarters at Lonkin, buring 12 barracks. Nine B-25s hit rolling stock in the marshalling yard at Paukkan and along the rail line from Shwebo to Sagaing.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 24 sorties on shipping patrols. One aircraft is lost and the pilot was killed.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy, B-24s bomb the Naples area and Crotone Airfield and the city area under storm conditions. In Crete, RAF Liberators under operational control of the IX Bomber Command attack Heraklion Airfield during the late afternoon and early evening. One Liberator hits the Kastelli/Pediada Airfield on the return trip.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-26s bomb El Aouina Airfield. Fighters escort the B-26s, strafe tanks near Station de Sened, and destroy several trucks and staff cars in the Faid area. The 59th Fighter Squadron, 33d Fighter Group with P-40s transfers from Thelepte, Tunisia to Youks-les-Bains, Algeria. The 414th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-17s transfers from Biskra, Algeria to Chateaudun-du-Rhumel, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, 9 PB4Ys escorted by 4 P-38s and 11 F4Us and 6 B-24s escorted by 4 P-38s and 7 P-40s take off on separate missions to hit shipping in the Shortland Island-Buin, Bougainville area. The PB4Ys drop their bombs on a cargo ship at 1130 hours, score no hits and return to base with their escort. The B-24s attack a cargo ship from 14,000 feet just after 1200 scoring 1 hit. On the way to the target, 3 P-40s and 2 P-38s had aborted the mission leaving the B-24s with an escort of 2 P-38s and 4 P-40s; this force is attacked by 45 enemey fighters over the target. Three B-24s, 2 P-40s and 4 P-38s are lost on this mission due to engine trouble, AA and enemy action. This is the baptism of fire in the Solomons for the B-24s of the 424th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) which has just come down from Hawaii.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s pound forces in and around Mubo while B-25s hit the Lae area. In the Bismarck Archipelago, a single B-24 bombs the sawmill area at Ubili and a B-17 hits targets of opportunity in the Rabaul area.

SUNDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • F4U, Vought Corsair
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • PB4Y, Consolidated Liberator
  • Pete, Mitsubishi F1M, Navy Type 0 Observation Seaplane
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine
  • Zeke, Mitsubishi A6M, Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, the weather reconnaissance aircraft turns back due to weather, as does the morning patrol of 1 B-25 and 4 P-38s flying over Allied held Amchitka Island. Other missions from Adak are also called off. Seven enemy float-type aircraft bomb and strafe the Constantine Harbor area on Amchitka Island without effect.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, B-25s unsuccessfully attack the bridge at Myitnge. Fourteen P-40s hit the town area of Maingkwan and the barracks to the southwest.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 34: The 1st Bombardment Wing dispatches 74 B-17s against the Hamm, Germany marshalling yards. The mission is cancelled due to weather and the aircraft are recalled before they pass the European coast. We claim 1 enemy aircraft destroyed; 1 B-17 is damaged. Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 18 uneventful sorties on shipping patrols.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In the Mediterranean, B-25s on a shipping strike return with their bombs when no vessels are sighted. In Tunisia, all heavy and medium bomber missions are cancelled by bad weather. Fighters strafe vehicles and gun emplacements in the El Guettar-Sened-Maknassy areas, and hit tanks and trucks near Sisi Saad. A-20s bomb tanks in the Faid Pass, trucks near Maknassy and southwest of Faid, the town of Maknassy, and railroad yards at Station de Sened. Enemy ground forces, both armored and infantry, begin a drive, supported by artillery and dive bombers, against Allied forces east of Sidi bou Zid. HQ 350th Fighter Group transfers from Oujda, French Morocco to Oran, Algeria. The group's 345th and 346th Fighter Squadrons with P-39s and P-400s transfer from Oujda to La Senia, Algeria. The 94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group with P-38s transfers from Biskra, Tunisia to Chateaudun-du-Rhumel, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, 9 PB4Ys escorted by 10 P-38s and 12 F4Us attack shipping in the Buin, Bougainville-Shortland Island area. The bombers score several hits on a cargo ships and near misses on two others. The formation is then attack by 30 Zekes and about 15 floatplanes. In the ensuing battle, we claim 14 Zekes and 1 Pete shot down; Japanese records show they lost 3 Zekes. We lose 2 PB4Ys, 4 P-38s and 2 F4Us. Because of the losses suffered yesterday and today, all daylight bombing missions in the northern Solomons are halted until adequate fighter protection can be furnished. P-39s and Navy aircraft bomb and strafe Munda Airfield on New Georgia Island and hit AA positions and other targets at Munda Point.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s and B-24s pound the Rabaul area, and also bomb the Kokopo area, Watom Islands, vessels off Kokop and off Cape Nelson; individual B-24s hit the sawmill at Ubili. In New Guinea, individual B-24s attack the Madang area while B-25s bomb the airfield at Lae.

MONDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, a weather reconnaissance B-24 is soon called off due to weather. All other missions are cancelled. Six float-type Japanese aircraft bomb and strafe Allied held Amchitka Island, hitting the runway and causing casualties. The 18th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group with P-40s transfers from Adak Island to Amchitka Island.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, B-24s strike the bridge at Myitnge for the second consecutive day but cause little damage.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 35: The 2d Bombardment Wing dispatches 23 B-24s against the port area and shipping at Dunkirk, France; 21 aircraft drop 62 tons of bombs at 1540 hours local. We claim 3 enemy aircraft destroyed and 1 possibly destroyed; we lose 2, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 7 are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 24 MIA. The Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 30 uneventful sorties on shipping patrols.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): The Desert Air Task Force (DATF) is established with Brigadier General Auby C Strickland as Commanding General. Whereas Desert Air Task Force HQ, organized on 22 Oct 42, controlled US Army Mid East Air Force (USAMEAF) tactical operations in the Western Desert, this new organization, with HQ at Tripoli, Libya, supervises, operationally and administratively, all Ninth Air Force units west of, and including, Marble Arch. In addition, General Strickland is commander of US troops in the area. In Italy, B-24s attack the harbor at Naples, scoring direct hits on 2 vessels. In Libya, British Army ground forces resume operations toward the Mareth Line as weather improves. Colonel Hugo P Rush succeeds Brigadier General Patrick W Timberlake as Commanding Officer of IX Bomber Command, which transfers from Ismailia, Egypt to Bengasi, Libya.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In Sicily, B-17s hits the harbor and shipping at Palermo. In Tunisia, B-25s and B-26s attack Kairouan Airfield. Fighters support Allied ground forces being pushed back from the Faid-Sidi bou Zid area to positions at Sbeitla, Kasserine and Feriana. Enemy troops, vehicles, gun positions, and tanks are repeatedly attacked. Fighters hit similar targets in the Gafsa-Bou Hamran area. Because of the German advance in Tunisia, the forward air base at Sbeitla, Tunisia is evacuated. The 97th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 47th Bombardment Group (Light) with A-20s transfers from Thelepte, Tunisia to Youks-les-Bains, Algeria due to the German assault.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, B-26s, P-39s and P-40s attack Vila Airfield on Kolombangara Island. B-24s, hindered by effective AA fire, bomb the airfields at Kahili, Bougainville Island and on Ballale Island; 2 B-24s are lost.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): On New Britain Island, Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s again bomb the town of Rabaul and hit the area nearby west of Simpson Harbor. A single B-17 attacks Rapopo Airfield. In the Celebes, B-24s pound shipping and the town area at Amboina, Ceram Island, Netherlands East Indies. In New Guinea, B-25s pound supply dumps at Malahang. B-24s operating singly bomb the runway at Finschhafen, and claim a direct hit on a vessel in Stettin Bay. On Portugese Timor, B-25s attack the town and airfield of Dili.

TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • F-5, Lockheed Lightning
  • L-4, Piper Cub
  • LB-30, Liberator, Consolidated
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, a weather reconnaissance aircraft flies over Kiska, Attu, Agattu, the Semicis and Buldir Islands. Five B-24s, 6 B-25s, 6 P-38s and 1 B-25 photographic aircraft take off for Kiska but do not attack due to weather. One P-40, accompanying several P-38s on the Amchitka Island fighter patrol, lands on Amchitka strip; an afternoon patrol of 7 P-40s and 1 transport also land at the strip which is now safe for limited operations. CARIBBEAN (Sixth Air Force) A detachment of the 22d Fighter Squadron, 36th Fighter Group with P-40s and P-39s which has been operating from Zandery Field, Surinam since 16 Sep 42 returns to its base at Waller Field, Trinidad.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 18 P-40s hit targets of opportunity in the Nsopzup and Hpunkizup areas.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 36: 71 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 18 B-24s of the 2d Bombardment Wing are dispatched against the locks and U-boat base at Saint-Nazaire, France; 59 B-17s and 6 B-24s drop 160 tons of bombs between 1052 and 1055 hours local. We claim 20 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed, 12 probably destroyed and 2 damaged; we lose 6 B-17s and 2 B-24s with 28 B-17s and 2 B-24s damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 7 WIA and 81 MIA. Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 34 uneventful sorties on fighter patrols. The 13th Photographic Squadron (Light), 3d Photographic Group with F-5s and L-4s transfers from Podington to Mount Farm, England.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Crete, RAF Liberators under operational control of the IX Bomber Command bomb Heraklion Airfield during the night of 16/17 Feb. In Tunisia, the British Eighth Army's 7 Armored Division drives into Ben Gardane, an outpost of the Mareth Line. The 83d and 434th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 12 Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-25s transfer from Gambut, Libya to Castel Benito, Libya. The 345th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24s transfers from Tobruk, Libya to Benina, Libya.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): In the Mediterranean, B-25s dispatched on a shipping mission abort due to weather. In Tunisia, all heavy and medium bomber operations are cancelled due to weather. A-20s, in support of hard-pressed Allied ground forces, bomb gun positions west of Sidi bou Zid. Fighters fly repeated strafing missions against troops and vehicles in the Gafsa area. The 85th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 47th Bombardment Group (Light) with A-20s transfers from Thelepte, Tunisia to Youks-les-Bains, Algeria due to the German assault.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): Rear Admiral Charles P Mason becomes Commander Aircraft Solomon Islands (COMAIRSOLS) with operational control of all Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), USAAF, USMC and USN aircraft in the Solomon Islands.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s bomb a warehouse at Ubili on New Britain Island. In New Guinea, B-25s bomb Malahang Airfield and strafe targets of opportunity on the Salamaua peninsula.

WEDNESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • C-47, Douglas Skytrain
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, weather cancels all missions and also the laying of mat at the Amchitka Island airstrip.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): The 2d Troop Carrier Squadron, Tenth Air Force with C-47s arrives at Yangkai, China from the U.S.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): The Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 38 uneventful sorties on patrol during the day.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Twelfth Air Force): The Twelfth Air Force and other organizations of the Allied Air Force are transferred to the North African Air Force (NAAF) which supplants the Allied Air Force. NAAF, in turn, becomes part of the Mediterranean Air Command (MAC), a new air command which comes into existence on this date with RAF Air Chief Marshall Arthur Tedder as commander. MAC also includes the RAF Middle East Air Command (later RAF, Middle East) and the RAF Malta Air Command (later RAF, Malta). The Commanding General of NAAF is General Carl Spaatz, USAAF. In Sardinia, over 40 B-17s bomb Elmas Airfield; B-25s and B-26s hit the Villacidro and Decimomannu Airfields. In Tunisia, fighters escort bombers and support ground forces in the Sbeitla-Kasserine-Feriana area. The fighters, along with A-20s, attack and destroy numerous tanks, trucks and other vehicles moving against hard- pressed British First Army forces. The two airfields at Thelepte, with 124 operational aircraft on the, are abandoned because of the German advance. Eighteen unflyable aircraft are burned after 60,000 gallons (227,100 liters) of aviation fuel are poured on them. HQ 31st Fighter Group transfers from Thelepte, Tunisia to Youks-les- Bains, Algeria. The group's 307th, 308th and 309th Fighter Squadrons with Spitfire Mk Vs transfer from Thelepte to Tebessa, Algeria. HQ 81st Fighter Group and its 91st and 92d Fighter Squadrons with P-39s transfer from Thelepte, Tunisia to Le Kouif Airfield, Algeria. The 60th Fighter Squadron, 33d Fighter Group with P-40s transfers from Youks-les-Bains, Algeria to Telergma, Algeria. The 71st Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group with P-38s transfers from Biskra, Algeria to Chateaudun-du-Rhumel, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-39s join Navy fighters and dive bombers in a strike against Munda Airfield on New Georgia Island. Single B-24s bomb Nusave Island and the airfields on Ballale Island and at Kahili on Bougainville Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, B-24s, operating individually, strike Gasmata Airfield and Pondo Harbor, Bobo and the sawmill at Ubili.

THURSDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT: B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress B-24, Consolidated Liberator B-25, North American Mitchell C-47, Douglas Skytrain LB-30, Consolidated Liberator P-40, Curtiss Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, a weather reconnaissance determines that 3 ships at Attu Island to be friendly. P-40s on local patrol over Amchitka Island encounter and shoot down 2 enemy fighters. The 21st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group (Heavy) operating under control of the 28th Composite Group with B-24s from Umnak Islands begins operating from Amchitka Island. CARIBBEAN (Sixth Air Force) The 45th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 40th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with LB-30s transfers from David, Panama to the Galapagos Islands.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 26 uneventful sorties during the day on shipping and defensive patrols.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(North African Air Force): HQ North African Air Force (NAAF) is set up under General Carl Spaatz, USAAF, and the Twelfth Air Force becomes a paper outfit. Six principal subordinate commands are specified, i.e.: North African Air Support Command (NAASC) North African Coastal Air Force (NACAF) North African Photographic Reconnaissance Wing (NAPRW) North African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) North African Training Command (NATC) Twelfth Air Force Units assigned to NAAF described above are: NAASC: XII Air Support Command [33d and 81st Fighter Groups and 47th Bombardment Group (Light)] NACAF: XII Fighter Command (31st, 52d and 350th Fighter Groups) NAPRW: 3d Photographic Group NASAF: XII Bomber Command [97th and 301st Bombardment Groups (Heavy); 17th, 310th and 319th Bombardment Groups (Medium); 1st, 14th and 82d Fighter Groups; and the 68th Observation Group] NATC: 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light) In Algeria, weather cancels heavy and medium bomber operations. In Tunisia, fighters provide direct support for the British First Army in the Sbeitla-Kasserine-Feriana areas. HQ 1st Fighter Group and it's 27th Fighter Squadron P-38s transfers from Biskra, Algeria to Chateaudun-du-Rhumel, Algeria. The 342d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-17s transfers from Biskra, Algeria to Chateaudun-du-Rhumel, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, B-24s pound the airfield at Munda on New Georgia Island. B-17s attack the Kahili, Bougainville area and shipping nearby.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-24s unsuccessfully attack shipping off Cape Gloucester and Cape Orford. In New Guinea, B-25s bomb the Barar area. Individual B-24s bomb the Finschhafen landing ground and the Madang area. In Portugese Timor, B-25s unsuccessfully attack shipping off Dili. The 21st Troop Carrier Squadron, 374th Troop Carrier Group with C-47s transfers from Archerfield Airdrome near Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea.

FRIDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, weather cancels all missions except limited weather reconnaissance.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, P-40s dive-bomb a Japanese HQ at Hpunkizup and afterwards strafe a rail defile south of Meza, burying about 100 feet of track. Five B-25s bomb the rail terminal at Sagaing.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): The Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 26 uneventful sorties during the day; 2 on defensive patrols and 24 on an offensive sweep of the St. Omer, France area.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-25s bomb the Gabes western area through heavy clouds.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(North African Air Force): In Algeria, weather prevents heavy and medium bomber operations. In Tunisia, fighters and A-20s of the XII Air Support Command are grounded and unable to support ground forces as the enemy opens an attack on Kasserine with infantry and tanks supported by artillery. The 93d Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group with P-39s transfers from Port Lyautey, French Morocco to Berteaux, Algeria.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Solomons, B-17s bomb shipping and a seaplane base between Buin and Faisi, Bougainville Island and at Ballale Island and hit the Kahili Airfield on Bougainville. In New Guinea, A-20s bomb and strafe forces in the Butibum and Angari areas. B-24s carry out single-plane attacks agains shipping at Salamaua, New Guinea, off Cape Gloucester, New Britain Island and at Gasmata Island.

SATURDAY, 20 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • LB-30, Liberator, Consolidated
  • (RAF) P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • PBY, Consolidated Catalina (USN)
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, reconnaissance over Kiska Island finds weather favorable and 5 B-24s, 7 B-25s and 8 P-38s take off to attack. The fighters hit the Main Camp area; the bombers bomb North Head, the Main Camp area and the runway. The 11th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group with P-40s transfers from Fort Glenn on Umnak Island to Adak Island.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): Three B-24s of the 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) operating from Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands photograph Makin Island, Abaiang Island and Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands and attack shipping at Tarawa.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 17 P-40s bomb a factory, oil tanks, and railroad tracks at Sahmaw. Thirteen B-24s attack the Gokteik Viaduct but fail to damage the structure.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 14 uneventful sorties during the day on shipping patrols.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Crete, RAF Liberators, under operational control of the IX Bomber Command, bomb Heraklion and Kastelli/Pediada Airfields during the night of 19/20 Feb. In Italy, B-24s bomb Crotone, Naples, Amantea, Palmi, Nicotera and Rosarno.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(North African Air Force): Weather again severely limits operations. In Tunisia, a handful of P-39s strafe trucks and half-tracks in the Kasserine area as the enemy breaks through the Kasserine Pass and thrusts north and west toward Thala and Tebessa. HQ 33d Fighter Group transfers from Youks-les-Bains, Algeria to Telergma, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, B-17s and PBYs bomb Ballale Island and Kahili on Bougainville Island. B-24s pound Vila on Kolombangara Island. During the night of 19/20 Feb and day strikes, P-39s and Navy aircraft attack the Munda area on New Georgia Island, hitting the airfield and nearby Lambeti and Munda Point.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): B-17s bomb a landing ground at Kahili, Bougainville Island, and at Ballale Island in the Solomons, and Gasmata Airfield in the Bismarck Archipelago.

SUNDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, weather prevents all flying from Adak Island. Fighters based on Amchitka Island patrol Kiska.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): The North African Tactical Air Force assumes operational control of the Western Desert Air Force; tactical groups remain administratively assigned to the Ninth Air Force.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(North African Air Force): In Tunisia, B-25s hit the railroad yards at Gafsa. Weather foils 3 attempts by P-39s and Spitfires to furnish support to ground forces battling the German drive north and west of the Kasserine Pass. Only 2 P-39s are able to reach the enemy and strafe tanks and trucks. HQ 31st Fighter Group transfers from Tebessa, Algeria to Youks-les- Bains, Algeria. The 308th Fighter Squadron assigned to the group transfers its Spitfire Mk Vs from Tebessa to Canrobert, Algeria. The 86th and 97th Bombardment Squadrons (Light), 47th Bombardment Group (Light) with A-20s transfer from Youks-les-Bains, Algeria to Canrobert, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, USAAF, US Navy, US Marine Corps and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) fighters from Guadalcanal provide air support as the 103d Infantry Regiment and 152d Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm Howitzer Tractor-Drawn), 43d Infantry Division land on three beaches in the Russell Islands 30 miles northwest of Guadalcanal. The landings are unopposed; the 169th Infantry Regiment lands tomorrow. The 103d was a Maine National Guard unit activated in Feb 41; the 169th was a Connecticut NG unit activated at the same time. Airfields will be built on the island. Fifth Air Force aircraft had aided this operation by bombing the airfields in the Buin and Kahili area on Bougainville Island and the airfield on Ballale Island on Friday and Saturday.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Celebes, B-24s bomb the harbor and shipping at Amboina, Ambon Island, Netherlands East Indies. In New Guinea, A-20s bomb and strafe several occupied villages and tracks throughout the Mubo-Komiatum-Salamaua region.

MONDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • Bf 109, Messerschmitt
  • C-47, Douglas Skytrain
  • Liberator, Consolidated (RAF)
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-400, Bell Airacobra
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 16 bombers and 8 fighters abort a mission against Kiska Island due to weather.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, B-24s mine the Gulf of Martaban between Pagoda Point and the mouth of the Rangoon River during the night of 22/23 Feb. Twenty four B-24s and RAF Liberators fly a diversionary strike against the city of Rangoon and the Mingaladon Airfield.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): HQ 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers from Gambut, Libya to Soluch, Libya.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(North African Air Force): In Tunisia, A-20s of the 47th Bombardment Group (Light) and fighters, flying close support to Allied ground forces, aid in repulsing Field Marshall Rommel's drive toward Thala and Tebessa. The 47th flies 11 missions and bomb at minimum altitude; 1 A-20 is lost after being hit by 3 Bf 109s; several aircraft sustain wing damage from ripping antennae off German tanks and trucks. At 1915 hours local the enemy begins a general withdrawal toward Kasserine. B-17s bomb the Kasserine Pass while B-25s hit the nearby bridge and escorting P-38s strafe retreating troops. Other B-25s hit the railway yards at Gafsa. P-39s of the 154th Observation Squadron, 68th Observation Group fly 17 attack-reconnaissance sorties over the Kasserine area destroying 3 tanks and damaging 10 trucks while losing 1 aircraft. HQ 81st Fighter Group and its 91st and 92d Fighter Squadrons with P-39s transfer from Le Kouif Airfield, Algeria to Youks-les-Bains, Algeria. The 307th and 309th Fighter Squadrons, 31st Fighter Group with Spitfire Mk Vs transfer from Tebessa, Algeria to Youks-les-Bains, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-38s, P-39s and Navy aircraft hit the Rekata Bay area and barges in Sambi Bay on Santa Isabel Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Admiralties, a B-24 hits Lorengau Airfield on Manus Island. In New Guinea, B-25s pound the Lae area while to the south A-20s hit forces at Buibuining, Waipali, Guadagasal and along trails in the surrounding areas. A single B-17 bombs Lae. The 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group with P-39s and P-400s transfers from Milne Bay, New Guinea to Mareeba, Queensland, Australia. The 39th Troop Carrier Squadron, 317th Troop Carrier Group with C-47s transfers from Garbutt, Australia to Archerfield Airdrome near Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

TUESDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • F-5, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 17 bombers and 8 fighters bomb the Main Camp area on Kiska Island while an F-5A flies a photographic mission.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 P-40s knock out the railroad bridge west of Myitkyina. Several B-24s attack the bridge at Myitnge; the strike fails to damage the structure itself but batters the southern approach. In India, 46 Japanese bombers and fighters are intercepted over Chabua Airfield by P-40s. In a running battle, the P-40s claim at least 14 aircraft shot down.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy, B-24s attack the Messina ferry slip, scoring direct hits and leaving the target area burning. In Tunisia, B-25s hit Arram in the Mareth Line during the late evening.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(North African Air Force): In the Mediterranean, B-25s attack shipping north of Cap Bon, claiming 1 vessel sunk. In Tunisia, B-17s bomb Kairouan Airfield and hit troops retreating through the Kasserine Pass. B-25s and B-26s hit the Kasserine Pass and the bridge nearby. A-20s and fighters also attack retreating columns in the Kasserine area. The 3d Air Defense Wing arrives at Oran, Algeria to control air defense units in the Oran area as part of the North African Coastal Air Force. HQ 99th Bombardment Group (Heavy), a B-17 unit, arrives at Navarin, Algeria from the US.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s bomb the town and harbor area of Rabaul on New Britain Island. In New Guinea, A-20s continue to pound the occupied villages and trails in the Buibuining-Waipali and Guadagasal-Mubo areas. B-25s bomb and strafe Angari and Yangla.

WEDNESDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • P-400, Bell Airacobra
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, all except one mission of 4 P-40s, to Kiska Island, are called off. The P-40s make no contacts, however.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, P-40s knock out the southern span of the railroad bridge northeast of Pinbaw.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Lieutenant General Ira C Eaker, Commander Eighth Air Force, is advised by the War Department of the Combined Chiefs of Staff decision to employ his fighter units primarily in an offensive role in support of the bombers. Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 14 uneventful sorties on shipping patrols.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(North African Air Force): In the Mediterranean, B-25s sink several barges northeast of Cap Bon. In Tunisia, B-17s bomb Kairouan Airfield. B-26s and B-17s bomb enemy columns in Kasserine Pass and hit the town of Kasserine, while B-25s attack highway traffic near Sbeitla. A-20s and fighters hit motor transport in a wide area around Kasserine and Sbeitla. HQ 81st Fighter Group and its 91st and 92d Fighter Squadrons with P-39s transfer from Youks-les-Bains, Algeria to Le Kouif Airfield, Algeria reversing a move made last Wednesday. The 154th Observation Squadron, 68th Observation Group with A-20s transfers from Oujda, French Morocco to join its detachment at Youks-les- Bains, Algeria. Prior to WWII, the 154th was an Arkansas National Guard unit.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, B-24s bomb Kahili and Faisi on Bougainville Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s again hit shipping at Rabaul, New Britain Island. In New Guinea, A-20s continue to attack forces at the Guadagasal Saddle, Waipali, trails from Waipali to the Guadagasal Saddle and Mubo, and in the area of the Waria River mouth. B-25s pound Lae, Angari, Yangla, the Malahang landing strip, and smaller villages in the area. B-24s continue single-plane harassing strikes on shipping and airfields in coastal areas of Portugese and northeastern New Guinea and in the Solomon Sea off Cape Saint George. HQ 8th Fighter Group and its 35th Fighter Squadron P-39s and P-400s transfer from Milne Bay, New Guinea to Mareeba, Queensland, Australia.

THURSDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • F4U, Vought Corsair
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 4 P-40s sweep Kiska Island. Six B-24s and 5 B-25s bomb the Main Camp and North Head areas of Kiska.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, fighters from Dinjan dive-bomb a bridge 10 miles (16 km) west of Myitkyina. A single span is knocked out and another damaged. B-24s again fail to damage the Myitnge Bridge. In India, more than 40 Japanese aircraft attack Dinjan Airfield; 32 intercepting P-40s claim 14 destroyed and 15 probably destroyed. The 436th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24s transfers from Gaya, India to Bishnupur, India.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy, B-24s bomb Naples harbor and Crotone during the night of 24/25 Feb. In Tunisia, B-25s attack motor transport on the Arram road. The 512th, 513th and 514th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24s transfer from Gambut, Libya to Soluch, Libya.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(North African Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s bomb El Aouina Airfield. Fighters and A-20s hit troops and military traffic in the Thala-Kasserine-Sbeitla areas and along the Gafsa-Feriana road. Other fighters carry out widespread reconnaissance and patrol missions. British First Army and US troops of the II Corps occupy Kasserine Pass. HQ 31st Fighter Group and its 307th Fighter Squadron with Spitfire Mk Vs transfer from Youks-les-Bains, Algeria to Kalaa Djerda, Tunisia. The 308th Fighter Squadron also with Spitfire Mk Vs transfers from Canrobert, Algeria to Kalaa Djerda.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-38s, P-40s and F4Us sweep the Kahili, Bougainville Island area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, heavy bombers continue to attack shipping, airfields, and the town area at Rabaul, New Britain Island. The airfield on Gasmata Island is also bombed. In New Guinea, A-20s again bomb and strafe forces at the Guadagasal Saddle and vicinity.

FRIDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine
  • Ventura, Lockheed (RAF)
  • Wellington, Vickers (RAF)

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, Dinjan, India based P-40s hit a bridge northeast of Pinbaw, destroying a span and damaging other parts of the bridge. The 492d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24s transfers from Gaya, India to Bishnupur, India.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 37: 76 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 17 B-24s of the 2d Bombardment Wing are dispatched against Bremen, Germany. The primary target is overcast so 59 B-17s and 6 B-24s attack the docks and surrounding areas of Wilhelmshaven, Germany dropping 164.25 tons of bombs between 1123 and 1125 hours local. We claim 21 Luftwaffe fighters destroyed, 9 probably destroyed and 5 damaged; we lose 5 B-17s and 2 B-24s plus 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair; casualties are 14 WIA and 73 MIA. The Luftwaffe attempts air-to-air bombing by fighter aircraft and the use of parachute bombs fired by AAA. Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 82 uneventful sorties; 6 on shipping patrols and 76 on 3 missions escorting Venturas attacking Dunkirk, France. [NOTE: At this time, there were 3 squadrons flying Ventura Mk Is and Mk IIs assigned to RAF Bomber Command and based in Norfolk, England. No. 21 Squadron, RAF, was based at Methwold; the other 2 squadrons, No. 464 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and No. 487 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), were based at Feltwell.]

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, P-40s carry out fighter-bomber missions as ground forces maintain pressure on the enemy along the coast and on the Gabes road. B-25s attack roads and motor transport in the Arram area during the night of 26/27 Feb. General Bernard L. Montgomery sets 20 Mar as D-Day for an attack on the Mareth Line. The 328th, 330th and 409th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 93d Bombardment Group (Heavy) cease operations from Gambut, Libya with B-24s and return to their base at Hardwick, England.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(North African Air Force): Lieutenant General James H. Doolittle assumes command of the XII Bomber Command. In Tunisia, B-17s, with P-38 escort, attack the docks and shipping at Bizerte after RAF Wellingtons hit the same target the previous night. Fighters hit trucks in the Pinchon-Ousseltia area and fly numerous reconnaissance missions. Colonel-General Jurgen von Arnim's 5th Panzer Army opens an offensive on a broad front toward Bedja and Medjez el Bab. The 309th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group with Spitfire Mk Vs transfers from Youks-les-Bain, Algeria to Kalaa Djerda, Tunisia.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-38s and Navy aircraft hit Vila on Kolombangara Island during the night of 25/26 Feb.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s and B-24s bomb the airfield on Gasmata Island. In New Guinea, A-20s hit the Buibuining-Waipali area while a single B-17 bombs the airfields at Lae and Salamaua. Other B-17s attack shipping and the airfield at Wewak and a single B-17 attacks shipping in Hixon and Open Bays.

SATURDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine
  • Ventura, Lockheed (RAF)

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 6 B-24s, 6 B-25s and 4 P-38s bomb and strafe the Main Camp area on Kiska Island. On the return trip, a weather aircraft flies reconnaissance and makes a bombing and strafing run on Attu Island and nearby barges with negative results.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 24 P-40s bomb and strafe Waingmaw. Direct hits are scored on a warehouse and fuel and ammunition dump.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 38: 63 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 15 B-24s of the 2d Bombardment Wing are dispatched against the U-boat pens, port and naval facilities at Brest, France; 46 B-17s and 14 B-24s drop 155 tons of bombs on the target between 1455 and 1500 hours local; 2 B-24s are damaged; there are no casualties. Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 40 uneventful sorties; 16 on shipping patrols and 24 as part of an escort for RAF Venturas bombing Dunkirk, France.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, P-40s fly top cover, strafing, and fighter-bomber missions against positions along the Mareth Line. The 515th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24s transfers from Gambut, Libya to Soluch, Libya.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(North African Air Force): In Sardinia, B-17s bomb the Cagliari area and ships north of Capo d'Orlando. In Tunisia, RAF Wellingtons hit Bizerte. Fighters fly sweeps and reconnaissance, attacking ground forces at points along the battleline, including the Medjez el Bab area where the enemy advance is being halted. The 37th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group with P-38s arrives at La Senia, Algeria from the U.S. This squadron will become the third squadron of the 14th Fighter Group when it is reassigned to the 14th on 1 Mar. The 85th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 47th Bombardment Group (Light) with A-20s transfers from Youks-les-Bains, Algeria to Canrobert, Algeria. A detachment of the 111th Observation Squadron, 68th Observation Group with A-20s ceases operating from La Senia, Algeria and returns to its base at Oujda, French Morocco. Prior to WWII, the 111th was a Texas National Guard unit.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-40s and P-38s join Navy aircraft in an attack on small vessels off Vella Lavella Island; hits are claimed on 2 vessels.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-25s hit Japanese-occupied villages in the Labu area. B-17s, operating individually, strafe a schooner off Matiu Point and bomb Finschhafen Airfield.

SUNDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-29, Lockheed Hudson
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • Bf 109, Messerschmitt
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • P-70, Douglas
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, reconnaissance is flown over Kiska, Buldir, Semichis, Attu, and Agattu, with negative results. Six B-24s and 6 B-25s bomb the Main Camp area on Kiska Island. CARIBBEAN (AAF Antisubmarine Command) The 23d Antisubmarine Squadron (Medium), 26th Antisubmarine Wing with A-29s based in Washington State begins operating from Batista Field, Cuba.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, P-40s from Dinjan, India knock out a bridge near Kazu and bomb and strafe Nsopzup. Eight B-25s hit the Thazi railroad junction. In China, 6 B-25s from Kunming, with fighter escort, bomb a storage area at Mangshih.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 12 uneventful patrol sorties.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(North African Air Force): In Tunisia, fighters and fighter-bombers hit troops, tanks, and motor transport along the Tunisian battleline southwest of Maleur, at Sidi Nsir near Pont-du-Fhas, northeast of Bedja, and in the Goubellat area. The 17th Bombardment Group (Medium) sends 9 B-26s to destroy the La Hencha Bridge between Gabes and Sfax. Their escort is jumped by Bf 109s and the bombers turn back. HQ 325th Fighter Group and it's 317th and 318th Fighter Squadrons with P-40Fs arrive at Tafaraoui, Algeria from the U.S. The 48th Fighter Squadron, 14th Fighter Group with P-38s transfers from Berteaux, Algeria to Mediouna, French Morocco for R&R.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-38s and Navy aircraft attack Vila Airfield on Kolombangara Island. B-24s bomb Kahili Airfield on Bougainville Island and also hit Ballale Island. Detachment B, 6th Night Fighter Squadron, 18th Fighter Group with 5 P-70s begins operating from Guadalcanal. This squadron is based in Hawaii.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, a lone B-17 bombs Lae Airfield.