COMBAT CHRONOLOGY OF THE US ARMY AIR FORCES

March 1943

MONDAY, 1 MARCH 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-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, P-40s jettison their bombs when bad weather prevents a sweep over Kiska Island.

CARIBBEAN

(Antilles Command, US Army): The Antilles Air Task Force is activated at San Juan, Puerto Rico under the Antilles Command, US Army. The new unit is responsible for aerial protection for the Caribbean Sea and Antilles Island chain from Florida to the South American coast.

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(AAF Antisubmarine Command): Sometime during the month of March, the air echelon of the 9th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy) which is operating their B-18s from Edinburgh Field, Trinidad will return to its base at Miami, Florida.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 46 P-40s hit targets of opportunity in the Nsopzup area and throughout the Hukawng Valley.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy, B-24s raid the harbor at Naples; 1 bombs Soverato while 2 others hit Staletti and Catanzaro as targets of opportunity. AA fire is accurate and several B-24s are hit over Naples and Palmi.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): General Carl Spaatz assumes command of the Twelfth Air Force in Algeria. Colonel Laurence P. Hickey becomes acting commander of the XII Fighter Command until the arrival of Brigadier General Elwood R. Quesada. Lieutenant General John K. Cannon takes command of the Northwest African Training Command (NATC). In Sardinia, B-17s bomb docks and shipping, also hitting railroad yards and the town area, at Cagliari. In Tunisia, B-25s and B-26s of the Northwest African Strategic Air Force attack bridges and AA gun positions in the La Hencha area. Fighters escort bombers and hit ground forces in the battle areas around Sidi Nsir and Bedja. B-25s of the Northwest African Tactical Air Force bomb the Mateur area. In the Mediterranean, B-26s attack a freighter NE of Bizerte, Tunisia. The 5th Bombardment Wing transfers from Biskra, Algeria to Chateaudun, Algeria while the 47th Bombardment Wing moves from Chateaudun, Algeria to El Guerrah, Algeria. The 319th Fighter Squadron, 325th Fighter Group establishes HQ at Tafaraoui, Algeria upon arrival from the U.S. The squadron is equipped with P-40s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s bomb and strafe forces at Guadagasal and along the trails throughout the Mubo, Komiatum and Salamaua areas. In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s bomb the runway on Gasmata Island. In the Sunda Islands of the Netherland East Indies, B-24s carry out single-plane attacks on shipping off Soemba and Soembawa Islands, and in the Solomon Sea.

TUESDAY, 2 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • PB4Y, Consolidated Liberator (USN)
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine
  • Zeke, Mitsubishi A6M, Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, more than 20 B-24s pound targets. Seven splinter part of the Ahlone docks and destroy a nearby warehouse, 6 hit the Mahlwagon roundhouse, and 9 attack the bridge at Pazundaung, tearing up its S approach. Six B-25s, with P-40 escort, hit a camp and storage area at Lamaing while 24 B-25s, also with fighter escort, pound Myitkyina.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In Sicily, Northwest African Strategic Air Force B-17s bomb shipping and the harbor area at Palermo. In Tunisia, B-26s attack bridges and flak positions at La Hencha. Northwest African Tactical Air Force fighters hit troops, tanks, and motor transport S of Mateur and NE of Bedja as the enemy renews an attack along the Mateur-Taberka road near Jefna. HQ 33d Fighter Group and it's 58th, 59th and 60th Fighter Squadrons with P-40s transfer from Telergma, Algeria to Berteaux, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-40s, P-38s and a single PB4Y fly photographic reconnaissance over Munda Airfield on New Georgia Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): The Battle of the Bismarck Sea begins. On 28 Feb, the Japanese had dispatched a force of 8 destroyers and 8 transports from Rabaul to reinforce their New Guinea forces; this convoy was spotted yesterday. Today, 28 B-17s of the 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy) attack in 2 waves, the first 8 B-17's sinking 1 transport and claim 3 Zekes shot down. Two destroyers pick up 850 troops from this transport and land them that night at Lae, New Guinea. At dusk, 11 more B-17's attack the convoy without result.

WEDNESDAY, 3 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • Beaufighters, Bristol (RAAF)
  • Beaufort, Bristol (RAAF)
  • Boston, Douglas (RAAF)
  • Oscar, Nakajima
  • Ki-43, Army Type 1 Fighter Hayabusa
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 4 P-40s sweep Kiska Island dropping demolition and fragmentation bombs. Admiral Thomas C. Kincaid, Commanding Officer of the Alaska Defense Command, tables the Kiska Island invasion plan and substitutes an Attu Island invasion plan.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 13 B-24s bomb the Mahlwagon marshalling yard and the dock area at Rangoon. Nine others attack the Pazundaung railroad bridge but fail to knock it out. Six B-25s bomb the railroad sheds at Maymyo.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy, B-24s dispatched against Naples fail to reach the primary target. Several bomb the secondary target, Messina, while 3 bomb bridges at Bianco and Siderno Marina. In Tunisia, P-40s fly fighter-bomber missions along the Mareth Line as a probing attack against the British 51 Division positions near Mareth is driven back. The German Afrika Korps issues a plan for a counterattack from the Mareth Line. The 83d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-25s transfers from Castel Benito, Libya to El Assa, Libya The 343d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24s transfers from Gamut, Libya to Lete, Libya.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s bomb docks and shipping at Tunis and shipping and a power plant at La Goulette harbor. Fighters and medium bombers of the Northwest African Tactical Air Force hit ground forces in the areas around Bedja, Bou Arada, and Mateur. Fighting around Bedja subsides but enemy forces take Sedjenane. HQ 319th Bombardment Group (Medium) and it's 437th, 438th, 439th and 440th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) with B-26s are pulled out of combat for training and reorganization and transfer from Telergma, Algeria to Oujda, French Morocco.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): The Battle of the Bismarck Sea continues as heavy bombers are joined by medium and light bombers and fighters (US and Australian) in pounding the Japanese convoy as it moves in the Huon Gulf. After 2 RAAF Beauforts fail to score hits with torpedoes, the main attack begins with strafing runs by 13 RAAF Beaufighters. Simultaneously, 13 B-17's of the 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy) sink a transport. Then they and their 28 escort P-38's are jumped by Zekes escorting the convoy; the B-17's claim 5 Zekes and the fighters (from the 9th and 39th Fighter Squadrons) claim 15; 1 B-17 and 3 P-38's are lost. During this dogfight, 13 B-25's of the 38th Bombardment Group (Medium) and 12 B-25C gun-nosed aircraft of the 90th Bombardment Squadron (Dive) attack from 500 to 200 feet followed by 12 A-20's of the 89th Bombardment Squadron (Dive) and 6 B-25's of the 13th Bombardment Squadron (Dive); these attacks sink 2 destroyers and 3 transports. In the afternoon, 16 B-17's, 23 B-25's and 5 RAAF Bostons attack; 8 90th Bombardment Squadron sink a destroyer and 2 transport while the Boston's sink a destroyer. That night, Seventh Fleet motor torpedo (PT) boats sink the last transport. By the end of the day, all 8 transport have been sunk and Allied aircraft have destroyed 4 of the 8 destroyers and a large number of fighter aircraft covering the convoy. Dick Bong gets his 6th kill when he destroys and Oscar.

THURSDAY, 4 MARCH 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-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 4 P-40s fly over Kiska Island but drop no bombs due to weather.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 3 B-25s bomb the railroad facilities at Ywataung.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 39: 71 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing are dispatched against the marshalling yard at Hamm, Germany; 16 drop 40 tons of bombs on the target at 1043 hours; we claim 13 enemy aircraft destroyed, 3 probably destroyed and 4 damaged. We lose 4 B-17s and 9 others are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 7 WIA and 33 MIA. Another 28 B-17s hit the shipyards at Rotterdam, The Netherlands dropping 70 tons between 1020 and 1021 hours. We claim 3 enemy aircraft destroyed; we lose 1 B-17 while 15 others are damaged; casualties are 9 MIA. This is the first Eighth Air Force attack on a Ruhr industrial target. To divert the enemy, 14 B-24s of the 2d Bombardment Wing fly a diversion without a loss. The Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 26 uneventful sorties, 24 on fighter patrols and 2 on offensive patrols over the Ostend/Dunkirk, France area.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, P-40s fly top cover missions as the British Eighth Army completes the concentration of troops and weapons in forward areas and awaits an attack which seems imminent in view of German troop movements in the mountains W of Medenine. The 344th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24s transfers from Kabrit, Egypt to Lete, Libya.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In the Mediterranean, B-25s and B-26s fly unsuccessful missions against shipping between Tunisia and Sicily. B-17s attack a convoy NW of Bizerte, Tunisia, claiming 4 vessels sunk.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

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

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): Allied aircraft continue to bombard remnants of the Japanese convoy in the Huon Gulf, thus ending the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, a decisive victory. Fifth Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft sink 12 of 16 vessels in 3 days. This is the last enemy attempt to use large vessels to reinforce positions on the Huon Gulf. In New Guinea, A-20s hit Lae Airfield and vicinity, B-17s attack power launches off Lae. Several B-25s, a single B-17 and B-24s hit the harbor and airfield at Lae and barges off Finschhafen. In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s attack Ubili and power launches off Cape Gloucester.

FRIDAY, 5 MARCH 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 (RAF) P-38, Lockheed Lightning P-40, Curtiss Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 1 B-24 flies negative weather reconnaissance over Kiska, Semichis, Attu, Agattu and Buldir Islands.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy, RAF Liberators, under operational control of the IX Bomber Command, bomb the harbor at Naples during the night of 4/5 March. All operations by the IX Bomber Command are suspended for 7 days so the crews can rest. The 66th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group with P-40s transfers from Libya to Tunisia.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In the Mediterranean, Northwest African Strategic Air Force B-17s hit convoys NW of Bizerte, Tunisia while B-26s attack motor vessels between Tunisia and Sicily. Northwest African Tactical Air Force fighters and medium bombers hit the Djedeida, Siki Nsir area, and ground forces in the Bedja-Mateur areas. HQ 14th Fighter Group and it's 49th Fighter Squadron with P-38s are pulled out of combat and transferred from Berteaux, Algeria to Mediuna, French Morocco. HQ 81st Fighter Group transfers from Le Kouif Airfield, Algeria to Thelepte, Tunisia.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, heavy bombers, operating individually, hit Gasmata Island. In New Guinea, A-20s pound Lae Airfield while heavy bombers, operating individually, hit Lae and Alexishafen. In the Netherlands East Indies, heavy bombers, operating individually, hit Saumlakki on Yamdena Island in the Mulaccas Islands.

SATURDAY, 6 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

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

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 1 B-24 flies uneventful reconnaissance over Kiska. Attu, Agattu, Buldir, and the Semichis Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 4 B-24's bomb shipping near Pagoda Point, scoring near misses. On the return flight, they strafe the lighthouse on Alguada Reef, a lightship off China Park, and a radio station at Diamond Island. Three B-24s intending to bomb Pazundaung bridge fail to reach the target; 1 manages to bomb the airfield at Pagoda Point. The others return to base without bombing. Six B-24s unsuccessfully attack the Myitnge bridge.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission No. 40: 71 B-17's of the 1st Bombardment Wing are dispatched against the power plant, bridge and the port area at Lorient, France; 65 drop 162.5 tons on the target between 1441 and 1445 hours local. We claim 7 aircraft destroyed, 2 probably destroyed and 1 damaged; we lose 3 B-17's and 8 others are damaged; casualties are 30 MIAs. Fifteen B-24's of the 2d Bombardment Wing fly a diversionary mission against the a bridge and the U-boat facilities at Brest, France; all 15 drop 44.5 tons of bombs at 1416-1417 hours local. We claim 2 aircraft destroyed and 2 damaged; 3 B-24's are damaged but there are no casualties.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, 35 planes strafe and bomb installations in the Mareth Line as Rommel's expected attack in Tunisia takes place and is defeated. Four thrusts toward Medenine are repulsed by the British, and the enemy retreats after nightfall, having lost about 50 tanks.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): Weather cancels Northwest African Strategic Air Force bomber missions. In Tunisia, fighters fly reconnaissance along the battle line. HQ 47th Bombardment Group (Light) transfers from Youks-les-Bains, Algeria to Canrobert, Algeria. HQ 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers from Ain M'lila, Algeria to St-Donat, Algeria. The 92d and 93d Fighter Squadrons, 81st Fighter Group with P-39s transfer from Le Kouif Airfield, Algeria to Thelepte, Tunisia.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

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

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s hit the Guadagasal area. Single B-24s attack shipping off Manus Island in the Admiralties and off Talasea, New Britain Island and hit the Airfield on Gasmata Island. HQ 49th Fighter Group and it's 9th Fighter Squadron with P-38Fs transfer from Port Moresby, New Guinea to Dobodura, New Guinea.

SUNDAY, 7 MARCH 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

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): The first flight of B-25s is brought up to Amchitka Island. This enables stepped-up raids on Kiska. Nine B-24s and 4 P-38s bomb and strafe the Chichagof Harbor area and Holtz Bay installations on Kiska. A fighter sweep, 6 B-24s, and 10 B-25s hit North Head and the Main Camp area on Kiska. HQ 343d Fighter Group transfers from Elmendorf Field, Alaska to Adak, Aleutian Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 12 B-25's attack Gokteik Viaduct, causing only minor damage. The 1st Troop Carrier Squadron, Tenth Air Force, transfers from Chabua, India to New Delhi, India.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In the Mediterranean, B-25s hit shipping between Tunisia and Sicily while B-17s bomb a convoy in the Gulf of Tunis and shipping and the marshalling yard at Souase, Tunisia. The 352d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) with B-17s transfers from Ain M'lila, Algeria to St-Donat, Algeria. The 445th, 446th, 447th and 448th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 321st Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-25's arrive at Oujda, French Morocco from the U.S.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, single B-24s hit Airfields at Vila on Kolombangara Island and Kahili on Bougainville Island. Eight B-24s bomb Munda Airfield on New Georgia Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s attack the Guadagasal area and barges offshore; B-25s bomb Toeal. Single B-24s attack a ship NW of Madang and bomb Salamaua. In the Bismarck Archipelago, single B-24s bomb Gasmata Island, and Cape Gloucester on New Britain Island.

MONDAY, 8 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(HQ, USAAF): The Committee of Operations Analysts, composed of military and civilian members. submits to General Henry (Hap) Arnold a report attempting to set forth industrial objectives. the destruction of which would weaken Germany most decisively in the shortest time. This report, which lists German the aircraft industry as first priority. is the basis for much of Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) Plan.

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): The 344th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group with P-40's transfers from Ft. Randall, Alaska to Ft. Glenn, Alaska.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 12 B-25s strike at the Myitnge bridge and AA positions. Results are poor. Four B-24s bomb Bassein docks. P-40s hit military targets near Pebu and Wan-hat.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission No. 41: 67 B-17's of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 16 B-24's of the 2d Bombardment Wing are dispatched against the marshalling yard at Rouen, France. Thirteen B-24's drop 39 tons of bombs on the target at 1402-1403 hours local; we claim 14 aircraft destroyed, 3 probably destroyed and 3 damaged; we lose 2 B-24's, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 3 others are damaged; casualties are 5 KIA, 3 WIA and 17 MIA. 54 B-17's hit the target at 1430 hours dropping 134.75 tons of bombs; they claim 14 enemy aircraft destroyed, 1 probably destroyed and 5 damaged; we lose 2 B-17's, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 9 others are damaged; casualties are 8 WIA and 20 MIA. The bomb run over Rouen is considerably disrupted by the well-executed attack of fighters which down 2 bombers including the lead aircraft. This action is preceded by an earlier wave of German fighters which occupy the fighter escort while the second wave attacks the bombers

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): The 314th Fighter Squadron, 324th Fighter Group with P-40s transfers from El Kabrit, Egypt to Libya and is attached to the 57th Fighter Group to gain experience. The 434th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-25's transfers from Castel Benito, Libya to El Assa, Libya.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In the Mediterranean, Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) B-17s and B-25s attack shipping between Tunisia and Sicily, claiming the destruction or the heavy damage of several motor vessels. In Tunisia, other B-17s hit shipping and marshalling yard at Sousse. P-38s escort the bomb missions. Fighters of the Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) fly several reconnaissance and patrol missions along the Tunisian British First Army battlefront while Western Desert Air Force P-40s and Spitfires hit the rear of columns attacking Medenine from the west. The 2d, 4th and 5th Fighter Squadrons, 52d Fighter Group with Spitfire Mk Vs transfer from Telergma, Algeria to Youks-les-Bains, Algeria. The 32d, 353d and 419th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-17's transfer from Ain M'lila, Algeria to St-Donat, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, airfields at Munda on New Georgia Island and Vila on Kolombangara Island are again hit by light B-24 raids.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, heavy bombers, operating individually, hit occupied areas in the SE coastal region of NW New Guinea and also strike at Saumlakki and Babo.

TUESDAY, 9 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • P-36, Curtiss Hawk
  • 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, 6 B-24s, 10 B-25s, 12 P-38s and 4 P-40s attack Kiska Island. The P-40s and 6 of the B-25s return to base due to bad weather; the other bombers bomb the Main Camp area, North Head and the submarine base.

CARIBBEAN

(Sixth Air Force):: The 32d Fighter Squadron, 36th Fighter Group with P-36s, P-39s and P-40s transfers from Arecibo, Puerto Rico to Hato Field, Curacao with detachments operating from Dakota Field, Aruba and Losey Field, Puerto Rico. The detachments of the 51st Fighter Squadron, 32d Fighter Group at Salinas, Ecuador and Talora, Peru return to their base at Seymour Island in the Galapagos Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, P-40s hit the town area and bridge at Mogaung. Many fires are started and the bridge is severely damaged.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): HQ 57th Fighter Group and it's 65th Fighter Squadron with P-40's transfer from Libya to Tunisia.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): Bad weather cancels Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) operations and restricts other commands to reconnaissance, patrol, and transport missions. HQ 52d Fighter Group transfers from Telergma, Algeria to Youks-les-Bains, Algeria. The 1st Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), 25th Antisubmarine Wing with B-24's, transfers from St. Eval, England to Port Lyautey, French Morocco. The 347th Fighter Squadron, 350th Fighter Group with P-39s transfers from La Senia, Algeria to Orleansville, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, 3 B-24s bomb the airfields at Munda, New Georgia Island; Kahili, Bougainville Island; and Ballale Island.

WEDNESDAY, 10 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • F-5, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • P-47, Republic Thunderbolt
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, a reconnaissance airplane is attacked by 5 enemy aircraft. The Kiska attack mission is flown by 10 B-25s, 6 B-24s, 12 P-38s (4 of them flying top cover), and 1 F-5A. Eight of the P-38s strafe ground installations; the B-25s bomb a radar site and pound North Head, silencing AA fire; the B-24s hit the Main Camp area. Four Amchitka-based P-40s bomb the submarine base.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, heavy bombers strike the Rangoon area at 2 points. Five B-24s hit the Pazundaung bridge; 4 others pound runways, buildings. and revetments at Mingaladon Airfield. After the attack, several fighters attack the flight. The heavy bombers claim 3 shot down. The China Air Task Force (CATF) is is absorbed by the Fourteenth Air Force (see below).

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, the Fourteenth Air Force is activated at Kunming assigned to U.S. Army Forces, China-Burma-India Theater. This new Air Force is responsible for all USAAF units in China; Major General Claire L. Chennault is named Commanding General. P-40s from Kunming fly armored reconnaissance into Burma, crossing the Salween River and covering areas SW of Lashio.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): The 4th Fighter Group flies 32 uneventful sorties during the day, 14 in P-47's. Aircraft-to-aircraft communication proves impossible because of VHF radio malfunctions in the Thunderbolts.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Egypt, the flight echelon of the 340th Bombardment Group (Medium) begins arriving. The 64th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group with P-40's transfers from Libya to Tunisia.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s bomb El Aouins Airfield and La Marsa landing ground, destroying several parked airplanes and hit the town of Gafsa. Fighters escort the B-17's and carry out numerous reconnaissance missions. The 93d Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group with P-39s transfers from Berteaux, Algeria to Youks-les-Bains, Algeria.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-17s bomb the airfield and shipping at Wewak. Single heavy bombers attack shipping off New Guinea.

THURSDAY, 11 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • Oscar, Nakajima
  • Ki-43, Army Type 1 Fighter Hayabusa
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CARIBBEAN

(Sixth Air Force):: A detachment of the 23d Fighter Squadron, 36th Fighter Group with P-39's and P-40's begins operating from Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 7 B-25s bomb the Myitnge bridge, causing little damage.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In the Mediterranean, B-26s attack a convoy between Tunisia and Sicily. B-25s in the area carry out no attacks on vessels. In Tunisia, fighters escort medium bombers and attack guns, vehicles. and tanks in the Sedjenane, Jefna, and Bedja areas. HQ 31st Fighter Group and it's 307th, 308th and 309th Fighter Squadrons with Spitfire Mk V's transfer from Kalaa Djerda, Tunisia to Thelepte, Tunisia. The 2d Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), 25th Antisubmarine Wing with B-24's transfers from St. Eval, England to Port Lyautey, French Morocco.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): HQ 18th Fighter Group transfers from Wheeler Field, Territory of Hawaii to Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides Islands and is reassigned from the Seventh to Thirteenth Air Force.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s bomb and strafe Vickers Ridge and the Guadagasal area. Single B-24s attack Finschhafen. In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-24s bomb the airfield at Rabaul on New Britain Island while single B-24s attack Cape Gloucester and Powell Point. Dick Bong gets his 7th and 8th kills when he shoots down 2 Oscars.

FRIDAY, 12 MARCH 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
  • LB-30, Consolidated Liberator
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine
  • Wellington, Vickers (RAF)

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 12 Amchitka-based P-40s scout Kiska Island. The 54th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group with P-38's transfers from Adak Island to Amchitka Island.

CARIBBEAN

(Sixth Air Force): The 3d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 6th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24's and LB-30's transfers from the Galapagos Islands to David, Panama.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 6 B-24s attack Pazundaung bridge, causing negligible damage.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): The 74th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group with P-40's transfers from Kunming, China to Yunnani, China.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission No. 42: 72 B-17's are dispatched by the 1st Bombardment Wing against the Rouen-Sotteville marshalling yard; 63 drop 156.5 tons of bombs on the target between 1241 and 1244 hours local. There are no losses and no claims on this mission; good fighter escort is a major factor in this no-loss mission. Eighteen B-24's of the 2d Bombardment Wing fly a diversionary mission with no losses or claims. The 4th Fighter Group flies 43 sorties in their Spitfire Mk V's; 41 are flown on a flighter sweep and 1 Spitfire is shot down near St. Omer, France; the pilot is listed as MIA; we claim 2 enemy aircraft damaged. The other 2 sorties were shipping patrols.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): HQ 79th Fighter Group transfers from Libya to Tunisia.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s bomb the docks and marshalling yards at Sousse. B-26s pound supply dumps and score near misses on bridges at Enfidaville, while B-25s bomb shipping between Tunisia and Sicily. Fighters escort the bombers and carry out attacks on ground targets, destroying several vehicles in the Pichon area and south of Pont-du-Fahs. RAF Wellingtons bomb the Tunis docks during the night of 12/13 March. The 321st Bombardment Group (Medium) and it's 445th, 446th, 447th and 448th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) with B-25's transfer from Oujda, French Morocco to Ain M'lila, Algeria. The squadrons will enter combat on next Monday and Tuesday.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, airfields at Munda, New Georgia Island; Ballale Island; and Kahili, Bougainville are again hit by light B-24 raids. P-38's destroy small a vessel off NE coast of Rendova Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s attack the Guadagasal Gap area and Salamaua Airfield. In the Celebes, B-24s and B-25s attack shipping at Amboina on Ambon Island and bomb Fuiloro on Timor. On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s bomb Rabaul Airfield while individual B-24s hit a wreck off Talasea and bomb Cape Gloucester.

SATURDAY, 13 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • 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-51, North American Mustang

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, a B-24 on reconnaissance returns early because of adverse weather. Twelve P-40s strike the Kiska Island beach, camp and runway. Hits are observed on these targets and among 14 parked airplanes. Eight P-38s with 8 P-40s flying top cover again take off for Kiska. Only 3 of the P-38s reach the target and strafe aircraft on the beach. Another sights a submarine SW of Rat Island.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 4 B-24s attack and slightly damage the Pazundaung bridge.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission No. 43: 80 B-17's of the 1st Bombardment Wing are dispatched against the marshalling yard at Amiens, France; 44 bomb the marshalling yard while 31 hit targets of opportunity. A total of 223.5 tons of bombs are dropped between 1515-1517 hours local. We claim 2 enemy fighters destroyed and 2 damaged; 11 B-17's are damaged and 6 men WIA. Sixteen B-24's of the 2d Bombardment Wing fly a diversion without loss.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): Lieutenant General Lewis H. Brereton, Commanding General Ninth Air Force, directs that Headquarters Desert Air Task Force be redesignated Advance Headquarters, Ninth Air Force, and that the USAAF tactical units with the HQ be designated Desert Air Task Force (DATF). In Italy, B-24s bomb Naples harbor through heavy clouds. In Tunisia, 34 P-40s of the 57th Fighter Group fly top cover and fighter sweep, and engage about 25 Bf 109 fighters in combat; we claim 4 destroyed; we lose 4 including 3 pilots. The 7th Troop Carrier Squadron, 62d Troop Carrier Group, based at Nouvion, Algeria with C-47's, begins operating from bases in Egypt and Palestine. The 85th, 86th and 87th Fighter Squadrons, 79th Fighter Group with P-40's transfer from Landing Ground 150, Libya to Causeway Landing Ground in Tunisia.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): B-25s are sent against shipping NE of Bizerte, Tunisia but fail to locate the target. Fighters hit positions and movement in the Mareth Line area, and fly patrols and reconnaissance. HQ XII Air Support Command transfers from Algeria to Tunisia. The 154th Observation Squadron, 68th Observation Group with P-39's and P-51's transfers from Youks-les-Bains, Algeria to Thelepte, Algeria. The 154th is an ex-Arkansas National Guard outfit.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, Vila Airfield on Kolombangara Island and Munda Airfield on New Georgia are again attacked by B-24s in light raids. Also bombed is Faisi Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-17s bomb the airfield and shipping at Wewak. In the Bismarck Archipelago, a B-l7 bombs the airfield on Gasmata Island and warehouses on Wide Bay, while a B-24 attack shipping off Netherlands New Guinea. HQ 54th Troop Carrier Wing is activated at Brisbane, Australia to control all Fifth Air Force troop carrier units.

SUNDAY, 14 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • Liberator, Consolidated (RAF)
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): HQ 28th Composite Group transfers from Elmendorf Field, Alaska to Adak Island.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 4 B-24s bomb the Moulmein docks. Eight B-25s hit the oft- bombed Gokteik Viaduct but the structure remains serviceable.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 13/14 Mar, RAF Liberators under the operational control of the IX Bomber Command hit the harbor at Naples. In Tunisia during the day, fighters fly cover and sweep over the battle area. The 85th and 87th Fighter Squadrons of the 79th Fighter Group fly their first combat mission when 12 P-40's escort 11 B-25's on a mission against the Mareth Line.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): Weather cancels all missions except Northwest African Tactical Air Force fighter reconnaissance in the Enfidaville-Sfax area and between Tunisia and Sicily.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-17s and B-24s bomb Wewak, Tring, and Madang. In the Bismarck Archipelago, single B-17s bomb Gasmata Island, and strafe a vessel off Talasea, AA positions at Cape Gloucester, and Finschhafen Airfield. A lone B-24 bombs Dili on Timor.

MONDAY, 15 MARCH 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-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 6 B-25s, with 4 P-38s flying top cover, bomb North Head on Kiska Island, hitting the Main Camp and gun emplacements. Six B-24s with 4 P-38s for top cover then bomb Main Camp. Revetments and the hangar area are strafed by the P-38s one of which is lost to AA. Next, 5 B-24s and 16 P-38s bomb and strafe the Main Camp area and North Head. Four P-40s then unsuccessfully search for 3 enemy fighters which had earlier attacked a weather plane. Main Camp is hit two more times, by 3 B-25s and by 8 P-38s.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 B-25s bomb the Gokteik Viaduct and 8 others attack Myitnge. Neither target suffers effective damage. Eight fighter-bombers damage the bridge at Kadrangyang.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, 12 B-25's bomb the power plant and railroad yards at Luo Kay.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-25s, escorted by P-40's of 79th Fighter Group (the group's first operation in the theater), bomb Zarat. Fighters also fly strafing and bombing raids against ground targets. The 81st and 82d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-25's transfer from Berteaux, Algeria to Canrobert, Algeria. These Ninth Air Force units are TDY to the Northwest African Air Force. The 316th Fighter Squadron, 324th Fighter Group with P-40's transfers from El Kabrit, Egypt to Libya.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In Tunisia, Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) B-26s, with fighter escort, attack the landing pound at Mezzouna. B-25's follow with an attack on the same target. Fighters of the Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) fly tactical reconnaissance over the battle area as the units of the US II Corps prepare to attack east from the Gafsa area. In the Mediterranean, B-17s, with fighter escort, hit shipping off Northern Tunisia.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): Single B-17s hit Munda Airfield on New Georgia Island and Vila Airfield on Kolombangara Island. P-38's strafe the airfield at Viru.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-25s and 4 P-38s, along with Royal Australian Air Force aircraft, bomb shipping at Dobo and Wokam. In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s, on single-plane flights bomb Gasmata Island and Cape Gloucester on New Britain Island.

TUESDAY, 16 MARCH 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-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 16 B-25s, 13 B-24s, 8 P-40s and 32 P-38s (cover/escort) sorties are flown to Kiska Island in one weather reconnaissance and 2 attack missions from Adak Island, and in 3 more missions from Amchitka Island. Targets hit are North Head, the Main Camp area, radar sites, and the submarine base. On the last Amchitka mission 1 enemy floatplane is shot down and 2 more are probables. Four heavy bombers are hit and 1 B-25 does not return.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 6 B-24s damage the approaches to the Pazundaung bridge. Eight B-25s attack the Myitnge bridge, scoring at least 2 hits, but the structure remains intact. P-40's hit positions north of Sumprabum. CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force) In French Indochina, P-40s strafe the Mong Yaw storage area and docks, warehouse area, and rail-river terminal (for phosphate mines) at Lao Kay.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, P-40s fly fighter-bomber operations against enemy positions as British ground forces prepare to conduct limited attacks as a preliminary to the main assault against the Mareth Line.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In the Mediterranean, B-17s attack shipping between Tunisia and Sicily, leaving 2 small vessels aflame. Weather prevents completion of other bomber operations. In Tunisia, fighters fly reconnaissance and patrols but bad weather hides enemy ground activity. The 346th and 348th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 99th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-17's arrive at Navarin, Algeria from the U.S. The squadrons will fly their first mission on 31 March.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, B-17s and B-24s on harassing raids bomb Kahili, Vila, and Ballale Airfields.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-25s bomb Lae. In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s bomb Rapopo airstrip and attack Ubili, a sub off Cape Turner, the town of Marienberg, and the Cape Gloucester area. B-24's unsuccessfully attack cargo ships between Bitsjaroe Bay and Fak Fak.

WEDNESDAY, 17 MARCH 1943 (ST. PATRICK'S DAY)

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 8 P-38s patrol Kiska Island without making contacts.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 B-25s again attack the bridge at Myitnge, damaging the northern approach. Fourteen P-40s hit bridges at Kadrangyang and northeast of Myitkyina and the motor pool at Hpunkizup. The motor pool suffers considerable damage.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission No. 44: 78 B-17's of the 1st Bombardment Wing are dispatched against the Rouen-Sotteville marshalling yard. Due to bad weather, the aircraft are recalled before they leave England. 28 B-24's of the 2d Bombardment Wing are dispatched on a diversionary mission over the North Sea but are also recalled. The 506th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24's arrives at Shipdham, England from the U.S.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, P-40s fly scramble and fighter-bomber operations as British ground forces continue local operations in preparation for the assault on the Mareth Line.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): Weather cancels Northwest African Strategic Air Force bomber (NASAF) operations. Tactical fighters and light bombers fly numerous armed reconnaissance missions and sweeps over Sedjenane, Cap Serrat, and the Sidi Nsir area and attack ground forces east of Gafsa in preparation for the allied assault. The US II Corps opens an offensive to the east from the Gafsa area after air and artillery preparation. Northwest African Coastal Air Force (NACAF) aircraft continue coastal and sea patrols. The 37th Fighter Squadron, 14th Fighter Group with P-38's transfers from La Senia, Algeria to Mediouna, French Morocco.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, B-17s continue harassing raids against Vila, Kahili, and Ballale.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-25s bomb Langgoer.

THURSDAY, 18 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • F-5, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, taking off from Adak Island, 6 B-24's bomb the Main Camp area, 6 B-25's bomb North Head, and 12 P-38's fly top cover and strafing attacks. Twelve Amchitka-based P-38's then blast the Kiska runway and Main Camp area, starting fires. At Amchitka, the 54th Fighter Squadron is reinforced by several F-5A's.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 16 P-40's bomb and strafe the stronghold of Seniku, claiming a high enemy casualty rate. Seven others attack Nalong. Sixteen B-24's bomb the Pazundaung bridge, causing considerable damage to the structure. Eight B-25's damage the Myitnge bridge; 8 other B-25's hit AA positions in the Myitnge general area. A detachment of the 9th Photographic Squadron (Light), Tenth Air Force begins operating from Dinjan, India.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission No. 45: 76 B-17's of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 27 B-24's of the 2d Bombardment Wing are dispatched against the submarine yards at Vegesack, Germany; 73 B-17's and 24 B-24's drop 268 tons of bombs on the target at 1531-1535 local. Seven U-boat hulls appear severely damaged. This mission marks the first successful combat use of automatic flight control linked with bombsights. Our claims are 52-20-23; we lose 1 B-17 and 1 B-24; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair; 9 B-17's and 14 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 16 WIA and 20 MIA.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy, B-24's, escorted by P-40's, bomb the harbor at Naples.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): Weather cancels operations of the Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) bombers. In Tunisia, Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) fighters fly sweeps and reconnaissance over the Sidi Nsir-Sedjenane-Medjez el Bab areas and attack a railway station, other buildings, railroad sidings, and motor transport at Temara.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): HQ 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and it's 370th and 424th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) with B-24's transfer from the Territory of Hawaii to Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. Both squadrons has been operating from Espirtu Santo since 6 Feb.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-24's pound the town of Madang. In the Bismarck Archipelago, single B-17's strafe a launch at Talasea and barges northeast of Cape Gloucester, while a lone B-24 bombs Timoeka and Langgoer.

FRIDAY, 19 MARCH 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-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): All missions are cancelled due to weather except local fighter patrols. HQ XI Bomber Command is activated on Adak Island.

USAAF ANTISUBMARINE COMMAND

The 19th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy) with B-24's arrives at Gander Lake, Newfoundland from the U.S.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 B-25's score 4 direct hits on the bridge at Myitnge, rendering it unserviceable. A single P-40 uses a 1,000-lb bomb against the bridge near Mogaung in a test to see if the fighter can carry such "blockbusters" and deliver them effectively. Despite negligible damage, suffered by the target, both the carrying and releasing of the bomb are considered successful.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, 12 B-25's, with an escort of 6 P-40's, bomb the power plant and railroad yards at Lao Kay. The P-40's strafe the target area and a barracks s few miles down the Red River.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): Colonel Uzal G. Ent assumes command of the IX Bomber Command, replacing Colonel Hugo P Rush. Ent AFB, Colorado was named for Col. Ent.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): Landing grounds are non-operational due to continued bad weather. Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) and Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) cancel missions. Northwest African Coastal Air Force (NACAF) aircraft fly routine patrols. The Northwest African Troop Carrier Command (Provisional), consisting of the 5lst Troop Carrier Wing and its subordinate units, which are transferred from the XII Air Force Service Command, is activated. Colonel Ray A. Dunn is acting Commanding Officer.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, B-17's and B-24's on armed reconnaissance bomb Kahili and Ballale Airfields.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20's pound forces in the Mubo area while B-25's bomb a submarine and barges in Lae harbor. In the Moluccas, B-24's hit Amboina. In the Bismarck Archipelago, single B-17's strike Arawe, Gasmata, Cape Gloucester, barges off Cape Gauffre and a cargo boat at Lorengau.

SATURDAY, 20 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 7 B-25's again attack the Myitnge bridge, inflicting little additional damage to the structure.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): HQ 308th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and it's 373d, 374th, 375th and 425th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) with B-24's arrive in China from the U.S. The 308th and 425th are based at Kunming; the 373d at Yangkai; and the 374th and 375th at Chengkung. The four squadrons will fly their first combat mission on 4 May.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-25's bomb the Mareth area. AA is intense and all medium bombers suffer hits. P-40's escort bombers and carry out fighter-bomber and top cover operations as British ground troops open the assault on positions with infantry and artillery. The British 30 Corps gains a bridgehead across the Oued Zigzaou.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): Northwest African Tactical Bomber Force (NATBF) is formed under the Northwest African Tactical Air Force with a small combined HQ which has under it the 47th Bombardment Group (Light), the RAF 326 Wing, and air echelons of 2 squadrons of the 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) which are attached for operational control. B-26's and B-25's launch consecutive attacks against the landing ground at Djebel Tebaga. Fighters fly escort and carry out numerous reconnaissance missions as the British Eighth Army opens an assault on the Mareth Line. In the Mediterranean, B-25's bomb shipping between Tunisia and Sicily. HQ XII Fighter Command transfers from La Senia, Algeria to Algiers, Algeria. A detachment of the 59th Fighter Squadron, 33d Fighter Group based at Berteaux, Algeria with P-40's begins operating from Thelepte, Tunisia.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons during the night of 19/20 Mar, 42 Navy and Marine aircraft lay mines off the Bougainville coast in the Buin-Tonolai area while 18 B-17's and B-24's pound Kahili Airfield in a diversionary strike. This mission inaugurates mine-laying operations by aircraft in the South Pacific (SOPAC).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-25's bomb Langgoer and Kaimana. The landing strip at Finschhafen and the harbor area at Salamaua are bombed by single B-24's.

SUNDAY, 21 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • F-5, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Wellington, Vickers (RAF)

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 13 B-24's, 9 B-25's, 50 P-38's, 16 P-4O's, and 2 F-5A's fly 8 bombing and strafing missions to Kiska Island. Some of the missions abort due to weather. The others hit the Main Camp area, while 2 P-40's make no contact when trying to intercept reported enemy aircraft.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 15 B-24's pound the Gokteik Viaduct, causing considerable damage to the structure. Six other B-24's, unable to bomb the viaduct due to haze and clouds, attack the previously damaged bridge at Myitnge. P-40's again dive-bomb targets in the Mogaung area, using 1,000-pound bombs for the second time. Three of the fighters bomb the town area, causing heavy destruction over 2 blocks. Three others attack the bridge south of town, claiming damaging hits in the area. Others attack targets of opportunity in northern Indochina.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, P-40's strafe the Lao Kay phosphate mine area and targets of opportunity in the vicinity.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 20/21 March, B-24's attack the harbor and surrounding area of Naples, hitting a vessel, the city area, and in the vicinity of the railroad yards. In Tunisia, B-25's bomb targets, including a highway, in the Gabes area. They are escorted by almost 100 P-40's.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In Tunisia during the night of 20/21 March, RAF Wellingtons bomb the docks at Ferryville. On the morning of 21 Mar, B-17's, with P-38 escort, attack the landing grounds at Djebel Tebaga, and Mezzouna. Elements of the US 1st Armored Division push toward Maknassy, placing it under artillery fire in preparation for the assault on the town. The 35th Troop Carrier Squadron, 64th Troop Carrier Group which has been operating it's C-47's from Telergma, Algeria returns to its base at Blida, Algeria.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, a B-24 claims a direct hit on a cargo vessel ESE of Cape Gloucester. Other isolated attacks on shipping are unsuccessful. The 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group with P-38F's transfers from Mareeba, Queensland, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea.

MONDAY, 22 MARCH 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-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 6 B-25's, 12 B-24's and 22 P-38's attempt 3 missions to Kiska Island. Only 8 of the P-40's get through but fly uneventful patrol. The 404th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 28th Composite Group with B-24's transfers from Elmendorf Field, Anchorage, Alaska to Adak Island.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 17 B-25's, operating in 2 forces, bomb the Gokteik Viaduct. Several damaging hits are scored on the base and structure. Seven B-25's pound the Thazi rail junction. Considerable damage is caused to warehouses, yards, sidings, tracks, and rolling stock.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, P-40's again strafe the phosphate mine area at Lao Kay.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission No. 46: 76 B-17's and 26 B-24's are dispatched against the U-boat yards at Wilhelmshaven, Germany; 69 B-17's and 15 B-24's drop 224 tons of bombs on the target at 1501-1510 hours local. We claim 28-9-9; we lose 1 B-17 and 2 B-24's; 12 B-17's and 10 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 18 WIA and 32 MIA. The 452d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 322d Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-26's transfers from Rattlesden to Rougham, England.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy during the night of 21/22 Mar, RAF Liberators, under operational control of the IX Bomber Command, bomb Naples. In Tunisia, B-25's hit the Gabes area, bombing a road junction, motor transport, and troop concentrations. P-40's fly 5 escort missions during the day. British ground forces, after expanding the Oued Zigzaou bridgehead during 21/22 Mar, are severely handicapped by heavy rain. The enemy counter-attacks and forces 50 Division to give ground.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In the Atlantic, German submarine U-524, is sunk north of the Canary Islands at 3O-15N 18-13W, by aircraft of 1st Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy). In Tunisia, Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) Wellingtons hit the landing ground near Sfax during the night of 21/22 March. Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) fighters fly numerous reconnaissance and patrol missions while A-20's bomb Mezzouna and fighter-bombers hit motor transport and tanks in the northern Tunisian battle area. In the Mediterranean, B-26's on a sea sweep attack vessels near Zembra Island. In Sicily, B-17's bomb shipping in the harbor at Palermo.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-38's strafe the Rekata Bay area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, heavy bombers pound the Gasmata Airfield. In New Guinea, in single-plane strikes, heavy bombers attack Finschhafen, Lae and Madang. In the Admiralty Islands, in single-plane strikes, heavy bombers attack the harbor at Lorengau on Manus Island. The 400th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 90th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-24's transfers from Iron Range, Queensland, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea.

TUESDAY, 23 MARCH 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-40, Curtiss
  • Wellington, Vickers (RAF)

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, weather grounds all missions except the weather reconnaissance flight and an unsuccessful intercept attempt of an enemy reconnaissance airplane by 2 P-40's.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 9 B-25's bomb barracks, warehouse, railroad tracks, and the airfield at Meiktila.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In French Indochina, P-40's strafe the operations building at Dong Cuong and hit troop trucks between Tuyen Quang and Ha Giang.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy, B-24's bomb Messina, concentrating on the ferry slip. In Tunisia, B-25's hit the Mareth area. P-40's fly fighter-bomber operations and bomber escort over the battle area as the British 50 Division withdraws from the Oued Zigzaou bridgehead under cover of artillery fire.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In Tunisia during the night of 22/23 March, RAF Wellingtons hit El Maou Airfield near Sfax. During the day, B-17's bomb shipping in Bizerte harbor. Fighters fly reconnaissance and patrol, bomb and strafe trucks, tanks, and troops near Bir Zallujah, hit tanks and trucks east of Mezzouna and Maknassy, and east of El Guettar, where the enemy ground forces are making thrusts toward the town.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17's thoroughly pound the airfields in the Rabaul area and strafe a vessel off Cape Gazelle. Single B-24s attack Gasmata Airfield. In New Guinea, A-20's bomb and strafe forces in the Mubo area and at the mouth of the Bitoi River. B-25's strafe targets of opportunity in the Salamaua, Labu Lagoon and Nadzab areas, and at the mouth of the Markham River. Single B-24's attack Lorengau harbor and the airfield at Salamaua.

WEDNESDAY, 24 MARCH 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
  • Liberator, Consolidated (RAF)
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 10 B-24's, 3 B-25's, and 12 P-38's fly 5 attack missions to Kiska Island. North Head runway and the Main Camp area are bombed.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 23 B-24'a and 2 B-17's (the B-17's attack from 50 feet) attack the bridge at Myitnge but fail to score damaging hits. Eight B-25's bomb the engine sheds at Maymyo.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy, B-24's attack the ferry installations at Messina. Direct hits are scored in the target area and adjacent railroad yards and naval oil and storage tanks are set afire. Just before midnight, RAF Liberators, under operational control of the IX Bomber Command, blast the docks at Messina. In Tunisia, B-25's hit Zarat. P-40's fly an escort, armed reconnaissance, and strafing mission. The British Eighth Army prepares to assault the west flank of the Mareth Line.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In Tunisia, Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) B-17's hit shipping and the the dock area at Ferryville. B-26's bomb the La Smala des Souassi landing ground and B-25's hit the Djebel Tebaga North landing ground. Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) A-20's and B-25's hit troop concentrations near El Guettar (where the US 1st Infantry Division is under attack) and the landing ground at Djebel Tebaga. Fighters escort bombers and strafe ground forces along the battleline. HQ 68th Observation Group and it's 16th and 122d Observation Squadrons transfer from Oujda, French Morocco to Berrechid, French Morocco. The 16th and 122d, with P-38's, P-39's, P-40's and Spitfires, begin training fighter pilots.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, B-17's and Navy dive-bombers hit the Airfield at Kahili.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-25's hit Langgoer and Faan. B-25's and B-17's, operating individually, attack shipping in the Netherlands East Indies and airfields and targets of opportunity at Gasmata and Mubo.

THURSDAY, 25 MARCH 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-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, a weather airplane take photos of Holtz Bay and Chichapof Harbor. Fourteen B-24's, 3 B-25's, 12 P-38's, and 2 P-40's fly 4 missions to Kiska Island. The targets include the beach, runway, hangar area, North Head, the Main Camp and submarine base.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 8 B-25's bomb the engine sheds at Maymyo for the second consecutive day. Considerable damage is done although the main shed is not hit.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-25's, in the early daylight hours, bomb installations in the Mareth area. P-40's attack motor transport, tanks, and communications targets in the battle area. During the night of 25/26 Mar heavy, medium and light bombers blast forces gathering in the El Hamma area.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In Tunisia, Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) B-17's bomb the docks and shipping at Sousse. B-25's hit the Djebel Tebaga landing ground. Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) fighters fly numerous patrols, sweeps, and reconnaissance flights over the battle areas. Northwest African Tactical Bomber Force (NATBF) bombers hit the Djebel Tebaga Airfield and motor transport west of Sfax and Sousse during the night of 24/25 March). XII Air Support Command medium bombers and fighters hit Djebel Tebaga Airfield, vehicles near Gabes, Mezzouna, Maknassy, and at several other points in the battle area. The 416th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 99th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-17's arrives at Navarin, Algeria from the U.S. The squadron will fly it's first mission on 31 Mar.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-24's pound Rabaul. Single B-17s hit Gasmata and Ubili. In the Moluccas, B-24s hit shipping, the wharf and town area at Amboina. In New Guinea, single B-17's hit Lae.

FRIDAY, 26 MARCH 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-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, a reconnaissance aircraft covers Attu, Agattu, Semichi and Alaid where a cabin is strafed. Upon report of Navy contacts with enemy surface force (Battle of Komandorskies), 13 B-24's, 11 B-25's and 8 P-38's are ordered to hit the enemy, reported 150 mi (240 km) west of Cape Wrangell (Attu). Because of mechanical failures and weather, airplanes cannot take off until 6 hours after the surface force is sighted. Thus, Japanese ships have fled when aircraft arrive at the interception point. Some of the returning B-25's bomb a radar site, hangar, and Main Camp area on Kiska.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 6 B-24's mine the Rangoon River during the night of 26/27 Mar. Six others fly a diversion raid on the city of Rangoon, scoring hits on Mingaladon Airfield, between the central railroad station and Pazundaung Creek, and in the Syriam area.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-25's attack the Mareth area, dropping over 28.5 tons of bombs during 2 strikes. P-40's fly fighter-bomber and strafing missions, destroying or damaging over 50 military transport vehicles, tanks, and gun emplacements. Intense ground fire downs several US fighters. Following the aerial bombardment, Allied ground forces renew their assault on the Mareth Line.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In Tunisia, B-25's bomb the Grombalia area. Other B-25's and B-17's of the Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) fail to complete missions because of weather. P-39's destroy several trucks in the Maknassy-Mezzouna area. Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) fighters and light and medium bombers bomb a fuel dump at Oudref, roads and a railway near Cekhira, docks at Sfax, and the airfield at Djebel Tebaga. Fighters strafe vehicles during armored reconnaissance between Faid and Gabes. The 347th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 99th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-17's arrives at Navarin, Algeria from the U.S. The squadron will fly it's first mission on 31 Mar.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Gilbert Islands, B-24's bomb the airfield on Nauru Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-17's attack shipping, the harbor and town area at Wewak. A-20's pound forces and targets of opportunity in the Mubo, Malahang, and Salamaus area. A single B-l7 bombs Finschhafen and unsuccessfully attacks a ship E of Talasea

SATURDAY, 27 MARCH 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

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 7 B-24's from Adak and 6 Amchitka-based B-25's attempt unsuccessfully to attack naval targets. From Amchitka, 1 B-25 and 6 P-38's (of which 1 turns back with mechanical trouble) provide cover for US surface force until 1300 hours local. Six P-38's and 1 B-l7 depart Adak for a second cover mission, but do not find the surface force. A detachment of the 11th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group based on Adak with P-40's begins operating from Amchitka Island.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Seventh Air Force): The 46th Fighter Squadron, 15th Fighter Group with P-39's transfers from Hilo Field, Territory of Hawaii to Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 5 B-24's mine the Rangoon River for the second consecutive night.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In Tunisia, Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) fighters attack machinegun installations NE of Maknassy and a train at Mezzouna, and hit Djebel Naimia. Northwest African Coastal Air Force (NACAF) fighters on patrol claim several aircraft shot down. Weather prevents completion of an antishipping sweep by North African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) B-25's.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-39's join Navy aircraft in an attack on Vila Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-25's hit Lae and Salamaua. B-24s attack the harbor and shipping at Bogia. In the Moluccas, B-24s bomb Saumlakki.

SUNDAY, 28 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • F4U, Vought Corsair (USN)
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission No. 47: 79 B-17's and 24 B-24's are dispatched against the Rouen-Sotteville, France marshalling yard. The B-24's are recalled at 1245 due to bad weather; 70 B-17s drop 209 tons of bombs on the target at 1249-1250 hours. We claim 5-4-1; we lose 1 B-17 and 9 others are damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 10 MIA.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, P-40's launch a fighter-bomber attack against El Hamma, which the enemy has held as an escape corridor through which troops have been withdrawing during the night of 27/28 Mar.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In Tunisia, weather again prevents completion of Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) B-25 shipping strike. Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) fighters attack trucks south of Maknassy and near Gabes, hit gun positions and tanks near Mezzouna, where fierce ground fighting is taking place, and fly patrols and reconnaissance throughout the battle areas of Tunisia. Bombers hit roads, railroads, and military transport in the Sousse and Sfax areas during the night of 28/29 Mar. HQ 51st Troop Carrier Wing transfers from Algiers, Algeria to La Senia, Algeria. HQ 82d Fighter Group and it's 95th and 97th Fighter Squadrons with P-38's transfer from Telergma, Algeria to Berteaux, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, the last remaining personnel of the battle-weary 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-17's leave SOPAC to return to Hawaii. P-38's and F4U's hit the seaplane bases at Poporang and Shortland, claiming 8 aircraft destroyed, and attack a destroyer east of Shortland Island, leaving it listing.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, medium and heavy bombers on individual missions attack Langgoer, Dobo, Gasmata, and barges and a small boat off Finschhafen and Kerema.

MONDAY, 29 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-17, Curtiss
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • Doris, Mitsubishi B-97 Darai Medium Bomber (fictional type of aircraft)
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 7 heavy and medium bombers, with fighter escort, bomb and strafe the Kiska runway and nearby Main Camp area. Heavy AA fire damages 6 bombers and 2 P-38's.

CARIBBEAN

(Sixth Air Force):: The 29th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 40th Bombardment Group (Heavy) with A-17's transfers from Aguadulce, Panama to Anton, Panama.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 4 B-24's bomb shipping and dock area at Tavoy. Nine B-25's bomb the Maymyo railroad yards, 7 P-40's blast possible Japanese HQ north of Maingkwan. Eight others pound positions WNW of Sumprabum.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In Burma, P-40's strafe trucks at Bhamo and fuel drums at Chefang, China.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-25's attack Sfax and El Maou area, scoring hits on several parked aircraft. P-40's fly escort and fighter-bomber missions as British ground forces pursue the enemy north through Gabes. The British Eighth Army completes the occupation of the Mareth Line. HQ 340th Bombardment Group (Medium) and it's 486th, 487th, 488th and 489th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) with B-25's arrive at El Kabrit, Egypt from the U.S. The group will fly it's first mission on 6 Apr. The 315th Fighter Squadron, 324th Fighter Group with P-40's arrives at El Kabrit, Egypt from the U.S.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): Weather cancels all Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) operations. In Tunisia, Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) fighters bomb and strafe a truck column south of Djebel Chemsi, a troop concentration near Mezzouna, and vehicles at other points along the Tunisian battlefront. The 4th Troop Carrier Squadron, 62d Troop Carrier Group with C-47's transfers from Casablanca, French Morocco to Nouvion, Algeria. The 84th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 47th Bombardment Group (Light) with A-20's transfers from Youks-les-Bains, Algeria to Canrobert, Algeria. The 92d Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group with P-39's transfers from Thelepte, Tunisia to Youks-les-Bains, Algeria.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, B-17's and B-24's pound Buin and Kahili. P-38's strafe a seaplane base at Faisi.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In the Bismarck Archipelago, a lone B-l7 bombs the Gasmata Airfield while another attacks the Mur-Weber Point area. Dick Bong gets his 9th kill when he shoots down a Doris (???).

TUESDAY, 30 MARCH 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 Liberator, Consolidated (RAF) P-38, Lockheed Lightning P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, 6 missions are dispatched against Kiska and Attu Islands. From Adak, 6 B-24's, 6 B-25's, and 4 P-38's are over Kiska at 1200 hours local but cannot bomb due to weather. Four B-24's, 4 P-38's, and 2 F-5A's then bomb the runway at Attu. Next, 5 B-24's and 4 P-38's bomb the Main Camp; intense AA fire downs 1 B-24. From Amchitka, 4 P-38's bomb Little Kiska. Next, 4 P-38's bomb Kiska through the overcast, followed by 6 B-25's bombing and strafing radar, radio installations, Main Camp, runway, and personnel.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 5 B-25's bomb the Maymyo railroad yards, scoring hits on machine shops, sheds, and tracks. Sixteen P-40's hit targets of opportunity at Npyentawng, Wuja, and Mohnyin.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): In China, P-40's strafe 8 locomotives southwest of Lashio, exploding 3 of them.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Italy, 3 B-24's sent to bomb the Messina ferry slip are unable to rendezvous because of bad weather; 1 B-24 bombs the Crotone chemical factory, hitting the center of the factory area, warehouses, and rail facilities. RAF Liberators sent against the same target return without bombing. In Tunisia, B-25's hit the landing ground at Sfax, scoring direct hits on 4 aircraft. P-40's fly escort missions. British ground forces make contact with the enemy's new line along Oued el Akarit.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): Weather halts all Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) missions except fighter reconnaissance. In Tunisia, Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) fighters bomb the area northeast of Oued Zarga, attack tanks, trucks, and troops southeast of Slourhin, at Djebel ben Kheir, at Djebel Chemsi, near El Ayacha and El Avoua, along the El Guettar-Mahares road, and in the El Agahea area. A-20's bomb the La Fauconnerie Airfield, hit troops at Djebel Chemsi, and bomb tanks and troops at Djebel Berda which is being assaulted by the US 9th Infantry Division. HQ 47th Bombardment Group (Light) and it's 85th and 86th Bombardment Squadron (Light) with A-20's transfer from Canrobert, Algeria to Thelepte, Tunisia.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, heavy bombers continue snooper strikes on Vila and Kahili Airfields.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20's, B-25's, B-24's, and B-17's pound shipping, the harbor, and town area at Finschhafen. In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-24's hit Gasmata. Single aircraft attack several targets, mostly shipping and coastal areas, in the Netherlands East Indies, northeastern New Guinea, and New Britain.

WEDNESDAY, 31 MARCH 1943

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • Beaufighter, Bristol
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutians, a reconnaissance airplane finds impenetrable weather and returns to base. Two P-38's make an uneventful sweep.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

BURMA AND INDIA

(Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 9 B-25's bomb the marshalling yard at Pyinmana, blasting railroad tracks and warehouses.

CHINA

(Fourteenth Air Force): The 16th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group with P-40's transfers from Chenyi to Kweilin, China. The 75th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group with P-40's transfers from Yunnani to Lingling, China.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission No. 48: 78 B-17's and 24 B-24's are dispatched against the shipyards and dock area at Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The target is clouded and only 33 B-17's drop 99 tons of bombs at 1225 hours; we claim 1-1-2; we lose 3 B-17's and 1 B-24 plus 3 B-17's are damaged beyond repair and 4 B-17's and 1 B-24 are damaged; casualties are 16 KIA, 10 WIA and 10 MIA. The air echelons of the 414th and 415th Night Fighter Squadrons, AAF School of Applied Tactics arrive in England from the U.S.; the ground echelons are enroute to Algeria. Both squadrons will train with Beaufighters before moving to North Africa.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-25's bomb Sfax Airfield; bombs explode among 6 parked airplanes. P-40's escort bombers and fly fighter-bomber operations, during which motor transport along the highway north of Gabes is hit. The 9th Fighter Wing is inactivated at El Kabrit, Egypt.

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

(Northwest African Air Force): In Sardinia during the night of 30/31 Mar, RAF Wellingtons bomb Decimomannu Airfield. During the day, B-17's hit Villacidro, Monserrato and Decimomannu Airfields and Cagliari harbor. In the Mediterranean, B-25's hit shipping off northeastern Tunisia. The B-l7 and B-25 missions are escorted by P-38's. In Tunisia, Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) fighters, and light and medium bombers attack La Fauconnerie Airfield, hit concentrations on the El Guettar-Gabes road (enemy positions through which the US II Corps is trying to break), bomb transport in the Djebel Tabouna area, attack roads in the Mezzouna-Mahares-Sfax-Sousse areas, hit trucks, halftracks, and tanks south of Djebel Berda and in the Djebel Berrani area, bomb the Djebel Chemsi Pass, strafe trucks on the Djebel Hadifa-Sidi Rouda road and in the Ofel- El Guettar area. Western Desert Air Force (WDAF) aircraft hit the El Maou landing ground. The 97th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 47th Bombardment Group (Light) with A-20's transfers from Canrobert, Algeria to Thelepte, Tunisia.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomons, P-40's and P-38's hit the Suavanau Point area on Rekata Bay. The 23d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy) based on Espiritu Santo begins operating it's B-17's from Guadalcanal.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20's hit Salamaua, while B-24's bomb Babo. Individual B-24's attack Lae Airfield, Finschhafen, and Samoa Point and Timper River bridges.