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    Bismarck Sea Morobe Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

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43rd BG March 3, 1943

Location
The Bismarck Sea spans between the northern coast of New Guinea with New Britain to the east and the Admiralty Islands to the north. The Vitiaz Strait is to the south connecting to the Solomon Sea. Named by the Germans in honor of then German chancellor Otto von Bismarck.

Battle of the Bismarck Sea
During March 2-4, 1943 Allied aircraft including Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and US Army Air Force (USAAF) bombers and fighters attacked a Japanese reinforcement convoy that departed Rabaul on February 28 with reinforcements bound for Lae. Spotted on March 1, 1943 the convoy was targeted by Allied aircraft in an action known as the the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. Over three days, all eight transports and four of eight escorting destroyers were sunk between Cape Gloucester and south-east of Finschafen. Nearly 3,000 Japanese were killed and only 850 troops successfully landed to reinforce Lae. The Battle of the Bismarck Sea was significant because it was the first battle conducted by Allied aircraft only, using new tactics for attacking ships including low-level strikes and skip bombing.

P-38G Lightning 42-12715
Pilot Shifflet shot down March 3, 1943 during Battle of Bismarck Sea

P-38F Lightning 42-12623 Nose 16
Pilot Faurot MIA March 3, 1943 during Battle of Bismarck Sea

B-17F "Ka-Puhio-Wela" 41-24356
Pilot Moore, shot down March 3, 1943 during Battle of Bismarck Sea

Kyokusei Maru
Sunk March 2, 1943 during Battle of Bismarck Sea

Aiyo Maru
Sunk March 3, 1943 during Battle of Bismarck Sea

Oikawa Maru
Sunk March 3, 1943 during Battle of Bismarck Sea 30 miles southeast of Finschafen

Teiyo Maru
Cargo 6,801 tons

Taimei Maru
Cargo 2,883 tons

Seinai Maru
Cargo 3,793 tons

Kembu Maru
Cargo 954 tons carrying gasoline

Arashio
Destroyer 2,370 tons

Asashio
Destroyer 2,370 tons

Shirayuki
Destroyer 2,090 tons

Tokitsukaze
Destroyer 2,490

Nojima (Noshima)
Fleet Oiler  & Supply 8,750 tons

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Last Updated
August 27, 2014

 

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