American missions against Arawe (Cape Merkus) and Arawe Harbor
November 5, 1942 - January 16, 1944
November 5, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s unsuccessfully attack a schooner
near Arawe, New Britain.
November 22, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s and B-25s hit
warships 68 miles SW of Arawe
December 22, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s hit a ship in the harbor
December 23, 1942
(5th AF) B-24s attack a cargo ship at
December 24, 1942
(5th AF) Single B-24 bombs
February 4, 1943
(5th AF) Heavy bomber scores hits on vessel
March 19, 1943
(5th AF) Single B-17's strike
(5th AF) 228 B-24's, B-25's, and A-20's bomb Arawe in an almost
continuous attack from 0645 to 1548 hours.
April 10, 1943
(5th AF) Single
B-17 bombs the airfield at Arawe
May 18, 1943
(5th AF) Single heavy bomber
July 20, 1943
(5th AF) Single B-24 bombs Arawe
December 15, 1943
(USN) Task Force 76 (TF 76) commanded by USN Admiral Barbey departed Goodenough on December
13 and makes and arrives at Arawe on December 14. The force includes 2 cruisers, 13 destroyers, 2 high speed
transports, 1 landing
ship, 1 transport, landing 1,600 soldiers.
(US Army) The
Cavalry Regiment lands 1,600 soldiers at Arawe.
(5th AF) In support of US Army landing,
B-25s pound villages in Arawe.
December 17, 1943
(5th AF) P-47's intercept
35-40 aircraft attacking Allied forces on the Arawe peninsula;
at least 10 airplanes are claimed shot
December 19, 1943
(5th AF) 20 A-20's pound
forces NE of Arawe
December 20, 1943
(5th AF) A-20's hit the
Arawe and P-38's claim 10 enemy along S coast
(5th AF) P-47's claim 17 fighters shot down in the Arawe
(5th AF) Japanese forces in Arawe area are hit by A-20's
(5th AF) A-20's attack Japanese forces in the Arawe area
by fierce enemy
assaults on the beachhead.
(5th AF) P-47's intercept a small force of airplanes attacking
the Arawe beachhead
area and 12
aircraft are claimed shot
January 7, 1944
(5th AF) A-20's
hit forces near Arawe
January 8, 1944
(5th AF) A-20's hit
positions near Arawe
January 16, 1944
(5th AF) B-24's and B-25's
attack positions near Arawe.
Japanese missions against Arawe (Cape Merkus)
December 15–31, 1943
December 15, 1943
(IJN) 7 x D3A2 Vals from the 582 Kokutai attack Arawe (Mercus) at 7:30am local time. Over the target, two Vals were lost.
December 17, 1943
(IJN) 12 x D3A2 Vals from the 582nd Kokutai plus D3A2 Vals from the 552 Kokutai bomb Mercus at 7:06am local time, claiming damage to one small cargo ship, 1 sea tiger and an LVCP sunk. Plus, one small and one sea tiger burning. Also, one "P-43" [sic] shot down. Over the target, three Vals are lost. They report the American forces as APC 21, YMS 50, SC743
and 4 LSTs.
(IJN) A formation of 32 D3A2 Vals (12 x 582nd Kokutai plus 20 x 552nd Koktuai) attack Mercus between 10:55am until 11:08 and are intercepted by P-38 Lightnings.
December 27, 1943
(IJN) 17 D3A2 Vals (8 x 582 Kokutai, two abort plus 9 x 552 Kokutai) attack shipping off Mercus escorted by 40+ Zeros. Over the target, three Vals are lost including D3A2 Val piloted by Ishisugi (MIA).
December 29, 1943
(IJN) 17 x D3A2 Vals (9 x 582nd Kokutai, 8 x 552nd Kokutai) attack Mercus at 7:50pm and claim two PT Boats sunk and enemy base on island burned.
(IJN) Japanese D3A2 Vals from the 582 Kokutai and 552 Kokutai based Rabaul, escorted by
40+ Zeros made several raids against
Arawe beachhead. Mission #7 of 7 over
six days, with 40 killed in action among
the Vals, attempting to strike the shipping
and shore positions.
In total, twenty Vals were lost attacking Arawe between December 15-31, 1943. Eight crash sites are known including:
1) D3A2 Val off Arawe, 2) D3A2 Val crashed Wako, 3) D3A2 Val crashed Angap Island, 4) D3A2 Val 1520, 5) D3A2 Val 3487, 6) D3A2 Val 3450, 7) D3A2 Val 3373, 8) D3A2 Val 3179.