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Japanese missions against Lae and Lae Airfield
January 21, 1942–March 8, 1942

January 21, 1942
(IJN) Japanese aircraft attack Lae Airfield.

February 5, 1942
(IJN) At 9:15 four planes dropped 35 bombs on Lae. At 10:20am, a second strike of five planes hit Lae.

March 8, 1942
(IJN) Japanese forces land at Malahang and advance to occupy Lae without opposition.

Allied missions against Lae and Lae Airfield
March 10, 1942–November 20, 1943

Click For EnlargementMarch 10, 1942

(USN) Task Force 11 (TF-11) carrier air strike was launched from aircraft carriers USS Lexington (CV-2) and USS Yorktown (CV-5) in the Gulf of Papua, with SBDs hitting Lae. The raids caught the Japanese by surprise and hiting shipping engaged in landing troops and supplies at Lae.
(5th AF) Meanwhile, six B-17s of the 435th BS lead by Major Richard H. Carmichael took off from Garbutt Field on a bombing mission against Lae Airfield. This was the only mission in the New Guinea theater when US Navy and USAAF units operated together.

March 22, 1942
(RAAF) 75 Squadron P-40s strafe Lae Airfield, two Zeros flying top cover dive down to attack them. Other P-40s arrive, lost is P-40E Kittyhawk A29-16 (POW/MIA pilot captured, later executed). Intercepting, two Zeros were shot down by Hudson gunners. Lost are A6M2 piloted by Yamazaki and A6M2 piloted by Kikuchii.

April 7, 1942
(RAAF, 5th AF) Nine 3rd BG A-24s Dive Bombers escorted by six P-40E Kittyhawks from 75 Squadron bomb Lae. Lost is A-24 Dive Bomber 41-15798 (MIA).

April 11, 1942
(RAAF) P-40E Kittyhawks from 75 Squadron perform a fighter sweep over Lae.
(5th AF) 3rd BG A-24 Dive Bombers bomb Lae, lost is A-24 Dive Bomber 41-15773 (KIA).

April 13, 1942
(5th AF) Seven A-24s from the 3rd Bombardment Group escorted by 8 P-40E Kittyhawks from 75 Squadron attack Lae. Lost is P-40E Kittyhawk A29-15 (MIA).

April 30, 1942
(5th AF) P-39's flying out of Port Moresby strafe airplanes and fuel dumps at Lae. Also at dawn three B-26s bomb Lae Airfield releasing their bombs over parked aircraft.

May 4, 1942
(5th AF) P-39's and B-17's hit the airfield at Lae Airfield. Lost were P-39D 41-6956 (MIA) P-39D 41-6825 (MIA) and P-39D 41-6971 (MIA), P-39F 41-7145 (MIA).

May 14, 1942
(5th AF) B-17's, B-26's and B-25's attack Lae

May 15, 1942
(5th AF) B-25's, B-26's and and B-17's hit the airfield and storehouses at Lae.

May 16, 1942
(5th AF) B-25's, B-26's and and B-17's hit Lae Airfield and storehouses at Lae. In an afternoon sortie, the B-25s return to bomb Lae Airfield lost on the return flight is B-25C 41-12478 (crew rescued).

May 21, 1942
(5th AF) B-26's bomb aircraft at Lae Airfield.

May 22, 1942
(5th AF) B-26s from the 22nd Bomb Group and B-25s from the from the 3rd Bomb Group hit Lae Airfield and attack shipping in the harbor. Lost are B-25C 41-12981 (MIA), B-25D 41-29692 (KIA, BR).

May 23, 1942
(5th AF) Five B-25's of the 3rd BG strike Lae Airfield and buildings at Lae. Lost are B-25C 41-12491 (survived, 4 MIA) and B-25C 41-12462 (5 MIA, 1 POW).

May 24, 1942
(5th AF) B-26's and B-25 of the 3rd BG attack Lae Airfield.

May 25, 1942
(5th AF) Eight B-25s from the 3rd Bomb Group attack Lae Airfield. Lost are B-25C 41-12441 (MIA), B-25C 41-12448 (MIA), B-25C 41-12450 (MIA), B-25C 41-12466 (MIA) and B-25C 41-12498 (MIA).

May 28, 1942
(5th AF) B-26's attack Lae Airfield. Shot down by A6M2 Zeros is B-26 40-1467 (MIA).

May 31, 1942
(5th AF) B-17's attack Lae.

June 1, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s attack Lae.

June 9, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s, B-25s, and B-26s attack Lae. In the afternoon, In the afternoon, 22nd BG B-26s and 19th BG B-17s hit Lae.

June 16, 1942
(5th AF) 22nd BG B-26s and 19th BG B-17s hit Lae.

June 20, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s bomb the runway at Lae Airfield.

June 27. 1942
(5th AF) 22nd BG B-26s bomb Lae.

June 29, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s hit Lae Airfield during the night.

June 30, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s and 22nd BG B-26s hit Lae.

July 3, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s attack Lae Airfield.

July 4, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s, B-26s and B-25s bomb Lae Airfield.

July 5, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s and 22nd BG B-26's attack Lae.

Augusut 6, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s and B-26s from the 22nd Bombardment Group Lae Airfield.

August 7, 1942
(5th AF) 22nd Bombardment Group B-26s attack Lae.

August 8, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s, B-25s and B-26s bomb runway at Lae Airfield and targets of opportunity at Lae.

August 22, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s bomb Lae Airfield.

August 31, 1942
(5th AF) B-26 bomb Lae escorted by Airacobras of the 80th Fighter Squadron.

September 1, 1942
(5th AF) Ten B-26s from the 22nd BG led by B-26 "Kansas Comet II" 40-1433 bomb Lae Airfield. Before reaching the target, three abort the mission. The remaining seven bomb the target but half their bombs fall into the sea, the other half hit Lae Airfield.

September 13, 1942
(5th AF) B-26s pound Lae Airfield.

September 17, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s hit Lae.

September 19, 1942
(5th AF) A-20s and B-26s strafe and bomb the airfield at Lae

September 28, 1942
(5th AF) 1 B-17 bombs Lae Airfield.

October 9, 1942
(5th AF) 14 B-25s hit Lae Airfield.

October 14, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s attack Lae.

October 24, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s hit Lae Airfield.

October 26, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s hit Lae Airfield.

November 1, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s bomb Lae Airfield and dump area at Lae. Also, A-20s escorted by sixteen P-40s attack Lae. Lost is P-40E 41-36173 (MIA).

November 3, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s bomb Lae Airfield and wharf at Lae.

November 17, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s bomb Lae Airfield.
(RAAF) Beaufighters from 30 Squadron make a low level strafing raid over Lae Airfield.

November 18, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s bomb Lae Airfield.

November 22, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s and B-25s hit Lae Airfield and barges between Lae.

November 24, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s bomb destroyers and a light cruiser between Lae and Finschhafen.

November 28, 1942
(5th AF) B-26s bomb Lae Airfield.

November 29, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s and a single A-20 bomb Lae Airfield. Also, one B-24 bombed Lae Airfield at 8:00am.

December 4, 1942
(5th AF) During the night of 3/4 Dec, B-17s bomb Lae Airfield.

December 6, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s bomb Lae Airfield.

December 7, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s also hit Lae Airfield.

December 11, 1942
(5th AF) B-25s and B-26s attack the Lae Airfield.

December 12, 1942
(5th AF) B-17s bomb Lae Airfeild.

December 14, 1942
(5th AF) Attacks are also carried out against the Lae Airfield.

December 18, 1942
(5th AF) B-24s bomb at Lae Airfield.

December 19, 1942
(5th AF) B-25 bomb the Lae Airfield.

December 25, 1942
(5th AF) A single B-24 bombs Lae.

December 28, 1942
(5th AF) B-24s bomb Lae.

December 30, 1942
(5th AF) B-24s carry out single-bomber attacks on Lae Airfield.

December 31, 1942
(5th AF) P-38s escort A-20 and B-25s attacking strafe parked aircraft at Lae Airfield. Over the target, intercepted by eight Zeros (actually Ki-43 Oscars from the 11th Sentai). Damaged in a collision was P-38F Lightning 42-12652. Shot down is Ki-43 piloted by Shishimoto (survied).

January 1, 1943
(5th AF) B-24s and B-17s bomb Lae Airfield.

January 2, 1943
(5th AF) A-20s, B-24s, B-25s and B-26s hit the airfield and targets of opportunity at Lae.

January 4, 1943
(5th AF) A-20s and B-25s hit the airfield and AA positions and buildings at Lae. B-24s on single-plane flights, bomb the Lae Airfield.

January 6, 1943
(5th AF) A-20s bomb Lae Airfield. B-17s, B-24s, B-26s and P-38s attack a convoy heading southwest off the coast of New Britain heading for Lae. Ditched after the attack is B-24D "Cowtown's Revenge" 41-23750 (survived, two killed).

January 7, 1943
(5th AF) The Japanese convoy bound for Lae is again attacked by heavy, medium and light bombers and fighters, along with Royal Australian Air Force planes, in the Solomon Sea off Finschhafen and during its progress off the south coast of the Huon Peninsula through Huon Gulf to Lae. Fighters also attack Lae Airfield. P-38 pilot Richard I. Bong claims two Oscars shot down (his third and fourth victories).

January 8, 1943
(5th AF, RAAF) Heavy, medium and light bombers, with fighter cover join Royal Australian Air Force aircraft in continued pounding of the Japanese convoy as it unloads about 4,000 reinforcements at Lae. Enemy fighter cover and Allied aircraft continue fierce aerial combat. Richard I. Bong shots down a Ki-43 Oscar, his 5th victory making him an ace. Lost are B-17E 41-9234 (survived, two wounded), P-38F 42-12665 (MIA) and B-25C "Pistoff" 41-12830 (survived). Damaged on take off and written off is B-26 "Sea Wolf" 40-1498.

January 9, 1943
(5th AF, RAAF) US heavy, medium and light bombers and fighters along with RAAF aircraft, continue to pound the convoy as it leaves Lae. They also hit Lae Airfield, supply dumps and troop concentrations at Lae

January 10, 1943
(5th AF) Allied aircraft operating over the Solomon Sea south of New Britain continue to attack vessels of the Japanese convoy that departed Lae yesterday. Also, Allied aircraft hit supply dumps and AA positions in the Lae area are also bombed

January 13, 1943
(5th AF) Heavy and medium bombers hit dock facilities at Lae and Lae Airfield

January 14, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s bomb the fuel dump and other supplies along the beach in the vicinity of Voco Point near Lae.

January 15, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s bomb supply dumps at Lae.

January 16, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s again bomb supplies at Lae.

January 17, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s again pound supply stroes at Lae

January 18, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s bomb a motor pool and supply dumps at Lae.

January 19, 1943
(5th AF) A-20s strafe supply dumps at Lae. Heavy bombers carry out individual attacks on various targets at Lae.

January 20, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s bomb supply dumps at Lae

January 22, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s bomb the Lae area.

January 23, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s pound supply dumps in the terrace area of Lae.

January 24, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s hit supply dumps in the terrace area of Lae.

January 25, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s blast supply dumps and AA and machine gun positions around Lae.

January 26, 1943
(5th AF) A-20s and B-25s pound the Lae area, concentrating on supply storage dumps.

January 30, 1943
(5th AF) A-20s strafe and bomb Lae.

February 4, 1943
(5th AF) A-20s and B-25s bomb Lae Airfield and Huon Gulf and nearby AA positions.

February 6, 1943
(Australian Army) Coast watcher reports that there are 60+ Japanese aircraft on Lae Airfield.
(5th AF, RAAF) 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 Lae Airfield. When they arrive, they find Lae Airfield empty; the Japanese were airborne attacking Wau Airfield.

February 14, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s bomb Lae Airfield.

February 22, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s pound the Lae area. Also, a single B-17 bombs Lae.

February 24, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s pound Lae.

February 26, 1943
(5th AF) A single B-17 bombs Lae Airfield.

February 28, 1943
(5th AF) A single B-17 bombs Lae Airfield.

March 2, 1943
(IJN) Battle of the Bismarck Sea destroyers pick up 850 troops from a transport sunk and and land them that night at Lae.

March 4, 1943
(5th AF) 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 Huon Gulf and Lae Airfield.

March 5, 1943
(5th AF) A-20s pound Lae Airfield while heavy bombers, operating individually, hit Lae.

March 16, 1943
(5th AF) B-25s bomb Lae.

March 19, 1943
(5th AF) B-25's bomb a submarine and barges off Lae.

March 22, 1943
(5th AF) In single-plane strikes, heavy bombers attack Lae.

March 25, 1943
(5th AF) A single B-17 hit Lae.

March 27, 1943
(5th AF) B-25's hit Lae.

March 31, 1943
(5th AF) Individual B-24's attack Lae Airfield.

April 12, 1943
(5th AF) B-24's and B-17s hit Lae Airfield.

April 15, 1943
(5th AF) B-17's bomb Lae Airfield.

April 16, 1943
(5th AF) B-24's bomb Lae.

April 19, 1943
(5th AF) Single medium or heavy bombers bomb Lae Airfield.

April 24, 1943
(5th AF) Single B-24's attack Lae.

April 30, 1943
(5th AF) Single B-24's bomb Lae.

May 15, 1943
(5th AF) B-25's pound Lae Airfield; A-20's strafe the aircraft and building at Lae.

May 17, 1943
(5th AF) Single heavy bombers hit Lae.

May 27, 1943
5th AF) B-24's and B-25's pound the Lae area and Lae Airfield

May 31, 1943
(5th AF) B-24's pound Lae Airfield and Lae town area.

June 1, 1943
(5th AF) B-24's bomb Lae Airfield and nearby area.

June 7, 1943
(5th AF) B-17's and B-24's attack Lae.

June 20, 1943
(5th AF) A-20's pound Lae Airfield.

June 21, 1943
(5th AF) A-20's bomb and strafe Lae Airfield.

June 23, 1943
(5th AF) A single B-24 on armed reconnaissance bombs Lae Airfield.

June 26, 1943
(5th AF) During the predawn and early morning hours, heavy bombers hit Lae.

July 1, 1943
(5th AF) A-20's strafe the Lae area.

July 13, 1943
(5th AF) Four B-17's from the 43rd BG, 64th BS and one B-24, operating individually, bomb Lae Airfield, Lae town area and the Huon Gulf.

July 14, 1943
(5th AF) A single B-17 hits Lae.

July 24, 1943
(5th AF) B-25's bomb Lae Airfield.

July 26, 1943
(5th AF) B-24's and B-17's bomb Lae Airfield.

August 1, 1943
(5th AF) A single B-24 bombs Lae Airfield.

August 2, 1943
(5th AF) B-25's pound barges from Lae to Bogadjim and from Lae to Kepler Point.

August 9, 1943
(5th AF) B-17's, B-24's, and B-25's bomb Lae.

August 10, 1943
(5th AF) Twelve B-25's hit barges in the Lae area.

August 20, 1943
(5th AF) A-20's bomb Lae.

August 27, 1943
(5th AF) A-20's strafe barges and troops along the Babui River near Lae.

August 28, 1943
(5th AF) Twenty B-17's and A-20's bomb jetties at Lae and Voco Point and hit barges in Samoa Harbor between Lae and Salamaua.

September 3, 1943
(5th AF) Heavy and medium bombers blast gun emplacements and terrace defenses in the Lae area.

September 4, 1943
(Australian Army) The Allied offensive against Lae begins as forces land at Hopoi and the mouth of the Buso River near Lae.
(5th AF) B-24's support the landings by pounding Lae Airfield.

September 4, 1943
(USN) "Operation "Postern" Task Force 76 (TF-76) under the command of Rear Admiral Daniel E. Barbey lands the Australian 9th Division at Red Beach and Yellow Beach to the east of Lae.
(Australian Army) The 9th Division lands at Red Beach and Yellow Beach at Hopoi and the mouth of the Buso River near Lae.
(5th AF) B-24's support the landings by pounding Lae Airfield.

September 5, 1943
(5th AF) In the Lae area, 52 medium bombers and pounding of Lae Airfield by 24 heavy bombers; a smoke screen is laid over the area by A-20's.

September 6, 1943
(5th AF) Heavy bombers pound Lae Airfield and surrounding area, and medium bombers bomb and strafe enemy defenses in Lahang and vicinity, as Allied ground forces push toward Lae.

September 7, 1943
(5th AF) B-24's and B-26's bomb the Lae area.

September 8, 1943
(5th AF) B-17's, B-24's, B-25's and B-26's pound the Lae area.

September 10, 1943
(Australian Army) The Australian Army 7 Division, having been flown to Nadzab in C-47's, begins a push east toward Lae.

September 12, 1943
(5th AF) B-17's and B-24's pound Lae as the Japanese begin a withdrawal in the face of the Australian 9 and 7 Divisions moving in from east and west.

September 13, 1943
(5th AF) B-25's hit Lae.

September 14, 1943
(5th AF) B-25's attack Lae.

September 15, 1943
(5th AF) B-17's bomb the Lae area. Lost is B-17F "Listen Here Tojo" 41-24552 (MIA).

September 16, 1943
(5th AF) B-17's, B-26's, B-25's, and A-20's pound enemy positions at Lae after which Lae Airfield and town (evacuated by Japanese) are occupied by Australian forces.

September 22, 1943
(5th AF) A-20's and B-25's hit Lae.

September 28, 1943
(5th AF & RAAF) A-20's and RAAF Vengeances attack the Lae area.

October 24, 1943
(5th AF) A-20's hit enemy positions in the Lae area.

October 25, 1943
(5th AF) A-20's hit positions near Lae.

November 20, 1943
(5th AF) A-20's hit the Lae area.

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