July 5, 1943
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
MONDAY, 5 JULY 1943
USA: U.S. President Roosevelt proposes to Chiang Kai-shek that Maj Gen George E. Stratemeyer coordinate air forces matters in India-Burma.
SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) Nine B-24's over Buin fail to find shipping and instead
bomb Munda and Ballale.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25's
bomb and strafe Salamaua Airfield, Komiatum Track, and HQ areas at Kela
RAAF: Boomerang A46-88 is shot down by U.S. Navy anti-aircraft fire over Nassau Bay.
U.S. Army: Gen Harmon recommends to Adm Halsey that XIV Corps staff prepare to take over on New Georgia and free Gen Hester for operations against Kolombangara. Almost all the New Georgia Occupation Force is now ashore in central Solomons, main body at Rendova. The "Southern Landing Group" patrols finds Japanese defender blocking the Munda Trail between Zanana Beach and Barike River on southern New Georgia.
In the early morning,
U.S. Navy (USN) Task Group 36.1 (TG 36.1) under the command of Rear Admiral Walden L. Ainsworth with three cruisers and four destroyers were to conducat a bombardment of Vila on Kolombangara and Bairoko Harbor on New Georgia to support the U.S. landing at Rice Anchorage on New Georgia. At the same time, USS Strong (DD-467) and USS Chevalier entered Bairoko Harbor and shelled the area between 12:30am to 12:40am.
Meanwhile, four Japanese destroyer Nagatsuki, Niizuki, Satsuki and Yunagi were on a high speed troop transport "Tokyo Express" run bound for Kolombangara
Island but the mission was aborted when they spotted U.S. warships. From long range, the destroyers fired a salvo of Type 93 Long Lance torpedoes aimed at the destroyers off Bairoko Harbor. At 12:49am USS Strong (DD-467) is hit by a Type 93 “Long Lance” from 11 nautical miles away in what is believed to be the longest sucessful torpedo shot in the history of Naval warfare and sinks at 08°05'S, 157°15'E.
After midnight, the force engages Japanese destroyers (Rear Admiral Akiyama Teruo) in the Battle of Kula Gulf. At 12:49am USS Strong (DD-467) is hit by a Type 93 “Long Lance” from 11 nautical miles away in what is believed to be the longest sucessful torpedo shot in the history of Naval warfare and sinks at 08°05'S, 157°15'E. During the Battle of Kula Gulf lost is USS Helena CL-50 sunk and two Japanese destroyers.
USMC: At 1:30am Northern Landing Group (NLG) commanded by Colonel Harry B. Liversedge 1st Raider Bn of 1st Mar Raider Regt, reinforced by U.S. Army 3d Bns of 148th and 145th Regts, 37th Division lands at Rice Anchorage on the north coast of New Georgia. Once ashore, the forward elements reach the Giza Giza River.
Twelve SBDs from VMSB-144 took off at 12:24pm on a dive bombing mission against gun emplacements at Munda. Approaching the target area, a heavy front was encountered south of Gatukai and the formation attempted to fly around it and were vectored to attack two barges but they could not be found. While attempting to strike the original target, bad weather and rain prevented any bombing and the planes returned with two jettisoning their bombs because they were low on fuel and all planes landed safely.