SATURDAY, 17 JULY 1943
BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) The 71st Liaison Squadron, Tenth Air Force, transfers
from Ondal, India to Ramgarh, India and begins training with L-4's and L-5's.
(USN) Five PB4Ys that took off from Guadalcanal on a predawn attack on Kahilli Airfield. Two from VB-102 and three from VB-101 dropped cluster bombs from 12,000' over the airfield. On the return leg, two from VB-102 were jumped by a J1N1 Irving night fighter. One fighter was seen to crash and burn. PB4Y-1 31952 (MIA) was observed to going down. Lost on a training accident on Espiritu Santo is TBF Avenger 06240.
(Thirteenth Air Force) Seven B-24's and 70+ US Navy and Marine Corps airplanes, escorted by 100+ USAAF
and Allied fighters, attack shipping off Buin. The B-24's
claim hits on two cargo vessels, and the dive bombers claim serious damage of
three destroyers, a patrol ship, an oiler, a merchant ship, and the two cargo vessels. Sunk is Hatsuyuki. In the air battle, Allied aircraft claim 40+ Zekes and at least 4 float planes
shot down; Five Allied airplanes are lost. F4U 02421 (MIA), SBD 10586 (MIA), SBD 10918 (MIA) P-38G 42-13361 (MIA) P-38G 43-2206 (rescued).
The 75th Bombardment Squadron (Medium),
42d Bombardment Group (Medium), which has been operating from Plaine Des Gaiacs Airfield with B-25's, returns to Henderson Field.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) During the night of
17/18 Jul, B-25's bomb Lautem while B-24's bomb Adaoet Island
in the Moluccas Islands. In New Guinea during the day, B-25's pound the airfield,
Army HQ and defensive positions, and the general area in and around Salamaua as Allied forces from the Nassau Bay-Mubo area begin a drive on Salamaua; the
drive is a secondary effort designed to divert enemy attention from a subsequent
Allied campaign to secure the Markham Valley and Huon Peninsula and thus
gain control of Vitiaz Strait and Dampier Strait.