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July 17, 1943
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

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.



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