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November 7, 1943
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology


CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Two B-25's bomb Amoy Harbor, claiming several boats sunk including sinking army cargo ships No.28 Nagata Maru and No.6 Inushima Maru, and auxiliary sailing vessel Kanlu. Six P-40's attack a bridge at Hsiangyangchiao, causing only minor damage.

CBI: SEAC adopts TARZAN, India-based portion of general offensive in Burma, now called Champion. Tarzan calls for limited offensive on Arakan coast for Akyab; drive from Imphal to Chindwin River, establishment of a division on rail road to Myitkyina; amphibious operation against the Andaman Islands.

China: 11 Army Group: In Br Fourteenth Army's 4 Corps area, Japanese are becoming aggressive in Chin Hills and occupy Falam.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): Nine Ki-21 Sallys from 14th Sentai bomb Nadzab Airfield escorted by Ki-43 Oscars from 13th Sentai and 59th Sentai. Intercepting were eight P-39Q Airacobras from 40th Fighter Squadron and eight P-47D Thunderbolts from 36th FS and 342nd FS. Two bombers were lost including Ki-21 Sally 6323 and three Ki-43 Oscars. Twenty-five B-24's escorted by 60+ P-38's bomb Rapopo Airfield. A large force of enemy fighters intercepts the formations and in the ensuing battle US airplanes claim 20+ fighters shot down and several more destroyed on the ground. Five P-38s are lost: P-38H Lightning 42-66911 (POW), P-38H Lightning 42-66669, P-38G Lightning 43-2199, P-38G "Lil-De-Icer / G.I. Annie" 43-2386 (MIA) and P-38 from 475th Fighter Group (475th FG).

P-38s from the 49th Fighter Group, 9th Fighter Squadron led by Richard I. Bong flew a fighter sweep over Rabual. Over Simpson Harbor, no enemy planes were spotted so the P-38s flew between the peaks of Mother (Mount Kombiu) and Daughter volcanoes then made a low pass over the Malaguna Road in Rabual and claimed to observe vehicles pulling off the road to take cover before pulling up with anti-aircraft fire busting behind them. Afterwards, the formation returned without any interception.

Nine B-25's bomb Wewak and 40+ others turn back when the fighter escort is intercepted over Nadzab; enemy aircraft attack Nadzab and Bena Bena; 16 US aircraft are destroyed or damaged by the raids but 14 airplanes are claimed as shot down by US fighters. HQ 71st Reconnaissance Group arrives at Port Moresby from the U.S. The 529th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), transfers from Manbulloo to Long Strip with B-24's.

JAAF: Nine Ki-21 Sallys from 14th Hiko Sentai (14th Flying Regiment) took off from Wewak on a bombing mission against Nadzab Airfield. Over Alexishafen Airfield at 6,600' rendezvoused with Ki-43 Oscars from 13th Sentai flying close escort and 248th Sentai flying top cover. Over the sea approaching the target, intercepted by four P-40 Warhawks from the 8th Fighter Squadron (8th FS) flying a fighter sweep that engaged the Oscars and reported catching them by surprise and claimed three shot down before departing, in fact, only two Oscars from the 248th Sentai were lost.

The formation climbed over Finisterre Range and reached the target area between 19,700' to 21,000'. The Sallys released their bombs over Nadzab Airfield and claimed extensive damage. Over the Markham Valley, intercepted by U.S. fighters including eight P-39Q Airacobras from the 40th Fighter Squadron (40th FS) and eight P-47D Thunderbolts from the 36th Fighter Squadron (36th FS) and 342nd Fighter Squadron (342nd FS) that reported a enemy formation of nine bombers escorted by ten fighters. Over the target area, two K-21 Sallys were shot down including Ki-21 Sally 6323 that exploded in mid air and three Oscars were shot down. Returning, four Sallys ditched off the north coast of New Guinea and three Sallys landed at Madang or Alexishafen.

Two days later on November 9, 1943 forty B-25 Mitchells from 38th Bomb Group (38th BG) conducted a low level strike against Alexishafen Airfield. and claimed a total of five bombers destroyed on the ground, including two medium bombers on fire. On November 10, 1943 B-25 Mitchells again strike Alexishafen Airfield at low level and claimed another medium bomber set on fire. Likely, the B-25 claims on these two missions include the five Sallys that landed November 7, 1943.

IJN: After midnight, the Japanese landing unit: Amagiri, Fumizuki, Uzuki and Yunagi use 21 barges to land 475 Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) soldiers from the 17th Division, 53rd Infantry Regiment and 54th Infantry Regiment land without opposition in Atsinima Bay near the mouth of the Laruma River and Koromokina Lagoon on western Bougainville. Landing in the dark in heavy surf, the Japanese unload over a wide area and afterwards the destroyers withdraw without opposition. Although the U.S. forces spotted the landing craft they incorrectly believed they were American reinforcements.

USMC: During the Battle of Koromokina Lagoon, the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Walter Asmuth, Jr. engages with artillery support from the 12th Marine Regiment plus 90mm AA guns from the 3rd Defense Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Edward H. Forney halt their advance. During the battle, Sgt Herbert J. Thomas, Jr. threw himself onto a grenade and was killed, earning the Medal of Honor, posthumously. The Japanese force lost over 250 KIA with the rest fleeing into the jungle.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Eight B-25s bomb barge concentration and beach targets in Atsinima Bay where the Japanese forces landed. 21 B-24's pound Buka Airfield.

USN: Southern Attack Force Task Force 53 (TF 53) begins rehearsal for Operation Galvanic off Efate. A Fifth Fleet carrier force, under command of Rear Adm Alfred I. Montgomery, reaches the South Pacific.

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