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November 9, 1943
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
TUESDAY, 9 NOVEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): HQ 11th Bombardment Group transfers from Hickam Field to Funafuti.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): B-25's hit Buka Airfield. B-25's bomb Kieta and 20+ B-24's pound Kara Airfield and Kahili Airfield. P-39's join USN aircraft striking on Kara Airfield and Ballale Airfield.

Japanese Army: The Japanese begin a three day counterattack against the American perimeter at Torokina on Bougainville.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): On New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago, B-25s bomb a fuel dump and shipping in the Rein Bay area and P-40's bomb dumps on Gasmata. B-24's on patrol claim a destroyer sunk near Kavieng.

40+ B-25 Mitchells from the 38th Bombardment Group (38th BG) strike Alexishafen Airfield escorted by 24 P-38 Lightnings from the 475th Fighter Group (475th FG) including 12 P-38s from 432nd Fighter Squadron (432nd FS) "Clover" led by Major Charles H. MacDonald plus 12 P-38s from 433rd Fighter Squadron (433rd FS) "Possum" led by Captain Daniel "Danny" T. Roberts, Jr. Over the target, the B-25s strike Alexishafen Airfield and claim five bombers with two medium bombers set on fire (likely Ki-21 Sallys).

the P-38s intercept Japanese fighters including Ki-43 Oscars and Ki-61 Tonys and claim 9 shot down 3 probables over Sek Harbor. Lost in a midair collision over the target is P-38H 42-66834 (MIA/KIA, BR) pilot Captain Daniel "Danny" T. Roberts, Jr. and P-38H "Charlcie Jeann II" 42-66546 (MIA/KIA) pilot 2nd Lt. Dale O. Meyer. Also lost is P-38H 42-66596 (MIA/KIA, BR) pilot 2nd Lt. John C. Smith due to a collision with a Ki-43 Oscar.

During this engagement, the 475th Fighter Group (475th FG) made the following aerial victory claims:
432nd Fighter Squadron (432nd FS) "Clover" aerial victory claims include:
Major Charles H. MacDonald - 2 Oscars, 1 Oscar probable (Headquarters Squadron, flew mission with 432nd FS)
1st Lt. Perry J. "PJ" Dahl - 1 Oscar
J. C. Ince - 1 Oscar
J. T. Rundell, Jr. - 2 Oscars
C. B. Willis - 1 Oscar probable
J. M. Forster - 1 Oscar probable
433rd Fighter Squadron (433rd FS) "Possum" aerial victory claims include:
J. A. Fisk - 1 Oscar
J. S. Babel - 1 Oscar
Captain Daniel T. Roberts, Jr. - 1 Oscar
W. R. Lewis - 1 Tony probable
William J. Grady - 1 Oscar probable/damaged

Patrolling over the Markham Valley and Lae, P-40N Warhawks from the 35th Fighter Squadron and 36th Fighter Squadron plus P-39Q Airacobras from the 40th Fighter Squadron intercept Japanese bombers and fighters claiming six Oscars. One P-40N Warhawk crash landed and two P-39s were damaged.

JAAF: Eighteen Ki-43 Oscars from 248th Sentai took off to escort Ki-21 Sallys from the 14th Sentai bombing Nadzab Airfield. Over Lae, they were intercepted by U. S. fighters including 27 P-40N Warhawks from the 35th Fighter Squadron and 36th Fighter Squadron plus P-39Q Airacobras from the 40th Fighter Squadron who claimed six Oscars and one P-40N crash landed and two P-39s were damaged. Three Ki-43s were shot down over Lae including Sgt. Major Hiroshi Yoshida shot down by P-40s and successfully bailed out but was captured and became a Prisoner Of War (POW), likely shot down by P-40N Warhawk pilot Carl Weaver from the 35th Fighter Squadron.

Over Alexishafen, a Ki-43 Oscar from the 248th Sentai was shot down by P-38s. On the ground at Alexishafen Airfield, U. S. bombers claim five bombers including two medium bombers set on fire (possibly Ki-21 Sallys that landed two days prior.

References
Japanese Army Air Force Fighter Units And Their Aces 1931–1945 (2002) pages 298 (pilot losses 11/9/43)
248th Hiko Sentai: A Japanese “Hard luck” Fighter Unit Part 2 by Richard Dunn
"[November 9, 1943] The 248th [Sentai] suffered a further loss when one of its aircraft was shot down by P-38s of the 475 th Fighter Group escorting B-25 bombers over Alexishafen. The American ace Capt. Daniel Roberts was lost on this day when his P-38 Lightning collided with that of his wingman trying to follow a Hayabusa, possibly a fighter from the 248th, which was taking evasive action at low level near Alexishafen. Three P-38s were lost, all from the 433rd FS. The P-38s of the 432nd and 433rd Fighter Squadrons claimed fourteen victories. In both combats the 59th and 248th Sentai lost eight pilots. A Type 3 fighter was also lost though the Americans claimed no TONYS. The Japanese fighters also damaged seven B-25s."
Sun Setters of the Southwest Pacific Area (2011) page 244 (November 9, 1943)
"On Nov. 9, the whole group [38th BG] flew to Alexishafen. The 405th and 823rd Squadrons worked over Strip #1, while the 71st and 822nd targeted the drome's second strip. The Group did not loose any planes on the mission, although one radio operator was shot through the heart and killed."
Possum, Clover & Hades 475th Fighter Group in World War II (2004) pages 96-98 (November 9, 1943), 307 (Aerial victory claims 11/09/43 Headquarters), 309 (Aerial victory claims 11/09/43 432nd FS / 433rd FS)
Thanks to Richard Dunn for additional information


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