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December 1943
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

WEDNESDAY, 1 DECEMBER 1943

THURSDAY, 2 DECEMBER 1943

FRIDAY, 3 DECEMBER 1943

SATURDAY, 4 DECEMBER 1943

SUNDAY, 5 DECEMBER 1943

MONDAY, 6 DECEMBER 1943

TUESDAY, 7 DECEMBER 1943

WEDNESDAY, 8 DECEMBER 1943

THURSDAY, 9 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 19 B-24's from Funafuti bomb Mille Atoll. The B-24's claim 5 fighters destroyed.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Fifteen B-25's bomb Wuchang and Hankow, and three bomb Changte; P-40's strafe sampans above Nanhsien and attack targets of opportunity in the Salween River area, including road traffic south of Hsia Chai, barracks at Tachai, and the town of San Tsun.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 50 B-25's bomb and strafe the coast from Borgen Bay to Rein Bay. In New Guinea, 19 B-25's and A-20's hit barges, coastal installations, and roads in the Fortification Point area; 60+ P-39's hit Bogadjim Road barges and enemy held villages along the N coast of Huon Peninsula, and enemy positions in the Ramu River valley.

FRIDAY, 10 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 12 B-25's and 15 P-40's attack the marshalling yard at Hanoi, the warehouse area and railroad station suffer heavy damage. Japanese aircraft bomb Hengyang Airfield. Eight P-40's intercept 1 wave of airplanes over the field, shooting down 3 of them; 2 P-40's are lost in the combat.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): B-25's bomb the Kahili supply area and Kahili Airfield; P-39's bomb the supply area and AA positions at Tonolai and strafe 4 barges in the harbor; RNZAF Ventura's hit buildings at Arigua Plantation.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 27 B-24's bomb targets at Cape Gloucester and the Huon Peninsula. 40 B-25's and B-26's bomb supply and bivouac areas and bridges along the Bogadjim Road; P-39's strafe barges in the Madang area. HQ 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group and it's 20th Combat Mapping Squadron transfer from Brisbane to Port Moresby with B-24's and F-7's. HQ 43d Bombardment Group and it's 64th Bombardment Squadron transfer from 7-Mile Drome to Dobodura with B-24's. Force landed is P-40N pilot Linder (survived). Crashed on a training mission is P-70 pilot Crum (MIA).

RAAF - Force landed is F-4 Lightning A53-3 (WIA, died)

SATURDAY, 11 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 14 B-25's and 10 P-40's attack Shihshow and Ansiang; 3 B-24's bomb Hankow Airfield; 9 P-40's intercept about 30 Japanese airplanes over Nanchang shortly after the enemy force bombs Suichwan; the P-40's claim 10 aircraft shot down.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville, 16 B-25's, in 2 waves, attack Kahili; several other B-25's hit Arigua Plantation; 20+ B-24's bomb the village and wharf area at Tsirogei; 8 P-39's bomb Tonolai; several aircraft on armed reconnaissance, operating individually or in small flights, attack targets of opportunity scattered throughout Bougainville and the Shortland area; Allied night fighters carry out a strike on a Japanese bivouac along the Jaba River; others hit Buka and Bonis. A detachment of the 17th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 4th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance), based on Guadalcanal begins operating from Bougainville with F-5's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): B-25's bomb and strafe the Borgen Bay area. B-25's and B-26's hit bivouacs and other installations near Fortification Point and in the Finschhafen area. B-24's bomb Makassar and Balikpapan. The 65th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from 7-Mile Drome to Dobodura with B-24's. The 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group transfers from Port Moresby to Dobodura with P-38's.

SUNDAY, 12 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 25 B-24's flying out of Ellice bases bomb Emidj.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): In Burma, 28 B-25's and 13 B-24's carry out a saturation bombing strike against bridge at Myittha, over which a large volume of Japanese goods is flowing to the north. Despite this large air effort only the approach spans suffer effective damage.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): Forty-one Japanese bombers and fighters bomb the west side of Hengyang Airfield, causing considerable damage; 31 P-40's and 6 P-38's intercept the enemy force, claiming 20 airplanes shot down; 2 P-40's are lost. Nine B-24's bomb Hankow Airfield.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Six B-25's strafe Arigua Plantation; Nine B-25s with fighter support, bomb the supply area at Bonis; the fighters afterwards strafe Japanese forces between Kieta and the Aropa River; other fighter aircraft strafe Tonolai Harbor and cover USN dive bomber strikes against targets in the Ratsua-Porton-Chabai-Soraken areas and the Kieta Harbor-Tobera Bay area; and 20+ B-24's bomb the Kahili area and Poporang.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): P-40's dive-bomb Bogadjim Road. B-24's make light raids on Ceram in the Moluccas and in the far W part of Netherlands New Guinea.

MONDAY, 13 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): Ten B-24's from Canton staging through Baker bomb Wotje.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): Twenty Japanese bombers, escorted by 25 fighters, hit Dinjan Airfield before US interceptors make contact; however, little damage is done and the US fighters catch the attackers shortly afterward; 12 Japanese bombers and 5 fighters are claimed shot down. The 436th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Panagarh to Madhaiganj with B-24's.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, Twelve B-25's, with fighter escort, bomb Li-Chou and Kungan; eight B-25's pound Wuchang Airfield; and 16 P-40's on armed reconnaissance strafe targets of opportunity from Changte to Linli to Li-Chou.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): 17 B-25's bomb Porton, and their fighter escorts strafe Tenekow bivouac areas during the return flight; Twenty-four B-24's bomb Bonis; Six B-25's carry out low-level strikes against concentrations on Numa Numa. The 72d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based on Espiritu Santo with B-24's, begins operating from Guadalcanal.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 100+ B-24's and B-25's and several P-40's bomb Gasmata. A-20's hit villages along Bogadjim Road; a small flight of P-39's strafe barges along the Huon Peninsula. The 340th Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group (348th FG) transfers from 7 Mile Drome to Finschhafen with P-47's. The 403d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from 7-Mile Drome to Dobodura with B-24's. Damaged during a taxi accident is B-24D "Career Girl" 42-41234 (crew unhurt).

USMC: Lost is F4U Corsair 17452 (pilot rescued). F4U Corsair 17884 (pilot rescued).

TUESDAY, 14 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): Sixteen B-24's bomb Maloelap.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, thirteen B-25's, with fighter escort, bomb Shasi; two P-40's strafe supply trucks S of Tengchung. Six P-40's on armed reconnaissance strafe Gia Lam Airfield and railroad yard.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Eighteen B-24's with fighter support, bomb positions on Sohano. Eighteen B-25's and eight fighters hit Manob village east of Buka Passage. Other 13th Air Force fighters hit gun positions, communications targets, and other targets of opportunity at scattered points in the Bougainville-Shortland areas and cover US Navy (USN) dive bomber strikes against AA positions in Chabai area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): In the heaviest raid to date in the Southwest Pacific Area, 228 B-24's, B-25's, and A-20's bomb Arawe in an almost continuous attack from 0645 to 1548 hours; P-39's strafe barges along the Huon Peninsula. Gasmata is hit by B-25's and B-26's. B-24's on armed reconnaissance hit Saidor, Gasmata and Unea.

RAAF: Lost on a flight from Cooktown to Horn Island is C-47 Dakota A65-3 (crew survived). Lost is Beaufort A9-211 (MIA).

WEDNESDAY, 15 DECEMBER 1943


THURSDAY, 16 DECEMBER 1943

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, 9 B-25's and 11 P-40's hit the NW part of Owchihkow; four B-25's on sweeps over the South China Sea damage freighter south of Nampang, bomb Tunguan docks, and shoot down 1 bomber; 15 P-40's on armed reconnaissance strafe Pailochi Airfield; 11 others strafe boats in channels N of Nanhsien; 6 P-38's strafe a troop train near Changanyi and attack 25 sampans (destroying most of them) on the Yangtze River just above Huangtang Lake.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): Fourteen B-24's bomb Monoitu. Smaller flights of B-24's bomb Poporang and Sohano and dispersal areas at Bonis Airfield. 5 B-25's, with fighter cover, hit Sankau. RNZAF Ventura's attack targets on Green plus Mawareka, Marveiropa, and Mamaregu areas. Fighter aircraft support USN dive bomber strikes on Sohano and gun positions at Bonis and afterwards strafe targets of opportunity at several points on Bougainville. The 67th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, which has been operating from New Georgia with P-39's since Oct 43, returns to Woodlark.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): Lost on a reconnaissance mission over Gasmata is B-24D 42-41043 (MIA). B-24's hit Cape Gloucester Airfield. B-25's hit Sio and Kelana Harbor and P-40's hit Timoeka. HQ 348th Fighter Group transfers from 7 Mile Drome to Finschhafen. The 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, transfers from Dobodura to Gusap with P-47's.

JAAF: Six Ki-49 Helens from 9th Sentai took off to attack Arawe but are intercepted over Cape Gloucester. Five are shot down, the last Ki-49 Helen 3297 (crew survived) force lands at Cape Gloucester Airfield.

USMC: SBDs from VMSB-236 strike Sohano Island and Bonis Airfield. Returning from the mission, lost in an aerial collision is SBD-5 Dauntless pilot Monfort (pilot rescued, gunner MIA) and SBD Dauntless 35968 (pilot rescued, gunner MIA). Ditched is SBD-5 Dauntless pilot Quinlan (crew rescued).

FRIDAY, 17 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): Ten B-24s are dispatched from Nanumea to bomb Maloelap Atoll; 9 are recalled because of weather; 1 bombs the alternate target of Mille Atoll. HQ 41st Bombardment Group (Medium) transfers from Hickam Field to Tarawa Airfield.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 6 P-40's bomb and strafe barracks near Kunlong. 6 others bomb and strafe targets of opportunity in Hanoi.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): On Bougainville in the Solomon , 18 B-25's strike Malai lost is B-25D 41-30661 Six other B-25s join USN dive bombers in pounding the Mutupina Point area; 5 RNZAF Ventura's hit Poroporo and Tarekekori.

USN, USMC & RNZAF: A 75 aircraft fighter sweep over Rabaul. USN 22 Hellcats, 31 USMC Coursairs and 24 RNZAF P-40s from 16 Squadron and 14 Squadron took off from Ondonga at 5:30am. They flew to Torokina Airfield to refuel, then split up into two groups, led by Freeman and Arkwright to Rabaul. Two P-40s aborted on the way to the target due to mechanical failures.  The Japanese launch a total of 72 fighters to intercept: 15 from the 201st Kokutai, 32 from 204th Kokutai and 25 from 253rd Kokutai. Three P-40s were lost, and two pilots: P-40N NZ3153 (MIA) over southern New Ireland and P-40N NZ3175 (MIA). Nine Japanese aircraft were claimed, 5 by RNZAF, 4 by USN. Force landed was F4U 17777 (survived). The Japanese claimed nine planes shot down.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): P-47's intercept 35-40 aircraft attacking Allied forces on the Arawe peninsula; at least 10 airplanes are claimed shot down; Cape Gloucester and nearby shipping are attacked by B-24's and B-25's. B-25's bomb the Sio area and P-39's sink 2 barges during a sweep along the Huon Peninsula. The 341st Fighter Squadron and 342d Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, transfer from 5 Mile Drome (Wards) to Finschhafen with P-47's. Lost on a local flight is L-5 piloted by Mueller (crew KIA).

SATURDAY, 18 DECEMBER 1943

SUNDAY, 19 DECEMBER 1943


MONDAY, 20 DECEMBER 1943

TUESDAY, 21 DECEMBER 1943

WEDNESDAY, 22 DECEMBER 1943

THURSDAY, 23 DECEMBER 1943

FRIDAY, 24 DECEMBER 1943

SATURDAY, 25 DECEMBER 1943

SUNDAY, 26 DECEMBER 1943

MONDAY, 27 DECEMBER 1943

TUESDAY, 28 DECEMBER 1943

WEDNESDAY, 29 DECEMBER 1943

THURSDAY, 30 DECEMBER 1943

FRIDAY, 31 DECEMBER 1943



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