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December 22, 1943
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

WEDNESDAY, 22 DECEMBER 1943

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force): 11 A-24s from Makin dive-bomb cargo ships in Mille Lagoon; escort is provided by 32 P-39's and USN F6F's; the P-39's strafe the ship and AA and gasoline dumps on the and the vessel is left burning.

CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): In China, seven B-25's, with fighter escort bomb Hwajung; two others claim three direct hits on a freighter 105 miles south of Hong Kong. Sixty-five Japanese bombers and fighters attack Kunming Airfield; Ten P-40's and a P-38 from Kunming and several fighters from Yunnani engage the enemy force in a 50-minute running battle, claiming 12 airplanes shot down; 2 US aircraft are destroyed on the ground; damage to airfield is not serious. Seven P-40's intercept a force of 58 airplanes heading toward Chengkung, shooting down 3 of them and preventing an attack on Chengkung Airfield.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): B-25'a carry out strikes against Numa Numa, the Kahili supply area, the Chinatown area of Buka and scattered targets of opportunity; fighter aircraft and B-24's attack barge concentrations and hide-outs at Sohano, Chabai-Porton area, Anewa Bay, and Ambitle and several targets of opportunity throughout Bougainville; B-24's, operating individually and in pairs, attack targets of opportunity near Bonis, Porton, and at Sohano.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 30+ B-24's, B-25's, and A-20's continue bombardment of Cape Gloucester; a Japanese air raid on Arawe causes minor damage. B-25's and P-39's bomb Madang Airfield and barges at Madang and Alexishafen Town; and A-20's and B-26's pound occupied area north of Finschhafen. The 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, transfers from Port Moresby to Nadzab with P-47's. The 408th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 22d Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Dobodura to Nadzab with B-25's. Nearly 40 B-25s from the 345th BG with P-38 escorts bomb Wewak and Boram; the P-38's, B-25's, and some P-47's on sweep claim at least 13 aircraft shot down. Lost are P-38J 42-67142 (MIA), P-38H 42-66631 (MIA) and B-25D "Shif'less Skonk" 41-30021 (force landed, crew survived).

JAAF: Ki-61 Tonys from the 68th Sentai and 78th Sentai took off to intercept American aircraft over Wewak and engage escorting P-38 Lightnings. Lost was Ki-61 piloted by Takatsuki (MIA / KIA), Ki-61 Tony piloted by Motoyama (WIA, rescued, died) and Ki-61 piloted by Tahata (WIA, rescued).

RAAF: Force landed is Spitfire A58-51 (survived).



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