Saint Georges Channel is located between the eastern coast of East New
Britain and the west coast of New Ireland southward to Cape Saint George. Connects to the Bismarck Sea to the northwest and Solomon Sea to the southeast. Also known as "St. George's Channel" or "Saint George's Channel". Located inside is Rakanda Island. Today spans East New Britain Province and New Ireland Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
During the Pacific War, used by the Japanese Navy during late January 1942 as an important shipping channel that connected Rabaul the open sea and was the first leg for vessels departing southwards to the Solomon Islands.
Allied missions against Cape St. George and Cape St. George
December 31, 1942 - October 26, 1944
George Munroe recalls:
"For flights over Rabaul, we always looked for safety to St.
Georges Channel because it was only a few minutes away to where you
would start hitting thunder clouds. We would go into those
thunderheads, something we would never do in the States, and go up...
down mainly four or five thousand feet in the blink of an eye. But,
the [Japanese] fighters couldn't follow us. Of course, with
that kind of turbulence we were fighting for our lives too, just
to stay in the air."
USS Argonaut SS-166
Sunk by depth charge attack January 10, 1943 south of St. Georges Channel
B-25D "Sorry Satchul" Serial Number 41-30056
Pilot Peterson ditched October 18, 1943 crew strafed by attacking fighters all KIA
F6F Hellcat Bureau Number 09028
Pilot Scott ditched December 24, 1943
rescued by PBY
F4U Corsair Bureau Number 17915
Pilot Boyington ditched January 3, 1944 taken POW aboard I-181
SBD Dauntless Bureau Number 35971
Pilot Ramsey crashed January 4, 1944 one member of crew survived, taken POW, executed
F6F Hellcat Bureau Number 25853
Pilot Schneider MIA January 9, 1944
P-38J Lightning Serial Number 42-67783
Pilot McCloud ditched January 28, 1944 in his life raft for nine days before rescued by PBY
P-40N Kittyhawk Serial Number NZ3120
Pilot Bremner MIA February 5, 1944
P-40N Kittyhawk Serial Number NZ3126
Pilot Nicholson MIA February 5, 1944
B-24J Liberator pilot Haire
Pilot Haire MIA March 5, 1944, 7 missing, 3 rescued, 1 POW, survived.
B-25D Mitchell 42-87320
Shanks ditched March 8, 194 near Cape Saint George crew rescued by RNZAF Catalina
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September 6, 2020