No one apart from those immediately involved in the bitter contest for Guadalcanal followed the development of that struggle with more concern than did the Allied commanders of the Southwest Pacific. Not only did they have a supporting role to play--one which absorbed much of their heavy bomber strength, deprived them of the bulk of their naval forces, and robbed them of badly needed air reinforcements by diversion to the South Pacific--but that support had to be given by men heavily engaged on their own front. While Japanese naval forces pushed down the Solomons to Guadalcanal, the Japanese army drove toward Port Moresby. And if there was debate at General MacArthur's headquarters over what could be spared in the face of an aggressive foe, there was also fear of the full force the enemy might turn on the defenders of Port Moresby should the defense of Guadalcanal fail.
In these circumstances, General MacArthur joined, with General Harmon and the naval commanders of the South Pacific in urging upon Washington a reallocation of forces in favor of the Pacific. Admitting that his own mission was a holding one, MacArthur warned the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the close of August that holding forces must be actually strong enough to hold and that their needs, so long as the enemy held the initiative, must be subject to constant reappraisal.1 But while his opinion served to intensify the continuing debate over global strategy, General Marshall and General Arnold clung to their determination, in Arnold's words, not to "vacillate with every new demand made upon us from every point in the compass,"2 and in the end their will prevailed. With TORCH coming up, Marshall promised limited reinforcements for the Southwest Pacific and every effort to maintain an uninterrupted flow of air replacements but he warned that defense
of the Pacific areas would ultimately depend upon close cooperation among the forces already available to the several commands.3 That his was easier said than done would be demonstrated more than once. As MacArthur in September informed Ghormley, in response to a request for P-38's then in Australia, it would be easy to transfer reinforcements from one area to the other if only one of the areas was under pressure but not when both faced simultaneous attack.4
The Japanese advance toward Port Moresby had been rapid following the successful landing at Buna on 21 July,* two and a half weeks before the Marines went ashore at Lunga Point. In late August, the enemy had no reason to believe that he could not reach Port Moresby; his lines of communication at sea were being maintained, Buna now was a firmly established base, and already his troops were halfway over the distance to the goal. Thus far he had met nothing which could inflict upon him unacceptable losses and he had not stopped. After the loss of Kokoda on 9 August, the retreat of the Australians had been almost precipitate in spite of their reinforcement by an additional brigade. On 29 August the Japanese broke through the so-called Gap at Isurava and within a few days they had forced a further withdrawal to the Imita and Iorabaiwa ridges, less than thirty miles from Port Moresby.5
Only at Milne Bay, situated on the strategically important southeastern tip of New Guinea, had the Allied forces managed to seize the initiative. The place had been selected as early as the preceding May for the development of airfields to guard the approaches from the Solomons to the Coral Sea and to assist in the seizure of the coastal areas above. Instructions for the immediate construction of a fighter strip and the subsequent development of a bomber field with appropriate dispersal facilities had gone out on 12 June.6 The original plan called for two companies of infantry, together with some 700 additional antiaircraft and service troops, to be stationed there. But the effort was soon intensified. By mid-July an Australian militia brigade of some 4,500 men, a veteran RAAF fighter squadron with its P-40's,
* See above, Chap. I.
and antiaircraft reinforcements which included an American automatic weapons battery had reached Milne Bay.
The Japanese landing at Bum gave new emphasis to the importance of holding Milne Bay. By the middle of August an American fighter control squadron had established itself near a second and recently completed strip and had posted detachments out on Goodenough and Normanby Islands for additional protection. Two RAAF P-40 squadrons, together with a few Hudsons, now operated from the new strips. By 19 August, MacArthur could report that one bomber strip would be ready within a week and that he expected two others to be completed in September. The recent arrival of an additional brigade of veterans from the Middle East had brought land forces to a total of 8,600.7
That there would soon be work for them all was evident enough. It was logical that the enemy's seizure of Buna should be followed by an effort to take Milne Bay, perhaps as a preliminary to another seaborne attempt on Port Moresby in coordination with an overland attack by way of Kokoda. Allied intelligence was alert to these possibilities, and when on 17 August estimates of enemy potentialities promised some major effort within ten days, orders went out to the Allied Air Forces to prepare for maximum operations between 22 and 27 August. There were reasons, of course, for believing that an attempt to dislodge the Marines on Guadalcanal would claim first place in the enemy's plans, but he also might move simultaneously to obtain his objectives both in the Solomons and in New Guinea. Air headquarters should prepare, among other things, to oppose landing operations at Good-enough Bay, Milne Bay, or Port Moresby.8
On 17 August, Port Moresby sustained its seventy-eighth bombing raid of the war when twenty-four planes attacked Seven-Mile Airdrome. Bombs falling on operations headquarters and parked aircraft destroyed three B-26's and a transport, and did damage to eight other planes, Day after day Japanese reconnaissance planes had appeared over Milne Bay, where on 24 August the Australians intercepted a dozen Zekes to shoot down two of them. The next day brought reports from coast watchers of Japanese barge movements at Porlock Harbor and off Goodenough Island, and B-17's sighted a convoy reported as consisting of three light cruisers or destroyers, two transports, and other smaller vessels. The B-17's shadowed the convoy to a point indicating Milne Bay as its objective.9
THE BUNA AREA--Above: BUNA MISSION Below: SANANANDA TRACK
PAPUA AIRSTRIPS--Above: KOKODA, JULY 1942 Below: DOBODUKA, FEBRUARY 1943
Before noon Maj. Gen. Cyril A. Clowes, commanding the forces at Milne Bay, had been warned. All reserve aircraft in the Townsville area were released for attack missions; nine B-17's made ready at Mareeba to go out against the convoy; all available mediums were ordered to Moresby for attack on the following day; and two RAAF Hudson squadrons at Darwin were ordered to prepare for possible transfer to the threatened area.10 The weather, which had been bad for two weeks, if anything worsened, with the result that the B-17's could not find the enemy and, as so often before, turned back without dropping their bombs. But out from Milne Bay one of the Hudsons succeeded in leading twenty-three RAAF P-40's in a dive-bombing and strafing attack on the convoy which resulted in a claim to have sunk one small vessel.11 Whatever the fact, the enemy experienced no delay in the execution of his plans. An Australian patrol boat, groping through steaming rain and mist just before midnight, discovered the convoy along the bay's shore and shortly reported that the landing had begun.12
Back at General Headquarters, an intelligence officer summed it up thus: "The failure of the Air in this situation is deplorable; it will encourage the enemy to attempt further landings, with assurance of impunity."13 It cannot be said that in the circumstances more could have been done, but the experience did clearly indicate that much remained to be accomplished toward a more effective employment of Allied air power. It is probable that the chief contribution made by the air forces at the outset of the Milne Bay operation came in a series of attacks instituted on the 25th against the Buna airfield. Recent improvements undertaken there, of which Allied commanders had been apprised by reconnaissance and reports from friendly natives, argued that the enemy would use the field for fighters in support of the effort to seize Milne Bay. As the attempt to neutralize this potential threat got under way on 2s and 26 August, battering storms forced several of the fighters, A-20'S, and B-26's to turn back, but the low-flying P-400's carried through some twenty sorties. Observation was difficult, but of the fighters and dive bombers found on the field claims ran as high as ten destroyed.14
Meanwhile, General Clowes' ground forces had joined battle with the enemy in rain and mud. In the ensuing contest for possession of the airstrips at Milne Bay, the Japanese were outnumbered. They had an original force of just under 1,200 troops, and these were reinforced
by not above 800 more; but the enemy proved adept at taking advantage of weather and terrain, he had two light tanks, and destroyers regularly paid night visits for the delivery of supporting shellfire. Clowes depended chiefly upon inadequately trained militia, inclined to show panic when outmatched by the foe, but after a week the resistance stiffened. The American engineers had set up machine guns near the airstrips, and as the Middle East veterans brought their experience to bear, the enemy was gradually pushed back.15
In the grueling fight, units of the Allied Air Forces played a notable if not a decisive part. Milne Bay was their primary assignment. After the original failure to prevent an enemy landing, Allied bombers had concentrated upon supply points and had been able to prevent the establishment of usable depots on shore. A small enemy force moving from Buna by barge reached Goodenough Island on 26 August, but all of their barges were destroyed. In direct cooperation with the infantry, the RAAF P-40's continued to fly from the Milne Bay field and proved effective.16 These squadrons had a number of carefully selected infantry or artillery officers assigned as "air liaison officers," who briefed pilots on enemy targets and upon friendly dispositions.17 Oil drums, landing barges, and vehicles, particularly the two tanks (soon put out of commission), were favorite targets. Numerous sorties were sent out to strafe treetops, where Japanese snipers frequently hid.18
Periodic threats of a major Japanese reinforcement of the area never materialized.19 Desultory fighting would continue for weeks, but the Japanese made no major gain after the first of September. Close to 700 of the enemy were killed during the course of the Milne Bay fight, some 1,300 were evacuated, and 9 were captured. Perhaps 300 of the enemy remained on Goodenough Island, where their landing on the 26th had forced the American warning unit to destroy its radio equipment and withdraw to the mainland.20
If from the Japanese point of view the Milne Bay venture had involved a limited commitment which failed to pay off, there was on the Allied side cause for satisfaction in having beaten the enemy to the punch. It would be possible to move with new assurance in meeting the overland drive against Port Moresby and to plan with fresh hope for the ultimate expulsion of the enemy from the northern coast of New Guinea.
Other developments also offered encouragement. During the early
days of September the Directorate of Air Transport* had pressed every available plane, whether civil or military, into service to ferry an Australian regiment from Brisbane to Port Moresby. By 15 September, the exhausted troops facing the Japanese in the ridges above Port Moresby had been reinforced by three fresh Australian battalions; and on that same day the first American infantrymen to reach New Guinea, Company E, I 26th Infantry of the 3 2d Division, landed by transport plane at Seven-Mile Airdrome. This had been a test flight to determine the feasibility of moving units by air transport, and by 24 September the 128th Infantry Regiment, less artillery, had been flown to Port Moresby, where the remainder of the 126th Infantry came in by water on 28 September. On that day the reinforced Australians launched an attack which broke the enemy's defenses on Iorabaiwa Ridge and then in the face of tenacious resistance forced their way back toward Kokoda. Though it would take over a month to reach that place, with its useful airfield, the turning point in the Japanese attempt to take Port Moresby from the rear had come. Bitter fighting lay ahead, but the battle soon would be for Buna instead of for Moresby.
As so frequently is the experience of men in war, it had been necessary for air force leaders to divide their attention between operations and reorganization. General Kenney had been preceded to Australia by Brig. Gens. Ennis C. Whitehead, an experienced fighter commander, and Kenneth N. Walker, expert in bombardment aviation; Brig. Gen. Donald Wilson, whom Kenney proposed to use as chief of staff, soon followed.21 Plans, on which General Kenney had been briefed in Washington, called for the organization of American units into a distinct air force that would be largely free of obligations for the immediate defense of Australia in order to concentrate on the support of a rapidly moving offensive to the north.21 On 7 August, three days after Kenney had assumed command in Australia, MacArthur requested authorization for an American air force and suggested the designation of Fifth Air Force in honor of his fighter and bomber commands in the Philippines.þ This request having been promptly granted, the Fifth Air Force was officially constituted on 3 September. Kenney immediately assumed command, retaining in addition his command of the Allied Air Forces.23 With headquarters at Brisbane,
The Fifth Air Force
* See Vol. I. 424.
þ See Vol. I, 182, 612.
the latter organization would serve thereafter as "a major policy making establishment" with only a general supervision over the operations of its two components--the Fifth Air Force and the RAAF, for a time known as Coastal Command and under Air Vice Marshal W.D. Bostock.24 The RAAF retained its administrative autonomy. Except for northeastern Australia, the RAAF assumed responsibility for the defense of the Australian continent and, in addition, full responsibility for reconnaissance and bomber operations flown from the Darwin area against Japanese bases in the Netherlands East Indies. The Fifth Air Force took over the full job in eastern Australia and in Papua on New Guinea. The arrangement, of course, was not intended to be inflexible. RAAF squadrons were attached to the Fifth Air Force and repeatedly participated in its operations, while the Fifth frequently furnished units to its ally on request.25
On paper the organization of the Fifth Air Force followed a conventional American model. It consisted of the United States Army Air Services Command under Maj. Gen. Rush B. Lincoln, the V Bomber Command under Brig. Gen. Kenneth N. Walker with temporary headquarters at Townsville, and the V Fighter Command, which existed largely on paper until early in November.26 This organization, however, was not considered flexible enough to cope with the peculiar problems of the theater. Because of General Kenney's responsibilities for administration and planning, whether he wore the cap of Allied or of American commander, it was essential that he maintain his headquarters near GHQ at Brisbane, a thousand miles south of the main center of operations in New Guinea. Because "I do not dare to base any bombardment in New Guinea until I weed Mr. Moto down to my size," as Kenney explained to Arnold, all heavy and most medium bombers continued to be based in Australia and used Moresby only for purposes of staging.27 Nor, looking into the future, did there appear to be much prospect of escaping altogether the "horrible handicap" of operating from advanced bases. Accordingly, General Whitehead was made deputy air force commander and placed directly in charge at Port Moresby of Fifth Air Force, Advanced Echelon. ADVON, to use the abbreviated designation, had been conceived as a separate, small, and highly mobile advanced headquarters, free of most administrative details and charged primarily with the immediate direction of combat operations.
Enjoying the complete confidence of both MacArthur and Kenney,
Whitehead worked out the details of general directives sent forward from Brisbane. All aircraft operating from Port Moresby were subject to his immediate and personal control. The Fifth Air Force itself and its several commands carried the administrative burden. The bomber command from its headquarters at Townsville, 600 miles below Port Moresby, was limited in its direction of operations merely to dispatching "aircraft on call to the Deputy Air Force Commander."28
For combat operations Kenney and Whitehead, like Brett before them, had a paper strength of one light bombardment group, three fighter groups, and two groups each of heavy and medium bombardment. Actually, there were approximately seventy B-17's on hand at the end of August, of which rarely more than thirty were in commission, scarcely enough to reequip the 19th Group and the 63d Squadron of the 43d Group. Moreover, many of the crews were worn out from long operations. Kenney had approximately forty B-26's but they were kept in commission only with increasing difficulty, for most of them had been operating since the arrival of the 22d Group in April. Of B-25's, which were scheduled to replace the Marauders in the Southwest Pacific, there were forty-five, ten of them operational. B-25 units were two squadrons of the 38th Bombardment Group (M) and two of the 3d Bombardment Group (L). The 89th Squadron, soon to become the work horse for ADVON, alone had light bombers, A-20's. Of the some 250 fighters, many were badly worn or not yet ready for flight; approximately 100 were P-400's, the rest P-39's and P-40's.29
Deliveries of new planes remained uncertain, became in fact more uncertain with the opening of the Guadalcanal campaign. On 29 June, General MacArthur had been provided with a "general schedule" of deliveries listing twenty-four heavy bombers for June shipment and sixteen for each of the months of July and August; twenty-four medium bombers for June, twenty for July, and eighteen for August; and sixteen light bombers for July and twenty-four for August. Actually, forty-six heavies, fifty mediums, and no light bombers represented the totals received by the end of summer.30 Soon after the landing on Guadalcanal, Admiral Ghormley had received from the Joint Chiefs authorization for diverting to his command heavy and medium bombers en route to the Southwest Pacific. Fortunately, the authority was exercised in accordance with General Harmon's assurance that it would be use only in case of extreme emergency, but
to Kenney the consequences at times were most serious.31 Though the 19th Group, designated a mobile force in July for possible employment in the South Pacific, was never called down as were the Hawaiian units, the bombers would devote much of their time through the fall to missions coordinated with efforts to relieve successive crises in the neighboring theater. The largest single diversion came in the shipment late in August of thirty P-39's from Australia to New Caledonia.32
Estimates of enemy strength made in August offered some assurance. At a time when the Fifth Air Force had 258 fighters, 82 medium bombers, 74 heavies, and 36 light bombers, these estimates credited the enemy in the entire South and Southwest Pacific, including the Netherlands East Indies, with 117 fighters, 170 bombers, and 114 other miscellaneous combat aircraft.33 But numbers do not tell everything.* As Kenney warned Arnold in October, "The Jap is two days from the factory to the combat zone, and he may swarm all over me." He had assured Arnold in August as to the usefulness of the P-40 and to a less extent of the P-39, but he pled especially for the P-38, the speedy high flyer with the twin tail. Japanese tactics depended upon fighter cover, a luxury not yet available for his own long-range bombers. "If we take out his fighters, his bombers won't go," Kenney wrote, adding: "If his fighters don't go, his troops and boats don't go either." The general was looking forward to the day when he had P-38's to engage "the Zero coverage up top-side while the P-39's and P-40's take on the bombers."34
With allocations small and replacements uncertain, a premium was placed upon keeping the equipment on hand in service. Battle damage was only one of many causes of attrition. The wear and tear exacted by rough landing fields, or by the necessity of flying through tropical storms, added greatly to the burden of maintenance. The weather created its own special problems. There was so much moisture in the atmosphere of the New Guinea area that electrical equipment soon acquired a corroding fungus growth; for that matter, any metal surface was subject to almost immediate corrosion and ordinary lubricating oils, in the hot temperatures, seemed either to evaporate or simply run off. Problems of distance from the main source of supply in the United States, the inadequacy of shipping and air transport, and the claims of other theaters continued to impose their delays on efforts
* See again note on p. 87.
to overcome these and other difficulties. Within the theater itself, the units were widely separated and the problems of transportation especially difficult. In these early days, moreover, service and supply personnel were often inexperienced, and at times it proved difficult to persuade responsible officers at the depots to send parts forward to the points at which they were most sorely needed.35
Problems of maintenance were ultimately joined with those of supply. In August Kenney described maintenance on his B-17's in these terms: "We are salvaging even the skin for large patchwork from twenty millimetre explosive fire; to patch up smaller holes we are flattening out tin cans and using them. Every good rib and bulkhead of a wrecked airplane is religiously saved to replace shot up members of other airplanes.36 Lack of bearings for Allison engines grounded many fighters; requisitioned in August, the bearings were not available for shipment until October, by which time Kenney claimed the main bearings in five out of six engines needed changing.37 Improper tools for Pratt & Whitney engines delayed the repair of grounded B-26's and transports.38 Perhaps most discouraging of all was the difficulty experienced in getting the P-38's ready for combat. By October approximately sixty of these fighters had reached the theater, but none of them had seen combat. First, the fuel tanks began to leak, requiring repair or replacement, and then superchargers, water coolers, invertors, and armament all required major adjustment or repair. As a consequence, it was not until late in December that the P-38's flew a major combat mission over New Guinea.39
It having been War Department policy from the first to encourage full utilization of Australian industrial facilities,* a number of commercial aircraft companies and airlines were now providing much-needed assistance. Help came also in the overhaul of engines from affiliates of such American concerns as General Motors and the Ford Motor Company.40
Perhaps the greatest need in the summer of 1942 was for a more effective organization of the air service units and facilities. The existing organization reflected too much of the concern for Australia's defense, which naturally had tended to give original shape to the US. Army Air Services.þ A first plan to locate the air base groups according to the several defensive areas of Australia had never been fully implemented, but the principal service facilities remained in the vicinity
* See Vol. I, 228.
þ See Vol. I, 412-23.
of Melbourne, over two thousand miles from New Guinea.41 Not only did this prove a serious embarrassment to current operations but the embarrassment would become more acute as opportunity arose to implement plans for an advance against Rabaul. Of five air base groups and two air depot groups present in July, only the 8th Air Base Group had been located in New Guinea. Two groups, one in each category, were still in southern Australia.42
Although countless officers and enlisted men should be given credit for their unique contributions in overcoming the difficulties of service and supply, nevertheless it is pertinent to note that General Kenney himself was both by character and training peculiarly equipped for directing the battle of maintenance that in the Pacific was little if any less important than combat operations. Not only was he by nature one who scorned the conventional to find new ways of doing things but his prewar career had given him a wide acquaintance with the problems of materiel. A former student at the Air Service Engineering School, for two years Army representative at the Curtiss plant, and past chief of the production engineering section of the Air Corps Materiel Division, he had served after the outbreak of the war in Europe as assistant military attaché in Paris. He returned to the United States with information which, according to General Arnold, helped to bring "our production and performance dope up-to-date."43
In the weeks after Kenney's assumption of command, major changes took place in the service organization. Lincoln's Army Air Services Command was officially made a part of the Fifth Air Force on 5 September 1942, but it was already in the process of a reorganization that would bring with it a new designation. By the middle of October, the name had been changed to Air Service Command, Fifth Air Force, and Brig. Gen. Carl W. Connell had succeeded General Lincoln.44 Since late summer, a movement forward had been put under way which would soon concentrate all service units north of Brisbane, most of them in the Townsville area and in New Guinea.*
A particularly significant development of late 1942 and early 1943 was the opening of a major air depot at Townsville, "an installation
* By November the air base groups, redesignated as service groups, were located as follows: the 8th at Port Moresby, the 22d near Brisbane, the 35th at Charters Towers, the 36th divided between Port Moresby and Mane Bay, the 45th between Charleville and Port Moresby, and the 46th at Mareeba near Cairns. The 4th Air Depot Group was at Townsville, and the 81st and a new arrival, the 27th, were in the Brisbane area.
unmatched in size and production potential anywhere outside of the United States and England."45 Townsville at that time was almost in the forward area and suffered occasional air attacks, but the advantages of having a central supply and maintenance depot some 600 miles from Port Moresby were immeasurable. Furthermore, the town possessed an excellent airport, a "creditable" harbor and jetty, and railroad connections with the south. On 7 August 1942, General Kenney appointed Col. Donald W. Benner as officer in general charge of the supply and maintenance activities at Townsville, and a month later he assigned Lt. Col. Victor E. Bertrandias, a former vice president of Douglas Aircraft, to command of the 4th Air Depot Group with the specific task of building the depot.46 This involved the construction of six 170-x-200-foot and five 100-x-200-foot wooden-arch hangars for repair and five more hangars for warehousing, together with a camp for 600 officers and men. Building material was difficult to obtain, but the problem of labor proved even more difficult. A few Australian civilians were available, but these were subject to union rules and local custom which, on occasion, considerably annoyed the Americans. The construction, therefore, had to be done by American military personnel. The 4th Air Depot Group, which had arrived in the theater in February, was a logical choice, because of its earlier experience in constructing the large depot at Tocumwal, far to the south. Early in October, constituent units of the group began to arrive on the site of the depot--then little more than some 1,630 acres of land covered with trees. In December, by dint of 12- to 18-hour working days, with some assistance by special assignments from the 11th AC Replacement Center Depot, 90 per cent of the original project was brought to completion. Not until the pressure of rapid construction began to diminish late in December did the men have time to think of the cities to the south where life had been easier and recreational facilities more plentiful.47
While Townsville was being developed as a major center for supply and maintenance, steps were taken to organize more effectively activities in the forward area which could be expected with the passage of time to grow. In September, Advance Headquarters of the U.S. Army Air Services had been established, under Lt. Col. Henry A. Sebastian, at Port Moresby. The new headquarters was intended to be a "clearing house for all Air Corps supplies on the island, for petroleum, for salvage, for aircraft returning to the Australian mainland, for all the
etcetera from requisition to crash boats, from personnel to the allocation of equipment and parts."48
The work horse at Port Moresby since April had been the 8th Service Group. With some 50 officers and 1,000 enlisted men, it manned Jackson airdrome, one of the three principal fields in the Moresby area. It operated the Arcadia Transient Camp for the housing and feeding of combat crews on the way through Port Moresby. It operated an air depot for both the Port Moresby and Milne Bay areas. It held responsibility for salvaging damaged aircraft on five airdromes, on near-by islands, and along the coast for eighty miles. Perhaps of chief importance, it performed routine maintenance for fighters, light bombers, transports, and any other transient aircraft needing help.49
The general forward movement of ground echelons and the arrival, early in December 1942, of the 27th Air Depot Group from Brisbane gave some hope of relief for the overburdened 8th Service Group. Relief was slow, however, because of the difficulties experienced by new units in adjusting to the primitive conditions of an advanced tropical base. Upon disembarking from the ships at Port Moresby, the men of one of the 27th's units were carried by truck for seven miles into a desolate area where "every inch of ground was covered by mosquito laden tough fibrous waste [sic] high Kunai grass." At first the 900 or more men had only their barracks bags and field packs. Other supplies and equipment had to be brought from the ships and uncrated before such essentials as field kitchens could be set up. The only water immediately available was that contained in canteens and Lyster bags. The table of basic allowances had not been designed to meet such a situation. A depot repair squadron, for example, was allotted one carpenter's kit, and with that its personnel were expected to clear the area and build whatever buildings were necessary.50
As soon as the camp had been established, the men turned to the duties for which they had been trained. Welding, sheet-metal, and machine shops were set up, in most cases under a canvas thrown over a wooden frame. Unfortunately, canvas was scarce and some of the precious machinery would be ruined during the rainy season. Something in the nature of permanent housing was necessary. Since there were at that time no engineers available for construction, 40 per cent of the group's personnel was assigned the task of building the depot.51
It would be difficult to exaggerate the contributions made by the supply and maintenance men. Perhaps the most spectacular of their
achievements came in the field of modification and in the development of materiel to meet conditions unforeseen when an item was first designed. As the historian of one service unit wrote: "There was hardly a tactical or service squadron which was not busily engaged in hanging more guns or armor" on whatever aircraft were available.52 Although there was always the danger that individualistic engineering would add stresses and strains too great for the structure of the plane, the Fifth Air Force encouraged modification through the agencies of its Air Service Command. Before the Townsville and Port Moresby depots were well established, most of this work had been done in the Brisbane area. There, under the direction of such officers as Col. Ralph L. Fry and Col. William H. Monay, commanding officer and executive respectively of the 81st Air Depot Group, numerous feats of supply, maintenance, and modification were accomplished.
It was there too that Maj. Paul I. Gum, veteran flyer and authority on materiel, made for himself an almost fabulous reputation for the things he could and would do to an airplane. He contributed greatly to the winning of the Papuan campaign by supervising a modification of the A-20, Douglas light bomber. Originally the A-to was armed with only four .30-cal. machine guns, and its short range made a flight over the Owen Stanley Mountains extremely dangerous. After considerable experimentation, four .50-cal. guns were attached to the plane's nose in addition to the original armament, and two 450-gallon bomb-bay tanks increased the fuel capacity. The redesign of this bomber delayed its entry into combat until September, but from that time it became a key weapon with the Fifth Air Force.53 Its employment was at first somewhat restricted, because there were no bombs which could be dropped safely from a minimum altitude without endangering the plane. But the service command found the solution of this problem by following a suggestion made by General Kenney himself. This was simply to attach a parachute to a 23-pound fragmentation bomb armed with an instantaneous fuze. Forty or more of these bombs could be carried in a sort of honeycomb rack fastened into the bomb bay, from which they could be safely scattered on an enemy airfield.54 The device was first tried in combat on 12 September against the Buna airfield with outstanding success.
No less important was the effort to devise more effective means for attacking enemy ships, a function in which the record of Army planes in the Pacific had not been particularly good. As General Kenney was
to point out later, a bombardment squadron of the Fifth Air Force seldom had as many as nine planes in commission, this being the minimum number generally considered necessary in a flight to carry through the pattern of bombing called for by AAF doctrine. At the same time, low-flying and erratic cloud formations interfered with establishing the pattern.55 There were other explanations, similar to those offered in the South Pacific,* which figured during the summer and fall in discussions both in Washington and in the theaters.þ Out of these discussions came the logical suggestion that in such circumstances the planes might be brought down to bomb at mast height. British experience had proved the practicability of the tactic, even with four-engine planes, and during the summer experiments had been undertaken in the United States for development of the proper delayed-action fuze.56
General Kenney was enthusiastic. He had long had an interest in "attack aviation," having taught courses on the subject more than ten years before in the Air Corps Tactical School at Langley Field, and he made the problem of low-altitude bombing one of his first concerns on arriving in Australia. Maj. William G. Benn, commander of the 63d Squadron of the 43d Bombardment Group (H) , spent hours in his B-17 during August and September on test runs, skipping bombs or aiming them directly at an old wreck in Port Moresby harbor, and experimenting with improvised bombsights.57 The service command worked on the problem of a fuze suitable for low-level attack. As early as 15 August, experiments in the Southwest Pacific had indicated that fuzes with an 8- to 11-second delay were best against merchant shipping. A partially satisfactory result was achieved by modifying the standard M-106 tail fuze.58 A new detonator housing was constructed, and standard RAAF detonators with 1-, 5-, 8-, or 11-second delay inserted. Although many of these failed to detonate, they were the only type available until early in the following year, when an adequate supply of standard M-113 fuzes became available.59
* See above, pp. 63-70.
þ There was a question as to why the Fifth Air Force did not make use of the A-24 dive bomber and the aerial torpedo against shipping. It will be recalled that the A-24 had been used. But the Fifth Air Force was convinced that it could not be used successfully from New Guinea landing fields against distant targets across New Guinea mountains without a fighter escort. General Brett had also experimented with the torpedo. This experimentation continued for a time under General Kenney, but he came to the conclusion that experimentation with bombing techniques was more practicable. Thus the torpedoes available were turned over to an RAAF Beaufort squadron.
The stemming of the Japanese advance toward Port Moresby at Iorabaiwa Ridge in September had reset the stage for an Allied offensive looking immediately to the occupation of Buna. Credit for this change belonged chiefly to the Australian infantry, which stoutly fought its way back toward Kokoda during the month of October. But the air forces had played, and continued to play, their part.
They failed to obstruct the one major reinforcement of the Buna forces undertaken by the enemy during the months of September and October. Attacks on a transport accompanied by two naval vessels early in the latter month were hampered by Japanese fighter cover, with the result that an estimated 1,000 men were landed. For supply of his forces, the enemy relied for the most part on submarines and small boats moving down from Lae and Salamaua under cover of darkness. Intelligence reports frequently described these movements, but to prevent them proved impossible. A considerable number of barges were destroyed by daylight bombing and strafing, but what percentage of the total employed remains uncertain.60
More successful, though not all that could be desired, were the missions flown in support of the Australians as they fought between Kokoda and Iorabaiwa Ridge. The vital supply line maintained by natives acting as carriers was supplemented by aerial dropping until the reoccupation of Kokoda on 2 November permitted transports once again to land there, bringing in supplies or reinforcements and evacuating the wounded on the return trip.61 Continual attack was maintained on the supply line of the Japanese, who after passing Kokoda had experienced some of the difficulty of extended lines theretofore besetting the Allied force.62 Bombings along the track leading back to Buna repeatedly engaged the attention of every type of plane, from the P-400 or RAAF Beaufighter to the B-17. Certain points considered vital to Japanese communications were kept under continuing attack. In the Wairopi bridge, hung across the rushing Kumusi River on wire ropes, the planes found a favorite target. It was bombed and strafed; even "incendiary belly tanks" were dropped on it. The enemy persistently kept it in repair but eventually it was destroyed, sufficiently at least to hamper both the Japanese retreat and the Allied pursuit. Buna itself received close and constant attention, especially the airstrip which was potentially useful for staging purposes. The thick foliage covering
the area of battle made direct air support of the infantry especially difficult, but useful experience in the employment of air liaison officers and smoke or panel signals was gained. The A-20 did most of the work, under a cover of P-39's or P-400's which usually swept down for strafing before turning back to Port Moresby.63
It is difficult to evaluate the role of the air forces during this period of changing fortunes. Certainly the attacks against shipping were ineffective unless it can be assumed that the existence of Allied planes discouraged the Jap from sending additional convoys. The effect of the attacks along the track could not be measured by pilot observation, as operational reports frequently acknowledged. But there are indications of success achieved. Photographs taken before and after attacks pointed to the destruction of specific objectives, and the starved condition of the Japanese dead indicated that, for some reason, sufficient supplies had failed to reach the forward areas. Particularly damaging was the destruction of Wairopi bridge which the Japanese themselves testify resulted in a breakdown of communications and heavy losses by drowning in the flooded Kumusi River. 64
That the Allied Air Forces held almost undisputed mastery of the air over Papua is clear enough, though this must be attributed in part to heavy Japanese commitments to the Solomon's. According to Allied estimates, there were never fewer than 100 and usually nearer 150 aircraft at Rabaul, but rarely did the enemy send any of them down to the New Guinea airfields. Moreover, he undertook only two major air attacks on Allied bases in New Guinea during September and October, neither of them effective. And of the numerous missions flown by Allied planes, on only two occasions did they meet interception.65
Although the advantage arising from Japan's heavy commitments in the Solomon's was recognized, the dread remained that the enemy might at any time turn his full air strength on the Allied positions in New Guinea. In October, MacArthur renewed his appeal for a review of strategic decisions. He wanted more men, more ships, more planes. In short, he urged that the full resources of the United States be used to meet the emergency in the Pacific.66 This estimate of the situation received, of course, careful consideration by the high command in Washington, but it did not result in any inclination to put the needs of the Pacific before those of Europe. In fact, the principal result of MacArthur's plea was a small reinforcement in heavy bombers. After considerable discussion, it was decided to transfer the 90th Bombardment
Group (H) with its B-24's, then at Hawaii, to the Southwest Pacific as a replacement for the veteran 19th Group, whose many months of service in the Pacific had greatly reduced its effectiveness. Actually, a decision had been made as early as the preceding July to replace all B-17's in the Pacific with B-24's, and Kenney entertained some doubts that the latter plane would meet his peculiar needs as well as did the B-17.67 The decision did promise, however, the replacement of old planes with new ones, and of tired men by fresh crews.
The exchange would not be effected until November. Meanwhile, by attacks on Rabaul, crews of the 19th Group, some of whom would complete their long and difficult service in the Pacific by flying missions for General Harmon on the way out to Hawaii,* gave such support as they could to the hard pressed defenders of Guadalcanal. MacArthur had rejected all suggestions that his B-17's be transferred to the South Pacific, arguing that they could not be based on Guadalcanal and that such bases as could support them in the South Pacific were too distant from the targets. On the other hand, from Port Moresby, in addition to the maintenance of vital reconnaissance, he could strike at Rabaul, Kavieng, Buka, Kieta, and Buin, all of them important enemy bases and none of them within the reach of South Pacific planes at that time.68 Fitting his actions to his words, he maintained an almost daily watch of Japanese activities in New Britain and the upper Solomon's, and through October and November sent his B-17's on repeated bombing missions to that area with the primary intention of supporting South Pacific forces.þ
Rabaul, chief objective and by now an old target for Fifth Air Force planes, lay 450 miles from Port Moresby over a mountain range and with much treacherous weather between the two points. Commonly, one or two planes, RAAF Catalinas or B-17's, would lead the way to provide weather information and, since most of the missions were flown at night, to illuminate the target with incendiary bombs or by dropping "true flares by pairs" every three or four minutes. The beacons thus provided guided the formations in their bombing runs, usually made at from 4,000 to 10,000 feet, and frequently these runs were followed by individual strafing of searchlight and antiaircraft positions.69
* See above, page 58.
þ From 18 September through 30 November, approximately 40 sorties were carried out by Catalinas against Buka in the upper Solomon's, 38 Catalina and 47 B-17 sorties against Buin at the southern tip of Bougainville, and 180 B-17, 11 Catalina, and 2 B-24 sorties against Rabaul.
The first major attack in what would be a sustained effort over a three-week period came on 5 October as one of the few daylight missions undertaken against Rabaul during the latter part of 1942. The Japanese having opened a new offensive on Guadalcanal, record attacks on Rabaul town by thirty and twenty-one planes, respectively, were executed on 9 and 10 October. Three days later fifteen B-17's, their effort coordinated with a scheduled reinforcement of Guadalcanal, dropped thirty tons of bombs on Lakunai and Vunakanau.70
Not until 23 October did any of the attacks result in sensational claims. Intelligence reports continually showed a high concentration of shipping in Rabaul harbor, and an especially heavy concentration reported on the 20th invited a test in combat of the recently developed techniques for low-level attack. While two of the three flights in which the B-17's flew bombed according to standard procedures, picked planes of the 63d Squadron, including that of Major Benn, glided down through the moonlit darkness to release their bombs from less than 250 feet. Violent explosions and flying debris were observed, with the result that the experiment was considered to have been eminently successful. A later assessment, however, indicates that no vessels were actually sunk.71
Indeed, it is almost impossible to measure the effects of an offensive effort which was continued until the crisis had passed on Guadalcanal. The most careful assessment of shipping damage available credits Army aircraft with only one small vessel sunk at Rabaul during October, but Fifth Air Force records indicate that in addition damage was done to perhaps as many as nineteen vessels. It seems probable that flights from Lakunai and Vunakanau to Guadalcanal experienced some interruption. Damage to the town from the record raids of 9 and 10 October was probably considerable. Bombs hit a cooling jetty, machine shops, bomb and fuel dumps. Here, however, at a time of crisis in the Solomon's the wisdom of assigning these targets rather than the airfields and shipping might be questioned.72 The more significant results were perhaps the less tangible: a fuller knowledge of Japanese movements and concentrations, experience turned to account later, and help in the preservation of good will between neighboring theaters. After the mission of 23 October, Admiral Halsey radioed his thanks to MacArthur, and asked that the latter continue to select the target areas.73 As a further contribution to the South Pacific, MacArthur released the first of his P-38's that became ready for combat. Admiral King had made a
special appeal in mid-October to General Marshall, who then asked MacArthur to hold a flight in readiness for transfer in an emergency.74 The planes made the long flight from Milne Bay to Henderson Field early in November.*
The bomber attacks on Rabaul served also to fulfill one of the air force obligations under plans for the taking of Buna. These plans called for the continued sustenance of a small band of Australians (Kanga Force) which had held out inland from Lae at Wau since March, for a counterattack to be pressed by the Australians along the track leading down from Kokoda to Buna, and for a flanking movement to be undertaken by the 32d Division in an overland march across the mountains for the purpose of intercepting the Japanese as they fell back from Kokoda. Having liquidated thus the enemy's advance guard, Allied forces would concentrate on the reduction of Buna.75 To Kenney fell the threefold task of striking such points as Rabaul and Buin and interrupting enemy sea communications south of New Britain with his long-range planes, of supplying Kanga Force and the two ground forces in Papua with his transports, and of directing his short-range aviation against hostile supply in the Buna-Lae-Solomon's areas76 Whitehead, for the more effective coordination of air and ground operations, was authorized to deal directly with the New Guinea Force, which under General Blamey comprised all ground troops in New Guinea. North of the Owen Stanleys, Lt. Gen. E.F. Herring, another Australian, would have charge of the Advanced New Guinea Force in the final reduction of Buna. Maj. Gen. Edwin F. Harding of the U.S. 32d Division and Maj. Gen. E.A. Vasey of the Australian 7 necessarily would assume a good deal of independent authority, especially in the earlier phases of the campaign.77
It became increasingly clear that success of the plan would depend heavily upon air transport. The intended route of advance for the flanking operation ran through some of the most difficult country in the world, native carriers were limited both in the numbers available and in their capacity, and the scarcity of shipping imposed a limit on the supplies that could be landed on the coast above Milne Bay. Unhappily, air transports were also scarce. Planes of the civil airlines might be chartered for service in noncombat areas, thus releasing military planes, but the Directorate of Air Transport under Capt. Harold Gatty suffered from a serious shortage of assigned strength. Only forty-one of
* See above p. 59
the seventy-eight planes allocated to American units were on hand in mid-September, and of these some fifteen were of little use except as sources for spare parts.78 MacArthur and Kenney, fortunately, were successful in persuading OPD to provide two additional transport or, as they were now known, troop carrier squadrons.79
Even so, the Fifth Air Force did not receive its full quota of transport planes and crews until late November. One of the new squadrons reached Australia with thirteen C-47's in mid-October, but the other was "sandbagged," as Kenney put it, by General Harmon in the South Pacific, where seven of the squadron's C-47's flew between New Caledonia and Guadalcanal for more than a month before resuming their flight to Australia. In their continued absence, the Fifth Air Force activated the 374th Troop Carrier Group to include the four transport squadrons soon to be available.80 Air force leaders in the theater had been pushing a proposal for the early seizure by use of troop carriers not only of Buna but of Lae as well. A "cow pasture" within easy striking distance of Lae had been "surveyed" and the possibility of landing airborne troops there discussed. But when Kenney "could not show the capacity to land and supply the forces necessary to do the job," the idea was dropped. There was even some delay in the development of plans for attainment of the more limited objective at Buna.81
These plans had come to place still heavier emphasis on the role of air transport than in their first form. Generals Blamey and Harding, whose 32d Division was moving into Port Moresby during the last two weeks of September, now proposed, after consultation with Whitehead and Walker, also at Port Moresby, a wide envelopment to the east that would depend upon flying as large a force as could be supplied to some advanced field in the neighborhood of Buna for attack in that vicinity. Fifth Air Force planes had reconnoitered the area and picked Wanigela Mission, on the northwestern shore of Collingwood Bay, some sixty-five miles below Buna. By late September transport aircraft had made landings there to prove the feasibility of the venture. Australian coast watchers had reported there was little danger of opposition if the operation could be promptly mounted.82
General Headquarters hesitated. Not only did supply of the Australians facing Kokoda hold high priority on air transport but the transport to Wau, which was entirely dependent on air supply, of a fresh company of Australian troops had only recently been authorized.
Principal American Air Bases: November 1942
However, MacArthur approved of HATRACK, as the new proposal had been coded, on 2 October, subject to a check of the entire plan by Kenney on his arrival at Port Moresby that same day. With HATRACK on, only one battalion of the 32d Division would attempt the difficult overland movement against the Japanese flank.83 The details had been worked out at Port Moresby by 5 October. A total of 10,900 men, including the Kanga Force and 3,900 native carriers, would have to be supplied largely by air. It was estimated that maximum requirements for air supply would total 102,000 pounds per day, but the expectation that a small-boat supply line could be established from Milne Bay to Wanigela led to fixing the minimum at 61,900 pounds.84
The 2d Battalion plus the antitank and cannon companies of the 126th Infantry and the 19th Portable Hospital Unit, having previously moved forty miles southeast of Port Moresby to Kalikodobu, took up their march into the jungle and over the mountains on 5 October. The trail being scarcely passable, the troops depended almost entirely on supplies dropped from the air. For this work neither proper equipment nor an adequate number of trained personnel was available. Members of the regimental bands and other service organizations aided the few quartermaster personnel in wrapping bundles and pushing the supplies out of the plane at the designated moment. The supply of cargo parachutes and containers being insufficient, only the more fragile items, such as ammunition, medical supplies, and bottled liquids, were dropped by chute. Rations, clothing, and individual equipment were simply wrapped in sacks and blankets, securely wired, and dropped without chutes.85
Frequent radio messages complained about the failure of supply. Patrols did not always know the radio frequency of transports. Some planes at first dropped all bundles in one approach, thus spreading them for miles along an inaccessible mountain side.86 But the techniques were improved. It was found that almost any kind of plane could be employed to increase the airlift. The B-25 came to be a favorite type. Pilots learned to fly at an altitude of between 400 and 500 feet, since greater altitude led to inaccuracy and a lower altitude imparted so much velocity to the bundles that they usually broke. Intelligence officers and staff officers frequently accompanied the planes. Maj. William G. Hipps, operations officer with ADVON, having participated in preliminary reconnaissance of the route, often directed pilots in their approach to the assigned area. Although panels were the
customary means of marking the dropping point, smoke signals were also used to attract the attention of pilots, and white streamers attached to packages aided those on the ground in recovery of the supplies.87 Considering the danger of low flying over peak-studded country, casualties were comparatively few. During the three months extending from October to December, only eleven planes of the four American troop carrier squadrons crashed in New Guinea, and of these, five were "salvaged" or "rebuilt."88
On that same 5 October which saw the 2d Battalion set out on a march that by 14 November would bring advance elements to Natunga, some fifteen miles inland from Oro Bay, troop carrier planes began an operation in which they moved an Australian battalion to Wanigela within two days. In preparation for Operation HATRACK, Australian officers had been landed at Wanigela, where with the assistance of native laborers they had burned the kunai grass for the prospective landing field. A small detachment of Australian engineers had then carved a runway, using machetes, cane knives, and even bayonets.89 One report indicates that twelve transports were involved in the movement and that seventy-one flights were made from Port Moresby, each protected by P-39's recently transferred to Milne Bay.90
The success and speed with which the operation had been accomplished persuaded General Harding to investigate the possibility of establishing other landing fields that might permit the movement of his forces even closer to Buna. He received immediate encouragement. Cecil Abels, a New Guinea-born missionary, knew of several likely sites, and both Whitehead and Walker were enthusiastic about using the air to advance the infantry.91 On 11 October, Abels was flown to Wanigela. From there he pushed inland, and aided by natives succeeded in completing a strip near Mt. Sapia, where an Anson made an initial landing on 17 October. Two days later Col. L. J. Sverdrup arrived with a party of American engineers, who moved from the Sapia field, clearing a series of strips in progress, down to the coast at Pongani on Dyke Ackland Bay. There, some twenty-three miles below Buna, they had a strip cleared by 4 November.92
Despite the fear of the Australian commander at Port Moresby of an attack by sea on that place, the C-47's on 14 October had begun to fly the Australian 6 Independent Company and the 128th Regiment from Moresby to Wanigela. For two days the flights continued. Then the rains came and not only interrupted the air movement but virtually
mired down a force of ninety Australians trying to reach Pongani overland from Wanigela, a straight-line distance of less than fifty miles. They got through, but with only twenty men fit for duty. Meanwhile, an American detachment of some eighty men heading for the same point by water in two 20-ton luggers were bombed by an American B-25. One of the priceless luggers was severely damaged and casualties included the death of Byron Darnton, able New York Times correspondent.93 Because of the difficulty in getting from Wanigela to Pongani without an airlift, General Harding suspended the movement of his troops to Wanigela in the hope that one of the more advanced landing fields in preparation by Abels and Sverdrup might soon be available. After some debate between the Australian and American commanders, the troop carriers received instruction to fly the remainder of the 128th Regiment to Wanigela, a move completed on 8 November, but on the same day the 126th Regiment, minus the elements moving overland, began its movement by air to Pongani. Actually, the early flights landed at the field near Sapia, but on 10 November the rest were landed at Pongani.94
Additional protection for this forward movement had been provided on 23 October by the reoccupation of Goodenough Island. A battalion of Australian troops landed that day soon overcame the resistance of some 300 Japanese who had been in possession since the Milne Bay operation in September. Prompt steps were taken to prepare an emergency landing field and for the restoration of warning facilities. 95 The island held a prominent place in a plan looking to the future of air operations which was submitted to MacArthur on 2 November.96 GULLIVER, as the plan was known, proposed the development of strong fighter bases on Goodenough, at Milne Bay, and at Buna. Like Port Moresby through the preceding months, these bases would serve, in addition to their defensive functions, for staging bombardment missions to the north. Already three fields were in operation at Milne Bay. Already, too, Kenney had brought forward most of his tactical units to New Guinea;* and that he was looking beyond Buna with a daring estimate of the future role of his air forces is indicated in the following excerpt from a letter of 24 October to Arnold:
* By 3 November two American fighter squadrons were based at Milne Bay, five at Port Moresby, and only one on the Australian mainland. One light and two medium squadrons were at Port Moresby, and even one heavy squadron had been moved to Milne Bay. Six medium and three heavy bombardment squadrons continued to base on northern Australia. The four squadrons of the 19th Group were now in process of replacement by the 90th Group.
Tanks and heavy artillery can be reserved for the battlefields of Europe and Africa. They have no place in jungle warfare. The artillery in this theater flies, the light mortar and machine guns, the rifle, tommygun, grenade and knife are the weapons carried by men who fly to war, jump in parachutes, are carried in gliders and who land from air transports on ground which air engineers have prepared. These engineers have landed also by parachute and by glider, with airborne bulldozers, jeeps and light engineer tools . . . , the whole operation preceded and accompanied by bombers and fighters. . . .
In the Pacific theater we have a number of islands garrisoned by small forces. These islands are nothing more or less than aerodromes or aerodrome areas from which modem fire-power is launched. Sometimes they are true islands like Wake or Midway, sometimes they are localities on large land masses. Port Moresby, Lac and Buna are all on the island of New Guinea, but the only practicable way to get from one to the other is by air or by water: they are all islands as far as warfare is concerned. Each is garrisoned by a small force and each can be taken by a small force once local air control is secured. Every time one of these islands is taken, the rear is better secured and the emplacements for the flying artillery are advanced closer and closer to Japan itself.97
This, of course, was a prediction of things to come as both Kenney and Arnold well understood, but even so the prediction rested upon a substantial achievement for these early days.
For the moment, air transport, having set the infantry down well on its way to Buna, struggled with the problem of supplies for the Advanced New Guinea Force. It had been hoped that the forward elements could be maintained by sea. From supply dumps to be established at Wanigela or Porlock Harbor, above Collingwood Bay, small boats would run a shuttle service to forward points. Advanced headquarters was not to demand air transport if the movement could be made by sea.98 But trouble arose from the fact that Whitehead could not provide air cover for these boats. Disregard of his advice that they stay under cover during daylight hours would bring heavy losses in mid-November; indeed, the temporary elimination of virtually the entire small-boat flotilla.99 What the fighters could not guarantee, the troop carriers had to supply. Clearing had been begun early in November by engineers and infantrymen at Dobodura, a site within fifteen miles of Buna offering great potentialities for a huge air base. A rough strip was ready there by 21 November; by 12 December the reinforced engineers had completed three more, one with a 4,200-foot runway. At near-by Popondetta, other strips had been prepared to round out a group of advanced fields which would carry the burden of transport operations during the bitter fighting for Buna.100
MacArthur had been inclined to impose a restraining hand upon the more optimistic of his advisers, but he had approved GULLIVER as a basis for further planning and early in November had authorized an attack on Buna to be mounted between 10 and 15 November. The attack began actually on 19 November. The infantry landed by air below Buna had pushed forward to take up positions close to Buna on the 18th. Elements of the 126th Infantry, having completed their march across the mountains, moved into position in the neighborhood of Soputa, inland from Buna. Near at hand was the Australian force which, after crossing the Kumusi River at Wairopi on 15 November, had pursued the retreating Japanese down the track from Kokoda. Japanese dispositions extended along the coast from Buna northward past Sanananda to Gona. The Allied forces began the action with optimistic expectations of an early victory, but the struggle was destined to be long and bitter.101
As the battle for Buna began, improved procedures were being worked out for coordination between land and air force headquarters on problems of air transport. Advanced headquarters requested by radio supplies from Port Moresby, where New Guinea Force then called for a requisite number of planes for the following day, sometimes as many as thirty.102 The fighter command had the responsibility for providing protection for the unarmed air freighters. Since the distance between Moresby and Dobodura was short, an area cover rather than continuous escort was commonly used.103 At forward supply dumps lack of service personnel at first created a bottleneck. Infantrymen, engineers, casuals, natives, and others were used to unload the planes. Not until 10 December was the situation eased by arrival at Dobodura of a trained quartermaster detachment.104
Although the record of air transport in its first major test in the theater was impressive, it is probably true that approximately half of the supplies brought in during the Buna campaign was seaborne.105 The available statistics on this are not conclusive, but they do give some indication of the importance of both means of transport. Between 13 November and 20 January approximately 117,000 pounds of rations were dropped to the ground forces at points between Natunga and Cape Endaiadere. After completion of the field at Dobodura, almost 2,000 tons of rations, equipment, ammunition, vehicles, and personnel were landed there. Between 20 December and 28 January, 7,800 tons of supplies were moved by boat from Oro Bay, exclusive of tanks and
other vehicles which were moved by lighter. More specifically, air units landed or dropped 4,900,371 pounds of rations and supplies, including vehicles, in the Buna area between 13 November 1942 and 23 January 1943.106 Artillery was brought in both by sea and by air. Four B-17's carried four 105-mm. howitzers with tractors, ammunition, and gun crews from Brisbane to Port Moresby; and on 26 November, one of these howitzers with a tractor, howitzer squad, and 1OO rounds of ammunition was transferred in three DC-3's to Dobodura. Four 25-pounders had already been delivered by air, and toward the end of December, four Australian 4.5 howitzers were flown in. On the other hand, boats brought in four 25-pounders and two 3.7-inch howitzers.107
Perhaps as important as the ferrying of supplies and personnel was the use of transports to evacuate the sick and wounded from the battle area. Of the transport planes in the Southwest Pacific, at least 10 DC-3's and 10 C-60's were equipped for this purpose.108 Before the engineers had completed the strips at Dobodura, small boats carried patients to Pongani, whence they were flown to Port Moresby. Thereafter, litter patients were delivered by native carriers to Dobodura for pickup by the transports. During December and early January the aircraft took out an average of more than 100 patients daily, achieving a peak of 280 on 8 December. Every possible plane was thrown into the service, and when the fight was over, the record showed that for the 3rd Division and its attached troops, the air force had flown out 2,530 sick and 991 battle casualties.109
These are impressive figures for that time and place, but they represent only a part of the varied obligations which fell upon the Allied Air Forces during the fighting for Buna. On at least six occasions during November and December the enemy undertook to send in reinforcements by sea. Each time General Kenney gave top priority to attacks on the convoys with all available planes, but weather conditions and Japanese fighter cover sent out from Rabaul made the task of the American heavy and medium bombers difficult as they sought out the enemy vessels.110 By this time, however, bombardment crews did not hesitate to attack the ships from lower altitudes. For example, when seven B-17's sighted five enemy destroyers in the Huon Gulf on 24/25 November, Capt. Kenneth D. McCuller's plane dropped down for a first run at 200 feet above the water. An antiaircraft burst penetrated the post of the tail gunner, who succeeded in smothering the flames while McCuller made a second run. This time three members of the
crew sustained slight wounds. On a third run, No. 1 motor was hit and "all controls shot away," or so it seemed, but the plane was good for still another run and was seeking out a target for the fifth time, now at 4,000 feet, when the No. 3 engine went out. Two of the enemy destroyers appeared to have been badly damaged, and so McCuller set out for home and miraculously made it.111
Such persistence as this paid dividends. It cannot be said that the air attacks imposed on the enemy heavy costs in terms of major vessels sunk, but there is evidence of the increasing effectiveness of shipping strikes. Up to mid-November, when a Japanese report fixes the enemy force ashore in the Buna area at some 9,000 men, attempts to land reinforcements there had been generally successful. Thereafter, according to the same report, Allied aircraft completely frustrated two attempts. In two other efforts, one saw 300 men out of 800 killed by bombing and strafing, and in the second, while most of the men got ashore, they were handicapped by the loss of equipment and arms.112
Typical of the counterconvoy operations were those of mid-December. Four enemy war vessels had landed an estimated 800 troops during the night of 1/2 December with no apparent loss except to fighters covering the movement. On 9 December, bombing had driven off six destroyers seemingly headed for Buna, but another attempt came within a week. A B-24 reported two cruisers and three destroyers headed for Vitiaz Strait on the morning of 15 December. The B-17's attacked during the afternoon through heavy clouds and thunderstorms, but under cover of the weather and darkness the vessels reached an anchorage off the mouths of the Mambare and Kumusi rivers to put their troops ashore by motor craft. With dawn and through a drizzling rain, P-39's, Beaufighters, A-20's, B-25's, and B-26's carried through approximately 100 sorties against supply dumps and troops on the shore, while Catalinas, B-17'S, B-24's, and B-25's harassed the withdrawing warships.113 Fortunately, this would be the last significant reinforcement received by the enemy in Papua.
If thereafter the Japanese at Buna suffered from the effects of an increasingly effective blockade of the battle area, they enjoyed nevertheless an unanticipated strength of position. The enemy had taken every advantage of the low-lying, swampy, and difficult terrain. They had constructed bunkers of heavy palm logs reinforced by sheet iron, earth, rocks, coconuts, and steel drums or ammunition boxes filled with sand-fortifications defended with courage and tenacity.114 Following
the initial engagements on 19 November, General Headquarters on 20 November had ordered an attack from the right flank designed to take Buna on the following day.115 But this was not to be. By the end of November, the advance had bogged down almost completely, and it had become evident that the enemy could be destroyed only at tremendous cost. As Lt. Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger took over a combined command of the Allied forces,* the problem of direct support from the air for troops on the ground received new attention.
For air-ground cooperation Kenney had relied chiefly for close-in work upon American and RAAF A-20's with the help of one RAAF squadron of Beaufighters. Medium units, eight squadrons but with rarely more than sixty-five B-25's and B-26's in condition for combat, carried the burden in operations behind the front lines. The importance of effective liaison had been recognized from the first. The 32d Division on 4 November had directed that individual battalions should submit requests for air support to the division command post, these requests to be predicated "on the availability of not more than two flights of three planes each daily" and on the ability of each flight to operate over the target area for not more than forty-five minutes. "Remunerative targets"--such as troop concentrations, supply dumps, gun emplacements, and bridges-should be specified as exactly as possible, along with the position of friendly troops and, if necessary, a time limit for the requested aid. Targets should be designated by coordinates, but this designation was to be supplemented by the use of panels, smoke signals, or ground-to-air communication when possible.116 These procedures received their first test on 21 November. As the infantry moved out in its attempt to take Buna, A-20's swept in at an altitude of sixty feet to shower the area with parachute bombs. B-25's supplemented the effort by bombing from 6,000 feet. Though several enemy machine guns were silenced, one A-20 dropped all of its bombs in the water, a bomb from one of the B-25's fell within the bomb line killing several Allied soldiers, and results elsewhere were not satisfactory. The official report of the 32d Division describes the early attacks as not very successful "because of the failure of direct-air-ground communication and the ineffectiveness of area bombing of pinpoint targets, such as the pill boxes which held up the advance."117
* Eichelberger first assumed command of Allied forces east of the Giriwu River on 1 December with orders to reorganize the American combat forces. His principal change was the replacement of General Harding, 32d Division commander, by Brig. Gen. Albert W. Waldron. On 7 December, the Headquarters Buna Force was organized under Eichelberger's command.
In these circumstances, artillery fire assumed an increasing importance in efforts to clear the way for the infantry, as did aerial photographs for the guidance of the artillery. Unhappily, only limited photographic reproduction facilities existed at Port Moresby, and dependence upon Australian facilities imposed unavoidable delays. American F-4 planes and Australian Wirraways took the shots, though not in the numbers desired. Somewhere liaison failed, for Eichelberger learned only after it was all over that useful and "excellent large-scale aerial photographs had been taken of the combat zone before the campaign was well started.118 Invaluable assistance to the artillery was rendered by the Australian Wirraways. Though slow and almost weaponless, they were manned by skilful pilots who hovered courageously over the Japanese lines to give the coordinates of targets, to spot shell bursts, and to lure the enemy AA into disclosing its positions. They were repeatedly forced down and occasionally crashed in flames, but one pilot in a Wirraway actually shot down a Zero.119
Following Eichelberger's reorganization of the Allied forces, the Australians on the west bank of the Giriwu and the Americans on the east prepared for new offensives. A general attack was ordered for 5 December. In spite of intensive air, artillery, and mortar preparation, the advance was measured in yards.120 Savage fighting, malaria, and tropical disease had greatly reduced the strength of the Allied forces. On 6 December, fresh Australian troops replaced those which had pursued the Japanese across the Owen Stanleys.121 Five days later, two companies of the 127th Combat Team which troop carriers had just ferried to Dobodura and Popondetta reinforced the American units.122 These fresh troops won early victories.123 Australian infantry overran Gona on 9 December, and five more days brought the occupation of Buna village by the 127th Combat Team.124 But then the advance slowed down. Not until 2 January 1943 did Australian troops eliminate all organized resistance between Cape Endaiadere and a corridor east of Buna Mission and did the Americans take the mission itself.
Although Allied aircraft continually bombed and strafed Japanese land positions throughout these operations, the liaison between air and ground forces was still far from perfect. An exchange of messages on 10 December illustrates the confusion sometimes existing. A message from Buna Force asked:
Will you please clarify where our radio request for air support should be directed.
Yesterday we sent our request to you ADV NGF. We sent photos and duplicate of msg to you via plane to NGF. None the less this A.M. we received a radio from you that our request was not received.
In addition to all of the above, our Lt. Col. Howe spoke on the phone to your King (?) reference air support.
We will send messages to you wherever you direct--if you will please tell where!! Yesterday at 1130L we started our yell for today's support directly to your headquarters but alas! no avail! Thanks.125
At the same time, however, progress was being made. Kenney, described as "straining at the leash to help," was repeatedly requested to knock out mortars or other obstacles in the way of the Allied advance. The air force responded with A-20's scraping the trees before loosing parachute bombs, even B-25's and B-26's coming in at 1OO feet to drop delayed-action bombs.126 By the last of November troop carrier and bombardment aircraft as well as the ground troops could depend upon an increasingly effective fighter patrol to protect them against the occasional attacks of Japanese aircraft.127127 Late in the month the patrol had been greatly strengthened by the addition of P-38's. On 27 December twelve of these versatile planes made their first interception. Dividing into three flights, they dived on a Japanese formation of more than twenty fighters and seven dive bombers in the neighborhood of Cape Endaiadere. One P-38 was forced down at Dobodura, but by that time the patrol had registered claims of nine fighters and two dive bombers shot down. This victory, followed by another of comparable proportions on 1 January, inspired General Whitehead to write that "we have the Jap air force whipped."128
Experience had brought modification of earlier practices in air-ground cooperation. Time limits for supporting missions were more exactly fixed and greater care was exerted to determine the location of the bomb line, two obviously related factors. As New Guinea Force on one occasion pointed out, the exact time for an air attack was vital only in cases of close support. Where the target lay well beyond the position of friendly troops, a delayed attack might serve as well as any other, but otherwise the attack must be closely geared to the infantry's own timetable.129 And with time, improvement came in the development of the necessary administrative machinery. An "air support officer" at New Guinea Force headquarters advised General Blamey and through the senior Army liaison officer at Fifth Air Force headquarters
coordinated air and ground efforts. Attached to all squadrons engaged in supporting operations were air liaison officers who assisted in the briefing and interrogating of pilots.130
Although it was obvious by 1 January that the Papuan campaign was nearing its close, twenty-two days of tough fighting still remained. Another regiment of American troops, the 163d of the 41st Division, ferried in by air from Port Moresby* served to give impetus to the Allied drive, but it bogged down again on 12 January. On 13 January, General Eichelberger assumed command of all Allied troops north of the Owen Stanleys, and he at once initiated vigorous patrolling activities in the Giriwu area. The hand-to-hand fighting which resulted prevented any attempts at direct support by the air arm. After 1 January the routine mission of the Fifth Air Force had been to bomb and strafe certain areas in the region of the Giriwu and Sanananda Point,131 but on 13 January, Advanced New Guinea Force substituted armed reconnaissance along the coast and directed that there should be no bombing or strafing unless it was specifically requested.132 Actually, there remained little need for further direct air support. The enemy on 12 January made a final effort, but this was contained and the counterattack initiated movements that would destroy all organized Japanese resistance in Papua by 22 January 1943.133 An exact evaluation of the role of air power in this Allied victory is difficult, but unquestionably the Allied Air Forces had played a major part. From 26 August 1942 until the end of the campaign, 110 requests for air support had been made by the ground forces. The air forces refused fifteen because the targets were unsuitable, twelve because of the lack of combat planes, and eleven because of unfavorable weather. The seventy-two completed missions employed 568 aircraft, which dropped 474,000 pounds of bombs and expended 400,000 rounds of ammunition. Of these aircraft, only 121, which dropped 80,000 pounds of bombs and fired 97,000 rounds, carried out missions in direct support of the ground forces.134 Attacks made beyond the lines and employing the newly developed parachute bomb against area targets were highly successful, but the results of missions in direct cooperation with ground troops were less satisfactory. Not only were Japanese positions difficult to destroy but it was not always possible to distinguish them from Allied positions. On at least six occasions, Fifth Air Force planes attacked their own troops and inflicted casualties.135
* The ferrying began on 30 December.
From the beginning of the campaign, anticonvoy attacks and long-range missions against shipping had received a top priority. Early efforts proved abortive, and the Japanese landed troops almost at will. But as the crews gained experience in the employment of new techniques of low-level bombing, they met with greater success. It is true that Allied bombers sank relatively few ships during the Papuan campaign,136 but they made the waters off the coast dangerous enough to discourage any major Japanese shipping ventures south of Lae after the first of January. Allied headquarters began to feel that the Japanese control of the seas was being successfully challenged.137
Kenney's air units chalked up their greatest victory in establishing an Allied control of the air over Papua. An entry in a Japanese diary of 3 December 1942 remarked that "they fly above our position as if they owned the skies."138 Japanese air raids on much-bombed Darwin and Port Moresby decreased in effectiveness. The Japanese raided Port Moresby five times during September, using a total of approximately sixty bombers, but from October through January they used only forty bombers.139 But this Allied control of the air meant more than the decrease in Japanese bombing attacks and the claim to 432 Japanese planes destroyed. Of immeasurable importance was the salutary effect of the retreat of enemy air upon the morale of both the air and the ground forces. It had not been possible to prevent all attacks. Japanese attacks during November and December on the small-boat supply route along the coast had been costly. The enemy made frequent attempts to bomb artillery positions at night. On 7 December three Japanese navy planes bombed the plainly marked Second Field Hospital. Three direct hits caused fearful casualties. A prisoner of war later claimed that this was in direct retaliation for the inadvertent bombing of the enemy's hospital in Buna.140 The record as a whole, however, justified a growing confidence in the ability of the Allied Air Forces to hold their own and better.
The Americans who had fought in the Papuan campaign had undergone a strenuous initiation into war. Casualties for the 32d Division, including the sick, ran to more than 10,000. That only 7 per cent of this figure represented deaths can be explained in part at least by the speed with which the Fifth Air Force evacuated the sick and wounded.141 Airmen, too, had seen strenuous service, a fact borne out by the 380 deaths and almost 200 missing among officers and enlisted men of the AAF from July 1942 through January 1943.142 The men of the Fifth
Air Force had flown their planes long hours over dangerous peaks and unfriendly seas as well as through clouds and storms which battered them unmercifully. Unarmed transports had flown through the same stormy weather to make hazardous landings on bumpy strips cut out of the mountain or jungle. Ground crews with insufficient tools and parts worked faithfully through long hours to keep their planes in commission. For relaxation they had, in most instances, only the limited opportunities of the malaria-infested portions of New Guinea or of the more isolated sections of Australia.
Col. Frederic H. Smith, deputy chief of staff of the Fifth Air Force, expressed an airman's opinion of the battle for Papa when he declared that "in view of the bad weather and bad terrain, the handling of ground units was the key to the final outcome. It was in the transport of such units and their supplies that our air power was most useful."143 General MacArthur paid tribute to the work of the airmen in a typical summary of the campaign: "To the American Fifth Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force no commendation could be too great. Their outstanding efforts in combat, supply, and transportation over both land and sea constituted the key-stone upon which the arch of the campaign was erected. They have set up new horizons for air conduct of the war."144 General Kenney on 1 January 1943 already had put the preceding months of air combat in their proper perspective when he asserted that "we learned a lot and the next one will be better."145
Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (3) * Next Chapter (5)
1. Dispatch from MacArthur, 30 Aug. 1942 in JCS 96, 31 Aug. 1942.
Notes to Chapter 4:
2. Memo for Mcnarney from Arnold, 1942, 20 July 1942.
3. JPS, 33d Mtg., 2 Sept. 1942; msg, Marshall to MacArthur, 31 Aug. 1942, in JCS 96.
4. CM-IN-0944 (9-3-42), CINCSWPA to CIS, C411, 3 Sept. 1942.
5. Ltr., Vasey to Chamberlin, 8 Sept. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 8 Sept. 1942; Report on Part Played by 30 Aus. Inf. Brig. in Owen Stanley Range . . . , ibid., 18 Sept. 1943; Australian Mil. History Sec. Interrogation, 5 M.H. Fld. Team, Rabaul
6. Allied Land Forces, SWPA, Operation Milne Bay, 24 Aug.-8 Sept. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 21 Oct. 1942; memo for CG Allied Land Forces from Maj. Gen. R. K. Sutherland, 12 June 1942, ibid., 13 June 1942.
7. CM-IN-I 1398 (8-30-42), MacArthur to C/S, C382, 30 Aug. 1942; memo for CG Allied Land Forces, SWPA from Sutherland, 2 July 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 3 July 1942; Allied Land Forces, SWPA, Operation Milne Bay . . . , ibid., 21 Oct. 1942; Histories, 8th Ftr. Gp. and 8th Ftr. Control Sq.; CM-IN-7017 (8-1942), CINCSWPA to C/S, C301, 19 Aug. 1942; CM-IN-3795 (8-11-42), CINCSWPA to C/S, C245, 11 Aug. 1942.
8. Daily Sum. of Enemy Intel. 135, 4/5 Aug., 137, 6/7 Aug., 148, 17/18 Aug., 153, 22/23 Aug., in GHQ G-3 Journal, 5, 7, 19, 23 Aug. 1942; Hq. Allied AF Operations Instruction 22, 17 Aug. 1942, ibid., 18 Aug. 1942.
9. CM-IN-6597 (8-18-42),CINCSWPA to C/S. C291. 18 Aug. 1942; Allied AF Intel: Sum 27, 21 Aug 1942; Maj. Gen. C. A. Clowes, Report on Opns. Milne Force, 4 Oct. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 22 Oct. 1942; CM-IN-10171 (8-27-42). CINCSWPA to CIS, C357, 26 Aug. 1942. Reports on the size of the convoy were quite accurate. It actually consisted of two transports, two cruisers, and two corvettes. (Aus. Intr., 5 M.H. Fld. Team, Rabaul.)
10. C. A. Clowes, Milne Bay Operation, 25 Aug.-Sept. 1942. See also GHQ G-3 Journal, 25 Aug. 1942.
11. CM-IN-10171 (8-27-42), CINC- SWPA to C/S, C357, 26 Aug. 1942. The Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee has not been able to credit this claim. (Japanese Naval and Merchant Losses During World War 11, Feb. 1947 [hereinafter cited as JANAC].)
12. New York Times, 16 Sept. 1942; Clowes Rpt.
13. CM-IN-10171 (8-27-42), CINC-SWPA to C/S, C357, 26 Aug. 1942; Daily Sum. of Enemy Intel. 156, 25/26 Aug. 1942.
14. CM-1N-10171 (8-27-42), CINC-SWPA to C/S, C357, 26 Aug. 1942; "P-39's in New Guinea," in AFGIB 11 (Apr.-May 1943), p. 18; "Air Support at Milne Bay," ibid., 7 (Dec. 1942).
15. Clowes; Milne Bay Operation; ltr., C. A. Clowes to Allied Commands, 8 Sept. 1942. The Japanese aimed first at seizing the landing strip; then, after cleaning up the Milne Bay area, occupying Samarai. (Daily Sum. of Enemy Intel. 164, 2/3 Sept. 1942. See also Dept. of Army Historical Div. manuscript study, Port Moresby to the Admiralties, by Samuel L. Milner.)
16. Note sgd. Chamberlin, in GHQ G-3 Journal. Most of the P-40's were temporarily withdrawn from Milne Bay on 28 August but returned on the following day.
17. Allied Land Forces, Operation Milne Bay.
18. AAF Historical Study 17, Air Action in the Papuan Campaign, 21 July 1942 to 23 January 1943, pp. 34-35; Clowes Rpt. The Allies suffered a major loss when Peter Turnbull, much decorated veteran and commander of 75 Squadron, scraped a palm tree and crashed.
19. GHQ Opns. Instn. 18, 4 Sept. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 4 Sept. 1942.
20. Casualties in this campaign vary according to the source. Allied losses were approximately 161 killed and missing and 192 wounded. (Memo for CIS, 23 Oct. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 23 Oct. 1942; Allied Land Forces, Operation Milne Bay. See also Aus. Intr., 5 M.H. Fld. Team, Rabaul, and enemy sources cited in Dept. of Army Historical Div. manuscript study, Port Moresby to the Admiralties, by Samuel L. Milner.)
21. Kenney, General Kenney Reports, pp. 11-12, 34, 100.
22. Conference called by General MacArthur on 26 July to Consider General Richardson's Report in OPD, SWPA, General MacArthur, Sept. 1942, Vol V.
23. CM-IN-1752 (8-4-42), Brisbane to AGWAR A201 4 Aug. 1942; CM-IN-2682 (8-8-42), CINCSWPA to AGWAR , C216, 7 Aug. 1942; CM-OUT-2785 (8-9-42), AFCAS to CINCSWPA, 657, 9 Aug. 1942; GHQSWPA GO 28, 3 Sept. 1942; [Hq. Allied Air Forces] GO 46, 4 Sept. 1942.
24. Ltr., R. T. Nichols, Jr., to Dir., Allied Meteorological Services, 8 Oct. 1942; Hq. SWPA GO 47,5 Sept. 1942; msg. 972, RAAF Comd. to all Areas, 23 Sept. 1942.
25. Unrecorded interview with Maj. M. J. Keane, March 1944.
26. Hq. 5th AF GO 3, 5 Sept. 1942.
27. Ltr., Kenney to Arnold, 28 May 1942.
28. Hq. 5th AF GO 3, 5 Sept. 1942; ltr., Kenney to Arnold, 28 Aug. 1942; CM-IN- 6695 (9-16-42), MacArthur to Marshall, C501, 16 Sept. 1942; ltr., Whitehead to CG 5th AF, 25 Oct. 1942; statement by Col. William Hipps to author.
29. See unit histories and cable status reports. The three fighter groups were the 8th, 35th, and 49th.
30. CM-OUT-7532 (6-29-42), HHA to CINCSWPA, 308, 29 June 1942. Cf. cable status reports.
31. Memo for record, in OPD 452.1, PTO; CM-OUT-3042 (8-10-42), Marshall to CINCSWPA, 690, 10 Aug. 1942; CM-IN-5009 (8-14-42), MacArthur to C/S, C261, 14 Aug. 1942; Kenney, General Kenney Reports, pp. 121-22, 128, 186, 243.
32. Memo for record, 28 Aug. 1942, in OPD, 452.1, Australia (8-28-42).
33. Cf. cable status reports with the enemy air order of battle listed in Intel. Sums.
34. Ltrs., Kenney to Arnold, 28 Aug. and 24 Oct. 1942.
35. Interview with Capt. J. R. Donnelly, 4 Oct. 1943; interview with Mai. C. M. Diehl, 8 July 1943; interview with Clarence F. Barnes.
36. Ltr., Kenney to Arnold, 28 Aug. 1942.
37. CM-IN-3169 (10-8-42), Hq. AAFSWPA to CGAAF, A706, 8 Oct 1942; CM-OUT-04038 (10-13-42), ASC to CINCSWPA for Kennedy, 2613, 12 Oct. 1942; CM-IN-7049 (11-16-42), Brisbane to WAR, A1099, 16 Nov. 1942.
38. CM-OUT-04199 (10-10-42), Brisbane to CGAAF, A736, 10 Oct. 1942; CM-OUT 2104 (11-7-42), Hq ASC to CINCSWPA, 3247, 6 Nov 1942; CM-IN-7868 Nov. (11-18-42), Brisbane to WAR A1118, 18 Nov. 1942.
39. CM-IN, Brisbane to WAR: 3026 (9-8-42), 8 Sept.; 13254 (10-31-42), A959, 31 Oct.; 3286 (12-8-42), A1291, 8 Dec 1942.
40. Ltr., Brig. Gen. T. J. Hanley, Jr., AC/AS A-4 to CGASC, 12 Sept. 1942, and 1st ind., ASC to CGAAF (AFADS), 13 Oct. 1942. There was some feeling among American airmen that the Australians lacked an understanding of the American motor and that engines reconditioned by Australians were unsatisfactory. (Interview with Capt. Vincent L. Snyder, Engineer Officer of 19th Bomb. Gp., 5 Dec. 1942; interview with Lt. Gerald J. Dix, 10 Dec. 1942.)
41. History, V Air Service Area Comd.; ltr., Kenney to Arnold, 28 Aug. 1942.
42. Station List, 14 July 1942. See also History, 4th Air Depot Gp.
43. AAF 201 Files, Kenney. See also Kenney, General Kenney Reports, passim.
44. The redesignation occurred on 27 September, and Connell took over on 18 October. (History, V ASAC.)
45. History, V ASAC.
47. History, 4th Air Depot Gp.; Hq. 5th AF GO 56, 24Dec. 1942, in History, V ASAC, incl. 7. On 20 Oct. 1942, Bertrandias replaced Benner as Air Service Command representative for the Townsville arm, and with the establishment of the Advance Echelon, Air Service Command, Fifth Air Force, at Townsville on 26 Jan. 1943, became its commander.
48. History of the Fifth 4ir Force Service Command in New Guinea.
49. Ibid., History, 8th Service Gp.
50. History, 27th Depot Repair Sq.
52. History, V ASAC.
53. History, 30th Service Sq.
54. Unrecorded interview with Col. William Hipps, one-time operations officer with ADVON, Apr. 1945; interview with Col. John Davies, CO, 3d Bomb. Gp.; GHQSWPA GO 34, 15 Sept. 1942. Kenney received a Purple Heart for his part in the development and employment of parafrags.
55. CM-IN-1937 (11-28-42), Brisbane to WAR, AI 193, 27 Nov. 1942; memo for General Handy from Col. Walter E. Todd, Actg. Chief, SWP Gp., OPD, IL Sept. 1942; CM-IN-9230 (2-21-42), Brisbane to WAR, C547, 21 Sept. 1942.
56. CM-OUT-0816-0823, book msg. sgd. Arnold, 337, 3 July 1942; ltr., Stratemeyer to Kenney [10 Sept. 1942]; CM-OUT-5590,(6-23-42), AC/AS A-40 to USAFIA, 2304, 22 June 1942.
57. Kenney, General Kenney Reports, pp. 21-22, 63-64, 105; extract of ltr., Benn to 5th AF Hq., 21 Nov. 1942, in History, 43d Bomb. Gp.
58. CM-IN-5652 (8-15-42), Hq. AAFSWPA to CGAAF, A288, 15 Aug. 1942.
59. CM-IN-07806 (10-18-42), Brisbane to WAR, A818, 18 Oct. 1942; 5th AF ADVON, Report by Ordnance Officer, 23 Jan. 1943; ltr., Eubank to H. K. Ramey, V BC, 6 Mar. 1943; CM-OUT-3751 (3-11- 43), Hq. AAF AFRBS to CINCSWPA, 1859, 10 Mar. 1943.
60. CM-IN-2629 (107-1942), Brisbane to WAR, C642, 6 Oct. 1942; CM-IN-8098 Sept. 1942; CM-IN-8620 (9-20-42), SWPA to WAR, C528, 19 Sept. 1942; History, 38th Bomb. Gp.
61. George Henry Johnston, The Toughest Fighting in the World (New York, 1943), pp. 140-43; New York Times, 29 Sept., 4 Oct., 18 Oct., 3 Nov. 1942; CM-IN-12825 (9-29-42), Brisbane to WAR, C595, 29 Sept.1942; Allied AF Intel. Sums. 38, 42, 48, for 29 Sept., 13 Oct., 4 Nov. 1942. See also cable opns. rpts., 12-21 Oct. 1942.
62. New York Times, 10 and 11 Sept. 1942; Johnston, Toughest Fighting in the World, 137, 139-40; E. J. Kahn, "Terrible Days of Company E," Saturday Evening Post, 8 Jan. 1944, p. 2; CM-IN-7018 (9-17-42), Australia to WAR, C506, 16 Sept. 1942; History, Dir. of Air Transport, Allied AF.
63. "P-39's in New Guinea," in AFGIB II (Apr,-May 1943), p. 18; "War Record of the A-20," in AFGIB 12 (June 1943), pp. 36-38; CM-IN-5557 (9-13-42), CINC-SWPA to C/S, C485, 13 Sept. 1942; Davies interview; GHQSWPA GO 34, 15 Sept. 1942.
64. AAF Historical Study 17, Air Action in the Papuan Campaign, p. 47. See particularly Polifka interview; History, 8th Photo Sq.; and Aus. Intr., 5 M.H. Fld. Team, Rabaul.
65. Summary made from Allied AF Intel. Sums., Sept. and Oct. 1942, pp. 34-38.
66. CM-IN-07523 (10-18-42), Brisbane to WAR, C731, 17 Oct. 1942.
67. R&R, AFRDB to AFDMR, 28 July 1942; ltr., Arnold to Kenney, 10 Sept. 1942; CM-OUT-1409 (10-5-42), AC/AS A-3 to CINCSWPA, 2396, 4 Oct 1942; memo for C/S from CGAAF, 18 Oct. 1942; R&R, AFDAS to AFABI, 8 Oct. 1942.
68. CM-IN-11063 (10-26-42), Brisbane to WAR, C814, 26 Oct. 1942; CM-OUT- 09002 (10-27-42), OPD to CINCSWPA, to WAR, C731, 17 Oct. 1942. A-3 to CINCSWPA, 2396, 4 Oct. 1942; 3072, 27 Oct. 1942; Marshall (OPD) to MacArthur, 3989, 25 Nov. 1942.
69. CM-IN-04326 (10-10-42), Australia to WAR, C672, 10 Oct 1942; CM-IN-04744 (10-11-42), Brisbane to WAR, C681, 11 Oct. 1942; interview with Maj. Felix Hardison, in interview with Col. Richard Carmichael and members of the 19th Gp., 5 Dec. 1942.
70. Diary of Lt. Col. John A. Rouse, 1-10 Oct 1942; Hq 5th AF GO 45, 8 Dec. 1942; Allied AF Intel. Sums.; Diary of Capt. Cecil C. Knudson, 13 Oct. 1942, in History, 19th Bomb. Gp.; CM-IN-06465 (10-15-42), Australia to WAR, C707, 14 Oct. 1942.
71. Allied AF Intel. Sums. 44 and 46, 21 and 28 Oct. 1942; Hq SWPA GO 48, 6 Nov. 1942. See especially JANAC. The 43d Group history claims one destroyer sunk.
72. See Allied AF Intel. Sums. for Oct. 1942. See also JANAC. On 9/10 October, Allied intelligence found some seventy-one fighters at Lakunai and forty-nine ships in Rabaul harbor.
73. Paraphrased msg. quoted in CM-IN-10698 (10-25-42), Brisbane to WAR, C808, 25 Oct. 1942. See also Navy Communiqué, 16 Nov. 1942; CM-IN-07523 (10-18-42), Brisbane to WAR, (2731, 17 Oct. 1942.
74. Memo for C/S USA from CINCUS, 26 Oct. 1942 and memo for CINCUS from C/S, 27 Oct. 1942; memo for Arnold by G.C.M., 29 Oct. 1942; Plans Div. Digest, 1 Nov. 1942. Marshall first requested MacArthur to send the P-38's immediately and to be prepared to provide replacements. (CM-0UT-09002 [10-27-42], OPD to CINCSWPA, 3072, 27 Oct. 1942.)
75. Ltr., MacArthur to CG Allied Land Forces, 11 Sept. 1942, and msg., MacArthur to Walker for Blamey, 27 Sept. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 11 and 27 Sept. 1942.
76. Msg., MacArthur to Walker for Blamey, 27 Sept. 1942.
77. Report of CG Buna Forces, p. 45; ltr., Brig. Gen. Donald Wilson to DCO 5th AF, 4 Oct. 1942.
78. See discussion of feud between Gatty and the AAF Air Transport Command over control of both inter- and intra-theater air transport. (Air Transport Command in the Southwest Pacific, 7 Dec. 1941-1 Aug. 1944.) There was some criticism of USASOS at this time because its air supply activities were not coordinated with the directorate. (History, Dir. of Air Transport; CM-IN-7298 [9-17-42], MacArthur to WAR, C502, 16 Sept. 1942.)
79. Memos for CGAAF from OPD, 10 and 17 Sept. 1942; and R&R, AFCAS to AFAEP, 19 Sept. 1942.
80. Histories, 6th and 33d Troop Carrier Sqs.; Hq. 5th AF GO 32, 1 Nov. 1942.
81. Ltr., Kenney to Arnold, 24 Oct. 1942; msg., MacArthur to Walker for Blamey, 30 Sept. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 30 Sept. 1942.
82. Msgs., Blamey to MacArthur, 1 and 2 Oct. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 2 Oct. 1942.
83. Msgs., Blamey to MacArthur, 29 Sept. 1942, and MacArthur to Blamey, 30 Sept., 1 Oct., 2 Oct. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 29 Sept., 1 Oct., 2 Oct. 1942; ltr., Hq. 5th AF to CGASC, 3 Oct. 1942; msg., CG 5th AF to ADVON et al., 2 Oct. 1942.
84. Ltr., Blamey to MacArthur, 5 Oct. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal. It should be noted that despite the decision to push HATRACK the 7th Independent Company was flown to Wau before 11 October. (Msgs., Blamey to MacArthur, 4 Oct., MacArthur to Blamey, 5 Oct. 1942, and ALFSWPA Daily Opns. Rpt. 180, 11 Oct. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 5 and 11 Oct 1942.)
85. Report of Activities of 32d Div. Quartermaster during the Buna Campaign, 15 Apr. 1943; Report of Activities of G-4, Rear Echelon, 32d Div. in Papuan Campaign, 10 Apr. 1943 (herein-after cited as 32d Div. G-4 Rpt.). Radio msg. 5, 19 Oct. 1942, sgd. Downer; msg., sgd. Jim to Col. Quinn, 30 Sept 1942, in 32d Div. Trail Opns., Buna Campaign.
86. Radio msg. 5, 19 Oct. 1942, sgd. Downer; msg., sgd. Jim to Col. Quinn, 30 Sept 1942, in 32d Div. Trail Opns., Buna Campaign.
87. 32d Div. G-4 Rpt.; msg., sgd. Jim to Col. Quinn, 30 Sept. 1942, in 32d Div. Trail Opns., Buna Campaign; Basic Report of the 32d Div. on the Papuan Campaign; unrecorded interviews with Maj. S. S. Terry, Capt. R. B. Kenney, and Col. William Hipps; History, 2zd TC Sq.
88. Histories, 6th, 21st, and, 33d TC Sqs. Perhaps the most disastrous accident occurred on 5 November. As a package was pushed overboard, the chute caught the tail assembly of a C-47 and it crashed, killing all eight occupants including Col. Lawrence A. Quinn, CO of the 126th Regt. (Basic Rpt. of 32d Div.; Rpt. of 126th Regt.) It should be noted also that seven of the lost planes belonged to the squadrons which had only recently reached New Guinea, and were probably flown by inexperienced crews.
89. Johnston, Toughest Fighting in the World, p. 150; Report of Engineer Opns. in the Papuan Campaign, Hq. 114th Engrs. to CG 32d Div., 16 Apr. 1943; ALFSWPA Daily Opns. Rpt. 175, 6 Oct., and ltr., Blamey to MacArthur, 7 Oct., in GHQ G-3 Journal, 6 and 8 Oct. 1942.
90. History, 8th Ftr. Gp.
91. Ltr., Harding to Sutherland, 12 Oct. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 12 Oct. 1942.
92. Ltr., Harding to Sutherland, 20 Oct. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 27 Oct. 1942; 32d Div. G-4 Rpt.
93. Ltr., Hardin to Sutherland, 20 Oct. Regt.; Report of Attack by Unidentified Bomber at Pongani, New Guinea, Sunday, 18 Oct. 1942, in 32d Div. Records.
94. Ltr., Harding to Sutherland, 20 Oct. 1942; Basic Rpt. of 32d Div.; Rpts. of 126th and 128th Regts.
95. Msgs., Blamey to MacArthur, 12 Oct. 1942, and MacArthur to Blamey, 15 Oct. 1942; msg., NGF to GHQ, 23 Oct. 1942; GHQ Opns. Instn. 24, 22 Nov. 1942, all in GHQ G-3 Journal, 15 Oct., 23 Oct., 27 Dec. 1942; USSBS, Employment of Forces under the Southwest Pacific Command, 14.
96. Allied AF, Gulliver Plan; ltr., Kenney to MacArthur, z Nov. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 3 Nov. 1942.
97. Incl. 1 (ltr., Kenney to Arnold, 24 1942).
98. NGF Administrative Instn. 27, 26 Oct. 1942, in 32d Div. G-2 and G-3 Journals, Buna Campaign; Basic Report of 32d Div. on Papuan Campaign.
99. Ltr., Harding to MacNider, 21 Oct. 1942 in 32d Div. G-2 and G-3 Journals; Basic Rpt. of 32d Div.; Maj. Parker C. Hardin, History of the 22d Portable Hospital, 9 Feb. 1943, in 32d Div. Records, Buna Campaign; msg., Harding to Lt. Moon, 1591, 27 Nov. 1942, in 32d Div. G-2 and G-3 Journals.
100. Basic Rpt. of 32d Div.; Rpt. of 114th Engrs.; msg., Eichelberger to NGF, 2 Dec. 1942, in 32d Div. Rear Echelon G-4 Journal of Msgs., Port Moresby; msg. 01886, 16 Dec. 1942, in 32d Div. G-3 Journal; Rpt. of 113th Engrs.; History, 35th Ftr. Gp.
101. For more details on the land dispositions and operations, see MID, Papuan Campaign, the Buna-Sanananda Operation, 16 Nov. 1942-23 Jan. 1943.
102. 32d Div. G-4 Rpt.; NGF Instn. 6, 18 Dec. 1942, in 32d Div. G-3 Journal.
103. Tactics for Escort of Transports (SWPA), in Informational Intel. Sum., 30 Mar. 1944. The plan was for full squadrons of fighters to replace each other over the area in shifts.
104. Ibid.; Johnston, Toughest Fighting in the World, p. 152; msg. Q1361, NGF to 32d Div., 1 Dec. 1942, in 32d Div. G-3 Journal; msg., Hardin to NGF, 2 Dec. 1942, in G-4 Journal of Msgs., Rear Echelon, Port Moresby; Activities of the 107th QM Det., 32d QM Co., at Dobodura, 27 Mar. 1943, in 32 Div. Records.
105. Basic Rpt. of 32d Div.
106.Ibid., 32d Div. Rear Echelon G-4, Record of Air Shipments, 14 Nov. 1942-4 Jan 1943.
107. Ltr., Kenney to Arnold, 14 Dec. 1942; Rpt. of CG Buna Forces, pp. 74-75; Hq. 120th Field Artillery En., 32d Div., History of the Artillery in the Buna Campaign, 23 Apr. 1943.
108. Memo for Gen. Anderson sgd. AW, 15 Dec. 1942.
109. Basic Rpt. of 32d Div.; Hq. 32d Div. G-1, Report of Action, Papuan Campaign, 27 Apr. 1943. These figures do not include Australians. But Kenney wrote on I January that the air force had evacuated "around 6,000 men from the north coast." Ltr Kenney to Arnold 1 Jan 1943.
110. See for example the histories of the 3d, 38th, and 43d Bombardment Groups for these months; and Kenney interview.
111. Combat diary of 63d Squadron. One of these destroyers was sunk. (See JANAC.)
112. Although these figures must be used with some caution, they were obtained by careful questioning and are probably as reliable as any available. (Aus. Intr., 5 M.H. Fld. Team, Rabaul.)
113. 113. Brisbane to WAR: CM-IN-837 (12-2-42), C1119, 2 Dec. 1942; CM-IN-1155 (12-3-42), C1127, 3 Dec. 1942; CM-IN-3827 (12-9-42), C1184, 9 Dec. 1942; CM-IN-5564 (12-3-1942), C1216, 13 Dec. 1942; CM-IN-6029 (12-14-42), C1223, 14 Dec. 1942; CM-IN-8409 (12-19-42), C1274, 19 Dec. 1942; CM-IN-9053 (12-21-42),C1283, 20 Dec. 1942; CM-IN-6493 (12-15-42), Port Moresby to WAR, C1235, 15 Dec. 1942.
114. Report of CG Buna Forces, pp. 16-17, 96-98.
115. Basic Rpt. of 32d Div.
116. Hq. 32d Div. instruction, 4 Nov. 1942, in 32 Div. G-3 Journal, Buna Campaign; interview with Capt. George A. Hilbert, Jr.
117. CM-IN-9460 (11-22-42), Brisbane to WAR, Q4241, 22 Nov. 1942; msg. 1135, Harding to NGF, 22 Nov. 1942, in 32d Div. G-2 and G-3 Journals; Basic Rpt. of 32d Div.
118. NGF GS Insm. 5, 18 Dec. 1942, in 32d Div. G-3 Journal; Rpt. of CG Buna Forces, p. 75; memo for Ground General and Special Staff Secs. by Col. Gordon B. Rogers, 25 Aug. 1943; msg. 0183 Adv. NGF, 10 Dec. 1942, in 32d Div. G-2 Journal.
119. Msgs. NGF to 32d Div., 5 and 8 Dec. 1942 in 32d Div. G-2 Journal; msg. 014, Adv. NGF to 32d Div., 30 Nov. 1942; msg. 0182, NGF to 7th and 32d Div., 10 Dec. 1942; msg., Adv. NGF to 32d Div., 19 Dec. 1942; msg., O'Loan to G-2, 1 Jan. 1943; msg., Beaver to G-3, 22 Dec. 194:; msg., NGF to G-2, 26 Dec. 1942, all In 32d Div. G-3 Journal; E.J. Kahn, G.I. Jungle: An American Soldier in Australia and New Guinea (New York. 1943.) p. 87.
120. One spearhead did isolate Buna Village. (Report of CG Buna Forces, p. 21.) General Blamey, concerned over the slowness of the advance, was pressing MacArthur to furnish two destroyers and corvettes to move amphibious troops behind the Japanese lines. (Ltr., Blamey to MacArthur, 8 Dec. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 8 Dec. 1942, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 8 Dec.1942.)
121. CM-IN-3106 (12-8-42), Australia to WAR, P419, 7 Dec. 1942. These Australian troops, the 21s Infantry Brigade, had been transported from Port Moresby to Popendetta by air.
122. From 2 to 19 December, the 2d Battalion of the 126th Regiment had decreased in effective strength from 14 officers and 472 men to 5 officers and 200 men. (G-1 Report, in Report of CG Buna Forces, 51; Report of Action, Hq. 127th Inf to CG 3rd Div., 26 Apr. 1943.)
123. CM-IN-4120 (12-10-42), Brisbane to WAR, C1193, 10 Dec. 1942; CM-IN-4609 (12-11-42), Brisbane to WAR, C1199, 11 Dec. 1942.
124. Report of CG Buna Forces, p. 24.
125. Msg. 2725, Col. J. S. Bradley, Hq. Buna Forces to Brig. Hopkins, 10 Dec. 1942, in 32d Div. G-3 Journal.
126. Msg., R. Land to CG 32d Div., 24Nov. 1942, in 32d Div. G-2 and G-3 Journals
127. "P-39's in New Guinea," in AFGIB II (Apr.-May 1943), p. 20.
128. CM-IN-11990 (12-28-42), Brisbane to WAR, C1361, 28 Dec. 1942; Reports of P-38 pilots from 39th Sq. attached to ltr., Kenney to Arnold, I Jan. 1943; History, 39th Ftr. Sq.; ltr., Whitehead to Stratemeyer, 28 Dec. 1942. On 26 November a radio had been installed at Dobodura and was used at this time to summon the P-38's.
129. Msg., 32d Div. to 7 Australian Div., etc., 7 Nov. 1942, in G-2 and G-3 Journals, Buna Campaign; NGF GS Instn. 3, 9 Dec. 1942, in 32d Div. G-3 Journal, Buna Campaign. Prior to this, confusion resulted from the fact that requests were directed to the wrong headquarters and often contained insufficient information. (Msg., NGF to 32d Div., 5 Dec. 1942; msg. Adv. NGF to 7 Australian Div., etc., 6 Dec. 1942, in 32d Div. G-3 Journal, Buna Campaign.)
130. NGF GS Insm. 6, 19 Dec. 1942, in 32d Div. G-3 Journal, Buna Campaign.
131. NGF Opnl Instn. 58, 4 Jan 1943, in 32d Div. G-3 Journal; AAFHS-17, p. 95.
132. Msg., Adv. NGF to NGF, 0639, 1; Jan. 1943, in 32d Div. G-3 Journal.
133. See for a more detailed account of these last weeks The Papuan Campaign: The Buna-Sanananda Operation, pp. 70-80.
134. Report for CG Hawaiian Dept. from Maj. Frank O. Brown, Ground Air Support in New Guinea, 27 Apr. 1943; Basic Rpt. of 32d Div.
135. 1st Bn., 128th Regt. Journal, 3 Dec. 1942; Basic Rpt. of 32d Div.; msg., Col. Bradley to Col. Howe, 3371, 20 Dec. 1942, in 3td Div. G-3 Journal, Buna Campaign; msg., Capt. Hewitt to Maj. Hawkins, 6 Jan. 1943, in 32d Div. G-2 Journal, Buna Campaign; Lt. Col. O. A. Kessels, Report on Operations in New Guinea, the Sanananda Area, 2 Dec. 19 Jan. 1943, in GHQ G-3 Journal, 22 Jan. 1943.
136. It is unlikely that more than the following vessels above 500 tons were sunk by Allied planes from the SWPA from July through December 1942: the Ayatsosan Maru, a 9,788-ton transport sunk off Buna on 22 July; the destroyer Yayoi sunk east of Normanby Island on 11 Sept. 1942; the 720-ton converted net-tender Kotobuki Maru No. 5 sunk at Rabaul on 25 Oct. 1942; the 6,710-ton passenger cargo vessel Yasukawa Maru sunk from a convoy south of New Britain on 2 Nov. 1942; the 5,652-ton passenger cargo vessel Havana Maru sunk between Gona and Cape Ward Hunt on 18 Nov. 1942; the destroyer Hayashio sunk between Lae and Finschhafen on 24 Nov. 1942; the 515-ton Tama Maru No. 2 sunk in Arawe harbor on 24 Dec. 1942; the 5,859-.ton Italy Maru and the 3,108-ton Tsurugrran Maru sunk at Rabaul on 27 Dec. 1942; and the 3,821-ton Tomiura Maru sunk at Rabaul on 30 Dec. 1942. (See JANAC.) However, as a commentary on this list, General Kenney suggests additions and changes as follows: Shinanogawa Maru (7,506 tons) sunk off Shortland Island by Fifth Air Force, 14 Nov.; Havana Maru (5,652 tons) sunk at Buin by Fifth AF, 18 Nov.; cruiser Tenryu sunk off Madang by B-17's of the 43d Group, 18 Dec. (Navy report to USSBS claims Tenryu as sunk by submarine, but subs did not go into Madang harbor); Koa Maru (623 tons) sunk in Marcus Bay near Arawe, New Britain, 24Dec.; Tama Maru was sunk the same day in Gasmata harbor, not Arawe, as above; Koyoku or Kotoku Maru (6,701 tons) sunk off Buna by B-17's, 30 July. (Kenney interview.)
137. Survey of Enemy Operations, 1 June 1942-1 Aug. 1943, in Opnl. Intel. Target Survey I; interview with Capt. Charles L. Marburg, 3 Nov.
138.WPA Intel. Sum. 74, 2 Feb. 1943, pp. 23-24; 32d Div. G-2 Rpt.
139. SWPA Intel. Sum. 61, 18 Dec. 1942; Survey of Enemy Operations.
140. Maj. Parker C. Hardin, History of the 22d Portable Hospital, 9 Feb. 1943, in 32d Div. Records, Buna Campaign; Basic Rpt. of 32d Div. It should be noted that Japanese warships had carefully avoided shelling an Allied hospital ship at Milne Bay. (Johnston, Toughest Fighting in the World, p. 126.)
141. Report of CG Buna Forces, p. 105.
142. AAF Historical Study 17, Air Action in the Papuan Campaign, 21 July 21 July 1942-43 Jan 1943, App. 7.
143. Col. Frederic H. Smith, "The Papuan Campaign," Air Force, XXVI (Sept. 1943), p.36. 144.
144. New York Times, 11 Jan. 1943.
145. 145. Ltr., Kenney to Arnold, 1 Jan. 1943.