BY MID-OCTOBER 1943 Allied forces in the South Pacific stood on the eve of their assault upon Bougainville--the final B land phase of the Solomons campaign. Both the precise date and the exact target of the forward move had been under vigorous discussion ever since the summer of 1942, shifting and varying from time to time as the conflicting requirements of the several theaters influenced the intensity of the Solomons offensive. Developments in the Solomons had been dependent not only upon the schedule for European operations but more recently for those in the Central Pacific. Although the decision to push an offensive through the latter area while continuing the Solomons and New Guinea offensives arose in large part because of the rapidly growing and reassuring naval expansion in the Central Pacific, nevertheless the decision had rested upon the assumption that forces theretofore counted upon for New Guinea-Solomons operations might be made available to Nimitz.*
Bougainville was the largest island in the Solomons. It possessed adequate harbors and a terrain favorable for the construction of airfields, it could easily be reinforced by infantry from Rabaul, and its ample air reserves rested on near-by New Britain, New Ireland, and--some-what farther removed--upon Truk. Furthermore, the enemy had enjoyed ample time to prepare it for the attack sure to come after the fall of Munda, for Bougainville represented the sole remaining barrier between Rabaul and the Allied positions in the South Pacific.1 At the northern end of the island were two airfields, two were on the southern end, one was on Ballale in the Shortland area, and on the east coast were one field and a seaplane base.2 But the focal point of Japanese strength
* See above, p. 135.
on the island lay in the Buin-Kahili-Tonolei area, sheltered behind wooded Shortland Island.
The place was heavily defended. Any attempt to take it frontally would prove costly; yet, in spite of these facts, all the early planning foresaw just such an operation, because thus far each advance in the South Pacific had been measured in terms of fighter radius. This was MacArthur's original intention in his ELKTON plan, and as late as 16 September, Halsey had received word from Admiral King that an operation against Buin and Faisi should be conducted in the period 15 October-30 November, followed by capture of Kieta and Buka between 1 December and 31 January 1944.3 This schedule of progress at least offered the advantage of permitting fighter coverage of each step, and seizure of Buka would place the fighters well within range of their ultimate objective at Rabaul. Halsey had made his plans accordingly. On 11 July, he designated Vandegrift, in command of the I Amphibious Corps, as commander of land forces for the Bougainville operation. The assignment was heavy: capture of the airfields at Kahili and Ballale, the entire Shortland-Faisi area, and Tonolei Harbor. Infantry units tentatively available for this task were the Third Marine Division, the 25th Infantry Division, and units of the 1st Marine Raider Regiment.4 However, preliminary study of the problem indicated that even these substantial forces were insufficient to overcome the powerful enemy garrison, estimated at more than 20,000 men, and on 5 August, COMSOPAC altered the mission by limiting it to include capture of Shortland, Faisi, and Ballale Islands.5 But even this reduced plan was unsatisfactory, because fighters based in the Shortland area could not cover bomber missions to Rabaul. The enemy's vulnerability lay in the air and in his shipping resources rather than in his ground defenses, and this fact argued for seizure of some undeveloped area.
After serious discussion, on 7 September Admiral Fitch (COMAIRSOPAC), General Harmon, Maj. Gen. Charles D. Barrett, USMC, and Rear Adm. Theodore S. Wilkinson all urged Halsey to abandon entirely the concept of a direct assault upon the Shortland area. These commanders recommended instead a simultaneous seizure of the Treasury Islands and the Choiseul Bay area on Choiseul, from which points air operations could strangle southern Bougainville, neutralize Bulta, and prepare the way for a further advance either from Treasury to
The Debate over Objectives
Map No. 13: Bougainville
Empress Augusta Bay or from Choiseul to Kieta.6 Even this plan quickly fell by the wayside on the grounds that it would consume too much time from the over-all Solomons campaign and would offer few compensatory advantages.7
Thus it came about that by mid-September, Halsey found himself in a most difficult predicament. King still insisted upon the Buin assault, regarded by Halsey as too costly for him to execute, and Nimitz had asked for five of the South Pacific's attack transports (APA's) for use in the Central Pacific. The schedule outlined by Admiral King would require the Kieta-Buka operation concurrently with MacArthur's advance into western New Britain,* and it would preclude the possibility of providing any but the most extreme fighter-protected daylight strikes and unescorted night missions against Rabaul during MacArthur's planned operation in the Cape Gloucester area. Although Halsey was eager to achieve the closest possible teamwork with MacArthur in the drive on Rabaul, he now was confused. To the Southwest Pacific commander he expressed his desire to undertake any plan deemed necessary by MacArthur, and to Nimitz he indicated his distaste for the direct attack upon southern Bougainville.8 Already he had offered MacArthur the Treasury-Choiseul plan, but the latter had asked for neutralization of the Rabaul airdromes during the scheduled December landings on Cape Gloucester. Hence MacArthur, fearing that any alternatives to Bougainville would delay the South Pacific air assault upon Rabaul until March 1944, requested Halsey to reconsider the problem with a view to obtaining airdrome sites on Bougainville sufficiently far north to permit fighter escorts to operate against Rabaul in December.9 The implications of this suggestion were clear. It would necessitate landing on Bougainville about 1 November in order to permit construction of the airstrips for operations in December; it would necessitate locating the strips on the west rather than on the east coast, and because of the limits imposed by fighter radius the site would lie some distance northwest of the Buin area.10
Halsey's forces made elaborate efforts to collect advance intelligence. Ground patrols landed from submarines, PT boats, and seaplanes at many points on Bougainville, bringing back their indispensable reports. Quickly, Halsey eliminated the less satisfactory targets. Buka lay beyond fighter range, Kahili was too strongly defended, the
* See below, pp. 328-29.
Shortlands lacked adequate beach area, while Kieta and Numa Numa on the east coast lay too far from Rabaul.11 An additional factor was the phenomenal success of the Vella Lavella operation, which had completely by-passed heavily defended Kolombangara, forcing the enemy to evacuate the Vila area without any Allied loss. Perhaps the technique of by-passing could function again on Bougainville.12
Amid the debate, Halsey sent Harmon over to Port Moresby, where on 17 September the Bougainville question was threshed out. MacArthur rejected the Treasury-Choiseul plan, believing that it was not in fulfillment of the JCS directive for the over-all campaign and that seizure of a base on Bougainville itself was absolutely essential to operations against the Bismarcks. Whether the landings should occur on the east or the west coast was a matter for Halsey's own decision; in any case, MacArthur's own plans called for intensive air operations against the Rabaul fields during the period 15 October-15 November, which would indicate 1 November as a favorable date for initiating a landing upon Bougainvil1e.13
Now that the ultimate decision lay in Halsey's hands, COMSOPAC wasted little time. All factors together pointed to a landing in the Empress Augusta Bay area near Cape Torokina, a west-coast site which was far from ideal. It was low and swampy, with a heavily timbered coastal plain, and it offered slight protection against onshore winds. There were no satisfactory anchorages for larger vessels, nor were there any roads or settled communities near by. But as compensation, there would be very little enemy ground resistance here, since the best intelligence reports indicated no more than 1,000 troops at adjacent Mosigetta.14 Halsey fully expected sharp resistance in the air and at sea; in fact, he anticipated violent enemy air reaction and regarded as the most critical task that of beating down Japanese air efforts during the landing and construction periods by smashing the enemy's Bougainville airstrips and maintaining a powerful fighter patrol over the landing areas.15 On the ground inaccessibility of the site was such that both Halsey and Harmon estimated a lapse of ten to twelve weeks before the enemy could move his artillery and major forces up to the invasion area; by that time the invaders must be braced for the attack.16
No question, then, that the plan was a bold one entailing many risks; it did not even evoke full enthusiasm in the South Pacific, but the die was cast. COMSOPAC accepted the risk, even welcoming the expected violent enemy reaction on the premise that the by-products of enemy
destruction and wastage would in themselves greatly advance the over-all Pacific plan. He named 1 November as D-day and MacArthur approved, offering his maximum possible support for the operation.17
On 22 September, Halsey issued his initial warning order, canceling all previous plans and directing the seizure of the Treasury Islands and the northern Empress Augusta Bay area.18 Admiral Wilkinson would do the planning, General Vandegrift would command all land forces. To the Third Marine Division (Reinforced), under Maj. Gen. A. H. Turnage, went the Torokina assignment, while the New Zealand 8 Brigade Group, under Brig. R. A. Row, would handle the Treasury Island operation, both under General Vandegrift.19
Over in the Southwest Pacific the Fifth Air Force proceeded with its plans to render direct aid to Halsey's risky venture against Bougainville. General Kenney set aside a force of B-25 and P-38 squadrons to throw against the Rabaul air forces and shipping, but this was a continuation of efforts already under way against Rabaul. The Fifth had made numerous attacks upon the area, striking very hard on 12 October, but now Kenney was careful to coordinate his strikes directly with Halsey.20 Beginning the night of 25/26 October, he scheduled nightly attacks on Buka and Kavieng to prevent the enemy from building up his strength at these two points; and if necessary, he planned to supplement these by daylight strikes. However, Halsey requested that Kenney's bombers concentrate their attention upon Rabaul, relying upon his own forces to reduce the 21
While the South Pacific forces gathered strength and laid their plans, the enemy furnished ample evidence throughout September that he was determined to defend with all his might southern Bougainville against a frontal assault. And Halsey made every effort to encourage the Japanese in their belief that the Buin-Shortland area was the proper target. They were aware of the reconnaissance on Shortland and on Choiseul, they observed the low-flying photo planes, and to meet the thrust which they expected against Shortland Island, they moved in fresh artillery and heavy equipment.22 However, the Allied occupation of Treasury raised a problem; since those islands lie on a direct line to the south coast of Bougainville, a landing there might well telegraph to the Japanese the true direction of the main effort. The solution lay in sending a small diversionary force of Marines over to Choiseul simultaneously with the landings on Treasury, because an attack on
Bougainville from Choiseul would lead logically up the east rather than the west coast.23
In all these operations the air forces of COMAIRSOLS were assigned a familiar task involving the usual requirements of search and defensive reconnaissance, this time over the area east of 155° E. and northeast of the line Buka Passage-New Ireland, as well as over the sea approaches southwest of the Solomons. Then there was the call for maximum air coverage and support of the amphibious forces engaged on the beaches of Treasury and Empress Augusta Bay and for air defense of the area against attacks coming from Rabaul or the Buin area.24 All this was the responsibility of General Twining, who as COMAIRSOLS had commanded all Solomons aircraft since 25 July.25 For this critical operation Twining estimated that he could call on 60 Marine Corsairs up on his most advanced base at Barakoma, 31 Marine and AAF fighters on Munda, 103 F-4U'S, P-39's, and P-40's on near-by Ondonga, 48 Navy F6F's on Segi, and 22 more Corsairs and P-38's on the Russells. Back on Guadalcanal in reserve were approximately 45 more AAF fighters. So much for fighter aircraft.
For his striking force, Twining had 100 Marine and Navy SBD's on Munda, together with 48 TBF's and 48 AAF B-25's on the Russells brigaded with 27 Venturas. Guadalcanal carried the heavy bombers. In the AAF's two heavy bombardment groups 52 B-24's (4 of them SB-24's) were on this island, in addition to 27 Navy PBY's, 15 New Zealand Venturas, and 33 PBY's.26 COMAIRSOLS forces were not large when judged by the standards of the growing air forces in Europe. But with more than 650 combat planes, they represented the highest point yet attained in the South Pacific by the heterogeneous collection of squadrons drawn from four different air services. For the Japanese, it was an uncomfortable contrast with the pathetic handful of nine planes which Colonel Saunders had led against Guadalcanal fifteen months earlier. And there were other things for the enemy to watch, too. Rear Adm. Frederick C. Sherman, commander of a carrier task force, was directed to be prepared to support the operations of the land-based planes by strikes against the enemy bases; and if the enemy should try to break through with his surface forces, it was the responsibility of cruisers and destroyers under Rear Adm. Aaron S. Merrill to intercept them and to attack any bases Halsey might direct.27
In order to control directly all air operations over the beaches, a new air echelon was established. This was Air Command North Solomons
(COMAIRNORSOLS), created 1 September 1943 at Espiritu Santo and placed under Brig. Gen. Field Harris, USMC.28 Drawing its personnel from the forward echelon of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, COMAIRNORSOLS became a part of the amphibious landings on Treasury and Bougainville and was charged with operational control of all aircraft entering the Bougainville area. This control was effected through two subordinate fighter commands, one for Treasury, the other for Torokina, and included operational control of all AA weapons and of the air warning services as well as fighter aircraft.29
In addition to these tasks, there was provision for the employment of direct air support for the ground forces guarding and enlarging the perimeter. As in the case of Munda, air liaison parties were set up to advise troop commanders on the details of target selection, and when confirmed by division or brigade commanders, requests were passed on to COMAIRSOLS at Munda.30 In such manner the commanders apportioned the several tasks. Troop commanders were to secure an area in the vicinity of Toroltina bounded on the east by the river of the same name, on the north by high ground approximately 10,000 yards from the coast, and by the Laruma River on the west. Ultimately, the goal was a stretch of beach nearly 18,000 yards in length, protected by a perimeter of 30,000 yards, but this was an ambitious bite for the forces at hand and could not be accomplished at once. The primary concern was the airfields. The fighter strip must be rushed to completion prior to 1 January 1944.31
Of all the factors influencing the success of the Bougainville operation, most critical was the ability of Twining's bombers to beat down the enemy's air effort, primarily by smashing his air facilities prior to the invasion.32 Torokina lay dangerously close to the enemy's airstrips; five of them were less than 65 nautical miles distant. Kahili, Ballale, and Kara at the southern end of Bougainville lay almost squarely across the flank of the Allied bases, nearest of which was the fighter strip at Barakoma on Vella Lavella, 140 miles from Torokina. Munda, the closest bomber base, was 180 miles south of Torokina and the Treasury site only 40 miles from Kahili, Kara, and Ballale. North of Torokina, only 65 miles distant, was the well-developed field at Buka, supplemented by the newly completed strip at Bonk Plantation on the southeastern side of the Buka Passage, and only 220 miles distant were the five airfields of the Rabaul area. Clearly Torokina stood in the center of a nexus of enemy air power.
Twining's directive called for reduction of airfields in southern Bougainville by 1 November, and for this effort he could count on using five fields in the central Solomons area, including the new one on Vella Lavella. Two parallel strips had been constructed on Ondonga Island; there was one strip at Segi, and of course Munda, now 6,000 feet long and the sole field north of the Russells capable of supporting medium bombers.33 COMAIRSOLS bore a heavy responsibility but it was not unique. Throughout the New Georgia phase his planes had struck at the Bougainville fields, the short-range bombers concentrating on the Kahili area, the heavies often covering Buka and Bonis. Adverse weather had interfered somewhat with the campaign, but by August the Japanese air commanders experienced difficulty in maintaining full air strength at Buin, and after the Allied capture of Munda it was necessary for them to withdraw the navy's CARDIV 2 back to Rabaul, away from its exposed and now untenable position at the tip of Bougainville.34 Though a decision was reached, apparently in October, to commit as much strength as possible from Rabaul to the Solomons to check the Allied advance,35 by mid-October when Strike Command moved to Munda from Guadalcanal, Japanese air power in the Bougainville area was on the downgrade, suffering under the constant pressure from heavy, medium, and light bombers. Now, on 15 October, when COMAIRSOPAC called for a reduction of the fields, Twining was ready to execute his maximum effort against the Japanese bases.36
By late October all available air strength had been moved forward to bases within striking range of the Bougainville targets. SBD's and TBF's had advanced from Henderson to Munda, the medium bombers had moved into the space on the Russells vacated by fighters which had gone forward, and on Guadalcanal the heavies were shifted about.37 Fortunately, the heavy bomber units of the XIII Bomber Command were in healthy condition. For the first time two complete squadrons of the 5th Group were operating together as a striking force, after the 23d Squadron moved up to Guadalcanal in mid-October. Another step in the systematization of the bombardment program occurred in the 307th Group when it established a regular schedule of missions on the basis of one every other day.38 Furthermore, the planes of the 307th Group were moved from Carney to Koli Field, where the camp for the crews was quite close to the strip. The 5th Group had shifted from Henderson to Carney on 2 October, though this seems to have been a less happy arrangement than for the 307th.39
Twining's sustained assault, actually no more than an accentuation of efforts maintained since Munda, opened on 18 October and continued on through the critical period of the landings.40 It was intensive, aimed primarily at the airfields, and drew upon the peculiar capabilities of each type of aircraft available. Operating under Strike Command, the Marine SBD's and TBF's divided their daily attacks between Kara, Kahili, and Ballale, with Kahili regarded as the primary objective, since it was most extensively used of all the enemy strips. Occasionally the total number of Marine bombers in a single mission surpassed ninety, as against Kara on 30 October. These planes executed dive-and glide-bombing attacks, concentrating on the AA defenses and runways of the enemy airfields, under the tactical command of the SBD leader.41
To this bombardment activity the AAF contributed its B-24's and B-25's, the latter flying from the Russells after the third week of October.42 Normally the B-24's, with fighter escort, bombed from 17,000 to 20,000 feet, but B-25's for the most part delivered their attacks on Kahili, Kara, Buka, and occasionally Kieta from 50 to 100 feet, bombing and strafing runways, planes, and ground installations.43 The normal fighter escort had averaged two fighters per bomber, but as enemy fighters declined in numbers, it had been possible since 1 October to reduce the escort to an average of one fighter per bomber.44 COMAIRSOLS continued to employ a broad diversity of plane types. Kahili, for example, on 26 October was the target for a single mission by 36 TBF's, 49 SBD's, and 24 B-25's, escorted by 10 P-39's, 23 P-40's, 36 F6F's, and 16 F4U'S.45
Enemy airfields absorbed very heavy punishment but they displayed astonishing resiliency under the attacks, making it very difficult to disable them permanently. So long as a portion of a strip remained unscarred, a potential threat existed, since the Japanese might send off a plane from the undamaged portion of the strip. It was possible to put a strip out of commission with ten or fifteen properly spaced bombs. But it was also possible to drop thirty bombs on a runway without rendering it unserviceable, if the bombs all landed on one side of the strip. Thus, Bulta with only sixteen unfilled craters was listed as unusable on 4 November. Yet on 13 November, Kara with thirty unfilled craters still showed a smooth surface 185 x 3,500 feet and hence was regarded as operational.46 Most helpful in this respect was the assignment of specific sections of the runway as targets for the low-level bombers, but even then prodigious energy on the part of the enemy, who labored
AIRFIELD DEVELOPMENT AT BOUGAINVILLE
around the clock, restored the strips to serviceability almost as rapidly as they were damaged. But it was a risky business for Japanese labor. In a surprise strafing attack on 26 October, eight P-38's swept over Buka-Bonis, leaving dead on the field approximately 200 laborers of the 2,500 estimated at work on the Bonis Strip.47
Despite the incessant hammering from the air, the Japanese continued to maintain a substantial air force in the Solomons, filling and tamping the bomb craters, and sending up their planes. Up to October the average daily number of planes in operation hovered at approximately 340, and as the aircraft fell back to Rabaul, the total at that base increased in November.48 Twining's heavies were out daily, mostly against Kahili, and in October they carried more than twice the weight of bombs delivered the preceding month. The effects upon the enemy's capacity to resist in the air were apparent; the bombers met no interception on the last six missions of the month and the final four missions dispensed with all fighter escort.49 By the last day prior to the landings the enemy had readied his new field at Kara, and on the morning of that day B-24's and B-25's, TBF's and SBD's had hit it with such success that it was listed as inoperative, as were all other fields in southern Bougainville on 31 October.50 The road was clear for the Allied invasion of Bougainville.
Already the scheduled landing had occurred in the Treasury group, when the New Zealand 8 Brigade Group had gone ashore on the morning of 27 October. It met no opposition on Stirling Island, but the small number of the enemy on Mono managed to inflict some damage and casualties on the New Zealanders before being eliminated. Now Treasury could fulfill its designed function--to provide protection for the convoys soon to feed the Bougainville forces.51 Although the enemy had failed to anticipate this move and to reinforce these islands from his powerful garrison in the Buin area, he now reacted to the landings in the same fashion as at Munda and Barakoma, but with less persistency. To cover the landings, Twining held sixteen P-38's on station; at 20,000 to 25,000 feet; below them were sixteen RNZAF and AAF P-40's and eight P-39's. Very quickly the Japanese dive bombers arrived, seven falling to the P-38's, four to the P-40's, and one to the P-39's, but the enemy had scored two hits on a destroyer, forcing her to retire. An hour later four RNZAF pilots sighted approximately seventy
Empress Augusta Bay
Zekes coming down from the northwest and heading toward Kahili; nine of the enemy went after the P-40's but the number was not enough. Three Zekes went down and all P-40's returned to their base.52
The second preliminary to the main landing likewise had gone well. Late on 27 October the 2d Parachute Battalion, USMC, landed unopposed at Voza on Choiseul, whence it proceeded southward toward Sagigai, destroying enemy installations at that barge staging point on 31 October and apparently confusing the enemy as to the direction of the next step up the Solomons.53
With all these preliminaries safely accomplished, the stage was set for the major undertaking--a landing in force on the narrow beaches at Empress Augusta Bay on the west coast of Bougainville. And in this area there could be no question about the enemy's reaction; here he would strike, and strike hardest through the air. Intelligence reports still indicated only modest enemy ground forces in the area, and although there were troop increases at the southern end of the island, many weeks would pass before they would move up to the Allied perimeter.54
On the morning of 1 November the transports of Task Force 31, carrying the Third Marine Division, cautiously moved in to their designated anchorage area and prepared to send their troops ashore to the twelve selected landing beaches. Opposition was light, except for the beach closest to Cape Torokina, but natural obstacles were severe. Surf conditions were poorer than expected, causing the loss of eighty-six landing craft and making it impossible to land supplies on three of the beaches, but the resulting confusion quickly cleared and the landings on the narrow beach went successfully ahead.55 Halsey expected a powerful reaction to this landing, and it came at once. Overhead a patrol of thirty-four fighters of all types awaited the dive bombers and torpedo planes sure to attack the rich harvest lying offshore, and at 0718 the first warning of approaching planes came in; as the last wave of landing craft got underway, the transports moved out to maneuver against the first of three heavy air attacks.56
In the air cover were P-40's of the RNZAF 18 Fighter Squadron up from their forward base on Ondonga, and at 0800 eight of these planes intercepted thirty of the enemy's Zekes, promptly shooting down seven without loss to themselves. A few minutes later eight P-38's of the 18th Fighter Group, stationed at 23,000 feet, met enemy fighters and Bettys, adding seven more victims without loss.57 Shortly before
0900, eight F-4U's stopped another thrust, sending down five fighters and turning back the bombers, but still the enemy struggled to crash through. His hopes lay with his Val dive bombers; eighteen of these broke through the fighter screen to attack the convoy, but their bombs missed every target. At 0815 eight Zekes had managed to strafe the beaches but pulled away without attacking the landing craft.58 Twice again in the early afternoon Marine F4U's contacted enemy flights, destroying two more planes, and when added to the Betty caught by P-38's near Cape St. George, COMAIRSOLS could chalk up twenty-one Zekes and one Betty, plus four Vals downed by naval AA fire, at a total cost to Allied air forces of one F4U.59
Thus went the pattern of the enemy's reaction on the first day of the landing. The Japanese had inflicted very light damage even on the few occasions they had broken through the defending fighter screen, and they had expended an estimated twenty-six aircraft. Doubtless the record would have been less favorable for Halsey's forces had the Japanese air installations been located beyond the reach of Allied air and surface forces, but now both weapons could reach him. Shortly after midnight on 1 November a bombardment force of light cruisers and destroyers under Admiral Merrill had steamed boldly into enemy waters to shell the airfields at Buka and Bonis, then at high speed it went south to repeat the performance against the installations in the Shortland and Faisi areas.60 Later in the morning of D-day Buka and Bonis received another assault, this one from the carrier planes of Admiral Sherman's task force. Two separate strikes went up from Saratoga and Princeton, whereupon the entire force retired, only to return for two more attacks on 2 November.61
During the critical landing period B-24's continued their attacks upon Kahili, so close to the Torokina area, and the light Marine bombers struck at Kara. F4U's strafed both fields on D-day, but despite all these missions returning fighter pilots believed that both strips were serviceable, as were Bonk and Buka.62 Clearly it was proving extraordinarily difficult to keep these fields in such condition that the enemy could not use them; only Ballale now seemed to be nonoperational.63
Admiral Halsey foresaw a vigorous enemy surface reaction, as well as the air attack. Aware of a formidable cruiser force assembled at Rabaul, he stationed Admiral Merrill's light cruisers in a position to intercept a possible surface thrust toward the Bougainville beachhead. As had been anticipated, the Japanese task force under Rear Adm. S.
Onori moved out from Rabaul and headed for Bougainville, but the action could not be concealed from COMAIRSOLS search planes, whose excellent reports promptly reached Halsey and Merrill.64 Very quickly two radar snoopers of the 5th Bombardment Group had located the force, which they estimated at eight to twelve ships, about fifteen miles west of Cape St. George on a course leading straight to Empress Augusta Bay, and they carried out a number of attacks.65 One SB-24 had bombsight trouble and could claim no success as a result of three runs over the formation, but the other, attacking from 1,500 feet at 0120, dropped its six 500-pound bombs across the target visible on the radar screen, apparently striking the heavy cruiser Haguro with sufficient damage to reduce the vessel's speed to twenty-six knots.66 In the ensuing night action of 1/2 November, Admiral Merrill's cruisers and destroyers drove off their more heavily gunned opponents, sank the light cruiser Sendai and a destroyer, thereby saving the Bougainville beachhead. The force suffered relatively minor damage despite a vicious air attack delivered by nearly seventy bombers from Rabaul.67
The second day of the landing operation brought no relief for the harassed Japanese air commanders. Over in New Guinea, General Kenney's B-25's and P-38's had stood by for a massive assault upon Rabaul, but bad weather west of the enemy's base thus far had prevented these planes from pushing through to their objectives, although the enemy enjoyed favorable conditions east of Rabaul.68 General MacArthur was aware of Halsey's delicate and exposed position at Empress Augusta Bay; he believed, too, that the enemy was heavily reinforcing Rabaul and Kavieng from Truk. In support of Halsey he would do everything "humanly possible."69 Finally on 2 November, the weather cleared, permitting the Fifth Air Force to make its heaviest attack of the war against Rabaul shipping.*
At Rabaul the enemy naval and air commanders now found themselves in a most difficult position. Throughout the year they had poured large numbers of reinforcements into the successive campaigns, but despite the reckless expenditure of aircraft, one base after another had fallen. In August, nearly all the army planes at Rabaul had gone off to Wewak to operate with the ground forces in New Guinea, although this loss was restored by the addition of planes falling back from the surrendered bases in the Solomons.70 Repeatedly the commanders had
* See below, pp. 325-26.
called for aid but Adm. Mineichi Koga, who had replaced Yamamoto after the latter's death in April 1943, was reluctant to weaken his prospects for a successful major naval engagement by such diversions of air strength.71 Koga held his forces intact as long as possible. Late in September, acting on a report that the U.S. fleet was moving out to the Marshall Islands, he sent his carriers from Truk to Eniwetok, where they prepared and hoped to challenge the American fleet. Nothing came of the move, and finally, late in October, Koga yielded, agreeing to send down from Truk a small number of carrier planes from Vice Adm. Jisaburo Ozawa's air fleet under a plan to base them at Rabaul for approximately ten days.72 It was a difficult decision, but to the Japanese high command the retention of Truk as a base was absolutely essential to the operation of the main fleet, and Rabaul was its southern defense post which must be held at all costs, even if it required a raid upon the experienced naval pilots of the carriers. These were regarded as the sole remaining pilot reservoir in the Japanese navy sufficiently experienced to cope with the Allied advance.73 This reservoir had been drawn on before. Over the bitter resistance of carrier officers, fully trained carrier groups had been sent down in March, but after a 15 per cent loss in two weeks they were withdrawn. Again during the Munda campaign this necessity arose; on this occasion CARDIV 2 went down to Ruin, but in the ensuing months it had been whittled down so badly it was necessary to pull it back to Rabaul. In two weeks of operations, this division had lost nearly one-third of its aircraft and pilots.74
Now in response to the urgent appeals, down to Rabaul on 1 and 2 November went planes comprising the forces from four or five carriers, together with all the fighters from Ozawa's air fleet, numbering between 250 and 300 aircraft. Their arrival boosted the total forces on the four operational fields at Rabaul to nearly 550 planes, of which 390 were fighters, and out at the seaplane anchorages were 36 more float planes.75 These were the aircraft which now were thrown against COMAIRSOLS fighters defending Torokina's beaches; instead of returning to Truk after a ten-day period, nearly all of them were to be sacrificed over Rabaul and Bougainville. The results of this commitment were not immediately apparent to the Japanese commanders, but they were not obliged to wait long. Soon would come the American assault upon Makin and Tarawa, but there would be no aid from the air groups at Rabaul--they were fully occupied. At least six months
would pass before the losses could be restored, and until then the carriers would remain immobilized.76
Meanwhile, Halsey had his worries, despite the success of the initial landings and the repulse of every enemy attempt to prevent them. Intelligence reports indicated fresh cruiser strength had reached Rabaul, ships whose mission Halsey believed was to try once again to crush through to Empress Augusta Bay, which they might do unless checked by a carrier assault upon Rabaul.77 He prepared his force, with the aircraft from Saratoga and Princeton designated to make the attack; and in order that all carrier fighters might go in with the carrier bombers, General Twining was requested to provide for the task force a continuous cover of thirty-two fighters from his resources in the Munda area.78
The mission went off on 5 November with the TBF's and SBD's pouring down through a hole in the clouds over Rabaul's harbor, damaging five of the heavy cruisers and two of the CL's which had just arrived. There would be no attack upon Bougainville by these ships.79 Nor was there much respite for the harassed commanders at Rabaul. Less than one hour after the carrier planes had withdrawn, twenty-seven B-24's and 58 P-38's from the Fifth Air Force struck the wharf area with eighty-one tons of bombs, encountering only weak and spiritless opposition.80 As the Fifth Air Force's offensive against Rabaul tapered off after its great effort of 2 November,* Halsey prepared a second carrier strike on the enemy base, this one to be supported by additional planes from the carriers Essex, Bunker Hill, and Independence. Again Twining's forces would cover the task force from Barakoma, and he would put sixteen fighters over Empress Augusta Bay, where troops and supplies unloaded all day. In addition to these demands upon his forces, Twining somewhat reluctantly had to comply with Halsey's request to put a force of B-24's over Rabaul, with orders to attack cruisers and destroyers escaping from the harbor area.81
On 11 November all these attacks went off more or less as scheduled, but weather conspired against both naval and AAF bombardiers and pilots. Towering cumulus obscured the target area, shielding the enemy's ships, and the B-24's were unable to damage their targets racing out of the harbor at high speed. Twining was somewhat disappointed that his substantial force of heavies had been ordered to bomb maneuvering surface craft rather than fixed land installations, fully
* See below, pp. 326-28.
cognizant that the former "had never been lucrative" targets, but Halsey's order stood and the forty-two B-24's up from Koli Field did their best.82 Halsey was not too happy over the day's results at Rabaul, but the planes from TF 50.3 had inflicted more damage than was realized at the time, sinking one destroyer and damaging three destroyers and two cruisers.83 More tangible success came during the retirement of the carrier forces which Rabaul defenders attempted to overwhelm with a powerful assault by nearly 200 bombers and fighters. As usual, the Japanese paid heavily. B-24's had already sent down five of the Zekes, and now in four separate attacks upon the carriers dozens of Vals and Kates fell to ships' AA guns, carrier fighters, and the land-based contingent sent out by Twining. Despite their imposing numerical strength, the Japanese inflicted very minor damage, hitting no vessel directly and spending an estimated sixty-four planes in the effort, while losing another twenty-one to the COMAIRSOLS force.84
It was in this fashion that land- and carrier-based aircraft functioned together in November to protect the beachhead on Empress Augusta Bay, where with all their weapons and determination the Japanese could not break through to wipe out the narrow lodgment of the Third Marine Division. Four days after the landing the Marines had successfully anchored the beachhead to a depth of 2,000 yards, enabling troop commanders to enter upon the second phase of the operation. Their task, and that of the 37th Division which began to arrive on 8 November, now was to enlarge the perimeter before the enemy could bring up forces sufficient to oppose it--to enlarge it sufficiently to permit the construction of fields to support the fighters and bombers of COMAIRSOLS.85
Up to 21 November progress was steady. Thereafter resistance stiffened, but by 28 November an advanced defense line had been reached extending inland at its deepest point more than 5,200 yards from the beach.86 The advance was not easy. Directly inland from the beach lay a great swamp covered with more than six feet of slimy mud and water and dense growth. Day after day the ground troops moved ahead through the ooze, sleeping upright, with weapons tied to trees, and regarding a day's advance of 300 yards as a creditable performance. But they defeated every attempt of the enemy's ground forces to break through the line, including a sharp skirmish on 7 November when several hundred Japanese came ashore from barges along the left flank of the beachhead.87
The primary object of all this ground activity was the acquisition of an area upon which airfields might be constructed, but the terrain proved worse than any yet encountered in the South Pacific. Beaches were exceedingly narrow, and inland for more than a mile practically all the area lay under the water of the swamps. Such was the prospect facing the Seabee engineers when on 10 November they began construction of the fighter strip immediately behind Cape Torokina, on a site selected on the fifth day of the operation.88 Further reconnaissance disclosed an excellent site for a major bombing base, but it lay 5,500 yards from the beach and hence required that the outer defense perimeter be driven even farther inland than originally anticipated. It was assumed that the Torokina fighter strip would accommodate 40 F4U's by 10 December, while inland there were to be two parallel strips: Piva U, which would base about 126 carrier-type light bombers plus 40 AAF fighters, and Piva Y, a fighter field designed to carry 115 aircraft.89
While the admirals fended off enemy surface assaults, it was the responsibility of General Twining to prevent the Japanese from interfering with Torokina through the air, and for this task he had the full resources of all air services in the area. General Harmon could send in to General Arnold only the most favorable comments upon Twining's performance as COMAIRSOLS; but certainly Twining had his hands full.90 His heterogeneous command now was operating with a full head of steam; between dawn and dusk on the single day of 11 November no less that 712 take-offs and landings had occurred at Munda alone--but there still persisted many shortcomings in the depths of the Thirteenth Air Force.91
One of the major problems was the old one of fighter aircraft, inadequate both in number and quality. Throughout the campaign General Harmon had regarded the P-39's and P-40's, while useful for certain purposes, as unequal to the heavy demands continually made upon them. The P-39 was practically useless above 17,000 feet, and Harmon believed that its poor performance reflected adversely upon the AAF fighter force as a whole.92 P-38's, F6F's, and F4U's all were excellent, but there were not enough of them to meet all the demands made upon Fighter Command, whose pilots even prior to the Bougainville landings were occasionally flying eight hours daily. Twining had to cover his exposed areas. He had to provide escorts for bomber missions, to conduct fighter sweeps, and on rare occasions, such as 5 and 11 November,
to assist carrier planes in defending an offshore task force. It was almost more than the force at hand could accomplish satisfactorily, and Harmon saw the solution in replacing the unfortunate P-39's with more P-38's and the new P-51's. But his modest request, like its predecessors, came up against the requirements of the bombing offensive over Germany, where there was a heavy and prior demand for long-range escort fighters. P-51's would not go to the South Pacific for "some time." General Arnold could offer P-63's in their stead, but not until February of 1944; meanwhile, Twining and Harmon would carry on with their current stock of fighters.93
Even with the equipment available the defending fighters continued to inflict heavy losses on the daylight raiders coming down from Rabaul, although they were much less effective at night. So long as Twining continued to rely upon the P-70, he was unable to counter the skilful Japanese night flyers, who were piling up a fairly respectable list of successes, particularly against shipping.94 Admiral Halsey, too, was worried, urging Nimitz to push for the development of a radar-equipped fighter capable of doing 350 knots at 30,000 feet. And in Washington, Admiral McCain even proposed that the Combined Chiefs of Staff consider sending a British night fighter Mosquito squadron out to Halsey.95 But no Mosquitos arrived, and the night defense rested as before on improved techniques of night-flying P-3 8's working with searchlight teams, and upon the radar-equipped F4U's and Venturas, and the P-70's at low altitude. These gradually had a deterrent effect upon the raiders and on 26 November, for the first time since the landings were made, it was possible to pass the entire night without a Condition Red. Nevertheless, the enemy had left his mark. In addition to three ships damaged and one sunk and the destruction of a substantial amount of fuel and supplies, the ninety alerts and twenty-two bombings in November had caused twenty-four fatalities and ninety-six wounded on the Torokina beachhead.96
During the campaign the fighters had assumed other tasks than those of defending the beachhead and escorting the bombers. On Bougainville itself TBF's and SBD's of the Marine squadrons had provided most of the air support, but after the initial landings the fighters were directed to strafe targets of opportunity as they returned to their bases. And for this kind of work, just as on Guadalcanal, the P-39's were highly useful.97 As the Japanese relaxed their efforts to interfere with the Torokina operation during the daylight hours, it became possible
to send off part of the fighter cover to strafe enemy positions or to cover rescue missions.98 P-38's joined in the strafing activity, ranging up and down both the east and west coasts of Bougainville. The success of these missions depended in part upon the efforts of the coast watchers, whose reports began to reach COMAIRNORSOLS on 3 November. By the 12th a coast-watcher service office was operating near the site of the Torokina fighter strip and into this center the watchers sent their invaluable reports, which served as the basis for a majority of the low-level bombing and strafing missions on Bougainville.99 As the fighters moved up to their station over the beaches, frequently they were ordered to make careful searches of trails, rivers, and paths, always on the alert for any sign of movement in the dense green jungle below them. They strafed along the Piva, Jaba, and Torokina rivers, the trails between them, and the barge hideouts along the coast and in the river mouths, sometimes enjoying a field day at the enemy's expense.100 Frequently they flew over to the east coast of Bougainville to strafe Tenekow or Porton Plantation, or to Tinputs or Tonolei Harbor, and the longer-legged P-3 8's did the same all around the island;101 canoes, huts, small groups of Japanese, all were targets for the strafers. Sometimes the pilots observed the results. More often it was nearly impossible to determine the extent of the damage, and it was almost as difficult to locate and hit a spot designated by the coast watchers. When the target was near some prominent landmark, pilots could locate it, but when it lay deep in the jungle, the pilots were fortunate to sight much more than tops of the trees.102 Infrequently AAF pilots were called upon to provide close support for the ground troops enlarging the perimeter. Most of this work was carried on by the Marines with their dive and torpedo bombers, whose air commander, Col. David F. O'Neill, USMC, expressed confidence in the ability of his pilots to place their bombs very close to friendly troops, provided the latter used a satisfactory method to mark the front lines. But after the Army assumed full responsibility in December, the number of these support missions diminished, much to the chagrin of Colonel O'Neill, who felt that the Army's ground commanders failed to appreciate fully the accuracy of his planes. The commander of the XIV Corps, on the other hand, was reluctant to expose his front line troops to the definite risks he foresaw, and because of the dense jungle and the inherent difficulty in locating targets, he took a less sanguine view of close support by light bombers.103 Consequently, the fighters
and medium bombers of the Thirteenth Air Force normally operated against objectives that lay well away from the area of ground fighting. During the Munda campaign the barge traffic had provided frequent targets for marauding planes. Now the situation was repeated and on 19 November, Twining was informed that the barges were regarded as primary targets for his planes.104 They were hunted down relentlessly and P-39's did well at it, but most successful of all were the B-25's of the 42d Bombardment Group, now operating three squadrons from the Russells. Day after day the medium bombers were out, hunting down Japanese surface vessels all around Bougainville, bombing and strafing them from minimum altitudes and very frequently sinking them in execution of their primary mission--to deny Solomons waters to enemy shipping during daylight hours.
Such a mission six B-25's flew on 5 November, the day of the carrier raid on Rabaul. Off early in the morning, they found targets for their 500-pound bombs all along Bougainville, from Kieta on the east around to Banui Harbor on the north. Behind them they left six barges destroyed, a 150-foot cargo vessel blown up, a 300-footer afire, a 100-foot vessel with a large hole in its side, and six more barges damaged. Three hours later they were back at Munda, where they refueled and then returned to the Russells.105 Next day they repeated the performance, with even greater success, causing General Harmon to watch their record with unconcealed delight.106 Frequently the B-25's assisted the heavies in the task of holding the enemy's Bougainville strips sufficiently cratered to prevent air operations. They attacked from medium altitudes with 500-pound bombs or they carried down to treetop level, strafing the fields while the bombs fell away, sometimes knocking down labor parties who were caught in the open as they struggled to keep the fields in operation.107 If the Japanese air opposition now had nearly vanished, their AA fire remained effective, costing the 42d Group four planes with thirteen men on the thirty-seven minimum-altitude missions made in November.108 But fortunately there was Dumbo, the Navy's lumbering PBY rescue plane, whose pilots would land within range of Japanese shore guns when necessary to recover Allied pilots. On 24 November a B-25 of the 70th Squadron, piloted by Lt. James J. Dickinson, went down at a point less than eight miles from Ballale, Kahili, and Shortland Island. Here the crew waited in their raft for three hours until a Dumbo from Barakoma with an RNZAF escort came up to rescue them. Amid intense antiaircraft and
heavy shellfire from the coastal batteries on several sides, the PBY took off, bringing the six B-25 crewmen home in time to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner.109
The month of November had provided the medium bombers with their richest haul of ships and barges, a haul regarded locally as too good to last. So it was. The following month found the minimum-altitude attacks cut nearly in half, and the B-25's now turned their attention to medium-altitude raids on supply and bivouac areas-much to the boredom of their crews who could not see the results of their work.110
The pattern of all these operations-and of those of the enemy-had closely paralleled the experience at Munda, and later at Barakoma on Vella Lavella. During the initial period of the landings, the Japanese attempted a number of daylight strikes in considerable force, without achieving much success to compensate for the disproportionate expenditure, and certainly nothing that could equalize the loss of mobility for Ozawa's carriers, After the initial spurt of energy, the Japanese quickly tapered off their daylight activity and returned to night harassment and early dawn raids, often employing fighter aircraft as bombers; they also heckled the convoys carrying fresh troops and supplies up to Empress Augusta Bay. But even the night raiders now were seriously hampered by the defensive night fighters, who were able to claim an occasional successful interception by radar.111
General Twining continued to send his heavy, medium, and light bombers against the Bougainville fields, for it was apparent that the Japanese were determined to maintain their runways in fit condition for planes. Repeatedly the photographs would reveal a strip heavily pitted with craters, and as often a subsequent photo would show the craters filled and the strip smoothed over. The Bougainville fields could be knocked out temporarily or they could be neutralized, but COMAIRSOLS bombers could not destroy them permanently if the occupants were determined to keep them in shape.112 However, the enemy either was not able or not willing to use his laboriously maintained Bougainville fields. Mission after mission returned during the first half of December without ever observing an enemy plane in the air; on 11 December over 170 sorties were flown by planes of all types and not a single Japanese aircraft had been sighted. Yet it was obvious to the South Pacific commanders that fighter strength in the Rabaul fields and in the northern Solomons remained at a substantial level--certainly
enough to offer some opposition.113 Perhaps the enemy was conserving his fighters for the decisive battle sure to come, now that the Allied installations on Bougainville were nearly ready. He would need all his strength.
At Torokina, construction of the new fighter strip had moved rapidly ahead despite frequent shelling of the area by well-concealed Japanese artillery. As early as 24 November, Torokina could support the forced landing of an SBD, and on 9 December the strip was ready for limited operations, with accommodations for forty fighters and bombers and some C-47's. Next day seventeen F4U's of VMF-216 came in, SCAT set up an office on the field to handle air transport operations, and Bougainville was ready for business.114 Not fully, however, for back in the jungle engineers and Seabees were rushing the Piva bomber strip to completion. When this was finished, COMAIRSOLS would have three strips on Bougainville only 220 nautical miles from Rabaul, and over on Treasury, 280 miles from Rabaul, another strip was growing.115
By mid-December the Japanese position in the Solomons and in the New Britain-New Ireland area was most precarious. The enemy had lost most of his outposts and bases in the Solomons, and he had forfeited his mobility within the areas he still possessed. On Bougainville he could move along overland trails only with extreme difficulty, and in the waters around the island his surface ships and barges--even canoes--were harried without mercy from the air. Japanese troops still on Choiseul were an utter liability, and the bases on southern Bougainville, Ballale, and Shortland Island now were not much more than isolated prisons containing substantial quantities of men, equipment, and supplies, of little value in their current position and incapable of easy movement elsewhere. By sea the enemy could achieve little. Halsey's surface units had turned back every attempt to attack the beachhead, and the Japanese could not even evacuate their forces from their own positions. Such an attempt ended in disaster on the night of 24/25 November in St. Georges Channel when they lost outright three destroyers to a U.S. force of five destroyers, which escaped unscathed from the last of the violent night sea battles so characteristic of naval warfare in the Solomons.116 Allied air forces so completely dominated the entire area that enemy commanders could scarcely risk daylight movement of their troops in any manner of surface craft, and at night the PT boats, LCI gunboats, and radar snooper planes punished them
mercilessly. No aircraft could be left on bases outside of Rabaul and Kavieng, nor could air installations be repaired without continuous fear of surprise air attacks. The handwriting was plain.
On to November, U.S. forces attacked the Gilberts,* thereby aiming a threat at the Marshalls and the entire defense structure of the Central Pacific. On 15 December forces under General MacArthur landed at Arawe in western New Britain at a point about as distant from Rabaul on the west as Torokina was on the east,Ü and by this move MacArthur further threatened the defensive position of Rabaul and Kavieng.117 With fresh bomber bases nearly ready on Bougainville and with fighters at Torokina, the Thirteenth Air Force confidently prepared for its part in the air campaign against Rabaul, although hence-forth it would act without the guidance of its experienced commander. On 12 December, General Twining left for the United States, scheduled ultimately to relieve General Doolittle in command of the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy,á and leaving behind him a unique air force trained to operate in closest possible cooperation with the air service of the U.S. Navy, the Marines, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.118
As Nathan Twining departed from the South Pacific and his assignment to the exacting and unique command organization of COMAIRSOLS, he could look back over sixteen months of combat in the South Pacific. It had been an enlightening experience for the AAF units. Problems never before encountered had arisen, most of them had been overcome, some altogether, many more only in part. One of the latter was morale, that delicate balance of intangibles which depends upon so many factors.
The State of the Air Force
The successes achieved by all the air echelons during the months of battle had exacted a price, not only from those who fell flaming into jungle or sea with their planes but from the men who remained tied to their bases. Warfare for the average citizen soldier is an unpleasant business, even when conducted under the most favorable circumstances. In the South Pacific, AAF units were committed to a theater exceedingly unkind to men from temperate zones who entered it to live, fight, and die. Their opponent was a deadly enemy, but never after the first few weeks of the 1942 campaign could he inflict upon air and ground crews anything like the damage caused by mosquitoes bearing dengue
* See below, p. 301.
Ü See below, pp. 333-37.
á See Vol. II, 751 n. 268
and malaria, by bacteria-laden flies swarming into unscreened mess tents and living quarters, or by the sheer physical and mental exhaustion and boredom of men emplaced for endless months on islands lying 1,000 to 2,000 miles or more from the nearest civilized urban center.119 The first units to reach the South Pacific in 1942 had hacked out their own primitive living quarters on Efate and Espiritu; they flew their missions, ate their C rations, contracted malaria or dengue, and for the most part, more or less patiently awaited relief or improvement of supply conditions. On New Caledonia living conditions from the out- set were somewhat better, since it was a rear area, the main center of supply, and inhabited by a permanent if sparse white population. The relatively fixed service units stationed at Oua Tom, Plaines des Gaiacs, land Tontouta were able to install themselves in fairly adequate quarters, but quite different conditions prevailed on Espiritu Santo, later on Guadalcanal, and on all the forward bases as the campaign drove up through the Solomons.
Squadron commanders and medical officers of tactical and service units alike very early faced a serious problem in their efforts to sustain morale-and morale was by no means always held at a satisfactory level, particularly among the service units and ground crews. So very many factors worked against them. Malaria was one, and in many respects the most serious drain upon the human resources of all Army units in the theater, affecting the phenomenal number of 788 men per 1,000 per annum in June 1943.120 The dearth of antimalarial supplies during the early weeks of the campaign and the lack of adequate knowledge concerning the prevention of malaria together contributed to the very high incidence of the disease, which fortunately declined when trained personnel and needed supplies reached the theater.121
During the peak month of malaria incidence in the Thirteenth Air Force-March 1943-no less than 72.18 days per 100 flying officers were sacrificed to this malady alone, and it was not until August that the loss of time due to malarial infection fell behind that attributable directly to combat activity.122 To be sure, by November 1943 approximately 80 per cent of all messes and latrines were screened, but by that time the mosquitoes had wrought great havoc.123
For the service units these morale problems were magnified. When first arriving at their new stations they did not settle down to work on motors and planes in great hangars or on broad concrete aprons, or in spacious repair shops adjoining 300-foot warehouses stocked with
parts.124 Instead, they labored in improvised coral bunkers amid debilitating heat and humidity, in tents, or in huts floored with COCO logs and covered with leaky canvas tarpaulins; and they labored without much recognition. In almost every instance, the service unit lived and worked side by side with the tactical unit; its functions were as essential as those of the air echelon, yet it received little credit and no public recognition when squadron or group fought its way through to a critical target against heavy opposition.125 It was easy to forget that bombs and guns functioned because ordnance personnel had labored to maintain them or that the planes' radar and radio equipment permitted a safe return from a hazardous mission because radio technicians had spent many hot extra hours in perfecting operation of the equipment.126
One of the major factors which served to depress Army morale was the very real difference between the living conditions of Army and those of Navy personnel living and working on the same base. From practically every island and every unit came the same report: naval personnel received better treatment. Regularly they arrived with material to floor and screen their tents or with enough Quonset huts to house all their personnel. Their kitchens and mess halls were equipped with adequate refrigeration, cooling facilities, ice cream machines, and sanitary conveniences. Their cooks regularly were furnished fresh meats and vegetables, flour, coffee, and sugar, and their ships' stores were well stocked.127 AAF organizations, on the other hand, reached their stations without refrigeration units--or with inadequate ones--without screen wire, lumber, pipe, nails, shower heads--without all the dozens of items necessary to maintain a reasonably comfortable living standard, or even health and full combat efficiency. They lived on the ground or they rustled lumber from various sources--usually the Navy--to put floors under their tents or roofs over their heads. And very often their medium of exchange in such transactions was their own slender issue of beer.
AAF units in the forward areas suffered as badly in comparison with the Navy's food standards as they did in the matter of housing. Lack of fresh meat was a major point. It could be obtained only at irregular intervals, even then only for the combat crews, and unless issued immediately it would spoil because of lack of refrigerator space.128 Yet the Navy invariably had fresh meat and the other services knew it. Despite all the efforts of dietary experts to aid them, the AAF cooks could achieve only so much with the dehydrated eggs, Spam, Vienna
sausages, stew, and C rations which the mess halls had in abundance. When the 307th Group found Spam on the table for thirty-one consecutive days, morale was not raised; when another unit received no flour and very little bread for more than twenty days, while adjacent naval personnel had these items in excess of their own needs, it was not surprising to hear uncomplimentary references to the Army.129
There was no doubt that vitamins and calories were in the food--men's health may be maintained for months by C rations alone--but the unvaried diet did not help their morale, at any rate not when, as on Espiritu Santo, men of the 321st Service Group could step across the road and see naval personnel living in quarters built up off the ground, sleeping in hospital-type spring beds, and provided with ample supplies of ice cream and beer.130 It was not uncommon for men at Espiritu Santo to enter the mess halls, look at the food, and walk out, In the tactical units the mess sergeants labored hard to prepare satisfactory foods for the heavy bomber crews on their long flights, but they had a narrow choice and the crews suffered materially from their diet of fatty foods, as did the high-altitude pilots. To relieve the monotony on Guadalcanal and Espiritu, units having services or equipment to offer frequently traded either or both for fresh foods or different varieties, but occasionally less legitimate methods found favor. Personnel in rear areas were known to pilfer from food ships destined for advanced combat bases when these ships halted en route.131
As each unit settled down at a new base it did everything possible to improve its living quarters. On Guadalcanal by May of 1943 the 307th Bombardment Croup had moved into tents provided with wooden floors and screening, it had its own laundry unit, and its refrigeration capacity was able to provide a daily ration of cold beer all around.132 Everywhere there was the struggle to maintain some semblance of comfort with equipment which suffered keenly in comparison with the Navy's, and even that little was jeopardized during the summer of 1943 when General Arnold passed on to Harmon a proposal that heavy pyramidal tents be withdrawn from the AAF. In place of pyramidals, shelter halves were to be substituted, on the assumption that it was detrimental to the morale of ground force troops to be housed in shelter halves alongside AAF troops quartered in larger tents.133 Harmon, of course, immediately rejected the plan as undesirable and unnecessary. He might have added that nowhere by this time were AAF units quartered in the immediate vicinity of ground troops who were in direct
contact with the enemy. Wherever ground and air troops were quartered on the same island, only the aircrews were in daily contact with the enemy, never the ground forces, with the possible exception of New Georgia, where small fighter detachments were held at Segi while infantry units battled their way north around Munda Field. To have reduced these air units to a pup-tent level of existence while leaving them alongside the relative luxury of the Navy would certainly have depressed morale even further.*
Throughout 1943 the scramble of officers and men for better conditions continued. COMSOPAC never did establish any official policy, but it is apparent that no ceiling was ever set upon convenience and luxury. The general tone which permeated all services was to achieve the maximum comfort possible. Each headquarters remained static in location over long periods of time, and each base was developed to a degree regarded by some as highly extravagant under the circumstances. When Maj. Gen. Hubert R. Harmon, Halsey's deputy,** expressed this thought to Admirals Fitch and Halsey, both countered with statements that in the terrain and climate of the South Pacific, men must be up off the ground and comfortably housed.134 And the Navy did get its men off the ground; it fed them well and made them comfortable; and it had a generous supply of luxury items not available to the Army's units. For the Navy controlled the shipping and therein lay the difference. But in the opinion of H.R. Harmon this stress upon comfort had led to unwarranted diversion of shipping for the movement of materials for housing and utilities, to the continual wasteful employment of large numbers of men in construction and maintenance, and perhaps most serious of all, to the fostering of "slow-moving complacency" about the war.135 This was a sharp assessment, but it is doubtful that the ground crews and service units which had
*There is evidence to indicate that this factor of daily contact with the enemy by air units was overlooked by ground commanders on Guadalcanal, as well as in Washington. In June it was necessary to defend the 307th Group from the criticisms of the XIV Corps medical inspector who had censured their living quarters. The air force (apparently Twining) informed USAFISPA: "that Fourteenth Corps has a high-power stag that has little to do, and most of that has been directed to sharpshooting at these air force units. . . . The Air Corps units are under strength, under equipped, and operating twenty-four hours a day, and there are many things that can be and should be improved." (Ltr., 13th AF, n.s., to Brig. Gen. A.J. Barnett, C/S USAFISPA, 18 June 1943.)
** H. R. Harmon, brother to M.F. Harmon, joined Halsey's staff in November 1943 as Deputy Commander, South Pacific. References hereinafter to "Harmon" or "General Harmon" should be understood to mean Millard F. (COMGENSOPAC).
hacked out living quarters for themselves during the spring and summer of 1943 were aware of any undue emphasis upon luxury-at any rate, not in the AAF.
The disparity in standards between the two services extended beyond the items used in normal daily living, becoming apparent in hospital facilities as well, and so created one more source of envy for the men of the AAF.136 On Espiritu Santo the Navy hospitals were adequately furnished and provided with many items of professional equipment which had been eliminated from Army hospital lists to conserve critical material and shipping space. And so as usual, Army patients and medical department personnel found it difficult to understand "why the Army must put up with equipment and housing vastly inferior to that provided by a sister service."137
Hospitals were not an intimate concern of the AAF in the South Pacific, but rotation and rest for its own personnel were, and it is probable that the greatest single factor affecting morale within the South Pacific air units lay in the duration of time spent in isolation on the islands. Their bases lay on jungle islands where there was no opportunity to visit the local pub with its beer and dart games, or to be welcomed at a dance where there was opportunity for feminine companionship. From Guadalcanal it was nearly 2,000 miles to Auckland in New Zealand, and approximately the same distance to Brisbane over the prevailing air routes. Hence there could be no Saturday nights in the villages, as in England, France, or Italy.
Actually the problem was twofold: relief for the combat crews and relief for their supporting ground services. Very early in the campaign Harmon had observed the steady drain upon the bombardment crews of the 5th and 11th Groups and had made every effort to send them down to Auckland for a rest leave. By 2 November 1942 nine crews had been dispatched to the rest camp or "Aviatorium," and Harmon hoped to hold his combat crews in action in the forward area no more than six or seven weeks for each tour.138
The key to the rest problem lay in provision of adequate air transport. In the early phases of the campaign few C-47's were available and these yielded to the heavy demands for ferrying supplies up to Espiritu and Guadalcanal. Furthermore they were regarded as inadequate to cover the long haul between Tontouta and Auckland, and on grounds of safety, comfort, and efficiency Harmon repeatedly had requested C-87's in which he could send down three crews per trip.139 Establishment
of C-87 service to Auckland was long delayed, so scarce were these planes. General Arnold cited the production of only eight per month as inadequate to care for all the vital supply lines, and other than placing Harmon's needs in high priority, he could do very little. Hence, under these conditions it was impossible to maintain a regular schedule to Auck1and.140 Finally, in February 1943, Harmon was informed that a C-87 had been set aside for the South Pacific, and that the Air Transport Command had been directed to lend a hand in moving the tired crews down to New Zealand.141
The need was urgent. By April 1943 the flight surgeons could detect a growing number of aeroneuroses among their aircrews. The strain of constant overwater flying rested particularly heavily upon the navigators, but it was severe for all air personnel; and so long as there was no definite goal short of physical collapse, there followed a general reduction of morale and combat efficiency.142 When, in April, Twining was able to report that the first of the C-87's had been assigned to the Auckland run, he felt that it constituted a splendid contribution to morale, but he wanted to achieve even more: his policy then was based upon return of crews to the Zone of the Interior after approximately one year in the area, inclusive of five to six months in combat. And because of the high incidence of malaria and dengue, he requested that all his air organization be furnished a minimum of 25 per cent over-strength in crews, in addition to the 15 per cent monthly replacement for the air echelons proposed by the War Department.143
As air transport became more plentiful, Twining and Harmon were able to send the air echelon of the combat units to the rest area at fairly reasonable intervals, so that by November of 1943 it had become necessary to expand existing New Zealand facilities for the accommodation of these crews.144 On the average, aircrews were rested every three months, going down to Auckland for nine days immediately after a six-week combat tour, then returning to the rear echelons of their squadrons for six weeks of additional training. Six weeks of combat missions (one every other day) proved to be the average time necessary to bring on mild operational fatigue, depending more upon the condition of the plane than upon the character of the mission. Long night missions produced extreme eye strain, with a rapid development of fatigue, and crews of more than sixteen months of service were beyond restoration when held in combat longer than the normal six-week period. But for the others, the nine-day rest brought full rehabilitation. The leave was
regarded by the flight surgeons as practically indispensable, for it brought men into a temperate climate in a civilized area, and the only regret was that the shortage of air transportation precluded extension of the benefits to all personnel of the AAF.145
The combat crews badly needed rest and the high priority was rightfully theirs, but efforts in their behalf did not lessen the drain upon the men who serviced the planes, built the roads to the strips, stored the bombs, changed the engines, and made it possible for pilots to fly the aircraft. For them work went on month after month in a torrid, humid climate that rotted materiel, relentlessly sapped their strength, and steadily lowered their efficiency. Many units worked steadily seven days a week over long periods; large numbers of their personnel had contracted one or more tropical diseases, and nearly all of them had been affected by the deadly monotony of island life beyond the rim of civilization.146 The inevitable result was mental and physical stagnation, evidenced in a lethargic attitude toward work. As the months passed, unit commanders repeatedly called attention to the lengthening period in which it had been impossible to rest their personnel. No longer could they overlook the state of chronic fatigue. Morale and efficiency sank, while that of the air echelons improved as regular opportunities for rest in New Zealand became available.147
General Harmon was fully aware of the problem, and in June he outlined it for General Arnold. But other than the rotation permitted by the monthly dispatch of 1.5 per cent filler replacement, not much could be accomplished,148 and the months of unbroken island service stretched on and on. Those officers and men whose duties permitted them frequently to move about the theater were less afflicted by the boredom, but such relief was the privilege of only a few, and a survey of the Thirteenth Air Force at the close of 1943 led to the conclusion that the military effectiveness of the organization was seriously handicapped by lack of a definite policy of rest leaves and rotation of the ground personnel.149 Certainly the total number of man-days lost had reached a high level by December; more alarming was the fact that of the 24,232 man-days lost in that month, no more than 219 could be charged to enemy action. Quite obviously the attrition of tropical life and work was now infinitely more serious than any effort the enemy had made thus far. And at the current rates of rotation, it would be a matter of years before AAF ground personnel could hope for relief.150
The weight of fatigue was evident in nearly every activity. Various
officers reported that by the end of 1943 it required twice as long for men to accomplish a given unit of work as earlier in the year; in the shops there was a striking increase in the number of minor accidents to personnel, and in the air or on the runways the last six months of 1943 showed a total of 151 operational and 69 combat accidents. Clearly the ground echelon of the Thirteenth Air Force were tired, but through-out 1943 there was slight prospect of relief for them. The air echelon likewise tired quickly, but operation of their weapons demanded such a high degree of mental and physical efficiency that it was scarcely profitable to permit pilots or crews to extend their time in the forward areas. Fighter pilots demonstrated keen sensitivity to fatigue and the effects of prolonged combat service, but Twining was unable to relieve entire squadrons at once. When a squadron was assigned to an advanced base, its replacements came in by detaching two or three flights from another squadron based in the rear area; the relieved pilots were rested, then attached to the rear squadron for training. Unless pilots were relieved, the accident rates rose very sharply after the six-week period of combat.151 It was less easy to demonstrate the drag of fatigue upon ground personnel, whose accidents were less spectacular, but unit commanders possessed a ready index of fatigue when they measured the output of work.
The task of overcoming the ravages of island life fell in part upon chaplains and Special Services officers but their efforts, as most other activities, suffered throughout 1943 from the general lack of supplies and equipment. Movies very often were a wretchedly poor type of B picture, so poor that in some cases the men could not sit through them; but on the other hand, the occasional visits by professional entertainers were highly appreciated.152 Over the long run, the faithful diversions remained-as in most wars-card games, dice, "bull sessions," and letters from home, for these required neither equipment nor external assistance. Unfortunately, very little could be done by anyone to combat a very serious depressant of morale for some soldiers-anxiety concerning the fidelity of wives at home.153
And so the ground men of the Thirteenth Air Force had worked through the successive Solomons campaigns until now the air echelon stood on Bougainville, poised for the final assault upon Rabaul. They had come a long way, receiving scant recognition, but making possible by the sacrifice of their health and morale the high performance of the air echelons in daily contact with the enemy. Air warfare inevitably
centers around the men who fire the guns in combat, men who incur the risk of death on every mission. To them goes the major share of acclaim both in the field and at home; normally whatever comforts are available pass first to those who man the planes. But in the South Pacific two double standards prevailed. There was the omnipresent contrast of richer Navy living alongside the less favored Army; and within the AAF itself there was the broad gap between air and ground men, a gap which eventually left a deep imprint upon the mental and physical fiber of thousands of citizens.
Unfortunately, the records achieved in the Solomons by fighters and bombers during 1943 tend to obscure the Herculean efforts produced by ground crews of the tactical units and by service personnel of the air service and depot groups. War in the South Pacific threw an inordinately heavy burden upon service personnel, particularly upon the units within the service groups and upon the airdrome squadrons emplaced on the advanced bases, for they were the chief victims of a logistical paradox. Island warfare was mobile warfare of a peculiar type; the move was from Espiritu Santo to Guadalcanal, to the Russells, and on up the Solomons; yet on the other hand, the completely insular nature of the theater cut ground mobility to a minimum. Heavy equipment of an engineer battalion could move only by surface craft; trucks could not drive on the seaways, and this led to an exasperating situation in which it was nearly impossible to concentrate the right amount of trucking at the time and place where it was needed. In face of an acute shortage in the forward area trucks would stand partially idle on near-by islands, and a similar situation prevailed for other types of heavy equipment.154 Above all, the insular nature of the theater affected the flow of spare and replacement parts to the forward bases.
Supply and Service Problems
Any assessment of the performance of the service people must include this physiographical factor, for the bases which supported the air squadrons of the Thirteenth Air Force were located in every instance on islands, both large and small but normally the latter in the forward areas. To fly planes it was necessary to hack airstrips out of virgin jungle or coconut groves, and to rest men and machines it was necessary to carve living sites, cantonment areas, supply sheds, and fuel and ammunition dumps out of the rawest kind of tropical terrain where white men never before had challenged nature on such a grandiose
scale. Here was no heritage left by decades of civilized life; no railroads, no highways, no communications-nothing. Nearly every single necessary item, excluding coral and some timber, had to be imported across the sea lanes or constructed on the spot by whatever hand labor was necessary.
As the service units came in to their stations, they quickly learned a fundamental of island operations: parts did not follow the units with the same promptness as on a continental base, sometimes lagging behind by several months and necessitating such measures as arc-welding broken axles, devising wooden linings in place of missing brake lining, trading or downright filching from Marine and naval organizations.155 Another problem discovered by the service units upon arrival was that of retaining their personnel for the job at hand, inasmuch as island air command headquarters and nature combined to strip down the effective number of skilled men available. Very frequently during the first four or five months on Espiritu Santo as many as 15 per cent of the 29th Service Group were out on IV Island Command orders performing tasks which did not demand skilled men, leading the group personnel to believe that ground commanders confused the term "service group" with "labor battalion."156 A long process of tactful education on the part of the group commander was necessary to explain the real mission and purpose of the group.157 Sickness added another factor and a serious one; for example, during January and February of 1943 approximately one-third of the 40th Service Squadron lay sick with dengue fever in a hospital or quarters, despite the employment of available mosquito-control measures. These were problems barely foreseeable back on the mainland, but they were grim realities to the men charged with responsibility for the maintenance and repair of AAF equipment. Some relief arose as a result of activation of the XIII Air Force Service Command on 14 April 1943, but progress was handicapped by the vast distances involved, poor communications, and lack of air transport.158
Despite all handicaps the service crews fulfilled their missions. Trucks carrying entire repair crews moved to the plane bunkers where, with the aid of floodlights, they labored as long as sixteen hours daily, halting only for meals, and at one time the 40th Service Squadron had thirteen B-17's under simultaneous repair, without benefit of hangar or similar shelter. It was the machinists of this squadron who, with no more equipment than that carried in the machine-shop trailer,
performed the initial B-24 bomb-rack modification, doubling the number of bomb stations from twenty to forty. Every fifth day this small crew turned out a B-24 with its new racks completely installed. When Madame X, a B-17 with a fine combat record and the squadron's first repair job, went down over Bougainville, the men who had restored her felt as if they had lost a part of their own unit.159
Improvisation and something loosely labeled "native engineering skill" helped mightily in overcoming the shortage of parts. Tools which were authorized but not supplied were fabricated on the spot from strange sources; a brake drum lathe was designed and produced locally, 90-mm. cartridge cases became mufflers, mechanical refrigerators were manufactured, and power hoists produced for bomb-service trucks.160 Even down on New Caledonia at Tontouta, close to the source of supply, where the ambitious project was under way to modify the B-25 C's and D's as low-level strafers, improvisation was the normal procedure. Lacking proper materials, sheet-metal workers went to any source. With a torch they cut up truck beds to obtain sheet steel for gun mounts, welding them together and heating or fastening them on with baling wire. But despite these relatively primitive solutions the B-25's flew; by 10 July, thirty-six had been modified to carry fourteen guns each.161
Inevitably, the record of the South Pacific service units raises the question: how were supply and maintenance accomplished at all in the lean months of the Pacific war? The answer lay in a combination of ingenuity, skill, the application of brute strength and sweat, a talent for improvisation on the part of citizen-soldiers who themselves were products of an industrial, mechanically minded society. Many times in emergencies AAF units received help from the Navy, always more richly furnished with equipment than the Army, and to a lesser extent there was aid from the Marines. Had it not been for useful local contacts with naval personnel, many units would have been without refrigerators, ice units, dump trucks, bomb-service trucks, pontoons for hauling water, plywood lumber, paint, and a long list of additional items unobtainable from Army sources.162
As to the reasons behind the shortages in the supply bins, the record is not complete. Many of the factors have been indicated; certainly a share of the fault lay in the impossibility of foreseeing in advance, under existing military organization, all the exigencies of air warfare on remote island bases in a tropical climate. Items whose lack created
serious handicaps to operations simply were not produced, or were not produced in time to be available when needed.
Whatever the cause and extent of the obstacles to ideal air operations, the fact remained that by 15 December the combined air forces of the South Pacific stood emplaced from Guadalcanal up to Bougainville, poised to open their greatest air onslaught against the enemy bastion at Rabaul. When this final task had been accomplished in the spring of 1944, Rabaul had lost its significance as a Japanese stronghold.
Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (7) * Next Chapter (9)
1. First Marine Amphibious Corps, Report on Bougainville Operation, 21 Mar. 1944 (hereinafter cited as FMAC Bougainville Opn.), in USMC Hist. Div. files; ltr., Halsey to MacArthur, 9 Sept. 1943.
Notes to Chapter 8:
2. ONI Combat Narratives, The Bougainville Landing and the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, 27 0ct.-2 Nov. 1943, p. 1.
3. Incl. (ltr., Comdr. 3d Fleet to COMINCH, South Pacific Campaign--Narrative Account, 3 Sept. 1944), The South Pacific Area, 20 Apr. 1942 to 15 June 1944 (hereinafter cited as Halsey Rpt.); ELKTON Plan; CM-IN-12400 (9-16-43), COMSOPAC to CINCSOWESPAC, 150634 NCR 5051-S, 15 Sept. 1943.
4. FMAC Bougainville Opn., Incl. 3, C-3 Operations Summary of Bougainville Campaign.
5. FMAC Bougainville Opn., especially Incl. 3; Maj. John N. Rentz, USMCR, Bougainville and the Northern Solomons (Washington D.C., 1948), p. 18.
6. ONI, The Bougainville Landing, p. 3; FMAC Bougainville Opn., Incl. J, memo for Comdr. SPA and SPF from Adms. Fitch and Wilkinson and Gens. Harmon and Barrett, 7 Sept. 1943, in USMC Hist. Div. files; ltr., Halsey to MacArthur, 9 Sept. 1943.
7. Halsey Rpt.
8. CM-IN-12400 (9-16-43). COMSOPAC to CINCSOWESPAC, 150634 NCR 5051-S; Halsey Rpt.; CM-IN-12399 (9-16- 43), COMSOPAC to CINCPAC, 150635 NCR 5352, 16 Sept. 1943.
9. CM-IN-12399, as cited in n. 8; ltr., MacArthur to Halsey, 11 Sept. 1943.
10. CM-IN-12399, as cited in n. 8.
11. FMAC Bougainville Opn.
12. Halsey Rpt.
13. Memo for Halsey from Harmon, 19 Sept. 1943; Notes on GHQ Conference of Sept. 10, 1943, by Whitehead, 11 Sept. 1943.
14. FMAC Bougainville Opn. Even these seemed to be engaged primarily in rice cultivation.
15. Halsey Rpt.
16. Ibid.; ltr., Harmon to Marshall, 30 Mar. 1944. Actually the Japanese needed four months to accomplish this.
17. Halsey Rpt.; msg., Halsey to MacArthur, 1 Oct. 1943; msg., CINCSOWESPAC to Comdr. 3d Fleet, 1 Oct. 1943.
18. FMAC Bougainville Opn., Incl. C, Warning Order, 22 Sept. 1943.
19. FMAC Bougainville Opn.; TF-31 Opn. Plan A14-43, 15 Oct. 1943. Rear Adm. T.S. Wilkinson commanded Task Force 31.
20. Ltr., Brig. Gen. Donald C. Wilson to CINCSWPA, 24 Oct. 1943; Whitehead Notes on GHQ Conference of 10 Sept. 1943; ltr., Kenney to Sutherland, 11 Oct. 1943.
21. Ltr., Brig. Gen. Donald C. Wilson to CINCSWPA, 24 Oct. 1943; msg., CINCSOWESPAC to COMSOPAC, 25 Oct. 1943; msg., Comdr. 3d Fleet to CINCSOWESPAC, 25 Oct. 1943.
22. Halsey Rpt.
23. FMAC Bougainville Opn.; ONI, The Bougainville Landing, pp. 6-7.
24. COMSOPAC Opn. Plan 16-43, 12. Oct. 1943.
25. COMAIRSOLS Opn. Plan T1-43, 21 Oct 1943.
26. Ibid., Annex A.
27. ONI, The Bougainville Landing, pp. 6-7. USSBS, The Allied Campaign against Rabaul, 1 Sept. 1946, p. 25. It was believed that the Japanese Third Fleet might attempt to play a major role.
28. Forward Echelon, Hq. First Marine Aircraft Wing (FMAW) War Diary, 1 Sept. to 31 Dec. 1943
29. FMAC Opns. Order 1, 15 Oct. 1943, Annex B, Air Support and Warning Plan. Control passed to this unit as soon as radio contact was established with planes entering the area.
30. Ibid.; Capt. Warren Goodman, USMCR, The Role of Aviation in the Bougainville Operation, Oct. 1944.
31. FMAC Bougainville Opn., Incl. C, Warning Order, 22 Sept. 1943.
32. Halsey Rpt.
33. Ltr., Twining to Arnold, 7 Oct. 1943.
34. USSBS Intr. 495, Capt. T. Ohmae and Comdr. M. Yamagachi, 6 Dec. 1945.
35. USSBS Intr. 139, Comdr. Nakajima, 21 Oct 1945, p.2.
36. Opn. Plan 9-43, 15 Oct. 1943.
37. Goodman, Aviation in Bougainville Opn.
38. History, XIII Bomber Comd., 13 Jan. 1943 to 1 Jan. 1944, p. 94.
39. Ibid., p. 96.
40. COMAIRSOLS Weekly Intel. Sum., 22 Oct. 1943; 13th AF Opns. Analysis Sec. Prelim. Rpt. 9, First Phase Analysis of Bomb Fall Plots, 23 Nov. 1943; Goodman, Aviation in Bougainville Opn.
41. COMAIRSOLS Weekly Intel. Sums., 22 and 29 Oct. 1943; Goodman, Aviation in Bougainville Opn.
42. History, 70th Bomb. Sq.
43. Ibid.; COMAIRSOLS Weekly Intel. Sums., 22 and 29 Oct. 1943.
44. Goodman, Aviation in Bougainville Opn.
45. COMAIRSOLS Weekly Intel. Sum., 29 Oct. 1943. Normally, B-25's were not sent on the same mission with the light bombers.
46. Goodman, Aviation in Bougainville Opn.
47. COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sums., 29-31 Oct. 1943; USAFISPA G-2 Per. Rpt. 41, 23-30 Oct. 1943, Annex 6, 31 Oct. 1943. On 28 October, Kara was out of service, yet on the 30th it was serviceable again, despite a morning attack by sixty-eight SBD's and twenty-seven TBF's.
48. USSBS, The Allied Campaign against Rabaul, 1 Sept. 1946, p. 23.
49. History, XIII Bomber Comd., pp. 97-98.
50. COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 1 Nov. 1943.
51. ONI, The Bougainville Landing, pp. 16-19; FMAC Bougainville Opn.
52. ONI, The Bougainville Landing, pp. 21-23; COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 28 Oct. 1943. The DD was Cony.
53. FMAC Bougainville Opn., especially Incl. Q, Preliminary Report, Operation BLISSFUL, 5 Nov. 1943; Halsey Rpt.
54. Ltr., Harmon to Marshall, 30 Mar. 1944. Harmon and Halsey counted on a period of grace of ten weeks. (FMAC Bougainville Opn.)
55. Ibid.; ONI, The Bougainville Landing, p. 43; COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 2 Nov. 1943. Total Allied losses here were 70 killed and missing and 124 wounded.
56. COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 2 Nov. 1943; ONI, The Bougainville Landing, p. 46.
57. ONI, The Bougainville Landing, p. 46; History, 339th Ftr. Sq.; USAFISPA G-2 Per. Rpt. 42, Annex 6, p. 9; Form 34, 1-7 Nov. 1943, XIII Ftr. Comd. Of the New Zealanders, F/O L. A. Rayner and F/L R.H. Balfour each shot down two Zekes here. (RNZAF Dir. of Public Relations, RNZAF in the Pacific, Hist. Sum., Aug. 1944, App. D.)
5858. ONI, The Bougainville Landing, p. 46; Ftr. Cmd. COMAIRNORSOLS Log of Messages, Orders, and Operations, Nov. 1, 1943 to Jan. 29, 1944 (hereinafter cited as Ftr. Comd. Log, with appropriate date of entry); Halsey Rpt. Admiral Halsey attributes the successful avoidance of damage to "alertness, radical maneuvering by the ships, excellent AA gunnery, and savage fighter interference."
59. COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 4 Nov 1943.
60. ONI, The Bougainville Landing, pp. 25-33. This attack was coordinated with a strafing mission of four B-25's against the float planes at the Faisi-Poporang seaplane base in order to tie down possible hecklers of the bombardment force. Ibid., p. 31; COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 2 Nov. 1943.)
61. ONI, The Bougainville Landing, pp. 34-37; Comdr. USS Saratoga, Air Attacks on Buka and Bonis, 1 and 2 Nov. 1943, and on Rabaul, 5 and 15 Nov. 1943.
62. COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 2 Nov 1943.
63. Ibid., 1-2 Nov. 1943. It should be noted that one day earlier all the southern Bougainville fields were listed as unserviceable.
64. Halsey Rpt.; USSBS, The Campaigns of the Pacific War, pp. 152-53.
65. Sources cited in n. 64; COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 2 Nov. 1943. Onori's force actually consisted of three heavy cruisers, one CL, and six DD's
66. USSBS, The Campaigns of the Pacific War, p. 152; Form 34,1-7 Nov. 1943, 5th Bomb. Gp. Project. The SB-24 crew, relying on its radar scope, reported only that the attack should be designated as "good." Since the attack was reported by the crew as occurring at 0120 and by the Japanese at 0130, it is reasonably clear that this plane caused the damage to Haguro; in view of the absence of any other attacks the time differential is of little consequence. If the CA was limited to twenty-six knots after the attack, presumably this was the maximum speed of the Japanese task force when it met Merrill's cruisers and destroyers.
67. USSBS, The Campaigns of the Pacific War, pp. 152-53; ONI, The Bougainville Landing, pp. 71-74. The torpedoed Foote was under tow, thereby offering an easy target.
68. Msg., MacArthur to Halsey, 0017, 2 Nov. 1943.
70. USSBS, The Allied Campaign against Rabaul, p. 23.
71. USSBS Intr. 503, Pt. 2, Vice Adm. S. Fukudome, 9 Dec. 1945, p. 22.
72. Ibid., pp. 20, 22; USSBS Intr. 524, Vice Adm. S. Fukudome, 12 Dec. 1945, pp. 4-6.
73. USSBS, Japanese Air Power, 29 Mar. 1946, p. 37.
74. Ibid., pp. 37-38. Shortly thereafter, CARDIV 2 was withdrawn to Singapore and Japan. These pilots formed the nucleus for the rebuilt carrier force which met US. carriers off the Marianas in June 1944.
75. USSBS Intr. 503, Pt. 2, pp. 22, 25; USSBS, The Allied Campaign against Rabaul, pp. 23-24. On 6 November, General Kenney estimated that total strength in the Rabaul area had dropped to approximately 200. (Incl. [R&R, S/AS to AC/AS Plans, 3 Dec. 1943], ltr., Kenney to Arnold, 6 Nov. 1943.) On the same date USAFISPA estimated 258 land-based planes on New Britain, New Ireland, and Bougainville. Apparently the intelligence officers of neither SOPAC nor SWPA anticipated such a large and sudden increase in enemy air strength. One week later the increase became apparent to the SWPA Directorate of Intelligence, whose officers correctly believed the Japanese were stripping their carriers to replace the losses at Rabaul and in the Solomons. (Hq. Allied Air Forces Intel. Sum. 155, 13 Nov. 1943, p.1)
76. USSBS Intr. 503, Pt. 3, p. 26.
77. Halsey Rpt.; Hq. USAFISPA G-2 Per. Rpt. 42, 9 Nov. 1943, p. 5. These forces were listed as follows: twenty-eight DD's, nine CL's, and nine CA's. Admiral Kurita's fleet had arrived from Truk on the evening of 4 November and was of lesser strength than indicated by Halsey's intelligence reports. (USSBS Intr. 503, Pt. 3, p. 25.)
78. Ltr., Twining to Arnold, 14 Nov. 1943. Halsey accepted the risk of possible loss of the entire Saratoga air group. (Halsey Rpt.)
79. CM-IN-3585 (11-6-43), CTF 38 to COMSOPAC, 050712, 5 Nov. 1943; USSBS, Campaigns of the Pacific War, pp. 155-56; Halsey Rpt.; COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 6 Nov. 1943. The strike was accompanied by fifty-two COMAIRSOLS fighters, freed from their task of covering the task force. The fighters landed on the carriers when necessary. (Ltr., Twining to Arnold, 14 Nov. 1941.)
80. Hq Allied AF Intel. Sum. 154, 10 Nov. 1943, pp. 1-2. It was assumed that Rabaul's first fighter ream was grounded for servicing at the time of the second attack.
81. Ltr., Twining to Arnold, 14 Nov. 1943.
82. COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 12 Nov. 1943; Halsey Rpt.; 307th Bomb. Gp. Per. Activities Sum., 10 Dec. 1943; ltr., Twining to Arnold, 14 Nov. 1943. To his chief Twining wrote: "However, COMSOPAC wanted nothing but the ships so no questions were asked.
83. Ltr., Twining to Arnold, 14 Nov. 1943; Halsey Rpt.; USSBS, Campaigns of the Pacific War, p. 157. CA Agano had to be towed back to Truk for repairs.
84. Halsey Rpt.; Hq. Allied AF Intel. Sum. 155, 13 Nov. 1943, p. 1. As in all air battles, it was difficult to determine the precise number of enemy losses. COMAIRSOLS intelligence officers placed the total at 116: 24 over Rabaul, 5 to the B-24's, 2 to TF-38, 64 to planes and ships of TF-50.3, and 21 to the land-based cover. (COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 13 Nov 1943, p. 2.)
85. FMAC Bougainville Opn., pp. 12-14; Report of Action, Operations of the 37th Infantry Div., Bougainville, B.S.I., 8 Nov. to 30 Apr. 1944. The 148th Infantry Regiment was attached to the Third Marine Division and placed on the line on 11 November. (CM-IN-7996 [11-13-43], COMGENSOPAC to C/S USA, 4123, 13 Nov. 1943.)
86. FMAC Bougainville Opn., p. 16.
87. Ibid., pp. 16, 18-19. These troops had come down from Rabaul under destroyer escort and formed the first echelon for a much larger force scheduled to disrupt the defense lines.
88. Halsey Rpt.; Ftr. Comd. Log, 5 and 10 Nov. 1943.
89. Halsey Rpt.; Estimate of Forward Airdromes as of 26 Nov. 1943, in note, COMAIRSOPAC to Col. Sterling, 13th AF. 90.
90. Ltr., Harmon to Arnold, 15 Nov. 1943.
91. Ibid.; COMAIRSOLS Weekly Summary and Review, 12 Nov. 1943.
92. CM-IN-2880 (10-5-43), Harmon to Arnold, F941, 5 Oct. 1943. The P-39 was, however, an excellent strafer and a "reasonably good low altitude fighter."
93. Ibid.; ltr., Arnold to Harmon, 18 Dec. 1943.
94. USAFISPA G-2 Per. Rpt. 44, 13-20 Nov. 1943, Annex 6, and Rpt. 43, 6-13 Nov. 1943, Annex 6, and Rpt 43, 6-13 Nov 1943,] COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 13 Nov. 1943. On the night of the 12th the commander of Task Force 39 reported that for the past three nights his ships had been surrounded almost continuously by enemy planes. (CM-IN-8005 [11-13-43], CTF 39 to COMSOPAC KOLI, 122340 NCR 2907-S, 13 Nov. 1943.) The night raiders sank the APD McKean with heavy loss of life, bombed the CL Birmingham, and put a torpedo into CL Denver.
95. CM-IN-13476 (11-22-43). COMSOPAC to CINCPAC, 180650; CM-OUT- 10610 (11-27-43), Giles to Arnold, 1101, 26 Nov. 1943.
96. SOPACFOR Office of Naval Air Combat Intel., The F4U-2(N) in the Solomons, 1 Mar. 1944; FMAW War Diary, 1 Sept. to 31 Dec. 1943.
97. History, 67th Ftr. Sq.
98. Ibid.; Ftr. Comd. Log, 25 Nov. 1943.
99. FMAW War Diary, 3 and 12 Nov. 1943. The airfields were observed daily by the high-flying F-5A's (photographic P-38's). These had been operating from Munda since the third week of October. (Form 34's, 11-17 and 18-24 Oct. 1943, 17th Photo Sq. Det.)
100. CM-IN-10314 (11-17-43), COMSOPAC to CINCPAC, 160522, 16 Nov. 1943.
101 Ibid.; Fighter Comd. Log, 20 and 23 Nov. 1943; CM-IN-17791 (11-29-43), COMAIRSOLS to COMAIRSOPAC, 281221, 28 Nov. 1943.
102. CG XIV Corps, Report on Lessons Learned in the Bougainville Operation, n.d., pp. 18-19.
103. Interview with Col. D. F. O'Neill, USMC, Sept. 1944. Colonel O'Neill led Strike Command from 19 July 1943 to 15 March 1944. (CG XIV Corps, Rpt. on Lessons in Bougainville Opn., p. 18.)
104. It was believed the Japanese had more than 100 barges of varying sizes in the Solomons. (Hq. USAFISPA G-2 Per. Rpt. 43, 6-13 Nov. 1943, App. A; Ftr. Comd. Log, 19 Nov. 1943.)
105. History, 68th Ftr. Sq.; COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 6 Nov. 1943; Hq. 42d Bomb. Gp. Per. Activities Sum., 1-30 Nov. 1943.
106. COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 7 Nov. 1943; ltr., Harmon to Arnold, 15 Nov. 1943. Harmon sent in high praise for the leadership and training given the 42dís crews by the group commander, Col. Harry Wilson.
107. Hq. 42d Bomb. Gp. Per. Activities Sum 1-30 Nov. 1943.
109. Ibid.; COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 25 Nov. 1943; CM-IN-15490 (11-25- 43), COMAIRSOLS to COMAIRSOPAC. This particular rescue attracted wide admiration from the senior commanders in the area. The PBY was piloted by Lt. Cheverton.
110. Hq. 42d Bomb. Gp. Per. Activities Sum., 1-31 Dec. 1943.
111. Hq. USAFISPA G-2 Per. Rpt. 47, 4-11 Dec. 1943, Annex 6 and Rpt. 48, 11-18 Dec. 1943, Annex 6.
112. O'Neill interview; USAFISPA G-2 Per. Rpt. 45, 20-27 Nov. 1943, p. 1; CM-IN-4345 (12-7-43), Radio Munda to All COMS SOPAC and SOWESPAC Areas, 061057, 6 Dec. 1943; CM-IN-8937 (12-14-43), COMSOPAC to CINCSOWESPAC, 140520Z
113. ACIR, 5-11 Dec. 1943; USAFISPA G-2 Per. Rpt. 48, 11-18 Dec. 1943, pp.1-2.
114. Fighter Comd. Log, 26 Nov. 1943; FMAW War Diary, 24 Nov. 1943, 10 Dec. 1943; CM-IN-7087 (12-11-43), COMSOPAC to CINCPAC, 110515, 11 Dec. 1943; COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sums., 7-11 Dec. 1943.
115. By 14 December the Treasury strip was surfaced over an area 4,000 x 300 feet. (COMAIRSOLS Daily Intel. Sum., 14 Dec. 1943.)
116. USSBS, The Campaigns of the Pacific War, pp. 158-59
117. Rabaul lay approximately 255 statute miles from both Torokina and Arawe.
118. CM-IN-7679 (12-12-43), COMGENSOPAC to CGAAF, 4745, 12 Dec. 1943. Twining's relief, official on 27 December, was the result of General Arnold's desire to broaden the experience of his field commanders. (CM-IN-12393 [11-20- 43], Arnold to Giles, 200417 NCR 8121, 20 Nov. 1943; CM-OUT-9861 [12-27-43], Marshall to Harmon, Rane 265, 27 Dec. 1943; CM-OUT-10287 [12-28-43], Marshall to Eisenhower, 5834, 28 Dec. 1943.) Both Harmon and Halsey were very reluctant to lose Twining, whose performance in a difficult multiservice command position they regarded as outstanding. Harmon was unaware that Twining would not return. (Ltr., Harmon to Arnold, 6 Dec. 1943.)
119. CM-IN-7679 (12-12-43), COMGENSOPAC to CGAAF, 4745, 12 Dec. 1943. Twining's relief, official on 27 December, was the result of General Arnold's desire to broaden the experience of his field commanders. (CM-IN-12393 [11-20- 43], Arnold to Giles, 200417 NCR 8121, 20 Nov. 1943; CM-OUT-9861 [12-27-43], Marshall to Harmon, Rane 265, 27 Dec. 1943; CM-OUT-10287 [12-28-43], Marshall to Eisenhower, 5834, 28 Dec. 1943.) Both Harmon and Halsey were very reluctant to lose Twining, whose performance in a difficult multiservice command position they regarded as outstanding. Harmon was unaware that Twining would not return. (Ltr., Harmon to Arnold, 6 Dec. 1943.)
120. Harmon, The Army in the South Pacific. General Harmon designated this disease "the scourge of this command."
121. Ibid. In an effort to mobilize all resources, the Joint Army-Navy Malaria Control Board was established and placed directly under Admiral Halsey. This board had complete jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to the control, prevention, and therapy of malaria. Under direct supervision of the board were a number of malaria control units composed of both Army and Navy personnel, and these were assigned to each occupied island. (Baier Rpt.)
122. Baier Rpt., Exh. 2.
123. Baier Rpt. When the 29th Air Service Group first went ashore on Espiritu Santo, approximately 75 per cent of the command contracted diarrhea of a mild to severe nature before screened messes could be established. (Ibid., Exh. 15.)
124. Operational History, 29th Air Service Gp., Incl. 1, ltr., Lt. Col. Franklin K. Reyler to CG XIII AFSC, 13 Oct. 1943. 125. Ltr., Maj. William L. Chapel, Jr. to CG XIII AFSC, 6 Sept. 1945; ltr., Maj. Max Hampton, AG XIII AFSC to President, XIII AFSC War Critique Committee, 9 Sept. 1945; Incl. 1 (ltr., Maj. Wayne S. Boydstun, 38th Air Engr. Sq. to CG XIII AFSC, 14 Sept. 1945), Air Service Operation.
125. Ltr., Maj William L. Chapel, Jr. to CG XIII AFSC, 6 Sept 1945; ltr., Maj. Max Hampton, AG XIII AFSC to President, XIII AFSC War Critique Committee, 9 Sept 1945; Incl I (ltr., Maj. Wayne S. Boydstun 38th Air Engr. Sq. to CG XIII AFSC, 14 Sept. 1945), Air Service Operation.
126. In some instances an airdrome squadron performed all the work for a tactical unit whose own ground personnel did relatively little, yet when credit was announced the airdrome squadron was neglected. (XIII AFSC, War Critique Study, p. 108.)
127. Incl. 1 (ltr., Maj. Boydstun, 38th Air Engr. Sq. to CG XIII AFSC, 14 Sept. 1945), Air Service Operation; Incl. 1 (ltr., Capt. Dickson S. Stauffer, Jr., 570th Air Service Gp. to CG XIII AFSC, 14 Sept. 1945), War Critique Studies, p. 20; ltr., CWO Jerome G. Peppers, Jr., 9th Air Engr. Sq. to CG XIII AFSC, 31 Aug. 1945.
128. Ltr., Lt. Col. Lewis L. Holladay, 321st Air Service Gp. to CG XIII AFSC, 11 Sept. 1945; Form 34, 13-19 Sept. 1943, 370th Bomb. Sq.
129. War Critique Studies, as cited in n. 127; MID Rpt. 1839, Morale of the Army Air Force on Guadalcanal, 21 June 1943. This report is from O.W. Clements, AP correspondent.
130. Ltr., Maj. Thomas H. Edmands, 6th Air Service Gp. to CG XIII AFSC, 5 Sept. 1945; Holladay ltr. as cited in n. 128.
131. War Critique Studies, as cited in n. 127, pp. 20-21. Lack of fresh foods on Guadalcanal was overcome in the spring of 1944 by the establishment of extensive gardens on that island.
132. MID Rpt. 1839, Morale of the Army Air Force on Guadalcanal, 21 June 1943; Edmands ltr. as cited in n. 130.
133. CM-OUT-11912 (8-28-43), Arnold to CGSPA, Rane 7422, 28 Aug. 1943; CM-IN-247 (9-1-43), Harmon to Arnold, 2460, 1 Sept. 1943.
134. Memo for Col. Ball from Maj. Gen. H.R. Harmon, 16 May 1944.
136. Baier Rpt., Exh. 15.
137. Brig. Gen. C.C. Hillman,Report of Observations of Medical Service in Southwest Pacific and South Pacific Areas, 12 July 1943.
138. Ltr., Harmon to Arnold, 2 Nov. 1942. This "Aviatorium" was organized in conjunction with the American Red Cross in Auckland. Much of the credit for its establishment goes to Col. Earl Maxwell, MC, Surgeon, USAFISPA. Aircrews were granted seven-day rests here , although they were not compelled to remain at the Aviatorium while in Auckland. However, most of them did so. (Lt. Col. Frederick J. Freese, Jr., MC, Report on Medical Dept. Officers in Thirteenth Air Force and in other AAF Units in SPA as of April 9, 1943.
139. Memo for Gen. Hanley, DC/AS 1943. from Gen. Harmon, 8 Dec. 1942; ltr. Gen. Harmon to Gen. Arnold 2 Nov. 1942. The C-87 was the cargo and transport version of the B-24.
140. Memo for Gen. Hanley, DC/AS from Gen. Harmon, 8 Dec. 1942; ltr., Gen. Arnold to Gen. Harmon, 7 Dec. 1942; ltr., Gen. Harmon to Gen. Arnold, 16 Dec. 1942.
141. Ltr., Gen. Hanley to Gen. Harmon, 18 Feb. 1943; R&R, AC/AS OPD to A-3, 29 Jan. 1943; CM-OUT-2777 (1-8-43), George to Harmon, Rane 2731, 8 Jan.1943.
142. Freese Rpt. as cited in n. 138. The most successful means used to break the tension and effect relaxation upon completion of a strike was to give each crew member two ounces of liquor under the supervision of the flight surgeon.
143. Ltr.7 Twining to Arnold, 27 Apr. 1943; CM-OUT-10821 (4-27-43), OPD to Necal, Rane 4600, 26 Apr. 1943; CM-IN-6148 (5-10-43), Harmon to Arnold, 86, 10 May 1943.
144. Baier Rpt.
145. Ibid. Because of the long distances involved, in May it was found advisable to increase the seven-day period to nine days. (History 13th AF A-2 Sec.) The normal operational tour for bomber crews and fighter pilots was six weeks. Gen. H.R. Harmon, 16 May 1944. (Dr. Ross A. McFarland and H. S. Shryock, An Analysis of Fatigue in the Ground Echelons of the 13th Air Force, 5 Jan. 1944 [hereinafter cited as McFarland and Shryock Rpt]; Baier Rpt., Exh. 10; Losses, Accidents, and Injuries of ÝFighter Planes and Pilots in Relation to Flying Time, Solomon Islands, June through November 1943, dtd. 15 Apr. 1944.)
146. More than one-third of the 29th Air Service Group Air Service Group had suffered dengue in fever and approximately 25 per cent had contracted malaria. (Baier Rpt., Exh. 15.)
147. Form 34's, 31 May-6 June, 11-18July, 26 July-1 Aug., 7-14 Aug.1943, 12th Ftr. Sq., 1-7 Nov. 1943, Det. B. Night Fighter Sq. In this night-fighter the enlisted men averaged four years overseas. Common complaints were loss Status of sleep, poor appetite, and early fatigue. (Form 34, 26 July-1 Aug. 1943, 424th Bomb. Sq.)
148. Ltr., Arnold to Harmon, 20 July, 20 July 1943.
149. Baier Rpt.; McFarland and Shryock Rpt. During the last four months of 1943 less than 500 ground men were sent to Auckland.
150. McFarland and Shryock Rpt. Of 400 officers and men evacuated to the United States from the South Pacific in September 1943, 69 were mental cases, 331 physical; in October the number was 535, of which 77 were mental and 458 physical.
151. Losses, Accidents, and Injuries, as cited in n. 145.
152. History, 29th Air Service Gp.; ltr., Holladay to CG XIII AFSC, 11 Sept. 1945; MID Rpt. 1839. The comedian Joe E. Brown was a notable favorite in the South Pacific.
153. History, 29th Air Service Gp.; ltr., Capt. Robert J. Madigan, staff judge advocate, XIII AFSC to CO XIII AFSC, 15 Sept. 1945. The staff judge advocate modestly recognized his limitations in this field, stating that "he is neither equipped nor does he desire to meddle in an attempt to improve the virtue of women."
154. XIII AFSC, War Critique Study, p. 83
155. Ibid., pp. 51-52; ltr., Lt. Col. Fred T. Taylor, 572d Air Service Gp. to CG XIII AFSC, 14 Sept. 1945; History, 29th Air Service Gp., Incl. 4, Functions of the Group Transportation Sec.; ltr., Capt. John C. Machovec, 29th Air Service Gp. to CG XIII AFSC, 9 Sept. 1945; ltr., Maj. Roy D. Andre to CO XIII AFSC, 11 Sept. 1945; ltr., Capt. Alton J. Weigley, 1034th Air Materiel Sq. to CG XIII AFSC, 8 Sept. 1945.
156. Ltr., Holladay to CG XIII AFSC, 11 Sept. 1945; incl. (ltr., Stauffer to CG XIII AFSC, 14 Sept. 1945), War Critique Studies, p. 2.
157. Operational History, 29th Air Service Gp., Incl. 1, ltr., Lt. Col. Franklin K. Reyler to CG XIII AFSC, 13 Oct. 1943; History, 29th Air Service Gp., Incl. 22, Operational History, 40th Service Sq.
158. CM-OUT-2623 (4-7-43), Arnold to Harmon, Rane 4219, 6 Apr. 1943; CM- IN-5857 (4-10-43), Harmon to Marshall and Arnold, 8482, 10 Apr. 1943; CM-IN- 8818 (4-15-43), COMGENSOPAC to AGWAR, 561, 15 Apr. 1943; Hq. USAFISPA GO 87, 14 Apr. 1943. Col. George McCoy, Jr., was named commander of the new service command on 8 May. (Hq. 13th AE SO 95, 8 May 1943; memo for COMGENSOPAC from Brig. Gen. R. G. Breene ,27Apr. 1943.)
159. History, 29th Air Service Gp., Incl. 18, Activities of the 40th Service Squadron Engineering Section in the South Pacific Area, 9 Oct. 1943.
160. XIII AFSC, War Critique Study, p. 3.
161.History, 71st Service Sq., 1 Dec. through 3 I Dec. 1943; History, 42d Bomb. Gp. (M); History, 13th Air Depot Gp., Incl. 13, Information Concerning Thirteenth Depot Engineering Dept., 2 July 1943; interview with Mr. Roland H. Bliss, 22 Apr. 1944; CM-IN-6854 (7-10-43), Harmon to Marshall, 1356, 10 July 1943.
162. Incl. 1 (ltr., Stauffer to CG XIII AFSC, 14 Sept. 1945), War Critique Studies; XIII AFSC War Critique Study, p. 4.