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 Author  Topic: Airplanes in the Solomon Islands ... 1943
Nathaniel Smith

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nathaniel Smith   Send Email To Nathaniel Smith Posted on: Apr 14, 2012 - 2:15pm
I am interested in the kinds of airplanes the crew of PT-154 would have seen in the Solomon Islands in 1943. Bridge Carney has been a great help ... he's and expert. I thought I'd throw it open to all of you. Can anyone tell what planes to add and which ones to remove?





natsmith

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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Apr 14, 2012 - 4:11pm
As far as the American planes, the Hellcat and Wildcat, although in the Pacific were basically carrier based planes, as were the Avenger, and Dauntless. The B-17 was not used in the Pacific ( although tried) and was used mostly in Europe. The PT BOATS would have seen the Black Cat, Corsair, P-39 Lightning, Airocobra (Southwest Pacific) and the C-47, which was used extensively in the Pacific.


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Nathaniel Smith

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nathaniel Smith   Send Email To Nathaniel Smith Posted on: Apr 14, 2012 - 5:10pm
Thanks Frank for the reply. I included the B-17 because of this picture?



natsmith

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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Apr 14, 2012 - 7:23pm
You are correct Nat, the B-17 was used early in the War, but was decided it was non effective as a high altitude bomber trying to hit Ships in the waters of the Pacific. One plane you did not mention that was widely used in the Pacific was the B-25 Mitchell Bomber, a medium fast plane. In fact there were several instances of PT BOAT vs. B-25 in mistaken identity clashes.


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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Apr 14, 2012 - 7:51pm
Nat

There were several planes that our boys would have seen or heard about in the Pacific. Certainly the Navy A6M or Zero Fighter plane, the Betty Bomber, Tony, Oscar, Sally, and Dinah. In fact, it was 4 F1M Pete Float planes that hit and sunk PT-34 in the Philippines. I know that several I have mentioned are not on your list of planes, but these are the ones that come to mind.......................


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Shaneo2

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Shaneo2  Posted on: Apr 15, 2012 - 12:18am
One plane you may want to include is the USAAF B-24 and its Naval version, both used extensively in the Solomons. The B-17 was "very well" used in the entire SW Pacific area too, the Solomons has a couple you can dive I heard- I've id'd one (USAAF B-17) in the jungle in 2008, and a B-24 a couple weeks later.

There are wrecks everywhere. I've seen a P-38, a couple Wildcats, a Corsair, two B-24's, a B-17 etc. Japanese planes always seemed to be "bits and parts", as I am not a plane expert I suspect one I saw in 1981 was a Zero, and another the remains of a Japanese bomber, and another I could not id at all- as it was badly destroyed in water. I have several more locations to look into some year.

Besides the Aluminum (Japs used a red primer), one looks for the writing and if possible the MG rounds laying about to help in id work. If I recall offhand B-26's were also used in the Solomons, plus a P-39 was recently found (I read) near Munda. I heard of a discussion told to me off a US veteran who was talking to an old scout about Piper Cubs that apparently flew from Rendova...? It was hard to get local input when I was there as no one really lived there (harbor area when a base, or their not alive now) one should check > pacificwrecks.com


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TED WALTHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Apr 15, 2012 - 3:53pm
All;
Shaneo Is correct, B-17E's and early B-17F's flew from Henderson Field on combat missions until mid August 1943. As he knows there are the remains of between 7-10 B-17's in the area mentioned. I am sure he knows of "Black Jack", a B-17F sunk in shallow waters off Guadalcanal. Below is a list of B-17 units that operated in the Solomons area.
Take care,
TED

Fifth Air Force
The 19th BG received some replacement aircraft and was joined by the 43d Bomb Group in Australia in March. The two units took part in the campaign on Papua New Guinea, before the 19th BG was moved back to the United States at the end of 1942, transferring it's assets to the 43d. The 43d BG flew combat missions with B-17s until August 1943 when they were replaced by B-24s.



7th Bombardment Group
Received B-17Bs, 1939 at Hamilton Field, California (USAAC) Deployed to Netherlands East Indies, Jan-Mar 1942 with 7 B-17Es 9th Bombardment Squadron operated from Java until withdrawn in Mar 1942. Squadron reassigned to Tenth Air Force in India. 19th Bombardment Group
Received B-17Bs, 1939 at March Field, California (USAAC) Deployed to Clark Field, Philippines Oct 1941 with B-17Cs Operated from Philippines, Australia, Netherlands East Indies, Oct 1941-Dec 1942 14th Bombardment Squadron (Del Monte Field)* Designated as Non-Operational, Mar 1942 28th Bombardment Squadron (Clark Field)* 30th Bombardment Squadron (Clark Field)* 93d Bombardment Squadron (Del Monte Field)* 40th Reconnaissance Squadron (Formed Mar 1942 in Australia)** Redesignated: 435th Bombardment Squadron (Apr-Dec 1942) Returned to United States as B-17 OTU, B-17s to 43d BG Dec 1942

Seventh/Thirteenth Air Force

The B-17 was to achieve its first taste of combat during the Pearl Harbor Attack, when the 5th Bombardment Group based at Hickam Field, Hawaii had 12 B-17Ds parked on the ramp. Five of these B-17s were destroyed, and eight were damaged in the attack. On December 7, The 38th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group, with four B-17Cs and two new B-17Es was inbound from Hamilton Field, California to Hickam on their way to the Philippines to reinforce the American forces there. They arrived at Hickam at the height of the attack. One was destroyed, three others badly damaged. Remaining in Hawaii after the attack, in June 1942, B-17s from the 5th and 11th Bomb Groups were used in the Battle of Midway, but with little effectiveness.

Both the 5th and 11th Bombardment Groups joined the Thirteenth Air Force during 1942 and took part in the American campaign in the south west Pacific, fighting during the campaigns in the Solomon Islands (including the battle for Guadalcanal) and the return campaign to the Philippines. By the middle of 1943 both units had replaced their B-17s with B-24 Liberators



5th Bombardment Group
Hawaii, Solomon Islands, Nov 1941-Aug 1943 23d Bombardment Squadron 31st Bombardment Squadron 72d Bombardment Squadron 394th Bombardment Squadron Converted to B-24 Liberators, Aug 1943
11th Bombardment Group
Hawaii, New Hebrides, Nov 1941-Aug 1943 26th Bombardment Squadron 42d Bombardment Squadron 98th Bombardment Squadron 431st Bombardment Squadron Converted to B-24 Liberators, Aug 1943



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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Apr 15, 2012 - 5:01pm
As I had mentioned, the B-17 was used early in the War, but was not effective. I doubt the PT BOAT BOYS even saw B-17's or B-24's while on their boats, as they were high altitude planes. I would suggest they certainly saw their share of Jap Float Planes, Fighters, and even some medium bombers.


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TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Apr 15, 2012 - 5:49pm
There are good articles on the subject on the web...

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_B-17_Pacific.html

Bridge


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CJ Willis

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of CJ Willis  Posted on: Apr 15, 2012 - 6:37pm
There was a B24 squadron at Green Island when we were there. They were flying out of there everyday I think hitting Rabaul and Truk at that time.

C. J. Willis

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