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  #1  
Old 2nd September 2017, 12:48
focusfocus focusfocus is offline
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Guadalcanal, P-400 lost on 30/08/1942

Hi

That day,11 P-400 received a real "punishment" from 9 Zero:4 shot down and 6 riddled beyond repairs.(among sources,the 11 B.Group and the 67th F.Sqd in the Battle for Guadalcanal).

Does anyone know the Serial Numbers of the scrapped P-400 and the four shot down?
Nothing in Pacific Wrecks about this fight for example.

Thank's


Michel
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  #2  
Old 3rd September 2017, 17:24
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Guadalcanal, P-400 lost on 30/08/1942

The incident is discussed here: https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/WW/WW-3-3.html

Interesting discussion of the shortcomings of the P-400.

Two of the four pilots shot down returned to base and two others, Keith W Wythes and Robert E Chilson were missing. There was an after-the-fact MACR 601 recorded for the loss which discusses both men. The MACR was done because of inquiries by Chilson's wife. No serial numbers are given in the MACR. One of the men may have been captured by the Japanese, but there was no indication as to which man. Both were declared DED.
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Old 3rd September 2017, 19:14
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Guadalcanal, P-400 lost on 30/08/1942

From the latest book I have on Guadalcanal (the French one by Bernard Baëza), four P-400 were shot down and six heavily damaged, but only one of the latter was immediately scrapped to provide pieces for the other.

The battle first opposed a sweep of 18 Zeroes of Shokaku and Zuikaku and 19 US fighters (11 P-400 of 67th FS and 8 Wildcats of VMF-223) and six Zeroes were lost (one pilot saved, 5 MIA). Then six more Zeroes arrived and two were shot down (pilots MIA). The returning Japanese claimed 12 victories.

On the American side, VMF-223 suffered no loss and claimed 14 Zeroes, while 67th FS claimed 5 and two probables.

So this battle was an American victory, even if the P-400s were initially bounced. With 19 claimed victories for 8 Japanese losses, the Americans overclaimed exactly at the same rate than the Japanese that day (12 claims for 5 real US losses), but still the P-400s may have shot down several of their opponents, and so possibly have killed as much pilots as they lost.

This was the first pure fighter sweep used by the Japanese during the campaign. The goal was to reduced bomber losses, and this was successful. The bomber formation this day was not intercepted and sank the old destroyer USS Colhoun, now used as a fast transport, killing 51 sailors.
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Old 4th September 2017, 10:27
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Re: Guadalcanal, P-400 lost on 30/08/1942

Thank you for your answers RSwank and Laurent

Yet the different sources I consult,leave more questions than they provide answers.

Versions:
1)Six P-400 riddled beyon repair (in 11 B.Group and the 67° F.Sq in the battle for Guadalcanal)
nothing about the fate of the F4F?

2)3 F4F are written of due to battle damage (in Air War Pacific chronology American's Air War against Japan in East Asia....)
nothing about the "damage" of the P-400!

3)"Six P-400s so damaged that one of them would be immediately reformed to serve as spare parts" (Bernard Baesa).

the other five reformed later? which corroborates version 1??
and "quid" of the damage of the F4F of Willis S.Lees(VMF 223).....is one of the 3 Scrapped (version 2)??

"Cherry on the Cake"
It seems that we don't known the Serials of the four P-400 shot down that the 3 versions agree to report!

SO?

Michel
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Old 4th September 2017, 14:33
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Guadalcanal, P-400 lost on 30/08/1942

I searched Baeza's book to search everything writing on the 67th FS to check how much P-400 were available after these battle:

22 August: 5 P-400s arrived at Henderson Field
27 August: 9 more arrived (including BW167) -> unit strength: 14
29 August: 12 scrambled but failed to reach enemy
30 August: 11 in battle against Zeroes, 4 shot down, 6 damaged (1 scrapped immediately)-> unit strength: 3 OK, 1 unserviceable, 5 damaged

1 September: an order of battle of Cactus Air Force shows 67th FS with 9 P-400: coherent with the above that only one was scrapped on the 30th.
2 September: This day the 4 serviceable P-400 flew the first ground attack missions with success.
5 September: only two serviceable P-400 at dawn to attack barges
6 September: 3 serviceable P-400
8 September: 4 serviceable P-400 (according to the book no spare available, so they were repaired by cannibalization). One (British serial BW167) crashed on take-off and destroyed by fire.
10 September: 3 serviceable P-400, 5 other unserviceable.
11 September: 1 P-400 destroyed on the ground
14 September: 3 P-400 (one BW151) supported the Marines at dawn during the battle of Bloody Ridge, two hit by ground fire landed back on Henderson Field with engine cut
16 September: 3 P-400 flew a recon
17 September: 3 P-400 flew a ground attack mission, then a patrol
18 September: 3 serviceable P-400 in the evening
19 September: 3 P-400 flew a recon
20 September: 2 P-400 flew a recon
21 September: 3 P-400 flew a ground attack mission, 3 more arrived as reinforcement

I stop there for the moment, because with the new arrival it will be more difficult to check.

From the above, after the battle of the 30th, there was never more than 4 serviceable P-400, and never more than 3 after the loss of one in a take-off accident on 8 September. On the other hand the destruction of one during a bombardment on the 11th does not reduce this number.

So it is possible that the five P-400s heavily damaged on 30 August did not fly again during the period, but still they were counted in the OOB of the unit. One of these was probably the one destroyed by bombs on 11 September, or it not, one was then repaired enough to regain operational status. But I have no proof of anything. But still if restauring one of the five like that was possible, it could have been done after the 8th too.

As for serial numbers, I guess people there had another things to do.

Regarding your point 2) in your last message, there was no Wildcat loss on the 30th, only one was damaged and landed back to base. But the next day, 31st August local time but on the 30th US time, three pilots of VMF-224 disappeared with their fighters during a scramble. Their loss is reported on the 30th at http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/USN/LLAug42.htm, but confirmed on the 31st at https://missingmarines.com/2012/12/2...gene-thompson/.
In the above link, it is sais that 2nd Lt Amerine, the only of the 3 pilots who survived, became lost and then was ambushed by two Zeroes. Documents in fold3 don't speak of any Zero, and actually the Japanese pilots all turned back due to bad weather well before reaching the area and no contact was done.
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Old 4th September 2017, 16:35
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Re: Guadalcanal, P-400 lost on 30/08/1942

Very interesting Laurent

On the losses of the 3 F4F,it's troubling the difference between the 2 versions (one official squadron and one Lt.Amerine).

In view of his testimony,it seems to me that the version of accidents for the 3 pilots could be discussed (reasons,DATES),because what "interest" of his share to tell that it was ambushed by Zeros,in spite of the lack of confirmations of the Japanese side.....for the 31/08....but the 30/08?

Confusion between dates?local time,US time.or another reason?

As for the 5 P-400 heavily damaged,I might have a little tendency to consider them as "victories" for the Japanese,even if they were subsequently repaired...?? for the moment not certainly.

Michel
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Old 4th September 2017, 17:46
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Guadalcanal, P-400 lost on 30/08/1942

The missing Marines is the only place when it is said that Amerine was shot down, and you can find original reports on fold3 where he (Amerine) says after his return that he was lost, and said nothing about Zeroes, so I don't know how these were added to the picture. Maybe from a first report (remember that it was a scramble against a reported Japanese raid).

As for the date for VMF-224, most sources agree that it was on the 31st and the ones that don't are ones that use US dates for events on the other side of the date change (it was the 31st in Guadalcanal and the 30th in Pearl Harbor and the US). By the way VMF-224 landed in Guadalcanal on the 30th after the battle during which 67th FS was decimated, and the losses occured the next day on their first scramble.
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