Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum  

Go Back   Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum > Discussion > Japanese and Allied Air Forces in the Far East

Japanese and Allied Air Forces in the Far East Please use this forum to discuss the Air War in the Far East.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12th March 2018, 10:20
Lagarto Lagarto is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 180
Lagarto
Question B-24s of 7th BG lost over Rangoon in March 1943

In Osprey's "B-24 Liberator Units of the CBI" there's an information about two B-24s of 7th BG (USAAF), flown by Capt. James Baldwin and Lt. Willard Short, shot down by Ki-43 Oscars over Rangoon on 10 March 1943. It would have been the first such case in the CBI. The same information is repeated in another Osprey, "B-24 Liberator vs Ki-43 Oscar: China and Burma 1943" by the same author, but with a different date - 13 March 1943.
Could anyone confirm/correct this info, and possibly provide some details (a/c serial numbers, which Japanese unit was involved)?

OK, I've learned from "7th Bombardment Group/Wing, 1918-1995" by Robert F. Dorr that two B-24s of that group were indeed lost near Rangoon on 13 March 1943, but there are no details of how it happened. Were the two really shot down by fighters?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12th March 2018, 11:49
KM1957 KM1957 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 117
KM1957 is on a distinguished road
Re: B-24s of 7th BG lost over Rangoon in March 1943

According to MACR 16245 (for Baldwin), both B-24's went down due to enemy fighters 0n 13 March 1943. To quote the MACR, Four (4) B-24D's in formation took off from Pandavessar, India at 0630 hours to bomb Pasundaung Bridge. Each of the airplanes was loaded with 5-1,000 lb bombs. The formation was intercepted by enemy fighters which succeeded in disabling two of the ships in the formation which later crashed into the sea. At least seven (7) enemy aircraft made the attack. Three gunners were wounded in one of the other two remaining ships. The mission was successful and the flight returned at approximately 1800 hours. From this operation two of our aircraft were missing. Due to their superior number, the enemy fighters succeeded in fatally damaging the airplanes piloted by Lt. W.K. Short and Captain J.W. Baldwin. The crew of the two damaged planes fought gallantly until they crashed into the sea. After offering as much protection as possible to the damaged planes, the two remaining ones returned, landing at auxiliary fields.

Kent
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12th March 2018, 11:58
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 2,407
Laurent Rizzotti is on a distinguished road
Re: B-24s of 7th BG lost over Rangoon in March 1943

There is nothing about these losses in "Air War for Burma" by Shores on either 10 or 13 March 1943. There is no mention of 7th BG or any of its squadrons between 29 December 1942 and 31 March 1943.

My point of view of the book was that US units are less covered than British and Japanese ones, but still a fight between US bombers and Japanese fighters should have been included. So it seems that the Japanese fighters were not from 50 and 64 Sentai, the two Japanese fighter units best covered by the book.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12th March 2018, 12:37
Lagarto Lagarto is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 180
Lagarto
Re: B-24s of 7th BG lost over Rangoon in March 1943

Thank you, guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurent Rizzotti View Post
There is nothing about these losses in "Air War for Burma" by Shores on either 10 or 13 March 1943. There is no mention of 7th BG or any of its squadrons between 29 December 1942 and 31 March 1943.
Exactly! The two B-24s were the very first ones of the kind shot down by Japanese fighters in the CBI. Certainly an event worth mentioning. Oddly, Eric Hammel in his "Air War Pacific Chronology", which lists operations by the 7th BG quite meticulously, doesn't mention it either, hence my doubts.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12th March 2018, 12:46
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 2,407
Laurent Rizzotti is on a distinguished road
Re: B-24s of 7th BG lost over Rangoon in March 1943

Could it be a typo for 31 March, because in "Air War for Burma" there is mention of a fight between 7th BG and 64 Sentai on this date (with an unconfirmed episode where an US airman after baling out was strafed under his parachute by a Japanese fighter, played dead and then shot back with his pistol when the Japanese pilot came close, believing he killed him).

Still, the ABMC database and the USAAFDATA American Air Forces lives lost during WW2 both have numerous airmen lost on 13 March 1943, even if both said Baldwin died on 13 July 1943 (a typo? died as POW?).

Edited: the link below says that Baldwin did not survive on 13 March 1943.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...ames-w-baldwin
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12th March 2018, 13:34
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 2,407
Laurent Rizzotti is on a distinguished road
Re: B-24s of 7th BG lost over Rangoon in March 1943

I found something on the official American war chronology for March 1943 (available here: http://www.znaci.net/00002/316_27.pdf)
"10 March 1943
Mingaladon airdrome and Pazundaung bridge at Rangoon attacked by 4 and 5 B-24's respectively; at the airdrome, several hits are scored on runway, buildings, and revetments; 5 hits scored on N end of bridge, but smole prevents observation of results. After leaving the target, the formation is attacked by 11-13 enemy planes, 3 of which are destroyed and several damaged.

13 March 1943
Pazundaung bridge at Rangoon is attacked for second successive day, by force of 4 B-24's; 2 near misses scored on bridge. Five-seven enemy twin-engine fighters intercept, 1 of which is destroyed, 1 probably, and several damaged; 2 B-24's destroyed."

In this document, the Japanese aircraft are identified as twin-engine fighters. And I guess that five-seven means five to seven, not fifty-seven, because this will be a huge number of fighters from this type.

The 21 Sentai flying Ki-45 twin-engine fighters moved from Sumatra to Mingaladon airfield near Rangoon during the month of March, so it was probably this unit that engaged the 7th BG bombers.

I know that a number of Japanese war diaries are available online, but as I can't read Japanese, I don't know if the one for this month and 21 Sentai is available, but maybe you can check it.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 13th March 2018, 14:32
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 2,407
Laurent Rizzotti is on a distinguished road
Re: B-24s of 7th BG lost over Rangoon in March 1943

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurent Rizzotti View Post
Could it be a typo for 31 March, Still, the ABMC database and the USAAFDATA American Air Forces lives lost during WW2 both have numerous airmen lost on 13 March 1943, even if both said Baldwin died on 13 July 1943 (a typo? died as POW?).
Just a remark: I searched today a loss occurring on 13 March 1944 (B-25 41-30383 of 22nd BS, 341st BG) and of the six crew, five are registered by ABMC on 13 March 1944 and one on 13 July 1944.

So I wonder if ABMC was not using some kind of character recognition of files that will sometimes decypher a 7 in place of a 3.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 15th March 2018, 09:10
Lagarto Lagarto is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 180
Lagarto
Thumbs up Re: B-24s of 7th BG lost over Rangoon in March 1943

Thank you Laurent. This is all very revealing and informative to me.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
B-17 "Rose O'Day" lost March 14, 1943 NUPPOL Allied and Soviet Air Forces 1 2nd April 2013 14:21
Me110: Ill-used in BoB Jim Oxley Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 46 25th July 2010 10:10
3. Sq SAAF Hurricane lost on 15 March 1941 in East Africa Mirek Wawrzynski Allied and Soviet Air Forces 2 29th April 2005 10:08
Discussion on the air war in Tunisia Christer Bergström Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 14 1st April 2005 18:47
Tunisian losses Juha Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 29 25th March 2005 13:56


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 07:05.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2007, 12oclockhigh.net