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1 Nov 1943

British Western Pacific Territories
  • Men of the US 3rd Marine Division landed at Torokina Point on the northern coast of Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville, Solomon Islands; the beach was defended only by a small 300-strong garrison, but the effective Japanese defense surprised the attackers. In response of the invasion, Japanese aircraft from Rabaul, New Britain, attacked the US fleet, damaging destroyer USS Wadsworth (killing 2), but at the heavy cost of 16 A6M fighters lost. The Japanese dispatched a counter-invasion force consisted of Cruiser Division 4 (Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita) and transports carrying thousands of troops; the fleet was en route to Rabaul when it was detected by a B-24 Liberator bomber (Lieutenant Robert Sylvernale) while heading toward the western approach of Saint George's Channel between New Britain and New Ireland. ww2dbase [Solomon Islands Campaign | Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville | TH, CPC]
2 Nov 1943

British Western Pacific Territories
  • Four Japanese cruisers and six destroyers sortied out of Rabaul, New Britain to attack the US Marine invasion of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. 75 B-25 bombers escorted by 80 P-38 fighters attacked this fleet just out of Rabaul, damaging cruiser Hajuro, damaging cruiser Myoko, sinking one submarine chaser, destroying 18 aircraft, damaging destroyer Shirasuyu, and damaging a number of smaller vessels; the Americans lost 8 B-25 and 9 P-38 aircraft in combat, plus more to be written off due to battle damage. The Japanese fleet, sailing at a reduced speed, engaged American warships at 0230 hours in Empress Augusta Bay. The Americans struck first, scattering the Japanese formation, but the Japanese were able to regroup and forced the American ships to withdraw. Though the action was inconclusive, the Japanese failed to disrupt American operations on Bougainville. ww2dbase [Solomon Islands Campaign | Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville | TH, CPC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944

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