WW2 Air Raids over Hong Kong & South China: View pages | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

WW2 Air Raids over Hong Kong & South China: View pages

OBJECTIVE: The objective of the first American air raid on Canton is to bomb Japanese aircraft on the ground at Tien Ho airfield

TIME OVER TARGET: ~7:45 a.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Four B-25s from the 11th Bomb Squadron (341st Medium Bomb Group, 10th Air Force) and four P-40s from the American Volunteer Group (AVG).  This is the final mission flown by the AVG, which has become famous as the “Flying Tigers” under the command of Col. Claire Chennault.  At midnight on July 4, the unit is disbanded and immediately reconstituted as the China Air Task Force (CATF) of the 10th Air Force.  While still under the command of the newly promoted Brigadier General Chennault, the majority of the civilian volunteer pilots and ground crew from the Flying Tigers choose to return to the United States.  USAAF replacement pilots, ground crew, and support staff rotate in to take their place.

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: American M-30 100-pound bombs and Chinese 17-kg fragmentation bombs

RESULTS: Several Japanese aircraft are hit by bombs on the ground at Tien Ho, including one twin-engine bomber

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: 15-20 Japanese aircraft are spotted on the ground at Tien Ho.  However, Japanese fighters do not intercept the B-25s.

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: None

SOURCES: Original 11th Bomb Squadron mission report in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.  I do not, however, have the mission report for the AVG P-40s, which may have encountered enemy fighters.

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey

 


OBJECTIVE: Bomb docks, godowns, and gasoline storage facilities in Canton

TIME OVER TARGET: ~12:45 p.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Five B-25s from the 11th Bomb Squadron (341st Medium Bomb Group) and four P-40s from the 23rd Fighter Group.  All aircraft are from the China Air Task Force.

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: American M-30 100-pound bombs and Chinese 17-kg fragmentation bombs

RESULTS: Bombs strike docks, godowns, gasoline storage facilities, and a 100-foot riverboat

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Ki-27 fighters, likely from the 54th Sentai

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: American P-40 pilots claim two Ki-27 shot down

SOURCES: Original 11th Bomb Squadron mission report in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.  I do not, however, have the mission report for the P-40s.

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey


OBJECTIVE: Bomb Tien Ho airfield at Canton

TIME OVER TARGET: ~4:15 p.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Three B-25s from 11th Bomb Squadron (341st Medium Bomb Group) escorted by 3 P-40Es from 23rd Fighter Group.  All aircraft are from the China Air Task Force.

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: Chinese 50-kg incendiary bombs and 17-kg fragmentation bombs

RESULTS: At least six Japanese aircraft bombed on the ground at Tien Ho

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: 50 to 60 Japanese aircraft reported on ground at Tien Ho.  None spotted in the air.

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: None

SOURCES: Original 11th Bomb Squadron mission report in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.  I do not, however, have the mission report for the P-40s.

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey

 


OBJECTIVE: Bomb Tien Ho airfield at Canton

TIME OVER TARGET: ~5:15 p.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Four B-25C from 11th Bomb Squadron (341st Medium Bomb Group) and 7 P-40E from the 76th Fighter Squadron (23rd Fighter Group).  All aircraft are from the China Air Task Force.

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: Chinese 50-kg incendiary bombs and 17-kg fragmentation bombs, plus Russian 100-kg general-purpose bombs

RESULTS: Americans claim ten Japanese aircraft destroyed on the ground and severe damage to runways

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: No Japanese fighters attempt to engage the American aircraft

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: None

SOURCES: Original 11th Bomb Squadron mission report in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.  I do not, however, have the mission report for the P-40s.

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey


OBJECTIVE: Bomb Tien Ho airfield at Canton

TIME OVER TARGET: ~6:20 a.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Five B-25C from 11th Bomb Squadron (341st Medium Bomb Group) escorted by 7 P-40Es from 23rd Fighter Group.  All aircraft are from the China Air Task Force.

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: Chinese 50-kg incendiary bombs and 17-kg fragmentation bombs, plus Russian 100-kg general-purpose bombs

RESULTS: Bombs hit Tien Ho airfield as well as docks and godowns near railroad station

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: One recon plane from an unknown JAAF unit apparently spots the incoming American aircraft, which gives the Japanese time to scramble six Ki-27 and three Ki-43 fighter aircraft, most likely from the 24th Sentai and 54th Sentai, respectively.

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: American P-40 pilots claim to shoot down one Ki-27 and one Ki-43.  There are no American losses.

SOURCES: Original 11th Bomb Squadron mission report in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.  I do not, however, have the mission report for the P-40s.

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey


OBJECTIVE: Reconnaissance over Hong Kong and Canton

TIME OVER TARGET: ~1:00 p.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: One P-43A Lancer on loan to the 23rd Fighter Group from the Chinese Air Force

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: None

RESULTS: Aerial photographs taken during mission show many small vessels and one large vessel in Victoria Harbor, plus two large vessels under repair at the HK & Whampoa dockyard

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: None

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: None

SOURCES: Original mission report in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey


http://www.usaaf.net/chron/42/oct42.htm says:

(Tenth Air Force):

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE (CATF): 12 B-25s and 7 P-40s, led by Colonel Merian C Cooper, hit Kowloon Docks at Hong Kong; 21 aircraft intercept; 1 B-25 and 1 P-40 are shot down; this marks the first loss of a CATF B-25 in combat; the Japanese interceptors are virtually annihilated; during the night of 25/26 Oct 6 B-25s, on the first CATF night strike, continue pounding Hong Kong, bombing the North Point power plant which provides electricity for the shipyards; 3 other B-25s bomb the secondary target, the Canton warehouse area, causing several large explosions and fires.


OBJECTIVE: Bomb targets in Kowloon and draw Japanese fighter pilots into a dogfight on terms favorable to American fighter pilots.  This is the first American air strike on Hong Kong during the Second World War.

TIME OVER TARGET: ~1:30 p.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Seven P-40Es from the 75th and 76th Fighter Squadrons (23rd Fighter Group), and a dozen B-25s from the 11th and 22nd Bomb Squadrons (341st Medium Bomb Group).  All aircraft are from the China Air Task Force (CATF) commanded by General Claire Chennault.  Col. Robert L. Scott, famed ace and author of God Is My Copilot, leads the American fighter planes.  According to some sources, Warrant Officer Benjamin A. Proulx of the HKRNVR flies in the lead B-25 during this mission and points out the locations of POW camps to avoid an accidental bombing of Allied prisoners.  However, the B-25 crew manifests for the raid make no mention of Proulx, who had escaped from North Point POW camp in January 1942, and moreover, multiple Canadian newspaper reports indicate Proulx returned to Canada several months before the raid in July 1942.    

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: 500-pound bombs and 17-kg incendiary bombs, plus .50-caliber machine-gun rounds

RESULTS: Bomb damage is not significant from a military standpoint, though some Japanese military personnel are killed at Whitfield Barracks.  Civilians are killed as bombs fall in vicinity of Jordan Road, Austin Road, Cameron Road, and Salisbury Road.

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Ki-43s, most likely from the 33rd Sentai.  Twin-engine Ki-45s from an unknown unit are also reported by American pilots.

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: One American B-25 is shot down by Japanese fighters and belly-lands near Canton.  Four of the six crewmen are taken prisoner by Japanese soldiers and become the first American airmen captured during a raid on Hong Kong.  One P-40 is damaged and force lands in friendly territory.  The Americans claim to shoot down as many as twenty Japanese fighters, but Japanese records do not indicate that any pilots were lost over Hong Kong on October 25, 1942.

SOURCES:

  • Original mission reports and other documents in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama
  • God Is My Copilot, by Robert L. Scott
  • Way of a Fighter, by Claire Lee Chennault
  • Japanese Army Fighter Aces, 1931-45, by Ikuhiko Hata, Yasuho Izawa, and Christopher Shores

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey


OBJECTIVE: Reconnaissance over Canton airfields

TIME OVER TARGET: ~1:00 p.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: One P-43A Lancer loaned to the 75th Fighter Squadron (23rd Fighter Group) by the Chinese Air Force

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: None

RESULTS: 15-20 aircraft observed on the ground at White Cloud airbase

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Aircraft observed on the ground

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: None

SOURCES: Original mission report in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey


http://www.usaaf.net/chron/42/oct42.htm says:

(Tenth Air Force): CHINA AIR TASK FORCE (CATF): P-40's continue to hit the Hong Kong-Canton area, using dive-bombing tactics for first time in the area.


OBJECTIVE: Tien Ho airfield at Canton is the primary target, but when ground fog obscures the airbase, the bombers hit gasoline storage facilities and godowns instead.

TIME OVER TARGET: ~4:15 a.m.

AMERICAN SQUADRONS AND AIRCRAFT: Three B-25s from 11th Bomb Squadron (341st Medium Bomb Group, China Air Task Force)

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: 50-kg incendiary bombs and 17-kg fragmentation bombs

RESULTS: Unknown, though bomber crews report up to twenty fires resulted from the bombing

JAPANESE SQUADRONS AND AIRCRAFT: Nightfighters from an unknown squadron attempt to intercept without success

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: None

SOURCES: Original mission reports and other documents in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey

 


OBJECTIVE: Reconnaissance over Canton and Hong Kong

TIME OVER TARGET: ~9:00 a.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: One P-43A Lancer on loan to the 23rd Fighter Group (China Air Task Force) from the Chinese Air Force

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: None

RESULTS: Pilot reports no apparent damage from strikes on October 25 and 26, 1942, and this assessment is confirmed by aerial photographs of Kowloon taken during the mission.

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: None

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: None

SOURCES: Original mission report in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey


OBJECTIVE: Bomb the North Point power station

TIME OVER TARGET: ~Midnight (American military documents, BAAG reports, and eyewitness accounts disagree on the time of the raid, which is said to occur somewhere between 23:00 on Oct. 25 and 01:30 on Oct. 26.)

AMERICAN SQUADRONS AND AIRCRAFT: Six B-25s from 11th Bomb Squadron (341st Medium Bomb Group, China Air Task Force)

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: 500-pound bombs and 17-kg fragmentation bombs

RESULTS: No damage to power station, despite American claims to the contrary.  Some civilian casualties in residential areas near the plant.

JAPANESE SQUADRONS AND AIRCRAFT: None

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: None

SOURCES: Original mission reports and other documents in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey


Henry Ching notes that his father's diary mentions the third American air raid on Hong Kong happened on this day, and that:

In Edwin Ride’s book on the BAAG he states “the first of regular 14th Air Force bombing raids over Hong Kong took place during 25-28 October 1943 (sic)”  - he says “there were all told three raids, 3.30 p.m. Oct 25th, 1.30 a.m. Oct 26th and 11 a.m. Oct 28th”.

R E Jones and Barbara Anslow also mention the raid, see this page.


OBJECTIVE: Dive-bomb shipping in Victoria Harbor

TIME OVER TARGET: ~11:00 a.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Seventeen P-40Es from 16th and 75th Fighter Squadrons (23rd Fighter Group, China Air Task Force)

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: 500-pound bombs (carried by six P-40s) and .50-caliber machine-gun rounds (strafing)

RESULTS: Possible damage to ships from near misses.  BAAG reports bombs exploding in the water left many dead fish floating in the harbor.

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Likely Ki-43s from the 33rd Sentai, though American pilots report a wide variety of enemy aircraft, including Ki-27s, Ki-45s, A6Ms, and even German ME-109s.

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: One P-40 is shot down by Japanese fighters and its pilot, Capt. Philip B. O’Connell, is the first American airman to be killed on a mission over Hong Kong.  Four more P-40 pilots make forced landings when they run out of fuel while returning from Hong Kong.

SOURCES: Original mission reports and other documents in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey

 


OBJECTIVE: Secret interception mission in vicinity of Hong Kong and Canton

TIME OVER TARGET: ~11:20 a.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT:  Three P-40E1 from 16th Fighter Squadron (23rd Fighter Group, China Air Task Force)

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: None

RESULTS: Anticipated enemy aircraft did not appear

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: None

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: None

SOURCES: Original mission reports in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey

 

 


OBJECTIVE: Reconnaissance flight over Canton, San Chau, and Hong Kong

TIME OVER TARGET: ~9:00 a.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Two P-40E1s from 16th Fighter Squadron (23rd Fighter Group, China Air Task Force)

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: None

RESULTS: Canton obscured by cloud cover.  No aircraft spotted on the ground at airfield on San Chau.  Nine freighters observed in Victoria Harbor along with numerous small craft.  Pilots also noted the ongoing construction work at Kai Tak, where the runway was being extended.

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: None observed

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: None

SOURCES: Original mission report in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey


OBJECTIVE: Reconnaissance flight over Canton, San Chau, and Hong Kong

TIME OVER TARGET: ~10:15 a.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Two P-40E1s from 16th Fighter Squadron (23rd Fighter Group, China Air Task Force)

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: None

RESULTS: Canton and San Chau obscured by cloud cover.  Hong Kong almost entirely obscured.

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: None observed

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: None

SOURCES: Original mission report in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey

 


 

OBJECTIVE: Reconnaissance flight over Canton and Hong Kong

TIME OVER TARGET: ~3:30 p.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Two P-40E1s from 16th Fighter Squadron (23rd Fighter Group, China Air Task Force)

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: None

RESULTS: Canton obscured by cloud cover.  Pilots observe one destroyer and four medium-sized ships in Victoria Harbor.

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Three aircraft from unknown unit attempt to intercept the P-40s, but are unable to close within firing range

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: None

SOURCES: Original mission report in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey


OBJECTIVE: Reconnaissance flight over San Chau and Hong Kong

TIME OVER TARGET: ~7:15 a.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Two P-40E1s from 16th Fighter Squadron (23rd Fighter Group, China Air Task Force)

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: None

RESULTS: Pilots observe construction activity at San Chau airfield, but the only aircraft on the ground is a single transport plane.  At Hong Kong, the pilots use high-powered binoculars to observe ships in Victoria Harbor, including four to five large merchant vessels and two smaller vessels.

JAPANESE UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: None

AIRCRAFT LOSSES: None

SOURCES: Original mission report in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama

--Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey


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