04 Jul 1942, WW2 Air Raids over Hong Kong & South China

Submitted by ssuni86 on Sat, 07/08/2017 - 20:29

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.

AMERICAN PILOTS AND AIRCREW: Major William E. Bayse (B-25s)

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


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, author of Bold Venture: The American Bombing of Japanese-Occupied Hong Kong, 1942-1945 (Potomac Books/University of Nebraska Press, 2019).


Date(s) of events described