29 Jul 1943, WW2 Air Raids over Hong Kong & South China

Submitted by ssuni86 on Sun, 09/17/2017 - 05:25

OBJECTIVE: Bomb shipping and dockyards in Hong Kong

TIME OVER TARGET: ~2:45 p.m.

AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Eighteen B-24s from all four squadrons of the 308th Heavy Bomb Group.  Fighter escorts include twelve P-40s from the 74th Fighter Squadron and three P-38s from the newly arrived 449th Fighter Squadron.  Both fighter squadrons are part of the 23rd Fighter Group.   


  • P-38s: 2nd Lt. Earl E. Helms
  • P-40s: Colonel Bruce K. Holloway; Captain Arthur W. Cruikshank; Captain Richardson; 1st Lt. Lawrence W. Smith; 2nd Lt. James E. Spurgin; 1st Lt. George W. Lee; Lt. Slay; Lt. Sinclair; 1st Lt. Fennard Herring; Lt. Hawkins; Lt. Hendrikson; Lt. Chen; Lt. Calvert; Lt. Barrett
  • B-24s: Capt. William Chenowith, Major Edward G. Schultz, Lt. Chow (all KIA)

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: 104 500-pound general purpose bombs

RESULTS: Three separate waves of B-24s bomb the HK & Whampoa dockyard, the Tai Koo dockyard, and the Royal Navy dockyard.  The minesweeper W-101 suffers minor damage.  Civilian casualties are reported in the dockyards and in Victoria City (present-day Central).

JAPANESE UNITS, AIRCRAFT, AND PILOTS: A small number of Japanese fighters attempt to intercept, possibly from the 33rd Sentai. 


American pilots claim to shoot down one enemy fighter, most likely a Ki-43-II.

Three American aircraft are lost:

  • One B-24 crashes when it runs out of fuel just short of the airstrip at Kunming.  Captain Chenowith, Major Schultz, and a Chinese copilot identified in US military records only as Lt. Chow are all killed.  The rest of the crew safely bails out before the plane goes down.  This is the first aircraft lost by the 308th Heavy Bomb Group during a combat mission.
  • One P-40 pilot is declared missing in action (Lt. Sinclair).
  • One P-38 pilot (2nd Lt. Helms) makes a forced landing at a friendly airstrip, possibly due to battle damage.


  • Original mission reports and other documents in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • The Imperial Japanese Navy in World War Two: A Graphic Presentation of the Japanese Naval Organization and List of Combatant and Non-Combatant Vessels Lost or Damaged in the War from the Military History Section of the General Headquarters of the US Far East Command in 1952.

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