01 Dec 1943, WW2 Air Raids over Hong Kong & South China | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

01 Dec 1943, WW2 Air Raids over Hong Kong & South China

Date(s) of events described: 
Wed, 1 Dec 1943

OBJECTIVE: Bomb Tai Koo dockyard and HK & Whampoa dockyard

TIME OVER TARGET: ~2:00 p.m.


  • Six B-25s from the 11th Bomb Squadron (341st Medium Bomb Group)
  • Six B-25s from the 2nd Bomb Squadron (1st Bomb Group, Chinese American Composite Wing)
  • Eight P-40s from the 74th Fighter Squadron (23rd Fighter Group)
  • Six P-51As from the 76th Fighter Squadron (23rd Fighter Group)
  • Seventeen P-40Ns from the 3rd Fighter Group (Chinese American Composite Wing)


  • P-40s (74th FS): Col. Rouse; Lt. Colonel Norval C. Bonawitz; Major Denney; Captain Bell; Lt. Lundy; Lt. Hendrickson; Lt. Morello; Lt. Morin
  • P-51s (76th FS): Lt. Col. David L. “Tex” Hill; Captain James M. “Willie” Williams; 1st Lt. Dale Bell; 1st Lt. Robert T. Colbert; 1st Lt. Harry G. Zavakos; Flight Officer Wilson
  • B-25s (2nd BS): Lt. Colonel Branch; Captain Conrad; Captain Harper; Captain Carson; Captain Churchill; 1st Lt. Seacrest; Sgt. C.C. Wei
  • B-25s (11th BS):
    • B-25 #38: Flight Officer Richard M. Gramling; Flight Officer William R. Monroe; Sgt. Rafael C. Arellano; Corporal Everett F. Hamilton
    • B-25 #46: 2nd Lt. John M. Overstreet; 2nd Lt. Stanley A. Johnson; 2nd Lt. Ralph Kamhi; Sgt. Frederick C. DeWitt; Private Charles J. Wilder
    • B-25 #57: 1st Lt. Edgar N. Gentry; 2nd Lt. Harold E. Sparhawk; 1st Lt. Paul J. Diekman; Sgt. William H. Johnson; Staff Sgt. Robert D. Shaak; Corporal E.Z. Mann
    • B-25 #68: 1st Lt. William A. Brenner; 2nd Lt. Delwyn F. Ritzdorf; 1st Lt. Frank H. Gibson; Staff Sgt. Ray T. Hamilton; Sgt. Alvin A. Stainker
    • B-25 #88: 1st Lt. George T. Grottle; 2nd Lt. Harold Rochelle; 2nd Lt. Robert B. Fischborn; Staff Sgt. Golden U. Gallup
    • B-25 #92: Lt. Col. Joseph B. Wells; 1st Lt. William M. Henry; 1st Lt. Charles J. Bethea; 2nd Lt. Herbert I. Robinson; Sgt. Joe D. Josserand; Sgt. Harold J. Coleman; Corporal Arbun K. Griffen

ORDNANCE EXPENDED: 72 x 500-pound bombs

RESULTS: Bombs hit the Tai Koo and HK & Whampoa dockyards.  At Tai Koo, the 2,645-ton Teiren Maru is damaged beyond repair.

JAPANESE UNITS, AIRCRAFT, AND PILOTS: Ki-43 and Ki-44 pilots from the 85th Sentai


  • Pilots of the 85th Sentai shoot down two P-51As (pilots Colbert and Williams) and damage a third (pilot Hill)
  • One B-25 gunner claims to shoot down one enemy fighter and Lt. Col. Hill damages one Ki-44

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