By Dr William Wolf (Mi
Within the savage air wrestle over Guadalcanal after which the both bloody air battles up Solomon chain, New Georgia and Bougainville, thirteenth Fighter Command took a again seat to Marine aviation in group of workers, gear, offer, operations, and exposure
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Extra resources for 13th Fighter Command in World War II : air combat over Guadalcanal and the Solomons
The Marine aviators landed, and despite being slowly refueled by hand were able to take off just before Tojo Time and avoid becoming sitting ducks on the ground for Japanese bombs. At 1015 eight B17s came upon the veteran Japanese destroyer Mitzuki that was picking up survivors and sank it with three direct hits to close the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. 35 13th Fighter Command in World War 11 That day, the PAOOs were assigned daily sunrise to sunset patrols at 14,000 feet over Henderson. This was the highest altitude at which the fighter was effective.
Throughout the next several hours delayed action bombs detonated over the area On 4 September the 67 th had three P-400s operational and 13 pilots to fly them. Aerial reconnaissance disclosed that the Japanese were using Santa Isabel as a staging area for barges and landing craft that carried reinforcements to Guadalcanal, 75 miles to the SSE. At 1440 on the 4t h, Maj. Robert Galer ofVMF-224 led the three P-400s flown by Capt. Thomas Christian and Lts. Brown and Glazier to small coves on Santa Isabel that concealed 34 loaded landing craft ranging from 40 to 70 feet long.
The 67FS crews were working on their PAOOs when they heard aircraft overhead. Capt. Brannon and Lt. Deltis Fincher managed to take off, just evading strafing Zeros, but bombs from the Kate bombers fell almost immediately, preventing other P-400s from taking off. The Marines sent up 14 Wildcats and downed 13 Kates and seven Zeros-probably from the Ryujo-for four fighters lost. Capt. Marion Carl shot down three bombers and a Zero to become an ace (he had a previous victory on 4 June with VMF-221 over Wake Island).