South Pacific Air War Volume 2: The Struggle for Moresby March--April 1942

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 232 pages
Author: M. Claringbould & P. Ingman
Year: 2018
ISBN: 9780994588975
Other: b&w & colour photos, maps, appendixes, index
Publisher: Avonmore Books

This second volume chronicles aerial warfare in the South Pacific for the two crucial months of March and April 1942, when a deadly struggle for Port Moresby played out. It can be read alone of as part of a trilogy that culminates in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. The period begins with the stunning 10 March US Navy carrier strike against Lae and Salamaua, which caused the Japanese to pause their advance until their own carriers were available. Instead, they tried to grind the Allied forces at Port Moresby into submission through an unrelenting air assault by their Betty bombers and superlative Zero fighters.

After a long wait, Allied land-based fighters finally arrived in the form of Royal Australian Air Fore No. 75 Squadron Kittyhawks. These were backed up by a collection of United States Air Force bombers, including A-24 Banshees, B-17 Flying Fortresses, B-25 Mitchells and B-26 Marauders (the latter two types making their worldwide combat debut over the skies of New Guinea).

Together, this motley force took the fight to the Japanese, resulting in a complex aerial campaign that saw units from both sides reach exhaustion. Never before has such a detailed chronicle of this air war been published, and for the first time the authors match Allied accounts with Japanese records. The result is both thrilling and surprising, with the resulting dispositions of the air forces of both sides setting the scene for the Battle of the Coral Seas in May.

Both authors are uniquely qualifies to tell this story. Raised in Port Moresby, Michael Claringbould is an acknowledged Expert on the Pacific air war and Japanese aviation in particular. Peter Ingman is an acclaimed military history author specialising in the early Pacific War period.

1. Preparations for the 10 March Attack ob Lae and Salamaua
2. First Strike! The 10 March Attack
3. Zeros Arrive in Lae, 10-13 March
4. Horn Island, 14 March
5. Allied Reinforcements
6. No. 75 Squadron Arrives in Moresby, 14-23 March
7. Last Week of March, 24-31 March
8. Japanese Plans
9. First Week of April, 1-7 April
10. Second Week of April, 8-14 April
11. Tainan 'Kokutai' Arrives, 15-21 April
12. Last Week of April, 22-30 April
13. Bougainville and the Solomons
Appendix 1. Aircraft Losses and Fatalities
Appendix 2. Arrivals of US Aircraft in Australia by Sea
Appendix 3. Aircraft Profiles - Three Way
Appendix 4. Allied Aircraft Markings - Side View
Appendix 5. Japanese Aircraft Markings - Side View
Sources and Acknowledgements


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South Pacific Air War Volume 2: The Struggle for Moresby March--April 1942


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