Battle of the Bismarck Sea order of battle

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The Battle of the Bismarck Sea (2–4 March 1943) took place in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) during World War II. During the course of the battle, aircraft of the U.S. 5th Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) attacked a Japanese convoy that was carrying troops to Lae, New Guinea. Most of the task force was destroyed, and Japanese troop losses were heavy.

Japanese forces[edit]

Rear Admiral Masatomi Kimura


Rear Admiral Masatomi Kimura
Destroyer Commander Fate Source
Arashio Commander Hideo Kuboki sunk [1]
Asashio Commander Goro Yoshii sunk [1]
Asagumo Commander Toru Iwahashi survived [1]
Shikinami Lieutenant Commander Akifumi Kawahashi survived [1]
Shirayuki Commander Rokuro Sugawara sunk [1]
Tokitsukaze Commander Masayoshi Motokura sunk [1]
Uranami Lieutenant Commander Chikara Hagio survived [1]
Yukikaze Commander Ryokichi Sugama survived [1]


Captain Kamataro Matsumoto

Transport tons (m3) Fate Source
Aiyo Maru 2,716 7,686 Sunk, 323 killed [2]
Kembu Maru 950 2,688 Sunk, 20 killed [2]
Kyokusei Maru 5,493 15,545 Sunk, 486 killed [2]
Oigawa Maru 6,494 18,378 Sunk, 1,229 killed [2]
Sin-ai Maru 3,793 10,734 Sunk, 63+ killed [2]
Taimei Maru 2,883 8,159 Sunk, 200 killed [2]
Teiyo Maru 6,870 19,442 Sunk, 1,915 killed [2]
Nojima Maru 8,125 22,994 Sunk, 400 killed [2]

Embarked units[edit]

Unit Source
XVIII Army Headquarters [3]
XVIII Army Signals [3]
51st Division Headquarters [3]
51st Division Signals [3]
51st Engineer Regiment [3]
14th Artillery Regiment [3]
115th Infantry Regiment [3]
3rd Field Hospital [3]
21st Artillery Brigade [3]
50th Antiaircraft Battalion [3]
15th Independent Engineer Regiment [3]
22nd Airfield Battalion [3]
209th Airfield Regiment [3]
5th Air Signals Regiment [3]
8th Shipping Engineer Regiment [3]
3rd Company, 5th Shipping Engineer Regiment [3]
3rd Disembarkation Unit [3]
Yokosuka 3rd Naval Air Defence Unit [4]
Yokosuka 5th Special Naval Landing Party [4]
Maizuru 2nd Special Naval Landing Party [4]

Air units[edit]

Command Unit Source
11th Air Fleet / Southeast Area Fleet 204 Air Group [5]
252 Air Group [5]
253 Air Group [5]
First Air Flotilla Zuihō Fighter Group (Kavieng) [5]
Imperial Japanese Army 1st Flying Group (1st Hikō Sentai) [6]
11th Flying Group (11th Hikō Sentai) [6]

Allied forces[edit]

Allied air forces[edit]

Commander, Allied Air Forces, Southwest Pacific Area/US Fifth Air Force
Lieutenant General George C. Kenney
Advanced Echelon, Allied Air Forces
Major General Ennis C. Whitehead
No. 9 Operational Group RAAF

Air Commodore J. E. Hewitt

Wing Squadron Commander Aircraft Base Source
No. 73 Wing RAAF Wing Commander Blake Pelly [7]
No. 6 Squadron RAAF Wing Commander A. A. Barlow Lockheed Hudson Turnbull Field [8][9]
No. 22 Squadron RAAF Wing Commander Keith Hampshire A-20 Boston Wards Airfield [8][10][11]
No. 30 Squadron RAAF Wing Commander B. R. Walker Bristol Beaufighter Wards Airfield [8][10]
No. 71 Wing RAAF Wing Commander Ian McLachlan [12]
No. 75 Squadron RAAF Squadron Leader W. S. Arthur P-40 Kittyhawk Gurney Airfield [8][13]
No. 100 Squadron RAAF Squadron Leader J. A. Smilbert (acting) Bristol Beaufort Gurney Airfield [8][10]
Group Squadron Commander Aircraft Airfield Source
35th Fighter Group Colonel Richard A. Legg [8]
39th Fighter Squadron Captain T. J. Lynch P-38 Lightning Schwimmer Airfield [8][10]
40th Fighter Squadron Captain Malcolm A. Moore P-39 Airacobra Rogers Airfield [8][10]
49th Fighter Group Lieutenant Colonel R. L. Morrissey [8]
7th Fighter Squadron Major William P. Martin P-40 Warhawk Durand Airfield [8][10]
8th Fighter Squadron Major Mitchell E. Sims P-40 Warhawk Kila Airfield [8][10]
9th Fighter Squadron Captain Jesse C. Peaslee P-38 Lightning Schwimmer Airfield [8][10]
3rd Attack Group Lieutenant Colonel R. F. Strickland [8]
13th Attack Squadron Major Harold V. Maull B-25 Mitchell Schwimmer Airfield [8][10]
89th Attack Squadron Major Glen W. Clark A-20 Havoc Kila Airfield [8][10]
90th Attack Squadron Major Edward L. Larner B-25 Mitchell Durand Airfield [8][14]
38th Bombardment Group Colonel Fay R. Upthegrove [8]
71st Bombardment Squadron Major Eugene P. Mussett B-25 Mitchell Durand Airfield [8][10]
405th Bombardment Squadron Lieutenant Colonel Millard Lewis B-25 Mitchell Durand Airfield [8][10]
43rd Bombardment Group Colonel Roger M. Ramey [8]
63rd Bombardment Squadron Major Edward W. Scott B-17 Flying Fortress Jacksons Airfield [8][10]
64th Bombardment Squadron Major Kenneth D. McCullar B-17 Flying Fortress Jacksons Airfield [8][10]
65th Bombardment Squadron Major Harray J. Hawthorne B-17 Flying Fortress Jacksons Airfield [8][10]
403rd Bombardment Squadron Major Jay P. Reusek B-17 Flying Fortress Mareeba Airfield [8][10]
90th Bombardment Group Colonel Ralph E. Koon [8]
319th Bombardment Squadron Captain Charles E. Jones B-24 Liberator Jacksons Airfield [8][15]
320th Bombardment Squadron Major Roy L. Taylor B-24 Liberator Jacksons Airfield [8][16]
321st Bombardment Squadron Major Cecil L. Faulkner B-24 Liberator Jacksons Airfield [8][17]
400th Bombardment Squadron Major Harry J. Bullis B-24 Liberator Jacksons Airfield [8]
8th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron 1st Lieutenant F. S. Savage F-4 Lightning, F-5 Lightning Kila Airfield [8][18]

Motor Torpedo Boat Striking Force[edit]

Lieutenant Commander Barry K. Atkins

Boat Skipper Source
PT-66 Lieutenant (jg) William C. Quinby [19]
PT-67 Ensign James W. Emmons [19]
PT-68 Lieutenant (jg) Robert L. Childs [19]
PT-121 Ensign Edward R. Bergin [19]
PT-128 Ensign James W. Herring [19]
PT-143 Lieutenant (jg) John S. Bayliss [19]
PT-149 Lieutenant William J. Flittie [19]
PT-150 Lieutenant (jg) Russell E. Hamacheck [19]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h McAulay 1991, pp. 181–184
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h McAulay 1991, pp. 177–180
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q McAulay 1991, p. 187
  4. ^ a b c McAulay 1991, p. 180
  5. ^ a b c d Hata, Izawa & Shores 2011, p. 49[not in citation given]
  6. ^ a b Hata, Izawa & Shores 2012, pp. 38–39
  7. ^ "Group Captain Blake Raymond Pelly". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Morison 1950, pp. 64–65
  9. ^ RAAF Historical Section 1995a, p. 16
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p McAulay 1991, pp. 173–174
  11. ^ RAAF Historical Section 1995a, p. 64
  12. ^ "Air Vice Marshal Ian Dougald McLachlan". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  13. ^ RAAF Historical Section 1995b, p. 41
  14. ^ "90 Fighter Squadron (PACAF)". Air Force Historical Agency. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "319 Missile Squadron (AFGSC)". Air Force Historical Agency. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "320 Missile Squadron (AFGSC)". Air Force Historical Agency. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "321 Missile Squadron (AFGSC)". Air Force Historical Agency. Archived from the original on 11 June 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "8 Flying Training Squadron". Air Force Historical Agency. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h Morison 1950, p. 61