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View Full Version : Ok, who was the P-39 unit based or flew out of Vella Lavella's Barakoma Airstrip?



VFS-214_Hawk
10-29-2005, 06:41 PM
Anyone?

VFS-214_Hawk
10-29-2005, 06:41 PM
Anyone?

Nimits
10-29-2005, 11:13 PM
Well, if a fighter sqadron was stationed at Vella Lavella while combat ops were being flown out of there, it would have had to belonged to the 13th AF. Unfortunately, I don't have any sources that show any 13th AF fighers at Barakoma. Its not a definative negative, sine the sources I've looked at so far only list by fighter group, rather than sqadron (and in the SW Pacific, it was not unheard of for squadrons from different groups to be split up, or for sqadrons to be delpoyed forward of the group HQ). However, the only squadrons I know for sure were based at Vella Lavella were VMF-214, VMF-215, VMF-221, VMF-231, and VF-17. Where did you discover a P-39 squadron was based at Barakoma (and around what time frame)? Are you sure the P-39s were not based somewhere in the lower Solomons, and just staging through Barakoma?

VFS-214_Hawk
10-29-2005, 11:24 PM
It could be that they were just at a stop-over but I have a photo of Barakoma with at least 16 P-39s sitting on it. Date unknown to me. The P-39s are on the north end along the beach with a few F4Us on the jungle side for maint. The south end where all the palms are is were VMF-214 is supose to be.

VFS-214_Hawk
10-29-2005, 11:38 PM
3 October 43 Were also there after Barakoma's capture and VMF-214's stationing there in late October.


SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force): In the Solomon
Islands, 23 B-24's, covered by 16 P-38's and several USN F4U's, bomb
Kahili Airfield on Bougainville Island; 20-30 fighters intercept, and a
running battle occurs between Bougainville and Vella Lavella Island; US
fighters and bombers claim 9 fighters downed; no American losses are
suffered. 4 P-39's and 4 F4U's sink 18 barges in a strike along the W coast
of Choiseul Island. The P-39's are especially effective because of their
nose cannon.

Nimits
10-30-2005, 02:52 AM
As far as I can tell, it could have been any of four squadrons, 12th or 70th FS of the 18th FG, or 67 or 68th FS of the 347th FG. All were flying P-39s in the central and upper Solomons in late 1943 and/or early 1944. The other two FS of the 13th AF were flying P-40s and P-38s by that time.

VFS-214_Hawk
10-30-2005, 08:09 AM
Check this out

The Jungle Air Force (http://www.enter.net/~rocketeer/13thplanes.html)

Looks like they were stationed at Guadalcanal in 1943, so it must be a stop-over.