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McMahon, 409934; 100 Sqn. Farmer; of Manangatang, Vic; b . Corrong Vale, Vic. 3 Nov 1918. Killed in action 5 Sep 1943. 36 THE LIMITED O F F ENSIVE 26 July Gasmata and they then machine-gunned the station, firing at anything that moved on the ground. The Beaufighters, which came from Milne Bay for the attack, found the Bostons still over the target area when they arrived and the delay interfered with their strafing. Clouds were then very low over Gasmata and visibility poor so they could not see the results of the attack.

17 May-6 June R A I D S ON LA E 27 fighter planes had been ordered to protect the Beaufighters and Mitchells but did not appear. The Beaufighters therefore completed one attack on the airfield and then attacked a large ship crowded with enemy troops. The Japanese fighter planes pursued the Beaufighters as far as Saidor on the way back to Moresby but were outdistanced at a speed of between 275 and 300 miles per hour. On 24th May the B ostons carried out an early-morning raid on a wrecked ship on the beach near Lae, which, it was suspected, the Japanese were using to store supplies and unload submarines.

The ground troops in the Mubo operations considered that the best results in air support operations were obtained in harassing attacks on enemy bases and dumps and the disruption of his supply lines. Bombing in close support of the ground troops in heavy jungle country was difficult, and unless the targets were completely saturated by heavy bombing, the effect on enemy machine-gun posts and weapon pits was not great. Major­ General Savige,9 commander of the 3rd Division, reported to New Guinea Force that response to requests for air support was slow.

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Air War Against Japan 1943-1945 (Australia In The War 1936-1945) by GEORGE ODGERS


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