Tragedy Above the Bismarck Sea

More info on the Battle of the Bismark Sea from the IHRA website.


On February 26, 1943, a Japanese convoy was spotted by Allied forces at Rabaul. At this point in the war, the Japanese were trying to build up their strength in New Guinea after losing control of the Solomon Islands. Fifth Air Force would try to keep a close eye on this convoy, but due to the weather, could not watch it for two days. On March 1st, the weather finally cleared up enough for a 90th Bomb Group crew to see the convoy on its way from Rabaul to Lae. The crew immediately reported the situation as well as the size of the convoy. With six troop transports, two vessels carrying aviation fuel, a boat full of Japanese marines, eight destroyer escorts, and 100 fighter planes, this was not a target to be missed. B-17s from the 63rd Squadron were soon sent to bomb the convoy, but were thwarted by…

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on September 25, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. I found that photo of the crew of the B17, taken only days before it went down, particularly poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I found my brothers information. What exactly do you need and how best to get it to you?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That battle was an Epic in it’s making, the sheer strength of numbers and aircraft involved, makes it a monumental production of its kind, and a turning point in the war. To be an eyewitness would have been an extraordinary scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Commented there:
    Some really hectic action was crammed into those days.
    The Japanese certainly had it in for KA-PHULO-WELA. It was a strange convention, actually, which differentiated between strafing helpless men on the decks of transports as opposed to helpless men dangling from parachutes.

    Liked by 1 person

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