A black day for Blue flight


Port Moresby September 9th 1942 – While Yellow flight is away on a the bomber escort mission, Blue flight is detailed to perform a fighter sweep over the Kokoda Track in support of the Australian ground troops.

The flight leader First Lieutenant Barley spots a flight of Japanese NAVY fighters. Immediately he positions the flight to attack and blasts the Japanese flight leader out of the sky before the enemy can even react.

CIMG2739 CIMG2741

The two remaining Japanese aircraft scrable and pincer the Americans in deadly crossfire. The A6M2 “Zero” Rei-sen now shows its superiour manouvrability over the American P-39 “Airacobra”. Blue 2 explodes in a fireball.

CIMG2744   CIMG2743

Now both sides airmen break formation and attempt to manoeuver for good firing positions, the robust American P-39 taking some of punishment from the more agile Zeros. But then in a lucky strike, Blue 3, the American section leader gets to perform a deadly overhead sweeping manoeuver. He closes on White 13 and hits the tank. The “Zero” vanishes in a fireball.


The odds are three Americans to one Japanese now. But two of the P-39s are allready limping back home because of combat damage to engines and elevators. The Zero goes for the hunt wanting to avenge his comrades.


But the Americans somehow absorbe the Japanese bullets and successfully cover each others backs. Eventually they manage to evade the lone “Zero”. Both sides break off combat and try to make for home.

CIMG2767  CIMG2770

What makes it an espacially black day for the squadron is the events on the return trip. I rolled for the American planes and got two downed aircraft. One crashes near the airbase, the pilot returning unharmed. But Blue flight leader, First Lieutenant Barley , is forced to bail out over the jungle ridges. He has been seen landing safely but as he has not jet returned, he is accounted for als MIA.

Fighter sweep                                                                                                                                           USAAF: 800px-War_flag_of_the_Imperial_Japanese_Army.svg 800px-War_flag_of_the_Imperial_Japanese_Army.svg A6M3 “Zero” Rei-sen| IJN: US_Army_Air_Corps_Hap_Arnold_Wings.svg US_Army_Air_Corps_Hap_Arnold_Wings.svg US_Army_Air_Corps_Hap_Arnold_Wings.svg P-39/P-400 “Airacobra”| draw



The mission is a draw. The Japanese fighters where repulsed, but American losses are excessive with two pilots killed or missing and three aircraft lost. The squadron cannot expect any replacements within the next few weeks. So the losses in men and material will be grievously felt in the missions that are to come. All in all this is a blow to 36th Pursuit Squadron’s reputation.

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Falletta wins the Air Medal

The Japanese campaign for New Guinea is at full swing. Just two days ago the Japanese Imperial Navy has landed invasion troops in at Buna and Gona in eastern New Guinea as part of their Operation Mo. attempting to take the city and important military base of Port Moresby by land over the Owen Stanley Range via the Kokoda Track.

Port Moresby September 9th 1942 – Yesterday we got the news about the devastating Battle of the Coral Sea where our Navy lost one of the carriers and some other ships.  At least the Japanese seem to be retiring, their own carriers being heavily hit as well.

36th FS USAAFToday 36th Persuit Squadron USAAF was briefed on an escort mission for a tactical bombing. The target is a bridge near the air base of Lae. The squadron is to escort bombers from 90th Bombardment Squadron operating from Australia. Captain Falletta 534px-US-O3_insignia.svg, our squadron commander, gives himself quite an “Gung ho!” air. To me it looks like he wants to impress top brass no matter what. I hope he won’t be careless with my machines. I want all the birds back in my nest and in a repairable state.

Mission Narrative

Due to adverse weather conditions take-off is late. When the bombers come into sight they are allready near the target bridge and under attack from a squadron of Japanese Ki-43 fighters. Fuel is allready critical. Falletta orders an immediate attack to keep the Japanese fighters away from the bombers.

CIMG2024The Japanese slamm into the bomber formation and tear it up. Two bombers jettison their load and drop out of the formation with critical damage to their instruments and crewmen wounded. Shortly after, Faletta’s wingman, 1st Lt. Bennet US-O1_insignia.svg, reports he is low on fuel and must head home! This smells like cowardice in the face of the enemy. Where is his man’s obnoxious optimism now?


Only one bomber is left to carry through the mission and one fighter is allready returnig home. This must not be allowed to be another desaster for the squadron. Again it is up to the captain himself to save the reputation of the unit. And indeed, he prays on a Jap unawares of him aproaching from the flanks. The “Oscar” explodes after being hit by a full .5 cal. cannon burst.


 At 2 o’clock he sees the lead bomber falling apart after being hit by a Ki-43 fighter. The Group leader will not like this at all, and Captain Falletta 534px-US-O3_insignia.svg will get all the blame. This must not happen! So at least the flight must save the two crippled bombers and escort them home no matter what the cost.

CIMG2041Frustrated he poures burst after burst into a Ki-43 fighter he is tailing. But nothing seems to work on this “Oscar”. Instead there is a jerk and half his guns jam. Dammit! But he must pull himself together. Iron discipline makes him an ace quality shooter for today! He looks for his pray and tails another Ki-43 fighter that is going after one of the cripled bombers. A full burst dispaches the pilot! Another air victory for Falletta!

Bombing mission                                                                                                                                USAAF: 800px-War_flag_of_the_Imperial_Japanese_Army.svg 800px-War_flag_of_the_Imperial_Japanese_Army.svg Ki-43 Hayabusa| IJAAF: US_Army_Air_Corps_Hap_Arnold_Wings.svg B-25 Mitchell |  failed


The mission is a nominal failure, but a personal victory for the squadron leader. The two kills should reconceil his superiours. And indeed, comming back to the base, the group commander is in need of a hero. Captain Falletta 534px-US-O3_insignia.svg gets commended for the Air Medal.

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