Darwin, Summer 1942

September 13, 2020 PE Matt 0

As war waged across the Pacific, one relative backwater saw renewed battle as a veteran Japanese air group duelled with a rookie American unit in the skies of northern Australia. Following the devastating raid on […]

Midway: Kido Butai Strikes

December 17, 2017 PE Matt 0

As American search planes criss-crossed the skies around Midway, the Japanese Mobile Striking Force, the Kido Butai, approached undetected from the north west. A weather front had concealed the fleet, curtailing flight operations and giving […]

Midway: Plans and Preparations

October 15, 2017 PE Matt 0

By March 1942 the Japanese had accomplished their pre-war goals of capturing the Netherlands East Indies and Malaya, together with the rich oil fields which they hoped would supply their economy. Burma was on the […]

The Evacuation of Rangoon

December 30, 2016 PE Matt 0

During their advance southwards, the Japanese had undertaken a limited air offensive against the British colony of Burma, aimed at neutralising the small RAF force based in and around the capital of Rangoon. After inflicting […]

Target Java

November 18, 2016 PE Matt 0

By the beginning of February 1942 the position of Java, the most important island in the Netherlands East Indies, was looking extremely precarious. Borneo and Celebes were already in Japanese hands, and Singapore and Sumatra […]

The Bombing of Darwin

October 22, 2016 PE Matt 0

The port town of Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory, had become the main staging base for ships and aircraft heading towards Java. Darwin’s airfields had played host to many units and replacement aircraft bound for Java and the Philippines, along what was an increasingly tenuous […]

The Battling Bastards of Bataan

May 20, 2016 PE Matt 0

Following the initial Japanese attacks that had badly damaged the Far Eastern Air Force in December 1941, most of the surviving heavy bombers had been withdrawn well to the south. Meanwhile the remnants of the […]

The Fall of Rabaul

May 6, 2016 PE Matt 0

As the invasions of the Philippines and Malaya were proceeding according to schedule, the Japanese began the second phase of their offensive – this time, taking Allied positions to the east. Amongst the most important […]

Fall of Singapore, 1942

The Fall of Singapore: The Net Closes

April 29, 2016 PE Matt 0

As British and Commonwealth troops headed for Singapore, the Japanese air forces moved to complete the besiegement of the city. Several convoys of transports were engaged in either bringing fresh troops and supplies to the […]

In Defence of Singapore

March 11, 2016 PE Matt 0

As the British consolidated their air forces on the airfields of Singapore, they took stock of their remaining planes. The fighters of 243 Squadron and 488 (RNZAF) Squadron were in reasonable shape, having been spared […]