Saturday 25 March 2023

44th Fighter Squadron Scenario: January 27th 1943

 

I'm focussing my scenario writing project on the 44th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group in early to mid 1943 at the outset, as there are several historical dogfights that could be developed into potential games. I've only got one reference source at the moment, the Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 55; P-40 Warhawk Aces of the Pacific, but there are some really good titbits to chew on.

For example, on the 27th January 1943 the Japanese launched a raid on Guadalcanal escorted by a formation of thirty Ki-43 Oscar fighters, which swept ahead of the bombers and were intercepted by a mixed force of P-38's, F4F's and P-40's. Ten P-40F Warhawks of the 44thFS and 68thFS were scrambled late and had to climb to take on the Japanese fighters, which had been intercepted at 20000ft above by the 339thFS P-38's.

The lead flight of the 68thFS was bounced by some of the Ki-43's at 6000ft, which had dived onto the USAAF fighters, but P-38's broke up the Japanese attack. Four P-40F's of the 44th then attacked the scattered Oscars, with each of the experienced pilots claiming a kill. This would make a really good introductory scenario and would be ideal as a starting point for subsequent games, the 44thFS having only arrived on Guadalcanal a week earlier.

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