Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Air Strikes on Rabaul

2–11 November 1943


Photo #: NH 95559  Simpson Harbor, Rabaul, New Britain

Attack on Japanese ships in Simpson Harbor, Rabaul, by aircraft of the USAAF 3rd Bomb Group, 2 November 1943. The heavy cruiser Haguro is partially visible at left, with what appears to be the submarine tender Chogei or Jingei beyond. The burning transport in the left center appears to be one of the Hakone Maru class (NH 95559).


Special Devices Division, Bureau of Aeronautics, Washington, D.C.

Two officers assigned to Special Devices Division, Navy Bureau of Aeronautics, building a relief map of Rabaul's Simpson Harbor for familiarizing naval aviators, 1943 (80-G-K-15348).


Carrier strike on Rabaul, 5 November 1943

Japanese ships under carrier plane attack in Simpson Harbor, Rabaul, 5 November 1943. Cruiser with big fire aft is Maya (left center). Several other cruisers are among the ships heading for sea, to the right. View looks north, with Rabaul town at top center and Lakunai airfield in top right. Photographed from a Saratoga (CV-3) aircraft (80-G-89098).


Photo #: 80-G-89107  Chikuma

Japanese heavy cruiser Chikuma photographed from a Saratoga (CV-3) SBD Dauntless scout bomber's gun camera during the raid on Rabaul, 5 November 1943 (80-G-89107).


Commander Joseph C. Clifton, USN.

Commander Joseph C. Clifton, USN, commander of Saratoga’s fighter group, passes out cigars in celebration of the successful air attack on Rabaul, 5 November 1943 (80-G-417635).


Photo #: 80-G-44089  Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., USN

Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., Commander, South Pacific Force (center), enjoys a joke with Commander Clifton (right) at a party given for Saratoga officers at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, following the 5 November 1943 Rabaul raid (80-G-44089).


Photo #: NH 95558  Simpson Harbor, Rabaul, New Britain

A closer view of the Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro during the USAAF 3rd Bomb Group attack on Simpson Harbor, Rabaul, on 2 November 1943, Haguro had been somewhat damaged the previous night during the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay (NH 95558).


USS SARATOGA (CV-3)

Dawn on USS Saratoga’s (CV-3) flight deck, during preparations for the air strike on Rabaul, 5 November 1943 (80-G-470943).


Rabaul strike, 5 November 1943

Aircraft from Saratoga (CV-3) and Princeton (CVL-23) hit shipping at Rabaul, including several cruisers, 5 November 1943. One cruiser, at right center, has been hit. This view is looking west, taken from a Saratoga aircraft. Japanese cruisers and destroyers are standing out of Simpson Harbor into Blanche Bay. Note the antiaircraft fire (80-G-89104).


Carrier raid on Rabaul, 5 November 1943.

Medical corpsmen and plane handlers remove casualties from the Saratoga (CV-3) air group commander's TBF Avenger torpedo bomber, just after it landed after being shot up over Rabaul, 5 November 1943 (80-G-44087).


Rabaul Carrier Strike, November 1943

Onboard Saratoga (CV-3), Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman (with cap at center), task force commander, gets good news from Commander Clifton (right) on the 5 November 1943 Rabaul raid. Clifton's fighters escorted the strike, in which 24 Japanese planes were shot down (80-G-44090).


Rabaul Carrier Strike, 11 November 1943.

During the 11 November 1943 carrier strike on Rabaul, a Japanese bomber explodes on the water just astern of Essex (CV-9), after being shot down by anti-aircraft fire. USS Independence (CVL-22) is in the right background (80-G-206615).

Published:Mon May 21 15:13:58 EDT 2018