dispersal areas, barracks and the phosphate plant. Intense but inaccurate anti-aircraft fire was encountered.

After returning from this strike, the six crews and the other squadron personnel aboard the USS CHINCOTEAGUE were subjected to repeated bombing attacks over a two-day period, which resulted in severe damage to the tender. Vanikoro was abandoned as an advance base and the CHINCOTEAGUE towed to Espiritu Santo harbor for repairs. Thereafter 650-mile day searches wore flown from Espiritu with occasional dumbo, escort, and night anti-submarine missions.

The squadron was ordered to Halave seaplane base on Florida Island in the Solomons on October 13, 1943. Operations from there included 650-mile patrols to the north and northeast, anti-submarine patrols, night spotting for shelling by surface forces, snooper missions, and dumbo operations out of New Georgia and Rendova Islands, and later Treasury Island. The USS CEOS BAY (webmaster’s note: ship name was mostly illegible in my copy) was advance base for dumbo operations from Rendova and Treasury.

On November 1, 1943, Patrol Squadron SEVENTY-ONE covered the landings on Bougainville and later made numerous landings in the open water off the Cape Torokina beachhead, bringing in medical supplies, transporting personnel, and evacuating casualties. Several notable open-sea rescues wore made by the squadron in this vicinity under fire from enemy shore batteries and under attack by enemy aircraft.

This tour of duty was concluded March 6, 1944 when the squadron was relieved by Patrol Squadron EIGHTY- ONE. Arriving at Kaneohe in its own planes, the squadron continued on to San Diego by surface transportation, reaching there March 24, 1944. All hands were granted leave preparatory to the re-forming of the squadron.




BACK <----> NEXT

Return to MAIN SITE