Warhawks, Lightnings and Liberators

Warhawks, Lightnings and Liberators

I’ve located what I think could be an interesting and challenging historical mission as the basis for a Bag the Hun scenario. This would involve four P-40F Warhawks, two P-38F Lightnings and six B-24D Liberators against a superior force of up to thirty plus (!) A6M3 Zeros and A6M2-N Rufe floatplanes, so a really tough battle for the USAAF although the number of Zeros would be scaled back to balance the game. 

Here’s an outline from the excellent Pacific Wrecks website: Pacific Wrecks – February 13, 1943

February 13th 1943

Six B-24 Liberators from the 307th Bombardment Group (307th BG), 424th Bombardment Squadron (424th BS) took off Henderson Field on their first combat mission against Japanese shipping in the Shortland-Buin area escorted by six P-38 Lightnings from 339th Fighter Squadron (339th FS) plus seven P-40F Warhawks from 44th Fighter Squadron (44th FS). 

On the way to the target, 3 P-40s and 2 P-38s aborted the mission due to engine trouble, leaving the B-24s with an escort of 2 P-38s and 4 P-40s: P-40F 41-14102 (MIA), P-40F 41-14110 (MIA), P-40F piloted by Captain Jack A. Bade and P-40F pilot 1st Lt. Robert B. Westbrook. 

Just after noon, the B-24s bombed a cargo ship from 14,000′ just claiming one hit. Over the target, the formation was intercepted by 39 enemy fighters including A6M Zeros and floatplane fighters. 

Lost are B-24D 41-23597 pilot Captain Harold G. McNeese (4 MIA, 5 rescued), B-24D 41-23980 pilot 1st Lt. George K. Trager (9 MIA), B-24D 41-23975 pilot 1st Lt. Russell W. Rowe (9 MIA), P-38G pilot Rist (MIA), P-38G pilot Morton (rescued), P-38G pilot Cramer (rescued) and P-38G pilot Lockridge (rescued).

This will need some serious fine-tuning to turn it into a playable (if not winnable?) scenario, but it has all the ingredients for something a bit different and exciting for both the Japanese and American players. I have at least one more P-40F themed scenario idea up my sleeve but this one looks like a good place to make a start.

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Autor: Jim Jackaman / Jim’s Wargames Workbench

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