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Tarawa Campaign History (1944)

Tarawa Campaign History (1944)

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Published by CAP History Library
South Pacific
South Pacific

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: CAP History Library on Oct 17, 2010
Copyright:Public Domain

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11/22/2013

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SEVENTH
AIR
FORCE
mcLissitui
USAFICPA
PARTICIPATION
IN
GALVANIC
OPERATION
 
-
SECTION
XXIII
SEVENTH
AIR
FORCE.
A.
GIKERAL.
1.
Objective.
Objectives
of the
Galvanic
operation
were
the
at
tack
and
occupation
of
the
Japanese
held
islands
of
Tarawa,
Makin,and
Apamama,
in
order
to
deny
these
atolls
to
the
Japanese
and
provide
bases
for
future
operations
of
our
own
forces.
The
major
effort
was
directed
against
the
island
of
Tarawa
where
a
Jap
airfield
was
located.
2.
Air
Force
mission.
The
primary
mission
ofthe
Seventh
Air
Force
was
to
prevent
use
oi
1
the
airfields
at
Makin,
Tarawa,
Mili,
Nauru,
Jaluit,
and
Maloelap
by
Japanese
air
unitsprior
to
and
during
the
oper
ation.
3,
Task
Group
57.2formed.
a.
To
insure
maximum
coordination
with
other
participating
units,
designated
air
unitsof
the
Seventh
Air
Force
were
assigned
to
CTF
57,
under
command
of
COMAIRCENPAC*
for
operational
control,
and
designated
as
Task
Group
57.2.
As
commander,
TG
57.2,
the
Commanding
General,
Seventh
Air
Force,
also
commanded
all
land-based
aircraftstrike
units
participating
in
Galvanic.
b.
Although
the
land-based
strike
units
were
under
operational
control
of
the
Navy,
their
successful
participation
was
largely
due
to
theplanning,preparation,
training,
security
precautions,
and
logistic
support
of
the
Seventh
Air
Force
and
its
associatedagencies.
4.
Unusualproblems
presented.
The
Galvanic
operation
was
diffi
cult
in
that
the
entire
Seventh
Air
Force,
less
certain
defensive
units
for
Oahu,
was
committed.
Over-all
plans
for
committment
and
general
operations
ofthe
campaign
could
not
be
made
by
the
Seventh
Air
Force
staff.
Therefore
it
was
necessary
to
be
prepared
to
carry
out
all
types
of
missions
on
extremely
short
notice.
Supportof
the
task
group
units
in
their
forward
areas
required
much
ingenuity
and
specially
form
ed
provisional
organizations.
Because
of
lack
of
adequatemaintenanceand
supply
facilities
in
these
forward
areas,detailed
plans
were
made
to
meet
all
conceivable
emergencies.
Facilities
of
the
Hawaiian
Air
Depot,
the
Air
Force
Service
Command,
and
mainland
supply
agencies
were
utilized
to
the
maximum.
B.
ACTIVITIES
OF
A-l.
The
primary
responsibility
of
A-l
was
to
pro
vide
the
staff
and
personnel
necessary
to
support
air
units
assigned
to
CTF
57
for
operational
control.
1,
Organization
of
provisional
units.
a.
The
staff
for
CTG
57,2
was
formed
by
selecting
key
person
nel
from
the
Headquartersand
Headquarters
Squadrons
of the
Seventh
Air
99
 
Force
and
VII
Air
Force
Service
Command,
The
Adjutant
General,
A-l,
A-2,
and
A-3
made
up
the
Air
Force
Commander's
staff;
the
A-4
section
operatedunder
control
of
the
Service
Commander.
b.
Part
of theservice
organization
of
the
VII
Air
Force
Service
Command
had
to
be
changed
from a
permanently
based
defensive
force,
organizedunder
a
manning
table,
to
a
group
of
highly
mobile
units
suitable
for
island
operations
in
the
Ellice
and
Gilbert
Islands,
The
number
of
tactical
organizations,
rangingfrom
one
to
three
squad
rons,
that
could
bebased
on
any
given
island
determined
the
size
of
these
units.
(i)
On
12
August
1943,
the
Ist
Provisional
Air
Service
Support
Squadron
was
formed
to
occupyBaker
Island
in
the
Phoenix
Island
group.This
composite
unit,
set
up
on
a
manning
table
basis,
consisted
of
20
officers
and
200
enlisted
men
selected
from
the
various
Air
Force
arms
and
services.
(2)
The
2d
Air
Service
Support
Squadron
was
formed
21
September
1943,
to
occupy
the
Makin,
Betio,
and
Apamama
atolls
in
the
Gilbert
Island
group.This
unit
of
42
officers
and
745
enlisted
men
was
con
stituted
early
to
insure
proper
groundand
amphibi
ous
training,
as
it
was
to
follow
theassault
forces.
(3)
The
3d
Provisional
Air
Service
Support Squadron,formed
26
September
1943
to
occupy
Funafuti,
Nukufetau,
and
Nanomea
atolls
in
the
Ellice
Island
group,
had
a
strengthof
43
officers
and
747
en
listed
men*
(4)
The
Advance
Headquarters
of
the
Seventh
Air
Force
and
the
VII
Air
Force
Service
Command
was
consti
tuted
21
October
1948,
as
indicated
in
paragraph
B
1
a,
and
comprised
approximately
48
officers
and
140
enlisted
men.
(5)
Provisional
Signal
Air
Warning
units
were
drawn
from
the
Fighter
Command
and
attached
to
each
"ASSRCN"
in
numbers
necessary
to
perform
their
mission.
On
completion
of
the Galvanic
operationthere
were
28
Signal
Air
Warning
officers
and
319
enlisted
men
in
the
forward area.
(6)
The
804
th
Engineer
Battalion
Aviation
was
continuously
employed
during
the Galvanic
operation
un
til
completion
of the
Makin
airstrip.
(7)
Signal
construction
personnel,
14
officers
and
100

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