Lanna-ww2

Japan in Northwest Thailand during World War II

N 18°32.300
E 99°03.000
Ban San Khayom Bridge (Th: สะพานบานสันกะยบม / Jp: バンサンカヨム橋)
Page 7 of 11

Railroad Sta
722+103

 

Text Notes
 

 

Supplemental Information: the 20mm holes
Recorded events possibly related


Sources in this section are in parentheses following the relevant text
(see below for key to abbreviations for sources)

Detailed information about USAAF unit and RAF squadron activities has been spotty. RAF Squadrons 177 and 211, and USAAF 449th Fighter Squadron are exceptions. The only activity with better documentation on flights over Northwest Thailand is PRS21 aerial reconnaissance; however, those aircraft were stripped down to maximize their range and were not prepared to attack land targets; thus those flights are not applicable here and are not included in the listing.

The conclusion that damage at the bridge could only have involved 20mm or greater caliber projectiles limits possible events to those after 13 Mar 1944[M05] and only those involving RAF 177 and 211 Squadrons which flew Beaufighters and the USAAF when it flew P-38s (which the 449th flew exclusively). These have been marked in blue font. Entries not listing such aircraft are not color-coded blue; however, aircraft not listed in the sorties may have nonetheless included escort Beaufighters and/or P-38s. It is assumed that 14th Air Force "fighter bombers", when otherwise not identified, included P-38s.

NB: An event may be separately listed more than once when described by more than one source. Entries which target Thailand generally are included on the assumption that actual locations strafed could have included northwest Thailand (and specifically San Khayom).

29 Jan 1942: RAF 67 Squadron Buffaloes strafed Chiang Mai airfield. (Shores-1:272)

05 Feb 1942: AVG P-40s launched retaliatory strikes against the principal Japanese air bases at Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai. (Dan Ford #9 Warbird Forum 06/06/08 11:31:38 Note: this reference cannot be verified)

10 Feb 1942: Six Lysanders [IAF 1 Squadron?] bombed airfields at Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Three RTAF Squadron 41 Hawk IIIs attacked the Lysanders near Chiang Rai, to no effect. (Young:187)

11 Feb 1942: Six Lysanders [IAF 1 Squadron?] returned to bomb Chiang Mai airfield without interference. (Young:187)

17 Feb 1942: Seven Blenheim bombers bombed the Chiang Mai airfield. RTAF Combined Wing 80 ordered RTAF Squadron 32 to intercept the raid, but the squadron's Corsairs had no chance of catching the much faster Blenheims. (Young:187)

05 Mar 1942: RAF 45 Squadron Blenheims, escorted by six Squadron 67 Hurricanes and four Buffaloes, plus eight AVG P-40s to bomb Chiang Mai. (Shores-2:288) Flight was abandoned at Namsang because of fueling mistakes. (Frances:82-83)

06 March 1942: Chiang Mai bombed for the first time. (2bangkok blog: WWII bombardment of Thai railways: Wisarut post 57, 30-10-08, 02:40 PM); composition of escorts is unclear, but included four Hurricanes (Frances:83-84; Jefford)

24 Mar 1942 Six AVG P-40s attacked Chiang Mai airfield claiming twenty aircraft destroyed. IJA and RTA AA fire shot down one airplane. (Young:188)

24 Mar 1942 Following this attack, RTAF Squadron 42 was relocated to Lamphun to patrol over the RTAF airfield there. (Young:188)

24 Mar 1942: Ten AVG P-40s flying out of Kunming via Lowing and Namsang, attacked Chiang Mai airfield and rail station and barracks in Lamphun. AVG lost two P-40s and one pilot, with the other successfully parachuting out, to be captured by the RTA. IJA 64th Sentai tallied four aircraft destroyed, with ten more damaged; all but one were Ki-43 Nakajima fighters.  (Ford:244-7)

24 Mar 1942  Ten AVG P-40s flying out of Kunming via Lowing and Namsang, attacked Chiang Mai airfield and rail station and barracks in Lamphun. AVG lost two P-40s and one pilot: the other successfully parachuted out, to be captured by the RTA later. (Shores-2:356)

01 May 1943: China: A forward echelon of the 14th AF moved into bases in eastern China along the Hengyang–Kweilin rail line. Elements of the 11th Medium Bombardment Squadron, in B-25s, and the 23d Fighter Group, in P-40s, were now be in range of Japanese bases in northern China, French Indochina, and Thailand . . . . (Hammel:5485-5487)

August 1943: In August 1943, 177 Squadron moved to Feni, north of Chittagong. The Squadron started operations in August flying Beaufighter Mk VIs. Later they had TFXs and Mk XIs. From Feni they ranged all over Burma and northern Siam at low level, singly or in pairs, on sorties that lasted up to seven hours. (RAF Squadron 177, Brown:26)

20 Nov 1943: 308th Bomber Group bombed Chiang Mai and Lampang Airfields. (Young:201)

21 Dec 1943: 29-14th AF B-24 bombers bombed Chiang Mai station at 1500 - nearly wiping out station yard. Station building and cargo depots were damaged beyond repair - 300 people were killed. (2bangkok blog: WWII bombardment of Thai railways: Wisarut post 57, 30-10-08, 02:40 PM)

21 Dec 1943: (14AF): 29 B-24's pound the railroad yards at Chiang Mai; the warehouse area along the W side of the yards suffers very heavy damage. (USAAF Chrono)

21 Dec 1943: Thailand: Twenty-nine 308th Heavy Bombardment Group B-24s attack rail facilities at [Chiang Mai]. (Hammel:8915-8916)

31 Dec 1943: 308th Squadron B-24 bombers from Chongqing bombed Lampang Station - damaging the yard, but main station building was left intact. RTAF 16 Squadron 16 (Lampang) were scrambled to oppose the B-24s but the B-24 refused to engage. [308 Squadron ref is unclear] (2bangkok blog: WWII bombardment of Thai railways: Wisarut post 57, 30-10-08, 02:40 PM)

31 Dec 1943: (14AF): 25 B-24s pound the Lampang railroad yards, causing several big fires and many secondary explosions. . . . (USAAF Chrono)

31 Dec 1943: Thailand: Twenty-five 308th Heavy Bombardment Group B-24s attack rail facilities at Lampang. (Hammel:9141-9142)

01 Jan 1944: B24s attacked Lampang (Wisarut in axishistory forum: "Bombing of Southeast Asia", Post 2, 14-07-2010, 21:15

03 Jan 1944: (14AF): 28 B-24's attack the railroad yards at Lampang. (USAAF Chrono). Wisarut records many homes destroyed (Wisarut: ibid)

05 Mar 1944: 8 B-25 bombers bomb [Chiang Mai] Airport, damaging 9 fighter planes; bombed Chiang Mai and [Yang Loang (Saraphi)] stations. also damaged Fort Kawila area. (Wisarut in 2bangkok blog: "WWII bombardment of Thai railways" post 58 30-10-08, 03:02 PM)

05 Mar 1944: (14AF) 8 B-25s bomb and strafe [Chiang Mai] Airfield, destroying 9 aircraft, the water tower and nearby railroad station; barracks area is also damaged. (USAAF Chrono)

05 Mar 1944: Thailand: Eight 341st Medium Bombardment Group B-25s attacked [Chiang Mai] Airdrome. (Hammel:10618)

14 Mar 1944: Four RAF 211 Squadron Beaufighters flying out of Broadway, Burma, attacked Chiang Mai airfield. (Shores-3:181)
Brown identifies these four as from RAF 177 Squadron. (Brown:104)

08 Apr 1944: Four RAF 211 Squadron Beaufighters flying out of Broadway, Burma attacked Chiang Mai rail sidings. A Thai Air Force Curtiss Hawk III biplane fighter was shot down, with pilot seen to bale out. (Shores-3:202)

10 Apr 1944: "Returning to Ramu at night on 10 April from an attack on Chiengmai . . . ." [Squadron 211] (Haakenson)

23 Apr 1944: 2 P-38s strafed Army trucks and Fort Kawila area [Chiang Mai]. (Wisarut in 2bangkok blog: "WWII bombardment of Thai railways" post 58 30-10-08, 03:02 PM)

23 Apr 1944: (14AF) 2 P-38s hit truck convoy and barracks S of Chiang Mai. (USAAF Chrono)

23 Apr 1944: Two 449th Fighter Squadron P-38s attacked barracks and a truck convoy near [Chiang Mai]. (Hammel:p351)

24 Apr 1944: Ban Dara bridge was made inoperable as result of Allied bombing (Wisarut in axishistory forum: "Bombing of Southeast Asia", post 2, 14-07-2010 12:20

28 Sep 1944: Two 69th Composite Wing P-38s strafed targets between Ban Dara and Lampang (Jackson: Ch16)

11 Nov 1944: Nine 25th Squadron P-51s and eight P-38s strafed Lampang AFB, Lampang - Chiang Mai railway line, and Ban Dara Bridge. One RTAF plane and one SLM loco damaged [25th Squadron ref unclear] (Wisarut in 2bangkok blog: "WWII bombardment of Thai railways", post 58, 30-10-08, 03:02 PM)

11 Nov 1944: Five RTAF Ki-43 (Ota) fighters engaged the P-51 and P-38 fighters. One P-38 was shot down with loss of pilot, but all five Ki-43 (Ota) fighters were shot down, with Thai pilot, Master Sgt Nat Sunthorn, later dying. (Young:205)

11 Nov 1944: (14AF): 70+ P-40s, P-51s and P-38s over S China and N Indochina on armed reconnaissance hit targets of opportunity at several locations, concentrating on Lampang, Thailand [and China]. (USAAF Chrono)

13 Nov 1944: At least 60 P-38s, P-40s, and P-51s from China searched China, Burma, Thailand for targets to bomb, ie, military bases and railway lines. (Wisarut in 2bangkok blog: "WWII bombardment of Thai railways", post 58, 30-10-08, 03:02 PM)

13 Nov 1944: (14AF): . . . 60+ P-40s, P-51s, and P-38s on armed reconnaissance over S China and as far W and SW as Burma and Thailand hit numerous targets of opportunity including shipping, troops, and railroad targets. (USAAF Chrono)

13 Nov 1944: CBI: More than 60 14th AF fighter-bombers attacked shipping, troops, rail targets, and targets of opportunity in southern China, Burma, and Thailand. (Hammel:16202-16203)

14 Nov 1944: 12 Beaufighters attacked enemy communication lines in Chiang Mai-Lampang area. . . . (A8202:p0356)

24-30 Nov 1944: EAC attacked bridges along Bangkok-Chiang Mai railway; rail targets along Chiang Mai-Lampang railroad. (A8202:p0331)

24 Nov 1944: 15 Liberators dropped 39 tons of bombs over locomotive sheds in the Chiang Mai-Lampang area causing large fires. (A8202:p0339)

24 Nov 1944: Armed Mustangs strafed, damaged locomotive during recon of Lampang-Ban Dara section of RR. (A8044:0270)

25 Nov 1944: (14AF): 75 P-40s, P-51s, and P-38s doing armed recon attacked river, road, and rail traffic, troops, buildings, and other targets of opportunity at several Thailand, Burma, S China, and N French Indochina locations, including areas around [Phrae] and Lampang, Thailand. (USAAF Chrono)

25 Nov 1944: China: Seventy-five 14th AF fighter-bombers attacked rail, river, and road traffic, and troops, buildings, and targets of opportunity in southern China, eastern Burma, northern French Indochina, and Thailand. (Hammel:p503)

27 Nov 1944 (14AF): 56 P-40s, P-51s, and P-38s doing armed recon over E Burma, N French Indochina, and S China attack town areas, railroad targets, bridges and other targets of opportunity around Lampang, Thailand . . . (USAAF Chrono)

27 Nov 1944: Thailand AREA: 15 B-24s dropped 39 tons bombs on [locomotive] sheds - [Chiang Mai]-Lampang area causing large fires. Meager and inaccurate light AA encountered . . . . (USAAF "Summary" [USAAF Archive Reel A8202 p 339])

27 Nov 1944: . . . 14th AF fighter-bombers attacked Lampang. (Hammel:p505)

28 Nov 1944: 24 Beaufighters bombed Chiang Mai, destroying a steamroller (A8202:p0338)

30 Nov 1944: (14AF): Nine fighter-bombers hit shipping, rail targets, and troops at various points in Thailand. . . . (USAAF Chrono)

30 Nov 1944: Thailand: Nine 14th AF fighter-bombers attacked troops, shipping, and rail targets in Thailand. (Hammel:p507)

12 Dec 1944: P-38 fighters and recon fleet strafed and bombed railway lines and roads in Burma and Chiang Mai. (Wisarut in 2bangkok blog: "WWII bombardment of Thai railways", post 58 30-10-08, 03:02 PM)

12 Dec 1944: (14AF): 50+ P-40s, P-51s, and P-38s on armed reconnaissance attack many targets of opportunity including town areas, road and rail traffic, and supplies at or near Wan Pa-Hsa, Burma, [Chiang Mai], Thailand . . . (USAAF Chrono)

12 Dec 1944: 14th AF fighter-bombers attacked [Chiang Mai]. (Hammel: 16933-16934)

13 Dec 1944: P-38 and P-51 fighters strafed bridges around Chiang Mai. (Wisarut in 2bangkok blog: "WWII bombardment of Thai railways", post 58 30-10-08, 03:02 PM)

13 Dec 1944: (14AF): 24 P-51s and P-38s hit the town of Bac Ninh and the rail yards at Phu Lang Thuong, French Indochina, and damage a bridge at [Chiang Mai], Thailand. (USAAF Chrono)

13 Dec 1944: 14th AF fighter-bombers attacked a bridge at [Chiang Mai]. (Hammel:p518)

26 Dec 1944: (14AF): 46 P-51s, P-38s, and P-40s hit railroad targets, shipping, storage and other targets of opportunity in China; Lampang, Thailand . . . (USAAF Chrono)

26 Dec 1944: 14th AF fighter-bombers attacked Lampang. (Hammel:17340-17341)

07 Feb 1945: The Allied air campaign continued to concentrate on disrupting the Japanese communications network and choking off the flow of supplies into Burma. . . . attacks continued on the Bangkok-Chiang Mai rail line . . . The Allied bombing raids into Thailand took place every few days as the RAF and USAAF continued to knock out key rail bridges and damage marshaling yards. . . . RAF long-range fighters kept up steady attacks on rolling stock and motor transport. Pairs of RAF Beaufighters flew regular patrols over northern Thailand, strafing locomotives, railroad cars, and whatever trucks could be found along the roads. Most of these missions resulted in only a few trucks destroyed, but the Beaufighters occasionally came across a more lucrative target, as on February 7, when two Beaufighters came across 42 rail cars on the Chiang Mai-Lampang rail line and destroyed 12. (Young:211-212)

20 Mar 1945: Fighter squadrons (assume with the "usual" P-38s, P-40s, and P-51s) of the 2nd Air Commando Group flew to northern Thailand to strafe fields at Chiang Mai and Phrae. A civilian Fairchild 24 of Aerial Transport Company was shot down near Chiang Mai. (Shores-3:342)

22 Mar 1945: 34 fighters swept airfield at Chiang Mai, causing fires; 1 IJAAF passenger plane shot down. (A8202:p0183)

10 Apr 1945: 115 fighters struck various locations, including Chiang Mai. (A8202:p0158)

12 Apr 1945: 117 fighters struck various locations, including Chiang Mai. (A8202:p0151)

27 May 1945: 11 fighters dropped six tons of bombs on Chiang Mai and Lampang airfields. (A8202:p0095)

28 May 1945: Seven fighters dropped three tons of bombs on Chiang Mai airport.(A8202:p0096)

Nov 1945: RAF 211 Squadron deployed with Mosquitoes to Don Muang Airfield (which served Bangkok) as a part of Operation Bibber, the Allied plan for occupying Thailand. The unit disbanded there on 15 Mar 1946, "due mainly to unserviceability of Mosquitoes, caused by extremes of climate" (211 Squadron history:India & Burma).

Abbreviations for references in parentheses in this section:

• A8202, A8044: US Archive microfilm reels A8202 & A8044
• Ford: Ford, Daniel, Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and his American Volunteers, 1941-1942, updated edition (Washington: Smithsonian, 2007)
• Frances, Neil, Ketchil: A New Zealand pilot's war in Asia and the Pacific (Auckland: Publishing Press, 2005)
• Haakenson: "211 Squadron: J12845 Flight Lieutenant Malfred Johan Carl Haakenson 1919—2006"
• Hammel: Hammel, Eric, Air War Pacific Chronology (Pacifica CA: Pacifica Military History, 1998) (e-book)
• Hammel: Hammel, Eric, Air War Pacific Chronology (Pacifica CA: Pacifica Military History, 1998) (book)
• Jackson, Daniel, book in process of publication.
• Jefford, CG, The Flying Camels: The History of 45 Squadron RAF (Jefford: 1995) ISBN: 0 9526290 0 3 (by reference of Neil Francis).
• RAF Squadrons 177: RAF Squadrons: 177 Squadron
• Shores-1: Shores, Christopher et al, Bloody Shambles, Vol I, The Drift to War to the Fall of Singapore (London: Grub Street, 2002)
• Shores-2: Shores, Christopher, Bloody Shambles, Vol II, The Complete Account of the Air War in the Far East (London: Grub Street, 2002)
• Shores-3: Shores, Christopher, Air War for Burma, Vol III, The Allied Air Forces Fight Back in South East Asia (London: Grub Street, 2005)
• USAAF Chrono: The Official Chronology of the U.S. Army Airforce in World War II
• Wisarut: references are taken from Internet forums, 2bangkok and axishistory.
• Young: Young, Edward M, Aerial Nationalism (Washington: Smithsonian, 1995)

 

This line of thought continues in the discussion at Possible sources for the hole at Point A on page 1.

 

This section on supplemental information
continues on next page about a different topic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M05.^ With the possible exception of one known instance of a flight of Hurricanes in March 1942, which I discount (see discussion).