Enemy Air Attack
The American amphibious assaults on House Fireman Beach on the Arawe peninsula of New Britain Island met little resistance on the ground, but the Japanese were able to send twenty or thirty fighter aircraft from Rabaul to attack the landing force. The beach, which had room for only two LCTs at a time, soon became congested as a newly formed shore party, working to unload troops and equipment, provided a lucrative target for air attack. The Japanese fighters arrived some two hours after the first wave had landed, strafed and bombed the area for about five minutes, but caused no damage to the landing forces. They departed abruptly when American P-38s flying overhead cover for the landing arrived on the scene.