Fenton Field
Air Raids
380th Bomb Group
AWM Plaque Dedication
60th Anniversary
North Fort
3.7" Gun Located
Picture Gallery

Air Raids

Because these devastating sorties against the Japanese were made from Fenton Field, it was only a matter of time before the enemy would retaliate. And 133rd HAA Bty had to ensure the safety and protection of all the personal and equipment based at Fenton.

On 30th June 1943, 6 days after the 133rd arrived and on 6 July 1943, Fenton Airfield was attacked by no less than 48 Japanese bomber and fighter planes. Over the next 5 months, Fenton endured many more enemy air raids and the Japanese dropped over 4oo bombs.

The 133rd fired in excess of 1100 rounds and were credited with firing more rounds at the enemy, than any other 3.7 mobile Battery in the South West Pacific Area during 1943.

As a result, out of those 400 or so bombs the Japanese dropped at Fenton, many of these missed their target.

An Intelligence Report in the War Diaries stated that:

'The eight 3.7 guns of the 133rd HAA Battery at Fenton,
engaged the enemy on each occasion and it is considered that the fire from these guns had a highly deterrent effect'

Gun salvo, during night raid Fenton 1943.

As the guns fired their 'salvo' the whole gun park trembled, the air instantly filled with smoke and fumes from the explosion. The force of the projectile leaving the barrel would cause the gun to jump backwards with the long barrel recoiling and at the same time the spent case was extracted to the rear.

Chaffey collection

It is worth noting, that on 6th July, enemy raid No. 58, the 133rd shell bursts were able to rock the head of the enemy formation. This bomber fell out of the formation immediately, while the rest of the bombers broke away sharply. The 'Betty' bomber was seen to be aflame, trailing smoke and losing height rapidly.

Note middle bomber with smoke trailing.

Darvell collection