These are only a small number of Ray's missions
Some other air bases Ray was located at were Guadacanal, Woodlark, New Georgia, Russell Islands, Bouganville, (back to) Russell Islands, (Middleburg), San Jose Mindoro. On March 1, 1945 he left the 347th and joins the 18th fighter group. Middleburg Island was a tiny island only a couple of miles off the north shore of the Netherlands East Indies and was home to 75 P-38's of the 347th Fighter Group. The bombers and other planes were at the larger Mar airdrome on the main island.
Click here for cool sounds of actual P-38 fly by
DID YOU KNOW?
The 13th Air Force from 1943 through September 1945:
Flew 97,038 combat missions
Destroyed 1,439 Japanese aircraft
Sunk 1,350,000 tons of shipping
Lost 490 planes
Shot down Admiral Yamamoto at Bougainville
Flew the longest bomber missions of the war, in B-24s
Flew the longest fighter missions of the war, in P-38s
(see links page "Feats of the 13th Air Force")
Information on the 67th Fighter Squadron of the 347th Fighter Group of the 13th Army Air Force (taken from records in the Hoover Institute of Stanford University)
The 13th Air Force did not fight from centralized bases closely tied together. It fought from island bases, spread hundreds of miles apart. Units of the 13th Air Force moved from the Fijis and Australia through New Caledonia and New Hebrides, up the ladder of the Solomons to the Admiralities and the Netherlands Indies, and finally through the Phillipines. From the most easterly point, Bora Bora, in the Society Islands, to the most northerly, Lingayen, in the Phillipines, they traveled approximately 7,000 statute miles. They operated over an area of at least 4,000,000 square miles, which is an area approximately 1-1/3 times the United States. Lightnings flew missions up to 2100 statute miles. The 13th Air Force fought over two continents; Australia and Asia. It fought in four areas of operations; the South Pacific, the Southwest Pacific, the Central Pacific, the China-India-Burma, and also Air Offensive Japan. It set up camp in the territories of six different nations; Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, France, and Japan. They flew over 12 seas; the Coral, Arafura, Banda, Celebes, Sulu, Ceram, Mindanao, South China, East China, Java, and the Sea of Japan.
The Missions and Their Purpose:
Stop the Japanese advance south and secure positions in New Guinea and the Netherlands Indies from which Allied Forces could launch an attack against the Phillipines.
Destroy oil refineries at Balikpapan, Dutch Borneo, which refined 7,000,000 barrels of crude oil per year. It was the chief source of Japanese aviation high octane gasoline and lubricants. It was such a high quality that it could be used in diesel engines without refining.
Destroy Southwestern Pacific Japanese airdromes which were at Negros, Cebu, Mactan, Palawan, Western New Guinea, Ceram, Boeroe, Kai, and Halmahera Islands to furnish protection to the left flank of the Allied advance on the Phillipines.
Destroy Japanese shipping in the Phillipines and Dutch East Indies waters. In the month of November, 1944 alone, approximately 208,200 tons of shipping were sunk.
Support the 8th Army landings in the Phillipines. During the Viscyan-Mindanao Campaign the 13th AAF served as air support of 14 amphibious landings. They softened up landing areas, provided cover for Naval convoys, and supplied close cover support to the ground troops as they moved up from the beaches.
Support of the Australian Imperial Forces and the Royal Australian Air Force in the Borneo Campaign. This was because the objective area lay largely beyond the range of the RAAF aircraft. This support consisted of pre-assault softening up strikes, covering numerous convoys, and battle area fighter cover.
In 1945 P-38's of the 67th performed one of the longest flights ever flown by fighter aircraft. This was 2100 statute miles round trip. They did it by using 500 gallon belly tanks. The risk of these missions was very high since if you got into trouble 700 miles from home base, in Japanese held territory, you probably weren't getting back.
In the Philipines, it was found that the Japanese were attempting to supply the Indies and evacuate high ranking personnel using scores of small ships such as luggers, barges, sailboats, and small feighters. The 13th AAF destroyed them all.
In the western New Guinea area, the Moluccas, the Celebes, Borneo, and every portion of the Netherlands East Indies, the Japanese built up an elaborate network of airfields. This network, consisting mostly of undeveloped staging fields, gave Japanese air power great flexibility and also the protection afforded by wide dispersion. By late 1944 the Japanese had built more then 30 airfields within a 400 mile radius of Morotai, which was by then the largest Allied tactical airbase in the Southwest Pacific. The 13th AAF was assigned the job of neutralizing this enemy air power in these areas. Through the end of 1944 and early 1945 the fighters concentrated on this assignment.
The lightnings made wide use of Napalm fire bombs in attacking enemy supply lines. They came up with new napalm weapons along with new tactics when they switched to P-38's. The old napalm was not as affective and reliable. On the microfilm I now have of the 67th fighter squadron daily records it shows pictures of the ground crew mixing the grainular napalm with gasoline and filling the drop tanks. The pictures can not be reproduced good enough to display here.