Japanese shipping at Hong Kong under attack by United States Navy aircraft on 16 January 1945
Japanese shipping at Hong Kong under attack by United States Navy aircraft on 16 January 1945
Taikoo Dockyard, Hong Kong, under attack on 16 January
Taikoo Dockyard, Hong Kong, under attack on 16 January

The United States Army Air Forces and United States Navy conducted numerous air raids against Japanese-occupied Hong Kong and shipping near the city during World War II. The Royal Australian Air Force took part in efforts to lay naval mines in the Hong Kong area. These attacks began in 1942. In 1945 it was incorporated into the larger South China Sea raid. British Pacific Fleet aircraft also attacked Japanese suicide boats at Hong Kong as part of the reoccupation of the colony in late August 1945.

Background

The British colony of Hong Kong had been captured by Japanese forces in December 1941, and became a significant naval and logistics base.[1] Japanese forces bombed and shelled the urban areas during the invasion of Hong Kong, and 4,000 civilians were killed in the fighting.[2]

USAAF units based in China attacked the Hong Kong area from October 1942. Most of these raids involved a small number of aircraft, and typically targeted Japanese cargo ships which had been reported by Chinese guerrillas.[3] By January 1945 the city was being regularly raided by the USAAF.[4]

Attacks

1942

1943

1944

Two photos featuring the raid on Kowloon Docks on 16 October 1944. The Fourteenth Air Force sent 28 B-24s, 33 P-51s and 18 P-40s to Hong Kong that day. The broad sweep of open land in the middle right of both photo was the Japanese-controlled Kai Tak airfield.

1945

Aftermath

The air attacks on Hong Kong are little remembered today. Unexplored bombs dropped during the war are occasionally unearthed during construction projects, and need to be defused.[2] The only occasion when unexploded aerial bombs have resulted in casualties occurred in 1993, when a ship dredging shallow water near Tsing Yi detonated a 225-kilogram (496 lb) bomb. The explosion badly damaged the ship and injured one of its crew. In the five years to 2018, the Hong Kong media reported 35 discoveries of unexploded munitions. Two more bombs, probably dropped in the 16 January 1945 raid, were discovered and defused in early 2018.[59] It is likely that many more unexploded bombs will be discovered in the future.[60]

References

Citations

  1. ^ Chi Man & Yiu Lun 2014, p. 224.
  2. ^ a b McKirdy, Euan (3 February 2018). "Unearthed bombs recall Hong Kong's WWII 'Black Christmas'". CNN. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  3. ^ Chi Man & Yiu Lun 2014, p. 227.
  4. ^ a b Bailey 2017, p. 112.
  5. ^ a b c Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 62.
  6. ^ Craven & Cate 1983, p. 430.
  7. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 74.
  8. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 191.
  9. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 192.
  10. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 193.
  11. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 198.
  12. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 207.
  13. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 208.
  14. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 209.
  15. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 210.
  16. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 216.
  17. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 247.
  18. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 250.
  19. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 257.
  20. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 273.
  21. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 282.
  22. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 285.
  23. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 293.
  24. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 301.
  25. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 382.
  26. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 388.
  27. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 389.
  28. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 390.
  29. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 486.
  30. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 487.
  31. ^ a b c Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 518.
  32. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 562.
  33. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 572.
  34. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 573.
  35. ^ a b Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 577.
  36. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 596.
  37. ^ Royal Navy 1995, p. 136.
  38. ^ Chi Man & Yiu Lun 2014, p. 228.
  39. ^ Morison 2002, p. 172.
  40. ^ Emerson 2008, pp. 118–119.
  41. ^ Bailey 2017, p. 113.
  42. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 598.
  43. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 601.
  44. ^ Craven & Cate 1953, p. 495.
  45. ^ Odgers 1968, p. 370.
  46. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 664.
  47. ^ a b Craven & Cate 1953, p. 502.
  48. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 665.
  49. ^ Craven & Cate 1953, p. 497.
  50. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 666.
  51. ^ Craven & Cate 1953, pp. 497–498.
  52. ^ Craven & Cate 1953, p. 498.
  53. ^ a b Odgers 1968, p. 371.
  54. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 675.
  55. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 676.
  56. ^ Carter & Mueller 1991, p. 712.
  57. ^ Craven & Cate 1953, p. 500.
  58. ^ Hobbs 2011, pp. 310–311.
  59. ^ Liu, Yujing (1 February 2018). "Why does Hong Kong have so many buried wartime bombs?". South China Sea Morning Post. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  60. ^ "World War Two bomb in Hong Kong defused by police". BBC News. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2019.

Works consulted

Further reading