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Victory in New Guinea

B-17 (S/N 41-24540) after crash-landing in the jungle. (U.S. Air Force photo)

B-17 (S/N 41-24540) after crash-landing in the jungle. (U.S. Air Force photo)

North American B-25s in action over Gloucester in December 1943. (U.S. Air Force photo)

North American B-25s in action over Gloucester in December 1943. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The result of phosphorus bombs and how they worked on a Betty and a Zeke on Lakunai Field during the attack at Rabaul. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The result of phosphorus bombs and how they worked on a Betty and a Zeke on Lakunai Field during the attack at Rabaul. (U.S. Air Force photo)

While the Allies were seizing the Gilbert and Marshall islands, the 13th Air Force "jumped" to the Admiralty Islands from New Guinea to join the 7th Air Force and Navy in neutralizing the Caroline Islands, which were scheduled to be bypassed. Meanwhile, General MacArthur's forces in the Southwest Pacific moved westward along the north New Guinea coast. Rabaul on New Britain still remained a threat to Allied operations, and in October 1943 the Allies began a stepped-up air offensive as 5th and 13th Air Force planes almost daily dropped record bomb loads. The pre-invasion bombing of Cape Gloucester, New Britain, was so intense that the term "Gloucesterizing" served in 5th Air Force circles to describe the complete destruction of a target.

By the summer of 1944, the Allies had completed their advance along the northern New Guinea coast either seizing or neutralizing enemy strongholds at Wewak, Hollandia, Biak, Noemfoor and Cape Sansapor. Thousands of Japanese troops remained behind in the Solomons, on New Guinea and elsewhere. Completely isolated with no chance for resupply by sea or air, they were left to wither away in the jungle in their grim struggle merely to survive.

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Gilbert and Marshall Islands
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