Lt. Richard H. (Dick) Fleischer, in his P-47D-2, is scrambled 27 Dec 1943 with Blue Flight, 340 FS, 348th FG to intercept what turned out to be 12 Vals. The dive-bombers were harassing US PT Boats operating off the SW coast of New Britain Island near Arawe. Spotting the
dive-bombers, Dick called them out, dropped tanks, then dived in to intercept. “Coming in fast, throttled back to come up from under at about a 20 degree angle” as the Vals were heading to attack the PT Boats. The 1st Val was shot down with hits to the engine and right wing. A wingover and 4 second burst got #2, both confirmed by the Navy. A 3rd Val was fired at, but uncertain on the outcome. Only
4 Vals made it home. Dick would finish the war with 6 victories.