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December 17, 1941
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

Wednesday, December 17, 1941
LUZON - B-17s evacuating the Philippines begin arriving at Batchelor Field near Darwin. Captain Floyd J. Pell arrives in Australia to begin arrangements for the use of Australian facilities by the Far East Air Force.

USN: Adm. Nimitz appointed Commander Pacific Fleet. Seventeen SB2U-3 Vindicators of VMSB-231, led by a PBY from Patrol Wing 1 (PatWing 1) arrived at Midway from Oahu completing the longest mass flight by single-engine aircraft then on record in 9 hours, 45 minutes. It was the same squadron that was en route to Midway on 7 December aboard USS Lexington CV-2 when reports of the attack on Pearl Harbor forced the carrier to turn back short of Midway.

The Naval Research Laboratory reported that flight tests in a PBY Catalina of radar utilizing a duplexing antenna switch had been conducted with satisfactory results. The duplexing switch made it possible to use a single antenna for both transmission of the radar pulse and reception of its echo; thereby, the necessity for cumbersome "yagi" antenna no longer existed, a factor which contributed substantially to the reliability, and hence the effectiveness, of World War II airborne radar.

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