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December 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

TUESDAY, 1 DECEMBER 1942
CBI (Tenth Air Force) The 9th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron flies its first combat mission with F-4s from its base at Karachi, with a detachment at Kunming; the squadron arrived at Karachi on 24 Jul.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) Headquarters 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), and its 23d Bombardment Squadron with B-17s transfers from Mokuleia Field to Bomber 1. Lost is B-17F "Omar Khayyam / The Plastered Bastard" 41-24534.

USMC: Nine SBDs took off from Henderson Field on a dive bombing mission against one light cruiser and two destroyers off Guadalcanal. Returning from the mission after dark, SBD-3 Dauntless 06662 crashed killing the pilot but the gunner survived.

NARA "Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 132 War Diary October 13, 1942 - April 30, 1943" Page 13
(Page 13) On December first [1942], Lt. Kelly, on a Millimeter Mike search, bombed a possible gun emplacement in the camouflaged area, one thousand (1000) yards in from the fourth beached transport. Lt. Rohrl, on a special observation flight with Lt. Comdr. Munsten as observer, reported life rafts down wind of oil slick off Savo Island. A PT boat picked up a sailor at Savo. Lt. Hronek, on a special search, reported three damaged heavy cruisers in Tulagi. Lt. Bright reported negative from a sector search. Major Sailer led an attack group on one light cruiser and two destroyers, but was unable to make contact. Other participants in the attack group were: Capt. Spang, Lieutenants Simpson, McEniry, Skinner, Kollmoan, Kellogg, Herrick and StfSgt. Wallof. Due to lack of experience in flying SBD's at night, and no flying with one thousand (1000) pound bombs, Capt. Spang was killed in this crash, but his gunner escaped without injury."

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s, B-25s, B-26s and P-400s pound the Buna area, but Allied ground troops fail in another attempt to capture the village. The Australian Army 21 Brigade, however, turns back from Giruwa three large groups of Japanese reinforcements destined for Gona, then attacks and takes Gona, forcing the enemy back to Gona Mission for a final stand. Lost on a recon mission is B-17E "Miss Carriage" 41-2645. In Australia, HQ 33d Troop Carrier Squadron, 374th Troop Carrier Group with C-47s is established at Brisbane upon arrival from the US. A detachment has been operating from Cairns since 1 Nov and will remain there until 10 Dec. Lost is B-25D "Sunsetter's Son" 41-29707 (crashed)

WEDNESDAY, 2 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) A B-24 finds Semichi and Attu unchanged during a reconnaissance run. A B-26s on reconnaissance finds Kiska closed by fog.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) Headquarters 17th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 4th Photographic Group with the air echelon of A and B flights arrives Noumea, New Caledonia Is. The air echelons of C and D flights will remain in the US until Jan 1944. American bombers from Henderson Field begin almost daily attacks on Munda Point to prevent the Japanese from constructing Munda Airfield.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s, B-17s, B-25s and P-400s attack four destroyers off Buna and Gona, and Buna Airfield and positions in the Buna area and between Watutu Point and Cape Killerton. Lost is B-17E 41-2445. As a result of this attack, the destroyers, originally bound for Gona with 800 reinforcements, lands the troops near the mouth of the Kumment River twelve miles to the north. After a bombardment of Gona, Allied ground forces attack in strength but are again halted short of the village. Force landed is A-20A "Flying Lawnmower" 40-3151.

(RAAF) Beaufighters of 31 Squadron RAAF attacked and destroyed enemy aircraft on Penfoei Airfield.

THURSDAY, 3 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) Two bombers and several fighters fly reconnaissance over Semichi, Kiska and Attu. There is a constant air alert for U. S. forces on Adak.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) In the Solomons, eight SBDs, seven TBFs and fighters attack the Tokyo Express 150 miles northwest of Guadalcanal; one destroyer is slightly damaged; and ten Petes are shot down, four by three P-39 pilots of the 67th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group. US losses are one TBF, one SBD and one fighter.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24s bomb Buna Mission. Lost is B-24D "Little Eva" 41-23762 and P-39 Airacobra piloted by Felker.

IJN: Scuttled is HA-8 Midget Submarine off Cape Esperence on Guadalcanal.

FRIDAY, 4 DECEMBER 1942
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s, B-25s and P-400s bomb and strafe Sanananda Point and the Buna areas and attack a small torpedo boat in Dyke Acland Bay. During the night of 3/4 Dec, B-17s bomb Lae Airfield and Salamaua Airfield. Lost is B-17F "Dumbo" 41-24429. On the ground, the Huggins Road Block on the Soputa-Sanananda Trail remains precarious as the Japanese maintain attacks from all sides and hold off US reinforcements. In the Bismarck Archipelago, a lone B-17s attacks a submarine 75 miles southeast of Rabaul. Lost on a training flight is P-38F "Synchronized Sal" 42-12646.

SATURDAY, 5 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) Seven B-24s and nine B-26s escorted by 16 P-38s take off upon a Navy PBY report of a surface force southeast of Amchitka. At the interception point, the area is searched without results. The PBY pilot later report he saw "clouds." Reconnaissance missions over Attu, Agattu, Semichi, Amchitka and Kiska turns up nothing.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) The following Seventh Air Force units are transferred to the Army Forces in South Pacific Area: 5th Bombardment Group with its 23d, 31st, 72d and 394th Bombardment Squadrons with B-17s. The 394th is enroute from Hawaii to Fiji; all others are on Espiritu Santo with the 72d Bomb Squadron operating from Guadalcanal. 11th Bombardment Groups with its 26th, 42d, 98th and 431st Bombardment Squadrons with B-17s. The 26th is on Efate while the 42d and 98th are on Espiritu Santo. The 431st is on Viti Levu on Fiji. 12th Fighter Squadron, 15th Fighter Group with P-39s and the 44th Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group with P-40s, both on Efate.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s and B-25s pound the Buna area. Lost is B-25C "Scat / The Happy Legend" 41-12907. Allied ground forces again fail to take the village, but some elements push to within 50 yards of Buna, some break through to the sea, and others invest the west bank of Entrance Creek; Buna is thus completely isolated. In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-24s bomb Kavieng Airfield. Force landed is B-25C "Per Diem"

SUNDAY, 6 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) Reconnaissance is flown over Attu, Agattu, Amchitka, Kiska and Semichi. The 18th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group with P-40s transfers from Alaska to Adak.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) P-39s strafing Munda on New Georgia Island discover trucks, steam rollers and other construction equipment, and evidence of two airfields under construction. B-17s will bomb Munda 21 times in December and continue to hit it in Jan 43, as the Japanese continue to work at building the strips despite the constant air strikes.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-17s bomb Lakunai Airfield and the town of Rabaul on New Britain Island. In New Guinea, B-25s bomb Lae Airfield.

MONDAY, 7 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) A reconnaissance mission is flown over the Semichi and Attu; reconnaissance of Kiska Is is aborted due to weather.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) In the Solomons, 13 SBDs attack the Tokyo Express; three destroyers are damaged for the loss of one SBD. The 69th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 38th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-26s moves from New Caledonia to Efate.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25s pound the area around Buna as ground forces attack the village and clear a trench at the southern edge; B-25s also hit Lae Airfield. B-17s attack a wrecked vessel [Ayutosen Maru] off Gona and a tanker off Gasmata.

RNZAF: Lost after a heavy landing is Hudson NZ2023.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) An attempted bombing mission of Attu and Kiska by six B-24s and six B-26s, escorted by eight P-38s, is forced back by weather. An uneventful reconnaissance is flown by a B-24 and a B-26 over Attu, Agattu, Amchitka, Kiska and Semichi.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s and B-25s pound AA positions at Buna and the area around Buna Mission and Cape Endaiadere as ground forces attack bunker positions on the southern end of Buna. P-38s hit a wrecked vessel [Ayutosen Maru] off Gona. In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-24s bomb the airfield on Gasmata. Six destroyers carrying troops to reinforce the Buna-Gona beachhead are bombed by B-17s and a lone B-24 and turn back to Rabaul.

GUADALCANAL: Attacked by two PT-Boats, I-3 is sunk a torpedo. Damaged, PT-59 is abandoned.

WEDNESDAY, 9 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) Force landed is B-24A Liberator 40-2367 crew survived.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) RNZAF 3 Squadron Hudsons and American B-17s bomb Munda Airfield without loss. On Guadalcanal, command passes from Lieutenant General Vandegrift, USMC, Commanding General First Marine Division (Reinforced), to Major General Patch, USA, Commanding General Americal Division. The battle weary Marines gradually withdraw from Guadalcanal during December. Written off after an accident is B-17E 41-2445.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-26s pound the Buna area as ground forces prepare for the final assault on the village. P-40s hit the area along the Sanananda-Soputa Trail. In Gona, following air and artillery bombardment, Australian forces overcome resistance, taking the village in hand-to-hand combat.

Guadalcanal - MajGen A. A. Vandegrift, CG 1st Mar Div, is relieved by Maj Gen A.M. Patch, CG Americal Division, as commanding general on Guadalcanal. 1st MarDiv make preparations to retire from combat zone to rehabilitate and retrain.

THURSDAY, 10 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) B-24A Liberator 40-2367 which crash landed at Atka yesterday is sighted on the west end of the island, its fuselage broken off aft of the wings. The crew, later brought back, is unharmed except for light injuries to Lieutenant General William Lynd, a visiting Inspector General. An uneventful reconnaissance covers Attu, Kiska and Semichi. Four B-26s and six P-38s abort a bomb run to Kiska due to weather.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) Eleven B-17s escorted by eight P-38s of the 339th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, attack ships in Faisi Harbor; one tanker is hit; six Zekes are claimed destroyed, five by P-38s and one by a B-17.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) The detachment of the 33d Troop Carrier Squadron, 374th Troop Carrier Group with C-47s operating from Cairns, Queensland, Australia returns to their base at Brisbane, New South Wales preparatory to moving to New Guinea.

FRIDAY, 11 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) An uneventful reconnaissance covers Attu, Agattu, Amchitka, Kiska and Semichi. Three B-26s and four P-38s rebomb and strafe a previously bombed cargo vessel in Kiska Harbor, scoring two more direct hits. The P-38s also strafe and bomb Kiska Harbor submarine base and seaplane hangars, camp area and nearby gun emplacements.

CBI (Tenth Air Force) B-24s of the India Air Task Force attack shipping at Port Blair, with negative results.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) B-17s bomb Munda Airfield without loss.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-26s bomb the airfield and targets of opportunity in the Buna area while B-25s and B-26s attack the Lae Airfield.

RAAF: Lost on a mission to bomb Buna are Wirraway A20-51 and Wirraway A20-485.

SATURDAY, 12 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) In the Aleutians, an attempted photographic reconnaissance mission over Kiska Island by a B-24 and two P-38s returns without result due to weather. Another reconnaissance B-24 is turned back by a weather front west of Buldir. The detachment of the 42d Fighter Squadron, 54th Fighter Group, which has been operating in Alaska with P-39s since Jun 42, returns to its base at Harding Field, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) B-17s begin a series of daily attacks on the Japanese airfields nearing completion at Munda. Nine SBDs join the attack which is the first by the USMC.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s strafe barges off Sanananda Point while B-17s bomb Lae Airfeild and Salamaua Airfield.

IJN: Teruzuki is torpedoed and sunk by PT-37 and PT-40.

USN: PT-44 is sunk by gunfire from destroyers Kawakaze and Suzukaze.

SUNDAY, 13 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) A largely negative reconnaissance is flown over Attu, Agattu, Kiska, Amchitka and Semichi by two B-24s and two P-38s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A Japanese convoy of five destroyers is detected off Madang, as it attempts to bring in reinforcements for the beachhead in the Buna area. B-17s and B-24s attack as it moves south but fail to deter its progress. Meanwhile A-20s bomb and strafe the Cape Killerton area while B-17s bomb the Salamaua area. B-26s hit the airfield at Gasmata.

IJN: HA-22 Type A midget submarine (crew rescued) is scuttled off Cape Esperence on Guadalcanal.

MONDAY, 14 DECEMBER 1942
SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) B-17s attack Buin with no losses.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) Five Japanese troop-carrying destroyers attack by Fifth Air Force aircraft yesterday, reach the mouth of the Mambare River and unload without being detected. However, medium and light bombers and fighters, along with Royal Australian Air Force aircraft, subsequently deliver damaging blows against these troops and their supplies and also hit forces along the Mambare River also the Kumusi River in the Cape Endaiadere. The five destroyers are attacked off Cape Ward Hunt by medium and heavy bombers. Attacks are also carried out against the Lae Airfield and the airfield on Gasmata. On the ground, American troops capture Buna. Lost in a ferry flight is B-17F 41-24550.

USMC: Lost is SBD 4592 (rescued)

TUESDAY, 15 DECEMBER 1942
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s hit Japanese forces along the Mambare River while a B-24 bombs a wrecked ship [Ayutosen Maru] at Gona.

RAAF: Lost dropping supplies on Suputa is Hudson A16-36 (crew KIA, one survived).

WEDNESDAY, 16 DECEMBER 1942
SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) B-17s of the 5th Bombardment Group attack Munda Airfield. They are intercepted by sixteen Zekes; the B-17s claim four Zekes. Lost was B-17E "G. I. Angel" 41-2521 (crew rescued). Lost on a training flight is B-24D 41-23901.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s and B-26s hit forces in the Buna area and at the mouth of the Kumusi River, and strafe barges on the lagoon shoreline south of the mouth of the Kumusi River. Meanwhile, B-24s attack a wreck [Ayutosen Maru] off Gona, a cargo vessel in the Bismarck Sea, and a destroyer, two cargo ships and two tankers in the Solomon Sea, southeast of Cape Orford. Lost on a patrol mission is P-39K 42-4362 (MIA) and P-39K 42-4346 (rescued).

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) Lost are B-24D 41-23901 (KIA).

Six B-17s took off at 6:45am from Bomber 1 Airfield on Espiritu Santo (Buttons) the formation was led by B-17E 41-9213 with B-17E "G. I. Angel" 41-2521, B-17E 41-9122, B-17E 41-2487 and B-17E 41-2403 and B-17E 41-2415 on a bombing mission against Munda Airfield. Aboard was a crew from the 42nd Bomb Squadron. Each bomber was armed with twenty 100 lb fragmentation bombs. Arriving over the target at 11:58 and spotted by enemy fighters that did not attack. After bombing the target, the formation was intercepted by twelve Japanese Zeros and B-17E "G. I. Angel" 41-2521 was damaged, ditched and the crew later rescued.

USMC: Lost on a local flight over Guadalcanal is SBD 06667 (MIA). Lost on a mission against Munda is SBD 03258 (MIA).

THURSDAY, 17 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) A reconnaissance sortie is flown over Attu, Agattu, Kiska, Amchitka and Semichi. Two attacks by five B-24s, two B-25s and four B-26s attack Kiska. On the first mission, four B-24s, gets through and hit the submarine base area, marine railway, buildings, and communication facilities. The second mission escorted by eight P-38s aborts due to weather. P-38s and B-24s also fly offshore patrol between Vega Point and Little Kiska.

CBI (Tenth Air Force) China Air Task Force aircraft bomb Lashio.

Guadalcanal - US 132d Infantry Regiment open preliminaries for an offensive with an attack on positions in the Mount Austen area which overlooks Henderson Field; the enemy offers bitter resistance. USAAF aircraft, especially P-39s, and USMC SBDs, provide support and continue to do so as the offensive progresses from coastal supply points, hitting reinforcements moving through the jungle, and destroying ammunition dumps.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-26s bomb Buna Mission. Lost is B-26 40-1529.

US ground forces make fruitless attacks on The Triangle is now dubbed "Bloody Triangle."

FRIDAY, 18 DECEMBER 1942
ALAKSA (Eleventh Air Force) A B-24 flies reconnaissance over Kiska, Attu, Agattu and Semichi.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s hit positions at Kurenada in the Cape Endaiadere area while Allied ground forces launch a concerted assault. B-17s attack a convoy in Astrolabe Bay off Madang, while B-24s bomb the Alexishafen area and other B-24s bomb at Lae Airfield and attack the convoy off Madang and a transport northwest of Lorengau. Lost are B-24D "Texas Terror" 41-23825 (KIA), B-24D 41-23835 (KIA) and P-40E piloted by Dennis (MIA).

Australian Army: Destroyed by mine is M3 Stuart 2300.

RNZAF: Lost on a patrol mission is Hudson NZ2054.

SATURDAY, 19 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) Two B-24s fly reconnaissance and patrol over Amchitka and Kiska. Four escorting P-38s turn back due to weather and mechanical difficulties.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) B-17s, escorted by P-38s, hit the airfield at Munda. They are attacked by 20 Zekes; the Americans claim three Zekes with no American losses.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s and B-25s hit the Buna Mission area in which Australian forces attacking 'The Triangle' are halted by fierce crossfire. B-17s and B-24s attack warships, transports and cargo vessels off Madang in Astrolabe Bay and north northwest of Finschhafen off the coast of Huon Peninsula. Meanwhile, B-25 bomb the Lae Airfield.

USN: Ditched is FM-1 Wildcat 14994

SUNDAY, 20 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) Four B-26s, five B-24s, five B-25s and nine P-38s make a coordinated bombing, strafing, and incendiary attack against Kiska Harbor installations and vicinity, especially on the submarine base and near the marine railway and gun emplacements. A direct hit is scored on a probable ammunition dump. P-38s also strafe Nozama Maru off Trout Lagoon. One B-24 and two P-38s fly photographic and reconnaissance patrol over Attu, Agattu, Semichi and Amchitka.

CBI (Tenth Air Force) China Air Task Force bombers hit Lashio. Japanese aircraft bomb Calcutta and vicinity, hitting docks, shipping and airfields in the area.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) The 44th Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group with P-40s based at Efate begins operating from Guadalcanal. The squadron will fly its first combat mission tomorrow, 21 Dec. Force landed on a training flight due to bad weather are P-40F "Bone Crusher" 41-14112 and P-40F 41-14205, all the pilots survived.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s and B-25s pound Giropa Point and the area around Buna Mission near which are located strong bunker positions. After preparatory bombardment Australian forces again assault the positions, attacking twice under cover of smoke, but are beaten back. A decision is made to bypass The Triangle. Lost are B-25D "Eight Ball Esquire" 41-29709 and B-24D 41-23766.

MONDAY, 21 DECEMBER 1942

(Eleventh Air Force) One B-24s flies an uneventful reconnaissance over Amchitka, Kiska, Semichi and Attu. A B-24 and two P-38s abort a photographic mission due to weather. A detachment of the 56th Fighter Squadron, 54th Fighter Group, which has been operating P-39s in Alaska since June 20, returns to its base at Harding Field, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) The air echelon of the 371st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group based at Wheeler Field with B-24s, flies to Midway.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) B-17s attack two cargo ships near Kahili; a direct hit is scored on one ship. No B-17s are lost. The 70th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, based on Fiji with P-39s, begins operating from Guadalcanal. The squadron flies its first combat mission today.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17s attack vessels in Finschhafen Harbor while B-24s carry out single-bomber strikes on a cargo ship north of Finschhafen and barges at the mouth of the Mambare River and off Cape Ward Hunt.

TUESDAY, 22 DECEMBER 1942
CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) Detachments of the 370th, 372d and 424th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group based in the Territory of Hawaii with B-24s arrives on Midway. During the night of 22/23 Dec, 26 B-24s bomb Wake from 2,500 to 8,000 feet, dropping 135 x 500 pound bombs. The total length of the mission, from Hawaii and return, was over 4,300 nautical miles. No aircraft were lost. This raid was reported in the press as a Christmas Eve attack on the island.

CBI (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, China Air Task Force aircraft bomb Lashio.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) The 26th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group with B-17s transfers from Efate to Bomber 1. The 67th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, which has been operating from Henderson Field with P-39s since 22 Aug, returns to its base on New Caledonia.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-25s bomb Maimba mission and the village near Buna when Japanese ground forces continue to resist stubbornly; B-17s hit a ship in the harbor at Arawe. In the Bismarck Archipelago, a single B-24 attacks a transport off Gasmata.

RAAF - Lost is Wirraway A20-160 (KIA)

WEDNESDAY, 23 DECEMBER 1942
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s strafe troops near Gona and at Woiba Islands while B-24s attack a cargo ship at Arawe. In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-25s bomb Cape Gloucester Airfield and attack a ship at Pilelo Island. B-24s carry out single-bomber attacks on a transport west southwest of Cape Orford, a vessel northwest of Lorengau and the Cape Gloucester Airfield.

THURSDAY, 24 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) Reconnaissance aircraft over Kiska finds shipping there unchanged. Weather cancel all other missions.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Seventh Air Force) The detachments of the 370th, 371st, 372d and 424th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group that have been operating from Midway with B-24s return to their bases in Hawaii.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) Nine SBDs, nine P-39s, four P-38s and four F4Fs attack Munda Airfield. They are met by 14 Zekes. The Americans claim 14 Zekes shot down, seven by two F4F pilots while four P-39s pilots of the 12th Fighter Squadron, 15th Fighter Group get five and a P-38 pilot of the 70th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group got one. The SBDs destroyed ten Zekes on the ground as they were taking off. There are no US losses.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, A-20s strafe troops near Kel Kel and along the northern bank of the Amboga River and trail. B-24s, operating singly, bomb Lae, a schooner in Vitiaz Strait, and the harbor at Arawe. B-17s and B-24s hit shipping off Gasmata and Gasmata Airfield.

Australian Army - Destroyed on the Buna Airfield battlefield is M3 Stuart 2017.

FRIDAY, 25 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) A B-24 takes photographs of Kiska and Attu and unsuccessfully bombs five barges between Gertrude Cove and Kiska Harbor. The B-24 then sights eight float Zekes; three Zekes unsuccessfully attempt to attack the B-24. HQ 344th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group with P-40s transfers from Elmendorf Field to Cold Bay.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) Six B-17s, of the eleven dispatched, bomb Simpson Harbor near Rabaul. Two aircraft score three hits on a large cargo ship, while four bomb wharves and airfields. There are no US losses. HQ 394th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group with B-17s is established on Fiji upon arrival from Hawaii.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A B-17 attacks a submarine in Wide Bay; one B-24 hits the runways at Cape Gloucester Airfield. A B-24 bombs Lae. Crashed on landing is B-24D "Wilco" 41-11870.

SATURDAY, 26 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) Six B-24s and nine P-38s attack Holtz Bay but do not find the eight float Zekes seen there yesterday; the P-38s strafe Attu installations at minimum altitude. while the B-24s bomb Sarana Bay. AA fire downs on P-38 and damages another. Six B-25s and four P-38s over Kiska and Gertrude Cove abort due to low ceiling. An OA-10 flies reconnaissance over northeast Kiska.

CBI (Tenth Air Force) In Thailand, 12 India Air Task Force B-24s bomb the railroad station, dock area, arsenal, and power plant at Bangkok. In Burma, China Air Task Force B-25s hit Lashio. In China, a large force of enemy aircraft attempt to raid Yunnani Airfield. They are intercepted by P-40s of the 16th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, and four Japanese aircraft are shot down.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) Brigadier General Francis P. Mulcahy, USMC, arrives on Guadalcanal with the Second Marine Aircraft Wing and assumes operational control of all aircraft on the island, including those of the USAAF and USN.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) Heavy bombers carry out single-bomber attacks against Cape Gloucester Airfield and attack shipping off New Britain. Heavy bombers carry out single-bomber attacks against Finschhafen and Madang. Japanese aircraft attack Dobodura but are driven off by US fighters. Lost is P-40E "The Rebel" 41-25164.

(RAAF) Hudson A16-3 (rescued, 2 missing) is shot down by Ki-43 Oscars from the 11th Sentai. Wirraway A20-103 shoots down Ki-43-I Oscar piloted by Yoshitake over Gona.

(JAAF) Ki-43 Oscars from the 11th Sentai conduct a mission over Gona.

SUNDAY, 27 DECEMBER 1942
(Eleventh Air Force) Two B-24s flying reconnaissance over Kiska and Amchitka abort in bad weather.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17s pound shipping at Rabaul. In New Guinea, B-26s hit targets in the Gona area while a single B-24 hit the runway at Finschhafen Airfield. In their first significant action in the Pacific, a dozen P-38s of the 39th Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group engage some 24 Japanese aircraft, claiming nine Zekes and two Vals shot down. During the combat, one P-38 was damaged. The formation was led Captain Tommy Lynch, 2nd Lt. RIchard Bong, 2nd Lt. Ken Sparks, 2nd Lt. John Mangas and 1st Lt. Carl G. Planck, Jr.  This was the first aerial combat by the P-38 Lightning in the South West Pacific. Seven enemy planes were immediately shot down.  Two other four-plane flights of P-38 Lightnings from the 39th Fighter Squadron joined the melee thereafter claiming another six shot down. Richard I. Bong claims his first two victories a D3A Val and A6M Zeke. 2nd Lt. John Mangas claimed one shot down. Damaged during landing is P-38F piloted by Sparks (survived).

MONDAY, 28 DECEMBER 1942

In the Aleutians, icing conditions and low visibility prevent all flying. HQ 93d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 19th Bombardment Group is established at Pocatello, Idaho. This squadron was at Clark Field, Luzon, Philippine Islands on 7 Dec 41, and after being decimated in continuous fighting in the Southwest Pacific, the unit is transferred without personnel and equipment to the US. The squadron will be a replacement training unit until Apr 44 when it is re-equipped with B-29s and returns to Guam in Jan 45.

CBI (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, China Air Task Force B-25s, with fighter support, hit Magwe.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) A pair of 70th FS P-39s on a reconassiance mission over Munda encounter two Nells escorted by nine Zeros. They attack, Lt Rex Barber shoots down a G3M2 Nell off Munda Point. Lost is B-17 piloted by Harp.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-24 bomb Rabaul and Gasmata. B-24s bomb Lae. HQ, 33d Troop Carrier Squadron, 374th Troop Carrier Group with C-47s, moves from Australia to Port Moresby.

TUESDAY, 29 DECEMBER 1942
CBI (Tenth Air Force) Twelve B-24s attack shipping in the vicinity of Rangoon.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) Six P-39s and USMC aircraft attack cargo vessels in the New Georgia group. Two vessels are sunk by the P-39s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, A-20s strafe forces and occupied areas at Lokanu and along the west bank of the Amboga River while B-24s carry out single-bomber attacks on the Lae Airfield. In the Bismarck Archipelago, B-24s also carry out single-bomber attacks on the airfield on Gasmata.

USMC: PB4Y-1 31940 took off on a mission to photograph the new airfield under construction at Munda Point and is damaged by Zeros.

WEDNESDAY, 30 DECEMBER 1942

(11th AF) B-25s and 14 P-38s approach Kiska Harbor at minimum altitude for a bombing and strafing attack. Two ships and three submarines, newly arrived, are covered by Zekes. Four of the Zekes engage the approaching P-38s in a dogfight; two P-38s are shot down and four Zekes are listed as probables. The B-25s meanwhile attack the ships with unobserved results; one B-25 is shot down off Little Kiska. A Navy PBY picks up survivors, but fails to return to base. Kiska Harbor is then attacked again by five B-24s, four B-25s and four B-26s. They claim hits on both vessels observing explosions on the smaller ship. A B-24 photographs Amchitka while a weather reconnaissance of Near Island is cancelled due to weather. Aerial reconnaissance notes the Japanese use of a smoke screen to conceal Kiska Harbor.

HQ 28th and 435th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 19th Bombardment Group are established at Pocatello, Idaho. These squadrons were at Clark Field on December 8, 1941 and were decimated in continuous fighting in the Southwest Pacific. HQs is transferred without personnel and equipment and re-equipped with B-17s, they became replacement training units until they were again re-equipped with B-29s in 1944 and the squadrons returned to Guam during January 19 45.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17s bombs shipping at Rabaul, A-20s strafe forces in the Duvira Creek area while B-24s carry out single-bomber attacks on Lae Airfield, Madang, and troops and vehicles at Wewak. A B-17 strafes a schooner in Jacquinot Bay.

US Army: Killed on Sea Horse is 1st Lt. Raymond S. Wood

THURSDAY, 31 DECEMBER 1942

(11th Air Force) Six B-24s escorted by nine P-38s, attack Kiska Harbor bombing two cargo vessels; one of six intercepting Japanese aircraft is probably shot down. A B-25 searching for the Navy PBY missing since yesterday also flies reconnaissance over Semisopochnoi, Segula, Little Sitkin, Gareloi and Amchitka.

CBI (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, P-40s on armed reconnaissance hit railroad targets of opportunity from Naba to Pinbaw.

SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Army Forces in South Pacific Area) B-26s of the 69th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 38th Bombardment Group (Medium), escorted by P-38s and P-39s, attack the airfield at Munda. Lost is B-17E "Yankee Doodle Jr" 41-9227that crashed after take off.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) A-20s strafe forces in the Sanananda and Giruwa area and along the Amboga River. B-26s pound forces on the north shore of the Markham River near its mouth, while P-38s escort A-20 and B-25s attacking strafe parked aircraft at Lae Airfield. Over the target, intercepted by eight Zeros (actually Ki-43 Oscars from the 11th Sentai). Damaged in a collision was P-38F Lightning 42-12652. Shot down is Ki-43 piloted by Shishimoto. B-24s operating singly, bomb the airfield on Gasmata and attack shipping in Wide Bay and Saint George Channel. Lost are B-25D 41-29733 and B-25D "The Early Bird" 41-29733 (KIA).

 

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