Combat Chronology of the
United States Army Air Forces in World War II

December 1941

SATURDAY, 6 DECEMBER 1941

The combat organization of the US Army Air Forces at 2400 hours Eastern Standard Time, 6 December 1941 (0500 GMT, 7 December 1941) is listed below. An asterisk (*) indicates an attached unit.

This listing is divided into five sections, i.e.:

  1. Units assigned to the Air Force Combat Command
  2. Units assigned to the Office, Chief of the Air Corps
  3. Units assigned to the Barrage Balloon Training Center, US Army
  4. Units based overseas
  5. Units sorted by their station

SUNDAY, 7 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-18, Douglas Bolo
  • O-47, North American
  • O-49, Stinson Vigilant
  • O-52, Curtiss Owl
  • P-36, Curtiss Hawk
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Air Force, Alaska Defense Command): Upon learning of the Pearl Harbor attack, the Command's 6 B-l8's and 12 P-36's take to the air to avoid being caught on their fields.

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(1st Air Force): The 119th Observation Squadron, I Air Support Command, begins flying ASW patrols from Newark Municipal Airport, New Jersey with O-47's, O-49's and O-52's.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(Hawaiian Air Force): The first wave of Japanese carrier-based airplanes (almost 200) hit Hickam Field and the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor at 0755 local (1325 Eastern Standard Time, 1825 GMT). Attacks follow quickly against Wheeler and Bellows Fields. A second wave of Japanese airplanes strikes other naval and military facilities. The Hawaiian Air Force loses 163 men, with about 390 others wounded or missing; has 64 of its 231 assigned aircraft destroyed. Only 79 of the remaining aircraft are deemed usable, and much of the Air Force's ground facilities are destroyed. These losses are light in comparison with the US Navy's: more than 2,000 killed or missing, and more than 900 wounded; 4 battleships sunk; 3 battleships, 3 cruisers, and 3 destroyers damaged; and over half of the Navy's 169 airplanes in the area destroyed.

The Japanese lose 20 aircraft over Hawaii, including 4 claimed destroyed by Second Lieutenant George S Welch of the 47th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter), 15th Pursuit Group (Fighter) piloting a P-40, one of the few US fighters to successfully attack airplanes during the day. About 20 other aircraft are lost by the Japanese during carrier landings. Altogether the Japanese pay a small price for the damage done to the Americans on Oahu. For the remainder of the day, following the attacks, the Army Air Forces carries out fruitless searches for the carriers.

The air echelons of the 38th and 88th Reconnaissance Squadrons (Heavy), 1st Bombardment Wing, begin operating from Hickam Field where they arrived during the Japanese attack. The crews of the 38th are dissolved and personnel are assigned to other units; the 88th will operate from Hickam Field until Feb 42.

INTERNATIONAL

Japan attacks Hawaii and other US and British possessions in the Pacific without warning. Japan already is at war with China, and Great Britain is at war with the Axis powers, Germany and Italy, which control most of Western Europe. The Royal Air Force (RAF) is conducting an aerial offensive against Germany, and the Luftwaffe is engaged in a campaign against Britain. Russians are fighting German forces that have invaded the USSR. British troops are battling Italians and Germans in Africa.

MONDAY, 8 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • A-29, Lockheed Hudson
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-18, Douglas Bolo
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • LB-30, Consolidated Liberator
  • O-46, Douglas
  • O-47, North American
  • O-49, Stinson Vigilant
  • O-52, Curtiss Owl
  • O-59, Piper Grasshopper/Cub
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Air Force, Alaska Defense Command): Starting today, B-18's fly armored reconnaissance each morning from Elmendorf Field, Anchorage to Kodiak Island in the Aleutian Islands.

CARIBBEAN

(Caribbean Air Force): All Army Air Force units in the Caribbean begin flying ASW patrols.

ZONE OF INTERIOR

: The 1st and 4th Air Forces are made responsible for the air defense on the E and W coasts, respectively. The Commanding General 1st Air Force orders the I Bomber Command to begin overwater reconnaissance with all available aircraft to locate and attack any hostile surface forces which might approach the E coast. Similar reconnaissance is ordered off the W coast. P-38's of the lst Pursuit Group (Fighter) from Selfridge Field, Mount Clemens, Michigan begin to arrive at NAS San Diego, California being the first reinforcements of air strength on the W coast.

Effective this month, the following units begin flying ASW patrols:

1st Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), I Bomber Command, from Westover Field, Massachusetts with B-17's until Oct 42.

3d Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium), 2d Bombardment Wing from Orlando AAB, Florida with B-18's and B-25's until Aug 43.

4th, 7th and 18th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 34th Bombardment Group (Heavy) from Westover Field, Massachusetts with B-17's until Oct 42.

6th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium), IV Bomber Command, from Muroc AAB, California with B-18's and LB-30's until Aug 42.

8th, 13th, 89th and 90th Bombardment Squadrons (Light), 3d Bombardment Group (Light) from Savannah AAB, Georgia with A-20's until Jan 42.

9th, 11th and 22d Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) from Muroc AAB, California with B-17's, until 12 Dec.

12th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), II Bomber Command, from Geiger Field, Washington with B-17's until Jan 42.

13th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), I Bomber Command, from Dow Field, Maine with A-29's and B-18's until Jan 42.

15th Bombardment Squadron (Light), V Air Support Command, from Ft Dix AAFld, New Jersey with A-20's until Jan 42.

20th and 96th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 2d Bombardment Group (Heavy), from Mitchel Field, New York and Langley Field, Virginia with B-17's until Oct 42.

37th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 17th Bombardment Group (Medium) from Pendleton AAB, Oregon with B-25's until Mar 42.

40th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 13th Bombardment Group (Medium) from Orlando AAB, Florida with B-18's until Jun 43.

43d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 29th Bombardment Group (Heavy) from Pope Filed, North Carolina and MacDill Field, Florida with B-17's until Jun 42.

49th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 2d Bombardment Group (Heavy) with B-17's from Geiger Field, Washington in Dec and from Langley Field, Virginia Jul-Oct 42.

63d (LB-30), 64th (B-18) and 65th (B-17) Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy) from Dow Field, Maine until Feb 42.

79th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 20th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) with P-40's from Oakland MAP, California until Feb 42.

82d Observation Squadron, 69th Observation Group, with O-46's, O-47's, O-49's and O-52's from Salinas AAB, California until Aug 42.

84th, 85th, 86th and 97th Bombardment Squadrons (Light), 47th Bombardment Group (Light), with A-20's and B-18's from Hammer Field, California until Jan 42.

101st Observation Squadron, 26th Observation Group, from Otis Field, Massachusetts with O-46's and O-47's until Aug 42.

116th and 123d Observation Squadrons, 70th Observation Group, from Gray Field, Washington with O-46's, O-47's and O-49's until Aug 42.

126th Observation Squadron, 59th Observation Group, from Ft Dix AAFld, New Jersey with O-47's, O-49's, and O-59's until Oct 42.

INTERNATIONAL

The US, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Canada, the Union of South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Free France, and 8 Latin American republics declare war against Japan.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(Far East Air Force): The first word of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is received on Luzon, Philippine Islands by commercial radio between 0300-0330 hours local. Within 30 minutes radar at Iba Field, Luzon plots a formation of airplanes 75-miles (120-km) offshore, heading for Corregidor Island. P-40's are sent out to intercept but make no contact. Shortly before 0930 hours, after Japanese aircraft are detected over Lingayen Gulf heading toward Manila, B-17's at Clark Field, Luzon are ordered airborne to prevent being caught on the ground. Fighters from Clark and Nichols Fields are sent to intercept the enemy but do not make contact. The Japanese airplanes swing E and bomb military installations at Baguio, Tarlac, Tuguegarao, and airfields at Cabantuan are also attacked. By 1130 hours, the B-17's and fighters sent into the air earlier have landed at Clark and Iba Fields for refueling, and radar has disclosed another flight of Japanese aircraft 70-miles (112-km) W of Lingayen Gulf, headed S. Fighters from Iba Field make a fruitless search over the S China Sea. Fighters from Nichols Field are dispatched to patrol over Bataan and Manila. Around 1145 hours a formation is reported headed S over Lingayen Gulf. Fighters are ordered from Del Carmen Field to cover Clark Field but fail to arrive before the Japanese hit Clark shortly after 1200 hours. B-17's and many fighters at Clark Field are caught on the ground, but a few P-4O's manage to get airborne. 2d Lieutenant Randall B Keator of the 20th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 24th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), shoots down the first Japanese aircraft over the Philippines. The P-40's earlier sent on patrol of the S China Sea return to Iba Field with fuel running low at the beginning of a Japanese attack on that airfield. The P-40's fail to prevent bombing but manage to prevent low-level strafing of the sort which proved so destructive at Clark Field.

At the end of the day's action it is apparent that the Japanese have won a major victory. The effective striking power of Far East Air Force has been destroyed, the fighter strength has been seriously reduced, most B-17 maintenance facilities have been demolished, and about 90 men have been killed.

TUESDAY, 9 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-10, Douglas
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-18, Douglas Bolo
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • P-26, Boeing Peashooter
  • P-35, Seversky
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CARIBBEAN

(Caribbean Air Force): HQ 6th Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers from France Field, Canal Zone to Rio Hato, Panama.

HQ 32d Pursuit Group (Interceptor) transfers from Rio Hato, Panama to France Field, Canal Zone.

The 28th and 31st Pursuit Squadrons (Interceptor), 37th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfer with P-26's P-40's from Albrook Field, Canal Zone to Patilla Point and Chorrera, Panama respectively.

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(1st Air Force): Fighters at Mitchel Field, New York are dispatched to intercept a hostile airplane reported (falsely) to be approaching the E coast.

The 70th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 38th Bombardment Group (Medium), based at Jackson AAB, Mississippi begins flying ASW patrols from Savannah AAB, Georgia with B-26's until 12 Dec.

(4th Air Force): The 2d, 19th and 33d Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 22d Bombardment Group (Medium) transfer from Langley Field, Virginia to Muroc AAB, California with B-26's and begin flying ASW patrols until Jan 42.

The 18th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium), IV Bomber Command, transfers from Langley Field, Virginia to Muroc AAB, California with B-26's and begins flying ASW patrols until Jan 42.

The 94th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter), 1st Pursuit Group (Fighter), begins flying ASW patrols from NAS San Diego, California with P-38's until Mar 42.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Hawaiian Air Force): The 78th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 18th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfers with P-40's from Wheeler Field to Kaneohe, Territory of Hawaii.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(Far East Air Force): Shortly after 0300 hours, Japanese aircraft attack Nichols Field. This attack, added to the previous day's raids on Clark and Iba Fields, leaves the Far East Air Force strength reduced by half. Only 17 of 35 B-17's remain in commission; about 55 P-40's, 3 P-35's, and close to 30 other aircraft (B-10's, B-18's, and observation airplanes) have been lost in aerial combat or destroyed on the ground. During the morning and afternoon, B-17's from Mindanao Island fly reconnaissance missions and land on Clark and San Marcelino Fields on Luzon. Several more B-17's are flown from Mindanao Island to these Luzon bases for resistance against a possible invasion attempt.

The 3d Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 24th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfers from Iba Airfield to Nichols Field, Luzon with P-40's.

The 17th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 24th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), based at Nichols Field begins operating from Clark Field, Luzon with P-40's.

WEDNESDAY, 10 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-29, Lockheed Hudson
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-18, Douglas Bolo
  • P-35, Seversky
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(4th Air Force): The air echelons of the 11th and 22d Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) cease flying ASW patrols from Muroc AAB, California with B-17's.

The 48th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), transfers from Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona to Muroc AAB, California and begins flying ASW patrols with A-29's and B-18's until Sep 42.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(Far East Air Force): B-17's, P-40's, and P-35's attack a convoy landing troops and equipment at Vigan and at Aparri in N.Luzon. 1 transport at Vigan is destroyed. The strikes include the much publicized attack of Captain Colin P Kelly Jr of the 14th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on a warship off Aparri. Captain Kelly, who is killed when his B-17 is shot down by fighters as he is returning to Clark Field, is later posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for destroying a battleship. However, later information reveals that he attacked the heavy cruiser ASHIGARA, probably scoring near misses.

THURSDAY, 11 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-18, Douglas Bolo
  • P-36, Curtiss Hawk

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CARIBBEAN

(Caribbean Air Force): The 7th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), VI Bomber Command, transfers from Howard Field, Canal Zone to David, Panama with B-17's and B-18's.

The 32d Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 36th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), based at Losey Field, Puerto Rico sends a detachment to Arecibo, Puerto Rico with P-36's.

The 74th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 6th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Aguadulce, Panama to Rio Hato, Panama with B-18's.

ZONE OF INTERIOR

The 2d and 4th Air Forces are assigned to the US Army's Western Defense Command.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Hawaiian Air Force): 6 B-18's fly a sea-search mission from the Hawaiian Islands. Similar missions by B-17's, B-18's, and A-20's are flown each day for the remainder of the year; several submarines are sighted and some are attacked but without positive evidence of hits.

The 58th Bombardment Squadron (Light), Hawaiian Air Force, and 72d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfer from Hickam Field to Bellows Field, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii with A-20's and B-18's respectively.

INTERNATIONAL

Germany and Italy declare war on the US. The Congress declares war on Germany and Italy.

FRIDAY, 12 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(4th Air Force): The 89th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium), II Bomber Command, begins flying ASW patrols from Pendleton AAB, Oregon with B-25's; patrols continue until Mar 42.

The 9th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), ceases flying ASW patrols from Muroc AAB, California with B-17's.

The 27th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter), 1st Pursuit Group (Fighter), begins flying ASW patrols from NAS San Diego, California with P-38's; patrols continue until 29 Dec.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(Far East Air Force): 100+ Japanese aircraft hit targets at Clark Field, Batangas, and Olongapo on Luzon Island. No hits are scored by the single B-17 that is sent against Japanese transports at Vigan.

The 3d Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 24th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfers from Nichols Field to Ternate, Luzon and operating from Del Carmon, Luzon with P-40's.

SATURDAY, 13 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • O-38, Douglas
  • O-47, North American
  • O-49, Stinson Vigilant
  • P-36, Curtiss Hawk
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CARIBBEAN

(Caribbean Air Force): The 22d and 23d Pursuit Squadrons (Interceptor), 36th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfer from Losey Fieldto Vega Baja, Puerto Rico with P-36's.

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(4th Air Force): The 115th Observation Squadron, 69th Observation Group, transfers from Sherwood Field to San Bernardino AAFld, California with O-38's, O-47's and O-49's and continues flying ASW patrols.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(Far East Air Force): 1st Lieutenant Boyd D Wagner of the 17th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 24th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), shoots down 4 Japanese airplanes near Aparri while on a reconnaissance mission over N Luzon. In another action, Captain Jesus Villamor of the Philippine Air Force leads 6 P-26's in an interception of 54 Japanese bombers attacking Batangas Field, Luzon; their harassing tactics minimized the damage to the field.

SUNDAY, 14 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • O-47, North American
  • O-49, Stinson Vigilant
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(1st Air Force): The 70th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 38th Bombardment Group (Medium), ceases flying ASW patrols from Savannah AAB, Georgia with B-26's.

The 106th Observation Squadron, 66th Observation Group, transfers from Birmingham, Alabama to Miami MAP, Florida with O-47's and O-49's and begins flying ASW patrols which continue until Mar 42.

The 107th Observation Squadron, 67th Observation Group, transfers from Camp Beauregard, Louisiana to Charleston AAFld, South Carolina with O-47's and O-49's and begins ASW patrols which continue until Jan 42.

(4th Air Force): The 41st Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 31st Pursuit Group (Interceptor), begins flying ASW patrols from Paine Field, Washington with P-39's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(Far East Air Force): B-17's are sent against the Japanese beachhead at Legaspi, Luzon. 1st Lieutenant Hewitt T Wheless is later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for bringing his bullet-riddled B-17 back from the mission to an emergency crashlanding at Cagayan, Mindanao Island.

MONDAY, 15 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(1st Air Force): The 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light), V Air Support Command, ceases operating from Mitchel Field, New York and returns to it's base at Ft Dix AAFld, New Jersey with A-20's. ASW patrols continue into Jan 42.

(4th Air Force): The 39th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 31st Pursuit Group (Interceptor), begins flying ASW patrols from Bellingham AAFld, Washington with P-39's; patrols continue until Jan 42.

The 71st Pursuit Squadron (Fighter), 1st Pursuit Group (Fighter), begins flying ASW patrols from NAS San Diego, California with P-38's; patrols continue until 30 Dec.

TUESDAY, 16 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • O-43, Douglas
  • O-47, North American
  • O-49, Stinson Vigilant
  • O-52, Curtiss Owl
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(1st Air Force): The 15th Observation Squadron, III Air Support Command, transfers from Post Field, Oklahoma to Ellington Field, Texas with O-43's, O-47's, O-49's and O-52's and begins flying ASW patrols which continue to Mar 42.

The 113th Observation Squadron, 67th Observation Group, transfers from Key Field, Mississippi to MacDill Field, Florida with O-47's, O-49's and O-52's and begins flying ASW patrols until Jan 42.

The 153d Observation Squadron, 67th Observation Group, transfers from Key Field, Mississippi to Bluethenthal Field, North Carolina with O-47's, O-49's and O-52's and begins flying ASW patrols until Jan 42.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Hawaiian Air Force): The 98th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) is activated at Hickam Field, Territory of Hawaii and assigned to the 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy). B-18's will be assigned in 1942.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(Far East Air Force): 1st Lieutenant Boyd D Wagner of the 17th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 24th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), leads a dive-bombing raid on the airfield at Vigan and shoots down his fifth aircraft, thereby becoming the first Army Air Forces "Ace" in World War II.

WEDNESDAY, 17 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(4th Air Force): The ground echelon of the 32d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), Sierra Bombardment Group establishes HQ at Minter Field, California. They had departed San Francisco aboard ship for the Philippine Islands on 6 Dec and returned on 9 Dec. The air echelon is flying ASW patrols from Muroc AAB, California.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(Far East Air Force): B-17's, evacuating Luzon, begin arriving at Batchelor Field near Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Captain Floyd J Pell arrives in Australia to begin arrangements for the use of Australian facilities by the Far East Air Force.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Major General James E Chaney, Chief Special Observer Group, US Army (SPOBS), writes to the Adjutant General, US Army on the "Construction Program of US Forces in UK," which indicates a shortage of accommodations for proposed US forces in Scotland, N Ireland, and England.

THURSDAY, 18 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • O-38, Douglas
  • O-47, North American
  • O-49, Stinson Vigilant
  • O-52, Curtiss Owl
  • O-57, Taylorcraft Grasshopper

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(1st Air Force): The 97th Observation Squadron, 66th Observation Group, begins flying ASW patrols from Miami MAP, Florida with O-47's, O-49's, O-52's and O-57's. A flight remains at Lawson Field, Georgia; patrols continue until Sep 42.

The 109th Observation Squadron, 67th Observation Group, transfers from Camp Beauregard, Louisiana to Savannah AAB, Georgia with O-38's, O-47's, O-49's and O-52's. The squadron begins flying ASW patrols which continue until Jan 42.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Hawaiian Air Force): Brigadier General Clarence L Tinker succeeds Major General Frederick L Martin as Commanding General, Hawaiian Air Force.

The air echelon of the 22d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrives at Hickam Field, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii from the US with B-17's.

FRIDAY, 19 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(1st Air Force): The 1st Air Force is assigned to the Eastern Theater of Operations, US Army which is subsequently redesignated the Eastern Defense Command.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Hawaiian Air Force): The 58th Bombardment Squadron (Light), Hawaiian Air Force, transfers from Bellows Field to Wheeler Field, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii with A-20's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(Far East Air Force): The air echelon of the 93d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers from Clark Field, Luzon to Batchelor Field near Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia with B-17's. The ground echelon is attached to the 5th Interceptor Command (Provisional) and will fight as infantry on Luzon and Mindanao Islands in the Philippines.

SATURDAY, 20 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-18, Douglas Bolo
  • B-25, North American Mitchell

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(4th Air Force): The 95th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 17th Bombardment Group (Medium), begins flying ASW patrols from Pendleton AAB, Oregon with B-25's.

CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(Hawaiian Air Force): The 26th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Hickam Field to Wheeler Field, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii with B-17's and B-18's and begins flying search missions which continue until Jul 42.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(Far East Air Force): The air echelon of the 30th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Clark Field, Luzon to Batchelor Field near Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia with B-17's. The ground echelon is reassigned to the 5th Interceptor Command (Provisional) and will fight as infantry in the Philippines.

SUNDAY, 21 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • O-47, North American
  • O-49, Stinson Vigilant
  • O-52, Curtiss Owl
  • O-58, Aeronca Grasshopper
  • O-59, Piper Grasshopper/Cub

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(1st Air Force): The 152d Observation Squadron, 26th Observation Group, begins flying ASW patrols from Ft Devens AAFld, Massachusetts with O-47's, O-49's, O-52's, O-58's and O-59's. The patrols continue until Aug 42.

MONDAY, 22 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • C-39, Douglas
  • C-47, Douglas Skytrain
  • C-49, Douglas
  • O-46, Douglas
  • O-47, North American
  • O-49, Stinson Vigilant

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CARIBBEAN

(Caribbean Air Force): The 20th Transport Squadron, Panama Air Depot, transfers from France Field, Canal Zone to Waller Field, Trinidad with C-39's, C-47's and C-49's. A detachment of the squadron remains at Howard Field, Canal Zone.

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(4th Air Force): The 34th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 17th Bombardment Group (Medium), begins flying ASW patrols from Pendleton AAB, Oregon with B-25's.

The 102d Observation Squadron, 71st Observation Group, transfers from Ft McClellan, Alabama to San Bernardino AAFld, California with O-46's, O-47's and O-49's and flies ASW patrols until Oct 42.

INTERNATIONAL

The Anglo-American conference (ARCADIA) opens in Washington, DC to deal with war strategy. President Franklin D Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston S Churchill, Harry Hopkins, Lord Beaverbrook, and American and British Chief of Staffs participate.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(Far East Air Force): 9 B-17's from Batchelor Field near Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, attack shipping in Davao Bay, Mindanao Island and land at Del Monte on Mindanao Island. 

HQ 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the ground echelon of it's 9th, 11th and 22d Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) and attached 88th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) arrive at Brisbane, Australia from the US. The air echelons of the 9th and 11th are enroute from the US to Australia with B-17's; the air echelons of the 22d and 88th are operating from Hickam Field, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii until 5 Jan 42 and 10 Feb 42 respectively with B-17's.

The 16th, 17th and 91st Bombardment Squadrons (Light), 27th Bombardment Group (Light) transfer from Ft William McKinley to Lipa Airfield, San Fernando and San Marceleno, Luzon respectively without aircraft. 

TUESDAY, 23 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-18, Douglas Bolo
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • O-46, Douglas
  • O-47, North American
  • P-26, Boeing Peashooter
  • P-35, Seversky
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

CARIBBEAN

(Caribbean Air Force): The 31st Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 37th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfers from Chorrera, Panama to Albrook Field, Canal Zone with P-26's and P-40's.

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(4th Air Force): The air echelon of the 16th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium) attached to the 42d Bombardment Group (Medium), begins flying ASW patrols from Paine Field, Washington with B-18's and B-26's; patrols continue until May 42.

The 110th Observation Squadron, 71st Observation Group, begins flying ASW patrols from Salinas AAB, California with O-46's and O-47's; patrols continue until Aug 42.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(Far East Air Force): 4 B-17's take off from Del Monte on Mindanao Island after midnight during the night of 22/23 Dec and bomb shipping in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon. 12 P-4O's and 6 P-35's strafe forces landing in San Miguel Bay on Luzon. The Far East Air Force comes under control of the newly-created US Forces in Australia (USFIA).

Major General Lewis H Brereton, Commanding General Far East Air Force, receives orders establishing HQ Far East Air Force at Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

WEDNESDAY, 24 DECEMBER 1941 (Christmas Eve)

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-24, Douglas Dauntless
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(4th Air Force): A B-25 crew of the 95th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 17th Bombardment Group (Medium), at Pendleton Field, Pendleton, Oregon, claims a submarine sunk off the mouth of the Columbia River, but this claim is not confirmed by the committees of the US Navy and British Admiralty which later assesses damage to enemy submarines during World War II.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(Far East Air Force): 3 B-17's fly from Del Monte, Mindanao Island during the night of 24/25 Dec, bomb the airfield and shipping at Davao on Mindanao Island and land at Batchelor Field near Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. 2 airplanes leave Manila, Luzon for Darwin with personnel of HQ Far East Air Force. Army Air Force units on Luzon, as well as ground forces, begin moving to Bataan Peninsula.

HQ 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the air echelon of the 28th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) transfer from Clark Field, Luzon to Batchelor Field with B-17's. The ground echelon of the 28th will fight as infantry on Luzon and Mindanao.

The air echelon of the 14th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) begins operating from Batchelor Field with B-17's. The ground echelon is still at Clark Field, Luzon.

The air echelons of the 16th, 17th and 91st Bombardment Squadrons (Light), 27th Bombardment Group (Light) begin operating from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia with A-24's. The ground echelons will fight as infantry on Luzon.

The 17th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 24th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) ceases operating from Clark Field, Luzon with P-40's.

THURSDAY, 25 DECEMBER 1941 (Christmas Day)

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-24, Douglas Dauntless
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • O-38, Douglas
  • O-46, Douglas
  • O-47, North American
  • O-49, Stinson Valiant
  • P-35, Seversky
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(1st Air Force): The 122d Observation Squadron, 68th Observation Group, begins flying ASW patrols from New Orleans AAB, Louisiana with O-38's, O-46's, O-47's and O-49's; patrols continue until Feb 42.

The 154th Observation Squadron, 68th Observation Group, begins flying ASW patrols from Eglin Field, Florida with O-47's and O-49's; patrols continue until Feb 42.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(Far East Air Force): Lieutenant Colonel Charles H Caldwell sets up HQ Far East Air Force on the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) airfield at Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. HQ V Bomber Command is also established at Darwin.

The 3d, 17th, 20th, 21st and 34th Pursuit Squadrons (Interceptor), 24th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfer from Ternate, Nichols Field, Clark Field, Nichols Field and Del Carmen respectively to Bataan, Luzon with P-35's and P-40's. The 17th and 20th begin operating from Lubao, Luzon with P-40's

HQ 27th Bombardment Group (Light) and the ground echelon of it's 16th, 17th and 91st Bombardment Squadrons (Light) transfer from Lipa Airfield, San Fernando and San Marceleno respectively to Cabcaben, Luzon. The air echelons are operating from Brisbane, Australia; the ground echelons will fight as infantry on Luzon.

FRIDAY, 26 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • O-47, North American
  • O-52, Curtiss Owl

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(1st Air Force): The 105th and 121st Observation Squadrons, 65th Observation Group, transfer from Owens Field, South Carolina to Langley Field, Virginia with O-47's and O-52's and begin ASW patrols which continue until Oct 42.

SATURDAY, 27 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • O-46, Douglas
  • O-47, North American

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(1st Air Force): The 103d Observation Squadron, 59th Observation Group, begins flying ASW patrols from Hillsgrove AAFld, Rhode Island with O-46's and O-47's; patrols continue until Aug 42.

SUNDAY, 28 DECEMBER 1941

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(Far East Air Force): The ground echelon of the 17th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 27th Bombardment Group (Light) transfers from Cabcaben to Limay, Luzon. The air echelon is operating from Brisbane, Australia.

MONDAY, 29 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Air Force, Alaska Defense Command): In response to repeated requests by this Command to the War Department for additional aircraft to defend Alaska, the 77th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 42d Bombardment Group (Medium), arrives at Elmendorf Field, Anchorage with 13 B-26's.

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(4th Air Force): The 27th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter), 1st Pursuit Group (Fighter) ceases flying ASW patrols from NAS San Diego, California with P-38's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(Far East Air Force): Major General Lewis H Brereton, Commanding General Far East Air Force, arrives at his new HQ at Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Colonel Harold H George remains at Manila in command of the air elements left in the Philippines, the chief center of Army Air Force activity in the S Philippines being Del Monte on Mindanao Island where air personnel are under the command of Major Ray T Ellsmore. (Brigadier General George is killed in an aircraft accident near Darwin on 29 Apr 42. Victorville AFB, California is renamed George AFB on 2 Jun 50 in his memory.)

The ground echelon of the 16th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 27th Bombardment Group (Light), transfers from Cabcaben to Bataan, Luzon. The air echelon is operating from Brisbane, Australia.

TUESDAY, 30 DECEMBER 1941

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Air Force, Alaska Defense Command): The 11th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), Western Theater of Operations, US Army, arrives at Elmendorf Field, Anchorage with 25 P-40's.

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(4th Air Force): The 71st Pursuit Squadron (Fighter), 1st Fighter Group (Fighter), ceases flying ASW patrols from NAS San Diego, California with P-38's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(Far East Air Force): HQ 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the air echelon of it's 28th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) transfer from Batchelor Field near Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia to Singosari, Java, Netherlands East Indies with B-17's. The ground echelon of the 28th is on Luzon and Mindanao Islands. 

The air echelon of the 14th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfers from Batchelor Field to Singosari, Java with B-17's. The ground echelon is on Luzon Island.

WEDNESDAY, 31 DECEMBER 1941 (New Year's Eve)

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • O-46, Douglas
  • O-47, North American
  • O-49, Stinson Vigilant
  • O-59, Piper Grasshopper/Cub
  • P-40, Curtiss

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ZONE OF INTERIOR

(1st Air Force): The 104th Observation Squadron, 59th Observation Group, based at Detrick Field, Maryland begins flying ASW patrols from Ft Dix AAFld, New Jersey with O-46's, O-47's, O-49's and O-59's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(Far East Air Force): The 17th and 20th Pursuit Squadrons (Interceptor), 24th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), cease operating from Lubao with P-40's and return to their base on Bataan, Luzon.

The air echelon of the 30th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers from Batchelor Field near Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia to Singosari, Java, Netherlands East Indies with B-17's. The ground echelon is on Luzon and Mindanao Islands in the Philippines.