Combat Chronology of the
AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT
WEDNESDAY, 1 APRIL 1942
Air Corps Proving Ground redesignated Proving Ground Command, with main base at Eglin Field, Valpariso, Florida. The command performs operational tests and studies of aircraft and aircraft equipment.
(2d Air Force): During Apr, 16th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), flying ASW patrols from Paine Field, Everett, Washington with B-18's, B-26's and A-29's, sends a detachment to Astoria, Oregon; squadron redesignated 406th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 22 Apr.
(3d Air Force): During Apr: 24th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) and 340th, 341st and 342d Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy), ceases flying ASW patrols from Sarasota AAFld, Florida with B-17's; the 24th is redesignated 414th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 22 Apr, and 55th, 56th, 57th and 88th Bombardment Squadrons (Light), 48th Bombardment Group (Light), cease flying ASW patrols from Savannah AAB, Georgia.
(4th Air Force): 51st, 53d and 87th Bombardment Squadrons (Light), 46th
Bombardment Group (Light), begin flying ASW patrols from Blythe AAB,
California with A-20's. During Apr, the 6th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), based at Mather Field, Sacramento begins
operating from NAS Alameda, California flying ASW patrols with B-18's, A-29's
and LB-30's; the squadron is redesignated 396th Bombardment Squadron (Medium)
on 22 Apr.
(5th Air Force): During Apr, HQ 16th, 17th and
91st Bombardment Squadrons (Light), 27th Bombardment Group (Light), are
established at Charters Towers, Australia; ground echelon remains on Bataan,
Luzon, Philippine Islands.
(3d Air Force): 50th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 46th
(10th Air Force): Major General Lewis H Brereton, Commanding General 10th Air Force, leads 3 B-17's on a raid on shipping in the Andaman Islands off the S coast of Burma during the night of 2/3 Apr; they claim hits on 1 cruiser and a transport; 2 B-17's are damaged by AA and fighters, but all return to base. Earlier in the evening, a mission scheduled against the Rangoon, Burma area is aborted when 1 B-17 crashes on takeoff and the other has mechanical trouble.
FRIDAY, 3 APRIL 1942
(10th Air Force): 6 B-17's from Asansol, India, bomb
warehouses and docks at Rangoon, Burma, starting 3 large
fires; 1 B-17 fails to return.
(5th Air Force): 21st and 22d Transport
Squadrons, Air Transport Command, US Army Forces in Australia, are activated
at Archerfield and Essendon Airdrome, Australia respectively with various
transport aircraft. 39th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 35th Pursuit Group (Interceptor),
transfers from Mount Gambier to Williamstown, Australia with P-39's; first
mission is 2 Jun.
(5th Air Force): 36th Pursuit Squadron
(Interceptor), 8th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfers from Lowood to
Townsville, Australia with P-39's and P-400's; first mission is 30 Apr.
(10th Air Force): 10 DC-3's of
Pan American Airways begin hauling 30,000 gallons (113,550 l) of fuel and 500
gallons (1,893 l) of lubricants from Calcutta to the airstrip at Asansol,
India, completing the mission on the following day. This fuel, subsequently
transferred via Dinjan, India to China, is for use by Lieutenant Colonel
James H Doolittle's Tokyo raiders, already at sea aboard the aircraft carrier
USS Hornet (CV-8).
(5th Air Force): 11th and 22d Bombardment
Squadrons (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), begin a transfer without
personnel and equipment to the US. They will be established at Columbia,
AAB, South Carolina on 26 Apr, be re-equipped with B-25's and transfer to
India in Jul 42.
(HQ War Department): The War Department officially
states that the 8th Air Force will be established in the UK as an
intermediate command between US Army Forces in British Isles (USAFBI) and the
AAF commands. General George C Marshall notifies Major General James E Chaney
of this decision.
(5th Air Force): During the night of 6/7 Apr the
Japanese break the Philippine II Corps front on Bataan, thus necessitating
immediate removal or an remaining fighters to Mindanao, where for the next 3
days they will fly reconnaissance, cover heavy bombers (sent to Mindanao from
Australia) operating against concentrations at Legaspi, Cebu, Iloilo, and
Davao, and carry out a strafing attack aircraft at Davao. After the heavy
bombers return to Australia on 12 Apr, the fighters will continue to fly
reconnaissance until Japanese forces envelop the troops on Mindanao on 1 May.
(HQ AAF): V Air Support Command (activated 1 Sep 41) is
Harry L Hopkins, Special Assistant to
President Franklin D Roosevelt, and General George C Marshall, US Army Chief
of Staff, arrive in London for talks with British service and supply chiefs
concerning the integration of US and British manpower and war production for
action in Europe. General Marshall urges an offensive in the west to relieve
pressure upon the USSR and promises a constant flow of US troops, including
many air units, to the UK.
(5th Air Force): The air echelons of the 3d,
17th and 20th Pursuit Squadrons (Interceptor), 24th Pursuit Group
(Interceptor), and 21st and 34th Pursuit Squadrons (Interceptor), 35th
Pursuit Group (Interceptor) [attached to 24th Pursuit Group (Interceptor)]
based on Bataan, Luzon, Philippine Islands begin operating from Mindanao
Island, Philippine Islands with whatever aircraft are left.
(HQ AAF): 8th Air Force HQ echelon is located at Bolling
Field, Washington, DC, to prepare the 8th for a move overseas.
(5th Air Force): Japanese capture Bataan, Luzon,
Philippine Islands after 3 months. The US-Philippine forces surrender
unconditionally. Japanese artillery emplaced on Bataan opens fire on
Corregidor Island in conjunction with air attacks.
ZONE OF INTERIOR
(4th Air Force): 2d Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy),
30th Bombardment Group (Heavy), flying ASW patrols from Hammer Field, Fresno,
California with LB-30's, sends a detachment to NAS San Diego; 2d is
redesignated 392d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 22 Apr.
ZONE OF INTERIOR
(HQ AAF): Lieutenant General Henry H "Hap" Arnold sends
air plans for Operation BOLERO, the buildup of US armed forces in the UK for
an attack on Europe, to General George C Marshall in London. The plan calls
for establishment of the 8th Air Force in the UK.
( 5th Air Force): Australia-based B-25's, staging
through Mindanao Island, hit the harbor and shipping at Cebu, Cebu Island
while B-17's carry out single-bomber strikes from Mindanao against Cebu
harbor and Nichols Field on Luzon.
(6th Air Force): 27th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), 25th
(7th Air Force): Vice Admiral Robert L Ghormley is
assigned as Commander-in-Chief South Pacific (COMSOPAC). He is to command all
Allied base and local defense forces (land, sea, and air) in the South
Pacific Islands, with the exception of New Zealand land defenses.
( 5th Air Force): Australia-based B-25's hit
targets in the Philippine Islands for the second consecutive day. Staging
through Del Monte Airfield on Mindanao, the B-25's take off just after
midnight during 12/13 Apr and bomb shipping at Cebu on Cebu Island and
installations at Davao on Mindinao. Later in the day the B-25's again attack
Davao, bombing the dock area.
The British Government and Chiefs of
Staff (CoSs) accept General George C Marshall's Operation BOLERO plan for the
Allied build-up in the UK for an attack on Germany.
ZONE OF INTERIOR
(3d Air Force): The flight of the 97th Observation
Squadron (Medium), 66th Observation Group, at Lawson Field, Ft Benning,
Georgia, rejoins the squadron which is flying ASW patrols from Miami
Municipal Airport, Florida with O-49's, O-52's and O-59's.
(10th Air Force): B-17's take
off from Dum Dum Airfield near Calcutta, India to bomb Rangoon, Burma. 6
B-17's, guided by flares, bomb the target; numerous searchlights make it
impossible to estimate the bombing results.
( 5th Air Force): HQ 49th Pursuit Group
(Interceptor) transfers from Bankstown to Darwin, Australia.
ZONE OF INTERIOR
(3d Air Force): 124th Observation Squadron (Light), 75th
Observation Group, transfers from Sherman Field, Ft Leavenworth, Kansas to
Ellington Field, Houston, Texas and begins flying ASW patrols with O-46's,
O-49's and O-52's.
( 5th Air Force): 8th Pursuit Squadron
(Interceptor), 49th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfers from Canberra to
Darwin, Australia with P-40's; first mission is 20 Apr.
(11th Air Force): 18th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 28th
Composite Goup, transfers from Elmendorf Field, Anchorage, Territory of ALASKA to Ft Greely, Kodiak Island, Aleutian Islands with P-40's.
Doolittle Raid on Japan. 16 B-25's launched from
the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) carry out the first AAF attack on the
Japanese mainland. 15 of the B-25's bomb in Japan, the principal targets
being Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, and Nagoya. Since the bombers had to be launched
earlier than scheduled they are unable to reach planned bases in China and
have to be crash landed or abandoned, 15 in China and the other in the USSR.
( 5th Air Force): 5th Air Force units come under
control of the Allied Air Forces (SWPA) which is created in Australia to
control AAF, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Dutch elements.
( 5th Air Force): Major General George H Brett
assumes command of the Allied Air Forces, which has units based in N and E
Australia, with advanced facilities in the Port Moresby, New Guinea area.
(10th Air Force): Aircraft
begin to evacuate military and civilian personnel and supplies from Burma to
India. By 15 Jun the 10th Air Force has evacuated 4,499 passengers and
1,733,026 pounds (786,095 kg) of freight.
(7th Air Force): A joint US-New Zealand Naval
Command is ordered established under Vice Admiral Robert L Ghormley. It is to
operate separately but in close liaison with General Douglas MacArthur and
Vice Admiral Herbert F Leary.
( 5th Air Force): 8th Photographic Squadron, 5th
Air Force (attached to Allied Air Forces), transfers from Melbourne to
Brisbane, Australia with F-4's; first mission was 16 Apr.
( 5th Air Force): 35th and 36th Pursuit Squadrons
(Interceptor), 8th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfer from Brisbane and
Townsville, Australia respectively to Port Moresby, New Guinea with P-39's
and P-400's; first mission is 30 Apr.
(10th Air Force): Ground
echelon of 9th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy),
transfers from Karachi to Allahabad, India; the air echelon is at
Baumrauli, India with B-17's.
(8th Air Force): Advanced echelon (ADVON) of HQ 8th Air
Force and bomber, interceptor and base commands, along
with 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 2d Air Depot Group, and a weather
detachment totalling about 1,800 men, sail from Boston, Massachusetts for the
( 5th Air Force): In Australia, US Army Air
Services under Major General Rush B Lincoln takes over responsibility as an
administrative, supply, maintenance and engineering command under Allied Air
(1st Air Force): 105th Observation Squadron (Medium),
65th Observation Group, flying ASW patrols from Langely Field, Hampton,
Virginia with O-47's and O-52's, begins operating from MCAS Cherry Point,
New Bern, North Carolina.
(8th Air Force): HQ VIII Ground Air
Support Command is activated at Bolling Field, Washington, DC.
(10th Air Force): Rangoon,
Burma is again hit by a flight of B-17's which pound the dock area.
ZONE OF INTERIOR
(HQ AAF): HQ Air Transport Command is established at
(10th Air Force): The Japanese
capture Lashio, Burma and begin a move to drive the Chinese back along the
Burma Road toward China and drive US and British forces back toward India.
(5th Air Force): In New Guinea, P-39's flying
out of Port Moresby strafe airplanes and fuel dumps at Lae and Salamaua.