Combat Chronology of the
AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:
SUNDAY, 1 FEBRUARY 1942
(HQ USAAF): Units activated on this date are VIII Bomber
Command at Langley Field, Hampton, Virginia, VIII Interceptor Command at
Selfridge Field, Mt Clemens, Michigan, and IX Interceptor Command at New
Orleans AAB, Louisiana.
(Far East Air Force): In the Philippine Islands,
P-40's from Bataan bomb and strafe Ianding barges off Quinauan Point during
the night of 1/2 Feb. These strikes, in conjunction with naval and field
artillery fire, cause considerable damage and casualties but fail to prevent
the landings which take place S of the point, although the attempt to reinforce troops already on the point is thwarted.
(3d Air Force): 122d Observation Squadron (Light) and
154th Observation Squadron (Medium), 68th Observation Group, cease flying ASW
patrols from New Orleans AAB, Louisiana and Eglin Field, Valpariso, Florida
respectively with O-47's and O-49's.
(Hawaiian Air Force): VII Interceptor Command is
activated at Ft Shafter, Territory of Hawaii with Brigadier General Howard C
(Far East Air Force): HQ 49th Pursuit Group
(Interceptor) and 7th, 8th and 9th Pursuit Squadrons (Interceptor) arrive at
(Caribbean Air Force): 31st Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor),
( Far East Air Force): Bad weather from now until
18 Feb, along with effective interception by fighters, thwarts attempts of
heavy bombers in Java to deliver damaging blows on shipping and airfields in
the Netherlands East Indies (NEI). B-17's strikes from Singosari, Java
against shipping at Balikpapan, Borneo on 9 Feb and an airfield at
Celebes Island on 9 Feb are repulsed by fighter attacks. B-17's on a shipping
strike claim hits on a carrier near Sinjai, Sumatra.
( Far East Air Force): HQ 7th Bombardment Group
(Heavy), 9th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), and 88th Reconnaissance Squadron
(Heavy) begin a movement from Brisbane, Australia to Karachi, India. The 9th
is operating from Jogjakarta, Java with B-17's; the 88th is operating from
Hickam Field, Territory of Hawaii with B-17's.
(Alaskan Air Force): Alaskan Air Force is redesignated 11th Air Force.
(Caribbean Air Force): Caribbean Air Force is redesignated 6th
(4th Air Force): 47th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group
(Medium), transfers from Muroc AAFld to Visalia AAFld, California with A-29's
and continues flying ASW patrols.
( Hawaiian Air Force): Hawaiian Air Force is
redesignated 7th Air Force.
( Far East Air Force): Far East Air Force is
redesignated 5th Air Force.
(HQ US Army): The War Department announces the creation of the US-British Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) in Washington, DC.
(3d Air Force): 14th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) and 68th Bombardment
Squadron (Heavy), 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy), transfer from MacDill
Field, Tampa, Florida to Barksdale Field, Shreveport, Louisiana with B-24's
and continue ASW patrols. The 14th will be redesiganted 404th Bombardment
Squadron (Heavy) on 22 Apr.
(4th Air Force): 79th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 20th
(11th Air Force): 36th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 28th
Composite Group, transfers from Elmendorf Field, Anchorage to Ft Greeley,
Kodiak Island, Aleutian Islands with B-18's.
(1st Air Force): 78th and 79th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 45th
Bombardment Group (Medium), begin flying ASW patrols from Grenier Field,
Manchester, New Hampshire with B-18's and DB-7's.
(7th Air Force): 12 B-17's are detached and released
to Commander-in-Chief, Pacific (CINCPAC) for assignment to Task Force (TF) 11
for operations in the S Pacific.
(5th Air Force): Between this day and 18 Feb,
heavy bombers fly at lesst 14 missions, but they result in claims of only 3
hits on shipping.
( 7th Air Force): 12th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor),
50th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), arrives on Christmas Island, Line Islands
from the US with P-39's.
(5th Air Force): Air echelon of the 88th
Reconnaisssance Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), begins a
movement from Hickam Field, Territory of Hawaii to the Fiji Islands with
B-17's. The ground echelon is enroute from Australia to India.
(4th Air Force): 21st Bombardment Group (Heavy), 30th
Bombardment Group (Heavy) (under control of 28th Composite Group),
transfers from Muroc AAFld to March Field, Riverside, California wtih
A-29's and continues ASW patrols.
(8th Air Force): Lieutenant General Henry H (Hap) Arnold
indicates that 16
heavy bomber groups, 3 pursuit groups, and 8 photo-reconnaissance squadrons
will be sent to the UK during 1942. Brigadier General Asa N Duncan,
Commanding General 8th Air Force, requests that his force, inadequate for its
intended mission under Operation GYMNAST (early Allied plan for the seizure
of Casablanca and the invasion of NW Africa), be strengthened by several
bombardment and pursuit groups. This move, if carried out, would require
diversion of units originally intended for other task forces.
(5th Air Force): Air echelon of the 88th
Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrives at
( 7th Air Force): A B-17 flies a photo reconnaissance
mission over Wake Island.
(5th Air Force): 9th Pursuit Squadron
(Interceptor), 49th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfers from Melbourne
to Williamstown, Australia with P-40's; first mission is 18 Mar.
(3d Air Force): 89th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium) and
Japanese forces on the Malay
Peninsula capture Singapore.
In the UK, Lieutenant Colonel Townsend Griffiss, aide to Major General James E Chaney, is killed when the aircraft
in which he is a passenper is mistakenly shot down by Royal Air Force (RAF)
Polish fliers. He is the first US airman to die in the line of duty in Europe
since the US entered World War II. The 8th Air Force base at Bushy Park is
later named Camp Griffiss in his honor.
(3d Air Force): 34th and 37th Bombardment Squadrons
(5th Air Force): HQ 49th Pursuit Group
(Interceptor) and 7th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) transfer from Melbourne
to Bankstown, Australia with P-40's; the 8th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor)
transfers from Melbourne to Canberra with P-40's.
(11th Air Force): Colonel Lidnel R Dunlap arrives from the ZI and
becomes Commanding Officer of the 11th Air Force.
(10th Air Force): Colonel Harry A Halverson becomes
(5th Air Force): The air echeon of the 88th
Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), departs
(5th Air Force): Detachment of the 22d
Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), departs Nandi
Airport, Fiji Islands from Australia with B-17's. The squadron is based at
(6th Air Force): 20th Transport Squadron, Panama Air Depot,
( 7th Air Force): VII Air Force Base Cmmand (AFBC) is
(5th Air Force): In the NEI, A-24's, with P-40
escort, and B-17's operating out of Malang, Madioen, and Jogjakarta, Java,
attack vessels landing troops on Bali; the attacks, carried out during the
aftenoon of 19 Feb and throughout the morning of 20 Feb, cause considerable
damage to vessels but fail to halt the landings; P-40's shoot down or turn
back seversl bombers sweeping W over Java. Japanese aircraft attack Darwin,
Australia, bombing vessels loaded with troops destined for the defense of
Koepang on Timor Island; 10 P-40's sent to Darwin to escort the convoy are
almost entirely wiped out by the attack.
[Army Air Forces in Britain (AAFIB)]:
Brigadier General Ira C Eaker arrives in the UK with 6 staff officers.
( 7th Air Force): 19th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor),
18th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfers from Wheeler Field to Bellows
Field, Territory of Hawaii with P-40's.
(5th Air Force): Air echelon of 17th Bombardment
Squadron (Light), 27th Bombardment Group (Light), begins a movement from
Brisbane to Batchelor, Australia with A-24's. Ground echelon is on
Luzon, Philippine Islands.
(5th Air Force): Major General George H Brett,
Deputy Commanding General American-British-Dutch-Australian Forces Command
(ABDACOM) informs the War Department of his decision to evacuate the 5th Air
Force and other US troops from Java, NEI.
5th Air Force bombers at Java bases fly about 20 strikes, usually in 2- and
3-aircraft elements, against shipping in the Java Sea and against targets on
Bali from this date through 1 Mar. 11 strikes are complete failures; the
remainder, although causing some damage to vessels and airfield facilities,
fail to deter the invasion of Java.
(5th Air Force): Air echelon of 17th Bombardment
Squadron (Light), 27th Bombardment Group (Light), arrives at Batchelor from
Brisbane, Australia with A-24's. Ground echelon is on Bataan, Luzon,
Japanese submarine I-17 fires 13 rounds of 5.5-in (140
mm) shells from a range of 2,500 yards (2,286 m) at an oil refinery N of
Santa Barbara, California. Pursuit and bomber aircraft sent to the area are
unable to destroy the sub.
(8th Air Force): HQ VIII Bomber Command
arrives at Daws Hill, England from the US; Major General Ira C Eaker assumes
(5th Air Force): B-17's fly the first mission
against Rabaul, New Britain Island. Operating out of Townsville, Australia
the force suffers mechanical trouble and runs into bad weather. Only 1 B-17
manages to bomb the target.
(4th Air Force): Reports of unidentified aircraft approaching Los Angeles, California from the ocean during the night of 24/25
(5th Air Force): Heavy bomber units begin
evacuating Java, NEI.
(HQ USAAF): The Air War Plans Division recommends
of Operation GYMNAST (early Allied plan for the seizure of Casablanca and
the invasion of NW Africa) from the list of current projects. This proposal,
if adopted, would leave the 8th Air Force uncommitted to any operation.
[US Army Forces in British Isles (USAFBI)]: Major General
James E Chaney, Commanding General USAFBI, instructs
Brigadier General Ira C Eaker and the staff of the VIII Bomber Command to
proceed to HQ, RAF Bomber Command for a study of bombing operations, and to
make reconnaissance of certain airfields and submit plans for the reception
and assignment of Army Air Forces units.
(5th Air Force): Arriving at Brisbane, Australia
from the US are:
(4th Air Force): 2d Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), 30th
(5th Air Force): The Battle of Java Sea. Allied
air and naval units try to stop a convoy of some 80 ships approaching Java
from the NE. All available B-17's, A-24's, P-40's and LB-30's are put into
the air but achieve only insignificant results. An Allied naval force, 5
cruisers and 11 destroyers, under Rear Admiral Karel W Doorman, Royal
Netherlands Navy, meets the enemy near Surabaya, Java and is decisively
defeated, losing 5 ships. Most of the 5th Air Force ground echelon in Java is
evacusted by sea. The SS Sea Witch delivers 27 crated P-40's to
Java, but these will be destroyed to prevent their falling into Japanese
hands. 32 P-40's aboard the Seaplane Tender USS Langley (AV-3), which sailed
from Australia for India on 23 Feb, are lost when the USS Langley is sunk by
aircraft 100 mi (160 km) S of Tjilatjsp. The pilots are rescued by other
vessels in the convoy, but the enemy sinks these ships with the exception of
a destroyer, which delivers 2 of the pilots to Perth, Australia.
(1st Air Force): 92d Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium),