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

July 1942

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-24, Douglas Dauntless
  • A-29, Lockheed Hudson
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-18, Douglas Bolo
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • Boston, Douglas
  • C-47, Douglas Skytrain
  • F-4, Lockheed Lightning
  • Fw 190, Focke Wulf
  • LB-30, Consolidated Liberator
  • O-47, North American
  • O-52, Curtiss Owl
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • P-400, Bell Airacobra
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine

WEDNESDAY, 1 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): The XI Bomber Command (Provisional) comprising the 28th Composite Group and its assigned squadrons is activated, Colonel William O Eareckson in command. A B-17 flies weather reconnaissance over Kiska Island, Aleutian Islands and lands early due to weather.

EASTERN DEFENSE COMMAND 

(1st Air Force): During Jul, the following units begin flying ASW mission: 2d Sea-Search Attack Squadron (Medium), 1st Sea-Search Group (Medium), from Langley Field, Virginia with B-25s; 9th Observation Squadron, 59th Observation Group, from Ft Dix AAB, New Jersey with O-47s and O-52s.

WESTERN DEFENSE COMMAND 

(4th Air Force): 4th, 7th, 18th and 391st Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 34th Bombardment Group (Heavy), move from Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona to Geiger Field, Washington and continue flying ASW patrols with B-24s.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

Operation BOLERO, the buildup of US armed forces in the UK for an attack on Europe, is revised downward from 66 to 54 combat groups because of demands of other theaters. AAF Foreign Service Concentration Command is activated to handle the movement of units and troops to and from overseas theaters.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force): In China, 4 B-25s from Hengyang, escorted by P-40s, bomb docks at Hankow; bad weather handicaps the bombardiers, and the effects of the raid are inconsequential.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): The first B-17, assigned to the 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) of the BOLERO air movement via the N Atlantic route lands at Prestwick, Scotland..

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(USAMEAF): B-24s bomb the harbor at Tobruk, Libya during the night of 1/2 Jul.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA  

During Jul, HQ 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy) moves from Hickam Field, Hawaii to the New Hebrides Islands.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-26's bomb Salamaua, New Guinea. Other medium and heavy bomber strikes abort due to bad weather.

THURSDAY, 2 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA (11th Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, 7 B-24s and 1 B-17 fly photo and bombing missions to Attu Island, which appears deserted, and to Kiska and Agattu Islands; near misses are scored on a transport and a destroyer at Agattu.

WESTERN DEFENSE COMMAND (4th Air Force): 48th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Minter Field to NAS Alameda, California and continues flying ASW patrols with A-29s and B-18s.

ZONE OF INTERIOR The Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) approve of the Arnold-Portal-Towers agreement. This agreement, signed on 21 Jun 42, deals with US air commitments and provides for a strong air force for Operation BOLERO.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(10th Air Force): B-25s and P-40s hit the Hankow dock area for the second consecutive day. This raid, more successful than the first, causes considerable damage. The Japanese retaliate during the night by attacking Hengyang but fail to hit the airfield.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(USAMEAF): B-17s and B-24s bomb Tobruk, Libya harbor during the night of 2/3 Jul. 9th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) (attached to USAMEAF), arrives at Lydda, Palestine from Allahabad, India with B-17Es; first mission is 4 Jul.

FRIDAY, 3 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA (11th Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, 7 B-24s and 2 B-17s bomb Kiska and Near Islands, encountering neither fighter opposition nor AA; results are not observed.

WESTERN DEFENSE COMMAND: 

46th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from NAS Alameda to Hammer Field, California with A-29s and B-18s and continues flying ASW patrols.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force): In China, 10th Air Force aircraft bomb and strafe the airfield at Nanchang, the probable base of the preceding night's raiders on Hengyang; several parked aircraft are destroyed; during the night Japanese aircraft again strike at Hengyang and once more fail to hit the airfield.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group based at Goxhill, England, begins operating from Reykjavik, Iceland with P-38s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(USAMEAF): B-24s attack Tobruk, Libya harbor during the daylight hours and B-17s bomb supplies at Tobruk during the night of 3/4 Jul.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA  

(5th Air Force): B-17s attack the barracks area at Koepang, Timor Island and airfield at Lae, New Guinea. 1 A-24 bombs Tulagi Island, Solomon Islands.

SATURDAY, 4 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ZONE OF INTERIOR Air Transport Command, which was established on 30 Apr 42, is redesignated I Troop Carrier Command at Stout Field, Indiana and made responsible for training and preparing units and personnel for troop carrier (airborne) operations. Ferrying Command, which was established on 29 May 41, is redesignated Air Transport Command and made responsible for air transport and ferrying operations. Transport Wings, Groups and Squadrons are redesignated Troop Carrier Wings, Groups and Squadrons.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force):

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE: CATF is activated under command of Brigadier General Clare L Chennault. This new command is the successor to Chennault's American Volunteer Group (AVG) which had attained 300 confirmed victories over Japanese aircraft at a cost of less than 50 aircraft and only 9 pilots. Only 5 pilots and a few ground personnel of the AVG choose to join the USAAF, although 20 other pilots agree to stay until replacements arrive in Kunming, China. 

Combat elements of CATF are:
1. HQ 23d Fighter Group at Kunming with Colonel Robert L Scott, Jr in command and 74th and 76th Fighter Squadrons at Kunming with P-40s and 75th Fighter Squadron at Hengyang with P-40s; all units were activated today.
2. 16th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group attached to 23d Fighter Group, at Kunming with P-40s.
3. 11th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), at Kunming and a detachment at Kweilin, Hengyang and Nanning with B-25s; Colonel Caleb V Haynes is in command.

In air action in China, 5 B-25s, with fighter escort, heavily damage buildings, runways and parked aircraft at Tien Ho Airfield. P-40s over Kweilin intercept a formation of fighter-bombers, claiming 13 destroyed; the Japanese fail to bomb the target. 

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): First USAAF air operation over W Europe. 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light) flying 6 American-built Bostons belonging to No. 226 Squadron Royal Air Force, join a RAF low-level attack on De Koog (2 aircraft), Bergen/Alkamaar, Haanstede and Valkenberg (2 aircraft) Airfields in the Netherlands; 2 aircraft are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; 6 airmen are MIA. Aircraft flown by Captain Charles C Kegelman, Squadron Commander, is severely damaged, but Kegelman succeeds in bringing it back to base at Swanton Morley. VIII Air Force Composite Command is activated in the US. Second B-17 arrives in the UK via the N Atlantic ferry route.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): B-24s attack a convoy in the Mediterranean during the night of 4/5 Jul, setting 1 tanker aflame.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA  

(5th Air Force): B-17s, B-26s and B-25s bomb airfields at Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea. 19th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 22d Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Townsville to Woodstock, Australia with B-26s.

SUNDAY, 5 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER

ALASKA (11th Air Force): A B-17 flies a weather mission.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (USAMEAF): B-24s bomb the harbor and ships at Bengasi, Libya during the night of 4/5 Jul.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(5th Air Force): B-17s and B-26's attack Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea. HQ 22d Bombardment Group (Medium) moves from Townsville to Woodstock, Australia.

MONDAY, 6 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 4 B-24s and 1 LB-30 fly bombing and weather missions to Kiska Island; results are not observed. 

CARIBBEAN 

(6th Air Force): German submarine, U-153, is damaged in an attack by A-20s of the 59th Bombardment Squadron (Light), VI Bomber Command, off Panama at 12-50N, 72-21W; the submarine is sunk a week later by the destroyer USS Landsdowne (DD-486).

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force):

CARIBBEAN 

(6th Air Force): 

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE: B-25s bomb the waterfront at Canton, China, marking their initial action against coastal facilities of Japanese-held Chinese ports.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): The RAF invites the Eighth Air Force to share membership in important RAF operational committees dealing with targets, operational research, interception, and bomber operations. VIII Air Force Service Command sets up HQ at Bushy Park with Major General Walter H Frank as Commanding General. 6 B-17s arrive in the UK via the N Atlantic ferry route.

TUESDAY, 7 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 1 B-17 and 7 B-24s fly weather, bombing and photo missions to Kiska, Attu and Agattu Islands; all bombs are returned to base due to weather; 1 seaplane is shot down.

EASTERN DEFENSE COMMAND 

(1st Air Force): An A-29 of a detachment of the 396th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), operating from MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, sinks German submarine, U-701, off North Carolina at 34-50N 74-55W. This is the first submarine sunk by USAAF aircraft during World War II. 329th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 93d Bombardment Group (Heavy), begins flying ASW patrols from Page Field, Florida with B-24s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA  

Major General Millard F Harmon, USAAF, is designated Commanding General of US Army Forces in the South Pacific (COMGENSOPAC).

WEDNESDAY, 8 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 404th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrives in the ALASKAn Theater with B-24s, originally destined for N Africa; first mission is 18 Jul. In the Aleutian Islands, 1 B-24 flies 2 photo missions over the S shore of Kiska Island and over Little Kiska Island; the bombing mission is cancelled due to weather.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force): A single B-25 piloted by Colonel Caleb V Haynes, bombs Japanese HQ at Tengchung, China near the Burma border. Bad weather, pilot fatigue, and maintenance halt major operations for several days.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): In Libya, B-24s bomb the harbor and shipping at Bengasi during the night of 8/9 Jul, while B-17s hit the harbor at Tobruk.

THURSDAY, 9 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA (11th Air Force): 5 B-24s fly photo, weather, and bombing missions to Kiska Island but return with the bombs due to weather.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): 7 P-38s arrive in the UK via the N Atlantic route, this being the first time single-seater USAAF aircraft have flown this route.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): 6 B-24s dispatched against shipping are attacked by fighters; 1 B-24 is lost and the others return to base without bombing targets.

FRIDAY, 10 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA (11th Air Force): 1 B-24 aborts a reconnaissance mission to Kiska Island due to weather.

ZONE OF INTERIOR USAAF planners for the Operation BOLERO build-up estimate 137 USAAF groups in the UK by 31 Dec 43.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): 57th Fighter Group, enroute from the US, is assigned to USAMEAF.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): Ground echelon of the 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy) leaves Hawaii for the S Pacific aboard USS Argonne (AS-10).

SATURDAY, 11 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 4 B-24s taking off for weather, bombing and photo missions to Kiska Island are attack by seaplane fighters; no losses. A cruiser is bombed with unobserved results.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): First formal decoration ceremony held in the Eighth Air Force takes place when Major General Carl Spaatz pins the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) on Major Charles C Kegelman for extraordinary gallantry and heroism during the raid of 4 Jul.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): B-24s attack harbor and shipping at Begasi, Libya during during the night of 11/12 Jul.

SUNDAY, 12 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 3 B-24s dispatched on weather, photo and bombing mission to Kiska Island abort due to weather.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): 6 of 6 Bostons borrowed from the RAF hit Abbeville/Drucat Airfield, France; 2 aircraft are damaged; no casualties. The 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light) stands down after this mission to prepare their own Bostons which are ex-RAF machines.

MONDAY, 13 JULY 1942

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): HQ 52d Fighter Group arrives at Eglinton, Co. Derry, Ireland from the US.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): In Libya during the night of 13/14 Jul, B-17s bomb Tobruk harbor and B-24s hit ships and harbor at Bengasi; heavy AA fire accounts for the loss of 1 B-24.

WEDNESDAY, 15 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 3 B-24s on a bombing mission to Kiska Island turn back due to weather.

WESTERN DEFENSE COMMAND 

(4th Air Force): 392d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Hammer Field to March Field, California and continues flying ASW patrols with LB-30s.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force): India-China Ferrying Command is activated to replace the Assam-Burma-China Command.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): B-24s strike the harbor and ships at Bengasi, Libya during the night of 15/16 Jul.

THURSDAY, 16 JULY 1942

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force):

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE: In China, 4 B-25s from Kweilin, with P-40 escort, bomb a storage area at Hankow, starting a fire that is later reported to have burned 3 days. The B-25s land at Hengyang during the return flight to refuel, but are attacked by Japanese aircraft and have to take off immediately. Amidst the confusion a P-40 pilot mistakes a B-25 for a Japanese aircraft and shoots it down, the first bomber lost since the CATF began operations in China; the crew is saved.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): B-17s of the 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy) begin leaving Hickam Field, Hawaii for the S Pacific.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): 1 B-17 bombs Salamaua, New Guinea.

FRIDAY, 17 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 3 B-17s and 7 B-24s fly weather, bombing and photo missions; shipping is bombed and North and South Heads of Kiska Island are photographed; fighters down 1 B-17.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): Halverson Detachment is redesignated Hal Bombardment Squadron. In Libya, B-24s bomb Bengasi harbor and B-17s hit Tobruk.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s bomb the harbor at Rabaul, New Britain Island, Admiralty Islands.

SATURDAY, 18 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): A B-17 flying weather and photo reconnaissance over Kiska Island crashes on Umnak Island, Aleutian Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force):

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE: In China, 3 B-25s from Kweilin bomb Tien Ho Airfield.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

Harry Hopkins, General George C Marshall, Admiral Ernest V King, Prime Minister Winston S Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff begin a conference in London on the proposed invasion of N Africa (Operation TORCH).

SUNDAY, 19 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): Search missions are flown over Attu and Agattu Islands.

EASTERN DEFENSE COMMAND 

(1st Air Force): 39th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 13th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Westover Field, Massachusetts to Dover AAB, Delaware with B-25s to continue flying ASW patrols.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force):

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE: In response to a Chinese request, 2 B-25s strike in support of Chinese ground forces at Linchwan, a Japanese held city undersiege for some time. The Chinese commanding officer later reports that the raid broke the stalemate and the city was entered the next day.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): In Libya, B-24s hit Bengasi while B-17s attack Tobruk in a continuing effort to disrupt movement of supplies.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): 26th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), departs Wheeler Field, Hawaii for the S Pacific with B-17s.

MONDAY, 20 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): Brigadier General William O Butler moves advance HQ to Umnak Island. 3 B-17s bomb Kiska Island (especially the barracks) with incendiaries and demolition charges. 4 P-38s try to intercept 4 fighters reported by US Navy (USN) aircraft but no contact is made.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force):

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE: 3 B-25s bomb docks and warehouses at Chinkiang, China on the Yangtze River; 4 escorting P-40s strafe junks on the river. This is the last CATF bombing raid of Jul. In China, detachments of 11th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), operating from Kweilin, Hengyang and Nanning with B-25s return to base at Kunming.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): Hal Bombardment Squadron and 9th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) with 19 B-24s and 9 B-17s are organized as the 1st Provisional Group under Colonel Harry A Halverson's command at Lydda, Palestine. HQ 57th Fighter Group arrives at Muqueibile, Palestine from the US.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): Unit moves in Australia: 33d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 22d Bombardment Group (Medium), from Antil Plains to Woodstock with B-26s; 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, from Petric to Port Moresby, New Guinea with P-39s and P-400s (first mission is 22 Jul).

TUESDAY, 21 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 4 B-24s fly search and bomb missions over Kiska Island but make no contact because of weather.

ZONE OF INTERIOR

President Franklin D Roosevelt calls Admiral William D Leahy, Ambassador to France and former Chief of Naval Operations, to serve as Chief of Staff to the Commanders-in-Chief of the US Army and Navy.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): Lieutenant General Dwight D Eisenhower assigns to the 8th Air Force the mission of carrying out, in collaboration with the RAF, the degree of air operations with the view of attaining air domination over W France by 1 Apr 43.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA 

Air echelon of 98th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), begins operating from Plaines des Gaiacs, Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides Islands with B-17s (first mission is 31 Jul); the ground echelon is enroute from Hawaii.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): In New Guinea, B-26s attack a convoy off Salamaua as an invasion force heads for Buna, where it begins landings during the night of 21/22 Jul. This move by the enemy forestalls Allied operations which were to have secured the same general area.

WEDNESDAY, 22 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): Of 8 B-24s and 2 B-17s dispatched to Kiska Island, only 8 reach the target and due to fog drop only 7 bombs with unobserved results; 1 B-24 is missing on the return flight.

SOUTHERN DEFENSE COMMAND 

(3d Air Force): 66th, 67th and 68th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy), cease flying ASW patrols from Barksdale Field, Louisiana with B-24s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): B-24s bomb Suda Bay, Greece claiming hits on 2 vessels. B-17s hit Tobruk, Libya.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): In New Guinea, P-40s and P-39s hit shipping and landing barges at Gona as Japanese forces continue to land in NE New Guinea with the ultimate aim of pushing across the Owen Stanley Range to the Allied base at Port Moresby. HQ 35th Fighter Group moves from Sydney, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea.

THURSDAY, 23 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

EASTERN DEFENSE COMMAND 

(1st Air Force): HQ IX Bomber Command is activated at MacDill Field, Florida.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force): 22d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrives at Karachi, India from the US with B-25s; first mission is 14 Dec.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): 3 B-17s, staging through Canton Island, Phoenix Islands, carry out photo reconnaissance of Makin Island, Gilbert Islands.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA 

11th Bombardment Group (Heavy) B-17s on New Caledonia Island begin photo reconnaissance of the Guadalcanal-Tulagi-Gavutu area in the Solomon Islands.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(5th Air Force): In New Guinea, B-17s, B-26s, A-24s and fighters pound shipping, landing barges, storage dumps, AA positions, and troop concentrations at Buna and Gona as the enemy pushes inland along the Kokoda trail; fighters also hit the harbor at Salamaua. 93d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Longreach to Mareeba, Australia with B-17s, B-24s and LB-30s.

FRIDAY, 24 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

EASTERN DEFENSE COMMAND 

(1st Air Force): Air echelon of 76th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 42d Bombardment Group (Medium), attached to 45th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Jacksonville Municipal Airport to NAS Opalocka, Florida with A-29s and continues flying ASW patrols; the squadron is based at McChord Field, Washington.

SOUTHERN DEFENSE COMMAND 

(3d Air Force): 124th Observation Squadron, 75th Observation Group, moves from Ellington Field to Galveston AAB, Texas and continues flying ASW patrols with O-47s.

ZONE OF INTERIOR  

Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) issue a statement that heavy and medium bomber groups will he shifted from Operation BOLERO assignments to Africa for Operations TORCH. BOLERO resources are further depleted by a decision to send 15 combat groups to the Pacific theater.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force): 9th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Tenth Air Force, arrives at Karachi, India from the US with F-4s; first mission is 1 Dec 42.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): In Libya during the night of 23/24 Jul, B-17s attack Tobruk harbor; B-24s hit the harbor at Bengasi; a B-24 crashes on return to base, killing 1 crew member.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): 394th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Bellows Field to Hickam Field, Hawaii with B-17s and continues flying patrols over the Pacific.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA 

431st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrives at Viti Levu Island, Fiji Islands with B-17s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-26s, A-24s, and fighters continue to pound AA positions and enemy troops at Gona as the Japanese continue to push inland toward Kokoda. HQ 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 28th and 30th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) move from Longreach to Mareeba, Australia with B-17s.

SATURDAY, 25 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

EASTERN DEFENSE COMMAND 

(1st Air Force): 49th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 2d Bombardment Group (Heavy), begins flying ASW patrols from Langley Field, Virginia with B-17s.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force):

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE: 76th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group, moves from Kunming to Kweilin, China with P-40s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): HQ 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 344th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) arrive at Ramat David, Palestine from the US with B-24s; first mission is 1 Aug.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA 

Daily search missions over the S Solomons are begun from New Caledonia Island. 26th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrives at Efate Island, New Hebrides Islands from Hawaii with B-17s; first mission is 30 Jul.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): In New Guinea, B-25s, and P-39s pound barges and concentrations at Gona and troops on the Gona and Kokoda trails; Japanese forces push to Oivi, within 6 miles (10 km) of Kokoda.

SUNDAY, 26 JULY 1942

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): Lieutenant Colonel Albert P Clark, Executive Officer of the 31st Fighter Group, is shot down while flying an RAF fighter on a sweep over France, thus becoming the first 8th Air Force fighter pilot to be shot down in the ETO; he survives and is taken prisoner by the Germans.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): During the night of 25/26 Jul, B-17s and B-24s bomb the harbor at Tobruk, Libya.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): A B-25 strike against Gasmata Island off New Britain Island, is repulsed by fighter interception. In New Guinea, B-26s attack a destroyer off Gona but fail to score hits; Australian troops flown into Kokoda fail to halt the Japanese advance and Kokoda is evacuated. 39th Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group, moves from Port Moresby, New Guinea to Townsville, Australia with P-39s.

MONDAY, 27 JULY 1942

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): HQ VIII Bomber Command issues an order establishing 1st Bombardment Wing at Brampton Grange [replacing 1st Bombardment Wing (Provisional), established there on 15 Jun) and 2d Bombardment Wing at Old Catton. 1st Bombardment Wing is commanded by Colonel Claude E Duncan; 2d Bombardment Wing by Colonel Newton Longfellow. US aircraft of 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 1st Fighter Group land at Prestwick, Scotland, thus completing the first series of flights in Operation BOLERO, air movement across the N Atlantic ferry route. 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) becomes the first US heavy bomber group complete with air and ground echelons in the UK. Lieutenant General Ira C Eaker and officers of the RAF Fighter Command agree to use Spitfire Mk IX's as high fighter cover for B-17s of the VIII Bomber Command until the VIII Fighter Command is ready for escort duty; this also will provide a test of the Spitfire Mk IX against Fw 190s at high altitude. HQ VIII Fighter Command moves from High Wycombe to Bushey Hall, England. 

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA 

Major General Millard F Harmon arrives at Noumea, New Caledonia Island, to assume command of US Army Forces in South Pacific Area (USAFISPA) with responsibility for training all army (air and ground) personnel. Air units in the theater are under operational control of Commander Aircraft South Pacific Forces (COMAIRSOPAC).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): In New Guinea, B-26s and A-24s hit Gona and targets along the Buna trail. 35th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, moves from Woodstock to Townsville, Australia with P-39s and P-400s.

TUESDAY, 28 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): An air coverage survey for Army ground operations to Adak and Tanaga Islands is flown. Weather cancels a bombing mission to Kiska Island.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): HQ VIII Fighter Command opens at Bushey Hall, England following move from temporary HQ at High Wycombe. Brigadier General Frank O'D Hunter, designated Commanding General VIII Fighter Command on 14 May in the US, assumes command in England. HQ VIII Ground Air Support Command, Brigadier General Robert C Candee, Commanding General, arrives at Bushy Park, England from the US. General Candee announces staff assignments and begins the organization of his command in the UK.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): B-17s hit Tobruk, Libya, during the night of 27/28 Jul, while B-24s attack a convoy in the Mediterranean, claiming hits on 2 merchant ships.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(5th Air Force): 1 B-26 bombs installations at Gona, New Guinea. Lieutenant General George C Kenney, commander-designate of Allied Air Forces, arrives in Australia.

WEDNESDAY, 29 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 4 B-24s and 5 B-17s bomb vessels and installations in the Kiska Harbor area with unobserved results due to clouds.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): 28th Troop Carrier Squadron, 60th Troop Carrier Group arrives at Podington, England from the US with C-47s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): 65th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group, arrives at Muqueibile, Palestine from the US with P-40s; first mission is 7 Oct.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(5th Air Force): In New Guinea, A-24s, with P-39 escort, and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft attack shipping off Gona, partially frustrating Japanese attempts to land more troops and supplies; the Japanese recapture Kokoda, which they temporarily lost the previous day. HQ 8th Fighter Group moves from Brisbane to Townsville, Australia.

THURSDAY, 30 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, 1 LB-30, 9 B-17s and 3 B-24s fly photo reconnaissance and bombing missions to Tanaga and Kiska Islands; the missions are unsuccessful due to weather.

EASTERN DEFENSE COMMAND 

(1st Air Force): 328th, 329th and 330th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 93d Bombardment Group (Heavy), cease flying ASW patrols from Page Field, Florida.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS  

(10th Air Force):

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE: The Japanese send about 120 aircraft against the base at Hengyang from which CATF is harassing the Yangtze Valley; the attacks last about 36 hours; fierce opposition by US P-40s prevents major damage to the base; 17 Japanese aircraft are shot down, 4 of them at night; 3 P-40s are lost.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): During the night of 30/31 Jul, B-24s bomb convoy in Pylos Bay, Greece claiming hits on 2 merchant ships. B-17s hit the harbor at Tobruk, Libya. 81st Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium), arrives at Deversoir, Egypt from the US with B-25s; first mission is 16 Aug.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA 

B-17s of the 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy) begin arriving at Espiritu Santo Island where they are to constitute a reconnaissance and strike force over the Guadalcanal-Tulagi-Gavutu area in preparation for the amphibious assault by US Marines on 7 Aug.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(5th Air Force): B-17s attack shipping in the Solomon Sea E of the Huon Gulf and S of New Britain Island.

FRIDAY, 31 JULY 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS;

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 1 B-24 and 1 LB-30 fly weather and photo reconnaissance; weather cancels a combat mission to Kiska Island.

EASTERN DEFENSE COMMAND 

(1st Air Force): 101st Observation Squadron, 26th Observation Group, moves from Otis Field to NAAF Hyannis, Massachusetts and continue flying ASW patrols with O-47s and O-52s; 313th, 314th, 315th and 398th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 21st Bombardment Group (Medium), begin flying ASW patrols from MacDill Field, Florida with B-26s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): Units of the Provisional Troop Carrier Command are organized in UK.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(USAMEAF): Arrivals from the US: HQ 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) at Deversoir, Egypt; 415th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), at Ramat David, Palestine with B-24s (first mission is 4 Aug).

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): : 1 B-17, from Midway Island, flies photo reconnaissance of Wake Island. The B-17 is Intercepted by 6 fighters; in the ensuing fight US gunners claim 4 fighters destroyed. 

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA 

Colonel LaVerne G Saunders leads 9 B-17s of his 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy) from Efate Island on a strike against Guadalcanal Island, bombing the landing strip and area about Lunga Point. From this date until 7 Aug, the 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy) flies 56 strike and 22 search sorties in support of the invasion of Guadalcanal.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s hit Gona, New Guinea and a nearby transport which had been previously damaged, and bomb Kukum Beach and Lunga landing strip on the N coast of Guadalcanal Island as the US invasion forces leave the Fiji Islands for the Solomon Islands.