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

June 1942

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT

  • A-17, Northrop
  • Albacore, Fairey (RN)
  • B-17, Boeing Flying Fortress
  • B-18, Douglas Bolo
  • B-24, Consolidated Liberator
  • B-25, North American Mitchell
  • B-26, Martin Marauder
  • Beaufort, Bristol (RAF)
  • C-39, Douglas
  • C-47, Douglas Skytrain
  • C-49, Douglas
  • F-4, Lockheed Lightning
  • L-4, Piper Cub/Grasshopper
  • LB-30, Consolidated Liberator
  • Liberator, Consolidated (RAF)
  • O-47, North American
  • O-49, Stinson Vigilant
  • O-52, Curtiss Owl
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • RM-37, Lockheed Ventura
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine
  • Wellington, Vickers (RAF)
  • Zeke, Mitsubishi A6M, Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter

MONDAY, 1 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): During Jun 42, 11th Fighter Squadron, 28th Composite Group, moves from Elmendorf Field, Anchorage to Ft Glenn, Umnak Island with P-40s. During Jun, 406th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), based at Paine Field, Everett, Washington, sends detachments to operate in Alaska with B-18s.

CARIBBEAN 

(6th Air Force): During Jun, detachment of 20th TransportSquadron, Panama Air Depot, operating from Losey Field moves to Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico with C-39s, C-47s and C-49s.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

Fear of an attack on the US W coast causes suspension of the movement of aircraft and crews from the US to the UK. 115th Observation Squadron (Light), 69th Observation Group, moves from San Bernardino AAFld to Ontario AAFld, California with O-47s, O-49s and L-4s and continues ASW patrols. During Jun 42, 6th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 29th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from MacDill Field, Tampa, Florida to Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho with B-17s and continues flying ASW patrols during part of the month; 396th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), based at Mather Field, Sacramento, California sends a detachment to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina with B-25s to fly ASW patrols; 404th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy), ceases flying ASW patrols from Barksdale Field, Louisiana with B-24s.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(10th Air Force): 5 heavy bombers attack the Rangoon, Burma dock and harbor area, claiming 1 tanker sunk and another left listing. 436th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Karachi to Allahabad, India with B-17Es; first mission is 4 Jun.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s attack Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea and Rabaul, New Britain Island.

TUESDAY, 2 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

Aircraft and crews of 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy), then in New England for movement to the UK, are ordered to the US W coast as a defensive measure against an attack on US. 31st Observation Squadron (Medium), 69th Observation Group, moves from San Bernardino AAFld to Ontario AAFld, California with O-47s, O-49s and O-52s and continues flying ASW patrols.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): 6 of 16 B-17s that have been on detached service at Midway Island return to Oahu, Territory of Hawaii.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s bomb the dock and military camp area at Rabaul, New Britain Island. 39th Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group, moves from Woodstock, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea with P-39s; first mission is today.

WEDNESDAY, 3 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): Japanese carrier-based bombers and fighters bomb and strafe Ft Mears and Dutch Harbor in several waves inflicting little damage but killing 52 US personnel. P-40s from Cold Bay trying to intercept them arrive 10 minutes after the last attack wave departs. Other P-40s at Umnak are notified too late due to communication failure. 9 P-40s and 6 B-26s fly a patrol but cannot find the fleet-l80 miles (288 km) S of Dutch Harbor- but 2 of the P-40s engage 4 carrier-based aircraft, shoot down one and damage another.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

47th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Visalia AAFld to Hammer Field, Fresno, California with B-25s and continues flying ASW patrols.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(10th Air Force): A flight of 6 B-25s of the 11th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), earmarked for China, take off from Dinjan, India for China. They bomb Lashio, Burma en route to Kunming, but afterward 9 crash into an overcast-hidden mountain at 10,000 feet (3,048 m) and another is abandoned when it runs out of fuel near Chan-i, China. The remaining 2 B-25's reach Kunming, China, 1 with its radio operator killed by a fighter. 

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): Preliminary action begins in the Battle of Midway. 9 B-17s, flying out of Midway Island, attack 5 large warships 570 miles (912 km) off Midway, claiming 5 hits and several near misses. 7 other B-17s leave Oahu, Territory of Hawaii and fly to Midway.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s hit the wharf, warehouse area, and military camp at Rabaul, New Britain Island.

THURSDAY, 4 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): A carrier-borne force strikes again as 11 bombers, 10 fighters and 8 torpedo bombers attack Dutch Harbor in several waves. 2 P-40s intercept 4 bombers just before noon over Umnak Pass and shoot down 3. During the afternoon P-40s intercept 9 fighters; a dogfight claims 1 enemy aircraft and 1 P-40, the Eleventh Air Force's first combat casualty. AA fire claims another Japanese bomber. During the afternoon 2 B-17s and 5 B-26s attack the carrier force, and 3 more B-26s strike the cruiser TAKAO; no hits are scored; 1 B-24 and 1 B-25 fail to return. 36th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 28th Composite Group, based at Ft Greeley, Kodiak Island with B-17Es and LB-30s, sends detachments to operate from various bases in the Aleutian Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(10th Air Force): 2 heavy bombers bomb Rangoon, Burma, but are attacked by 10 fighters; 1 heavy bomber is shot down and the other badly damaged. This raid ends 2 months of harassing strikes against Rangoon; soon all heavy bombers are grounded by the monsoons. 11th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), is established at Kunming, China with B-25s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): A HQ AAF schedule, with tables of composition and strength, indicating a total of 3,649 aircraft, is set up for the AAF in the UK.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): Battle of Midway. 4 B-26s, in conjunction with US Navy (USN) torpedo bombers, attack a carrier; 2 of the B-26s are shot down. In further morning action 14 B-17s attack a task force approaching Midway at a distance of 145 miles (232 km); they claim several hits on carriers and 2 Zekes shot down. In the late afternoon 2 B-17s attack a carrier force at 31-40N 179-10W, claiming hits on a battleship and a carrier and 9 aircraft shot down; 4 other B-17s claim a hit on heavy cruiser 185 miles (296 km) from Midway. 6 B-17s, en route to Midway from Hawaii, bomb ships 170 miles (272 km) from Midway, claiming hits on a burning carrier, the HIRYU, hit earlier in the battle, and a destroyer, which is claimed sunk.

FRIDAY, 5 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 18 B-26s, 10 B-17s and 2 LB-30s search and attack sorties are flown against the carrier force, the B-26s splitting into 3 missions, the B-17s into 2. No contact is made. The B-17s using radar bomb targets which look like ships, but later turn out to be the Pribilof Islands.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

Aircraft and pilots of the 1st Fighter Group, then at Dow Field, Bangor, Maine for movement to the UK, fly to Morris Field, Charlotte, North Carolina, enroute to the W coast for defense against attack.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): VIII Air Force Base Command, activated in the US on 28 Jan 42, is redesignated VIII Air Force Services Command. Colonel Harold A McGinnis assumes command.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): The Battle of Midway continues with the Japanese fleet retiring westward. In the morning 8 B-17s hit a force 130 miles (208 km) from Midway Island, claiming hits on 2 large warships. During the afternoon 6 B-17s claim hits on a heavy cruiser 300 miles (480 km) from Midway. The last strike by Seventh Air Force aircraft in the Battle of Midway is by 5 B-17s which bomb a heavy cruiser 425 miles (680 km) from Midway. 1 B-17 is shot down and another lost due to fuel shortage. The battle ends with Midway's installations heavily damaged by bombs but still in US hands and with landing strips still intact. During the fighting (3-5 Jun) Seventh Air Force aircraft carried out 16 B-17 attacks (55 sorties) and 1 torpedo attack by 4 B-26s, claiming 22 hits on ships and 10 fighters shot down. 2 B-17s and 2 B-26s were lost. One of the decisive battles of naval history, Midway will cost Japan the initiative and will be a turning point in the Pacific war.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s hit wharves, a warehouse, and coal jetty at Rabaul, New Britain Island.

SATURDAY, 6 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): Various bomber search-attack missions are flown in an attempt to contact the fleet reported near Seguam Island. No contact is made due to weather. 8 P-38s enroute from Cold Bay to Umnak Island mistakenly attack a Soviet freighter. The Japanese begin to land on Kiska Island.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

Aircraft and pilots of the 1st Fighter Group at Morris Field, Charlotte, North Carolina, return to Dow Field, Bangor, Maine, following the defeat of the Japanese fleet in the Battle of Midway.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): B-17s maintain a search out of Midway Island. 6 B-17s mistakenly attack a US submarine, which later reports no damage. More B-17s arrive on Midway from Oahu, Territory of Hawaii.

SUNDAY, 7 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): Japanese troops invade Attu Island. More troops are put ashore on Kiska Island. An enemy airplane is sighted over Cold Bay but cannot be intercepted.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

Detachments of 21st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group (Heavy), operating from Mines Field, Los Angeles and Hamilton Field, San Rafael, California and McChord Field, Tacoma, Washington with B-24s, return to base at March Field, Riverside, California.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): Major General Clarence L Tinker, Commanding General 7th Air Force, is lost during the night of 6/7 Jun while leading a flight of LB-30s from Midway Island for a predawn attack on Wake Island.

MONDAY, 8 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 1 LB-30 flies armed patrol over Kiska and Umnak Islands and discovers Japanese naval units in Kiska Harbor.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

313th, 314th, 315th and 398th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 21st Bombardment Group (Medium), all fly ASW patrols in the Gulf of Mexico.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

US Army (ETOUSA) established by presidential directive. Major General James E Chaney is designated commander of all US forces of ETOUSA.

TUESDAY, 9 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): Patrols are flown but encounter no aircraft.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

103d Observation Squadron (Medium), 26th Observation Group, moves from Hillsgrove AAFld, Rhode Island to Hyannis Airport, Massachusetts with O-47s and O-52s and continues flying ASW patrols.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): The second contingent of personnel for HQ 8th Air Force and subordinate commands, including the main body of the VIII Air Force Services Command, arrives in the UK. 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light), VIII Bomber Command, moves from Grafton Underwood to Molesworth, England with A-20s; first mission is 4 Jul. Ground echelon of 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, arrives at Goxhill, England from the US.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): Brigadier General Howard C Davidson, Commanding General VII Fighter Command, also becomes Commanding General 7th Air Force.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s, B-25s, and B-26s attack Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea.

WEDNESDAY, 10 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): Local patrol is flown at Umnak Island.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): The main part of the ground echelon, including ground echelons of the 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 1st and 31st Fighter Groups, 60th Transport Group and 5th Air Depot Group, and service units arrive in the UK aboard the QUEEN ELIZABETH. Units arriving in England from the US: HQ 1st Fighter Group and 71st and 94th Fighter Squadrons at Goxhill (first missions are 1 Sep and 3 Aug respectively); 12th Transport Squadron, 60th Transport Group, at Chelveston with C-47s; and 308th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group, at Atcham (first mission is 17 Aug).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s bomb aircraft and buildings at Rabaul, New Britain Island. HQ 38th Bombardment Group (Medium) moves from Amberley Field to Eagle Farms, Australia.

THURSDAY, 11 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): The 11th Air Force strikes at Kiska Island for the first time. 5 B-24's and 5 B-17s from Cold Bay load bombs at Umnak Island and hit Kiska harbor installations and shipping targets. Low-altitude runs score near misses on 2 cruisers and a destroyer. AA downs a B-24; the other B-24s are pursued by 4 fighters back to Unmak where US fighters drive them off. USN aircraft discover Japanese landing at Attu Island. Air echelon of 21st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based at March Field, Riverside, California, begins operating from Umnak Island with B-24s.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

Aircraft and crews of the 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) deployed temporarily to the W coast, are ordered back to New England for movement to the UK.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): Units arriving in England from the US: HQ 31st Fighter Group at Atcham; 10th and 11th Transport Squadron, 60th Transport Group, at Chelveston; 307th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group, at Atcham (first mission is 17 Aug); and 340th and 414th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) at Polebrook with B-17s (first mission is 17 Aug).

FRIDAY, 12 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 6 B-17s and 1 B-24 bomb shipping in the harbor at Kiska Island. A cruiser is heavily damaged and one destroyer is seen burning. 42d Fighter Squadron, 54th Fighter Group, based at Harding Field, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, begins operating from Kodiak, Alaska with P-39s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): Another contingent of personnel for HQ 8th Air Force and subordinate commands arrive in the UK. Units arriving in England from the US: HQ 60th Transport Group at Chelveston; 309th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group, at High Ercall (first mission is 17 Aug); 341st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy), at Polebrook with B-17s (first mission is 17 Aug).

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

13 B-24's of the HALPRO detachment (the bombing detachment for the China-Burma-India Theater) under command of Colonel Harry A Halverson enroute from US to China take off during the night of 11/12 Jun from Fayid, Egypt to bomb oilfields at Ploesti, Rumania. Only 12 attack at dawn; 4 of the 13 land at a base in Iraq which was designated for recovery of the flight, 3 land at other Iraq fields, 2 land in Syria, and 4 are interned in Turkey. Though damage to the target is negligible, the raid is significant because it is the first AAF combat mission in the European-African-Middle East (EAME) Theater in World War II, and the first strike at a target which later will be famous.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s bomb the building area and Vunakanau and Lakunai Airfields at Rabaul, New Britain Island.

SATURDAY, 13 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): An LB-30 flies a weather mission and for the third straight day shipping in the harbor at Kiska Island is bombed by 5 B-17s and 3 B-24s; 2 heavy bombers turn back; the others bomb partially cloud-obscured targets. No effect is observed.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): HQ 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrives at Polebrook, England from US.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s hit the airfield at Rabaul, New Britain Island.

SUNDAY, 14 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 4 B-17s and 3 B-24s bomb shipping in the harbor of Kiska Island from an altitude of 700 feet (213 m), lowest altitude yet. 2 cruisers are hit and one scout seaplane is downed. 2 B-17s are heavily damaged but return to base. The Japanese bomb Nazan Bay, Atka Island.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

32d, 352d, 353d and 419th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy), cease operating from Muroc AAB, California and return to base at Alamogordo AAFld, New Mexico with B-17s and cease flying ASW patrols. 358th, 359th and 360th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 303d Bombardment Group (Heavy), cease operating from Muroc AAB, California and return to base at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho with B-17s and cease flying ASW patrols.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): The aircraft program for the AAF in the UK is revised downward from 3,649 to 3,266, and the date of anticipated final strength is advanced 1 month to 1 Apr 43.

MONDAY, 15 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): A bombing mission to Kiska Island by 3 B-17s and 2 B-24s is aborted due to weather.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): Major General Carl Spaatz, Commanding General 8th Air Force, arrives in the UK. The VIII Bomber Command takes a significant step toward development of the organization for control of combat operations by establishing the 1st Bombardment Wing (Provisional) at Brampton Grange, England.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

7 B-24s of the HALPRO detachment, along with 2 Royal Air Force (RAF) Liberators and torpedo-carrying Beauforts, attack the Italian fleet E of Malta. The B-24s bomb and damage a battleship and a cruiser, while the Beauforts sink a cruiser.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): 63d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Sydney to Charleville, Australia with B-17s.

TUESDAY, 16 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

CARIBBEAN 

(6th Air Force): HQ 40th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 29th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) move from Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico to Howard Field, Canal Zone and Aguadulce, Panama, respectively, with B-18s and A-17s.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

40th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 13th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Westover Field, Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts to Langley Field, Hampton, Virginia with B-18s and continues flying ASW patrols.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(5th Air Force): B-26s, B-25s, and B-17s pound Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea hitting runways and buildings and starting several fires.

WEDNESDAY, 17 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): A Kiska Harbor bombing mission is cancelled due to weather as is a patrolling mission by heavy bombers.

CARIBBEAN 

(6th Air Force): 395th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 40th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico to Rio Hato, Panama with B-18s and A-17s. In addition to ASW patrols, the squadron serves as a replacement training unit.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

433d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 45th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Mitchel Field, Hempsted, New York to Miami AAFld, Florida with RM-37s and continues flying ASW patrols.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 8th Air Force, arrives at Molesworth, England from the US with F-4s; first mission is in Nov 42. 

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

The HALPRO detachment is ordered to the vicinity of Cairo, Egypt to report to Brigadier General Russell L Maxwell, designated Commanding General US Army Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME).

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): P-40s of 73d Fighter Squadron, 18th Fighter Group, aboard the aircraft carrier USS SARATOGA (CV-3) are flown off the carrier at Midway Island to replace USN aircraft lost in the Battle of Midway. The P-40s begin dawn and dusk patrols which continue until the P-40s are relieved on 23 Jun 43.

THURSDAY, 18 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 1 LB-30, 3 B-17s and 4 B-24s make a precision high-altitude attack on Kiska Harbor. A transport is left burning and sinking, another is mauled, and 2 scout planes are possibly shot down. 1 B-24 crashes at sea; part of its crew is saved.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

Prime Minister Winston S Churchill arrives in Washington, DC for a series of conferences (until 25 Jun) with President Franklin D Roosevelt. Subjects discussed include war production, shipping, help for China, diversion of Germany from the Eastern Front and atomic research.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): HQ 8th Air Force opens in London with Major General Carl Spaatz commanding. The British Air Ministry publishes a tentative list of 87 airfields to be made ready for the 8th Air Force.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(5th Air Force): Air echelon of 69th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 38th Bombardment Group (Medium), leaves Hickam Field, Territory of Hawaii with B-26s and proceeds to New Caledonia Island to join the ground echelon; the squadron will fly sea-search missions until Dec 42.

FRIDAY, 19 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): B-24s taking off to bomb Kiska Island abort due to fog. 1 of them and 2 of its crew are lost when forced to land in the water. A B-17 is dispatched to attack a reported submarine but makes no contact.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

Brigadier General Russell L Maxwell, formerly head of the US Military North African Mission, assumes command of USAFIME.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s pound shipping and Vunakanau Airfield at Rabaul, New Britain Island.

SATURDAY, 20 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 1 LB-30, 1 B-17 and 7 B-24s take off on a search and bombing mission over Kiska Island. 3 aircraft abort the mission due to weather, 3 bomb through an overcast with unobserved results, and 3 others search in vain for a B-24 lost on the preceding day. 56th and 57th Fighter Squadrons, 54th Fighter Group, based at Harding Field, Baton Rouge, Louisiana begin operating from Nome and Elmendorf Field, Anchorage, Alaska respectively with P-39s.

ZONE OF INTERIOR

Major General James E Chaney, Commanding General ETOUSA, is recalled from the UK and will be replaced by Brigadier General Dwight D Eisenhower. 128th Observation Squadron (Light), 77th Observation Group, moves from Key Field, Meridian, Mississippi to New Orleans AAB, Louisiana with O-47s and begins flying ASW patrols.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): General George C Marshall's letter of instruction to Brigadier General Dwight D Eisenhower reveals plan to integrate all US air units in the UK into the 8th Air Force. The broad objective of the AAF in the ETO is to attain "air supremacy over Western Continental Europe" in preparation for a future invasion of the Continent.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): Major General Willis H Hale becomes Commanding General 7th Air Force, and Colonel Albert Hegenberger becomes temporary commanding officer of the VII Bomber Command.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s bomb the runway at Lae, New Guinea.

SUNDAY, 21 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): The War Department authorizes the XI Air Force Services Command, hitherto the Provisional Service Command, which is activated at Elmendorf Field, Anchorage. It is charged with maintaining and supplying all of the 11th's bases. Weather cancels all missions except an armed weather sortie over Kiska Island. Fighters fly local patrols.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

An agreement is signed by Lieutenant General Henry H "Hap" Arnold, USAAF; Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles F Portal, RAF; and Rear Admiral John H Towers, USN dealing with US air commitments and provides for a strong air force for Operation BOLERO (the buildup of US armed forces in the UK for an attack on Europe).

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

9 B-24s of the HALPRO detachment bomb the harbor at Bengasi, Libya after RAF Wellingtons light the target with flares and incendiaries.

MONDAY, 22 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): A B-17 weather reconnaissance aircraft flies over Kiska Island. Fighters fly air base patrols. A bombing mission is cancelled due to weather.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

113th Observation Squadron, 77th Observation Group, moves from New Orleans AAB, Louisiana to Hattiesburg AAFld, Mississippi with O-49s and O-52s and continues flying ASW patrols.

TUESDAY, 23 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): Weather cancels a bombing mission. A B-17 flies a reconnaissance mission over Kiska Island. A P-40 on defensive patrol crashes at Elmendorf Field, Anchorage.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): Major General Carl Spaatz is informed that Operation ROUNDUP (plans for the invasion of Western Europe) has been put off until Spring 1943. This postponement is due to a decision to mount Operation TORCH (plan for Allied landings in North and Northwest Africa in Nov 42), which will necessitate the diversion of large numbers of aircraft earlier slated for the 8th Air Force in the UK.

WEDNESDAY, 24 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): Weather cancels bombing. 1 B-17 flies a weather reconnaissance over Kiska Island. Fighters patrol airfields.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

43d and 52d Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 29th Bombardment Group (Heavy), cease flying ASW patrols and move from MacDill Field, Tampa, Florida to Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho with B-17s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): Lieutenant General Dwight D Eisenhower arrives in the UK.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

HALPRO detachment B-24s bomb the harbor at Bengasi, Libya during the night of 23/24 Jun.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(5th Air Force): B-17s hit Vunakanau Airfield on New Britain Island. Bomb loads include several bundles of incendiaries which cause intense fires.

THURSDAY, 25 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 2 B-17s, 4 B-24s and 1 LB-30 fly bombing and weather missions over Kiska Island, bombing the N side of the harbor.

ZONE OF INTERIOR 

The Arnold-Portal-Towers agreement concerning air forces for Operation BOLERO (signed on 21 Jun) is approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): HQ 8th Air Force moves from London to Bushy Park, a London suburb.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): Brigadier General William E Lynd becomes Commanding General VII Bomber Command.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-25s bomb Salamaua, New Guinea.

FRIDAY, 26 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): 5 B-24s drop incendiaries and fire bombs on Kiska Harbor installations.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(10th Air Force): Brigadier General Earl L Naiden becomes Commanding General 10th Air Force, succeeding Major General Lewis H Brereton who departs for the Middle East with Brigadier General Elmer E Adler, Commanding General X Air Service Command, and several other key subordinates. The aircraft and crews of the 9th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) follow. This move leaves the 10th Air Force almost a skeleton.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): Air echelons of the 31st Fighter Group are established at Atcham and High Ercall, England by this date. These are the first combat personnel of the VIII Fighter Command to reach the UK.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

B-24s of the HALPRO detachment fly a diversion for a RAF Albacore attack on 2 merchant vessels at Tobruk, Libya.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA 

(7th Air Force): 3 LB-30s bomb installations on Wake Island. The raid takes place during the night of 26/27 Jun and is staged through Midway Island.

SATURDAY, 27 JUNE 1942

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(10th Air Force): 16th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, moves from Karachi, India to Kunming, China with P-40s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

B-24s of the HALPRO detachment bomb the harbor at Tobruk, Libya during the night of 26/27 Jun in an effort to disrupt the movement of supplies.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-26s bomb Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea.

SUNDAY, 28 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): A B-17 weather aircraft flies over Kiska Island. A solid weather front cancels bombing. On this and the following day US advanced reconnaissance parties land on Adak Island from submarines.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(10th Air Force): 11th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based at Kunming, China, sends a detachment to operate from Dinjan, India with B-25s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

Lieutenant General Dwight D Eisenhower assumes command of ETOUSA, succeeding Major General James E Chaney.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

Major General Lewis H Brereton arrives at Cairo, Egypt, where HQ USAFIME issues orders placing him in command of US Army, Middle East Air Forces (USAMEAF), which is activated immediately. USAMEAF is comprised of the Halverson Detachment (HALPRO), Brereton's detachment [9th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) and other personnel which Brereton brought from India], and the Air Section of US Military North African Mission. Also activated is Air Service Command, USAMEAF, under Brigadier General Elmer E Adler. B-24s of the HALPRO Detachment bomb the harbor and shipping at Tobruk, Libya.

MONDAY, 29 JUNE 1942

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(10th Air Force): Colonel Robert C Oliver assumes command of the X Air Service Command. 9th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) (attached to USAMEAF) departs India for Palestine with B-17s. Ground echelon leaves from Allahabad, India and air echelon leaves from Baumrauli, India.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): Captain Charles C Kegelman [Commanding Officer, 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light)], flying on a mission with 12 RAF Bostons against Hazebrouck marshalling yard, France, becomes the first member of the 8th Air Force drop bombs on enemy-occupied Europe. The first pilot fatality of the 8th Air Force in the ETO is suffered when First Lieutenant Alfred W Giacomini of the 31st Fighter Group crashes a Spitfire while landing at Atcham, England.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s hit airfields at Rabaul, New Britain Island and Lae, New Guinea during the night of 28/29 Jun. 35th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, moves from Port Moresby, New Guinea to Woodstock, Australia with P-39s.

TUESDAY, 30 JUNE 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA 

(11th Air Force): A B-17 flies weather reconnaissance over Kiska Island.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS 

(10th Air Force): 11th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based at Kunming, China, sends detachments to operate from Kweilin, Hengyang and Nanning, China with B-25s.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(8th Air Force): Joint Anglo-American control of Burtonwood air depot begins with a view toward subsequent exclusive control by the AAF. VIII Air Force Services Command is designated the US agent at Burtonwood.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(USAMEAF) B-24s bomb the harbor at Tobruk, Libya during the night of 29/30 Jun; first US combat casualties in the Middle East are recorded as 1 B-24 is lost. Major General Lewis H Brereton moves his detachment from Egypt to Palestine, as General Erwin Rommel advances toward the Suez Canal.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA 

(5th Air Force): B-17s attack Dili and Koepang on Timor Island and Kendari on Celebes Island; B-25s and B-26s hit Lae, New Guinea. 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, moves from Port Moresby, New Guinea to Townsville, Australia with P-39s.