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

November 1942

AIRCRAFT MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT:

  • A-20, Douglas Havoc
  • 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
  • B-29, Boeing Superfortress
  • B-34, Lockheed Lexington
  • Bf 109, Messerschmitt
  • C-47, Douglas Skytrain
  • C-53, Douglas Skytrooper
  • DB-7, Douglas Havoc
  • F-4, Lockheed Lightning
  • Hurricane, Hawker
  • Ju 87, Junkers Stuka
  • L-4, Piper Cub/Grasshopper
  • RM-37, Lockheed Ventura
  • O-46, Douglas
  • O-47, North American
  • O-49, Stinson Vigilant
  • O-52, Curtiss Owl
  • OA-10, Consolidated Catalina
  • P-38, Lockheed Lightning
  • P-39, Bell Airacobra
  • P-40, Curtiss
  • P-70, Douglas
  • P-400, Bell Airacobra
  • Spitfire, Vickers Supermarine
  • Zeke, Mitsubishi A6M, Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter

NOTE: A number in parenthesis after a target name indicates the number of bombers attacking.

SUNDAY, 1 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ASW OPERATIONS

(AAF Antisubmarine Command): During Nov 42, the 80th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 45th Bombardment Group (Medium), based at Miami, Florida, begins operating from Edinburgh Field, Trinidad, British West Indies with B-18s.

CARIBBEAN

(Sixth Air Force): HQ 25th Bombardment Group (Medium) and the 10th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) move from Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico to Edinburgh Field, Trinidad with B-18s; the 35th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), assigned to the same group, moves from Coolidge Field, Antigua to Zandery Field, Surinam with B-18s while a detachment begins operating from Atkinson Field, British Guiana.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force):

INDIA AIR TASK FORCE (IATF): During Nov 42, the 9th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Tenth Air Force, based at Karachi, India, with F-4s, sends a flight to operate from Kunming, China until Jul 43 (first mission is 1 Dec).

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ICELAND

(Iceland Base Command): During Nov 42, the 337th Fighter Squadron, 342d Composite Group, begins a movement from Iceland to the US.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

Force (USAMEAF)]

B-24s strike the airfield and dispersal areas at Maleme, Crete; P-40s escort the bombers and hit ground targets in the battle area. An air depot, 2 service groups, and 1 Military Police company are assigned to USAMEAF.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force)

HQ 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrives at Hickam Field, Hawaii from the US.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA

(SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff)

The 431st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Viti Levu Island, Fiji Islands, to Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides Islands with B-17s. During Nov, the 98th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), based on Espiritu Santo Island, begins operating from Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands with B-17s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): B-25s bomb the airfield and dump area at Lae, New Guinea. In the Solomon Islands, B-17s strike shipping in the Buin, Bougainville Island-Faisi Island, Shortland Islands-Tonolai, Bougainville Island area. Kahili Airfield on Bougainville Island is also attacked. A detachment of the 33d Troop Carrier Squadron, 315th Troop Carrier Group, begins operating from Cairns, Queensland, Australia with C-47s (squadron is enroute to Australia from the US).

MONDAY, 2 NOVEMBER 1942

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force:) Brigadier General Robet C Candee, Commanding General VIII Air Support Command, states that the effort expended and personnel lost in organizing the Twelfth AF and preparing for its move from the UK to N Africa has severely retarded organization of his HQ and staff.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(USAMEAF): In Egypt, the British Eighth Army opens an assault (Operation SUPERCHARGE, the plan for the British XXX Corps breakout from Egypt) W of Tell el-Eisa with 2 New Zealand Division in the lead; B-25s bomb a track extending S from Rahman as the British 9 Armored Brigade establishes bridgeheads across the track; other B-25s attack tanks and other targets in support of the assault; P-40s fly escort and strafing missions in the battle area. B-17s bomb shipping and jetties in Tobruk, Libya harbor.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): The 370th, 371st, 372d and 424th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrive at Kipapa Field, Wheeler Field, Kahuku and Dillingham Field, Hawaii respectively from the US with B-24s (sea-search missions are flown in Nov-Dec).

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA

(SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): The 68th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, arrives on New Caledonia Island from Tongatabu Island, Tonga Islands with P-40s (first mission is 12 Nov).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): B-26s bomb Dili, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands. B-17s attack shipping NE of Buna, New Guinea while B-25s strike at a convoy S of New Britain Island, Bismarck Archipelago. In New Guinea, Australian ground forces seize Kokoda in the Owen Stanley Range with its airfield after long days of fighting; this will greatly facilitate supply and reinforcement of troops in this area as they push over the mountains toward the Buna-Gona area.

TUESDAY, 3 NOVEMBER 1942

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(USAMEAF): In Egypt, B-25s bomb tanks, motor transports, landing ground, ammunition dumps, mainly in the Rahman Track area and on the road between Fuka and El Daba, and also hit town of Fuka and Ghazal station; P-40s fly several escort and fighter-bomber missions, attacking ground targets in support of the British Eighth Army; Allied aircraft fly 400+ sorties against troops retreating along the coastal road; during the night of 3/4 Nov, British and Indian troops outflank and break an enemy tank screen in the sector S of Tell el Aqqaqir.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): B-26s bomb Dili, Timor Island. B-17s bomb the airfield and wharf at Lae, New Guinea, and attack a ship S of Gasmata Island off the S coast of New Britain Island.

WEDNESDAY, 4 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, bad weather at Umnak Island and Dutch Harbor on Un

ALASKA

Island and a flooded field at Adak Island preclude missions; a new Adak Island runway permits an air alert.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(USAMEAF): 9 B-24s bomb the Bengasi, Libya harbor, hitting 3 ships and claiming 1 enemy fighter shot down. In Egypt, B-25s and P-40s attack motor transports and troops retreating W from the El Alamein battleline with British in pursuit; 10 Corps armor clashes with the rearguard S of Ghazal. Lieutenant General Frank M Andrews replaces Brigadier General Russell L Maxwell as Commanding General USAFIME.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): B-26s bomb Aileu on Timor Island. In New Guinea, B-17s and B-25s bomb the town and harbor of Salamaua; A-20s hit troop concentrations at Oivi, where an Australian attack meets firm resistance; transports fly most of the remainder of the 128th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division, to Wanigela. HQ 90th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 319th, 320th, 321st and 400th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) arrive at Iron Range, Queensland, Australia from Hawaii with B-24s (first mission is 13 Nov).

THURSDAY, 5 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands weather reconnaissance is flown over Kiska and Little Kiska Islands.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(USAMEAF): General Bernard L Montgomery announces the victory of the British Eighth Army in Egypt; 10 Corps, pushing rapidly W, overcomes a rearguard action near Fuka; as Field Marshall Erwin Rommel retreats W from El Alamein, P-40s bomb targets on the Fuka road and patrol the Sidi Hanaish area; B-25s also bomb motor transports.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): B-25s unsuccessfully attack a schooner near Arawe, New Britain Island.

FRIDAY, 6 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): A weather aircraft is forced back near Kiska Island.

ASW OPERATIONS

(AAF Antisubmarine Command): The 519th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 337th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), moves from Naval Auxiliary Airfield Hyannis to Otis Field, Falmouth, Massachusetts with B-25s and continues flying ASW patrols.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force):

INDIA AIR TASK FORCE (IATF): In India, the 25th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, based at Karachi, sends a detachment to operate from Sadiya with P-40s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(USAMEAF): B-24s hit the harbors of Tobruk and Bengasi, Libya, scoring hits on 2 vessels. Heavy rains delay the British pursuit of the retreating enemy in the Matruh, Egypt area.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): A single B-25 attacks a destroyer off the S tip of New Ireland Island, Bismarck Archipelago; no hits are scored. General Douglas MacArthur arrives in Point Moresby, New Guinea, where the Advanced Echelon of GHQ opens to direct operations.

SATURDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, 6 B-24s and 2 B-26s attack the submarine base in Kiska Island Harbor, slightly damaging float fighters and a seaplane beached by storm; a B-17 flies reconnaissance over the airfield W of Holtz Bay on Attu Island, and bombs the submarine base and a previously-damaged freighter in Gertrude Cove on Kiska Island.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force:) Mission 16: 23 of 56 B-17s and 11 of 12 B-24s attack the U-boat pens at Brest, France; they claim 4-3-7 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 12 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA. 7 B-24s fly a diversion.

(Twelfth Air Force:) The air movement of the Twelfth AF from the UK to N Africa begins; other elements of the Twelfth AF moving from the UK and US are aboard Allied ships approaching the Algerian and Moroccan coasts.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s bomb and strafe forces at Kakandeta in the Owen Stanley Range; B-25s attack seaplanes at Lasonga Island and shipping at Maklo Island in the Bismarck Archipelago. The 65th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Iron Range to Mareeba, Australia with B-17s (first mission is 12 Nov).

SUNDAY, 8 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, there is an intermittent air alert; the weather aircraft returns due to icing.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Mission 17: 53 bombers are dispatched to hit two targets in France; 1 B-17 is lost:

1. 11 of 15 B-17s bomb the Abbeville/Drucat Airfield; they claim 1-2-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 B-17s are damaged and 5 airmen are WIA.

2. 31 of 38 B-17s bomb the Atclier d'Hellemmes locomotive works at Lille; they claim 10-4-13 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 is lost and 8 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 11 MIA.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(USAMEAF): HQ 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 513th, 514th and 515th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) move from Lydda, Palestine to Abu Sueir, Egypt with B-24s.

(Twelfth Air Force): The invasion of N Africa (Operation TORCH) begins. In French Morocco, C-47s of the 60th Troop Carrier Group attempting to land troops at La Senia Airfield find the French unexpectedly hostile and have several aircraft shot down by fighters and AA; several other C-47s are damaged when trying to land on the dry lakebed of Sebkra d'Oran. Spitfires of the 31st Fighter Group, flying from Gibraltar into Tafaraoui Airfield, Algeria during the afternoon of D-Day, claim 3 hostile French fighters destroyed. In Algeria, the following units arrive at Tafaraoui Airfield from the UK: HQ XII Fighter Command, HQ 31st Fighter Group, HQ 60th Troop Carrier Group and 10th, 11th and 12th Troop Carrier Squadrons with C-47s, air echelon of 2d, 4th and 5th Fighter Squadrons, 52d Fighter Group with Spitfires, and the 308th and 309th Fighter Squadrons, 31st Fighter Group, with Spitfires; the 71st Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, arrives at St Leu from the UK with P-38s. In French Morocco during Nov 42, HQ 5th Bombardment Wing and HQ 7th Fighter Wing arrive at Casablanca from the US.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): B-25s bomb the radio station and airfield on Gasmata Island. In New Guinea, A-20s hit forces in the Oivi area in the Owen Stanley Range as Australian ground forces push over the mountains toward the Gona-Buna area; Fifth AF transports fly the final elements of the 128th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division, from Port Moresby to Wanigela; the 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, moves from Port Moresby to Milne Bay with P-39s and P-400s. The 64th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Iron Range to Mareeba, Australia with B-17s.

MONDAY, 9 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, 2 B-26s and 4 P-38s bomb a cargo ship in Gertrude Cove, Kiska Island; no hits; 2 P-38s then strafe the harbor area on Kiska Island; 1 B-17 and 4 P-38s attack Holtz Bay, Attu Island Island and Attu Island Airfield, destroying 8 float Zekes; 1 B-17 flies weather reconnaissance over Attu, Kiska, and Segula Islands.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz, Commanding General Eighth Air Force, in a memo to Lieutenant General Dwight D Eisenhower, agrees that any increase in air commitments to N Africa must necessarily be made at the expense of US forces in the UK as US forces in other theaters are considered irreducible. Mission 18: 31 of 33 B-17s and 12 of 14 B-24s attack the U-boat base at Saint Nazaire, France from reduced altitude; only 1 of the 12 B-24s bombing from 17,500 to 18,300 feet (5,334 to 5,578 m) suffer AA damage, but 31 B-17s at 7,500 to 10,000 feet (2,286 to 3,048 m) lose 3 of aircraft and have 22 damaged by AA fire, 1 airman KIA, 11 WIA and 32 MIA; this ends the experiment with low-level attacks of heavy bombers, against submarine bases.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(USAMEAF): The 512th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Lydda, Palestine to Abu Sueir, Egypt with B-24s.

(Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, Spitfires of the 31st Fighter Group attack and halt an armored column moving N toward Tafaraoui, and also attack artillery and AA batteries SE of Tafaraoui and along the coastal road; at 1605 hours, Major General James H Doolittle, Commanding General Twelfth AF, arrives in Algeria from Gibraltar by B-17, escorted by 12 Spitfires from the 52d Fighter Group; HQ Twelfth AF arrives in Algeria from the UK; HQ 52d Fighter Group arrives at Tafaraoui from the UK; the 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group arrives at St Leu with P-38s; the 307th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group arrives at Tafaraoui with Spitfires. In French Morocco, HQ XII Air Support Command arrives from the US; HQ 68th Observation Group and the 16th and 122d Observation Squadron arrive at Casablanca and Fedala respectively from the US with A-20s and P-39s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s hit troops at Oivi in support of an Australian offensive in the Owen Stanley Range; B-26s bomb Buna while B-25s score hit on a merchant vessel off the S tip of New Ireland Island and attack a schooner off Salamaua; airlift of elements of the 126th Infantry Regiment, US 32d Infantry Division, from Port Moresby to forward areas begins; the first elements are flown to Abel's Field and moved overland to Pongani.

TUESDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, reconnaissance is flown over Attu, Semichi, Segula, Alaid, and Kiska Islands; 5 B-24s and 1 B-17 bomb Kiska Island, but they cannot bomb the Kiska submarine base and return with some bombs; 2 P-38s and 1 OA-10 fly local air coverage.

ASW OPERATIONS

(AAF Antisubmarine Command): The 361st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 304th Bombardment Group (Heavy) (air echelon attached to VIII Bomber Command), based at Langley Field, Virginia begins operating from St Eval, England with B-24s.

CARIBBEAN

(Sixth Air Force): HQ 53d Fighter Group and the 13th, 14th and 15th Fighter Squadrons begin a movement from Howard Field, Canal Zone and Chame and LaChorrera, Panama to the US; it will become a replacement training unit in Florida until disbanded on 1 May 44. The 28th Fighter Squadron, 37th Fighter Group, moves from Patilla Point to Chame, Panama with P-39s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(USAMEAF): B-24s hit the harbor at Bengasi, Libya while B-17s hit the harbor at Candia, Crete. The 343d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from St Jean, Palestine to Kabrit, Egypt with B-24s.

(Twelfth Air Force): AAF Spitfires escort a convoy, fly reconnaissance, and attack tanks and other vehicles in the Oran, Algeria area. French Admiral Jean F Darlan broadcasts orders for the French forces in N Africa to cease resistance against the Allies. In Algeria, the following units arrive at St Leu from the UK: 111th and 154th Observation Squadrons, 68th Observation Group, with A-20s; 437th, 438th, 439th and 440th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 319th Bombardment Group (Medium), with B-26s. In French Morocco, 72 P-40s of the 33d Fighter Group, catapulted from the US auxiliary aircraft carrier USS Chenango (ACV-28), land in Port Lyautey; the 91st and 93d Fighter Squadrons, 81st Fighter Group, arrive at Port Lyautey from the US with P-39s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-26s bomb AA positions and supply dumps along the Sanananda-Soputa trail; A-20s hit positions at Soputa as Australian ground forces push the Japanese from Oivi toward the mouth of the Kumusi River. The 30th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy), begins a movement from Mareeba, Australia to the US (the squadron will convert to B-29s and return to the Pacific in Jan 45).

WEDNESDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, 3 B-26s, 3 B-17s, and 3 B-24s are over Kiska Island; the B-26s make unsuccessful runs on a ship in Gertrude Cove; the B-17s and B-24s find the submarine base closed by weather. A weather aircraft flies over Attu and Amchitka Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force):

INDIA AIR TASK FORCE (IATF): 9 P-40s hit Shinghbwiyang, Burma, causing heavy damage.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(USAMEAF): In Libya, B-24s hit shipping N of Bengasi, claiming 4 direct hits and several near misses on 1 vessel; P-40s fly a sweep over the Gambut area, claiming 3 Stukas destroyed; the British Eighth Army drives the last of the enemy from Egypt and crosses into Libya, taking Bardia without opposition; HQ 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 344th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), move from Ramat David, Palestine to Fayid, Egypt with B-24.

(Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, fighters fly reconnaissance over the Oran-Tafaraoui area and escort C-47s carrying paratroops from Gibraltar to Algiers. All French resistance against the Allies in NW Africa ceases in the early morning. HQ 319th Bombardment Group (Medium) moves from England to St Leu, Algeria. The 16th, 17th and 18th Troop Carrier Squadrons, 64th Troop Carrier Group, based in England begin operating from Maison Blance, Algeria. The 92d Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group, arrives at Port Lyautey, French Morocco from the US with P-39s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA

(SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): Search aircraft from Guadalcanal Island report at least 61 Japanese ships in the Buin-Tonolai area of Bougainville Island; other ships are massed at Rabaul, New Britain Island.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): B-17s attack shipping off the S coast of Bougainville Island. In New Guinea, A-20s bomb and strafe targets in the Wairopi area; HQ, 126th Infantry Regiment, US 32d Infantry Division, is flown from Port Moresby to Pongani. HQ V Fighter Command arrives in Australia from the US; Brigadier General Paul B Wurtsmith is named Commanding General.

THURSDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, bombers are on alert at Umnak and Adak Islands to attack any reported naval targets; intermittent fighter patrols fly over Adak Island. The 344th Fighter Squadron, 343d Fighter Group, based at Elmendorf Field, Anchorage, sends a detachment to Cold Bay, Alaska with P-40s.

ZONE OF INTERIOR

The AAF School of Applied Tactics is established at Orlando AAB, Orlando, Florida; the school is established to (1) train the cadres to form the nuclei of new units, (2) train individuals in highly specialized duties and (3) testing of new tactics and techniques under combat conditions.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): US Army Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF) is dissolved and replaced by HQ Ninth AF, commanded by Lieutenant General Lewis H Brereton; major components are: IX Bomber Command (Brigadier General Patrick W Timberlake) at Ismailia, Egypt, IX Fighter Command (Colonel John C Kilborn) enroute to Egypt, and IX Air Service Command (Brigadier General Elmer E Adler). HQ 57th Fighter Group and the 65th Fighter Squadron move from Egypt to Libya with P-40s; the 85th, 86th and 87th Fighter Squadrons, 79th Fighter Group, arrives in Egypt from the US with P-40s; the 415th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Ramat David, Palestine to Fayid, Egypt with B-24s.

(Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, fighters fly patrols over a wide area around Oran and escort C-47s which drop US paratroops at Duzerville Airfield SE of Bone; Duzerville Airfield is bombed by Axis aircraft during the night of 12/13 Nov; HQ XII Fighter Command moves from Tafaraoi to La Senia; the ground echelon of the 2d, 4th and 5th Fighter Squadrons, 52d Fighter Group, arrive at La Senia from the UK; the 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Twelfth AF (attached to 3d Photographic Group) arrives La Senia from the UK with F-4s (first mission in Nov 42); the 307th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group, moves from Tafaraoui to La Senia with Spitfires. In French Morocco, the 16th and 122d Observation Squadrons, 68th Observation Group, move from Fedala to Casablanca with A-20s and P-39s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA

(SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): 11 transports carrying 13,500 troops and supported by a force of cruisers and 2 battleships (Kirishima and Hiei) leave the Shortland Island area and head for Guadalcanal Island; during the afternoon the reconnaissance value and defensive capability of the B-17 are ably demonstrated when a single B-17 sights a carrier 350 miles (563 km) off Guadalcanal Island and maintains contact for 2 hours before returning to base with claims of 6 Zekes shot down. The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal Island (12-15 Nov) opens as Japanese aircraft attack US transports unloading troops in Lunga Roads of Guadalcanal. The first 12 P-38s of the 339th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, as well as US Marine Corps and US Navy aircraft, are moved from Tontouta Airfield on New Caledonia Island and Espiritu Santo Island to Henderson Field to bolster the defense of Guadalcanal Island. The 68th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, moves from New Caledonia Island to Guadalcanal Island with P-39s and P-40s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): B-17s bomb shipping at Tonolai harbor on Bougainville Island. In New Guinea, the 3d Battalion of the 126th Infantry Regiment, US 32d Infantry Division, is airlifted from Port Moresby to Pongani; the troops immediately start overland toward Natunga; the 2d Battalion, flown in earlier, reaches Bofu. HQ 374th Troop Carrier Group is activated at Brisbane, Australia.

FRIDAY, 13 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, reconnaissance over Attu and Agattu Islands reveals 5 landing barges in Chichagof harbor on Attu Island.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): HQ VIII AF Composite Command moves from the temporary station at Long Kesh to Kirkassock House, Ireland.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): Tobruk, Libya falls to 10 Corps of the British Eighth Army. The 64th and 66th Fighter Squadrons, 57th Fighter Group, move from Egypt to Libya with P-40s.

(Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, C-47s, with P-38 escort, fly AA guns and aviation gasoline to Duzerville Airfield; US Spitfires patrol the Oran-Tafaraoui area; HQ 1st Fighter Group arrives at Tafaraoui from the UK; HQ 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 340th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) arrive at Maison Blanche from the UK with B-17s; the 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light), Twelfth AF, arrives at Tebessa from the UK with A-20s; the 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, moves from St Leu to Tafaraoui with P-38s. In French Morocco, HQ 33d Fighter Group moves from Port Lyautey to Casablanca.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA

(SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): Air strength on Guadalcanal Island is raised by the arrival of 3 B-26s of the 69th and 70th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 38th Bombardment Group (Medium), from New Hebrides Island as the naval battle of Guadalcanal Island continues; Japanese cruisers and destroyers bombard Henderson Field on Guadalcanal during the night of 13/14 Nov, and destroy one of the new P-38s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): On Bougainville Island, B-17s bomb shipping off Tonolai-Komaleai Point and the airfield at Kahili. A B-17 strafes a schooner in Lorengau harbor on Manus Island, Admiralty Islands.

SATURDAY, 14 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, 1 B-24 flies armed reconnaissance over Kiska and Attu Islands and bombs Holtz Bay and Chichagof on Attu Island with negative results; bombers at Adak and Umnak Islands are alerted for shipping targets.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force):

INDIA AIR TASK FORCE (IATF): In India, the following squadrons of the 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) begin operating or move to Gaya with B-24s: - 9th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) based at Karachi, begins operating from Gaya with B-24s - 436th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) moves from Allahabad to Gaya - 492d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) moves from Karachi to Gaya

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Mission 19: 34 bombers are dispatched to hit U-boats pens at La Pallice, France but the target is covered by 10/10 clouds and 15 of 21 B-17s and 9 of 13 B-24s hit the secondary, the port area at St Nazaire, France; 1 B-24 is damaged. 6 B-24s fly a diversion for this mission.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): 6 B-17s are dispatched to attack the harbor at Bengasi, Libya, but only 1 locates the target and drops its bombs.

(Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, US Spitfires fly routine patrols in the Oran-Tafaraoui area and escort C-53's carrying paratroops from Gibraltar to Algiers; HQ 52d Fighter Group moves from Tafaraoui to La Senia; the 28th Troop Carrier Squadron, 60th Troop Carrier Group, arrives at Tafaraoui from the UK with C-47s; the 71st Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group moves from St Leu to Tafaraoui with P-38s; the 309th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group moves from Tafaraoui to La Senia with Spitfires. In French Morocco, the 35th Troop Carrier Squadron, 64th Troop Carrier Group, begins operating from Casablanca with C-47s (squadron is enroute from the UK).

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA

(SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): Aircraft from the US aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) are joined by landbased US Marine Corps and AAF aircraft in driving off the force that bombarded Henderson Field on Guadalcanal Island the previous night. In view of the pressing need for aircraft in the SOPAC, Admiral Chester W Nimitz [Commander-in-Chief SOPAC (CINCPOA)] is given more freedom to deploy his air weapons; he receives authority to distribute as he sees fit all available air units assigned to the S and C Pacific provided he move units rather than individual aircraft and crews.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, 1 B-25 bombs and strafes the track N of Soputa; Fifth AF aircraft drop bridging equipment at Wairopi on the Kokoda trail where the Australian 25 Brigade is crossing on improvised bridge; US and Australian forces are consolidating at Natunga and in the Oro Bay-Embogu-Embi areas. 2 B-17s attack transport in the Solomon Islands.

SUNDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): The 21st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group (Heavy) (under control of the 28th Composite Group), ceases operating from Adak Island and returns to base on Umnak island with B-24s. The 406th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium) (attached to 28th Composite Group), arrives at Elmendorf Field, Anchorage from the US with A-29s and B-18s (the squadron has been operating from Alaska

since Jun 42).

ASW OPERATIONS

(AAF Antisubmarine Command): The air echelon of the 40th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 13th Bombardment Group (Medium), ceases operating from Vernam Field, Jamaica, British West Indies and returns to base at Mitchel Field, New York with B-18s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Libya, B-24s from 2 groups are sent to bomb Tripoli, but unfavorable weather prevents them from reaching the target; 1 group bombs a motor convoy, as well as an airfield and crowded roads in the Bengasi area; P-40s fly sweeps and fighter-bomber missions against the retreating enemy W of Martuba; Martuba Airfields are captured by British 10 Corps and are soon occupied by the 57th Fighter Group.

(Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, C-47s fly an airborne operation from Algiers to Youks-le-Bains; escort is provided at intervals by Royal Air Force (RAF) Spitfires and Hurricanes. British First Army ground forces reach Tunisia at Taberka; the following units arrive at Tafaraoui from the UK: HQ 14th Fighter Group; HQ 62d Troop Carrier Group and the 4th and 7th Troop Carrier Squadrons with C-47s; the 94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, with P-38s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA

(SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): Rear Admiral Willis A Lee's force of 2 battleships [USS Washington (BB-56) and USS South Dakota (BB-57)] and 3 destroyers meets and turns back a larger Japanese force, sinking the battleship Kirishima and a destroyer while losing a destroyer. This ends the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal Island (12-15 Nov) which involved squadrons of the 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), as well as the 69th and 70th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 72d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), and the 39th and 339th Fighter Squadrons.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s strafe targets near Gona while B-25s and B-26s pound AA positions at Buna and Soputa as US and Australian ground forces prepare to move against the Buna-Gona beachhead. B-17s hit shipping at Rabaul, New Britain Island. The 435th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy), begins a movement from Townsville, Australia to the US (the squadron will re-equip with B-29s and return to the Pacific in Aug 45).

MONDAY, 16 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, a weather reconnaissance flight is flown over Kiska and Attu Islands. On Attu Island, demolition charges are dropped on Holtz Bay, AA guns, and on a village; results are not observed.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): P-40s patrol over the Germiston, Libya area. the 345th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Ramat David, Palestine to Fayid, Egypt with B-24s.

(Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, Twelfth AF C-47s drop British paratroops at Souk el Arba; 6 B-17s, of the 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) based at Maison Blanche, Algeria, raid Sidi Ahmed Airfield at Bizerte; thus the 97th which flew the first US heavy bomber mission from the UK, on 17 Aug, becomes the first Twelfth AF bombardment group to fly a combat mission in Africa. In Algeria, the 8th Troop Carrier Squadron, 62d Troop Carrier Group, arrives at Tafaraoui from the UK with C-47s; the 111th and 154th Observation Squadrons, 68th Observation Group, moves from St Leu to Tafaraoui with A-20s; the 341st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrives at Maison Blanche from the UK with B-17s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-26s, B-25s, and A-20s pound the areas around Buna, Gona, Soputa, Sanananda, and Giruwa, hitting AA positions, buildings, barges, and troop concentrations as the Australian 7 Division and US 32d Infantry Division move forward against the Buna-Gona beachhead.

TUESDAY, 17 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, weather a  reconnaissance aircraft is forced back by weather W of Kiska Island; bombers are on alert to attack surface vessels.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Mission 20: 2  locations are targetted:

1. 23 of 49 B-17s and 12 of 14 B-24s hit the U-boats pens at St Nazaire, France; they claim 6-8-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 9 B-17s and 7 B-24s are damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 3 WIA.

2. 6 B-24s are dispatched to hit Maupertus Airfield at Cherbourg but abort due to cloud cover.

3. 10 B-17s fly a diversion to covert the missions above.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Libya, P-40s patrol over Tobruk and the Derna road.

(Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, air action is limited to routine patrols in the Tafaraoui area; the 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Twelfth Air Force (attached to 3d Photographic Group) moves from La Senia to Tafaraoui with F-4s; the 437th and 438th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 319th Bombardment Group (Medium), move from St Leu to Tafaraoui with B-26s. In French Morocco, the following units arrive at Mediuna from the US: 85th, 86th and 97th Bombardment Squadrons (Light), 47th Bombardment Group (Light), with A-20s; 380th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 310th Bombardment Group (Medium), with B-25s.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): The 6th Fighter Squadron, 18th Fighter Group, moves from Kahuku to Kipapa, Hawaii with P-70s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-26s hit Gona Mission as the US 32d Infantry and Australian 7 Divisions continue to move toward the Buna-Gona beachhead. B-25s bomb airfields at Lae, New Guinea and Gasmata Island. A lone B-24 bombs the wharf area at Rabaul, New Britain Island.

WEDNESDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, armed reconnaissance is flown over Kiska and Attu Islands; no bombs are dropped.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Mission 21: 65 bombers are dispatched to hit targets against U-boat bases in France; 1 bomber is lost:

1. 13 of 13 B-24s hit Lorient; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 3 are damaged; 5 airmen are KIA and 8 WIA.

2. 19 of 21 B-17s hit St Nazaire; 15 B-17s are damaged and 3 airmen are WIA.

3. 21 of 34 B-17s hit La Pallice; 1 B-17s is lost and 9 damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 3 WIA.

4. 20 B-17s and 6 B-24s fly diversions for the above missions.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): B-17s bomb the marshalling yard and docks at Bengasi, Libya. HQ 79th Fighter Group arrives at Kasfareet, Egypt from the US.

(Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, several P-38s are damaged in an enemy air raid on Maison Blanche Airfield; HQ 14th Fighter Group moves from Tafaraoui to Maison Blanche; HQ 319th Bombardment Group (Medium) and the 439th, and 440th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) move from St Leu to Tafaraoui with B-26s; "A" flight of the air echelon of the 15th Photographic Mapping Squadron, 3d Photographic Group, arrives at Tafaraoui with B-17s and F-4s (ground echelon in England; "B" and "C" Flights of air echelon remain in Colorado until Oct 43). In French Morocco, HQ 47th Bombardment Group (Light)and the 84th Bombardment Squadron (Light) arrive at Mediouna from the US with A-20s; HQ 310th Bombardment Group (Medium) and the 381st Bombardment Squadron (Medium) arrive at Mediouna from the US with B-25s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-25s bomb the airfields at Lae and Salamaua; B-17s attack warships 50 miles (80 km) SW of Gasmata Island located off the S coast of New Britain Island, 17 miles (27 km) N of Buna, and between Gona and Cape Ward Hunt; B-26s bomb and strafe the area between Cape Endaiadere and Buna. The 28th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), begins a movement from Mareeba, Australia to the US (squadron will return to Guam in Jan 45 with B-29s).

THURSDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, reconnaissance aircraft over Attu and Agattu Islands sights 2 unidentified float monoplanes E of Buldir Island.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Submarine yards at Vegesack, Bremen, and Kiel, Germany are added to day bombardment program as top priority objectives.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): B-17s, escorted by P-38s, bomb El Aouina Airfield, Tunisia. In Algeria, the 342d and 414th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrive at Maison Blanche from the UK with B-17s. In French Morocco, the 345th and 346th Fighter Squadrons, 350th Fighter Group, arrive at Casablanca, the air echelon from the UK with P-39s and P-400s and the ground echelon from the US; the 379th and 428th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 310th Bombardment Group (Medium), arrive at Mediouna with B-25s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA

(SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): The 12th Fighter Squadron, 15th Fighter Group, moves from Christmas Island in the Line Islands to Efate Island in the New Hebrides Islands with P-39s.

FRIDAY, 20 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): A reconnaissance aircraft over Kiska Island draws heavy AA from Gertrude Cove.

ASW OPERATIONS

(AAF Antisubmarine Command): HQ 25th and 26th Antisubmarine Wings are activated at New York, New York and Miami, Florida respectively.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force):

INDIA AIR TASK FORCE (IATF): 8 B-24s bomb the marshalling yard at Mandalay, Burma as IATF bombers, commanded by Colonel Conrad F Necrason, intensify their campaign against Burma and Thailand.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): P-40s patrol over the battle area near Bengasi, Libya, as that city falls to the British 10 Corps.

(Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria during the night of 20/21 Nov, enemy aircraft bomb the harbor and Maison Blanche Airfield at Algiers, destroying several aircraft at the field; HQ 1st Fighter Group and the 27th Fighter Squadron move from Tafaraoui to Nouvion; the 154th Observation Squadron, 68th Observation Group, moves from Tafaraoui to Blida with A-20s.

SATURDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, reconnaissance is flown over Kiska, Attu, and Agattu Islands.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): The 109th Observation Squadron, 67th Observation Group, moves from Membury to Atcham, England with A-20s (first mission is Dec 43).

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Libya, B-24s flying out of Gambut bomb Tripoli harbor, scoring a direct hit on a warehouse; RAF bombers follow the US raids with staggered attacks during the night of 21/22 Nov; P-40s patrol the battle area S of Bengasi.

(Twelfth Air Force): B-17s hit El Aouina Airfield, Tunisia. In Algeria, P-38s of the 1st Fighter Group arrive at Nouvion to replace the 14th Fighter Group in escorting B-17s; during the night of 21/22 Nov enemy aircraft again hit Algiers, damaging several aircraft and destroying a B-17; the 71st and 94th Fighter Squadrons, 1st Fighter Group, move from Tafaraoui to Nouvion; the 440th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 319th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Tafaraoui to Maison Blanche with B-26s. In French Morocco, the 12th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 3d Photographic Group, arrives at Casablanca from the US with F-4s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s and B-25s pound the airfield, AA positions, and bridge at Buna and hit the village of Sanananda in support of Allied ground forces; the Australian-US force is advancing from Soputa toward Sanananda; US forces driving on Buna are halted by strong bunker positions at The Triangle where trails to Buna mission and Buna village meet.

SUNDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, a B-24 flies reconnaissance over Kiska, Attu, and Agattu Islands; bombers and fighters are alerted for a 23 Nov mission to find and destroy a reported 5-vessel convoy.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force):

INDIA AIR TASK FORCE (IATF): 6 B-24s inflict heavy damage on the railroad center at Mandalay, Burma.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Mission 22: 68 B-17s and 8 B-24s are dispatched to hit the Keroma U-boat pens at Lorient, France; only 11 B-17s find a gap in the 10/10 cloud cover and bomb at 1410 hours local without loss.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): P-40s patrol over the Derna, Libya area.

(Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, HQ XII Bomber Command arrives at Tafaraoui from the UK; HQ 14th Fighter Group moves from Maison Blanche to Youks-les-Bains; HQ 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 340th, 341st, 342d and 414th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) move from Maison Blanche to Tafaraoui with B-17s because of enemy bombing raids.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA

(Seventh Air Force): The critical lack of aircraft repair and maintenance facilities is alleviated somewhat by the arrival of the 13th Air Depot and the 6th and 29th Service Groups; the units are based on New Caledonia and Espiritu Santo Islands.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA

(SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): HQ 4th Photographic Group arrives on New Caledonia Island from the US.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s pound trails around Sanananda while B-26s hit the Buna area; B-17s and B-25s hit the airfield at Lae and barges between Lae and Salamaua, and attack warships 68 miles (109 km) SW of Arawe, New Britain Island and elsewhere in the Solomon Sea.

MONDAY, 23 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, reconnaissance is flown over Kiska, Attu, Agattu, and Amchitka Islands.

ASW OPERATIONS

(AAF Antisubmarine Command): The 361st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 304th Bombardment Group (Heavy), is redesignated 1st Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy) (ground echelon is at Langley Field, Virginia and air echelon is operating from St Eval, England); the 523d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 378th Bombardment Group (Heavy), at Langley Field, Virginia, is redesignated the 2d Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy).

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force):

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE (CATF): 9 B-25s and 7 P-40s feint at Hong Kong, then fly to the Gulf of Tonkin and sink a freighter and damage 2 others near Haiphong, French Indochina. 6 B-25s and 17 P-40s pound Tien Ho Airfield at Canton claiming 40+ aircraft destroyed on the field; these strikes follow 3 weeks of missions in support of Chinese forces along the Siang-Chiang River.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): Mission 23: 50 B-17s and 8 B-24s are dispatched to hit the St Nazaire submarine base in France for the 5th time in 2 weeks; the cumulative effect of the operation on the base is large though the sub shelter shows little permanent damage; 28 B-17s and 8 B-24s hit the target; they claim 16-2-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; the AAF crews report a change in fighter tactics from rear to head-on attack as the Luftwaffe learns that the B-17 and B-24 are weak in forward firepower; 4 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 16 B-17s and 1 B-24 are damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 16 WIA and 43 MIA. Admiral Sir Dudley Pound, First Lord of the Admiralty, writes to Lieutenant General Ira C Eaker, Commanding General Eighth AF, praising the effects of the US bomber attacks on disorganizing the servicing schedule of the German U-boat bases on the French W coast.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): HQ 316th Troop Carrier Group and the 36th and 37th Troop Carrier Squadrons arrive at El Adem, Egypt from the US with C-47s.

(Twelfth Air Force): B-17s, with P-38 escort, sent to bomb the airfield at Elmas, Sardinia abort due to bad weather. In Algeria, the Twelfth AF Main HQ moves from Gibraltar to Algiers; HQ 51st Troop Carrier Wing arrives at Algiers from the UK.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s and B-26s pound Sanananda Point E as Australian forces begin their assault on Gona and US forces approach Sanananda; the 403d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Iron Range, Australia to Milne Bay.

TUESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, 1 B-24 flies reconnaissance over Kiska Island; weather precludes the westward continuation of reconnaissance; a scheduled mission of 8 B-24s and 4 B-26s to Kiska Island is called off due to icing conditions.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Libya, P-40s patrol over the Bengasi and Derna areas.

(Twelfth Air Force): B-17s, with P-38 escort, are dispatched against the harbor at Bizerte, Tunisia but must abort because of bad weather. In Algeria, fighters patrol the Oran-Nouvion-Tafaraoui area, and fly sea patrol off Oran and destroy several aircraft and attack ground targets in the vicinity of Gabes, Tunisia. In Algeria, HQ 319th Bombardment Group (Medium) and the 439th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) move from Tafaraoui to Maison Blanche with B-26s; the 352d and 419th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrive at Tafaraoui from the UK with B-17s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA

(SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): Search aircraft over the Buin, Bougainville Island area report a large number of destroyers and cargo vessels in the harbor. By this date elements of the Americal Division have pushed along the N coast of Guadalcanal Island to a position S of Point Cruz where they wait until a general offensive can be prepared following the arrival of reinforcements. Throughout these operations P-39s have continually hit ground positions and troops all along the coast, flying as many as 11 strikes on some days.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, A-20s, B-25s,  B-26s, B-17s, P-40s, P-39s, and P-400s hit Sanananda Point, the Buna area, the Sanananda-Soputa trail S of Sanananda, and the area between Cape Killerton and Sanananda Point as Allied forces launch a ground assault on The Triangle; the attack is repelled by fierce resistance; B-17s also bomb 2 destroyers and a light cruiser between Lae and Finschhafen.

WEDNESDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, reconnaissance is flown over Kiska, Attu and the Semichi Islands.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force):

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE (CATF): B-25s and P-40s cripple 3 freighters on Pearl River near Canton, China.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): The 107th Observation Squadron, 67th Observation Group, moves from Membury to Aldermaston, England with A-20s, L-4s and Spitfires (first mission is 20 Dec 43).

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): In Libya, P-40s escort minesweepers in the vicinity of Bengasi harbor; the RAF raids Tripoli harbor during the night of 25/26 Nov.

(Twelfth Air Force): Spitfires and P-38s fly widespread reconnaissance missions over coastal Algeria.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, P-38s hit the airfield at Lae; a lone B-25 scores a hit on a cruiser off Tami Island.

THURSDAY, 26 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): In the Aleutian Islands, a B-24 reconnoitering Holtz Bay harbor on Attu Island spots shipping targets which are subsequently hit by 4 B-26s escorted by 4 P-38s; 1 large vessel is claimed afire and sinking; reconnaissance is flown over Rat Island, Kiska Island shipping, Agattu and Semichi Islands and the N coast of Attu Island; 2 P-38s and 1 B-26 sustain minor damage.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Libya, B-24s fly 3 missions against Tripoli, scoring direct hits on 2 vessels, 1 B-24 bombs a ship at Homs harbor; P-40s patrol over the Bengasi and Derna area. In Algeria, HQ 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 32d and 353d Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) arrive at Tafaraoui from the UK with B-17s; the 437th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 319th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Tafaraoui to Maison Blanche with B-26s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, US and Australian ground forces carry out limited attacks on the Buna front, making little progress; in an effort to break Japanese air superiority over Buna, P-40s, A-20s, and B-25s pound airfields and AA positions in the area; B-26s strike the Salamaua area.

FRIDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): Photo reconnaissance covers Kiska, Amchitka and Attu Islands; a ship attacked in Holtz Bay on Attu Island on the previous day is observed lower in water and still burning.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force):

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE (CATF): 10 B-25s and 20+ P-40s, the largest CATF effort in China to date, hit shipping and harbor installations at Hong Kong, firing warehouses and claiming 2 freighters and numerous barges sunk; a large force of fighters intercept during the return trip but are driven off by the escort; the P-40s and B-25s claim several airplanes shot down.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): B-17s bomb Portolago Bay in the Dodecanese Islands hitting 2 vessels.

(Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, HQ XII Bomber Command moves from Tafaraoui to Algiers; HQ 60th Troop Carrier Group and the 10th and 28th Troop Carrier Squadrons move from Tafaraoui to Relizane; the 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Twelfth AF (attached to 3d Photographic Group), moves from Tafaraoui to Algiers.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-26s pound the Buna area, hitting buildings, the airfield, and other targets, as Allied ground forces prepare to renew attacks in the Buna-Gona area.

SATURDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): A B-24 photographs a beached freighter at Holtz Bay, Attu Island drawing no AA fire during 10 runs over the bay, and flies reconnaissance over Kiska Island.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force):

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE (CATF): In China, the detachment of the 11th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 341st Bombardment Group (Medium), operating from Nanning with B-25s, returns to base at Kunming (another detachment is operating from Karachi, India).

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): In England, the 153d Observation Squadron, 67th Observation Group, moves from Membury to Keevil with A-20s, L-4s and P-51s (first mission is 18 Aug 43); the 330th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 93d Bombardment Group (Heavy), ceases operating from Holmsley with B-24s and returns to base to Alconbury.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, 35 B-17s of the 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the newly-arrived 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy) bomb Bizerte airfield and dock area; because of mud, no P-38 escort is provided; 2 B-17s are lost to fighter attacks; B-26s of the newly-arrived 319th Bombardment Group (Medium) bomb oil tanks, warehouses, and rail yards at Sfax, marking the debut of Twelfth AF medium bombers in NW Africa. The 94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, moves from Nouvion to Youks-les-Bains, Algeria with P-38s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-26s bomb the airfields at Lae and Buna; elements of the 126th Infantry Regiment, US 32d Infantry Division arrive on the Sanananda front from Wairopi.

SUNDAY, 29 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): A B-24 over Holtz Bay, Attu Island reports the vessel bombed and damaged on 26 Nov as still sinking; 1 B-26 flies an uneventful reconnaissance over the S shore of Kiska Island.

ASW OPERATIONS

(AAF Antisubmarine Command): In a major reorganization, all Bombardment Squadrons assigned to the AAF Antisubmarine Command are redesignated Antisubmarine Squadrons as follows:

  • 3d Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-39th Bombardment Squadron (Medium)
  • 4th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-40th Bombardment Squadron (Medium)
  • 5th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-41st Bombardment Squadron (Medium)
  • 6th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-393d Bombardment Squadron (Medium)
  • 7th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-78th Bombardment Squadron (Medium)
  • 8th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-79th Bombardment Squadron (Medium)
  • 9th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-80th Bombardment Squadron (Medium)
  • 10th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-433d Bombardment Squadron (Medium)
  • 11th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-516th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)
  • 12th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-517th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)
  • 13th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-518th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)
  • 14th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-519th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)
  • 15th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-520th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)
  • 16th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-521st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)
  • 17th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-522d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)
  • 18th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-362d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)
  • 19th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), ex-363d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force):

CHINA AIR TASK FORCE (CATF): B-25s bomb Hongay and Campho on the French Indochina coast. The 16th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group (attached to 23d Fighter Group), moves from Kweilin to Chenyi, China with P-40s.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Ninth Air Force): B-24s bomb Tripoli, Libya harbor at dusk, hitting docks, warehouses, 2 vessels, and silencing an AA battery.

(Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, the British First Army, after taking Tebourba on 27 Nov, is stalled at Djedeida; in an effort to rejuvenate the drive on Tunis elements of the British 1 Parachute Brigade are dropped at Depienne by Twelfth AF C-47s, but the objective of capturing Oudna airfield and threatening Tunis, 10 miles (16 km) to the N, fails because of overwhelming defense of the airfield; over 300 casualties are suffered by the paratroops; P-38s and DB-7s attack Gabes Airfield while other US fighters operate with the RAF out of Bone, Algeria, furnishing air cover for ground units in the battle area. The 11th Troop Carrier Squadron, 60th Troop Carrier Group, moves from Tafaraoui to Relizane, Algeria with C-47s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA

(SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): A detachment of the 33d Troop Carrier Squadron, 374th Troop Carrier Group, ceases operating from New Caledonia Island (another detachment is operating from Cairns, Australia; thesquadron is enroute from the US to Australia).

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-17s, P-40s, and A-20s pound the Gona area while B-25s and a single A-20 bomb the airfield at Lae; B-17s intercept a force of 4 troopcarrying destroyers proceeding through Vitiaz Strait between New Britain Island and New Guinea without air cover; the B-17s damage 2 vessels and cause the others to turn back, thus preventing reinforcement of Gona with fresh troops from Rabaul on New Britain Island.

MONDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 1942

AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

ALASKA

(Eleventh Air Force): A B-24 flies reconnaissance over Semichi and Attu Islands; other flights are prevented by weather.

ASW OPERATIONS

(AAF Antisubmarine Command): In a major reorganization, HQ 13th Bombardment Group (Medium) at Westover Field, Massachusetts is inactivated and all assigned Bombardment Squadrons are redesignated Antisubmarine Squadrons (Heavy). The organization of the command is:

  • AAF Antisubmarine Command, New York, New York
  • 13th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Grenier Field, New Hampshire/O-47s
  • 25th Antisubmarine Wing, New York, New York
  • 3d Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Dover AAB, Delaware/B-25s
  • 4th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Mitchel Field, New York/B-18s
  • 5th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Westover Field, Massachusetts/A-29s and B-25s
  • 6th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Westover Field, Massachusetts/B-18s and B-25s
  • 304th Bombardment Group (Heavy), Langley Field, Virginia
  • 1st Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Langley Field (air echelon at St Eval, England)/B-24s
  • 18th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Langley Field/A-20s, B-17s, B-18s,B-24s, B-34s (this squadron is the operational training unit for the 25th Antisubmarine Wing)
  • 19th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Langley Field/B-17s
  • 377th Bombardment Group (Heavy), Ft Dix AAB, New Jersey
  • 11th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Ft Dix AAB/O-47s & O-52s
  • 12th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Atlantic City Municipal Airport, New Jersey/O-46s, O-47s and O-49s
  • 14th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Otis Field, Massachusetts/B-25s
  • 378th Bombardment Group (Heavy), Langley Field, Virginia
  • 2d Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Langley Field/B-24s
  • 15th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Jacksonville Municipal Airport, Florida (operating from Langley Field)/B-25s and B-34s
  • 16th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Charleston AAFld, South Carolina/B-34s
  • 17th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Palm Beach County Airpark, Florida/B-34s
  • 26th Antisubmarine Wing, Miami, Florida
  • 8th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Miami, Florida/A-29s & B-18s
  • 10th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Galveston AAFld, Texas/RM-37s
  • 45th Bombardment Group (Medium), Miami, Florida
  • 7th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Jacksonville Municipal Airport, Florida/B-18s
  • 9th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy), Miami, Florida/B-18s

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Tenth Air Force):

(INDIA AIR TASK FORCE): B-24s attack shipping at Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, claiming damage to 1 vessel by near misses; this strike begins a series of raids on this water approach to Burma. The 9th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Tenth AF, moves from Karachi to Chakulia, India with F-4s (a flight is operating from Kunming, China).

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Eighth Air Force): In a meeting at the Air Ministry a joint decision is made on the allocation of responsibility, with the RAF to provide aerial defense of sectors in which US airfields are located while the VIII Fighter Command operates principally as escort for bomber strikes against the Continent.

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

(Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s bomb the N quay at Bizerte; B-26s hit the airfield and railroad at Gabes; DB-7s attack a bridge and railway station at Djedeida; P-38s escort all 3 missions; other P-38s strafe Gabes Airfield, fly reconnaissance, and shoot down a Bf 109 in an aerial battle near Tunis; elements of the British First Army remain hard pressed at Djedeida. The 12th Troop Carrier Squadron, 60th Troop Carrier Group, moves from Tafaraoui to Relizane, Algeria with C-47s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA

(SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): In the Battle of Tassafaronga, the US Navy turns back a Japanese effort to land troops in the Tassafaronga area of Guadalcanal Island during the night of 30 Nov/1 Dec. The 31st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrives on Espiritu Santo Island from Hawaii with B-17s.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Fifth Air Force): In New Guinea, B-25s and B-26s pound the airfield, AA positions, and defenses in the Buna area; 3 attempts by Allied ground forces to take Buna fail; US forces establish a block behind enemy forces on the Soputa-Sanananda trail but frontal and flanking assaults make little headway.