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February 20, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology


PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, 7th Air Force): 19th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 18th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfers from Wheeler Field to Bellows Field with P-40's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th Air Force): Air echelon of 17th Bombardment Squadron, 27th Bombardment Group, begins a movement from Brisbane to Batchelor with A-24s. Ground echelon is on Bataan. Detachment of the 22d Bombardment Squadron and air echelon of 88th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrive at Townsville from Fiji with B-17's. The detachment of the 22d is under control of the USN. The ground echelon of the 22d BS are at Jogjakarta while the ground echelon of 88th BS is enroute from Australia to India.

A-24s, with P-40 escort, and LB-30s attack Japanese landing force off Bail. Lost are A-24 41-15796 (MIA), A-24 41-15760 (damaged), P-40E pilot Sprague (KIA), P-40E "Colleen" Tail 6 pilot Lt. Thomas L. "Tommy" Hayes (survived).

USN: Task Force 11 (TF-11) including USS Lexington CV-2 is attacked by G4M1 Betty bombers.

IJN: in the morning, an H6K Mavis spots U.S. Navy (USN) Task Force 11 northeast of Rabaul. Meanwhile, G4M1 Bettys from the 4th Kokutai (4th Air Group) took off from Vunakanau Airfield to strike U.S. Navy (USN) Task Force 11 (TF-11). Lost is G4M1 Betty pilot Ito (KIA), G4M1 Betty pilot Ono (ditched).

Over eastern Java, nine A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai (Tainan Air Group) strafe Singosari Airfield. Destoyed on the ground is B-17E 41-2455, B-17E 41-2484, B-17E 41-2488, B-17E 41-2478 and B-17E 41-2498.

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