February 22, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
SUNDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 1942
RAAF: During the early morning hours Catalinas bomb Rabaul.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th Air Force): Air echelon of 17th Bombardment
Squadron, 27th Bombardment Group, arrives at Batchelor from
Brisbane with A-24s. Ground echelon is on Bataan.
First American bombing mission
against Rabaul. Before midnight on February 22, 1942 a group of nine B-17s at Garbutt
Field at Townsville assemble for a bombing mission to fly overnight until February 23, 1942 at dawn to bomb Japanese shipping in Simpson Harbor near Rabaul. Returning, the B-17s planned to land at 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby to
refuel then fly back to Garbutt
Field. While taxiing, B-17E 41-2434 and B-17E 41-2416 are both damaged and unable to participate. Inbound, they experience bad weather that broke up the formation with the B-17s flying individually to the target area with B-17 pilot Speith aborting due to bad weather.