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February 22, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology


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.

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