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February 28, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology


5th AF: B-17D 40-3061 is destroyed at Singosari Airfield to avoid capture by the Japanese.

Qantas: Lost is S23 "Circle" Tail G-AETZ on a flight from Tjilatjap bound for Broome.

IJN: Japanese planes locate the eight fleeing Allied ships that survived their attack in the Java Sea. Five of the eight are sunk immediately and the other three are sunk the next day with no survivors. This was the Allies worst naval defeat of the Pacific War.

IJN: G4M1 Bettys from the 4th Kōkūtai (4th Air Group) took off on a bombing mission against Port Moresby. Escorting were six A6M2 Zeros led by Harutoshi Okamoto from the 4th Kōkūtai (4th Air Group) took off from Lakunai Airfield to escort the Bettys over Port Moresby. Over the target, the Bettys bomb 7 Mile Drome and anti-aircraft gun positions releasing 130 bombs that damages houses in hown and wound ten on the ground, one seriously. Without any aerial opposition, the Zeros testing their guns on the Moresby Wreck (SS Pruth) and fly at almost sea level to strafe PBY Catalinas moored off Napa Napa sinking Catalina A24-3 and Catalina A24-6 and George Nancarrow, electrician, was killed.  Barney Ross, fitter, was creased by a bullet.  The RAAF had established a 7.7mm Lewis machine gun dug into a nearby hilltop to cover over the slipway, manned by the orderly room staff. During the air raid, the gun was manned by Jim Preston that fired at the strafing Zeros and protected Catalina A24-2 under repair on the slipway. Gunfire damaged A6M2 Zero pilot Nagatoma and bailed out before it crashed into Bootless Bay. Pilot Katsuro Nagatomo becomes the first Japanese Prisoner Of War (POW) captured in Australian Territory of Papua.

U.S. Army: MS Sea Witch arrives Tjilatjap and unloads 27 crated P-40E Warhawks then embarks 40 soldiers and departs for Australia.

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