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March 10, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

TUESDAY, 10 MARCH 1942

SWPA, 5th Air Force: 3rd Bombardment Group HQ and 13th Bombardment Squadron transfer from Brisbane to Charters Towers with A-20 Havocs, thier first mission is April 6, 1942. Arriving at Brisbane are the A-24 air echelons of the following 27th Bombardment Group units: 16th and 17th Bombardment Squadrons from Batchelor Field and 91st Bombardment Squadron from Malang. Ground echelon of all 3 squadrons is on Bataan.

USN: Task Force 11 (TF-11) USS Lexington (CV-2) and USS Yorktown (CV-5) launch 104 carrier aircraft from the Gulf of Papua that fly over New Guinea including the Owen Stanley Range to strike Lae and Salamaua.  Both raids catch the Japanese by surprise and target ships landing troops and supplies ashore. SBD Dauntless dive bombers hit Lae resulting in the sinking of Tenyo Maru and damage to others including the Kokai Maru. Lost is SBD Dauntless 2130 (MIA) and returning two SBDs land at 7 Mile Drone at Port Morseby. Meanwhile, TBD-1 Devastator target Salamaua sinking Yokohama Maru.

USAAF: Six B-17s of the 435th BS lead by Major Richard H. Carmichael took off from Garbutt Field on a bombing mission against Lae Airfield. This was the only mission in the New Guinea theater when the U. S. Navy and USAAF operated together.

USA: A contract with the Office of Scientific Research and Development became effective whereby the Johns Hopkins University agreed to operate a laboratory which became known as the Applied Physics Laboratory. This was one of several important steps in the transition of the radio-proximity fuze from development to large scale production. Other steps taken within the next 6 weeks included the organizational transfer of Section T from the National Defense Research Committee directly to the Office of Scientific Research and Development and the relocation of most of the Section T staff from the Carnegie Institution of Washington to the Applied Physics Laboratory at Silver Spring, Maryland.



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