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March 16, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology


SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th Air Force): Four B-17E Flying Fortresses from the 40th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), 19th Bombardment Group including B-17E 41-2434, B-17E 41-2408, B-17E "Why Don't We Do This More Often" 41-2429 and B-17E "San Antonio Rose II" 41-2447 stage at Bachelor Field near Darwin for a flight to the Philippines to evacuate General Douglas MacArthur, his family, and senior staff from Del Monte on Mindanao i then fly southward back to Bachelor Field. The fourth B-17E 41-2434 piloted by Major Richard H. Carmichael was unable to start their engines and did not participate. When the bombers return, it transports MacArthur on last leg of journey from Bachelor Field southward where he boarded a train.

39th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 35th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), transfers from Ballarat to Mount Gambier with P-39's; first combat is 2 Jun. 64th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrives at Sydney, Australia from the US with B-17's; first mission is 13 Aug. 68th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 58th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), arrives at Amberly Field from the US with P-39's.

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