April 30, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
THURSDAY, 30 APRIL 1942
(10th Air Force): The Japanese capture Lashio and begin a move to drive
the Chinese back along the Burma Road toward China and drive American and British
forces back toward India.
(SWPA, 5th Air Force): HQ 38th Bombardment Group (Medium) and ground echelon of 69th Bombardment Squadron
(Medium) transfers from Ballarat Airfield to Amberley
Field; air echelon of the 69th is still in the US with B-26's.
71st Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 38th Bombardment Group (Medium) transfers
from Ballarat Airfield to Batchelor Field with B-26's; first mission is 15
At dawn, three B-26s bomb Lae Airfield bombing parked aircraft. At 1:00pm eleven P-39 Airacobras from the 8th Pursuit Group (8th PG) took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby on their first combat mission in New Guinea led by Lt. Col Boyd D. "Buzz" Wagner on a mission to strafe Lae Airfield including parked aircraft and fuel dumps at Lae and Salamaua.
Over the target at 2:37pm the Airacobras commenced strafing parked aircraft and seaplanes in Huon Gulf then depart. During the attack A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kōkūtai (Tainan Air Group) scrambled and intercepted the Airacobras in the vicinity of Salamaua. During the dog fight, Lt. Col Boyd D. "Buzz" Wagner claims three Zeros shot down. Major George Green Commanding Officer (C. O.) 36th Pursuit Squadron (36th PS) claimed another Zero. Lost are P-39D 41-6930 pilot Andres (rescued), P-39F 41-7128 pilot Durand (MIA), P-39D 41-6982 pilot Brown (rescued) and P-39F 41-7186 pilot Bevlock (rescued).
Winged Samurai (1985) page 54 (April 30, 1942 mission)
P-39 Airacobra Aces of World War 2 (2001) page 10 (April 30, 1942