May 4, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
MONDAY, 4 MAY 1942
CHINA-BURMA-INDIA (10th Air Force): HQ 35th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) is transferred
without personnel and equipment from New Delhi to Sydney.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (5th Air Force): B-26's bomb Vunakanau Airfield. P-39's
and B-17's hit Lae Airfield. HQ 27th Bombardment Group and 16th, 17th and 91st Bombardment
Squadrons transfer without personnel and equipment from Batchelor Field and Charters Towers to Hunter Field, Savannah, Georgia. These units will be reequipped
with aircraft and personnel then deploy to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO).
Ten P-39 Airacobras took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby on a mission to strafe Lae Airfield at dawn. Four fail to return and were presumed lost due to poor weather: P-39D 41-6956 pilot 2nd Lt.
Charles L. Schwimmer (MIA) P-39D 41-6825 pilot 1st Lt. Jeff D. Hooker, Jr. (MIA), P-39D 41-6971 pilot 1st Patrick M. Armstrong, Jr. (MIA) and P-39F 41-7145 pilot 1st Lt. Victor R. Talbot (MIA).
In the morning, other P-39 Airacobras took off from from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby on a scramble mission to intercept a Japanese air raid by G4M1 Bettys from the 4th Kokutai escorted by nine A6M2 Zeros attacking Port Moresby. Lost is P-39F 41-7207 1st Lt. Harold J. Chivers (MIA). Lost on a photographic reconnaissance mission is F-4 Lightning 41-2126 pilot Captain Louis J. Connelly, Jr. (MIA).
USN: Battle of the Coral Sea: Task Force 17 (TF-17) under the command of Rear Admiral F. J. Fletcher USS Yorktown (CV-5) carrier aircraft attack Japanese transports in Tulagi Harbor, sinking Kikuzuki and damaging several others. Meanwhile, Task Force 11 (TF-11) under the command of Rear Admiral A. W. Fitch with USS
Lexington (CV-2) is south of the Louisiade Archipelago.
IJN: Damaged and beached is Kikuzuki.
RAAF: Lost on a reconnaissance mission off southern Bougainville is PBY Catalina A24-18 (POW, executed).