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May 17, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

SUNDAY, 17 MAY 1942

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, 7th Air Force): The 7th Air Force is placed on alert in anticipation of a possible attack against Midway. For the next ten days the old B-18's on hand are used on sea searches to supplement the B-17's. VII Bomber Command receives an influx of B-17's during this period, and the 72d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy) converts from B-18's to B-17's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (5th Air Force): B-17's bomb shipping in Koepang Bay, HQ 19th Bombardment Group and 93d Bombardment Squadron transfers from Garbutt Field to Longreach with B-17's. Detachment of 28th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy), ceases operating from Perth and returns to Longreach with B-17's. At Port Moresby, P-39 Airacobras intercept A6M2 Zeros. Lost is P-39F 41-7122 pilot 2nd Lt. Jessie M. Bland (survived).

IJN: Eighteen A6M2 Zeros took off from Lae Airfield on a fighter sweep against Port Moresby. Inbound, one Zero aborts the mission. Returning, lost is A6M2 Zero pilot Yamaguchi (MIA) and A6M2 Zero 645 pilot PO2c Tsutomou Ito (captured).



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