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June 1, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

MONDAY, 1 JUNE 1942

ALASKA (11th Air Force): During June 1942, 11th Fighter Squadron, 28th Composite Group, moves from Elmendorf Field to Umnak with P-40s. During Jun, 406th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), sends detachments to operate in Alaska with B-18s.

CHINA-BURMA-INDIA (CBI) THEATER OF OPERATIONS (10th Air Force): Five heavy bombers attack the Rangoon dock and harbor, claiming 1 tanker sunk and another left listing. 436th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Karachi to Allahabad with B-17E; first mission is 4 June.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th Air Force): B-17s attack Lae and Salamaua and Rabaul. At 7 Mile Drome, thirteen P-39 Airacobras scrambled to intercept a Japanese formation of 18 bombers escorted by A6M2 Zeros. Lost is P-39F 41-7200 (KIA) and P-39F 41-7194 (survived).

IJN: At 7:45am nineteen G3M2 Nells from the Genzan Kokutai led by Lt. Ishihara took off from Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul on a bombing mission against Port Moresby. At 8:30am twelve A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai took off from Lakunai Airfield led by Lt. Kawai Shiro to escort the bombers but shortly afterwards three Zeros aborted the mission due to mechanical issues. This left nine Zeros to provide top cover for the bombers. At 10:00am another twelve Zeros took off from Lae Airfield as additional escorts. At roughly 10:45am over Cape Ward Hunt, the bombers and the 21 escorting Zeros formed up but were observed by Australian spotters and reported to Port Moresby. Before crossing the Owen Stanley Range, one bomber experienced engine trouble and instead patrolled the north coast, released its bomb load south of Buna and returned. At 11:40am the Japanese formation arrived over Port Moresby and the Zeros intercepted 10-15 fighters while the Nells bombed from 20,000' targeting the wharf and Coast Famer anchored in Fairfax Harbor. Intercepted by P-39 Airacobras, A6M2 Zero pilot WO Miyazaki Gitaro was shot down near 30 Mile Drome (Rorona). One G3M2 Nell was damaged with three crew wounded and diverted to land at Lae Airfield.

Three Japanese midget submarines attack Allied warships in Sydney Harbor. On May 31, 1942 at 10:35pm HA-14 (M27) was scuttled after tangled in a anti-torpedo boom net. At 12:30am HA-24b (M24) fires two torpedoes at USS Chicago CA-29, both miss with one impacting against the seawall and sinks HMAS Kuttabul killing 21 aboard. Afterwards, HA-21 (M22) is scuttled and HA-24b (M24) is lost.

References
Eagles of the Southern Sky (2012) pages 175–178 (June 1, 1942)



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