June 2, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
TUESDAY, 2 JUNE 1942
PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, 7th Air Force): Six of sixteen B-17s that have been on detached
service at Midway return to Oahu.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th Air Force): B-17s bomb the dock and military
camp area at Rabaul. 39th Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group, moves from Woodstock to Port Moresby with P-39s; first mission is today.
AUSTRALIA - Australian Prime Minister John Curtin bouyed by the arrival of
American forces challenges the Japanese, saying "I defy the enemy to land
large forces in Australia".
USAAF: B-26 Marauders from the 70th Bombardment Squadron took off from Hamilton Field on a ferry flight to Hickam Field to join the Hawaiian Defense Command. Each bomber has two 250 gallon auxiliary fuel tanks installed in the bomb bay and reduced crews. The formation was divided into three flights: A, B and C. "A Flight" (Flight A): B-26B " Miss Cookie Lee" 41-17562 pilot Sharp, B-26B "Gallopin' Ghost" 41-17574 pilot Cressy, B-26B "Irene" 41-17564 pilot Morrison and B-26B 41-17576 pilot Larson. "B Flight" (Flight B): B-26B "Queenie" 41-17586 pilot Eddy, B-26B 41-17575 pilot Boden, B-26B 41-17590 pilot Martin and B-26B "Liberty Bell" 41-17584 pilot Durbin. "C Flight" (Flight C) : B-26B "Dixie Belle" 41-17558 pilot Callaham, B-26B 41-17550 pilot Griffith, B-26B 41-17569 pilot Miller and B-26B 41-175547 pilot Smith. All bombers landed safely although some diverted to Hilo Airfield and did not reach Hickam Field until June 4-5, too late to participate in the Battle of Midway but were on standby.