June 3, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
WEDNESDAY, 3 JUNE 1942
ALASKA (11th Air Force): In an attempt to divert forces from the Midway area, a Japanese carrier-based bombers and fighters bomb and strafe Fort Mears
and Dutch Harbor in several waves inflicting little damage but killing fifty-two US
personnel. P-40s from Cold Bay trying to intercept them arrive ten minutes after
the last attack wave departs. Other P-40s from Umnak are notified too late due
to communication failure. Nine P-40s and six B-26s fly a patrol but cannot find the
fleet 180 miles south of Dutch Harbor but two of the P-40s engage four carrier-based
aircraft, shoot down one and damage another.
CHINA-BURMA-INDIA (CBI) THEATER OF OPERATIONS (10th Air Force): A flight of
B-25s of the 11th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy),
earmarked for China, take off from Dinjan enroute bombing Lashio then onto Kunming, nine crash into an overcast-hidden mountain
at 10,000' and another is abandoned when it runs out of fuel near
Chan-i, China. Only two B-25's reach Kunming, one with the radio
operator killed by a fighter.
PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, 7th Air Force): Preliminary action begin for the Battle
of Midway. 9 B-17s, flying out of Midway , attack 5 large warships 570
miles (912 km) off Midway, claiming 5 hits and several near misses. 7 other
B-17s leave Oahu, Territory of Hawaii and fly to Midway.
IJN: The Battle of Midway begins with a strong Japanese in the Central Pacific
sent to strike then occupy Midway, led by a four aircraft carriers from the Mobile Force, supported
by heavy units of the Main Body (First Fleet) and covered by a diversionary
carrier raid on Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians. During the battle, Hiryu is heavily damaged.
USN: Lost is PBY Catalina (KIA, POW).
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (5th Air Force): B-17s hit the wharf, warehouse
area, and military camp at Rabaul.