June 5, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
FRIDAY, 5 JUNE 1942
ALASKA (11th Air Force): 18 B-26s, 10 B-17s and 2 LB-30s search and attack
sorties are flown against the carrier force, the B-26s splitting into 3 missions,
the B-17s into 2. No contact is made. The B-17s using radar bomb targets which
look like ships, but later turn out to be the Pribilof Islands (Northern Fur Seal Islands).
PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, 7th Air Force): The Battle of Midway continues with
the Japanese fleet retiring westward. In the morning eight B-17s hit a force 130
miles from Midway claiming hits on two large warships. During
the afternoon six B-17s claim hits on a heavy cruiser 300 miles (480 km) from Midway. The last strike by Seventh Air Force aircraft during Battle of Midway is by five B-17s which bomb a heavy cruiser 425 miles from Midway. Lost is B-17E 41-9212 (MIA) and B-17E ditched due to fuel shortage and crew rescued. The battle ends with Midway installations heavily damaged by bombs but airfields are intact. During the fighting, Seventh Air Force aircraft
carried out sixteen B-17 attacks (55 sorties) and a torpedo attack by four B-26s, claiming
22 hits on ships and 10 fighters shot down. 2 B-17s and 2 B-26s were lost plus one written off. One
of the decisive battles of naval history, Midway costs Japan the initiative
and will become a turning point in the Pacific War.
IJN: At 2:55am, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto cancels Operation MI and the remainder of the Japanese fleet withdraws westward ending the Battle of Midway. At 9:12am Heavily damaged Hiryu is scuttled and sinks. Also heavily damaged, Akagi is scuttled by Japanese destroyers.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th Air Force): B-17s hit wharves, a warehouse,
and coal jetty at Rabaul.