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June 6, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

SATURDAY, 6 JUNE 1942

ALASKA (11th Air Force): Various search-attack missions are flown by bombers in an attempt to locate Japanese forces reported to be near Seguam. No contact is made due to weather. Eight P-38s enroute from Cold Bay to Umnak mistakenly attack a Soviet freighter. Japanese forces land on Kiska.

IJN: Five hundred No. 3 Special Naval Landing Force (3rd SNLF) land at Kiska Harbor on Kiska Island.

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, 7th Air Force): B-17s maintain searches around Midway. Six B-17s mistakenly attack a US submarine, which later reports no damage. More B-17s arrive at Midway from Oahu. This attack was met by a greatly outnumbered United States carrier force composed of Task Force 17 (TF-17) under the command of Rear Admiral F. J. Fletcher with USS Yorktown (CV-5), and Task Force 16 (TF-16) under the command of Rear Admiral R. A. Spruance with USS Hornet and USS Enterprise, and Navy, U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), and U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) units based on Midway. Aircraft from Midway located and attacked the Japanese Occupation Force 600 miles to the west (3 June), and of the mobile Force (4 June) as it sent its aircraft to attack Midway. Concentrating on the destruction of Midway air forces and diverted by their torpedo, horizontal, and dive bombing attacks, the Japanese carriers were caught unprepared for the carrier air attack which began at 9:30am with the heroic but unsuccessful effort of Torpedo Squadron 8, and were hit in full force at 10:30am when dive bombers score hits on aircraft carriers Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu. At noon, a Japanese counter attack damages USS Yorktown (CV-5) with bombs and torpedoes so severely that she was abandoned.

In the late afternoon, U.S. carrier planes hit the Mobile Force again sinking Hiryu, the fourth and last of the Japanese carriers in the force. With control of the air irretrievably lost, the Japanese retired under the attack by Midway based aircraft (5 June) and of carrier air (6 June) in which the heavy cruiser Mikuma was sunk and the Mogami severely damaged. Japanese losses totaled two heavy and two light carriers, one heavy cruiser, 258 aircraft, and a large percentage of their experienced carrier pilots. United States losses include 40 land based and 92 carrier aircraft, destroyer USS Hammann (DD-412) sunk by Japanese submarine and aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) sunk June 7, 1942 at 5:30am. During the Battle of Midway, a decisive Naval defeat suffered by the Japanese Navy ends their offensive operations and effectively turns the tide of the Pacific War.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th Air Force): P-39F 41-7271 suffers a crash landing and is written off.



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