July 4, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
SATURDAY, 4 JULY 1942
CHINA-BURMA-INDIA (CBI) (10th AF): The China Air Task Force (CATF) is activated under command of Brigadier General Clare L. Chennault.
This new command is the successor to the American Volunteer Group (AVG) which had attained 300 confirmed victories over Japanese aircraft at a cost
of less than 50 aircraft and only 9 pilots. Only 5 pilots and a few ground personnel
of the AVG choose to join the USAAF, although 20 other pilots agree to stay
until replacements arrive in Kunming. Combat elements of CATF are: 1.
HQ, 23d Fighter Group at Kunming with Colonel Robert L Scott, Jr in command and
74th and 76th Fighter Squadrons at Kunming with P-40s and 75th Fighter Squadron
at Hengyang with P-40s; all units were activated today. 2. 16th Fighter Squadron,
51st Fighter Group attached to 23d Fighter Group, at Kunming with P-40s. 3.
11th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), at Kunming and a detachment at Kweilin, Hengyang and Nanning with B-25s; Colonel Caleb
V Haynes is in command. In air action in China, 5 B-25s, with fighter escort,
heavily damage buildings, runways and parked aircraft at Tien Ho Airfield. P-40s
over Kweilin intercept a formation of fighter-bombers, claiming 13 destroyed;
the Japanese fail to bomb the target.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th AF): B-17s, B-26s and B-25s bomb Lae Airfield and Salamaua Airfield. 19th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 22d Bombardment
Group (Medium), moves from Townsville to Woodstock with B-26s. Lost during an interception over Port Moresby are P-39F 41-7148 (survived) and P-400 AP 378 (survived) and P-400 BX180 (survived).