July 21, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
TUESDAY, 21 JULY 1942
ALASKA (11th AF): Four B-24s fly search and bomb missions over Kiska but make no contact because of weather.
SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): Air echelon of 98th Bombardment
Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), begins operating from Plaines
des Gaiacs and Espiritu Santo with B-17s (first mission
is 31 Jul); the ground echelon is enroute from Hawaii.
IJA: Operation "RI" at dawn, a Japanese invasion force arrives off the north coast of New Guinea and begins unloading at Gona. The Japanese convoy includes light cruiser Tenryū, minelayer Tsugaru, destroyers Asanagi, Yuzuki and Uzuki and subchaser CH-32 escorting transports Ayatosan Maru, Kinryu Maru and Ryoyo Maru. This move forestalls Allied operations which were scheduled to secured
the same general area.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th AF): Six B-26s from the 22nd Bomb Group (22nd BG) piloted by Crosson, McClaran and Patterson from the 2nd Bomb Squadron (2nd BS) plus Michaelis, Hughes and Augustine from the 408th Bomb Squadron (408th BS). The bombers locate and attack a Japanese convoy
off Salamaua bound for Buna. The bombers scores a direct hit on Ayutosen Maru near the stern and two near misses, causing the transport to begin taking on water. Other bomb Kinryu Maru but fail to hit the ship. Anti-aircraft fire was intense but inaccurate. All six B-26 return undamaged.