July 22, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
WEDNESDAY, 22 JULY 1942
ALASKA (11th AF): Eight B-24s and two B-17s dispatched to Kiska only eight reach the target and due to fog drop only seven bombs with unobserved results;
1 B-24 is missing on the return flight.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th AF): Sixteen Airacobras from the 80th Fighter Squadron, 39th Fighter Squadron, 40th Fighter Squadron, 41st Fighter Squadron contuct a mission to strafe Japanese unloading barges off Buna and Gona. Over the target, eight Airacobras strafed the barges while the other eight flew top cover. During the attack, Airacobra piloted by Bob Faurot from the 39th FS flew so low that he nearly hit the sea. P-400 Airacobra pilot Hunter (POW, executed) made his pass and his aircraft was hit by AA fire. As he opened the door and bailed out, his door blew off and almost hit the Airacobra piloted by 2nd Lt. Daniel "Danny" T. Roberts, Jr.. Hunter' body was never found but his rings were found on a dead Japanese soldier on the Kokoda Trail months later. Japanese forces continue to land
in northeast New Guinea with the ultimate aim of pushing across the Owen Stanley Range towards Port Moresby. HQ 35th Fighter Group moves from Sydney to Port Moresby. B-17 bomb and sink the already damaged Ayutosen Maru, causing it to burn and settle atop a reef near the coast.
RAAF: Lost on a solo reconnaissance mission over Buna is Hudson A16-201 pilot P/O Warren Frank Cowan (KIA) shot down by A6M2 Zeros. Seven P-40E Kittyhawks took off on a bombing mission armed with 500 pound bombs and escorted by Airacobras from the 40th Fighter Squadron. Over the target, the Kittyhawks jettison their bombs and are intercepted by A6M2 Zeros. P-40E Kittyhawk A29-88 force lands out of fuel (pilot survived) and is later refueled and flown out.