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August 7, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

FRIDAY, 7 AUGUST 1942

ALASKA (11th AF): Three B-24s sent to bomb Kiska return with their bombs due to solid overcast; four more B-24s also depart for Kiska; one turns back with mechanical trouble, the others abort the mission over the target due to undercast. Two air coverage missions are flown by one B-24, one LB-30 and four P-38s over Nazan Bay off Atka for USN tenders.

USN: Rear Admiral William W. Smith's Task Group 8.6 (TG 8.6) bombardment group shells Kiska Island including USS Louisville (CA-28), USS Indianapolis (CA-35), USS Nashville (CL-43), USS Honolulu (CL-48) and USS St. Louis (CL-49) plus destroyers USS Elliot (DD-146), USS Reid (DD-369), USS Case (DD-370), USS Gridley (DD-380) and USS McCall (DD-400). Although fog limited observation their floatplanes reported ships sinking in Kiska Harbor and fires burning among shore installations. The Japanese were caught by surprise and took fifteen minutes before shore batteries returned fire and Japanese seaplanes made ineffective attacks.

SWPA (5th AF): 13 B-17s of the 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy), led by Lieutenant Colonel Richard H. Carmichael bomb Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul. Lost are B-17E 41-2617 (survived), B-17E "Why Don't We Do This More Often" 41-2429 (POW / MIA). 22nd Bombardment Group B-26s attack Lae. Returning from a reconnaissance mission with an engine fire, B-26 "Miss Mercury" 40-1446 is damaged after landing and written off. A B-17 and a B-25 each attack a submarine in the Gulf of Papua. HQ 38th Bombardment Group (Medium) and 405th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) move from Eagle Farm and Ballarat respectively to Breddan Field with B-25s; first mission is 17 Sep. On a ferry flight to Port Moresby lost are B-26 "Dixie" 40-1496 (crew rescued). Also lost was B-26 "Yankee Clipper" 40-1521 (crew bailed out, two MIA).

South Pacific: Lost are B-17E 41-9220 (MIA) and B-17E "Kai-O-Keleiwa" 41-9224 (MIA).

RAN: Sunk is MV Mamutu by Japanese submarine RO-33 in the Gulf of Papua.

USN: At Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, comissioned is Fletcher-class destroyer USS Strong (DD-467). Three carriers of Air Support Force (Rear Admiral L. Noyes), and by Navy, Marine, and Army units of Aircraft, South Pacific (Rear Admiral J. S. McCain) operating from bases on New Caledonia and New Hebrides support the landings on Tulagi and Guadalcanal.

USMC: 1st Marine Division (reinforced) make an amphibious landing at Tulagi and Guadalcanal. 10,000 Americans land versus 2,200 Japanese troops. By 4:00pm on Guadalcanal, the incomplete Lunga Point Airfield (renamed Henderson Field) is occupied. By 4:00pm on Guadalcanal, the incomplete Lunga Point Airfield (renamed Henderson Field) is occupied.

In the air, VF-71 F4F Wildcats strafe Japanese seaplanes off Tanambogo, Gavutu and Halavo Bay. At noon, Wildcats from VF-5 took off on a mission to intercept the first Japanese air raid against Guadalcanal by G4M1 Bettys escorted by A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai. Lost is F4F "Junior" 5192 (pilot survived).

IJN: First Japanese air raid of the Guadalcanal campaign. G4M1 Bettys from the 4th Kokutai escorted by A6M2 Zeros from Tainan Kokutai took off from Rabaul on the targeting U.S. transports in Sealark Channel off Guadalcanal. Intercepted by U.S. Navy (USN) F4F-4 Wildcats. Damaged attacking SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers is A6M2 Zero V-108 piloted by Saburo Sakai.



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