August 20, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
THURSDAY, 20 AUGUST 1942
ALASKA (11th AF): A B-24 flies photo reconnaissance over Kiska; a patrol is flown over Shumagin.
WDC (4th AF): 25th Observation Squadron, 71st Observation Group, stops flying
ASW patrols from Salinas AAB, California.
SWPA (5th AF): 63d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy),
moves from Torrens Creek to Mareeba with B-17s. After a hydraulic failure LB-30 Liberator AL-818 force lands at No 1. Strip (Gurney).
Guadalcanal: Henderson Field goes into operation after being
captured from the Japanese, and completed by American forces. By this date, there
are 10,000 American versus 3,600 Japanese on the island. First fighter aircraft
arrive on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal.
Marine Fighter Squadron 223 (VMF-223) and Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 232 (VMSB-232) are delivered by the
escort carrier USS Long Island (CVE-1) initiated operations from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. Within a week, they are joined by AAF fighters plus SBD dive bombers
from USS Enterprise (CV-6) and later by other elements as the campaign progressed.
Until Guadalcanal is secure (February 9, 1943), these forces flew interceptor patrols, offensive
missions against shipping, and close air support for the Marines and later for the U.S. Army
soldiers that relieving them on October 13, 1942. During the Guadalcanal campaign, Marine air units carrying the major air support
burden and claimed 427 enemy planes during the campaign.