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August 23, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

SUNDAY, 23 AUGUST 1942

POA (7th AF): 333d Fighter Squadron, 18th Fighter Group equipped with P-39s is activated at Bellows Field.

SWPA (5th AF): A single B-17 bombs Buka.

IJN: 27 G4M1 Betty bombers escorted by 12-15 A6M2 Zero fighters bomb Hughes Field south of Darwin after noon. Destroyed on the ground at Hughes Field was CA-9 Wirraway A20-599 and Buffalo A51-6 both from the newly arrived No 1 Photo Reconnaissance Unit (PRU). Fuel and ammunition dumps were also hit, 250 drums of aviation fuel destroyed and the runway cratered. The Japanese formation was intercepted by P-40 Warkhawks from the 49th Fighter Group that claimed four bombers destroyed along with eight fighters, for the loss of just one aircraft. Although General MacArthur was prompted to signal to his air commander, Major General Kenney, his ‘heartiest felicitations’ at the stout defense mounted, this was actually the last occasion on when American P-40s intercepted a Japanese air raid. Meanwhile over New Guinea, 16 A6M3 perform a fighter sweep over Milne Bay.

USN: Damaged during take off and sunk is PBY Catalina 23-P-11.



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