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August 24, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology


ALASKA (11th AF): 404th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 28th Composite Group, begins to operate from Umnak with B-24s. A photo reconnaissance sortie is cancelled due to overcast.

USN: During the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, seven B-17 Flying Fortresses and USN SBD dive bombers and torpedo bombers from USS Enterprise (CV-6) and USS Saratoga (CV-3) strike a task force covering a transport formation heading for Guadalcanal; USN aircraft sink the Japanese light aircraft carrier Ryujo; during the night four Japanese warships shell the airstrip on Guadalcanal. Lost are TBF Avenger 00418 pilot Mach. Harry L. Corl (MIA), TBF Avenger pilot Taurman (rescued), TBF Avenger pilot Fayle (rescued).

USMC: During the Battle of the Eastern Solomons F4F Wildcats from Marine Fighting Squadron 212 (VMF-212) and Marine Fighting Squadron 223 (VMF-223) took off to intercept Japanese carrier planes from Ryujo attacking Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. Lost are F4F 02095 pilot 2nd Lt. Elwood R. Bailey (MIA) and F4F 02084 pilot 2nd Lt. Lawrence C. Taylor (MIA) and F4F Wildcat 5158.

IJN: Ryujo launches aircraft against against Guadalcanal. Six Ryujo Zeros escort Vals. In the ensuing fight over Guadalcanal, the Japanese lost four Aichi D3A Val dive bombers and three Zeros. VMF-212 and VMF-223 suffered three aircraft shot down of the 10 that rose from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal to do battle. In the meantime, Ryujo, left with only seven fighters to protect itself, was sunk in an attack by 30 SBDs and six TBF Avenger from Enterprise and Saratoga. The surviving planes of the Ryujo were diverted to Rabaul. Lost is D3A piloted by Hikiune. The USS Enterprise was hit by carrier-based bombers and forced to retire.

Meanwhile, fourteen G4M1 Betty bombers (seven from Kisarazu Kokutai and seven from 4th Kokutai) take off from Rabaul on a bombing mission against Milne Bay. On the ground they destroy LB-30 Liberator AL-818 that force landed two days earlier. Eight D3A2 Val from the 2nd Kû Bomber Buntaï led by Lt Fumitô Inoue land at Buna Airfield.

SWPA (5th AF): B-17s hit Gasmata and airfields at Rabaul. Japanese amphibious forces leave Buna in barges and New Ireland in transports, heading for Milne Bay; the barges are detected by an Australian coastwatcher during the afternoon.

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