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September 17, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology


SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th Air Force): Four B-17s from Townsville conduct single bomber runs against Rabaul and the area airfields. Returning, B-17E 41-2650 was lost due to bad weather.

Meanwhile, on the ground at Rabaul, Japanese Navy Rear Admiral Ugaki wrote about the September 16-17, 1942 air raid in his diary:
"The noise of gunfire and small arms was terrible. Anyway it was a night of little sleep. Now, I can see the effectiveness of night raids." He also noted the Japanese anti-aircraft fire was ineffective, 'Outragiously uncontrolled and unskilled'. At his suggestion, officers and crews from battleships Yamato and Mutsu were sent to Rabaul to train gunners."

During the day, B-17s hit Lae, and hit the beached cargo vessel Kotoku Maru off Salamaua; P-400s, P-40s, and P-39s strafe and bomb landing barges off Buna and Salamaua. Japanese ground forces at Ioribaiwa, 32 miles to the north of Port Moresby are unable to attack without reinforcements and supplies, neither of which is available.

Fourteen P-38 Lightnings from the 39th Fighter Squadron departs Amberley Field on a ferry flight to Garbutt Field.

USMC: 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Regiment patrol along the Lunga River on Guadalcanal was ambushed. Killed In Action (KIA) was Pl Sgt Leon Walter McStine (MIA).

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