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January 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

THURSDAY, 1 JANUARY 1942

FRIDAY, 2 JANUARY 1942

SATURDAY, 3 JANUARY 1942

SUNDAY, 4 JANUARY 1942

MONDAY, 5 JANUARY 1942

TUESDAY, 6 JANUARY 1942

WEDNESDAY, 7 JANUARY 1942

THURSDAY, 8 JANUARY 1942

FRIDAY, 9 JANUARY 1942

SATURDAY, 10 JANUARY 1942

SUNDAY, 11 JANUARY 1942

MONDAY, 12 JANUARY 1942

TUESDAY, 13 JANUARY 1942

WEDNESDAY, 14 JANUARY 1942

THURSDAY, 15 JANUARY 1942

FRIDAY, 16 JANUARY 1942

SATURDAY 17 JANUARY 1942

SUNDAY, 18 JANUARY 1942

MONDAY, 19 JANUARY 1942

TUESDAY, 20 JANUARY 1942

WEDNESDAY, 21 JANUARY 1942

CENTRAL PACIFIC (Hawaiian Air Force): B-17's of Task Group 8.9 fly from Canton to Nandi on Fiji.

New Guinea - (RAAF) On reconnaissance flights, two PBYs are lost: Catalina A24-9 and Catalina A24-8 two hours later.

(IJN) Japanese aircraft attack Salamaua and Salamaua Airfield destroying aircraft on the ground and also attack Lae Airfield. Attacking Bulolo Airfield A6M2 Zeros strafe and destroy on the ground G 31ba "Pat" VH-URQ, G.31 "Bulolo I Paul" VH-UOU and G 31 "Bulolo 2 Peter" VH-UOV. A Japanese flyingboat flew over Buka Airfield, and was fired on by Australian ground forces.

Near Darwin, Japanese submarine I-124 is sunk by depth charges dropped by HMAS Deloraine, the first Japanese submarine lost off Australia.

THURSDAY, 22 JANUARY 1942

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC (Far East Air Force): From this date through 3 Feb, B-17's launch at least 15 missions out of Malang against shipping moving through Makassar Strait between Borneo and Celebes. Four missions abort due to bad weather, 6 end with negative results, and the remaining 5 suffer heavy losses but sink 4 ships. Crashed on take off is B-17E 41-2419.

IJN - Japanese Navy attacks Rabaul, but finding few targets does aerobatics. Early in the morning, troops land and quickly secure Rabaul.

RAAF: Damaged and written off is PBY Catalina A24-7.

FRIDAY, 23 JANUARY 1942

CENTRAL PACIFIC (Hawaiian Air Force): HQ 14th Pursuit Wing is inactivated at Wheeler Field. B-17's of Task Group 8.9 return from Nandi Airfield to Canton.

USN - The first naval aircraft to operate in the Samoans, OS2Us of VS-1-D14, arrived with Marine Corps reinforcements from San Diego.

SATURDAY, 24 JANUARY 1942

CENTRAL PACIFIC (Hawaiian Air Force): Lost on a patrol is P-40B 41-13297.

RAAF: Force landed is Hudson "Tit Willow" A16-106.

SUNDAY, 25 JANUARY 1942

CENTRAL PACIFIC (Hawaiian Air Force): B-17's of Task Group 8.9 fly from Canton to Nandi on Fiji.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC (Far East Air Force): The first USAAF pursuit squadron in Java, the 17th Pursuit Squadron (Provisional) under Major Charles A. Sprague, arrives with thirteen P-40 Warhawks flown from Australia and becomes the first USAAF pursuit squadron in Java. Meanwhile, eight B-17s including six from the 19th BG plus two from the 7th BG took off from Java on a bombing mission against a Japanese convoy off Balikpapan on Borneo. After bombing the landing force, the B-17s were intercepted and experienced bad weather low on fuel force landed is B-17E 41-2468 on Madera Island.

Philippines - After a two-day wait for reinforcements to arrive, Japanese commander Nara attacks U. S. Army positions on the Bataan Peninsula.

MONDAY, 26 JANUARY 1942

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC (Far East Air Force): Fighters from Bataan, bomb and strafe Nichols and Nielson Fields during the night of 26/27 Jan, inflicting considerable damage on aircraft and fuel storage.

TUESDAY, 27 JANUARY 1942

CENTRAL PACIFIC (Hawaiian Air Force): B-17's of Task Group 8.9 return to Canton.

WEDNESDAY, 28 JANUARY 1942

CENTRAL PACIFIC (Hawaiian Air Force): B-17's of Task Group 8.9 fly an unsuccessful antisubmarine mission from Canton.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC (Far East Air Force): B-17's from Malang and Palembang, attack airfields at Kendari and Kuala Lumpur. Crashed is B-17D 40-3067.

THURSDAY, 29 JANUARY 1942

CENTRAL PACIFIC (Hawaiian Air Force): HQ 18th Bombardment Wing is inactivated and replaced by the HQ VII Bomber Command which is activated at Hickam Field. B-17's of Task Group 8.9 fly from Canton to Palmyra. The 70th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) arrives in Fiji from the US with P-39's.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC (Far East Air Force): B-17's, striking out of Palembang, hit Kuantan Airfield in Malaysia scoring numerous hits on runways and hangars. Lost is B-17E 41-2476 (MIA) bombing Balikpapan.

USN - Five-inch projectiles containing radio-proximity fuzes were test fired at the Naval Proving Ground, Dahlgren, and 52 percent of the fuzes functioned satisfactorily by proximity to water at the end of a 5-mile trajectory. This performance, obtained with samples selected to simulate a production lot, confirmed that the radioproximity fuze would greatly increase the effectiveness of anti-aircraft batteries and led to immediate small scale production of the fuze.

FRIDAY, 30 JANUARY 1942

CENTRAL PACIFIC (Hawaiian Air Force): B-17's of Task Group 8.9 return to Hawaii, having completed a mission (began on 16 Jan 42) which afforded a pioneer look at the problem of air operations over vast Pacific areas, especially the problems of navigation and the servicing of aircraft.

USN: The Secretary authorized a glider program for the Marine Corps consisting of small and large types in sufficient numbers for the training and transportation of two battalions of 900 men each.



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