October 8, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
THURSDAY, 8 OCTOBER 1942
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): 9 B-24s, 3 B-17s,
and 12 P-38s blast Kiska Harbor installations (starting fires in Main
Camp), and strafe AA positions, hangars, a corvette (silencing her guns), and
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): B-25s bomb the Buna area while A-20s pound Buna and the Kokoda Trail; the Japanese withdrawal northeast across
the Owen Stanley Range slows as they prepare to make a stand at Templeton's Crossing.
A group of six POWs (two Australians plus four Americans) including Captain Harl Pease, Jr. and Sgt Chester M. Czechowski from B-17E "Why Don't We Do This More Often" 41-2429 plus 2nd Lt Harold L. Massie and 2nd Lt Arthur C. King from B-26 "Imogene VII" 40-1474 are taken from the POW Camp, presumably to labor at one of the airfields. Later that afternoon, some of their clothing was returned to the prison camp, and it was inferred that they had all been executed. Their remains have never been found. Their disappearance was reported by Father O'Connell, a missionary interned at Rabaul.
USMC: Fighting on the Matanikau River on Guadalancal.
IJN: Six Allied POWs including Captain Harl Pease and Sgt Chester M. Czechowski, Massey, and King plus two Australian coastwatchers: Mason and Woodroffe and two natives were taken from captivity at Keibitai Headquarters at Rabaul and executed near Tavurvur blindfolded and led to the edge of a long pit dug by native laborers and bayoneted then buried in the pit.