October 17, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
SATURDAY, 17 OCTOBER 1942
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): Five B-24s bomb the
Main Camp area on Kiska and Nozama Maru beached at Trout Lagoon; the results
are unobserved due to clouds; A B-24 flying weather reconnaissance finds no trace
of two destroyers, confirming their sinking a day earlier.
IJN: At 5:15am Junyō and Hiyo each launch nine A6M2 Zeros and nine B5N2 Kates on a mission to strike Henderson Field and ships off Lunga Point on Guadalcanal. After take off, B5N2 Kate from Junyō aborts the mission with mechanical issues. Approaching Guadalcanal, they spot two destroyers and attack. The Japanese planes are targeted by anti-aircraft fire and are intercepted by F4F Wildcats from Marine Fighter Squadron 121 (VMF-121). Damaged is A6M2 Zero pilot Harada during a head-on gunfight with F4F Wildcat piloted by William Freeman and later crashed and was rescued. Also lost was B5N2 Kate pilot Kuno (2 KIA, 1 rescued).
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): The 403d BombardmentSquadron
(Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Torrens Creek to Iron Range with B-17s.
USMC: F4F Wildcats from Marine Fighter Squadron 121 (VMF-121) took off on a mission to intercept Japanese planes.
Lost on a search mission to Rekata Bay is SBD 03361 (crew rescued).