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October 23, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology


AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force): Seven bombers, escorted by six P-38s fly an armed reconnaissance mission over Kiska hitting installations including the submarine base and Main Camp; visibility is excellent and direct hits are scored, including one hit on the submarine base. A detachment of the 56th Fighter Squadron, 54th Fighter Group, based at Harding Field, Louisiana, begins operating from Elmendorf Field with P-39s.

SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): Henderson Field on Guadalcanal is again made operational by the USN Naval Construction Battalion "Seabees" and USMC and AAF fighters begin to inflict heavy losses on Japanese naval aircraft. Japanese ground forces assault defensive lines around the airfields but are thrown back. Air combat shootout: B-17E 41-2433 versus H6K Mavis observer Shimoyamada over the Solomon Sea.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, Fifth Air Force): A-20s bomb and strafe Deniki and the Deniki-Kokoda Trail area. B-17s bomb shipping at Rabaul. HQ 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy), which has been flying missions since December 8, 1941 begins a movement from Mareeba then back to the United States. Lost is B-25C "Yankee Vengeance" 41-12889.

A B-17 from the 63rd Bombardment Squadron bombs Rabaul from 5,000 to 8,500' then drop down to 400' to perform the first "skip bombing" and claim hits on four vessels claimed as sunk. In fact, they hit two subchasers.

IJA: At 6:00pm, Japanese artillery opens fire on the U. S. perimeter on Guadalcanal followed by an assult force including an infantry regiment supported by tanks that attempt to cross the mouth of the Matanikau River. The Japanese sustain heavy losses including roughly 600 Killed In Action (KIA) and all tanks disabled and abandoned. Meanwhile, inland to the south of Henderson Field, the Japanese Army force that was to attack simultaniously on the southern side of the U. S. Perimeter is not yet in position due to difficult terrain and jungle and postpones their attack for another day. Roughly 22,000 Japanese personnel are on Guadalcanal.

USMC: U. S. Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines defend against the Japanese Army assualt at the mouth of the Matanikau River. They suffer Marines 25 killed and 14 wounded. Roughly 23,000 Americans are on Guadalcanal.

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