January 20, 1943
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
WEDNESDAY, 20 JANUARY 1943
ALASKA (Eleventh Air Force) In the Aleutians, the weather aircraft aborts shortly
after takeoff. A B-24 and a Navy PBY search without results for the two B-24s
missing since Monday.
CENTRAL PACIFIC (Seventh Air Force) The 371st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy),
307th Bombardment Group with B-24s based at Wheeler Field begins operating from Midway.
CBI (Tenth Air Force) The 75th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group with P-40s
transfers from Chanyi to Yunnani.
SOUTH PACIFIC (Thirteenth Air Force) B-26s claim a hit on a destroyer off
southern Bougainville. B-17s with fighter escort attack ships near Shortland without scoring hits. They are met by Zekes and float biplanes; eight are shot
down with the loss of one US fighter. The advance grund echelon of the 18th
Photographic Mapping Squadron, 4th Photographic Group arrives at Dumbea, New
Caledonia from the US. THe bulk of the air echelon is still in the US.
U.S. Army: On Guadalcanal, 3d Bn of 147th Inf (less Co I and plus Co C) begins moving into CAM Div line between 6th Marines and 182d Inf. Div attack halts to await completion of this move. Gen Collins issues orders to 25th Div for offensive on 22d. 161st Inf, upon assembling in S part of Galloping Horse, moves 2d Bn forward to Hill X, SW of Galloping Horse. 1st Bn of 27th Inf patrols toward Hill 87, meeting enemy fire upon approaching it. 2d Bn, 35th Inf, continues reduction of The Gifu.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC (Fifth Air Force) In New Guinea, B-25s bomb supply dumps
at Lae and targets on Aroe. B-24s, operating singly, attack Madang and Finschhafen.
B-24s, operating singly, attack Cape Gloucester and Gasmata.
Lost on a patrol mission near Wewak is B-24D 41-24101, intercepting A6M2 Zero ditches into Wewak Harbor. The 64th and 65th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy)
with B-17s transfers from Mareeba to 7-Mile Drome.
A U.S. Army Signal Corps photographer at 14 Mile Drome near Port Moresby,
snaps photographs of fighter pilots from the 39th Fighter Squadron including Captain Robert L. Faurot, 1st Richard C. Suehr, 2nd Lt. Carl G. Planck, Jr., 2nd Lt Kenneth C. Sparks and 2nd Lt. Norman D. Hyland with P-38G 42-12623, P-37G "Regina I" 42-12654 and P-38G 42-12715.
Australian Army: 18th Brig continues to clear coastal region west of Sanananda, north part of Soputa-Sanananda Road, and outskirts of Giruwa.
U.S. Army: In New Guinea,
163d Inf battles the last three pockets of Japanese resistance astride the Soputa-Sanananda Road. 127th Inf drives west along coast to within sight of Giruwa.
IJN: Six to nine G4M1 Betty bombers bomb Turnbull Field. Destroyed on the ground is previously damaged Hudson A16-239.