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 Home > History > The 5th Air Force in WWII > July 1942

Wednesday, 1 July, 1942

B-26's bomb Salamaua, New Guinea. Other medium and heavy bomber strikes abort due to bad weather.

Friday, 3 July, 1942

B-17s attack the barracks area at Koepang, Timor Island and airfield at Lae, New Guinea. 1 A-24 bombs Tulagi Island, Solomon Islands.

Saturday, 4 July, 1942

B-17s, B-26s and B-25s bomb airfields at Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea. 19th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 22d Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Townsville to Woodstock, Australia with B-26s.

Sunday, 5 July, 1942

B-17s and B-26's attack Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea. HQ 22d Bombardment Group (Medium) moves from Townsville to Woodstock, Australia

Tuesday, 7 July, 1942

(SOPAC, Joint Chiefs of Staff): Major General Millard F. Harmon, USAAF, is designated Commanding General of US Army Forces in the South Pacific (COMGENSOPAC).

Thursday, 16 July, 1942

1 B-17 bombs Salamaua, New Guinea.

Friday, 17 July, 1942

B-17s bomb the harbor at Rabaul, New Britain Island, Admiralty Islands.

Monday, 20 July, 1942

Unit moves in Australia: 33d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 22d Bombardment Group (Medium), from Antil Plains to Woodstock with B-26s; 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, from Petric to Port Moresby, New Guinea with P-39s and P-400s (first mission is 22 July.

Tuesday, 21 July, 1942

In New Guinea, B-26s attack a convoy off Salamaua as an invasion force heads for Buna, where it begins landings during the night of 21/22 July. This move by the enemy forestalls Allied operations which were to have secured the same general area.

Wednesday, 22 July, 1942

In New Guinea, P-40s and P-39s hit shipping and landing barges at Gona as Japanese forces continue to land in NE New Guinea with the ultimate aim of pushing across the Owen Stanley Range to the Allied base at Port Moresby. HQ 35th Fighter Group moves from Sydney, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea.

Thursday, 23 July, 1942

In New Guinea, B-17s, B-26s, A-24s and fighters pound shipping, landing barges, storage dumps, AA positions, and troop concentrations at Buna and Gona as the enemy pushes inland along the Kokoda trail; fighters also hit the harbor at Salamaua. 93d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Longreach to Mareeba, Australia with B-17s, B-24s and LB-30s.

Friday, 24 July, 1942

B-26s, A-24s, and fighters continue to pound AA positions and enemy troops at Gona as the Japanese continue to push inland toward Kokoda. HQ 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 28th and 30th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) move from Longreach to Mareeba, Australia with B-17s.

Saturday, 25 July, 1942

In New Guinea, B-25s, and P-39s pound barges and concentrations at Gona and troops on the Gona and Kokoda trails; Japanese forces push to Oivi, within 6 miles (10 km) of Kokoda.

Sunday, 26 July, 1942

A B-25 strike against Gasmata Island off New Britain Island, is repulsed by fighter interception. In New Guinea, B-26s attack a destroyer off Gona but fail to score hits; Australian troops flown into Kokoda fail to halt the Japanese advance and Kokoda is evacuated. 39th Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group, moves from Port Moresby, New Guinea to Townsville, Australia with P-39s.

Monday, 27 July, 1942

In New Guinea, B-26s and A-24s hit Gona and targets along the Buna trail. 35th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, moves from Woodstock to Townsville, Australia with P-39s and P-400s.

Tuesday, 28 July, 1942

1 B-26 bombs installations at Gona, New Guinea. Lieutenant General George C. Kenney, commander-designate of Allied Air Forces, arrives in Australia.

Wednesday, 29 July, 1942

In New Guinea, A-24s, with P-39 escort, and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft attack shipping off Gona, partially frustrating Japanese attempts to land more troops and supplies; the Japanese recapture Kokoda, which they temporarily lost the previous day. HQ 8th Fighter Group moves from Brisbane to Townsville, Australia.

Thursday, 30 July, 1942

B-17s attack shipping in the Solomon Sea East of the Huon Gulf and South of New Britain Island.

Friday, 31 July, 1942

B-17s hit Gona, New Guinea and a nearby transport which had been previously damaged, and bomb Kukum Beach and Lunga landing strip on the North coast of Guadalcanal Island as the US invasion forces leave the Fiji Islands for the Solomon Islands.