COMBAT CHRONOLOGY
US ARMY AIR FORCES
MEDITERRANEAN - 1942


JUNE 1942 - MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

FRIDAY, 12 JUNE 1942 MTO, HALPRO Detachment: 13 B-24's of the HALPRO detachment (the bombing detachment for the China-Burma-India Theater) under command of Colonel Harry A Halverson enroute from US to China take off during the night of 11/12 Jun from Fayid, Egypt to bomb oilfields at Ploesti, Rumania. Only 12 attack at dawn; 4 of the 13 land at a base in Iraq which was designated for recovery of the flight, 3 land at other Iraq fields, 2 land in Syria, and 4 are interned in Turkey. Though damage to the target is negligible, the raid is significant because it is the first AAF combat mission in the European- African-Middle East (EAME) Theater in World War II, and the first strike at a target which later will be famous. MONDAY, 15 JUNE 1942 MTO, HALPRO Detachment: 7 B-24s of the HALPRO detachment, along with 2 Royal Air Force (RAF) Liberators and torpedo-carrying Beauforts, attack the Italian fleet E of Malta. The B-24s bomb and damage a battleship and a cruiser, while the Beauforts sink a cruiser. WEDNESDAY, 17 JUNE 1942 MTO, HALPRO Detachment: The HALPRO detachment is ordered to the vicinity of Cairo, Egypt to report to Brigadier General Russell L Maxwell, designated Commanding General US Army Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME). FRIDAY, 19 JUNE 1942 US Army Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME): Brigadier General Russell L Maxwell, formerly head of the US Military North African Mission, assumes command of USAFIME. SUNDAY, 21 JUNE 1942 MTO, HALPRO Detachment: 9 B-24s of the HALPRO detachment bomb the harbor at Bengasi, Libya after RAF Wellingtons light the target with flares and incendiaries. WEDNESDAY, 24 JUNE 1942 MTO, HALPRO Detachment: HALPRO detachment B-24s bomb the harbor at Bengasi, Libya during the night of 23/24 Jun. FRIDAY, 26 JUNE 1942 MTO, HALPRO Detachment: B-24s of the HALPRO detachment fly a diversion for a RAF Albacore attack on 2 merchant vessels at Tobruk, Libya. SATURDAY, 27 JUNE 1942 MTO, HALPRO Detachment: B-24s of the HALPRO detachment bomb the harbor at Tobruk, Libya during the night of 26/27 Jun in an effort to disrupt the movement of supplies. SUNDAY, 28 JUNE 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): Major General Lewis H Brereton arrives at Cairo, Egypt, where HQ USAFIME issues orders placing him in command of US Army, Middle East Air Forces (USAMEAF), which is activated immediately. USAMEAF is comprised of the Halverson Detachment (HALPRO), Brereton's detachment [9th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) and other personnel which Brereton brought from India], and the Air Section of US Military North African Mission. Also activated is Air Service Command, USAMEAF, under Brigadier General Elmer E Adler. B-24s of the HALPRO Detachment bomb the harbor and shipping at Tobruk, Libya. TUESDAY, 30 JUNE 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s bomb the harbor at Tobruk, Libya during the night of 29/30 Jun; first US combat casualties in the Middle East are recorded as 1 B-24 is lost. Major General Lewis H Brereton moves his detachment from Egypt to Palestine, as General Erwin Rommel advances toward the Suez Canal.

JULY 1942 - MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

WEDNESDAY, 1 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s bomb the harbor at Tobruk, Libya during the night of 1/2 Jul. THURSDAY, 2 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-17s and B-24s bomb Tobruk, Libya harbor during the night of 2/3 Jul. 9th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) (attached to USAMEAF), arrives at Lydda, Palestine from Allahabad, India with B-17Es; first mission is 4 Jul. FRIDAY, 3 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s attack Tobruk, Libya harbor during the daylight hours and B-17s bomb supplies at Tobruk during the night of 3/4 Jul. SATURDAY, 4 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s attack a convoy in the Mediterranean during the night of 4/5 Jul, setting 1 tanker aflame. SUNDAY, 5 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s bomb the harbor and ships at Bengasi, Libya during the night of 4/5 Jul. WEDNESDAY, 8 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): In Libya, B-24s bomb the harbor and shipping at Bengasi during the night of 8/9 Jul, while B-17s hit the harbor at Tobruk. THURSDAY, 9 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): 6 B-24s dispatched against shipping are attacked by fighters; 1 B-24 is lost and the others return to base without bombing targets. FRIDAY, 10 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): 57th Fighter Group, enroute from the US, is assigned to USAMEAF. SATURDAY, 11 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s attack harbor and shipping at Begasi, Libya during during the night of 11/12 Jul. SUNDAY, 12 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): In Libya during the night of 13/14 Jul, B-17s bomb Tobruk harbor and B-24s hit ships and harbor at Bengasi; heavy AA fire accounts for the loss of 1 B-24. WEDNESDAY, 15 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s strike the harbor and ships at Bengasi, Libya during the night of 15/16 Jul. FRIDAY, 17 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): Halverson Detachment is redesignated Hal Bombardment Squadron. In Libya, B-24s bomb Bengasi harbor and B-17s hit Tobruk. SATURDAY, 18 JULY 1942 EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO): Harry Hopkins, General George C Marshall, Admiral Ernest V King, Prime Minister Winston S Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff begin a conference in London on the proposed invasion of N Africa (Operation TORCH). SUNDAY, 19 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): In Libya, B-24s hit Bengasi while B-17s attack Tobruk in a continuing effort to disrupt movement of supplies. MONDAY, 20 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): Hal Bombardment Squadron and 9th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) with 19 B-24s and 9 B-17s are organized as the 1st Provisional Group under Colonel Harry A Halverson's command at Lydda, Palestine. HQ 57th Fighter Group arrives at Muqueibile, Palestine from the US. WEDNESDAY, 22 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s bomb Suda Bay, Greece claiming hits on 2 vessels. B-17s hit Tobruk, Libya. FRIDAY, 24 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): In Libya during the night of 23/24 Jul, B-17s attack Tobruk harbor; B-24s hit the harbor at Bengasi; a B-24 crashes on return to base, killing 1 crew member. SATURDAY, 25 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): HQ 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 344th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) arrive at Ramat David, Palestine from the US with B-24s; first mission is 1 Aug. SUNDAY, 26 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): During the night of 25/26 Jul, B-17s and B-24s bomb the harbor at Tobruk, Libya. TUESDAY, 28 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-17s hit Tobruk, Libya, during the night of 27/28 Jul, while B-24s attack a convoy in the Mediterranean, claiming hits on 2 merchant ships. WEDNESDAY, 29 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): 65th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group, arrives at Muqueibile, Palestine from the US with P-40s; first mission is 7 Oct. THURSDAY, 30 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): During the night of 30/31 Jul, B-24s bomb convoy in Pylos Bay, Greece claiming hits on 2 merchant ships. B-17s hit the harbor at Tobruk, Libya. 81st Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium), arrives at Deversoir, Egypt from the US with B-25s; first mission is 16 Aug. FRIDAY, 31 JULY 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): Arrivals from the US: HQ 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) at Deversoir, Egypt; 415th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), at Ramat David, Palestine with B-24s (first mission is 4 Aug).

AUGUST 1942 - MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

SATURDAY, 1 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): During the night of 1/2 Aug, B-24s hit a convoy in the Mediterranean, scoring 3 direct hits on a large merchant ship which the last aircraft reports sinking; 1 B-24 is lost in crashlanding at base. SUNDAY, 2 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): 82d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium), arrives at Deversoir, Egypt from the US with B-25s; first mission is 16 Aug. TUESDAY, 4 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s strike a convoy in the Mediterranean during the night of 4/5 Aug, claiming hits on 2 merchant ships. WEDNESDAY, 5 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): Lieutenant General Lewis H Brereton, in his first strategic estimate of the Middle Eastern war, indicates that the 3 major objectives for the Allied Air Forces are to assist in the destruction of General Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps by support to ground troops, secure sea and air communications on and over the Mediterranean, and carry out a sustained air offensive against Italy and against oil installations at Ploesti, Rumania and in the Caucasus, if the latter should fall under Axis control. Unit moves: 65th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group, from Muqueibile, Palestine to Cyprus with P-40s; 345th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) arrives at Ramat David, Palestine from the US with B-24s; first mission is 12 Aug. THURSDAY, 6 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s hit the harbor at Tobruk, Libya. FRIDAY, 7 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): Colonel Harry A Halverson relinquishes command of Hal Bombardment Squadron, to be succeeded by Lieutenant Colonel George F McGuire. 343d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrives at Ramat David, Palestine from the US with B-24s; first mission is in Aug. THURSDAY, 13 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): 83d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium), arrives at Ismailia, Egypt from the US with B-25s; first mission is 16 Aug. FRIDAY, 14 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s bomb the harbor at Tobruk, Libya during the night of 14/15 Aug. 434th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium), arrives at Ismailia, Egypt from the US with B-25s; first mission is 28 Aug. SUNDAY, 16 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): Personnel strength is greatly increased and supply and maintenance prospects are much improved by the arrival of ground echelons of the 57th Fighter Group, 12th Bombardment Group (Medium), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 323d Service Group. MONDAY, 17 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-25s of the 81st Bombardment Squadron (Medium) hit stores, depot and tank repair shops at Matruh, Egypt. This marks the debut of the B-25s of the 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) in the Middle East. WEDNESDAY, 19 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): 64th and 66th Fighter Squadrons, 57th Fighter Group, arrive at Muqueibile and Beit Daras, Palestine respectively from the US with P-40s; first mission is 7 Oct. FRIDAY, 21 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s from 2 squadrons hit a convoy SW of Crete, claiming 2 ships probably sunk; fighters attack a straggling B-24 and force it to crashland at sea. 343d and 344th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), move from David to St Jean, Palestine with B-24s. SATURDAY, 22 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-25s hit a tank and motor repair shop and storage dumps at Matruh, Egypt; a B-25 is mistakenly shot down by an RAF Beaufighter. MONDAY 24 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s attack Tobruk, Libya harbor. TUESDAY, 25 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-25s bomb shipping and landing grounds. B-24s attack Corinth Canal, Greece. THURSDAY, 27 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s bomb a convoy, hitting 1 merchant ship which is reported sinking. FRIDAY, 28 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): 2 B-24 squadrons bomb docks, shipping and jetties in Tobruk, Libya harbor. SATURDAY, 29 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s fail to locate shipping near Crete and return without bombing. B-25s bomb a landing ground during the night of 29/30 Aug. 65th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group, moves from Cyprus to Muqueibile, Palestine with P-40s; first mission is 7 Oct. SUNDAY, 30 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s bomb docks and jetties in Tobruk, Libya harbor. MONDAY 31 AUGUST 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-25s attack aircraft on a landing ground, and B-24s raid the harbor at Tobruk, Libya. P-40s of the 66th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group, escort RAF bombers during raid on Maryut, Egypt. B-25s, in conjunction with RAF Bostons, attack troop concentrations and military vehicles as the battle of Alam-el-Halfa begins along the El Alamein line.

SEPTEMBER 1942 - MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

TUESDAY, 1 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s attack the harbor at Candia, Crete, scoring several direct hits on 1 vessel and hitting others. 2 squadrons of the 57th Fighter Group fly escort missions and sweeps with the Royal Air Force (RAF). B-25s, in conjunction with RAF light bombers, hit trucks and tanks in the battle area of Alam-el-Halfa, Egypt. WEDNESDAY, 2 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s hit docks and jetties at Tobruk, Libya; B-25s bomb aircraft and a landing ground and, with the RAF, attack troops and vehicles in the battle area around Alamel-Halfa, Egypt ridge; P-40s fly escort and sweep missions over the battle area in conjunction with the RAF. THURSDAY, 3 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s attack a convoy at sea; B-25s hit troop concentrations, vehicles, and airfield installations in the battle area of Alam-el-Halfa, Egypt and behind enemy lines; P-40s, mostly operating with the RAF, escort bombers and engage fighters in combat, claiming at least 1 shot down. FRIDAY, 4 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s, in conjunction with the RAF and the Royal Navy (RN), attack a convoy at sea; 2 merchant ships are reported sunk and 1 left burning. B-25s and RAF Bostons, repelling counterattacks during the Alam-el- Halfa, Egypt battle, hit troop concentrations and vehicles, while P-40s, operating with the RAF, escort bombers and engage in combat over the battle area, claiming 1 fighter destroyed. SATURDAY, 5 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s strike shipping and dock area in Candia Bay, Crete. In Egypt, P-40s escort RAF bombers over the the battle area SE of Alam-el-Halfa ridge near Rayil Dayr Ar Depression as the enemy offensive falters and is pushed back. SUNDAY, 6 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): In Egypt, P-40s fly an offensive sweep over the battle area near the Rayil Dayr Ar Depression, claiming 3 Ju 87s shot down; P-40s also escort RAF bombers and fly 2 interceptor missions. MONDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s bomb convoys at sea, hit other shipping, and in Crete, attack Maleme Airfield and Suda Bay. TUESDAY, 8 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s attack shipping and the harbor at Suda Bay, Crete. WEDNESDAY, 9 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s attack Tobruk, Libya harbor and shipping. FRIDAY, 11 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): P-40s fly an uneventful sweep with the RAF during a lull after the Battle of Alam-el-Halfa, Egypt. SATURDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): P-40s fly 3 uneventful scramble missions along the frontlines. SUNDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): In Libya during the night of 13/14 Sep, B-24s attack Tobruk and shipping in Bengasi harbor while B-25s hit landing grounds SE of Matruh, Egypt. MONDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s attack shipping at Suda Bay, Crete, setting 1 vessel afire, while other B-24s hit Tobruk, Libya; P-40s fly a sweep with the RAF over the frontlines. TUESDAY, 15 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): A lone B-24 drops 1 bomb on a tanker in Suda Bay, Crete. B-24s bomb behind the enemy lines while P-40s, along with the RAF, fly escort and carry out a scramble missions over the area W of El Alamein, Egypt. WEDNESDAY, 16 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): Major General Lewis H Brereton is officially assigned to the Middle East as a result of pressure from Major General Clayton L Bissell, new Commanding General Tenth Air Force, for clarification of the status of Brereton and other key staff officers and combat crews who had gone from India to the Middle East in Jun and Jul 42. HQ 57th Fighter Group and the 64th, 65th and 66th Fighter Squadrons move from Muqeibile and Beit Daras, Palestine to Landing Ground 174, Egypt with P-40s. THURSDAY, 17 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): During the night of 16/17 Sep, B-24s bomb Bengasi, Libya harbor; during the day, targets for B-24s are in Greece: shipping in Pylos Bay and shipping and piers near Sphakia, and in Khalones and Pylos Island. P-40s make an offensive sweep with the RAF over the front lines. SATURDAY, 19 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): In Greece, B-24s bomb the Pylos Bay area, Pylos Island and Khalones during the night of 19/20 Sep. TUESDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s bomb shipping in Bengasi, Libya harbor; direct hits are made on 1 large vessel while a smaller vessel and other targets receive lesser hits. FRIDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s fail to locate a shipping convoy S of Crete and return without bombing. Other B-24s bomb Bengasi, Libya. SATURDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s of 3 squadrons sent on shipping strikes fail to locate targets. SUNDAY, 27 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s are dispatched to attack an 8,000-ton vessel at Bengasi, Libya. No bombs hit the target but several straddle a jetty in the harbor. TUESDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s hit harbor installations at Suda Bay, Crete. P-40s fly an offensive sweep over the battle area, and carry out an interception mission against Ju 87s over the frontline near El Alamein, Egypt. The 434th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Ismailia to Landing Ground 88, Egypt with B-25s.

OCTOBER 1942 - MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

THURSDAY, 1 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s bomb shipping in Pylos Bay, Greece, claiming 2 direct hits and several near misses on a large vessel; other B-24s dispatched to bomb a convoy at sea fail to find the target. SATURDAY, 3 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s attack shipping in Pylos Bay, Greece during the night of 3/4 Oct; they claim 2 fighters shot down. TUESDAY, 6 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): In Libya, B-24s hit Bengasi harbor, scoring a large number or near misses but no direct hits; 1 B-24 bombs Bardia during the return flight; AA is heavy and accurate and fighters attack 6 B-24s over target; 2 B-24s are lost. WEDNESDAY, 7 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s score 7 direct hits on a tanker and 8 on fuel installations at Suda Bay, Crete. 66 P-40s escort bombers over the battle area W of El Alamein, Egypt. THURSDAY, 8 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s fail to reach the target at Bengasi, Libya because of bad weather. The Hal Bombardment Squadron manages to attack shipping at Bengasi. FRIDAY, 9 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s strike shipping and harbor facilities at Bengasi, Libya; P-40s fly escort and strafe a landing ground W of El Daba, Egypt and emplacements in the battle area W of El Alamein, Egypt. SATURDAY, 10 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s bomb shipping and the dock area at Bengasi, Libya, while B-25s hit landing grounds. SUNDAY, 11 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s attack a convoy in the Mediterranean Sea, hitting 1 vessel and claiming 1 fighter shot down. MONDAY, 12 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): Bomber Command USAMEAF is organized at Cairo, Egypt with Colonel Patrick W Timberlake as Commanding Officer; this step comes about as part of a move to preserve the Lieutenant General Henry H "Hap" Arnold-Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles F Portal-Admiral John H Towers, USN, agreement that US combat units in theaters of British strategic responsibility are to be organized in homogeneous "American formations" and under strategic control only" of a British Commander-in-Chief. B-17s hit shipping at Tobruk, Libya harbor. TUESDAY, 13 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): P-40s fly a fighter sweep, patrol, and interception missions W of El Alamein, Egypt; fighters claim 2 Bf 109s destroyed and 1 damaged. WEDNESDAY, 14 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-17s hit shipping at Tobruk, Libya, scoring 2 direct hits on a large vessel and demolishing a smaller ship moored alongside; P-40s fly patrols, reconnaissance and interception missions between El Alamein and Burg el Arab, Egypt. THURSDAY, 15 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): The 82d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Deversoir to Landing Ground 88, Egypt with B-25s. FRIDAY, 16 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): In Libya, B-24s bomb shipping in Bengasi harbor; B-17s and B-24s dispatched to attack Tobruk and Bengasi are forced to abort by bad weather. SUNDAY, 18 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): The 81st and 83d Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium), move from Deversoir and Ismailia respectively to Landing Ground 88, Egypt with B-25s. MONDAY, 19 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): The air offensive preliminary to the British Eighth Army ground attack W of El Alamein, Egypt begins as B-25s hit a landing ground and B-24s score a direct hit on vessel at Tobruk, Libya. TUESDAY, 20 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): Air action is intensified with the aim of attaining strong air superiority preceding General Bernard L Montgomery's El Alamein, Egypt offensive; in Libya, B-17s and B-24s sent to attack shipping at Tobruk fail to locate the target due to bad weather and poor visibility; 3 of the B-17s bomb a coastal road near Bardia during the return trip; B-25s, in conjunction with the Royal Air Force (RAF), attack landing grounds. WEDNESDAY, 21 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s dispatched against shipping at Bengasi, Libya fail to locate target because of bad weather; during the return flight, several B-24s bomb tent areas along the coast and also hit landing grounds; B-25s, cooperating with the RAF, bomb landing ground and tent area. THURSDAY, 22 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): Advance US Air HQ, previously attached to the RAF Advanced Air HQ, Western Desert, to gain field experience, becomes HQ of Desert Air Task Force (DATF), located at Burg el Arab, Egypt, with Lieutenant General Lewis H Brereton as Commanding General and Major General Elmer E Adler attached with advance HQ of Air Service Command; the Chief of Staff of the DATF is Brigadier General Auby C Strickland. B-25s bomb dispersed aircraft. In Egypt, P-40s escort bombers, attack tent areas and motor transport along the coastal road near El Hammam, fly reconnaissance and fighter sweeps W of El Daba, and bomb artillery positions; P-40s claim 2 fighters destroyed. B-17s sent to hit Candia, Crete abort because of weather. FRIDAY, 23 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-17s and B-24s sent to attack Candia, Crete and Bengasi, Libya turn back short of the target due to bad weather. The El Alamein, Egypt offensive by the British Eighth Army begins at 2140 hours local with an artillery barrage by 1,000+ guns aimed at enemy batteries; at 2200 hours, the barrage switches to the enemy forward positions as British troops move forward; heavy fighting continues during the night of 23/24 Oct. SATURDAY, 24 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): In Egypt, B-25s support the British Eighth Army Offensive W of El Alamein between the Mediterranean Sea and the Qattara Depression as 30 Corps, with 4 divisions in assault, secures 2 corridors through enemy minefields on the British N flank, while 13 Corps on the S flank breaks through minefields N of Himeimat and establishes a small bridgehead; the B-25s hit troop concentrations, tent areas, gun emplacements, and vehicles; P-40s, working with the RAF and South African Air Force (SAAF), escort medium and light bombers and hit motor transports and tanks. SUNDAY, 25 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): The Battle of El Alamein continues as General Bernard L Montgomery decides to make the main effort on the N flank of 30 Corps; the Australian 9 Division drives N toward the coastal road to Rahman; B-25s disperse motor transport and other targets in support of ground forces; P-40s on escort attack vehicles and other targets; fighters claim several airplanes destroyed in combat; and B-24s sent to bomb the harbor at Bengasi, Libya and a convoy at sea fail to reach targets as bad weather prevails. MONDAY, 26 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): The momentum of the British drive decreases in the El Alamein, Egypt battle; 30 Corps takes Kidney Ridge, and General Bernard L Montgomery decides to regroup for a break-out assault; Allied aircraft continue strong support to ground forces and disperse enemy concentrations preparing for an attack; B-25s hit transport, troop concentrations, and tanks; P-40s fly sweeps over the El Daba area, Egypt and attack motor transport and other targets; enemy air action increases and considerable aerial combat ensues; US fighters claim 4 airplanes shot down. 30+ B-17s and B-24s attack shipping off the coast of Libya. TUESDAY, 27 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-25s, with fighter escorts, bomb Matruh, Egypt and attack motor transports, tanks, and other ground targets; enemy reinforcements brought up from the S, counterattack Kidney Ridge and are repulsed; the British Eighth Army continues regrouping for an assault. WEDNESDAY, 28 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-17s, dispatched to attack a convoy at sea, fail to locate the target but attack cruisers in Pylos Bay, Greece; B-25s attack tanks, motor transports, and landing grounds; P-40s fly medium and light bomber escort, bomb and strafe landing grounds and other targets, and engage aircraft in combat, mostly in the area between El Alamein and El Daba, Egypt; fighters claim 3 Bf 109s destroyed; attacks by US and RAF aircraft cause the enemy to abandon a plan for a counterattack on Kidney Ridge. THURSDAY, 29 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s and B-17s strike Maleme Airfield, Crete. In Egypt, B-25s bomb landing grounds, motor transports, and tanks; P-40s fly escort, then bomb and strafe road E of El Daba, and attack troop concentration and vehicles; in view of the strong German reinforcements on his N flank near the coast, General Bernard L Montgomery alters the breakout plan; instead of pushing W along coast, he decides to shift the point of advance S in order to attack against Italian troops. FRIDAY, 30 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): In Crete, B-24s bomb Maleme Airfield and 1 B-24 bombs the main jetty in Suda Bay. In Egypt, B-25s attack landing grounds at Fuka-Bagush and El Daba; P-40s fly escort; the British Eighth Army sends 9 Australian Division N to the sea and then E, trapping a large force in a pocket, as Allied aircraft provide excellent support; enemy tanks breaking through from the W, however, enable most of the surrounded force to escape. SATURDAY, 31 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-25s hit a landing ground; they claim 1 fighter shot down while P-40s flying escort claim 3; B-24s sent to bomb the Maleme dispersal area on Crete fail to locate the target because of overcast. HQ 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 512th, 513th, 514th and 515th Bombardment Squadrons are activated at Lydda, Palestine with B-24s replacing the 1st Provisional Group; the 376th is intended to become part of an Anglo-American air force to be sent to the Caucasus area to aid the USSR, but the plan falls through and the 376th remains in the Middle East.

NOVEMBER 1942 - MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

SUNDAY, 1 NOVEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s strike the airfield and dispersal areas at Maleme, Crete; P-40s escort the bombers and hit ground targets in the battle area. An air depot, 2 service groups, and 1 Military Police company are assigned to USAMEAF. MONDAY, 2 NOVEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): In Egypt, the British Eighth Army opens an assault (Operation SUPERCHARGE, the plan for the British XXX Corps breakout from Egypt) W of Tell el-Eisa with 2 New Zealand Division in the lead; B-25s bomb a track extending S from Rahman as the British 9 Armored Brigade establishes bridgeheads across the track; other B-25s attack tanks and other targets in support of the assault; P-40s fly escort and strafing missions in the battle area. B-17s bomb shipping and jetties in Tobruk, Libya harbor. TUESDAY, 3 NOVEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): In Egypt, B-25s bomb tanks, motor transports, landing ground, ammunition dumps, mainly in the Rahman Track area and on the road between Fuka and El Daba, and also hit town of Fuka and Ghazal station; P-40s fly several escort and fighter-bomber missions, attacking ground targets in support of the British Eighth Army; Allied aircraft fly 400+ sorties against troops retreating along the coastal road; during the night of 3/4 Nov, British and Indian troops outflank and break an enemy tank screen in the sector S of Tell el Aqqaqir. WEDNESDAY, 4 NOVEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): 9 B-24s bomb the Bengasi, Libya harbor, hitting 3 ships and claiming 1 enemy fighter shot down. In Egypt, B-25s and P-40s attack motor transports and troops retreating W from the El Alamein battleline with British in pursuit; 10 Corps armor clashes with the rearguard S of Ghazal. Lieutenant General Frank M Andrews replaces Brigadier General Russell L Maxwell as Commanding General USAFIME. THURSDAY, 5 NOVEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): General Bernard L Montgomery announces the victory of the British Eighth Army in Egypt; 10 Corps, pushing rapidly W, overcomes a rearguard action near Fuka; as Field Marshall Erwin Rommel retreats W from El Alamein, P-40s bomb targets on the Fuka road and patrol the Sidi Hanaish area; B-25s also bomb motor transports. FRIDAY, 6 NOVEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-24s hit the harbors of Tobruk and Bengasi, Libya, scoring hits on 2 vessels. Heavy rains delay the British pursuit of the retreating enemy in the Matruh, Egypt area. SUNDAY, 8 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (US Army, Middle East Air Force): HQ 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 513th, 514th and 515th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) move from Lydda, Palestine to Abu Sueir, Egypt with B-24s. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): The invasion of N Africa (Operation TORCH) begins. In French Morocco, C-47s of the 60th Troop Carrier Group attempting to land troops at La Senia Airfield find the French unexpectedly hostile and have several aircraft shot down by fighters and AA; several other C-47s are damaged when trying to land on the dry lakebed of Sebkra d'Oran. Spitfires of the 31st Fighter Group, flying from Gibraltar into Tafaraoui Airfield, Algeria during the afternoon of D-Day, claim 3 hostile French fighters destroyed. In Algeria, the following units arrive at Tafaraoui Airfield from the UK: HQ XII Fighter Command, HQ 31st Fighter Group, HQ 60th Troop Carrier Group and 10th, 11th and 12th Troop Carrier Squadrons with C-47s, air echelon of 2d, 4th and 5th Fighter Squadrons, 52d Fighter Group with Spitfires, and the 308th and 309th Fighter Squadrons, 31st Fighter Group, with Spitfires; the 71st Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, arrives at St Leu from the UK with P-38s. In French Morocco during Nov 42, HQ 5th Bombardment Wing and HQ 7th Fighter Wing arrive at Casablanca from the US. MONDAY, 9 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (US Army, Middle East Air Force): The 512th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Lydda, Palestine to Abu Sueir, Egypt with B-24s. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, Spitfires of the 31st Fighter Group attack and halt an armored column moving N toward Tafaraoui, and also attack artillery and AA batteries SE of Tafaraoui and along the coastal road; at 1605 hours, Major General James H Doolittle, Commanding General Twelfth AF, arrives in Algeria from Gibraltar by B-17, escorted by 12 Spitfires from the 52d Fighter Group; HQ Twelfth AF arrives in Algeria from the UK; HQ 52d Fighter Group arrives at Tafaraoui from the UK; the 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group arrives at St Leu with P-38s; the 307th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group arrives at Tafaraoui with Spitfires. In French Morocco, HQ XII Air Support Command arrives from the US; HQ 68th Observation Group and the 16th and 122d Observation Squadron arrive at Casablanca and Fedala respectively from the US with A-20s and P-39s. TUESDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (US Army, Middle East Air Force): B-24s hit the harbor at Bengasi, Libya while B-17s hit the harbor at Candia, Crete. The 343d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from St Jean, Palestine to Kabrit, Egypt with B-24s. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): AAF Spitfires escort a convoy, fly reconnaissance, and attack tanks and other vehicles in the Oran, Algeria area. French Admiral Jean F Darlan broadcasts orders for the French forces in N Africa to cease resistance against the Allies. In Algeria, the following units arrive at St Leu from the UK: 111th and 154th Observation Squadrons, 68th Observation Group, with A-20s; 437th, 438th, 439th and 440th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 319th Bombardment Group (Medium), with B-26s. In French Morocco, 72 P-40s of the 33d Fighter Group, catapulted from the US auxiliary aircraft carrier USS Chenango (ACV-28), land in Port Lyautey; the 91st and 93d Fighter Squadrons, 81st Fighter Group, arrive at Port Lyautey from the US with P-39s. WEDNESDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (US Army, Middle East Air Force): In Libya, B-24s hit shipping N of Bengasi, claiming 4 direct hits and several near misses on 1 vessel; P-40s fly a sweep over the Gambut area, claiming 3 Stukas destroyed; the British Eighth Army drives the last of the enemy from Egypt and crosses into Libya, taking Bardia without opposition; HQ 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 344th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), move from Ramat David, Palestine to Fayid, Egypt with B-24. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, fighters fly reconnaissance over the Oran-Tafaraoui area and escort C-47s carrying paratroops from Gibraltar to Algiers. All French resistance against the Allies in NW Africa ceases in the early morning. HQ 319th Bombardment Group (Medium) moves from England to St Leu, Algeria. The 16th, 17th and 18th Troop Carrier Squadrons, 64th Troop Carrier Group, based in England begin operating from Maison Blance, Algeria. The 92d Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group, arrives at Port Lyautey, French Morocco from the US with P-39s. THURSDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): US Army Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF) is dissolved and replaced by HQ Ninth AF, commanded by Lieutenant General Lewis H Brereton; major components are: IX Bomber Command (Brigadier General Patrick W Timberlake) at Ismailia, Egypt, IX Fighter Command (Colonel John C Kilborn) enroute to Egypt, and IX Air Service Command (Brigadier General Elmer E Adler). HQ 57th Fighter Group and the 65th Fighter Squadron move from Egypt to Libya with P-40s; the 85th, 86th and 87th Fighter Squadrons, 79th Fighter Group, arrives in Egypt from the US with P-40s; the 415th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Ramat David, Palestine to Fayid, Egypt with B-24s. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, fighters fly patrols over a wide area around Oran and escort C-47s which drop US paratroops at Duzerville Airfield SE of Bone; Duzerville Airfield is bombed by Axis aircraft during the night of 12/13 Nov; HQ XII Fighter Command moves from Tafaraoi to La Senia; the ground echelon of the 2d, 4th and 5th Fighter Squadrons, 52d Fighter Group, arrive at La Senia from the UK; the 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Twelfth AF (attached to 3d Photographic Group) arrives La Senia from the UK with F-4s (first mission in Nov 42); the 307th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group, moves from Tafaraoui to La Senia with Spitfires. In French Morocco, the 16th and 122d Observation Squadrons, 68th Observation Group, move from Fedala to Casablanca with A-20s and P-39s. FRIDAY, 13 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): Tobruk, Libya falls to 10 Corps of the British Eighth Army. The 64th and 66th Fighter Squadrons, 57th Fighter Group, move from Egypt to Libya with P-40s. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, C-47s, with P-38 escort, fly AA guns and aviation gasoline to Duzerville Airfield; US Spitfires patrol the Oran-Tafaraoui area; HQ 1st Fighter Group arrives at Tafaraoui from the UK; HQ 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 340th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) arrive at Maison Blanche from the UK with B-17s; the 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light), Twelfth AF, arrives at Tebessa from the UK with A-20s; the 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, moves from St Leu to Tafaraoui with P-38s. In French Morocco, HQ 33d Fighter Group moves from Port Lyautey to Casablanca. SATURDAY, 14 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): 6 B-17s are dispatched to attack the harbor at Bengasi, Libya, but only 1 locates the target and drops its bombs. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, US Spitfires fly routine patrols in the Oran-Tafaraoui area and escort C-53's carrying paratroops from Gibraltar to Algiers; HQ 52d Fighter Group moves from Tafaraoui to La Senia; the 28th Troop Carrier Squadron, 60th Troop Carrier Group, arrives at Tafaraoui from the UK with C-47s; the 71st Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group moves from St Leu to Tafaraoui with P-38s; the 309th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group moves from Tafaraoui to La Senia with Spitfires. In French Morocco, the 35th Troop Carrier Squadron, 64th Troop Carrier Group, begins operating from Casablanca with C-47s (squadron is enroute from the UK). SUNDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, B-24s from 2 groups are sent to bomb Tripoli, but unfavorable weather prevents them from reaching the target; 1 group bombs a motor convoy, as well as an airfield and crowded roads in the Bengasi area; P-40s fly sweeps and fighter-bomber missions against the retreating enemy W of Martuba; Martuba Airfields are captured by British 10 Corps and are soon occupied by the 57th Fighter Group. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, C-47s fly an airborne operation from Algiers to Youks-le-Bains; escort is provided at intervals by Royal Air Force (RAF) Spitfires and Hurricanes. British First Army ground forces reach Tunisia at Taberka; the following units arrive at Tafaraoui from the UK: HQ 14th Fighter Group; HQ 62d Troop Carrier Group and the 4th and 7th Troop Carrier Squadrons with C-47s; the 94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, with P-38s. MONDAY, 16 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): P-40s patrol over the Germiston, Libya area. the 345th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Ramat David, Palestine to Fayid, Egypt with B-24s. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, Twelfth AF C-47s drop British paratroops at Souk el Arba; 6 B-17s, of the 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) based at Maison Blanche, Algeria, raid Sidi Ahmed Airfield at Bizerte; thus the 97th which flew the first US heavy bomber mission from the UK, on 17 Aug, becomes the first Twelfth AF bombardment group to fly a combat mission in Africa. In Algeria, the 8th Troop Carrier Squadron, 62d Troop Carrier Group, arrives at Tafaraoui from the UK with C-47s; the 111th and 154th Observation Squadrons, 68th Observation Group, moves from St Leu to Tafaraoui with A-20s; the 341st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrives at Maison Blanche from the UK with B-17s. TUESDAY, 17 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, P-40s patrol over Tobruk and the Derna road. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, air action is limited to routine patrols in the Tafaraoui area; the 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Twelfth Air Force (attached to 3d Photographic Group) moves from La Senia to Tafaraoui with F-4s; the 437th and 438th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 319th Bombardment Group (Medium), move from St Leu to Tafaraoui with B-26s. In French Morocco, the following units arrive at Mediuna from the US: 85th, 86th and 97th Bombardment Squadrons (Light), 47th Bombardment Group (Light), with A-20s; 380th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 310th Bombardment Group (Medium), with B-25s. WEDNESDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): B-17s bomb the marshalling yard and docks at Bengasi, Libya. HQ 79th Fighter Group arrives at Kasfareet, Egypt from the US. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, several P-38s are damaged in an enemy air raid on Maison Blanche Airfield; HQ 14th Fighter Group moves from Tafaraoui to Maison Blanche; HQ 319th Bombardment Group (Medium) and the 439th, and 440th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) move from St Leu to Tafaraoui with B-26s; "A" flight of the air echelon of the 15th Photographic Mapping Squadron, 3d Photographic Group, arrives at Tafaraoui with B-17s and F-4s (ground echelon in England; "B" and "C" Flights of air echelon remain in Colorado until Oct 43). In French Morocco, HQ 47th Bombardment Group (Light) and the 84th Bombardment Squadron (Light) arrive at Mediouna from the US with A-20s; HQ 310th Bombardment Group (Medium) and the 381st Bombardment Squadron (Medium) arrive at Mediouna from the US with B-25s. THURSDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): B-17s, escorted by P-38s, bomb El Aouina Airfield, Tunisia. In Algeria, the 342d and 414th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrive at Maison Blanche from the UK with B-17s. In French Morocco, the 345th and 346th Fighter Squadrons, 350th Fighter Group, arrive at Casablanca, the air echelon from the UK with P-39s and P-400s and the ground echelon from the US; the 379th and 428th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 310th Bombardment Group (Medium), arrive at Mediouna with B-25s. FRIDAY, 20 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): P-40s patrol over the battle area near Bengasi, Libya, as that city falls to the British 10 Corps. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria during the night of 20/21 Nov, enemy aircraft bomb the harbor and Maison Blanche Airfield at Algiers, destroying several aircraft at the field; HQ 1st Fighter Group and the 27th Fighter Squadron move from Tafaraoui to Nouvion; the 154th Observation Squadron, 68th Observation Group, moves from Tafaraoui to Blida with A-20s. SATURDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, B-24s flying out of Gambut bomb Tripoli harbor, scoring a direct hit on a warehouse; RAF bombers follow the US raids with staggered attacks during the night of 21/22 Nov; P-40s patrol the battle area S of Bengasi. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): B-17s hit El Aouina Airfield, Tunisia. In Algeria, P-38s of the 1st Fighter Group arrive at Nouvion to replace the 14th Fighter Group in escorting B-17s; during the night of 21/22 Nov enemy aircraft again hit Algiers, damaging several aircraft and destroying a B-17; the 71st and 94th Fighter Squadrons, 1st Fighter Group, move from Tafaraoui to Nouvion; the 440th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 319th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Tafaraoui to Maison Blanche with B-26s. In French Morocco, the 12th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 3d Photographic Group, arrives at Casablanca from the US with F-4s. SUNDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): P-40s patrol over the Derna, Libya area. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, HQ XII Bomber Command arrives at Tafaraoui from the UK; HQ 14th Fighter Group moves from Maison Blanche to Youks-les-Bains; HQ 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 340th, 341st, 342d and 414th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) move from Maison Blanche to Tafaraoui with B-17s because of enemy bombing raids. MONDAY, 23 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): HQ 316th Troop Carrier Group and the 36th and 37th Troop Carrier Squadrons arrive at El Adem, Egypt from the US with C-47s. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): B-17s, with P-38 escort, sent to bomb the airfield at Elmas, Sardinia abort due to bad weather. In Algeria, the Twelfth AF Main HQ moves from Gibraltar to Algiers; HQ 51st Troop Carrier Wing arrives at Algiers from the UK. TUESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, P-40s patrol over the Bengasi and Derna areas. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): B-17s, with P-38 escort, are dispatched against the harbor at Bizerte, Tunisia but must abort because of bad weather. In Algeria, fighters patrol the Oran-Nouvion-Tafaraoui area, and fly sea patrol off Oran and destroy several aircraft and attack ground targets in the vicinity of Gabes, Tunisia. In Algeria, HQ 319th Bombardment Group (Medium) and the 439th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) move from Tafaraoui to Maison Blanche with B-26s; the 352d and 419th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrive at Tafaraoui from the UK with B-17s. WEDNESDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, P-40s escort minesweepers in the vicinity of Bengasi harbor; the RAF raids Tripoli harbor during the night of 25/26 Nov. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): Spitfires and P-38s fly widespread reconnaissance missions over coastal Algeria. THURSDAY, 26 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Libya, B-24s fly 3 missions against Tripoli, scoring direct hits on 2 vessels, 1 B-24 bombs a ship at Homs harbor; P-40s patrol over the Bengasi and Derna area. In Algeria, HQ 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 32d and 353d Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) arrive at Tafaraoui from the UK with B-17s; the 437th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 319th Bombardment Group (Medium), moves from Tafaraoui to Maison Blanche with B-26s. FRIDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): B-17s bomb Portolago Bay in the Dodecanese Islands hitting 2 vessels. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, HQ XII Bomber Command moves from Tafaraoui to Algiers; HQ 60th Troop Carrier Group and the 10th and 28th Troop Carrier Squadrons move from Tafaraoui to Relizane; the 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Twelfth AF (attached to 3d Photographic Group), moves from Tafaraoui to Algiers. SATURDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, 35 B-17s of the 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the newly-arrived 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy) bomb Bizerte airfield and dock area; because of mud, no P-38 escort is provided; 2 B-17s are lost to fighter attacks; B-26s of the newly-arrived 319th Bombardment Group (Medium) bomb oil tanks, warehouses, and rail yards at Sfax, marking the debut of Twelfth AF medium bombers in NW Africa. The 94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, moves from Nouvion to Youks-les-Bains, Algeria with P-38s. SUNDAY, 29 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHEAST AFRICA (Ninth Air Force): B-24s bomb Tripoli, Libya harbor at dusk, hitting docks, warehouses, 2 vessels, and silencing an AA battery. NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, the British First Army, after taking Tebourba on 27 Nov, is stalled at Djedeida; in an effort to rejuvenate the drive on Tunis elements of the British 1 Parachute Brigade are dropped at Depienne by Twelfth AF C-47s, but the objective of capturing Oudna airfield and threatening Tunis, 10 miles (16 km) to the N, fails because of overwhelming defense of the airfield; over 300 casualties are suffered by the paratroops; P-38s and DB-7s attack Gabes Airfield while other US fighters operate with the RAF out of Bone, Algeria, furnishing air cover for ground units in the battle area. The 11th Troop Carrier Squadron, 60th Troop Carrier Group, moves from Tafaraoui to Relizane, Algeria with C-47s. MONDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 1942 NORTHWEST AFRICA (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s bomb the N quay at Bizerte; B-26s hit the airfield and railroad at Gabes; DB-7s attack a bridge and railway station at Djedeida; P-38s escort all 3 missions; other P-38s strafe Gabes Airfield, fly reconnaissance, and shoot down a Bf 109 in an aerial battle near Tunis; elements of the British First Army remain hard pressed at Djedeida. The 12th Troop Carrier Squadron, 60th Troop Carrier Group, moves from Tafaraoui to Relizane, Algeria with C-47s.

DECEMBER 1942 - MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

TUESDAY, 1 DECEMBER 1942 WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, DB-7s and later B-17s, bomb El Aouina Airfield with P-38s escorting both forces. In the Djedeida area, P-38s on a sweep attack tanks northwest of the town. A German counterattack is launched toward Tebourba, inflicting heavy tank losses on the BLADE Force, which, along with part of the US 1st Armored Division, was prepared to attack Tunis on the following day. WEDNESDAY, 2 DECEMBER 1942 WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, DB-7s and B-26s bomb the El Aouina Airfield; B-17s hit the Sidi Ahmed Airfield and Bizerte harbor; and B-25s attack AA guns near the Gabes Airfield. P-38s provide escort and fly reconnaissance missions and sweeps, claiming eight aircraft and one tank destroyed. The British First Army withstands another German counterattack on Tebourba. Headquarters 320th Bombardment Group (Medium) is established at La Senia, Algeria upon arrival from England. THURSDAY, 3 DECEMBER 1942 WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s of the 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) hit the docks and shipping at Bizerte harbor; radar warned the Germans of the approach of the bombers and Bf 109s jumped the escorting P-38s shooting down three with two more missing; two Bf 109s are shot down. DB-7s, with P-38s as escort, bomb the El Aouina Airfield. Spitfires and P-38s fly patrols and photographic reconnaissance over wide areas of Northwest Africa, and carry out fighter sweeps during which several ground targets, including the Gabes, Tunisia Airfield, are attacked. The British First Army withdraws from Tebourba as German forces, through continuous attacks, occupy the city during the night of 3/4 Dec. FRIDAY, 4 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Italy, 20 B-24s of the 98th and 376th Bombardment Groups (Heavy), in the first attack by the USAAF against Italy, hit the Italian fleet and docks at Naples; hits are scored on numerous harbor installations, a railroad yard, and three or four ships, including a battleship. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s bomb shipping and docks at Bizerte while B-26s, with fighter escort, attack the same target a half hour later. B-17s, F-4s and P-38s fly reconnaissance, while other P-38s attack vehicles and troop concentrations, mainly in the Gabes and Sfax areas. SATURDAY, 5 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): The 82d and 434th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-25s transfer from Egypt to Gambut, Libya. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s bomb the docks and shipping at Tunis; B-25s hit the Sidi Ahmed Airfield; and DB-7s follow shortly with a raid on Sidi Ahmed while another small force of DB-7s hits Faid. Each raid is escorted by P-38s. P-38s fly reconnaissance over wide areas of Tunisia, a B-17 photographs the Sousse-Sfax-Gabes, Tunisia area while an F-4 flies photographic reconnaissance over southern Sardinia SUNDAY, 6 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, B-24s sent to attack shipping at Tobruk fail to locate the target due to bad weather, but a few bombers manage to bomb Misurata and two enemy airfields. Meanwhile, P-40s fly top cover for RAF aircraft attacking Marble Arch. HQ, 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) and its 81st and 83d Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) with B-25s moves from Egypt to Gambut, Libya. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, DB-7s, with fighter escort, bomb the bridge over the Medjerda River at El Bathan. P-38s and F-4s fly patrols and reconnaissance missions over parts of Algeria and Tunisia. In ground fighting in Tunisia, a German attack penetrates positions of the US 1st Armored Division, which is operating with the British First Army, on the El Guettar Mountains. HQ, 15th Photographic Mapping Squadron, 3d Photographic Group with B-17s and F-4s arrives at La Senia, Algeria from England. "A" Flight has been operating from Algeria since 18 Nov; "B" and "C" Flights remain in the US until Jan 44. MONDAY, 7 DECEMBER 1942 WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s, escorted by P-38s, attack docks and shipping at Bizerte. Escorted DB-7s attack tanks in the Tebourba-El Bathan area where elements of the British First Army continue to be hard pressed. Other DB-7s sent to bomb at La Hencha and Sousse abort because of bad weather. P-38s and P-40s fly numerous reconnaissance missions over the Sousse-Sfax-Gabes area and patrols over Oran, Algeria while B-17s and F-4s fly photographic reconnaissance over the Sousse-Sfax-Gabes area and the Tunis-Bizerte area. Ground fighting subsides as German attacks in the Tebourba area decrease in intensity. The air echelons of the 328th and 330th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 93d Bombardment Group (Heavy), based in England with B-24s, begins operating from Tafaraoui, Algeria on TDY. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, P-40s fly fighter-bomber missions in the battle area east of El Agheila; the American claim seven enemy aircraft shot down. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, fighters of the 31st and 52d Fighter Groups patrol in the Oran-La Senia-Tafaraoui area. Weather prevents operations of all bomber and fighter units in eastern Algeria. The British First Army receives permission to withdraw from areas west of Tebourba and east of Medjez el Bab to more favorable positions slightly to the west from which to prepare for the move on Tunis. WEDNESDAY, 9 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, P-40s fly a fighter sweep over the El Agheila region. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, heavy rains stop most air operations in eastern Algeria and Tunisia; a few P-38s fly reconnaissance south of Gafsa. In Algeria, P-40s fly an intercept mission over Youks-les-Bains, damaging one enemy aircraft. THURSDAY, 10 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): P-40s of the 57th Fighter Group claim one enemy aircraft destroyed. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): Due to heavy rains and waterlogging of airfields, aerial activity in the Algeria-Tunisia area practically ceases. On the ground, Allied troops repulse another armored and infantry attack on Medjez el Bab. During the night of 10/11 Dec, elements of the British 78 Division and the US 1st Armored Division begin a withdrawal to the Bedja area to refit. The Americans sustain heavy loss of equipment as they withdraw. HQ 3d Photographic Group is established at La Senia, Algeria after transfer from England. FRIDAY, 11 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Italy, B-24s bomb the harbor and surrounding areas at Naples with good results. In Libya, P-40s fly several fighter-bomber missions and sweeps over the battle area in preparation for the ground assault on El Agheila which General Montgomery schedules for 14 Dec. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): The Twelfth Air Force creates five area commands covering Northwest Africa from the west coast of Morocco to the east coast of Tunisia. From west to east they are: Moroccan Composite Wing (Colonel Rosenham R Beam) Western Algerian Composite Wing (Colonel Lawrence P Hickey) Central Algerian Composite Wing (Colonel Paul L Williams) XII Bomber Command (Colonel Charles T Phillips) XII Fighter Command (Brigadier General Blackburn) In Tunisia, B-25s with fighter escort, attack the rail bridge at La Hencha while P-38s fly sea patrol off the north coast and over the Gulf of Tunis and reconnaissance over the Sousse region. Spitfires sweep over Medjez el Bab and Bone. SATURDAY, 12 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, P-40s fly sweeps and attack ground forces in the El Agheila and Brega area. In Italy, RAF Liberators, under IX Bomber Command operational control, attack the dock area at Naples. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s, with P-38 escort, bomb the rail facilities and harbor area at Tunis; B-26s on a mission to bomb at Sousse or La Hencha abort due to very bad weather; and P-38s and P-40s fly widespread reconnaissance operations. HQ 64th Troop Carrier Group and its 16th, 17th and 35th Troop Carrier Squadrons, which have been operating from North Africa since Nov, are established at Blida, Algeria upon arrival from England. SUNDAY, 13 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, aircraft of the Western Desert Air Force, including more than 100 P-40s, fly strafing and bombing missions against ground forces which begin withdrawing from El Agheila during the early morning. The 57th Fighter Group claims two Bf 109s for the loss of one P-40. The British 51 Division penetrates the eastern defenses of El Agheila. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): Over Tunisia, 15 B-17s of the 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) hit the harbor and docks at Tunis. Over Bizerte, ten B-17s of the 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy) bomb the harbor and docks; they are followed shortly by 19 B-24s of the 93d Bombardment Group (Heavy), which are TDY from England, which attack the same targets. Meanwhile, six B-25s of the 310th Bombardment Group (Medium) hit the harbor area at Sousse while B-26s blast a bridge north of Sfax; P-38s escort both missions. Other P-38s attack several targets including vehicles north of Gabes and a schooner off Cape Dimasse. In other action, P-38s, P-40s and Spitfires fly reconnaissance and patrols over much of Northwest Africa and C-47s fly 17 transport missions between various points in Northwest Africa. The 380th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 310th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-25s, moves from Mediouna, French Morocco to Telergma, Algeria and flies its first combat mission. MONDAY, 14 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, P-40s continue to pound retreating German forces east of El Agheila. The 57th Fighter Group claims one enemy aircraft destroyed. As the British 7 Armored and 51 Infantry Divisions push west, the New Zealand 2 Division pushes southwest and rounds the enemy's right flank, then heads northwest towards the coast to cut off their retreat. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): Over Tunisia, B-24s bomb the harbor and shipping at Bizerte while B-17s hit similar targets at Tunis. DB-7s made two attacks on the marshaling yard at Sfax escorted by P-38s and P-40s. P-38s attack vessels off the northern Tunisian coast, the road between Tunis and Bizerte, a train near Kerker, trucks near Chaaba, and El Djem, and a train near La Hencha. P-40s fly sweeps; F-4s carry out photographic reconnaissance over areas of Tunisia; and C-47s fly 19 transport missions between various points in Northwest Africa. The 86th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 47th Bombardment Group (Light) with A-20s moves from Mediouna, French Morocco to Youks-les-Bains, Algeria and enters combat. TUESDAY, 15 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): Over Tunisia, nine B-24s of the 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy), opening the Ninth Air Force offensive against Tunisian ports, hit the railroad yard, repair shop, and roundhouse at Sfax dropping 72x500 pound bombs. Over Libya, B-25s and P-40s strike at retreating troops and vehicles between El Agheila and Merduma, as the New Zealand 2 Division drives to the coast in the Merduma area to obstruct the retreating Germans. Over Italy, Royal Air Force Liberators, operationally controlled by the IX Bomber Command, hit Naples harbor during the night of 15/16 Dec. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): Over Tunisia, B-26s attack El Aouina Airfield while B-17s bomb the harbor area and other B-17s hit the harbor at Bizerte. F-4s fly several photographic reconnaissance missions over coastal Tunisia covering the area from Bizerte to Gabes; fighters fly routine patrols; and C-47s carry out numerous courier and transport missions in Northwest Africa. WEDNESDAY, 16 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, P-40s fly fighter-bomber missions and sweeps over the battle area as the enemy, breaking into small detachments, manages to withdraw from El Agheila positions after hard fighting and heavy losses. Meanwhile, B-25s hit troop concentrations and transport targets. Detachments of the 328th, 330th and 409th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 93d Bombardment Group (Heavy) based at Hardwick, England with B-24s, move from Tafaraoui, Algeria to Gambut, Libya; the three squadrons, which have been in Algeria since 7 Dec, will remain attached to the IX Bomber Command until Feb 43. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, DB-7s bomb the rail junction east of Mateur and hit the town area of Massicault and the nearby vehicle dispersal area; P-38s attack ships off the north coast scoring a hit on one vessel; other P-38s fly reconnaissance mission, exchanging ineffective fire with enemy aircraft; and the 86th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 47th Bombardment Group (Light) flies its first mission with A-20s. The 4th Troop Carrier Squadron, 62d Troop Carrier Group with C-47s moves from Tafaraoui, Algeria to Casablanca, French Morocco. The 18th Troop Carrier Squadron, 64th Troop Carrier Group establishes HQ at Blida, Algeria upon arrival from England. The air echelon has been operating from Maison Blanche, Algeria since 11 Nov. THURSDAY, 17 DECEMBER 1942 WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, French Admiral Jean Darlan announces that French Fleet units at Alexandria, Dakar and North African ports are joining the Allies. In Tunisia, 36 B-17s hit the harbors and docks at Tunis and Bizerte, claiming damage to both targets and the destruction of one vessel and three aircraft at Tunis. DB-7s and A-20s hit military installations north and west of Gabes Airfield and the landing ground near Sidi Tabet; B-25s and B-26s sent on a shipping raid in the Gulf of Tunis fail to find the target; and P-38s and Spitfires escort all bombing missions. Other P-38s on a sea mission off the northern Tunisia coast engage German aircraft in combat, claiming one destroyed; other P-38s and F-4 fly reconnaissance over Tunisia. FRIDAY, 18 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, P-40s fly reconnaissance and patrol as the British Eighth Army's lead division, the New Zealand 2 Division, clashes with the enemy rear guards at Nofilia. In Tunisia, B-17s hit shipping and harbor installations at Sousse while RAF Liberators, under the control of IX Bomber Command, follow with a raid on the same target during the night of 18/19 Dec. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, 36 B-17s with 16 P-38s of the 1st Fighter Group as escort , hit Bizerte harbor and shipping offshore; a direct hit is scored on one vessel. AA and attacks by fighters result in the loss of one B-17 and four P-38s; three enemy fights are destroyed and others damaged. B-26s with P-38 escort attack the marshaling yard at Sousse, hitting the station, roundhouse and other buildings, tracks, and a train; heavy AA accounts for the loss of two B-26s. DB-7s with fighter escort hit the landing ground and dispersal area near Mateur and attack the railroad yards in the town. P-38s and P-40s fly reconnaissance missions and sweeps and attack ground targets, including a train north of Sfax and trucks near Sainte-Marie-du-Zit. SATURDAY, 19 DECEMBER 1942 WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): Rain curtails most aerial operations. In Tunisia, A-20s and DB-7s, with fighter escort, hit the marshaling yard at Sfax. In Algeria, fighters fly routine patrols in the Oran area. SUNDAY, 20 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-24s sent to attack the harbor at Sousse abort the mission due to weather; three bombers hit a wrecked vessel north of Sfax. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, operations are severely curtailed as a result of heavy rains. C-47s maintain transport and courier service while fighter fly reconnaissance and scramble missions. MONDAY, 21 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-24s of the 93d Bombardment Group (Heavy) abort a mission against Sousse harbor due to weather. Six RAF Liberators, under operational control of the IX Bomber Command, attack the harbor; results are not observed. In Libya, light forces of the British Eighth Army overtake the enemy rearguard at Sirte and are halted temporarily. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, weather prevents B-17s from bombing Sfax or the secondary target, Gabes. P-40s destroy a tank and several cars and trucks with trailers in the Kairouan area; F-4s fly three photographic reconnaissance missions over the area between Bizerte and Gabes. In Algeria, P-38s scramble over Youks-les-Bains and shoot down two Ju 88s and C-47s continue transport and courier missions. HQ 17th Bombardment Group (Medium) and its 37th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) with B-26s is established at Telergma, Algeria upon arrival from the US. The 379th, 381st and 428th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 310th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-25s moves from French Morocco to Telergma, Algeria. TUESDAY, 22 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-24s of the 93d Bombardment Group (Heavy) and RAF Liberators are dispatched agains the harbor at Sousse; only two bombers reach the target, the others are forced to return to base due to weather, but a few manage to bomb Monastir and the railroads at Mahdia. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, a solid overcast prevents B-17s from bombing Bizerte or alternate targets of Sousse and Sfax. P-40s shoot up a train in Kairouan and destroy trucks on the Sfax-Faid road. F-4s continue reconnaissance bwteen Bizerte and the Gabes-Medenine area. On the ground, the British 5 Corps of the First Army renews the drive on Tunis. 2 Coldstream Guards attack Djebel el Ahmera (Longstop Hill) northeast of Medjez el Bab. The 432d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 17th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-26s establishes HQ at Telergma, Algeria upon arrival from the US. WEDNESDAY, 23 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): The 324th Fighter Group and its 314th and 316th Fighter Squadrons with P-40s establish HQ at El Amiriya, Egypt upon arrival from the US. The group will fly its first combat mission on 26 Mar 43. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, total cloud cover causes B-17s, escorted by P-38s, to abort the bombing mission against Tunis and Bizerte Airfields. On the ground, elements of the US 1st Infantry Division, after relieving 2 Coldstream Guards on Djebel el Ahmera, are forced to withdraw by a German counterattack. In Algeria, Spitfires fly routine patrol over the Oran-Tafaraoui area. The 34th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 17th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-26s establishes HQ at Telergma, Algeria upon arrival from the US. THURSDAY, 24 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-24s sent to bomb Tunis abort due to weather. In Italy, B-24s attack the harbor at Naples during the night of 23/24 Dec; one aircraft bombs Taranto. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Algeria, French Admiral Jean Darlan is assassinated in Algiers; General Henry Giraud becomes acting French ruler of African colonies. In Tunisia, four P-40s attack a bridge north of Gabes. During a conference with Lieutenant General Eisenhower, Lieutenant General Sir Kenneth A Anderson, Commanding General British First Army, decides to cease the attack on Tunis until after the rainy season. On the ground, British forces retake positions on Djebel el Ahmera. HQ 33d Fighter Group transfers from French Morocco to Telergma, Algeria. HQ 95th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 17th Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-26s is established at Telergma, Algeria upon arrival from the US. The squadron will enter combat on 30 Dec. HQ 95th, 96th and 97th Fighter Squadrons, 82d Fighter Group with P-38s is established at Tafaraoui, Algeria upon arrival from the UK. The squadrons will enter combat tomorrow. FRIDAY, 25 DECEMBER 1942 WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, P-40s bomb a troop concentration at Sfax while P-38s sent to bomb a convoy off northern Tunisia fail to sight any ships. On the ground, the Germans retake Djebel el Ahmera. HQ 12th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 3d Photographic Group with F-4s moves from French Morocco to Algiers, Algeria. SATURDAY, 26 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-24s are dispatched agains Tunis harbor during the night of 26/27 Dec; three hit the primary target while two others bomb Sousse and Sfax. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s, with fighter escort, hit the harbor and shipping at Bizerte; heavy AA and fighter attacks account for two B-17s and two P-38s shot down; P-38s claim two Fw 190s destroyed. Other B-17s, with P-40 escort, bomb the harbor and shipping at Sfax; three enemy vessels are claimed sunk. P-38s on reconnaissance attack locomotives and motor vehicles south of Tunis and west of Sousse. P-40s strafe barges off Sousse, destroying one of them, and strafe ground targets during reconnaissance over the Kairouan-Sousse-Kasserine area. During the night of 26/27 Dec, C-47s drop a detachment of US paratroops at a bridge north of El Djem. HQ 27th Bombardment Group (Light) and its 16th, 17th and 91st Bombardment Squadrons (Light) with A-20s is established at Ste-Barbe-du-Tlelat, Algeria upon arrival from the US. The group will enter combat on 6 Jun 43. SUNDAY, 27 DECEMBER 1942 WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s, escorted by P-38s, bomb the shipping and dock facilities at Sousse, damaging docks and warehouses and claiming direct hits on four vessels while P-38s and P-40s fly several reconnaissance missions. In Algeria, Spitfires patrol Oran and Bone. On the ground, the British First Army repels an attack in the Medjez el Bab area. MONDAY, 28 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, during the night of 27/28 Dec and also during the day, B-24s, including RAF Liberators under IX Bomber Command operational control, bomb the harbor at Sousse, hitting vessels and dock installations. On the ground, British Army patrols reach a point east of Buerat, overlooking Wadi el Chebir, without opposition. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s bomb the dock and harbor installations at Sousse. while P-38s fly escort; P-38s and P-40s on patrol and reconnaissance missions claim four enemy aircraft downed in combat and several vehicles destroyed at various points; and F-4s fly reconnaissance over the Tunis, Sousse and Sfax areas. In Algeria, Spitfires patrol the Oran and Bone areas. TUESDAY, 29 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-24s sent to bomb Tunis harbor during the night of 29/30 Dec find the target obscured by clouds and attack Sousse instead. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s attack Sousse docks and harbor; P-38s provide escort. DB-7s and A-20 hit bridges at La Hencha while escorting P-40s strafe flatcars and a locomotive at Sainte-Juliette. P-38s attack a tank depot southeast of Pont-du-Fahs; DB-7s and A-20s follow with an attack on the same target. P-38s and P-40s fly reconnaissance missions and patrols over wide areas of Algeria and Tunisia. WEDNESDAY, 30 DECEMBER 1942 WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-17s with P-38 escort, attack docks and the marshaling yard at Sfax; B-25s, escorted by P-38s, follow with an attack on the same marshaling yard. DB-7s hit a troop concentration near Gabes, this attack being followed by an A-20 raid on the airfield. During the afternoon, more DB-7s, with P-38 and P-40 escort, hit Gabes, concentrating on the airfield. A-20s hit a fuel dump at El Aouinet; on the return flight, escorting P-40s strafe near El Guettar. P-40s and F-4s fly uneventful reconnaissance missions. In Libya, P-38s fly two reconnaissance missions to Tripoli, one flight destroying several truck on the return trip. THURSDAY, 31 DECEMBER 1942 EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Tunisia, B-24s, including RAF Liberators, bomb shipping and the dock area at Sfax with good results. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force): In Tunisia, light bombers, with fighter escort, make two attacks on Sousse, bombing the railroad yards and docks. Escorted B-17s hit the harbor area of Sfax while B-26s, with fighter escort, hit the airfield area at Gabes and shipping and rail bridges in the Bizerte-Tunis area. P-38s and P-40s, flying reconnaissance, destroy several vehicles.
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