Darwin Feb 19, 1942 – Australia’s Pearl Harbor
Before the Japanese could launch their final assault on Java, they had to capture Bali as an airbase and to cut off the Allied air supply route from Australia. To accomplish this, a two pronged attack was planned. To the east, an air raid to destroy Darwin as an operational base and the invasion of Timor; and to the west the invasion of Bali. A task force, consisting of four carriers, two battleships and three heavy cruisers was directed toward Australia. The four carriers, from the 1st Carrier Air Fleet, were the Akagi, Kaga, Hiryū, and Sōryū, the very same ships that launched the assault on Pearl Harbor.
Curtiss P-40E’s in Darwin – early 1942
It had taken the ground staff three whole days to get Major Floyd Pell’s 10 remaining P-40’s in shape for the long overwater crossing to Penfui Airfield…
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