July 20th, 1942 (MONDAY)
ITALY: Rome: Mussolini returns, having given up the idea of a victory march on Cairo.
NEW GUINEA: In New Guinea, 24 G4M "Bettys" and 15 A6M "Zekes" attack Port Moresby. (Jack McKillop)PACIFIC: The US 1st Marine Division issues it's plan for Operation Watchtower. The Marines are just about finished the massive task of singlehandedly unloading and reloading their ships for the invasion of the southern Solomon Islands. They have had no help from the New Zealand weather or the Dock Unions.
NEW ZEALAND: Suzanne Walker first Women’s Royal New
Zealand Naval Service rating. (Dave Shirlaw)
TERRITORY of ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: - Three 11th Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses bomb Kiska Island (especially the barracks) with incendiaries and demolition charges. 4 P-38 Lightnings try to intercept 4 fighters reported by US Navy (USN) aircraft but no contact is made.
- three Kawanishi H6K, Navy Type 97 Flying Boats, Allied Code Name "Mavis," attack the seaplane tender, (destroyer) USS Gillis (AVD-12, ex DD-260) at Adak Island without causing any damage. A dud bomb lands 10 feet from the ship and the rest of the bombs dropped miss their target. This was the last offensive air operation by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Aleutians.
- Naval Air Facility (NAF) and Naval Operating Base (NOB) Dutch Harbor, Territory of Alaska are established. (Jack McKillop)
U.S.A.: Admiral William D. Leahy, USN (Retired), is named Chief of Staff to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The first members of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACS) began training at Fort Des Moines, 5 miles (8 km) south of Des Moines, Iowa. (Jack McKillop)
The Herald-Tribune reports: "A new Coast Guard regiment, made up of tough, hand-picked men, all heavily armed and with the headquarters company mounting machine guns in speedy jeep cars, has been organized for extra protection of the Port of New York, it was announced yesterday." (Patrick Holscher)
Destroyer escort USS Moore laid down.
Destroyer USS Prichett laid down.
Submarine USS Ray laid down.
Minesweeper USS Chickadee launched.
Submarines USS Scamp and Scorpion launched.
Destroyer USS Chevalier commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
CANADA: At 1839, the Frederika Lensen in Convoy QS-19 was torpedoed and damaged by U-132 in the Gulf of St Lawrence near Anticosti Island. Four crewmembers were lost. The vessel was towed by corvette HMCS Weyburn to Grand Vallee Bay and was beached there. Because her back was broken, the ship was declared a total loss. The master and 35 crewmembers were rescued by Weyburn and landed at Sydney NS. Six crewmembers landed at Grande Vallee Bay, Quebec. (Dave Shirlaw)
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