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Thrust and Counterthrust (Jan 1942 - Dec 1942)

Thrust and Counterthrust (Jan 1942 - Dec 1942)

The Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) was the World War II area of military activity in the Pacific Ocean and the countries bordering it, a geographic scope that reflected the operational and administrative command structures of the American forces during that period. (The other areas of the Pacific War -- the China Burma India Theater, the South-East Asian Theatre, and Manchurian Theatre -- had their own respective command structures, independent of PTO.)

The Pacific Theater of Operations was one of two areas in which the United States initiated offensive combat operations against the Axis in late 1942. This included operations by the 32nd and the 41st Infantry Divisions on New Guinea, the Americal Infantry Division on the Gilbert Islands, and the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal. The other area was the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, beginning with Operation Torch in November.

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USAAC North American B-25B Mitchell Medium Bomber Lt. Richard E. Dick Cole 17th Bombardment Group "Doolittle's Raiders" USS Hornet (CV-8) April 18th, 1942 USAAC North American B-25B Mitchell Medium Bomber - 34th Squadron, 17th Bombardment Group "Doolittle's Raiders", USS Hornet (CV-8), April 18th, 1942 (1:200 Scale)

Built by North American, with no previous experience on multi-engined aircraft, the B-25 Mitchell proved to be one of the most versatile combat aircraft to see action in World War II.

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Imperial Japanese Army  Mitsubishi G4M1 Betty Medium Bomber - Takao Kaigun Kokutai, Takao, Formosa, 1942 Imperial Japanese Army Mitsubishi G4M1 'Betty' Medium Bomber - Takao Kaigun Kokutai, Takao, Formosa, 1942 (1:144 Scale)

The Mitsubishi G4M (Allied identification name of Betty) was a twin-engined, land-based bomber aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II. The bomber was nicknamed "Betty" by the allies, who usually dubbed Japanese fighters and float-planes with male code names, while typically giving female names to Japanese bombers and reconnaissance planes.

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USN Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina Flying Boat - Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 1942 USN Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina Flying Boat - Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 1942 (1:144 Scale)

The PBY Catalina was the US Navy designation for an American and Canadian-built flying boat of the 1930s and 1940s. PB stands for Patrol Bomber, with Y being Consolidated's manufacturer identification.

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USMC Douglas SBD-2 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - VMSB-241, Battle of Midway, June 1942 USMC Douglas SBD-2 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - VMSB-241, "Battle of Midway", June 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Dauntless was the standard shipborne dive-bomber of the US Navy from mid-1940 until November 1943, when the first Curtiss Helldivers arrived to replace it. Between 1942-43, the Dauntless was pressed into service again and again, seeing action in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Guadalcanal campaign.

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USN Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - VS-5, USS Yorktown (CV-5), Battle of Coral Sea, 1942 USN Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - VS-5, USS Yorktown (CV-5), "Battle of Coral Sea", 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Dauntless was the standard shipborne dive-bomber of the US Navy from mid-1940 until November 1943, when the first Curtiss Helldivers arrived to replace it. Between 1942-43, the Dauntless was pressed into service again and again, seeing action in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Guadalcanal campaign.

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USAAC Bell P-39Q/N Airacobra Fighter - Lt. Zed Fountain, Patsy Flight, 67th Fighter Squadron, Whistlin Bitches, Tontouta, New Caledonia, 1942 USAAC Bell P-39Q/N Airacobra Fighter - Lt. Zed Fountain, "Patsy Flight", 67th Fighter Squadron, "Whistlin' Bitches", Tontouta, New Caledonia, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The P-39 was one of America's first-line pursuit planes in December 1941. It made its initial flight in April 1939 at Wright Field and by the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, nearly 600 had been built. Its unique engine location behind the cockpit caused some pilot concern, but this proved to be no more of a hazard in a crash landing than with an engine located forward of the cockpit.

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USN Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo Fighter - Capt. William C. Humberd, VMF-221, Battle of Midway, June 1942 USN Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo Fighter - Capt. William C. Humberd, VMF-221, Battle of Midway, June 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Built by the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation in Queens, New York City, the F2A Buffalo was the first production monoplane fighter to enter service with the US Navy. The F2A was an all-metal, single-engine, single-seat, mid-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear and a tail hook for carrier operations.

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Imperial Japanese Army Mitsubishi G4M1 Betty Medium Bomber Imperial Japanese Army Mitsubishi G4M1 'Betty' Medium Bomber (1:144 Scale)

The Mitsubishi G4M (Allied identification name of Betty) was a twin-engined, land-based bomber aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II. The bomber was nicknamed "Betty" by the allies, who usually dubbed Japanese fighters and float-planes with male code names, while typically giving female names to Japanese bombers and reconnaissance planes.

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Imperial Japanese Army Mitsubishi G3M2 Type 96 "Nell" Medium Bomber Imperial Japanese Army Mitsubishi G3M2 Type 96 "Nell" Medium Bomber (1:144 Scale)

The Mitsubishi G3M (Type 96 Land-based Attack Aircraft "Rikko"; Allied reporting name "Nell") was a Japanese bomber and transport aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS) during World War II.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima A6M2-N Rufe Interceptor Fighter Seaplane - Yokohama Kokutai, Tulagi, Solomon Islands, 1942 Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima A6M2-N "Rufe" Interceptor Fighter Seaplane - Yokohama Kokutai, Tulagi, Solomon Islands, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Recognizing the possibilty of a war with the United States, the Imperial Japanese Navy, in the autumn of 1940, saw the need for providing fighter cover for amphibious landings in situations where carriers would not be available.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero Fighter - Tadayoshi Koga, IJN Carrier Ryuho, 1942 ("Koga's Zero" or the "Aleutian Zero") Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero Fighter - Tadayoshi Koga, IJN Carrier Ryuho, 1942 ("Koga's Zero" or the "Aleutian Zero") (1:72 Scale)

Aside from the early-morning raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, perhaps the biggest shock for American forces in the Pacific was the outstanding performance of the Imperial Navy's main carrier fighter, the beautifully proportioned Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero-Sen.

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RAF Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk. IB Fighter - W9219, 880 Naval Air Squadron, RN Fleet Air Arm, Arbroath, 1941 RAF Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk. IB Fighter - W9219, 880 Naval Air Squadron, RN Fleet Air Arm, Arbroath, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The Hawker Hurricane was the first monoplane to join the Royal Air Force as a fighter aircraft, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 300-mph in level flight. Often compared with the sleek-looking Supermarine Spitfire, the Hurricane, in actuality, shouldered the brunt of the fighting during the "Battle of Britain", equipping more than three-fifths of the RAF's Fighter Command squadrons.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M5 Type 0 Model 52 Zero Fighter Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M5 Type 0 Model 52 Zero Fighter (1:72 Scale)

Aside from the early-morning raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, perhaps the biggest shock for American forces in the Pacific was the outstanding performance of the Imperial Navy's main carrier fighter, the beautifully proportioned Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero-Sen.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2B Zero Fighter Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2B Zero Fighter (1:72 Scale)

Aside from the early-morning raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, perhaps the biggest shock for American forces in the Pacific was the outstanding performance of the Imperial Navy's main carrier fighter, the beautifully proportioned Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero-Sen.

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USAAF Bell P-400 Airacobra Fighter - 67th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, 13th Air Force, Guadalcanal, 1942 USAAF Bell P-400 Airacobra Fighter - 67th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, 13th Air Force, Guadalcanal, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The P-39 was one of America's first-line pursuit planes in December 1941. It made its initial flight in April 1939 at Wright Field and by the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, nearly 600 had been built. Its unique engine location behind the cockpit caused some pilot concern, but this proved to be no more of a hazard in a crash landing than with an engine located forward of the cockpit.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima A6M2-N "Rufe" Interceptor Fighter Seaplane - 951st Flying Group, JA-101, Ibusuki, Japan, 1944 Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima A6M2-N "Rufe" Interceptor Fighter Seaplane - 951st Flying Group, JA-101, Ibusuki, Japan, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

Recognizing the possibilty of a war with the United States, the Imperial Japanese Navy, in the autumn of 1940, saw the need for providing fighter cover for amphibious landings in situations where carriers would not be available.

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US Army Air Corps Douglas A-24 Banshee Dive Bomber - 91st Bombardment Squadron, Java, 1942 US Army Air Corps Douglas A-24 Banshee Dive Bomber - 91st Bombardment Squadron, Java, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The U.S. Army had its own version of the SBD, known as the A-24 Banshee, which lacked the tail hook used for carrier landings, and a pneumatic tire replaced the solid tail wheel. First assigned to the 27th Bombardment Group (Light) at Hunter Field, Ga., A-24s participated in the Louisiana maneuvers during September 1941.

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IJN Nakajima B5N2 Kate Torpedo Bomber - IJN Aircraft Carrier Hiryu, Third Attack Wave, Midway, June 3rd-4th, 1942 Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" Torpedo Bomber - IJN Aircraft Carrier Hiryu, Third Attack Wave, Midway, June 3rd-4th, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Nakajima B5N (Allied reporting name: Kate) was the Imperial Japanese Navy's standard torpedo bomber for the first years of World War II. While the B5N was substantially faster and more capable than its Allied counterparts, the TBD Devastator and Fairey Swordfish, it was close to obsolescence by the time of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 Val Dive-Bomber - Lt. Commander Egusa, Aircraft Carrier Soryu, Ceylon, March 1942 Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 Val Dive-Bomber - Lt. Commander Egusa, Aircraft Carrier Soryu, Ceylon, March 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Aichi D3A (Allied code name "Val") was a World War II dive bomber produced by the Aichi company in Japan. It was the primary carrier-borne dive bomber in the Imperial Japanese Navy in the early stages of the war, and participated in almost all actions, including Pearl Harbor.

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USN Grumman TBF-1 Avenger Torpedo Plane - VT-8, Battle of Midway, Midway Island, June 1942 USN Grumman TBF-1 Avenger Torpedo Plane - VT-8, Battle of Midway, Midway Island, June 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Grumman TBF Avenger (designated TBM for aircraft manufactured by General Motors) was an American torpedo bomber, developed initially for the United States Navy and Marine Corps and used by a large number of air forces around the world. It entered service in 1942, and began major use during the Battle of Midway.

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USMC Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo Fighter - Captain William C. Humberd, VMF-221, Midway, June 1942 USMC Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo Fighter - Captain William C. Humberd, VMF-221, Midway, June 1942 (1:48 Scale)

Built by the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation in Queens, New York City, the F2A Buffalo was the first production monoplane fighter to enter service with the US Navy. The F2A was an all-metal, single-engine, single-seat, mid-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear and a tail hook for carrier operations.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N2 Kate Torpedo Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Zuiho Flying Group, February 1942 Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" Torpedo Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Zuiho Flying Group, February 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Nakajima B5N (Allied reporting name: Kate) was the Imperial Japanese Navy's standard torpedo bomber for the first years of World War II. While the B5N was substantially faster and more capable than its Allied counterparts, the TBD Devastator and Fairey Swordfish, it was close to obsolescence by the time of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

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RAAF Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo Fighter - Sergeant John Bailey, A51-13, 25 Squadron, Dunreath, Western Australia, 1942 RAAF Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo Fighter - Sergeant John Bailey, A51-13, 25 Squadron, Dunreath, Western Australia, 1942 (1:48 Scale)

Built by the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation in Queens, New York City, the F2A Buffalo was the first production monoplane fighter to enter service with the US Navy. The F2A was an all-metal, single-engine, single-seat, mid-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear and a tail hook for carrier operations.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N2 Kate Torpedo Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Zuiho, October 1942 Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" Torpedo Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Zuiho, October 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Nakajima B5N (Allied reporting name: Kate) was the Imperial Japanese Navy's standard torpedo bomber for the first years of World War II. While the B5N was substantially faster and more capable than its Allied counterparts, the TBD Devastator and Fairey Swordfish, it was close to obsolescence by the time of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

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USN Douglas TBD-1 Devastator Torpedo Plane - Ensign George Gay Jr., VT-8, USS Hornet  (CV-8), Battle of Midway, June 1942 USN Douglas TBD-1 Devastator Torpedo Plane - Ensign George Gay Jr., VT-8, USS Hornet (CV-8), Battle of Midway, June 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Douglas TBD Devastator was a torpedo bomber of the United States Navy, ordered in 1934, first flying in 1935 and entering service in 1937. At that point, it was the most advanced aircraft flying for the USN and possibly for any navy in the world.

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USN Douglas TBD-1 Devastator Torpedo Plane - Ensign T. A. Aspell, VT-6, USS Enterprise (CV-6), Wake Island Raids, February 1942 USN Douglas TBD-1 Devastator Torpedo Plane - Ensign T. A. Aspell, VT-6, USS Enterprise (CV-6), Wake Island Raids, February 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Douglas TBD Devastator was a torpedo bomber of the United States Navy, ordered in 1934, first flying in 1935 and entering service in 1937. At that point, it was the most advanced aircraft flying for the USN and possibly for any navy in the world.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M3 Riesen Zero Fighter - 261 Navy Squadron (Tora Squadron) Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M3 Riesen "Zero" Fighter - 261 Navy Squadron ("Tora" Squadron), 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a light-weight carrier-based fighter aircraft employed by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. It is universally known as Zero from its Japanese Navy designation, Type 0 Carrier Fighter (Rei shiki Kanjo sentoki), taken from the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940), when it entered service.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M5 Riesen Zero Fighter - Sergeant Major Takeo Tanimizu, 203 Navy Squadron Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M5 Riesen "Zero" Fighter - Sergeant Major Takeo Tanimizu, 203 Navy Squadron, 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a light-weight carrier-based fighter aircraft employed by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. It is universally known as Zero from its Japanese Navy designation, Type 0 Carrier Fighter (Rei shiki Kanjo sentoki), taken from the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940), when it entered service.

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RAAF P-40N Kittyhawk Fighter - Wing Commander G.C. Atherton, Cleopatra III, 80 Squadron, 78 Wing RAAF P-40N Kittyhawk Fighter - Wing Commander G.C. Atherton, 'Cleopatra III', 80 Squadron, 78 Wing (1:48 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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USMC Grumman F4F Wildcat Fighter - Captain  Joseph Jacob Joe Foss, VMF-121 Green Knights, Guadalcanal, 1942 USMC Grumman F4F Wildcat Fighter - Captain Joseph Jacob "Joe" Foss, VMF-121 "Green Knights", Guadalcanal, 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The Grumman F4F Wildcat was the standard carrier-based fighter of the United States Navy for the first year and a half of World War II. An improved version built by General Motors (the General Motors FM Wildcat) remained in service throughout the war, on escort carriers where newer, larger and heavier fighters could not be used.

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