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Today in World War II History—Sept. 29, 1942

“Democracy in Action!” by Charles Alston, commemorating launch of SS Booker T. Washington, 1942 (US National Archives)

“Democracy in Action!” by Charles Alston, commemorating launch of SS Booker T. Washington, 1942 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Sept. 29, 1942: RAF Eagle Squadrons (American volunteers) are officially converted into the US 4th Fighter Group of the Eighth Air Force, flying Spitfires; the group will soon fly P-47s, then P-51s.

Seaplane from Japanese submarine I-25 drops incendiary bombs in southern coastal Oregon, in an unsuccessful attempt to start forest fires, the second and last bombing of the US in WWII.

Liberty ship Booker T. Washington is launched at Wilmington, DE, the first US merchant ship named after an African-American and the first commanded by a black captain (Hugh Mulzac); the crew was integrated.

Spitfire MK V of US 4th Fighter Group, 1942; note USAAF insignia overlying the RAF roundel (US Army Air Force photo)

Spitfire MK V of US 4th Fighter Group, 1942; note USAAF insignia overlying the RAF roundel (US Army Air Force photo)