Dec 31, Wed.
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz assumes command of Pacific Fleet in ceremonies on board submarine Grayling (SS-209) at Pearl Harbor.
Japanese submarines shell Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii.
While returning from attempting to aid destroyer Peary (DD-226) (see 28 December), small seaplane tender Heron (AVP-2) is damaged but fights off, over a seven-hour span, a series of attacks by Japanese reconnaissance flying boats (Toko Kokutai) and land attack planes off Ambon, N.E.I. Heron shoots down one seaplane whose crew refuses rescue.
Submarine rescue vessel Pigeon (ASR-6) transports armed party [Lieutenant (j.g.) Malcolm M. Champlin, USNR] to Sangley Point which brings out Luzon Stevedoring Company lighter loaded with 97 mines and eight truckloads of aerial depth charges Pigeon then tows the barge to a point four and a half miles off Sangley Point and capsizes it in 11 fathoms of water. The sailors also destroy the aircraft repair shop at Cavite and one irreparable PBY.
U.S. cargo/passenger ship Ruth Alexander, en route from Manila to Balikpapan, Borneo, is bombed and irreparably damaged by Japanese flying boat in Makassar Strait, N.E.I., 01°00'N, 119°10'W, one man is killed in the bombing. She sinks on 2 January 1942. Dutch Dornier 24 later rescues all 48 survivors.
Japanese destroyer Yamagumo is damaged by mine off Lingayen.
Philippine steamships Magellanes and Montanes are scuttled, most likely at Manila.
Saturday, December 31, 2016
A New Yr.'s Eve At Sangley Point
by M. Bouffant at 19:42