Monday, February 27, 2017

Bad Shooting

FRI 27 FEB 1942
Battle of Java Sea is fought as Allied naval force (Rear Admiral Karel W.F.M. Doorman, RNN) of five cruisers and 11 destroyers in Java Sea near Surabaya attacks Japanese support force (Rear Admiral Takagi Takeo) covering Java invasion convoy. Japanese gunfire proves ineffective, as heavy cruisers Nachi and Haguro expend 1,271 8-inch rounds but achieve only five hits. Of those five, four are duds: one each on Houston (CA-30) and British heavy cruiser HMS Exeter, and two on Dutch light cruiser De Ruyter. The only shell that does explode reduces Exeter's speed. Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro torpedoes and sinks Dutch destroyer Kortenaer; survivors are rescued by British destroyer HMS Encounter. Japanese destroyer gunfire sinks British destroyer HMS Electra (see 28 February); while British destroyer HMS Jupiter is sunk by mine laid earlier that day by Dutch minelayer Gouden Leeuw. Allied gunfire damages Japanese destroyers Asagumo and Minegumo; U.S. destroyers' torpedo attack proves ineffective (see 28 February).

Seaplane tender Langley (AV-3), carrying 32 USAAF P-40s earmarked for the defense of Java, is bombed by Japanese naval land attack planes (Takao Kokutai) 75 miles south of Tjilatjap, Java, 08°58'S, 109°02'E. Irreparably damaged, the ship that had once been the U.S. Navy's first aircraft carrier (she had been converted to a seaplane tender in 1936) is shelled and torpedoed by destroyer Whipple (DD-217). Necessity to clear the area precludes knowing exactly when Langley sinks.

U.S. freighter Sea Witch delivers 27 crated USAAF P-40s to Tjilatjap, Java, but the planes will be destroyed on the docks to deny their use by the victors.

Submarine Narwhal (SS-167) damages Japanese fleet tanker Manju Maru, 28°55'N, 138°15'E.

Joint U.S.-Mexican Defense Commission is established.

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