Friday, February 24, 2017

More Flee Philippines

TUE 24 FEB 1942
TF 16 (Vice Admiral William F. Halsey Jr.) raids Wake Island to destroy Japanese installations there. SBDs and TBDs (VB 6, VS 6, VT 6) from carrier Enterprise (CV-6) and SOCs (VCS 5) from heavy cruisers Northampton (CA-26) and Salt Lake City (CA-25) bomb installations on Wake. Bombardment unit consisting of Northampton and Salt Lake City and destroyers Balch (DD-363) and Maury (DD-401) (Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spruance) shells the atoll. Combined efforts of Enterprise's planes (bombing and strafing) and ships' gunfire sink guardboats No.5 Fukyu Maru and No.1 Miho Maru. Fortunately, the bombing and shelling of Wake harms none of the American marines, sailors and construction workers too badly wounded to have been evacuated in the initial increment of POWs, and the civilian workmen (Contractors Pacific Naval Air Bases) retained on the island to continue work on defenses. One SBD (VS 6) is lost, however, and its crew taken prisoner (see 13 March).

Small reconnaissance seaplane launched from Japanese submarine I-9 reconnoiters Pearl Harbor.

Panamanian motor freighter Snark is mined while attempting to enter Nouméa, New Caledonia, without a pilot. Destroyer Worden (DD-352) tows the crippled ship out of the channel but has to abandon further salvage when the damaged vessel drifts and grounds hard and fast onto a reef.

Submarine Swordfish (SS-193) embarks U.S. High Commissioner to the Philippine Islands Francis B. Sayre and his party off Manila Bay (see 9 March). Their original destination is Surabaya, Java.

Submarines Pike (SS-172) and Pickerel (SS-177) are sent to assist stranded submarine Tarpon (SS-175) in Boling Strait, N.E.I.; in the event that they cannot free the grounded boat, they are to destroy her. Fortunately, Tarpon manages to work herself free by removing anchors, torpedoes, oil and ammunition.

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