Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pacific Battles End & Begin;
Friendly Fire

SAT 28 FEB 1942
Battle of Java Sea, begun late the previous afternoon, concludes. Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro torpedoes and sinks Dutch light cruiser De Ruyter (Doorman's flagship, in which he is lost) while Nachi torpedoes and sinks Dutch light cruiser Java; remnants of the Allied force flee to Surabaya, sheltering briefly there before trying to escape to Australia. In the wake of the battle, submarine S-37 (SS-142) encounters boat from the sunken De Ruyter and recovers two U.S. Navy sailors who had been serving in a liaison capacity in the Dutch ship. Before continuing on patrol, the U.S. submariners provide the Dutch seamen with rations. S-37's sistership S-38 (SS-143) rescues survivors from sunken British destroyer HMS Electra.
Japanese land on north coast of Java. Battle of Sunda Strait begins shortly before midnight as heavy cruiser Houston (CA-30) and Australian light cruiser HMAS Perth (Captain Hector M. L. Waller, RAN), attempting to retire from Java, accidentally encounter Japanese transport force and escorting ships (Rear Admiral Takagi Takeo) in Banten Bay, Java, and engage them (see 1 March).
Minesweeper Whippoorwill (AM-35), while searching waters south of Tjilatjap for survivors of sunken seaplane tender Langley (AV-3), rescues crew of British freighter City of Manchester, that had just been torpedoed, shelled and sunk by Japanese submarine I-153 at 08°16'S, 108°52'E. Gunboat Tulsa (PG-22), in the vicinity on the same errand, takes on board the injured British merchant sailors and treats the wounded.

German submarine U-578 torpedoes and sinks destroyer Jacob Jones (DD-130) off the Delaware capes, 38°42'N, 74°39'W.

Unarmed U.S. tanker Oregon is torpedoed, shelled, and sunk by German submarine U-156 about 150 miles northeast of Mona Passage, 20°44'N, 67°52'W; U-156 machineguns the crew trying to launch one of the lifeboats, killing six men. One group of 26 survivors reaches Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, on 4 March; U.S. tanker Gulfpenn rescues other group of four men the following day.

PBY (VP 73) mistakenly bombs and damages submarine Greenling (SS-213) outside submarine sanctuary off New London, Connecticut.

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