Wednesday, March 1, 2017

75 Yrs. Ago Today [Un-Edited]
[And Now W/ Added Visual Aids!]

When this nation was fighting for its continued existence. Not unlike today.
SUN 1 MAR 1942
Atlantic and Pacific
Base Force, Pacific Fleet is re-designated Service Force Pacific; Train, Atlantic Fleet is redesignated Service Force Atlantic.

Battle of Sunda Strait continues as heavy cruiser Houston (CA-30) and Australian light cruiser HMAS Perth (Captain Hector M.L. Waller, RAN), heading for Sunda Strait, are attacked by three Japanese cruisers and nine destroyers (Rear Admiral Kurita Takeo).
In the melee, Houston (05°50'S, 105°55'E) and Perth are sunk by torpedoes and gunfire of Japanese heavy cruisers Mogami and Mikuma; Japanese minesweeper W.2 and transports Ryuho Maru, Tatsuno Maru, Sakura Maru and Horai Maru are sunk, and landing ship Shinshu Maru damaged, by torpedoes [fired by heavy cruiser Mogami]*; destroyers Shirakumo and Harukaze are damaged by gunfire. Houston's commanding officer, Captain Albert H. Rooks, killed while his ship is being abandoned, is later awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumously) in recognition of his heroism, courage, gallantry and distinguished service during the period between 4 and 27 February.

Japanese oiler Tsurumi is torpedoed by Dutch submarine K-XV east of Nicholas Point, Banten Bay, Java.

In another action in the wake of the Battle of the Java Sea, Japanese heavy cruisers Myoko, Ashigara, Haguro and Nachi engage three Allied ships (Captain Oliver L. Gordon, RN) fleeing Java, sinking British heavy cruiser HMS Exeter and destroyer HMS Encounter. U.S. destroyer Pope (DD-225), the third ship, escapes the cruisers but is located and bombed by floatplanes from seaplane carriers Chitose and Mizuho. Damaged by one close-miss, Pope is then located by carrier attack planes from Ryujo and bombed; scuttling is in progress when Myoko and Ashigara deliver the coup de grace with gunfire at 04°00'S, 111°30'E.

Japanese planes bomb Surabaya, Java; destroyer Stewart (DD-224), previously damaged on 19 and 20 February 1942, is damaged again, by bomb.

Japanese naval forces sweep the waters south of Java. Destroyer Edsall (DD-219) is sunk by gunfire of battleships Hiei and Kirishima, heavy cruisers Tone and Chikuma, and planes from carriers Akagi and Soryu; the amount of main battery shells expended in the attempt to sink the U.S. ship amounts to 297 15-inch and 844 eight-inch. Edsall's five enlisted survivors are executed at Kendari subsequently. Oiler Pecos (AO-6), with Langley (AV-3) survivors on board as well as evacuees from Java, is bombed and sunk by carrier bombers from Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, and Soryu south of Christmas Island, 14°27'S, 106°11'E.

Submarine Perch (SS-176) is depth-charged and damaged by Japanese destroyers Amatsukaze and Hatsukaze, 73 miles west of Bawean Island, Java Sea, 06°30'S, 113°50'E.

As Japanese invasion of Java proceeds, Allied planes bomb enemy ships off the beaches: RAF Wildebeests damage light cruiser Kinu, transport Johore Maru, and army cargo ship Tokushima Maru. Dutch Martin 139s, RAF Blenheims, RAAF (or RAF) Hudsons also claim damage to Japanese ships.

ABDA (American-British-Dutch-AustralianCommand is dissolved as the fall of Java looms.

Small reconnaissance seaplane from Japanese submarine I-25 reconnoiters Hobart, Tasmania.

PBO (VP 82), on an anti-submarine sweep, bombs and sinks German submarine U-656 south of Newfoundland, 46°15'N, 53°15'W.

U-656 is the first U-boat sunk by U.S. Navy forces during World War II.

Tug Sagamore (AT-20) attempts to tow damaged U.S. tanker R.P. Resor (torpedoed by German submarine U-578 on 27 February) to shallow water to permit salvage, but to no avail. The gutted ship sinks about 31 miles east of Barnegat, New Jersey.

*Bracketed phrase in source removed from original post by idiot editor; see comments.

HUMP DAY 5 APRIL 2017: Added images from COMBAT, No. 7, January-March 1963. "Designed, produced and copyright © 1962 by Dell Publishing Co., Inc."


mikey said...

Sunda strait is ridiculously narrow - it's hard to imagine cruisers slugging away at each other and trying to maneuver at night in those waters.

Also, too, nobody mentioned that three of the Japanese ships that were sunk went down due to friendly fire. Apparently the Japanese task force was just spraying torpedoes around and hoping to hit something.

Which they did...

M. Bouffant said...

Overthinking It Editor:
Whooopsie!! Corrected! (And thanks.)

I assumed it was either a typo or someone confused the Mogami & the Houston, so I cut that one phrase. I'm self-flagellating as I type.

The battle was actually northeast of the Sunda Strait, off northwest Java.