THU 12 MAR 1942
By executive order President Roosevelt combines duties of Commander in Chief U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations (see March 26).
U.S. Army troops (Brigadier General Alexander M. Patch) arrive on New Caledonia to establish a base at Nouméa.
U.S. tanker John D. Gill is torpedoed and irreparably damaged by German submarine U-158 off Frying Pan Shoals, 33°55'N, 77°39'W. Four of the seven-man Armed Guard are lost. Coast Guard cutter CG-186 and cutter Agassiz (WPC-126) rescue one group of survivors, tanker Robert H. Colley the remainder. John D. Gill sinks the next morning.
First British armed trawlers sent to augment U.S. Navy patrol force efforts off the German submarine-plagued Eastern Seaboard, HMS Wastwater and HMS Le Tigre, begin patrol operations in Third Naval District waters. They are assigned duties off Atlantic City and Barnegat, New Jersey.