Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Brit Cruisers Sunk; Colombo Bombo

SUN 5 APR 1942
Japanese naval forces occupy Lorengau, Manus Island, Admiralty Islands, without opposition.

Indian Ocean
In Operation C, Japanese carrier striking force (Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi) raids Colombo, Ceylon.
After reconnaissance floatplane from heavy cruiser Tone finds British heavy cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire, carrier bombers from Akagi, Hiryu and Soryu sink both ships.
Japanese Second Expeditionary Fleet, Malay Force (Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo) is divided into three groups to disrupt Allied shipping in the Bay of Bengal (see 6 April).

U.S. tanker Catahoula, about 100 miles into her voyage from San Pedro de Macoris*, Dominican Republic, to Wilmington, Delaware, is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-154 at 19°16'N, 68°12'W; two merchant sailors perish in the explosion of the torpedo and five drown when the ship is abandoned (see 6 April).

Coast Guard cutter Dione (WPC-107) proceeds to the scene of the torpedoing of unarmed U.S. tanker Byron D. Benson, attacked by German submarine U-552 the previous evening; high speed minesweeper Hamilton (DMS-18) does likewise, and during the search for the submarine, rescues 27 survivors; British trawler HMS Norwich City picks up one man. Byron D. Benson sinks two days later.

*Now known as "The Cradle of Shortstops".

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