Friday, June 9, 2017

L.B.J.'s "Silver Star"

TUE 8 JUN 1942
Submarine Trout (SS-202) picks up two survivors from sunken Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma.

Naval Operating Base, Kodiak, Alaska, is established.

Lieutenant Commander Lyndon B. Johnson, USNR, in the South Pacific theater on a congressional inspection tour, accompanies USAAF bombing mission, scheduled to attack Japanese installations at Lae, New Guinea. Johnson is to go along as a passenger in a B-26 (19th Squadron, 22d Bomb Group). Engine trouble, however, compels the pilot of Johnson's Marauder ("Heckling Hare") to abort the mission; the plane never sees combat. Inexplicably, however, Johnson receives Silver Star for "gallantry." He goes on to become the 36th President of the United States.

U.S. freighter Merrimack is sunk by German submarine U-107 about 60 miles north of Cozumel Island, off the Honduran coast, 19°47'N, 85°55'W. Of the 51 men on board at the time of the attack (9 of whom comprise the Armed Guard), only 10 (including one Navy man) survive (see 15 June).

British destroyer HMS Churchill scuttles damaged U.S. tanker Franklin K. Lane, torpedoed by German submarine U-502 the previous day, as a menace to navigation.

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