Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 857 January 4, 1942

Crimea. Soviet cruiser Krasnyi Kavkaz, returning from delivering troops and supplies to the Soviet bridgehead on the Kerch Peninsula, is badly damaged by German Ju87 dive-bombers. Krasnyi Kavkaz reaches the Caucasus port of Novorossiysk, escorted by destroyer Sposobnyi, and will be under repair until October at Poti, Georgia.

Philippines. On Luzon, a massive Japanese aerial and artillery bombardment displaces US and Filipino troops from the Guagua-Porac line, allowing Lingayen Force to capture Guagua and the US Del Carmen Airfield (a rudimentary dirt airstrip). Off the island of Mindanao, USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress bombers (based at Darwin, Australia, staging via Dutch airfields on Borneo) attack Japanese ships at anchor in Malalag Bay, Davao Gulf. Japanese cruiser Myōkō is hit by a 500lb bomb causing minor damage.

Malaya. 11th Indian Infantry Division withdraws 40 miles South from Kampar to new positions at Slim River, where road and railway bridges cross the Sungai Bemama river. These are the last good defenses before the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

In preparation for landings, Japanese aircraft bomb Rabaul at the Northeast tip of the island of New Britain, part of the Territory of New Guinea (a League of Nations-mandated territory of Australia since WWI).

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