Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 877 January 24, 1942

Japanese invasion of the oil-rich islands of Dutch East Indies begins in earnest. On the island of Celebes, Japanese Sasebo Combined Special Naval Landing Force lands at Kendari and quickly overwhelms 400 Dutch defenders to capture the airfield. Off Kendari, US submarine USS Swordfish sinks Japanese gunboat Myoken Maru. Off Borneo, Dutch bombers attack Japanese troop ships all day as they approach the oil town of Balikpapan. Dutch submarine K-18 damages Japanese patrol boat P37 (K-18 is counterattacked and damaged by depth charges, returning to the Dutch naval base at Soerabaja, Java, unable to dive). Overnight, 5500 Japanese troops land unopposed at 2 sites North and East of Balikpapan and converge on the city. US destroyers USS Paul Jones, USS Parrot, USS Pope and USS John D. Ford attack the anchored Japanese flotilla with torpedoes overnight, sinking 3 transport ships (Kuretake Maru, Sumanoura Maru and Tatsukami Maru) and the damaged patrol boat P37.

Battle of Bataan. Overnight, US and Filipino troops begin withdrawing from the Abucay-Mauban line to the new Orion-Bagac line but some of the artillery is left behind. The plan is to withdraw under cover of darkness for 3 nights until all troops reach the new position. Japanese land reinforcements behind their lines at Subic Bay on the Northeast coast of Bataan.

Troop convoy MS2 arrives at Singapore, carrying a Machinegun Battalion and 1900 untrained Australian soldiers.

Burma. Japanese troops from Tavoy in the South and from the Thai border to the East begin converging on Moulmein to secure the airfield.

Operation Drumbeat. At 2.40 AM 20 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, U-66 sinks British tanker MV Empire Gem (carrying machinery and 10,692 tons of motor spirit to Britain) and American freighter SS Venore. At 6.53 AM 430 miles Southeast of Nova Scotia, U-106 sinks British SS Empire Wildebeeste. At 3.25 PM off Newfoundland, U-333 sinks Norwegian MV Ringstad.

American submarine chaser USS PC-460 mistakes US submarine USS S-26 for an enemy at night in the Gulf of Panama. USS PC-460 rams and sinks USS S-26 (46 dead; 3 survivors - the captain, his executive officer and a look-out, who are all on the conning tower).

Libya. Afrika Korps continues advancing across towards Benghazi. Rommel supply convoy T18 reaches Tripoli with a complete cargo except the 391 killed yesterday in the sinking of Italian troopship Victoria.

No comments:

Post a Comment