Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 906 February 22, 1942

Overnight 675 miles East of Newfoundland, U-155 locates convoy ONS-67, sinking British tanker MV Adellen (36 killed, 12 survivors) and Norwegian MV Sama (19 dead, 20 survivors) at 7.03 AM.

U-boats feast on unescorted shipping off the US East coast and in the Caribbean. 20 miles South of Halifax, Nova Scotia, U-96 sinks Norwegian SS Torungen (all 19 hands lost) and British tanker MV Kars (50 killed, 2 picked up by Canadian minesweeper HMCS Melville). Off the East coast of Florida, U-504 sinks US tanker SS Republic (5 dead, 29 survivors many badly burned) and U-128 sinks US tanker SS Cities Service Empire (14 dead, 36 survivors). In the Caribbean 225 miles West of Aruba, U-67 sinks US tanker SS J.N. Pew (33 killed, 2 survivors in a lifeboat make land in Colombia 3 days later and 1 man out of 10 in another lifeboat survives 20 days at sea until found 500 miles West near the coast of Panama on March 14).

In the morning, German battleship Admiral Scheer, cruiser Prinz Eugen and 5 destroyers arrive at Bergen, Norway. They are located by RAF reconnaissance but attacks by 17 Fairey Albacore (FAA 817 & 832 Squadrons) from aircraft carrier HMS Victorious are unsuccessful (3 Albacore shot down). The German warships leave for Trondheim, Norway, overnight before bombers from RAF coastal command can find them.

Acting Commander-In-Chief of RAF bomber command J.E.A. Baldwin is replaced by Air Chief Marshal Arthur Harris, who says "The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put their rather na├»ve theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind”.

Burma. Leading elements of Indian 17th Division cross the Sittang River Bridge, but 16th and 46th Indian Brigades are cut off 10 miles East when Japanese troops reach the Bridge. Indian troops manage to hold the bridge in heavy fighting.

Dutch East Indies. American and Japanese bombers make tit for tat raids on each other’s airfields. US 5th Air Force attacks de Pasar Airdrome, Bali, destroying Japanese aircraft. On Java, Japanese aircraft destroy 4 B-17 bombers on the ground at Pasirian Airdrome and 1 LB-30 Liberator at Jogjakarta Airdrome. South of Java, Japanese submarine I-58 sinks Dutch passenger ship SS Pijnacker Hordikj. US seaplane tender USS Langley (previously used as an aircraft carrier) and freighter Sea Witch depart Fremantle, Southwest Australia, carrying 59 American P-40 fighters to reinforce Java 1700 miles North.

Philippines. With a renewed Japanese attack on Bataan imminent and no chance of sending reinforcements, President Roosevelt orders General MacArthur to leave for Australia and assume command of Allied forces in Australia.


  1. USS Langley wasn't an auxillary aircraft carrier. She was a seaplane tender. She ceases being considered a carrier after her modification in the 1930s.

  2. Thanks for the correction. I have amneded the text. Presulably she was selected for the ability to carry a large number of P-40s on this trip.

  3. yes, she still had about 60% of her original flight deck intact. Not long enough to launch or recover aircraft but enough space to park planes upon