Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day 914 March 2, 1942

US General John L. DeWitt, responsible for the defense of the American West coast, issues Public Proclamation No. 1 creating Military Areas 1 & 2 which includes the coastal part of Washington, Oregon, California States. Japanese-Americans will soon be excluded from these areas.

Java. Japanese Western force advances 40 miles from Serang, threatening to cut off the route South from Batavia, but they are held at Leuwiliang for 2 days by Australian Blackforce (under Brigadier Arthur Blackburn VC). The direct advance on Batavia is slowed by the marshy terrain and bridges blown up by retreating Dutch troops. At Soebang, 250 Dutch troops with 20 tanks attempt to retake Kalidjati airfield but they are repelled. Japanese Eastern Force captures the oilfields at Tjepoe (now Cepu). Dutch government moves from Batavia to a safer location 70 miles inland at Bandoeng and US B-17 bombers begin evacuating key personnel to Australia. Dutch scuttle warships at Soerabaja to prevent capture by the Japanese (destroyers HNLMS Banckert & Witte de With, non-functional submarines K-10, K-13 & K-18, minesweepers HNLMS B & D, minelayers HNLMS Rigel, Soemenep & Bangkalan). Damaged US destroyer USS Stewart is not demolished in dry dock as planned (will be repaired and commissioned into the Japanese Navy as Patrol Boat No. 102).

At 9 PM East of Bali in the Lombok Strait, US submarine USS Sailfish sinks Japanese auxiliary aircraft transport Kamogawa Maru (5 crew, 273 troops and 48 passengers lost). USS Sailfish is counterattack with 40 depth charges but suffers little damage.

In the Java Sea. Adding to yesterday’s damage, US submarine USS Perch is depth-charged again, this time by Japanese destroyer Ushio. Japanese destroyer Ikazuchi rescues 442 survivors from HMS Exeter, HMS Encounter and USS Pope who have been adrift for 20 hours.

A Japanese battle group lurks in the Indian Ocean to interrupt the escape route South from Java to Australia. At 7 PM, Japanese cruiser Maya and destroyers Arashi & Nowaki pummel British destroyer HMS Stronghold with 1,270 8-inch & 5-inch shells from 2,000 yards (75 killed, 50 survivors picked up by Japanese cruiser Maya next morning). At 9 PM 500 miles South of Java, Japanese cruisers Takao and Atago sink US destroyer USS Pillsbury, with 5 minutes of shellfire (all 145 crew and 28 sailors from USS Stewart killed).

Burma. Japanese 33rd and 55th Infantry Divisions cross River Sittang on ferries unopposed at Kunzeik and Donzayit, North of the demolished Sittang Bridge. They cross the irrigated rice paddies of the Sittang delta and push 2nd Battalion Royal Tank Regiment (7th Armored Division) out of the village of Waw. 2nd RTR withdraws 20 miles West to Payagyi, an important road junction protecting Rangoon held by the remnants of Indian 17th Infantry Division following their disaster at Sittang Bridge.

16 RAF Wellington bombers from Malta raid the harbour at Palermo, Sicily, hitting ammunition ship MV Cuma. The explosion damages 5 small warships (destroyers and torpedo boats) and 8 freighters.

At 8.47 PM in the Atlantic 370 miles South of Bermuda, U-126 sinks Norwegian SS Gunny (14 killed, 12 survivors on a raft rescued a week later by Swedish MV Temnaren).


  1. South of Bermuda the german submarine U-126 torpedoes and sinks the Norwegian freighter "Gunny"

  2. This is a great blog.

    Thank you very much!

  3. Thanks micor,
    I was going to post this for March 3rd until you corrected me!