Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day 915 March 3, 1942

Overnight, the first operational sortie by the Avro Lancaster is minelaying in the Heligoland Bight, Germany.

At 7 AM, In the Java Sea. US submarine USS Perch surfaces, badly damaged and unable to dive. Japanese destroyer Ushio attacks with shellfire and Perch’s crew abandons ship (all 59 crew rescued by Ushio but 6 will die in captivity).

Java. Australian Blackforce continues to hold up Japanese Western Force at Leuwiliang, preventing the advances towards the capital Batavia. Japanese Eastern Force advances towards the Allied naval base at Soerabaja, capturing Bojonegoro.

South of Java, Japanese destroyers Arashi and Nowaki sink US gunboat USS Asheville (all 170 crew lost).

Northwest Australia. At 9.20 AM, 9 Japanese Zero fighters from Koepang, Timor, strafe the Roebuck Bay flying boat anchorage at Broome (destroying 15 flying boats) and RAAF airfield (destroying 2 USAAF B-17s, 2 RAAF Hudsons and a Dutch Lockheed Lodestar). They also shoot down a USAAF B-24 Liberator (carrying 30 wounded personnel) which crashes into the sea 10 miles off Broome and a KLM Douglas DC-3 airliner (carrying refugees from Java) which crashes into the jungle 50 miles North of Broome (diamonds worth £150,000–300,000 are lost). In total, 88 Dutch, Australians and Americans are killed. 1 Zero is shot down.

Burma. Japanese capture Payagyi from Indian 17th Infantry Division. British 7th Queen's Own Hussars (7th Armored Brigade) arrive to reinforce the Indians in US-made Stuart “honey” tanks. In the first clash of British and Japanese armor, 4 Japanese Type 95 light tanks are knocked out by the Stuarts and 3 ‘honeys’ are hit by Japanese anti-tank guns.

At 5.05 PM 165 miles North of Suriname, U-129 sinks US SS Mary carrying Lend-Lease supplies from USA to Egypt (1 dead, 33 survivors in 2 lifeboats rescued 6 days later). At 5.21 PM 86 miles West of Monrovia, the capital of the Republic of Liberia, West Africa, U-68 sinks British SS Helenus carrying 4248 tons of rubber, 1350 tons of copper and 2 passengers from Malaya to Britain (6 killed including 1 of the passengers, 76 survivors rescued by British steamer Beaconsfield).


  1. My father George Heath was a Royal Naval gunner on S.S. Beaconsfield at this time

  2. Valerie
    It is an honour to have WWII servicemen and their families read this work. Do you have any more information about your father and his service in WWII?