Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 945 April 2, 1942

At 7.18 AM 17 miles off Cape Fear, North Carolina, U-123 shells US tanker SS Liebre with the deck gun for 35 minutes. SS Liebre is set on fire by about 10 hits (9 killed, 25 survivors escape in 2 lifeboats) before British motor torpedo boat MTB-332 chases off U-123. SS Liebre is towed into Morehead City, North Carolina, by tug Resolute and British anti-submarine trawler HMS St. Zeno (repaired at Baltimore and returned to service on July 19).

Doolittle Raid. At Naval Air Station Alameda, Oakland, California, US aircraft carrier USS Hornet departs carrying 16 B-25 2-engine bombers (80 crewmen, 5 for each bomber, led by Colonel James Doolittle, and 201 Army maintenance personnel). Their goal is to raid Tokyo, Japan, 5000 miles West.

In the Arabian Sea 350 miles West of India, Japanese submarine I-6 sinks British SS Clan Ross carrying 3,655 tons of general cargo and 1,027 tons of explosives to Cochin, India (11 killed, 38 survivors given water, biscuits and bearings to Bombay by I-6 and later rescued by Norwegian merchant L.A. Christensen).

Burma. Japanese troops dislodge Indian 17th Division from Prome where they have been holding a rearguard position to allow British tanks and infantry to retreat up the Irrawaddy River valley 120 miles North to protect the oilfields at Yenangyaung. Overnight, 3 USAAF B-17 bombers (10th Air Force) fly from Calcutta, Northeast India, to bomb Japanese shipping in the Andaman Islands, off the coast of Burma, claiming hits on 1 cruiser and a transport ship.

Following an unsuccessful bombing raid the night before, RAF Bomber Command sends 40 Wellingtons and 10 Stirlings overnight to attack the Ford motor factory at Poissy, a suburb of Northwest Paris. Luftwaffe bombs the English South coast towns of Dover and Weymouth overnight.

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