Skip to comments.ENEMY SUBMARINES ARE OFF BOTH OUR COASTS; HARD FIGHTING AT DAVAO; FOE’S TRANSPORT SUNK (12/21/41)
Posted on 12/21/2011 4:42:03 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
The News of the Week in Review
Twenty News Questions 12
East Asia and the Pacific-Lashed by the Storm of War (map) 13
Japanese Gain Quick Success in Far-Flung War of the Pacific 14-15
Answers to Twenty News Questions 15
* I never expected to see Santa Cruz on one of the war situation maps. It is even mentioned by name.
Japanese invade Luza
Monday, December 21, 1941 www.onwar.com
Japanese troops establishing beachheadIn Malaya... Japanese troops from the 48th Infantry division, augmented with tanks land on Luza at Lingayen Gulf. They meet little opposition and establish a strong beachhead.
In the North Atlantic... Convoy HG-76 loses the escort carrier, Audacity under the command of Commodore Walker. Despite the loss of an additional destroyer and two merchant ships, the convoy is responsible for the sinking of 5 of the 12 U-boats involved in the attack as well as 2 Condor aircraft.
December 21st, 1941
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: U-451 sunk near Tangiers, in position 35.55N, 06.08W, by depth charges from FAA 812 Sqn Swordfish. 44 dead and 1 survivor. (Dave Shirlaw)
ROMANIA: Transnistria: Colonel Isopescu leads his troops — an assortment of Jandarmi, a few regular soldiers, Ukrainian auxiliary police, and some local Volksdeutsch-SS — into the Jewish portion of Bogdanovca. Jews were separated into two groups, with between four and five thousand elderly, sick and infirm moved into the local stables where the straw and surrounding structures were sprinkled with gasoline and set afire, burning the occupants to death. The remaining forty-three thousand, the agonized screams of those perishing in the flames ringing in their ears, were marched off into the nearby forest, stopping at a nearby bog where the guards looted them of any possessions and stripped them of their clothes. From there the naked masses, including many mothers with infants and children in their arms, proceeded to the edge of a ravine and executed in groups of three and four hundred at a time, with hand grenades and explosive bullets being the weapons of choice.
The executions continued for days, with a brief interruption from the 24th until the 28th to allow the executioners to celebrate the Christmas holidays, ending on the 30th by which time only two hundred of the stouter prisoners remained alive. Spared only to provide the necessary manpower to destroy any evidence of the massacre by cremating the more than forty thousand bodies, these few laboured on into January and February, at which time one hundred and fifty of the survivors were shot on the pretext of having worked too slowly.
Colonel Isopescu was usually present at these executions, at times arriving drunk and often photographing his victims. (Greg Kelley, 259, 260, 261, 262 and 263)
COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: The Japanese land the 38th Division at Lingayen Gulf on Luzon. The Japanese soon establish a strong beachhead and finish unloading their troops by the 23rd.
PACIFIC OCEAN: A reinforced Japanese landing force known as the Wake Occupation Force, leaves Kwajalein bound for Wake Island. It is under the command of Rear Admiral Kajioka Sadamichi. Air attacks are continued by the Japanese carriers Soryu and Hiryu. (Gordon Rottman)
WAKE ISLAND: The PBY-5 Catalina that arrives yesterday takes off at 0700 hours; aboard is Major Walter Bayler of Marine Aircraft Group Twenty One (MAG-21), “the last man off Wake.” Japanese concern over the potential presence of patrol planes at Wake, occasioned by the large amount of radio traffic that accompanies the sole PBYs arrival at the island, prompts advancing the date of the first carrier strikes. At 0850 hours, 29 Japanese carrier aircraft escorted by 18 “Zeke” fighters (Mitsubishi A6M2, Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighters) from aircraft carriers HIJMS Soryu and Hiryu, attack ground targets. At 1200 hours, 33 “Nell” bombers (Mitsubishi G3M2, Navy Type 96 Attack Bombers) from Roi Airdrome in Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, bomb the island. (Jack McKillop)
The Wake Island relief force, Task Force Fourteen, is within 600 nautical miles (1 111 kilometers) of the island. The task force is composted of the aircraft carriers USS Lexington (CV-2) and Saratoga (CV-3), the heavy cruisers USS Astoria (CA-34), Minneapolis (CA-36) and San Francisco (CA-38), ten destroyers, the seaplane tender USS Tangier (AV-8) and the oiler USS Neches (AO-5). The convoy is carrying the 4th Marine Coastal Defense Battalion, Marine Fighting Squadron Two Hundred Twenty One (VMF-221) equipped with F2A-3 Buffalo fighters, along with 9,000 five-inch (12.7 centimeter) rounds, 12,000 three-inch (7.62 centimeter) rounds, and 3 million 50 calibre (12.7 millimeter) rounds as well as a large amount of ammunition for mortars and other battalion small arms. (Jack McKillop)
SOUTH CHINA SEA: Insect class gunboat HMS Cicala is sunk by air bombing in the South China Sea off Hong Kong and the crew are taken off by HMS MTB.10. There is only one casualty, but only half of the crew survived the war after becoming Japanese POWs when HK surrendered; some of were lost when the transport taking them to Japan was torpedoed by an Allied submarine. (Alex Gordon)(108)
CANADA: Minesweeper HMCS Grandmere enroute to Halifax from builder Montreal, broke down in St. Lawrence River. Towed to Sydney, Nova Scotia by corvette HMCS Kamsack for repair. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: Escort aircraft carrier HMS Audacity (previously the German merchant ship Hannover) is torpedoed and sunk by U-751, 500 miles West of Cape Finisterre at 44N 20W, with convoy HG-76 (Alex Gordon and Dave Shirlaw)(108)
U-567 sank SS Annavore in Convoy HG-76. U-567 later sunk by depth charges from sloop HMS Deptford and corvette HMS Samphire. 47 dead (all hands lost) during the same action.
U-573 sank SS Hellen.
Submarine HNLMS K XVII sunk by mine. The wreck is upright on the bottom at about 55 meters. It apparently struck a British laid mine while travelling on the surface at night and sank with all hands. There is a big hole in the stern but otherwise intact. (Dave Shirlaw)
I didn’t know that there was a Ft. Bragg, California.
Insect Class Gunboats
I never hear much about Jap occupations south of Luzon, but I am not an avid student of WW2.
I do, however, see people here on Cebu that have Japanese facial features.
No doubt there was some interbreeding between the Jap soldiers and the natives.
5. The Massacres in Transnistria
I believe Luzon had a Japanese population of about 25,000 in Dec 1941.
I took the news quiz and once again earned a “B,” as I did last week.
While there weren’t any invasions on US soil (territory, yes in Alaska and Hawaii) there were shellings by the Japanese including one in Oregon neat Ft Stewart or whatever it was called and sinking of US vessels in sight of the coast in the LA area. That must have been scary to see... but the Germans also used subs to land spies and saboteurs.
Fort Bragg, in Mendocino County, Calif. began in the 1850's as a fort and was named after a young Army captain named Braxton Bragg.