Skip to comments.ALLIED FLEET IN NAVAL BATTLE WITH JAPANESE IN THE JAVA SEA (2/28/42)
Posted on 02/28/2012 7:45:39 PM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
Commandos grab German radar and run
Saturday, February 28, 1942 www.onwar.com
British commandos returning from the Bruneval raidIn Occupied France... British commandos stage a raid a Bruneval for the purpose of taking German radar equipment back to Britain for examination. It is successful.
February 28th, 1942
UNITED KINGDOM: Minesweeping trawler HMS Sir Galahad commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
BELGIUM: Six RAF Bomber Command Blenheims, with a fighter escort, bomb the port area of Antwerp without loss. (Jack McKillop)
GERMANY: The use of cars other than for war work is banned.
U-757 commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
POLAND: 10,000 Jews from Lodz were gassed at Chelmo this week, while 4,618 Jews have died of starvation in the Warsaw ghetto.
INDIAN OCEAN: British Overseas Airways Corp. (BOAC) Short S-23 C-Class Empire Boat, msn S-842, registered G-AETZ and named Circe is shot down by Japanese fighters while it is en route from Tjilatjap, Java, and Broome, Western Australia. (Jack McKillop)
BURMA: British Imperial forces fall back on Pegu from Payagyi and Waw in anticipation of a general withdrawal. Japanese are only 50 miles (80 kilometres) north of Rangoon. (Jack McKillop)
JAPAN: Admiral YAMAMOTO Isoroku, Commander of the Combined Fleet, issues Navy Directive No. 60, which states that the Japanese Navy is to consider Soviet ships as absolutely neutral. (Jack McKillop)
NETHERLANDS EAST INDIES: Sumatra: Major-General Gordon Bennett, the commander of the 8th Australian Division on Singapore, has sailed from the clutches of the Japanese - and into a bitter controversy.
When the situation on Singapore was desperate, Bennett handed command of his division to his artillery commander, and, without consulting his superior, Lieutenant-General Percival, boarded one of the hundreds of small boats leaving the colony. Bennett is accused of abandoning his troops while other commanders went into captivity with their men. The most senior officer to escape, he is among 3,000 troops and civilians being looked after by locals on Sumatra.
The light cruisers HMS Danae and Dragon and HMAS Hobart which have been operating from Batavia, Java, sail shortly after midnight accompanied by a Dutch destroyer to sweep north from Batavia with orders, if contact with the Japanese Western Invasion Force were not made by 0430 hours, to abandon the search and proceed to Trincomalee, Ceylon, via the Sunda Strait. The sweep was really no more than a demonstration, since to keep the small and hopelessly outnumbered force in the west Java Sea would have been suicidal. No enemy was encountered by the time laid down, and the force withdrew as ordered and finally arrived at Colombo, Ceylon, on the 5 March. (Jack McKillop)
The heavy cruiser USS Houston (CA-30), with her No. 3 turret disabled and low on ammunition, and the light cruiser HMAS Perth, survivors of last nights Battle of the Java Sea, arrive back in Batavia, at 1400 hours. After refuelling, they depart at 1930 hours intending to pass through the Sunda Strait to Tjilatjap, Java. Unknown to the Allies, part of the Japanese Western Invasion Force was being landed in Bantam Bay, 40 miles (64 kilometres) west of Batavia. Shortly after 2300 hours, the two ships, rounding a headland, accidentally encounter the Japanese transport force and escorting ships (Rear Admiral TAKEO Takagi) in Banten Bay, Java, and engage. (Jack McKillop)
The heavy cruiser HMS Exeter, whose boiler rooms had been damaged yesterday, makes repairs at Surabaya, Java, and, accompanied by destroyers HMS Encounter and USS Pope (DD-225), sails in the evening for Ceylon. Soon after leaving Surabaya, the three ships are spotted by Japanese aircraft. (Jack McKillop)
Of all the Allied ships which took part in the Battle of the Java Sea only four American destroyers survived, USS Alden (DD-211), John D. Ford (DD-228), Paul Jones (DD-230) and John D. Edwards (DD-216), which had been detached to Surabaya and ordered to rearm in Australia. They sailed under cover of darkness on the night of the 28th, passed through Bali Strait and made a short contact with a force of three Japanese destroyers patrolling in the southern leg of Bali Island. The American ships returned fire after the Japanese ships engaged. At the end they increased the speed to 27 knots and arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia, on 4 March without any further incident. (Jack McKillop)
At 2330 hours, the transports carrying the Japanese 16th Army anchor in Bantam Bay and prepare to land the Japanese Army troops. (Jack McKillop)
U.S. freighter SS Sea Witch delivers 27 crated USAAF P-40s to Tjilatjap, Java, but the planes will be destroyed on the docks to deny their use by the Japanese. (Jack McKillop)
AUSTRALIA: Destroyer HMAS Quadrant launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: “Moonlight Cocktail” by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra with vocals by Ray Eberle and The Modernaires reaches Number 1 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in the U.S. This song, which debuted on the charts one week earlier, was charted for 15 weeks, was Number 1 for 10 weeks and was ranked Number 2 for the year 1942. (Jack McKillop)
Washington: President Roosevelt approves the reorganization of the War Department. (Marc James Small)
Certain duties of former Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation transferred to Coast Guard temporarily by Executive Order 9083. Made permanent July 16, 1946.
U.S. Maritime Service transferred to Coast Guard from War Shipping Administration.
Destroyer escorts USS Brennan and Doherty laid down.
AA cruiser USS San Juan commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
CARIBBEAN SEA: At 1117, the unescorted and unarmed Texaco tanker Oregon was attacked by U-156 with the deck gun about 150 miles NE of Mona Passage or 170 miles (274 kilometres) northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico while steaming completely blacked out on a zigzag course at 10 knots. The first shell hit the starboard side in the quarters of the master and the second destroyed the radio shack. After disabling the radio the U-boat circled the tanker and fired shells at point blank range into the waterline during 75 minutes. Fire broke out on the bridge and the stern and a boiler exploded but the cargo never caught fire. The tanker sank by the stern about four hours after the initial attack. The eight officers and 28 crewmen abandoned ship in one lifeboat and one raft. They abandoned ship on the starboard side while the U-boat fired shells into the port side. The master, two officers and three crewmen died during the attack. The 26 survivors in the lifeboat made landfall near Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic on 4 March. The Gulfpenn picked up the four survivors on the raft five and a half days after the attack. Some survivors reported that two U-boats shelled the vessel and that some men were machine gunned when they tried to lower the port boats. A man who jumped overboard reported that a U-boat attempted to run him over. There are no proofs for this reports, but fact is that only one U-boat attacked and the men lost were apparently killed in the initial shelling of the bridge and radio shack. (Jack McKillop, Dave Shirlaw and Keith Allen)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: At 1057, destroyer USS Jacob Jones (DD-130) was hit by two torpedoes fired by U-578, while proceeding completely blacked out at 15 knots, operating about 38 miles (61 kilometres) east-northeast of Ocean City, Maryland. The first torpedo struck on the port side just aft of the bridge and ignited a magazine. The explosion completely destroyed the bridge, the chartroom and the officer’s and petty officer’s quarters. As the ship stopped, unable to send a distress signal, the second torpedo struck on the port side about 40 feet forward of the stern and carried away the after part of the ship above the keel plates and shafts and destroyed the after crew quarters. The ship remained afloat for 45 minutes, allowing about 30 survivors to abandon ship on four or five rafts. But as the stern sank, the unsecured depth charges exploded, killing several survivors on a nearby raft. Some hours later, an US Army observation plane sighted the life rafts and reported their position to Eagle Boat USS PE-56 on inshore patrol. The Eagle Boat was forced to abandon her search after three hours, due to strong winds and rising seas. She had picked up 12 survivors, but one of them died enroute Cape May. The search for survivors continued for two days, but was fruitless. (James Paterson, Dave Shirlaw and Jack McKillop)
SS Bayou sunk by U-129 at 08.08N, 55.14W. The only survivor was rescued on 5 Mar at 07°36N, 58°05W.
At 0844, the unescorted Leif was hit by two torpedoes from U-653 east of Cape Hatteras. The forward section broke away and sank immediately, followed by the rest of the ship 11 minutes later. The crew abandoned ship in two lifeboats, one containing six survivors and the other 18. First they had rain, hail showers and strong winds, but as soon as the weather permitted four men (including the master) moved to the boat with less men in it. In the afternoon the boats were separated. The master and nine survivors were picked up from the first boat in the morning on 2 March by the Swedish steam tanker Sveadrott about 185 miles west of Bermuda and landed at Key West four days later. The other lifeboat with 14 survivors was never seen again. (Dave Shirlaw)
Major Frost will be heard of again. As a Lt. Col., at oneend of a bridge. At a place called Arnheim.
My father was on the USS Chaumont AP-5 that met up with the USS Houston two weeks before the Battle of Sundra Strait where the Houston was sunk.
About 20 sailors from the Chaumont were transferred to the Houston to help man their AA guns. They spent most of the time at Battle Stations before she went down. 2/3 of the 5 inch AA ammo was defective on the Houston. The Captain knew but kept it from the crew.
It was three years before the account of tthe last days of the Houston was known.
Transports were needed otherwise the Chaumont would have stayed with the Far East Asiatic Fleet and I probably wouldn’t be here to write this.
lol. A riding crop and a persian rug in an aircraft. Were thre red curtains?
Glenn Miller Orchestra - Moonlight Cocktail
“”Moonlight Cocktail” was written by James “Kim” Gannon and Charles Luckey Roberts, and with Ray Eberle & The Modernaires providing the vocal, the song became one of the Glenn Miller Orchestra’s biggest hits going to #1 on the Billboard charts in 1942 for ten weeks.”
Arnheim? That sounds like a bridge too far if you ask me.
Because of Major Frost, and the fact there is no movie about the Battle of the Java Sea with awesome theme music...