Skip to comments.TWELVE WARSHIPS LOST BY ALLIES IN JAVA SEA, 5 OF THEM CRUISERS (3/15/42)
Posted on 03/15/2012 4:30:59 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
The News of the Week in Review
Twenty News Questions 11
Invasion Threatens India and the Vital Middle East (map) 12
U.S. Army, Navy Staffs Streamlined for Action (Baldwin) 13
Answers to Twenty News Questions 14
Hitler confident of victory
Sunday, March 15, 1942 www.onwar.com
Adolf HitlerIn Berlin... Hitler announces that the Soviet Union will be “annihilatingly defeated” in the next summer offensive.
March 15th, 1942
UNITED KINGDOM: Whilst escorting convoy FS.749, destroyer HMS Vortigern is attacked by S-boats in the North Sea off Cromer at 55 06N 01 22E. She takes hits from two torpedoes, believed fired by S-104 and sinks. (Alex Gordon)(108)
Destroyer HMS Vortigen lost. (Dave Shirlaw)
ENGLISH CHANNEL: Six RAF Bomber Command Bostons fly uneventful shipping sweeps off Brittany during the day. (Jack McKillop)
NETHERLANDS: During the night of the 15th/16th, three RAF Bomber Command Blenheims are dispatched on Intruder flights to Dutch airfields. Schiphol Airfield is attacked by one aircraft. (Jack McKillop)
GERMANY: At a staff meeting in Berlin, Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his generals study the situation in the Soviet Union. Moscow has not fallen, and will not fall. German casualties from Soviet firepower and frostbite have been immense, but the Soviet counterattack at Moscow, Staraya Russa, and the Crimea is petering out as the Soviets run out of supplies. The initiative is going back to the Germans, and Hitler forecasts the annihilation of the Soviet Army in summer. That evening, at the Sportspalast Hitler announces that the Soviet Union will be “annihilatingly defeated” in the next summer offensive. (Jack McKillop)
U.S.S.R.: Black Sea Fleet and Azov Flotilla: Submarine “Sch-210” is mined and sunk, close to cape Jeleznii Rog. (Sergey Anisimov)(69)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The British cruisers HMS DIDO and HMS EURYALUS bombard Rhodes.
BURMA: Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell, Commanding General American Army Forces, China, Burma and India, is notified that British General Archibald Wavell, Commander in Chief India, is responsible for operations In Burma. (Jack McKillop)
COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: Japan launches an artillery attack on Manila Bay. In the Manila Bay area the Japanese, having emplaced additional artillery along the southern shore of Manila Bay southwest of Ternate, renew intensive bombardment of fortified islands in the bay. The shelling is conducted daily and in great force through 21 March, despite U.S. counterbattery fire. Forts Frank and Drum are particularly hard hit. (Jack McKillop)
At Del Monte Airfield on Mindanao, General Douglas MacArthur, Commanding General U.S. Army Forces, Far East, and his party wait for B-17 Flying Fortresses to take them to Australia. Officers in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, are trying to scrape together the necessary aircraft. While MacArthur waits, his aide, Sid Huff, takes Jean MacArthur’s mattress off motor torpedo (PT) boat PT-41 which leads to a wild story that the mattress is supposedly full of gold bars. In fact, it’s full of feathers. (Jack McKillop)
NEW CALEDONIA: The 67th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), the first USAAF tactical unit in the theater, arrives from the U.S. with 45 crated P-400 Airacobras. (Jack McKillop)
NEW ZEALAND: Car and bicycle tire shortages become apparent. (Jack McKillop)
TERRITORY OF ALASKA: The XI Interceptor Command is activated at Elmendorf Field, Anchorage. Its operational components are the 11th and the 18th Pursuit Squadrons (Interceptor). (Jack McKillop)
Corvette HMCS Moose Jaw arrived Saint John, New Brunswick for repairs
Submarine HMS P-512 assigned to ASW training Pictou and Halifax , Nova Scotia.
Submarine HMS P-514 assigned to ASW training Halifax , Nova Scotia. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Corvette USS Restless commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
CARIBBEAN SEA: Canadian bulk carrier SS Sarniadoc (1,940 GRT) torpedoed and sunk in the Caribbean Sea in position 15.45N, 065.00 W, by U-161, Kptlt Albrecht Achilles, Knights Cross, CO. There were no survivors. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-503 (Type IXC) is sunk in the North Atlantic south-east of Newfoundland, position 45.50N, 48.50W, by depth charges from a US PBO-1 Hudson aircraft (Sqdn VP-82, based at NAS Argentia). 51 dead (all hands lost). The Hudson PBO-1 aircraft was from a US Navy patrol squadron (VP-82) that was flying support for convoy ON.72. The Hudson PBO-1 was one of 20 Lend-Lease Hudson IIIA’s used by the USN to equip one squadron. These aircraft sank the first 2 U-boats sunk by the USN, U-656 on 1 March, 1942 and U-503 on 15 March. (Alex Gordon)
U.S. Coast Guard lighthouse tender USCGC Acacia (WAGL-200) is shelled and sunk by U-161 south of Haiti. This was the only Lighthouse Service vessel lost during the war. Built as minefield tender General John P. Story; 14 Apr 1927 acquired by the Lighthouse Service of the US Coast Guard, rebuilt as lighthouse tender and renamed Acacia.
At 0722 hours on 15 Mar, 1942, the unescorted and unarmed tanker Ario was 11 miles SW of the Cape Lookout Buoy about 89 miles (143 kilometres) east of Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S.A. and had to change her course, because a small vessel crossed the port bow. So the tanker was not steering a zigzag course, when a torpedo struck her three minutes later from U-158 on the starboard side at #9 tank. The radio operator sent a distress signal and received an answer. The master ordered the ship abandoned, but before any of the boats could be launched the U-boat opened fire at the vessel. For 30 minutes the ship was shelled with 40 rounds, while the crew of eight officers and 26 crewmen cleared the ship. The #3 boat containing 12 men was struck by a shell before it reached the water, killing five men, while two others were picked up by another lifeboat but died of injuries and one man died later in hospital. U-158 closed in to view the vessel and almost collided with a lifeboat before leaving the area. Later the master, the chief mate, the second mate, the chief engineer and an able seaman reboarded the Ario to check for possible salvage, but the vessel was in sinking condition. After seven hours the survivors were picked up by destroyer USS Du Pont and landed at Charleston. One officer and seven men died in the attack. Ario was still afloat when last seen at 18.30 hours on 15 March. She finally sank in shallow water about 10 miles east of Cape Lookout in 34°14N/76°27W.
At 0604, the unescorted Olean was hit by one torpedo from U-158 about 15 miles south of Cape Lookout about 95 miles (153 kilometres) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.. The torpedo struck the port quarter in the machinery space, causing the vessel to veer out of control. The gun crew spotted the U-boat but could not depress the gun enough to fire. The eight officers, 30 crewmen and four armed guards began abandon ship, but the first lifeboat capsized because the ship had still headway. These men transferred to another boat, which was destroyed when a coup de grâce hit on the starboard side in the engine room at 06.18 hours, killing one officer and five crewmen. The survivors escaped in one boat or swam to three rafts. The Cape Lookout and Fort Macon Lifeboat Stations each sent a motor lifeboat, which arrived nine hours after the attack, picked up the survivors and landed them at Morehead City, North Carolina. Olean was later towed to Hampton Roads and dry-docked. First she was declared a total loss, but on 13 June requisitioned by the US War Shipping Administration (WSA), reconstructed as Sweep and returned to service. On 12 Jul, 1944, the Sweep was acquired on a bare-boat basis by the US Navy as mobile floating storage tanker USS Silver Cloud (IX 143) at Eniwetok, Marshall Islands. The tanker was stationed in the Marshall Islands until 17 August when she sailed for Manus Island, Admiralty Islands. On 28 August, Silver Cloud dropped anchor in Seeadler Harbor and fuelled almost 200 ships before leaving on 28 December for San Pedro Bay, Leyte via Hollandia, New Guinea. On 15 Jan 1945, she arrived at Leyte and remained in the Philippine Islands until 30 December when she sailed via Panama for New Orleans for disposal, arriving on 10 Mar 1946. The next day the tanker sailed for Mobile, arriving one day later, where she was decommissioned and delivered to the US War Shipping Administration (WSA) on 29 March. Struck from the US Navy list on 17 Apr 1946 and sold to Pinto Island Metals Co on 21 Jan 1947. (Jack McKillop and Dave Shirlaw)
Another great post, Homer.
I speak as an expert on the Second World War. I have seen every episode of Hogan’s Heroes.
I am more of a generalist. I have also seen almost every episode of Combat and McHale's Navy.
lol...dont forget to include, “The Rat Patrol”.
When I was in elementary school, I had a “Rat Patrol” lunch box.
You lucky rat....
The Japanese fleet had the Long Lance, Type 93, torpedo which was devastating at the Java Sea battles. The Dutch ships exploding below the waterline were due to the torpedos and the HMS Exeter was taken down by one.
Is our current Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea fleet a suicide squadron? War games conducted by the Pentagon resulted in 3000 deaths on the US side v Iran. I suspect this is due to the Iranian's Chinese-supplied supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles. I hope we don't have history repeating itself. Only by the Obama Admin preemptively taking out Iran's offensive anti-ship and ballistic missiles can disaster be averted. Waiting for Israel to attack first leaves Iranian retaliatory strike weapons mostly intact...to be expended before the US can take them out unless the US comes in instantly with B-2s from Diego Garcia as the Israeli plans depart for the attack.
Admiral Hart, commander of the Asiatic Fleet based in the Philippines responded to news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor by ordering the USS Houston, flagship of the Asiatic Fleet along with the cruiser USS Boise and other elements of the Asiatic Fleet to weigh anchors and sail from their Philippine ports south towards the safety of Australia rather than seeking out the enemy.
Houston is lost?
I don’t remember reading about that... was it NAZI’s or the Japanese??
The EXETER looked like a tramp steamer ready for gentlmanly battles with smugglers.
Lane Bryant... military clothes for all occasions...
Among the ships lost by united nations??
I sure wish they could find a better term.
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