Skip to comments.75 JAPANESE PLANES RAID CEYLON; FOE MAKES SMALL BATAAN GAINS (4/6/42)
Posted on 04/06/2012 4:21:58 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Japanese troops land on Bougainville
Monday, April 6, 1942 www.onwar.com
In the Solomon Islands... The Japanese land at Bougainville.
In the Indian Ocean... After failing to find the main British fleet, the Japanese naval task force turns a portion of its ships against the harbor at the Bay of Bengal. The Allies lose 83,000 tons of shipping in the well-executed attacks. Ironically, many of the ships sank were those dispersed from Colombo earlier due to the threat of the Japanese Fleet’s attack.
In Burma... China leader Chiang Kai-shek, visits his troops in Burma and gives orders concerning the defense of the area around Pyinmana in the Sittang Valley.
April 6th, 1942 (MONDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: The First Canadian Army formed in the U.K. under the command of Lieutenant General Andrew McNaughton. (Jack McKillop)
BELGIUM: During the night of the 6th/7th, one RAF Bomber Command aircraft attacks the port area at Ostend. (Jack McKillop)
NETHERLANDS: During the night of the 6th/7th, one RAF Bomber Command bomber attacks Schipol Airfield. (Jack McKillop)
GERMANY: During the night of the 6th/7th, RAF Bomber Command dispatches 157 aircraft, 110 Wellingtons, 19 Stirlings, 18 Hampdens and ten Manchesters, to bomb Essen The crews encountered severe storms and icing and there is complete cloud cover over Essen. Only 50 aircraft claimed to have reached the target area and Essen reports only a few bombs, with light damage; no casualties are recorded. Five aircraft, two Hampdens, a Manchester, a Stirling and a Wellington are lost. Individual aircraft attack Aachen, Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf, Gladbeck and Koblenz. (Jack McKillop)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Whilst on night passage from Malta to Gibraltar with over 100 passengers on board, destroyer HMS Havock hits a sandbank and goes aground whilst steaming at 30 knots off Kelibia, Tunisia at 36 48N 11 08E. This causes the turbines to disintegrate killing one and scalding 5 stokers. The 100+ crew and passengers were interned by the Vichy French. (Alex Gordon)(108)
EGYPT: Axis bombers attack the port of Alexandria. (Jack McKillop)
INDIAN OCEAN: Japanese Operation C continues: The Second Expeditionary Fleet, Malay Force (Vice Admiral OZAWA Jisaburo) raids Allied shipping off the east coast of India. The Japanese Northern Group (Rear Admiral KURITA Takeo) attacks an Allied convoy about 36 miles (58 kilometres) southeast of Puri, India; an unarmed U.S. freighter and four British merchantmen are sunk by gunfire of heavy cruisers HIJMS Kumano and Suzuya, and destroyer HIJMS Shirakumo. The Southern Group (Captain SAKIYAMA Shakao), consisting of heavy cruisers HIJMS Mogami and Mikuma and destroyer HIJMS Amagiri, sink three British merchantmen. The Central Group, formed around the aircraft carrier HIJMS Ryujo, heavy cruiser HIJMS Chokai, light cruiser HIJMS Yura, and destroyers HIJMS Yugiri and Asagiri, attacks shipping in a third area.
After aircraft from the carrier HIJMS Ryujo attack an unarmed U.S. freighter, heavy cruiser HIJMS Chokai shells and sinks the American merchantman; Japanese gunfire renders all lifeboats useless and kills 19 of the 41-man crew. Five more crewmen die later of wounds suffered in the attack. Lost with the ship is its cargo of 500 monkeys (which are most likely earmarked for infantile paralysis research in the United States).
Floatplanes from the heavy cruiser HIJMS Chokai bomb an unarmed U.S. freighter 11 miles (18 kilometres) off the coast of India and a British freighter, sinking both. Light cruiser HIJMS Yura and destroyer HIJMS Yugiri, meanwhile, sink two Dutch motorships and a British steamer. Planes from HIJMS Ryujo bomb and sink a British steamer and a Dutch motorship and, at Vizagapatam, India, bomb and damage a British motorship. The Allies lose 83,000 tons of shipping in the well-executed attacks. Ironically, many of the ships sank were those dispersed from Colombo, Ceylon, earlier due to the threat of the Japanese Fleet’s attack. (John Rogers and Jack McKillop)
Japanese submarine HIJMS I-5 sinks an unarmed U.S. freighter, en route from Suez to Ceylon, about 216 miles (348 kilometres) north northwest of the Maldive Islands. (Jack McKillop)
Japan bombs the towns of Vizagatapam [Vishakhapatman] and Cocanada [Kakinada] on the east coast of India.
Sloop HMS Indus is bombed and sunk in an air attack by the IJ airforce in the Indian Ocean off Fakir Point Light, Akyab at 20 07N 92 54E. (Alex Gordon)(108)
INDIA: New Delhi: The Japanese navy used a Pearl Harbor-style air assault when it attacked Colombo yesterday. But this time the defenders were not caught unawares and the attackers had little success, apart from sinking the destroyer HMS TENEDOS and the cruisers HMS DORSETSHIRE and HMS CORNWALL. 26 Allied planes were lost.
Although it was Sunday morning the harbour was empty of ships. Admiral Sir James Somerville, the fleet commander, had taken his main force to Addu atoll southwest of Ceylon. He sailed from Addu on 4 April to attack the Japanese fleet, but failed to make contact. The Royal Navy had been warned of Japanese intentions in the Indian Ocean by intercepted signals, and ground RDF picked up the air fleet as it approached Ceylon. The aircraft were flown from the five carriers of Admiral Chuichi Nagumo’s First Air Fleet; all had taken part in the Pearl Harbor attack.
They entered the Indian Ocean from Sunda Strait on 3rd April and headed for Ceylon, the heart of British naval power in the Far East, with the objective of driving the British Eastern Fleet out of the Indian Ocean. A second Japanese naval force, supported by a light aircraft carrier, at the same time entered the Bay of Bengal through the Straits of Malacca to disrupt British shipping.
Near Akyab: No. 5 Squadron RAF, flying Curtiss Mohawks, score their first victory against the Japanese. (22)
Japanese bombers conduct their first bombing raids on India attacking Coconada and Madras. (Jack McKillop)
Ten Pan American World Airways Douglas DC-3s of the USAAF’s Assam-Burma-China Ferry Command begin hauling 30,000 U.S. gallons (24,980 Imperial gallons or 113 562 liters) of aviation fuel and 500 U.S. gallons (416 Imperial gallons or 1893 liters) of lubricants from Calcutta to the airstrip at Asansol, completing the mission tomorrow. This fuel, subsequently transferred via Dinjan to China, is for use by Lieutenant Colonel James H Doolittle’s Tokyo raiders, already at sea aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8). (Jack McKillop)
BURMA: The Japanese land reinforcements at Rangoon. Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, visiting Maymyo, urges that Taungdwingyi be held and agrees to provide a Chinese division to assist the Burma I Corps. The Chinese 200th and 96th Divisions are in position to defend Pyinmana. (Jack McKillop)
AUSTRALIA: Headquarters of the 41st Infantry Division, the 163d Infantry, the 167th Field Artillery Battalion and other units arrive in Melbourne, Victoria, and are assigned to Army Forces in Australia. (Jack McKillop)
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: USAAF B-25s bomb Gasmata on New Britain Island. (Jack McKillop)
A small Japanese naval force from Truk Atoll in the Caroline Islands lands on the eastern tip of Manus Island, Admiralty Islands, and captures the town of Lorengau. (Jack McKillop)
COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: On Bataan, the II Corps counterattacks north toward the reserve line in Sector D but meets a Japanese attack head on and falls back. On the corps eastern flank, the U.S. 31st Infantry and 21st Division, Philippine Army (PA), directed to drive north in the region east of Mt Samat, are unable to reach the line of departure. In the center, the 33d Infantry, PA, followed by the 42d and 43d, endeavors to drive north between Catmon and the western slopes of Mt Samat, but the 33d is surrounded and presumed lost and units to the rear are routed. Headquarters of Sector D and the western flank troops are thus separated from rest of II Corps. On the west, the 41st Infantry, PA, followed by the 45th, makes limited progress, but the 45th is unable to overtake the 41st and the 41st becomes isolated. The U.S. 31st Infantry and a battalion of the 57th Infantry, Philippine Scouts, are assigned to Sector C, where the line is withdrawn to the San Vicente River. The Japanese receive effective air and artillery support throughout day. (Jack McKillop)
River gunboats USS Mindanao (PR-8) and Oahu (PR-6) engage Japanese landing barges, claiming the destruction of at least four, in a night surface action in Manila Bay. USS Mindanao is damaged by return fire. (Jack McKillop)
U.S.A.: Life Magazine features the story of the Devastator crew who ditched their aircraft into the Pacific on 16 January and survived in a raft for 34 days.
Written by the pilot Harold Dixon. Some good parts:
—If you want to know what it was like on that raft, do the following things:
(1) Lie on your back with your knees well drawn up. (There was not enough room to stretch out our legs.) Make sure, of course, that you are lying on a hard mattress with no springs underneath.
(2) Have a good strong man rap you with a full swing of a baseball bat across the back of the head and the shoulders. Two such raps every three seconds will duplicate the action of the waves pounding against the bottom of the boat.
(3) Have a boy with a 3-gal. galvanized pail dash cold water on your face at irregular intervals.
(4) Have four empty dump trucks run circles around you continually for sound effects.
(5) Try all this for 34 days continually. It will get very monotonous.
—They caught fish (two total) by stabbing them with the pocketknife, and shot an albatross with the pistol. They ate part of the albatross and woke up that night to see the remains glowing (from phosphorus?). They got spooked and ditched the albatross (and fish it was wrapped up with), remembering the old sailor’s superstition about killing an albatross. They had plenty of chances to kill albatrosses after that, but never did. They also caught a 4-ft shark with the pocketknife, which had several intact sardines inside as a special treat. Along with a tern, and two coconuts found floating by, this was apparently all the food they had for 34 days. (W Rinaman)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: German submarine U-160 torpedoes an unarmed U.S. bound from Corpus Christi, Texas, to New York City, about 75 miles (121 kilometres) southeast of Beaufort, South Carolina, U.S.A. The ship manages to reach Hampton Roads, Virginia. (Jack McKillop)
Costa Rica deports Germans to the US and they were placed in “Concentration Camps”? So, they did exist here before Bush and Cheney, under the Great Democrat, FDR. s/
I'm glad we have a subscription.
"Three Men on a Raft" is on page 70.
Hey all. I haven’t forgotten about today’s issue of LIFE. This is my first access to a computer all day. I should be getting it up here in a couple of hours. Sorry for the delay.
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