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2nd March 1942

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Events On This Day

Russian Front, Russian southern armies launched new, offensive. Heavy fighting continued in Smolensk, Staraya Russa,. and Leningrad areas.

Far East, Japanese invaders of Java advanced to Soebang and Blora. Japanese claimed to have bombed wireless station and naval base at Christmas Island.

In the Atlantic, U-boat shelled island of Mona, in the Caribbean Sea. The first offensive against the Caribbean refineries was organised under the command of Commander Werner Hartenstein aboard U-156 with U-67, U-129, U-161 and U-502. The first three U-boats launched simultaneous attacks on 16 February 1942. U-502 sank crude oil tankers Tia Juana and San Nicholas between Lake Maracaibo and Aruba. U-67 entered Willemstad harbour on Curaçao and torpedoed three oil tankers. The four torpedoes from the bow tubes were duds, but the stern tube torpedoes sank Rafaela. U-156 entered San Nicolas harbour on Aruba and torpedoed oil tankers Pedernales, Oranjestad and Arkansas. U-156 then attempted to shell the Aruba refinery with its 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun, but the gun barrel burst when the first shell exploded because the gun crew failed to remove the tampion. The Germans slightly damaged a large storage tank. A Venezuelan gunboat, General Urdaneta, assisted in rescuing the crews of several torpedoed vessels, and A-20 Havoc light bombers and DB-7 Douglas Boston light bombers attacked all three U-boats unsuccessfully. As result an increased American occupation of the island began for its protection.

U-161 entered Trinidad's Gulf of Paria on 18 February 1942 to torpedo Mokihama and the oil tanker British Consul. As the U-boats settled into routine patrolling, U-67 torpedoed oil tankers J.N.Pew and Penelope, U-502 torpedoed oil tankers Kongsgaard, Thallia and Sun, U-156 torpedoed Delplata and oil tanker La Carriere, U-161 torpedoed Lihue and oil tankers Circle Shell, Uniwaleco and Esso Bolivar; and U-129 torpedoed George L. Torrain, West Zeda, Lennox, Bayou, Mary, Steel Age and the oil tanker Nordvangen. The U-156 crew used hacksaws to cut off the damaged portion of the gun barrel; and, when U-156 ran out of torpedoes, used their cut down deck gun to sink Macgregor and the oil tanker Oregon. On 10 March 1942 U-161 entered Castries harbour on Saint Lucia to torpedo Lady Nelson and Umtata. After leaving Saint Lucia, U-161 torpedoed Sarniadoc and sank the United States Coast Guard lighthouse tender Acacia with gunfire.

Downing Street announced hat General Wavell would resume his command as Commander-In-Chief of India.

Fifth Air Force. 5 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers and 3 LB-30 bombers the last aeroplane taking off just before midnight evacuate the last 260 men from Jogjakarta, the last airfields on Java in Allied hands. Ground forces are within 20 miles at this time. Bataan based P-40 fighters attack shipping in Subic Bay. The pilots claim considerable damage to the ships, but 4 of the few P-40 fighters remaining on Bataan are lost.

Go To: 3rd March
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U-156

U-67

U-129

U-161

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Sources

The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

2194 Days Of War.
ISBN-10: 086136614X

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