NAVY DEPARTMENT COMMUNIQUÉS
1-300
AND PERTINENT PRESS RELEASES


DECEMBER 10, 1941
TO
MARCH 5, 1943


UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1943

 

Foreword

March 23, 1943.


This publication contains the first 300 communiqués issued by the Navy Department during the Second World War. The first is dated December 10, 1941; the last March 5, 1943. There are also included certain press releases, such as the Secretary of the Navy's statement on Pearl Harbor dated December 15, 1941, which it is felt are of outstanding historical importance.

It will be noted that the communiqués are reprinted serially and that the press releases have been interpolated in their proper chronologic places. Where not otherwise stated all these documents were given to the press for "immediate release."

 

 

 MONTH

COMMUNIQUÉS

PAGES

 December 1941

1-22

1-14

 January 1942

22-35

15-24

 February 1942

36-48

25-35

 March 1942

49-64

35-46

 April 1942

65-74

46-51

 May 1942

75-82

52-55

 June 1942

83-92

55-62

 July 1942

93-100

62-74

 August 1942

101-116

74-85

 September 1942

117-135

85-95

 October 1942

136-175

95-125

 November 1942

176-206

121-137

 December 1942

207-234

137-152

 January 1943

235-266

152-168

 February 1943

267-294

168-182

 March 1943

295-300

182-184

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. 1                                       DECEMBER 10, 1941

 

The Navy Department announces that instructions have been issued that the remains of naval personnel, including Coast Guard and Marine Corps, lost in action be interred temporarily in the localities in which they lost their lives.  This procedure is necessitated by the difficulties of ocean transport in war.  They will be buried with full military honors.

 

 

No. 2                                       DECEMBER 11, 1941

 

The Marine garrison on Wake Island has been subject to four separate attacks in the last 48 hours by enemy aircraft and one by light naval units.  Despite the loss of part of the defending planes and the damage to material and personnel, the defending garrison succeeded in sinking one light cruiser and one destroyer of the enemy forces by air action.  A resumption of the attack and a probable landing attempt is expected.  The Marine garrison is continuing to resist.  The above report is based on information received up until noon December 11.

 

 

No. 3                                       DECEMBER 11, 1941

 

The Navy Department announced that Admiral Thomas C. Hart, U. S. Navy, Commander in Chief, United States Asiatic Fleet, has reported that Navy patrol planes scored bomb hits on a Japanese battleship of the Kongo class off the coast of Luzon.  The ship was badly damaged.  This is the second Japanese battleship to be bombed effectively by United States forces.

 

No. 4                                       DECEMBER 12, 1941

 

Naval forces continue to coordinate their efforts with the Army on land, sea and in the air against heavy Japanese attacks on the Island of

 

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Luzon.  There is no confirmation of the alleged occupation of Guam by the Japanese.  The resistance of Wake and Midway continues.  No further air activity over Hawaii has been reported.  The situation in the Atlantic remains unchanged.

The above is based on reports up to noon today.

 

No. 5                                       DECEMBER 13, 1941

 

The Navy Department announced that it is unable to communicate with Guam either by radio or cable.  The capture of the island is probable.  A small force of less than 400 naval personnel and 155 marines were stationed in Guam.  According to the last reports from Guam, the island had been bombed repeatedly and Japanese troops had landed at several points on the island.

Wake and Midway continue to resist.

The above is based on reports until 9 a. m. today.

 

No. 6                                       DECEMBER 13, 1941

 

U. S. airmen turned back the fishing vessel Alert of U. S. registry in the Gulf of Nicoya, on the west coast of Costa Rica.  The vessel was boarded on its return to port and was found to have seven Japanese in the crew.  They were taken into custody.  The Alert was loaded with a cargo of 10,000 gallons of Diesel oil.

No new developments have been reported from combat areas as of 3 p. m. (e. s. t.) today.

 

No. 7                                       DECEMBER 14, 1941

 

There have been two additional bombing attacks on Wake Island.  The first was light, the second was undertaken in great force.  Two enemy bombers were shot down.  Damage was inconsequential.

The Marines on Wake Island continue to resist.

Enemy submarines are known to be operating in the Hawaiian area.  Vigorous attacks are being made against them.

The above is based on reports up until noon today.

 

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DECEMBER 15, 1941

 

BRIEF REPORT OF CONDUCT OF NAVAL PERSONNEL DURING JAPANESE ATTACK, PEARL HARBOR, T. H., DECEMBER 7, 1941

 

The Secretary of the Navy, after making a full report to the President this morning on behalf of the Navy Department, issued the following statement this afternoon concerning the air attack on the island of Oahu on Sunday, December 7:

My inspection trip to the island enables me to present the general facts covering the attack which hitherto have been unavailable.

 

1. The essential fact is that the Japanese purpose was to knock out the United States before the war began. This was made apparent by the deception practiced, by the preparations which had gone on for many weeks before the attack, and the attacks themselves which were made simultaneously throughout the Pacific. In this purpose the Japanese failed.

2. The United States services were not on the alert against the surprise air attack on Hawaii. This fact calls for a formal investigation which will be initiated immediately by the President. Further action is, of course, dependent on the facts and recommendations made by this investigating board. We are all entitled to know it if (a) there was any error of judgment which contributed to the surprise, (b) if there was any dereliction of duty prior to the attack.

 

3. My investigation made clear that after the attack the defense by both services was conducted skillfully and bravely. The Navy lost:

 

(a) The battleship Arizona which was destroyed by the explosion  of first, its boiler and then its forward magazine due to a  bomb which was said to have literally passed down through the smokestack;

(b) The old target ship Utah which has not been used as a combatant ship for many years, and which was in service as a training ship for antiaircraft gunnery and experimental purposes;

(c) Three destroyers, the Cassin, the Downes, and the Shaw;

(d) Minelayer Oglala. This was a converted merchantman formerly a passenger ship on the Fall River Line and converted into a mine layer during the World War.

 

The Navy sustained damage to other vessels. This damage varied from ships which have been already repaired, and are ready for sea, or

 

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which have gone to sea, to a few ships which will take from a week to several months to repair. In the last category is the older battleship Oklahoma which has capsized but can be righted and repaired. The entire balance of the Pacific Fleet with its aircraft carriers, its heavy cruisers, its lights cruisers, its destroyers, and submarines are uninjured and are all at sea seeking contact with the enemy.

4. The known Japanese materiel losses were 3 submarines and 41 aircraft.

5. Army losses were severe in aircraft and some hangars, but replacements have arrived or are on their way.

 

6. The up-to-date figures of Navy killed and wounded are: officers, 91 dead and 20 wounded; enlisted men, 2,638 dead and 636 wounded.

 

The Secretary of the Navy told in some detail of many individual actions of outstanding courage.

He said:

"In the Navy's gravest hour of peril, the officers and men of the fleet exhibited magnificent courage and resourcefulness during the treacherous Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor. The real story of Pearl Harbor is not one of individual heroism, although there were many such cases. It lies in the splendid manner in which all hands did their job as long as they were able, not only under fire but while fighting the flames afterward and immediately starting salvage work and reorganization.

"Prompt action saved many lives and a vast amount of material. Without exception, all ships and stations rose to the emergency. Less than 4 minutes after the first alarm, guns of the fleet went into action against enemy aircraft. Seconds later the first Japanese plane was shot down.

"To a recruit seaman aboard a battleship probably goes the honor of striking the first telling blow in the fleet's defense. Even before 'general quarter' sounded, this youngster single-handedly manned a machine gun and blasted an attacking torpedo plane as it leveled against his ship.

"The dying captain of a battleship displayed the outstanding individual heroism of the day. As he emerged from the conning tower to the bridge, the better to fight his ship, his stomach was laid completely open by a shrapnel burst. He fell to the deck. Refusing to be carried to safety, he continued to direct the action. When the bridge became a blazing inferno, two officers attempted to remove him. But he ordered them to abandon him and save themselves. The latter found themselves blocked by the flames. Only the heroic efforts of a third officer enabled

 

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them to escape. He climbed through the fire to a higher level from which he passed one line to an adjoining battleship, and another to his trapped shipmates. By this frail means they made their way to safety.

"Entire ship's companies showed exemplary valor and coordination.  Drama was thus crowded into a few seconds on board an aircraft tender moored at the naval air station, target of the enemy's fiercest bombing and strafing. With the ship already on fire from repeated high-altitude attacks, her antiaircraft batteries downed a plane which crashed in flames on deck. At this moment her captain observed the shadow of an enemy two-man submarine approaching within a few yards of the vessel. It was placed under fire. Hits were scored immediately and the submarine exposed her conning tower. At that instant a destroyer stood down channel, passed directly over the submarine, and sank it with depth charges. Doubtless saved from this craft's torpedoes, the tender then shot down a second plane, which fell on land nearby.

"Men fought with the cool confidence that comes from complete indoctrination for battle. In one case, a single bluejacket manned a 5-inch antiaircraft gun after his 10 battery mates had been shot down by a strafing attack. He would seize a shell from the fuze-pot, place it in the tray, dash to the other side of the gun, and ram it home. He would then take his position on the pointer's seat and fire. After the third such round, a terrific explosion blew him over the side of the battleship. He was rescued.

"At the several naval air stations attacked, crews dashed into the flames enveloping planes set ablaze by incendiaries, stripped off free machine guns, and with them returned the enemy's fire. In at least one instance an enemy craft was shot down.

"Two cruiser scouting seaplanes, their speed and maneuverability reduced by heavy pontoons, destroyed an attacking Japanese pursuit ship of thrice their speed.

"Simultaneously throughout the navy yard examples of personal heroism developed. Several workmen of Japanese ancestry deserted their benches to help the Marine defense battalion man machine-gun nests. Two of them with hands blistered from hot gun barrels, required emergency treatment.

"Cool as ice, the men who manned the navy yard signal tower from which flashed orders to the anchored fleet, carried out their assignment under a hail of machine-gun fire and bombs from the enemy, as well as

 

5

 

shrapnel from their own force's antiaircraft batteries. None left his dangerous post. First to observe the invaders through their long glasses from their high vantage point, they sent out the astounding air raid warning by visual signals. Then they settled into the complex business of transmitting the scores of orders to the ships that fought back at the attackers from their berths, or prepared to stand out to sea.

"Men from ships out of action managed at any cost to return to the battle. There were the survivors of the capsized ship who swam through blazing oil to clamber aboard other ships and join gun crews. Crews from another disabled vessel swam into mid-channel where they were hoisted aboard outward-bound destroyers. Proof that getting back into battle took precedence over their own lives was the fact that the comparative safety of the shore lay only a few yards away. Lying in a hospital bed when the first air raid alarm sounded, one officer leaped up, brushed aside nurses and ran across the navy yard to his ship. He fought with such gallantry and zeal, despite his illness, that his captain recommended him for promotion.

"There was the case of the destroyer tender which lay alongside a dock undergoing major overhaul, powerless and without armament. Unable to assume an active defense role, she concerned herself with the vital task of rescue with her available ship's boats. One Naval Reserve ensign volunteered as skipper of a motor launch. With four men he proceeded across Pearl Harbor's reverberating channel through a hail of enemy machine-gun fire and shrapnel. They saved almost 100 men from 1 battleship - men who had been injured or blown overboard into the oil-fired waters. The attack on this vessel was at its height as these rescue operations proceeded. Suddenly the launch's propeller jammed. Coolly, the ensign directed the work of disengaging the screw as flames licked around its wooden hull, meantime also supervising the picking up of more victims from the harbor. His captain cited him for 'initiative, resourcefulness, devotion to duty and personal bravery displayed'.

"Four motor-torpedo boats had been loaded aboard a fleet tanker for shipment. Their youthful ensign-captains put their power-driven turret machine guns into immediate action, accounting for at least one enemy raider plane.

"To the unsung heroes of the harbor auxiliaries must go much of the credit for helping stem the onslaught. Even the lowly garbage lighters shared the grim task. One came alongside a blazing ship which

 

6

 

threatened momentarily to explode. Calmly the yardcraft's commander led fire-fighting both aboard the warship and on the surface of the harbor. He kept his tiny vessel beside the larger one for 24 hours.

"Men's will-to-fight was tremendous. One seaman had been confined to his battleship's brig for misconduct a few days earlier. When an explosion tore open the door, he dashed straight to his battle station on an antiaircraft gun. On the submarine base dock a bluejacket, carrying a heavy machine gun for which there was no mount immediately available, shot the weapon from his arms, staggering under the concussion of the rapid fire.

"Quick-thinking in the dire emergency probably saved many lives and ships. An aviation machinist's mate aboard one ship saw that flames from the huge vessel threatened a repair ship alongside. He ran through the blaze and single-handedly slashed the lines holding the two ships together. Freed, the smaller craft drew clear. Only in the final moments, when remaining aboard appeared utterly hopeless, would men leave their ships. Then they went reluctantly. Once ashore, instead of finding some dry place to recuperate from their terrific pounding, they pitched emergency quarters as near their vessels as possible. And with portable guns they continued to fight; later they stood guard at these same camps as repair operations began on their ships, setting regular shipboard watches. Like all treacherous attacks, the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese caught certain vessels of the fleet under periodic overhaul. While in this condition of repair, such ships were not able to utilize their offensive powers to the greatest effectiveness. These ships, therefore, turned to with a will at many useful purposes. One ship rescued with its boats, hundreds of survivors thrown into the water by the force of explosions; meanwhile the surface of the water was becoming a raging inferno from burning oil. Other ships sent their repair parties to help the fighting ships keep afloat. Others sent ammunition parties to maintain the flow of powder and shells to the guns. Without doubt the whole spectacle was the greatest spontaneous exhibition of cooperation, determination, and courage that the American Navy has been called upon to make. The crew of one ship followed it around on its outside as it capsized, firing their guns until they were under water. Those same men stood on the dock and cheered as one of the more fortunate ships cleared the harbor and passed by, en route after the Japanese. Of all the accounts submitted on that memorable day, the record shows a con-

 

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tinual demonstration of courage, bravery, and fearlessness of which the American Nation may well be proud."

 

No. 8                                       DECEMBER 15, 1941

 

A Norwegian motor ship was sunk while approaching the Hawaiian Isles.  The crew was rescued by naval vessels.  The Hawaiian area has otherwise been without incident.

Recent enemy bombing in the Philippine theatre has resulted in no damage to naval installations or ships.  Heavy weather in the North Atlantic hampers naval operations there.

Midway and Wake Islands continue to resist.

The above is based on reports up until noon today.

 

No. 9                                       DECEMBER 16, 1941

 

Two islands in the Hawaiian area have been shelled by Japanese war vessels within the last 24 hours.  The naval outpost of Johnston Island figured for the first time in Pacific action.  It was bombarded by ships of the enemy at dusk.  On the northeastern coast of the island of Maui, the shipping center of Kahului was shelled by an enemy submarine at about the same time.  Damage in both instances is believed to be slight.  Naval operations are continuing against the enemy.

Wake Island has sustained two additional bombing attacks.  The first occurred in the afternoon, the second in the evening.  The first attack was light, the second heavy.

Wake and Midway are countering the blows of the enemy.

 

No. 10                                     DECEMBER 17, 1941

 

It has been established that there were no injuries to personnel in the weak attack on Johnston Island reported yesterday.  The naval situation in the Atlantic remains quiet.

 

No. 11                                     DECEMBER 18, 1941

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation as of noon today:

 

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Atlantic Area.

 

The naval situation has been without incident.  Heavy weather continues in the western Atlantic.

 

Eastern Pacific.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

Central Pacific.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

Far East.

 

Submarine actions against enemy forces in the Far East have resulted in the sinking of an enemy transport and the probable loss of one enemy destroyer.

 

No. 12                                     DECEMBER 19, 1941

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation as of 9 a. m. today:

 

Atlantic Theater.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

Eastern Pacific.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

Central Pacific.

 

There have been two additional air attacks by the enemy on Wake Island.  The first occurred on the night of the 17th-18th and was comparatively light.  The second was in greater force and occurred in the forenoon of the 19th.  Wake Island continues to counter these blows. 

 

Far East.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

No. 13                                       DECEMBER 20, 1941

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué‚ on the naval

situation as of 9 a. m. (e. s. t.) today:

 

Atlantic Theater.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

9

 

Eastern Pacific.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

Central Pacific.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

Far East.

 

A U. S. submarine sank an additional enemy transport.  Cavite sustained a heavy bombing raid at noon of the 19th.  This raid caused some damage to property, but only light casualties to our own forces and civilian personnel.

 

No. 14                                     DECEMBER 21, 1941

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation as of noon today:

 

Atlantic Theater.

 

There are indications of enemy submarine activity off the East Coast of the United States.

 

Eastern Pacific.

 

Enemy submarines have been active along the west coast of the United States.  The S. S. Agwiworld was shelled by an enemy submarine.

The S. S. Emidio was also shelled and then torpedoed.  The crew abandoned ship and took to the lifeboats.  Three lifeboats were destroyed by submarine gunfire.  Thirty-two survivors have been rescued.  There were 54 in the crew.

 

Central Pacific.

 

Wake Island has sustained two additional attacks by enemy aircraft. 

 

Far East.

 

The enemy made a light air attack on Cavite.  Only slight damage resulted.

 

No. 15                                     DECEMBER 22, 1941

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué‚ on the naval situation as of noon (e. s. t.) today:

 

Atlantic Theater.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

Eastern Pacific.

 

The S. S. Samoa was attacked by an unknown submarine off the coast of California during the night of December 20.  The attack was made at close range, and consisted of gunfire followed by the discharge of a torpedo.  All shots missed their mark.  The torpedo exploded in the vicinity of the ship.  There were no casualties or damage to the Samoa.

 

Central Pacific.

 

Thirty survivors of the S. S. Lahaina have landed at Kahului on the island of Maui.  The Lahaina was shelled and sunk by an enemy submarine on December 11 while en route to San Francisco.  Two of the crew are dead and two are missing.

There has been no enemy activity in the vicinity of Midway Island

recently.

 

Far East.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

No. 16                                     DECEMBER 23, 1941

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to 9 a. m. (e. s. t.) today:

 

Atlantic Theater.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

Eastern Pacific.

 

Two U. S. merchant ships were attacked by enemy submarines off the Pacific Coast.  Both attacks were unsuccessful.

 

Central Pacific.

 

Wake Island sustained another strong air attack in the forenoon of the 22d.  Several enemy planes were shot down.  An enemy force effected a landing on Wake the morning of the 23d.

 

Far East.

 

Japanese claims of seizure of a large number of American merchant vessels are without foundation.  The only U. S. merchant vessel known to have been seized by the Japanese is the S. S. President Harrison.

 

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No. 17                                     DECEMBER 24, 1941

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to 9 a. m. (e. s. t.) today:

 

Atlantic Theater.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

Eastern Pacific.

 

The S. S. Larry Doheny was shelled by an enemy submarine, but reached port safely.  Press reports of the sinking of the S. S. Montebello are confirmed.

 

Central Pacific.

 

Radio communication with Wake has been severed and the capture of the island is probable.  Two enemy destroyers were lost in the final landing operations.

Palmyra Island was shelled by an enemy submarine.  Damage was negligible.  There were no casualties.  Johnston Island was also shelled by an enemy submarine with no damage to material and no casualties resulting.

The Hawaiian area was quiet.

 

Far East.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

No. 18                                     DECEMBER 26, 1941

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to 9 a. m. (e. s. t.) today:

 

Far East.

 

Press reports of U. S. submarine activities in the Far East on Christmas Day are confirmed.  A dispatch from Admiral Hart states that one enemy transport and one mine sweeper have been sunk.  An additional transport and one seaplane tender are probably sunk.

Manila has been declared an open city as defined in Hague Convention (IV) of 1907, Annex, Article 25.  Our forces have complied with the stipulations of that convention.

 

Central Pacific.

 

Enemy reports that 3,000 naval and marine personnel were engaged in the defense of Wake Island are incorrect.  The total strength of the

 

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garrison was less than 400 officers and men. There were approximately 1,000 civilians engaged in construction work on the island, which may account for the enemy statement that 1,400 prisoners were captured. 

 

Eastern Pacific.

 

Naval operations against enemy submarines are being vigorously prosecuted.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 19                                     DECEMBER 27, 1941

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to noon (e. s. t.) today:

 

Far East.

 

During enemy bombing attacks two of our destroyers sustained minor damage.  There were no casualties to personnel.

 

Eastern Pacific.

 

Enemy submarines still are operating in the West Coast shipping lanes.  Due to the effective countermeasures adopted by our forces they arc experiencing great difficulty in prosecuting their attacks.

 

Central Pacific.

 

Countermeasures against enemy submarines patrolling in the Hawaiian area are being vigorously prosecuted.

 

Atlantic Theater.

 

There are no new developments to report.

 

No. 20                                     DECEMBER 29, 1941

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to 9 a. m. (e. s. t.) today:

 

Far East.

 

U. S. submarines have sunk two additional ships of the enemy.  One was a transport, the other a supply vessel.

During enemy air operations one of our destroyers was attacked.  Slight damage and minor casualties resulted.

 

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      Central Pacific.

 

Thirteen survivors of the S. S. Prusa, torpedoed by an enemy submarine on December i8, have been rescued.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 21                                     DECEMBER 30, 1941

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to noon today:

 

Far East.

 

Submarine operations against enemy surface craft are continuing.  Reports that a U. S. destroyer and two of our submarines were sunk in the period December 26-28 are without foundation.

 

Central Pacific.

 

The situation in respect to Midway Island remains unchanged.  There have been no further attacks since last reported.

 

Eastern Pacific.

 

Japanese vessels are suspected of being in the vicinity of Kodiak.  All merchant vessels have been warned.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 22                                     DECEMBER 31, 1941

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to noon (e. s. t.) today:

 

Central Pacific.

 

The naval situation in respect to Maui, Johnston, and Palmyra Islands remains unchanged.  There have been no further attacks since last reported.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

NOTE.-The Navy makes no claims of enemy losses, except when borne out by positive evidence.  The Navy will not indulge in the common enemy practice of estimating losses, but will report only such facts as can be substantiated.

 

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No. 23                                     JANUARY 2, 1942

 

The U. S. naval base at Cavite was evacuated before the enemy entered Manila.  All records, equipment, and stores that were not destroyed by bombing were removed prior to evacuation by naval personnels.  All industrial and supply facilities, including fuel, were destroyed.  The personnel of the naval hospital remained at their posts at the Naval Hospital, Canacao, to care for the wounded.  All ships and naval personnel were removed from the Manila-Cavite area prior to enemy occupation.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 24                                     JANUARY 5, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué on the naval situation based on reports received up to noon (e. s. t.) today:

 

Far East.

 

The U. S. S. Heron, a small seaplane tender, while engaged in action with enemy planes over a period of 7 hours sustained 1 direct bomb hit and 3 very near misses.  The Heron was attacked by a total of 10 four-engined flying boats and 5 twin-engined landplane bombers.  Forty-six 100-pound bombs were dropped by the enemy planes and 3 torpedoes were launched at her sides.  Due to very skillful handling, the ship most courageously fought against overwhelming odds, and destroyed 1 four-engined flying boat, badly damaged at least 1 other and probably more.  The ship though receiving damage from one bomb that found its mark managed to reach port safely.  The Commander in Chief of the Asiatic Fleet, Thomas S. Hart, in accordance with an order of the Secretary of the Navy has awarded the Navy Cross to the Commanding Officer, Lt.  William Leverette Kabler, and recommended that he be advanced immediately to the rank of lieutenant commander.  Further recommendations regarding other personnel will be made at a later date.

It has been ascertained from late information that the patients and staff at the Naval Hospital, Canacao, near Cavite, were evacuated to Manila prior to the occupation of that city by the enemy.

 

Atlantic Area.

 

The merchant ship Marconi flying the Panamanian flag but reported to be of Italian ownership was captured and brought into Cristobal Canal Zone, and turned over to the courts for adjudication.

 

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The submarine situation in the Atlantic area and off the West Coast of the United States remains unchanged.

The Hawaiian area was quiet.

 

 

No. 25                                     JANUARY 8, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to noon (e. s. t.) today:

 

Far East.

 

The commanding officer of a U. S. submarine of the Asiatic Fleet has reported the sinking of an enemy transport. In addition this vessel succeeded in sinking three enemy cargo vessels, each estimated to be of 10,000 tons displacement.

 

Central Pacific.

 

The defense of Wake Island by United States Marines has been cited by the President of the United States as follows:

 

THE WHITE HOUSE,

Washington, January 5, 1942.

 

Citation by

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

of

The Wake detachment of the First Defense Battalion, U. S. Marine Corps,

under command of Maj. James P. S. Devereux, U. S. Marines

 

AND

 

Marine Fighting Squadron 211 Of Marine Aircraft Group 21, Under command of Maj. Paul A.  Putnam, U. S. Marines

 

"The courageous conduct of the officers and men of these units, who defended Wake Island against an overwhelming superiority of enemy air, sea, and land attacks from December 8 to 22, 1941, has been noted with admiration by their fellow countrymen and the civilized world, and will not be forgotten so long as gallantry and heroism are respected and honored.  These units are commended for their devotion to duty and splendid conduct at their battle stations under most adverse conditions.

 

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      With limited defensive means against attacks in great force, they manned their shore installations and flew their aircraft so well that five enemy warships were either sunk or severely damaged, many hostile planes shot down, and an unknown number of land troops destroyed."

 

***

 

Wake.

 

An increase of two Japanese warships-a destroyer and a gunboat-over the originally reported cruiser, submarine, and three destroyers that the Japs lost in the attack on Wake Island, was indicated in two reports to Marine Corps Headquarters, received from the Pacific area.

These reports were sent from Wake Island by a patrol plane.  One, written on December 20, is from Maj. Paul A. Putnam, commanding aviation on Wake.  The other is a day-by-day account of marine aviation's participation in the battle of Wake Island up to December 20 by Maj. W. Bayler.

The day-by-day record of the battle, though not an official report, is Major Bayler's account of what marine aviation and Major Devereux's men did.

Major Bayler's report has but little reference to the Marines on the isle besides the aviation group, but one brief note-"Japs closed into 4,700 yards before 5- and 3-inch guns opened up at point blank range"-indicates a cool courage on the part of Devereux's men that ranks with the classic it "whites of their eyes" line of Bunker Hill, in the opinion of ranking officers at Marine Corps Headquarters.

Added to the two Japanese destroyers which were lost in the final phase of the battle of December 22, the new information received brings Japanese losses in taking the Island of Wake up to a total of seven warships-one cruiser, four destroyers, one submarine, and one gunboat.

Major Bayler was on temporary duty in Wake in connection with the establishment of a base of operations for the Marine Corps Aviation unit.  This unit, composed of 12 planes, with pilots, 49 ground personnel, arrived shortly before the outbreak of hostilities. Following is a copy of the penciled notes the major made from the records kept by him and sent to the Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet.  He was present at Wake until December 20.

 

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SYNOPSIS OF EVENTS (WAKE LOCAL TIME) DECEMBER 8-20

 

Dec. 8,
7 a. m-11:58 a. m.

Received word bombing Oahu.
General quarters station. 24 Jap bombers on a northern course hit airdrome in close column of division "V's" from 3,000 feet. 100-pound fragmentation bombs and simultaneous strafing.
Casualties 25 dead, 7 wounded, 7 airplanes  burned, destroyed.

Dec. 9,
11:45 a. m

27 Japs. Bombed hospital, Camp No. 2. Killed several patients, 3 dead.  Got one Jap plane.

Dec. 10,
10:45 a. m

27 Jap bombers.  No casualties.

Dec. 11,
5 a. m.

Landing attempt by 12 Jap ships, including light cruisers, destroyers, gunboats, 2 troop or supply ships. Jap casualties: 1 light cruiser, 2 destroyers, 1 gunboat, 2 bombers.
NOTE.-That Japs closed in to 4,700 yards  before 5- and 3-inch guns opened up at point blank range.

Dec. 12

27 Jap planes bombed Peale and Wake from 22,000 feet. No casualties.

Dec. 13

All quiet.

Dec. 14

32 Jap planes hit airdrome. Two killed, 1 plane down (own destroyed by bombs).

Dec. 15,
11 a. m

Dawn raid by 3 four-engine seaplanes. 27 Jap bombers.  Shot down 2 Japs.

Dec. 16,
5:45 p. m

41 Jap bombers hit Camp 2 and airdrome. Jap four-motor plane raid.  One Jap shot down.

Dec. 17

32 Jap bombers at 1317 hit Camp 1, Peale Island, Diesel oil supply, mess hall, and pumps of evaporators, Camp 1.

Dec. 18,
11:40 a. m

One Jap high rec. plane (2 engine) (photo?).

Dec. 19,
10:30 a. m.

Jap bombers hit airport and camp.

Dec. 20

All quiet-first day of bad weather.

 

Total casualties:

      28 dead, 6 wounded as of Dec. 20 from VMF-211.

 

NOTES:

(1) Jap bombers of Dornier type, two-engine, twin-tail, 160 knots.

(2) Attack formations always in form of line of division V's in close formation. Excellent air discipline.

(3) Nine sure Jap bombers shot down; three more possibly.  One  four-engine  boat.  1 CL, 2 DD, 1 gunboat.

 

Major Putnam's report of operations to his commanding officer in Pearl Harbor goes into more detail on the efforts of the tiny aviation complement to keep the planes that were left after the first attack in the air against each new attack.

 

18

 

Of the original aviation force of 12 officers and 49 enlisted men, 19 enlisted men and 8 officers were still on duty by December 20.  Of these, 4 enlisted men and 2 officers were wounded but still on duty.  One officer and 6 enlisted men were in the hospital and "doing nicely".  The remainder, 3 officers and 24 men, were dead.

The letter relates that four planes were in the air against the Japs at the time of the first raid.  The other eight were on the ground being serviced between flights, and of these seven were destroyed and one was slightly damaged.  One of the planes that was in the air later taxied into debris on the field—the wreckage of the first raid—and bent its propeller.

The Marine fighters, up to December 20, had made contact with the enemy seven times, had shot down five Japs in flames, four more had "been claimed by pilots but not verified and several are known to have been damaged.  Of the four claimed one was a four-engined sea plane."

Discussing the surface attack of December 11, Putnam reported "4 airplanes (Marine planes) made a total of 10 attacks, operating in a greatly overloaded condition and performing splendidly...We claim the sinking of 1 ship and serious damage to another." The guns of Devereux's force evidently accounted for the remainder of the ships reported destroyed in Major Bayler's synopsis.  In the attack on December 11, 1 plane was lost, "a washout on the rocky beach."

After the attack on December 14, which saw two Marine planes destroyed, "one plane on the ground by enemy action and one crashed on the take-off" the Marines had "only two operating airplanes, one of which gives constant trouble so that two planes in the air at one time is the exception rather than the rule." At one time only one serviceable plane was left to Major Putnam's squadron, but the mechanics and ground crews evidently made an additional plane, or even planes out of the wreckage of the remainder.

Lauding the work of the ground crews at Wake, Major Putnam wrote since that time (the first raid) parts and assemblies have been traded back and forth so that no airplane can be identified.  Engines have been traded from plane to plane, have been junked, stripped, rebuilt, and all but created."

Continuing his praise for the men under him, Major Putnam wrote "all hands have behaved splendidly and held up in a manner of which the Marine Corps may well tell.  I have no report to make regarding

 

19

 

any officer or man being outstanding in bravery or fortitude; they have all acquitted themselves with equal distinction.  On the other hand, I particularly wish to comment on the indefatigable labor, and ingenuity, skill, and technical knowledge of Lieutenant Kinney and Technical Sergeant Hamilton.  It is solely due to their efforts that the squadron is still operating."

Discussing the living conditions on the airdrome as they were on December 11, Major Putnam said "Personnel are living in dugouts made by the contractor's men and equipment.  Not comfortable but adequate against all but direct bomb hits.  Feeding is from the contractor's galley, a truck making the rounds with hot food twice daily.  Sanitation is only fair, but so far have had only a mild flurry of diarrhea.  Fresh water is adequate for drinking, but salt water is used for all other purposes."

The tone of the entire report indicates no particular anxiety on the part of the air group at Wake.  They were there under orders with a job to do.  They were doing the job and would continue to do it until circumstances beyond their control forced them to discontinue their efforts.  They had kept these circumstances under control for almost 2 weeks and they would continue to do so.

At no time during the siege were more than four Marine planes in operation, Putnam reported, but the verified total that these planes took of the Japanese was one ship, one submarine, and five Jap planes.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

***

 

No. 26                                     JANUARY 9, 1942

 

Far East.

 

The S. S. Ruth Alexander, attacked by an enemy plane in Netherlands East Indies waters has been abandoned and declared a total loss.  One of the crew was killed and four were injured.  The balance of the survivors are safe in a friendly port.  The Ruth Alexander of the American President Lines was a vessel of 8,000 gross tons.

 

Central Pacific.

 

Operations continue against enemy submarines.  The Hawaiian area is quiet.

 

20

 

Eastern Pacific.

 

Coastal defense plans have resulted in a narrowing of enemy submarine operations off the West Coast.

 

Atlantic Area.

 

A report that an enemy submarine was operating in New England waters has been thoroughly investigated.  The area has been searched without tangible results.  Otherwise, Atlantic operations have been without incident.

 

No. 27                                     JANUARY 11, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to noon (e. s. t.) today:

 

Central Pacific.

 

The naval station at Tutuila, Samoan Islands, was shelled shortly after midnight Sunday, January 11, Samoan time by a small enemy vessel.  Fourteen shells of light caliber landed in the naval station area.  The only casualties were three slight injuries to personnel.  There was no material damage to the naval station itself.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 28                                     JANUARY 15, 1942

 

Far East.

 

A 17,000-ton Japanese merchant ship of the Yawata class has been sunk by an American submarine.

There is nothing to report from other Pacific areas.

 

Atlantic Area.

 

The menace of enemy submarines off the East Coast of the United States remains substantial. 

There is nothing to report from other Atlantic areas.

 

21

 

No. 29                                     JANUARY 16, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to 9 a. m (e. s. t.) today:

 

Far East.

 

Units of the U. S. Asiatic Fleet report the sinking of five enemy vessels in Far Eastern waters.  They include two large cargo ships, two large transports and one medium-sized transport.  These sinkings are in addition to enemy casualties at sea previously reported.

 

Atlantic Area.

 

The submarine situation along the northeast coast of the United States remains unchanged.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 30                                     JANUARY 17, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to 5 p. m. (e. s. t.) today:

 

Far East.

 

A U. S. submarine has sunk three enemy merchant ships off Tokio Bay.

Admiral Thomas C. Hart has assumed control of Allied naval forces in Far Eastern waters.

 

Atlantic Area.

 

Enemy submarine activities off the northeast coast of the United States continue.

There are no further developments to report from other areas.

 

No. 31                                     JANUARY 20, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to noon (e. s. t.) today:

 

Far East.

 

A motor torpedo boat under Admiral Hart's Far Eastern Command entered Binanga Bay, inside the entrance to Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, and torpedoed an unidentified enemy vessel of 5,000 tons in a night attack.  This small boat carried out its difficult task while under fire of machine guns and 3 inch shore batteries.  Lt.  John D. Bulkeley has been commended for executing his mission successfully.

 

22

 

Atlantic Area.

 

Enemy submarine activity is continuing off the East Coast of North America from Cape Hatteras to Newfoundland.  The sinkings of the tankers, Norness, Coimbra, and Allan Jackson have been accompanied by attacks on other vessels within the territorial limits of the United States.  Strong counter measures are being taken by units of the Navy's East Coastal Command.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 32                                     JANUARY 24, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to 5 p. m. (e. s. t.) today:

 

Far East.

 

The Navy Department has been advised by the Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet, that United States' destroyers made a night attack on an enemy convoy in the Makassar Straits.  Our forces made several torpedo hits and close range gun hits on destroyers and transports.  The effect of the attack was that one large enemy ship was blown up; another was sunk; a third was listing heavily when last sighted, and considerable damage was inflicted upon other vessels.

Our destroyers received only slight damage.  Our only casualties were four men wounded, one seriously and three slightly.

 

Atlantic Area.

 

Enemy submarines are operating off the East Coast of the United States as far south as Savannah, Ga.  Countermeasures against their activities are continuing with favorable results.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 33                                     JANUARY 25, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to 9 p. m. (e. s. t.) today:

 

Far East.

 

United States cruisers and destroyers of the Asiatic Fleet have sunk five additional enemy transports, and probably one other, in the Makassar Straits without loss to our attacking forces.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

23

 

No. 34                                     JANUARY 26, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to 4 p. m. (e. s. t.) today:

 

Far East.

 

U. S. naval forces have scored further successes against Japanese convoys in the Makassar Strait.  Heavy hits on enemy destroyers and transports have been effected.  While it is still impossible to estimate total damage inflicted by our combat vessels, the known results are substantial.

Additional reports to the Navy Department of continuing action state that an American submarine has torpedoed an enemy aircraft carrier, which is believed to have sunk.

Dispatches also advise that another U. S. motor torpedo boat under the command of Ensign George Cox sank a 5,000-ton enemy vessel in a second torpedo boat raid close to Subic Bay.

The attack succeeded in the face of heavy fire at close range from enemy shore batteries and machine-gun fire from the Japanese ship.  The motor torpedo boat penetrated the water adjacent to its objective despite net and boom defenses laid down by the enemy.

Participating in the attack with Ensign Cox were Lt. John D. Bulkeley, MTB squadron commander and Lt. (jg) Edward G. DeLong, squadron engineer.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 35                                     JANUARY 29, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, on the naval situation based on reports received up to 4 p. m. (e. s. t.) today:

 

Central Pacific.

 

Two enemy submarines appeared off Midway Island with the intention of shelling it.  They were driven away by the artillery fire of our garrison.  One hit was scored on one of the attacking submarines.  No damage was inflicted on the Midway Garrison and there were no injuries to personnel. 

 

Atlantic Area.

 

Enemy submarines continue to operate off the East Coast of the United States and are reported as far south as Florida.  Counter measures by our forces are increasingly effective.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

24

 

No. 36                                     FEBRUARY 1, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué on the naval situation based on reports received up to noon (e. s. t.) today:

 

Central Pacific.

 

A surprise attack has been made upon Japanese naval and air bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.  The attack was executed by surface and air units of the United States Pacific Fleet.

In the Marshalls, bases on the Islands of Jaluit, Wotje, Kwajalein, Roi (in the Kwajalein Atoll), and Taroa (in the Maloelap Atoll) were raided.

Makin Island, occupied by the Japanese since December 7, 1941, also was attacked.

Admiral Nimitz reports that while no large enemy combatant vessels were found many enemy fleet auxiliaries were sunk, beached or otherwise damaged extensively.

Japanese military installations on shore were hit hard by naval aviation units and shell fire.  Many enemy airplanes were destroyed both on the ground and in the air.

Our naval aircraft struck the enemy positions and ships with bombs, torpedoes and guns.

Our surface ships meanwhile heavily bombarded several of the enemy's key shore positions.

Two of our surface vessels received minor damage from near bomb misses.

Eleven American aircraft failed to return from the attack.  Our total personnel losses are not yet known, but are believed to have been slight.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 37                                     FEBRUARY 3, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué on the naval situation based on reports up to 5 p. m. (e. s. t.) today:

 

1. A motor torpedo boat of Admiral Hart's Far Eastern Command is believed to have torpedoed an enemy warship in night action inside Manila Bay.  Although under heavy fire of the warship's guns and in the full glare of her searchlights, the motor torpedo boat managed to fire two torpedoes and to survive the action without being hit.

 

25

 

2. A naval battalion composed of bluejackets and marines has been organized and is fighting on Bataan Peninsula with General MacArthur's command.

3. The U. S. S. Neches, a naval tanker, has been torpedoed and sunk by an enemy submarine.  One hundred and twenty-six members of the crew have reached port safely.  Fifty-six men are as yet unaccounted for.

 

No. 38                                     FEBRUARY 7, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué, outlining the naval situation as of noon (e. s. t.) February 7, 1942:

 

Far East.

 

The following new naval commands have been established to take effect immediately:

 

1. Forces which formerly constituted the Asiatic Fleet are now known as the U. S. Naval Forces, Southwest Pacific.  Vice Admiral William A. Glassford, Jr., U. S. Navy, commands these forces.

2. Admiral Thomas C. Hart is Commander of the combined Naval forces in the ABDA (American-British-Dutch-Australian) Area.

3. Combined Naval Forces of the Australian-New Zealand Area have been established with Vice Admiral Herbert F. Leary, U. S. Navy, in command.  His title is Commander Anzac Forces.

 

Atlantic Area.

 

Axis submarines continue to operate over a wide area in the Atlantic Ocean, including the coastal waters of the United States.  Their attacks on Allied merchant shipping are being combated vigorously with increasing success by our forces.

 

No. 39                                     FEBRUARY 12, 1942

 

(For release morning papers, Friday, February 13, 1942)

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Central Pacific.

 

On February 1, 1942, the Navy Department announced that units of the United States Pacific Fleet had made surprise attacks on Japanese naval and air bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.  The results of these attacks are now available.

 

26 

 

On January 31, 1942, Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., in command of a well-balanced force of aircraft carriers, cruisers and destroyers raided the Japanese strongholds on Roi, Kwajalein, Wotje, Taroa, and Jaluit Islands of the Marshall group and Makin Island in the Gilbert group.

The results of these separate actions follow:

 

Roi Island.

 

On this island of the Kwajalein Atoll a well-equipped air base was located with 12 fighter planes and several bombers.  Two hangars, an ammunition dump, all fuel storage, all other storage and warehouses, a radio building, and 3 fighter planes and 6 scout bombers in the air, in addition to 1 bomber on the ground, were destroyed.

 

Kwajalein Island.

 

At this anchorage 10 surface ships, 5 submarines and a seaplane base were located.  Our attacking forces destroyed 1 converted 17,000-ton aircraft carrier of the Yawata class, 11 fight cruiser, 1 destroyer, 3 large fleet tankers, 1 cargo vessel, 2 submarines and 2 large seaplanes.  Other enemy vessels were badly damaged.

Our losses in the two above attacks were four scout bombers.

 

Wotje Atoll.

 

No planes were found on the Wotje Atoll.  There were present, however, 9 vessels of various categories in the harbor. 4 cargo vessels of about 5,000 tons each were destroyed in addition to three smaller ships.  The entire shore installation consisting of two hangars, oil and gasoline stowage, shops and storehouses two antiaircraft batteries and 5 coastal guns, was completely destroyed.

There was no damage or loss to our attacking forces.

 

Taroa Island.

 

On this island a new, well-equipped airfield was attacked. Two hangars, all fuel tanks, and industrial buildings were destroyed.  Seven fighter planes and five scout bombers in the air, plus five fighters and six bombers on the ground were also destroyed.

Our only loss in this attack was one scout bomber.  In addition, a U. S. cruiser sustained a hit from one small bomb.

 

RECAPITULATION

 

Enemy losses from Admiral Halsey's combined attacks included 1 converted 17,000-ton aircraft carrier of the Yawata class, 1 light cruiser,

 

27

 

1 destroyer, 3 large fleet tankers, 2 submarines, 5 cargo vessels, and 3 smaller ships while several other ships were badly damaged.  Two large seaplanes, 15 fighter planes, 11 scout bombers, and 10 additional bombers seaplanes were also destroyed.

In addition, destruction to enemy shore establishments was as follows:

 

At Roi-Two hangars, ammunition dumps, fuel stowage, all store

and warehouses, and the radio building.

 

At Wotje-Entire shore installation-two hangars, oil and gas stowage, 

shops and storehouses, two antiaircraft batteries, and five

intermediate coastal guns.

 

At Taroa-Two hangars, all fuel tanks, and industrial buildings.

 

The raid of our forces on the Island of Jaluit was conducted in a heavy rainstorm.  Our aircraft attacked two enemy auxiliary vessels, badly damaging one of them.

At Makin Island, these forces destroyed two enemy patrol planes and badly damaged one auxiliary vessel.  In addition, one enemy patrol plane was destroyed at sea.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

***

 

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE TO EDITORS

 

This communiqué in no way changes the 12 noon (e. w. t.) Friday, February 13, release date of the correspondents' stories filed from Honolulu.

 

No. 40                                     FEBRUARY 13, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué based on additional reports of the Marshall and Gilbert islands' action of January 31, 1942.

 

Central Pacific.

 

Enemy losses in the naval raid of January 31, 1942, conducted by ships and planes of the U. S. Pacific Fleet against Japanese bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands totaled 16 ships and 41 planes.

Our losses totaled 11 scout bombers which failed to return, 4 from the Islands of Roi and Kwajalein, 1 from the Island of Taroa, and 6 from the Islands of Jaluit and Makin.

 

28

 

In carrying out the raids on the several islands Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., divided his surface and air forces into self-sustaining units.  Timing the arrival of each force at its destination perfectly, he was able to carry out simultaneous and highly destructive attacks on each island.

Rear Admiral Frank J. Fletcher, acting under orders of Admiral Halsey, led the forces which made the attacks against the Islands of Jaluit and Makin.

Vice Admiral Halsey has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for planning and conducting these brilliant and audacious attacks on Japanese strongholds and for driving them home with great skill and determination.

Commander Miles R. Browning, Chief of Staff to Admiral Halsey, has been recommended for promotion to captain.

Appropriate rewards to other officers and men may be expected later when all recommendations have been received and acted upon.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 41                                     FEBRUARY 19, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, outlining the naval situation as of noon (e. w. t.) February 19, 1942:

 

Far East.

 

A U. S. submarine has sunk a 5,000-ton cargo ship in the East China Sea.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

 

No. 42                                     FEBRUARY 21, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, outlining the naval situation as of noon (e. w. t.) February 21, 1942:

 

Far East.

 

Six U. S. destroyers in company with Dutch warships attacked the Japanese landing force on the Island of Bali and sank two enemy destroyers.  Our destroyers suffered only slight damage and minor loss of personnel.

In addition to the naval battalion composed of bluejackets and marines fighting with General MacArthur's command considerable equipment salvaged from Cavite and other sources of naval supply has been used to good advantage in the defense of the Bataan Peninsula.

 

29

 

Rear Admiral Francis W. Rockwell, U. S. Navy, Commandant of the Sixteenth Naval District, the senior naval officer fighting with General  MacArthur, reports that this equipment consists of 3-inch and 4-inch artillery as well as boat guns and machine guns of several types, with grenades, aircraft bombs and ammunition.  A large number of hand depth charges have been available.

Stores of gasoline, Diesel oil and lubricating oil were saved and are being used in field operations.  Motor launches, tugs and facilities for repair of artillery, tanks, and trucks have been provided in addition to electrical and ordnance supplies.

Personnel of the naval air base organization who were previously employed on Government contracts have constructed and repaired airfields and roads in the fighting area.  Such heavy equipment as steam shovels tractors, cranes, trucks and graders have been operated by this organization to useful advantage on Bataan and Corregidor.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 43                                     FEBRUARY 23, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, outlining the naval situation based on reports received up to 8 a. m. (e. w. t.),

February 23, 1942:

 

Atlantic Area.

 

The Coast Guard Cutter Alexander Hamilton was torpedoed by an enemy submarine off Iceland.  While being towed into port the ship capsized and had to be sunk by gunfire.

Loss of personnel which occurred when the ship was torpedoed was moderate.  Next of kin of those lost have been notified.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 44                                     FEBRUARY 24, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, outlining the naval situation based on reports received up to 9:30 a. m. (e. w. t.)

February 24, 1942:

 

30

 

Atlantic Area.

 

The U. S. S. Truxtun, a World War destroyer, and the U. S. S. Pollux, a cargo ship, ran aground in foul weather off the coast of Newfoundland and were lost.

Due to the extremely difficult surf caused by the gale raging in the Atlantic and the bitterness of the winter weather loss of life was heavy on both vessels.  Heroic efforts to swim lines ashore failed due to the inability to handle them when they became oil soaked.

A breeches buoy was finally rigged to a ledge at sea level, but some of the survivors were washed away before they could be gotten to the top of the cliff that lined the rocky shore.

The Truxtun broke up almost immediately after grounding and soon thereafter the Pollux did likewise.

The survivors owe their rescue in large measure to the tireless, efficient and in many cases heroic action of the people of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland.

The next of kin of those lost in this tragic drama of the sea have been notified.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 45                                     FEBRUARY 25, 1942

 

Far East.

 

The Secretary of the Navy issued the following communiqué, summarizing previously published losses inflicted by U. S. naval forces upon the Japanese Navy and Merchant Marine in the period from December 10, 1941 until February 24, 1942, inclusive.  The following information is compiled from Navy Department Communiqués beginning with No. 1 and ending with No. 44, and complements similar information summarizing enemy losses and damage published in recent communiqués of the United States Army.

In accordance with its previously announced policy, the Navy does not indulge in the practice of overstating the losses that we inflict upon the enemy, or of understating the losses inflicted on us.  The Navy will report only such facts as can be substantiated.  Thus the tabulation of vessels damaged does not include many enemy ships thought to have been damaged, lack of conclusive evidence precluding specific announcements in these instances.

 

31

 

Submarines known to be sunk include only those sunk during the heroic defense of Wake Island and during the recent raid on the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.  In accordance with the established Navy Department policy submarine sinkings are never announced until it is reasonably certain that the enemy has become cognizant of their loss.  This explains the time lag in connection with various reports.  There is evidence, however, of further sinkings of enemy submarines in Pacific waters, but their announcement will not be made public until full reports have been made to the Navy Department and absolute surety is determined.

Prior to the vicious attack made on the United Nations by the Japanese Empire on December 7, 1941, the pride of the Japanese Merchant Marine consisted of three 17,000-ton luxury ships of the Yawata class.  One of these ships is known to have been converted to serve as an aircraft carrier.  The United States naval forces have sunk one merchantman of the Yawata class, and one aircraft carrier of the same class, leaving only one such vessel known to be in service with the enemy.

Tabulation follows, by type of vessel:

 

Battleships.....................................    1 of Kongo class damaged.

Aircraft carriers.............................    1 sunk, 1 believed sunk.

Cruisers.........................................    2 sunk.

Destroyers.....................................    7 sunk, 1 believed sunk.

Submarines....................................    3 sunk, 1 damaged.

Seaplane tenders............................    1 believed sunk.

Mine sweepers...............................    1 sunk.

Gunboats.......................................    1 sunk.

Fleet tankers..................................    3 sunk.

Transports..................................... 13 sunk, 2 believed sunk.

Supply ships and merchantmen........ 16 sunk.

Miscellaneous (type unidentified).....    6 sunk, 2 believed sunk, 3  damaged.

 

SUMMARY

 

Total announced losses inflicted upon the Japanese in the period  outlined above are as follows:

 

Combatant vessels.......................... 5 sunk, 3 believed sunk,  2 damaged.

Noncombatant vessels.................... 38 sunk, 4 believed sunk, 3 damaged.

Total combatant and noncombatant.. 53 sunk, 7 believed sunk, 5 damaged.

 

Atlantic Area.

 

During January 1942, 22 ships of the United Nations registry had torpedoes fired at them in waters contiguous to the United States. In

 

32

 

addition 38 other ships were attacked in the area west of 30° west longitude.  One enemy submarine is believed to have been sunk, 3 are believed to have been damaged and 34 additional attacks were inconclusive in evidence of damage.

In February, up to and including the 23d instant, 23 ships of the United Nations have been attacked by enemy submarines in U. S. coastal waters and 31 additional ships in the area west of 30° west longitude.  Two enemy submarines are believed to have been sunk and 1 damaged in these areas.  In addition, 15 attacks have been made on enemy submarines by our forces with inconclusive results.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 46                                     February 27, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué outlining the naval situation based on reports received up to noon (e. w. t.) February 27, 1942.

 

Far East.

 

The following submarine commanders have been awarded the Navy Cross in recognition of their especially meritorious conduct during actions with the enemy:

 

Lt. Comdr. C. C. Smith, U. S. N.

Lt. Comdr. K. C. Hurd, U. S. N.

Lt. Comdr. W. L. Wright, U. S. N.

Lt. Comdr. M. C. Mumma, Jr., U. S. N.

Lt. Comdr. E. B. McKinney, U. S. N.

Lt. J. C. Dempsey, U. S. N.

Lt. W. G. Chapple, U. S. N.

 

Citations are not yet available as the above awards were made in the sphere of action by the Commander of United States Naval Forces, Southwest Pacific, Vice Admiral William A. Glassford, Jr., U. S. Navy.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 47                                     FEBRUARY 28, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué:

 

The Secretary of the Navy announced today the acceptance, effective March 1, 1942, of the application for retirement of Rear Admiral H. E.

 

33

 

Kimmel, U. S. N., "without condonation of any offense or prejudice to any future disciplinary action."

The Secretary of the Navy announced at the same time that, based upon the findings of the report of the Roberts Commission he had directed the preparation of charges for the trial by court-martial of Rear Admiral Kimmel, alleging dereliction of duty.  The Secretary of the Navy made it clear, however, that the trial upon these charges would not be held until such time as the public interest and safety would permit.

 

 

No. 48                                     FEBRUARY 28, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, outlining the Naval situation based on reports received up to 4 p. m. (e. w. t.), February 28, 1942:

 

Far East.

 

On February 27 a major action occurred in which combined Dutch, British, Australian, and United States naval forces engaged a much larger enemy force of combatant vessels covering 40 transports attempting a landing on the north coast of Java.

From fragmentary reports received in the Navy Department American naval forces participating in this action consisted of one heavy cruiser and five destroyers.

A landing on Java by the enemy was not effected.

The Japanese heavy cruiser Mogami and three enemy destroyers were put out of action in the attempt.  When last seen, enemy transports were retiring to the northward.

None of our vessels suffered heavy damage in the initial phase of this battle for Java, and our forces are still intact despite the overwhelming superiority in numbers of the enemy naval forces.

Further action can be expected from this area.

Reports from U. S. submarines operating in the Far East are as follows:

On February 23 two torpedo hits were effected on one large ship of the enemy.

On February 24 two torpedo hits were effected on one large enemy auxiliary vessel.

On February 25 one torpedo hit was effected on an enemy transport and one torpedo hit on a type unknown.

 

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In addition, date unknown, one of our submarines registered a torpedo hit on an enemy transport.

All of these ships of the enemy are believed sunk.

 

No. 49                                     MARCH 2, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué: Admiral Ernest J. King, U. S. Navy, Commander in Chief, United States

Fleet, made the following statement today:

"I have noted the widespread interest in the press about what the United States Fleets are doing.  Did this interest not exist I should be deeply concerned.

"As to the activities of our fleets, the public can count with certainty upon being furnished all information which does not give aid and comfort to the enemy.  The traditional title of the Navy as "The Silent Service" is, however, based on experience and necessity.  It will have to be maintained.

"On the other hand I can say, that while no miracles are to be expected, an all-out effort is being made in the unspectacular but vitally essential task of establishing our sea and air communications.

"Appropriate measures are being taken to strengthen the key points of these communications, with a view to developing an offensive, which slowly but surely, will gain scope and power as we gain strength, through the production of aircraft, ships and guns.

"Currently, therefore, the United States Fleets are carrying on with the basic idea to 'Do more than your best with what you've got.' This means to take and make every opportunity to harass and damage the enemy, while building soundly for his ultimate defeat."

 

E. J. KING.

 

No. 50                                           MARCH 3, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, outlining the naval situation based on reports received up to 10 a. m. (e. w. t.), March 3, 1942.

 

Atlantic Area.

 

The U. S. S. Jacob Jones, a World War destroyer, was sunk by an enemy submarine off Cape May, N. J., just before dawn on February 28,  1942.

 

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There were only 11 survivors consisting of 9 engine room ratings and 2 apprentice seamen.  Factual information in regard to the circumstances that led to the sinking is sparse because of the lack of deck ratings among the survivors.  It has been established, however, that prior to receiving the first torpedo hit, the enemy submarine was not sighted nor was the torpedo.

The first torpedo blew up the bow and apparently killed all the personnel on the bridge as well as the men sleeping in the forward living compartments.  The second torpedo, which was fired after the submarine circled ahead of the Jacob Jones, blew up the stern and all the depth charges.

The only survivors, except one man from the after engine room, were in the amidship section when the stern was blown up.

The commanding officer of the U. S. S. Jacob Jones was Lt. Comdr.

H. D. Black, U. S. N.

The next of kin of those lost have been notified.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 51                                     MARCH 3, 1942 

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, based on reports received up to 6:30 p. m. (e. w. t.), March 3, 1942.

 

Central Pacific.

 

In the course of recent naval operations west of the Gilbert Islands a task force of the Pacific Fleet consisting of an aircraft carrier, cruisers and destroyers, was attacked by 18 heavy bombers of the enemy operating in 2 groups of 9 each.

These attacks occurred in the late afternoon and were timed about one-half hour apart.

The Japanese formations were closely and vigorously engaged by our carrier fighter planes and by antiaircraft fire from the ships of our task force.

Only three enemy planes of the first formation reached their bomb release point over the aircraft carrier which avoided all bomb hits by split second maneuvering.

The leading bomber of this group attempted a crash landing on the carrier and was shot down by heavy close range antiaircraft fire when barely 100 yards from its objective.

 

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In the second attack only five bombers of the enemy formation reached the bomb release point.  In this instance the salvo of enemy bombs was closer to the carrier than in the first attack, but again no hits were obtained.

Sixteen of the 18 attacking enemy bombers were shot down in this action.  There was no damage to our surface forces.

Lt. (j. g.) Edward H. O'Hare, U. S. N., fighter pilot, personally accounted for six bombers of the enemy.

In the two attacks only two of our fighter planes were lost.  The pilot of one was recovered.

The next of kin of the lost pilot has been notified.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 52                                     MARCH 9, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, based on reports received up to 4:30 p. m. (e. w. t.), March 9, 1942:

 

Far East.

 

During the week ending March 6, U. S. submarines operating in Far Eastern waters reported the following casualties inflicted on the naval  forces of the enemy:

 

One destroyer leader-sunk.

One large naval tanker-sunk.

Ships damaged and definitely put out of action: 

One aircraft carrier-2 torpedo hits.

One cruiser-1 torpedo hit.

One cruiser-1 torpedo hit.

One cruiser-2 torpedo hits.

 

These vessels have not been mentioned previously in any other communiqués.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 53                                     MARCH 12, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 4 p. m. (e. w. t.) March 12, 1942:

 

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Far East.

 

A U. S. submarine has sunk three enemy freighters and one passenger cargo ship in Japanese waters.

These sinkings are in addition to those reported in all previous communiqués.

 

Central Pacific.

 

On March 10th, two large Japanese four-engined seaplanes were detected west of Midway Island.  They were intercepted by four of our fighter planes based on the island.  One of the enemy planes was shot down.  The other escaped.  One of our fighters was damaged and the pilot wounded.  He succeeded in returning to base safely.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 54                                     MARCH 14, 1942 

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 12 noon (e. w. t.) March 14, 1942.

 

Far East.

 

Joint British Admiralty and U. S. Navy Department communiqué:

Although full information is not yet available it is now possible to give some account of events in the Java Sea on February 27 and subsequent days during Japanese invasion of Java.

On afternoon of Friday, February 27th, an Allied Force consisting of H. M. A. S. Perth, H. M. S. Exeter, the U. S. S. Houston and Dutch cruisers De Ruyter and Java were at sea north of Sourabaya.  The Allied cruisers were accompanied by a group of British, Dutch, and U. S. destroyers.  This force was under the sea command of Rear Admiral Deoorman of the Dutch Navy whose flag was flying in the De Ruyter.  The whole naval force in the area was under the strategic control of Vice Admiral Helfrich of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

At 4: 14 p. m. on February 27th this Allied Force made contact with a Japanese force about halfway between Bawean Island and Sourabaya. The Japanese force consisted of at least 9 cruisers of which two were of the Nati class of 10,000 tons armed with ten 8-inch guns. The Japanese cruisers had with them 2 flotillas of destroyers.

Action was joined at extreme range.  Almost at once one of the Japanese destroyer flotillas launched an attack but this attack was driven off

 

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by the fire of Allied cruisers and one of the enemy destroyers was seen to be hit by shells from H. M. A. S. Perth.  Soon afterwards the other Japanese destroyer flotilla delivered a torpedo attack.  While action was being taken to avoid these torpedoes H. M. S. Exeter was hit by an 8-inch shell in a boiler room.  This reduced her speed and forced her to drop out of line.  Only one of the torpedoes launched in this attack took effect.  This hit the Netherlands destroyer Kortenaer and she sank.

Three destroyers were ordered to counterattack the Japanese destroyers who were retiring under cover of a smoke screen.  Very little information is available about the result of this counterattack.  H. M. S. Jupiter reported seeing only two enemy destroyers both of which she engaged with gunfire.  H. M. S. Electra was not seen after she had disappeared into the smoke screen and it is presumed that she was sunk.  As soon as Allied cruisers, including the Houston but without the Exeter, which was unable to keep up, drew clear of smoke they again engaged the enemy, this time at shorter range.  Less than half an hour later the enemy cruisers turned away under cover of a smoke screen.  It was seen that one of the enemy's heavy 8-inch gun cruisers had been hit aft and was burning fiercely.

Admiral Deoorman led his force about and chased the enemy to northeastward but he failed to regain touch with the enemy in the fading light.  After nightfall the Allied cruisers sighted four enemy ships to westward and engaged them but without definite knowledge of the results.

Admiral Deoorman attempted to work around these enemy ships in order to locate the convoy which was expected to the northward.  This was found to be impossible owing to the high speed of the enemy, and Admiral Deoorman then turned his force to southward to approach the coast of Java intending to sweep to westward along the coast in an attempt to intercept the Japanese invasion convoys.

Half an hour after this Allied force had turned to westward along the Java coast H. M. S. Jupiter was disabled by an under-water explosion.  She sank 4 hours later.  H. M. S. Jupiter was not far from the mainland of Java and a number of survivors have already reached Australia. A U. S. submarine assisted in the rescue of 53 survivors.

At 11: 30 p. m. when the remaining Allied cruisers were about 12 miles north of Rembang two enemy cruisers were sighted between our ships and the coast.  Our ships at once engaged and a number of hits were

 

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secured on the enemy.  The De Ruyter was hit by one shell.  Afterwards the De Ruyter made a large change of course presumably in order to avoid torpedoes fired by the enemy.  The other Allied cruisers were following the De Ruyter when underwater explosions occurred simultaneously in cruisers De Ruyter and Java.  Both these Dutch cruisers blew up and sank at once.

It is impossible to estimate with accuracy the damage inflicted upon the enemy during these actions of February 27th.  Observers in the Perth consider that one Japanese 8-inch gun cruiser was sunk, a second 3-inch [sic] gun cruiser damaged and a destroyer sunk.  It has also been reported that a cruiser of the Mogami class was set on fire and three destroyers seriously damaged and left on fire or sinking.

H. M. A. S. Perth and U. S. S. Houston, which had received some damage in this action, reached Tanjong Priok at 7 o'clock the morning of Saturday, February 28th.  Five U. S. destroyers reached Sourabaya after the action.

With the enemy in command of sea and air north of Java in overwhelming force the Allied command was faced with the problem of extricating the remaining Allied ships from a very dangerous situation.  The way to Australia was barred by the 600-mile long Island of Java with the Straits at either end of it under enemy control.

After dark on February 28th, H. M. A. S. Perth and U. S. S. Houston left Tanjong Priok with the intention of passing through Sunda Strait during dark hours.  During the night an enemy report from H. M. A. S. Perth was received which indicated that she and U. S. S. Houston had come into contact with a force of Japanese ships off St. Nicholas Point at about 11: 30 p. m.  Nothing, however, has been heard from H. M. A. S. Perth or the U. S. S. Houston since that time.  The next of kin of the U. S. S. Houston are being informed accordingly.

The same night the Exeter, which was capable of only half speed, left Sourabaya accompanied by H. M. S. Encounter and the U. S. destroyer Pope.  On the forenoon of Sunday March 1st the Exeter reported that she had sighted three enemy cruisers steering towards her.  No further word has been received from the Exeter, Encounter or the U. S. S. Pope.  The next of kin of the Pope are being informed accordingly.  The Dutch destroyer Evertsen encountered two Japanese cruisers in Sunda Strait.  She was damaged and was beached.

 

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The destroyer H. M. S. Stronghold and Sloop H. M. A. S. Yarra are also missing and are presumably lost.

It has not been possible to form any accurate estimate of damage inflicted on the enemy by these ships during these actions.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 55                                     MARCH 16, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 3 p. m. (e. w. t.) March i6, 1942:

 

Far East.

 

A U. S. submarine has sunk an enemy freighter during the course of extended operations in Japanese waters.

A 3,000-ton enemy gasoline tanker also has been sunk in the Philippine area.

These sinkings are in addition to those reported in previous communiqués.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 56                                     MARCH 17, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Rear Admiral Adolphus Andrews has been assigned to exclusive duty as Commander Eastern Sea Frontier.  The additional duties as Commandant Third Naval District which he has heretofore performed have been taken over for the present by Rear Admiral Edward J. Marquart.  Rear Admiral Marquart will, in addition, retain his present duties as Commandant Navy Yard, New York.

 

No. 57                                     MARCH 18, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Far East.

 

Combined operations of American and Australia island-based forces were conducted recently against Japanese ships and land installations in and near Salamaua and Lae in New Guinea.

 

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These operations are believed to have resulted in the sinking of two enemy heavy cruisers; heavy damage to and the probable sinking of one light cruiser; damage to a fourth cruiser; the probable sinking of one destroyer; the possible sinking of two destroyers and damage to one large destroyer.

Five transports or cargo ships were either sunk or gutted by fire and run aground.  One heavy bomb hit was secured on each of two transports, one troop ship was damaged and left burning and three other transports were damaged.

One aircraft tender was heavily damaged and two gunboats were damaged, one of which was left burning and is believed to have sunk.  One mine sweeper was left in flames and probably sank.  Three seaplanes were shot down and many small boats were demolished.  Considerable damage was done to enemy shore installations, aircraft runways and antiaircraft batteries.

The heavy losses inflicted on the enemy by the combined American and Australian forces were accomplished with the loss of but one plane. The U. S. submarine Shark has been overdue in the Far East for more than a month and must be presumed to be lost.  The next of kin of the personnel of the Shark have been notified.

During the month of December, the U. S. submarine Sealion which was under extensive overhaul at Cavite, was so damaged as to necessitate her demolition to prevent her use by the enemy in the event of capture.

Early this month the damaged U. S. destroyer Stewart was demolished in the drydock at Sourabaya to prevent her falling into the hands of the enemy.  Previous efforts to put her in serviceable condition had failed.

There were no personnel casualties in the case of the Sealion and the Stewart.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 58                                     MARCH 19, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Far East.

 

In compliance with orders from the Navy Department, Rear Admiral Francis W. Rockwell, U. S. N., the Commandant of the Sixteenth Naval District (Philippine Islands) has arrived in Australia.  Rear Admiral

 

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Rockwell left Corregidor in General MacArthur's party which reached Australia on March seventeenth.  He is now in Melbourne.

When Japan attacked the Philippines without warning, Admiral Rockwell was in command of the Sixteenth Naval District, with his headquarters at the Navy Yard, Cavite, which is across Manila Bay from Manila.  When the Naval Establishment there became no longer tenable, it was destroyed effectively.  Admiral Rockwell then proceeded to Corregidor with the Naval and Marine Corps forces under his command and since then has taken part in the defense of Corregidor and the Bataan Peninsula under command of General MacArthur.  His Naval and Marine Corps forces number only about one-third of the regular U. S. Army troops in that area.

It is expected that Admiral Rockwell will be assigned to an appropriate command, probably at sea.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 59                                     MARCH 21, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Far East.

 

Early this month the U. S. gunboat Asheville was attacked by the enemy south of Java.

The Asheville has been reported missing for some days and must be presumed to be lost. The next of kin of the personnel of the Asheville have been notified.

 

No. 60                                     MARCH 23, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Far East.

 

U. S. submarines operating in Japanese waters have recently added the following to the list of enemy merchant vessels sunk or damaged in that area:

 

One 7,000-ton tanker sunk.

One 6,000-ton ship sunk.

One 5,000-ton freighter sunk.

Two 2,000-ton freighters damaged.

 

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In addition to these merchant ships one enemy destroyer or antisubmarine vessel was attacked and probably sunk.

The above actions have not been reported in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 61                                     MARCH 24, 1942 

 

Far East.

 

The U. S. destroyers Pillsbury and Edsall have been reported missing since early March and must be presumed lost. The next of kin of the personnel of the Pillsbury and Edsall have been informed accordingly.

The Pillsbury is believed to have been lost in the vicinity of Bali Strait subsequent to the naval engagement in the Java Sea which was reported in communiqué No. 54.

The last report from the Edsall placed her in waters south of Java.

These destroyers were units of the original U. S. Asiatic Fleet which has been used since the beginning of the war in an attempt to frustrate the Japanese invasion of the islands of the Southwest Pacific.  The ships of this fleet were fought with distinction as units of the Allied Naval Forces at Makassar Strait (communiqués Nos. 32, 33, and 34) Lombok Strait, Bali Strait (communiqué No. 42) and the Battle of the Java Sea.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 62                                     MARCH 25, 1942

 

The  Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, who commanded the naval forces which so successfully raided the Marshall Islands on January 31st has delivered additional blows at two enemy outposts.

First, on February 24th at Japanese-occupied Wake Island and second, on March 4th at Japanese-owned Marcus Island.

Although the islands had been the scene of much recent enemy activity these surprise attacks were met with little opposition and the attacking, forces found few enemy planes and ships in the areas.

Considerable damage was done to shore installations, defense positions, aircraft runways and water tanks by combined bombardment from air-

 

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craft and surface vessels, following the pattern so effectively used by Admiral Halsey in his raid on the Marshall Islands.

At Wake Island, which U. S. Marines defended from December 7 until its capture on December 23, 1941, the enemy has worked feverishly to strengthen the defenses against attack.  Two hundred and nineteen bombs from aircraft and many shells from cruisers and destroyers were rained on the shore installations and landing field.  Two enemy patrol boats were sunk, three large seaplanes at anchor were demolished, and the aircraft runways and a part of the defense batteries were damaged.  Our loss in this engagement was one aircraft.

At Marcus Island, 760 miles west-northwest of Wake, and 990 miles southeast of Yokohama, Admiral Halsey's forces executed a successful air attack just before dawn on the 4th dropping flares to illuminate objectives.  No enemy aircraft or ships were present.

Heavy antiaircraft fire was encountered while our planes dropped 96 bombs on the small island, resulting in considerable damage to hangars, fuel and ammunition storages, radio installations and aircraft runways.

Our loss in this engagement was one aircraft.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 63                                     MARCH 26, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today: 

 

Caribbean Area.

 

The U. S. Coast Guard cutter Acacia was shelled and sunk presumably by an enemy submarine, in the Caribbean area in March.  The Acacia was a small unarmed ship of the tender class which was used to provide services to aids to navigation.

All personnel aboard the Acacia were rescued and there were no casualties.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 64                                     MARCH 27, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Areas.

 

On March 25, General Marshall, Chief of Staff of the Army, and Admiral King, Commander in Chief of the United States Fleet, with a

 

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view to increasing the effectiveness of antisubmarine warfare along our coast, issued instructions for a closer cooperation between the naval commanders of the sea frontiers and the Army defense commanders.  These instructions govern operations over the sea for the protection of shipping and for antisubmarine and other operations against enemy seaborne activities.

In accordance with these instructions, Army defense commanders have allocated Army air units to the naval commanders of the sea frontiers.  Command of the air units so allocated is vested in the naval sea frontier commanders.

The cooperation between these forces and the Navy antisubmarine and patrol forces has been close and effective.  In most ports the operating centers of these commands have already been combined in one room.  The new system of operating control under one service will eliminate any possible uncertainty regarding jurisdictional limits and will insure the smooth and effective working of our intensified antisubmarine campaign in the waters off our coasts.

Unity of command already exists for all Army and Navy forces in the Hawaiian Islands and in the Caribbean, those at Hawaii being under the Navy, those at Panama being under the Army, and those along the eastern Caribbean being under the Navy.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

 

No. 65                                     APRIL 3, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Southwest Pacific.

 

1. The United States aircraft tender Langley, the naval tanker Pecos and the destroyer Peary were sunk by the enemy in the vicinity of Northern Australia and in waters south of Java in late February an March.

2 A number of survivors from these ships were rescued and 1 port safely.  The next of kin of all personnel lost in the Pecos have notified.  The next of kin of those lost in the Langley and Peary already have been notified or will be notified as soon as information available.

3. Official reports from Tokyo claimed the sinking of the Langley, least three times during the first month of the war, during which period

 

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the Langley was not damaged.  She was sunk after a prolonged attack by the enemy south of Java in late February.  Except for about a dozen men, all Langley personnel survived the attack and were transferred to the Pecos which was itself sunk a few days later.

4.  The Pecos, a small tanker, employed in supplying fuel to units of our fleet in the Far East, was sunk in early March.

5.  The Peary, a World War destroyer which received minor damage in the Japanese bombing attacks on Cavite immediately after the outbreak of the war, was sunk in the harbor at Darwin about February 19th.  The Peary had participated in many of the offensive actions of our destroyers in the Far East.  Observers who witnessed the last engagement of the Peary described the conduct of her crew as beyond all praise.  Gun crews remained at their battle stations continuing the fire until they were forced by rising water to leave their stations.  No officer or man left the ship until it sank under him.  A number of survivors were later rescued.

6. War conditions in the Southwest Pacific have greatly complicated and delayed reports of casualties, and the public is urged to refrain from initiating individual inquiries regarding casualties.  The next of kin of all casualties are always notified by telegram as soon as possible.

7. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 66                                     APRIL 4, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Southwest Pacific Area.

 

1. Recent reports indicate that the following damage has been inflicted on enemy ships by United States submarines operating in waters of the Java Sea and the Indian Ocean:

 

(a) One light cruiser was sunk in the vicinity of Christmas Island, south of Java.

(b) One light cruiser was damaged, in the vicinity of Christmas Island, by a direct torpedo hit and on the following day another direct hit was scored which is believed to haveresulted in her sinking.

(c) Two seaplane tenders were damaged near the island of Bali.

(d) One supply ship was damaged in waters near Lombok Island.

(e) In the vicinity of Bali, one barge transport and one unidentified ship were damaged by one torpedo hit each.

 

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2. The above damage to the enemy has not been reported in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

3. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 67                                     APRIL 6, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Far East.

 

1. A U. S. submarine has reported the sinking of an enemy freighter in Japanese waters while on extended patrol in that area.

 

Southwest Pacific Area.

 

2. A U. S. submarine has reported that it sank two heavily laden Japanese tankers in waters near the Caroline Islands while on extended patrol in that area.  The submarine was fired upon by one of the tankers but escaped without damage.

3. These sinkings have not been reported in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

4. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 68                                     APRIL 7, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

China Sea.

 

1. Information has just been received that a U. S. submarine while on an extended patrol in the China Sea has sunk two Japanese merchant vessels.

2. One of these ships was a combination passenger and cargo vessel of approximately 10,000 tons.  The second was a cargo ship of about 5,000 tons.

3. These sinkings have not been reported in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

4. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

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No. 69                                     APRIL 10, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Philippine Area.

 

Capt. K. M. Hoeffel, U. S. N., the senior U. S. naval officer in the forces defending Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor, acting under the orders of Lt. Gen. Wainwright, U. S. A., ordered the complete destruction of the previously damaged U. S. submarine tender Canopus, the Dewey Drydock, the mine sweeper Bitern and the tug Napa in order to prevent their being of use to the enemy in the event of capture, the Navy Department has been informed.  The destruction was ordered when it became apparent that the increasing weight of enemy numbers, combined with the fatigue and exhaustion of our forces, made imminent the fall of Bataan.

These ships and the Dewey Drydock were used at and near Corregidor and Bataan Peninsula by the Army, Navy, and Marine forces serving under General MacArthur and later under Lt. Gen. Wainwright in the valiant defense of these vital positions which control the entrance to Manila Bay.

 

Southwest Pacific.

 

A report has just been received that a U. S. submarine while on patrol in the vicinity of the Celebes Sea sank a large, heavily armed, Japanese vessel.

Three torpedo hits were scored on the enemy ship which is classed either as an auxiliary cruiser or a large tender.  This sinking has not been reported in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 70                                     APRIL 11, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 10:30 a. m.:

 

Southwest Pacific.

 

1. The U. S. submarine Perch has been overdue for more than a month and must be presumed to be lost.

2. The Perch was one of the U. S. submarines operating in the vicinity of Java and her last position report placed her in the Java Sea.

 

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3. The next of kin have been notified.

4. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 71                                     APRIL 11, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué, based on reports received up to 4 p. m.

 

Southwest Pacific and Indian Ocean.

 

1. Recent detailed reports reveal that the damage inflicted on enemy ships by U. S. submarines as announced in Navy Department Communiqué No. 66, paragraph 1 (a) to (e), inclusive, should be corrected to read as

follows:

 

(a) One light cruiser was sunk in the vicinity of Christmas Island, South of Java.

(b) One light cruiser was damaged and is believed to have sunk and a third cruiser was damaged in the vicinity of Christmas Island.

(c) One large transport was damaged near Bali.

(d) One supply ship was damaged in waters near Lombok Island.

(e) One destroyer and one large transport were sunk in the vicinity of Bali and an unidentified vessel was damaged.

 

Further, it is now known that all the results except that noted in item (d) above were achieved by one submarine on a single patrol.

 

Far East.

 

2. A U. S. submarine returning from an extended patrol in enemy waters has just reported the sinking of one 7,000-ton merchant vessel and one small naval vessel of the submarine chaser class.

3. This same submarine further reports that on the same patrol it damaged and possibly sank a 4,000-ton freighter.

4. Except as noted in paragraph 1 the above sinkings and damage have not been reported in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

5. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 72                                     APRIL 16, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué on reports received up to 11 a. m.:

 

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Far East.

 

1. The U. S. mine sweeper Finch has been sunk as a result of enemy bombing attacks on Corregidor during the past few days.

2. There were no casualties to personnel.

3. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 73                                     APRIL 21, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué, based on reports received up to 4 p. m.:

 

Far East.

 

1. During recent operations near the island of Cebu in the Philippine Archipelago, units of a United States motor torpedo boat squadron made a night attack on a Japanese cruiser which was protected by four destroyers.

2. Enemy counteraction finally forced the retirement of the attacking PT boats after they had seriously damaged one enemy light cruiser and left it in a sinking condition.

3. The PT-41 and PT-34 participated in the attack.  The PT-34 was forced ashore on the island of Cebu, but the PT-41 made good its escape.  It is believed that the PT-35 was destroyed in order to prevent capture by the enemy during the invasion of the city of Cebu.

4. The above action has not been mentioned in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

5. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

 

No. 74                                     APRIL 27, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué, based upon reports received up to 12 noon:

 

Atlantic Coast.

 

1. The World War U. S. destroyer Sturtevant has been sunk off the coast of Florida by an underwater explosion.

2. Loss of life was small and most of the crew reached port safely.

3. The next of kin of those lost are being notified.

4. There is nothing to report from other areas,

 

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No. 75                                     MAY 4, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué, based on reports received up to 3 p. m.:

 

Far East.

 

1. As a result of enemy bombing attacks during the past few days, the U. S. S. Mindanao, a river gunboat, has been sunk in the vicinity of Corregidor.

2. There were no casualties to personnel.

3. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

 

No. 76                                     MAY 6, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué, based on reports received up to 3 p. m.:

 

Far East.

 

1. Several messages from the Navy personnel at Corregidor were received in the Navy Department this morning.  Just before the fall of this small island fortress which these men have helped to defend so gallantly, the commander of the naval forces at Corregidor, Capt. Kenneth M. Hoeffel, U. S. N., joined his officers and men in sending a last message of loyalty, devotion, and good cheer to their country, their families and their friends.

2. Captain Hoeffel reported that the mine sweeper Tanager, and the river gunboat Oahu had been sunk by enemy gunfire from Bataan and that the mine sweeper Pigeon had been sunk by bombers.  The river gunboat, Luzon, and the mine sweeper, Quail, were severely damaged by gunfire and were sunk by U. S. forces when capture appeared imminent.  All local small craft in the vicinity were demolished by our forces.

3. When Corregidor fell, there were approximately 175 officers and 2,100 men of the Navy, and 70 officers and 1,500 men of the Marine Corps in the defending forces.  Col. Samuel L. Howard is the senior officer of the Marine Corps personnel on the island.  It is assumed that all of these officers and men have been captured and will be held as prisoners of war.

4. So far as is known no casualties resulted from any of the above sinkings.

5. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

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No. 77                                     MAY 7, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué, based on reports received up to 3 p. m., May 7, 1942:

 

Southwest Pacific.

 

1. Very excellent news has been received.  A naval engagement between U. S. and Japanese forces on May 4th resulted in the following damage to the enemy:

 

(a) One light cruiser, two destroyers, four gunboats, and one  supply vessel were sunk.

(b) One 9,000-ton seaplane tender, one light cruiser, one cargo vessel, and one transport were badly damaged.

(c) Six planes were destroyed.

 

2. This highly successful action took place in the vicinity of the Solomon Islands and was accomplished with the loss of but three planes.  

 

Far East.

 

3. U. S. submarines on patrol in the Far East have sunk the following enemy vessels: One medium-sized cargo ship, one medium-sized tanker, and one small cargo ship.

4. The above actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

5. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 78                                     MAY 8, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 6 p. m., May 8, 1942.

 

Southwest Pacific.

 

A naval engagement between our forces and those of the Japanese has been in continuous progress in the general area southward of Bismarck Archipelago in the Coral Sea, since Monday, May 3, and there is no indication yet of a cessation.  Japanese losses are believed to be:

 

Sunk                                               Damaged

One aircraft carrier.                        One aircraft carrier.

One heavy cruiser.                          One heavy cruiser.

One light cruiser.                             One light cruiser.

Two destroyers.                              One seaplane tender.

Four gunboats.                                Two transports or cargo vessels.

Two transports or cargo vessels.        

 

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2. Details of losses and damage to our forces are not fully known at present but no credence should be given to claims that have been or may be put out by Tokio.

3. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 79                                     MAY 9, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Southwest Pacific.

 

1. The Navy Department realizes that the American public is aware of the unreliable nature of any claims emanating from an enemy source.

2. Recent announcements by the enemy have made sweeping claims regarding U. S. losses in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

3. Reports received in the Navy Department to date fail to substantiate the loss of any U. S. aircraft carrier or battleship in that action.

4. Reports of damage to our forces are incomplete. They will be announced when the information will be without value to the enemy.

5. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 80                                     MAY 11, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué today:

 

Far East.

 

1. Information has been received that U. S. submarines operating in the Far East have sunk the following Japanese ships

 

One destroyer.

One naval cargo ship.

One medium-sized cargo ship.

 

2. These sinkings have not been reported in any previous Navy Department communiqué and are not related to the recent engagement in the Coral Sea.

3. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 81                                     MAY 26, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to noon, May 26, 1942:

 

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Caribbean Area.

 

1. The U. S. S. Blakeley, a World War destroyer, has been damaged by a torpedo from an enemy submarine in the Caribbean Sea.

2. The Blakeley has reached port with 10 members of her crew reported as missing and 6 injured.  The injured men have been hospitalized and next of kin of both injured and missing are being notified as information is received in the Navy Department.

3. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 82                                     MAY 28, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 1 p. m., May 28, 1942:

 

Far East.

 

1. Information has been received that U. S. submarines operating in the Far East have sunk or damaged enemy ships as shown below.

 

(a) One large auxiliary ship sunk.

(b) One medium-sized cargo ship sunk.

(c) One medium-sized cargo ship severely damaged and probably sunk.

(d) One heavy cruiser damaged by torpedo hits.

 

2. These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué and are not related to the engagement in the Coral Sea which was fought early this month.

3. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 83                                     JUNE 3, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 4 p. m., June 3, 1942:

 

North Pacific Area.

 

1. Information has been received that Dutch Harbor, Alaska, was attacked by 4 Japanese bombers and about 15 fighters at approximately 6 a. m. local time today (12 noon e. w. t.). The attack lasted approximately 15 minutes.

2. No further details are available at this time.

3. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

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No. 84                                     JUNE 3, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 6 p. m., June 3, 1942:

 

North Pacific Area.

 

1. Further reports on the Japanese air attack at Dutch Harbor which took place earlier today, state that there were but few casualties.

2. A few warehouses were set on fire but no serious damage was suffered.

3. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 85                                     JUNE 3, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 9 p. m., June 3, 1942:

 

North Pacific Area.

 

1. A brief report just received in the Navy Department states that for the second time today enemy planes have attacked Dutch Harbor.

2. The second attack was made about 12 noon, local time (6 p. m., e. w. t.), 6 hours after the initial attack.

3. No further details are available at this time.

 

No. 86                                     JUNE 4, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 12 noon (e. w. t.) June 4, 1942:

 

North Pacific Area.

 

1. The situation at Dutch Harbor is at present quiet.  Yesterday's first raid by the Japanese appears to have been made primarily to test our defenses.  High explosives and incendiary bombs were dropped but, as previously announced, our casualties were light and damage was not extensive.  The few fires which were started were quickly extinguished. 

2. The second wave of enemy planes, which was reported to have attacked 6 hours after the initial attack (communiqué No. 85), failed to drop any bombs and appears to have been engaged solely in reconnaissance.

3. The source of the attacking Japanese aircraft has not been definitely determined but they are thought to have been carrier-based.

 

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Atlantic Area.

 

4. The U. S. S. Cythera, a small naval patrol vessel taken over by the  Navy last December, has been overdue in this area for more than 3 weeks and is presumed to be lost.

5. The next of kin of personnel in the Cythera have been notified.

6. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 87                                     June 4, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 4:30 p. m., June 4, 1942:

 

Central Pacific Area.

 

1. Information has been received that Midway Island was attacked by  Japanese aircraft at approximately 9 a. in. local time (2:30 p. m., e. w. t.)

2. No further details are as yet available.

 

No. 88                                     JUNE 12, 1942

 

1. The battle of Midway now makes it possible to release information in regard to the Battle of the Coral Sea.  Holding up this information gave to our Navy security which was a cornerstone in building for the Midway victory.

2. In early March the Japanese were observed to be concentrating transports and combatant ships in the ports of Salamaua and Lae on the Island of New Guinea, apparently in preparation for an assault on Port Moresby on the south coast of the same island.  The occupation of Port Moresby would have afforded the enemy a strategically located advance base from which promptly to make further attacks on northern Australia.

3. For some time the bases at Salamaua and Lae had been subjected to air attacks by U. S. and Australian shore-based aircraft from Australia.  On March 10th a number of aircraft from a Pacific Fleet Task Force, under the command of Vice Admiral Wilson Brown, joined these shore-based planes in their successful attack on shipping and shore installations at the enemy bases.  As announced in Navy Department Communiqué No. 57 of March 18th, this attack resulted in the following damage to the enemy:

 

 

the sinking of or damage to more than 20 Japa-

 

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nese ships and heavy damage to shore installations.  The resulting disruption of Japanese plans delayed for 2 months any attempt of the enemy to advance by sea to the southward.  The attacking force was described in the communiqué as American and Australian island-based forces, since the participation of our carriers in that action had still not been discovered by the enemy.

4. During April our Army reconnaissance planes reported that the enemy was once again concentrating transports, and the supporting elements, including aircraft from carriers and shore bases, preparatory to an attempt to advance into the Solomon and Louisiade Islands.  In early May these advances were actually begun.  Bases for land planes in both of these groups of islands were seized by the Japanese and the entire northern portion of the Coral Sea was subjected to daily reconnaissance by enemy shore-based aircraft.

5. On May 4th a task force of the Pacific Fleet under the command of Rear Admiral Frank J. Fletcher found a part of this Japanese invasion fleet at anchor in and near the harbor of Tulagi, the capital of Florida Island in the Solomon group.  In spite of the excellent Japanese air reconnaissance facilities, Admiral Fletcher's attack caught the Japanese forces completely by surprise and all but annihilated them.  A few ships managed to get under way, but most of these were severely crippled and some were later beached to prevent their sinking.  The results of this engagement as announced in Navy Department Communiqué No. 77 of May 7th were as follows: the sinking of or damage to 12 Japanese vessels and the destruction of 6 aircraft.  Our entire loss amounted to but 3 aircraft.  On the following day a large four-engined flying boat was intercepted by our forces and shot down.

6. On May 7th Admiral Fletcher's aircraft struck the main body the Japanese force in the Louisiade Archipelago off Misima.  The new Japanese aircraft carrier, Ryukaku, and a heavy cruiser were sunk. Fifteen bomb hits and 10 torpedo hits were reported scored on Ryukaku which was turning into the wind, to launch her aircraft thus blasted.  She sank in a few minutes with most of her planes on board.  The enemy counterattack which followed was fought off successfully.  During this day's fighting more than 25 enemy aircraft shot down as compared to our loss of 6. Shore-based Army air from Australia assisted in reconnaissance both before and during 1 attacks and added their fire-power to that of the attacking naval planes.

 

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7. During the afternoon of May 7th Japanese aircraft located and bombed the U. S. tanker Neosho and its accompanying destroyer the U. S.

S. Sims in the Coral Sea.  The Sims was sunk during the attack and the

Neosho sank several days later as a result of the damage received during the bombing.  A large part of the personnel from the Neosho and Sims were rescued and have reached port.  The next of kin of casualties are being notified.

8. On May 8th the same task force again carried the attack to the enemy and succeeded in inflicting serious damage on a second Japanese carrier, the Shokaku, which was left ablaze as a result of bomb and torpedo hits.

9. During this same engagement the enemy launched a counterattack with aircraft while our planes were still attacking.  The principal target was the U. S. aircraft carrier Lexington, flagship of Rear Admiral A. W. Fitch.  In spite of skillful handling, all available fighter protection and antiaircraft defense, the Lexington was hit by two torpedoes and at least two bombs and was further damaged by several near misses.  These attacks were the last action in the Battle of the Coral Sea.  The crew of the Lexington succeeded in putting out the fires and recovering her aircraft.  Several hours after the battle, while steaming at 20 knots, terrific internal explosion rocked the Lexington causing serious fires to break out in many parts of the ship.  It was first thought that the explosion was the result of a "sleeper" bomb.  Investigation revealed, however, that the probable cause was the ignition of gasoline vapors which resulted from leaks in ruptured gasoline lines in closed compartments below decks.

10. The crew fought heroically for more than 5 hours to save the ship but were at great disadvantage because the explosion had damaged much of the fire-fighting equipment.  Destroyers were sent alongside to assist with their pumps, fire hose and chemical fire-fighting equipment.  The wounded were transferred from the burning carrier to the destroyers alongside.  Finally, with all machinery disabled, the ship stopped, and flames enveloping nearly her entire length, it became apparent that any further attempt to save her was futile and the captain ordered the crew to "abandon ship." Men slid down lines from the carrier's decks to boats from other ships while some crawled aboard life rafts and rubber boats.

 

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11. Ninety-two percent of the entire ship's company were rescued and have reached port safely.  The only casualties were the result of the battle or the explosion and the resulting fire.  The last man to leave his ship was her commanding officer, Capt.  F. C. Sherman.  As he slid to safety down a line from the deck into the water the torpedo warhead locker of the Lexington exploded.  After all men in the water had been rescued, the Lexington sank with a final detonation which shook nearby ships.

12.  The attacks on Salamaua and Lae and the Battle of the Coral Sea resulted in the disruption of two Japanese attempts to advance to the southeastward of New Guinea and cost them a total of more than 15 ships sunk, including:

 

One aircraft carrier.

Three heavy cruisers.

One light cruiser.

Two destroyers.

Several transports and small vessels.

 

and severe damage to and the probable sinking of 11 additional cruiser and 1 destroyer-and severe damage to more than 20 ships including 1 carrier, 3 cruisers, 2 aircraft tenders, 3 destroyers and the loss of more than 100 aircraft.

13. The Lexington, Neosho, and Sims were the only U. S. vessels lost as a result of the action in the Coral Sea and only minor damage was suffered by other vessels.  The next of kin of all casualties in these ships are being notified as information is received.

 

No. 89                                     JUNE 15, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 5 p. m., June 15, 1942:

 

North Pacific Area.

 

1. The Army and Navy are continuing air attacks against the Japanese forces which recently were reported to have landed on western; islands of the Aleutian group.

2. Foul weather and fog, characteristic of this locality at all seasons, are hampering our reconnaissance and attack operations, but reports to date indicate that at least three cruisers, one destroyer, one gunboat, and one transport have been damaged, some of them severely.

 

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3. Except for these continuing air attacks upon the enemy landing parties and their supporting naval contingents, the general situation in the Aleutian Islands appears unchanged.

 

No. 90                                     JUNE 21, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 3 p. m., June 21, 1942:

 

North Pacific Area.

 

1. Operations in the Aleutians continue to be restricted by considerations of weather and great distances.

2. Within the last few days, however, the weather was sufficiently clear at times to permit some restricted air operations against Kiska where tents and minor temporary structures were observed to have been set up on land.  A small force of Japanese ships in the harbor was bombed by Army aircraft.  Hits were reported on one cruiser, and a transport has been sunk.

 

No. 91                                     JUNE 25, 1942

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 2 p.m., June 25, 1942:

 

Atlantic Area.

 

1. Two small antisubmarine patrol craft have been lost off the Atlantic Coast during the current month as the result of enemy submarine attacks.

2. The U. S. S. Gannet, a seagoing tug, used to service patrol planes, was torpedoed and sunk.  Sixteen members of the crew were lost.

3. The YP-389, a small fishing craft, which had been taken over by the Navy and armed for antisubmarine patrol duty, was sunk by gunfire.  Four members of the crew were lost.

4. The next of kin of all casualties have been notified.

 

No. 92                                     JUNE 29, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 2 p. m., June 29, 1942:

 

Central Pacific Area.

 

1. U. S. bombers attacked Japanese-occupied Wake Island on June 27th.

 

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2. Under favorable conditions of weather and visibility our planes, attacking in formation, damaged the airfield and various shore installations.

3. Enemy antiaircraft and fighter defense was weak and, although one bomber suffered minor damage during the attack, all of our planes returned safely.

 

 

No. 93                                            July 1, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 8:30 a. m. (e. w. t.):

 

European Area.

 

1. Reinforcements in the form of airplanes were recently carried through the Mediterranean to Malta to aid the British in their defense of the embattled island.

2. These trips were accomplished by the U. S. aircraft carrier Wasp and were completed without damage either to the escort or the Wasp.

3. During one of these ferry trips after British aircraft manned by RAF pilots, had been launched from the Wasp and were in flight over the Island of Malta the enemy attacked the island.  Completely surprised by the increased number of defending fighters the enemy suffered considerable losses.

4. The planes which took off from the Wasp engaged the enemy over Malta before landing on the island.  After landing and hasty refueling at the airdrome they were again in the air continuing to repel the enemy attack within 30 minutes after arrival.

5. The expertly timed arrival of reinforcement planes on the Wasp was most fortunate for the heroic defenders of the British stronghold and the cause of the United Nations.

 

No. 94                                       July 4, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 2 P. M., July 4, 1942:

 

North Pacific Area.

 

1. Since the issuing of communiqué No. 90 on June 21, the situation in the Aleutian Islands has not changed materially.  Long-range Army

 

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and Navy aircraft have engaged in reconnaissance and attack missions whenever weather permitted.

2. On June 21 Army planes dropped bombs on shore installations at Kiska but due to fog, results could not be observed.

3. On June 25 Navy reconnaissance aircraft over the Kiska area observed one large cruiser and three destroyers in the harbor of Kiska.  The bow of the Japanese transport, which was sunk by Army aircraft on June 18, was clearly visible near the center of the harbor.  During these operations a Navy patrol plane was attacked and damaged by enemy aircraft but returned safely to its base.

4. On June 26 two Army planes attacked shore installations at Kiska but again fog did not permit results to be observed.

5. On June 28 Army bombers again attacked Kiska, doing further damage to shore installations. From June 28 to July 2 the weather was such as to render flight operations inadvisable.

6. On July 2 a patrol plane observed three Japanese transports with escorting vessels off the island of Agattu, about 35 miles to the southeastward of Attu.  Army bombers attacked this force that afternoon inflicting damage, the exact extent of which could not be observed.  Our aircraft returned safely having suffered only minor damage from antiaircraft fire.

7. On July 3 Kiska was again bombed by Army aircraft but again observation of results was not possible.

 

No. 95                                     JULY 6, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 12:30 p. m., July 6, 1942:

 

North Pacific Area.

 

1. On the Fourth of July, U. S. submarines torpedoed four Japanese destroyers in the Aleutian Islands.

2. Three of these destroyers were attacked at Kiska.  Two were sunk and the third, when last seen, was burning fiercely.

3. The fourth destroyer was torpedoed and sunk at Agattu where enemy transports and escorting vessels were located on July 2 and attacked by Army bombers.

 

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No. 96                                     JULY 8, 1942 

 

The Navy Department issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 4:30 P. m., July 8, 1942:

 

North Pacific Area.

 

1. On the afternoon Of July 5th a U. S. submarine, operating in the Aleutian Islands, torpedoed and is believed to have sunk a Japanese destroyer in the vicinity of Kiska.

2. This is the fifth enemy destroyer to have been sunk or damaged by our submarines in this area during the 2-day period, (July 4th and 5th).

3. Low visibility continues in this area.

 

No. 97                                     July 14, 1942

 

1. Early in June, near the island of Midway about 1,100 miles to the westward of Pearl Harbor, units of our Army, Navy, and Marine Corps joined action with a strong Japanese invasion fleet which was approaching our Midway outpost.  The voluminous reports of the details  of the battle of Midway have been studied and evaluated so that this resume now becomes possible.

2. After the defeat of the Japanese in the Battle of the Coral Sea between May 4 and May 8, our shore-based reconnaissance aircraft and submarines reported a general withdrawal of enemy naval ships from the Southwest Pacific toward Japan.  Concentrations of enemy naval units made it apparent that large-scale offensive operations were planned by the enemy, but the exact nature of the plan of attack could only be guessed.  The enemy had learned in the Battle of the Coral Sea that the sea approaches to Australia were strongly defended.  It appeared logical, therefore, to assume that the enemy's next thrust would come in some other area-possibly Hawaii, Alaska, the Panama Canal Zone, or even the Pacific Coast of the United States.  In accordance with this estimate, United States naval surface forces were deployed in the area between Midway and the Aleutian Islands.  Bases in the outlying islands and in Alaska were reinforced by long-range, shore-based aircraft. Similar precautionary measures also were taken on the Pacific Coast and in the vicinity of the Panama Canal.

3. At about 9 a. m., June 3, U. S. Navy patrol planes reported a strong force of enemy ships about 700 miles off Midway, proceeding eastward.

 

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Nine United States Army "Flying Fortresses" based on Midway immediately were ordered to intercept and attack the approaching enemy. Japanese force was observed to be approaching in five columns and was composed of many cruisers, transports, cargo vessels, and other escort ships.  The Army bombers scored hits on one cruiser and one transport.  Both ships were severely damaged and left burning.  Some lesser damage was done to other vessels in the formation.  Later, during the night, four Navy "Catalina" flying boats located and attacked the same enemy group by moonlight.  These four planes scored two torpedo hits on large enemy ships, one of which is believed to have sunk.

4. About dawn on June 4, several groups of Army medium and heavy bombers, and U. S. Marine Corps dive bombers and torpedo planes took to the air from Midway to attack the approaching enemy.  The results of this attack were as follows:

(a) Four Army torpedo bombers attacked two enemy aircraft carriers  through a heavy screen of enemy fighter protection and a  curtain of antiaircraft fire.  One torpedo hit on a carrier is  believed to have been made.  Two of the four bombers failed to  return.

(b) Six Marine Corps torpedo planes attacked the enemy force in the  face of heavy odds.  It is believed this group secured one hit  on an enemy ship.  Only one of these six planes returned to its  base.

(c) Sixteen Marine Corps dive bombers attacked and scored three  hits on a carrier, which is believed to have been the Soryu.   Only half of the attacking planes returned.

(d) Another group of 11 Marine Corps dive bombers made a later  attack on enemy ships and reported 2 bomb hits on an enemy  battleship, which was left smoking and listing.

(e) A group of 16 U. S. Army "Flying Fortresses" carried out high-level bombing attacks, scoring 3 hits on enemy carriers.  One  carrier was left smoking heavily.

 

5. Meanwhile, at 6:35 a. m. (Midway time, June 4th), shortly after the Marine Corps planes had left Midway to carry out an attack mission the island, itself, was attacked by a large group of carrier-based enemy planes.  They were engaged by a badly out-numbered Marine Corps fighter force, which met the enemy in the air as he arrived.  These defending fighters, aided by antiaircraft batteries, shot down at least 40 of the enemy planes.  Several more were damaged.  As the result of this

 

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fighter defense, the material damage to shore installations, though serious, was not disabling.  No plane was caught grounded at Midway.

6. The Midway-based air forces had struck the approaching Japanese fleet with their full strength, but the enemy did not appear to have been checked.  It was estimated that only about 10 enemy ships had been damaged out of a total enemy force of approximately 80 ships then converging upon Midway.

7. It was learned later that our aerial attacks had caused the enemy carrier force to change its course.  They began a retirement to the northwestward some time between 8:30 and 9:30 a. m., on the morning of June 4. Their complete change of course was not observed by our shore-based planes because the change came after the planes had delivered their attacks and while they were returning to Midway to rearm.

8. Meanwhile, U. S. naval forces afloat were being brought into position.  Our carrier-based aircraft were launched and were proceeding to the spot where the enemy's previous course and speed would have placed him had he chosen to continue the assault, as expected.  Unaware of the enemy's change of course, one group of carrier-based fighters and dive bombers searched along the reported track to the southeast until shortage of gas forced them to abandon the search and go in to Midway.  Some were forced down at sea when they ran out of gas.  Most of those forced down were later rescued.  The commanding officer of a different flight composed of fighters, dive bombers, and torpedo planes made an accurate estimate of the situation and concluded that the enemy was retreating.  Fifteen torpedo planes from this group, therefore, located the enemy to the westward and proceeded to attack at once without protection or assistance of any kind.  Although some hits were reported by radio from these airplanes and although some enemy fighters were shot down, the total damage inflicted by this squadron in this attack may never be known.  None of these i5 planes returned.  The sole survivor of the 30 Officers and men of this squadron was Ensign G. H. Gay, Jr., U. S. N. R, who scored one torpedo hit on an enemy carrier before he was shot down.

9. Other Carrier-based groups of torpedo planes proceeded to press the attack after the enemy had been located.  In spite of heavy losses during these attacks, the torpedo planes engaged the attention of the enemy fighters and antiaircraft batteries to such a degree that our dive bombers were able to drop bomb after bomb on the enemy ships

 

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without serious interference.  As the result, the Navy dive bombers scored many hits and during this phase of the action inflicted upon the enemy the following damage:

 

(a) The Kaga, Akagi, and Soryu, aircraft carriers, were severely  damaged.  Gasoline in planes caught on their flight decks  ignited, starting fires which burned until each carrier had  sunk.

(b) Two battleships were hit.  One was left burning fiercely.

(c) One destroyer was hit and is believed to have sunk.

 

10. Shortly after this battle, a force of about 36 enemy planes from the undamaged carrier Hiryu attacked the U. S. aircraft carrier Yorktown and her escorts.  Eleven of 18 Japanese bombers in the group were shot down by your fighters before their bombs were dropped.  Seven got through our fighter protection. Of these 7, one was disintegrated by surface ship's antiaircraft fire; a second dropped its bomb-load into the sea and plunged after it; while a third was torn to shreds by machine-gun escaped after scoring fire from U. S. fighter planes.  Four enemy bombers escaped after scoring three direct hits.

11. Shortly afterward, 12 to 15 enemy torpedo planes escorted by fighters attacked the Yorktown.  Between 4 and 7 of this group were destroyed by our fighters and 3 were shot down by antiaircraft fire before they could launch torpedoes.  Five succeeded in launching torpedoes but all 5 were destroyed as they attempted to escape.  The Yorktown was hit during this assault and put out of action.  The damage caused a list which rendered her flight deck useless for landings and take-offs.  Her aircraft, however, continued the battle operating from other United States carriers.

12. While this attack on the Yorktown was in progress, some of her own planes located the Japanese carrier Hiryu in company with battleships, cruisers, and destroyers.  Our carrier planes immediately launched an attack against this newly located force.  The Hiryu was hit repeatedly and left blazing from stem to stern.  She sank the following morning.  Two of the enemy battleships were pounded severely by bombs and the heavy cruiser was damaged severely.

13. During the same afternoon (June 4), a United States submarine scored three torpedo hits on the smoking carrier Soryu as the enemy was attempting to take it in tow.  These hits caused an outbreak of fresh flames which engulfed the carrier and forced the crew to abandon ship.

 

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At about sunset heavy explosions and huge billows of smoke were observed.  The Soryu sank during the night.

14. Just before sunset (June 4) United States Army bombers delivered a heavy bomb attack on the severely crippled and burning ships.  Three hits were scored on a damaged carrier (probably the Akagi); one hit was scored on a large ship; one hit on a cruiser which was left burning; and one destroyer was damaged and believed to have sunk.

15. The situation at sundown on June 4, was as follows:

 

(a) United States forces had gained mastery of the air in the  region of Midway.

(b) Two carriers, Kaga and Akagi, had been hit by many bombs and  torpedoes from Army planes and carrier-based naval aircraft in  the morning, and the Akagi had been further damaged by Army  aircraft in the late afternoon.  One of these two carriers was  reported by Ensign Gay to have been shelled and finished off by  a Japanese cruiser.  Both enemy carriers sank or were sunk by  the Japanese before morning.

(c) The Soryu had been hit heavily by Marine Corps dive bombers, Army bombers, carrier-based planes, and a submarine.  She sank  during the night.

(d) The Hiryu had been put out of action by carrier aircraft after  her own planes had damaged the Yorktown.  The Hiryu sank early  the following morning.

(e) Two enemy battleships had been damaged, one severely.

(f) One enemy destroyer had been sunk.

(g) One enemy transport and several other ships had been damaged.

(h) The U. S. S. Yorktown had been put out of action.

 

16. Early in the morning of June 5, an enemy submarine shelled Midway briefly but caused no damage.  Our shore batteries returned the fire.  At dawn our forces were marshalling their strength for further assaults against the enemy fleets which by now had separated into several groups, all in full retreat.  Unfavorable flying weather made search to the northwest of Midway difficult and hazardous but a flight of U. S. Army "Flying Fortresses" managed to contact an enemy contingent of battleships and cruisers to the westward of Midway.  They attacked, and scored a direct hit on the damaged cruiser.  Another bomb

 

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damaged the same cruiser's steering gear.  She was last observed listing badly and turning in tight circles.  This attack was followed quickly by a second Army Air Force attack which scored a hit on the stern of a heavy cruiser.  Meanwhile, at about noon (June 5) U. S. Marine Corps aircraft located the damaged enemy cruiser and delivered one direct hit.

17. In the afternoon of June 5, Army "Flying Fortresses" attacked enemy cruisers again and scored three direct hits upon one heavy cruiser.  On the return trip, one of these planes was lost; a second was forced down at sea i5 miles from Midway.  All except one of the crew of the second plane were rescued.  A local bad weather condition to the northwest of Midway hampered the search operations of our carrier planes which were seeking the enemy in that area.  Throughout the night of June 5-6, our aircraft carriers steamed to the westward in pursuit of the enemy.

18. Early in the morning of June 6 a search by carrier aircraft discovered two groups of enemy ships, each containing cruisers and destroyers.  Between 9:30 and 10 a. m., our carrier planes attacked one cup which contained the heavy cruisers Mikuma and Mogami and three destroyers.  At least two bomb hits were scored on each cruiser.  One of the destroyers was sunk.  The attacks were carried on until 5:30 p. m.  The Mikuma was sunk shortly after noon.  The Mogami was gutted and subsequently sunk.  Another enemy cruiser and a destroyer also were hit during these series of attacks.

19. It was during this afternoon (June 6) that the U. S. destroyer Hammann was torpedoed and sunk by an enemy submarine.  Most of her crew were rescued.  The Hammann was the destroyer announced as lost in Admiral Nimitz' Communiqué No. 4 (June 7, 1942).

20. After June 6 repeated attempts were made to contact the remainder of the Japanese invasion fleet but without success.  It was on June 9, while one of these searches was being carried out by a group of long-range Army medium bombers under the command of Maj.  Gen.  Clarence L. Tinker, U. S. A., that the plane carrying General Tinker was forced down at sea and lost.

21. The following is a recapitulation of the damage inflicted upon the enemy during the battle of Midway:

 

(a) Four Japanese aircraft carriers, the Kaga, Akagi, Soryu, and Hiryu were sunk.

(b) Three battleships were damaged by bomb and torpedo hits, one severely.

 

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(c) Two heavy cruisers, the Mogami and the Mikuma were sunk. Three others were damaged, one or two severely.

(d) One light cruiser was damaged.

(e) Three destroyers were sunk and several others were damaged by  bombs.

(f) At least three transports or auxiliary ships were damaged, one  or more sunk.

(g) An estimated 275 Japanese aircraft were destroyed or lost sea through a lack of flight decks on which to land.

(h) Approximately 4,800 Japanese were killed  or drowned.

 

22. Our total personnel losses were 92 officers and 215 enlisted men.

23. Our forces fought under the command of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, U. S. N., Commander in Chief of the Pacific Feet.  Other officers who held important commands during the battle were Lt.  Gen. Delos C. Emmons, U. S. A., Commanding General, Hawaiian Department; Maj. Gen. W. W. Hale, U. S. A., Head of the Bombing Command of the Army Air Force in Hawaii and Brig. Gen. Henry K. Pickett, U. S. M. C Commander of U. S. Marine Corps forces in the Hawaiian area.

24. Among the officers who held important commands at the scene of the action were Maj. Gen. C. L. Tinker, U. S. A., Commander of the Army Air Force in Hawaii. General Tinker was lost in action. Vice Admiral, then Rear Admiral F. J. Fletcher U. S. N, Rear Admiral R. A. Spruance, U. S. N., Rear Admiral T. C. Kinkaid, U. S. N., and Rear Admiral W. W. Smith, U. S. N., had commands at sea throughout the action. Capt. C. T. Simard, U. S. N., had command of the Naval Air Station at Midway. Col. Harold D. Shannon, U. S. M. C., was the Commanding Officer of Ground Troops at Midway. Lt. Col. Ira L. Kimes, U. S. M. C., was the Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps Aircraft at Midway. Lt. Col. W. C. Sweeney, Jr., U. S. A. commanded a formation of heavy Army bombers.

25. The battle of Midway was a complex and widespread action involving a number of engagements lasting more than 3 days and nights.  Even our active participants in the numerous attacks and counterattacks are unable to give confidently an accurate account of the damage inflicted by any one group in the many individual and unified attacks of our Army, Navy, and Marine Corps personnel.

 

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No. 98                                     July 17, 1942

 

ALEUTIANS

 

1. In early June, Japanese naval forces made a two-pronged thrust at our westernmost possessions Midway and the Aleutian chain.  The  presence in each attacking force of troop transports indicated that these attacks were aimed at capture and occupation. The thrust at Midway was made by approximately 80 ships including 4 carriers, at least 3  battleships, and a large number of cruisers, destroyers, and transports.  

A simultaneous thrust was made on the Aleutians employing a far smaller force of approximately two small carriers, two seaplane tenders, several cruisers and destroyers and from four to six transports.  The size of the forces involved shows the attack on Midway to have been the primary objective.

2. The attack on Midway was repelled as described in Navy Department communiqué No. 97. A resume of operations in the Aleutian Islands to date is given in the following paragraphs.

3. The first attack on Dutch Harbor and Fort Mears was made at about 6 a. m. on June 3d, concurrently with the early stages of the Japanese attack on Midway.  Five waves of three planes each, launched from carriers to the southward of Dutch Harbor, participated in the 20-minute attack, which was concentrated on Dutch Harbor and the nearby Army station at Fort Mears.

4. Three U. S. destroyers, an Army transport, a mine sweeper and a Coast Guard cutter were in the harbor, as well as an old station ship, the Northwestern, which had been beached and was used as barracks for contractors' personnel. The attack was not unexpected, and anti-aircraft crews, who were at their battle stations, both aboard the ships and at the shore batteries, opened fire 5 minutes before the first bomb was dropped.  To obtain maneuverability the ships present got under way, continuing their antiaircraft fire.  No ship was hit during the raid.  Two of the attacking aircraft were shot down.

5. A few barracks and warehouses at Fort Mears and Dutch Harbor were bombed and set afire and a Navy patrol plane which was about to take off with official mail was strafed.

6. On June 4, Army bombers and Navy patrol planes located and attacked the enemy carriers which had launched the attacking planes.

 

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Several bomb and torpedo attacks were made but results could not be observed.

7. One enemy plane was shot down during the several reconnaissance flights which the Japanese made over the Dutch Harbor area following the initial raid.

8. About 5 p. m. on June 4, 18 carrier-based bombers and 16 fighters attacked the installations at Dutch Harbor and Fort Mears. This attack was made simultaneously with an attack on the Army post at Fort Glenn, about 70 miles west of Dutch Harbor on the island of Umnak, where 9 enemy fighters strafed shore installations.  Two of the attacking planes were shot down by Army pursuit planes and the remaining withdrew without inflicting damage.

9. The alarm at Dutch Harbor and Fort Mears was sounded well in advance of the attack and the enemy was met with heavy antiaircraft fire from ship and shore batteries.  The station ship Northwestern was bombed and destroyed by fire.  A warehouse and a few fuel oil tanks were hit and set afire, and one empty aircraft hangar was hit.

10. Casualties amounted to approximately 44 military and naval personnel killed and 49 wounded, and 1 civilian employee killed.

11. Since June 4, there have been no further attacks on Dutch Harbor Fort Mears, Fort Glenn or any other U. S. military installations in Alaska or the Aleutian Islands.

12. Our naval patrol planes, Army bombers and submarines under the unified command of the Navy, have conducted the following attacks on the enemy forces which have made landings in the westernmost island groups which include Attu and Kiska:

 

(a) On June 5, Army aircraft attacked an enemy cruiser with  undetermined results.

(b) On June 11, a naval patrol plane reported enemy forces in Kiska Harbor.  During the night this force was attacked by  patrol planes and Army bombers.  Results were not observed.

(c) On June 12, enemy ships were observed at both Attu and Kiska, and about 20 tents and temporary structures were  observed on the shore at Kiska.  The enemy ships at Kiska were attacked by long-range Army aircraft and hits were made on the  ships in the harbor but the exact extent of the damage could  not be determined.

(d) Various bombing and reconnaissance missions against Kiska were conducted in the week from June 12 to 18 with no important

 

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results or major changes in the situation.  Weather prevented observation of Attu.

(e) On June 18, the ships in Kiska were bombed by Army aircraft,  resulting in the sinking of one transport near the center of  the harbor.

(f) All operations from June 21 to July 3 have been covered by Navy  Department Communiqué No. 94.

(g) On July 4 U. S. submarines torpedoed three destroyers off  Kiska, sinking two and leaving the third badly damaged.  A  third destroyer was sunk by a U. S. submarine off Agattu.

(h) On July 5, a U. S. submarine torpedoed and is believed to have sunk a fourth Japanese destroyer off Kiska.

(i) On July 6, Army aircraft dropped 56 bombs on the enemy shore installations at Kiska.

(j) On July 11, Army aircraft bombed an enemy cruiser in Kiska with undetermined results.

(k) Since July 11, there has been no material change in the general  situation.

 

13. The military results of the Aleutian campaign to date are as follows:

 

(a) The enemy inflicted minor damage to the naval station at Dutch Harbor and the Army post at Fort Mears but did not seriously  impair their military effectiveness.

(b) The enemy has occupied the undefended islands of Attu, Kiska, and Agattu in the westernmost tip of the Aleutian chain and has  constructed temporary living facilities ashore.

(c) At least seven enemy aircraft have been destroyed and our pilots' reports indicate damage and possible destruction of  several others.  A number of our aircraft have been lost.

(d) As previously reported, the following damage has been inflicted on the enemy naval forces since June 3:

 

Damaged                            Sunk

Four cruisers.                      Three destroyers.

Three destroyers.                One transport.

One gunboat.

One transport.

 

14. Operations against the enemy in this area continue.

 

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No. 99                                     July 21, 1942

 

The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 3 p. m., (e. w. t.), Tuesday, July 21, 1942:

 

North Pacific Area.

 

1. U. S. submarines have sunk three Japanese destroyers in the vicinity of Kiska in the Aleutian Islands.

2. These sinkings are in addition to those previously announced in Navy Department communiqués.

3. Several air attacks against enemy-occupied Kiska Island have been made recently by long-range Army bombers.  These attacks have centered on the enemy encampment at Kiska and on ships in Kiska Harbor.  It has been impossible to observe and appraise the results of these raids.

4. U. S. Army and Navy aircraft are continuing joint operations against the enemy forces occupying islands in the western Aleutians.

 

No. 100                                               July 25, 1942

 

Navy Department today issued the following communiqué:

 

Far East.

 

1. U. S. submarines have reported the following results of operations in Far Eastern waters:

 

(a) One modern Japanese destroyer sunk.

 

 

No. 101                                               August 8, 1942

 

The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 1 p. m. (e. w. t.), Saturday, August 8, 1942:

 

North and South Pacific Areas.

 

1. U. S. naval and other forces have attacked enemy installations in the southeast part of the Solomon Islands in force and the attacks are continuing.

 

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2. Simultaneously, U. S . naval forces bombarded enemy ships and shore establishments at Kiska.

3. No additional information is available at present.

 

No. 102                                               August 9, 1942

 

The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 4 p. m. (e. w. T.)

 

South Pacific Area.

 

1. Offensive operations against Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands are continuing.

2. Considerable enemy resistance has been encountered and it is still too early to announce results or to estimate either our own or enemy losses.

3. Australian units are participating with our forces.

 

August 10, 1942

 

A STATEMENT BY ADMIRAL ERNEST J. KING, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, U. S. FLEET

 

1. Offensive operations by U. S. naval and other forces, looking to the occupation of islands in the Tulagi area in the southeasterly Solomon Islands, have now been underway for about 3 days.

2. The operations are under the immediate command of Vice Admiral Ghormley and under the general control of Admiral Nimitz.  Certain of the forces under General MacArthur are cooperating.

3. The objective of the current operations is to expel the Japanese from the Tulagi area and to make use of that area for our own purposes.  The enemy have been in process of consolidating their positions, in which their purpose has been not only to deny them to us but to use them as a base of offensive operations against our positions which cover the line of communications to Australia and New Zealand.

4. An initial surprise was effected and planned landings accomplished. The enemy has counterattacked with rapidity and vigor.  Heavy fighting is still in progress. Our operating forces are employing all available communications in the conduct of the operations, so that our information is incomplete but it appears that we have had at least one cruiser sunk and two cruisers, two destroyers and one transport damaged.  Likewise, information as to the extent of damage inflicted on the enemy is incom-

 

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plete but includes a large number of enemy planes that have been destroyed and surface units put out of action.

5. This operation in the Tulagi area is significant in that it marks our first assumption of the initiative and of the offensive.  All of the previous operations in the Pacific, however successful, have been essentially defensive in character.

6. It should be understood that the operation now underway is one of the most complicated and difficult in warfare.  Considerable losses, such as are inherent in any offensive operation, must be expected as the price to be paid for the hard-won experience which is essential to the attainment of far-reaching results.

 

/S/ E. J. King.

 

No. 103                                        August 11, 1942

 

The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 6 p. in. (e. w. t.) on August 11, 1942:

 

North Pacific Area.

 

1. Information received by the Navy Department now makes it possible to report the following incidents in the Aleutian Islands:

2. On July 22 Army bombers dropped bombs through the fog in the area of Kiska Harbor. Results were unobserved.

3. On July 29 Navy patrol planes conducted a night attack on Kiska and Army bombers attacked shore installations and ships in the same vicinity.

4. On August 3 Japanese aircraft attacked the U. S. destroyer Kane off Atka Island, about 305 miles east of Kiska.  No damage was inflicted.  Army bombers again attacked the Kiska Harbor area, with unobserved results.

5. On August 4 Army pursuit planes shot down two Kawanishi 97 seaplane bombers.

6. On August 8 a task force of the Pacific Fleet, protected by Navy patrol planes, heavily bombarded a group of enemy ships, camp facilities, and shore installations at Kiska.  The attack was a complete surprise.  The enemy, mistaking the first salvos of shells for bombs, opened fire with antiaircraft batteries on imagined planes.  The intensive bombardment from cruiser and destroyer guns soon silenced short batteries, started fires and inflicted severe damage to the camp area.  The only

 

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enemy resistance encountered was from aircraft.  Our loss was one observation plane.

7. On August 9 naval patrol planes followed up the bombardment by an attack on two cargo ships in Kiska Harbor.  Two bomb hits were scored on each of the two ships, resulting in severe damage.  On this flight, observers reported sighting a sunken cargo ship, which is believed to have been sunk near the beach during the previous day's bombardment by surface forces.

 

South Pacific Area.

 

8. While the action in the Tulagi area of the Solomon Islands continues, nothing further can be reported at this moment.

 

No. 104                                               August 12, 1942

 

1. Operations in the Solomons are still in progress.

2. It has been confirmed that the United States Marines have landed as scheduled on three islands in the vicinity of Tulagi.  The Marines are engaged in consolidating their positions.  Supporting naval forces have been engaged in bitter fighting, details of which are not yet available.  United States Army and Australian aircraft are continuing attacks on enemy landing fields and shore-based aircraft.

3. There is substantial evidence that the Japanese had planned and had well underway the development of an enemy base in the Tulagi area.

4. Until more details are available it is impossible to elaborate further on these operations.  All available communications facilities are overtaxed by urgent messages concerning operations.

 

No. 105                                               August 13, 1942

 

1. Operations are continuing in the Solomon Islands area.

2. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 106                                               August 14, 1942

 

1. The task of consolidating the shore positions now held by U. S. Marines in the Solomon Islands is progressing satisfactorily.

 

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2. Naval units are engaged in protecting our lines of communication and escorting supply vessels to our occupying forces.

3. U. S. Army and Allied shore-based aircraft are continuing to attack Japanese air bases and ship concentrations in enemy-held harbors.

 

No. 107                                               August 17, 1942

 

South Pacific Area.

 

1. It is now possible to issue some details of the attacks and landing operations which have been in progress in the Solomon Islands since the early morning of August 7 (local time).

2. The attacks were a complete surprise to the enemy and 18 of their seaplanes were destroyed before they could get into action.

3. Transport-borne, amphibious forces of the U. S. Marine Corps made several landings on islands in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area. Vigorous enemy resistance was rapidly overcome and a number of Japanese prisoners were taken.  The shore positions taken by U. S. forces have since been developed and are now well established.

During these landing operations, cruisers and destroyers were so disposed as to protect our transports and cargo ships as they unloaded troops and equipment.  While thus engaged on August 7 and August 8, our forces were attacked by enemy land-based aircraft.  These attacks were driven off and at least 18 more enemy planes destroyed, while only minor damage was suffered by our forces.

5. During the night of August 8-9 an enemy force of cruisers and destroyers attempted to attack our transports, cargo ships and supporting forces. This enemy force was intercepted and engaged by our cruisers and destroyers. The heavy fighting which followed resulted in the enemy being forced to retreat before reaching the vessels engaged in the landing operations.  The close-range fighting during this night engagement resulted in damage both to the enemy and to our forces.  This night action is the only engagement between surface forces which has been fought to date in the Solomon Islands.

6. It is impossible, in night engagements, to determine accurately the damage inflicted on the opposing force.  No further statement is made at this time of the extent of damage to our forces because of the obvious value of such information to the enemy.

 

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No. 108                                               August 19, 1942

 

North Pacific Area.

 

1. A U. S. submarine has reported the sinking of a Japanese cruiser or destroyer in the western Aleutian area.  Conditions made impossible an exact identification of the type of ship.

2. This sinking has not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

 

No. 109                                               August 20, 1942

 

The following communiqué is based upon reports received up to 3:30 p. m. (e. w. t.) on August 20, 1942:

 

South Pacific Area.

 

1. U. S. Marines are engaged in "mopping up" remnants of the Japanese forces on the islands which were recently captured in the Solomon Archipelago.

2. Casual bombardments of our shore positions by enemy aircraft, destroyers, and submarines have inflicted only minor damage.

3. An enemy destroyer or cruiser was bombed and set afire by our aircraft.

4. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 110                                               August 22, 1942

 

The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué:

 

Far East.

 

1. U. S. submarines have reported the following results of operations in Far Eastern waters:

 

(a) Two large cargo ships sunk.

(b) One large transport sunk.

(c) One destroyer damaged and possibly sunk.

(d) One medium-sized cargo ship damaged by one torpedo hit.

 

2. These actions were not related to the operations in the Solomon Islands.

 

North Pacific.

 

3. A U. S. submarine has reported the sinking of a large Japanese merchant ship in the Aleutian area.

 

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4. The above actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

 

No. 111                                               August 25, 1942

 

The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 11 a. m. (e. w. t.) on August 25, 1942:

 

South Pacific.

 

1.  U. S. naval and air forces are engaged in a large-scale battle at sea in an attempt to repel a strong Japanese striking force which has approached the southeastern group of the Solomon Islands from the northeastward.

2. It was expected that our occupation of the important enemy base at Tulagi would be countered by a violent attempt on the part of the enemy to recapture their shore bases in this area.  This counterattack has developed and is now being met.

3. Preliminary reports indicate that the enemy striking force has been attacked by U. S. Army "Flying Fortresses" and that our carrier-based naval aircraft are in action.

4. Army bombers attacked a large Japanese carrier and reported four hits. U. S. carrier aircraft attacked and severely damaged the smaller Japanese carrier Ryuzyo. Several enemy cruisers and a battleship also have been hit by our carrier planes.

5. During the afternoon of August 23 (Washington date) a strong enemy air attack on Guadalcanal Island was intercepted by our fighters and at least 21 enemy aircraft were shot down.  Our losses in this action were minor.

6. During the night of August 23-24 (Washington date) enemy destroyers shelled our shore positions on Guadalcanal.

7. On August 24 (Washington date) U. S. aircraft hit and damaged an enemy transport and a cruiser north of Guadalcanal and left both burning fiercely.

8. The action continues.

 

No. 112                                               August 26, 1942

 

The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 2 p. m., (e. w. t.), on August 26, 1942:

 

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South Pacific.

 

1. It is still too early to estimate the outcome of the battle at sea being fought off the Solomon Islands, but reports to date reveal that our forces at Guadalcanal are holding their positions in the face of strong enemy thrusts and in each action have inflicted heavy damage on the attacking Japanese forces.

2. During the previously reported shelling of Guadalcanal Island on the night of August 23-24 (Washington date) our dive bombers damaged an enemy destroyer.

3. The enemy force of transports, cruisers, and destroyers which approached Guadalcanal from the northward on August 24 (Washington date) was attacked by U. S. Marine and naval aircraft based on Guadalcanal.  In addition to the cruiser which was previously reported burning fiercely, one destroyer and four additional ships were left burning and the transport which was reported to have been hit during this attack was later seen abandoned as the enemy force withdrew.

4. The performance of our fighter aircraft based at Guadalcanal has been outstanding. As previously reported, a strong enemy air attack on Guadalcanal, during the afternoon of August 23 (Washington date), was intercepted by these fighters. Twenty-one enemy planes were shot down.  Our loss was 3 planes. On August 25 (Washington date) Guadalcanal was attacked by 16 two-motored bombers escorted by 12 "Zero" fighters.  Our fighters met this force and shot down 7 bombers and 5 "Zero" fighters.  Our loss was 1 fighter.

5. The results, to date, of the battle for the retention of our foothold in the southeastern Solomons are encouraging.

 

No. 113                                               August 27, 1942

 

South Pacific.

 

1. Since the issuance of Navy Department Communiqué No. 112, there has been no further action in the sea battle off the Solomon Islands.

2. Japanese surface forces appear to have withdrawn from the vicinity of our positions in the Tulagi area.

 

Atlantic.

 

3. The U. S. destroyer Ingraham has been sunk as a result of a collision in a fog in the Atlantic.

4. The next of kin of those lost have been notified.

 

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No. 114                                               August 29, 1942

 

The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 12 noon(e. w. t.), on August 29,1942:

 

South Pacific.

 

1.  During the late afternoon of August 27 (Washington date) a U. S. aircraft patrol, based on Guadalcanal Island, in the Solomon Archipelago, sighted one small and three large Japanese destroyers.  These ships appeared to be loaded with supplies and equipment for isolated Japanese patrols believed to be operating near the eastern end of Santa Isabel Island.

2. After reporting contact, the patrol planes attacked and secured one hit on the small destroyer.

3. A striking force of "Douglas" dive bombers from Guadalcanal answered the contact report by proceeding to attack the three large destroyers.  The attack resulted in the following damage to the enemy:

(a) One large destroyer sunk as the result of a heavy explosion

following bomb hits.

(b) A second large destroyer severely damaged and probably sunk.

4. During this attack the striking force observed that the destroyer previously hit by the patrol planes was crippled and burning.

5. No further action has been reported in this area.

 

No. 115                                               August 29, 1942

 

South Pacific (All dates given are east longitude, one day later than Washington date).

 

1. The position of our forces in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area has been sufficiently well established to warrant the release of details of the action in the Solomon Islands, which has been in progress since the early morning of August 7.

2. The operation was carried out under the direction of the Commander Naval Forces, South Pacific, Vice Admiral R. L. Ghormley, and under the general direction of the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.  The amphibious landing force of U. S. Marines was under the immediate command of Maj.  Gen.  A. A. Vandergrift, U. S. M. C. The transport force was commanded by Rear Admiral R. K. Turner and the supporting ships were under the command of Vice Admiral Frank J. Fletcher.

 

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3. Our approach to the area of operations was accomplished under cover of an overcast which made aerial reconnaissance difficult.  On the night of August 6-7 the weather cleared and our transports and screening forces proceeded unopposed to their assigned positions.  During the early morning hours of August 7, under the strong protection of carrier-based aircraft and supporting fire from surface vessels, the actual landing operations were commenced.  A complete surprise had been effected and 18 Japanese seaplanes and a small schooner were caught in the harbor and sunk, Our carrier-based planes covered the entire operation, dive-bombing shore batteries, supply stations and centers of enemy resistance while maintaining an alert against possible enemy air attack.

4. Specially trained and fully equipped Marine Corps troops were transported to the beaches in landing craft and beachheads were soon established.  Varying degrees of resistance were encountered but by nightfall our troops were in possession of a strong beachhead in the Tenaru River region on Guadalcanal and had captured most of Tulagi, all of Gavutu, and had occupied a position at Halavo on Florida Island.  During the night and early the following morning the island of Tanambogo, which is connected to Gavutu by a causeway, was taken in the face of strong opposition.

5. Before, during and after these attacks, long-range Army bombers, some under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and others under the command of Vice Admiral Ghormley, were engaged in coordinated search operations.  These bombers, while so engaged, delivered heavy attacks on enemy ships and air bases in the New Britain, New Guinea, and Solomon Islands area.

6. The first enemy counterattack developed at about 3:20 p. m. on August 7 when 25 heavy bombers attacked the occupying forces.  No hits were scored by the enemy and antiaircraft fire from our surface ships brought down two of these bombers and damaged two others.  Shortly after 4:00 p. m., 10 enemy dive bombers attacked our ships.  A bomb hit damaged one of our destroyers while 2 of the enemy planes were shot down by antiaircraft fire.

7. Our operations on August 7 resulted in heavy loss to the enemy in both men and aircraft, loss of control of all vital positions in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area, and the loss of large quantities of supplies when positions were surrendered.  We suffered one destroyer damaged but

 

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our losses in men and aircraft during the first day's operations were moderate.

8. During the night of August 7 and throughout the following morning, supplies and equipment were hurriedly unloaded from ships and sent ashore to assist our patrols in consolidating their gains.

This work was carried on in the face of sporadic attacks by scattered enemy troops against whom continued assaults were made.

9. At about noon on August 8, 40 or more enemy torpedo planes attacked our ships in the harbor.  One destroyer and 1 unloaded transport were hit.  Twelve enemy planes were shot down by ships' antiaircraft and fighters and 2 were destroyed by gunfire from shore batteries.  During the enemy air attacks on August 7 and August 8 our carrier-based aircraft and antiaircraft batteries, in addition to dive-bombing enemy shore batteries and supply centers, shot down 47 enemy planes of different types.

10. By sundown on August 8, the area occupied by our troops on Guadalcanal Island had been expanded and the airfield, which the Japanese had nearly completed, was in our possession.  Enemy resistance on the islands of Tulagi, Gavutu, and Tanambogo had been overcome and large quantities of ammunition and supplies were captured as well as equipment which the Japanese were using to develop a major naval base.

11. During the night of August 8-9 unloading from transports and cargo ships continued.  The enemy attempted to disrupt these operations by a strong thrust with surface vessels.  Our cruisers and destroyers, which were covering the operations, intercepted the attack and forced the enemy to retreat before reaching the vessels engaged in the landing operations.  The close-range fighting in this action resulted in damage to the enemy and to our forces.  By nightfall on August 9 unloading operations had been completed and our transports and cargo ships left the area.

12. By noon on August 10 the Marines had overcome all major opposition on the islands of Guadalcanal, Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo, Makambo, and portions of Florida Island and were engaged in pursuing isolated patrols which had withdrawn to the interior.

13. "Mopping-up" operations have continued to date.  Several small contingents of enemy troops have been landed on the islands which we hold, the largest landing having been made by 700 troops on Guadalcanal

 

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on August 21.  Our positions have been bombarded by surface craft and submarines and bombed by aircraft, but our losses as a result of these attacks have been small.  Every attempt by the enemy to recapture his lost positions has resulted in the complete annihilation or capture by U. S. Marines of all troops that have landed.

14. On August 23 our reconnaissance aircraft observed several detachments of enemy ships approaching Guadalcanal Island from the north and northeastward.  The presence of transports indicated that an attempt to recapture the shore positions in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area was intended.  The action at sea which ended in the withdrawal of the enemy surface forces was described in Navy Department Communiqués Nos. 111 and 112.  While this action was in progress enemy aircraft made three attacks in force on Guadalcanal.  Naval and Marine fighters, based at the newly captured airfield at Guadalcanal met and repulsed these attacks.

 

No. 116                                               August 30, 1942

 

The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 4 p. m. (e. w. t.) on Aug. 30, 1942:

 

South Pacific.

 

1.  On August 29 (east longitude date) the Japanese conducted two bombing raids on our positions at Guadalcanal.

2.  The first attack was made by 6 planes and was followed, about 8 hours later, by a flight of 18 bombers.

3.  Three enemy bombers and 4 "Zero" fighters were shot down. Damage to our positions was minor and no U. S. planes were lost.

 

No. 117                                               September 3, 1942

 

Far East.

 

1. U. S. submarines have reported the following results of operations against the enemy in Far Eastern waters:

 

(a) One Japanese light, cruiser sunk.

(b) Two small freighters sunk.

(c) One medium-sized tanker sunk.

(d) One small steamer sunk.

(e) Two large tankers damaged.

(f) One medium-sized cargo ship damaged and probably sunk.

 

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2. The above actions are not related to the recent operations in the Solomon Islands and have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

 

 

No. 118                                               September 3, 1942

 

The following communiqué is based on reports received up to 6 p. m. (e. w. t.)

 

South Pacific.

 

1. Several new attempts have been made by the Japanese to land and establish small detachments of troops on various islands in the southeastern Solomon group.  U. S. land-based aircraft, operating from our Guadalcanal base have attacked the ships engaged in these landing operations.  Several hits have been reported but the extent of damage inflicted is not known.  The parties which have succeeded in landing are being sought out and engaged by U. S. Marines.

2. During the morning of September 2 (east longitude date) an Army Flying Fortress on patrol off the north coast of Santa Isabel Island bombed and damaged an enemy tanker or seaplane tender, leaving it burning.

3. At about this same time 18 Japanese bombers, escorted by fighters, attacked our installations at Guadalcanal.  Three enemy bombers and 4 fighters were shot down by our defending aircraft while antiaircraft batteries shot down an additional fighter.  Damage to our positions was minor.

4. In spite of the periodic attacks by enemy aircraft our positions in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area are steadily being reinforced and strengthened.

 

No. 119                                               September 5, 1942

 

South Pacific.

 

1. The U. S. destroyer Blue and the small auxiliary transport Colhoun have been sunk during the past 2 weeks in the South Pacific as a result of enemy action.

2. There were few casualties and the next of kin of those lost will be notified as soon as reports are received.

 

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No. 120.                                        September 7, 1942

 

South Pacific.

 

1.  Shortly after noon on September 5 (east longitude date) 26 Japanese bombers, escorted by 20 "Zero" fighters, attacked our positions at Guadalcanal and inflicted minor damage.  Our fighters intercepted the attack and shot down 2 enemy bombers and 1 fighter.

 

No. 121                                               September 7, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates given are east longitude).

 

1. Since the capture by U. S. forces of the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area of the Solomon Islands on August 7, supplies and reinforcements have been landed and the development of our shore positions and airfields on Guadalcanal has been steadily pressed.

2. These operations have been opposed by enemy aircraft and submarines and have not been accomplished without some cost.  The U. S. destroyer Blue and the small transport Colhoun, whose sinkings were announced in communiqué No. 119, were lost as a result of operations necessary to the supply of our shore bases in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area.

3. Land-based bombers, supported by fighters, have attacked our positions on numerous occasions, but in no instance has the damage to shore installations been serious.  Our Grumman "Wildcats" and "Avengers" at Guadalcanal airfield have intercepted these attacks and have exacted a heavy toll of enemy planes.  Enemy submarines have also been active in this area and on several occasions have ineffectually shelled our positions at night.

4. Our air patrols have sighted and attacked several small enemy detachments attempting landings on Guadalcanal and nearby islands.  On September 3 our Grumman fighters and Douglas "Dauntless" dive-bombers attacked a landing party near San Jorge Island about 65 miles northwest of the airfield at Guadalcanal.  Loaded landing barges were strafed causing heavy loss of life.  Many of the small enemy vessels engaged in this operation were sunk.

5. On September 5 the air patrol sighted another landing party near the western end of Guadalcanal.  Our air patrol and Curtiss Army pursuit planes, sank three of the landing boats, damaged several others and killed a large number of the troops in these boats.

 

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6. It is believed that these landings have been attempted in order to reinforce isolated Japanese patrols which withdrew to the mountains and jungles in the uninhabited regions of the island when our forces occupied the defended positions.  Our Marine forces are continuing their efforts to search out and dispose of these scattered enemy units.

 

No.  122                                        September 9, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates given are cast longitude).

 

1.  On September 5 a Navy patrol plane shot down a large Japanese four-engined flying boat northeast of the Solomons.

2. On September 6 our aircraft bombed and strafed enemy shore installations at Gizo Island in the New Georgia group of the Solomons.  No resistance was encountered.

3. Marines on Guadalcanal continue to seek out and attack Japanese detachments.  These are made up of Japanese soldiers that fled to the jungles during our initial landing, on August 7, possibly reinforced by small numbers of troops landed from time to time under cover of darkness.

 

No. 123                                               September 12, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates given are east longitude).

 

1. The Japanese are continuing their determined efforts to dislodge American forces from the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area of the Solomon Islands.

2. Enemy air raids against our positions in this area continue.  On September 9, 26 enemy bombers escorted by Zero fighters attacked our installations at Guadalcanal.  U. S. aircraft shot down 5 bombers and 4 fighters.  On September 10, 27 enemy bombers attacked Guadalcanal and 4 of the Japanese planes were shot down.  On September 11, 26 enemy bombers with fighters were shot down by U. S. planes.

3. Enemy destroyers have shelled our positions at night but no damage has resulted.

4. On September 11 our Douglas "Dauntless" dive bombers attacked enemy installations on Gizo Island in the New Georgia group.  A small enemy surface craft was sunk and considerable damage was done to buildings and installations.

 

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5. U. S. Marines, assisted by dive bombers and fighters, continue to seek out and engage enemy troop units in the interior of Guadalcanal.  The enemy has reinforced and supplied these units by means of small craft which approach the shore under cover of darkness.  Despite opposition to these landings, it has not been possible to prevent them entirely.

 

No. 124                                               September 15, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates given are east longitude).

 

Based on reports received up to 6 p. m. (e. w. t.).

1. Japanese attempts to recapture U. S. positions on Guadalcanal Island have been intensified.  Heavy fighting has been in progress since the night of September 12-13 between our Marines and reinforced enemy troops on the island.  Details of the fighting are lacking, but reports received to date indicate that the Marines are maintaining their positions.

2. During the past few days the Japanese have increased the intensity of their bombing attacks by aircraft and the bombardment by surface vessels.  Some attempts by the enemy to land small detachments of troops at night have been successful.

3. On September 11 Army "Flying Fortresses" shot down four "Zero" fighters in the vicinity of Guadalcanal and strafed shore installations on the island of Gizo.  On September 12 Army bombers shot down two enemy seaplanes.

4. During the night of September 12-13 our positions on Guadalcanal were shelled by enemy surface craft.  One of these vessels was reported to have been hit by our shore batteries.  Contacts with enemy patrols were made during this same night and heavy fighting continued during the following day and night.

5. On September 13 two flights of about 28 enemy bombers each, escorted by "Zero" fighters, attacked the airfield at Guadalcanal.  Navy and Marine Corps Grumman "Wildcat" fighters shot down 4 bombers and 4 fighters.  This same day Army bombers attacked seaplanes on the water at Rekata Bay on the northwest shore of Santa Isabel Island.  One enemy plane was destroyed and a second was damaged.

6. During the night of September 13-14 our positions at Guadalcanal were shelled by enemy surface craft and our troops engaged in heavy fighting with enemy troops, who made an unsuccessful attempt to capture the airfield.

 

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7. On September 14 an enemy flight of 28 bombers, escorted by fighters, attacked Guadalcanal shortly after noon.  Navy and Marine fighters shot down 1 bomber and 5 fighters.

 

No. 125                                               September 16, 1942

 

1. The U. S. S. Yorktown (aircraft carrier) was sunk on June 7, 1942, as the result of enemy action during and subsequent to the Battle of Midway.  The Navy Department, having good reason to believe that the loss of the Yorktown was not known to the enemy, withheld this pending developments which were vital to the operations announcement which have been in progress in the South Pacific since early August.

2. The Yorktown was put out of action by enemy aircraft attacks with bombs and torpedoes on the afternoon of June 4, as described in Navy Department Communiqué No. 97, of July 14. She was seriously damaged and heavily listed as the result of these attacks, and the crew was forced to abandon ship in view of the imminent danger of her capsizing.  Tugs and other salvage vessels were sent to her assistance.  A salvage party was placed aboard and she was taken in tow.  Progress was slow, but it appeared that she might be saved.

3. By the morning of June 6 the salvage party had been able to reduce the list and the prospects of saving the ship appeared brighter.  The U. S. S. Hammann (destroyer) was placed alongside to assist.  Shortly after noon on June 6, an enemy submarine scored two torpedo hits amidships on the Yorktown and two torpedo hits on the Hammann alongside.  The Hammann sank shortly thereafter, and the condition of the Yorktown became critical.  The enemy submarine was attacked by destroyers throughout the day.  Results of these attacks indicated that the submarine was certainly damaged and possibly sunk.

4. During the early morning of June 7, the Yorktown capsized and sank as the result of the cumulative damage from aircraft bombs and torpedoes on the 4th, and submarine torpedoes on the 6th.

5. Casualties in the Yorktown were few and were included in the total personnel losses in the Battle of Midway (92 officers and 215 enlisted men) which have been previously reported.  The next of kin of those lost have been notified.  The Yorktown and the Hammann were the only U. S. ships lost in the Battle of Midway.

 

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No. 126                                               September 16, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates given are east longitude).  Based on reports received up to 5:30 p. m. e. w. t.

 

1. The intensity of the fighting on Guadalcanal Island has decreased and the Marines are still holding their positions.  Marine patrols continue active.

2. On September 15 two heavy Army bombers (Boeing "Flying Fortresses") attacked shore installations at Rekata Bay on the northwest coast of Santa Isabel Island.  Fires were observed as a result of this bombing.

3. On September 16 Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers (Douglas "Devastators") and Navy torpedo planes (Grumman "Avengers") attacked Japanese cruisers and destroyers south of Choiseul Island.  One Cruiser was damaged by a torpedo and a second by bombs.

 

No.  127                                        September 16, 1942

 

North Pacific.

 

1. On September 4, two long-range Army pursuit planes (Lockheed "Lightnings") accompanied by one Army heavy bomber (Consolidated "Liberator") made a strafing attack on enemy ships, aircraft and shore installations at Kiska Harbor, in the western Aleutian Islands.  A four-engined flying boat is believed to have been destroyed on the water and many casualties both aboard ships and ashore were reported.

2. On September 14, a large group of Army heavy bombers (Consolidated "Liberators") accompanied by Army pursuit planes (Bell "Airocobras" and Lockheed "Lightnings") bombed and strafed the same objectives from low altitude.  The enemy attempted to repel this attack with planes and weak antiaircraft resistance. The attack resulted in the following damage to the enemy:

 

(a) Two mine sweepers were sunk.

(b) Three large cargo ships were damaged by bombs.

(c) Three submarines and several small craft were damaged by

bombs and machine-gun fire.

(d) Storehouses and supply dumps in the camp area were set fire by

repeated attacks.

(e) Four "Zero" fighters and one small plane were shot down.

 

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(f) One large patrol plane was destroyed on the water.

(g) An estimated 500 troops were either killed or wounded.

 

3. No U. S. aircraft were lost as a result of enemy action.

 

No. 128.                                        September 17, 1942

 

Far East.

 

1. U. S. submarines have reported the following results of operations against the enemy in Far Eastern waters:

(a) Two large freighters sunk.

(b) One medium-sized freighter sunk.

(c) One small patrol boat sunk.

(d) One large tanker damaged and left afire.

(e) One large freighter damaged.

(f) One large transport damaged.

(g) One medium-sized cargo ship damaged.

2. These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué, and are not related to operations in the Solomon Islands.

 

No. 129.                                              September 19, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates given are east longitude).

 

1. Since the unsuccessful attempt of the Japanese to recapture the airfield at Guadalcanal during the night of September 13-14, there has been a lull in the land-fighting on the island.  These hostilities have been confined to minor patrol activity, sniping, and occasional skirmishes between small enemy units and U. S. Marines.  Supplies and reinforcements have reached our forces.

2. On September 14 Army "Flying Fortresses" attacked a force of enemy ships to the northeastward of Tulagi.  This force included battleships and cruisers.  Heavy antiaircraft fire was encountered but possible hits on two battleships were reported.  When last seen, this force was retiring to the north.

3. On September 15, 16, and 17 Army long-range bombers strafed and bombed Rekata Bay and on September 16 and 17 bombed ships and shore installations at Gizo Island.  Results of these attacks were undetermined although fires were observed after the attack on Rekata Bay on the 15th.

 

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No. 130.                                        September 22, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates given are east longitude).

 

1. On September 19 Army heavy bombers (Boeing Flying Fortresses) bombed Gizo Island and bombed and strafed shore installations at Rekata Bay.

2. On September 20 Navy and Marine Corps Douglas dive bombers attacked and damaged a Japanese cruiser northwest of Guadalcanal and bombed shore installations at Rekata Bay.

3. Patrol activity on Guadalcanal was minor during September 18 and September 19, but increased somewhat on September 20.  Our positions remain intact.

 

No. 131.                                        September 24, 1942

 

South Pacific.

 

1. The U. S. S. Jarvis (destroyer), which was damaged as a result of enemy air attacks off Guadalcanal, must be presumed lost at sea en route from Tulagi to a southern repair base.  The Jarvis has been overdue for several weeks and intensive search by ships and aircraft has failed to locate her or reveal any trace of her personnel.  It is assumed that she was sunk by enemy submarines or aircraft.

2. The U. S. S. Little (small auxiliary transport) has been sunk by the enemy in recent operations in the Solomon Islands area. Approximately half of the personnel of the Little were saved.

3. The next of kin of those lost have been notified.

 

No. 132.                                        September 25, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates given are cast longitude).

 

1. On September 21 Army heavy bombers (Boeing Flying Fortresses) bombed and strafed Gizo Island in the New Georgia Group of the Solomon Islands and attacked enemy installations at Rekata Bay on the northern coast of Santa Isabel Island.

2. On September 23 Army bombers again attacked Rekata Bay.  Docks and buildings were damaged and one small float plane was shot down.

3. On September 24 Army bombers attacked a force of enemy transports near Shortland Island, in the western Solomons.  This attack was opposed by about 20 Japanese fighters.  Three hits were scored on the transports and 1 enemy fighter was shot down.

 

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4. Marine patrols on Guadalcanal have been active in attacking scattered enemy units.  These operations have been supported by Navy and Marine Corps Douglas dive bombers which have bombed and strafed enemy-held villages and other points of resistance.

 

No. 133.                                        September 28, 1942

 

North Pacific.

 

1. On September 24 a small force of heavy Army bombers attacked enemy installations on the island of Kiska.  Results were not observed.

2. On September 25 a strong force of Army bombers and pursuit planes, accompanied by planes of the Royal Canadian Air Force, attacked shore installations and ships at Kiska.  Two submarines were strafed, 6 seaplane fighters were destroyed on the water and a seventh was shot down.  Bomb hits started fires on 1 of the 2 transports (or cargo ships) which were found in the harbor and the damaged ship was last seen listed and beached.  It was estimated that 150 Japanese were killed or wounded.

 

No. 134.                                        September 28, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates given are east longitude).

 

1. U. S. Marines on Guadalcanal and Florida Islands in the Solomon Archipelago are continuing active patrol operations against Japanese ground forces.  Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers have supported our ground forces in both search and attack.  Several small enemy detachments have been engaged and destroyed and our positions have been expanded somewhat.

2. During the period September 25th to September 28th, inclusive, Army, Navy and Marine Corps flyers destroyed 42 enemy aircraft and damaged 3 others without combat loss of any U. S. planes.

3. On September 25th heavy Army bombers attacked Rekata Bay, Tonolei Harbor, and Japanese ships southeast of Buka Passage.  At Rekata Bay an enemy seaplane was damaged on the water and several small-gun emplacements were strafed.  At Tonolei Harbor one bomb hit was scored on an enemy cruiser and three seaplanes were shot down.  A Japanese seaplane tender was damaged by one bomb hit in the action southeast of Buka Passage.

 

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4. On September 26th heavy Army bombers in force attacked enemy ships near Shortland Island.  One cruiser was hit and left burning and a large transport (or cargo ship) was heavily bombed and also set afire.  This ship probably sank.  Six enemy seaplanes were shot down and a seventh was damaged.

5. On September 27th 18 enemy bombers escorted by 13 fighters attacked our positions at Guadalcanal.  Intercepting Navy and Marine Corps fighters shot down 4 bombers and 5 fighters.

6. On September 28th 25 enemy bombers escorted by 18 "Zero" fighters attacked our Guadalcanal installations.  Navy and Marine Corps fighters again intercepted and forced the attacking bombers to jettison their bombs into the sea.  Twenty-three enemy bombers and 1 fighter were destroyed.

 

No. 135                                               September 30, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates given are east longitude).

 

1. At about noon on August 8th a Japanese torpedo plane crashed into and set afire the U. S. S. George F. Elliott (naval transport, formerly the S. S. City of Los Angeles) during the torpedo attack announced in paragraph 9 of Navy Department Communiqué No. 115.  Burning gasoline started fires which could not be extinguished and the Elliott was abandoned and destroyed.  There were few casualties and the next of kin of those lost have been notified.

2. The U. S. S. Gregory (small auxiliary transport) was recently sunk by enemy gunfire off Guadalcanal.  Most of her personnel were saved and the next of kin of those lost have been notified.

 

No. 136                                               October 2, 1942

 

Far East.

 

1. U. S. submarines have reported the following results of operations against the enemy in Far Eastern waters:

 

1  large seaplane tender sunk.

1  large cargo passenger ship sunk.

1  large freighter sunk.

2  medium sized cargo ships sunk.

2  medium sized cargo ships damaged and probably sunk.

1  large tanker damaged.

 

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2. These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué‚.

 

No. 137                                               October 2, 1942

 

North Pacific.

 

1. On September 27th Army Liberator bombers dropped bombs on enemy ships and shore installations at Kiska.  One Zero fighter was shot down.  Damage to bomb objectives could not be determined.  All our planes returned.

2. On the same date near the island of Attu three Army bombers attacked a transport, escorted by a destroyer.  Near misses damaged the transport which, when last seen, had stopped.

3. During the morning of September 28th a strong force of Army 3 heavy bombers, escorted by pursuit craft, again bombed enemy ships and buildings at Kiska.  Zero fighters and antiaircraft batteries on surface vessels attempted to repel this attack.  A transport and a submarine were damaged and probably sunk and five Zero fighters were shot down.  One of our pursuit planes was lost.

4. During the afternoon of September 28th Army bombers again attacked the Kiska area, strafing and bombing ships and shore facilities. Results of this attack are not known.

5. During this same afternoon Army planes attacked an enemy cargo ship northwest of Kiska.  The ship was bombed and strafed and left in a damaged condition.

 

No. 138                                               October 3, 1942

 

North Pacific.

 

1. U. S. Army troops, covered and supported by units of the U. S. Navy, have recently occupied positions in the Andreanof group of the Aleutian Islands.  Occupation was effected without enemy opposition.  Army aircraft, including B-24 (Consolidated) and B-17 (Flying Fortress) bombers, and P-38 (Lockheed Lightning), P-39 (Bell Airacobra), and P-40 (Curtiss) pursuit planes, are now operating from air fields in these islands.

2. On September 29th the enemy cargo ship which was attacked northwest of Kiska on the 28th was again bombed and strafed by Army air-

 

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craft.  No opposition was encountered and the ship appeared to have been abandoned.

3. On September 30th, in the face of considerable antiaircraft opposition.  Army Consolidated B-24's bombed ships in the harbor at Kiska.  An enemy transport was set afire by two direct hits.  The camp area also was bombed and several fires resulted.  All our planes returned.

 

No. 139                                               October 5, 1942

 

Pacific Area.

 

1. The U. S. S. Grunion (submarine) has been overdue in the Pacific for some time and must be presumed to be lost.

2. The next of kin of the personnel of the Grunion have been notified.

 

No. 140                                               October 5, 1942

 

North Pacific.

 

1. Army bombers, operating from our new bases in the Andreanof group of the Aleutian Islands, are making almost daily raids on Kiska.  Weather conditions have favored these operations and the enemy has been under continual fire.

2. On October 1st and 2d many demolition and incendiary bomb hits were scored on the camp area and the seaplane hangar.  Five enemy seaplanes were shot down during the raid on October 2d.

3. Although no hits were observed on the three cargo ships present at Kiska, subsequent photographic reconnaissance revealed that two of these ships were damaged by bombs and were beached.

 

No. 141                                               October 5, 1942

 

South Pacific

 

1. U. S. Marines are maintaining their positions on Guadalcanal while our air forces are continuing to attack the enemy over a wide area.

Clashes with enemy patrols have been frequent but there has been no major change in positions.  In spite of our determined air attacks it has not been possible to prevent the enemy from landing small troop reinforcements on Guadalcanal under cover of darkness.

 

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2. On September 29th:

(a) A small group of Japanese heavy bombers with strong fighter escort raided our positions at Guadalcanal.  Our fighters shot down four enemy fighters and forced the bombers to jettison their bombs before reaching their objectives.

(b) Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers, assisted by Army pursuit planes, raided enemy small craft carrying supplies to troops on Guadalcanal and bombed and strafed enemy troops and equipment ashore.

(c) Enemy installations at Rekata Bay were bombed and strafed by our search planes.  Fires were observed ashore and two enemy seaplanes were destroyed.

3. On September 30th:

(a) Rekata Bay was attacked by Navy dive bombers.  A munitions dump was set afire and two enemy aircraft were damaged.

(b) Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers and Army pursuit planes continued attacks on enemy troop concentrations and supply dumps on Guadalcanal.

4. On October 1st:

(a) Army pursuit planes continued attacks on enemy ground forces on Guadalcanal.

(b) Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers and torpedo planes attacked four Japanese destroyers to the south of the New Georgia group.  These ships are believed to have been covering a small landing which the enemy made at Viru Harbor on the night of September 30th.  One destroyer was hit and damaged and when last seen was dead in the water.

(c) Army Flying Fortress set fire to a small boat off Greenwich Islands [1] at the southeastern end of Malaita Island.

5. On October 2d:

(a) The Japanese again attacked Guadalcanal with a small group of bombers, heavily protected by fighters.  Our intercepting fighters shot down four enemy fighters.  No bombs were dropped.

(b) Army heavy bombers attacked Rekata Bay but results were not observed.

 

[1] The Greenwich Island referred to in the above is the Kapingamarangi Island ... Known as Greenwich Island.

 

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No. 142.                                        October 6, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates given are east longitude).

 

Based on reports received up to 5:30 p. m., e. w. t.

1. On October 3d:

(a) A small group of Japanese bombers, preceded by about 30 Zero fighters attempted to raid U. S. installations on Guadalcanal.  Antiaircraft batteries shot down two enemy fighters while nine more of the attacking Zeros were shot down by seven Navy Wildcat fighters.  The enemy bombers turned back and dropped no bombs.  One U. S. plane was lost but the pilot was saved.

2. During the night of October 3d-October 4th Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers attacked an enemy heavy cruiser and several destroyers which were engaged in landing troop reinforcements on Guadalcanal.  At least one hit was scored on the cruiser.  One of our planes was shot down but the crew was saved.

3. On October 4th:

(a) Shortly after daybreak a group of Navy and Marine Corps torpedo bombers scored two torpedo hits on the cruiser which was still smoking as a result of the previous bomb hit.

(b) Army pursuit planes and Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers bombed and strafed Japanese troops and supply dumps on Guadalcanal.

4. During the above period there was little activity between ground forces on Guadalcanal.  The enemy continued to land small detachments of troops on the island under cover of darkness.

 

No. 143                                               October 7, 1942

 

North Pacific.

 

1. (a) Reconnaissance by our aircraft has failed to detect any signs of continued enemy occupancy or activity on Attu and Agattu in the western Aleutians for several weeks.

(b) In the latter part of September, Army aircraft bombed Attu, destroying most of the buildings on the island.  A study of photographs made during the raid revealed no trace of the enemy on Attu at that time.  A similar situation has been observed at Agattu.

2. Attacks by our aircraft on Kiska continue.  On October 5th, Army Liberator bombers, escorted by fighters, dropped many demolition and incendiary bombs on the camp area.  Hits were made on the seaplane

 

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hangar, and six enemy seaplane fighters were shot down.  Only light antiaircraft opposition was encountered and all of our aircraft returned.

 

No. 144                                               October 8, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates given are east longitude).

 

1. During recent weeks our long-range reconnaissance aircraft observed a large number of enemy ships concentrating in the Shortland Island area, south of the island of Bougainville.

2. On October 5th, Navy carrier-based aircraft from a task force under the operational control of Vice Admiral R. L. Ghormley, attacked the enemy ships while long-range bombers under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur coordinated in the attack plan with simultaneous raids on Japanese bases in nearby islands.  These latter raids have been announced by General MacArthur.

3. Despite unfavorable weather, our carrier-based aircraft inflicted the following damage on enemy ships and installations.

 

(a) One heavy cruiser damaged by heavy bombs.

(b) One transport damaged by heavy bombs.

(c) One seaplane tender damaged by light bombs.

(d) Two cargo ships damaged by light bombs.

(e) One cruiser and one destroyer strafed in the harbor at Shortland Island.

(f) Four four-engined flying boats destroyed on the water at Faisi and six damaged by strafing.

(g) Two seaplanes and two bombers destroyed in the Shortland Island area.

(h) Airfield at Kieta damaged by bombs.

 

4. Our task force suffered no loss of personnel or planes and no damage to any ship.

5. The necessity of preserving radio silence, in order to avoid disclosure of our ships' positions, delayed receipt of the above report of the action.

 

No. 145                                               October 9, 1942

 

North Pacific.

 

1.  On October 6th, Army "Liberator" bombers, escorted by "Airacobra" and "Lightning" fighters, dropped approximately 7 tons of bombs

 

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on the area surrounding the seaplane hangar at Kiska.  Eight more tons of bombs were dropped on the camp area and fires were started.

2. Two cargo ships in the harbor were attacked and one was left on fire and sinking.  The radio station was damaged by strafing.  One seaplane was destroyed on the water and another was damaged.

3. Reconnaissance over Attu and Agattu on the same date failed to reveal any enemy activity on these islands.

 

Atlantic.

 

4. The U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Muskeget, formerly the S. S. Cornish of the Eastern Steamship Lines, has been overdue in the Atlantic for some time and must be presumed to be lost.

5. The next of kin of the personnel of the Muskeget have been notified.

 

No. 146                                               October 10, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates cast longitude).

 

1. During the night of October 5-6, Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers and torpedo planes from Guadalcanal attacked six enemy destroyers which had been located by our search planes.  These ships were attempting to assist enemy landing operations at the northwestern end of the island.  One destroyer was sunk and another damaged.

2. During the night of October 7-8, the enemy continued to reinforce his troops on Guadalcanal.

3. During the evening of October 8th, Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers and torpedo planes, assisted by fighters, attacked an enemy surface force northwest of Guadalcanal.  This force, containing one cruiser of the Kako class and five destroyers, was covering enemy landing operations on the northwestern tip of the island.  The cruiser received one torpedo hit and was further damaged by bombs.  For enemy seaplanes were shot down during the air battle which followed our attack and two of our planes were lost.  Airplane observers reported the cruiser still burning on the afternoon of October 9th.

4. Additional details have been received of the coordinated attacks on enemy ship concentrations and Japanese bases in the northwestern Solomon Islands, which were announced in Navy Department Communiqué‚

 

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No. 144.  These attacks, on October 5th, were executed simultaneously in three phases, namely:

 

(a) Carrier-based planes from a Pacific Task Force attacked enemy  ships in the Shortland Island area and bombed the airfield at Kieta (previously reported).

(b) Army heavy bombers from the Southwest Pacific attacked Japanese bases in nearby islands (previously reported).

(c) Army, Navy, and Marine Corps land-based aircraft in the South Pacific attacked enemy positions at Buka Island, Gizo Island, and Rekata Bay.

 

At Buka the parking area was bombed and several planes were damaged.  At Gizo results were not observed.  At Rekata Bay beach installations were bombed and two seaplanes were shot down.  One seaplane and a small launch were destroyed on the water.

 

No. 147.                                        October 12, 1942

 

(All dates are east longitude).

 

1. Certain initial phases of the Solomon Islands campaign, not announced previously for military reasons, can now be reported.

2. Reconnaissance during last June and July revealed enemy activity of marked significance in the Japanese controlled Solomon Islands.  An airfield was in process of construction on Guadalcanal Island and facilities of other nearby bases were being expanded rapidly.  This expansion in the Solomons, together with increased activity in Eastern New Guinea, clearly indicated that the enemy was attempting to establish and maintain control of the air and sea in the Solomon Islands area.  Establishment of such control would have put the Japanese in a position to launch a sea-bourne thrust at Port Darwin and Australia, and would have seriously threatened our supply lines to Australia and New Zealand as well as to our island bases in the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, and the Fiji Islands.

3. It was necessary, therefore, that these designs of the enemy be blocked by our capturing and utilizing his key positions in the southeastern Solomons.  This was accomplished on August 7th, when U. S. forces surprised and captured Japanese positions in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area, as described in Navy Department Communiqué‚s 107 and 115 and Admiral King's statement on August 10th.

 

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4. Vigorous opposition was offered to the consolidation of our positions.  Throughout August 7th and August 8th, enemy planes carried out raids on our shore positions, transports and fleet units.  These raids did not prevent U. S. Marines from seizing most of the key positions in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area by the afternoon of August 8th.  Meanwhile, additional troops, supplies and equipment were being unloaded from transports and supply ships, and it was imperative that these operations be successfully completed.  To this end screening groups of allied cruisers and destroyers were placed on both sides of Savo Island to guard the western entrances to the transport area.  An additional screening force was stationed near the transports to provide close coverage within the harbor.

5. At about 11:45 a. m. on the night of August 8-9, enemy aircraft dropped flares over our transports and supply ships.  Simultaneously, a force of enemy cruisers and destroyers skirted the south coast of Savo Island at high speed, headed in the direction of the transports and supply ships which were silhouetted in the illuminated area.  The rapidly moving enemy sighted our covering unit located southeast of Savo and opened fire immediately with guns and torpedoes, seriously damaging and setting fire to the Australian cruiser, H. M. A. S. Canberra.  It later became necessary to abandon the Canberra and she sank the following morning, as already announced.  Following a brief engagement with our southeastern screen the Japanese altered course to proceed through the passage northeast of Savo Island.  Here the Japanese force encountered our northeast screen of cruisers and destroyers and a battle at dose range resulted.  The action was fought with guns and torpedoes, with targets illuminated by searchlights and starshells.  The enemy fire was heavy and accurate and the U. S. cruisers Quincy and Vincennes were hit repeatedly and sank during the night.  A third cruiser, the U. S. S. Astoria, was badly damaged and burned throughout the night.  She sank the following morning.

6. It was not possible to determine the extent of damage inflicted on the Japanese ships by our screening forces.  The enemy withdrew to the northwest without attempting an attack on our transports and supply ships.  Although a majority of the personnel was saved, there still were many casualties as a result of the sinking of the four Allied cruisers.  The next of kin of those lost and wounded have been notified.  The loss of these four cruisers has now been offset by the appropriate reallocation of ships which is made possible by new ship construction.

 

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No. 148                                               October 13, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. On October 9th:

 

(a) During the morning Marine Corps aircraft attacked a Japanese force of two light cruisers and four destroyers in the area north of New Georgia Island.  A direct hit damaged one of the cruisers and when last seen she was down by the bow.  The second cruiser was also attacked and minor damage was reported.  Three of the enemy seaplanes which attempted to fight off our attack were shot down.

(b) Navy and Marine Corps search planes bombed enemy antiaircraft installations at Rekata Bay and strafed seaplanes on the water.  The results of this attack are not known.

 

2. On October 11th:

 

(a) Four waves of Japanese bombers with fighter escort totaling about 35 bombers and 30 fighters attempted to bomb our positions at Guadalcanal.  Army, Navy, and Marine Corps fighters intercepted and forced the bombers to drop their loads in an open field.  Eight enemy bombers and 4 Zero fighters were shot down.  Two U. S. fighter planes were lost.

(b) United States Marines succeeded in extending our positions to the westward on the north shore of Guadalcanal Island after 2 days of offensive operations.  Army fighters assisted by strafing enemy troops and installations and the enemy suffered many casualties.

 

No. 149                                               October 13, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. On various occasions during recent weeks the Japanese were successful in increasing the number of their troops on Guadalcanal Island by night landings from cruisers, destroyers, and small transports.  Navy and Marine Corps aircraft from Guadalcanal persistently attacked these landing parties but air attack alone did not stop the landings.  For this reason a task group of United States cruisers and destroyers was ordered to intercept enemy ships attempting further landings.

2. At about midnight on the night of October 11-12, this task group engaged a force of enemy cruisers, destroyers and transports to the westward of Savo Island.  After a 30-minute battle fought with guns and torpedoes, the enemy was forced to abandon his landing attempt and withdraw.  Several of our ships received minor to moderate damage, and

 

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one U. S. destroyer was sunk.  During the engagement our forces sank one heavy cruiser (Nati or Atago class), four destroyers and an enemy transport of about 5,000 tons.

3. During the morning of October 12th, Navy and Marine Corps torpedo planes and dive bombers left Guadalcanal to locate and attack the retreating enemy ships.  At about 10 o'clock, two enemy cruisers were overtaken south of New Georgia Island.  A torpedo hit was obtained on one cruiser, and several bombs exploded nearby.  The cruiser was left dead in the water and burning.

4. During the afternoon of October 12th, an air group from Guadalcanal attacked an enemy cruiser and a destroyer, also in the area south of New Georgia Island.  A direct bomb hit severely damaged and stopped the cruiser.  When last seen her crew were abandoning ship.  It is believed that this cruiser had been damaged during the previous engagements.  A direct hit and several near misses set fire to the destroyer accompanying the cruiser, and she was left in a sinking condition.

5. Reports received to date indicate that as a result of the night action of October 11th-12th and the air attacks on October 12th, the enemy suffered the following minimum of damage:

 

(a) One heavy cruiser sunk.

(b) One cruiser badly damaged and out of action.

(c) Four destroyers sunk.

(d) One medium-sized transport sunk.

(e) One destroyer probably sunk.

 

6. The destroyer mentioned in paragraph 2 was the only U. S. ship lost in these actions.

 

No. 150.                                        October 13, 1942

 

North Pacific.

 

1. On the 8th, 9th, and 10th of October, Army heavy bombers, escorted by fighters, continued to bomb enemy installations and ships in the harbor of Kiska.  Both demolition and incendiary bombs were used.  Targets for these bombings were chiefly the camp and hangar area and enemy ships in the harbor.  Fires were observed ashore and damage was reported on the ships in the harbor.

 

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2. In these attacks only moderate antiaircraft opposition was experienced and no hostile planes were observed in the air.  Although receiving minor damage all of our planes returned.

3. The various types of Army aircraft employed in these raids were:

Consolidated "Liberator" bombers.

Boeing "Flying Fortress" bombers.

Lockheed "Lightning" fighters.

Bell "Airacobra" fighters.

 

No. 151                                               October 14, 1942

 

Far East.

 

1. U. S. submarines have reported the following results of operations against the enemy in Far Eastern waters:

 

(a) One heavy cruiser sunk.

(b) One medium-sized cargo ship sunk.

(c) One small cargo ship sunk.

(d) One small tanker sunk.

(e) One large tanker damaged.

(f) One medium-sized cargo ship damaged and probably sunk.

(g) One medium-sized tanker damaged.

(h) One small trawler sunk.

 

These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué‚.

 

No.  152                                        October 14, 1942

 

The following communiqué‚ is based on reports received up to 7:30 p. m., October 14 (Washington time):

South Pacific (all dates below are east longitude).

1. On the night of October 13-14, Japanese surface vessels bombarded our airfield and shore installations on Guadalcanal.

2. Information has just been received that during the early morning of October 15th, troops from enemy transports covered by naval units were landing on the north coast of Guadalcanal to the westward of our positions.

 

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No.  153                                        October 15, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates below are east longitude).

 

1.  Dispatches from our forces in the South Pacific reveal the following chronological developments leading up to the current battle in the Guadalcanal area.

2. On October 12th:

 

(a) During the morning, Army Flying Fortresses bombed the airfield and shore establishments on the island of Buka.  Fires were started and 10 wrecked or damaged bombers and fighters were observed on the ground.

(b) Army bombers hit and set fire to one cargo ship at Buin and damaged another.  Six enemy fighters were shot down.

(c) Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attacked enemy ships south of New Georgia Island (reported in Navy Department Communiqué‚ No. 149)

 

3. On October 13th:

 

(a) During the afternoon the airfield at Guadalcanal was twice bombed by enemy aircraft.  Three enemy planes were shot down and one U. S. fighter was lost.

(b) By nightfall U. S. auxiliaries had landed reinforcements for our troops at Guadalcanal.  Although these ships were attacked by enemy bombers, no damage was suffered and our ships unloaded and withdrew.

(c) During the night of October 13-14, the airfield and shore installations at Guadalcanal were heavily bombarded by an enemy surface force believed to have contained battleships, cruisers and destroyers (reported in Navy Department Communiqué‚ No. 152).  Shore batteries scored three hits on enemy destroyers during the bombardment.

 

4. On October 14th:

 

(a) During the afternoon Guadalcanal airfield was attacked by two separate groups of enemy bombers, each with fighter escort.  Our fighters were unable to intercept the first flight, which contained about 25 bombers.  During the second attack they shot down 9 of the 15 bombers in the group and destroyed 4 fighters.  One U. S. fighter was lost.

 

5. On October 15th:

 

(a) During the early morning (reported in Navy Department Communiqué‚ No. 152) enemy transports, covered by destroyers, cruisers, and

 

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a battleship, were sighted off Savo Island.  This force proceeded to land troops on the north coast of Guadalcanal Island to the westward of our airfield.  An aircraft striking group attacked the enemy ships and reports indicate that three direct hits were made on one transport and that two other transports were left burning.  The Japanese battleship was damaged and one enemy fighter was shot down.

 

6. Other enemy forces including heavy units have been sighted in the vicinity of Guadalcanal.

7.  U. S. Army troops are participating in the defense of Guadalcanal.

 

No.  154                                        October 15, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates below are east longitude)

 

1.  During the night of October 14-15, our positions on Espiritu Santo Island in the New Hebrides group were shelled by an enemy ship, believed to have been a submarine.

2. Shortly after noon on October 15th, our shore positions on Guadalcanal were bombed by about 2-7 enemy bombers.  No details were reported.

3. On the afternoon of October 15th, the three enemy transports which were reported damaged in Navy Department Communiqué‚ No. 153 were observed beached and still burning.

4. On the afternoon of October 15th, enemy surface forces, including two transports were still in the vicinity of Savo Island.

5. No report pertaining to land-fighting on Guadalcanal has been received.

 

No.  155                                        October 16, 1942

 

North Pacific.

 

1.  On October 11th, Army long-range bombers dropped 6 tons of demolition bombs on the camp area at Kiska.  Results were not observed.

2. On October 14th, Army "Liberator" bombers, accompanied by "Lightning" fighters, dropped incendiary bombs on the camp area at Kiska starting many large fires.  No enemy aircraft opposition was encountered.  Our fighters strafed and destroyed three enemy seaplanes on the water.  One of our fighters was lost.

3. Three beached and two sunken ships, the result of previous bombings, were observed in the vicinity of the harbor at Kiska.

 

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No. 156                                               October 16, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates below are east longitude).

 

1. A large number of enemy troops with equipment have been landed on Guadalcanal Island and our positions are now being shelled by enemy artillery on the island.

2. The following additional details of the action in the Solomon Islands in recent days have been received:

(a) During the morning of October 14th our search planes strafed and damaged nine enemy planes on the beach at Rekata Bay.

(b) During the same afternoon Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers, with fighter escort, left Guadalcanal and made two attacks on the enemy transports which were approaching the island.  Minor damage was reported and one U. S. fighter was lost.

(c) During the night of October 14-15, our positions on Guadalcanal were shelled by enemy vessels to the northward of the island.  U. S. motor torpedo boats attacked these ships and reported one probable torpedo hit on a cruiser.

 

3. A large group of enemy ships has been observed in the Buin-Faisi area near Shortland Island, in addition to the various units in the southeastern Solomons.

 

No. 157                               October 17, 1942

 

North Pacific.

 

1. On October 15th:

 

(a) Army "Marauder" bomber (Martin B-26's) attacked and damaged an enemy cargo ship in Gertrude Cove on the south coast of Kiska Island.  At least one direct hit set fire to the ship, which was seen still burning several hours later.  One U. S. plane was shot down by antiaircraft fire.

(b) Army "Marauders" also attacked two Japanese destroyers to the northeastward of Kiska.  Both destroyers were damaged, one by three hits and the other by one hit, resulting in probable sinking of the former.

 

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No. 158                                               October 17, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates below are cast longitude).

 

1. Although large numbers of Japanese troops are known to be on Guadalcanal Island, there has been, as yet, no full-scale land fighting.

2. Our land, sea, and air forces of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps are engaged in meeting a serious enemy assault, the outcome of which is still undecided.  Our losses in the current fighting, to date, have been minor, but in a battle of this nature losses must be expected.

3. The following additional details of the action in recent days have been  received:

 

(a) During the air attack on Guadalcanal, shortly after noon on October 15 (reported in Navy Department Communiqué‚ No. 154), three enemy bombers and five fighters were shot down.

(b) During the night of October 15-16, enemy surface vessels bombarded our positions on Guadalcanal for about an hour.  Naval aircraft made a night torpedo attack on a group of enemy vessels to the eastward of the Solomons.  One torpedo hit on an enemy cruiser was reported.

(c) During the morning of October 16th, our aircraft from Guadalcanal attacked enemy troop positions along the northwest coast of the island.  During the late afternoon Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers attacked two enemy transports and accompanying destroyers in the area west of New Georgia Island.  Direct hits damaged and set fire to one transport and the second is believed to have been damaged by near misses.

 

All information on the fighting in the Solomons which is not of value to the enemy is being announced as soon as possible after being received.

 

No. 159                                               October 18, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates below are east longitude).

 

1. The Japanese are continuing to bomb our airfield and shore positions on Guadalcanal Island and it is believed that enemy troops and equipment are being disposed for a strong assault against our airfield,

2. There have been no reports of enemy landings on Guadalcanal since October 15th, but heavy concentrations of enemy ships are still reported in the Buin-Shortland area.

 

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3. On October 16th, Army Flying Fortresses and Navy and Marine Corps aircraft repeatedly attacked the enemy troops and equipment which have been assembled in force on the northwest end of Guadalcanal.

4. On October 17th:

 

(a) During the early morning about 14 enemy bombers escorted by 3 fighters attacked our airfield and shore positions.  U. S. fighters and antiaircraft batteries reported the destruction of all of the bombers and 2 of the fighters.

(b) During the early afternoon another group of about 15 enemy bombers and a number of fighters carried out a second raid on our positions.  One enemy bomber was reported probably destroyed and 1 U. S. plane was lost during the morning and afternoon raids.

 

No. 160                                               October 18, 1942

 

North Pacific.

 

1. On October 16th Army "Marauder" bombers carried out low-altitude bombing attacks on two Japanese destroyers to the northwestward of Kiska.  The attacks lasted about 45 minutes and resulted in five hits on one of the destroyers and four hits on the other.  Heavy explosions and fires resulted and when last seen both ships were stopped and burning and the crews were abandoning ship.  One "Marauder" was lost.

 

No. 161                                               October 19, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. No recent troop activity or enemy landings on Guadalcanal have been reported.  The strong force of enemy warships, transports, and cargo ships which is assembled in the Shortland Island area has been bombed repeatedly by Allied heavy bombers, as announced by General MacArthur.

 

2. On October 16th:

 

(a) Our dive bombers attacked enemy installations at Rekata Bay.  Several antiaircraft batteries were bombed, fuel stowages were set afire and 12 enemy seaplanes were strafed and burned.  One twin-engine bomber was shot down by "Wildcats," and Army "Flying Fortresses" destroyed a large flying boat.

 

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 (b) Four direct bomb hits completed the destruction of two of the three transports which had been previously damaged and beached on the northwest coast of Guadalcanal.

 

      3. On October 17th:

 

(a) During the morning U. S. surface vessels bombarded enemy positions on northwestern Guadalcanal.  Heavy explosions and fires followed hits on ammunition dumps.

(b) Throughout the day our aircraft on Guadalcanal continued to attack enemy shore positions.

(c) During the night of October 17-18, Japanese surface forces shelled our installations on the north coast of the island.

 

4. On October 18th:

 

(a) During the early afternoon about 20 enemy bombers, escorted by an equal number of "Zero" fighters, attacked our positions on Guadalcanal.  Our Grumman "Wildcats" intercepted and shot down 8 enemy bombers and 11 Zeros.  Two of our fighters were lost.

 

North Pacific.

 

5. On October 17 (Washington date), Army "Liberator" bombers attacked the camp area at Kiska and bombed the ships which are beached in the harbor.  Fifteen tons of bombs were dropped, but an overcast prevented observation of results.  Antiaircraft opposition was light and no enemy aircraft were seen.

 

No. 162                                               October 20, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. Large numbers of enemy warships and auxiliaries are still reported in the Solomons area, but there have been no further enemy landings on Guadalcanal Island.

2. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps aircraft bombed enemy troops and supply concentrations on Guadalcanal throughout October 18th and 19th.  No report has been received of any offensive thrust against our positions by these enemy troops since their landing on October 15th.

3. On October 19th, Army "Flying Fortresses" bombed Rekata Bay and fires were started.

 

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North Pacific.

 

4. On October 18th (Washington date), Army "Liberator" bombers dropped 12 tons of bombs on enemy shore installations at Kiska and on a beached ship in the harbor.  Fires were observed in the camp area.

 

No. 163                                               October 21, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are cast longitude).

 

1. The U. S. S. Meredith (destroyer) and the U. S. S. O'Brien (destroyer) have been lost within the last few days as the result of enemy action in the Solomon Islands area.  The report of casualties has not yet been received, but it is believed that all personnel of the O'Brien and many of the personnel of the Meredith were rescued.  The Bureau of Naval Personnel will notify by telegram the next of kin of those lost as soon as information is received.

2. Large numbers of enemy ships continue to be sighted in the northern Solomons and small units have been located and attacked in the southern Solomons.  There has been little recent troop activity on Guadalcanal and our aircraft are continuing to bomb the enemy positions.

3. On October 19th:

 

(a) During the early afternoon enemy aircraft attacked our Guadalcanal positions.  Our Grumman "Wildcats" shot down two "Zeros" and one "Wildcat" was lost.

(b) During the late afternoon our Douglas "Dauntless" dive bombers attacked three enemy destroyers to the westward of Guadalcanal.  One destroyer was damaged and an escorting enemy seaplane was destroyed.

(c) During the night of October 19-20, naval aircraft attacked an enemy cruiser to the westward of Guadalcanal.  The cruiser was damaged and stopped by at least one bomb hit.

 

4. On October 20th:

 

(a) During the early morning naval aircraft bombed enemy supply dumps and positions on northwest Guadalcanal.

(b) During the late morning approximately 30 "Zero" fighters flew over our airfield.  They were followed, about an hour later, by 16 enemy bombers with fighter escort.  During these attacks 2 enemy bombers and 7 "Zeros" were shot down.  Two U. S. fighters were lost.

 

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No. 164                                               October 22, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1.  No report of any material change in the military situation in the Solomon Islands has been received. On October 20th a minor enemy thrust against the western flank of our troop position on Guadalcanal was repulsed.

2. During the night of October 20-21, an enemy bomber was shot down over Guadalcanal.  The bomber, which is believed to have been on a reconnaissance mission, was destroyed by antiaircraft fire.

3. Our aircraft continue active in seeking out and bombing enemy troop and supply concentrations on Guadalcanal Island.

 

No. 165                                               October 23, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. On October 21st:

 

(a) U. S. troops repulsed a small enemy force which attacked the western flank of our positions on Guadalcanal Island.

(b) During the late morning, seven enemy bombers, escorted by fighters, attacked our Guadalcanal airfield.  Antiaircraft batteries destroyed one bomber and damaged two others.  Our Grumman "Wildcats" intercepted and shot down six enemy fighters.  Two of our fighters were lost.

(c) Douglas "Dauntless" dive bombers attacked enemy positions on Russell Island, about 30 miles northwest of Guadalcanal.

 

2. On October 22d:

 

(a) In the early afternoon, several groups of enemy planes attacked our airfield during bad weather.  Grumman "Wildcats" intercepted and shot down one of these groups consisting of five bombers.

(b) During the night of October 22-23, an enemy ship, believed to have been a submarine, shelled our positions on Espiritu Santo Island in the New Hebrides.

 

No. 166                                                     October 24, 1942

 

Central and South Pacific.

 

1. U. S. naval forces have recently carried out operations in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands with the following results:

 

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(a) Two small enemy patrol vessels were sunk by gunfire near Tarawa Island.

(b) One enemy destroyer and one merchant ship were damaged by gunfire near the same island.

(c) No heavy enemy forces were encountered during the operations.

 

2. There has been no report of any new action in the Solomon Islands area.

 

No.  167                                        October 25, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. During the night of October 22-23, U. S. long-range aircraft attacked enemy ships in the Shortland Island area of the Solomon Islands. Bombs and torpedoes inflicted the following damage on enemy vessels:

 

(a) One light cruiser damaged by one direct and one probable torpedo hit.

(b) One destroyer damaged by a bomb hit.

(c) One heavy cruiser (or battleship) possibly damaged by a torpedo hit.

 

All of our planes returned.

2. During the late morning of October 23d, our airfield at Guadalcanal was attacked by 16 enemy bombers escorted by 20 "Zero" fighters.  Our Grumman "Wildcats" intercepted and shot down 1 bomber, damaged 3 others and destroyed the entire fighter escort.

3. During the night of October 23-24, enemy troops, using tanks and heavy artillery barrage, made four attempts to penetrate our western defense lines on Guadalcanal.  Our Army and Marine Corps troops and artillery batteries repulsed each attack and destroyed five enemy tanks.

4. During the early morning of October 24th, an additional enemy attack against our western defense lines was broken up by our aircraft and artillery. One U. S. plane was lost.

5. During the night of October 24-25, U. S. aircraft attacked an enemy surface force of several cruisers and destroyers about 300 miles northeast (of Guadalcanal.  One cruiser was reported probably damaged by a torpedo.

 

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6. On October 25th:

 

(a) During the morning troops from enemy transports were landed on the northwest end of Guadalcanal Island.  No amplifying report on these operations has been received.

(b) During the day Douglas "Dauntless" dive bombers from Guadalcanal made three attacks on an enemy force of cruisers and destroyers immediately north of Florida Island.  One enemy cruiser was damaged by bombs and the force withdrew.

 

No. 168                                               October 26, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. The U. S. S. Wasp (aircraft carrier) was sunk in the South Pacific on September 15th as the result of an enemy submarine attack.  The Wasp remained afloat for 5 hours after being attacked and sank at a time when there were no enemy forces in the vicinity.  For this reason the announcement of her loss was delayed as long as there remained a probability that the enemy was unaware of her sinking.

2. The Wasp, operating in company with a task force in the South Pacific area, was engaged in covering the movement of reinforcements and supplies into Guadalcanal when she was torpedoed at approximately 2:50 o'clock on the afternoon of September 15th.  Three torpedoes struck the Wasp in the vicinity of her magazines and gasoline tanks, resulting in many explosions and serious fires throughout the ship.

3. About 15 minutes after the torpedo hits, a heavy explosion rocked the Wasp.  Other explosions followed in the vicinity of the hangar deck.  The fires could not be brought under control, and, about 3 hours after the attack, it became necessary to abandon ship.

4. At about 8 p. m., when all hopes of extinguishing the flames and saving the Wasp had been abandoned, a U. S. destroyer sank her with

torpedoes.

5. About 90 percent of the personnel of the Wasp were rescued. The next of kin of those lost and wounded have been notified.

 

No. 169                                               October 26, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1.  On October 25th the Japanese launched a coordinated land, sea and air attack against our positions on Guadalcanal Island.  Army and Marine

 

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Corps troops and aircraft on Guadalcanal opposed these attacks in heavy action throughout the day.  On October 26th a U. S. carrier Task Force exchanged aerial thrusts with a strong enemy force northeast of Guadalcanal.  An incomplete resume of these engagements with the enemy, based upon reports received to date, is given below.

2. On October 25th:

 

(a) During the early morning, enemy troops launched a determined attack against the southern flank of our positions on Guadalcanal.  Army and Marine Corps troops held their positions.

(b) About the middle of the morning, a force of enemy cruisers and destroyers shelled our Guadalcanal positions from the northward.

(c) During the early afternoon, our Douglas "Dauntless" dive bombers from Guadalcanal attacked a force of enemy cruisers and destroyers north of Florida Island.  A direct bomb hit damaged and stopped 1 enemy heavy cruiser.  Shortly after this attack, about 16 enemy dive bombers attacked our airfield.  Five of these bombers were shot down.  Nine more enemy bombers attacked the airfield soon after this last action and inflicted minor damage.

(d) During the late afternoon, our dive bombers from Guadalcanal again struck at the force of enemy cruisers and destroyers north of Florida Island.  One bomb hit was reported on a heavy cruiser.  Army "Flying Fortresses" struck at this same force about 10 minutes later and scored two bomb hits on an enemy light cruiser which was left burning and dead in the water.

(e) Enemy fighters were active over our positions periodically throughout the day.  Seventeen of these planes were reported to have been destroyed by our Grumman "Wildcats."

 

3. On October 26th, a Pacific Fleet carrier Task Force exchanged air attacks with strong enemy forces northeast of Guadalcanal.  The U. S. S. Porter (destroyer) was sunk by enemy action and one of our aircraft carriers was severely damaged.  Other U. S. vessels have reported lesser damage.  Two enemy aircraft carriers were damaged in this action, the details of which are still incomplete.

4. The Bureau of Naval Personnel will notify, by telegram, the next of kin of those lost or wounded in the above actions as soon as information is received.

 

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No. 170                                               October 27, 1942

 

North Pacific.

 

1. On October 23d, Army "Liberator" bombers, accompanied by Lockheed "Lightning" fighters, dropped 18 tons of bombs on the camp area and submarine base at Kiska.

2. On October 24th, Army "Flying Fortresses" raided Kiska and dropped bombs in the vicinity of the submarine base.

3. During the above raids Japanese antiaircraft shore batteries were active, but no enemy planes were seen.  A number of hits in the target areas were observed, but the extent of damage could not be determined.

 

No. 171                                               October 27, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1.  The following reports of action in the Solomon Islands area have been received:

2. On October 25th:

 

(a) During the morning, a Japanese destroyer sank the U. S. S. Seminole (fleet tug) and a small harbor patrol boat near the Island of Tulagi.  Our shore batteries opened fire on the destroyer and scored three hits.  Grumman "Wildcats" from Guadalcanal strafed and further damaged the destroyer.

(b) During the morning, an Army "Flying Fortress" on a search mission was attacked by six "Zero" fighters.  One "Zero" was shot down and the "Fortress" returned safely.

(c) Two U. S. mine sweepers engaged three enemy destroyers near Guadalcanal.  Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers joined in the action and sank two of the enemy destroyers.

(d) During the night of October 25-26, enemy troops were active on Guadalcanal and succeeded in piercing our lines on the south side of the airfield.  Army troops threw back the attack and regained their positions.  Marine troops were active on the western flank and reported small gains in heavy fighting.

 

3. On October 26th:

 

(a) During the morning, U. S. bombers and fighters from Guadalcanal again attacked the enemy cruisers and destroyers which were attacked twice on October 25th (as announced in communiqué‚ No. 169). One direct hit was scored on an enemy cruiser.

 

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(b) During the night of October 26-27, Navy Consolidated  "Catalinas" attacked an enemy force 400 miles northeast of  Guadalcanal.  One enemy carrier was hit by a torpedo and an enemy cruiser received two bomb hits.  Heavy antiaircraft fire was encountered and one of our planes was damaged.

 

4. Further reports on the naval air battle which was fought to the eastward of the Stewart Islands, on October 26th, reveal that:

 

(a) One enemy carrier was badly damaged.

(b) A second enemy carrier was damaged.

(c) One enemy cruiser was badly damaged.

(d) One battleship was hit.

 

The above action was first reported in Navy Department communiqué‚ No. 169.

 

No. 172                                               October 28, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. On the night of October 26-27 our troops on Guadalcanal repulsed several small-scale  enemy thrusts against our positions.

2. Enemy losses in men and equipment in the troop actions on the island since October 23d have been very heavy as compared to our own.

3. No report of any other action in the Solomon Islands area has been received since the issuance of Navy Department Communiqué‚ No. 171.

 

No. 173                                               October 29, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are cast longitude).

 

1. On October 27th:

 

(a) During the morning, our aircraft from Guadalcanal attacked enemy shore installations and aircraft moored in Rekata Bay.  Fires were started and four seaplanes were destroyed on the water.

(b) During the day, aircraft from Guadalcanal bombed enemy gun positions to the westward of our airfield.  An antiaircraft battery and an ammunition dump were destroyed.

(c) During the late afternoon, an enemy assault on our positions succeeded in piercing our lines.  Army and Marine Corps successfully counterattacked and our original positions were regained. Two additional enemy thrusts were repulsed.

 

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2. No report of any recent action at sea or landing of enemy troop reinforcements has been received.

 

No. 174                                               October 30, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are cast longitude)

 

1.  During the day of October 28th, activity ashore Island was confined to small skirmishes between U. S. and enemy patrols. U. S. aircraft from Guadalcanal continued to bomb and strafe enemy positions to the westward of the airfield.  In the late afternoon, U. S. fighters destroyed 2 enemy seaplanes at Rekata Bay.  A total of 12 Japanese light tanks were destroyed in action during the past week.

2. During the early morning of October 29th, enemy bombers attacked our positions on Guadalcanal.  All bombs dropped in the water and no damage was suffered.

3. During the night of October 29-30, U. S. motor torpedo boats attacked an enemy destroyer, believed to have been engaged in reinforcing or supplying enemy troops on Guadalcanal.  One torpedo hit was scored on the destroyer which was stopped when last seen.

 

No. 175                                               October 31, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. The U. S. aircraft carrier announced in Navy Department Communiqué‚ No. 169 as severely damaged subsequently sank.  She was twice attacked by enemy bombers and torpedo planes on October 26th near the Santa Cruz Islands in the South Pacific.  The first attack which occurred during the forenoon caused heavy damage and the carrier was taken in tow in an attempt to salvage her.  During the afternoon, a second attack caused further damage below the water line and she began to list.  Personnel were removed at this time and the carrier later sank.

2. Reports to date indicate that there were few casualties.  The next of kin of those lost will be notified by telegram immediately upon receipt of information.

3. This carrier and the U. S. destroyer Porter were the only U. S. vessels lost in the above engagement.

 

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No. 176                                               November 1, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. On October 29th:

 

(a) U. S. aircraft continued attacks on enemy positions on Guadalcanal Island.

(b) During minor ground operations two enemy 75-millimeter guns were captured west of the Matanikau River.

(c) During the late evening a Douglas "Dauntless"  dive bomber attacked two enemy destroyers near Tassafaronga.  No hits were scored but the destroyers were driven westward toward the Russell Islands.

 

2. On October 30th:

 

(a) During the early morning our dive bombers attacked enemy destroyers in the vicinity of the Russell Islands.  Results of the attack have not been reported.  One dive bomber failed to return.

(b) During the morning seven Grumman "Wildcats" attacked the enemy at Rekata Bay.  Three "Zero" float planes and two biplanes were shot down and buildings and a fuel dump were strafed and set on fire.

(c) During the morning U. S. surface ships bombarded enemy positions on Guadalcanal.  The cannonading lasted more than 2 hours and some artillery and several buildings and boats were destroyed.

 

No. 177                                               November 1, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. The first detailed report of the naval air battle which was fought on October 26th, to the eastward of the Stewart Islands, was received by the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, this afternoon from Vice Admiral Halsey, Commander of the South Pacific area.  In this report the following damage to the enemy was detailed:

 

(a) Four to six heavy bomb hits on an aircraft carrier of the Zuikaku class.

(b) Two medium bomb hits on another aircraft carrier of the same class.

(c) Two heavy bomb hits on a battleship of the Kongo class.

(d) One heavy bomb hit on a second battleship.

(e) Five medium bomb hits on a cruiser of the Tikuma class.

 

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(f) Torpedo and bomb hits on a heavy cruiser.

(g) Two torpedo hits on a heavy cruiser.

 

2. Reports indicate the definite destruction of more than 100 hundred enemy aircraft and the probable destruction of about 50 others.

3. The above action was first reported in Navy Department Communiqué No. 169 and subsequent reference was made thereto in Navy Department Communiqué No. 171.

 

No. 178                                               November 2, 1942

 

Far East.

 

1. U. S. submarines have reported the following results of operations against the enemy in Far Eastern waters:

 

(a) Two large tankers sunk.

(b) One large passenger cargo ship sunk.

(c) Two medium-sized cargo ships sunk.

(d) Two small cargo ships sunk.

(e) One converted carrier damaged and set on fire.

(f) One destroyer damaged.

(g) One medium-sized tanker damaged.

 

These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

 

No. 179                                               November 2, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. On October 30th:

 

(a) U. S. aircraft made three attacks on enemy positions on Guadalcanal Island.

(b) A formation of six "Zero" fighters was intercepted over Guadalcanal by five Grumman "Wildcats".  Four of the enemy fighters were shot down without damage to our planes.

(c) There was no ground activity on Guadalcanal.

(d) During the night of October 30-3q, Douglas "Dauntless" divebombers attacked enemy positions on the island.

 

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2. On November 1st:

 

(a) Grumman "Wildcats" attacked enemy installations at Rekata Bay.  Buildings were strafed and a fire was started.  Five enemy planes were destroyed on the beach.  Our planes suffered some damage from heavy antiaircraft fire, but all returned to their base.

(b) On Guadalcanal Island a small force of U. S. Marines, supported by Boeing "Flying Fortresses," crossed the Matanikau River and attacked the enemy to the westward.  One wave of Marines made an advance of 2 miles with comparatively few casualties.

(c) U. S. fighters and dive bombers attacked enemy positions on Guadalcanal throughout the day.  Enemy artillery fire was silenced and the Japanese were reported to be retreating slowly.

 

No. 180                                               November 3, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. During the night of November 1-2, U. S. dive bombers continued attacks on enemy positions on the northwestern end of Guadalcanal Island.

2. During the morning of November 2d, U. S. destroyers bombarded enemy positions on Guadalcanal, west of the Matanikau River, supporting our land attacks in that area.

3. During the night of November 2-3, the Japanese landed troop reinforcements to the eastward of our positions on the north coast of Guadalcanal Island.

4. Revised reports have been received containing the following corrections to the report of damage inflicted on the enemy during the naval air battle which was fought on October 26th, as announced in Navy Department Communiqué No. 177:

 

Subparagraph (d) of paragraph No. 1 should read "One heavy bomb hit on a light cruiser" (instead of a battleship).

Subparagraph (g) of paragraph No. 1 should read "Three torpedo hits on a heavy cruiser" (instead of two torpedo hits).

A subparagraph (h) should be added to paragraph No. 1 to read "Four heavy bomb hits on a heavy cruiser of the Mogami class."

 

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No. 181                                               November 4, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. On November 2d, U. S. forces on Guadalcanal Island continued to attack the enemy to the westward of our positions and made some small gains.  Army and Navy planes gave close support to our ground forces by bombing and strafing enemy troops and positions.  About 20 enemy machine guns and 2 small artillery pieces were captured.  The advance to the west continued during the morning of November 3d.  No report of troop activity on the eastern flank of our positions has been received.

2. There is nothing to report from other areas.

 

No. 182                                               November 5, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. On November 1st, Army aircraft bombed enemy supply dumps and troop concentrations on the north coast of Guadalcanal Island in the vicinity of Kokumbona.  No opposition was encountered.

2. On November 3d:

 

(a) U. S. troops continued successful attacks against enemy positions west of the Matanikau River.  Three field pieces, twelve 37-mm. light artillery guns and 30 machine guns were captured and 350 Japanese were killed.

(b) During the night of November U. S. naval forces shelled 3-4 enemy positions near Kokumbona.

(c) During the night of November 3-4, further enemy forces were landed on the north coast of Guadalcanal, east of Koli Point. After an initial repulse at dawn on November 4th, U. S. Marines are pressing their attack on these enemy troops.

 

No. 183                                               November 6, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. During the night of November 4-5:

 

(a) Japanese troops launched several strong counterattacks against U. S. forces in the area west of the Matanikau River on Guadalcanal Island. These attacks were repulsed with heavy losses to the enemy.

 

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(b) Our air forces strafed enemy troops during continuous air patrols which were maintained over the enemy lines.

 

2.  There has been no change in our eastern positions in the vicinity of Koli Point.

 

No. 184                                               November 7, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. On November 5th:

 

(a) A force Of 27 enemy aircraft, composed of bombers and escorting fighters, attacked our positions on Guadalcanal Island.  Although clouds prevented air contact with the attacking enemy planes, our airfield and installations were not damaged.

(b) U. S. aircraft maintained a continuous patrol over enemy positions, bombing and strafing troop concentrations and supplies.

(c) During the night of November 5-6, U. S. Marines repulsed light attacks against our western flank in the vicinity of Point Cruz.

 

2. On November 6th:

 

(a) U. S. Army troops crossed the Malimbiu River, a few miles south of Koli Point, on the north coast of Guadalcanal.  Only light enemy resistance was encountered.

 

No. 185                                               November 7, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. A minimum of 5,188 Japanese have been killed by U. S. forces in land-fighting in the Tulagi-Guadalcanal area of the Solomon Islands since our occupation of positions in this area on August 7, 1942.  This figure is based on an actual count of enemy killed in actions ashore and does not include estimates of those killed in enemy-controlled areas where no count could be made.

2. These known casualties suffered by the enemy were the result of the following actions:

 

(a) 1,000 Japanese were killed during our occupation of positions on the Islands of Tulagi, Gavutu, Makambo, and Tanambogo on August 7th and 8th.

(b) 670 of a force of 700 Japanese were killed near the mouth of the Tenaru River on the morning of August 21st.

 

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(c) 500 Japanese were killed during severe fighting on Guadalcanal Island on the night of September 13-14.

(d) 2,000 Japanese were killed during operations extending from October 22d to October 27th.

(e) 1,018 Japanese were killed by bombs, hand grenades, surface force bombardment, aircraft strafing, artillery, machine gun and rifle fire and in hand-to-hand combat during minor skirmishes, snipings and small-scale engagements between Army-Marine Corps troops and the enemy from August 6th to November 7th.

 

3. During the month of October, 369 enemy planes were destroyed by U. S. forces in the South Pacific area.

4. No report of further action in the Guadalcanal area has been received since the issuance of Navy Department Communiqué No. 184.

 

No. 186                                               November 8, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. On November 6th:

(a) U. S. forces advanced eastward to the Metapono River, 4 miles east of Koli Point on Guadalcanal Island.  No contact with the enemy main body in this area was made.  There was no other troop activity on Guadalcanal during the day.

(b) Army dive bombers made several attacks on enemy positions during the day.  A large ammunition dump and a gasoline stowage were destroyed.

 

2. On November 7th:

 

(a) During the early morning our motor torpedo boats attacked two enemy destroyers off Lunga Point, north of our position on Guadalcanal.  One of the destroyers is believed to have been sunk.

(b) During the forenoon a small U. S. auxiliary, engaged in transporting supplies to Guadalcanal was damaged by an enemy torpedo.

(c) During the morning our troops continued to advance to the eastward in the vicinity of the Metapono River.

(d) During the afternoon of November 7th, U. S. aircraft attacked an enemy surface force about 150 miles north of Guadalcanal.  Enemy planes attempted to protect the formation which consisted of 1 light cruiser and 10 destroyers.  The enemy cruiser was badly damaged and

 

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possibly sunk and 1 destroyer was badly damaged.  Five float-type "Zeros" and 7 float-type biplanes were destroyed.  Four of our planes failed to return.

 

No. 187                                               November 9, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. On November 7th:

 

(a) U. S. troops continued to advance from the area near the Metapona River to the eastward along the northern coast of Guadalcanal Island.

(b) There was no fighting in the area west of our positions on Guadalcanal.

 

2. On November 8th:

 

(a) U. S. planes attacked ground installations and destroyed six landing boats on the beaches to the westward of our positions on Guadalcanal.

(b) U. S. aircraft destroyed three float-type biplanes at Rekata Bay.

(c) A U. S. destroyer bombarded enemy areas cast of Koli Point on the north coast of Guadalcanal.

(d) Early on the night of November 8-9, U. S. motor torpedo boats attacked two enemy destroyers in Indispensable Strait and scored a torpedo hit on one of the destroyers.

 

3. The U. S. destroyer announced in Navy Department Communiqué No. 149 as having been sunk during the night action of October 11-12 was the U. S. S. Duncan.  The next of kin of the 5 officers and 58 enlisted men who were killed or are missing have been notified.

 

No. 188                                               November 11, 1942

 

North Pacific.

 

1. On November 9th:

 

(a) U. S. Army planes destroyed seven float-type enemy "Zeros" in an attack on Holtz Bay, Attu Island.  No opposition was encountered and all our planes returned.

(b) U. S. Army bombers attacked and damaged two enemy cargo vessels at Kiska.  One of our planes was damaged by enemy antiaircraft fire, but all returned.

 

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South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

2. On November 10th:

 

(a) During the morning, two Grumman "Wildcats" dived through a formation of 15 "Zeros" at an altitude of 27,000 feet near Guadalcanal.  One "Zero" was shot down.

(b) U. S. troops, supported by Army planes, continued offensive operations against the enemy on the eastern and western flanks of our positions on Guadalcanal Island.

(c) During the late afternoon, U. S. planes attacked a force of five enemy destroyers to the eastward of New Georgia Island.  Results were not observed.

 

3. Recent reports state that eight float-type "Zeros" and eight  float-type biplanes (instead of five and seven respectively) were destroyed in the action announced in paragraph 2 (d) of Navy Department Communiqué No. 186.

 

No. 189                                               November 12, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. During the morning of November 11th, Grumman "Wildcat" fighters intercepted 2 enemy dive-bomber formations over Guadalcanal Island.  The first attack was made by 10 enemy bombers and 12 fighters.  Our fighters shot down 6 bombers and 5 fighters.  The second attack was made by 25 bombers and 5 fighters.  Our "Wildcats" shot down six of the enemy bombers.  Three additional enemy bombers and 2 fighters were reported as probably destroyed during the encounters.  Seven U. S. fighters were lost.

 

No. 190                                               November 12, 1942

 

Far East.

 

1. U. S. submarines have reported the following results of operations against the enemy in Far Eastern waters:

 

(a) One large transport sunk.

(b) One large tanker sunk.

(c) One large cargo ship sunk.

(d) One medium-sized cargo ship sunk.

 

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(e) One medium-sized auxiliary ship sunk.

(f) One small cargo ship sunk.

(g) One small patrol vessel sunk.

(h) One destroyer damaged and believed sunk.

 

These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

 

No. 191                                               November 13, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are cast longitude).

 

1. On November 12th:

 

(a) At about dawn U. S. naval forces commenced bombardment of enemy positions to the westward of our positions on Guadalcanal Island.  Shore batteries were silenced and large fires were started.  Seventy-five Japanese landing boats, some of which had been previously damaged, were found at Tassafaronga.  Thirty large landing boats were destroyed by ships' gunfire and several others were damaged.

(b) At 2:15 p. m., the bombardment was interrupted by an enemy air attack. Twenty-three Japanese torpedo bombers, escorted by 8 "Zero" fighters, attacked our surface ships in the vicinity of Guadalcanal.  Twenty-eight Grumman "Wildcats" intercepted and shot down 16 enemy bombers and 5 "Zeros".  Nine enemy planes were shot down by ships' antiaircraft fire.

(c) During the above attack a Japanese plane, disabled and burning, crashed into the U. S. S. San Francisco (heavy cruiser), killed 30 of her personnel, and damaged the ship slightly.  A 5-inch shell from an enemy shore battery damaged the U. S. S. Buchanan and killed 5 of her crew.  The San Francisco and the Buchanan were the only U. S. ships damaged in this action.  The next of kin of those killed and wounded will be notified by telegram immediately upon receipt of information.

 

Caribbean area.

 

2. On November 12th (Washington, D. C., date) the U. S. S. Erie (gunboat) was damaged during an attack by an enemy submarine.  The Erie was beached off the southern coast of Curacao.  No report of casualties has been received but next of kin will be notified immediately upon receipt of information.

 

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No. 192                                        November 14, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

 

1. A series of naval engagements which commenced on the night of November 12-13 in the Solomon Islands area is still in progress.  Both sides have suffered losses.

2. No details will be reported while the battle continued.  To announce details of these actions while the battle is in progress would furnish the enemy with information of definite value to him.

 

No.  193                                        November 15, 1942

 

South Pacific.

 

1.  Numerous enemy surface forces are active in the southeastern Solomons in an attempt to reinforce the enemy troops now on Guadalcanal and to disrupt our delivery of supplies to our forces which now occupy shore positions in this area.

2. The current land, sea, and air actions in the Solomon Islands are the result of a determined effort on the part of the Japanese to recapture positions in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area.

3. The engagements are continuing.

 

No.  194                                        November 16, 1942

 

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude)

 

1.  The following resume of recent events in the Solomon Islands area is based upon preliminary reports from the battle area and is necessarily incomplete.

2. Air reconnaissance during the early days of this month revealed a heavy concentration of Japanese transports, cargo ships, and combatant units of the enemy fleet in the New Britain-Northwestern Solomons region.  An attempt by the enemy to recapture our positions in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area of the southeastern Solomons was indicated and on November 10th it became evident that the expedition was being launched in force.

3. Japanese naval forces approached the southeastern Solomons from the north as other detachments, including many transports, moved southeastward toward Guadalcanal from Rabaul and Buin, where expeditionary forces had been assembling.

 

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4. General MacArthur's aircraft were of great assistance to our naval forces, both before and during the naval actions.  Army bombers made repeated successful attacks on units of the Japanese invasion fleet at Rabaul and at Buin. (These attacks were announced by United Nations Headquarters in Australia.)

5. The spearhead of the Japanese attack was a force composed of two battleships of the Kongo class and a number of other vessels believed to have been 2 heavy cruisers, 4 light cruisers, and about 10 destroyers.  This unit reached the Guadalcanal area shortly after midnight on the morning of November 11th, intending to bombard our shore positions prior to a large-scale landing from a large group of transports which had been observed in the Buin-Shortland area.  This Japanese bombardment force was formed in 3 groups.  As they approached the bombardment area they were engaged by units of our fleet and the ensuing battle was fought at close range.  It was during this engagement that Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan, U. S. N., was killed in action.  During this furious night engagement the Japanese seemed confused and during the latter part of the battle 2 of the 3 Japanese groups were firing at each other.  Shortly thereafter the enemy fire ceased and the Japanese withdrew from the battle and reti