U.S. Naval Chronology Of W.W.II, 1941

1941 01/07 Mon. Office of Production Management (OPM) is established. 01/16 Thu. President asks Congress for immediate appropriation of $350 million for 200 new merchant ships. 01/29 Wed. United States-British staff conversations to determine joint strategy in case of United States involvement in the war, begin in Washington. 01/30 Thu. Germany announces that ships of any nationality bringing aid to Great Britain will be torpedoed. 02/01 Sat. Navy announces reorganization of United States Fleet: old names Atlantic Fleet and Pacific Fleet revived; Asiatic Fleet remains unchanged. Adm. H. E. Kimmel relieves Adm. J. O. Richardson as Commander in Chief United States Pacific Fleet, with additional duty as Command in Chief United States Fleet; Patrol Force, United States Fleet, becomes Atlantic Fleet and Adm. E. J. King becomes Commander in Chief United States Atlantic Fleet; Adm. T. C. Hart continues as Commander in Chief United States Asiatic Fleet. 02/15 Sat. Naval Air Station, Kaneohe, Oahu, T. H., is established. 02/19 Wed. Coast Guard Reserve is established. 03/01 Sat. Support Force, Atlantic Fleet (Read Adm. A. L. Bristol), composed of destroyers and patrol plane squadrons, is established for protection of convoys in North Atlantic. Bulgaria joins the Axis as German troops occupy the country. 03/10 Mon. Japan mediates undeclared war between France and Indochina; France cedes territory to Thailand and gives Japan monopoly of Indochinese rice crop and right to airport at Saigon. 03/11 Tue. "Lend-Lease" Act becomes law; "cash and carry" provisions of Neutrality Act of 1939 are changed to permit transfer of munitions to Allies. 03/12 Wed. Naval Air Station, Corpus Christie, Tex., is established. 03/27 Thu. United States-British staff discussions in Washington end; "ABC-1 Staff Agreement" is reached which embodies basic strategic direction of the war in the case of the United States entry. 03/28 Fri. British fleet defeats Italian fleet in Battle of Cape Matapan; 3 Italian cruisers and 2 destroyers are sunk and several ships damaged. 03/30 Sun. Unites States takes possession of German, Italian, and Danish ships in United States Ports. 03/31 Mon. South Greenland Survey Expedition composed of State, Treasury, War, and Navy Department representatives arrives at Godthaab, Greenland; purpose is to locate and recommend sites for military and naval installations, and to gather hydrographic information. 04/06 Sun. German troops invade Yugoslavia and Greece. Italy declares war on Yugoslavia. 04/07 Mon. United States Naval Operating Base, Bermuda, is established. 04/09 Wed. Battleship NORTH CAROLINA (BB-55) is commissioned at New York, N.Y. Secretary of State and Danish Minister to the United States sign "Agreement Relating to the Defense of Greenland." 04/10 Thu. Destroyer NIBLACK (DD-424) while rescuing survivors of torpedoed Netherlands freighter, depth charges German submarine off Iceland; this is believed to be the first action of the war between United States and German vessels. President proclaims that the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden are no longer combat areas and are open to United States shipping. 04/13 Sun. Russo-Japanese Non-Aggression Pact signed. 04/17 Thu. Egyptian steamship ZAMZAM is sunk by German raider, ATLANTIS, in South Atlantic Area; about 150 Americans are included among rescued passengers. Yugoslavia capitulates to Axis. 04/22 Tue. Authorized enlisted strength of regular Navy is increased to 232,000. 04/23 Wed. Greece signs armistice with Germany 04/24 Thu. Neutrality Patrol is extended eastward to 26 d. West Longitude. 04/26 Sat. Neutrality Patrol is ordered to be extended southward to 20 d. South Latitude. 04/27 Sun. American-Dutch-British Conference at Singapore ends, having reached agreement on combined operating plan of local defense forces in the event of war with Japan; Capt. W. R. Purnell, USN, is senior United States representative. 05/12 Mon. Ambassador Nomura presents the Secretary of State with Japanese proposal for establishment of "just peace in the Pacific." 05/15 Thu. Battleship WASHINGTON (BB-56) is commissioned at Philadelphia, Pa. 05/20 Tue. German airborne troops invade Crete. 05/21 Wed. United States freighter ROBIN MOOR, en route to South Africa, is sunk in South Atlantic by German submarine. 05/24 Sat. Construction or acquisition of 550,000 tons of auxiliary shipping for the Navy is authorized. British battle cruiser HOOD is sunk by German battleship BISMARCK in Denmark Straits. 05/27 Tue. President declares a state of unlimited national emergency; he announces that the Atlantic Neutrality Patrol has been extended and that Pacific Fleet units have been transferred to the Atlantic. German battleship BISMARCK is sunk by British Navy in North Atlantic. 06/01 Sun. South Greenland Patrol comprising four Coast Guard vessels is established to operate from Cape Brewster to Cape Farewell to Upernivik. Crete capitulates to the Germans. 06/02 Mon. LONG ISLAND (AVG-1), the first escort carrier, is commissioned at Newport News, Va. 06/06 Fri. Bill is signed authorizing the Government to requisition foreign merchant ships lying idle in United States ports. Naval Air Station, Balboa, Canal Zone, is established. 06/12 Thu. All members of the Naval Reserve, not in deferred status, are called to active duty. 06/15 Sun. Naval Air Station, Kodiak, Alaska, is established. 06/16 Mon. State Department requests closing of all German consulates in United States territory. 06/19 Thu. Germany and Italy request closure of United States consulates. 06/21 Sat. State department requests closing of all Italian consulates in United States territory. 06/22 Sun. Germany, Italy, and Romania declare war on Russia and invade along a front from the Arctic to the Black Sea. 06/25 Wed. Finland declares war on Russia. 06/27 Fri. Hungary declares war on Russia. 06/28 Sat. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) is established to replace National Defense Research Committee. Albania declares war on Russia. 06/30 Mon. Naval vessels on hand (all types) - 1,899. Personnel: Navy................284,427; Marine Corps.........54,359; Coast Guard..........19,235. Total personnel.....358,021. France severs relations with Russia. 07/01 Tue. Naval Coast Frontiers are established: North Atlantic, Southern, Caribbean, Panama, Pacific Southern, Pacific Northern, Hawaiian, and Philippine. Patrol Wing 7 is commissioned at Argentia, Newfoundland, for operations in North Atlantic. Northeast Greenland Patrol is organized by the Coast Guard. 07/02 Wed. Japan recalls her merchant ships from Atlantic Ocean, and calls more than 1 million army conscripts. 07/07 Mon. President announces to Congress that an executive agreement has been made with Iceland for United States troops to occupy that country; the Navy is ordered to take all steps to maintain communications between the United States and Iceland. Naval task force (Rear Adm. D. M. LeBreton) lands Marines (Brig. Gen. J. Marston) at Reykjavik, Iceland. 07/08 Tue. Patrol Wing 8 is commissioned at San Diego, Calif. 07/10 Thu. 2d Marine Air Wing is commissioned at San Diego, Calif. 07/12 Sat. Naval Research and Development Board is created. Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, R. I., is established. 05/17 Tue. United States Naval Air Station and Naval Operating Base, Argentia, Newfoundland, are established. 07/18 Fri. Prince Konoye forms new Japanese cabinet; Vice Admiral T. Toyoda succeeds Matsuoka as Foreign Minister. 07/19 Sat. United States naval task force is organized by Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet (Adm. E. J. King) to support defense of Iceland and to escort convoys between the United States and Iceland. 07/26 Sat. Army Forces, Far East (Lt. Gen. Douglas MacArthur) is organized; Philippine military forces are called into service with United States Army. Japanese and Chinese assets in United States are frozen. 07/28 Mon. Japan freezes United States assets. 07/29 Tue. Japanese occupy southern Indochina with French permission. 07/30 Wed. River gunboat TUTUILA (PR-4) is bombed by Japanese planes at Chunking, China. 07/31 Thu. Japan apologizes for bombing river boat TUTUILA (PR-4). Economic Defense Board is created. 08/01 Fri. United States Naval Operating Base, Trinidad, is established. Naval Air station, Midway Island, is established. 08/08 Fri. Japanese Ambassador suggest conference between President and Japanese Prime Minister. 08/09 Sat. President and British Prime Minister meet at Placentia Bay, Argentia, Newfoundland (Atlantic Conference). 08/15 Fri. Naval Air Station, Palmyra Island, and Naval Air Facility, Johnston Island, are established. 08/17 Sun. President and Secretary of State confer with Japanese Ambassador and state prerequisites for resuming conversations or arranging a Pacific conference. 08/18 Mon. President announces that the United States is ferrying combat aircraft to British in Near East via Brazil and Africa. 08/25 Mon. British and Russian forces invade Iran from south and north respectively. 08/26 Tue. Ship Warrants Act invoked by Executive Order. This act empowers President to direct Maritime Commission to establish cargo handling, ship repair, and maintenance priorities for merchant ships. 08/27 Wed. Japan protests shipment of United States goods to Vladivostok through Japanese waters. 08/28 Thu. Supply, Priorities, and Allocations Board is established. Hostilities in Iran cease. 09/01 Mon. Navy assumes responsibility for trans-Atlantic convoys from point off Argentia to meridian of Iceland. Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet (Adm. E. J. King) designates a task group as a Denmark Strait Patrol to operate in waters between Iceland and Greenland. 09/04 Thu. Destroyer GREER (DD-145), while tracking German submarine 175 miles southwest of Iceland, is attacked but not damaged. 09/07 Sun. United States merchant ship STEEL SEAFARER is sunk by German air attack in Gulf of Suez. 09/09 Tue. Naval Coast Frontier Forces are formed. 09/11 Thu. President announces order to Navy to attack any vessel threatening United States shipping or ships under United States escort. 09/12 Fri. Coast Guard cutter NORTHLAND (PG-49) seizes Norwegian trawler BUSKOE in MacKenzie Bay, Greenland; BUSKOE's mission was to establish and service German radio weather stations in Greenland. 09/17 Wed. United States Navy escorts eastbound British trans-Atlantic convoy for the first time. 09/26 Fri. Navy orders protection of all ships engaged in commerce in United States defensive waters - by patrolling, covering, escorting, and by reporting or destroying German and Italian naval forces encountered. 09/27 Sat. First Liberty Ship, SS PATRICK HENRY, is launched at Baltimore, Md. 10/01 Wed. United States, British, and Russian representatives conclude 3-day conference in Moscow on aid to Russia. 10/17 Fri. Destroyer KEARNY (DD-432)is torpedoed and damaged southwest of Iceland. Navy orders all United States merchantmen in Asiatic waters to put into friendly ports. Gen. Hideki Tojo becomes Japanese Premier as Konoye Government resigns. 10/19 Sun. United States merchant ship LEHIGH is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine off West Africa. 10/20 Mon. Carrier HORNET (CV-8) is commissioned at Norfolk, Va. 10/30 Thu. Oiler SALINAS (AO-19) is torpedoed about 700 miles east of Newfoundland; there are no personnel casualties and the ship makes port. 10/31 Fri. Destroyer REUBEN JAMES (DD-245) is torpedoed and sinks off western Iceland with loss of about 100 lives; this is the first United States naval vessel to be lost by enemy action in World War II. 11/01 Sat. Coast Guard is place under jurisdiction of Department of the Navy for duration of national emergency. 11/03 Mon. Secretary of State announces German refusal to pay compensation for ROBIN MOOR sinking. 11/06 Thu. German blockade runner ODENWALD disguised as United States ship WILLMOTO is captured by cruiser OMAHA (CL-4) and destroyer SOMMERS (DD-381) in Atlantic equatorial waters 11/08 Sat. United States Naval Operating Base, Iceland, is established. 11/10 Mon. First United States-escorted troop convoy (Rear Adm. A. B. Cook), transporting more than 20,000 British troops, sails from Halifax for the Far East. 11/14 Fri. Marines are ordered to leave Shanghai, Peiping, and Tientsin, China. 11/17 Mon. Neutrality Act of 1939 is amended by Joint Resolution; merchant ships can now be armed and enter war zones. Saburo Kurusu, special Japanese envoy, arrives in Washington and confers with the Secretary of State. 11/20 Thu. Ambassador Nomura presents Japan's "final proposal" to keep peace in the Pacific. 11/21 Fri. Lend-Lease is extended to Iceland. 11/23 Sun. United States occupies Surinam, Dutch Guiana, pursuant to agreement with the Netherlands government to protect bauxite mines. 11/25 Tue. Japanese troop transports, en route to Malaya, are sighted off Formosa. 11/26 Wed. Secretary of State submits final proposals to Japanese envoys for readjustment of United States-Japanese relations. 11/27 Thu. Adm. H. R. Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, sends "war warning" message to commanders of the Pacific and Asiatic Fleets. 11/30 Sun. Japanese Foreign Minister Tojo rejects United States proposals for settling Far Eastern crisis. 12/01 Mon. Patrol Wing 9 is commissioned at Quonset Point, R. I. 12/02 Tue. United States merchant ship DUNBOYNE receives first Naval Armed Guard crew. 12/03 Wed. United States merchant vessel SAGADAHOC is sunk by torpedo in South Atlantic. 12/05 Fri. Japan assures the United States that her troop movements in French Indochina are only precautionary. 12/07 Sun. Japanese carrier-based horizontal bombers, dive bombers, torpedo bombers, and fighters totaling 360 aircraft from naval Striking Force (Vice Adm. c. Nagumo) heavily attack ships of the United States Pacific Fleet and military installations at Pearl harbor and other places on Oahu, T. H. Four battleships, 1 minelayer, and 1 target ship are sunk; 4 battleships, 3 cruisers, 3 destroyers, 1 seaplane tender, and 1 repair ship are damaged. Navy Yard and Naval Base, Pearl Harbor; Naval Air Station, Ford Island; Naval Patrol Plane Station, Kaneohe; Marine Corps airfield, Ewa; Army airfields Hickam, Wheeler, and Bellows are damaged; 188 Naval and Army aircraft are destroyed. Killed or missing: Navy............2,004 Marine Corps......108 Army..............222 Wounded: Navy..............912 Marine Corps.......75 Army..............360 [Personnel casualty statistics for the Pearl Harbor attack have been revised several times after evaluation of new data. The figures presented here were compiled in 1955 from official sources.] Japanese lose 5 midget submarines, 28 aircraft, and fewer than 100men. Midway Island is bombarded by two Japanese destroyers. President orders mobilization. Japanese declaration of war reaches Washington, D. C. United States naval vessels sunk by air attack, Pearl Harbor: [All ships sunk, except ARIZONA, OKLAHOMA, and UTAH, were raised, repaired, and subsequently returned to service.] Battleship OKLAHOMA (BB-37). Battleship ARIZONA (BB-39). Battleship CALIFORNIA (BB-44). Battleship WEST VIRGINA (BB-48). Minelayer OGALA (CM-4). Target ship UTAH (AG-16). United States naval vessels damaged, Pearl Harbor: Battleship NEVADA (BB-36). Battleship PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38). Battleship TENNESSEE (BB-43). Battleship MARYLAND (BB-46). Light cruiser RALEIGH (CL-7). Light cruiser HONOLULU (CL-48). Light cruiser HELENA (CL-50). Destroyer CASSIN (DD-372). Destroyer SHAW (DD-373). Destroyer DOWNES (DD-375). Seaplane tender CURTISS (AV-4). Repair ship VESTAL (AR-4). Japanese naval vessels lost, Pearl Harbor attack: 5 midget submarines. 12/08 Mon. United States declares war on Japan. Striking Force, Asiatic Fleet (Rear Adm. W. A. Glassford) departs Iloilo, P. I., for Makassar Strait, Netherlands East Indies. River gunboat WAKE (PR-3), surrenders to Japanese at Shanghai after attempt to scuttle fails. [WAKE is the only United States ship to surrender during the war.] Potomac River Naval Command with headquarters at Washington, D. C., and Severn River Naval Command with headquarters at Annapolis, Md., are established. S.S. PRESIDENT HARRISON, en route to evacuate Marines from Chingwangtao, China, runs aground at Sha Wai Shan, China, and is captured by the Japanese. Japanese aircraft in widely scattered operations bomb Guam, Wake, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippine Islands. Extensive damage is inflicted on United States Army aircraft at Clark Field, Luzon, P. I. Japanese forces land on Batan Island, north of Luzon, P. I., and on east coast of Malay Peninsula. Japan interns United States Marines and nationals at Shanghai and Tientsin, China. United States naval vessel sunk: Minesweeper PENGUIN (AM-33), by horizontal bomber, Guam, Marianas Islands. 12/09 Tue. Japanese occupy Bangkok, Thailand. Japanese land on Tarawa and Makin, Gilbert Islands. China declares war on Japan, Germany, and Italy. 12/10 Wed. Cavite Navy Yard, P. I., is heavily damaged by enemy air attack. Guam surrenders to Japanese landing force. Japanese land on Camiguin Island and at Gonzaga and Aparri, Luzon, P. I. British battleship PRINCE OF WALES and battlecruiser REPULSE are sunk by Japanese naval air attack near Kuantan, Malaya. United States naval vessels damaged at Cavite, P. I.: Destroyer PEARY (DD-226), by horizontal bomber. Submarine SEADRAGON (SS-194), by horizontal bomber. Submarine SEALION (SS-195), by horizontal bomber. Minesweeper BITTERN (AM-36), by horizontal bomber. Japanese naval vessels sunk: Submarine I-170, by carrier-based aircraft, Hawaiian Islands area, 23 d. 45' N., 155 d. 35' W. Minesweeper No. 10, by Army aircraft, Philippine Islands area, 17 d. 32' N., 120 d. 22' E. Minesweeper No. 19, damaged by Army aircraft and grounded by own forces (total loss), Philippine Islands area, 18 d. 22, N., 121 d. 38'. E. 12/11 Thu. Germany and Italy declare war on the United States. United States declare war on Germany and Italy. Marines on Wake Island repulse Japanese landing attempt and sink two enemy destroyers. Japanese make landings at Legaspi, Luzon, P. I. Japanese naval vessels sunk at Wake Island: Destroyer HAYATE, by Marine shore batteries. Destroyer KISARAGI, by Marine aircraft. 12/12 Fri. Naval Air Transport Service (NATS) is established. 12/13 Sat. Japanese planes attack Subic Bay area and airfield in Philippine Islands. 12/14 Sun. Wake Island Relief Expedition (Read Adm. F. J. Fletcher) leaves Pearl Harbor, Oahu, T. H. 12/15 Mon. Patrol Wing 10 departs Philippine Islands for Netherlands East Indies. Kahului, Maui, T. H., is shelled by Japanese submarine. United States naval vessels sunk: PT-33, damaged by grounding and sunk by United States forces, Philippine Islands area, 13 d. 46' N., 120 d. 40' E. 12/16 Tue. Johnston Island is shelled by Japanese submarine. 12/17 Wed. Rear Adm. C. W. Nimitz is ordered to relieve Adm. H. E. Kimmel as Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, with rank of Admiral; Vice Adm. W. S. Pye becomes acting Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, pending arrival of Admiral Nimitz. Japanese land at Miri, Sarawak, Borneo. 12/18 Thu. State Department announces that Rear Adm. F. J. Horne and French High Commissioner at Martinique, French West Indies, Admiral Robert, have reached an agreement neutralizing French Caribbean possessions. Congress passes First War Powers Act. Japanese naval vessel sunk: Destroyer SHINONOME, by mine, Miri, Borneo. 12/20 Sat. Adm. E. J. King is designated Commander in Chief United States Fleet with headquarters in the Navy Department, Washington, D. C. Japanese troops land at Davao, Mindanao, P. I. 12/21 Sun. Naval local defense forces in Philippine Islands (Rear Adm. F. W. Rockwell) move headquarters to Corregidor. 12/22 Mon. American troops (Brig. Gen. J. F. Barnes) arrive at Brisbane, Australia. President and British Prime Minister open discussions in Washington leading to establishment of Combined Chiefs of Staff. Japanese make landings in Lingayen Gulf area, P. I. Japanese naval vessels destroyed: Patrol boats Nos. 32 and 33 (old destroyers) deliberately run ashore, destroyed by Marine gunfire, Wake Island. 12/23 Tue. Wake Island, which had been subjected to prolonged enemy bombing, surrenders to Japanese invasion force. United States Relief Expedition is recalled while still 425 miles from Wake. United States-British War Council composed of the President, British Prime Minister, and naval, military, and civilian advisers meets for the first time. Palmyra Island is shelled by Japanese submarine. Japanese make landings at Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo. 12/24 Wed. Japanese land at Lamon Bay, Luzon, P. I. 12/25 Thu. Adm. T. C. Hart turns over all remaining naval forces in the Philippine Islands to Rear Adm. F. W. Rockwell; Admiral Hart departs in submarine for Java to establish new headquarters of Asiatic Fleet. British surrender Hong Kong. Japanese land at Jolo, P. I. United States naval vessels sunk: Submarine SEALION (SS-195), damaged 10 December 1941, Cavite, P. I., is sunk by United States forces. 12/26 Fri. Manila, P. I., is declared an open city but enemy bombing continues. 12/29 Mon. Corregidor, P. I., is bombed for first time by Japanese aircraft. United States naval vessels damaged: Submarine tender CANOPUS (AS-9), by horizontal bomber, Philippine Islands area, 14 d. 25' N., 120 d. 20' e. 12/30 Tue. Adm. E. J. King assumes duties as Commander in Chief United States Fleet. (See 20 December 1941.) 12/31 Wed. Adm. C. W. Nimitz assumes command of Pacific Fleet. Japanese submarines shell Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii, T. H.