Timeline Of The War In The Pacific, First Year.

by Daniel Russ on January 25, 2014

 

 

800px-USS_Bunker_Hill_hit_by_two_Kamikazes

USS Bunker Hill Hit By Kamikazes.

 

There is a lesson here. The Japan fought extremely well at the exact same time that they were biting off more than they could chew. The inevitability of the win for the US became more apparent the closer US troops island hopped towards Japan. This first 54 weeks of the War in the Pacific shows us how rapacious Japan was. Source: http://www.historyplace.com

 

December 7, 1941 – Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; also attack the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Malaya, Thailand, Shanghai and Midway.

 

December 8, 1941 – U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan. Japanese land near Singapore and enter Thailand.

 

December 9, 1941 – China declares war on Japan.

 

December 10, 1941 – Japanese invade the Philippines and also seize Guam.

 

December 11, 1941 – Japanese invade Burma.

 

December 15, 1941 – First Japanese merchant ship sunk by a U.S. submarine.

 

December 16, 1941 – Japanese invade British Borneo.

 

December 18, 1941 – Japanese invade Hong Kong.

 

December 22, 1941 – Japanese invade Luzon in the Philippines.

 

December 23, 1941 – General Douglas MacArthur begins a withdrawal from Manila to Bataan; Japanese take Wake Island.

 

December 25, 1941 – British surrender at Hong Kong.

 

December 26, 1941 – Manila declared an open city.

 

December 27, 1941 – Japanese bomb Manila.

 

January 2, 1942 – Manila and U.S. Naval base at Cavite captured by the Japanese.

 

January 7, 1942 – Japanese attack Bataan in the Philippines.

 

January 11, 1942 – Japanese invade Dutch East Indies and Dutch Borneo.

 

January 16, 1942 – Japanese begin an advance into Burma.

 

January 18, 1942 – German-Japanese-Italian military agreement signed in Berlin.

 

January 19, 1942 – Japanese take North Borneo.

 

January 23, 1942 – Japanese take Rabaul on New Britain in the Solomon Islands and also invade Bougainville, the largest island.

 

January 27, 1942 – First Japanese warship sunk by a U.S. submarine.

 

January 30/31 – The British withdraw into Singapore. The siege of Singapore then begins.

 

February 1, 1942 – First U.S. aircraft carrier offensive of the war as YORKTOWN and ENTERPRISE conduct air raids on Japanese bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.

 

February 2, 1942 – Japanese invade Java in the Dutch East Indies.

 

February 8/9 – Japanese invade Singapore.

 

February 14, 1942 – Japanese invade Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies.

 

February 15, 1942 – British surrender at Singapore.

 

February 19, 1942 – Largest Japanese air raid since Pearl Harbor occurs against Darwin, Australia; Japanese invade Bali.

 

February 20, 1942 – First U.S. fighter ace of the war, Lt. Edward O’Hare from the LEXINGTON in action off Rabaul.

 

February 22, 1942 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders General MacArthur out of the Philippines.

 

February 23, 1942 – First Japanese attack on the U.S. mainland as a submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California.

 

February 24, 1942 – ENTERPRISE attacks Japanese on Wake Island.

 

February 26, 1942 – First U.S. carrier, the LANGLEY, is sunk by Japanese bombers.

 

February 27- March 1 – Japanese naval victory in the Battle of the Java Sea as the largest U.S. warship in the Far East, the HOUSTON, is sunk.

 

March 4, 1942 – Two Japanese flying boats bomb Pearl Harbor; ENTERPRISE attacks Marcus Island, just 1000 miles from Japan.

 

March 7, 1942 – British evacuate Rangoon in Burma; Japanese invade Salamaua and Lae on New Guinea.

 

March 8, 1942 – The Dutch on Java surrender to Japanese.

 

March 11, 1942 – Gen. MacArthur leaves Corregidor and is flown to Australia. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright becomes the new U.S. commander.

March 18, 1942 – Gen. MacArthur appointed commander of the Southwest Pacific Theater by President Roosevelt.

 

March 18, 1942 – War Relocation Authority established in the U.S. which eventually will round up 120,000 Japanese-Americans and transport them to barb-wired relocation centers.

 

Despite the internment, over 17,000 Japanese-Americans sign up and fight for the U.S. in World War II in Europe, including the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated unit in U.S. history.

 

March 23, 1942 – Japanese invade the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

 

March 24, 1942 – Admiral Chester Nimitz appointed as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific theater.

 

April 3, 1942 – Japanese attack U.S. and Filipino troops at Bataan.

 

April 6, 1942 – First U.S. troops arrive in Australia.
April 9, 1942 – U.S. forces on Bataan surrender unconditionally to the Japanese.

 

April 10, 1942 – Bataan Death March begins as 76,000 Allied POWs including 12,000 Americans are forced to walk 60 miles under a blazing sun without food or water toward a new POW camp, resulting in over 5,000 American deaths.

 

April 18, 1942 – Surprise U.S. ‘Doolittle’ B-25 air raid from the HORNET against Tokyo boosts Allied morale.

 

April 29, 1942 – Japanese take central Burma.

 

May 1, 1942 – Japanese occupy Mandalay in Burma.

 

May 3, 1942 – Japanese take Tulagi in the Solomon Islands.

 

May 5, 1942 – Japanese prepare to invade Midway and the Aleutian Islands.

 

May 6, 1942 – Japanese take Corregidor as Gen. Wainwright unconditionally surrenders all U.S. And Filipino forces in the Philippines.

 

May 7-8, 1942 – Japan suffers its first defeat of the war during the Battle of the Coral Sea off New Guinea – the first time in history that two opposing carrier forces fought only using aircraft without the opposing ships ever sighting each other.

 

May 12, 1942 – The last U.S. Troops holding out in the Philippines surrender on Mindanao.

 

May 20, 1942 – Japanese complete the capture of Burma and reach India.

 

June 4-5, 1942 – Turning point in the war occurs with a decisive victory for the U.S. against Japan in the Battle of Midway as squadrons of U.S. torpedo planes and dive bombers from ENTERPRISE, HORNET, and YORKTOWN attack and destroy four Japanese carriers, a cruiser, and damage another cruiser and two destroyers. U.S. loses YORKTOWN.

 

June 7, 1942 – Japanese invade the Aleutian Islands.

 

June 9, 1942 – Japanese postpone further plans to take Midway.

 

July 21, 1942 – Japanese land troops near Gona on New Guinea.

August 7, 1942 – The first U.S. amphibious landing of the Pacific War occurs as 1st Marine Division invades Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

 

August 8, 1942 – U.S. Marines take the unfinished airfield on Guadalcanal and name it Henderson Field after Maj. Lofton Henderson, a hero of Midway.

 

August 8/9 – A major U.S. naval disaster off Savo Island, north of Guadalcanal, as eight Japanese warships wage a night attack and sink three U.S. heavy cruisers, an Australian cruiser, and one U.S. destroyer, all in less than an hour. Another U.S. cruiser and two destroyers are damaged. Over 1,500 Allied crewmen are lost.

 

August 17, 1942 – 122 U.S. Marine raiders, transported by submarine, attack Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.

 

August 21, 1942 – U.S. Marines repulse first major Japanese ground attack on Guadalcanal.

 

August 24, 1942 – U.S. And Japanese carriers meet in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons resulting in a Japanese defeat.

 

August 29, 1942 – The Red Cross announces Japan refuses to allow safe passage of ships containing supplies for U.S. POWs.

 

August 30, 1942 – U.S. Troops invade Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands.

 

September 9/10 – A Japanese floatplane flies two missions dropping incendiary bombs on U.S. forests in the state of Oregon – the only bombing of the continental U.S. during the war.

 

Newspapers in the U.S. voluntarily withhold this information.

 

September 12-14 – Battle of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal.

 

September 15, 1942 – A Japanese submarine torpedo attack near the Solomon Islands results in the sinking of the Carrier WASP, Destroyer O’BRIEN and damage to the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA.

 

September 27, 1942 – British offensive in Burma.

 

October 11/12 – U.S. cruisers and destroyers defeat a Japanese task force in the Battle of Cape Esperance off Guadalcanal.

 

October 13, 1942 – The first U.S. Army troops, the 164th Infantry Regiment, land on Guadalcanal.

 

October 14/15 – Japanese bombard Henderson Field at night from warships then send troops ashore onto Guadalcanal in the morning as U.S. planes attack.

 

October 15/17 – Japanese bombard Henderson Field at night again from warships.

 

October 18, 1942 – Vice Admiral William F. Halsey named as the new commander of the South Pacific Area, in charge of the Solomons-New Guinea campaign.

 

October 26, 1942 – Battle of Santa Cruz off Guadalcanal between U.S. And Japanese warships results in the loss of the Carrier HORNET.

 

November 14/15 – U.S. And Japanese warships clash again off Guadalcanal resulting in the sinking of the U.S. Cruiser JUNEAU and the deaths of the five Sullivan brothers.

 

November 23/24 – Japanese air raid on Darwin, Australia.

 

November 30 – Battle of Tasafaronga off Guadalcanal.

 

December 2, 1942 – Enrico Fermi conducts the world’s first nuclear chain reaction test at the University of Chicago.

 

December 20-24 – Japanese air raids on Calcutta, India.

 

December 31, 1942 – Emperor Hirohito of Japan gives permission to his troops to withdraw from Guadalcanal after five months of bloody fighting against U.S. Forces

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