Thursday 5 February 1942
|Empress of Asia on fire and sinking, port view, 5 February 1942 (Australian War Memorial P01604.001).|
|Empress of Asia on fire and sinking, starboard view, 5 February 1942 (Australian War Memorial P01604.002).|
|"SS EMPRESS OF ASIA beached and burning. Most of the troops on board were rescued, but nearly all their weapons and equipment were lost. EMPRESS OF ASIA was the only vessel of the convoy reinforcing Malaya to be lost under the air attack. The vessel on the right is SS FELIX ROUSELL." IWM © HU 67641.|
|"A patrol from 4th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, advance warily alongside a hedge during training at Omagh in Northern Ireland, 5 February 1942." © IWM (H 17112).|
The pressure on British defenses along the Salween River in eastern Burma is growing. The Japanese are infiltrating around the Indian troops defending the river line and preparing to dislodge them. General Archibald Wavell, Commander in Chief ABDA Command, visits the area to the west of the river opposite Moulmein. This is the key defensive line in eastern Burma and its loss would be a terrific blow to the Allied position there.
The Imperial Japanese Navy sends seven flying boats to bomb Port Moresby at 03:00. They hit an ammunition (aminol) dump and cause damage in town. Air attacks at 09:15 and 10:20 damage Lae, New Guinea.
|RMS Empress of Asia during its service with Canadian Pacific Steamships.|
European Air Operations: A winter lull in operations continues following an abortive RAF minelaying attempt on 4 February. The Luftwaffe launches various missions against shipping and sinks 3431-ton collier SS Corland in the Thames Estuary. All 27 men aboard survive.
|HMS Arbutus (K 86), sunk by U-136 on 5 February 1942.|
|U-103 in 1941/42, showing its 3.7 cm Flak gun (Weiß, Federal Archive Bild 101II-MW-3930-23A).|
U-103 also torpedoes and sinks 8327-ton US tanker India Arrow in the same area. There are 12 survivors and 26 dead, and the ship takes 88,369 tons of diesel fuel with it. This sinking is sometimes listed as having occurred on 4 February 1942.
U-109 (Kptlt. Heinrich Bleichrodt), on its fourth patrol out of Lorient, shells and sinks 3531-ton Panamanian collier SS Halcyon about 300 miles northeast of Bermuda. The date of this sinking is uncertain, some sources place it as taking place at 23:00 on 5 February 1942, others on the morning of 6 February 1942. There are three deaths and 27 survivors.
|GMC CCKW 353 2½-ton 6x6 cargo truck, aka the "Jimmy" or the "Deuce and a Half." These and its variants were built in large numbers between 1941 and 1945 for the U.S. Army and its allies. The Afrika Korps captured many of these in North Africa.|
|About 23:00 on 5 February 1942, U-109 shells and sinks 3530-ton Panamanian collier SS Halcyon (shown) while en route from Halifax to Demerara.|
Iranian/Vichy French Relations: The Iranian government, now completely under the control of the Allies, severs relations with Vichy France.
The U.S. Navy activates US Naval Operating Base, Londonderry in County Derry, Ireland. This becomes the key base for transatlantic convoys.
|The 1942 Oldsmobile B-44. It includes Fuselage Fenders and Double-Duty Bumpers. The name is an homage to USAAF bomber designations.|
The last Oldsmobile rolls off the Lansing production line on February 5, 1942. These last automobiles are hampered by wartime shortages and include workarounds such as steel pistons and painted exterior trim. However, they are fully functional and include your choice of a 100- or 110-horsepower engine. "Big, broad-shouldered, commanding."
Future History: Roger Thomas Staubach is born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He enters the U.S. Naval Academy in 1960 and wins the Heisman Trophy as a football quarterback in 1963. After serving in the U.S. Navy from his graduation to 1969, including a year in Vietnam as a supply officer, Staubach joins the Dallas Cowboys. He leads his team to the Super Bowl five times, four times as the starting quarterback, including two victories. Roger Staubach later is named to both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In November 2018, President Donald Trump confers upon Roger Staubach the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
|"True Sport Picture-Stories," February 1942, featuring "Joe DiMaggio - True Story of the Diamond's Greatest Hero."|
February 1, 1942: The US Navy Strikes Back
February 2, 1942: Germans Recovering in Russia
February 3, 1942: Japanese Shell and Bomb Singapore
February 4, 1942: Battle of Makassar Strait
February 5, 1942: Empress of Asia Sunk
February 6, 1942: The Christmas Island Body
February 7, 1942: The Double-V Campaign
February 8, 1942: Japan Invades Singapore
February 9, 1942: French Liner Normandie Capsizes
February 10, 1942: US Car Production Ends
February 11, 1942: Tomforce Fails on Singapore
February 12, 1942: The Channel Dash
February 13, 1942: Japanese Paratroopers In Action
February 14, 1942: RAF Orders Terror Raids
February 15, 1942: Japan Takes Singapore
February 17, 1942: Indian Troops Defect to Japanese
February 18, 1942: Battle of Badung Strait
February 19, 1942: FDR Authorizes Internment Camps
February 20, 1942: O'Hare the Hero
February 21, 1942: Crisis in Burma
February 22, 1942: Bomber Harris Takes Over
February 23, 1942: Bombardment of Ellwood, California
February 24, 1942: US Raid on Wake Island
February 25, 1942: Battle of Los Angeles
February 26, 1942: Gneisenau Eliminated
February 27, 1942: Battle of Java Sea
February 28, 1942: Battle of Sunda Strait