Friday 6 February 1942
|RAF reconnaissance photo showing Graf Zeppelin at Gotenhafen (Gdynia), 6 February 1942 (U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command NH 78306).|
|"HMS UTMOST alongside the depot ship HMS FORTH." 6 February 1942 (© IWM (A 7726)).|
After dark, the Australian 22nd Brigade sends three small patrols across the strait to Johor. The Japanese spot one of them, sinking its ship and kill the commander. The other patrols manage to gather intelligence about Japanese troop concentrations. The Overseas Chinese Anti-Japanese Volunteer Army, supported by Australian troops, sink and kill a Japanese patrol that was attempting to cross the Strait for similar purposes.
In the Philippines, the Japanese attack the US Army I Corps sector in the western half of the Bataan Peninsula. Their aim is to relieve two dwindling Japanese pockets just south of the Allied Main Line of Resistance (MLR). The Japanese attack gets within 800 years (meters) of the main pocket but then are stopped by elements of the 11th Division, Philippine Army. This Japanese wedge in the MLR becomes known as the "Upper Pocket," though this is a misnomer because it is not technically a pocket (though it is isolated by the river at its back). Further north, in Manila Bay, the US continues to hold isolated islands Forts Drum and Frank. The Japanese begin shelling these islands today from artillery positioned along the south shore of the Bay in the vicinity of Ternate.
|The New York Times publishes on page 8 what it describes as the "First Pictures of Japanese Entering Manila."|
|USS Downes (DD-375). "Being floated out of Pearl Harbor Navy Yard's Drydock # 1, while under salvage on 6 February 1942. Light-colored patches cover areas of severe damage to her hull. She had been bombed and burned out during the Japanese attack of 7 December 1941. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph." NH 54557.|
The gradual Japanese occupation of the Netherlands East Indies continues as a detachment lands at Gorontalo on Minahassa Peninsula, west of Menado, on Celebes Island. Japanese bombers attack Palembang P1 Airfield on Sumatra at 1100 hours. During the attack, they shoot down two Blenheim bombers and four Hawker Hurricanes and destroy two Buffaloes on the ground. The Dutch receive reconnaissance reports of Japanese naval forces concentrating near the Anambas Islands. Agents in French Indochina report the presence of a Japanese airborne division which is prepared for action.
|Reich Organization Leader Robert Ley speaks at a rally at the Berlin Sports Palace to employees of the Siemens company on 6 February 1942. Behind him is a propaganda poster which reads, "He fights harder! We increase our performance." The Winter Relief is in full swing, a little late but better late than never (Hoffmann, Federal Archive Fig. 183-J00340).|
European Air Operations: The RAF resumes operations after a mid-winter break. During the day, it sends 33 Hampden and 13 Manchester bombers to lay mines in the Frisian Islands. The British lose one Hampden.
RAF Bomber Command also sends 57 Wellington and 3 Stirling bombers to attack the German naval base at Brest. The cloudy weather prevents precision bombing and only 21 bombers report dropping their bombs on the target. If the raid has any significance, it is to stimulate German plans for Operation Cerberus, the Channel Dash scheduled for four days before the new moon on 11 February 1942.
|"Officers and members UTMOST's crew at their action stations in the interior of the submarine. The Commanding Officer, Lieut Cdr R D Cayley, is at the periscope." Taken upon HMS Utmost's arrival at Holy Loch on 6 February 1942 after a year of service in the Mediterranean. © IWM (A 7721).|
|U-82, sunk in the North Atlantic on 6 February 1942.|
|SS Major Wheeler, sunk on 6 February 1942.|
|10,107-ton cargo liner MV Opawa, sunk on 6 February 1942.|
In an incident that is sometimes reported as happening on either 5 or 6 February 1942, U-109 (Kptlt Bleichrodt) torpedoes and sinks 3530-ton Panamian freighter SS Halcyon. A major search and rescue takes place on 6 February 1942. A search plane finds the wreckage and directs British tanker British Prestige to the area. It spends the day hunting down and rescuing 27 survivors, one 73 years old.
|British tanker British Prestige (courtesy of Eric Wiberg).|
On Malta, planes of RAF No. 21 Squadron (Blenheim IV) is flying off the island of Filfla when some Bf 109s of JG 53 appear and shoot down three Blenheims. Lt. Hans, Oblt. Wittmeyer, Lt. Herbert Soukup, and Oblt. Helmut Belser all claim victories.
|"The crew of a Crusader tank cleaning the barrel of the 2-pdr gun, 6 February 1942." © IWM (E 8078).|
Allied Relations: The first meeting of the military leaders of the United Kingdom and the United States, the Combined Chief of Staff, takes place in Washington, D.C.
designates certain areas as Naval Coastal Frontiers. This includes the Eastern, Gulf, Caribbean, Panama, Hawaiian, Northwest, Western, and Philippine Sea Frontiers.
A USAAF P-40 Kittyhawk piloted by 2nd Lieutenant Oscar W. A. Handy (0-425080) of the 3rd Pursuit Squadron (Provisional) crashes at Darwin, Northern Territory. Handy survives.
The 178th Signal Company is constituted at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. It will serve with distinction in the Rhineland in 1944 and Vietnam in the 1960s.
British Military: In a typical wartime accident, a Bristol Blenheim on a training mission crashes into a tree after taking off from Hinton-in-the-Hedges. The only man aboard, Sgt William Everard-Smith of 13 OTU RAF, is buried at Chorley (St. Gregory) Roman Catholic Churchyard nearby. These crashes happen through pilot error, strained maintenance servicing, poor visibility, and other factors which are not as pronounced during peacetime.
|The crew of HMS Utmost hoists the Jolly Roger showing their victories while on patrol after arriving in port at Holy Loch, Scotland, 6 February 1942.|
|Korvettenkapitän (later Fregattenkapitän) Klaus Scholtz, commander of U-108, ends a period of fruitless hunting off the New England coast on 6 February 1942 and heads south, where he will find plentiful targets.|
The attitude of those with near relatives in our Garrison at Rabaul is becoming bitter and hostile at the lack of any news of their sons, brothers and husbands, and of the feeling that is being created that although something could be done to assist them, nothing is being attempted. [NAA A2684/3 Item 749]There indeed are many survivors of the invasion of Rabaul, but little is known about their fate and the vast majority simply disappear without a trace. It is worthwhile to note that Japanese soldiers in some other places at this time of the war (perhaps most notoriously at Hong Kong) have been proven to be torturing and killing prisoners and then burning the bodies to hide their crimes.
American Homefront: Monogram Pictures releases "Law of the Jungle" (1942), a wartime thriller directed by Jean Yarbrough about German spies in British Rhodesia, Africa.
|"Doc Savage," Volume 18, No. 6, February 1942.|