Monday 9 February 1942
|SS Normandie on its side after capsizing in New York Harbor on 9 February 1942.|
Battle of the Pacific: The Japanese in the early morning hours of 9 February 1942 win the Battle of Sarimbun Beach on Singapore Island, forcing the defending Australian soldiers of the 22nd Brigade to retreat. The three Australian battalions that had been defending this sector in northwest Singapore are overwhelmed as the Japanese continue pouring troops across the Strait and move back toward the center of the island. The Japanese advance out of their bridgehead and pursue the retreating Australians through several large estates. A fierce battle erupts around Tengah Airfield, with the defending Australian troops losing hundreds of men killed and hundreds more are wounded. After dark, the British send three British Fairmile B motor launches on a dangerous raid through the Straits of Johor to disrupt the Japanese communications to the troops at Sarim and succeed beyond all expectations, destroying some landing craft and returning intact to base.
|SS Normandie after burning and capsizing in New York Harbor on 9 February 1942. Note the car traffic passing by, getting a good view.|
In the Netherlands East Indies, the Japanese land about 8000 troops near Makassar City and south of Makassar at Jeneponto on Celebes Island. They make good progress toward Makassar, taking a key bridge into the city.
|The 9 February 1942 Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald-Journal correctly and quickly reports that the Japanese have invaded Singapore Island.|
|USS Maryland (BB-46) on 9 February 1942 off the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington (Naval History and Heritage Command).|
European Air Operations: There are no major operations today due to winter weather conditions.
|SS Normandie after catching fire and capsizing on 9 February 1942 (US Navy).|
U-654 (Oblt. Ludwig Forster), on its second patrol out of Brest, torpedoes and sinks Free French corvette Alysse in the western Atlantic. There are 34 deaths.
U-586 (Oblt. Dietrich von der Esch), on its first patrol out of Kiel, torpedoes and damages 9057-ton Norwegian tanker Anna Knudsen north of Scotland. The tanker makes it to port with the assistance of a tug.
|British freighter SS Empire Fusilier, sunk by U-85 on 9 February 1942.|
U-108 (KrvKpt. Klaus Scholtz), on its sixth patrol out of Lorient, torpedoes and sinks 1974-ton Norwegian freighter Tolosa off the North Carolina coast. All 22 crew perish.
|SS Tolosa, sunk by U-108 on 9 February 1942 with no survivors.|
|Free French corvette Alysse, sunk by U-654 on 9 February 1942.|
War Crimes: At Makassar City, a company of native soldiers takes a Japanese unit by surprise at a bridge they have captured and inflict numerous casualties. In reprisal, the Japanese take the Dutch prisoners they have taken at the bridge, tie them together in groups of three, and throw them off the bridge to drown. This is the Makassar Massacre.
|A12 infantry tank Mk II "Matilda" II comes ashore from a landing craft during combined operations training involving 5th New Zealand Infantry Brigade at Ras Sudr in Egypt, 9 February 1942.|
Allied Relations: The Pacific War Council, composed of representatives from the U.K., Australia, Netherlands East Indies, and New Zealand, is formed in London. This complements the American-British-Dutch-Australian military command (ABDACOM). The United States is not yet a member but will become one on 1 April 1942.
|Time magazine of 9 February 1942, featuring Robert A. Lovett on the cover (Ernest Hamlin Baker). Lovett is assistant secretary of war for air and oversees the massive expansion of the US Army Air Forces.|
The 30th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 28th Composite Group, transfers its B-18 Bolo bombers from Elmendorf Field to Ft Greeley, Kodiak. These 1936 bombers are considered almost obsolete and soon are relegated to antisubmarine, transport duty, and training.
|Medical Physics Building (Donner Lab) at Berkeley Lab, taken February 9, 1942. (US National Archives).|
Canada: In four by-elections, candidates opposed to conscription are defeated.
American Homefront: Congress imposes daylight saving time by pushing ahead standard time by one hour in each time zone. This is known as "war time." The idea originated in New Zealand in the 19th Century, was used by both sides during World War I, and is based on a theory that more daylight in the morning aids efficiency and saves on energy costs. In addition, Congress also standardizes timekeeping throughout the United States by establishing five time zones. This law standardizing time remains in effect throughout World War II but is repealed shortly afterward. It is resuscitated in 1966 with the Uniform Time Act, which establishes daylight saving time from the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October.
|Newsweek magazine, 9 February 1942.|
|Life magazine, 9 February 1942, featuring the Versailles Chorus (from a feature on nightclubs) on the cover.|