The Japanese military is poised.
The mobile fleet is underway, 4-days at sea, 6 carriers, 2 BB ,lead by a line of destroyers with orders to sink any American, British or Dutch ships encountered.
The Japanese invasion fleet assembled in IndoChina is underway to Malaya.
The Japanese army is poised to invade Thiland on the way to attack Burma.
The Japanese army is poised to invade Malaya on the way to attack Singapore.
The Japanese air force is poisted to destroy the USAAF and USN in the Philippines
- Dec 1 . President orders 3 small ships as trip-wire off the coast of French Indochina.
- Dec 2 . U.S. PBY Catalina report 20 Japanese transports congregating in Cam Ranh Bay.
Imperial Naval Order: "Japan, under the necessity of her self-preservation
and self-defense, has reached a decision to declare war on the United
States of America, British Empire and the Netherlands."
- Dec 3 . U.S. PBY Catalina report 30 Japanese transports congregating in
Cam Ranh Bay.
Yacht Isabel (PY-10) sails for coast of French Indochina.
Japanese carrier fleet refuels, turns south and increases speed to Hawaii.
- Dec 4 . Invasion fleets set sail for Malaya and Thailand.
- Dec 5 . Japan assures her troop movements in French Indochina are only precautionary.
Invasion fleet escort boards and smash radio of Norwegian freighter.
Japanese submarines form ring around Hawaii.
- Dec 6 . British PBY searching for Malaya invasion force is shot down by Zero.
Japanese board and scuttle a different Norwegian ship.
FDR sends personal message to Emperor asking for moderation in Indo-China.
Spy Yoshikawa reports ship stations at Pearl Harbor to Tokyo;
36-minutes later is decyphered aboard Akagi.
Enterprise encounters heavy weather that delays fueling the force's destroyers.
- Dec 7 . Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, Midway, Wake Island. Simultaneously,
- Dec 8 . Japanese attack Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaya, Philippines.
U.S. declares a State of War exists with the Empire of Japan.
Thailand capitulates allowing Japanese movement to Burma.
- Dec 9 . Japs sink Repulse and Prince of Wales off Malaya.
- Dec 10. Japs take Guam, Makin, Tarawa.
- Dec 11. German/Italian axis declares war on US
Wake Island defended.
Dec 12, Fri.
US, others respond with war on Germany and Italy.
- Downed Japanese Naval Pilot Nishikaichi Shigenori, armed by Harada Yoshio,
a Japanese resident of Niihau, begins to terrorize the inhabitants of the island into returning
papers confiscated on 7 December. The islanders flee to the hills.
Incident on Naiihau island
Dec 13, Sat.
- Occupation of Niihau, Hawaii, by downed Japanese Pilot Nishikaichi Shigenori
ends: Nishikaichi burns his plane
- Japanese advance in NW Malaya. Chinese attack troops investing Hong Kong.
Dec 14, Sun.
- TF 11 (VAdm Wilson Brown Jr.), comprising carrier Lexington (CV-2),
three heavy cruisers, nine destroyers, and oiler Neosho (AO-23),
sails for the Marshall Islands, to create a diversion to cover
TF 14's attempt to relieve Wake Island.
Dec 15, Mon.
- Japanese invade north Borneo.
- Seaplane tender Tangier (AV-8), oiler Neches (AO-5),
and four destroyers sail for Wake Island.
- Saratoga arrives Pearl Harbor.
- Kahului, Maui, Territory of Hawaii, is shelled by Japanese submarine.
Dec 16, Tue.
- Carrier Yorktown (CV-5) departs Norfolk, Virginia to reinforce
the Pacific fleet.
- TF 14 (RAdm Frank Jack Fletcher), comprising carrier Saratoga (CV-3),
four destroyers; heavy cruisers Astoria (CA-34) (flagship),
Minneapolis (CA-36), and San Francisco (CA-38); and five destroyers,
sails from Pearl Harbor. These ships will overtake the force formed
around Tangier (AV-8) and Neches (AO-5) and their consorts to relieve Wake Island.
- Japanese Pearl Harbor Attack Force detaches
carriers Hiryu and Soryu, heavy cruisers
Tone and Chikuma, and
two destroyers to reinforce second planned attack on Wake Island.
- Japanese naval land attack planes bomb Wake.
- Submarine Tambor (SS-198), damaged, retires from the waters off Wake.
- Enterprise task forces return to Pearl Harbor after searching for Japanese fleet.
Dec 17, Wed.
- VAdm William S. Pye, Commander, Battle Force, becomes acting Commander
in Chief Pacific Fleet, pending the arrival of RAdm Chester W. Nimitz,
who is ordered on this date to relieve Adm Husband E. Kimmel.
- Lexington ordered north to join with Saratoga on Wake relief mission.
- Japanese submarine RO-66 is sunk in collision with sistership
RO-62 off Wake Island.
- Three Japanese landings in Sarawak, Burma; British withdraw, destroy refineries.
Dec 18, Thu.
- Dutch Dornier-24 bombs and sinks Japanese destroyer Shinonome off Miri, Borneo.
Dec 19, Fri.
- Japanese naval land attack planes bomb Wake Island.
- Japanese take Penang, Malaya.
- Japs invade Mindanao
- Fighting in Philippines.
Dec 20, Sat.
TF 8 (VAdm William F. Halsey, Jr.), formed around carrier
Enterprise (CV-6), heavy cruisers, and destroyers, sails from
Pearl Harbor proceeding to waters west of Johnston Island and
south of Midway to cover TF 11 and TF 14 operations.
- Japanese troops land at Davao, Mindanao, P.I.
- Unarmed U.S. tankship Emidio is shelled, torpedoed and sunk by
Japanese submarine I-17 about 25 miles west of Cape Mendocino, California.
- Unarmed U.S. tanker Agwiworld is shelled by Japanese submarine I-23
off the coast of California.
- Adm Ernest King, Commander, Atlantic Fleet, to Commander, US Fleets.
Dec 21, Sun.
- Planes from carriers Soryu and Hiryu bomb Wake Island.
Later that day, land attack planes bomb Wake.
Dec 22, Mon
- Main Japanese invasion force on Luzon
- President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill open
discussions in Washington (Arcadia Conference) which lasts into
January 1942, results in a formal American commitment to the
"Germany First" strategy.
- American troops arrive at Brisbane in convoy escorted by
heavy cruiser Pensacola (CA-24). This is the first U.S. Army
troop detachment to arrive in Australia. They had been in transit to
- Japanese commence invasion of Luzon, landing troops at Lingayen,
Philippine Islands. Fierce fighting.
Dec 23, Tue.
- Wake Island is captured.
- Japanese bomb Rangoon, Burma: 2,000 killed
- Unarmed U.S. tanker Montebello is torpedoed and sunk by Japanese
submarine I-21 about four miles south of Piedras Blancas light,
California. I-21 machine-guns the lifeboats, but miraculously inflicts no casualties.
I-21 later also shells unarmed U.S. tanker Idaho near the same location.
- Japanese submarine I-17 shells unarmed U.S. tanker Larry Doheny
southwest of Cape Mendocino, California.
- Japanese troops land at Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo.
- Anglo-U.S. War Council held with P.M. Churchill at the White House.
Dec 24, Wed.
- Unarmed U.S. freighter Absaroka is shelled by Japanese submarine
I-17 about 26 miles off San Pedro, California.
Unarmed U.S. steamship Dorothy Philips is shelled by Japanese submarine
I-23 off Monterey Bay, California.
Dec 25, Thu.
- British surrender Hong Kong.
Dec 26, Fri.
Dec 27, Sat.
- Unarmed U.S. tanker Connecticut is shelled by Japanese submarine
I-25 about 10 miles west of the mouth of the Columbia River.
Dec 28, Sun.
- Recruiting begins for the first contingent of "Seabees" ("Construction Battalions").
Dec 29, Mon.
- Great battle raging in north Hunan, China.
Dec 30, Tue.
- Japanese submarine I-1 shells Hilo, Hawaii.
- Yorktown reaches San Diego, CA; departed Norfolk, VA on 16 December.
Dec 31, Wed.
- Adm Chester Nimitz assumes command of Pacific Fleet in ceremonies
on board submarine Grayling (SS-209) at Pearl Harbor.
- Japanese submarines shell Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii.
- Saratoga (CV-3) and Task Force 11 depart Pearl Harbor on patrol.
Japanese submarine I-6 will torpedo the carrier on 11 January, forcing her retirement to Pearl.
- U.S. cargo/passenger ship Ruth Alexander, en route from Manila to
Balikpapan, Borneo, is bombed and irreparably damaged by Japanese
flying boat in Makassar Strait, N.E.I.
- Battles rage around Manila. The Japanese will occupy the city within days.
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