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February 27, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology


SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th Air Force): Battle of Java Sea. Allied air and naval units try to stop a convoy of some 80 ships approaching Java from the NE. All available B-17's, A-24s, P-40's and LB-30's are put into the air but achieve only insignificant results. An Allied naval force, 5 cruisers and 11 destroyers, under Rear Admiral Karel W Doorman, Royal Netherlands Navy, meets the enemy near Surabaya, Java and is decisively defeated, losing five ships. Most of the 5th Air Force ground echelon in Java is evacusted by sea. 13th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrives at Melbourne from the US with B-17's; first mission is Oct 42.

USN: USS Langley (AV-3) with 32 P-40E Warhawks as deck cargo which depared Fremantle on February 22, 1942 is damaged by Japanese G4M1 Betty bombers and sunk 100 miles south of Tjilatjap. The pilots are rescued by other vessels in the convoy, but the enemy sinks them with the exception of a destroyer, which delivers two of the pilots to Perth.

HMNS: In the afternoon begins the Battle of the Java Sea. Sunk are HNMS De Ruyter, HNMS Java and Hr Ms Kortenaer.

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