At 3.19 AM 70 miles Southwest of Kauai, Hawaii, Japanese submarine I-72 sinks US Oiler USS Neches with 3 torpedoes (57 killed). USS Neches is en route to refuel Task Force 11 (including aircraft carrier USS Lexington) which left Oahu yesterday to bomb Wake Island. Task Force 11 cannot reach Wake without fuel and returns to Pearl Harbor.
Borneo. Japanese landing force (Sakaguchi Detachment from Tarakan) approaches the town of Balikpapan. Dutch submarine K-18 sinks Japanese transport ship Tsuruga Maru. 9 Dutch Martin B-10 bombers and 20 Brewster Buffalo fighters sink Japanese transport ship Nana Maru and damage Tatsugami Maru.
Celebes. Japanese Sasebo Combined Special Naval Landing Force sails from Manado for the small town of Kendari, 450 miles further South. Kendari has an airfield in striking distance of Darwin, Australia, and the main Dutch naval base at Soerabaja, Java.
Japanese bombers attack Palembang (Sumatra, Dutch East Indies) for the first time. Japanese aircraft also bomb raid Rangoon, Burma, but 6 bombers are shot down by American Volunteer Group and RAF fighters.
Japanese Maizuru Special Naval Landing Force lands at Kavieng, New Ireland, and 55th Infantry Regiment lands at Rabaul, New Britain, in the Territory of New Guinea. They overwhelm the Australian defenders through numerical superiority and landing at unopposed sites, although there are pockets of Australian resistance. Australian soldiers are ordered to scatter into the jungle ("every man for himself") where most quickly surrender or die.
US destroyer USS Edsall attacks a submarine contact in the Vernon Islands, 30 miles Northwest of Darwin, Australia, but is damaged by one of her own depth charges.
Battle of Bataan. While the Abucay-Mauban line continues to crumble, Japanese make amphibious landings on the far Southwest coast of Bataan. These are contained by a naval battalion of American sailors and marines.
Operation Drumbeat. At 8.12 AM 20 miles off Nova Scotia, U-109 sinks British SS Thirlby carrying 7600 tons of maize to Britain (5 killed, 41 survivors picked up by American steamer Belle Isle). At 1.40 PM 400 miles East of Newfoundland, U-82 sinks Norwegian tanker MV Leiesten (6 killed, 29 survivors picked up by Greek steamer Agios Georgios).
Libya. Afrika Korps’ rapid advance continues causing panic in the British rearguard, elements of which run East for safety. In the Gulf of Sirte, a British Fairey Albacore torpedo bomber (FAA 826 Squadron from Libya) sinks Italian troopship Victoria in supply convoy T18 (391 killed, 1064 crew and troops taken off by Italian destroyers Aviere and Camicia Nera).
260 miles Northwest of Moscow, Soviet 3rd Shock Army surrounds 5500 German troops in the small town of Kholm.