British destroyers HMS Avon Vale, Beaufort, Dulverton, Eridge, Heythrop, Hurworth and Southwold leave Alexandria, Egypt, on an anti-submarine sweep ahead of convoy MW10 (4 fast transport ships escorted by cruisers HMS Cleopatra, Dido, Euryalus and anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Carlisle, 10 destroyers and 6 submarines) leaving Alexandria that day for Malta. At 10.54 AM 40 miles Northeast of Bardia, HMS Heythrop is damaged by U-652 (15 dead and 151 survivors taken off by HMS Eridge). HMS Heythrop sinks 5 hours later while under tow by HMS Eridge.
At 8.54 PM, U-71 sinks US steamer Oakmar (carrying Manganese ore, burlap and rubber from Calcutta, India) just 450 miles short of its destination in Boston (6 killed, 30 survivors in 1 lifeboat picked up by Greek SS Stavros on March 22).
Transferring trains in Terowie, South Australia, General Douglas MacArthur makes a speech regarding the Battle of the Philippines “The President of the United States ordered me to break through the Japanese lines and proceed from Corregidor to Australia for the purpose, as I understand it, of organizing the American offensive against Japan, a primary objective of which is the relief of the Philippines. I came through and I shall return.” The event is commemorated by a plaque on the now disused railway platform.
After resupplying with fuel and ammunition, German armed merchant cruiser Michel departs La Pallice, France, in the Bay of Biscay, to patrol just South of the Equator.