Churchill and Roosevelt announce the
unified ABDA (American, British, Dutch and Australian) Command
in the Southwest Pacific, under General Wavell, with Lieutenant
General Brett as his deputy.
Japanese aircraft attack Rabaul in
the Bismarck Archipelago.
80,000 US and Filipino troops successfully
complete their withdrawal to the Bataan Peninsula, along with
26,000 civilians, although food stocks are only sufficient
to sustain 43,000 men for 6 months. The Japanese quickly close
up to the first defensive position, which is based on Mounts
Santa Rosa and Natib.
Japanese troops complete their capture
of Sarawak and also take Jesselton in northern Borneo.
Japanese troops launch an attack against
the eastern side of the Santa Rosa-Natib defence line on Bataan,
making some gains, although US-Filipino counter-attacks forces
them back to their start-line.
The Japanese invasion of the Dutch
East Indies begins with landings at Tarakan (Borneo) and Manado
Japan formally declares war on the
Dutch East Indies.
A Japanese attack just to the east
of Mount Natib, begins to pose a threat to the left flank of
the US-Filipino 2nd Corps.
General Wavell arrives at Batavia
in Java to setup ABDA headquarters. The Japanese launch an
attack against the US-Filipino 1st Corps positions on the western
side of Bataan.
Heavy US losses on the Bataan Peninsula
as the Japanese troops press the defenders back.
The Japanese have now secured all
of British North Borneo.
The Japanese bomb New Guinea for the
General MacArthur orders the withdrawal
of US and Filipino troops to the Bagac-Orion line, which is
the final defensive position in Bataan. After dark the Japanese
make two Battalion sized landings at Quinauan Point and Longoskawayan
Point to the rear of the US-Filipino positions in Bataan. However,
US and Filipino reserves successfully contain these beachheads.
Japanese troops make landings at Rabaul
on New Britain and at Kavieng on New Ireland. They also make
a simultaneous landing on Bougainville Island in the Solomons.
In the Dutch East Indies, the Japanese land at Kendari in Celebes.
Australia appeals to Britain and the US for immediate reinforcements.
Japanese troops land at Balikpapan
in Dutch Borneo.
Japanese troops begin landing at Lae
in New Guinea. A court martial is announced later. Australia
begins full mobilisation of all assets at its disposal.
The US-Filipino withdrawal to the
Bagac-Orion line is successfully completed. The Japanese quickly
followed up the withdrawal and made several penetration in
to the defensive new line, although these were all contained
and thrown back.
Japanese troops land at Pemangkat
on the west coast of Dutch Borneo.
Japanese forces capture
the important naval base of Amboina between Celebes and New
Japanese air raids on
President Quezon of the Philippines
proposes to President Roosevelt that his country should be
granted total independence from the USA so that it could declare
itself neutral, but Roosevelt dismisses this idea. General
MacArthur warns Roosevelt that the Bataan garrison has suffered
over 50 per cent casualties and it was 'near done'. MacArthur
was given permission by Roosevelt to surrender Filipino, but
not US troops who were to fight until the end.
First meeting of Pacific War Council
in London with Dutch, New Zealand, Australian and UK representatives.
The Japanese being their invasion
of Sumatra with airborne landings at Palembang.
In Australia, Darwin is attacked twice
in one day by Japanese aircraft.
Japanese forces land on the Portuguese
Island of Timor. Japanese troops having suffered heavy casualties
over the past few weeks from battle and disease, begin to slacken
their pressure in Bataan. President Quezon of the Philippines
leaves for Australia in a US submarine.
Roosevelt authorises the transfer
of General MacArthur.
Wavells ABDA HQ leaves Java for Australia,
where upon its arrival it is disbanded. Against the wishes
of Churchill, the Australian Prime Minister, Curtin orders
all Australian Divisions to return home.
After the withdrawal of ABDA HQ from
Java, Wavell himself now leaves for Australia.
Japanese land on Java.
The Dutch take supreme
command of all allied forces in Southwest Pacific.
Japanese occupy Batavia in Java.
The Government of the Dutch East Indies
flees Java for Australia.
Japanese make unopposed landings at
Lae and Salamaua on New Guinea.
The Government of the Dutch East Indies
reaches Adelaide in Australia as all resistance on Java ceases
and the island surrenders to the Japanese.
Japanese troops make landings at
Finschhafen in New Guinea. They also occupy Buka in the Solomon
Islands. Japanese aircraft attack Port Moresby in Papua.
General MacArthur leaves Corregidor
and the Philippines for Australia, after being ordered to assume
command of the new South-West Pacific area, which in effect
meant all Allied forces in the Pacific. MacArthur's last words
before leaving were "I shall return!". General M.
Wainwright takes over command in the Philippines.
US troops occupy New Caledonia.
US troops arrive in Australia in force.
General MacArthur arrives in Australia
from the Philippines.
US forces occupy the New Hebrides
in order to help protect Australia's west coast from direct
Japanese aircraft attack Darwin.
Port Moresby is again attacked by
The Japanese begin an intensive bombing
campaign of Bataan and Corregidor. General Homma's 14th Army
receives reinforcement ready for its final offensive against
the Bataan and Corregidor. This takes the form of the Japanese
4th Division, which has been shipped from Shanghai.
US troops occupy the Society Islands.
General Blamey becomes the Commander-in-Chief
of Australian Military Forces.
The Filipino Government arrives in
The Australian War Cabinet implements
a 'Total Denial' policy in northern Australia should the Japanese
invade. This would involve the conduct of a fighting withdrawal,
with the evacuation or destruction of anything left behind.
Already underway was a vast migration of sheep and cattle southwards,
with those taking part being nicknamed 'Overlanders'.
The Allies formally divide the Pacific
theatre into two commands. General MacArthur takes control
of the South-West Pacific Command based in Australia and covering
the Philippines, new Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago and the
Dutch East Indies. The second command covered the remainder
of the Pacific and came under the control of Admiral Nimitz,
who was based at Pearl Harbor. His Pacific Ocean Command was
then sub divided in to three, which were the North, Central
and South Pacific Areas.
Japanese begin landing
in Dutch New Guinea.
The final Japanese offensive on Bataan
begins with a five hour artillery and air bombardment, after
which the Japanese launch infantry attacks supported by some
tanks, which allows them to make penetrations in to US-Filipino
The Japanese make landings on Manus
Island in the Bismarck Archipelago.
After 4 days of desperate fighting
on Bataan, the Japanese have managed to penetrate 4 miles in
to the US-Filipino lines, bringing General Wainwright's forces
to the brink of collapse.
US-Filipino forces on Bataan Peninsula
in the Philippines surrender. 78,000 troops are captured, including
12,000 Americans, but 2,000 escape to Corregidor. This is the
largest capitulation in US History. Japanese aircraft sink
the British carrier Hermes, the destroyer Vampire and three
other warships in Indian Ocean.
The 78,000 captured men from Bataan
begin a 65 mile march under the hot sun from Mariveles to San
Fernando, with little food or water. This was to become known
as the 'Bataan Death March'. The Japanese begin landing troops
on Cebu Island, which has a combined US-Filipino garrison of
Fighting continues on Cebu Island,
as the US-Filipino garrison withdraws in to the hills.
Japanese Imperial GHQ Naval Order
No.18 is issued. This orders Admiral Yamamoto, C-in-C of the
Japanese Combined Fleet to draw up plans for Operation 'Mi',
the capture of Midway and the Aleutian Island, a plan that
had originally been suggested by Admiral Yamamoto during March.
The Japanese make landings on Panay Island. The US aircraft
carrier Lexington, sets sail from Pearl Harbor, with orders
to link up with the Yorktown in the Tonga Islands and then
head, under the command of Admiral Fletcher to the Coral Sea.
The Headquarters of the southwest
Pacific theatre are established in Melbourne.
Resistance on Cebu Island ends as
the US-Filipino garrison surrenders to the Japanese.
As a result of the Doolittle raid
on Japan, the Japanese decide that Operation 'Mi' must take
place as soon as possible, while plans to capture Samoa, Fiji
and New Caledonia are to be postponed.
The Japanese continue to land reinforcements
on Mindanao Island as the step up attacks against the Filipino
garrison. The shelling of Corregidor increases as the Japanese
prepare to invade the Island.
The Australian garrison
on Tulagi is evacuated.
The Japanese make landings on Tulagi.
The Japanese Port Moresby invasion
force leaves Rabaul, in New Britain.
Japanese troops make amphibious landings
against the US-Filipino garrison on Corregidor.
General Wainwright surrenders Corregidor
to the Japanese, along with 15,000 prisoners.
General William Sharp, commanding
the Central Philippines orders the surrender of the remaining
US and Filipino forces to the Japanese, thus ending resistance
throughout the whole of the Philippines.
Perth police arrest four Australians
for planning to set up an ‘Australia First’ Nazi-style
The Japanese make landings
on Attu and Kiska Islands in the Aleutian Islands.
The Directive for the recapture of the Solomons Islands is issued, with the US Chiefs of Staff planning a three-phase operation. The first phase involves Admiral Chester Nimitz capturing the Santa Cruz Islands and the Eastern Solomons, most immediatley Tulagi and Guadalcanal. Then General MacArthur is to clear Lae and the rest of the Solomon Islands before finally capturing Rabaul on New Britain. The start date for the operation is set as the 1st August.
Japanese invasion fleet
leaves Rabaul for Buna, New Guinea.
The Headquarters of MacArthur's southwest
Pacific theatre moves from Melbourne to Brisbane.
Japanese land at Buna.
Japanese capture crucial islands
en-route to New Guinea.
US land on Guadalcanal
in the Solomon Islands.
US Marines take Henderson Airfield.
31 U.S. aircraft touchdown on the
newly completed Henderson Field airstrip on Guadalcanal to
help the Marines fighting over the control of the island.
First wave of Japanese reinforcements
wiped out by US forces on Guadalcanal.
According to some sources Japanese
succeed in landing troops on Guadalcanal in the night from
destroyers. Nauru, Gilbert Is. and Goodenough, off the SE coast
of New Guinea are occupied by Japanese. Battle of Milne Bay,
Papua, begins. Japanese Special Naval Landing Force of 1,200
men come ashore.
Two thousand Japanese land at Milne
Bay, South East of Port Moresby and advance up Kokoda Trail.
U.S. Naval and Army forces occupy
Adad, Aleutian Is. for an air and naval base.
1,200 Japanese reinforcements
landed on Guadalcanal by ‘Tokyo Express’.
Australians force total Japanese evacuation
of Milne Bay, with just 1,000 troops surviving to be evacuated.
US Marines launch a surprise
raid on the Japanese base at Talou, Guadalcanal.
Japanese advance from Kokoda to the
Owen Stanley Mountain Range in an overland drive for Port Moresby,
Japanese drive halted
by Australians at loribaiwa, just 32 miles from Port Moresby.
The US Navy Department claim 42 Japanese
aircraft shot down in the Solomon Islands in last three days,
with no US losses.
Strong Japanese rearguard
action against the Australians at Templeton Crossing on the
Kokoda Trail in New Guinea.
4,500 Japanese troops land as reinforcement
for Guadalcanal as battle continues.
The Japanese are forced back by Australians
at Templeton Crossing, New Guinea. The shelling of Henderson
The land battle begins in earnest
around Henderson Field, with the elite Japanese 2nd Division
being wiped out.
The US retains control of all their
positions on Guadalcanal. An Australian force completes the
evacuation of the Templeton Crossing positions in New Guinea.
The Australians recapture Kokoda in
US and Australian forces
join up for the assault on the last Japanese stronghold in
Northern Papua, the Buna-Gona bridgehead.
The Australians take Gona
in New Guinea.
US make a beachhead South of Buna,
cutting off Japanese forces there.
Fresh US troops relieve the besieged
1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal.
Australian troops capture Gona and
now control the whole of the Gona area in New Guinea.
The Japanese make successful new landings
North of Buna.
The Final US-Australian assault on
Chifley is appointed as Minister of
Post-War Reconstruction in Australia.