28 Feb 1942
  • German submarine U-578 attacked destroyer USS Jacob Jones 10 kilometers east of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, United States, hitting her with two or three torpedoes, sinking her. About 80 of the 110 aboard were killed. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • US submarine Permit delivered ammunition to Corregidor, Philippine Islands. Upon departure, the submarine evacuated 31 US Navy personnel. ww2dbase [Permit | CPC]
  • San Juan was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [San Juan | CPC]
  • Franz Halder noted in his diary that the campaign in the Soviet Union had thus far caused 1,005,636 German casualties, 202,251 of which were killed. He also noted that there were 112,627 cases of frostbite. ww2dbase [Franz Halder | CPC]
  • Alfred Rosenberg advised Wilhelm Keitel to improve the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war. ww2dbase [Alfred Rosenberg | CPC]
  • L√©on Degrelle was promoted to the rank of Oberfeldwebel. ww2dbase [L√©on Degrelle | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • At 0844 hours, the unescorted 1,582-ton Norwegian motor merchant Leif was hit by two torpedoes from German submarine U-653 east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States. The foreship broke away and sank immediately, followed by the rest of the ship eleven minutes later. The crew abandoned ship in heavy seas with wind and rain, one lifeboat containing six survivors and the other 18. As soon as the weather permitted four men (including the master) moved to the lifeboat boat with less men in it. In the afternoon the boats were separated. The boat containing the master and nine survivors would be picked up later, but the other boat, with 14 survivors on board, would never be seen again. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | HM]
  • At 1117 hours German submarine U-156 (Korvettenkapit√§n Werner Hartenstein) began to shell the unescorted and unarmed steam 7,017-ton tanker Oregon, which was steaming 130 miles north of Mona Passage, north of the Dominican Republic. The first shell struck the starboard side in the quarters of the master and the second struck near the bridge, destroying the radio shack and killing the master and the men on watch on the bridge. The tanker went out of control turned hard to port at 6 knots, colliding slightly with the forecastle of the German submarine before stopping. Most of the eight officers and 28 crewmen abandoned ship in one lifeboat in calm seas, leaving on the starboard side while the port side was taken under fire. Four others were thrown over dove overboard and found safety on a raft. The submarine circled and shelled the ship for 75 minutes, in between only with the anti-aircraft guns as the Germans had to repair the deck gun during the engagement after the counterweights fell off and then fired the last available rounds for the deck gun and the 37mm anti-aircraft gun into the waterline at point blank range. Altogether 58 rounds of 105mm, 304 rounds of 37mm and 101 rounds of 20mm ammunition were expended during the attack. Small fires broke out on the bridge, in one of the fuel tanks and on the stern and eventually a boiler exploded but the cargo of 78,000 barrels of naval fuel never caught fire. The submarine did not wait for the burning tanker to sink and left the area without questioning the 30 survivors who made landfall on the Dominican coast. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | HM]
  • The 2,605-ton Panamanian cargo steamer Bayou, built in 1919, formerly called Lake Fairfax in 1940, was on route from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for Canada carrying a cargo of manganese ore when she was torpedoed by German submarine U-129 and sank off Dutch colony of Surinam. There was only one survivor. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | HM]
  • Leonardo da Vinci, pursuing Latvian freighter Everasma since the previous date, fired four stern torpedoes at the target at 0143 hours at the distance of 800 meters, and all four missed. At 0234 hours, she fired two bow torpedoes at the distance of 800 meters, and both missed. At 0235 hours, she fired two bow torpedoes, and again missed. At 1043 hours, she fired two stern torpedoes, and both hit. The Italian submarine surfaced and fired 14 100-millimeter rounds at the freighter with her deck gun, followed by another stern torpedo, finally sinking the freighter. 18 were killed in the attack out of the crew of 33. ww2dbase [Leonardo da Vinci | Second Happy Time | HM]
  • The planned strike on Rabaul, New Britain by the US 14th Reconnaissance Squadron (based in Queensland, Australia) was cancelled as about half of the squadron's men were falling ill with dengue fever. ww2dbase [Queensland | CPC]
Australian Papua
  • 7 Japanese Type 1 bombers of the 4th Air Group, escorted by 6 Zero fighters, attacked Port Moresby, Australian Papua, destroying 3 Catalina aircraft, damaging 1 Catalina aircraft, and damaging seaplane base facilities. The Japanese lost one fighter to anti-aircraft fire; the downed pilot, Flying Petty Officer 1st Class Katsuaki Nagatomo, was captured. ww2dbase [Port Moresby | CPC]
  • General Archibald Wavell, who believed Rangoon, Burma must be held, relieved Thomas Hutton for planning an evacuation. ww2dbase [Invasion of Burma | Rangoon | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru departed Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | Truk | CPC]
Dutch East Indies
  • In the Dutch East Indies, Allied cruisers USS Houston and HMAS Perth were ordered to sail through Sunda Strait to Tjilatjap, where they would participate in the Battle of Sunda Strait, and USS Houston would sink with the loss of 693 men. Meanwhile, Japanese troops landed at Bantam Bay and Eretan Wetan, west and east of Batavia, respectively; another force landed 100 miles east of Surabaya. ww2dbase [Dutch East Indies Campaign, Java | CPC]
  • British cruiser HMS Exeter departed Surabaya, Java, Dutch East Indies for Ceylon. ww2dbase [Exeter | Surabaya, Java | CPC]
  • The 903-ton Dutch motorship Moesi, on passage from Surabaya in the Dutch East Indies to Australia, was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-53 and sank off of the Bali Strait. ww2dbase [Bali Strait | HM]
  • The Singaporean ship Ban Ho Guan (Captain Van der Berg) was sailing under the British flag). She was previously Dutch-owned and named De Haan. As she was evacuating people from Padang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies she was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-4. The captain and a few people survived but it was estimated that over 250 people on board lost their lives. ww2dbase [Padang, Sumatra | HM]
  • U-576 arrived at Saint-Nazaire, France, ending her third war patrol. ww2dbase [U-576 | Saint-Nazaire, Pays de la Loire | CPC]
  • A company of the British Parachute Regiment led by Major John Frost and accompanied by a section of engineers led by Lieutenant Denis Vernon and RAF radar mechanic Flight Sergeant Charles Cox made a daring raid on Bruneval in northern France. They brought back vital components of the German W√ľrzburg radar for further examination by British engineers. ww2dbase [Bruneval, Haute-Normandie | AC]
Germany Malaya Pacific Ocean
  • Japanese submarine I-153 sank British freighter City of Manchester south of Java, Dutch East Indies; 3 were killed, 6 were captured by I-153's crew, and 128 were rescued by USS Whippoorwill and USS Lark. ww2dbase [Java Sea | CPC]
  • During the battle of the Java Sea, the Dutch light cruiser De Ruyter was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro, 375 crew lost their lives. Although a listed war grave the ship was salvaged illegally some time between 2002 and 2016. ww2dbase [Dutch East Indies Campaign, Java | Java Sea | HM]
  • USS S-38 picked up 58 survivors of destroyer HMS Electra, which sank the day prior at the Battle of the Java Sea. ww2dbase [S-38 | Java Sea | CPC]
Philippines United Kingdom

28 Feb 1942 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944

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