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World War II Database

24 Dec 1941
  • Atlanta was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Atlanta | CPC]
  • Dutch submarine K XVI sank Japanese destroyer Sagiri with two torpedoes off Borneo; 121 were killed, 120 survived and were rescued by destroyer Shirakumo and a minesweeper. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-568 sank British corvette HMS Salvia 50 miles northeast of Mersa Matruh, Egypt at 0135 hours, killing all aboard, which included 106 crew members and an unknown number of passengers. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Joseph Goebbels broadcasted a Christmas Eve message over radio, urging for Germans to follow the lead of Adolf Hitler and to work and fight for a German victory. ww2dbase [Joseph Goebbels | CPC]
  • Winston Churchill broadcasted a Christmas Eve message over radio, wishing for one evening of happiness throughout the English-speaking world during this time of global conflict. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yukikaze escorted the Japanese invasion force for Lamon Bay, Luzon, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Yukikaze | CPC]
  • The Free French seized the French islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, off the southern coast of Newfoundland, and deposed the governor. ww2dbase [AC]
  • ShCh-401 attacked an enemy ship with four torpedoes off Bosfjord, Norway at 2003 hours; all torpedoes missed. ww2dbase [ShCh-401 | CPC]
Hong Kong
  • Japanese troops penetrated the final Allied defensive line, "The Ridge", at the Stanley Peninsula on Hong Kong island. At St Stephen's College, where an emergency military hospital had been established, 56 wounded soldiers, doctors, and nurses were bayoneted while a number of female civilians were raped. Near the coast, British destroyer HMS Thracian was damaged by Japanese aircraft and was forced to run aground to prevent sinking. ww2dbase [Battle of Hong Kong | Stanley Prison and St Stephen's College | CPC]
Japan
  • Isoroku Yamamoto met with his top lieutenants aboard battleship Nagato. It was possibly in this meeting that he began discussing the possibility of a strike on the Americas with aircraft launched from a submarine. ww2dbase [Isoroku Yamamoto | CPC]
Libya
  • Clive Caldwell damaged the German Bf 109 fighter piloted by Oberleutnant Erbo von Kageneck over Agedabia, Libya. Kageneck would die of the wounds sustained in this engagement in a military hospital in Naples, Italy on 12 Jan 1942. ww2dbase [Clive Caldwell | Agedabia | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • HMS Salvia (Lieutenant Commander J. I. Miller) was torpedoed and sunk west of Alexandria, Egypt by the German submarine U-568. ww2dbase [AC]
Pacific Ocean
  • A Japanese submarine damaged dredge Sacremento by gunfire 3,000 yards south of Palmyra Atoll. ww2dbase [CPC]
Philippines
  • 7,000 troops of Japanese 16th Division landed at Lamon Bay, Luzon, Philippine Islands and marched toward Manila, which was only 50 miles away to the northwest. Near Ligayen Gulf on the western side of Luzon, the 26th Filipino Cavalry initially held up the Japanese invaders near Binalonian, but were forced to withdraw after suffering heavy losses; meanwhile, the Japanese landed an additional 10,000 men at Lingayen Gulf. In Manila, General Douglas MacArthur met with various leaders to organize the retreat into the Bataan peninsula per WPO-3; the 4th Marine Regiment was ordered to Mariveles at the peninsula's tip before going to Corregidor island. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | CPC]
  • Nachi provided support for the landings at Jolo, Philippine Islands. She departed Philippine waters later in the day for Palau Islands. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | Nachi | Jolo, Sulu | CPC]
  • USS S-38 moved to the southern part of Lingayen Gulf in the Philippine Islands and spotted a group of six Japanese auxiliaries at 1130 hours. Before she could attack, she was spotted by a Japanese aircraft, which dropped a bomb on her port side. She dove, escaping further bombing and depth charging. She remained at the bottom of the gulf until 1842 hours before making her escape. At 2235 hours, she surfaced to recharge her batteries, and suffered a battery explosion five minutes later. Neverthess, she was able to escape out of Lingayen Gulf. ww2dbase [S-38 | Lingayen Gulf | CPC]
  • USS S-41 departed Manila Bay in the Philippines after taking on fuel and supplies. ww2dbase [S-41 | Manila | CPC]
Poland Sarawak Taiwan United States
  • US Marine Corps formed the 2nd Marine Brigade under Colonel Henry Larsen at Camp Elliott, California, United States for the defense of American Samoa. It was consisted of the 3rd Marine Regiment, the 2nd Battalion, the 10th Marine Regiment, and the 2nd Defense Battalion. ww2dbase [Miramar, California | CPC]
  • Joseph Stilwell arrived in Washington, DC, United States to assist in the planning of the invasion of North Africa. ww2dbase [Joseph Stilwell | Wahington | CPC]
  • The 2,000-ton freighter SS Dorothy Phillips reported being shelled by a Japanese submarine off Monterey, California. The freighter’s rudder was damaged, she lost steering, and she ran aground. The submarine assigned to the Monterey area was I-23 and several sources credit this attack to I-23; but I-23’s record of movements say she left American waters two days earlier and headed toward Palmyra Island in the central Pacific. None of the other boats in this operation list anything in their records of movement that correspond to this incident. ww2dbase [California | DS]
  • Japanese submarine I-19 lurked nearly at the very entrance of San Pedro harbor, California. Just after dawn, I-19 fired one torpedo at the 2,000-ton freighter SS Barbara Olson carrying a load of lumber but the torpedo passed underneath the ship. The torpedo exploded 100 feet beyond Barbara Olson and caused no damage. The exploding torpedo also caught the attention of the nearby Navy patrol craft USS Amethyst, which made a search for the submarine without success. Later, within a mile of the earlier attack, I-19 attacked the 6,000-ton freighter SS Absaroka, also with a load of lumber. I-19 fired two torpedoes; one torpedo ran astern of the ship but the other struck the ship in the starboard quarter. The explosion threw tons of lumber into the air like matchsticks and one sailor was crushed under tons of shifting lumber. Absaroka began settling quickly and soon her main deck was awash. The crew abandoned ship but Absaroka was kept afloat by her cargo. She could not make way, however, and was taken in tow by a Navy tug. The ship was beached just north of Point Fermin below Fort MacArthur. Absaroka was later repaired and returned to service. ww2dbase [San Pedro, California | DS]
  • The 2,000-ton freighter SS Dorothy Phillips reported being shelled by a Japanese submarine off Monterey, California. The freighter’s rudder was damaged, she lost steering, and she ran aground. The submarine assigned to the Monterey area was I-23 and several sources credit this attack to I-23; but I-23’s record of movements say she left American waters two days earlier and headed toward Palmyra Island in the central Pacific. None of the other boats in this operation list anything in their records of movement that correspond to this incident. ww2dbase [Japanese Attacks on the Continental United States | California | DS]
  • Japanese submarine I-19 lurked nearly at the very entrance of San Pedro harbor, California. Just after dawn, I-19 fired one torpedo at the 2,000-ton freighter SS Barbara Olson carrying a load of lumber but the torpedo passed underneath the ship. The torpedo exploded 100 feet beyond Barbara Olson and caused no damage. The exploding torpedo also caught the attention of the nearby Navy patrol craft USS Amethyst, which made a search for the submarine without success. Later, within a mile of the earlier attack, I-19 attacked the 6,000-ton freighter SS Absaroka, also with a load of lumber. I-19 fired two torpedoes; one torpedo ran astern of the ship but the other struck the ship in the starboard quarter. The explosion threw tons of lumber into the air like matchsticks and one sailor was crushed under tons of shifting lumber. Absaroka began settling quickly and soon her main deck was awash. The crew abandoned ship but Absaroka was kept afloat by her cargo. She could not make way, however, and was taken in tow by a Navy tug. The ship was beached just north of Point Fermin below Fort MacArthur. Absaroka was later repaired and returned to service. ww2dbase [Japanese Attacks on the Continental United States | San Pedro, California | DS]
US Pacific Islands
  • American seaplane tender Wright disembarked US Marine reinforcements at Midway. ww2dbase [Midway Bases | Midway | CPC]
  • 100 officers and men arrived at Midway Atoll as reinforcement from Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Midway Bases | Midway | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 24 Dec 1941
General Homma at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, 24 Dec 1941Wrecked Wildcats of VMF-211 collected by Japanese, Wake, circa late Dec 1941USS AtlantaFreighter SS Absaroka with her decks awash after being torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-19 off the San Pedro harbor entrance, Los Angeles, California, United States, 24 Dec 1941.

24 Dec 1941 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
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935


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