Axis naval activity in Australian waters
Although Australia was remote from the main battlefronts, there was considerable Axis naval activity in Australian waters during the Second World War. A total of 54 German and Japanese warships and submarines entered Australian waters between 1940 and 1945 and attacked ships and other targets, in addition, many Allied merchant ships were damaged or sunk off the Australian coast by submarines and mines. Japanese submarines shelled several Australian ports and submarine-based aircraft flew over several Australian capital cities, the Axis threat to Australia developed gradually and until 1942 was limited to sporadic attacks by German armed merchantmen. The Japanese submarine offensive against Australia was renewed in the first half of 1943 but was broken off as the Allies pushed the Japanese onto the defensive, few Axis naval vessels operated in Australian waters in 1944 and 1945, and those that did had only a limited impact. Due to the nature of the Axis attacks and the relatively small number of ships and submarines committed, Germany.
The definition of Australian waters used throughout this article is, broadly speaking and this vast area consisted of the waters around Australia and eastern New Guinea, and stretching south to Antarctica. From east to west, it stretched from 170° east in the Pacific Ocean to 80° east in the Indian Ocean, the defence of the Australia Station was the Royal Australian Navys main concern throughout the war. While RAN ships frequently served outside Australian waters, escort vessels and these escorts were supported by a small number of larger warships, such as cruisers and armed merchant cruisers, for protection against surface raiders. While important military shipping movements were escorted from the start of the war, the Australian naval authorities did, close ports to shipping at various times following real or suspected sightings of enemy warships or mines prior to June 1942. The Royal Australian Air Force was responsible for the protection of shipping within the Australia Station, throughout the war, RAAF aircraft escorted convoys and conducted reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrols from bases around Australia.
The main types of aircraft used for maritime patrol were Avro Ansons, Bristol Beauforts, Consolidated PBY Catalinas, following the outbreak of the Pacific War, RAAF fighter squadrons were stationed to protect key Australian ports and escorted shipping in areas where air attack was feared. The Allied naval forces assigned to the Australia Station were considerably increased following Japans entry into the war and these naval forces were supported by a large increase in the RAAFs maritime patrol force and the arrival of United States Navy patrol aircraft. In addition to the air and naval forces assigned to protect shipping in Australian waters, the Australian Army was responsible for developing and manning coastal defences to protect ports from attacks by enemy surface raiders. These defences commonly consisted of a number of fixed guns defended by anti-aircraft guns, the Armys coastal defences were considerably expanded as the threat to Australia increased between 1940 and 1942, and reached their peak strength in 1944.
The Royal Australian Navy was responsible for developing and manning harbour defences in Australias main ports and these defences consisted of fixed anti-submarine booms and mines supported by small patrol craft, and were greatly expanded as the threat to Australia increased. The RAN laid minefields in Australian waters from August 1941. While German surface raiders operated in the western Indian Ocean in 1939 and early 1940, while Remo was docked at Fremantle and was easily captured, Romolo proved harder to catch, as she had left Brisbane on 5 June bound for Italy. Following an air and sea search, Romolo was intercepted by HMAS Manoora near Nauru on 12 June and was scuttled by her captain to avoid capture, the German surface raider Orion was the first Axis warship to operate in Australian waters during World War II
Battle of Ambon
The Battle of Ambon occurred on the island of Ambon in the Dutch East Indies, during World War II. Japan invaded and conquered the island in a few days, facing Dutch, the chaotic and sometimes bloody fighting was followed by a series of major Japanese war crimes. During 1941, as the Allies perceived the possibility of war with Japan, Ambon was seen to be a strategic location, the Australian government and military commanders saw that it could be used in raids on northern Australia and decided to reinforce the Dutch forces on the island. HMAS Swan escorting Bantam arrived with reinforcements on 12 January 1942, Ambon is located in the Maluku islands, just south of the much larger island of Seram. Ambon has what might be described as an eight or hourglass shape. The key airport at Laha is in the west of the Hitu Peninsula – northern part of the island – facing the Bay of Ambon, the town of Ambon is at the opposite side of the bay, on the southern part of the island, Laitimor Peninsula. The garrison was poorly equipped and trained, partly as a result of the Netherlands having been defeated and occupied by Nazi Germany, the KNIL units were not equipped with radios and relied on landlines and written communications.
They included 300 partly trained reservists, the Australian Armys 1, 100-strong Gull Force, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Leonard Roach, arrived on 17 December. The force consisted of the 2/21st Battalion from the Australian 8th Division, as well as divisional artillery. Kapitz was appointed Allied commander on Ambon, Roach had visited the island before Gull Forces deployment and requested that more artillery and machine gun units be sent from Australia. On 6 January, after Dutch and British territories to the fell to Japan. Roach complained about the lack of response to his suggestions, kapitzs headquarters was at Halong, between Paso and the town of Ambon. It included four armoured cars, a machine gun detachment. There were small KNIL detachments at likely landing places in the north of Hitu, two companies of the 2/21st Battalion and 300 Dutch troops were at Laha Airfield, under the command of Major Mark Newbury. However, Lieutenant Colonel Scott, Gull Force HQ and the remainder of the Australian troops were concentrated in the part of Laitimor Peninsula.
A Company of the 2/21st and one KNIL company were stationed at Eri, the 2/21st Battalions pioneer platoon was on the plateau around Mt Nona, with a Dutch anti-aircraft machine gun detachment. Smaller Australian detachments were at, near the western tip of Laitimor and at Cape Batuanjut. Gull Force HQ and a reserve, D Company, were located on a line from the Nona plateau to Amahusu beach
Battle of Hong Kong
The Battle of Hong Kong, known as the Defence of Hong Kong and the Fall of Hong Kong, was one of the first battles of the Pacific War in World War II. On the same morning as the attack on Pearl Harbor, forces of the Empire of Japan attacked the British Crown colony of Hong Kong, the attack was in violation of international law as Japan had not declared war against the British Empire. The Japanese attack was met with resistance from the Hong Kong garrison, composed of local troops as well as British. Within a week the defenders abandoned the mainland and less than two weeks later, with their position on the island untenable, the colony surrendered. Britain first thought of Japan as a threat with the ending of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in the early 1920s, on 21 October 1938 the Japanese occupied Canton and Hong Kong was surrounded. British defence studies concluded that Hong Kong would be hard to defend in the event of a Japanese attack. Key sites of the defence of Hong Kong included the Wong Nai Chung Gap, Lye Moon Passage, the Shing Mun Redoubt, by 1940, the British determined to reduce the Hong Kong Garrison to only a symbolic size.
Winston Churchill and the staff named Hong Kong as an outpost. C Force, as it was known, arrived on 16 November on board the troopship Awatea, a total of 96 officers, two Auxiliary Services supervisors and 1,877 other ranks disembarked. Included were two officers and two nurses, two Canadian Dental Corps officers with assistants, three chaplains and a detachment of the Canadian Postal Corps. The Royal Rifles had served only in the Dominion of Newfoundland and Saint John, New Brunswick, prior to posting to Hong Kong, the Japanese attack began shortly after 08,00 on 8 December 1941, fewer than eight hours after the Attack on Pearl Harbor. The colony had no significant air defence, an earlier request for a fighter squadron had been rejected and the nearest fully operational RAF base was in Kota Bharu, nearly 2,250 kilometres away. Hong Kong lacked adequate naval defences, three destroyers were to withdraw to Singapore Naval Base. The Japanese bombed Kai Tak Airport on 8 December, two of the three Wildebeest and the two Walrus were destroyed by 12 Japanese bombers.
The attack destroyed several aircraft including all but two of the aircraft used by the air unit of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corp. The RAF and air personnel from on fought as ground troops. Two of the Royal Navys three remaining destroyers were ordered to leave Hong Kong for Singapore, only one destroyer, HMS Thracian, several gunboats and a flotilla of motor torpedo boats remained. The crews evacuated 275 persons including Mme Sun Yat-Sen, the widow of Sun Yat-sen, the Commonwealth forces decided against holding the Sham Chun River and instead established three battalions on the Gin Drinkers Line across the hills
Japanese occupation of British Borneo
Because of its oil resources, Borneo was a prime target for Japan, and a very poorly guarded one. Chronically short of resources, Japan needed an assured supply, particularly of oil. In 1941, the Americans and British had placed an embargo on exports of raw materials to Japan because of its aggression in China. Borneo was strategically important to Japan as it is located on the sea routes between Java, Sumatra and Celebes. Control of these routes was vital to securing the territory, the Japanese invasion plan called for the British territories to be taken and held by the Imperial Japanese Army and the southern Dutch territory to be taken and held by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The IJA unit that invaded northern Borneo was the 35th Infantry Brigade, the Brigade was led by Major General Kiyotake Kawaguchi and consisted of units previously stationed at Canton, southern China. Ten transport ships carried the Japanese 35th Infantry Brigade HQ under the command of Major-General Kiyotake Kawaguchi, the Support Force—commanded by Rear-Admiral Takeo Kurita—consisted of the cruisers Kumano and Suzuya and the destroyers Fubuki and Sagiri.
The Japanese forces intended to capture Miri and Seria, while the rest would capture Kuching, the convoy proceeded without being detected and, at dawn on 16 December 1941, two landing units secured Miri and Seria with little resistance from British forces. A few hours later, Lutong was captured, after securing the oilfields, on 22 December, the main Japanese forces moved westwards to Kuching. The Japanese airforce bombed Singkawang airfield to prevent a Dutch attack, after escorts drove off a lone Dutch submarine, the Japanese task force entered the mouth of the Santubong river on 23 December. The convoy arrived off Cape Sipang, and the troops in twenty transports, commanded by Colonel Akinosuke Oka, the 2nd Battalion of the 15th Punjab Regiment, which was stationed in Kuching, was the sole Allied infantry unit on the entire island. Although they resisted the Japanese attack on the airfield, they were outnumbered and retreated up the Santubong river. At about 16,40 on 25 December, Japanese troops successfully captured Kuching airfield, the Punjab Regiment retreated through the jungle to the Singkawang area.
On 31 December 1941, a force under Lieutenant Colonel Watanabe moved northward to occupy the remainder of Brunei, Jesselton was defended by the North Borneo Armed Constabulary, with only 650 men. They hardly provided any resistance to slow down the Japanese invasion, on 3 January 1942, the Japanese army invaded Labuan Island. On 18 January 1942, using fishing boats, the Japanese landed at Sandakan. On the morning of the 19 January, Governor Charles Robert Smith surrendered British North Borneo and was interned with other staff, the occupation of British Borneo was thus completed. Southern and central Borneo were taken by the Japanese Navy, following its attacks from east and west, after ten weeks in the jungle-covered mountains, Allied troops surrendered on 1 April 1942
Battle of the Coral Sea
The battle was the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which neither sides ships sighted or fired directly upon the other. Fletcher, to oppose the Japanese offensive, on 3–4 May, Japanese forces successfully invaded and occupied Tulagi, although several of their supporting warships were surprised and sunk or damaged by aircraft from the US fleet carrier Yorktown. Now aware of the presence of US carriers in the area, beginning on 7 May, the carrier forces from the two sides exchanged airstrikes over two consecutive days. The first day, the US sank the Japanese light carrier Shōhō, while the Japanese sank a US destroyer, the next day, the Japanese fleet carrier Shōkaku was heavily damaged, the US fleet carrier Lexington was critically damaged, and the Yorktown was damaged. With both sides having suffered losses in aircraft and carriers damaged or sunk, the two fleets disengaged and retired from the battle area. Because of the loss of air cover, Inoue recalled the Port Moresby invasion fleet.
Although a tactical victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk, the battle marked the first time since the start of the war that a major Japanese advance had been checked by the Allies. The severe losses in carriers at Midway prevented the Japanese from reattempting to invade Port Moresby from the ocean, on 7 December 1941, using aircraft carriers, Japan attacked the U. S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, the attack destroyed or crippled most of the U. S. Pacific Fleets battleships and brought the United States into the war, in launching this war, Japanese leaders sought to neutralize the American fleet, seize territory rich in natural resources, and obtain strategic military bases to defend their far-flung empire. At the same time that they were attacking Pearl Harbor, the Japanese attacked Malaya, causing Britain, Japan planned to use these conquered territories to establish a perimeter defense for its empire from which it expected to employ attritional tactics to defeat or exhaust any Allied counterattacks.
The Imperial Japanese Army, rejected the recommendation, stating that it did not have the forces or shipping capacity available to such an operation. Inoue believed the capture and control of these locations would provide greater security, in April 1942, the army and navy developed a plan that was titled Operation MO. The plan called for Port Moresby to be invaded from the ocean, upon the completion of MO, the navy planned to initiate Operation RY, using ships released from MO, to seize Nauru and Ocean Island for their phosphate deposits on 15 May. Further operations against Fiji and New Caledonia were to be planned once MO, Inoue was especially worried about Allied bombers stationed at air bases in Townsville and Cooktown, beyond the range of his own bombers located at Rabaul and Lae. By March 1942, the U. S. was able to decipher up to 15% of the IJNs Ro or Naval Codebook D code which was used by the IJN for approximately half of its communications. By the end of April the Americans were reading up to 85% of the signals broadcast in the Ro code, in March 1942, the U. S. first noticed mention of the MO operation in intercepted messages.
On 5 April, the Americans intercepted an IJN message directing a carrier and other warships to proceed to Inoues area of operations
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony. It was formed from the colonies of the Dutch East India Company. During the 19th century, Dutch possessions and hegemony were expanded and this colony was one of the most valuable European colonies under the Dutch Empires rule, and contributed to Dutch global prominence in spice and cash crop trade in the 19th to early 20th century. The colonial social order was based on racial and social structures with a Dutch elite living separate from. The term Indonesia came into use for the location after 1880. In the early 20th century, local intellectuals began developing the concept of Indonesia as a nation state, Japans World War II occupation dismantled much of the Dutch colonial state and economy. Following the Japanese surrender in August 1945, Indonesian nationalists declared independence which they fought to secure during the subsequent Indonesian National Revolution, the word Indies comes from Latin, Indus. The original name Dutch Indies was translated by the English as the Dutch East Indies, the name Dutch Indies is recorded in the Dutch East India Companys documents of the early 1620s.
Scholars writing in English use the terms Indië, the Dutch East Indies, the Netherlands Indies, centuries before Europeans arrived, the Indonesian archipelago supported various states, including commercially oriented coastal trading states and inland agrarian states. The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese in the late 15th century, following disruption of Dutch access to spices in Europe, the first Dutch expedition set sail for the East Indies in 1595 to access spices directly from Asia. When it made a 400% profit on its return, other Dutch expeditions soon followed, recognising the potential of the East Indies trade, the Dutch government amalgamated the competing companies into the United East India Company. The VOC was granted a charter to wage war, build fortresses, a capital was established in Batavia, which became the centre of the VOCs Asian trading network. Smuggling, the expense of war and mismanagement led to bankruptcy by the end of the 18th century. The company was dissolved in 1800 and its colonial possessions in the Indonesian archipelago were nationalised under the Dutch Republic as the Dutch East Indies.
From the arrival of the first Dutch ships in the late 16th century, to the declaration of independence in 1945, although Java was dominated by the Dutch, many areas remained independent throughout much of this time, including Aceh, Bali and Borneo. Piracy remained a problem until the mid-19th century, finally in the early 20th century, imperial dominance was extended across what was to become the territory of modern-day Indonesia. In 1811, British forces occupied several Dutch East Indies ports including Java, Dutch control was restored in 1816. Under the 1824 Anglo-Dutch Treaty, the Dutch secured British settlements such as Bengkulu in Sumatra, in exchange for ceding control of their possessions in the Malay Peninsula, the resulting borders between British and Dutch possessions remain between Malaysia and Indonesia
Battle of Manado
The Battle of Manado was a battle of the Pacific Theatre of World War II. The Dutch force at Manado area numbered approximately 1,500 men under command of Major B. F. A, Compagnie Menado, a native unit 188 men strong. This company was reinforced with two or three Vickers machine-gun sections and was commanded by Captain W. F. J, mobiele Colonne, this mobile unit had about 45 men and was commanded by Sergeant-Major A. J. ter Voert. It was intended to be used against Japanese paratroopers, Reserve Korps Oud Militairen, this unit was made up from five companies of retired KNIL personnel with an average age of over 50 and was commanded by Captain W. C. van den Berg. Kort Verband Compagnie of nine brigades under the command of Captain J. D. W. T, europese Militie en Landstorm Compagnie, about 200 men strong but poorly trained. Commanded by 1st Lieutenant F. Masselink, menadonese Militie Compagnie, about 400 native troops under the command of Captain J. H. A. L. C. de Swert. Stadswacht, about 100 men strong armed with old hunting rifles, two artillery guns Three very old 37 mm naval guns, placed on trucks, they were used to defend Lake Tondano.
With such a force, Major Schillmöller had to defend the airfields at Langoan and at Mapanget. The Imperial Japanese Navy planned to use the Sasebo Combined Landing Force as well as the Yokosuka 1st SNLF as a paratrooper unit, the Combined Sasebo SNLF was about 2,500 men strong under the command of Captain Kunizo Mori. It had been formed temporarily from the Sasebo 1st SNLF and the Sasebo 2nd SNLF units, a company of Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks was attached to the unit. The Combined Sasebo SNLF would depart Davao on 9 January, the Sasebo 1st SNLF would land on the coast of the peninsula on both sides of Manado town, occupy it, advance toward Kakas the following day. The Sasebo 2nd SNLF would land at Kema on the southeast side of the peninsula and advance towards Kakas, the 1st Yokosuka SNLF was a paratrooper unit under Commander Toyoaki Horiuchi. The troops would fly about 380 mi from Davao, the 1st Drop Group would jump at 09,30 on 11 June It consisted of 334 men, organized into a HQ unit, a Signal unit and two rifle companies.
The 1st Company would attack Langoan while the 2nd Company would capture the base at Kakas. The 2nd Drop Group, consisting of the 3rd Company, would jump on Langoan airfield on 12 June as reinforcements, twenty-two men would depart on the 11th aboard two Kawanishi H6K5 Mavis flying boats and land on Lake Tondano. This group consisted of an AT gun unit armed with a 37mm AT gun, each plane carried 12 paratroopers and seven cargo containers. The drops would occur at an altitude of 500 ft and at a speed of 100 kn. 5th Cruiser Squadron Heavy cruisers - Nachi, Myoko 6th Destroyer Division Destroyers - Ikazuchi, when the defense failed, they were instructed to retreat to Tinoör stronghold, located some 5 mi inland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.
The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index.
It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government
World War II
World War II, known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the worlds countries—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the bombing of industrial and population centres. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history, from late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. In December 1941, Japan attacked the United States and European colonies in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific.
The Axis advance halted in 1942 when Japan lost the critical Battle of Midway, near Hawaii, in 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in South Central China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy, thus ended the war in Asia, cementing the total victory of the Allies. World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world, the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The victorious great powers—the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers waned, while the decolonisation of Asia, most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery.
Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities, the start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland and France declared war on Germany two days later. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or even the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred simultaneously and this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935. The British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the forces of Mongolia and the Soviet Union from May to September 1939, the exact date of the wars end is not universally agreed upon.
It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the armistice of 14 August 1945, rather than the formal surrender of Japan
USS Langley (CV-1)
USS Langley was the United States Navys first aircraft carrier, converted in 1920 from the collier USS Jupiter, and the US Navys first turbo-electric-powered ship. Langley was named after Samuel Pierpont Langley, an American aviation pioneer, following another conversion, to a seaplane tender, Langley fought in World War II. On 27 February 1942, she was attacked by nine twin-engine Japanese bombers of the Japanese 21st and 23rd Naval Air Flotillas, president William H. Taft attended the ceremony when Jupiters keel was laid down on 18 October 1911 at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California. She was launched on 14 August 1912 sponsored by Mrs. Thomas F. Ruhm and her sister ships were Cyclops, which disappeared without a trace in World War I, and Nereus, which disappeared on the same route as Cyclops in World War II. She remained on the Pacific coast until she departed for Philadelphia on 10 October, en route, the collier steamed through the Panama Canal on Columbus Day, the first vessel to transit it from west to east.
Prior to Americas entry into World War I, she cruised the Atlantic, the first voyage transported a naval aviation detachment of 7 officers and 122 men to England. It was the first US aviation detachment to arrive in Europe and was commanded by Lieutenant Kenneth Whiting, who became Langleys first executive officer five years later. Jupiter was back in Norfolk on 23 January 1919 whence she sailed for Brest, upon reaching Norfolk on 17 August, the ship was transferred to the West Coast. Her conversion to a carrier was authorized on 11 July 1919, and she sailed to Hampton Roads, Virginia on 12 December. Jupiter was converted into the first US aircraft carrier at the Navy Yard, Virginia, for the purpose of conducting experiments in the new idea of seaborne aviation. On 11 April 1920, she was renamed Langley in honor of Samuel Pierpont Langley, an American astronomer, aeronautics pioneer and aircraft engineer and she recommissioned on 20 March 1922 with Commander Kenneth Whiting in command. As the first American aircraft carrier, Langley was the scene of several events in US naval aviation.
On 17 October 1922, Lt. Virgil C. Griffin piloted the first plane—a Vought VE-7—launched from her decks, the era of the aircraft carrier was born introducing into the navy what was to become the vanguard of its forces in the future. With Langley underway nine days later, Lieutenant Commander Godfrey de Courcelles Chevalier made the first landing in an Aeromarine 39B, on 18 November, Commander Whiting was the first aviator to be catapulted from a carriers deck. An unusual feature of Langley was provision for a pigeon house on the stern between the 5 in /51 caliber guns. Pigeons had been carried aboard seaplanes for message transport since World War I, the pigeons were trained at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard while Langley was undergoing conversion. By 15 January 1923, Langley had begun flight operations and tests in the Caribbean Sea for carrier landings, in June, she steamed to Washington, D. C. to give a demonstration at a flying exhibition before civil and military dignitaries. She arrived at Norfolk on 13 June, and commenced training along the Atlantic coast, in 1927, Langley was at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Battle of Singapore
Singapore was the major British military base in South-East Asia and was the keystone of British imperial interwar defence planning for South-East Asia as well as the South-West Pacific. The fighting in Singapore lasted from 8 to 15 February 1942 although this was preceded by two months of British resistance as Japanese forces advanced down the Malaya peninsula and it resulted in the Japanese capture of Singapore and the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history. About 80,000 British and Australian troops became prisoners of war, the British prime minister, Winston Churchill, called it the worst disaster in British military history. During 1940 and 1941, the Allies had imposed an embargo on Japan in response to its continued campaigns in China. The Japanese were encouraged to choose war by their intelligence, in December 1940, the Germans handed over copies of the papers to the Japanese. As a part of process, the Japanese planners determined a broad scheme of manoeuvre that incorporated simultaneous attacks on the British.
In addition, strikes would be made against the United States naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, as well as landings in the Philippines, and attacks on Guam, Wake Island and the Gilbert Islands. With this perimeter, it was intended to block Allied attempts to regain the lost territory, the Japanese 25th Army invaded from Indochina, moving into northern Malaya and Thailand by amphibious assault on 8 December 1941. This was virtually simultaneous with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which precipitated the United States entry in to the war, Thailand initially resisted, but soon had to yield. The Japanese proceeded overland across the Thai–Malayan border to attack Malaya, at this time, the Japanese began bombing strategic sites in Singapore. The Japanese 25th Army was resisted in northern Malaya by III Corps of the British Indian Army, although the 25th Army was outnumbered by Allied forces in Malaya and Singapore, Japanese commanders concentrated their forces. The Japanese were superior in close air support, armour, co-ordination, prior to the Battle of Singapore the most resistance was met at the Battle of Muar, which involved the Australian 8th Division and the Indian 45th Brigade.
At the start of the campaign, the Allied forces had only 164 first-line aircraft on hand in Malaya and Singapore, and these aircraft were operated by two Royal Australian Air Force, two Royal Air Force, and one Royal New Zealand Air Force squadron. Major shortcomings included a slow rate of climb and the fuel system which required the pilot to hand pump fuel if flying above 6,000 feet. Their fighter aircraft were superior to the Allied fighters, which helped the Japanese to gain air supremacy, Japanese forces quickly isolated and forced the surrender of Indian units defending the coast. They advanced down the Malayan peninsula overwhelming the defences, despite their numerical inferiority, the Japanese forces used bicycle infantry and light tanks, allowing swift movement through the jungle. The Allies, having thought the terrain made them impractical, had no tanks, and only a few armoured vehicles, although more Allied units—including some from the Australian 8th Division—joined the campaign, the Japanese prevented the Allied forces from regrouping.
They overran cities and advanced toward Singapore, the city was an anchor for the operations of the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command, the first Allied joint command of the Second World War