Aroused American forces Thursday punctuated declarations of war against Germany and Italy by slamming into the Japanese with devastating effect, sinking a battleship, a cruiser and a destroyer, badly damaging a second battleship and winning control of Philippine shores where Nipponese landing parties were being annihilated.
Meanwhile the British, aided by Chinese attacking the Japanese rear, threw back Japanese attacks on Hong Kong, as well as repulsing further Japanese attempts to advance in North Malaya. Further cheering news from this sector was that about 2,330 officers and men out of 2,500 had been saved from the sunken British warships Prince of Wales and Repulse.
On the home front, Congress flung back in the face of Germany and Italy their war declarations, declared war to the death on all Axis powers and empowered the President to create a new American Expeditionary Force of unlimited size to serve anywhere in the world against our enemies.
These victories against the Japanese were officially announced by Washington:
1. The 29,330-ten Japanese battleship Haruna, with 980 or more officers and men aboard, was bombed, set afire and sunk off Luzon Island by American Army bombers.
2. A Japanese cruiser and a destroyer were sunk by air action by the American Marine garrison furiously defending Wake Island, which was still under attack.
3. A second 29,330-ton Japanese battleship, possibly the Kirisima, was bombed, set afire and badly damaged off the Philippine coast by American naval patrol bombers.
4. On Luzon, main Philippine island, another Japanese attempt to raid Manila by air was repulsed and at Lingayen, 110 miles north of Manila, a Japanese landing force was being exterminated with American troops in "complete control" of the situation.
The swift pieces of "good news" came in the midst of Navy Department disclosure that Secretary of the navy Frank Knox has arrived in Honolulu to make a personal survey of the situation there.
Knox's arrival coincided with renewed demands in the Senate that the American people be told "the truth" about the "serious setback" at Pearl harbor demands that were met by a ringing call for confidence in "our war President" by a "united American people."
The White House thus far has acknowledge the loss of one "old battleship" and a destroyer, serious damage to "several" other warships, destruction of many planes and 3000 casualties 1500 dead and 1500 wounded on the Island of Oahuy, alone.
The Haruna was the first capital ship known to have been lost by the Japanese in the five-day-old Battle f the Pacific. It and the Kirisima comprise hair the number of ships in the Kongo class.
Navy communique No. 2 and the Wake garrison has defended that tiny South Pacific island against four separate attacks in the last 48 hours by enemy aircraft and one by naval unite five attacks in all.