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National Museum of the U.S. Navy

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1942: March 1:  Battle of Bawean Island

During the Battle of the Java Sea, February 27, 1942, USS Pope (DD-225) and HMS Encounter were directed to escort HMS Exeter away from the action.  The subsequent action was the Battle of Bawean Island (also known as the Second Battle of the Java Sea).    On the evening of February 28, 1942, the heavy cruiser and two destroyers left Surabaya and proceeded north.  The following morning, midway between Java and Borneo, the Japanese launched an surface and air attack, with aircraft from Japanese carrier Ryujo.  The three Allied ships fought four Japanese heavy cruisers and four destroyers throughout a fierce, three-hour action and damaged a number of enemy shps.   Pope expended all her torpedoes and completed 140 salvos of ammuntion.  Shortly before noon on March 1, the two Royal Navy (British) ships were destroyed by gunfire.   An hour later, Pope was attacked and sunk by 12 dive-bombers after sustaining many direct hits.  The survivors were taken prisoners of war until Japan's defeat in August 1945.   

Image:  80-G-179027:  HMS Exeter following damage received on March 1, 1942.   Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.