28 February 1942
US Eastern Seaboard : German submarine U-578 attacked destroyer USS Jacob Jones 10 kilometers east of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, United States, hitting US destroyer with two or three torpedoes, sinking her. About 80 of the 110 aboard were killed.
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.
At 1117 hours German submarine U-156 (Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartenstein) on the surface intercepted , shelled with her deckgun and sunk the unescorted and unarmed steam 7,017-ton US tanker Oregon, which was steaming 130 miles north of Mona Passage, north of the Dominican Republic. 10 out of 44 tanker crew were killed , rest reached Dominician shores
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.
Atlantic Ocean : The 3,836-ton Latvian steamship Everasma was torpedoed, shelled and sunk by Italian submarine Leonardo da Vinci midway between Senegal and Puerto Rico.
Philippines : US submarine Permit delivered ammunition to Corregidor, Philippine Islands. Upon departure, the submarine evacuated 31 US Navy personnel.
Port Moresby , Papua New Guinea : 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.
Burma : General Archibald Wavell, who believed Rangoon, Burma must be held, relieved Thomas Hutton for planning an evacuation.
Dutch East Indies : In the Dutch East Indies, Allied cruisers USS Houston and HMAS Perth and Dutch destroyer HNLMS Evertsen were ordered to sail through Sunda Strait to Tjilatjap, where they would encounter main Japanese invasion convoy (58 troops transports and two minelayers escorted by four heavy cruisers (Mikuma ,Mogami , Suzuya , Kumano) , one light cruiser (Natori , flagship of Admiral Kenzaburo Hara) and 12 destroyerd. In the resulting Battle of Sunda Strait at night time when Japanese naval forces had the advantage with night fighting training and night vision optical equipment , USS Houston , HMAS Perth and HNLMS Evertsen would sink with the loss of 693 men. 300 of so were picked upby Japanese vessels. Rest of their crews reached Java and Sumatra to be prisoners of Japanese.Japanese lost one mine layer and four troop transport ships (accidently hit by friendly torpedo fire from Japanese cruisers) and ten killed. Meanwhile, Japanese troops from invasion convoy landed at Bantam Bay and Eretan Wetan, west and east of Batavia, respectively; another force landed 100 miles east of Surabaya.
Java could not be saved; on February 28 the carrier Sea Witch brought twenty-seven crated aircraft to Tjilatjap, but it was too late to assemble the planes, which the Dutch, to prevent them falling into Japanese hands, dumped in the harbour. Royal Navy heavy cruiser HMS Exeter along with destroyer escorts HMS Encounter and USS Pope departed Surabaya, Java, Dutch East Indies for Ceylon.
The 903-ton Dutch motorship Parigi , 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.
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.
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.
Malaya : Japanese killed 2,000 civilians, mostly ethnic Chinese, in Kota Tinggi, Johor in Malaya.
Leningrad : USSR : In Leningrad, still effectively besieged, more than 100,000 people had died that February of starvation.
Germany : General 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.
London , UK : ‘I cannot help feeling depressed at the future outlook,’ King George VI wrote in his diary on February 28. ‘Anything can happen, and it will be wonderful if we can be lucky anywhere.’