Dec 12. Japanese reconnaissance flying boats bomb Wake Island in pre-dawn raid. Later in the day, land attack planes bomb Wake.
Dec 14. , Japanese reconnaissance flying boats bomb Wake Island. Later in the day, naval land attack planes raid Wake, bombing airfield installations.
Dec 15. Japanese reconnaissance flying boats bomb Wake Island.
Dec 16. Japanese naval land attack planes bomb Wake.
Dec 19. Japanese naval land attack planes bomb Wake Island.
Dec 21. Planes from carriers Soryu and Hiryu bomb Wake Island for the first time. Later that day, land attack planes bomb Wake.
Dec 22. Japanese bombers and attack planes, covered by fighters from carriers Soryu and Hiryu, bomb Wake Island for the second time; the last two flyable USMC F4F's intercept the raid. One F4F is shot down, the other is badly damaged.
Dec 23. Wake Island is captured by naval landing force that overcomes gallant resistance offered by the garrison that consists of marines, sailors, volunteer civilians (Contractors Pacific Naval Air Bases) and a USAAF radio detachment. Two Japanese Patrol Boats (old destroyers converted to high speed transports) intentionally run ashore to facilitate landing of troops, are destroyed by Marine shore batteries. Planes from carriers Hiryu and Soryu, as well as seaplane carrier Kiyokawa Maru provide close air support for the invasion.
Dec 11. During attack on Wake Island, U.S. submarines deployed off Wake, Triton (SS-201) to the south and Tambor (SS-198) to the north, take no active part in the battle.
Dec 14. TF 11 (VAdm Wilson Brown Jr.), comprising carrier Lexington (CV-2), three heavy cruisers, nine destroyers, and oiler Neosho (AO-23), sails for the Marshall Islands, to disrupt actions and to cover TF 14's attempt to relieve Wake Island
Dec 15. Seaplane tender Tangier (AV-8), oiler Neches (AO-5), and four
destroyers sail for Wake Island.
Saratoga arrives Pearl Harbor.
Dec 16. TF 14 (RAdm Frank Jack Fletcher), comprising aircraft carrier Saratoga (CV-3); heavy cruisers Astoria (CA-34, flagship), Minneapolis (CA-36), and San Francisco (CA-38); and five destroyers, sail from Pearl Harbor. These ships will overtake the force formed around Tangier and Neches and their consorts, which departed the day before, to relieve Wake Island and to return 1,145 civilian contractors.
Japanese Pearl Harbor Attack Force detaches carriers Hiryu and Soryu,
heavy cruisers Tone and Chikuma, and destroyers Tanikaze and
Urakaze to reinforce a planned second attack on Wake Island.
Enterprise task forces return to Pearl Harbor after searching for Japanese fleet.
Submarine Tambor, damaged, retires from the waters off Wake.
Dec 17. VAdm William S. Pye, Commander, Battle Force, becomes acting Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, pending the arrival of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who is ordered on this date to relieve Admiral Husband E. Kimmel.
Dec18. Lexington ordered north to join with Saratoga.Dec 20. A PBY flies to Wake Island to deliver information to the garrison concerning the relief efforts then underway.
Dec 21. The PBY departs Wake Island.
Dec 22. With Saratoga TF ordered to wait for Lexington TF, Fletcher refuels while waiting to attack.
Dec 23. Uncertainty over the positions of and number of Japanese carriers and reports that indicate Japanese troops have landed on the atoll compel VAdm Pye, Acting Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, to recall TF 14 (RAdm Fletcher)
Dec 25.Carrier Saratoga (CV-3) diverted from the attempt to relieve Wake Island, flies off USMC F2A Buffaloes to Midway. These will be the first fighter aircraft based there.
Dec 26. Seaplane tender Tangier (AV-8), diverted from the attempt to relieve Wake Island, disembarks Battery "B," 4th Defense Battalion and ground echelon of VMF 221 at Midway to augment that garrison's defenses.