March 8, 1942 – Radio Tokyo English Service – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
March 8, 1942 – News via the English service of Radio Tokyo, this day in March of 1942. The news was primarily about continued Japanese victories in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, which many considered India to be on the list of invasion efforts as well as news of Occupied Singapore.
The Japanese occupation of Singapore started after the British surrender. Japanese newspapers triumphantly declared the victory as deciding the general situation of the war. The city was renamed Syonan-to (昭南島 Shōnan-tō; literally: ‘Southern Island gained in the age of Shōwa’, or ‘Light of the South’). The Japanese sought vengeance against the Chinese and to eliminate anyone who held anti-Japanese sentiments. The Japanese authorities were suspicious of the Chinese because of the Second Sino-Japanese War and murdered thousands in the Sook Ching massacre. The other ethnic groups of Singapore—such as the Malays and Indians—were not spared. Residents suffered great hardships under Japanese rule over the following three and a half years.
Numerous British and Australian soldiers taken prisoner remained in Singapore’s Changi Prison and many died in captivity. Thousands of others were transported by sea to other parts of Asia, including Japan, to be used as forced labour on projects such as the Siam–Burma Death Railway and Sandakan airfield in North Borneo. Many of those aboard the ships perished.
Meanwhile, news of a second attack on Pearl Harbor surfaced. Emboldened by a string of victories across the Pacific in the early months of World War II, the Japanese empire launched a bold and unorthodox attack that is seldom remembered today. The Second Attack on Pearl Harbor: Operation K And Other Attempts to Bomb America in World War II, the Japanese decided the attack would be carried out with long-range flying boats refueled by submarines.
Unable to see Oahu due to a wartime blackout, one pilot was presumed to have dropped his bombs harmlessly into the ocean while another struck the slopes of Tantalus Peak, an extinct volcano cinder cone just north of Honolulu. Aside from a few blown-out windows, no damage occurred to any structures.
The early morning attack renewed fear among residents of a Japanese invasion and caused changes to U.S. naval strategy that would remain in place throughout the war.
And that’s some of what happened, according to Radio Tokyo’s English Service news for March 8, 1942.