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§Of World Interest

DDT is first used as a pesticide. On January 13, the first successful escape from an airplane using an ejection seat took place.



November 2 - A USAF squadron, including B-24 Liberator's, intercepts many Luftwaffe patrols off the coast of Oran, Algeria.

December 24 - French Admiral Darlan, the former Vichy leader who had switched over to the Allies following the Torch landings, is assassinated in Algiers.


The Second Battle of El Alamein marked a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign of World War II. The battle lasted from 23 October to 5 November 1942. The First Battle of El Alamein had stalled the Axis advance. Thereafter, Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery took command of the British Eighth Army from General Claude Auchinleck in August 1942.

Success in the battle turned the tide in the North African Campaign. Allied victory at El Alamein ended Axis hopes of occupying Egypt, controlling access to the Suez Canal, and gaining access to the Middle Eastern oil fields. The defeat at El Alamein marked the end of Axis expansion in Africa.

November 3 - WWII - Second Battle of El Alamein: German forces under Erwin Rommel are forced to retreat during the night.

§North Africa

May 26 - WWII - Battle of Bir Hakeim: The Free French and British troops slow the German advance in North Africa.

November 8 - Operation Torch - United States and United Kingdom forces land in French North Africa. French Resistance Coup in Algiers: 400 French civil resistants neutralize the Vichyist XIXth Army Corps and the Vichyist generals (Juin, Darlan, etc.), so allowing the immediate success of Operation Torch in Algiers, and ultimately the whole of French North Africa.


May 5 - WWII - Operation Ironclad: United Kingdom forces invade the French colony of Madagascar.

§West Africa

September 12 - The RMS Laconia, carrying civilians, Allied soldiers and Italian POWs, is torpedoed off the coast of West Africa and sinks.



February 26 - The worst coal dust explosion to date, in Honkeiko, China, claims 1,549 lives.


April 18 - Tokyo, Japan is bombed by B-25 Mitchells commanded by then-Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle.

§Central America


January 1 - Honduras signed the Declaration by United Nations.



April 29 - WWII: An explosion at a chemical factory in Tessenderlo, Belgium leaves 200 dead and 1,000 injured.


March 28 - WWII: British Commandos raid St. Nazaire on the coast of Western France.

July 16 - Holocaust: By order of the Vichy France government headed by Pierre Laval, French police officers round-up 13,000-20,000 Jews and imprison them in the Winter Velodrome.

July 16 - Georges Bégué and others escape from the Mauzac prison camp.

August 19 - WWII - Dieppe Raid: Allied forces raid Dieppe, France.

September 24 - Andrée Borrel and Lise de Baissac became the first female SOE agents to be parachuted into occupied France.

November 27 - WWII: At Toulon, the French navy scuttles its ships and submarines to keep them out of Nazi hands.

December 7 - WWII: British commandos conduct Operation Frankton, a raid on shipping in Bordeaux harbour.


January 20 - WWII: Nazis at the Wannsee conference in Berlin decide that the "final solution to the Jewish problem" is relocation, and later extermination.

October 3 - The first A-4 rocket is successfully launched from Test Stand VII at Peenemünde, Germany. The rocket flies 147 kilometres wide and reaches a height of 84.5 kilometres, becoming the first man-made object to reach space.

§Great Britain

February 11 - Operation Cerberus A flotilla of Kriegsmarine ships dash from Brest through the English Channel to northern ports; the British fail to sink any one of them.

February 25 - Princess Elizabeth registers for war service.

April 15 - WWII: King George VI awards the George Cross to Malta, saying, "To honour her brave people I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta, to bear witness to a heroism and a devotion that will long be famous in history (from January 1 to July 24, there is only one 24-hour period during which no bombs fall on this tiny island)."

August 13 - 14 night - In London instruments detect a massive burst of cosmic rays.

October 29 - Holocaust: In the United Kingdom, leading clergymen and political figures hold a public meeting to register outrage over Nazi Germany's persecution of Jews.


January 26 - WWII: The first American forces arrive in Europe, landing in Northern Ireland.


September 9 - Schokland lost its status as an island when the Noordoostpolder was reclaimed from the sea in 1942 when the Noordoostpolder was declared free of water.

Anne Frank

June 12 - Holocaust: On her 13th birthday, Anne Frank makes the first entry in her new diary.

July 5 - Anne's older sister, Margot, receives a call-up notice to report for deportation to a forced-labor camp.

July 6 - Holocaust: Anne Frank's family goes into hiding in an attic above her father's office in an Amsterdam warehouse.

July 13 - The van Pels, another Jewish family originally from Germany, join the Franks in hiding.

November 16 - Fritz Pfeffer, the eighth and final resident of the Secret Annex, joins the Frank and van Pels families.


August 30 - Luxembourg is formally annexed to the German Reich.

August 31 - A general strike is launched in Luxembourg to protest against forced conscription.


January 16 - The SS and police began deportations from the Łódź Ghetto. German officials transported the Jews from Łódź by train to Koło, six miles (10 km) northwest of Chełmno. There SS and police officials supervised the transfer of the Jews from the freight trains to a train running on a narrow-gauge track, which took them to the Powiercie station, three miles (5 km) northwest of Chełmno. As round ups in Łódź normally took place in the morning, it was usually late afternoon by the time the victims arrived. Therefore they were taken to a disused mill at Zawadki some two kilometres from Powiercie where they spent the night. The following morning the Jews were transported by truck in numbers which could be easily killed from Zawadki to the manor-house camp, where they were forced to enter into the killing process

May 27 - WWII - Operation Anthropoid: Czech paratroopers attempt to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich in Prague.

The Treblinka Death camp was ready on 11 July 1942.

Between Tisha B'Av (July 23) and Yom Kippur (September 21) of 1942, about 254,000 Warsaw Ghetto residents (or at least 300,000 by different accounts) were sent to the concentration camp at Treblinka and murdered there.

August 16 - Polish-Jewish teacher Janusz Korczak follows a group of Jewish children into the Treblinka death camp.

November 28 - The large-scale German "pacification" of the Zamojszczyzna region of Poland begins.

December 4 - Holocaust: In Warsaw, 2 women, Zofia Kossak and Wanda Filipowicz, risk their lives by setting up the Council for the Assistance of the Jews.


February 8 - António Óscar Carmona is elected president of Portugal.

§Kingdom of Yugoslavia

On April 6th NAZI Germany initiated Operation Punishment and the subsequent bombing of the Serbian capital Belgrade starting the invasion of Yugoslavia. The Luftwaffe bombed the city on April 6 (Palm Sunday) without a declaration of war, continuing bombing until April 10. More than 500 bombing sorties were flown against Belgrade in three waves coming from Romania where German forces were assembled for the attack on the Soviet Union. Most of the government officials fled, and the Yugoslav army began to collapse.

December 27 - The Union of Pioneers of Yugoslavia is founded.


August 8 - Quit India resolution is passed by the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), which led to the start of a historical civil disobedience movement across India.

August 9 - Indian leader, Mohandas Gandhi is arrested in Bombay by British forces.

October 16 - A hurricane and flood in Bombay kill 40,000.

§Middle East


Lions become extinct in Iran. According to one story the last Iranian lion was killed by Zelolsoltan the son of the Naseredin Shah (before 1919) but on the other hand The last reliable report of lion presence in Iran was a 1942 observation of a pair near Dezful, by American engineers building a railway.

§North America


June 3 or 7 - Japanese forces invaded and occupied Attu and Kiska, two islands which were part of the state of Alaska. However, these islands had little value, very bad conditions and proved little of a threat to the United States. Many resulting casualties were not caused by gunfire, but booby traps, the weather and friendly fire


April 27 - WWII: A national plebiscite is held in Canada on the issue of conscription.

August 27 - The fleet oiler USS Laramie (AO-16) was torpedoed while steaming in convoy at the eastern end of Belle Isle Strait.

August 30 - 'Coast Guard Cutter, 'The Mohawk escorted the Laramie'' into port at Sydney, Nova Scotia

October 14 - A German U-boat sinks the ferry SS Caribou, killing 137. Caribou was torpedoed by the German U-boat U-69 and sunk in the Cabot Strait during the night of 14 October 1942. Caribou was carrying 46 crew and 206 civilian and military passengers. 137 lost their lives, many of them Newfoundlanders. Of the deceased, 2 were rescued but died of exposure. The remains of 34 victims were found. Only one of the eleven children survived.

October 28 - The Alaska Highway is completed.


May 14 - Mexican tanker Potrero del Llano is sunk by Reinhard Suhren's U-564.

May 21 - WWII: Mexico declares war against Nazi Germany after the sinking of the Mexican tanker Faja de Oro by the German U-boat, U-160, off Key West. Faja de Oro was sailing unescorted from Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania back to Tampico in May 1942. She was not carrying any cargo, and was sailing in ballast. She was sighted by the German U-boat U-106, under Kapitänleutnant Hermann Rasch, and was torpedoed at 04.21 hours on 21 May 1942, while off Key West. The attack was made despite Mexican neutrality, presumably because the ship's nationality had been indiscernible in the dark. Faja de Oro was hit in the foreship by one of two torpedoes. U-106 then fired a coup de grâce at 04.33 hours, which missed. A second was fired 20 minutes later, hitting her amidships and setting her on fire. She sank shortly afterwards with the loss of 10 of her crew. 27 survivors were later rescued. The attack had been observed by another German submarine, U-753, which had also chased Faja de Oro, but on noticing U-106, had not attempted an attack.

June 1 - WWII: Mexico declares war on Germany, Italy and Japan. The sinking of Faja de Oro, coming as it did a week after the sinking of the Mexican tanker Potrero del Llano on 14 May by Reinhard Suhren's U-564 contributed to Mexico's declaration of war on Germany.

§United States

January 16 - Actress Carole Lombard and her mother are among those killed in a plane crash near Las Vegas, Nevada, while returning from a tour to promote the sale of war bonds.

February 8 - WWII: Top United States military leaders hold their first formal meeting to discuss American military strategy in the war.

February 8 - Daylight savings time goes into effect in the United States.

February 9 - The SS Normandie Ocean Liner catches fire while being converted into the troopship USS Lafayette for World War II.

February 10 - In the early hours of the morning the SS Normandie capsizes at pier 88 in New York City.

February 19 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs executive order 9066 allowing the United States military to define areas as exclusionary zones. These zones affect the Japanese on the West Coast, and Germans and Italians primarily on the East Coast.

February 20 - Lieutenant Edward O'Hare becomes America's first World War II flying ace. Butch O'Hare was on board the aircraft carrier USS Lexington, which had been assigned the task of penetrating enemy-held waters north of New Ireland. While still 450 miles from the harbor at Rabaul, at 1015, the Lexington picked up an unknown aircraft on radar 35 miles from the ship. A six-plane combat patrol was launched, two fighters being directed to investigate the contact. These two planes, under command of Lieutenant Commander John Thach shot down a four-engined Kawanishi H6K4 Type 97 ("Mavis") flying boat about 43 miles out at 1112. Later two other planes of the combat patrol were sent to another radar contact 35 miles ahead, shooting down a second Mavis at 1202. A third contact was made 80 miles out, but reversed course and disappeared. At 1542 a jagged vee signal drew the attention of the Lex's radar operator. The contact then was lost, but reappeared at 1625 forty-seven miles west and closing fast. Butch O'Hare, flying F4F Wildcat BuNo 4031 "White F-15", was one of several pilots launched to intercept the incoming 9 Japanese Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bombers from 2. Chutai of 4. Kokutai, at this time five had already been shot down.

At 1649, the Lexington's radar picked up a second formation of Bettys from 1. Chutai of 4. Kokutai only 12 miles out, on the disengaged side of the task force, completely unopposed. The carrier had only two Wildcats left to confront the intruders: Butch and his wingman "Duff" Dufilho. As the Lexington’s only protection, they raced eastward and arrived 1,500 feet above eight attacking Bettys nine miles out at 1700. Dufilho’s guns were jammed and wouldn’t fire, leaving only O'Hare to protect the carrier. The enemy formation was a V of Vs flying very close together and using their rear-facing guns for mutual protection. O'Hare's Wildcat, armed with four 50-caliber guns, with 450 rounds per gun, had enough ammunition for about 34 seconds of firing.

O'Hare's initial maneuver was a high-side diving attack employing accurate deflection shooting. He accurately placed bursts of gunfire into a Betty's right engine and wing fuel tanks; when the stricken craft of Nitō Hikō Heisō Tokiharu Baba (3. Shotai) on the right side of the formation abruptly lurched to starboard, he ducked to the other side of the V formation and aimed at the enemy bomber of Ittō Hikō Heisō Bin Mori (3. Shotai) on the extreme left. When he made his third and fourth firing passes, the Japanese planes were close enough to the American ships for them to fire their anti-aircraft guns. The five survivors managed to drop their ordnance, but all ten 250kg bombs missed. O'Hare's hits were so concentrated, the nacelle of a Betty literally jumped out of its mountings, after O'Hare blew up the leading Shōsa Takuzo Ito's Betty's port engine. O'Hare believed he had shot down five bombers, and damaged a sixth. Lieutenant Commander Thach arrived at the scene with other pilots of the flight, later reporting that at one point he saw three of the enemy bombers falling in flames at the same time.

In fact, O'Hare destroyed only three Bettys: Nitō Hikō Heisō Tokiharu Baba's from 3. Shotai, Ittō Hikō Heisō Susumu Uchiyama's (flying at left wing of the leading V, 1. Shotai) and the leader of the formation, Shōsa Takuzo Ito's. This last (flying on the head of leading V) Betty's left engine was hit at the time it dropped its ordnance. Its pilot Hikō Heisōchō Chuzo Watanabe tried to hit Lexington with his damaged plane. He missed and flew into the water near Lexington at 1712. Another two Bettys were damaged by O'Hare's attacks. Ittō Hikō Heisō Kodji Maeda (2. Shotai, left wing of V) safely landed at Vunakanau airdrome and Ittō Hikō Heisō Bin Mori was later shot down by LT Noel Gayler ("White F-1", VF-3) when trying to escape 40 miles from Lexington.

With his ammunition expended, O'Hare returned to his carrier, and was fired on accidentally but with no effect by a .50-caliber machine gun from the Lexington. O'Hare's fighter had, in fact, been hit by only one bullet during his flight, the single bullet hole in F-15's port wing disabling the airspeed indicator. According to Thach, Butch then approached the gun platform to calmly say to the embarrassed anti-aircraft gunner who had fired at him, "Son, if you don't stop shooting at me when I've got my wheels down, I'm going to have to report you to the gunnery officer."

Thach calculated that O'Hare had used only sixty rounds of ammunition for each bomber he destroyed; an impressive feat of marksmanship. In the opinion of Admiral Brown and of Captain Frederick C. Sherman, commanding the Lexington, Lieutenant O'Hare's actions may have saved the carrier from serious damage or even loss. By 1900 all Lexington planes had been recovered except for two F4F-3 Wildcats shot down while attacking enemy bombers; both were lost while making steady, no-deflection runs from astern of their targets. The pilot of one fighter was rescued, the other went down with his aircraft.

February 23 - The Japanese submarine I-17 fires 17 high-explosive shells toward an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California, causing little damage.

February 25 - Battle of Los Angeles: Over 1,400 AA shells are fired at an unidentified, slow-moving object in the skies over Los Angeles. The appearance of the object triggers an immediate wartime blackout over most of Southern California, with thousands of air raid wardens being deployed throughout the city. In total there are 6 deaths. Despite the several hour barrage no planes are downed.

February 26 - The 14th Academy Awards ceremony is held in Los Angeles.

March - Construction begins on the Badger Army Ammunition Plant (the largest in the United States during WWII).

March 9 - WWII: Executive order 9082 (February 28, 1942) reorganizes the United States Army into three major commands: theArmy Ground Forces, Army Air Forces, and Services of Supply, later redesignated Army Service Forces.

April 13 - The FCC's minimum programming time required of TV stations is cut from 15 hours to 4 hours a week during the war.

May 14 - Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait is performed for the first time by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

May 15 - WWII: In the United States, a bill creating the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) is signed into law.

May 20 - The first African-American seamen are taken into the United States Navy.

June - Japan had seized the remote, sparsely inhabited islands of Attu and Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands.

It was the only U.S. Soil Japan would claim during the war in the Pacific. The maneuver was possibly designed to divert U.S. Forces during Japan's attack on Midway Island in the central Pacific.

It’s also possible the Japanese believed holding the two islands could prevent the U.S. From invading Japan via the Aleutians. Either way, the Japanese occupation was a blow to American morale.

On July 6th, William Leahy was appointed Army and Navy Chief of Staff reporting to the President.

August 8 - WWII: In Washington, DC, six German would-be saboteurs are executed (two others were cooperative and received life imprisonment instead).

October 23 - Award-winning composer and Hollywood songwriter Ralph Rainger ("Thanks for the Memory") is among 12 people killed in the mid-air collision between an American Airlines DC-3 airliner and a U.S. Army bomber near Palm Springs, California.

November 26 - The movie Casablanca premières at the Hollywood Theater in New York City.

November 28 - In Boston, Massachusetts, a fire in the Cocoanut Grove night club kills 492 people. The fashionable nightclub burned in what remains the deadliest nightclub fire in United States history, killing 492 people and injuring hundreds more. It is also the second-worst single-building fire in American history; only the Iroquois Theater fire in Chicago in 1903 killed more (602).

December 1 - Gasoline rationing begins in the United States.

December 2 - Manhattan Project: Below the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction (a coded message, "The Italian navigator has landed in the new world" is then sent to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt). CP-1 (Chicago Pile 1) was demonstrated before a group of dignitaries, a young scientist named George Weil worked the final control rod while Fermi carefully monitored the neutron activity. The pile reached the critical mass for self-sustaining reaction at 3:25 p.m. Fermi shut it down 28 minutes later.

§U.S. Law

February 2 - WWII: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs an executive order directing the internment of Japanese Americans and the seizure of their property.

July 21 the first indictments were handed down in the "Great Sedition Trial." Roosevelt’s biographer, James McGregor Burns, waggishly called the trial “a grand rally of all the fanatic Roosevelt haters.”5 But there’s much more to the story than that.

In fact, there were a handful of influential figures among the indictees. Among them included:

• Noted German-American poet, essayist and social critic, George Sylvester Viereck (a well-known foreign publicist for the German government as far back as World War I);

• Former American diplomat and economist Lawrence Dennis, an informal behind-the-scenes advisor to some of the more prominent congressional critics of the Roosevelt administration;

• Mrs. Elizabeth Dilling of Chicago, an outspoken and highly articulate author and lecturer who was well regarded and widely known nationally as a leader of the anti-communist movement and a fierce opponent of the administration;

• Rev. Gerald Winrod of Kansas. With a national following and wide-ranging connections among Christian ministers and lay leaders throughout the country, Winrod had emerged as a force to be reckoned with. In 1938 he ran a strong race for the U.S. Senate. (One of Winrod’s protégés was none other than evangelist Billy Graham, who is said to have “learned much but kept quiet publicly about what he learned privately” as a young man traveling with Winrod.) And:

• William Griffin, a New York-based publisher with strong connections in the Roman Catholic Church. Many American Catholics were strongly anti-communist, and Irish-American Catholics, in particular, were generally skeptical of FDR’s war policies at a time when, it will be remembered, the government of Ireland remained neutral in the war being waged against Germany by the United States and England, Ireland’s traditional enemy.

Most who finally went to trial were little known and hardly influential on a national level, other than the few exceptions just noted. Among the defendants were: a sign painter who was 80 percent deaf, a Detroit factory worker, a waiter and a maid.


§Soviet Union

August - Adolf Hitler bombarded the industrial city (now known as Volgograd) with air assaults and then poured infantry into the attack. The strapped Russian army enlisted volunteer citizens, some with no weapons, to fight against the invaders. After about three months the Germans reached the shores of the Volga River, but the Russians mounted a counteroffensive that trapped the German army in the city. Close combat and deadly skirmishes over tiny pieces of territory raged on for months, as starving citizens and troops struggled to survive the brutal Russian winter.

November 19 - WWII - Battle of Stalingrad: Soviet Union forces under General Georgy Zhukov launch Operation Uranus counter-attacks at Stalingrad, turning the tide of the battle in the USSR's favor.

November 20 - Operation Uranus: Forces in the south began their offensive. Although Romanian units were able to repel the first attacks, by the end of the day the Third and Fourth Romanian armies were in headlong retreat, as the Red Army bypassed several German infantry divisions. German mobile reserves were not strong enough to parry the Soviet mechanized spearheads, while the German Sixth Army did not react quickly enough to disengage their armored forces in Stalingrad and reorient them to defeat the impending threat.

November 22 - WWII - Battle of Stalingrad: The situation for the German attackers of Stalingrad seems desperate during the Soviet counter-attack Operation Uranus, and General Friedrich Paulus sends Adolf Hitler a telegram saying that the German Sixth Army is surrounded. By late in the day Soviet forces linked up at the town of Kalach, encircling some 290,000 men east of the Don River.

November 23 - 24 - some German units destroyed or burned everything not necessary for a breakout operation and began to pull back towards the northern end of Stalingrad. However, after the Germans had abandoned their winter bunkers, the Soviet 62nd Army was able to destroy the German 94th Infantry Division on the open ground; survivors of the German division were attached to the 16th and 24th Panzer Divisions. Although German military commanders were of the opinion that Wehrmacht forces caught in the encirclement should break out, between 23 and 24 November Hitler decided instead to hold the position and attempt to resupply the Sixth Army by air.

November 24 - In the meantime, the Red Army strengthened its outer encirclement with the intention of destroying the encircled German units. Soviet armies would attack German units to the east and the south, aiming to split German units into smaller groups.

December 12 - An attempt to cut off the German Army Group A in the Caucasus — had to be rapidly revised when General Erich von Manstein launched Operation Winter Storm on 12 December in an attempt to relieve the trapped armies at Stalingrad. While General Rodion Malinovsky's Soviet 2nd Guards Army blocked the German advance on Stalingrad.

December 16 - Operation Little Saturn: This operation consisted of a pincer movement which threatened to cut off the relieving forces. General Fyodor Isidorovich Kuznetsov's 1st Guards Army and General Dmitri Danilovich Lelyushenko's 3rd Guards Army attacked from the north, encircling 130,000 soldiers of the Italian 8th Army on the Don and advancing to Millerovo. The Italians resisted the Soviet attack for nearly two weeks, although outnumbered 9 to 1 in some sectors, but with huge losses. Manstein sent the 6th Panzer Division to the Italians' aid: of the 130,000 encircled troops, only 45,000 survived after bloody fighting to join the Panzers at Chertkovo on 17 January 1943.

December 29 - Leaving the encircled Germans at Stalingrad to their fate. Of the 200,000 - 250,000 soldiers encircled 90,000 survived to be taken prisoner. Only 5,000 lived to return to Germany. The limited scope of the Soviet offensive also gave General Ewald von Kleist time to withdraw his Army Group A in the direction of the Kuban, with the exception of 1st Panzer Army which joined Army Group Don via Rostov.


September 3 - A German attempt to liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Lakhva leads to an uprising.


May 12 - WWII - Second Battle of Kharkov: In the eastern Ukraine, the Soviet Army initiates a major offensive. During the battle the Soviets capture the city of Kharkov from the German Army, only to be encircled and destroyed.

July 29 - The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR institutes the Order of Suvorov, the Order of Kutuzov, and reinstates the Order of Alexander Nevsky.

§South America


August 22 - WWII: Brazil declares war on Germany and Italy.

November 23 - A German U-boat sinks the S.S. Ben Lomond off the coast of Brazil. One crewman, Chinese second steward Poon Lim, is separated from the others and spends 130 days adrift until he is rescued on April 3, 1943.

§Southeast Asia


January 19 - WWII: Japanese forces invade Burma.


February 15 - WWII: Singapore surrenders to Japanese forces.


January 25 - WWII: Thailand declares war on the United States and United Kingdom.

§South Pacific

The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought between May 4 – May 8, 1942, with most of the action occurring on May 7 and May 8, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Allied forces of the United States Navy and the Royal Australian Navy. It was the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other. It was also the first naval battle in history in which neither side's ships sighted or fired directly upon the other.

It is considered a tactical victory for Japan, since the United States lost fleet carrier USS Lexington in exchange for the light carrier Shōhō. At the same time, the battle was a strategic victory for the Allies because the Japanese abandoned their attempt to land troops to take Port Moresby, New Guinea. The engagement ended with no clear victor, but the damage suffered and experience gained by both sides set the stage for the Battle of Midway.


February 19 - Japanese warplanes attack Darwin, Australia.

April 9 - Hermes and Royal Australian Navy destroyer HMAS Vampire are sunk off the country's East Coast.

May 31 - June 1 - WWII - Attack on Sydney Harbour: Japanese submarines infiltrate Sydney Harbour in an attempt to attack Allied warships.

June 8 - WWII: Attack on Sydney Harbour: The Australian cities of Sydney and Newcastle are shelled by Japanese submarines. The eastern suburbs of both cities are damaged and the east coast is blacked out.

November 9 - WWII: U.S serviceman Edward Leonski is hanged at Melbourne's Pentridge Prison for the "Brown-Out" murders of 3 women in May.


June 4-June 7 - WWII - The Battle of Midway: The Japanese naval advance in the Pacific is halted.

§Netherlands East Indies

January 11 - Japan declares war on the Netherlands and invades the Netherlands East Indies.

February 27 - WWII - Battle of the Java Sea: An allied (ABDA) task force under Dutch command, trying to stem a Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies, is defeated by a Japanese task force in the Java Sea.

§New Guinea

August 25 - WWII: Japanese marines land at Milne Bay.

September 5 - WWII - Battle of Milne Bay: Japanese forces suffer their first defeat on land.

December 23 - The Japanese high command decided to transfer about 105,000 troops from China and Japan to Lae in New Guinea to reinforce their forces there. This would allow the Japanese to fall back from their defeat at the Battle of Guadalcanal, which they ordered evacuated the following week. The troops were needed near Lae, where an Allied offensive was expected.


January 1 - WWII: The United States and Filipino troops fight the Battle of Bataan.

January 2 - WWII: Manila is captured by Japanese forces.

January 7 - WWII: The siege of the Bataan Peninsula begins.

February 22 - WWII: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as American defense of the nation collapses.

April 3 - WWII: Japanese forces begin an all-out assault on the United States and Filipino troops on the Bataan Peninsula.

April 9 - The Bataan Peninsula falls and the Bataan Death March began.

May 6 - WWII: On Corregidor, the last American and Filipino forces in the Philippines surrender to the Japanese.

§Solomon Islands

July 3 - Guadalcanal falls to the Japanese.

August 7 - WWII: Battle of Guadalcanal begins - USMC initiate the first American offensive of the war with a landing on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

October 11 - WWII - Battle of Cape Esperance: On the northwest coast of Guadalcanal, United States Navy ships intercept and defeat a Japanese fleet on their way to reinforce troops on the island.

The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, October 26, 1942, sometimes referred to as the Battle of Santa Cruz or in Japanese sources as the Battle of the South Pacific, was the fourth carrier battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II and the fourth major naval engagement fought between the United States Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy during the lengthy and strategically important Guadalcanal campaign. In similar fashion to the battles of Coral Sea, Midway, and the Eastern Solomons, the ships of the two adversaries were rarely in direct visual range of each other. Instead, almost all attacks by both sides were mounted by carrier or land-based aircraft.

In an attempt to drive Allied forces from Guadalcanal and nearby islands and end the stalemate which had existed since September 1942, the Imperial Japanese Army planned a major ground offensive on Guadalcanal for October 20, 1942 – October 25, 1942. In support of this offensive, and with the hope of engaging Allied naval forces, Japanese carriers and other large warships moved into a position near the southern Solomon Islands. From this location, the Japanese naval forces hoped to engage and decisively defeat any Allied (primarily U.S.) naval forces, especially carrier forces, that responded to the ground offensive. Allied naval forces also hoped to meet the Japanese naval forces in battle, with the same objectives of breaking the stalemate and decisively defeating their adversary.

The Japanese ground offensive on Guadalcanal was defeated by Allied ground forces in the Battle for Henderson Field. Nevertheless, the naval warships and aircraft from the two adversaries confronted each other on the morning of October 26, 1942, just north of the Santa Cruz Islands. After an exchange of carrier air attacks, Allied surface ships were forced to retreat from the battle area with the loss of one carrier sunk and another heavily damaged. The participating Japanese carrier forces, however, also retired because of high aircraft and aircrew losses plus significant damage to two carriers. Although an apparent tactical victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk and damaged, the loss of many irreplaceable, veteran aircrews by the Japanese provided a significant long-term strategic advantage for the Allies, whose aircrew losses in the battle were relatively low.

November 12 - WWII - Battle of Guadalcanal: A naval battle near Guadalcanal starts between Japanese and American forces.

November 13 - WWII - Battle of Guadalcanal: Aviators from the USS Enterprise sink the Japanese battleship Hiei.

November 15 - WWII:

  • The Battle of Guadalcanal ends: Although the United States Navy suffers heavy losses, it retains control of Guadalcanal.
  • A BOAC scheduled passenger flight, a DC-3 with registration G-AGBB, (formerly KLM PH-ALI, Ibis), enroute between Lisbon and Bristol, is attacked over the Bay of Biscay by German fighters. Although damaged, it escapes and lands in England. Other attacks follow on the same aircraft and scheduled route: April 19 and June 1, 1943 (fatal).


  • World War II


Philip Torchio (b. 1868), future inventor of the reactance coil, reactor, ground and fault detector for electric distribution systems, automatic circuit breakers, protective device for busbar circuits, protective device for electric cable joints, electric cable joints (oil-filled joints) and insulating covering for cables, died in Bronksville, New York.


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