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12 Apr 1942
  • Pandit Nehru, leader of the Congress Party in India, promised resistance to the Axis. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS S-35 departed Dutch Harbor, US Territory of Alaska for her first war patrol. ww2dbase [S-35 | Unalaska | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-203 damaged Panamanian tanker Stanvac Melbourne 15 kilometers southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, United States at 0626 hours; 3 were killed, 45 survived. German submarine U-154 sank US freighter Delvalle south of Haiti at 0709 hours after a 9-hour pursuit. At 1921 hours, in U-130 sank US tanker Esso Boston in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean; all 37 aboard survived. Finally, Italian submarine Calvi sank Panamanian tanker Ben Brush off the coast of Brazil; 1 was killed, 34 survived. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • Three B-26 Marauder bombers were launched from Port Moresby, Australian Papua at dawn in search of the reported fleet carrier (most likely the mis-identified Kasuga Maru) at Rabaul, New Britain. At 0930, another group of four B-26 aircraft was launched. The two groups attacked Rabaul, causing little to no damage. ww2dbase [Taiyo | Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
  • Japanese attacks on Minhia, Thadodan, and Alebo on the Minhia-Taungdwingyi-Pyinmana defensive line in Burma were stopped by Anglo-Indian troops including the British 2nd Royal Tank Regiment. British tankers reported seeing captured British tanks pressed into Japanese service. ww2dbase [Invasion of Burma | CPC]
Dutch East Indies Germany
  • 251 British bombers (171 Wellington, 31 Hampden, 27 Stirling, 13 Halifax, and 9 Manchester) attacked Essen, Germany, damaging the Krupp factory and destroying 28 homes; 36 civilians were killed, 36 were injured. The British lost 10 bombers on this attack. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | Essen | CPC]
Indian Ocean Philippines
  • The Japanese artillery bombardment of Corregidor island in the Philippine Islands began. Meanwhile, many US and Filipino prisoners of war continued to die while being marched northward during the Bataan Death March from starvation, dehydration, disease, and murders. To the south, on the island of Cebu, US and Filipino troops scuttled torpedo boat PT-35 and withdrew deeper into the mountains. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | CPC]
  • Lieutenant John Brownewell of US 17th Pursuit Squadron, flying a P-40 fighter, scored the 37th and final confirmed victory by a P-40 fighter over the Philippines. The victory was achieved near Del Monte Airfield in northern Mindanao, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [P-40 Warhawk | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • South African born Squadron Leader John Dering Nettleton of No. 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron RAF was instructed to select six crews for intensive practice in daylight formation flying at low level, but was not told of the reason for this. Nor was he told why six aircraft of No. 97 Squadron were joining the flights. ww2dbase [AC]
United States

12 Apr 1942 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."

Winston Churchill

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