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18 Apr 1942
  • German armed merchant cruiser Michel stopped British tanker Patella with gunfire 136 miles east of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at dawn, killing 3; the remaining crew of 60 were taken off before the ship was scuttled. German submarine U-136 damaged US tanker Axtell J. Byles 5 kilometers off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | Michel | CPC]
  • General MacArthur was appointed to command the Southwest Pacific Theater. ww2dbase [Douglas MacArthur | TH]
  • USS Lexington ferried US Marine Fighter Squadron 211 and its F2A Buffalo aircraft to Palmyra Atoll, Line Islands. ww2dbase [Lexington (Lexington-class) | CPC]
  • Tatsuta Maru departed Makassar, Celebes. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
  • The US Army Forces Far East became inactive. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Marine Corps Major General Charles F. B. Price arrived at Pago Pago, American Samoa to command the Headquarters Samoan Area Defense Force. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • François Darlan stepped down as the Vichy French Vice Premier as well as the Minister of the Navy. ww2dbase [François Darlan | CPC]
  • Hudson bombers of No. 139 Squadron RAF from Akyab island, Burma attacked Japanese facilities on the Andaman Islands which had been the Squadron's base until it was abandoned in Mar 1942. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The I Group of the German Jagdgeschwader 27 wing was transferred for combat duties near Gazala, Egypt. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Torbay sank German army transport Bellona 60 miles east of Cape Colonna, Italy at 1125 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German Type IXC U-Boat U-505 was attacked by an Allied aircraft in the mid-Atlantic but suffered little damage. ww2dbase [U-505 | Second Happy Time | DS]
  • On a passage from Buenos Aires, Argentina for New York, United States via Rio de Janiero, Brazil the 7,417-ton neutral Argentinian motor tanker Victoria with linseed oil was spotted 200 kilometers east of Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States by the German submarine U-201 under command of Adalbert Schnee. A torpedo was launched from the submarine which struck the Victoria on her port side between No.s One and Two holds. The master of the tanker immediately ordered the engines stopped and a distress call to be made, however as the ship seemed not to be settling the crew remained on board. An hour later at 0145 hours Schnee ordered another torpedo to be fired which also struck on the port side near to the bridge, he then surfaced and only then saw that the tanker was a neutral vessel. He immediately reported the mistake to the Commander of Submarines of the wolfpack, who ordered him to submerge and leave the area. The crew abandoned ship after the second hit in two lifeboats which were shortly thereafter separated by wind in the darkness. The distress signal had been picked up by the American Minesweeper USS Owl (AM 2) which was towing the oil barge YOG-38 to Bermuda. She arrived after seven hours and inspected Victoria at dawn; the tanker was lying on an even keel with two gaping holes in her port side. She seemed to be salvageable so a boarding party of eight men was transferred to the tanker and they worked the whole day to start the diesel engines, but the rough seas prevented an engineer that was needed aboard could be transferred during the afternoon. Consequently the men had to remain aboard the next night. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | HM]
Australian New Guinea
  • B-26 Marauder bombers of US 5th Air Force attacked Simpson Harbor and Lakunai airfield at Rabaul, New Britain, Bismarck Archipelago at 1030 hours. Akomaki Maru was sunk (killing 11), as was Komaki Maru as her load of aviation fuel detonated. Lakunai airfield received light damage. After the attack, 80 Australian prisoners of war were executed by the Japanese for having cheered during the attack. ww2dbase [Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
  • Although the 113th Regiment of the Chinese 38th Division under General Sun Liren and the British 7th Armoured Brigade had reached near Yenangyaung, Burma, they could not prevent the Japanese troops from capturing the city; the final elements of British troops fleeing out of the city destroyed the power station to prevent Japanese use. ww2dbase [Invasion of Burma | Yenangyaung | CPC]
  • Pierre Laval became the 123rd Prime Minister of France. ww2dbase [Pierre Laval | Vichy | CPC]
  • Retired rugby player Colonel Joseph Pascot replaced tennis star Jean Borotra as the head of the Commissariat gĂ©nĂ©ral de l’éducation gĂ©nĂ©rale et aux sports (CGEGS) in Vichy France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 16 US Army Air Force B-25 bombers launched from USS Hornet attacked Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, and other targets in the Japanese home islands at about 1200 hours. Most of the bombers would fly on to crash land in or bail out over China, while one landed in Russia and the crew were interned by the Soviets, who had a non-aggression treaty in place with Japan. ww2dbase [Hornet (Yorktown-class) | Doolittle Raid | TH, CPC]
  • Submarine tender Taigei was lightly damaged by US air attack at Yokosuka, Japan; 7 casualties were recorded. ww2dbase [Ryuho | Yokosuka, Kanagawa | CPC]
  • Nachi departed Muroran, Hokkaido, Japan. ww2dbase [Nachi | Muroran, Hokkaido | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea Pacific Ocean
  • As part of the covering force for the Doolittle Raid, cruiser USS Nashville was ordered to destroy two Japanese patrol boats, No.23 Nitto Maru and the Nagato Maru. Discovery of these boats prompted the early launch of the Doolittle bombers. ww2dbase [Doolittle Raid | Nashville | DS]
  • The 1st Battalion of the 63rd Infantry Regiment of the 61st Philippine Division under Captain Julian Chaves pushed back Japanese troops at Mount Dila-Dila on Panay, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | CPC]
Taiwan United States Photo(s) dated 18 Apr 1942
Captain Marc Mitscher speaking with Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle aboard USS Hornet, 18 Apr 1942, photo 1 of 3Armorers preparing the Doolittle Raid bombers aboard USS Hornet, 18 Apr 1942, photo 1 of 3Armorers preparing the Doolittle Raid bombers aboard USS Hornet, 18 Apr 1942, photo 2 of 3US B-25 taking off from USS Hornet for the Doolittle Raid, 18 Apr 1942
See all photos dated 18 Apr 1942

18 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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"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935

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