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1 May 1942
  • Eleven Japanese transports departed Rabaul, New Britain for the invasion of Port Moresby, Australian Papua; they were escorted by seven cruisers and one light carrier; on the same day, Type 1 and Type 6 land attack aircraft of Genzan Air Group arrived at Rabaul for future use with the Port Moresby invasion. On the same day, three B-26 Marauder bombers of US 22nd Bomb Group struck Rabaul, causing minor damage to an airfield. Tulagi in the Solomon Islands, another target of the Japanese offensive operation, was bombed by Japanese aircraft, destroying one Australian PBY Catalina aircraft. Near the New Hebrides islands, US Navy Task Force 11 (containing carrier Lexington) and Task Force 17 (containing carrier Yorktown) made rendezvous. At Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, Joseph Rochefort furnished a report for Chester Nimitz and Ernest King that noted Port Moresby as the likely Japanese target, northern Australia was not being targeted for now, and Japanese reconnaissance operations seemed to be targeting Hawaiian Islands and Aleutian Islands. ww2dbase [Battle of Coral Sea | CPC]
  • The Japanese code book change, originally set to take place on this date, was delayed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMS King George V, in thick Atlantic fog, accidentally rammed and sank HMS Punjabi 165 miles northeast of Iceland at 1545 hours. HMS Punjabi was broken in half, with the stern sinking, depth charges exploding meanwhile, killing 49. The forward piece remained afloat for some time, allowing 169 people to be taken off. An additional 40 survivors were picked from the sea. HMS King George V suffered a 40-foot gash in the bow, forcing her to leave her convoy escort station to sail for Britain for repairs. ww2dbase [King George V | CPC]
  • Kapitän zur See Martin Balzer took command of cruiser Köln. ww2dbase [Köln | CPC]
  • The US Marine Corps 8th Defense Battalion arrived at Wallis Island from Tutuila, American Samoa. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Task Force 17 was established under command of Rear Admiral Frank Fletcher to operate in the Coral Sea. ww2dbase [Frank Fletcher | AC]
  • Slim met with Alexander at Monywa, Burma. ww2dbase [William Slim | CPC]
  • German submarine U-752 sank Norwegian ship Bidevind 75 miles southeast of New York, United States at 0543 hours; all 36 aboard survived. 370 miles northeast of Bermuda, U-69 attacked Canadian sailing boat James E. Newsom on the surface with her deck gun at 1728 hours, forcing the crew of 9 to abandon ship. At 2046 hours, U-162 sank Brazilian ship Parnahyba near Trinidad; 7 were killed, 65 survived. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • USS Triton sank Japanese auxiliary transport Calcutta Maru in the western Pacific Ocean east of China at 1645 hours. ww2dbase [Triton | CPC]
  • USS Grenadier, mistaking Soviet ship Angarstroy for a Japanese ship, sank her in the Pacific Ocean; 60 survived and were rescued by Japanese ship Kayo Maru. ww2dbase [Grenadier | CPC]
  • A Hudson bomber of British No. 233 Squadron based at Gibraltar damaged German submarine U-573 with depth charges 40 miles northwest of TĂ©nès, Algeria at 1556 hours. The British dispatches destroyers HMS Wishart and HMS Wrestler to finish off the submarine, while the Germans dispatched U-74 and U-375 and the Italians dispatched submarines Emo and Mocenigo to assist. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Four Ju 88 aircraft attacked Allied convoy QP-11 at 0540 hours 150 miles southeast of Bear Island, Norway; all torpedoes missed. At 1345 hours, German destroyers Z7 Hermann Schoemann, Z24, and Z25 were sighted; the first round of the exchange of torpedoes by QP-11 and the Allied escorts at 1407 hours all missed, but a shortly after British destroyer HMS Amazon was hit by gunfire and Russian freighter Tsiolkovsky was sunk by torpedo. Through 1742 hours, the German destroyed attempted to close in five more times, but they were not successful; they broke off after 1742 hours to pursue HMS Edinburgh in the direction of Murmansk, Russia. Elsewhere, six German Ju 88 bombers attacked Allied convoy PQ-15 west of Norway at 2200 hours without success, losing one aircraft in the process. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
  • USS Washington suffered slight damage northeast of Iceland during the accident which saw HMS King George V ramming HMS Punjabi, detonating Punjabi's depth charges. ww2dbase [Washington | CPC]
  • LĂ©on Degrelle was promoted to the rank of Leutnant. ww2dbase [LĂ©on Degrelle | CPC]
  • Minoru Ota was assigned to the 2nd Combined Special Naval Landing Force. ww2dbase [Minoru Ota | CPC]
  • Japanese 18th Infantry Division captured Mandalay, Burma. 300 kilometers the northeast, Japanese and Chinese troops clashed at Hsenwi. 50 miles west of Mandalay, Japanese troops blocked the British retreat at Monywa on the Chindwin River and then attacked from the rear by surprise, capturing the headquarters of the 1st Burma Division. ww2dbase [Invasion of Burma | TH, CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Shokaku departed Truk, Caroline Islands with Zuikaku to participate in Operation MO. ww2dbase [Shokaku | Truk | CPC]
  • Yugure departed Truk, Caroline Islands toward Port Moresby, Australian Papua. ww2dbase [Yugure | Truk | CPC]
Germany Hawaii Japan
  • Captain Takayanagi, commanding officer of battleship Yamato, was promoted to the rank of rear admiral. During this month, battleship Yamato would remain in the Inland Sea in Japan to conduct gunnery practice and to host Admiral Yamamoto and other officers for Midway war games. ww2dbase [Yamato | CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille received his citation of promotion to the rank of Oberleunant. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
  • In the Philippine Islands, Corregidor was subjected to heavy artillery and aerial bombardment, while Japanese troops defeated the Filipino 61st Infantry Regiment on the southern island of Mindanao. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | CPC]
Taiwan United States
  • USS Nevada arrived at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for extensive rehabilitation and repairs following the Pearl Harbor Attack. ww2dbase [Puget Sound Navy Yard | Nevada | Bremerton, Washington | DS]
  • As Maritime Commission Type C-3-class Hull #178 was being fitted out at the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation’s Tacoma shipyard, it was acquired by the United States Navy for the purpose of making it into the auxiliary aircraft carrier Card. Her final fitting out as a Bogue-class escort carrier was completed at the Puget Sound Navy Yard. ww2dbase [Card | Tacoma, Washington | DS]
  • As she was being fitted out at the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation’s Tacoma shipyard, Maritime Commission Type C-3-class Hull #170 was acquired by the United States Navy for the purpose of making it into the auxiliary aircraft carrier Bogue. Her final fitting out as a Bogue-class escort carrier was completed at the Puget Sound Navy Yard. ww2dbase [Bogue | Tacoma, Washington | DS]
Photo(s) dated 1 May 1942
Tiger I heavy tank of the German 2nd SS Panzer Division A Panzer IV stopped to look for Russian movement, Kharkov, May 1942USS Neosho refueled carrier Yorktown, 1 May 1942A big wave broke on USS Neosho as she refueled carrier Yorktown, 1 May 1942
See all photos dated 1 May 1942

1 May 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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Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal

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