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4 May 1942
  • German submarine U-564 damaged US freighter Delisle just off the coast 10 kilometers south of Port St. Lucie, Florida, United States, killing 2 of 36 aboard. To the south, U-162 sank US ship Eastern Sword 12 miles north of Georgetown, British Guiana at 0943 hours; 16 were killed, 13 survived. Later in the day, U-162 struck again 40 miles northeast of Anna Regina at 1900 hours, stopping British schooner Florence M. Douglas, forcing her crew to abandon ship, and sinking the schooner with the deck gun. At 1904 hours, U-564 struck again, sinking British tanker Eclipse in shallow waters 3 miles off Daytona Beach, Florida; 2 were killed, 45 survived. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • In the late afternoon, German submarine U-507 sank US tankers Norlindo (killing 5 of 28 aboard), Munger T. Ball (killing 30 of 34 aboard), and Joseph M. Cudahy (killing 27 of 37 aboard) off the Florida Keys archipelago about 100 kilometers west of the tip of Florida, United States. At 2220 hours, U-125 sank US ship Tuscaloosa City 200 miles west of Jamaica; all 34 aboard survived. ww2dbase [Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico Campaigns | CPC]
  • USS Gar reported sinking of a Japanese ship in daylight after hitting her with one of two torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Gar | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yuzuki became the flagship of Destroyer Division 23 upon the loss of destroyer Kikuzuki off Tulagi, Solomon Islands. ww2dbase [Yuzuki | CPC]
  • USS Trout sank Japanese auxiliary gunboat Kongosan Maru southeast of Japan. ww2dbase [Trout | CPC]
  • USS Greenling sank Japanese armed merchant cruiser Kinjosan Maru 100 miles north of Truk, Caroline Islands at 1825 hours, killing all aboard. ww2dbase [Greenling | CPC]
  • Allied aircraft were launched from Queensland and Horn Island in Australia and from Port Moresby, Australian Papua to detect Japanese naval movements. At 1035 hours, a B-25 Mitchell bomber spotted carrier Shoho and her group. ww2dbase [Battle of Coral Sea | CPC]
  • Soviet destroyers Sokrushitelny and Gremyashchy made rendezvous with Allied convoy PQ-15. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
  • 724 Japanese-American internees, mostly from Oregon, arrived at the Portland Assembly Center in Oregon, United States. ww2dbase [Portland Assembly Center | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • 6 B-26 Marauder bombers from Port Moresby, Australian Papua struck Vunakanau airfield at Rabaul, New Britain, damaging 5 Japanese bombers on the ground, detonating fuel drums, and destroying 2 gas trucks. ww2dbase [Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • USS Yorktown launched 12 TBD Devastor and 28 SBD Dauntless aircraft at 0700 hours, which reached the new Japanese positions at Tulagi in the Solomon Islands at 0850 hours; the attack damaged minelayer Okinoshima and destroyer Kikuzuki. At 1210 hours, a second attack wave hit Tulagi, sinking minesweepers WA-1 and WA-2 and damaging minesweeper Tama Maru; 87 Japanese personnel were killed during this second attack. USS Yorktown lost 3 aircraft, but all air crew were rescued. The Japanese withdrew from Tulagi temporarily, but would very soon return to complete the construction of a seaplane base. ww2dbase [Yorktown (Yorktown-class) | Tulagi | CPC]
  • USS Hammann rescued two downed fighter pilots on the coast of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. ww2dbase [Hammann | Guadalcanal | CPC]
  • Japanese troops captured Bhamo, Burma. Off the Burmese coast, with increasing malaria cases affecting the garrison's morale, Akyab Island was abandoned. ww2dbase [Invasion of Burma | CPC, AC]
China Germany Hawaii Japan Marshall Islands
  • Katori arrived at Roi, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Katori | Roi | CPC]
  • The Japanese bombardment of Corregidor, Philippine Islands heightened to soften the defenses for invasion scheduled on the next day. On the beaches of nearby Bataan Peninsula, 2,000 Japanese troops began boarding 15 barges. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | Corregidor, Cavite | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Before dawn, 90 German bombers attacked the ancient city of Exeter, England, United Kingdom. This, the third raid on the "Jewel of the West" in ten days, caused extensive damage, devastating 30 acres of the city with many if its historic buildings smashed or incinerated by high explosive and fire bombs. The 15th-century cathedral was badly damaged, while many of the Tudor, Georgian and Victorian landmarks were lost forever. The city library was burnt down losing an estimated 1 million books and historic documents (which took Exeter more than 20 years to recover). Over 1,500 houses were completely destroyed with a further 2,700 more seriously damaged. Some 400 shops, 150 offices, over 50 warehouses plus 36 pubs and clubs were also lost. Additionally 156 civilians had been killed and 563 others injured. During the day, the Nazi propagandist Lord Haw-Haw broadcast to British listeners "We have destroyed that jewel and the Luftwaffe will return to finish the job". ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | Exeter, England | AC]
  • HMS King George V arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [King George V | Scapa Flow | Scapa Flow, Scotland | CPC]
  • Polish destroyer BÅ‚yskawica was undergoing an urgent refit at the J Samuel White shipyard at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom (the same shipyard where she was built) when the area was bombed by the German Luftwaffe, dropping 200 tons of bombs. BÅ‚yskawica left her moorings, anchored outside the harbor, and opened up such a fierce and lengthy anti-aircraft barrage that her guns had to be doused with water and more ammunition had to be ferried across from Portsmouth. Generally considered a successful raid from the German point of view, BÅ‚yskawica is credited with keeping it from being much worse. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | Błyskawica | Cowes, Isle of Wight | DS]
United States
  • USS Marblehead arrived at New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York, United States to repair damages sustained during the Battle of Makassar Strait. ww2dbase [New York Navy Yard | Marblehead | Brooklyn, New York | CPC]
  • Submarine USS Growler departed the Submarine Base at New London, Connecticut, United States bound for the Pacific Ocean. ww2dbase [Growler | New London, Connecticut | DS]
US Pacific Islands
  • Gato-class submarine USS Silversides arrived at Midway on her way to her patrol area. ww2dbase [Silversides | Midway | DS]
Photo(s) dated 4 May 1942
TBD-1 Devastator torpedo bomber of Torpedo Squadron 6 landing on Enterprise, 4 May 1942One SBD Dauntless and five TBD-1 Devastator aircraft prepared to take off from Enterprise, South Pacific, 4 May 1942SBD Dauntless aircraft in flight back to USS Yorktown after an attack on Tulagi, Solomon Islands, 4 May 1942Japanese destroyer Yuzuki departing Tulagi harbor, Solomon Islands during an American air attack, 4 May 1942
See all photos dated 4 May 1942

4 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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Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945

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