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16 Sep 1942
  • British destroyer HMS Impulsive (escorting Allied convoy PQ-18) sank U-457 with depth charges 200 miels northeast of Murmansk, Russia, killing all 45 aboard. Later in the day, some of the warships escorting PQ-18 transferred to convoy sailing in the opposite direction QP-14. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
  • Jürgen Stroop was promoted to the rank of SS-Brigadeführer. ww2dbase [Jürgen Stroop | CPC]
  • Clifton Cates was promoted to the temporary rank of brigadier general. ww2dbase [Clifton Cates | CPC]
  • USS Bailey arrived at San Diego, California. ww2dbase [Bailey | DS]
  • USS S-28 departed Dutch Harbor, US Territory of Alaska for her third war patrol. ww2dbase [S-28 | Unalaska | CPC]
  • US bombers from the newly-completed airfield at Adak, Aleutian Islands attacked Japanese positions on Kiska, damaging Japanese transport Nojima Maru at 0437 hours. ww2dbase [Kiska | CPC]
  • USS St. Louis arrived at Adak Island and departed the same day in company with USS Honolulu to rendezvous with a tanker bound for Adak. ww2dbase [St. Louis | Honolulu | Adak | DS]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-558 sank US ship Commercial Trader 75 miles east of Trinidad at 1100 hours; 10 were killed, 28 survived. British tanker F. J. Wolfe and British ship Empire Soldier, members of Allied convoy ON-127, collided 25 miles east of St. John's, Newfoundland; Empire Soldier would sink from damages sustained in this collision. At 1200 hours, U-165 attacked Allied convoy SQ-36 at the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River 10 miles northwest of Cap-Chat, Canada, sinking Greek ship Joannis, damaging British ship Essex Lance (1 was killed), and damaging British ship Pan York. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | AC, CPC]
  • At 1125 hours, a US B-24 Liberator bomber based in Ascension Island spotted the 4 Axis submarines rescuing survivors of British troopship Laconia; despite the crew's observation of red cross flags, US Captain Robert Richardson III ordered the bomber to attack the submarines; the attack commenced at 1232 hours, and the submarines were forced to abandon the lifeboats they were towing and dive under the surface. ww2dbase [Laconia Incident | CPC]
  • Alpino Bagnolini sighted an aircraft in the Atlantic Ocean at 1458 hours and then again at 1640 hours; she submerged on both occasions to avoid detection. ww2dbase [Alpino Bagnolini | CPC]
  • Comandante Cappellini sighted her first lifeboat from British troop ship Laconia in the Atlantic Ocean at 0828 hours. Laconia, carrying many Italian prisoners of war, had been sunk by U-156. This lifeboat carried 50 British survivors, which appeared to be stocked with ample food and water, thus the Italian submarine moved on. At 1032 hours, she sighted a second lifeboat, carrying 84 British surivors (41 men, 18 women, and 25 children); the Italian commanding officer Marco Revedin spoke to the suvivors of the second lifeboat and purposed to take on the women and children, but the British survivors refused to board the Italian submarine, so the Italians moved on after providing them with some provisions. At 1653 hours, Comandante Cappellini sighted four more lifeboats, two of which were overloaded and were taking on water; Comandante Cappellini took on 49 of the 50 Italian survivors (one confused Italian refused to board and was left behind). Shortly after, 19 British and Polish survivors were spotted in the water, and they were also picked up. ww2dbase [Laconia Incident | Comandante Cappellini | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • US B-17 Flying Fortress bombers attacked Rabaul, New Britain, causing little damage. ww2dbase [Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
Australian Papua
  • Australian troops pulled back from the Ioribaiwa Ridge along the Kokoda Track in Australian Papua, 25 miles north of Port Moresby in preparation for a counterattack. ww2dbase [New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 2 | Port Moresby | CPC]
  • USAAF 57th Fighter Group, flying P-40 fighters, began arriving at the Landing Ground 174 airfield east of El Alamein, Egypt. ww2dbase [El Alamein | CPC]
  • 369 British bombers attacked the Ruhr industrial region of Germany, damaging buildings in Essen (damaging a Krupp factory in Essen; 47 civilians killed), Bochum, Wuppertal, Heme, and Cochem; 39 bombers were lost during this night. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
Hawaii Indian Ocean Libya
  • Eduard Neumann informed Hans-Joachim Marseille that he had submitted the paperwork to promote him to the rank of Hauptmann. Later in the day, Erwin Rommel personally congratulated Marseille over the phone for having become the youngest Luftwaffe Hauptmann; Rommel also invited him to join him for dinner. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
New Hebrides
  • USS Juneau arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides and disembarked survivors of USS Wasp. ww2dbase [Juneau | Espiritu Santo | CPC]
  • The 39 survivors of Norwegian tanker Sveve, a victom of German submarine U-96 on 10 Sep 1942, were dropped off in St. John's, Newfoundland. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | St. John's | HM]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Nicholas crossed the 180th meridian and was detached from the USS Washington task group to proceed independently to Nouméa, New Caledonia. ww2dbase [Line Crossing Ceremony | Washington | Nicholas | DS]
  • The Soviet NKVD rifle battalion stationed on Mamayev Kurgan hill in Stalingrad, Russia continued to fight off German attempts to take this high point. ww2dbase [Battle of Stalingrad | Stalingrad | CPC]
  • German 502nd Tank Battalion, stationed near Leningrad, Russia, received the first batch of Tiger I tanks. ww2dbase [PzKpfw VI Ausf. E 'Tiger I' | Leningrad | CPC]
United States
  • The United States Marine Corps established the 3rd Marine Division at Camp Elliott, California, United States. ww2dbase [San Diego, California | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 16 Sep 1942
Laffey at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides with survivors of Wasp on board, 16 Sep 1942; note Helena and a destroyer in backgroundErwin Rommel and Hans-Joachim Marseille, Libya, 16 Sep 1942Hans-Joachim Marseille with Erwin Rommel and others, Libya, 16 Sep 1942Destroyer USS Laffey (foreground) and cruiser USS Juneau in Luganville anchorage, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, 16 Sep 1942. Both ships arrived with survivors of the sunken USS Wasp (Wasp-class). Photo 1 of 4.
See all photos dated 16 Sep 1942

16 Sep 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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Thomas Dodd, late 1945

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