APRIL 1942

6 April: Australia: American troops start to arrive in Australia.

Burma: Chiang Kai-shek meets General Stilwell in Mandalay (Burma).

9 April: The Philippines: US forces on Bataan surrender.

British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes sunk by Aichi dive-bombers off Ceylon.

10 April: The Philippines: Bataan Death March begins with 76,000 POWs including 12,000 American troops.

12 April: The Philippines: Artillery duel with the US batteries on Corregidor begins.

Burma: The Battle of Kokkogawa. General Slim wins minor victory at Kokkogawa – the only one achieved in the British retreat from Burma to India.

16 April: Burma: The Battle of Yenangyaung: General Iida’s forces surround retreating British who are saved by Chinese General Sun in an action that allowed them to escape.

18 April: Pacific Ocean: USS Hornet under Captain Mitscher (later Admiral) launches Mitchel B-25 bombers against Tokyo and other Japanese cities. The raid is called the Doolittle Raid after its commander who led the raid.

MAY 1942

1 May: Burma: Japanese seize Mandalay.

3 May: Solomons: Japan seizes Tulagi Island in the southern Solomons.

6 May: The Philippines: Japan seizes Corregidor and Wainwright surrenders all US forces in the Philippines.

7-8 May: Coral Sea: The Battle of the Coral Sea. Japanese wins pyrrhic naval victory but is forced to abandon the invasion of Port Moresby on the south New Guinea coast.

Burma: In Burma General Stilwell begins his long walk out of Burma with 114 civilians including 24 US officers and troops.

20 May: India-Burma: British Army escapes from Burma across the Indian frontier. Chinese Army units under General Sun also flee to India while other Chinese Units are chased back to China.

30 May: India-Burma: Stilwell crosses the Chindwin River to safety.

JUNE 1942

4-5 June: Pacific Ocean: The Battle of Midway. US Navy under Admiral Spruance win crushing victory sinking four Japanese carriers (Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, Soryu) for the loss of the USS Yorktown.

7 June: Alaska: Japanese seize the Aleutian Islands.

June: Poland: Mass murder of Jews begins in Auschwitz.

JULY 1942

21 July: New Guinea: Japanese troops seize Buna, Gona and Sanananda.

23 July: New Guinea: The Battle of Kokoda. Battle for the airfield at Kokoda on the northern side of the Owen Stanley Mountains.

Next Section >