13 April 1924 Captain Isoroku Yamamoto was a member of the Japanese delegation to the United States. Amongst other places visited was the United States Naval War College.
13 April 1943 At Rabaul, New Britain, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto played a game of Shogi with Vice Admiral Ryunosuke Kusaka and discussed Pacific War strategy. He spoke of his intention to personally inspect forward bases to raise morale, a decision which lead to his death over Bouganville 5 days later.
14 April 1945 Simple funeral held for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the White House, Washington D.C. followed by military procession and burial at Hyde Park, New York. Having been paralysed from the waist down since contracting polio in 1921 and by then in declining health, Roosevelt passed away suddenly after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage on 12 April while at his retreat in the Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia. Only 11 weeks into his fourth term and less than a month before war ended in Europe he was aged 63. Succeeded by Harry S. Truman who was sworn in shortly after the death.
14 April 1942 Admiral Chester Nimitz orders carrier USS Yorktown to proceed to Tonga under urgency. Information obtained from IJN coded messages, freshly intercepted and deciphered by the allies, warned of a major build up of Japanese naval power in the Southwest Pacific, with a carrier fleet already en route from Formosa via Truk Atoll. The likely target of this aggression was Port Moresby, New Guinea. Nimitz also directed carrier USS Lexington, already in the area, to rendezvous with Yorktown in preparation to stop the Japanese advance. Less than a month later both sides would sustain heavy losses in action when they met during the Battle of Coral Sea.
15 April 1942 Secret mission underway in North Pacific. The imminent threat to our region was considered so serious that all four US carriers of the Pacific fleet would be requisitioned for it's defence. However both USS Hornet and USS Enterprise were presently committed to another task. They were sailing under radio silence together with their escort of 4 cruisers, 8 destroyers and 2 oilers and on course approaching Japan from the east. The plan was to launch a flight of B25 bombers from the deck of Hornet, once within range of Tokyo and other cities. This attack was scheduled for the following Saturday, April 18.
16 April 1942 The Japanese Navy issued Order No.18 for the capture of Midway and Aleutian Islands.
The provocative Doolittle Raid on main island cities of Japan only 2 days later would have emphasised the strategic importance of Midway Atoll and it's priority in the IJN leadership's immediate plans. Interrupted by the Battle of the Coral Sea, the operation against Midway commenced when a massive invasion fleet was assembled and sailed from Japan on May-29.
20 April 1889 Adolf Hitler born in Austria-Hungary.
20 April 1942 British, Indian and Burmese troops under command of Lieutenant General Slim together with Chinese Army Division forced to withdraw during Battle of Yenangyaung in Central Burma, following an unsuccessful counterattack against advancing Japanese Army. Before departing north to Mandalay, oilfields and bulk storage was set on fire and refinery and power station destroyed to prevent capture by enemy. By end of May Allied troops would have retreated north into India and China.
20 April 1944 Japanese siege of Kohima, Manipur State, northeast India is about to be lifted by attacking Allied forces. They would continue on to recapture Imphal to the south and force the Japanese to retreat out of India.
I'm sure Ron will be in shortly, but today is the 99th anniversary of the death of Manfred von Richtofen. By chance I was in the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre last Friday morning admiring the collection of memorabilia, including these three items owned by the man himself:
I am appreciating these posts Ron, keep them coming.
Dave, thanks for the support. I started this thread with the intention to chronicle the events unfolding 75 years ago and particularly in the Pacific region. I'll stick to reporting briefly with historical facts and hope to remain free of any copyright issues, though I haven't creditted or sought permission from my sources. Please let me know if you have concerns about that approach. Time permits me to only cover a small part of the 1942 timeline so feel free to add notable events happening in other theatres, as well as those from 25 years earlier in the Great War.
Unlike in Australia where only religious services were allowed, daytime parades were held in New Zealand as usual. However dawn parades were cancelled due to wartime constraints and those on urgent defence construction remained at work on the day. It must have been hard on those attending to equally remember the fallen of the Great War as well as the casualties of the current conflict. In the previous 12 months too many of their loved ones were killed, wounded, taken prisoner or missing while serving in places like Crete, North Africa, at sea in the Atlantic or in the skies over Europe and more recently Singapore, Philippines and Java. Their thoughts would have also been with the many overseas, still on service and in danger. They would have also shared concerns for their own safety, because the enemy was encroaching on our region and overwhelming any opposition on the way.
25 April 1942 Japanese bombers carried out raids on airfields around Darwin IJN carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku arrived at Truk in preparation for the invasion of Port Moresby and Tulagi, Solomon Islands. US and Filipino troops were under siege at Corregidor Island, Luzon , providing the last resistance in the Philippines. Japanese forces were advancing on Mandalay and allied Generals were planning for an orderly and rapid withdrawal out of Burma.
28 April 1945 While Adolf Hitler was tucked up in the Fuhrerbunker the Red Army had entered Berlin and was closing in. But 3 years earlier it was a completely different situation.-
28 April 1942 The Russian forces were struggling to hold the Axis Armies back and heavily reliant on resupply by Arctic convoys to Murmansk. Leningrad in the north was under siege as was Sevastapol in the south. The Germans had broken out from encirclement at Kholm not far from Moscow. Improving weather would soon allow the offensive to resume and with the deadliest of battles still to come.
29 April 1945 The bodies of Benito Mussolini and Clara Petacci were taken to Milan following their execution by partisans the previous day.
29 April 1942 Japanese Special Naval Landing Force departed Rabaul, New Britain aboard transports for the invasion of the RAAF seaplane base at Tulagi, Solomon Islands. As promised by President Roosevelt in March, Admiral Ernest King established the South Pacific Amphibious Force composed primarily of the 1st Marine Division. It's first contingent would embark aboard USS Wakefield on 19 May 1942 sailing to Wellington, New Zealand.
30 April 1945 Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun commit suicide in the Fuhrerbunker, Berlin. The Third Reich is almost over.
30 April 1942 Admiral Nimitz issues orders that directed two carriers and their supporting warships towards the Coral Sea. Task Force 17 consisting of the carrier Yorktown, escorted by three cruisers and four destroyers, supported by a replenishment group of two oilers and two destroyers had already departed Tongatapu on 27 April. TF 11 consisting of the carrier Lexington with two cruisers and five destroyers, was between Fiji and New Caledonia. TF 44 en route from Sydney and Nouméa, was a joint Australia–U.S. warship force made up of the cruisers HMAS Australia, HMAS Hobart and USS Chicago along with three destroyers.