4 -10 April 1942

4th April 1942

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-505 torpedoed and sank Dutch cargo ship Alphacca 200 miles off Ivory Coast, French West Africa at 2329 hours; 15 were killed, 57 survived. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, at 2335 hours, U-154 torpedoed and sank US tanker Comol Rico in Caribbean Sea ; 3 were killed, 39 survived.

German submarine U-552 torpedoed and sank US tanker Byron D. Benson 16 kilometers east of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, United States at 2257 hours local time (recorded in U-552 logs as at 0447 hours on 5 Apr 1942, German time), killing 10 of 38.

Malta : Greek submarine Glavkos was bombed and sunk by Axis aircraft at Malta. Royal Navy Fleet auxilary tanker RF Plumleaf was also bombed and sunk by Luftwaffe JU-87 Stuka dive bombers in Valetta harbour

Sevastapol , Crimea : Soviet destroyer Sovershenny was destroyed by German shelling at Sevastopol , Crimea

Leningrad : 62 Luftwaffe JU-87 Stuka dive bombers and 70 other bombers escorted by 59 Bf 109 fighters attacked Soviet fleet at Kronstadt near Leningrad, Russia in the afternoon, damaging battleships October Revolution and Petropavlovsk, cruisers Maxim Gorky and Kirov, and destroyers Silny and Grozyashchi. After dark, He 111 bombers, some of which had participated in the Kronstadt attack in the afternoon, bombed Leningrad.

Lae , Papua New Guinea : In the morning, Australian pilot John Jackson alone flew over Lae on the northern coast of New Guinea and made a strafing run. In the afternoon, he led a group in attacking the same location, destroying several Japanese aircraft on the ground.

Burma : Japanese aircraft bombed areas of Mandalay, Burma, killing more than 2,000, most of whom were civilians.

Indian Ocean : Operation C started by Japanese Imperial Navy to drive Royal Navy out of Indian Ocean. As Japanese carriers sailed toward Ceylon, the fleet was discovered by a Royal Canadian Air Force PBY Catalina flying boat 400 miles south of the island. A Japanese Zero fighter from carrier Hiryu shot down the Catalina aircraft (3 killed, several captured) but not until they radioed in the fleet’s location. Admiral James Sommerville , Commander of Royal Navy Eastern Fleet , already aware of approaching Japanese Navy aircraft carrier fleet for a few weeks due to Japanese Navy wireless decryption , therefore got exact location of enemy fleet and its rough approach , ordered all of his ships (five pre-1918 WWI era old battleships , one old WWI era aircraft carrier HMS Hermes with only 20 old aircraft on board and ten cruisers , and 18 destroyers) to leave Ceylon and Calcutta to meet up a secret supply base C south of Addu Atoll.

Bataan , Philippines : General Douglas MacArthur, now relocated to Australia per President Franklin Roosevelt’s orders, radioed Jonathan Wainwright, saying that “under no conditions should Bataan be surrendered; any action is preferable to capitulation”. Meanwhile, at Bataan in the Philippine Islands, Japanese troops moved toward Mount Samat, threatening to take this dominant position. Starved and ranks thinned out disease US and Philippino troops from US II Corps retreat to their final defence line to avoid being crushed by heavy Japanese artillery fire and airpower.

Rastenburg , East Prussia : Hitler orders heavy bombing raids on British historic towns as revenge for bombing of Lubeck , they are called Baedeker Raids , after the German tourist guidebooks.

Meanwhile in Berlin , Goebbels writes in his diary that he was actually relieved that tough and resilient noerhern Germans were bombed rather than softer southerners

Washington , USA : President Franklin Roosevelt’s special envoy Harry Hopkins and General George Marshall departed Baltimore, Maryland, United States by plane to lay the US strategic war plans, that had already been approved by the President, before the British War Cabinet and Chiefs-of Staff Committee.


5th April 1942

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-154 torpedoed and sank US tanker Catahoula just off the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic at 2318 hours; 7 were killed, 38 survived.

Cologne , Germany : 263 British bombers (179 Wellington, 44 Hampden, 29 Stirling, and 11 Manchester aircraft) from RAF Bomber Command attacked the Humboldt Engineering Works Company at Kalk near Köln, Germany; most of the bombs fell far from the Humboldt factories. The British lost 5 aircraft; one of the aircraft shot down crashed in Köln, killing 16 and wounding 30.

Rastenburg , East Prussia : Adolf Hitler issued Führer Directive No. 41, calling for the invasion of the Caucasus region and Stalingrad, both in southern Russia.

Adolf Hitler ordered a renewed offensive in the Leningrad, Russia region in the Soviet Union.

At his East Prussian headquarters at Rastenburg, Hitler agreed with SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler, at a dinner-time talk on April 5, that ‘Germanic’ children from the occupied lands could be taken away from their parents and brought up in special Nazi schools. ‘If we want to prevent Germanic blood from being absorbed by the ruling class of the country we dominate’, Himmler explained, ‘and which subsequently might turn against us, we shall have gradually to subject all the precious Germanic elements to the influence of this instruction.’ Himmler envisaged, as he explained to Hitler, that Dutch, Flemish and French children of ‘Germanic’ origin would all come within the sphere of the special schools.

Oslo , Norway : On the very day that Himmler set out his ‘Germanic’ school scheme to Hitler at Rastenburg, the vast majority of Norway’s Lutheran clergy, meeting in German-occupied Oslo, issued a declaration emphasizing the sovereignty of God above all ideologies; the declaration was read from pulpits throughout Norway, and 654 of Norway’s 699 ministers of religion resigned from their positions as civil servants, while continuing to do their work as clergymen.

Malta : Italian aircraft attacked Valetta Harbour, Malta, causing fatal bomb damage to minesweeper HMS Abingdon and Royal Navy destroyer HMS Gallant (both were never repaired , HMS Gallant was used as a blockship and her guns anti anti aircraft armament were added to harbour defences) and also damaging destroyer HMS Lance.

Mediterranean Sea : While sailing in an Axis convoy bound for Libya , Italian cargo ship Ninetto G. was torpedoed and sunk by Royal Navy submarine HMS Una off Syracause , Sicily.

Burma : Japanese and Chinese troops clashed at Yedashe in central Burma.

Bataan , Philippines : Japanese troops from 48th Infantry Division attacking with heavy artillery and air support defeated the Philippine 21st Division at Mount Samat on the Bataan Peninsula, Philippine Islands. Inside the Allied lines, General Jonathan Wainwright doubled rations for front line troops despite being short in food in order to give the troops strength.

US submarine USS Snapper delivered 20 tons of food to Corregidor, Philippine Islands and evacuated 27 personnel.

Port Moresby , Papua New Guinea : Seven Japanese Type 1 bombers, escorted by 4 Zero fighters, attacked Seven Mile airfield near Port Moresby, Australian Papua. Stores of fuel and ammunition were destroyed at the cost of one Zero fighter, which was shot down by Kittyhawk fighters.

Ceylon , Indian Ocean : Commander Mitsuo Fuchida of Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi commanded a 125-aircraft raid against Colombo, Ceylon.

In the morning, Japanese carriers Akagi , Kaga , Hiryu , Shoakaku , Zuikaku launched 36 D3A2 dive bombers and 53 B5N2 torpedo bombers, escorted by 36 Zero fighters, against the British naval base at Colombo, Ceylon, bombed and sinking Royal Navy merchant cruiser HMS Hector, Royal Navy destroyer HMS Tenados and Norwegian tanker Soli , damaging port facilities, while shooting down 25 British aircraft; eight Japanese aircraft were lost in this attack. Around noon, Japanese cruiser Tone’s floatplane spotted Royal Navy light cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire 200 miles southwest of Ceylon; 53 Japanese carrier aircraft were launched to attack, bombing and sinking light cruisers HMS Dorsetshire at 1350 hours (234 killed) and HMS Cornwall at 1400 hours (190 killed); 1,122 survived from both ships.

Following Admiral Following Ozawa’s force’s attack on the British naval base at Colombo, Ceylon, the force is split creating a Northern Group commanded by Rear Admiral Takeo Kurita consisting of cruisers Kumano and Suzuya; the Center Group consisting of the carrier Ryujo and cruisers Chokai and Yura under Admiral Ozawa; and the Southern Group comprised of heavy cruisers Mogami, and Mikuma under Captain Shakao Sakiyama for the purposes of smaller raids against merchant shipping.

British cargo ship Dardanus was bombed and badly damaged by Japanese carrier borne aircraft in Bay of Bengal , she was intercepted and finished off next day by Japanese heavy cruisers Mogami, and Mikuma

British cargo ship Harpasa was bombed and sunk by Japanese cxarrier borne aircraft in Bay of Bengal

US cargo ship Washingtonian was torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-5 in Indian Ocean.

Tokyo , Japan : Japanese Navy leadership accepted the planned attack on Midway.


6th April 1942

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-160 torpedoed and damaged US tanker Bidwell 50 kilometers east of Wilmington, North Carolina, United States at 0807 hours, killing 1 of 33 aboard; her crew would manage to repair and bring her back to port for repairs. At 1700 hours, U-571 torpedoed and sank Norwegian tanker Koll 250 miles northwest of Bermuda; 2 were killed, 33 survived (1 of whom would later die of exposure before being rescued).

German submarine U-754 torpedoed and sank Norwegian tanker Kolskegg in Atlantic Ocean

Mediterranean Sea : While sailing away from Malta to Gibraltar (to avoid Axis air raids on Malta) , Royal Navy destroyer HMS Havock ran aground off Cape Bon, Tunisia and was scuttled by her crew who landed on Vichy French controlled Tunisia and interned.

Germany : 157 British bombers (110 Wellington, 19 Stirling, 18 Hampden, and 10 Manchester aircraft) from RAF Bomber Command attacked Essen, Germany; most of them were turned back by a storm. 5 aircraft were lost in this mission

Rzhev-Vyazma Sector , Demyansk pocket , Russia : German Luftwaffe group II./KG 27 flew a supply operation for the German troops trapped in Kholm, Russia. Three He 111 aircraft failed to return; one of which was forced to land within the pocket due to heavy damage. The crew of the downed He 111 aircraft removed the aircraft’s radio and used it to help direct further supply runs.

Melbourne , Australia : First men of US 41st Division arrived at Melbourne, Australia.

South West Pacific : Japanese troops landed on Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Lorengau, Admiralty Islands.

Rabaul , New Britain : At 0200 hours, B-17 bombers of US 22nd Bomb Group were launched from Seven Mile airfield near Port Moresby, Australian Papua. One hour later, the faster B-26 bombers were launched. Flying toward Rabaul, New Britain, this was the first B-17 combat mission against that location as well as the first B-26 combat mission. The B-17 bombers struck first (despite the fact that the two were supposed to be attacking at the same time), causing no damage. By the time the B-26 bombers arrived, 7 Japanese A5M fighters were already in the air, although they failed to close in on the B-26 bombers. The B-26 bombers caused very little damage.

Bataan , Philippines : Japanese aircraft continued to attack American and Filipino targets at Bataan, Philippine Islands.

Burma : Japanese troops from 15th Army captured Mandalay, Burma. Off Akyab on the western coast of Burma, Japanese aircraft bombed and sank Indian sloop HMIS Indus.

India : Carrier borne Japanese planes bomb Vizagapatam and Cocanada in east coast of India.

Indian Ocean : Japanese warships sank 13 freighters southeast of India, while carrier aircraft from Ryujo conducted raids against ports Vizagapatam and Cocanada on the eastern coast of India, sinking 3 ships.
Kurita’s Northern Group attacked and sank seven merchant ships totaling 41,000 tons along India’s northeastern coast south of Calcutta (Kolkata).
Sakiyama’s Southern Group of Mogami, Mikuma and destroyer Amagiri sank four merchantmen totaling 19,000 tons with two of them finished off with torpedoes from Amagiri.


7 April 1942

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-552 torpedoed and sank British freighter British Splendour at 0417 hours (12 were killed, 41 survived) and Norwegian whale factory ship Lancing at 1052 hours (1 was killed, 49 survived) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States.

Mediterranean Sea : Royal Navy submarine HMS Turbulent sank Italian freighter Rosa M. with 39 rounds from the deck gun 7 miels south of Petrovac, Yogoslavia at 1730 hours.

German submarine U-453 torpedoed and damaged British hospital ship HMHS Somersetshire with three torpedoes 40 miles North of Sid Barrani, Egypt at 1300 hours; 2 were killed, 180 survived. The survivors reboarded the ship later and was able to sail to Alexandria, Egypt for repairs.

Malta : British tugs HMS Emily and HMS Hellespont were sunk at Malta by Axis air raids.

Bay of Bengal : Japanese submarine I-6 sank British freighter Bahadur 300 miles west of Bombay, India at 1920 hours.

Philippines : A Japanese dive bomber destroyed an ammunition truck near American field hospital No. 1 at Bataan, Philippine Islands at 1000 hours. Shortly after, Japanese aircraft returned to attack the hospital, which had large red crosses painted on the roof, killing 89 and wounding 101; a significant portion of the drug supplies were destroyed in this attack. On the front lines, with tank support Japanese assaulted positions held by US and Filipino troops of the US II Corps along the San Vicente River, penetrating the line by noon, forcing the Allies to fall back to the line at the Mamala River in the afternoon, which would also abandoned by 2100 hours under heavy Japanese artillery fire for the Alangan River further to the south.

Sobibor , Poland : A third SS death camp began its work, when, south-east of Warsaw, from the medieval town of Zamosc, 2,500 Jews were rounded up and sent by train to an ‘unknown destination’. That destination was in fact a camp just outside the village of Sobibor, which had been chosen as the site of a third death camp, on the pattern of Chelmno and Belzec. All who were brought to Sobibor were to be gassed within hours, except for a few hundred set aside for forced labour. From the 2,500 Jews of Zamosc, only one, Moshe Shklarek, was chosen to work. The others were all gassed. By the end of the year, more than a quarter of a million Jews had been brought to Sobibor and murdered, most of them from central Poland, but some from as far west as Holland, more than eight hundred miles away. The killings at Sobibor were kept a close secret. Even the already deceptive terminology was being tightened up. On April 10 Himmler’s personal secretary had informed the Inspector of Statistics of the Reich that henceforth ‘no mention should be made of the “special treatment of the Jews”. It must be called “transportation of the Jews towards the Russian East”.’


8 April 1942

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-84 torpedoed and sank Yugoslavian cargo ship Nemanja 300 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, United States at 0457 hours; 13 were killed, 34 survived. Just 10 miles off St. Simons Island, Georgia, United States, U-123 torpedoed and sank US tanker Esso Baton Rouge (killing 3 of 62) at 0844 hours , and damaged US tanker Oklahoma (killing 19 of 37) at 0752 hours.

Far to the south, Italian submarine Calvi torpedoed sank US tanker Eugene V. R. Thayer with a torpedo and 120 shells from her deck gun 20 miles off the northern coast of Brazil.

North Sea : The 2,374-ton steam merchant Ara was a Swedish refrigerated cargo steamer struck a mine and sank in the North Sea near the Island of Borkum, Helgoland, Germany.

German cargo ship Kurtzee struck a mine and sank Skjervoy , Norway

Iceland : Allied convoy PQ-14 departed Reykjavík, Iceland; it was consisted of 24 merchant ships, escorted by 2 minesweepers and 3 anti-submarine trawlers.

Barents Sea : Soviet submarine ShCh-421 struck a mine , heavily damaged and scuttled by her own crew who were rescued in Barents Sea

Germany : 272 RAF bombers (177 Wellington, 41 Hampden, 22 Stirling, 13 Manchester, 12 Halifax, and 7 Lancaster aircraft) conducted a night raid on Hamburg, Germany (heaviest RAF bombing raid on one target yet) ; 4 Wellington and 1 Manchester aircraft were lost in this attack.

Malta : Mooring vessel HMS Moor was serving as a boom defence vessel with 29 Maltese on board when she struck a mine at the harbour entrance of Valetta, Malta at 1715 hours. She broke up and sank instantly. Only one person survived, diver Toni Mercieca, who was picked up by a boat from the gate vessel Westgate and conveyed to Bighi Naval Hospital.

NOTE : In Malta the bombing continued with increased fury and during April 6700 tons of bombs were dropped. The 7th and 8th April were two of the worst days, a great deal landing on the dockyard, which was put almost completely out of action. Raids were frequent and the average was nine alerts a day but British air defences stoutly opposed them shooting down six Axis aircraft on 7th and downing nine more Axis aircraft in 8th April.

Mediterranean Sea : Italian bombers sank British minesweeping whaler HMS Svana and anti-submarine whaler HMS Thorgrim off Alexandria, Egypt.

Royal Navy light cruiser HMS Penelope (nicknamed as HMS Pepperpot because of being targeted so many Axis air attacks and splinter damage suffered) sailed away from Malta and managed to reach to Gibraltar three days later.

Leningrad , Soviet Union : Soviet forces opened a railway link into Leningrad in northern Russia.

Ceylon : A RAF Catalina flying boat spotted a Japanese carrier fleet approaching Royal Navy base Trincomalee, Ceylon. On this news, Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Hermes and Australian destroyer HMAS Vampire departed Trincomalee in an attempt to escape the impending attack and Trincomalee air defences put in full alert.

Indian Ocean : The Japanese Navy officially agreed to the German request to conduct submarine raids against Allied shipping in the Indian Ocean, although the submarines were already in position or underway. Later that day, Japanese submarine I-3 torpedoed and sank British collier Fultala 200 miles off the southern tip of India at 0150 hours. Her entire crew were rescued.

Burma : Japanese troops overran Chinese 200th Division and New 22nd Division defensive positions at Yedashe, Burma.

China : First supplies via HUMP airbridge from India over Himalayas to Chunking , Nationalist China was delivered

New Britain : Japanese troops based in Rabaul landed in Western New Britain.

Bataan , Philippines : Japanese bombers and fighters attacked US II Corps positions digging in along the Alangan River at Bataan, Philippine Islands at 1100 hours, but these positions successfully repulsed the first Japanese assault shortly after; the Japanese would return with tank support, however, overrunning the line. General King , US Commander of the Luzon Force ordered all munition dumps at Mariveles Habor at Bataan destroyed, and medical staff began withdrawing to Corregidor island. General Wainwright along with a few thousand essential personnel and troops already garrisoned Corregidor , hoping to hold a few more weeks.

American submarine USS Seadragon delivered 20 tons of food to Corregidor in the Philippine Islands; on the return trip, she evacuated the final 21 radio intelligence personnel from the US Navy Station CAST facility.

Pearl Harbour , Hawaii : USS Enterprise and Task Force 16 departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii to make rendezvous with USS Hornet, which was en route to strike the Japanese home islands.

London , UK : A US delegation led by Harry Hopkins and General George Marshall arrived in Britain to discuss US and British strategy on opening a second front in Europe by invading France.


9 April 1941

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-123 torpedoed and sank US freighter Esparta within 10 kilometers of Cumberland Island, Georgia, United States at 0716 hours, killing 1 of 40 aboard. To the northeast, 20 kilometers off the coast of North Carolina, United States, German submarine U-160 torpedoed and sank US freighter Malchace at 0758 hours, killing 1 of 29 aboard. Off Cape Lookout , North Carolina German submarine U-552 torpedoed and sank US tanker Atlas, killing 2 of 34 aboard.

At 1004 hours, northwest of Iceland, German submarine U-252 torpedoed and sank Norwegian cargo ship Fanefjeld, killing all 24 aboard.

Malta : Italian bombers hit and heavily damaged Royal Navy destroyer HMS Lance at Malta; she would soon be written off as a total loss.

Mediterranean Sea : Royal Navy submarine HMS Thrasher intercepted an Axis convoy torpedoed and sank Italian cargo ship Gala 20 miles southwest of Benghazi, Libya.

Worthing , UK : German bombers attacked Worthing in southern England, United Kingdom during the day, damaging a hospital and a gasometer and killing 2.

Rzhev-Vyazma Secotor , Demyansk Pocket , Russia : German relief attempts toward the Kholm encirclement were met with limited success.

Soviet General Mikhail Yefremov , besieged in Vyazma sector commits suicide rather than dishonour of captured by Germans. Having been severely wounded in the back, unable to help his men and unwilling to be taken prisoner, put a pistol to his temple. ‘Boys,’ he said, ‘this is the end for me, but you go on fighting.’ Then he shot himself; his men, fighting on, though almost beaten, never gave up. Some, reaching the nearby Soviet front line, returned in due course to harry the Germans behind the lines.

Crimea , Ukraine : Repeated Soviet attacks by 51st Soviet Army on German positions at Kerch, Russia failed to break through.

Black Sea : Soviet light cruiser Voroshilov was damaged by German aircraft at Novorossiysk, Russia.

Rabaul , New Britain : Just before 1200 hours, eight USAAF B-26 Marauder bombers attacked Japanese held Simpson Harbor and Vunakanau airfield at Rabaul, New Britain, damaging ships in the harbor, port facilities, and several parked aircraft.

Port Moresby , Papua New Guinea : In the morning, eight Zero fighters attacked Seven Mile airfield new Port Moresby, Australian Papua, damaging one Hudson aircraft and one Kittyhawk aircraft on the ground. In the afternoon, Type 1 bombers escorted by four Zero fighters attacked Seven Mile once again; Australian fighters failed to scramble fighters.

Trincomalee , Ceylon : Japanese carrier aircraft from Akagi , Kaga and Shoakaku attacked the harbor at Trincomalee, Ceylon at 0700 hours. The port facilities were badly damaged , tanker British Sergeant and freighter Sagaing were hit by bombs and both sank at the harbour but British air defences and RAF interceptors were ready this time and tracked the incoming raid by radar before attack started. RAF Hawker Hurricare fighters and anti aircraft guns shot down 18 Japanese aircraft over Trincomalee at the cost of five Hurricanes shot down.

In retaliation nine RAF Bleinheim bombers lifted off from Trincomalee , found and counter attack Japanese carrier fleet but their sorties made no hits but only near misses. Five Bleinheim bombers were shot down by anti aircraft defences or Japanese Zero interceptors defending the fleet. In exchange RAF Hawker Hurracane fighters escorting RAF bombers shot down five more Japanese Zero fighters defending the fleet.

Two hours later, empty Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Hermes , her decks were devoid of aircraft and Australian destroyer HMAS Vampire were detected 90 miles further south by Japanese scout planes. At 1035 hours, 94 Japanese carrier aircraft attacked and sank HMS Hermes (307 killed) which was hit by 40 bombs and sank Australian destroyerHMAS Vampire (9 killed) with 13 bomb hits ; hospital ship Vita rescued survivors from both warships. At 1207 hours, 20 Japanese carrier dive bombers sank British oiler Athelstane (all aboard survived) , Norwegian tanker Norviken and Royal Navy corvette HMS Hollyhock (48 were killed, 17 survived) in the Indian Ocean.

Bataan , Philippines : More than 76,000 emaciated , diseased and starved US and Filipino troops (12.000 American 63.000 Phillipine) , remainder of the US II Corps under General Edward King on the Bataan peninsula at Luzon, Philippine Islands, surrendered to the Japanese 14th Army (50.000 strong) at 1230 hours; it was the largest American surrender in history. General King announces he ordered to surrender to prevent a mass slaughter of soldiers and civilians cornered in south of Bataan. Before doing so, US and Phillipine troops destroyed fuel dumps, ammunition stores, scuttled submarine tender USS Canopus, tug USS Napa, four Phillipine torpedoboats and floating drydock USS Dewey. Only 2.000 soldiers out of 78.000 , retreated to Corregidor island held under command of General Wainwright who is defending Corregidor island with 13.000 US and Phillipine troops with no resupply or reinforcements.

Number of so many surrendered troops pose a major logistical problem for Japanese 14th Army under General Homma whose attention is focused to reducing Corregidor , final US and Phillipine bastion in Luzon. Most American and Philippine prisoners would be confined to POW holding area Camp O’Donnell but nearest railhead 105 km away from Bataan. Devoid of food , water and medical supplies and a lot of them already wrecked by disease , most of the prisoners would be forced marched by Japanese , in conditions of such terrible brutality and privation that more than 800 Americans, and at least 5.000 Filipinos, perished in what later became known as the ‘March of Death’. Many of those who died were clubbed or bayoneted to death when, too weak to walk further, they stumbled and fell. Others were ordered out of the ranks, beaten, tortured and killed. A further sixteen thousand Filipinos, and at least a thousand Americans, died of starvation, disease and brutality during their first few weeks in prisoner-of-war camps.

Philippine Sea : Before dawn, Japanese light cruiser Kuma was attacked by US motor torpedo boats PT-34 and PT-41 in the Cebu Strait between Cebu and Bohol in the Philippine Islands but sustained no damage; the only torpedo that hit Kuma failed to detonate. PT-34 would be found and destroyed by Japanese aircraft after daybreak, killing 2.


10 April 1942

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-654 torpedoed and sank British cargo ship Empire Prairie in the middle of the North Atlantic at 0220 hours, killing all 49 aboard. 20 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States, U-203 torpedoed and sank British tanker San Delfino with 7 torpedoes at 0508 hours; 28 were killed, 22 survived. In the same area, U-552 torpedoed and sank US tanker Tamaulipas at 0627 hours; 2 were killed, 35 survived.

Norwegian cargo ship Balkis was torpedoed then shelled and sunk by Italian submarine Calvi on the surface off Brazil

In the middle of the South Atlantic, German merchant raider Thor stopped British cargo vessel Kirkpool which was scuttled by her crew ; Kirkpool’s crew suffered no losses during the attack, but 16 would drown as the men abandoned ship; Thor rescued 30 survivors.

Finally, in North Atlantic Norwegian ship Chr. Knudsen disappeared some time during this day with her crew of 33; she was presumably torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-85.

Arctic Ocean : Allied convoy PQ-14 en route to Murmansk , Russia found itself scattered shortly after dawn after a stormy night; 16 merchant ships decided to return to Iceland while 8 merchant ships continued to sail on to Russia. On the same day, returning Allied convoy QP-10 departed Murmansk, Russia; it was consisted of 16 empty merchant ships full of ballast , escorted by 5 destroyers, 3 corvettes, 1 minesweeper, and 2 trawlers; QP-10 was almost immediately detected by German aircraft.

Scotland : Far to the west, convoy PQ-15 en route to Murmansk Russia departed Oban, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Germany : 254 British bombers (167 Wellington, 43 Hampden, 18 Stirling, 10 Manchester, 8 Halifax, and 8 Lancaster) from RAF Bomber Command attacked Essen, Germany; most bombs fell on the nearby residential areas instead, destroying 12 houses, killing 7 civilians, and wounding a further 30. During this attack, an 8,000-pound bomb was used for the first time, dropped by a Halifax bomber of No. 76 Squadron. 7 Wellington, 5 Hampden, 1 Halifax, and 1 Manchester aircraft were lost.

Black Sea : Light cruiser Voroshilov received light damage from German Ju 88 aircraft.

Burma : Japanese and Chinese troops clashed at Szuwa River, Burma

Luzon , Philippines : Japanese 14th Army started a heavy artillery and air bombing on Corregidor island , as a result defenders retreated underground bunkers , shelters and tunnels preperared for this occasion.

Philippines : Just off Luzon, US Navy minesweeper USS Finch, damaged by Japanese air attacks on the previous day, was scuttled by her crew. Elsewhere in the Philippine Islands, 12,000 Japanese troops landed on Cebu on three invasion beaches; the 6,500 defenders at Cebu City evacuated the capital and moved inland; Australia-based USAAF B-17 bombers attacked the invasion force to little effect.

US Navy tug Bacolat was scuttled by US Army engineers in Cebu Island

Japan : American submarine USS Thresher torpedoed and sank Japanese merchant ship Sado Maru six miles north of Oshima Island, Japan.