June 1st, 1942 (MONDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Hatfield, Hertfordshire: The prototype de Havilland Mosquito MK VI, fighter bomber and night intruder, makes its maiden flight. (22)
GERMANY: Tonight another 1,000 plane raid by the RAF is launched against Essen.
POLAND: A third camp is set up at Auschwitz, to build the Buna synthetic rubber factory.
Warsaw: "Bloodcurdling news has reached us about the slaughter of the Jew," says Liberty Barricade, the underground magazine published by the illegal Socialist Party today. The report publishes details of grisly killings by gas and mass burials in open graves at Chelmno, based on the account of Yakow Grobanowski, a man who miraculously escaped from the slaughter and has now reached Warsaw.
Meanwhile, in France and the Netherlands, the Nazis have ordered all Jews to identify themselves by wearing yellow stars.
U.S.S.R.: (Sergey Anisimov)(69)Baltic Fleet, Ladoga and Onega Flotillas: Shipping loss. MS "TSch-91" (ex-"Ijorets N91") mined at North Kronshtadt far water.
Manstein, the German commander in the Crimea, boards an Italian MAS boat to get a view of Soviet defenses from the sea. While at sea, they are surprised by two YAK-1 fighters and badly shot up. The MAS caught fire and was left dead in the water, one Italian petty officer is killed and three crew wounded, the German commander and Manstein's long time driver also died. Manstein afterwards describes the performance of the Italian boat's skipper as "beyond all praise." (Mike Yaklich)(278)
ARCTIC OCEAN: Soviet submarine "D-3" of the Polar fleet and White Sea Flotilla is sunk - supposedly mined, at Tana-fjord. (Sergey Anisimov)(69)
LIBYA: German tanks virtually wipe out the 150th Northumbrian Infantry Brigade after heavy fighting at Got es Scarab.
INDIAN OCEAN: For the third straight day, the Japanese submarine HIJMS I-10 launches a Yokosuka E14Y1, Navy Type 0 Small Reconnaissance Seaplane, Allied Code Name "Glen," to fly a reconnaissance mission over Diego Suarez, Madagascar. (Jack McKillop)
AUSTRALIA: Three Japanese midget submarines attacked Sydney harbour last night. They fired torpedoes, one of which sank the depot ship KUTTABULL, killing at least 19 sailors. The midget subs were launched from a flotilla of Japanese submarines now operating off the Australian coast.
on 30 May a float plane was launched from one of the submarines. It carried out a reconnaissance of Sydney Harbour. Burning navigation lights, the float plane twice circled the American cruiser USS CHICAGO, but no special defence measures were ordered.
The full moon was obscured by mist when the Japanese sent three midget submarines into the harbour the next night. A maritime services board watchman reported "a suspicious object" in the antitorpedo net. Before the submarine could be attacked the crew blew her up.
The USS CHICAGO sighted a submarine periscope at 500 yards and opened up with red tracer pom pom. A torpedo passed under a Dutch submarine and struck the harbour bed beneath the KUTTABULL, where it exploded. Concussion blew out the bottom of the KUTTABULL and she sank at once. A third submarine was attacked in Taylor Bay. Her crew shot themselves before they could be captured. All three submarines were lost.
Canberra: Yesterday's audacious raid by Japanese midget submarines on Sydney Harbour may have failed militarily, but that fact that it happened at all has reinforced Australian fears of a full-scale Japanese invasion. For six months Japanese forces have been triumphant everywhere except for the Coral Sea Battle.
Despite this neither London nor Washington believes that there is a serious danger of Australia being invaded. The Australian public are not so confident and seems prepared to accept any government action to combat the threat. A constant theme of the Australian government is the urgent need of reinforcements for the south-west Pacific and an insistence that more attention should be given to the war against Japan. MacArthur too, has expressed bitter disappointment at the meagre allocation of military resources to his command.
It was not until May that the Australian government learnt of the "beat Hitler first" grand strategy which gave second place to the Pacific war. The government found it "surprising" that it had not been told of this strategic decision by Britain and the USA. After the Battle of the Coral Sea General MacArthur, commanding the Pacific forces, sent John Curtin, the Australian prime minister, an appreciation in which he urged haste in the development of the Australian "defensive bastion".
He told Curtin that there were "most dangerous possibilities" because Japan could now call on troops from the Philippines, Malaya and the Dutch East Indies to strike anywhere.
PACIFIC OCEAN: 25 US submarines are in position off Midway Island.
TERRITORY OF ALASKA: At 1300 hours local, the Japanese Kiska Invasion Force departs Kashiwabara on Paramushiru Island in the Kurile Islands en-route to Kiska Island in the Aleutians. The U.S. Navy's Task Group 8.6 built around the light cruiser USS Nashville (CL-43) enters the Gulf of Alaska intending to position themselves about 400 miles (741 km) south of Kodiak Island to "exploit opportunities." Unfortunately, they will be too far away for the upcoming action.
In Alaska, the USAAF's 11th Air Force has a B-17E Flying Fortress, six B-26 Marauders and 17 P-40s at Cold Bay on the tip of the Alaskan Peninsula and 12 P-40s, six B-26 and a B-17E at Otter Point on Umnak Island. (Jack McKillop)
CANADA: Trawler HMS Campeaia launched Collingwood, Ontario.
Revised Flower Class (Increased
Endurance) 1942-43 Program corvettes HMCS
Parry Sound, West York, Thorlock, Strathroy, Meaford and unnamed
(cancelled), Peterborough, Belleville, Smith Falls, Carelton (cancelled),
Asbestos, Beauharnois, Stellarton, Lachute, Merrittonia (ex-Lachute)
German submarines sink four merchant ships off the U.S. coast:
- U-404 sinks an armed U.S. freighter off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina by gunfire.
- U-172 torpedoes and sinks an unarmed U.S. freighter off the Bahamas.
- U-106 and U-158 each torpedo and sink an unarmed U.S. freighter in the Yucatan Channel in the Gulf of Mexico.
Fear of an attack on the west coast causes suspension of the movement of USAAF aircraft and crews from the U.S. to the U.K.
The 147 Nisei students of the second class of the MISLS graduates. These students were recruited from various military organizations within the Continental U.S. MIS personnel, checking documents. (Gene Hanson)
Corvette HMCS Trillium completed forecastle extension refit Galveston, Texas. (Dave Shirlaw)
MEXICO: President Manuel Avila Camacho of Mexico declared that a state of war had existed between Mexico and Germany, Italy, and Japan as of May 22, 1942. (Dave Shirlaw)