April 1942

Aug

17

1942

The USAAF makes its first raid on Occupied Europe

17th August 1942: The USAAF makes its first raid on Occupied Europe

When the last of the three 190’s broke off combat, I moved to the other side of the waist gunners’ station and observed at least a dozen puffs from exploding shells. They were deadly accurate as to altitude but several hundred yards to port. Meanwhile there was fighter activity overhead and to our rear. The RAF wing covering our withdrawal had climbed above us and passed somewhat astern as we left the target area.

Apr

30

1942

HMS Edinburgh torpedoed off Murmansk

As we chatted, the torpedo exploded in the oil tank below us. The whole messdeck split in two and as the lights went out Harrington and I and at least another 50 men fell straight through into the storage tank. The emergency lighting failed to come on and we were down there in complete darkness, floundering around in oil and water.

Apr

29

1942

Gurkha’s fighting retreat in Burma

At dawn on the 30th April, tanks and Gurkhas sallied out and cleared a burnt-out village in front of our lines. Many Japanese in it were killed and several mortars and light automatics captured. The Gurkhas were particularly pleased at trapping thirty-eight of the enemy who had taken refuge in a culvert under the road.

Apr

28

1942

Hitler seizes even greater powers

28th April 1942: Hitler seizes even greater powers for himself

The concentration of hate has this time turned into utter madness. Not England or the USA or Russia – only in everything nothing but the Jew. Pay attention to the hide-and-seek and open threat. 11:59, but shall we live to see the end of the day?

Apr

27

1942

City of Norwich next on Baedeker list

27th April 1942: City of Norwich next on Baedeker list

Then amidst a turmoil of noise, doors and everything else reasonably moveable became wrenched by an invisible force to go flying out into the garden. Pieces of ceiling rained down and by now, more than likely, the blow on my head was taking effect. I may have run instinctively beside my mother to the underground shelter in our garden, but the next thing I knew was the family huddled together in our small, damp, underground dungeon.

Apr

26

1942

End of the Bataan death march

The camp was large, dotted by hundreds of grass and bamboo shacks, which were merely poles of bamboo with a grass roof. The ground flowed and undulated through the camp in tiny hills. Beside each of the shacks were stacks of bodies pullled there by the living , for they had nowhere else to put them. In the hot tropical sun the bodies swelled and bloated until they were no longer recognizable as the bodies of men.

Apr

25

1942

‘Baedeker raiders’ hit historic city of Bath

There were rumours that Churchill himself and high ranking marine planners from the Navy were in Bath. It was not just the Dornier DO.217 bombers from Kampfgeschwader II, that were ordered to attack, but also at least two other squadrons with Junkers Ju88 and Heinkel He111 were involved in the raids. My target was the city centre. I was not informed how Bath was protected.

Apr

24

1942

Promotion for a Desert Rat

Certainly it’s nice to drink tea out of cups and eat off china plates and be served by a waiter instead of having to queue up for food. However – I don’t know – I was quite happy as a bombardier! This afternoon I moved out of my homely sub-section tent and into the sergeant’s tent, which, I notice is situated cunningly convenient for parades, mess, and early morning tea issues!

Apr

23

1942

The propaganda war goes on

23rd April 1942: The propaganda war goes on

One special leaflet explained to the French people why it had been necessary to bomb the Renault works, and contained excellent reproductions of air photographs showing the damage inflicted on the works. Over 2 million of these were distributed over Paris and the industrial areas of France.

Apr

22

1942

Norwegian SS troops fight off Russian assault

22nd April 1942: Norwegian SS troops fight off Russian assault

From the Russian side they must have used over 1000 soldiers to storm us in the attack. Since the attacking forces were not the regular forces we had been looking at over the frontline for some time now, they were unable to break through our lines as they seemed completely unaware of our positions and any weaknesses our lines may have had.