Apr

16

1942

Wartime Taxes rise again in the UK

16th April 1942: Wartime Taxe rises again in the UK

Quite apart from the dangers of war, the blackout and rationing, the British were being hit hard in their pocket. The war had to be paid for and that meant almost penal levels of taxation for everyone. Income tax had already been raised to 50 per cent. In addition to rationing on food and clothing there were shortages of many commodities so there was a limited range of things people could buy even if they did have the money.

Apr

15

1942

Malta awarded the George Cross

15th April 1942: Malta awarded the George Cross

An immense amount of damage has been done on the island, and among familiar landmarks which have been destroyed or seriously damaged are both Admiralty Houses (at Valetta and Vittoriosa), St. Angelo, the Customs House, the Castille, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Opera House and the great dome of the church at Musta.

Apr

14

1942

First U-Boat kill by U.S. ship

13th April 1942: First U-Boat kill by U.S. ship

A barrage of eleven depth charges was laid by use of racks, Y-guns, and K-guns, based on an eye estimate of the submarine’s location plus an excellent sound contact. The bearing of the submarine remained almost constant and the speed was negligible. Wreckage could not be detected because of the darkness. On two occasions this ship passed near the survivors, but the fact that German submarines frequently work in pairs made the conduct of any rescue work before daylight far too dangerous to risk.

Apr

13

1942

Preparing to sail to Malta

13th April 1942: Preparing to sail to Malta

It is impossible to cross the deck without ducking under wings and tails, all tucked into one another. The Spitiires’ wheels are steadied by wooden blocks, their wing tips lashed to the deck by ropes and cables, but more Spitfires are suspended from the roof girders, slung there by canvas loops – they sway gently as our carrier rolls. Staring at these planes I coulld not help wondering how many of them and, indeed, how many of our pilots will be left in a week’s time.

Apr

12

1942

Nazi lie ensures Jewish co-operation

12th April 1942: Nazi lie about death camp ensures Jewish co-operation

On April 12, a high officer of the secret police [Gestapol], who is serving as the commander of the camp where the people deported from this ghetto are now located, was briefly at Balut Market. This is the first definite source of information concerning the deportees; for the record, it is worth adding that the story of their whereabouts that circulated with the most persistence has, this time, been confirmed.

Apr

11

1942

Horror of the Bataan Death March

11th March 1942: Horror of the Bataan Death March

On the roadside, we saw a lot of dead bodies, unlucky fellows who died just a few days before the end. There was an awful smell. Some corpses showed signs of torture before death. The wrists and ankles were bound, and the mouth gagged. Others had ugly wounds in their bellies, which proved they had hand-to-hand fighting. Most of the bodies were rotting, and there was no one to even give them a decent grave. The sun was scorchingly hot by now, and I was getting dizzy with the heat. Tony Nieva was trying hard to walk… despite his malaria. Godo Reyes was still going strong… but I noticed that Ernie was weakening.

Apr

10

1942

A fighter sweep across the Channel

10th April 1942: A fighter sweep across the Channel to provoke ‘the Boche’

Twelve of us took off three at a time; we gained altitude slowly, here and there picking up other squadrons, punctual at the meeting points, progressively coming in to join us, taking up position on either side, above and below so that we formed the point of an enormous arrow of about 250 fighters. All 2 Group had sent their squadrons – Northolt, Hornchurch, Kenley, Hawkinge, the Poles, the Czechs, the famous American Eagle Squadron, etc.

Apr

9

1942

The horror of Japanese victory on Bataan

9th April 1942: The horror of Japanese victory on Bataan

The private, a little squirt, was going through the captain’s pockets. All at once he stopped and sucked in his breath with .a hissing sound. He had found some Jap yen. He held these out, ducking his head and sucking in his breath to attract notice. The big Jap looked at the money. Without a word he grabbed the captain by the shoulder and shoved him down to his knees. He pulled the sword out of the scabbard and raised it high over his head, holding it with both hands. The private skipped to one side.

Apr

8

1942

Attacks on Malta intensify

8th April 1942: Attacks on Malta intensify

Attacks were concentrated on Grand Harbour and Valetta, on the aerodromes at Hal Far, Luqa and Takali, and on the seaplane base at Kalafrana. The damage was extensive and included considerable destruction of civilian property. Seven aircraft were destroyed on the ground and eleven others damaged. It was noticeable, however, that there was a marked decrease in the accuracy of the enemy bombing.

Apr

7

1942

Suffering and defiance as prisoners of the Japanese

7th April 1942: Suffering and defiance as prisoners of the Japanese

When the other had been beaten unconscious by 15 blows of a hawser and was repeatedly kicked by 3 soldiers to a point beyond which he could not survive, Comdr. Antrim gallantly stepped forward and indicated to the perplexed guards that he would take the remainder of the punishment, throwing the Japanese completely off balance in their amazement and eliciting a roar of acclaim from the suddenly inspired Allied prisoners. By his fearless leadership and valiant concern for the welfare of another, he not only saved the life of a fellow officer and stunned the Japanese into sparing his own life but also brought about a new respect for American officers and men and a great improvement in camp living conditions.