May

7

1942

U-boat escapes depth charges off Florida

7th May 1942: U-boat escapes depth charges off Florida

After several attacks the captain thought we were on the bottom, unable to move. He tried to obtain an oil sample but gave up, not daring to stop the ship. Then his Asdic located us about 3,000 metres ahead ofthe oil slick. The current was two knots and the depth was 91 fathoms or about 160 metres. This was beyond the effective depth of his charges which at the most exploded at 120 metres whatever adjustments were made.

May

6

1942

The surrender of Corregidor

6th May 1942: The surrender of Corregidor – last US forces on Philippines

An enemy machine gunner was discovered on a ridge, and a squad of men calmly discussed the manner of his liquidation. A puff of dust in front of the machine gun would result in that rifleman being joshed for the poor use of his rifle. When the machine gun was finally knocked out the riflemen paused for a cigarette. After the scream of bombs and shells, ordinary bullets flying around them caused little comment.

May

5

1942

Operation Ironclad – The invasion of Madagascar

5th May 1942: The invasion of Madagascar – Operation Ironclad

The unwounded personnel then fetched, a T.S.M.G, [Thompson Sub Machine Gun] and a Bren Gun, ammunition, water and a first aid box from one of the tanks, and went into dismounted action. 2nd/Lieutenant Whittaker and Sergeant Grime particularly distinguished themselves in thus removing necessary kit from the tanks under fire.

May

4

1942

American fighters take on Japanese over China

4th May 1942: American fighters take on Japanese over China

The Japs had laid this attack on a little differently They knew our situation from the two reconnaissance flights that preceded the bombers. They decided to forgo the fighters as bomber escorts and hold them off and away from the field with the hope of catching all of us when we returned – low on ammunition and gas.

May

3

1942

‘Exeter was a jewel – we have destroyed it’

3rd May 1942: ‘Exeter was a jewel – we have destroyed it’

In 1942 the city was a product of nearly 2000 years of urban evolution, much of its street plan dating back either to the Romans or the late-Saxons, a maze of alleyways, lanes and courts, all densely filled with buildings that were completely unique to the city.

May

2

1942

HMS Edinburgh’s last battle

2nd May 1942: HMS Edinburgh’s last battle

But we had to go as the list was increasing. We went up on deck and found that one of the minesweepers had come alongside and was already taking the wounded and passengers aboard. While we waited our turn, we huddled together behind the hangar out of the freezing wind. We were all in pretty bad shape …

May

1

1942

Surviving a U-boat patrol in the Barents Sea

A tremendous weight forced us onto our knees and tore at all our limbs. Above us a bright-green watery vault foamed and hummed before gradually subsiding. It became brighter and brighter while we fought against the draining water, spitting, choking, and cursing. A glance at other comrades and short smiles from salty red faces gave us comfort that all was okay again.

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?