Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 968 April 25, 1942

At 8.31 AM 110 miles Northwest of Bermuda, U-108 sinks British SS Modesta (17 crew and 1 gunner lost, 19 crew and 4 gunners picked up by Belgian merchant SS Belgian Airman and landed at Bermuda).

Burma. British Generals Alexander and Slim confer with US General Stilwell (assigned to the Chinese Army) at Kyaukse, 20 miles South of Mandalay, to discuss whether British forces will withdraw East into China or West into India. A withdrawal into China would leave the path to India, “jewel in the crown” of the British Empire, open to the Japanese. Chinese have a vested interest in protecting the Burma Road; Chinese 200th Infantry Division, currently holding the road to Mandalay at Meiktila, sends troops East to Taunggyi to block the Japanese 56th Division path to Lashio.

Luzon, Philippines. Japanese shelling of US fortifications on the island of Corregidor continues but for the first time firing occurs after dark. US command center is located in the bomb-proof Malinta Tunnel. At 10 PM, 2 shells from the Japanese 240mm siege howitzer lands near the Western entrance to the tunnel among US troops getting fresh air or smoking (15 killed, 35 wounded). 12 miles off the West coast of Luzon near the mouth of the Lingayen Gulf, US submarine USS Spearfish sinks Japanese freighter Toba Maru.

Darwin. Australia. 27 Japanese bombers and 15 fighters attacked the RAAF airfield on the outskirts of Darwin. USAAF 49th Pursuit Group, flying P 40 Warhawk fighters, claim 10 Japanese bombers and 2 fighters shot down and 1 bomber damaged (no Warhawks lost).

In response to the Doolittle Raid on April 18 and the crash-landing of B-25 Mitchell bombers in China, Japanese troops (22nd Infantry Division) begin scouring the Chinese provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangxi for the US airmen. Any towns or villages suspected of harboring the Americans will be burned to the ground and many civilians are executed in retaliation for China’s support of the raid.

Overnight, RAF returns to Rostock for a third night to find strengthened anti-aircraft defenses. 110 aircraft bomb the town and again set many fires with incendiary canisters. 18 bombers (including Manchesters of 106 Squadron commanded by Wing Commander Guy Gibson) target the Heinkel factory, which is hit for the first time. Baedeker Blitz; Luftwaffe switches focus from Exeter and bombs Bristol and Bath in Southwest England.


  1. Splendid work. Your writing is top notch.

  2. Thank you most kindly, Sir. I appreciate you reading.

  3. I was hanging on every word... You describe extremely well.