2 Jan 1942
  • HMS Indomitable departed Cape Town, South Africa with Sea Hurricane aircraft aboard. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru departed at Roi, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Repair ship Akashi departed from Palau Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • At the US Army Air Forces Headquarters Major Jimmy Doolittle began planning an air raid against Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • Soviet Army broke through German lines at Rzhev, Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • 7,000 Axis troops at Bardia, Libya surrendered to the Allies. Among the prisoners of war was General Artir Schmitt. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Chiang Kaishek cabled US President Roosevelt asking the President to nominate a trusted American General to act as Chief of Staff in the China Theatre. The Americans responded by suggesting that the functions of Chief of Staff China Theatre should be combined with Commander of the China-Burma-India Theatre and Supervisor of Lend-Lease material. Brigadier-General John Magruder of the American Military Mission to China was not senior enough (and was already disillusioned with the Chinese) and when Lieutenant General Hugh A. Drum turned down the position it was finally offered to Major General Joseph W. Stilwell who reluctantly agreed to go where he was sent. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • German submarine U-134 sank British ship Waziristan in the Barents Sea at 0648 hours; she was the first Arctic Convoy ships to be sunk. The 47 aboard abandoned ship but were never seen again. Also lost with Waziristan were 3,700 tons of supplies and 410 US-built trucks for the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Vimiera struck a mine and sank in the Thames estuary in southern England, United Kingdom while escorting a coastal convoy; 96 were killed, 14 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-123 damaged American ship Algonquin in the Atlantic Ocean. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-77 attacked British destroyer HMS Kimberley off Tobruk, Libya at 0238 hours, blowing off the stern and killing 3; destroyer HMS Heythrop would tow HMS Kimberley to Alexandria, Egypt. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Unbeaten attacked and sank the already-damaged German submarine U-374 south of Messina, Sicily, Italy at 1030 hours with two torpedoes; 42 were killed, 1 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Ernest King ordered Chester Nimitz to plan a raid against Japanese positions in the Gilbert Islands and the Marshall Islands in order to establish an offensive momentum in the Pacific War. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-134 sank British freighter Waziristan of Allied convoy PQ-7A; Waziristan was already damaged by German aircraft at the time of this attack; all 47 aboard were killed. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Walter Stettner von Grabenhofen was awarded the Iron Cross in Gold. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Joseph Rochefort was interviewed by staff members of the Roberts Commission at Honolulu, US Territory of Hawaii regarding the events leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack; he answered more than 100 questions. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Japanese and Anglo-Indian troops continued to fight at Kampar Hill in British Malaya and prepared to withdraw southward later in the day. To the south, troops of the Japanese 4th Imperial Guard Regiment sailed down the Perak River to reinforce the Japanese 11th Regiment at Bernam River; Indian 12th Infantry Brigade arrived to reinforce the failing defense at Telok Anson nearby. Far to the south, Japanese aircraft based in Malaya and Borneo attacked Singapore. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Naka arrived at Davao, Mindanao, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Japanese troops captured Manila, the capital of the Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Japanese troops captured Naval Base Cavite in the Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese troops captured the Clark Field airbase in the Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Germany authorized the formation of Crimean Tatar self-defense battalions. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • Submarine Hoe was laid down by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) convicted 33 members of a German intelligence network headed by Fritz Joubert Duquesne in the largest espionage case in US history. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The United States Marine Corps Supply Center at Barstow, California, United States was organized as Marine Barracks, Marine Corps Depot of Supplies. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 2 Jan 1942
Pilots of No. 3 Squadron RAAF discussing operational plans outside their tents in Libya

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

2 Jan 1942 Interactive Map

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Famous WW2 Quote
"All that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945