15 Jan 1942
  • USS S-36 spotted a Japanese destroyer off Dutch Borneo at 0500 hours, but was discovered by the destroyer, which attacked with depth charges, severely damaging the submarine. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The German Armeegruppe Mitte began to fall back from the Kaluga area, forming a new defensive lines 20 miles to the west. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Allies formed the ABDA (American, British, Dutch and Australian) command in the Pacific region to counter Japanese advances. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-552 sank the ship Dayrose at 0138 hours; 38 were killed, 4 survived. To the south, German submarine U-123 sank British tanker Coimbra off Sandy Hook, New Jersey, United States at 0941 hours; 36 were killed, 10 survived. At 1134 hours, again off New found, U-203 sank Portuguese trawler Catalina, killing all aboard. Near the end of the day at 2317 hours, U-553 blew the bow off of the tanker Diala; 57 were killed, 8 survived; the wreckage of Diala remained afloat. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US Marine Corps Brigadier General Henry L. Larson was appointed the first military governor of American Samoa. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Philippine 51st Division withdrew from the Salian River valley on the eastern side of the Abucay-Mauban defensive line on Bataan Peninsula, Luzon, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese troops crossed the Gemencheh Bridge over the Kelamah River in British Malaya at 1000 hours to attack Australian-held positions at Gemas; although the initial attack failed with the loss of six tanks, subsequent attacks and flanking maneuvers forced the Australians to fall back to the Gemas River. Elsewhere, Japanese 4th and 5th Imperial Guard Regiments wiped out forward positions held by elements of the Indian 45th Brigade north of the Muar River. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Transport Chateau Thierry and converted passenger liner Strathaird departed New York, New York, United States with 3,900 troops of US 34th Division aboard, bound for Britain. This convoy, codenamed AT10, was escorted by 5 US destroyers. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Hesperus rammed German submarine U-93 while the submarine attempted to attack Allied convoy HG78 580 miles west of Gibraltar, followed by gunfire and depth charge attacks, leading to the submarine being abandoned; 6 were killed, 40 survived. HMS Hesperus would reverse course for Gibraltar to receive repairs. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A British Swordfish aircraft sank German submarine U-577 with depth charges 60 miles north of Sollum, Egypt, killing all 43 aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Wichita collided with US freighter West Nohno and British trawler HMS Ebor Wyke and was grounded near Hrafneyri Lighthouse in poor weather in northern Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands China
  • Chinese troops repulsed the Japanese attack on Changsha, Hunan Province, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Japanese-controlled Ryojun Guard District (previously known as Port Arthur; now Lushunkou, Liaoning Province, China), Kwantung Leased Territory in northeastern China was decommissioned from service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Dutch East Indies
  • Five American B-17 bombers landed at Lho Nga (Lhoknga) airfield near the northwestern tip of Sumatra, Dutch East Indies after receiving damage during a raid Japanese forces at Sungei Patani Airfield, Kedah, Malaya. After temporary repairs, they would return to Malang Airfield in Java, Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • U-132 departed Trondheim, Norway for her second war patrol. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In Poland, German authorities began to deport Jews from the Lodz ghetto to the Chelmno Concentration Camp. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • In order to recruit more people with the requisite abilities to work at the British Bletchley Park codebreaking facility a competition was staged for regular devotees to the Daily Telegraph crossword puzzle. They were asked to finish the puzzle within 12 minutes. Those who did well would subsequently be invited back for interview. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
United States
  • USS Gar departed San Francisco, California, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 15 Jan 1942
Letter from Roosevelt to Landis regarding professional baseball in the United States during WW2, 15 Jan 1942Captured Ju 87B dive bomber in a hangar at Benina, Libya, 15 Jan 1942

15 Jan 1942 Interactive Map

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

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"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944