8 Feb 1942
  • The United States Navy acquired the civilian ship Steel Architect, which was still under construction, for military service. She was to be the future escort carrier Copahee. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-108 sank British freighter Ocean Venture 50 kilometers east of Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The main Japanese offensive against Singapore began. Australian troops stationed on the northwestern coast of Singapore initially inflicted heavy casualties on the Japanese landing, but confusion of battle caused them to retreat prematurely, providing Japanese a beachhead by nightfall. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands Dutch East Indies
  • Japanese troops landed 50 miles southeast of Bandjarmasin, Dutch Borneo and began marching toward the Martapoera airfield. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Japanese invasion fleet arrived off Makassar, Celebes, Dutch East Indies. USS S-37 attacked the fleet at 2036 hours, firing four torpedoes at the escorting destroyers, sinking Natsushio (10 killed, 229 survived). ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • In Germany, Albert Speer was appointed the Minister of Armaments and Munitions to succeed Fritz Todt who was killed when his aircraft exploded shortly after take off in Ostpreußen (East Prussia), Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • USS Grampus departed Pearl Harbor, Oahu, US Territory of Hawaii for her first war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • While in landing pattern at Martuba airfield in Libya, Hans-Joachim Marseille in his Bf 109 fighter encountered five Hurricane fighters that tried to jump him; he was able to break off from his landing approach, out-maneuver his attackers, and shot down two of them in return (his 37th and 38th kills). Later in the day, several British Blenheim bombers, escorted by P-40 and Hurricane fighters, attacked Martuba; Marseille shot down two of the fighters, bringing his score to 40 kills. At the end of the day, against orders, he flew over an enemy airfield to drop a note that stated Flight Sergeant Hargreaves (his 37th kill) was captured and uninjured; this personal mission led to Marseille being grounded by his commanding officer Gerhard Homuth. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Marshall Islands Pacific Ocean
  • Japanese submarine I-4 sank Singaporean merchant ship Ban Ho Guan off Java, Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • American troops attacked and wiped out a Japanese infiltration force at Quinauan Point, Bataan on the Philippine island of Luzon; 600 Japanese troops were killed while the US-Filipino forces suffered 500 casualties. Meanwhile, General Masaharu Homma called off the first offensive against Bataan and fell back to more defensible positions while waiting for reinforcements. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Ed Dyess led the first American landing of WW2 at Agloloma Bay, Bataan, Philippines. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | CPC]
  • Soviet 3rd Shock Army, 4th Shock Army, and 11th Army linked up at Zaluch'e, Russia and encircled 90,000 German troops and 10,000 auxiliaries around Demyansk, Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, CPC]
United States
  • USS Grayback departed the East Coast of the United States for the Hawaiian Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • Japanese submarine I-69 shelled Sand Island, Midway Atoll, causing minor damage to the radio towers. US Marine Buffalo aircraft of VMF 221 squadron counterattacked and damaged I-69. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 8 Feb 1942
Wrecked Hurricane aircraft of Squadron Leader Richard Brookers of No.232 Fighter Squadron RAF on the side of a road, British Malaya, 8 Feb 1942Shaw underway in Pearl Harbor with a temporary stub bow, 8 Feb 1942; note SOC floatplane taxiing nearby

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

8 Feb 1942 Interactive Map

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Famous WW2 Quote
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Winston Churchill, on the RAF