17 Apr 1942
  • Submarine Snook was laid down at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-123 sank US freighter Alcoa Guide with her surface guns 300 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States at 0355 hours; 6 were killed, 27 survived. Elsewhere, U-201 damaged Argentine tanker Victoria 200 kilometers east of Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German government reduced the amount of provisions given to Soviet prisoners of war. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • American submarine Searaven began evacuating Australian troops from Timor, Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • French prisoner of war General Henri Giraud escaped from his castle prison in the Königstein Fortress. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-66 sank Panamanian tanker Heinrich von Riedemann 100 miles west of Grenada at 0523 hours; all 44 aboard survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Soviet destroyers Sokrushitelny and Gremyashchy were transferred from Allied convoy QP-10 to convoy PQ-14 at 0430 hours. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Black Sea
  • German aircraft sank Soviet troopship Svanetiya in the Black Sea; 750 were killed, 193 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • William Slim launched a failed counterattack with the Indian 17th Division near Yenangyaung, Burma; he had wanted the counterattack to open up Japanese lines, to meet with troops of the 113th Regiment of Chinese 38th Division fighting to relieve Yenangyaung, and to allow the remnants of the 1st Burma Division to return to the main Allied lines. To the east, Japanese 56th Infantry Division and Chinese troops clashed at Bawlake and Pyinmana, Burma. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 12 Lancaster bombers from No. 44 Squadron RAF and No. 76 Squadron RAF attempted a low level daylight attack on the MAN diesel engine factory in Augsburg, Germany. 7 of the 12 aircraft were shot down by German fighters, while the remaining 5 accurately dropped the bombs on the target, though the damage caused was smaller than desired. This costly raid reinforced British Air Marshal Arthur Harris' feelings that daylight missions should be avoided. Elsewhere, 173 British bombers (134 Wellington, 23 Stirling, 11 Halifax, and 5 Manchester) attacked Hamburg, Germany; 23 civilians were killed, 66 were wounded; 8 bombers were lost during this attack. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, CPC]
  • Chester Nimitz accepted Joseph Rochefort's hypothesis that Port Moresby, Australian Papua was likely the target of the suspected Japanese Navy operation against the location code named RZP. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • The task force carrying the Doolittle Raiders refueled at about 1,000 miles away from Tokyo, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Two column of Japanese troops converged at Dumarao on Panay, Philippine Islands, completing the conquest of the eastern side of the island. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Chinese consul general in the Philippines Yang Guangsheng, after repeatedly refuse to cooperate with the Japanese to recognize the puppet government in Nanjing even under torture, was executed by the Japanese in the Philippines. 7 of his staff members were executed on the same day. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German bombers attacked Southampton, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 18-year-old Private Nora Cleveney, of the British Army Auxiliary Territorial Service, became the first British female soldier to be killed on active service when a German bomb fell close to where she was stationed as an enemy plane spotter near Southampton, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Apr 1942
Doolittle wiring a Japanese medal to a bomb, Apr 1942, 1 of 2Doolittle wiring a Japanese medal to a bomb, Apr 1942, 2 of 2Aerial view of USS North Carolina, off the US east coast, 17 Apr 1942, photo 3 of 3Aerial view of USS North Carolina, off the US east coast, 17 Apr 1942, photo 1 of 3
See all photos dated 17 Apr 1942

17 Apr 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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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