18 Apr 1942
  • USS Lexington ferried US Marine Fighter Squadron 211 and its F2A Buffalo aircraft to Palmyra Atoll, Line Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Tatsuta Maru departed Makassar, Celebes. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Michel stopped British tanker Patella with gunfire 136 miles east of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at dawn, killing 3; the remaining crew of 60 were taken off before the ship was scuttled. German submarine U-136 damaged US tanker Axtell J. Byles 5 kilometers off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | CPC]
  • General MacArthur was appointed to command the Southwest Pacific Theater. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • The US Army Forces Far East became inactive. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Marine Corps Major General Charles F. B. Price arrived at Pago Pago, American Samoa to command the Headquarters Samoan Area Defense Force. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • François Darlan stepped down as the Vichy French Vice Premier as well as the Minister of the Navy. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Hudson bombers of No. 139 Squadron RAF from Akyab island, Burma attacked Japanese facilities on the Andaman Islands which had been the Squadron's base until it was abandoned in Mar 1942. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The I Group of the German Jagdgeschwader 27 wing was transferred for combat duties near Gazala, Egypt. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Torbay sank German army transport Bellona 60 miles east of Cape Colonna, Italy at 1125 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German Type IXC U-Boat U-505 was attacked by an Allied aircraft in the mid-Atlantic but suffered little damage. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | DS]
Australian New Guinea
  • B-26 Marauder bombers of US 5th Air Force attacked Simpson Harbor and Lakunai airfield at Rabaul, New Britain, Bismarck Archipelago at 1030 hours. Akomaki Maru was sunk (killing 11), as was Komaki Maru as her load of aviation fuel detonated. Lakunai airfield received light damage. After the attack, 80 Australian prisoners of war were executed by the Japanese for having cheered during the attack. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Although the 113th Regiment of the Chinese 38th Division under General Sun Liren and the British 7th Armoured Brigade had reached near Yenangyaung, Burma, they could not prevent the Japanese troops from capturing the city; the final elements of British troops fleeing out of the city destroyed the power station to prevent Japanese use. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Pierre Laval became the 123rd Prime Minister of France. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Nachi departed Muroran, Hokkaido, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Submarine tender Taigei was lightly damaged by US air attack at Yokosuka, Japan; 7 casualties were recorded. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • 16 US Army Air Force B-25 bombers launched from USS Hornet attacked Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, and other targets in the Japanese home islands at about 1200 hours. Most of the bombers would fly on to crash land in or bail out over China, while one landed in Russia and the crew were interned by the Soviets, who had a non-aggression treaty in place with Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • USS Wasp passed through the Strait of Gibraltar en route to Malta. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC, DS]
  • The 1st Battalion of the 63rd Infantry Regiment of the 61st Philippine Division under Captain Julian Chaves pushed back Japanese troops at Mount Dila-Dila on Panay, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Taiwan United States
  • USS Marlin arrived at New London, Connecticut, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 18 Apr 1942
Captain Marc Mitscher speaking with Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle aboard USS Hornet, 18 Apr 1942, photo 1 of 3Armorers preparing the Doolittle Raid bombers aboard USS Hornet, 18 Apr 1942, photo 1 of 3Armorers preparing the Doolittle Raid bombers aboard USS Hornet, 18 Apr 1942, photo 2 of 3US B-25 taking off from USS Hornet for the Doolittle Raid, 18 Apr 1942
See all photos dated 18 Apr 1942

18 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
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939