2 May 1942
  • USS Drum sank Japanese seaplane carrier Mizuho 90 miles southeast of Tokyo, Japan at 0416 hours; 101 were killed, 472 survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Trout sank Japanese freighter Uzan Maru 134 miles southwest of Tokyo, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Already-damaged HMS Edinburgh, carrying £5,000,000 worth of Soviet gold meant as down payment for US weapons and other war supplies, was spotted by German destroyers Z7 Hermann Schoemann, Z24, and Z25 at 0630 hours. In the ensuing engagement, Edinburgh hit Z7 while destroyer HMS Forester was hit by Z7's torpedo and destroyer HMS Foresight was hit by shellfire. Z7 would be scuttled at 0830 hours. HMS Edinburgh suffered a torpedo hit which killed 57. Now structurally unsound, she was scuttled by HMS Harrier and HMS Foresight at 0900 hours. The gold also went to the bottom of the Barents Sea. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Roosevelt extended the Lend-Lease Act to include Iraq and Iran. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Goebbels noted in his diary that the term "Baedecker attacks", named after a popular travel guide and used here to suggest that the German bombers targeted British cultural centers, should be banned by his propaganda ministry. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-573, seriously damaged by aerial depth charges from a British Hudson aircraft on the previous day, arrived at Cartagena, Spain. The submarine and her crew were interned by the Spanish authorities. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-74, dispatched to rescue the damaged submarine U-573, was attacked and sunk by British destroyers HMS Wishart and HMS Wrestler 60 miles southeast of Cartagena, Spain; all 47 aboard were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS St Albans and minesweeper HMS Seagull, while escorting Allied convoy PQ-15, attacked an ASDIC contact 200 miles northwest of Tromsų, Norway at 1950 hours. As the target surfaced, she turned out to be Polish submarine Jastrzab, which suffered serious damage and 5 killed. The submarine was written off and scuttled shortly after the 35 survivors were taken off. On the same day, German torpedo bombers attacked PQ-15, sinking freighters Cape Corso, Jutland, and Botavon. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-402 sank US armed yacht Cythera 115 miles east of Cape Fear, North Carolina, United States, killing 69 of 71 aboard; the two survivors were captured by U-402 and taken to Germany as prisoners of war. During the day, the 36 survivors of Norwegian ship Bidevind, sunk by German submarine U-752 on the previous day off New York, United States, reached the US Coast Guard station near Toms River, New Jersey, United States by lifeboat. After sundown, at 2253 hours, U-66 sank Norwegian tanker Sandar 40 miles north of Trinidad; 3 were killed, 34 survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • USS S-44 reached her patrol area in the New Britain-New Ireland region. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 7 B-26 Marauder bombers from Port Moresby, Australian Papua attacked Rabaul, New Britain, causing little damage. ww2dbase [CPC]
Australian Papua
  • Japanese bombers attacked Seven Mile airfield near Port Moresby, Australian Papua. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese aircraft attacked Port Moresby, Australian Papua. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • The Japanese launched another aerial bombardment against the Australian seaplane base at Tulagi, Solomon Islands. Deducing that an invasion of coming soon, the Australian personnel evacuated the base after sundown. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 1st Burma Division unsuccessfully attacked Japanese 33rd Infantry Division at Monywa, Burma on the Chindwin River. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Alexandros Sakellariou resigned his government posts while in exile in Egypt, retaining only the command of the Greek fleet. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Pollack departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her third war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • USS Flying Fish arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Joseph Rochefort's cryptanalytic team in Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii intercepted a radio message from Nobutake Kondo's chief of staff regarding the formation of task forces for an offensive operation. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yukikaze arrived at Kure, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The powder magazine of gun battery Geary on Corregidor in the Philippine Islands was hit by Japanese artillery at 1627 hours, detonating 1,600 62-pound powder bags; 56 were killed and hundreds were wounded. To the east, in Manila Bay, river gunboat USS Mindanao was scuttled to prevent capture. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC, CPC]
  • Italian Navy units began arriving at Constanta, Romania where they prepared to cross the Black Sea to Yalta, Ukraine. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The BI-1 rocket-powered prototype aircraft successfully underwent a low-power test at Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg), Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia, lifting the aircraft about one meter off the ground. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Taiwan United Kingdom
  • Dr. H. V. Evatt, the Australian representative to the British War Cabinet and the Pacific War Council arrived in the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
United States
  • Sunfish was launched at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, sponsored by Mrs. J. W. Fowler. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • Chester Nimitz inspected defenses on Sand Island and Eastern Island of Midway Atoll. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 2 May 1942
Japanese-American children awaiting for a bus that would take them to an Assembly Center, Byron, California, United States, 2 May 1942Stern of Sunfish, Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 2 May 1942Sunfish preparing for launch, Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 2 May 1942Launching of submarine Sunfish, Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 2 May 1942
See all photos dated 2 May 1942

2 May 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
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943