6 May 1942
  • German submarine U-507 sank US freighter Alcoa Puritan 60 kilometers south of Mobile, Alabama, United States. ww2dbase [Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico Campaigns | CPC]
  • HMS Auricula (Lieutenant Commander S. L. B. Maybury), having been damaged by a mine in Courier Bay, Madagascar on the previous day, foundered and sank whilst under tow. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein scored his first kill as a nightfighter pilot. ww2dbase [Heinrich | CPC]
  • British corvette HMS Auricula, damaged on the previous day by a mine at the entrance of the Diego-Su├írez Bay, Madagascar, sank. Meanwhile, on land, British troops made little progress in eastern Madagascar, held down by French defenders. To gain the momentum, British destroyer HMS Anthony dashed into Diego-Su├írez Bay at 2000 hours at the risk of being hit by coastal guns and successfully landed 50 Royal Marines at Antsirane to disrupt French rear. ww2dbase [Madagascar Campaign | CPC]
  • US naval auxiliary USS Semmes accidentally rammed and sank British anti-submarine trawler HMS Senateur Duhamel 50 miles east of Cape Fear, North Carolina, United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Triton attacked a Japanese convoy off China, sinking freighters Taiei Maru and Taigen Maru. ww2dbase [Triton | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-333 damaged US tanker Java Arrow (2 were killed, 45 survived), sank US tanker Halsey (5 were killed, 23 survived), and sank Dutch freighter Amazone 5 kilometers east of Port St. Lucie, Florida, United States. Further out to sea, U-108 sank Latvian ship Abgara 15 miles southeast of Great Inagua Island, Bahamas. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • Starting at 0345 hours, B-17 Flying Fortress bombers took off from Port Moresby, Australian Papua to attack Japanese carrier Shoho which was spotted on the previous day; they attacked at about 0800 hours, causing no damage. Meanwhile, US carriers made rendezvous with Australian cruisers to set up an ambush at the Jomard Passage east of Australian Papua on New Guinea island. Later in the day, carrier aircraft from both sides searched for each other without success; at 2000 hours, the two fleets were merely 80 miles from each other, still not detecting the other party. Elsewhere, the new Japanese seaplane base at Tulagi, Solomon Islands was completed. ww2dbase [Battle of Coral Sea | CPC]
Germany Hawaii Hong Kong
  • Japanese administration of Stanley Internment Camp in Hong Kong announced that American internees would be repatriated on 15 Jun 1942. Their food rations increased considerably soon after this announcement. ww2dbase [Stanley Prison and St Stephen's College | CPC]
Japan Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille received temporary command of the squadron 3 Staffel I./JG-27. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Marshall Islands
  • Katori departed Roi, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Katori | Roi | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Skipjack sank Japanese freighter Kanan Maru in the South China Sea 50 miles northeast of Cam Rahn Bay, French Indochina, hitting her with one of three torpedoes fired; she attacked another target with another spread of three torpedoes, all of which missed the target. ww2dbase [Skipjack | South China Sea | CPC]
  • Before dawn, US and Filipino defenders in the East Sector of Corregidor, Philippine Islands fought against the Japanese amphibious assault launched just prior to midnight, killing 1,200 men of the 2,000-strong first wave of attack. At 0930 hours, the Japanese began to gain a beachhead and began landing tanks to support the invasion. The US 4th Marine Regiment reserve companies and the US 4th Marine Battalion (reserve) launched an unsuccessful counterattack. Acknowledging the hopelessness of the situation, Major General Jonathan Wainwright ordered his troops to surrender at 1030 hours. To prevent capture, US Marines Colonel S. L. Howard ordered all regimental and national colors of the 4th Marine Regiment burned to prevent capture, while other US and Filipino personnel scuttled gunboats and destroyed ammunition stores. ww2dbase [Malinta Tunnel | Invasion of the Philippine Islands | Corregidor, Cavite | AC, CPC]
  • Irako departed Singapore for Yokosuka, Japan with destroyer Hatakaze in escort. ww2dbase [Irako | Singapore | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 6 May 1942
PBY-5 aircraft being hoisted onto USS Tangier, 6 May 1942

6 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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