13 May 1942
  • Lardner was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Drum sank Japanese cargo ship Shonan Maru 20 miles south of Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Astoria departed Nouméa, New Caledonia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yuzuki arrived at Ocean and Nauru Islands area. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Stier, escorted by torpedo boats Iltis, Kondor, Falke, and Seeadler, attempted to break out into the Atlantic Ocean by running the English Channel. The British attacked with motor torpedo boats, sinking Iltis (115 were killed) and Seeadler (85 were killed) with the loss of MTB 219), but they were not able to stop Stier from reaching Boulogne, France. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The British Chiefs of Staff approved a major raid against the French port of Dieppe. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • German submarine U-69 damaged American cargo ship Norlantic with two torpedoes at 0338 hours and deck gun at 0347 hours en route between Pensacola, Florida, United States and Venezuela; Norlantic's crew signaled for a ceasefire so the crew could board lifeboats, but U-69 continued to fire sinking the ship at 0411 hours; 12 men were killed during this attack. South of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, U-507 damaged US tanker Gulfprince while U-506 sank US tanker Gulfpenn (killing 13 of 38 aboard). ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • King George VI of the United Kingdom became Commander-in-Chief of the Home Guard. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • German submarine U-94 sank Swedish ship Tolken and British Batna of Allied convoy ONS-92 in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. To the south, U-128 sank British ship Denpark of Allied convoy SL-109; 21 were killed, 25 survived. 200 miles east of Barbados, U-162 sank US tanker Esso Houston and U-156 sank British ship City of Melbourne and Dutch ship Koenjit. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • HMS Trinidad departed Murmansk, Russia after receiving temporary repairs. ww2dbase [CPC]
Australian New Guinea Germany
  • Adolf Hitler gave Erich Raeder the permission to continue with the construction of Graf Zeppelin. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Chester Nimitz, based in Pearl Harbor in US Territory of Hawaii, informed Ernest King that the next Japanese offensive would likely be aimed at Nauru and Ocean Islands, but it was also possible that the following offensive might be targeting the Hawaiian Islands or even the west coast of the United States, thus King should allow the two carriers currently in the South Pacific to move to the Central Pacific. In the evening, he secretly ordered William Halsey to conduct a show of force with his carrier force in the Tulagi, Solomon Islands area to deter the Japanese from moving against Nauru and Ocean Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Joseph Rochefort's cryptanalytic team in Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii intercepted a radio message of Japanese warships requesting navigation charts of the Oahu, Hawaii area. Some time later, the team intercepted a message ordering aircraft transport ship Goshu Maru to embark the seaplane unit at Emidj island, Jaluit Atoll, Marshall Islands and sail to Saipan, Mariana Islands to join the AF campaign. Realizing that AF must already have a seaplane base or was a good location for a future seaplane base, Rochefort further confirmed that AF was Midway Atoll. Later in the evening, he sent this report to Chester Nimitz and the naval leadership in Washington DC, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Isoroku Yamamoto was granted audience with Emperor Showa, who congratulated him on the success in the Battle of Coral Sea. Knowing that the tactical victory was not as glorious as it appeared, Yamamoto was notedly ambiguous on his responses to the emperor. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Australian P-40 fighters, Sergeant Colin McDiarmid at 1010 hours and Flying Officer H. G. Pace at 1015 hours, near Ain el Gazala, Libya, raising his kill score to 58. Marseille's aircraft was damaged during this engagement, but he was able to fly his fighter back to base, overheated (from loss of engine oil) and with unbalanced propeller. His fighter would be out of action for two days for repairs. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Skipjack sank a Japanese ship in the South China Sea, hitting her with one of four torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Panama Canal Zone
  • USS S-31 completed her second defensive patrol off the Panama Canal Zone. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • HMS Trinidad departed Murmansk, Russia, escorted by 4 destroyers. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British cruiser HMS Trinidad completed her repairs and departed Murmansk, Russia. ww2dbase [HM]
  • Soviet troops advanced 10 kilometers toward Kharkov, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German Luftwaffe III./KG 55, flying He 111 bombers, departed from Sarabuz Russkiy Airfield in Krym, Russia for Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. The transfer was in response to the Soviet counter-offensive toward Kharkov, Ukraine. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • USS New Mexico departed San Pedro, California, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 13 May 1942
Submarine chaser CH-30 of the PC-28-class upon her commissioning, Tamano, Japan, 13 May 1942President Manuel Quezon (with family) and President Franklin Roosevelt (with Captain John McCrea), Washington DC, United States, 13 May 1942British ships at Diego-Suárez, Madagascar, 13 May 1942

13 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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