15 May 1942
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru was detected by American submarine USS Tautog before dawn south of Truk; as the sun rose, USS Tautog noted the hospital ship markings and abandoned her attack. Hikawa Maru arrived at Truk later that day. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Tatsuta Maru arrived at Davao, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • The retreating Allied columns reached Assam in northeastern India. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-156 sank Norwegian ship Siljestad 420 miles northeast of Barbados at 0254 hours (2 were killed, 31 survived); several hours later, as Yugoslavian ship Kupa responded to the distress call and arrived to pick up survivors, she was attacked and sunk by U-156 at 2100 hours (2 were killed, 39 survived). ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Damaged British cruiser HMS Trinidad was scuttled by 3 torpedoes from HMS Matchless 170 miles north of Norway after her crew was taken off by destroyers HMS Matchless, HMS Foresight, and HMS Forester. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Ernest King allowed Chester Nimitz to move the two carriers currently in the South Pacific to move up to the Central Pacific area, but King noted that he was still not convinced that Midway Atoll was the primary target of the suspected Japanese offensive. Later in the same day, Nimitz responded to the message, stressing that he believed the Japanese was likely to launch a three-prong attack against Midway Atoll, Aleutian Islands, and, likely at a two-to-three-week delay, Port Moresby in Australian Papua. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Damaged by German aircraft two hours prior on the previous date, the abandon ship order was given by the captain of HMS Trinidad at 0000 hours; at 0120 hours, she was scuttled by a torpedo from HMS Matchless north of Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Lützow departed Kiel, Germany for Ofotfjord in northern Norway. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Serviced Patrol Squadron 44 (VP-44), gasoline and oil ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • British General Harold Alexander arrived at Imphal, India. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Joseph Stilwell arrived in India. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Japan Portuguese Timor
  • The Australian Sparrow Force conducted a raid on Japanese barracks at Dili, Portuguese Timor. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Soviet test pilot Grigory Bakhchivandzhi made the first powered flight in the experimental Berezniak-Isaev BI-1 rocket-powered interceptor at Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg), Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia, reaching an altitude of 840 meters and reaching the speed of 400 kilometers per hour. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC, CPC]
  • He 111 bombers of German Luftwaffe group I./KG 100 attacked Taman harbor, Russia with the heavy 1,800-kilogram SC 1800 bombs, causing heavy damage. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet troops attempted a renewed offensive toward Kharkov, Ukraine, but failing to regain momentum. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • USS Wahoo was commissioned into service with Marvin Kennedy in command. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Oveta Hobby was made the Director of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 15 May 1942
Hornet in South Pacific, 15 May 1942, a week after the Battle of Coral Sea and the day before she was recalled to Pearl Harbor to prepare for the Battle of Midway.TBD Devastator torpedo bomber on the flight deck of USS Hornet, circa 15 May 1942

15 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
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944