18 May 1942
  • The Royal Navy rejected American request for one of the three British carriers in the Indian Ocean to serve in the Southwest Pacific. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Most of the retreating troops of BURCORPS reached India. ww2dbase [Invasion of Burma | CPC]
  • German submarine U-162 sank Norwegian tanker Beth (sailing in service of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary force) off Barbados at 0210 hours. U-558 sank Dutch ship Fauna 25 miles northwest of British North Caicos island at 0615 hours. German submarine U-156 sank American ship Quaker City 460 miles east of Martinique at 1018 hours; 10 were killed, 29 survived. At 1852 hours, U-156 fired what would be the first of four torpedoes at British tanker San Eliseo between this evening and the next morning as she unsuccessfully chased the tanker. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • German submarine U-125 sank US tanker Mercury Sun in the Caribbean Sea at 0606 hours. At 2150 hours, U-125 struck again, sinking US ship William J. Salman. ww2dbase [Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico Campaigns | CPC]
  • Soviet submarine ShCh-205 sank Turkish ship Duatepe with torpedoes and schooner Kaynardzha with the deck gun 10 miles off Bulgaria; these ships were suspected of smuggling weapons to southern Ukraine for German forces. ww2dbase [ShCh-205 | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Turbulent arrived in the Gulf of Sirte north of Libya in the early hours of the day. At 0510 hours, 50 miles northwest of Benghazi, she spotted and sank Italian ship Bolsena. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Sydir Kovpak was made a Hero of the Soviet Union for the first time. ww2dbase [Sydir Kovpak | CPC]
Australian Papua Germany Hawaii Russia
  • Nikita Khrushchev phoned Joseph Stalin at Moscow, Russia, requesting Stalin to pause the Kharkov offensive in Ukraine in order to focus on other more important campaigns; Stalin rejected the request. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | Moscow | CPC]
Ukraine
  • 14th and 16th Panzer Divisions of the German 1st Panzer Army destroyed 130 Soviet tanks in combat in Ukraine, forcing Soviet forces to evacuate forward airfields at Izium and Petrovskaia. Semyon Timoshenko requested for permission to fall back from his positions near Kharkov, Ukraine due to this latest German counteroffensive; Joseph Stalin refused to grant his permission, ordering Timoshenko to continue the westward offensive. ww2dbase [Second Battle of Kharkov | Kharkov | TH, CPC]
United States Photo(s) dated 18 May 1942
Wildcat took off from EnterpriseBL 15 in coastal gun of the Wanstone Battery, St Margaret-at-Cliffe, England, United Kingdom, 18 May 1942, photo 1 of 2BL 15 in coastal gun of the Wanstone Battery, St Margaret-at-Cliffe, England, United Kingdom, 18 May 1942, photo 2 of 2

18 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
"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal