19 May 1942
  • German submarine U-506 sank US freighter Heredia 100 kilometers southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States at 0856 hours, killing 36 of 62 aboard. Between Jamaica and Haiti at 1040 hours, U-751 sank US ship Isabela, killing 3 of 36 aboard. 200 kilometers southeast of New Orleans and 200 kilometers west of Havana, Cuba, U-103 sank US freighter Ogontz, killing 19 of 41 aboard. ww2dbase [Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico Campaigns | CPC]
  • Tatsuta Maru arrived at Manila, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
  • Italian submarine Cappellini sank Swedish ship Tisnaren 600 miles north of Natal, Brazil at 0030 hours; all 40 aboard survived. Sweden was a neutral nation, and Tisnaren had large Swedish flags painted on both sides of the ship. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Thrasher sank Italian merchant ship Penelope 20 miles east of Bari, Italy at 1153 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Leonardo da Vinci sighted a freighter in the Atlantic Ocean at 1440 hours, but would eventually lose contact. ww2dbase [Leonardo da Vinci | Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • Comandante Cappellini fired a bow torpedo and fired her guns at Swedish cargo ship Tisnaren of convoy OS 27 in the Atlantic Ocean at 0041 hours. The torpedo struck the cargo ship under the bridge, while the guns scored several hits on the hull. Gunfire ceased briefly to allow the Swedish crew to board lifeboats, and then the guns resumed firing at 0057 hours, sinking her shortly after. The entire crew of 42 survived and were later picked up by a freighter. ww2dbase [Comandante Cappellini | Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • Japanese submarine-based seaplanes conducted a scouting mission over Fiji and Zanzibar. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • All but 40 of the Polish prisoners at Oflag IV-C prisoners of war camp at Colditz Castle in Germany were transferred to another camp. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | Colditz, Sachsen | CPC]
  • 198 British bombers (105 Wellington, 31 Stirling, 29 Halifax, 15 Hampden, 13 Lancaster, and 4 Manchester aircraft) attacked Mannheim, Germany; most bombs would miss the target. 11 bombers were lost on this attack. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | Mannheim, Baden | CPC]
  • Alexander Löhr was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report. ww2dbase [Alexander Löhr | CPC]
  • US Navy intelligence officer Lieutenant Commander Jasper Holmes arrived at the idea that Midway Atoll could send out a fake message regarding the water distiller breaking down, thus the base desperately needed a supply of fresh water. Holmes' superior Joseph Rochefort gave him the permission to execute this idea in the hopes that the Japanese would pick up this message and provide Rochefort's team a clue on whether the Japanese Navy's reference of AF pointed at Midway Atoll. Rochefort's team also began to find the mention of a new code name, MI, in Japanese messages starting on this date; Rochefort quickly determined it to be the operational code name for the strike on Midway Atoll. ww2dbase [Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands | Pearl Harbor Navy Base and Ford Island Naval Air Station | Honolulu, Oahu | CPC]
  • Yamato departed Kure, Japan for battle training. The new light carrier Junyo, under Captain Shizue Ishii, almost sidewiped Yamato. ww2dbase [Yamato | Kure, Hiroshima | CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a P-40 fighter piloted by Australian Flight Sergeant Ivan Young at 0720 hours near Fort Acroma, Libya and damaged another P-40 fighter. The kill he scored might had actually been scored by his wingman Reiner Pöttgen. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | Acroma | CPC]
  • A surprise German pincer movement threatened to trap a large contingent of Soviet troops at Izium near Kharkov, Ukraine. Joseph Stalin belatedly granted permission for the troops to withdraw. ww2dbase [Second Battle of Kharkov | Izium, Kharkov | CPC]
United Kingdom US Pacific Islands Photo(s) dated 19 May 1942
President Franklin Roosevelt presenting the Medal of Honor to Brigadier General James Doolittle for Doolittle’s role in leading a bomber attack on Tokyo one month earlier, White House, Washington DC, United States, 19 May 1942.

19 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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