30 May 1942
  • Escort carrier Activity was launched. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Pompano sank Japanese troop transport Atsuta Maru 80 miles east of Okinawa, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Japanese intercepted, but could not decode, a report by USS Cuttlefish returning from patrol near Saipan, Mariana Islands. Around midnight, the Japanese Navy 6th (Submarine) Fleet at Kwajalein, Marshall Islands also reported monitoring messages exchanged by two American task groups located 170 miles north-northeast of Midway Atoll, moving westwards. Aboard battleship Yamato, Admiral Yamamoto suggested that the information be relayed to the First Air Fleet flagship carrier Akagi, but senior staff officer Captain Kuroshima cautioned not to break radio silence. Elsewhere, the transport fleet of the Japanese Aleutian invasion fleet set sail from the main island of Honshu of the Japanese home islands; it was consisted of 8 transports. In the northern Pacific Ocean, Japanese submarine I-25 surfaced for the launching of her floatplane for a reconnaissance missiong over Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands; an American cruiser sailed near by luck but failed to spot the submarine; I-25 would continue with the reconnaissance mission after a short while. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British Royal Air Force Flying Officer Leslie Manser, from 50 Squadron at Skellingthorpe, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for remaining with his doomed Manchester bomber while his crew parachute to safety. ww2dbase [AC]
  • German submarine U-155 sank Norwegian ship Baghdad in the center of the Atlantic Ocean at 0651 hours; 9 were killed, 21 survived. At 1024 hours, U-404 sank US freighter Alcoa Shipper further north, killing 7 of 32 aboard. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Chinese 38th Division completed its move to India. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Proteus sank Italian ship Bravo 70 miles west of Benghazi, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS S-35 reached the western Aleutian Islands and began patrolling the area. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Joseph Stalin finally approved the establishment of a Central Staff for Partisan Warfare under the direction of Byelorussian Communist Party Secretary Panteleimon Ponomarenko. The irregulars would now be organized along military lines with Red Army Commanders and NKVD officials to run them. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • By adding 367 training aircraft, British Air Marshal Harris managed to mount the first thousand-plane raid against Germany (the actual count was 1,046), Operation Millennium. Originally targeted for Hamburg, it was switched to Köln due to weather. Over 1,400 tons of explosives were dropped on that city during the night of 30-31 May 1942, killing 500, injuring 5,000, and making nearly 60,000 homeless. 40 British bombers failed to return. The German government estimated that Köln received 900 tons of high explosive and 110,000 incendiary bombs, and about 400 were killed. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Alexander Löhr was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Yorktown, having received rushed repairs from 1,400 dock workers, departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for Midway Atoll. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • USS Hammann departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Astoria departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for Midway Atoll. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Axis forces attacked westward in Libya, the direction the offensive originated from, in order to consolidate territories recently taken. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down the RAF P-40 fighter piloted by Australian Flight Sergeant George Buckland at 0605 hours over El Adem, Libya, which was his 65th kill. After the mission, he drove to the site of the crash after hearing from his comrades that his victim bailed but the parachute did not open; he found the remains, retrieved identification papers, and made a flight over a British airfield to let the British know what happened to Buckland. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Before dawn, the floatplane of Japanese submarine I-10 conducted a reconnaissance mission over Diego-Suárez harbor, Madagascar, spotting British battleship HMS Ramillies, a tanker, a freighter, and an ammunition ship. At 1740 hours, I-16 and I-20 launched midget submarines M-16b and M-20b 10 miles from Diego-Suárez. M-20b fired her torpedo at 2025 hours, damaging HMS Ramillies and putting her out of action for a year. At 2120 hours, corvettes HMS Genista and HMS Thyme counterattacked with depth charges but failed to hit the Japanese midget submarines. Shortly after, M-20b fired her second torpedo, sinking British tanker British Loyalty. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | AC, CPC]
  • 21 ships of the Allied convoy PQ-16 arrived in the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia at 1600 hours. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • Submarine Runner was launched at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, United States, sponsored by the wife of John H. Newton. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Fred Korematsu was arrested in San Leandro, California, United States and was placed in a jail in nearby San Francisco. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 30 May 1942
Russian prisoners of war at Kharkov, Ukraine, late May or early Jun 1942YP-38 Lightning aircraft in flight, 28 May 1942 or shortly thereafterTroops of Japanese 13th Army operating a Type 89 grenade launcher, Jinhua, Zhejiang, China, 30 May 1942Launching of submarine Runner, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, United States, 30 May 1942

30 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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Winston Churchill, on the RAF