4 Jun 1942
  • USS Astoria became the temporary flagship of Rear Admiral Frank Fletcher as USS Yorktown was hit by Japanese aircraft. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Hitler traveled to Finland to meet with Marshal Mannerheim. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Michio Kobayashi passed away. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Reinhard Heydrich passed away. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • French troops at Bir Hakeim, Libya repulsed another Axis attack. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Mitsuo Fuchida was injured after being thrown by an explosion aboard Akagi, breaking both ankles. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Shortly after midnight the Italian submarine Luigi Torelli bound for a patrol area off Puerto Rico was attacked by Squadron Leader Jeaff Greswell's (No. 172 Squadron RAF) Leigh Light equipped Wellington bomber. The attack (the first to be made using a Leigh light) caused extensive damage to the Italian submarine, which was forced to abort her mission and return to port for repairs. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • German submarine U-126 sank Norwegian tanker Høegh Giant 400 miles east of Guyana at 0140 hours; all 39 aboard survived. Just after dawn, German armed merchant cruiser Stier stopped British ship Gemstone, took off the crew, and sank her with a torpedo 750 miles northeast of Natal, Brazil. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-159 sank Norwegian ship Nidarnes 20 miles west of Cuba at 0400 hours; 13 were killed, 11 survived. 150 miles northwest of Trinidad, U-502 sank US tanker MF Elliott at 2156 hours; 13 were killed, 29 survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Trusty sank Japanese cargo ship Toyohashi Maru 20 miles south of Phuket, Thailand. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese submarine I-27 attacked Australian coastal freighter Barwon off Gabo Island 260 miles south of Sydney, Australia at 0535 hours, failing to sink her. At 1645 hours, I-27 struck again, sinking Australian cargo ship Iron Crown; 37 were killed, 5 survived. An Australian Hudson bomber dropped two 250-pound bombs on I-27 but failed to do any damage. ww2dbase [CPC]
Caroline Islands Japan Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille originally received orders that he was to be sent back to Germany to be awarded Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, but on this date Albert Kesselring would personally arrive in Libya to deliver the citation (without the physical award). On the same day, he was ordered to prepare to become commanding officer of the squadron 3 Staffel I./JG-27. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • Kaga was struck by at least four bombs during the Battle of Midway and suffered a great fire. She was scuttled at 1925 hours by two torpedoes from destroyer Hagikaze. 814 were killed in her loss. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Akagi launched strikes against Midway Atoll. She was subsequently attacked by numerous enemy land and carrier-based aircraft. At 1026 hours, she was attacked by three aircraft from USS Enterprise, suffering one direct hit amidships in the vicinity of the island, starting a fire in the hangars. A second hit ripped through the fantail and exploded under the port quarter. The third bomb released at her was a near-miss port-side forward. Although normally the damage would had been moderate, the vessel was currently engaged in preparing a strike, with the result that the single bomb hit induced explosions among armed and fueled aircraft within hangars and start a raging aviation gasoline fire. Since she was in a maximum turn at the time, Akagi's rudder was damaged, and soon jammed at 20 degrees to port, leaving her going in wide circles. Unable to command the fleet from her now, at 1046 hours Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo transferred flag first to Nowaki, then to Nagara. Akagi's engines worked erratically, with the ship starting and stopping, but she went dead in the water for good at 1350 hours. By 1600 all non-essential personnel had left the ship, though Captain Aoki and a damage control party remained aboard. The vessel burned through the evening and next night, but remained afloat. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • In the Battle of Midway, USS Hammann shot down two Japanese aircraft attacking USS Yorktown, but nevertheless Yorktown would be disabled by the Japanese. Hammann rescued about 500 survivors from Yorktown. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | CPC]
  • Light carrier Hosho's aircraft located the burning wreck of carrier Hiryu off Midway Atoll. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Starting at 0700 hours, US carriers launched torpedo bombers and dive bombers against the Japanese fleet in the Midway region. Japanese carriers wiped out the first few waves of US air attacks, but at about 1030 hours dive bombers were able to hit Soryu, Kaga, and Akagi. USS Yorktown was hit by Japanese dive bombers at about 1200 hours and by torpedo bombers at 1440 hours, forcing Rear Admiral Fletcher to transfer his flag to cruiser Astoria. At 1703 hours, the last undamaged Japanese carrier Hiryu was hit by a dive bomber. Soryu would sink at 1913 hours (711 were killed, 392 survived), and Kaga would be scuttled at 1925 hours (811 were killed, 900 survived). ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • I-168 observed the first Japanese attack on Midway Atoll through the periscope. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Japanese carriers launched 72 bombers and 36 fighters against the airfield at Midway Atoll at 0430 hours, hitting the atoll at 0620 hour and doing limited damage. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 4 Jun 1942
US Navy pilot Lieutenant Commander John WaldronYorktown burning after hit by three Japanese bombs, 4 Jun 1942Enterprise VB-6 SBD, with pilot Ensign George Goldsmith and Radioman 1st Class James Patterson, Jr. still onboard, on the flight deck of Yorktown due to fuel exhaustion, 4 Jun 1942, photo 1 of 2Enterprise VB-6 SBD, with pilot Ensign George Goldsmith and Radioman 1st Class James Patterson, Jr. still onboard, on the flight deck of Yorktown due to fuel exhaustion, 4 Jun 1942, photo 2 of 2
See all photos dated 4 Jun 1942

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

4 Jun 1942 Interactive Map




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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