4 Jul 1942
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru arrived at Menado, Celebes. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Allied reconnaissance reported that the Japanese had begun building an airfield on Guadalcanal. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The raid on Dieppe was postponed due to weather. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • German submarine U-129 sank Soviet tanker Tuapse in the Caribbean Sea; 8 were killed, 36 survived. On the same day, U-575 sank US ship Norlandia also in the Caribbean Sea; 9 were killed, 21 survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Thor stopped and captured empty Norwegian tanker Madrono 1,500 miles east of Madagascar; a prize crew sailed the renamed tanker Rossbach for Japan. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Triton sank Japanese destroyer Nenohi 5 miles south of Agattu, Aleutian Islands; 188 were killed, 38 survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Arctic Ocean
  • Allied convoy PQ-17 was attacked by 24 He 111 aircraft of German Luftwaffe unit I./KG 26 about 60 miles north of Bear Island (Bjørnøya), Norway, fatally damaging US freighter Christopher Newport which would later be scuttled by a British submarine (3 were killed, 47 survived); at 1930 hours, another attack wave came upon the convoy, causing no damage; at 2020 hours, the convoy was attacked by 25 aircraft, sinking British freighter Navarino, sinking US freighter William Hooper (3 were killed, 55 survived), and damaging Soviet tanker Azerbaijan; at 2100 hours, believing that German battleships might be in the area, PQ-17 was ordered to scatter and the convoy escorts were withdrawn. Sailing in the opposite direction, QP-13 broke up to two convoys, one of which ran into a minefield; several ships struck mines and sank (British minesweeper HMS Niger (149 were killed), freighter Hybert, freighter Heffron, freighter Massmar (17 were killed), and Soviet passenger ship Rodina (several family members of Soviet diplomats were killed)), and several others were damaged (civilian commodore's ship American Robin, freighter Exterminator, and freighter John Randolph); HMS Hussar was able to lead the survivors out of the minefield. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC, CPC]
  • The American Volunteer Group of the China Air Force was disbanded. Its P-40E and Tomahawk fighters were transferred to USAAF 23rd Fighter Group, which was the AVG's successor. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Five B-25 bombers of US 10th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, damaging buildings, runways, and several aircraft on the ground. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Axis tanks continued the attack on Ruweisat Ridge near El Alamein, Egypt, making little progress; British aircraft flew 900 sorties on this day against the Axis offensive. The Allies, believing the Axis forces had lost their initial momentum, launched a limited offensive with elements of the South African 1st Division and New Zealand 2nd Division toward the Ruweisat Ridge. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British RAF's third 1,000-plane raid targeted Bremen, Germany, causing considerable damage to the city and the Focke-Wulf plant. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • The USAAF launched its first Britain-based mission when US A-20 bombers flew with British RAF A-20 bombers against German airfields in the Netherlands. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland began mass gassings. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Garland completed her temporary repairs at Murmansk, Russia and departed for Troon, Scotland, United Kingdom with convoy QP-13. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • While the Soviet 5th Guards Tank Army was moved to Voronezh, Russia to aid the city's defense, Adolf Hilter diverted the German 6th Army toward Stalingrad. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • The US Navy Pacific Fleet established an advance base for submarines at Midway Atoll. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 4 Jul 1942
American prisoners of war celebrated American Independence Day in Casisange prison camp at Malaybalay, Mindanao, against Japanese regulations, 4 Jul 1942British troops digging defensive trenches near El Alamein, Egypt, 4 Jul 1942New Zealand Brigadier Howard Kippenberger and Captain Allan McPhail inspecting a destroyed Cannone da 90/53 anti-aircraft gun formerly of the Italian Ariete Division, North Africa, 4 Jul 1942 or shortly after

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

4 Jul 1942 Interactive Map

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Winston Churchill, on the RAF