7 Aug 1942
  • US Marines landed on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands with the aim of safeguarding the sea supply lines between Australia and America and to form the first of the island "stepping stones" which would carry the Americans across the Pacific to Japan; the airfield on the island provided the Marines with a vital facility. Just across the water to the north, Brigadier General William H. Rupertus, Deputy Commander of the US 1st Marine Division, led an assault on Tulagi. Lieutenant Colonel Merritt A. Edson's 1st Raider Battalion landed first, followed by Lieutenant Colonel Harold E. Rosecran's 2nd Battalion 5th Marines. The Japanese defenders put up a much stiffer resistance than their comrades on Guadalcanal but by nightfall Edsons's Marines had reached the former British residency overlooking Tulagi's harbour and dug in for the night on a hill overlooking the Japanese final positions. At the same time the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines had fought their way through to the north shore clearing the sector of enemy positions, after which they moved into support of the Raiders. The days fighting had cost the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines 56 men killed and wounded, whilst the 1st Raiders had suffered 99 casualties. ww2dbase [Guadalcanal Campaign | AC]
  • The Australian merchant ship Mamutu, sailing from Port Moresby in New Guinea for Australia and carrying 32 crew and 82 passengers, including 28 children, was shelled and sunk by a Japanese submarine which then machine gunned the survivors in the water. Only one person was rescued. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Destroyer Yuzuki was recalled back to Rabaul, New Britain, Bismarck Islands as a response to the Allied attack on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. ww2dbase [Yuzuki | CPC]
  • The United States Marine Corps established Marine Aircraft Wings, Pacific. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-77 sank a sailboat 85 miles east of Cape Greco, Cyprus at 0700 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Proteus sank German freighter Wachtfels 100 miles south of Athens, Greece. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Thorn attempted to attack an Italian convoy 50 miles southwest of Crete, Greece at 1255 hours, but was instead sunk by a counterattack by Italian torpedo boat Pegaso at 1345 hours; all 61 aboard were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Captain Sukeichi Yamazaki was named the commanding officer of Kamoi. ww2dbase [Kamoi | CPC]
Alaska Atlantic Ocean
  • The 2,687-ton Norwegian motor merchant Breñas was heading to New York, New York, United States from MaranhĂŁo, Brazil with 3,044 tons of general cargo on board when she was sighted by German submarine U-108 (Korvettenkapitän Klaus Scholtz) in the South Atlantic. The submarine appeared on the starboard bow of the ship, when the captain Oscar Kløcker was resting in the day room. When he heard the lookout and realized something was wrong, he ran out to the lower bridge. At that time the submarine was 3 cable lengths off and it was too late to ram it. He went to the bridge and altered course so that the boat was right behind them and gave orders to open fire with the aft 6-pound gun, as well as with both machine guns located on the chart house roof. It was obvious that the submarine was getting ready to attack with its deck guns. The submarine achieved no hits but came ever closer and there was a lot of shrapnel on the boat's fore and after decks. 35 shots were fired from Breñas, with the last 2 appearing to have hit the boat, which gave up the battle at 0930 hours, whereupon the voyage was continued at highest possible, zig-zagging at speed. At 1945 hours a torpedo hit Breñas on the port side between No. 3 and 4 hatches, resulting in a heavy list, the ship sinking in about 10 minutes. At that time, Gunner Fredriksen had just arrived in the mess room, then immediately ran back to the gun deck, only to find that the gunner on duty was not there, the gun was at that time in such a shape that it could not be used, with the ammunition ripped out of its casing. The motorboat that he was assigned to had been torn loose, so they tried to launch the gig, which was on the starboard side, but when this failed, he and several others ended up in the water. The port boat was successfully lowered, and most of the survivors assembled in it. The only fatality during the sinking was JosĂ© Souza Gomez, the Brazilian Mess boy. The submarine then came up asking for the captain, who at first refused to identify himself, but was eventually ordered aboard the submarine, where he stayed for 5 weeks. Scholtz offered food and cognac to the people in the lifeboat, but as they felt they would be fine with what they had, this was refused. The 32 survivors were later rescued and put ashore in Trinidad on 10 Sep 1942. The Captain was interrogated and kept prisoner for nine months before being sent back to Germany. He later wrote about the weeks on board the submarine in a book "Skip og menn" (Ships and Men). ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC, HM]
  • German submarine U-572 sank Dutch ship Delfshaven 800 miles west of Freetown, British West Africa at 0225 hours; 1 was killed, 38 survived. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • German submarine U-109 (Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Bleichrodt) struck 6,030-ton Norwegian steam tanker Arthur W. Sewall with two torpedoes 1,400 miles west of Freetown, British West Africa. They hit the tanker below the bridge on the starboard side and at #7 tank. The vessel immediately developed a list to port as the master Wilhelm Pallesen ordered the crew to take to the lifeboats. As 19 members of the crew took to three boats another torpedo was fired but missed, the remaining crew saw the trail of this torpedo as it sped by only yards from the stationery tanker. The remaining crew then left the ship before another torpedo struck home. The tanker however, remained afloat forcing the submarine to surface and shell her with her deck gun. It was thirty minutes before the Arthur W. Sewall sank, taking 55 direct hits before doing so, at the same time the German crew fired 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns and light machine guns at her now empty bridge. She finally sank at midnight after two and a half hours. The submarine could not find any of the lifeboats in the darkness despite searching with searchlights and left the scene. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | HM]
  • Morisini, at sea in the Atlantic Ocean at 1200 hours, received orders to remain submerged during the daylight hours when she was west of 10 degrees West. ww2dbase [Morosini | CPC]
  • George Kenney requested for the authorization from George Marshall to create an all-American numbered air force in Australia. ww2dbase [George Kenney | CPC]
  • USS S-43 arrived at Brisbane, Australia, ending her second war patrol. ww2dbase [S-43 | Brisbane, Queensland | CPC]
  • USS S-41 departed Brisbane, Queensland, Australia after receiving emergency repairs. ww2dbase [S-41 | Brisbane, Queensland | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • At 0730 hours, 13 US B-17 Flying Fortress bombers took off from Port Moresby, Australian Papua to attack Rabaul, New Britain. Between 0950 and 1045 hours, prior to the arrival of the US attack, 17 Zero fighters of the Japanese Tainan Air Group, 27 Type 1 G4M aircraft of 4th Air Group, and 9 Type 99 D3A aircraft of 2nd Air Group were launched from Rabaul area airfields to join the battle in the Guadalcanal area in the Solomon Islands. The US attack caused minimal damage to runways and minor damage to 12 defending Zero fighters. ww2dbase [Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
  • Tenryu departed Kavieng, New Ireland with five other cruisers for Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; the force was spotted by USS S-38, but the submarine could not gain a favorable attack position. ww2dbase [Tenryu | Kavieng, New Ireland | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • Jacob Vouza rescued a downed American pilot from carrier USS Wasp on Guadalcanal. ww2dbase [Jacob Vouza | Guadalcanal | CPC]
  • Aircraft from USS Saratoga flew several strikes against targets on Guadalcanal and in support of landings on Tulagi in the Solomon Islands. Pilot Lt(jg) Charles Tabberer was one of five out of eight pilots to go missing over Tulagi. ww2dbase [Tabberer | Solomon Islands Campaign | Saratoga | Tulagi, Solomon Islands | DS]
  • Joseph Stilwell departed Chongqing, China for Delhi, India via Assam in northeastern India. ww2dbase [Joseph Stilwell | Chongqing | CPC]
  • William Gott, Winston Churchill's choice to replace Claude Auchinleck as the head of the British 8th Army, was killed when his aircraft was shot down by German Bf 109 fighters while traveling from Borg el-Arab to Cairo in Egypt. ww2dbase [AC, CPC]
Hawaii Marshall Islands
  • USS Tambor sank Japanese auxiliary net layer Shofuku Maru off Wotje, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Tambor | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Grayback fired two torpedoes at a Japanese trawler in the South China Sea; both torpedoes missed. ww2dbase [Grayback | South China Sea | CPC]
  • USS S-38 spotted targets off New Ireland, but the pursuit was given up after the submarine suffered mechanical failures. ww2dbase [S-38 | CPC]
  • USS S-39 reported that her executive officer's health conditions worsened and might be developing pneumonia. The submarine was ordered to set sail for Townsville, Australia, to disembark the sick officer. ww2dbase [S-39 | Coral Sea | CPC]
Russia Taiwan United States
  • In response to newspaper Chicago Tribune's 7 Jun 1942 issue hinting the US Navy had knowledge of the Japanese order of battle prior to the engagement, the US government ordered an investigation by a Federal Grand Jury. This investigation would later find that Chicago Tribune correspondent Stanley Johnston had stolen a report containing this information while he reported aboard USS Barnett days prior to the battle. ww2dbase [Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands | CPC]
  • Excursion steamer Greater Buffalo was acquired by the US Navy. ww2dbase [Sable | DS]
  • British merchant ship Winchester Castle delivered the rescued survivors of civilian ship Honolulan, which was sunk by German submarine on 22 Jul 1942, to New York, New York, United States. ww2dbase [New York | CPC]
  • US Army transport Ancon was acquired by the US Navy. ww2dbase [Ancon | CPC]
  • The order for the construction of carrier Shangri-La was issued. ww2dbase [Shangri-La | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 7 Aug 1942
Canberra off Tulagi during landings, 7-8 Aug 1942Sherman and Noyes on WaspCrew aboard Enterprise loaded a 500 lb demolition bomb on a SBD scout bomber for strike on Guadalcanal and Tulagi, 7 Aug 1942USS Saratoga (foreground) and USS Enterprise (background) underway in the Solomon Islands, Aug 1942
See all photos dated 7 Aug 1942

7 Aug 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

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