Thursday 19 February 1942
|"If Day" actors portraying German soldiers invading Winnipeg, Canada, accost a Winnipeg Free Press newsman and rip up his newspaper on 19 February 1942 (Western Canada Pictorial Index).|
|A "Val" attack plane takes off from Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi for the Darwin raid on 19 February 1942. As usual, there is a crowd of cheering Japanese sailors to send them off.|
|The crashed A6M2 Reisen "Zero" of Hajime Toyoshima on Melville Island, 19 February 1942.|
|British tanker British Motorist on fire with USS Peary in the background. Both ships sink during the Japanese raid on Darwin of 19 February 1942.|
|"Dense clouds of smoke rise from oil tanks hit during the first Japanese air raid on Australia's mainland. In the foreground is HMAS Deloraine, which escaped damage." 19 February 1942 (Australian War Memorial 128108).|
|The NY Times of 19 February 1942 reports on the Darwin raid underneath the British difficulties in Burma. Due to time zone differences, US newspapers often can get that day's news from the Pacific Theater of Operations in their editions.|
|The NY Times of 19 February 1942 provides a helpful map of the Burma campaign on page 2.|
|The NY Times of 19 February 1942 provides a helpful map of the Burma campaign on page 3. There is still a lot of hope in the United States that General McArthur can hold his position in the Philippines indefinitely.|
Battle of the Atlantic: U-161 (Kptlt. Albrecht Achilles), on its second patrol out of Lorient, continues the success of Operation Neuland, the U-boat offensive in the Caribbean. At 05:32, it torpedoes 6940-ton British freighter British Consul and 7640-ton US freighter Mokihana while they are lying at anchor in the Port of Spain, Trinidad. Both ships sink in shallow waters and are later raised, repaired, and returned to service. There are no casualties among the 45 people on the Mokihana and two deaths among the 42 people on British Consul. This is the beginning of a very successful patrol for U-161, which will sink (five) or damage (four) nine ships of 58,544 tons before it returns to port in late March 1942.
|US tanker Pan Massachusetts, sunk by U-128 on 19 February 1942.|
U-432 (Kptlt. Heinz-Otto Schultze), on its fourth patrol out of La Pallice, torpedoes and sinks 2158-ton British freighter Miraflores about 50 miles east of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The ship, hit at 03:18, sinks quickly and all 34 men aboard the freighter perish.
|Page 5 of the 19 February 1942 New York Times shows the situation in the Mediterranean.|
War Crimes: Australian commandos, No. 7 section, defend the Japanese invasion of Timor fiercely and claim to kill 200 Japanse troops during the first hours. When men of the Australian commandos, No. 7 section, accidentally drive into a Japanese roadblock nearby, the Japanese troops take their revenge. All of the men but one are massacred by the Japanese after surrendering.
US Military: General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes Chief of the War Plans Division for the US Army. He succeeds General Leonard T. Gerow, who has been appointed to Commanding General (CG) of the 29th Infantry Division, an Army National Guard formation.
Transport USS William P. Biddle (AP-15) lands the US Marine Corp's 9th Defense Battalion at Guantanamo Bay.
USAAF Seventh Air Force Base Command is activated. This previously was the Hawaiian Air Force, established in 1913 and received its current designation on 5 February 1942.
|Oil tanks in Darwin burning after the 19 February 1942 Japanese attack.|
British Government: Prime Minister Winston Churchill shakes up his War Cabinet, reducing it from nine members to seven, after the loss of Singapore and the successful German Channel Dash. In the most notable change, Stafford Cripps becomes Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal. Cripps, a Labour leader, has proud Marxist sympathies and is an expert on the Soviet Union. He has played a key role in coordinating supply missions to the USSR with the Soviet government and has spent a lot of time there. Due among other things to a well-received radio broadcast following his return from the Soviet Union, Cripps is one of the most popular politicians in the United Kingdom. Lord Beaverbrook, who has clashed with labor leaders, leaves his position as Minister of War Production after barely a fortnight in disgust and heads to America to lead the Anglo-American Combined Raw Materials Board. Clement Attlee becomes Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary for Dominions.
|Damage to the Don Hotel in Darwin following the 19 February 1942 Japanese attack.|
|US Navy supply ship Florence D., one of the ships sunk in the 19 February Japanese raid on Darwin, Australia.|
Vichy French Homefront: The Riom Trial begins in Riom, France. There are seven defendants, though only five actually face trial. These are Léon Blum, Édouard Daladier, Maurice Gamelin, Guy La Chambre, and Robert Jacomet. Supported by the German occupation authorities, the Riom Trial seeks to pin the blame for the war on France and France's defeat on the leaders of the Left-wing Popular Front government elected on 3 May 1936.
Separately, police arrest French Resistance leaders, including the Marxist philosopher Georges Politzer and his wife. These Communist leaders are subjected to torture and eventual execution (Politzer's wife dies in Auschwitz).
|“If Day.” Canadians dressed as Wehrmacht soldiers at City Hall arrest Winnipeg Mayor John Queen, Ald. William Scraba, Ald. R. A. Sara, and Ald. Blumberg on 19 February 1942 (Western Canada Pictorial Index).|
American Homefront: Somewhat ironically considering that this is the day that her husband orders the incarceration of Japanese Americans in internment camps, Eleanor Roosevelt writes in her "My Day" column:
The number of prisoners behind barbed wire all over the world today is quite appalling. It did not surprise me to have both Dr. Jerome Davis and Dr. Dri (Dri correct) Davis emphasize the fact there is such a thing called "barbed wire sickness. To have nothing to do mentally or physically, to know that those you love are anxious about you, to be anxious about them, and yet have no way of working towards your release, must be a horrible situation.That number is about to increase by about 100,000 people in the United States.
Future History: The Supreme Court rules in 1944 that FDR's Executive Order 9066 authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans is constitutional. Executive Order 9066 is rescinded in January 1945 and the internees are released. On 10 August 1988, President Ronald Reagan signs the Civil Liberties Act which provides an official apology from the US Government and a $20,000 cash award to each surviving person incarcerated under Executive Order 9066.