Sunday 1 February 1942
|An SBD-2 Dauntless dive bomber of either VB-6 or VS-6 on the carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) prepares for takeoff during the 1 February 1942 Marshall Islands Raid (Barr, William, U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No. 1996.253.599).|
|Lt. Cdr. Bill Burch and Ensign Thomas Reeves flying SBD dive bombers from USS Yorktown over Makin, Gilbert Islands, 1 February 1942.|
|A quad-1.1"/75 cal Mk 1 anti-aircraft gun mount on Enterprise (CV-6), in early 1942.|
|The Anniston (Alabama) Star correctly notes as its main headline "Siege of Singapore Gets Underway As Britain's Troops Quit Mainland."|
|The 1 February 1942 Sunday News in New York shows the situation in Singapore, which has captured world attention.|
|The Canadian government publishes a pamphlet "Revised to February 1, 1942" which sets forth the official government position on such topics as "Aid to Britain" and "Canada, the United States, and War." The University of Toledo.|
|A damaged U.S. Navy Douglas SBD-2 Dauntless of bombing squadron VB-6 on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6), 1 February 1942 (U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No. 1996.253.624).|
In the Army Group South sector, Field Marsh Fedor von Bock's troops (the von Mackensen Group) have stopped a dangerous Soviet attempt to encircle 17th Army and 1st Panzer Army. Following General von Mackensen's success in stopping Soviet 1st and 5th Cavalry Corps on 31 January, von Bock has ordered a concentric attack on the dying Red Army spearhead from the south, west, and north against the German strongpoints to the east "with the aim of destroying the enemy." The von Mackensen Group pushes forward from the south toward Barvenkovo, while XI Corps moves in from the west and the "Dostler" and "Friedrich" Groups of regimental size drive from the north. The Germans do not destroy the Soviet spearhead, but they compress it and prevent its escape.
Battle of the Atlantic: It is a quiet day in the Atlantic due to weather conditions. Royal Navy light cruiser HMS Trinidad arrives in the Clyde from Scapa Flow carrying Polish soldiers who embarked at Murmansk and now disembark.
U-109 (Kptlt. Heinrich Bleichrodt) torpedoes and sinks 7924-ton British refrigerated cargo ship Tacoma Star about 387 miles north of Bermuda (see 31 January 1942). Despite being seen to take to five lifeboats, all 97 men aboard the Tacoma Star perish because their radioed distress signal gave the wrong position.
Convoy HX-173 departs from Halifax bound for Liverpool.
|German 1912-ton freighter SS Walter Ohlrogge, formerly the French Chateau Palmer, hits a mine and sinks off the west coast of Norway on 1 February 1942.|
Offshore, Royal Navy submarine HMS Thunderbolt torpedoes and sinks 4170-ton Italian freighter Absirtea about six miles (4.4 nautical miles) from Cape Dukato, Greece. The Absirtea is part of an Axis convoy from Brindisi to Corfu and Patras. The other ships in the convoy escape and some survivors of the Absirtea are picked up by Italian destroyers Turbine and Euro. The Italian destroyers also launch a 21-salvo depth charge attack on Thunderbolt which causes minor damage.
|The February 1942 issue of National Geographic includes helpful maps of the Pacific and the Philippines (Volume 81, Number 2).|
Spy Stuff: The Germans upgrade their naval codes from the Hydra system (which the British call Dolphin) to Triton (which the British call the Shark code). This is accomplished by the addition of a fourth rotor. It takes the Enigma codebreakers at Bletchley Park almost a year, until December 1942, to crack Triton. Fortunately for the British, the change is not as effective as it might be because a lot of traffic continues on the old machine for some time. German intelligence breaks the British merchant ship code, further aiding the U-boats.
|The 49th Fighter Group of the 5th Air Force arrived in Melbourne, Australia, on the USAT Mariposa on 1 February 1942. They are destined for Camp Darley, shown (7th Fighter Squadron Reunion Organization).|
Chile: Juan Antonio Ríos of the Radical Party wins the Presidency.
Norwegian Homefront: Vidkun Quisling, who is a German puppet heartily disliked by his countrymen, takes office as the Minister President of Norway. Hitler likes Quisling, a minor figure in pre-war Norwegian politics, but is about the only person who does.
French Homefront: French collaborator Jacques Doriot speaks to tens of thousands of supporters of the ultra-nationalist Parti Populaire Français (PPF) at the Velodrome d'Hiver in Paris.
German Homefront: The government begins rationing tobacco, which becomes a prized object of looting from defeated Allied soldiers.
American Homefront: It is the first annual National Freedom Day, commemorating Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on February 1, 1865.
|Dodge ads are still appearing in the February 1942 Esquire magazine despite the fact that all passenger car production is being shut down for war work.|
Bibiana Maria Köchert is born in Vienna, Austria. As Bibi Besch, she becomes a famous Hollywood actress whose most famous films include "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982) and "Steel Magnolias" (1989). Bibi Besch passes away on 7 September 1996 in Los Angeles.
|Master Comics Vol. 1 No. 23, February 1942, featuring Captain Marvel, Jr.|
January 1, 1942: Declaration By United Nations
January 2, 1941: Manila Falls to Japan
January 3, 1942: ABDA Command Announced
January 4, 1942: MacArthur on His Own in the Philippines
January 5, 1942: Soviets Plan General Offensive
January 6, 1942: US Army in Europe
January 7, 1942: Soviet General Offensive Opens
January 8, 1942: Hitler Sacks Hoepner
January 9, 1942: Battle of Dražgoše
January 10, 1942: Building the Jeep
January 11, 1942: Japan Takes Kuala Lumpur
January 12, 1941: Rommel Plans Counterattack
January 13, 1942: First Ejection Seat Use
January 14, 1942: Operation Drumbeat First Sinking
January 15, 1942: U-Boat Off NYC
January 16, 1942: Carole Lombard Crash
January 17, 1942: British Take Halfaya Pass
January 18, 1942: Soviet Paratroopers in Action
January 19, 1942: FDR Approves Atomic Bomb
January 20, 1942: The Wannsee Conference
January 21, 1942: Parit Sulong Bridge Battle
January 22, 1942: Parit Sulong Massacre
January 23, 1942: Japan Takes Rabaul
January 24, 1942: Battle of Makassar Strait
January 25, 1942: Kholm Surrounded
January 26, 1942: GIs Land in Europe
January 27, 1942: Battle of Endau
January 28, 1942: Rommel Takes Benghazi
January 29, 1942: First US Coast Guard Ship Sunk
January 30, 1942: Singapore Isolated
January 31, 1942: Army Group South Averts Disaster