Declaration by United Nations is signed by China, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union and 22 other nations, in which they agree "not to make any separate peace with the Axis powers".
February 22 – General
George Marshall transmits a direct order to
General MacArthur in
President Roosevelt's name, ordering MacArthur himself to turn over command of the
Philippines to a subordinate and report to Australia to assume command of the large American force being built up there. The orders are worded to allow MacArthur to choose the exact moment of his
departure; for various reasons, he will not leave until March 12 (Eastern Date).
MV Struma, carrying Jewish refugees from Axis-allied Romania to British-administered Palestine, is torpedoed and sunk by the Soviet submarine
Shch-213, killing about 791 men, women and children, with only one survivor.
February 25 –
Battle of Los Angeles: Over 1,400 AA shells are fired at an unidentified, slow-moving object in the skies over Los Angeles. The appearance of the object triggers an immediate wartime blackout over most of
Southern California, with thousands of air raid wardens being deployed throughout the city. In total there are 6 deaths. Despite the several-hour barrage no planes are downed.
March 24 – The evacuation of Polish nationals from the Soviet Union begins. It is conducted in two phases: until 5 April; and between 10 and 30 August 1942, by sea from Krasnovodsk to Pahlavi (Anzali), and (to a lesser extent) overland from Ashkabad to Mashhad. In all, 115,000 people are evacuated, 37,000 of them civilians, 18,000 children (7% of the number of Polish citizens originally exiled to the Soviet Union).
Uzbek prisoners of war held at
Amersfoort concentration camp in the occupied Netherlands are shot by Nazi German guards, 24 of their compatriots having previously died there as a result of forced starvation.
April 15 – WWII:
Award of the George Cross to Malta: King
George VI awards the
George Cross to the island of
Malta to mark the
Siege of Malta, saying, "To honour her brave people I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta, to bear witness to a heroism and a devotion that will long be famous in history" (from January 1 to July 24, there is only one 24-hour period during which no bombs fall on this tiny island).
April 26 – WWII: The
Reichstag meets for the last time, dissolving itself and proclaiming
Adolf Hitler the "Supreme Judge of the German People", granting him the power of life and death over every German citizen.
May 9 – WWII: At night, gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands mutiny. The mutiny is crushed and three executed (the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mutiny during the Second World War).
31 – WWII:
Bombing of Cologne – British
RAF Bomber Command's "Operation Millennium", its first 1,000 bomber raid, with associated fires make 13,000 families homeless and kills around 475 people, mostly civilians; 3,330 non-residential buildings are totally destroyed.
June 7 – WWII: Japanese forces invade the
Aleutian Islands (the first invasion of American soil in 128 years).
June 8 – WWII:
Attack on Sydney Harbour: The Australian cities of Sydney and
Newcastle are shelled by Japanese submarines. The eastern suburbs of both cities are damaged and the east coast is blacked out.
The United States
Eighth Air Force inauspiciously flies its first mission in Europe using borrowed British planes and bombs targets in the Netherlands, such as De Kooy airfield attached to
Den Helder naval base. Three of six aircraft return; For this mission, Captain Charles C. Kegelman is the first member of the Force to be awarded the U.S.
Distinguished Flying Cross.
WWII: Allied North Atlantic
convoy SC 94 loses ten ships as the first to be heavily attacked by
U-boats resuming mid-Atlantic
wolf pack attacks through the climactic winter of 1942/43.
WWII: In Washington, D.C., six German
saboteurs are executed for their role in a failed mission of
Operation Pastorius. (Two others are cooperative and receive sentences of life imprisonment instead, being freed a few years after the end of the war.)
October 3 – The first
A-4 rocket is successfully launched from
Test Stand VII at
Peenemünde, Germany. The rocket flies 147 kilometres wide and reaches a height of 84.5 kilometres, becoming the first man-made object to reach space.
French Resistance Coup in
Algiers: 400 French civil resisters neutralize the Vichyist XIXth Army Corps and the Vichyist generals (Juin, Darlan, etc.) thus allowing the immediate success of Operation Torch in Algiers, and ultimately the whole of
French North Africa.
November 9 – WWII: U.S serviceman
Edward Leonski is hanged at Melbourne's Pentridge Prison for the "Brown-Out" murders of three women in May.
BOAC scheduled passenger flight, a
DC-3 with registration G-AGBB, (formerly
KLM PH-ALI, Ibis), en route between
Bristol, is attacked over the
Bay of Biscay by German fighters. Although damaged, it escapes and lands in England. Other attacks follow on the same aircraft and scheduled route:
April 19 and
An avalanche in
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, kills 26, including Vulcan Crucible Steel heir-apparent Samuel A. Stafford Sr., when two 100 ton boulders fall on a bus filled with wartime steel workers on their way home.
An airplane carrying prominent Ustashe general
Jure Francetić crashes. Francetić dies as result of the injuries on