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1942 ( MCMXLII)
was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1942nd year of the Common Era (CE) and (AD) designations, the 942nd year of the Anno Domini 2nd millennium, the 42nd year of the 20th century, and the 3rd year of the 1940s decade.
Below, events of
World War II have the "WWII" prefix.
Map of Europe at the height of German control in 1942, Britain remaining the only country in Western Europe held by Allied forces
January 1 – WWII:
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". United States and Philippines troops fight the Battle of Bataan against Japanese forces.
January 2 – WWII:
January 7 – WWII:
January 11 – WWII:
Heinkel test pilot Helmut Schenk becomes the first person to escape from a stricken aircraft, with an ejection seat. Henry Ford patents a plastic automobile, which is 30% lighter than a regular car.
January 14 – The Sikorsky R-4 first flies in the United States; it will become the first mass-produced helicopter.
January 14– 15 – WWII: Operation Drumbeat – German submarine , under the command of U-123 Reinhard Hardegen, sinks a Norwegian tanker within sight of Long Island, before entering New York Harbor and sinking a British tanker off Sandy Hook, as she leaves heading south along the East Coast of the United States.
January 16 – American film actress Carole Lombard and her mother are among all 22 killed aboard TWA Flight 3, when the Douglas DC-3 plane crashes into Potosi Mountain near Las Vegas, while she is returning from a tour to promote the sale of war bonds.
January 19 – WWII:
January 20 – The Holocaust: Nazis at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin decide that the " Final Solution ( Endlösung) to the Jewish problem" is relocation, and later extermination.
January 21 – WWII: Erwin Rommel launches his new offensive in Cyrenaica.
January 23 – WWII: The Battle of Rabaul begins.
January 25 – WWII: Thailand declares war on the United States and United Kingdom.
January 26 – WWII: The first American forces arrive in Europe, landing in Northern Ireland. January 31 – WWII: Malayan Campaign: The last organized Allied forces leave British Malaya, ending the 54-day campaign, and the Johor–Singapore Causeway is severed.
February – C. S. Lewis's is first published in book format, in England. The Screwtape Letters
February 1 – WWII: The Command staff of the Eighth Air Force reaches England.
February 1 – Mao Zedong makes a speech on "Reform in Learning, the Party and Literature", starting the Yan'an Rectification Movement in the Communist Party of China.
February 3 – WWII: Rommel suspends his offensive in Cyrenaica.
February 7 – United States Maritime Commission fleet operations are transferred to the War Shipping Administration (lasting until September 1, 1946).
António Óscar Carmona is elected president of Portugal. WWII: Top United States military leaders hold their first formal meeting, to discuss American military strategy in the war.
Daylight saving time goes into effect in the United States.
February 9 – The ocean liner SS catches fire, while being converted into the troopship USS Normandie Lafayette (AP-53) for WWII at pier 88 in New York City; she capsizes early the following morning.
February 11 – Operation Cerberus: A flotilla of Kriegsmarine ships dash from Brest through the English Channel to northern ports; the British fail to sink any of them.
February 15 – WWII: Singapore surrenders to Japanese forces.
February 18 – WWII: More than 200 American sailors die in Newfoundland, when the USS runs aground near Chambers Cove, and the Truxtun USS runs aground at Lawn Point. Pollux
February 19 – WWII:
February 19– 23 – WWII: Battle of Sittang Bridge – British forces retreat to the Sittaung River.
February 20 – WWII: Lieutenant Edward O'Hare becomes America's last U.S. Navy flying ace of the war.
February 22 – WWII: 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 11.
February 23 – WWII: Japanese submarine fires 17 high-explosive shells toward an oil I-17 refinery near Santa Barbara, California, causing little damage.
February 25 – " Battle of Los Angeles": Over 1,400 AA shells are fired at an unidentified, slow-moving object (probably a meteorological balloon) 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. At least 5 deaths are related to the incident. Despite the several-hour barrage no planes are downed.
February 27 – WWII: Battle of the Java Sea: An allied ( ABDA) task force of 14 vessels under Dutch command, trying to stem a Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies, is defeated by a 19-vessel Japanese task force in the Java Sea; 2.300 sailors die, including the commander, admiral Karel Doorman; Japanese attain naval hegemony in East-Asia.
March – Construction begins on the Badger Army Ammunition Plant, the largest in the United States during WWII.
March 6 – Yugoslav Partisans, operating in Nazi-occupied Serbia, assassinate Đorđe Kosmajac in Belgrade.
March 9 – WWII: Executive order 9082 (February 28, 1942) comes into effect, reorganizing the United States Army into three major commands: Army Ground Forces, Army Air Forces, and Services of Supply, later redesignated Army Service Forces, with Henry H. Arnold as Commanding General of the United States Army Air Forces.
March 11 – WWII: Douglas MacArthur's escape from the Philippines – U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, his family and key members of his staff are evacuated by PT boat, under cover of evening darkness, from Corregidor in the Philippines. Command of U.S. forces in the Philippines passes to Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright.
March 15 – WWII: Dünamünde Action: 1,900 central European Jews are shot dead north east of Riga, 1,840 are killed on the 26th.
March 16 – WWII: New Zealand and Australia declare war on Thailand.
March 17 – The Holocaust: Operation Reinhard – The Nazi German Bełżec extermination camp opens in occupied Poland, about 1 km south of the railroad station at Bełżec in the Lublin district of the General Government. At least 434,508 people are killed here up to December 1942.
March 18 – Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States, signs Executive Order 9102, creating the War Relocation Authority (WRA), which becomes responsible for the internment of Americans of Japanese and, to a lesser extent, German and Italian descent, many of them legal citizens.
March 20 – WWII: After being forced to flee the Philippines, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur announces (in Terowie, South Australia), "I came through and I shall return." 
March 22 – WWII: Second Battle of Sirte in the Mediterranean Sea – Escorting warships of a British convoy to Malta ward off a much more powerful (Italian Navy) squadron, north of the Regia Marina Gulf of Sirte.
March 23 – WWII: The Germans burn down the Ukrainian village of Yelino ( Koriukivka Raion), killing 296 civilians. 
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). 
March 28 – WWII:
March 31 – WWII: Battle of Christmas Island – Japanese troops occupy Christmas Island without resistance, following a mutiny by British Indian Army troops against their British officers.
Spring – The Holocaust: The Nazi German extermination camp Treblinka II opens in occupied Poland near the village of Treblinka. Between July 23, 1942, and October 1943, around 850,000 people are killed here, more than 800,000 of whom are Jews.  
April 3 – WWII: Japanese forces begin the last phase of the Battle of Bataan, an all-out assault on the United States and Filipino troops on the Bataan Peninsula.
April 5 – WWII: Easter Sunday Raid – Aircraft of the Japanese Navy attack Colombo, Ceylon ( Sri Lanka). Royal Navy cruisers HMS and Cornwall HMS are sunk southwest of the island. Dorsetshire
April 9 – WWII:
April 12 – Disney's is released in Bambi theaters everywhere.
April 13 – The United States Federal Communications Commission's minimum programming time required of TV stations is cut from 15 hours to 4 hours a week during the war.
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 17 – WWII: Henri Giraud, the French commander captured in 1940, escapes from Königstein Fortress.
April 18 – WWII: Doolittle Raid: A small force of B-25 Mitchell bomber aircraft, commanded by then-Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle bomb Tokyo, Japan.
April 25 – The Princess Elizabeth registers for war service in the U.K.
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.
national plebiscite is held in Canada on the issue of conscription. The Jewish Star of David is required wearing for all Jews in the Netherlands and Belgium; Jews in other Nazi-controlled countries have already been wearing it. April 29 – WWII: An explosion at a chemical factory in Tessenderlo, Belgium leaves 200 dead and 1,000 injured.
May – Operation Pluto: The plan to construct oil pipelines under the English Channel, between England and France, is tested in the River Medway.
May 3– 4 – WWII: Tulagi is invaded by Japanese forces in the British Solomon Islands of the South Pacific, as part of Operation Mo.
May 5 – WWII: Operation Ironclad: British forces invade the French colony of Madagascar.
May 7 – WWII: On Corregidor, the last American and Filipino forces in the Philippines under command of 2LT Robert L. Obourn ( 92nd Coast Artillery Regiment, G Battery) from Fort Mills, surrender to the Japanese as directed by LTG Jonathan M. Wainwright, the overall commander.  
May 8 – WWII:
May 8/ 9 – WWII: At night, gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands mutiny. The mutiny is crushed, and 3 soldiers are executed (the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mutiny during the Second World War).
May 12 – WWII:
May 14 – Aaron Copland's is performed for the first time, by the Lincoln Portrait Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
May 15 – WWII: In the United States, a bill creating the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) is signed into law.
May 20 – The first African-American seamen are taken into the United States Navy.
May 21 – WWII: Mexico declares war against Nazi Germany, after the sinking of the Mexican tanker by Faja de Oro German submarine off U-160 Key West.
May 26 – WWII:
May 27 – WWII: Operation Anthropoid: Czech paratroopers attempt to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich in Prague, and succeed in wounding him.
May 29 – Spelling reform:
The Thai spelling reform of 1942 is initiated by the government of Prime Minister Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram. The prime minister's office announces a simplification of the Thai alphabet on 29 May 1942. The announcement was published in the Royal Gazette on 1 June 1942. The reform is cancelled by the government of Khuang Aphaiwong on 2 August 1944.
May 30– 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. May 31– June 1 – WWII: Attack on Sydney Harbour: Japanese midget submarines infiltrate Sydney Harbour in Australia, in an attempt to attack Allied warships.
June 4 – WWII: Reinhard Heydrich succumbs to wounds sustained on May 27, from Czechoslovakian paratroopers acting in Operation Anthropoid.
June 5 – The United States declares war on Bulgaria, Hungary & Romania.
June 4– June 7 – WWII: Battle of Midway: The Japanese naval advance in the Pacific is halted.
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.
June 9 – WWII: Nazis burn the Czech village of Lidice, in reprisal for the killing of Reinhard Heydrich.
June 10 – WWII: The Gestapo massacres 173 male residents of Lidice, Czechoslovakia in retaliation for the killing of Reinhard Heydrich.
June 12 – The Holocaust: On her 13th birthday, Anne Frank makes the first entry in her new diary.
June 13 – WWII: The United States opens its Office of War Information, a propaganda center.
June 18 – WWII: The SS surrounds the church where Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabčík, the assassins of Reinhard Heydrich, are hiding. Kubiš is fatally wounded in the ensuing shootout, and Gabčík commits suicide to avoid capture.
June 23 – The experimental early type nuclear reactor L-IV has an accident, becoming the first nuclear accident in history and consisting of a steam explosion and reactor fire in Leipzig.
June 28 – WWII: The Germans launch Case Blue, Army Group South's drive to Stalingrad and the Baku Oil fields. June 29 – WWII: The German Eleventh Army under Erich von Manstein takes Sevastopol, although fighting rages until July 9.
July – The Holocaust: Inmates of Westerbork transit camp in the occupied Netherlands begin to be shipped to Nazi extermination camps. From now until 1944 around 107,000, mostly Jewish, from here will be killed.
July 1– July 27 – WWII: First Battle of El Alamein: British forces prevent a second advance by Axis forces into Egypt.
July 3 – WWII: Guadalcanal, occupied only by aborigines, falls to the Japanese Naval construction force, deployed to construct an air field on the island.
July 4 – WWII in the European Theater of Operations:
Twenty-four ships are sunk by German bombers and submarines, after
Convoy PQ 17 to the Soviet Union is scattered in the Arctic Ocean, to evade the German battleship . Tirpitz 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 the 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. 
July 6 – The Holocaust: Anne Frank's family goes into hiding in an attic above her father's office, in an Amsterdam warehouse.
July 8 – Turkish prime minister Refik Saydam dies while working in office. For one day he is succeeded by Ahmet Fikri Tüzer.
July 9 – Şükrü Saracoğlu forms the new (13th) government in Turkey.
July 13 – WWII: U-boats sink 3 more merchant ships in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
July 14 – WWII: Germany introduces the Ostvolk Medal for Soviet personnel in the Wehrmacht.
July 18 – WWII: The Germans test fly the Messerschmitt Me 262 (using only its jet engines) for the first time.
July 19 – WWII: Battle of the Atlantic: German Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz orders the last U-boats to withdraw from their United States Atlantic coast positions, in response to an effective American convoy system.
July 21 – WWII: The Japanese establish a beachhead on the north coast of New Guinea in the Buna-Gona area; a small Australian force begins a rearguard action on the Kokoda Track campaign.
July 22 – The Holocaust: The systematic deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto begins.
July 23 – The Holocaust: The gas chambers at Treblinka extermination camp begin operation, killing 6,500 Jews newly arrived from the Warsaw Ghetto.
July 29 – The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union institutes the Order of Suvorov, the Order of Kutuzov, and reinstates the Order of Alexander Nevsky.
July 30 – WWII:
WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), the United States Naval Reserve (Women's Reserve), is signed into law. The SS is sunk in the Robert E. Lee Gulf of Mexico by , which is itself sunk by the escorting patrol craft. U-166 July 31 – The Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (Oxfam) is founded in England.
August 4-WWII: Operation Letica: An assassination attempt on Serbian fascist Minister of Finance Dušan Letica, by a group Yugoslav Resistance fighters, fails.
August 7 – WWII: Guadalcanal Campaign – The U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps begin the first American offensive of the war, with an amphibious landing on the island of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
WWII: Allied North Atlantic
convoy SC 94 loses 10 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 the failed mission Operation Pastorius (2 others are cooperative and receive sentences of life imprisonment instead, being freed a few years after the end of the war).
August 13 – A Quit India resolution is passed by the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), which leads to the start of a historical civil disobedience movement across India.
August 15 – WWII: American tanker reaches Malta, as part of the convoy of Ohio . Operation Pedestal
August 17 – WWII: Heavy bombers of the U.S. Eighth Air Force, based in England, conduct their first raid against occupied France.
August 19 – WWII: Dieppe Raid: Allied forces raid Dieppe, France.
August 20 – Plutonium is isolated for the first time, at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University of Chicago.
August 21 – WWII: Battle of the Tenaru: Allies defeat Japanese land forces on Guadalcanal.
August 22 – WWII: Brazil declares war on Germany and Italy.
August 23 – WWII: Battle of Stalingrad begins: German troops reach the suburbs of Stalingrad.
August 27– 28 – Sarny Massacre: Nazi troops and the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police systematically execute more than 14,000 people, mostly Jews, in and around Sarny in German-occupied Poland.
August 28 – Polish writer Zofia Kossak-Szczucka, as head of the underground organization Front for the Rebirth of Poland, publishes in Warsaw her Protest! against mass murder of Jews in German occupied Poland.
August 30 – Luxembourg is formally annexed to the German Reich.
August 30– September 5 – WWII: Battle of Alam el Halfa – British forces in the Western Desert resist a German attack. August 31 – The 1942 Luxembourgish general strike is launched, to protest against forced conscription in Luxembourg.
September 2 – The island of Les Casquets in the Channel Islands is raided by the forerunner of the British SAS, the SSRF, led by Major Gus March-Phillipps; this is one of the first raids by Anders Lassen VC. In the raid, the entire garrison of 7 is abducted and returned to England as prisoners, and the radio and lighthouse wrecked.  
September 3 – The Holocaust: A German attempt to liquidate the Jewish Łachwa Ghetto in occupied Poland leads to an uprising, probably the first ghetto uprising of the war.
Battle of Milne Bay: Japanese forces suffer their first defeat on land. The Holocaust: The Jews of Wolbrom in occupied Poland are rounded up by the Germans and their Ukrainian collaborators. What was once a flourishing community suddenly ceases to exist. 
September 9 – WWII: A Japanese floatplane drops incendiary devices at Mount Emily, near Brookings, Oregon, in the first of two " Lookout Air Raids", the first bombing of the continental United States.
September 12 – The RMS , carrying civilians, Allied soldiers and Italian prisoners of war, is torpedoed off the coast of West Africa and sinks, killing 1,649 people. Laconia
September 15 – The Women's Flying Training Detachment (WFTD) is established in the United States.
September 24 – WWII: Andrée Borrel and Lise de Baissac become the first female SOE agents to be parachuted into occupied France.
September 26 – The Holocaust: Nazi official August Frank issues the August Frank memorandum, setting out how the belongings of "evacuated" (i.e. murdered) Jews are to be disposed of.
September 27 – WWII: Both the commerce raiding German auxiliary cruiser and American Stier Liberty ship SS sink, following a gun battle in the South Atlantic. Stephen Hopkins Hilfskreuzer Stier is the only commerce raider to be sunk by a defensively equipped merchant ship.  September 29 – WWII: At Babi Yar (a ravine in Kiev), 33,771 Jews are killed during a two-day massacre.
HMS collides with liner Curacoa RMS (carrying troops from the United States) off the coast of Queen Mary Donegal and sinks; 338 drown. WWII: Japanese troopship sinks, following a torpedo attack the previous day by submarine Lisbon Maru USS off the coast of China; 829 are killed, mostly British prisoners of war who (unknown to the attacker) were being held on board. Grouper
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.
October 11 – WWII: Battle of Cape Esperance: On the northwest coast of Guadalcanal, United States Navy ships intercept and defeat a Japanese fleet, on their way to reinforce troops on the island.
October 13 – WWII: North Atlantic convoy SC 104 is attacked by U-boats, sinking seven ships. 
October 18 – WWII: Hitler issues the Commando Order, which stipulates that all Allied commandos encountered by German forces should be executed immediately without trial, even in proper uniforms, in response to the Dieppe Raid and Operation Basalt conducted by the Allies. After the war, the Nuremberg trials finds this order a direct violation of the laws and customs of war.
October 21 – A Royal New Zealand Air Force torpedo bomber sinks the German MS , with a loss of 946 lives. Palatia
October 23 – Award-winning composer and songwriter Ralph Rainger ("Thanks for the Memory") is among 12 people killed in a mid-air collision, between an American Airlines DC-3 and a U.S. Army bomber near Palm Springs, California.
October 23– 26 – WWII: Battle for Henderson Field: Japanese forces fail to recapture Henderson Field airfield in Guadalcanal from the Americans.
October 23– November 4 – WWII: Second Battle of El Alamein: British troops go on the offensive against the Axis forces.
October 26 – WWII: Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands: Two Japanese aircraft carriers are heavily damaged and one U.S. Navy carrier is sunk.
October 29 – The Holocaust: In the United Kingdom, leading clergymen and political figures hold a public meeting, to register outrage over Nazi Germany's persecution of Jews. October 30 – WWII:
November 1 – WWII: North Atlantic convoy SC 107 is heavily attacked by U-boats, sinking 15 ships. 
November 2 – A USAAF squadron, including B-24 Liberators, intercepts many Luftwaffe patrols off the coast of Oran, Algeria.
November 3 – WWII: Second Battle of El Alamein: German forces under Erwin Rommel are forced to retreat during the night.
November 8 – WWII:
Operation Torch: United States and United Kingdom forces land in French North Africa. 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.
November 10 – WWII: In violation of a 1940 armistice, Germany invades Vichy France, following French Admiral François Darlan's agreement to an armistice with the Allies in North Africa.
November 12 – WWII: Guadalcanal Campaign: A naval battle near Guadalcanal starts between Japanese and American forces.
November 13 – WWII:
November 15 – WWII:
November 18 – WWII: North Atlantic convoy ON 144 is attacked by U-boats, sinking 5 ships. 
November 19 – WWII: Battle of Stalingrad: Soviet Union forces under General Georgy Zhukov launch the Operation Uranus counter-attacks at Stalingrad, turning the tide of the battle in the USSR's favor.
November 20 – WWII: British forces capture Benghazi.
November 21 – The completion of the Alaska Highway (also known as the Alcan Highway) is celebrated (however, the " highway" is not usable by general vehicles until 1943).
November 22 – WWII: Battle of Stalingrad: The situation for the German attackers of Stalingrad seems desperate during the Soviet counter-attack Operation Uranus, and General Friedrich Paulus sends Adolf Hitler a telegram, saying that the German Sixth Army is surrounded.
November 23 – WWII
U-boat sinks the SS Ben Lomond off the coast of Brazil. One crewman, Chinese second steward Poon Lim, is separated from the others and spends 130 days adrift, until he is rescued on April 3, 1943. Legislation approves the United States Coast Guard Women's Reserve, to help fill jobs and free men to serve during the war effort. They are known as the SPARS ("Semper Paratus, Always Ready!")
November 25– 26 – WWII: Operation Harling: A British Special Operations Executive team, together with Greek Resistance fighters, blows up the Gorgopotamos viaduct, in the first major sabotage act in occupied continental Europe.
November 26 – The movie premières at the Hollywood Theater in New York City. Casablanca
November 27 – WWII: At Toulon, the French navy scuttles its ships and submarines, to keep them out of Nazi hands.
November 29 – The Blue Star Line cargo liner MV runs aground on the Dunedin Star Skeleton Coast of Namibia. Crew and passengers survive, following a 26-day overland trek to Windhoek.  November 30 – WWII: Battle of Tassafaronga – In a nighttime naval battle as part of the Guadalcanal Campaign, ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy defeat those of the United States Navy.
December 1 – Gasoline rationing begins in the United States.
December 2 – Manhattan Project: Below the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction (a coded message, "The Italian navigator has landed in the new world" is then sent to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt).
The Holocaust: In Warsaw, two women, Zofia Kossak and Wanda Filipowicz, risk their lives by setting up the Council for the Assistance of the Jews. WWII: USAAF bombers make their first raid on Italy.
December 7 – WWII:
December 8 – A fire at Seacliff Lunatic Asylum in New Zealand kills 39 patients.
December 10 – The Holocaust: The Polish government-in-exile sends copies of , including The Mass Extermination of Jews in German Occupied Poland Raczyński's Note, the first official report on The Holocaust, to 26 governments who signed the Declaration by United Nations.
December 12 – WWII: German troops began Operation Winter Storm, an attempt to relieve encircled Axis forces during the Battle of Stalingrad.
December 15 – WWII: Guadalcanal Campaign – Battle of Mount Austen, the Galloping Horse, and the Sea Horse: United States and allied forces begin to attack Japanese positions near the Matanikau River.
December 17 – The Allies issue the Joint Declaration by Members of the United Nations (as the answer to Raczyński's Note), the first time they publicly acknowledge the Holocaust.
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 a result of the injuries on December 27.
December 24 – French Admiral Darlan, the former Vichy leader who has switched over to the Allies following the Torch landings, is assassinated in Algiers.
December 27 – The Union of Pioneers of Yugoslavia is founded. December 28 – North Atlantic Convoy ON 154 is heavily attacked by U-boats, sinking 13 ships. 
January 7 – Vasily Alekseyev, Soviet weightlifter
January 11 – Clarence Clemons, American saxophonist (d. 2011)
January 12 – Ramiro de León Carpio, 31st President of Guatemala (d. 2002)
January 14 – Yogesh Kumar Sabharwal, Chief Justice of India
January 16 – René Angélil, Canadian singer and manager (d. 2016)
January 18 – Ruby Winters, American singer (d. 2016)
January 19 – Michael Crawford, English actor, singer and entertainer
January 22 – Amine Gemayel, 12th President of Lebanon
January 23 – Salim Ahmed Salim, 4th Prime Minister of Tanzania
January 26 – Soad Hosny, Egyptian actress (d. 2001)
January 30 – Marty Balin, American singer, songwriter, and musician (d. 2018) January 31
February 2 – Graham Nash, English rock musician
February 5 – Roger Staubach, American football player
February 6 – Ahmad-Jabir Ahmadov Ismail oghlu, Azeri professor and academic
February 8 – Gordon Morritt, English footballer (d. 2018)
February 9 – Carole King, American singer and composer
February 10 – Howard Mudd, American offensive lineman & offensive line coach
February 14 – Michael Bloomberg, American businessman, philanthropist, and the founder of Bloomberg L.P., Mayor of New York City
February 15 – Sherry Jackson, American actress
February 19 – Paul Krause, American football player
February 21 – Margarethe von Trotta, German actress, film director, and writer
February 24 – Joe Lieberman, American politician, longtime Connecticut Senator (1989–2013), and 2000 Democratic nominee for Vice President under Al Gore
February 25 – Karen Grassle, American actress
February 26 – Jozef Adamec, Slovak football player and manager (d. 2018)
February 27 – Robert H. Grubbs, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate February 28
May 2 – Jacques Rogge, 8th President of the International Olympic Committee
May 3 – Věra Čáslavská, Czech gymnast (d. 2016)
May 5 – Tammy Wynette, American country singer (d. 1998)
Peter Corris, Australian academic, historian, journalist and a novelist (d. 2018) Terry Neill, Northern Irish footballer and football manager
May 9 – John Ashcroft, United States Attorney General
May 10 – Youssouf Sambo Bâ, Burkinabé politician
May 17 – Taj Mahal, American singer and guitarist
May 23 – Gabriel Liiceanu, Romanian philosopher
May 28 – Stanley B. Prusiner, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine May 31 – Jahar Dasgupta, Indian painter
June 3 – Curtis Mayfield, American musician (d. 1999)
June 5 – Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea and Chairperson of the African Union
June 6 – Klaus Bednarz, German journalist and writer (d. 2015)
June 8 – Jacques Dubochet, Swiss biophysicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
June 11 – Jeannette Vivian Corbiere Lavell, Canadian-Anishinaabe activist
June 12 – Bert Sakmann, German physiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
June 16 – John Rostill, English bassist, musician and composer (d. 1973)
June 17 – Mohamed El Baradei, Egyptian International Atomic Energy Agency director, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
June 20 – Brian Wilson, American singer-composer-producer
June 27 – Bruce Johnston, American singer and songwriter
June 29 – Charlotte Bingham, English novelist June 30
July 9 – Richard Roundtree, American actor
July 12 – Steve Young, American country music singer-songwriter (d. 2016)
July 16 – Margaret Court, Australian tennis player
July 17 – Zoot Money, English vocalist, keyboardist and bandleader
July 18 – Adolf Ogi, member of the Swiss Federal Council
July 19 – Frederick Kantor, American physicist
July 20 – Salvatore Lo Piccolo, Italian mafioso
July 22 – Toyohiro Akiyama, Japanese TV journalist and astronaut
July 23 – Myra Hindley, English multiple murderer (d. 2002)
July 24 – Chris Sarandon, American actor
July 26 – Hannelore Elsner, German actress
July 27 – Dennis Ralston, American tennis player July 28 – Henry Wessel Jr., American photographer and educator (d. 2018)
August 2 – Isabel Allende, Chilean writer
August 4 – David Lange, 32nd Prime Minister of New Zealand (d. 2005)
August 6 – Evelyn Hamann, German actress (d. 2007)
August 13 – Arthur K. Cebrowski, American admiral (d. 2005)
August 15 – Friede Springer, German publisher
August 19 – Fred Thompson, American politician and actor (d. 2015)
August 20 – Isaac Hayes, American singer and actor (d. 2008)
August 23 – Susana Vieira, Brazilian actress
August 24 – Hans Peter Korff, German actor
August 26 – Chow Kwai Lam, Malaysian football player and manager (d. 2018)
August 27 – Daryl Dragon, American musician (d. 2019)
August 28 – José Eduardo dos Santos, 2nd President of Angola
August 29 – Sterling Morrison, American musician (d. 1995) August 31 – Isao Aoki, Japanese golfer
September 1 – Aliyu Doma, Nigerian politician (d. 2018)
September 6 – Mel McDaniel, American country music singer-songwriter (d. 2011)
September 7 – Alan Haskvitz, American educator
September 8 – Želimir Žilnik, Serbian film director
September 13 – Hissène Habré, 7th President of Chad
September 16 – Tadamasa Goto, Japanese yakuza boss
September 19 – Freda Payne, American singer and actress
September 20 – Rose Francine Rogombé, Gabonese lawyer and politician (d. 2015)
Wu Ma, Chinese film actor, director, producer and writer
Marlena Shaw, American jazz singer David Stern, American commissioner of the National Basketball Association
September 24 – Ilkka "Danny" Lipsanen, Finnish singer
September 28 – Tim Maia, Brazilian musician, songwriter and businessman (d. 1998)
September 30 – Frankie Lymon, American singer (d. 1968)
October 1 – Günter Wallraff, German investigative journalist
October 2 – Asha Parekh, Indian actress
October 8 – Stanley Bates, British actor and screenwriter
October 11 – Amitabh Bachchan, Indian actor
October 12 – Daliah Lavi, Israeli actress and singer (d. 2017)
October 14 – Evelio Javier, Filipino politician, lawyer, and civil servant (d. 1986)
October 19 – Andrew Vachss, American author and attorney
October 21 – Judith Sheindlin, American retired judge turned television personality ( ) Judge Judy
October 23 – Michael Crichton, American author (d. 2008)
October 24 – Frank Delaney, Irish-born novelist, journalist and broadcaster (d. 2017)
October 29 – Bob Ross, American painter and television presenter (d. 1995) October 31
November 5 – Pierangelo Bertoli, Italian singer-songwriter (d. 2002)
November 6 – Jean Shrimpton, English model and actress
November 7 – Tom Peters, American writer
November 15 – Daniel Barenboim, Argentine-born pianist and conductor
November 16 – Joanna Pettet, British-born Canadian actress
November 21 – Al Matthews, American actor and singer (d. 2018)
November 24 – Billy Connolly, Scottish comedian and singer
November 25 – Rosa von Praunheim, German film director, author and painter
November 28 – Paul Warfield, American football player
November 30 – André Brahic, French astrophysicist (d. 2016)
March 3 – Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, Italian nobleman and military officer, Viceroy of Italian East Africa (b. 1898)
March 4 – Gheorghe Adamescu, Romanian historian and bibliographer (b. 1869)
March 7 – Pierre Semard, French Communist leader (b. 1887)
March 8 – José Raúl Capablanca, Cuban chess player (b. 1888)
March 10 – Frederick Behre, American artist (b. 1863)
March 15 – Vasile Demetrius, Austro-Hungarian-born Romanian writer, poet and translator (b. 1878)
March 17 – Nada Dimić, Yugoslav Communist leader (b. 1923)
March 20 – Vasily Kalafati, Soviet composer (b. 1869)
March 21 – J. S. Woodsworth, Canadian politician (b. 1874)
March 26 – Gustav Hinrichs, German-born American conductor and composer (b. 1850)
March 28 – Miguel Hernández, Spanish poet and playwright (b. 1910)
April 2 – Édouard Estaunié, French novelist (b. 1862)
April 6 – Isidro Michel López, Mexican military officer, leader of the Mexican Revolution (b. 1870)
April 7 – Anandshankar Dhruv, Indian scholar, writer, educationist and editor (b. 1869)
April 11 – Frederick Hobbs, New Zealand-born singer and actor (b. 1874)
April 12 – Arnold Keppel, 8th Earl of Albemarle, British soldier and politician (b. 1858)
April 16 – Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, granddaughter of Queen Victoria (b. 1878)
April 23 – Olga Benário Prestes, German-born Brazilian militant (b. 1908)
April 25 – Zygmunt Kisielewski, Polish writer (b. 1882) April 27 – Arthur L. Bristol, American admiral (b. 1886)
May 3 – Thorvald Stauning, 9th Prime Minister of Denmark (b. 1873)
May 4 – Józef Czempiel, Polish Roman Catholic priest, martyr and blessed (b. 1883)
May 9 – Graham McNamee, American radio announcer (b. 1888)
May 10 – Joe Weber, American vaudevillian (b. 1867)
May 11 – Sakutarō Hagiwara, Japanese poet and writer (b. 1886)
May 12 – Hannu Hannuksela, Finnish general (b. 1893)
May 14 – Frank Churchill, American composer (b. 1901)
May 19 – A. E. Waite, British occultist (b. 1857)
May 24 – Ivan Horbachevsky, Austrian chemist and politician (b. 1854)
May 25 – Emanuel Feuermann, Austrian cellist (b. 1902)
May 27 – Chen Duxiu, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (b. 1879)
May 30 – Félix Cadras, French lace designer and militant (b. 1906)
William Abercrombie, American naval officer and aviator, killed in action at the Battle of Midway (b. 1914)
Eusebio Ayala, 29th President of Paraguay (1921–23, 1932–36) (b. 1875)
Edgar R. Bassett, American naval officer, killed in action at the Battle of Midway (b. 1914)
Harold John Ellison, American naval officer, killed in action at the Battle of Midway (b. 1917)
Lofton R. Henderson, United States Marine Corps aviator and commanding officer of Marine Scout Bomber Squadron 241 (VMSB-241); killed in action at the Battle of Midway (b. 1903)
Reinhard Heydrich, headed the Nazi Reich Main Security Office and was Reich governor of Bohemia and Moravia (b. 1904)
John C. Waldron, United States Navy aviator and commander of Torpedo Squadron 8, killed in action at the Battle of Midway (b. 1900) Tamon Yamaguchi, Japanese admiral, killed in action at the Battle of Midway (b. 1892)
June 5 – Virginia Lee Corbin, American actress (b. 1910)
June 7 – Alan Blumlein, British electronics engineer (b. 1903)
June 14 – Fyodor Braun, Soviet-born German scholar (b. 1862)
June 18 – David Hawthorne, British actor (b. 1888)
June 21 – Pope John XIX of Alexandria (b. 1855)
June 22 – Branko Kadia, Jordan Misja and Perlat Rexhepi, Albanian student activists
June 23 – William Couper, American sculptor (b. 1853)
July 4 – Józef Kowalski, Polish Roman Catholic priest and blessed (b. 1911)
July 12 – Mary Hayden, Irish historian and activist (b. 1862)
July 13 – Joaquín Sánchez de Toca, Spanish conservative politician and Prime Minister of Spain (b. 1852)
July 14 – Sébastien Faure, French anarchist and activist (b. 1858)
July 16 – Sir Alfred Flux, British economist and statistician (b. 1867)
July 17 – Tinus de Jongh, South African painter (b. 1885)
July 24 – Edwin Cooper, British architect (b. 1874)
July 25 – Tom Reynolds, British actor (b. 1866)
July 28 – Flinders Petrie, British Egyptologist (b. 1853)
July 29 – Louis Borno, Haitian lawyer and politician, 28th President of Haiti (b. 1865)
August 8 – Leopold Janikowski, Polish explorer and ethnographer (b. 1855)
August 9 – Terea Benedicta of the Cross, German philosopher, Roman Catholic nun, martyr and saint (assassinated) (b. 1891)
August 10 – Kazimierz Dembowski, Polish Roman Catholic clergyman and martyr (b. 1912)
August 15 – Mahadev Desai, Indian independence activist and writer (b. 1892)
August 16 – André Heuzé, French director, screenwriter and playwright (b. 1880)
August 21 – Kiyonao Ichiki, Japanese army officer (killed in action) (b. 1892)
August 22 – Michel Fokine, Soviet choreographer and dancer (b. 1880)
August 26 – Irena Bernášková, Czechoslovakian journalist and resistance member (b. 1904)
August 28 – Archduke Joseph Ferdinand of Austria (b. 1872)
August 30 – Martin Kirschner, German surgeon (b. 1869)
October 1 – Ants Piip, 7th Prime Minister and 1st State Elder of Estonia (b. 1884)
October 2 – Alois Eliáš, Czech general and politician (b. 1890)
October 5 – Giuseppe Cassioli, Italian painter and sculptor (b. 1865)
October 7 – Maria Antonina Kratochwil, Polish Roman Catholic nun, martyr and blessed (b. 1881)
October 9 – William T. Hanna, American marine (b. 1920)
October 12 – Aritomo Gotō, Japanese admiral (killed in action) (b. 1888)
October 15 – Dame Marie Tempest, British actress (b. 1864)
October 18 – Federico Ferrari Orsi, Italian army officer (b. 1886)
October 19 – Paul Nikolaus Cossmann, German journalist (b. 1869)
October 20 – May Robson, Australian actress (b. 1858)
October 22 – Staf De Clercq, Belgian collaborator and nationalist (b. 1884)
October 23 – Ralph Rainger, American composer and songwriter (b. 1901)
October 26 – William Finnemann, Filipino Roman Catholic priest, archbishop and servant of God (b. 1882)
October 28 – Alexander von Dassel, German magistrate (b. 1854) October 31 – Emilio Caldara, Italian politician (b. 1868)
November 1 – Hugo Distler, German composer (b. 1908)
November 2 – Elihu Grant, American scholar and writer (b. 1873)
November 4 – Andrew F. Cook, Jr., American army officer (b. 1920)
November 5 – George M. Cohan, American songwriter and entertainer (b. 1878)
November 9 – Edna May Oliver, American actress (b. 1883)
November 12 – Laura Hope Crews, American actress (b. 1879)
November 15 – Prince Heinrich XXXIII Reuss of Köstritz (b. 1879)
November 16 – Joseph Schmidt, Polish tenor (b. 1904)
November 21 – Count Leopold Berchtold, Austro-Hungarian foreign minister (b. 1863)
November 27 – Hermann Harms, German botanist (b. 1870)
November 28 – Marceli Nowotko, Polish activist (b. 1893)
November 29 – William Stamps Farish II, American pioneer (b. 1881) November 30 – Buck Jones, American actor (b. 1891)
December 3 – Wilhelm Junk, Czechoslovakian natural historian, bibliographer and entomologist (b. 1866)
December 5 – Richard Tucker, American actor (b. 1884)
December 7 – Orland Steen Loomis, Governor of Wisconsin (b. 1893)
December 9 – Séraphine Louis, French painter (b. 1864)
December 19 – Carl Gustav Fleischer, Norwegian general (b. 1883)
December 21 – Franz Boas, German anthropologist (b. 1858)
December 22 – Robert Kosch, Prussian general (b. 1856)
December 23 – Konstantin Balmont, Soviet poet and translator (b. 1867)
December 24 – François Darlan, French admiral and politician, 81st Prime Minister of France (assassinated) (b. 1881)
December 27 – William G. Morgan, American inventor of volleyball (b. 1870) December 30 – Nevile Henderson, British diplomat (b. 1882)
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"On One Clear Day: The Story of Jewish Wolbrom".
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Muggenthaler, August Karl (1977). German Raiders of WWII. Prentice-Hall. pp. 241–242. ISBN 0-13-354027-8.
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