WWII: The Greater East Asia War
East Asia 1942.0418
World War II, Pacific War, Second Sino-Japanese War (18 April 1942)
Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific
In April, with the Japanese on the advance everywhere, the United States launched their reprisal for the Pearl Harbor attack. This, the Doolittle Raid, consisted of bombers launched from an aircraft carrier with the intention of striking Japan and crash-landing in China. It achieved little militarily, but demonstrated to the world that Japan was still vulnerable.
Royal Netherlands East Indies Army surrenders to Japanese in Java
Invasion of Salamaua–Lae
Japanese forces - supported by 4 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers, and 8 destroyers - land at Lae and Salamaua, in the Australian Territory of New Guinea. A small detachment of New Guinea Volunteer Rifles and radio staff at Salamaua do not contest the invasion, opting to withdraw into the hills towards Mubo.
Indian Ocean Raid
Japanese carrier force attacks Allied shipping
US forces in Bataan surrender to Japanese
Sixteen US Army Air Force B-25B Mitchell medium bombers are launched beyond fighter escort range from the US Navy's aircraft carrier USS Hornet in the western Pacific Ocean, flying on to bomb the Japanese capital Tokyo and other places on the island of Honshu. Fifteen of the bombers carry on to land in China - landing a medium bomber on an aircraft carrier being impossible - with the 16th landing in Vladivostok, Soviet Union. The success of the mission demonstrates the vulnerability of Japan and is a major morale boost for the US.