WWII Day-By-Day
Selected: May 2
       Overview of WWII on May 2 by year...

1933 — , May 2

  • USA: President Roosevelt establishes the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, which closely manages agricultural production in the US, which includes a policy of destroying excess farm supply to control prices.
  • Germany: Hitler's government dissolves the main trade union association, The German Free Trade Unions, and occupies all their offices with the help of the SA and sequestrates its funds.
  • CBI - China: Day 122 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1935 — , May 2

  • France: Having learned that Germany is going to invade them, France signs a separate five-year Treaty of Mutual Assistance alliance with the Soviet Union. However, this treaty is never officially ratified by France.

1937 — , May 2

  • Spain: Day 290 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , May 2

  • Spain: Day 655 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 300 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 85 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.

1939 — , May 2

  • CBI - China: Day 665 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 47 of 54 of the Battle of Nanchang.
    • Day 13 of 35 of the Battle of Suizao.

1940 — , May 2

  • ETO - Norway: Day 24 of 63 of the Battle of Norway. German troops reach Aandalesnes. Allied forces are evacuated from Namsos. PM Chamberlain announces his British forces are withdrawing from southern Norway.
  • ETO - France: Germany has 93 combat divisions all prepared and ready to invade France and the Low Countries.
  • MTO - Italy: Mussolini makes an offer to the US saying that Italy will not go to war with the United States if the United States will stay out of Europe.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,031 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 170 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
    • Day 2 of 49 of the Battle of Yichang.

1941 — , May 2

  • Atlantic: The British minesweeping trawler HMT ALBERIC and destroyer HMS ST ALBANS collide in Pentland Firth between the Orkney Islands and Britain causing the HMT ALBERIC to sink.
  • Atlantic: British aircraft sink the German anti-submarine trawler VP 808 off the island of Borkum near the Dutch-German border.
  • ETO - UK: Day 239 of 258 of the Blitz. After sundown, German bombers attack Liverpool for the second consecutive night.
  • Germany: A German memorandum notes that the plan to remove large quantities of food out of Eastern Europe to feed German civilians and military personnel will very likely result in the starvation of millions of Eastern Europeans especially through the winter. However, the plan is still implemented.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 23 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk. Sandstorms limit all offensive capabilities. The British gunboat HMS LADYBIRD bombards the Axis positions at Derna.
  • MTO - Tunisia: The British ship HMS PARRACOMBE, headed for Malta, hits a mine and sinks off Cape Bon, Tunisia.
  • Middle East: Day 1 of 30 of the Anglo-Iraqi War in Iraq. A revolution breaks out. The RAF attacks the rebel forces gathered outside of the RAF base at Habbaniya. The rebels counter by shelling the base.
  • East Africa: Day 327 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,396 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 214 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , May 2

  • USA: President Roosevelt extends the Lend-Lease Act to include Iraq and Iran.
  • Atlantic: Day 109 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
    • U-402 sinks the US armed yacht CYTHERA off North Carolina, killing 66 of 68 people aboard.
  • Atlantic: The HMS EDINBURGH and German destroyer HERMANN SCHOEMANN are both seriously damaged during a naval battle. Both ships are scuttled by their crews.
  • Germany: Goebbels notes in his diary that the term "Baedecker attacks" (used to suggest that the German bombers are targeting British cultural centers and named after a popular travel guide) should be banned by his propaganda ministry.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 237 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 84 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 100 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 185 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 140 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,761 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 73 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 146 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. The US powder magazine on Corregidor is hit, killing 60 men and wounding hundreds more.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: The Australian seaplane base at Tulagi is evacuated.

1943 — , May 2

  • Spain: "Major Martin" is buried in Heulva by the British consulate with full military honors. The body is part of the elaborate deception of Operation MINCEMEAT that planted false documents on the corpse to successfully dupe Hitler into believing the Allies would be invading Greece instead of Sicily.

    The final resting place of Glyndwr Michael, aka Major Martin, in the cemetery in Huelva, Spain

    The inscription at the bottom "GLYNDWR MICHAEL; SERVED AS MAJOR WILLIAM MARTIN, RM" was added to the grave marker by the British government in 1998.

    The Latin phrase translates as "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country."

    The local pathologist gave the cause of death as "drowning." The body was hastily buried at Huelva Cemetery with full military honors; the rapidly advancing decomposition of the body given as a reason for the quick burial.

    The other reason was that the British didn't want the Germans, whose curiosity had already been aroused, to order a second postmortem and possibly discover the true cause of death.

    Glyndwr Michael, a semi-literate, alcoholic, homeless vagrant, had about as meaningless a life as it is possible to imagine. What he achieved in death, however, he could never have imagined. The success of Operation MINCEMEAT saved tens of thousands of lives.

    Related dates in Operation MINCEMEAT...

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  • USA: President Roosevelt informs George Marshall that he is going to approve the supplies Chiang Kai-Shek has requested without any caveats, which includes 500 planes and 10,000 tons of supplies to be delivered over the Hump.
  • ETO - UK: The RAF Bomber Command tells the British Air Ministry that it currently has 725 crews ready for air operations.
  • Germany: SA Chief of Staff Viktor Lutze is killed. The actual cause of his death remains a mystery. Officially, he died in a automobile accident, although rumors persist that he was killed by German partisans ambushing his car.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 602 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 363 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 167 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. The US II Corps occupy Kef en Nsour while the enemy withdraws toward Bizerte. US 9th and 12th Air Forces provide air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,126 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • US 14th Air Force intercept about three dozen enemy fighters near Lingling and in a running battle they shoot down at least 7 Zekes while losing one of their own.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 330 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. US 11th Air Force attacks North Head, South Head, and AA gun batteries on Gertrude Cove at Kiska.
  • PTO - Australia: Japanese planes bomb Darwin.
  • PTO - Japan: The USS GAR sinks a Japanese ship in daylight with her deck gun.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 11 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.

1944 — , May 2

  • UK: A crossword puzzle is published in the Daily Telegraph, compiled by 54 year old school headmaster Leonard Dawe, which brings him under MI-5 scrutiny for suspicion of espionage because one of the crossword puzzle answers is Utah, the top secret code name of an upcoming D-Day landing beach in Normandy. Answers in previous puzzles had already included Juno, Gold, Sword and even Overlord and now this. All turn out to be nothing more than coincidental.

    17 Across

    While some members of MI-5, Britain's counter-espionage service, were whiling away their spare moments in April and May of 1944 by doing the Telegraph Crossword Puzzle, they noticed that vital code-names that had been adopted to hide the mightiest sea-borne assault of all time, kept appearing in the crossword.

    With this "Utah" puzzle, alarm bells finally rang out in MI-5. Was the crossword being used to tip-off the Germans? When Leonard Dawe was investigated, he was indignant, but obviously innocent of anything nefarious.

    After the war, several Strand School pupils stepped forward to take credit for having inserted the names into Dawe's puzzles, an activity they were often invited to do.

  • ETO - France: US 8th Air Force B-24s bomb V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais area.
  • ETO - France: US 9th Air Force B-26s and A-20s bomb marshalling yards at Busigny, Valenciennes and Blanc-Misseron.
  • Germany: Two transport trains arrive at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp with 1,800 Jews from Budapest, Hungary, and 2,000 from Topolya, Yugoslavia. 1,102 are registered into the camp, while the remaining 2,698 are sent directly to the gas chambers.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 91 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops remain in their defensive positions.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 25 of 35 of the Battle of the Crimea.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 25 of 60 of the Battle of Romania, 1st Jassy Offensive. Day 1 of 7 of the 2nd Battle of Targu Frumos. The Soviets launch another offense in hopes to capture this section.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 107 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support. The German Gustav Line continues getting weaker.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 102 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 59 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 54 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 32 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,492 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 16 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
    • Day 16 of 39 of the Battle of Central Henan, the first offensive in Japan's Operation ICHI-GO. Chinese continue retreating from central China.
  • CBI - India: Day 56 of 118 of the Battle of Imphal-Kohima.
  • PTO - Caroline Islands: US 7th Air Force B-24s night bomb targets in the Truk Atoll.
  • PTO - Formosa: US 14th Air Force B-24s sink two freighters found in the south end of the Formosa Straits.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: The US 7th Air Force bombs Jaluit and Wotje Atolls.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 64 of 80 of the Battle of the Admiralty Islands. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 140 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 11 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 184 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , May 2

  • USA: Test pilot Ann Baumgartner, who will become the first American woman to fly a jet aircraft, marries Major William Carl, who designed the Twin Mustang P-82, and adopts her husband's last name, becoming Ann B Carl.

    Ann Baumgartner Carl (1918-2008)

    Hyphenated last names hadn't become fashionable yet, so she wasn't Ann Baumgartner-Carl.

    Ann took her first flight in a J-3 Piper Cub in 1940. Her addiction to flying was immediate and she declared, "This is what I was made for." During WWII she became a Womens Airforce Service Pilot and was the only WASP to serve as a military test pilot. She flew in-flight refueling test missions, tested new gun sites and flew the RP-47E, the first fighter with a pressurized cockpit. In October 1944, she became the world's first woman to fly a turbo jet powered aircraft, the Bell YP-59A, a distinction that would remain unchallenged for 10 years. Ann was honored to become a personal friend of Orville Wright and served as his escort to numerous aviation events for many years.

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  • UK: British government announces that London is now a "Go Home" area, ending the nearly six-year evacuation.
  • ETO - Netherlands: The German troops allow safe passage for convoys carrying relief supplies to the civilians in occupied Netherlands. US 8th Air Force B-17s drop food supplies at Schipol, Alkmaar, Vogelenznag, Hilversum and Utrecht.
  • ETO - France: Day 277 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 230 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO - Germany: The British 2nd Army reaches Lübeck.
  • ETO - Germany: The RAF Bomber Command launches their last major action of war against Kiel.
  • Germany: The Theresienstadt Concentration Camp is taken over by the International Red Cross.
  • ETO - Austria: Defying an order from a German army chief to join the army and fight, a group of German rocket scientists, including Wernher von Braun, surrenders to US troops.
    This spotlight is under construction. Be patient.

    Surrendered Wernher von Braun,
    with his arm in a cast from a car accident

    Von Braun (in suit) at Peenemünde, March 1941

    Over 3,000 V-2 rockets were launched against Allied targets during the war, resulting in an estimated 7,250 civilian deaths. At least 12,000 forced laborers were worked to death producing them, making it very difficult to reconcile von Braun's involvement in its development. Yet his post-war work for the US indicates that his passion had indeed always been scientific. NASA has referred to Wernher von Braun as "without doubt, the greatest rocket scientist in history."

    Von Braun with the Saturn V first stage engines at the
    US Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama

    V-1 related dates...

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  • Russian Front - Center: Day 200 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 17 of 23 of the Battle of Settin-Rostock, both sides of the border between Germany and Poland. Day 10 of the 11-day Battle of Bautzen. This battle ends in a draw.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 17 of 17 of the Battle of Berlin. The capital of Germany falls to the Soviets. A Soviet flag is hoisted atop the Reichstag building.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 79 of 83 of the German Siege of Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland). The Soviets capture the Luftwaffe test site in Rechlin, Pomerania.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 8 of 8 of the Battle of Halbe, Germany. Soviets capture Halbe.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 27 of 27 of Operation GRAPESHOT. Over one million German troops in Italy and Austria surrender.
  • CBI: The USS HAWKBILL fires three more torpedoes into the Japanese minelayer HATSUTAKA, which she had damaged on the previous day. This time it sinks.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 88 of 99 of the Battle of Pakokku and Irrawaddy River operations in central Burma. The Indian 17th Division leaves Pegu and begins advancing toward Rangoon.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 8 of 12 of the Battle of Rangoon. US 10th Air Force provides air support. The Indian 26th Division makes an amphibious landing near Rangoon.
  • CBI - Burma: A YR-4B helicopter of the 10th Air Force Air Jungle Rescue Unit is filmed flying out to a crashed B-25 Mitchell to recover useful instruments and to paint big yellow X's on it to prevent it from being reported as a new crash.

    Watch a very interesting YouTube video

    opens in new window or tab

    This 6-minute silent film shows the YR-4B helicopter in flight in Burma to a downed B-25 Mitchell, the painting of big yellow X's on it and the removal of useful instruments from inside.

    Frame from the YouTube video

    Another frame from the YouTube video

    The B-25 Mitchell "Cornhusker" is the recently downed bomber being marked and stripped.

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  • CBI - China: Day 2,857 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 32 of 91 of the Battle of Zhijiang. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
    • Day 24 of 60 of the Battle of West Hunan (near Zhijiang). Japanese troops continue withdrawing from southern China.
  • PTO - Caroline Islands: US 7th Air Force bombs the airfield on Param Island, Truk Atoll.
  • PTO - Dutch East Indies: Day 2 of 52 of the Battle of Tarakan Island. The US coastal minesweeper YMS-481 is sunk by Japanese shore batteries off Tarakan.
  • PTO - Japan: Day 32 of 83 of the Battle of Okinawa.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 492 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 376 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 195 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 139 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 54 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 46 of 135 of the Battle of the Visayas region. US 5th and 7th Air Forces provide air support.

Day-By-Day listings for May 2 were last modified on Thursday, March 22, 2018
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