CBI - China: Day 1 of 2,987 of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the full-scale invasion of China by Japan and full-scale resistance by China. It will become the largest Asian war fought in the 20th century and a major front of what will broadly be known as the Pacific War.
A surviving Chinese baby after a 1937 Japanese air raid on Shanghai
China was a divided country in 1937. Chiang Kai-Shek had formed a Nationalist Government in 1927, but his dictatorial regime was opposed by Mao Tse Tung’s Communists. Civil war between the two erupted.
In 1931, Japan, eager for the vast natural resources to be found in China and seeing her obvious weakness, invaded and occupied Manchuria. It was turned into a nominally independent state called Manchukuo on 08 Mar 32, but the Chinese Emperor who ruled it was a mere puppet of Japan.
The Japanese regarded the Chinese as racial inferiors. From their base in Manchuria, they inflicted their territorial encroachment into China and the whole north of the country was gradually taken over. All the while, resistance was scant at the beginning, as Chinese Nationalist and Communist infighting seemed more important to them than uniting to engage the Japanese aggression. Chiang and Mao operated largely on their own against the Japanese, rarely cooperating with each other.
By 1940, the war against Japan descended into stalemate. The Japanese seemed unable to force victory and the Chinese were unable to evict the Japanese from the territory they had conquered. But western intervention in the form of economic sanctions (most importantly oil) against Japan would transform the nature of the war. It was in response to these sanctions that Japan decided to attack America at Pearl Harbor, and so initiate WWII in the Far East.
The Second Sino-Japanese War was, right behind the German-Soviet War, the biggest and most costly war in human history. Over 20 million Chinese were killed, with an additional 10 million wounded. It is also known as the Double Seven War because of this date (7-7).
After the 07 Dec 41 attack on Pearl Harbor that pulled the US into war against Japan, the 2nd Sino-Japanese War would merge into the greater conflict of WWII and would continue until a week after Japan unconditionally surrenders to the Allies on 02 Sep 45, thanks to the Soviet Union's last minute power grabs.
The length, scale and nature of the Second Sino-Japanese War had debilitated China, which emerged politically unsettled, economically exhausted and scarred by an enormous amount of human suffering.
The First Sino-Japanese War, by the way, was fought in 1894-95, resulting in a Japanese victory, forcing China to cede Formosa and to recognize the nominal independence of Korea.
Day 1 of 3 of the Lugou Bridge Incident. After last night's accidental skirmish, one of the Japanese soldiers comes up missing and is assumed to have been captured. Turns out he had gotten lost, then found his way back. However, no one informed his superiors that he had returned. The Japanese mount an attack in revenge for their missing man.
Spain: Day 356 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1938 — , July 7
Spain: Day 721 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 366 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War. China and Japan enter the second year of this, the Double Seven War, which began on 07 Jul 37.
Day 27 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan.
1939 — , July 7
CBI - China: Day 731 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War. China and Japan enter the third year of this, the Double Seven War, which began on 07 Jul 37.
Day 24 of 68 of the Battle of Tianjin.
CBI - Mongolia: Day 58 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.
1940 — , July 7
Atlantic: German sub U-99 sinks the British ship SEA GLORY and later toward the end of the day, sinks the Swedish ship BISSEN south of Cape Clear, Ireland.
Atlantic: German sub U-34 sinks the Dutch tanker LUCRECIA 100 miles west of Land's End in southwestern England.
Atlantic: The British sub HMS H43 lands at Hubert Nicolle on the Channel Island of Guernsey during the night to collect intelligence for the planned commando raid code named Operation AMBASSADOR.
Atlantic: Over the Channel, six British fighters are shot down while downing four enemy planes during aerial battles with the Luftwaffe.
MTO - Italy: Italy grants Vichy France permission to keep her Mediterranean bases armed.
West Africa: Operation CATAPULT: A British warplane off the carrier HMS HERMES attacks the French battleship RICHELIEU in dock at Dakar, sinking her in shallow waters.
East Africa: Day 28 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,097 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War. China and Japan enter the fourth year of this, the Double Seven War, which began on 07 Jul 37.
Day 236 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
1941 — , July 7
South America: Day 3 of 27 of the Ecuadorian-Peruvian War, a territorial dispute between Peru and Ecuador.
Atlantic: Under the pretext of defending the western hemisphere against Axis incursions, the US 1st Marine Brigade lands in Iceland to relieve the British garrison that has been there since the previous year.
ETO: During a RAF bombing at Münster, Germany, a Wellington bomber catches fire. New Zealander Sgt James Ward ties a rope around himself, climbs out onto the wing and puts out the flames, earning himself the Victoria Cross.
ETO - UK: After sundown, the Luftwaffe bombs Southampton.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 9 of 142 of Operation SILVER FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign to capture the Russian port of Murmansk in the Arctic.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 7 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 16 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko.
Russian Front: Day 16 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA, the invasion of the USSR.
Russian Front - North: German Army Group North continues its advance toward Leningrad, capturing Pskov, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 2 of 31 of the 1st Battle of Smolensk, Russia. German Army Group Centre needs to take this region before taking Moscow.
Russian Front - South: Day 6 of 21 of the Battle of Bessarabia, Russia. German and Romanian troops continue their attack at Bessarabia to take the land and city that Romania was forced to cede to the USSR a year ago.
Russian Front - South: In Ukraine, German Army Group South continues their drive toward southern Russia.
Russian Front - South: German and Romanian troops keep advancing toward Vinnitsa and the Black Sea port of Odessa, Ukraine.
MTO - Yugoslavia: Occupied Yugoslavia is carved up between the Axis powers of Germany, Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria, with Croatia becoming an independent state.
MTO - Libya: Day 89 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
Middle East: Day 30 of 37 of the Battle for Syria and Lebanon.
East Africa: Day 393 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,462 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War. China and Japan enter the fifth year of this, the Double Seven War, which began on 07 Jul 37.
1942 — , July 7
USA: In an effort to make more new B-29 bombers available the US Army, the US Navy cancels its orders for B-29 in exchange for a number of existing B-24s and B-25s from the US Army.
Atlantic: Day 11 of 14 of Germany's Hunt for Allied Convoy PQ-17. During this hunt, U-boats and the Luftwaffe will sink 24 merchant ships. During the night, 5 more ships are sunk as the remaining convoy runs off into the Arctic Ocean.
Atlantic: US 1st Air Force: An A-29 Hudson light bomber sinks German sub U-701 southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
ETO - UK: Two pro-German spies, Jose Key and Alphons Timmerman are hanged at Wandsworth prison in England.
Germany: Himmler authorizes sterilization experiments to take place at Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
Russian Front - North: Day 303 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 64 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 6 of 22 of Germany's Operation SEYDLITZ, a plan to trap and capture numerous Soviet troops. German Army Group A begins their offensive in the Donets Basin in eastern Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 10 of 27 of the Battle of Voronezh, Russia. The 4th Panzer enters Voronezh. The Soviets respond by filling in the gap between Bryansk and the Southwest Fronts, thus creating the Voronezh Front.
Russian Front - South: Day 10 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE, the failed offensive to take the Caucasus oil fields.
MTO - Egypt: Day 7 of 27 of the 1st Battle of El Alamein.
East Africa: Day 64 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
CBI - China: Day 1,827 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War. China and Japan enter the sixth year of this, the Double Seven War, which began on 07 Jul 37.
Day 54 of 124 of Japan's Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign, launched to punish anyone suspected of aiding the Doolittle raiders in China. Roughly 250,000 Chinese will be killed.
PTO - Alaska: Day 31 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - Malaya: Day 139 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
1943 — , July 7
MTO: Atlantic: The German sub U-95l is sunk in the east Atlantic by a B-24 of the 1st Antisubmarine Squadron.
Atlantic: Off the coast of Brazil, German sub U-185 sinks 3 merchant ships. East of Jamaica, U-759 sinks the Dutch cargo ship POELAU ROEBIAH.
Germany: At Wolf's Lair, German rocket research team leader Walter Dornberger presents his research to Hitler and convinces him to give rocket research and production a high priority.
Russian Front - North: Day 668 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 429 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 3 of 50 of the Battle of Kursk, Russia. The German pincers are getting bogged down as Soviet resistance increases.
MTO - Italy: US 9th and 12th Air Forces bombs several targets in Sicily and Sardinia.
CBI - China: Day 2,192 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War. China and Japan enter the seventh year of this, the Double Seven War, which began on 07 Jul 37.
US 14th Air Force attacks shipping at Canton.
PTO: Day 42 of 47 adrift in a raft for the survivors of B-24 GREEN HORNET that crashed 850 miles from Hawaii.
PTO - Alaska: Day 396 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 77 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support. Australian troops capture Observation Hill, an important terrain feature west of Mubo.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 18 of 67 of the Battle of New Georgia. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
1944 — , July 7
ETO - Germany: The 8th Air Force sends 1,100 heavy bombers from bases in England to various targets in Germany. An entire squadron of B-24 Liberators of the 492nd Bomb Group from North Pickenham is wiped out by the Luftwaffe on a bombing mission to Bernburg, Germany.
Crashed B-24 Liberator of the 492nd Bomb Group
Many heavy bombers were lost on July 7, 1944, particularly west of Bernburg, Germany, in a fierce air battle with the Luftwaffe. One B-24 that dropped out of formation after being shot up was never seen again... until 59 years later.
The McMurray Crew 801 of the 492nd Bomb Group was presumed to have crashed into the North Sea and all nine crewmen were listed as MIA until the wreckage and remains were found in the former East Germany by the Missing Allied Air Crew Research Team (MAACRT), headed by German Enrico Schwartz. He and his team spent two years looking for them and another two getting the proper permits to excavate the crash site. Today, all the members of McMurray Crew are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
The 492nd Bomb Group was operational for a mere 89 days from April 18 to August 7, 1944. Three particular bad days earned them the unwanted nickname the Hard Luck Group...
3 deadliest missions for the 492nd Bomb Group
19 May 44
20 Jun 44
07 Jul 44
Casualties per 1000 Combatants in WWII
US Army Air Force
US Marine Corps
467th Bomb Group
492nd Bomb Group
The casualties for the 492nd Bomb Group may not seem all that alarming until compared to the statistics shown to the right of combat casualties in World War II. The casualty rate for the 467th Bomb Group, though still much higher than average, pales in comparison to what the 492nd Bomb Group suffered.
Whenever a bomb group had an easy "milk run" mission, it was usually because some other bomb group was unfortunate enough to be attacked by the Luftwaffe that day. As the Luftwaffe's numbers continued to dwindle, the odds of surviving a mission improved, but was never completely without danger. As the Germans were forced back into Germany, they moved more and more anti-aircraft batteries into greater concentrations to protect targeted areas.
492nd Bomb Group related dates...
18 Apr 44: 492nd Bomb Group arrives at Station 143, North Pickenham
09 May 44: 492nd BG does exhibition formation flight over 2nd AD bases
11 May 44: 492nd BG flies its first mission; no casualties
19 May 44: 492nd BG Mission 05 to Brunswick; first of their three deadliest
20 Jun 44: 492nd BG Mission 34 to Politz; second of their three deadliest
07 Jul 44: 492nd BG Mission 46 to Bernburg; third of their three deadliest; entire 859th Bomb Squadron is wiped out
15 Jul 44: The bomb dump at nearby Metfield mysteriously explodes, rocking the countryside and destroying the 491st BG's base
07 Aug 44: 492nd BG flies its final mission (no casualties) and is disbanded
13 Aug 44: 801st Provisional Group is redesignated the 492nd Bomb Group
15 Aug 44: 491st Bomb Group moves into the base at North Pickenham
Charles W Arnett
The 492nd Bomb Group has a special place in the hearts of brothers Paul and David Arnett, the two guys behind this ScanningWWII website. Their father, Charles Arnett, served in the 492nd BG as the pilot of a B-24 Liberator. He was shot down on his third mission and spent a year as a POW at Stalag Luft III where the "Great Escape" took place. It is because of our love for him that we developed a passion for WWII.
Dates related to Charles Arnett...
26 Jul 42: US Lt Col Clark shot down flying an RAF fighter over France
19 May 44: 1st of 3 deadly missions for the Hard Luck 492nd Bomb Group
Ruth Register volunteered for the American Red Cross after her husband was killed in the Pacific, taking her from North Dakota to Europe and back, including being assigned to the 492nd Bomb Group at North Pickenham.
ETO - UK: Day 25 of 86 of the V-1 "Buzz Bomb" offensive on Britain.
ETO - France: Day 32 of 49 of Operation OVERLORD, the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, known forever simply as D-Day. D-Day+31: Allied Air Forces provide air support. Attacks near Carentan by the US 7th Army are held off by German counterattacks.
ETO - France: Day 32 of 62 of the Battle of Caen. The RAF bombs German positions in and around Caen.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 13 of 15 of the Battle of Tali-Ihantala. This becomes the largest battle in Scandinavian history.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 17 of 50 of the Battle of Karelia. Soviet troops continue their offensive against the Finns in eastern Karelia between Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega in northern Russia.
Russian Front - North: Day 157 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops remain locked in their defensive positions.
Russian Front - Center: Day 3 of 16 of the Battle of Vilnius, Lithuania.
Russian Front - Center: Day 3 of 27 of the Battle of Siauliai, Lithuania.
Russian Front - Center: Day 3 of 23 of the Battle of Belostock, Poland.
Hungary: Miklós Horthy suspends the deportation of Hungarian Jews to concentration camps.
MTO: US 15th Air Force bombs targets in Germany and Yugoslavia.
MTO - Italy: Day 22 of 34 of the Battle of Ancona (north of Rome). Allied Air Forces provide air support. The US 5th Army completes its clearing of the Rosignano area.
CBI - Burma: Day 125 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 120 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 98 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,558 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War. China and Japan enter the eighth year of this, the Double Seven War, which began on 07 Jul 37.
Day 82 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
Day 16 of 48 of the Battle of Hengyang. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Japan: US 20th Air Force B-29s night bomb at Sasebo, Omura and Tobata.
PTO - Caroline Islands: US 7th Air Force night bombs in the Truk Atoll and again during the day.
PTO - Dutch New Guinea: Day 6 of 61 of the Battle of Noemfoor. The island is declared secured, however bitter fighting from Japanese holdouts will continue until 31 Aug.
PTO - Mariana Islands: Day 23 of 25 of the Battle of Saipan. US 7th Air Force provides air support. Vice-Admiral Nagumo and General Saito both commit suicide as the Japanese position on Saipan deteriorates.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 42 of 83 of the Battle of Biak. There are still 3,000 Japanese soldiers on the island who won't give up.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 206 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 77 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 24 of 80 of the Battle of Lone Tree Hill.
PTO - Philippines: The USS MINGO attacks a Japanese convoy off Luzon, sinking the destroyer TAMANAMI.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 250 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1945 — , July 7
CBI: US 14th Air Force disrupts the Japanese withdrawal in French Indochina and in China.
CBI - China: Day 2,923 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO: The USS TREPANG sinks the Japanese freighter KOUN MARU NUMBER TWO.
PTO - Borneo: Day 28 of 67 of the Battle of North Borneo. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
PTO - Dutch East Indies: Day 7 of 21 of the 2nd Battle of Balikpapan.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 558 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 442 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Philippines: Day 260 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
PTO - Philippines: Day 205 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. The battle is said to over but hold-outs will continue fighting until the end of the war.
PTO - Philippines: Day 120 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. The battle is said to over but hold-outs will continue fighting until the end of the war.
PTO - Philippines: Day 112 of 135 of the Battle of the Visayas region. The battle is said to over but hold-outs will continue fighting for several weeks.
Day-By-Day listings for July 7 were last modified on Sunday, January 31, 2016