April 5, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
SUNDAY, 5 APRIL 1942
IJN: "Operation C" at dawn 127 carrier aircraft (91 bombers and 36 fighters) from the 1st Air Fleet (Kido Butai) launch from aircraft carriers Akagi, Zuikaku, Sōryū, Shokaku and Hiryū under the command of Commander Mitsuo Fuchida strike Colombo on Ceylon (Sri Lanka) with a force comprised 125 carrier aircraft including 36 Val dive bombers, 53 Kate bombers and 36 A6M2 Zero escorts. The strike targets the harbor while Admiral Nagumo keeps the rest of his force, approximately another 180 aircraft, in reserve as a second wave, to be launched once Fuchida confirms the location of their principle target the British Navy Eastern Fleet that already departed but attack and sink HMS Dorsetshire (40) and HMS Cornwall (56), several merchant vessels and destroyer HMS Tenedos.
Ozawa unit under the command of Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa including Ryūjō attack Allied shipping in the Bay of Bengal off India.
RAF: In response, the RAF launched two squadrons of RAF Hurricanes and two Navy Fulmars to intercept.
Easter Sunday Raid, the Eastern Fleet left Colombo, but Japanese carrier aircraft sink two cruisers: HMS Dorsetshire (40) and HMS Cornwall (56), destroyer HMS Tenedos and several merchant vessels.
IJN: In New Guinea, four A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai (Tainan Air Group) took off from Lae Airfield on a escort seven G4M1 Bettys from the 4th Kokutai (4th Air Group) on a bombing mission against 7 Mile Drome near Port Morsby. Lost is A6M2 Zero pilot Yoshi’e. Meanwhile, at Lae Airfield, pilot Saburo Sakai writes a description of Lae Airfield.
USAAF: Crashed is B-17E 41-2443 (KIA) crashed into the cliffs of Mount Keahiakahoe near the Nu'uanu Pali on Oahu.
Crashed is PBY-5A 2487 (KIA) crashed south of Makapuu on Oahu.