16 April 1942

US Air Force B-25 bombers launch air raid against Japanese positions at Salamaua on the north-eastern New Guinea coast, which have been occupied by the enemy since 8 March.

US Sub USS Tambor sinks small Jap freighter Kitami Maru 65km south-west of Kavieng, New Ireland in Bismarck Archipelago.

In Japan, Imperial Navy issues order No 18 for Admiral Yamamoto’s Combined Fleet to start plans to capture Midway island.

15 April 1942

King George VI awards the island of Malta the George Cross for gallantry “to bear witness to the heroism and evotion of its people” during the Luftwaffe’s bombing siege. The island incorporates the medal into its national flag.

The Australian Army’s Sparrow Force continues its guerrilla fighti against Japanese forces on Portuguese Timor.

14 April 1942

In Philippines, the stragglers of the U.S. and Filipino POWs captured by the Japanese invaders now on the Bataan Death March are beaten, shot or bayoneted where they fall by their Japanese guards.

13 April 1942

Bataan Death March gathers momentum with scores dying each day as Japanese troops and guards have no food and only minimal water for 70,000 plus U.S. & Filipino POWs.

12 April 1942

HMAS Laurabada, the Papuan Administrator’s official yacht, commandeered to help rescue the survivors of Lark Force, former garrison troops from Rabaul, arrives in Port Moresby after a harrowing journey from New Britain

The ship is licensed to sleep 8 people but carries 156 escapees from Rabaul whom it had picked up at Palmalmal on the New Britain south coast. Only one soldier died on the journey.

11 April 1942

In Philippines, the massacres start on the Bataan Death March as Japanese kill 350 Filipino POWs in cold blood, beheading or bayonetting them. Dysentery and other diseases begin the spread.

10 April 1942

In Moresby, C Company 39th Battalion sends more patrols in search of a downed Jap pilot who parachuted into the nearby jungle but without success.

In Philippines, Japs expecting 25,000 American POWs after their surrender are faced with 76,000 vanquished US & Filipino troops. Japs provide no food or medical treatment as they march the POWs to Balanga, Bataan.

9 April 1942

Young Diggers of in Moresby are still being used as labourers as 12 platoon of 39th Battalion spends all night unloading stores and equipment from the Malaita in Moresby Harbour. 39th Battalion's C Company patrols return from another unsuccessful search for the downed Japanese fighter pilot.

8 April 1942

Troops from 39th Bn help unload transport ship, Malaita, which arrives in harbour in early morning. Another patrol returns from searching for the recently downed Japanese airman without success but they do report finding a crashed Kittyhawk in the jungle near Gaille.

7 April 1942

CO and HQ officers of 39th Battalion reconnoitre likely river crossings in their new area of operations near the 7-Mile airstrip, while troops continue digging slit trenches and setting up machine gun emplacements around the airstrip.

Japanese forces occupy Ternate in Dutch New Guinea.