On this day: the Doolittle Raid

The Doolittle Raid, a series of US bomb attacks on Japan, took place on the 18th of April, 1942. Also called the Tokyo Raid, it was seen as retaliation for the Pearl Harbor attack a few months before.

Army_B-25_(Doolittle_Raid)The Doolittle Raid, also known as the Tokyo Raid, on Saturday, April 18, 1942,

On this day: the bombing of Darwin

800px-Darwin_42The explosion of an oil storage tank and clouds of smoke from other oil tanks hit during the first Japanese air raid on Australia's mainland, at Darwin on 19 February 1942.

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The first of Japan’s Second World War attacks on Darwin, Australia occurred on the 19th of February, 1942.

The same fleet that bombed Pearl Harbor bombed the Northern Territory, but considerably more bombs were dropped on Australia than in the US.

Remains_of_the_Darwin_Post_OfficeRemains of the Darwin Post Office after the first Japanese Air Raid. 19 February 1942.

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The attack came in two waves, and hundreds of people – including civilians – were killed. It was the beginning of many Japanese attacks on Australia (there were approximately 100 more attacks), who had been involved in the conflict since the beginning of the war.

War Christmas in 1942

This is Christmas Day in Papua New Guinea in 1942. Injured Australian soldier George C. “Dick” Whittington is helped to a hospital by Raphael Oimbari. These native men were named the “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” by the Australian soldiers for the help they provided them in the Second World War.

Sadly, the injured soldier died a few weeks after this picture was taken.

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On this day: a Thanksgiving festival in an internment camp

Halfway through the Second World War, after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States joined the conflict, American citizens and legal US residents of Japanese descent were moved to internment camps for the remainder of the war.

Construction of the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona began in May 1942.

A few months later, in the same year, the camp hosted a Christian service and then a Harvest Festival parade on Thanksgiving Day. The holiday fell on the 26th of November that year.

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gila-river-relocation-center-rivers-arizona-one-of-the-floats-in-the-thanksgiving-day-harvest-festival-usa-26th-november-1942

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On this day: the beginning of the Sook Ching

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Following the Fall of Singapore, the Japanese Imperial Army began the Sook Ching, or the “purge through cleansing” of allegedly “hostile” Chinese in Singapore, on the 18th of February 1942.

Later, the Sook Ching would be extended to also include the Chinese in Malaya.

Chinese Singaporean authorities place the death toll of the massacre at around 100 000.

While the Japanese authorities admitted the massacre did take place, their official figures place the death toll at fewer than 5000.

The massacre continued until the 4th of March.

On this day: the fall of Singapore in 1942

Surrendering troops of the Suffolk Regiment are held at gunpoint by Japanese infantry.

Suffolk Regiment troops held at gunpoint by Japanese infantry.

The Battle of Singapore ended on the 15th of February 1942, when Singapore fell to the Japanese.

Japanese_shooting_blindfolded_Sikh_prisonersJapanese soldiers shooting blindfolded Sikh prisoners

Japanese soldiers shooting Sikh prisoners

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Japanese air raid on the 8th of February 1942.

Fighting in Singapore, at the time a major base for British soldiers, began on the 8th of February.

Hawker Hurricane of No. 232 Squadron RAF shot down on 8 February 1942.

Hawker Hurricane of No. 232 Squadron RAF shot down on 8 February.

The fall of Singapore was the largest fall of British-led troops in history, with some 80 000 British, Australian and Indian troops becoming prisoners of war.

LieutenantGeneral Arthur Percival led by a Japanese officer walks under a flag of truce to negotiate the capitulation of Allied forces in Singapore on 15 February 1942

Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival walks under a flag of truce to negotiate the capitulation of Allied forces

Many Australian and British soldiers died in captivity in the infamous Changi Prison.