Events occurring on Thursday, April 16, 1942  
  The Japanese 1941-42 Philippines Campaign  
  The Japanese began their invasion of Panay, Philippine Islands by beginning landings with troops of the 41st Infantry Regiment.  
  The Battle of the Atlantic  
  The ship of the convoy commodore of Convoy PQ-14, the British steam merchant Empire Howard was torpedoed and sunk by the U-403, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Heinz-Ehlert Clausen, in the far northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 25 died and 37 survivors were picked up by the British armed trawler HMS Lord Middleton (FY 219) and the British armed trawler HMS Northern Wave (FY 153). The 6,985 ton Empire Howard was carrying war materials, including army trucks and was headed for Murmansk, Soviet Union.  
  The unescorted and unarmed Panamanian steam merchant Desert Light was torpedoed and sunk by the U-572, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Heinz Hirsacker, in the western Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 1 died and 30 survivors were picked up by the destroyer USS Roper (DD 147). The 2,368 ton Desert Light was carrying supplies for the Naval Operating Base in Bermuda, including ammunition and dynamite.  
  The unescorted and unarmed American steam merchant Robin Hood was torpedoed and sunk by the U-575, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Günther Heydemann, about 300 miles southeast of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts in the western Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 14 died and 24 survivors were picked up by the destroyer USS Greer (DD 145). The 6,887 ton Robin Hood was carrying chrome ore, asbestos, concentrates, and general cargo and was headed for Boston, Massachusetts.  
  The unescorted Dutch steam tanker Amsterdam was torpedoed and sunk by the U-66, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Richard Zapp, 60 miles west of British Grenada in the Caribbean. Of the ship’s complement, 2 died and 38 survivors were picked up by the Yugoslavian steam merchant Ivan. The 7,329 ton Amsterdam was carrying oil and was headed for Freetown, Sierra Leone.  
  Naval Action in the Mediterranean  
  The Free French Navy anti-submarine trawler FFL Vikings (P 41) was torpedoed and sunk by the U-81, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Friedrich Guggenberger, 23 miles from Beirut, Lebanon in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Of the ship’s complement, 41 died and 16 survived.  
  The British steam tanker Caspia was torpedoed and sunk by the U-81 23 miles from Beirut. Of the ship’s complement, 27 died and 11 survivors were picked up by the British motor launches HMS ML-1023 and HMS ML-1032. The 6,018 ton Caspia was carrying light benzine and was headed for Syria.  
  The 97 ton Egyptian sailing ship Fatouh el Kher and the 105 ton Egyptian sailing ship Bab el Farag were torpedoed and sunk by the U-81 in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.  
  Allied Submarine Action in the Pacific  
  The submarine USS Tambor (SS 198), commanded by Lt. Commander John W. Murphy, Jr., torpedoed and sank the 394 ton Japanese stores ship Kitami Maru approximately 50 nautical miles southeast of Kavieng, New Ireland.  
  The Doolittle Air Raid on Japan  
  From the U.S. Navy Halsey- Doolittle Raid After Action Report: “Various minor difficulties were experienced with the B-25s from departure until launching. Generator failures, spark plug changes, leaky gas tanks, brake trouble, and engine trouble culminated in the removal of one engine to the Hornet shops where it was repaired, then reinstalled. Planes could not be spotted for take-off until after final fueling because their wings overhung the ship's side. The high winds encountered caused vibrations in all control surfaces. Constant surveillance and rigid inspections were required to make certain the planes were properly secured to the flight deck. - B-25s were spotted for take-off on 16 April. The last plane hung far out over the stern ramp in a precarious position. The lead plane had 467 feet of clear deck for take-off. - From April 13 to April 16, little of note occurred; weather continued to be heavy and squally, with generally poor visibility, which of course contributed to the success of the mission. Enterprise maintained air patrol. Steaming on westerly courses.”  
  Lt. Colonel James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, the men of the 17th Bomb Group (Medium), and U.S. Navy personnel gathered aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV 8) and in a special ceremony attached Japanese medals to a five-hundred-pound bomb destined to be dropped on Tokyo.  
  Radio Tokyo broadcast that the “Reuters, British news agency, has announced that three American bombers have dropped bombs on Tokyo. This is a most laughable stpry. They know it is absolutely impossible for enemy bombers to get within five hundred miles of Tokyo. Instead of worrying about such foolish things, the Japanese people are enjoying the fine spring sunshine and fragrance of cherry blossoms.” Vice Admiral William F.”Bull” Halsey, commander of U.S. Navy Task Force 16 carrying Doolittle’s bombers, was alarmed that the Japanese would be on alert for a follow up raid. Doolittle discounted the report. No explanation has ever surfaced to explain the report.  
  Japanese military leaders were worried about the absence of additional radio reports from U.S. ships whose locations had been plotted on April 10. The only thing they were certain about was that the American ships had not ventured past the line of picket ships stationed east of Japan. The American task force was observing radio silence.  
    Learn more about the Doolittle Raid …  
  The United States and Vichy France  
  Admiral William D. Leahy, Ambassador to Vichy France, received a cable from Washington with information that his recall "for consultation" would be announced shortly after the formation of a new Vichy government.  
  Ships Commissioned  
  A ship's commissioning was when the ship was handed over, post fittings and trials, to the end user which, in this case, was a combatant navy.  
  The destroyer HMS Bleasdale (L 50) was commissioned. Her first commander was Lt. Peter B. N. Lewis.  
  The destroyer USS Duncan (DD 485) was commissioned. Her first commander was Lt. Commander Edmund B. Taylor.  
  The submarine U-618 was commissioned. Her first commander was Oberleutnant zur See Kurt Baberg.  
  April 1942 Calendar  
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