Events occurring on Thursday, October 15, 1942  
  The Battle for Stalingrad  
  German attacks against the tractor factory complex continued. The Germans reached the Volga River north of the main factory complex.  
   
  The Battle for Guadalcanal  
  The heavy cruisers IJN Chokai and IJN Kinugasa, under command of Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi, bombarded Henderson Field, covering the movement of six destroyers and eleven transports to Tassafaronga, Guadalcanal.  
   
  Planes from Henderson Field, including USMC and U.S. Navy SBDs Dauntlesses, USAAF B-17 Flying Fortresses and P-39/P-400 Airacobras, Navy F4Fs Wildcats, and a USMC PBY Catalina (the personal "flag" plane of Commanding General 1st Marine Aircraft Wing), conducted a succession of attacks upon a Japanese supply convoy off Tassafaronga undamaged by an aerial strike the previous day. The USAAF B-17 Flying Fortresses damaged the transport Azumasan Maru which, along with merchant cargo ship Kyushu Maru, was run aground, where uncontrollable fires destroyed both ships. Air attacks also sank the Sasago Maru and damaged the destroyer IJN Samidare.  
   
  Off San Cristobal, Solomon Islands, the destroyer USS Meredith (DD 434) took on board the crew of the tug USS Vireo (AT 144) as planes from carriers IJN Shokaku and IJN Zuikaku approached. Before the USS Meredith could scuttle the tug with a torpedo to prevent her from falling into enemy hands, however, the destroyer was overwhelmed and sunk in the ensuing air attack, by bombs and aerial torpedoes. The USS Vireo and her tow (a gasoline barge), though, having been abandoned, drifted off, untouched by the enemy. Some Meredith survivors reached safety on board the tug.  
   
  The Central Pacific Theater  
  The heavy cruiser USS Portland (CA 33) bombarded Japanese shipping and installations at Tarawa, Gilbert Islands.  
   
  The Battle of the Atlantic  
  The U-661, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Erich Lilienfeld, was sunk after being rammed by the British destroyer HMS Viscount (D 92) in the North Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 44 died. During its career the U-661 sank 1 merchant ship for a total of 3,672 tons.  
   
  A straggler from Convoy ONS-136, the British steam merchant Newton Pine was torpedoed and sunk by the U-410, commanded by Kurt Sturm, southeast of Cape Farewell, Greenland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 47 died. The 4,212 ton Newton Pine was carrying ballast and was bound for New York, New York.  
   
  Allied Submarine Warfare in the Pacific  
  The submarine USS Skipjack (SS 184), commanded by Lt. Commander James W. Coe, engaged Japanese auxiliary Kifuku Maru east of the Paluau Islands. The USS Skipjack's torpedoes missed and the Kifuku Maru returned fire with her guns and escaped into a rain squall.  
   
  The Doolittle Air Raid on Japan  
  The Japanese brought three captured crew members of the Doolittle raid - 1st Lt. William Farrow, 1st Lt. Dean Hallmark, and Sgt. Harold Spatz - to Public Cemetery No. 1 outside Shanghai, China. In accordance with proper ceremonial procedures of the Japanese military, they were then shot. Learn more about the Doolittle Raid …  
   
  The Southwest Pacific Theater  
  The Submarine Base, Fremantle-Perth, Australia, was established.  
   
  The Pacific Theater  
  Patrol Wing 14, under command of Captain William M. McDade, was established at San Diego, California, for operations in Western Sea Frontier.  
   
  The Atomic Bombs  
  Brigadier General Leslie R. Groves asks Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer to head Project Y, planned to be the new central laboratory for weapon physics research and design.  
   
  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 escort carrier HMS Activity (D 94) was commissioned. Her first commander was Captain Guy Willoughby.  
   
  The light cruiser USS Denver (CL 58) was commissioned. Her first commander was Captain Robert B. Carney.  
   
  The destroyer USS Stanly (DD 478) was commissioned. Her first commander was Lt. Commander James M. Robinson.  
   
  The minesweeper USS Speed (AM 116) was commissioned.  
   
  The submarine U-644 was commissioned. Her first commander was Oberleutnant zur See Kurt Jensen.  
   
  The submarine U-760 was commissioned. Her first commander was Oberleutnant zur See Otto-Ulrich Blum.  
     
   
  October 1942 Calendar  
   
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