On This Day

What Happened in April 1943

Historical Events

  • Apr 1 Jan Dieters, Dutch politician and resistance fighter who was the head of the Communist Party of the Netherlands, is arrested by the Nazis
  • Apr 5 Mortsel, Belgium: Allies target Minerva car factory, used for repairing Luftwaffe planes for bombing raid; collateral damage from missed targets kills 936 civilians, Belgium's greatest loss of WWII

Poon Lim's 133 Day South Atlantic Odyssey

Apr 5 Chinese steward Poon Lim is found off the coast of Brazil by a Brazilian fisherman family after being adrift 133 days, after British ship SS Benlomond torpedoed by german U-boat

  • Apr 6 British & US armies link up in Africa during WW II
  • Apr 6 British offensive at Wadi Akarit, South Tunisia
  • Apr 6 Lou Jansen, leader of illegal Dutch political party (CPN) arrested
  • Apr 7 British and US troops make contact at Wadi Akarit, South-Tunisia
  • Apr 7 Lt colonel Claus von Stauffenberg seriously wounded at allied air raid
  • Apr 7 NFL adopts free substitution rule; helmets made mandatory and 10-game schedule for all teams approved
  • Apr 8 Hakuun Yasutani Roshi, founder of Sanbo Kyodan, receives dharma
  • Apr 8 Stanley Cup Final, Boston Garden, Boston, MA: Detroit Red Wings beat Boston Bruins, 2-0 for a 4-0 series sweep and their 3rd SC Championship

Historic Event

Apr 8 U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, freezes wages and prices, prohibits workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided thereby, and bars rate increases to common carriers and public utilities.

  • Apr 8 1943 NFL Draft: Frank Sinkwich from University of Georgia first pick by Detroit Lions
  • Apr 10 12 Jewish patients of Herren Loo-Lozenoord escape Nazis
  • Apr 10 General Montgomery occupies Sfax, Tunisia
  • Apr 11 Frank Piasecki, Vertol founder, flies his 1st (single-rotor) craft
  • Apr 12 Allies conquer Soussa, North-Africa
  • Apr 12 Dutch Catholic University Nijmegen closed
  • Apr 13 Catholic University Nijegen closes
  • Apr 13 FDR dedicates Jefferson Memorial
  • Apr 13 Nazis discover mass grave of Polish officers near Katyn

Historic Event

Apr 14 Generals Alexander, Eisenhower, Anderson and Bradley discuss assault on Tunis

  • Apr 14 James Gow & A d'Usseau's "Tomorrow the World" premieres in NYC

Battle of Interest

Apr 14 A JN-25 decrypt by American intelligence detailing a forthcoming visit by Marshal Admiral Yamamoto to Balalae Island results in his plane shot down 4 days later

  • Apr 15 Metropolitan Life Insurances issues a $225 million check to Chase
  • Apr 16 40 NZ bombers attack Haarlem, Netherlands (85 killed)
  • Apr 16 Swiss scientist Dr. Albert Hofmann discovers the psychedelic effects of LSD
  • Apr 17 Marshal Admiral Yamamoto flies from Truk to Rabaul
  • Apr 17 SS General Jürgen Stroop arrives in Warsaw

Attack on Pearl Harbor

Apr 18 Operation Vengeance: US Army Air Force P-38G fighter aircraft from Kukum Field on Guadalcanal ambush and shoot down the transport bomber aircraft of Isoroku Yamamoto, commander-in-chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy and mastermind behind the Pearl Harbor attack

  • Apr 19 47th Boston Marathon won by Gerard Cote of Canada in 2:28:25.8; his 2nd of 4 wins in the event

Historic Event

Apr 19 Jews refuse to surrender the Warsaw Ghetto to SS officer Jürgen Stroop, who then orders its destruction, beginning the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

  • Apr 19 Bicycle Day - Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann deliberately takes LSD for the first time

Sports History

Apr 20 Braves manager Casey Stengel is struck by a taxi, fractures a leg

  • Apr 22 German counter attack in North Tunisia
  • Apr 22 RAF shoots down 14 German transport planes over Mediterranean Sea
  • Apr 23 British & US offensive directed at Tunis and Bizerta
  • Apr 25 The Demyansk Shield for German troops in commemoration of Demyansk Pocket instituted
  • Apr 27 Soviet Union breaks contact with Polish government exiled in London

Historic Event

Apr 27 Witold Pilecki escapes from Auschwitz after having voluntarily been imprisoned there to gain information about the Holocaust

  • Apr 28 1st performance of Marc Blitzstein's "Freedom Morning"
  • Apr 28 German-Italian counter offensive in North Africa
  • Apr 28 US 34th Division occupies Djebel el Hara, North Tunisia
  • Apr 29 German pastor and anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer arrested by the Gestapo

Theater Premiere

Apr 29 Noël Coward's comic play "Present Laughter" premieres in London

  • Apr 29 US 34th Division occupies Hill 609, North Tunisia
  • Apr 30 Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp for Jews forms
  • Apr 30 Dutch strike against forced labor in Nazi Germany's war industry
  • Apr 30 Noël Coward's play "This Happy Breed" premieres in London

Famous Birthdays

  • Apr 2 Glen Dale [Richard Garforth], rock vocalist (Fortunes Deal)
  • Apr 2 Larry Coryell, American jazz guitarist (11th House), born in Galveston, Texas (d. 2017)
  • Apr 3 Jonathan Lynn, English writer and actor (Greedy, Bar Mitzvah Boy), born in Bath, England
  • Apr 3 Richard Manuel, Canadian rock pianist and vocalist (The Band - "The Shape I'm In"; "Tears Of Rage"), born in Stratford, Ontario (d. 1986)
  • Apr 3 Mario Lavista, Mexican composer and writer, born in Mexico City
  • Apr 3 Doreen Tracey, British-born American performer (Mickey Mouse Club-Mouseketeer), born in St Pancras, London (d. 2018)
  • Apr 3 Artie Traum, American folk guitarist, songwriter, producer, and film maker, born in The Bronx, New York City
  • Apr 4 Ian Robertson, British museum director (National Army Museum)
  • Apr 5 Max Gail, American Emmy Awrad winning actor (Barney Miller - "Wojo"; D.C. Cab: General Hospital; 42), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Apr 5 Masahiko 'Fighting' Harada, Japanese boxer (world flyweight, bantamweight champion), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • Apr 6 Harry Conroy, trade unionist
  • Apr 6 Joaquin Agostinho, Portuguese cyclist
  • Apr 6 Roger Cook, investigative journalist/broadcaster
  • Apr 6 Susan Tolsky, American actress (Madame's Place; Here Come The Brides), born in Houston, Texas
  • Apr 7 Dennis Amiss, cricketer (prolific English batsman)
  • Apr 7 Mick Abrahams, British rock guitarist (Jethro Tull, 1967-68; Blodwyn Pig, 1969-70), born in Luton, England
  • Apr 7 Roberta Shore [Schourop], American actress (The Virginian), and singer, born in Monterey Park, California,
  • Apr 8 Carol Lavell, American equestrian dressage (Olympic bronze 1992, 96), born in Newport, Rhode Island
  • Apr 8 Michael Bennett, American theater director and choreographer (Chorus Line), born in Buffalo, New York (d. 1987)
  • Apr 8 Robby Weaver, American actor (Stone), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Apr 8 Tony Banks, English politician (Labour), born in Belfast (d. 2006)
  • Apr 8 William Garth Morrison, British Chief scout of UK and Overseas territories (d. 2013)
  • Apr 8 James Herbert, English horror writer (The Rats), born in London, England (d. 2013)
  • Apr 9 Terry Knight [Knapp], American rock singer, manager, and record producer (Grand Funk Railroad), born in Lapeer, Michigan (d. 2004)
  • Apr 11 Egbert Dommering, Dutch lawyer
  • Apr 11 John Montagu, 11th Earl of Sandwich, British entrepreneur, politician and nobleman
  • Apr 12 Charles Ludlam, American playwright and actor (Big Easy), born in NYC, New York (d. 1987)
  • Apr 13 Billy Kidd, American skier, born in Burlington, Vermont
  • Apr 14 Clarice Elaine Gaylord, American director of research grants (EPA)
  • Apr 14 Yvonne Vriens-Auerbach, Dutch politician (CDA)
  • Apr 15 Hugh Thompson Jr., American Vietnam War veteran who played a major role in ending the 1968 My Lai massacre, born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2006)
  • Apr 15 Riem de Wolff, Indonesian-Dutch singer and guitarist (Blue Diamonds), born in Depok, Buitenzorg, Dutch East Indies (d. 2017)

Robert Lefkowitz

Apr 15 Robert Lefkowitz, American physician (Nobel Prize for Chemistry), born in NYC, New York

  • Apr 15 "Mighty" Sam McClain, American soul and blues singer-songwriter, born in Monroe, Louisiana (d. 2015)
  • Apr 16 "Lonesome Dave" Peverett, British rock singer and musician (Foghat, Savoy Brown), born in London, England (d. 2000)
  • Apr 16 Ewald Vanvugt, Dutch author (Kiss of Delight, Seed of Love), born in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
  • Apr 16 Johnny Watkins, Australian cricketer (NSW leg-spinner, bowled 6 overs for Aust), born in Newcastle, New South Wales
  • Apr 16 Ruth Madoc, British singer and actress (Hi Di Hi), born in Norwich, Norfolk
  • Apr 17 Roy Estrada, American rock bassist (Mothers Of Invention), and convicted sex offender, born in Santa Ana, California
  • Apr 18 Lesley Miller, American pop, session, and advertising jingle singer ("He Wore A Green Beret"; "Reach Out and Touch Someone"), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Apr 19 Robert Yates, American auto racing team owner and engine builder (Yates Racing, NASCAR), born in Charlotte, North Carolina (d. 2017)
  • Apr 19 Eve Graham [Beatson], Scottish pop singer (The New Seekers - "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing"), born in Auchterarder, Perth and Kinross, Scotland
  • Apr 20 Edie Sedgwick, American actress (Ciao Manhattan) and socialite, born in Santa Barbara, California (d. 1971)
  • Apr 20 Ian Watson, British sci-fi author (Book of Being, Whores of Babylon), born in North Shields, England
  • Apr 20 Michael Greer, American actor (Bobby Gentry Show), born in Galesburg, Illinois (d. 2002)
  • Apr 20 John Eliot Gardiner, English conductor, born in Fontmell Magna, Dorset
  • Apr 21 Hannes Viljoen, South African rugby union winger (3 caps; Natal), born in Elliot, South Africa (d. 2021)
  • Apr 22 Mel Carter, American pop singer ("Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me"), born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Apr 22 Steve Dunne, New Zealand cricket umpire (39 Tests; 100 ODIs), born in Dunedin. Otago
  • Apr 22 Louise Glück, American poet and 12th US Poet Laureate (2020 Nobel Prize for Literature), born in NYC, New York
  • Apr 23 Si Kahn, American folk and bluegrass singer-songwriter (Aragon Mill), and civil rights activist, born in State College, Pennsylvania
  • Apr 23 Carmen von Thyssen, Spanish philanthropist and art collector, born in Barcelona, Spain
  • Apr 23 Hervé Villechaize, French-American actor (Fantasy Island - Ze plane! Ze plane!), born in Paris (d. 1993)
  • Apr 23 Hugh Davies, English composer, born in Exmouth, Devon (d. 2005)
  • Apr 23 Tony Esposito, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender (6 x NHL All Star; Vezina Trophy 1970, 72, 74; Chicago Blackhawks), born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (d. 2021)
  • Apr 23 Bob van Toll, Dutch actor and director (Pastorale 1943), born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 2005)
  • Apr 24 Richard Sterban, American country singer (Oak Ridge Boys - "Elvira"), born in Camden, New Jersey
  • Apr 25 Tony Christie [Fitzgerald], British pop singer (I Did What I Did For Maria), born in Conisbrough, England
  • Apr 26 Gary Wright, American singer (Spooky Tooth - It's All About; solo - "Dream Weaver"), born in Cresskill, New Jersey
  • Apr 26 Peter Zumthor, Swiss architect (Royal Gold Medal 2013), born in Basel, Switzerland
  • Apr 27 Eugene Polyakov, Russian balletmaster (Paris Opera Ballet), born in Moscow (d. 1996)
  • Apr 27 Helmut Marko, Austrian auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1971), born in Graz, Austria
  • Apr 28 The Fantastic Johnny C [Johnny Corley], American singer ("Boogaloo Down Broadway"), born in Greenwood, South Carolina
  • Apr 28 John Oliver Creighton, American NASA astronaut (STS 51G, 36, 48), born in Orange, Texas
  • Apr 28 Jacques Dutronc, French singer (Il est cinq heures, Paris s'éveille), born in Paris, France
  • Apr 29 Duane Allen, American country singer (Oak Ridge Boys - "Elvira"), born in Taylortown, Texas

Ian Kershaw

Apr 29 Ian Kershaw, English historian (wrote seminal biographies of Adolf Hitler), born in Oldham, England

  • Apr 30 Bobby Vee [Velline], American pop singer ("Devil Or Angel"; "Take Good Care Of My Baby"), born in Fargo, North Dakota (d. 2016)
  • Apr 30 Bob Livingston, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Louisiana), born in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Apr 30 Frederick Chiluba, 2nd President of Zambia (1991-2001), born in Kitwe, Northern Rhodesia (d. 2011)
  • Apr 30 David King, British graphic designer (album covers for Jimi Hendrix and The Who), photographer (I Am King), and historian (The Commissar Vanishes), born in Isleworth, England (d. 2016)

Famous Weddings

John Glenn

Apr 6 US Marine Corps aviator and astronaut John Glenn (21) weds high school sweetheart Anna Margaret Castor

Peter Cushing

Apr 10 Actor Peter Cushing (29) weds actress Violet Helene Beck in London, England

Claire Trevor

Apr 17 Actress Claire Trevor (34) weds Navy lieutenant Cyclos William Dunsmoore in Tijuana, Mexico


Famous Deaths

  • Apr 3 Conrad Veidt, German actor (Casablanca, Cabinet of Dr Calgary), dies from a heart attack at 50
  • Apr 4 Oskar Schlemmer, German painter, sculptor and choreographer (Triadisches Ballett), dies at 54
  • Apr 4 Raoul Laparra, French composer, dies during a bombing raid in WWII at 66
  • Apr 4 Hartzell "Tiny" Parham, American jazz pianist, theater organist, and bandleader, dies at 43
  • Apr 5 Aleš Hrdlička, Austro-Hungarian anthropologist and curator (US National Museum), dies at 74
  • Apr 7 Jovan Ducic, Serbian poet (Blue Legends), dies at 72
  • Apr 7 Alexandre Millerand, President of France (b. 1859)
  • Apr 8 Paul Colin, Belgian journalist/collaborator, executed
  • Apr 8 Richard Sears, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1881-87), dies at 81
  • Apr 14 Asser B. Kleerekoper, Dutch SDAP-Second-Member of parliament, dies at 62
  • Apr 14 Geoffrey Turton Shaw, British organist, composer, and educator, dies at 63
  • Apr 15 Raffaele Casimiri, Italian composer, and musicologist dies at 62
  • Apr 15 Aristarkh Lentulov, Russian artist, dies at 61

Isoroku Yamamoto

Apr 18 Isoroku Yamamoto, Japanese WWII Marshall Admiral & Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese fleet who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, killed in action at 59 by a US ambush after the "Magic" code-breaking team intercepted and decoded his flight plan

  • Apr 19 Alexander Schmorell, German resistance fighter, beheaded
  • Apr 19 Gustave Doret, Swiss composer, dies at 76
  • Apr 19 Willy Graf, German resistance fighter, beheaded
  • Apr 24 Gerardus H de Hare, socialist vicar, dies at 63
  • Apr 25 Vladimir Ivanovich Nemirovich-Danchenko, playwright/director, dies
  • Apr 29 Joseph Achron, Latvian violinist and composer (Golem suite), dies at 56
  • Apr 29 Karl Adrian Wohlfart, Swedish composer, dies at 68
  • Apr 29 Sidney Keyes, English poet (Foreign Gate), dies fighting during WWII at 20
  • Apr 30 Beatrice Potter Webb, British sociologist, economist (founded London School of Economics) and writer (My Apprenticeship), dies at 85
  • Apr 30 Etty Hillesum, Dutch diarist, dies in Auschwitz
  • Apr 30 Otto Jespersen, Danish linguist, dies at 82
  • Apr 30 Leo Smit, Dutch composer, dies in Sobibór extermination camp at 42