On This Day

April 1943 in History

Events in History

  • 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 8 Hakuun Yasutani Roshi, founder of Sanbo Kyodan, receives dharma

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 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 Gen Alexander/Eisenhower/Anderson/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

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
  • 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 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
  • 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

Birthdays in History

  • Apr 3 Doreen Tracey, British-born American performer (Mickey Mouse Club-Mouseketeer), born in St Pancras, London (d. 2018)
  • Apr 4 Ian Robertson, British museum director (National Army Museum)
  • Apr 6 Harry Conroy, trade unionist
  • Apr 8 Michael Bennett, American theater director and choreographer (Chorus Line), born in Buffalo, New York (d. 1987)
  • 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 11 Egbert Dommering, Dutch lawyer
  • Apr 11 John Montagu, 11th Earl of Sandwich, British entrepreneur, politician and nobleman
  • Apr 13 Billy Kidd, American skier, born in Burlington, Vermont
  • Apr 14 Clarice Elaine Gaylord, 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)

Robert Lefkowitz

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

  • Apr 16 Ewald Vanvugt, Dutch author (Kiss of Delight, Seed of Love), born in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
  • Apr 20 Ian Watson, British sci-fi author (Book of Being, Whores of Babylon), born in North Shields, England
  • Apr 22 Louise Glück, American poet and 12th US Poet Laureate (2020 Nobel Prize for Literature), born in NYC, New York
  • Apr 23 Carmen von Thyssen, Spanish philanthropist and art collector, born in Barcelona, Spain
  • Apr 26 Peter Zumthor, Swiss architect (Royal Gold Medal 2013), born in Basel, Switzerland
  • Apr 28 John Oliver Creighton, NASA astronaut (STS 51G, 36, 48), born in Orange, Texas

Ian Kershaw

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

  • 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)

Weddings in History

John Glenn

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

Deaths in History

  • Apr 4 Oskar Schlemmer, German painter, sculptor and choreographer (Triadisches Ballett), dies at 54
  • 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 14 Asser B Kleerekoper, SDAP-Second-Member of parliament, 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 Willy Graf, German resistance fighter, beheaded
  • Apr 24 Gerardus H de Hare, socialist vicar, dies at 63
  • 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