History Podcasts

12 May 1942

12 May 1942

12 May 1942



Eastern Front

Soviet Southwest Front army attacks towards Kharkov (battle of Kharkov, to 29 May)

War in the Air

Thirteen German troop transports shot down by the RAF off North Africa


Osage, W. Va., May 12. — (AP) — A disastrous explosion tore through the heart of a northern West Virginia coal mine Tuesday with an apparent loss of at least 53 lives.
Rescue crews at midnight had recovered three bodies, discovered 11 more and announced there was scant hope that 39 trapped men could still be living.
Seventy others in the big operation, working outside the explosion area, escaped from the No. 3 mine of the Christopher Coal company located four miles from the university city of Morgantown.
An official announcement at midnight said the estimate of 53 lost “muct of necessity be an approximation.” There was no indication other than that, however, that a greater number was trapped.
The time of the explosion, three miles underground, was fixed at 2:30 p. m. but company officials said the cause had not been determinied. The announcement said the operation had been rockdusted as a precaution against explosion two days ago, and was inspected Monday.
FRANK A. CHRISTOPHER, company president, issued a statement that he still hoped some might be found alive but members of five crews boring into the wrecked area said it did not seem as if any of those remaining escaped.
Three bodies, near the perimeter of the blast area, were recovered soon after the explosion. Late Tuesday night crews announced they had located 11 other bodies, which would be removed soon.
At least one man was given oxygen treatment to offset, the effects of gas he inhaled.
The bodies removed were identified as:
NICK NIMECHECK, 23, address unknown.
FRED MONGO, about, 35, of Osage.
JACK JONES, 28, of Granville.

The Billings Gazette Montana 1942-05-13





Osage, May 13 — (AP) — Four more bodies were carried out of the Christopher Coal company’s No. 3 mine late tonight by rescue workers, bringing to 45 the total removed from the operation rocked by an explosion yesterday afternoon.
Eleven other victims were still buried under the heavy falls in the center of the blast area, and company officials expressed the belief it would take hours to extricate them from the debris.
Mine Head Joins Squads.
FRANK CHRISTOPHER, president of the company, joined the rescue crews in their toll earlier in the day and was still in the pit when the four bodies were brought to the surface.
Three of the bodies recovered tonight were identified as those of J. W. MITCHELL, 52, cutter, of Morgantown ALLEN BAUGHMAN, 32, machine operator, Fairview, and JAMES GATIAN, 33, trackman, of Riverside. The identity of the fourth man was not immediately determined.
The rescue crews hauled three bodies to the surface yesterday and removed 42 others today to the accompaniment of sobs from grief-stricken widows and children who stood among the hundreds of spectators around the mine mouth.
Autos Choke Road.
The road leading from Morgantown, four miles south, was choked with automobiles again today as throngs of relatives and the merely curious visited the operation.
Officials expressed themselves as certain there were 11 more bodies in the mine after making an exhaustive check, but all apparently were in the hard-hit third section affected by the blast.
Chief N. P. RHINEHART of the state mines department, confessing himself still at a loss about the cause of the explosion, explained that an investigation would not be started until after all bodies are found.
Hasn’t “Least Idea”
Speaking of the workings as a whole, RHINEHART said:
“The mine is not so badly torn, with not a whole lot of falls. I haven’t yet drawn any conclusions as to the cause of the explosion ….. I haven’t the least idea.”
The five rescue crews, working in four-hour shifts, still were forced to wear oxygen helmets because of fumes remaining in the affected area of the mine, three miles underground. Four were overcome as a result of overexertion but their condition was not considered serious.
Ambulances carried the victims to Morgantown to await funeral arrangements.
Brass checks, lamp and family records were searched during the day as officials sought to determine for certain those who lost their lives.
Assistant Foreman Killed.
During the check, it was discovered that TOM FRIESEN, a loader who had been reported dead, was alive. EDDIE JEFFERSON, a loader whose name was not on the original list of those trapped, was found dead.
Among those killed in the blast was Assistant Day Foreman TONY BELEC and the three shift leaders in the mechanized operation, each working in a different section.
One of the victims, THOMAS CORDWELL, 50, of Osage, a mechinist, left a widow and 13 children.
Unofficial List of Dead.
The unofficial list of 56 men dead and missing and their survivors:
TONY BELEC, 28, assistant day mine foreman, Riverside, widow and one child.
JOHN McGEE, SR., 41, shift leader, Osage, widow and six children.
HAROLD LITTLE, 32, shift leader, Morgantown R. D. 3, widow and two children.
BASIL REED LAFFERTY, 40, shift leader, Morgantown, widow and one child.
THOMAS CORDWELL, 50, machinist, Osage, wife and 13 children.
JOHN B. COOK, 40, trapper, Osage, widow and three children.
BERMAN COOKER, 42, motorman, Watson, widow and two children.
GEORGE FAGULLA, 29, machine operator, Riverside, widow.
FLOYD METHENY, 30, machine operator, Morgantown R. D. 3, widow and four children.
HAROLD MURPHY, 18, trackman, Cassville, single.
HARLAN C. MURPHY, 35, machine operator, Jere, widow and two children.
DARRELL ADAMS, 34, machine operator, Mt. Morris, Pa., widow and two children.
HOYE THOMPSON, 46, trackman, Morgantown R. D. 1, widow.
ROY BATTON, 33, morotman, Osage, widow.
SAM MAY, 46, trackman, Star City, widow and five children.
JOHN PAUL GASPAR, 32, timberman, Morgantown, wife and two children.
WILLIAM SHINKO, 50, timberman, Chaplin, single.
ROBERT JOSEPH COVERT, 33, wireman, Morgantown, widow.
EDWARD DELANEY, 33, motorman, Core, widow and four children.
RUSSELL WADE TURNER, 26, wireman, Morgantown, widow and one child.
EVERETT MARSHALL, 26, trackman, Osage, widow and two children.
EDWARD LEO McCARDLE, 27, brakeman, Morgantown, widow and one child.
DOUGLAS DONALDSON, 26, timberman, Maidsville, divorced, one child.
EARL HENDERSON, 29, machine operator, Laurel Point, widow and three children.
THOMAS O. BRINGEGAR, SR., 55, trackman, Osage, widow and seven children.
ALFONZO CROOK, 25, Negro, brakeman, Cassville, widow.
JOHN POWLEY, 29, timberman, Osage, widow.
FREDERICK LEE MONGOLD, 36, motorman, Osage, widow and two children.
NICK NIMCHECK, 22, pumper, Morgantown, widow.
ARTHUR CUNNINGHAM, 34, machine operator, Cassville, widow and two children.
HOMER DEE CUNNINGHAM, 30, mechanic, Morgantown, brother of ARTHUR, widow and one child.
ALLEN (JACK) JONES, JR., Negro, brakeman, Granville, widow.
DELFORD WHETZELL, 38, brakeman, Cassville, widow.
HARRY MOODY, 26, trackman, Smithfield, Pa., widow and two children.
EDWARD JEFFERSON, 38, Negro, brakeman, Osage, widow and six children.
HOMER MAYFIELD, 58, timberman, Cassville, widow and four children.
BRUCE STONE, 55, brakeman, Pentress, widow and three children.
JUNIOR McGEE, 23, timberman, Maidsville, son of Shift Leader McGEE, widow and one child.
FRANK POWLEY, 48, shot fireman, Osage, widow, seven children.
DAN MORRIS, 31, machine operator, Riverside, widow, one child.
The 11 believed still in the mine were identified as:
STEWART MILLS, 41, trackman, Morgantown, widow, three children.
A. P. MORRIS, 35, trackman, Osage, widow and 11 children.
WILLIAM NEWHOUSE, 48, trackman, Osage, two children.
ATTILIO DORINZI, 53, trackman, Jerome Park, widow and seven children.
ALBERT FRAZIER, 24, machine operator, Morgantown, widow.
JAMES FOLEY, 58, trackman, Deer Park, Md., widow and seven children.
JOHN FRIELD, 33, snapper, Pursglove, widow and two children.
DENNIS WOLFE, 41, trackman, Osage, widow.
WILLIAM J. CANNON, JR., 21, trackman, Albright, widow.
KERMIT MAYFIELD, 18, timberman, Cassville, single.
AUSTIN JAMES, 43, Fairmont R. D. 7, widow and three children.
EDSON McCLAIN, 31, Arthurdale, widow and two children.

Charleston Gazette West Virginia 1942-05-14

Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!

May 12, 1942

“Blast in Mine Snuffs Out 53 Lives at Osage,” Charleston Gazette, 5-13-1942
“47 Known Dead in Osage Mine,” Morgantown Post, 5-13-1942
“Disaster Fund Started Here,” Morgantown Post, 5-13-1942
“Anxious Crowd Awaits at Osage Mine Mouth for News of Explosion Victims,” Morgantown Post, 5-13-1942
“Aides in Rescue Work at Osage Mine Explosion,” Morgantown Post, 5-13-1942
“Workers Hunt 11 Bodies Still in Torn Mine,” Charleston Gazette, 5-14-1942
“Search Mine Debris for 11 More Bodies,” Morgantown Post, 5-14-1942
“Where Relatives Await Word Of Blast Victims,” Charleston Gazette, 5-14-1942
“Neely Visits Site of Osage Mine Tragedy,” Morgantown Post, 5-15-1942
“Disaster Fund Gets $1000 From Coal Company,” Morgantown Post, 5-15-1942
“Eight Bodies Still Unfound in Osage Mine,” Morgantown Post, 5-16-1942
“Jury Fails to Find Cause of Mine Disaster,” Morgantown Post, 5-18-1942
“Over $3000 is Received for Disaster Fund,” Morgantown Post, 5-18-1942
“Mine Victims Still Unfound,” Morgantown Post, 5-19-1942
“Another Body Removed From Mine at Osage,” Morgantown Post, 5-20-1942
“2 More Bodies are Recovered at Osage Mine,” Morgantown Post, 5-21-1942
“Christophers Give $100 to Each Miner’s Dependents,” Morgantown Post, 5-22-1942
“Last Body is Recovered in Mine at Osage,” Morgantown Post, 5-23-1942
“Operation in Mine at Osage Resumed Today,” Morgantown Post, 5-25-1942

12 May 1942 - History

Presidio of San Francisco, California
May 3, 1942


Living in the Following Area:

All of that portion of the City of Los Angeles, State of California, within that boundary beginning at the point at which North Figueron Street meets a line following the middle of the Los Angeles River thence southerly and following the said line to East First Street thence westerly on East First Street to Alameda Street thence southerly on Alameda Street to East Third Street thence northwesterly on East Third Street to Main Street thence northerly on Main Street to First Street thence north- westerly on First Street to Figueron Street thence northeasterly on Figueron Street to the point of beginning.

Pursuant to the provisions of Civilian Exclusion Order No. 33, this Headquarters, dated May 3, 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry, both alien and non-alien, will be evacuated from the above area by 12 o'clock noon, P. W. T., Saturday, May 9, 1942.

No Japanese person living in the above area will be permitted to change residence after 12 o'clock noon, P. W. T., Sunday, May 3, 1942, without obtaining special permission from the representative of the Commanding General, Southern California Sector, at the Civil Control Station located at:

Japanese Union Church,
120 North San Pedro Street,
Los Angeles, California.

Such permits will only be granted for the purpose of uniting members of a family, or in cases of grave emergency.

The Civil Control Station is equipped to assist the Japanese population affected by this evacuation in the following ways:

1. Give advice and instructions on the evacuation.

2. Provide services with respect to the management, leasing, sale, storage or other disposition of most kinds of property, such as real estate, business and professional equipment, household goods, boats, automobiles and livestock.

3. Provide temporary residence elsewhere for all Japanese in family groups.

4. Transport persons and a limited amount of clothing and equipment to their new residence.

The Following Instructions Must Be Observed:

1. A responsible member of each family, preferably the head of the family, or the person in whose name most of the property is held, and each individual living alone, will report to the Civil Control Station to receive further instructions. This must be done between 8:00 A. M. and 5:00 P. M. on Monday, May 4, 1942, or between 8:00 A. M. and 5:00 P. M. on Tuesday, May 5, 1942.

2. Evacuees must carry with them on departure for the Assembly Center, the following property:

(a) Bedding and linens (no mattress) for each member of the family
(b) Toilet articles for each member of the family
(c) Extra clothing for each member of the family
(d) Sufficient knives, forks, spoons, plates, bowls and cups for each member of the family
(e) Essential personal effects for each member of the family.

All items carried will be securely packaged, tied and plainly marked with the name of the owner and numbered in accordance with instructions obtained at the Civil Control Station. The size and number of packages is limited to that which can be carried by the individual or family group.

3. No pets of any kind will be permitted.

4. No personal items and no household goods will be shipped to the Assembly Center.

5. The United States Government through its agencies will provide for the storage, at the sole risk of the owner, of the more substantial household items, such as iceboxes, washing machines, pianos and other heavy furniture. Cooking utensils and other small items will be accepted for storage if crated, packed and plainly marked with the name and address of the owner. Only one name and address will be used by a given family.

6. Each family, and individual living alone will be furnished transportation to the Assembly Center or will be authorized to travel by private automobile in a supervised group. All instructions pertaining to the movement will be obtained at the Civil Control Station.

Go to the Civil Control Station between the hours of 8:00 A. M. and 5:00 P. M., Monday, May 4, 1942, or between the hours of 8:00 A. M. and 5:00 P. M., Tuesday, May 5, 1942, to receive further instructions.


The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was established on 15 May 1942, in the early days of America's involvement in World War II. It marked the first time women were allowed to enter the Army other than as nurses, with the exception of those enlisted in the short-lived Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit - informally called the "Hello Girls" - during World War I.

Although they wore uniforms, were subject to Army regulations and discipline, and received military awards the same as male soldiers during World War I, they were officially considered civilian employees. The Hello Girls were finally recognized as military veterans in 1978.

The original concept for the WAAC, and its counterparts in the other services, was to enlist women into critical non-combat roles in order to “free a man to fight.” They were expressly prevented from participating in anything related to combat, and were not considered a formal part of the Army as the word "auxiliary" implied. As the war progressed, the "Auxiliary" was dropped as the Women's Army Corps (WAC) was given active duty status as part of the Army on 1 July 1943.

Members of the WAAC were first trained in only three major specialties, which included telephone switchboard operators, mechanics, and bakers. The list then expanded to specialties such as postal clerks, vehicle drivers, stenographers, and clerk-typists.

By the end of the war, WAC members also served as armorers who maintained and repaired the small arms and heavy weapons that they were barred from using in combat. The WAC became a permanent branch of the Regular Army and Army Reserve on 12 June 1948.

U.S. Army Center of Military History

# Armyhistory # USArmy

On 2 July 1926, the Army Air Service became the Army Air Corps, in recognition of the importance and expanded role of military aviation gained in World War I. The change gave the Air Corps permanence and the status of a combat arms branch, although its position in the War Department remained unchanged since flying units remained under the operational control of ground forces corps area commands.

The Air Corps was responsible for procurement and maintenance of aircraft, supply of units, and training of personnel. Despite the limitations, the corps grew in size and responsibility. Anticipating the importance of air power in the next war, it explored innovations in strategic bombing, air transport and tactical support of ground forces.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Major General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold as Chief of Air Corps on 29 September 1938, as the corps sought more autonomy, and the change to Army Air Forces in 1941 reflected this evolution.

The AAF administered all facets of military aviation within the Army, including controlling its own installations and support units, and the "Air Staff" status became equal to the General Staff. In December, Arnold assumed the title of Chief of the Army Air Forces with promotion to the rank of lieutenant general, equal to the commanding generals of the Army's other components. This title was changed to commanding general of Army Air Forces in 1942, with a seat on the joint chiefs of staff.

Schnellboote / Torpedoboote 11-12 may 1942

Post by taxfree » 20 Jan 2018, 16:25

I was wondering if someone can help me with the following.

At the 12th of mai 1942 Hilfskreuzer "Stier" departed Rotterdam in southern direction to travel through te Channel (street of dover) in the night of 12 to 13 Mai 1942. There was a fight, but they succeded to get through the Channel.

The night before there should have been a short encounter between the German navy and British too.
This should have been in front of the Dutch coast. It is written that a group of Schnellboote or Torpedoboote was fighting with British motorgunboats.

If someone has any information on any fighting of the german Schnellboote or Torpedoboote with british motorgunboats in front of the Dutch coast in the night of 11 to 12 Mai 1942. that would be very usefull, just like the KTB of the Führer der Schnellboote for this period (first falf of mai 1942). Information, saying nothing happend is also usefull.

S.S. Virginia

Until 1941, Welding Shipyards had been busy converting old World War I surplus cargo ships into oil tankers. S.S. Virginia was the first ship built from the keel up by Welding Shipyards for National Bulk Carriers. She had the monumental misfortune to have been sunk by U-507 in the Gulf of Mexico on 12 May 1942, less than a year after her construction. The Pan Pennsylvania class ships were similar in construction. Following her loss, Welding Shipyards hull number 11 was named Virginia upon completion, surviving until the scrapper's torch ended her days in 1967.

Ship Hull# Built GRT DWT Length Beam Comments
Virginia(I) 8 1941 10,731 18,900 515'11" 70' Sunk by U-507 on 12 May 1942 in Gulf of Mexico.
Virginia(II) 11 1942 10,944 18,730 515'11" 70' Steam turbine propulsion, 9,430 SHP. Renamed Amoco Maryland 1955, Virginia 1966, Point Sal 1966. Scrapped April 1967 Kure, Japan.

The second ship named Virginia built by Welding Shipyards. It was named for the
first one, which was sunk less than a year after launching.

Created by A. Davis Whittaker, Jr.
Last updated on 20 February 2005.


On May 16, 1942, Gordon Hirabayashi (1918-2012), University of Washington senior, Quaker, and conscientious objector, drives with his attorney to the Seattle FBI office and challenges the Army's exclusion orders from the West Coast, orders which apply to all Japanese Americans and to their immigrant elders. To comply with these orders, which he believes are based upon racial prejudice and represent a violation of the United States Constitution and the rights of citizens, this principled American-born citizen of Japanese descent writes as part of a four-page statement: "I would be giving helpless consent to the denial of practically all of the things which give me incentive to live."

Hirabayashi was subsequently charged with disobeying Public Law 503, which provided criminal penalties for violations of the exclusion orders, and for failure to comply with the Army's curfew order. After refusal to post bail, which would have required that he join the Seattle Japanese community now being held en masse at the Puyallup Assembly Center, Hirabayashi was placed in the King County jail to await trial.

On October 20, 1942, the U.S. District Court in Seattle found him guilty on both counts, leading to a 90-day jail sentence. Hirabayashi appealed the verdict to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was asked to rule on the legality of the exclusion order, the curfew order, and Public Law 503. Argued in May 1943 and reported the next month, the justices unanimously denied his appeal after the solicitor general argued successfully that the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans was a "military necessity." In his assent, Justice William O. Douglas wrote, "We cannot sit in judgment of the military requirements of that hour." Hirabayashi, who had been released from jail pending outcome of the appeal process, was ordered back to prison to complete his sentence.

In one of the historic Japanese American internment cases brought in the 1980s, Hirabayashi challenged these decisions, and in 1986 and 1987, his exclusion and curfew convictions were overturned.

4Culture King County Lodging Tax

Gordon Hirabayashi (1918-2012), 1940

Courtesy 1940 Tyee and UW Special Collections

Your browser does not support HTML 5 audio element

Gordon Hirabayashi explaining his decision to defy the order for all Japanese Americans to evacuate Seattle in 1942. Interviewed by Tom Ikeda and Alice Ito, 1999

Courtesy Densho Digital Archive


Peter Irons, Justice At War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983) Justice Delayed: The Record of the Japanese American Internment Cases ed. by Peter Irons (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1989).

May 12, 1942: Legislation to establish a Women&rsquos Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) got final Congressional approval today with a Senate vote of 38 to 27. It passed the House on March 17th by a vote of 249 to 86.

The bill, sponsored by Representative Edith Nourse Rogers, Republican of Massachusetts, now goes to President Roosevelt for his signature. Under the provisions of this bill, the WAAC will enlist up to 150,000 members who may serve anywhere in the world they&rsquore needed, will receive Army pay, be subject to military regulations, and live on Army posts.

The two-hour debate prior to the vote was intense at times, as Senator Francis Maloney, Democrat of Connecticut and John Danaher, Republican of Connecticut, led those arguing against the bill.

In addition to failing to defeat the bill, Maloney was also thwarted in his attempt to pass an amendment to confine the WAAC to service within the boundaries of the United States. His proposal was defeated by a vote of 37 to 26, with Senator Hattie Caraway, Democrat of Arkansas, the only woman in the Senate, voting in favor of the Rogers Bill and against the Maloney Amendment. Senator Maloney seems to be opposed to women in any military capacity, and claimed that this measure &ldquocasts a shadow on the sanctity of the home.&rdquo

Another controversy involved the issue of race. Three amendments were proposed which would have specifically banned racial bias in the WAAC. But if amended in any way, the bill would have had to go back to the House for approval, and this would have delayed, for an unknown amount of time, the establishment of the WAAC.

Though under normal circumstances the bill&rsquos chief Senate sponsor, Senator Warren Austin, Republican of Vermont, would have endorsed an anti-racial-bias amendment, he said that the need for immediate passage of the bill, and the assurance of the War Department that it would not discriminate on the basis of race in the WAAC caused him to oppose the amendments. Two amendments were withdrawn, and the third, by Senator James Hughes, Democrat of Delaware, was rejected by a voice vote. According to Senator Austin, there is &ldquonothing in the bill which would lead to discrimination.&rdquo

As soon as President Roosevelt signs the bill, the War Department will give specific details on plans to implement it, and Secretary of War Stimson will name someone to lead the Corps. The Women&rsquos Army Auxiliary Corps will be open to women between the ages of 21 and 45. Once functioning, the WAAC will free many men for combat, and provide a major boost to our defense effort in a number of critical areas at a time when the talents and abilities of all our citizens are needed most.

This Day in History: May 12, 1942

700 aircraft) into retreat. However, the Stalin had underestimated the German’s capacity to continue the war and also ignored the advice of many of his officers in launching this offensive. The advance was soon bogged down by strong German resistance. German reinforcements, including several Luftwaffe bomber and dive-bomber wings, soon arrived and by May 14 the Germans had gained air superiority. By May 24, the Soviet advance had ground to a halt and the German counter-offensive had not only forced a Soviet retreat but also surrounded a large portion of the Soviet forces in Kharkov. All attempts at a break-out by the Soviets ended on May 30. Casualties of the battle are estimated at

171,000 killed, missing, or captured Soviet troops and a further 106,000 wounded while German losses were

The Soviet defeat in the Second Battle of Kharkov is generally credited to Stalin and his advisers’ underestimation of the German forces and poor tactical decisions, including leaving the Soviet flank exposed and failing to account for the arrival of German reinforcements from the southern sector rather than from the northern sector around Moscow. However, the battle did illustrate that the Soviet military was capable of successfully launch an offensive, a capability which would be put to use later at Stalingrad and Kursk. It also resulted in Stalin placing more trust in his military commanders, who had advised against the offensive at Kharkov, resulting in a more effective military.


Despite lingering controversy, use of botanical cannabis for medicinal purposes represents the revival of a plant with historical significance reemerging in present day health care. Legislation governing use of medicinal cannabis continues to evolve rapidly, necessitating that pharmacists and other clinicians keep abreast of new or changing state regulations and institutional implications. Ultimately, as the medicinal cannabis landscape continues to evolve, hospitals, acute care facilities, clinics, hospices, and long-term care centers need to consider the implications, address logistical concerns, and explore the feasibility of permitting patient access to this treatment. Whether national policy—particularly with a new presidential administration—will offer some clarity or further complicate regulation of this treatment remains to be seen.