Even USA manager Bill Jeffrey admitted his side had no chance and several of his players stayed up into the small hours the night before the game.
England duly set up camp in America's half but could not find the back of the net.
And eight minutes before half-time America's Bahr shot from the left and Gaetjens headed it home.
England continued to press forward but the USA held firm for a famous victory.
England also lost to Spain in their final group match and made a humiliating early exit.
Four years later the tournament moved to Switzerland and England progressed to the quarter-finals.
But they were dumped out 4-2 by 1930 and 1950 champions Uruguay.
England arrived in Sweden 1958 with no Matthews or Nat Lofthouse, despite formidable form domestically.
Instead they featured a youthful Bobby Robson and exciting Manchester United talent Bobby Charlton, who had survived the Munich aircrash only months earlier.
He was selected for the trip after scoring against Scotland on his debut, the first of a record 49 goals for England from 106 games.
But Charlton was left on the bench for the entire tournament while a 17-year-old Brazilian called Pele dazzled the world.