31 Oct 1887

  • Chiang Kaishek was born in Fenghua, Zhejiang Province, Qing Dynasty China. [Main Article | CPC]
31 Oct 1914
  • Russia and the United Kingdom declared war on Turkey as the response to the previously day's attacks by the Turkish Navy. [AC]
  • Sepoy Kuda Dad Khan (129th Baluchis) became the first Indian Amy soldier to win the Victoria Cross. At Hollebeke, Belgium he kept his machine gun firing even when his detachment had been overrun, and his comrades killed all around him. [AC]
  • Settsu began the bombardment of German positions in and near Qingdao, Shandong Province, China alongside of Japanese battleship Kawachi, German pre-dreadnaught HMS Triumph, and other smaller warships and support ships. [Main Article | CPC]
31 Oct 1919

  • Baron Kenjiro Den was named the governor-general of Taiwan, the first civilian to hold that post. [CPC]
31 Oct 1931
  • Hiroaki Abe became the commanding officer of Japanese Navy Destroyer Division 1. [Main Article | CPC]
31 Oct 1936

  • Submarine ShCh-324 was commissioned into service. [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The Jarrow Marchers arrived in London, England, United Kingdom. This protest was the best remembered of the hunger marches of the depression years. Led by their Labour Party Member of Parliament Ellen Wilkinson (1891-1947), 200 shipyard workers marched to London from Jarrow as a demonstration against the massive unemployment in northeastern England. [AC]
31 Oct 1937 China
  • At midnight, the remaining 376 Chinese officers and men in the Sihang Warehouse in Shanghai, China withdrew from the building into the international zone. The evacuation was completed by 0200 hours on 1 Nov 1937. [Main Article | CPC]
31 Oct 1938
  • Cruiser Köln began five months of repairs and refitting at Kiel, Germany. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Poland noted to the Germans that Danzig was to remain independent, and that Poland was not interested in signing the Anti-Comintern Pact. [Main Article | CPC]
31 Oct 1939

  • The commanding officer of the German Wehrkreis IV district in Dresden, Germany gave the order to convert Colditz Castle to a prisoner of war camp named Offizierslager IV-C, or Oflag IV-C for short. [CPC]
  • Vyacheslav Molotov, Soviet Foreign Minister, gloated over the dissolution of Poland, "ugly offspring of the Versailles Treaty", by the combined Soviet-German attack. He also accused the British of aggressive acts. [Main Article | TH]
United Kingdom
  • The British Royal Navy was mobilized. [TH]
  • The keel of Dianthus was laid down by Henry Robb, Limited of Leith, Scotland, United Kingdom. [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 31 Oct 1939
Vyacheslav Molotov addressing the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, Moscow, Russia, 31 Oct 1939; note Joseph Stalin in background
31 Oct 1940
  • RAF bombers attacked Naples, Italy. [TH]
  • As the Italian invasion of Greece began to slow to a stop in the Epirus Mountains, British forces landed on the islands of Lemnos and Crete in southern Greece to prevent Italian landings on Greek islands. Greek destroyers Spetsai and Psara departed the Gulf of Patras and used their 120-mm guns to bombard Italian troops on the Ionian coast of Albania and northern Greece. [Main Article | TH]
  • German submarine U-124 sank British ship Rutland 300 miles northwest of Ireland at 2158 hours, killing the entire crew of 24. [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Widder arrived at Brest, France after a 179-day long operation in the Atlantic Ocean that saw the sinking of 10 ships totaling 58,645 tons. [CPC]
  • HMCS Trillium was commissioned into service with Lieutenant Commander Ronald Fraser Harris in command. [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • According to a British Air Ministry pamphlet published in 1941, this date was the official end of the Battle of Britain, but bombings on London, England, United Kingdom would continue. [Main Article | TH]
31 Oct 1941
  • German submarine U-552 attacked Allied convoy HX-156 725 miles west of Iceland at 0834 hours, sinking American destroyer USS Reuben James (115 killed, 45 survived); USS Reuben James was the first American warship lost in the Atlantic Ocean in WW2. [CPC]
  • A German submarine fired a torpedo at American destroyer USS DuPont; the torpedo missed its target. [CPC]
  • The British 1st Airborne division was formed on under the command of Major General Frederick "Boy" Browning. [Main Article | AC]
  • To ease labour shortages, Hitler agreed that Soviet prisoners of war could be used in the Reich, as long as they were isolated from the Home population. [Main Article | AC]
  • German submarine U-374 sank British ship Rose Schiaffino 120 miles east of St. John's, Newfoundland at 0903 hours; all 41 aboard were killed. [CPC]
  • German submarine U-96 sank Dutch ship Bennekom 400 miles west of Iceland at 1047 hours; 8 were killed, 46 survived. British sloop HMS Lulworth counterattacked with 27 depth charges in failure. [CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • It was announced that RAF aircraft operating out of Malta had destroyed 76,500 tons of enemy shipping in the Mediterranean Sea. [Main Article | AC]
  • Soviet destroyer Bodry and other warships shelled German tank concentrations 25 miles north of Sevastopol, Russia (now Ukraine). Meanwhile, German dive bombers attacked Soviet warships in the harbor, causing 50 casualties but failing to cause damage to the ships. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Solomon Milshtein reported to Lavrentiy Beria that, from the start of the Russo-German war and 10 Oct 1941, 657,364 troops were arrested for falling back without authorization, 249,969 of whom by agents of UOO and 407,395 by agents of NKVD. The majority of them were returned to the front, while 10,201 were executed, 3,321 of whom were executed in front of their units to set an example. [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • USS R-5 arrived at New London, Connecticut, United States. [Main Article | CPC]
31 Oct 1942
  • The Chilean ambassador to Italy Ramon Briones Luco reported to Chile that Heinrich Himmler had just visited Rome and spoke to Mussolini. According to the ambassador's sources, Himmler requested Mussolini to turn over all Polish, Czech, and Yugoslav Jews in Italy. [Main Article | CPC]
  • German 21st Panzer Division launched four successive strikes against Australian troops at Point 29 in Egypt, causing heavy casualties on both sides. [Main Article | CPC]
  • US Marine Scout-Bomber Squadron 132 and US Marine Fighter Squadron 211 began to arrive in sections at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. [Main Article | CPC]
Australian New Guinea Caroline Islands Egypt
  • Having earlier silenced a machine gun post and taken 12 prisoners, Sergeant William Kibby was leading an Australian advance near Alamein, Egypt taking enemy positions with grenades when he was cut down by machine gun fire. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. [AC]
  • As Adolf Hitler was confident that Stalingrad, Russia would soon be under German control, he departed the Wehrwolf headquarters near of Vinnytsia, Ukraine and moved to the Wolfsschanze headquarters in Rastenburg, Germany (now Ketrzyn, Poland). [Main Article | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Daily train service to and from Honolulu established (Oahu Railway & Land Co.) [Main Article | DS]
  • US freighter John H. B. Latrobe and British freighter Chulmleigh departed Iceland in Operation FB. [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Grayback sank a Japanese transport off New Ireland, hitting her with 1 of 3 torpedoes. [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 31 Oct 1942
Heinrich Himmler reviewing Hitler Youth members in Molotschna, Ukraine, 31 Oct 1942
31 Oct 1943
  • USS Seahorse sank a small Japanese vessel with her deck gun south of Japan. [Main Article | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • The US Navy scored its first radar aided aerial victory when an F4U-2 Corsair fighter destroyed a Japanese aircraft it had intercepted over New Georgia. [Main Article | AC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: 76th Construction Battalion (76th SeaBees) arrived on board. [Main Article | DS]
  • US Fifth Army resumed the stalled offensive north of the Volturno River in Italy. [Main Article | TH]
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru arrived at Sasebo, Japan. [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • An American reconnaissance flight from Suichuan Airfield, Jianxi Province, China detected a Japanese shipping concentration in the Sasebo-Nagasaki area. Claire Chennault requested for permission to attack, but Henry Arnold rejected the request, noting that he did not wish to alert the Japanese of American air strength in China while he worked on a plan for concerted B-29 strikes from China. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Tomokazu Kasai completed advanced flight school in Japan. [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • USS Gunnel completed a period of overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California, United States. [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 31 Oct 1943
USS Gunnel at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California, United States, 31 Oct 1943
31 Oct 1944
  • Commander John Ailes III became the commanding officer of USS Cassin Young. [Main Article | CPC]
  • British troops occupied Salonika, Greece in order to prevent Greek Communists from taking over in the vacuum left by the retreating Germans. [TH]
  • British troops established a bridgehead over the River Maas south of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. [TH]
  • Canadian troops reached Walcheren, the Netherlands. [Main Article | TH]
  • Bernard Montgomery was awarded the Virtuti Militari V Class of Poland. [Main Article | CPC]
  • The US submarine Nautilus finished off the abandoned US submarine Darter with her 6-inch guns. The Darter had foundered on Bombay Shoal, Spratly Islands off Palawan, Philippine Islands on 25 Oct 1944 whilst in pursuit of the damaged Japanese cruiser Takao. All Darter's crew were rescued by the US submarine Dace. [Main Article | AC]
  • The first manned flight of the prototype Ohka aircraft was conducted; the aircraft was equipped with two wing-mounted rockets and no fuselage-mounted rockets. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Guitarro fired eight torpedoes at 0847 hours at the Japanese convoy that she had been attacking since the previous day; six torpedoes made contact, and Guitarro claimed three sinkings, although only one sinking was confirmed. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Gabilan sank oceanographic research vessel Kaiyo No. 6 in Japanese home island waters, hitting her with 1 of 4 torpedoes fired. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Robert von Greim was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht radio report. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Kete departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her first war patrol. [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • USS Astoria arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • 14,000 Jews were transported from Slovakia to Auschwitz Concentration Camp in occupied Poland. [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • A German V-2 rocket hit Swedish Yard of Surrey Commercial Docks in Bermondsey, London at 0256 hours, damaging several wheat containers. Another rocket hit the Royal Victoria Dock at Earlham Grove, West Ham in the afternoon. [CPC]
  • Allied convoy JW-61A departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. [Main Article | CPC]
31 Oct 1945
  • USS Columbia set sail for the United States. [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The British Tiger Force, a planned redeployment of heavy bombers from the European theatre to the Far East, was officially abandoned. [AC]
United States
  • USS Tirante arrived at Staten Island, New York, United States. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Marlin arrived at Boston, Massachusetts, United States. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Bluefish arrived at New London, Connecticut, United States. [Main Article | CPC]
US Pacific Islands Photo(s) dated 31 Oct 1945
Annex A of the interrogation of J. Fukamizu, 31 Oct 1945; Japanese aircraft production and wastage during Pacific WarDrawing of the submarine attack on Japanese convoy between Kashoto and Taiwan, circa 31 May-1 Jun 1944; Annex A of Mitsuharu MatsuyamaDrawing of the submarine attack on Japanese convoy between Taiwan and Philippine Islands, early Sep 1944; Annex B of Mitsuharu MatsuyamaRuined city of Hiroshima, Japan, 31 Oct 1945
31 Oct 1946

  • Israeli terrorists bombed the British Embassy in Rome, Italy. [AC]
31 Oct 1950

Photo(s) dated 31 Oct 1950
General ElseyGeneral Elsey
31 Oct 1961

United States
  • Graves Erskine stepped down as the Director of Special Operations of the United States Department of Defense. [Main Article | CPC]
31 Oct 1967

  • Shigeru Yoshida was given a state funeral. [Main Article | CPC]
31 Oct 1996

United States
  • US President Bill Clinton signed an executive order which passed the jurisdiction and control of Midway Atoll to the Fish and Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior. [Main Article | CPC]
31 Oct 2006

Pacific Ocean
  • US Navy confirmed that the wreck discovered in 2005 in the La Pérouse Strait between Hokkaido, Japan and Sakhalin, Russia was that of USS Wahoo. The wreck was observed to have suffered a direct bomb hit in the conning tower. [Main Article | CPC]
31 Oct 2008

  • The chief of staff of Japanese Air Self-Defense Force Toshio Tamogami was dismissed due to an essay he authored arguing that not only was Japan not an aggressor state in WW2, but that Japan actually brought prosperity to China, Taiwan, and Korea. [CPC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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LCS(L)-31 or LCS(L)-36 and a LCVP operating off Iwo Jima beach, 19 Feb 1945

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Famous WW2 Quote
"Since peace is now beyond hope, we can but fight to the end."

Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937