26 May 1903
26 May 1910
  • George Patton and Beatrice Banning Ayer became married; they would later have three children. [Main Article | CPC]
26 May 1918
  • In Siberia, Russia, the Czech legion captured Chelyabinsk and Novonikolayevsk. [AC]
26 May 1921
  • Iwane Matsui assigned to the staff of the Japanese Vladivostok Expeditionary Force during the Siberian Intervention. [Main Article | CPC]
26 May 1924

  • Deng Xihou was named the provincial governor of Sichuan, China by the Beiyang warlord government. [Main Article | CPC]
26 May 1931

United States
  • US Navy issued an order for Consolidated Aircraft to build the prototype aircraft Model 22 Ranger XP2Y-1. [Main Article | CPC]
26 May 1932

  • Yoshinori Shirakawa passed away in Shanghai, China from wounds sustained during a bomb blast one month prior. [Main Article | CPC]
  • General Yoshiyuki Kawashima was named the commanding officer of the Japanese Chosen Army in occupied Korea, relieving Senjuro Hayashi. [CPC]
26 May 1933
  • In Germany, legislation was passed allowing the state to confiscate the property of Communists. [AC]
26 May 1939
  • Chen Changjie was named the commanding officer of the 6th Army. [Main Article | CPC]
  • HMS Birmingham departed Xiamen, China with Vice Admiral Percy Noble aboard. [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 26 May 1939
SA-Obergruppenführer Dietrich von Jagow congratulating Hans Lammers for LammersRear Admiral Russell Willson relieving Rear Admiral Chester Nimitz as Commander US Navy Battleship Division One aboard USS Arizona, San Pedro, California, United States, 26 May 1939
26 May 1940
  • HMS Eagle arrived in the Mediterranean Sea. [Main Article | CPC]
  • In Britain, Empire Day was declared as a national day of prayer. [CPC]
  • German Ju 88 aircraft attacked and sank British anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Curlew off Narvik, Norway, killing 9. HMS Curlew was equipped with the only early warning radar set. [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarines U-13 departed Kiel, Germany. [CPC]
  • German submarines U-48 departed Kiel, Germany. [CPC]
  • US Minister in Uruguay Edwin C. Wilson, in a telegram to US Secretary of State Cordell Hull, reported tension between the Uruguayan and German governments as the Germans were accusing the Uruguayan police in mistreating German citizens living in Uruguay. [CPC]
  • 36 Japanese G3M2 Model 21 bombers, plus bombers of other types, and accompanied by three C5M reconnaissance aircraft (Navy's version of Ki-15 aircraft) attacked Chongqing, China. Lieutenant Yuan Chin-han, flying a Hawk III fighter, damaged a G3M2 Model 21 bomber over western Chongqing. Captain Chen Sheng-hsing and Lieutenant Gao Youxin, flying I-15bis fighters, shared the credit for downing another bomber. [Main Article | CPC]
  • At Dunkerque, France, British Expeditionary Force commanding general Lord Gort received the formal authorization for a withdraw; Operation Dynamo, the code name of the massive evacuation, was headed by British Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsey. Meanwhile, Adolf Hitler rescinded the order to halt the offensive near Dunkerque. At Calais, after a heavy aerial and field artillery bombardment, German troops crossed the canals and moved toward the Citadel; at 1600 hours, Brigadier Claude Nicholson surrendered. Elsewhere, the French 1st Army was nearly encircled by the Germans, while the Belgians was pushed back to the Leie/Lys River. [Main Article | CPC]
  • General Maxime Weygand issued his Ordre Général d'Operation No. 1184 3/FT: "The battle on which the fate of the country depends will be fought without any idea of retreat, on the line which we hold today." [Main Article | Event | AC]
  • Benito Mussolini informed the Chief of Supreme Staff, Marshal Pietro Badoglio, and Governor of Libya, Marshal Italo Balbo, that he had told Adolf Hitler of his intentions to declare war on England and France after 5 June. Badoglio was horrified and protested vehemently that crippling shortages of equipment in the Italian Army made a such a military adventure a very risky business. [Main Article | Event | AC]
United Kingdom
  • In the United Kingdom, General Sir John Dill became Chief of the Imperial General Staff and Sir Edmund Ironside became Commander-in-Chief of Home Defense. [Main Article | TH]
  • United Kingdom government declared the coastal regions from Folkestone to Great Yarmouth designated evacuation areas. [TH]
Photo(s) dated 26 May 1940
British Cruiser Mk IV tank at Huppy, France, 26-29 May 1940British Cruiser Mk IV tank crew repairing tank track, Blangy-sur-Ternoise, France, 26-29 May 1940
26 May 1941
  • Battleship Bismarck was detected by Allied PBY Catalina aircraft 700 miles west of Land's End, England, United Kingdom at 1030 hours, and Royal Navy's Force H was ordered to attack. Carrier-based Swordfish torpedo bombers attacked between 2047 and 2115 hours. Two or three torpedoes hit her, one of which hit the stern and jammed her rudder at 12 degrees to port. At 2140 hours, she radioed in the message "Ship unable to maneuver. We will fight to the last shell. Long live the Führer." Within hours, Allied warships closed in on her. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Six Albacore carrier aircraft from HMS Formidable attacked Italian airfields on Scarpanto in the Dodecanese Islands in Operation MAQ3. German bombers counterattacked the carrier, hitting her twice and killing 12; escorting destroyer HMS Nubian was also hit, seriously damaging the stern and killing 15. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Operation Skorpion: German Colonel Maximilian von Herff launched an offensive and captured Halfaya Pass in Egypt, near the border with Libya. [Main Article | CPC]
  • During the day, German aircraft misidentified the German column moving from Galatas, Crete, Greece toward Canea on the Suda Bay. After sundown, poor communications and conflicting orders caused 1,000 Allied troops at Canea to become surrounded. Also during the night, British minelayer HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Hero and HMS Nizam arrived at Suda Bay from Alexandria, Egypt and disembarked 750 British commandos under Colonel Robert Laycock; they evacuated personnel from the naval base as they departed. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese fighters intercepted 18 I-15 fighters of the Chinese 29th Pursuit Squadron while in transit in Gansu Province, China; nearly all Chinese fighters were destroyed. [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler met with tank generals and tank designers at his residence Berghof in southern Germany. In a similar meeting three months prior he had asked for 75-millimeter guns for Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks. Because 75-millimeter guns relied on special tungsten shells, Hitler now asked for 88-millimeter guns to be used for future heavy tanks. He also demanded 100-millimeter frontal armor and 60-millimeter side armor. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Iraqi forces received supplies by train from Vichy French forces in Syria, including 8 155mm guns, 6,000 shells, 30,000 grenades, and 32 trucks. By this date, all German fighters in Iraq had become unserviceable after 10 days of engagements with British fighters; the Germans then evacuated their main base at Mosul, Iraq before the Commonwealth forces could overrun it. [Main Article | CPC, AC]
Photo(s) dated 26 May 1941
Two A6M2 Type 0 Model 11 Zero fighters in flight from Yichang, Hubei Province to attack Nanzheng, Shaanxi Province in China, 26 May 1941
26 May 1942
  • US Navy Vice Admiral Halsey fell ill. [Main Article | CPC]
  • US Navy Rear Admiral Spruance took over the responsibilities of Vice Admiral Halsey. [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-103 sank US tanker Alcoa Carrier between Jamaica and the Cayman Islands at 0416 hours; all 35 aboard survived. At 1100 hours, U-106 sank US tanker Carrabulle 150 miles south of Louisiana, United States; 22 were killed, 18 survived. Beginning at 2000 hours, U-106 pursued US ship Atenas on the surface in the Gulf of Mexico, exchanging gunfire; Atenas would ultimately be able to escape, though suffering some damage. [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-703 attacked Allied convoy PQ-16 780 miles northeast of Iceland at 0259 hours, sinking US merchant ship Syros (two torpedo hits, detonating cargo of ammunition); 9 were killed, 30 survived (but 2 of the survivors would later die from exposure). 8 German He 111 and 3 Ju 88 aircraft also attacked PQ-16, but they failed to cause any damage. [Main Article | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • Japanese merchant ship Naruto Maru departed Rabaul, New Britain for Yokohama, Japan. [CPC]
  • US pilot Major Felix Hardison flew a lone B-17E bomber to attack Rabaul, New Britain at night time. [CPC]
  • Milton Miles and his group departed Chongqing, China by trucks toward the coast. [Main Article | CPC]
Hawaii Japan
  • Nachi departed Ominato Guard District, Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture, Japan as the flagship of Vice Admiral Boshiro Hosogaya, providing support for the convoy carrying troops of the Aleutian Islands invasion force. [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Tatsuta Maru departed Sasebo, Japan. [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • The Japanese Navy Carrier Striking Force, composed of four carriers and an escort of battleships and lesser ships, sortied from the Inland Sea of Japan for Midway Atoll. In the Aleutian Islands in northern Pacific Ocean, Japanese submarine I-9 launched her floatplane for a reconnaissance mission over Kiska. In Japan, the naval leadership instructed the various fleets and bases to prepare for a new radio encryption scheme that would be deployed very soon. [Main Article | CPC]
  • A feint was launched by German General Ludwig Crüwell at the center of the Gazala Line in Libya, drawing Allied troops away from the main offensive to be launched on the next day. All available Axis tanks were assigned to the main offensive, and Crüwell's men mounted unused aircraft engines on trucks to create dust clouds similar to those caused by tank movements. [Main Article | CPC]
  • In Libya, Erwin Rommel released 620 Indian prisoners of war originally from the Indian 3rd Motor Brigade. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Soviet troops in the pocket at Izium, Ukraine captured Lozovenka to the east during their breakout attempt, but overall German pressure caused the pocket to shrink to the size of about 15 square kilometers. [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The United Kingdom and the Soviet Union signed a treaty in London, England, United Kingdom, with terms including the agreement that neither party would seek a separate peace with Germany, a 20-year alliance, the refusal to join any treaty against one another, and the pledge not to interfere in each other's internal affairs. [CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • USS Kitty Hawk delivered to Midway Atoll the 3-inch anti-aircraft group of 3rd Defense Battalion, 5 light tanks of a light tank platoon for mobile reserve, 16 SBD-2 aircraft, and 7 F4F-3 aircraft, all of which were of the United States Marine Corps. [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 26 May 1942
Female factory worker posed with finished Sten sub-machinegun, Small Arms Plant, Long Branch, Ontario, Canada, 26 May 1942Stilwell marching out of Burma, May 1942Reinhard Heydrich and his wife Lina at a concert at Wallenstein Palace, Prague, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, 26 May 1942Hornet at Pearl Harbor, seen from Ford Island Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor, 26 May 1942
See all photos dated 26 May 1942
26 May 1943
  • The German government issued the order to stop assigning concentration camp victims sequantial identification numbers in order to hide the true number of deaths. [Main Article | CPC]
  • 759 British heavy bombers attacked Düsseldurf, Germany starting at about 0200 hours. [Main Article | CPC]
  • King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Allied convoy SC 130 arrived in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom without losses despite German submarine attacks en route. [Main Article | CPC]
  • At dawn, a 4,500-strong Japanese force attacked toward Pianyan, Hubei Province, China, but the force was quickly attacked and surrounded by elements of Chinese 5th and 18th Divisions; by the time the Japanese were able to extract themselves after dark, the force had suffered 3,000 casualties. [Main Article | CPC]
  • At Peenemünde, Germany, before Hermann Göring, Erhard Milch, and other top German leaders, an A-4 rocket and a flying bomb were tested. The A-4 rocket flew perfectly, while the flying bomb crashed only after a mile or two of flight. [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Mariana Islands
  • USS Whale sank Japanese freighter Shoei Maru in the Mariana Islands, hitting her with 1 of 3 torpedo fired. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Soviet troops began an offensive against the German units isolated between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea in the Kuban area of southern Russia. [Main Article | TH]
  • V. T. Shirmanov was named the Soviet counterintelligence agency GUKR SMERSH's chief within the Central Front. [CPC]
United States
  • USS Sable arrived at Chicago, Illinois, United States. [Main Article | DS]
26 May 1944
  • USS Cabrilla attacked a Japanese convoy in the Dutch East Indies with six torpedoes; four of them struck and sank a transport. [Main Article | CPC]
  • To the dismay of Roosevelt and Churchill, de Gaulle proclaimed the Free French movement to be the "Provisional Government of the French Republic"; de Gaulle received recognition from most Allied governments, but this caused him to be left out of the planning for Operation Overlord. [Main Article | TH]
  • Adolf Hitler delivered a speech at Der Platterhof hotel in Obersalzberg, Germany, justifying the continuation of the war. [Main Article | CPC]
  • The first Australian-built Beaufighter Mk.21 aircraft (A9-1) made its maiden flight. 364 aircraft would be built by the Mascot and Fishermen's Bend factories by the end of 1945. [Main Article | AC]
  • USS Harder departed Fremantle, Australia for her fifth war patrol. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Housing for gunairstructors, 3 quonset huts, turned over to station. [Main Article | DS]
  • After US 1st Armored Division had already been ordered north toward Rome, Italy, Mark Clark belatedly reported to Harold Alexander such a change in orders; he left only 1 division to attack the remaining German forces at Valmontone. In the area, US troops captured Cori. [Main Article | TH, CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Permit claimed the sinking of a Japanese submarine off Truk, Carolin Islands, hitting her with 1 of 6 torpedoes fired. [Main Article | CPC]
26 May 1945
  • USS Ray sank 3 small Japanese vessels west of Japan with her deck gun. [Main Article | CPC]
  • German Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner, previously captured by the Americans in southern Germany, was turned over to Soviet SMERSH agents. [CPC]
  • USS Carbonero departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her first war patrol. She would for the most part remain on lifeguard station off the island of Taiwan on the Chinese coast. [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Carrier Night Air Group 52 (CVGN-52) arrived on board. [Main Article | DS]
Photo(s) dated 26 May 1945
Men of the Royal Netherlands Indies Army Forces conducting mop-up operations on Tarakan, Borneo, late May 1945African-American US Army Nurse Corps Private 1st Class Ruth L. James of the 6888th Central postal Directory Battalion, Rouen, France, 26 May 1945Aerial view of Tokyo following bombing by B-29 Superfortress bombers, night of 26 May 1945Aerial view looking southward over Iwo Jima
See all photos dated 26 May 1945
26 May 1946

  • Josias became the head of the House of Waldeck and Pyrmont upon the death of his father. [Main Article | CPC]
26 May 1947

  • Chinese communist forces captured Faku County, Liaoning Province, China. [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 26 May 1947
Yukikaze unarmed at Tokyo, Japan, on display for representatives of the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, and China, 26 May 1947View of the YukikazeYukikaze and Shisaka at Tokyo, Japan, 26 May 1947, photo 1 of 2Yukikaze and Shisaka at Tokyo, Japan, 26 May 1947, photo 2 of 2
See all photos dated 26 May 1947
26 May 1948
26 May 1953

United Kingdom
  • Edmund Herring personally led Australian troops in guarding Queen Elizabeth II at the Buckingham Palace in London, England, United Kingdom during the queen's coronation ceremonies. [Main Article | CPC]
26 May 1954
  • US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles rejected a proposed amnesty for the imprisoned war criminals, but agreed to reduce the eligibility for parole from 15 years imprisonment to 10 years. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Chen Cheng stepped down from his position as head of the Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China. [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • USS Ray arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, United States and was detached from the US Navy 6th Fleet. [Main Article | CPC]
26 May 1958

Photo(s) dated 26 May 1958
Aboard USS Canberra, US Navy Hospitalman William R. Charette selecting the Unknown Serviceman of WW2 for burial in Arlington National Cemetery; off Virginia, United States, 26 May 1958
26 May 1959

  • The work to resurface Runway 13/31 at Hal Far, Malta was completed. [Main Article | CPC]
26 May 1988
  • Captain Fred Moosally was named the commanding officer of USS Iowa. [Main Article | CPC]
26 May 2010
  • The US Navy received the Pacific Battleship Center's Letter of Intent to submit an application for maintaing battleship Iowa as a museum ship. [Main Article | CPC]

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

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"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal