21 Apr 1894
  • Krag-Jørgensen rifles were adopted by the Norwegian Army as its standard weapon. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Apr 1911

United States
  • Henry Arnold and Thomas Milling received instructions to go to Ohio, United States for flight training with the intention of making them the first US Army flight instructors. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Apr 1915
  • The French Army decided to issue an order that all men serving at the front should wear the new light blue (bleu clair) uniform. [AC]
21 Apr 1918
  • Canadian Captain Roy Brown of No. 209 Squadron RFC probably shot down and killed the famous Red Baron, German ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen. [AC]
21 Apr 1919
  • USS Arizona arrived at Brest, France. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Apr 1922
21 Apr 1926

United Kingdom
  • Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) was born at Mayfair, London, England, United Kingdom. [AC]
21 Apr 1934

Photo(s) dated 21 Apr 1934
Pennsylvania steaming in Panama Bay with her 14-in guns trained out to port, on 21 Apr 1934
21 Apr 1936

21 Apr 1938
  • Adolf Hitler summoned Wilhelm Keitel to begin the discussion of turning Case Green into an actual operation against Czechoslovakia. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Apr 1939
  • The US Marine Corps' Division of Operations and Training was renamed the Division of Plans and Policies. [CPC]
  • Chinese 3rd and 9th War Areas attacked toward Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China, engaging Japanese troops at Fengxin and Gao'an. [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Apr 1939
German Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, German Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, Lithuanian General Stasys Rastykis, Hans von Tschammer und Osten, and others at Hotel Kaiserhof in celebration of Adolf Hitler
21 Apr 1940
  • German troops landed at Verdal and Kirknessvag, Norway, causing the British 146th Brigade near Trondheim to withdraw to Vist. Around Lake Mjøsa, British 148th Brigade reinforced Norwegian positions, but on the same day German forces broke through the line, causing the entire Norwegian-British force to withdraw north toward Lillehammer. Out at sea, German submarine U-26 sank British merchant vessel Cedarbank of convoy AP-1 50 miles northwest of Ålesund, killing 15; destroyer HMS Javelin rescued 30 men, but the vehicles, anti-aircraft weapons, ammunition, and food destined for the British 148th Brigade near Lillehammer were all lost. [Main Article | CPC]
  • American air attaché to the Nordic countries, US Army Captain Robert Losey, was killed while observing a German bombing on the railway junction at Dombås, Norway; Losey was the first American military casualty of WW2. US Minister to Sweden Frederick A. Sterling ordered Naval Attaché Lieutenant Commander Ole E. Hagen to Norway to retrieve Losey's remains. [CPC]
  • Italian "Grado" naval infantry battalion landed at Split (Italian: Spalato), Croatia, Yugoslavia. [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Apr 1940
Damaged ships at Narvik, Norway, Apr 1940, photo 1 of 2Damaged ships at Narvik, Norway, Apr 1940, photo 2 of 2
21 Apr 1941
  • German air and ground forces attacked British, Australian, and New Zealand troops at Thermopylae, Greece; dive bombers sank Greek torpedo boat Thyella, hospital ship Ellenis, hospital ship Esperos, and several freighters. [Main Article | CPC]
  • In Operation MD2, British battleships HMS Warspite, HMS Barham, and HMS Valiant, supported by cruiser HMS Gloucester and 9 destroyers, bombarded Tripoli before dawn. Aircraft from carrier HMS Formidable dropped flares to aid the bombardment as it took place before dawn. Italian torpedo boat Partenope and 6 freighters were damaged. [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British ship Calchas 300 miles north of the Cape Verde Islands at 1500 hours; 24 were killed, 89 survived. [CPC]
  • US Marine Corps established the temporary command Marine Aircraft, South Pacific to assist with administrative and logistical duties of 1st and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wings. [CPC]
  • HMCS Trillium rescued 24 survivors of the British merchant ship Empire Endurance, which was sunk between Iceland and Ireland on the previous day by German submarine U-73. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Georgios Tsolakoglou signed the surrender of the entire Greek Army to Germany. [Main Article | CPC]
  • The town of Nigata and the village of Hiro were merged into Kure, Japan. [CPC]
  • 24 German bombers escorted by 21 fighters attacked Tobruk, Libya, sinking 2 ships and damaging another 2. RAF Hurricane fighters of No. 73 and No. 273 Squadrons shot down 4 German aircraft. [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Starting after sundown and lasting until the next day, German bombers attacked Plymouth, England, United Kingdom, damaging cruiser HMS Kent, destroyer HMS Lewes, and destroyer HMS Leeds. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Apr 1942
  • Large number of Japanese warships were dispatched in search for the carriers that launched the Doolittle Raiders. [Main Article | CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt ordered the seizure of all patents owned by enemy nations. [Main Article | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Torbay sank German ship Delpa II 12 miles north of Crete, Greece at 1536 hours with her surface guns; Germans counterattacked with coastal guns followed by the dispatch of two torpedo boats, but Torbay would be able to dive and escape. [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-84 sank Panamanian ship Chenango 30 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States at 0300 hours; 30 were killed, 2 survived. At 0236 hours, U-201 sank Norwegian ship Bris in the middle of the North Atlantic; 5 were killed, 21 survived. German submarine U-752 sank US freighter West Imboden 150 kilometers east of Boston, Massachusetts, United States; all 35 aboard survived. Meanwhile, German submarine U-459 departed from Germany on a resupplying mission for other submarines; she was the first of such supply submarines in the German Navy. [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-576 sank US freighter Pipestone County 450 kilometers east of Virginia, United States at 1854 hours; all 35 aboard survived and were rescued by US Coast Guard cutter Calypso. [Main Article | Event | CPC]
Australian Papua
  • Japanese aircraft based in Rabaul, New Britain attacked Port Moresby, Australian Papua. [CPC]
  • Japanese 18th Division captured Kyidaunggan, Burma from Chinese troops. [Main Article | CPC]
  • 20 French civilians were killed by Germans at Saint-Nazaire, France in retaliation of the 28 Mar 1942 raid by British commandos. [CPC]
  • Joseph Rochefort's cryptanalytic team based in Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii intercepted a Japanese Navy radio message noting that Carrier Division 5 (Shokaku and Zuikaku) were being detached from the Mobile Force for operations with the 4th Fleet in the South Pacific. [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Allied convoy QP-10 arrived at Reykjavík, Iceland. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS S-35 remained off Paramushiro, Hokkaido, Japan in the Kurile Islands due to heavy fog. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Axis aircraft sank British anti-submarine trawler HMT Jade at Grand Harbour, Malta. [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • The newspaper San Francisco News reported that the city government of San Francisco, California, United States was considering the banning the employment of Japanese-Americans. [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Apr 1942
British Martlet IV (Wildcat) fighter at Naval Air Station, Anascotia, Washington DC, 21 Apr 1942, photo 1 of 2British Martlet IV (Wildcat) fighter at Naval Air Station, Anascotia, Washington DC, 21 Apr 1942, photo 2 of 2
21 Apr 1943
  • US President Roosevelt made the official announcement regarding the Japanese execution of downed American airmen who had participated in the Doolittle Raid. [Main Article | TH]
  • New Zealand troops of Maori ethnicity captured Takrouna, Tunisia. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Allied convoy ONS 5 consisted of 42 ships departed from Liverpool, England, United Kingdom for a 3-week journey to Halifax, Nova, Scotia, Canada; it was escorted by 7 warships (2 destroyers, 1 frigate, and 4 corvettes) and supported by 2 trawlers and 1 tanker. The convoy was under the command of J. Kenneth Brook of the British Royal Navy Reserve; he was aboard Norwegian freighter Rena. The convoy was to grow in size from mid-journey rendezvous with other ships departing from other ports. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Scorpion sank a sampan before 0100 hours with her deck gun. In the afternoon, she patrolled off Shioyasaki, eastern Honshu, Japan. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Runner attacked a Japanese transport in the South China Sea; all 5 torpedoes fired missed. [Main Article | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • Isoroku Yamamoto's remains were cremated at Buin, Bougainville, Solomon Islands. [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands China
  • Joseph Stilwell and Claire Chennault departed Chongqing, China. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Satoru Anabuki, flying Ki-43 fighter "Fubuki", shot down two P-36 fighters over Imphal, India, increasing his score to 34. [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Wahoo conducted training off Midway Atoll. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Joseph Stalin officially signed the order to create GUKR SMERSH, the Main Directorate of Counterintelligence "Smert'shpionam" ("Death of Spies") and the naval UKR SMERSH. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Troops of 48th Battalion of British Royal Tank Regiment captured German Tiger I heavy tank "131" near Medjez-el-Bab, Tunisia. [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • An attempt was made to assassinate General Charles de Gaulle when the Wellington bomber flying him to Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom was sabotaged at RAF Hendon. The pilot detected the elevator controls had been cut just before take-off and aborted the flight. At the time, the incident was hushed up and blamed on German intelligence but de Gaulle never flew by plane in Britain again. [Main Article | AC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Apr 1943
Sargo off Mare Island Navy Yard, 21 Apr 1943, photo 1 of 2Sargo off Mare Island Navy Yard, 21 Apr 1943, photo 1 of 2
21 Apr 1944
  • USS Croaker was commissioned into service with Commander John E. Lee in command. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Operation Chattanooga: Allied aircraft destroyed German rail and other transportation targets. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Allied bombers conducted a raid on Belgrade, Yugoslavia. [CPC]
  • Colonel General Erhard Raus replaced Hans-Valentin Hube as the commander of the German 1.Panzerarmee. Hube was killed in a plane crash on the previous day. [CPC]
  • USS Gar ended her eleventh war patrol. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Gabilan departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her first war patrol; her primary task was to conduct reconnaissance in the Mariana Islands area. [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Thirty-seven aircraft (Model F6F-3), 19 aircraft (Model TBF), 77 officers and 92 men of Air Group 20 arrived on board. [Main Article | DS]
  • Japanese troops captured Crete West hill near Imphal, India. [Main Article | CPC]
Japan Photo(s) dated 21 Apr 1944
RAF Mustang Mk IIIs of No 19 Squadron based at Ford, Sussex painted with white nose and wing stripes to prevent mis-identification as Me 109s, Apr 21, 1944PB2Y aircraft at San Juan Naval Air Station, Puerto Rico, 21 Apr 1944
21 Apr 1945
  • Feldmarschall Model committed suicide. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front captured Bautzen and Cottbus, Germany. [TH]
  • Soviet infantry reached Berlin, Germany. Adolf Hitler ordered an all-out counterattack against the Soviets at Berlin under the command of SS General Felix Steiner; this counterattack was never to be attempted. [Main Article | TH]
  • US Ninth Army captured Blankenburg, Germany. [TH]
  • US First Army captured Dessau, Germany. [TH]
  • At the end of the Ruhr battle in Germany, 325,000 Germans were taken prisoner. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Americans declared Ie Shima, Japan secure. [Main Article | CPC]
  • International Red Cross representatives visited the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. [Main Article | CPC]
  • 200 to 300 German civilians from Gardelegen, Saxony, Germany were ordered by the US Army commander in the region to bury the 1,016 political and military prisoners who had been massacred by German SS and Luftwaffe troops on 13 Apr 1945. [CPC]
  • Louis Mountbatten scheduled Operation Dracula against Rangoon, Burma for 2 May 1945. William Slim hastened his units overland toward Rangoon in an attempt to reach Rangoon before Dracula commenced. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Yukio Araki engaged American P-51 fighters over China. [Main Article | CPC]
  • On the orders of Finnish Home Secretary Yrjö Leino, which were dictated by Allied Control Commission chief Andrei Zhdanov (but acting on behalf of Soviet SMERSH rather than the Allies), 20 men (most of whom Finnish citizens) were arrested and turned over to the Soviet SMERSH. 2 others were targeted for arrest but they were able to escape capture. [CPC]
  • French First Army captured Stuttgart, Germany. [Main Article | TH]
  • Soviet troops under Ivan Konev captured the German military headquarters near Zossen, south of Berlin, Germany. [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • During the night (with the Red army already entering the suburbs) RAF Bomber Command attacked Berlin, Germany for the last time during the war. [Main Article | AC]
  • Theodore Morell was dismissed from his position as Adolf Hitler's personal physician, and departed the Führerbunker in Berlin, Germany in the evening. He was replaced by Ludwig Stumpfegger. [Main Article | CPC]
  • 3rd Carpathian Infantry Division of Polish II Corps captured Bologna, Italy with assistance from US 34th Division. [Main Article | TH, CPC]
  • Daniel Inouye led his platoon in destroying three German machine gun positions on the Gothic Line near San Terenzo, Italy, suffering a bullet wound in the stomach, a severed arm, and a bullet wound in the leg in the process. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Boarfish arrived at Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, ending her second war patrol. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Viktor Abakumov was awarded the Order of Kutuzov 1st Class for the successful execution of the radio game "Tuman" involving Pyotr Tavrin, a Russian national who spied for the Germans. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Philippine air force began near-daily strikes on Japanese positions on Taiwan. [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Apr 1945
USS Whale off Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 21 Apr 1945Stern view of USS Whale off Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 21 Apr 1945Bow view of USS Whale off Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 21 Apr 1945Starboard view of USS Whale off Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 21 Apr 1945
See all photos dated 21 Apr 1945
21 Apr 1948
  • The battleship USS Texas (BB-35) was taken over by the State of Texas to be preserved as a memorial in a specially-dredged canal in San Jacinto State Park, Texas, United States. [Main Article | AC]
21 Apr 1950
  • USS Finback was decommissioned from service. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Apr 1952

  • USS Saint Paul suffered an accidental explosion in her forward turret while operating off Korea; 30 were killed. [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Apr 1952
USS Sennet underway off Key West, Florida, United States, 21 Apr 1952
21 Apr 1953
  • USS Hawkbill was decommissioned from US service and was transferred to the Dutch Navy, where she would be commissioned as HNLMS Zeeleeuw. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Apr 1967

United States
  • USS Wasp arrived at Boston Naval Shipyard, Massachusetts, United States for a scheduled overhaul. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Apr 1969

Atlantic Ocean
  • USS Wasp began her participation in Trilant exercise with Spanish and Portuguese navies. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Apr 2001

United States
  • Battleship Iowa arrived at Suisun Bay, California, United States under tow. [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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1Lt Charleton 'Hugh' Cuppernell, the co-pilot of this B-24D Liberator 'Superman' peering through a hole in the aircraft from a 20mm shell over Nauru, Apr 20 1943. The photo was taken at Funafuti, Gilbert Islands; photo 1 of 3

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Famous WW2 Quote
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945