17 Mar 1942
  • USS Wasp collided with destroyer USS Stack in foggy weather at 0650 hours off the east coast of the United States, causing flooding in the boiler room of the destroyer. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Three Japanese destroyers depth charged USS Permit in Tayabas Bay in southern Luzon, Philippine Islands, causing minor damage. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Douglas MacArthur arrived in Australia. On the same day, the first 3 American Kittyhawk squadrons began operations in Australia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Britain introduced rationing of fuels and electricity. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-404 sank British ship San Demetrio off the east coast of the United States at 0216 hours; 19 were killed, 32 survived. U-124 sank Greek freighter Kassandra and Honduran freighter Ceiba (44 were killed, 6 survived) at 0226 hours off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States; US tanker Acme was also damaged during this attack. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, U-68 sank British freighters Ile de Batz at 0635 hours (4 were killed, 39 survived), Scottish Prince at 1326 hours (1 was killed, 38 survived), and Allende at 2103 hours (6 were killed, 33 survived) off Liberia and French West Africa. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Tutuila airfield in American Samoa was completed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-373 sank Greek ship Mount Lycabettus at 1508 hours, killing all 30 aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-71 sank Norwegian tanker Ranja at 1858 hours, killing all 34 aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
Australia
  • No. 75 Squadron RAAF, flying Kittyhawk fighters, departed Australia for Port Moresby, Australian Papua. ww2dbase [CPC]
Australian Papua
  • Several US B-17 bombers flew from Australia to Port Moresby, Australian Papua in preparation for an attack on Rabaul, New Britain on the following day. ww2dbase [CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories Italy
  • British submarine Unbeaten sank Italian submarine Guglielmotti between Sicily and Calabria in Italy at 0640 hours, killing 46. Unbeaten surfaced and captured 12 survivors before being driven off by Italian aircraft; Italian torpedo boats rescued another 12 survivors. ww2dbase [CPC]
Japan Pacific Ocean
  • USS Grayback sank Japanese collier Ishikari Maru 20 kilometers south of Kikajima island, Ryukyu Islands, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Poland
  • In Aktion Reinhard, Jews from Lublin, Poland were sent to the nearby Belzec concentration camp. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]

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

17 Mar 1942 Interactive Map




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Famous WW2 Quote
"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