24 May 1870

South Africa
  • Jan Smuts was born at Bovenplaats, Cape Colony. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
24 May 1896

Photo(s) dated 24 May 1896
HMS Ramillies, HMS Barfleur, and HMS Nile in Grand Harbour, Malta, 24 May 1896; the ships were firing salutes in honor of Queen Victoria

24 May 1896 Interactive Map

24 May 1904

  • Ding Delong was born in Hunan Province, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
24 May 1913
  • Chuichi Nagumo was assigned to destroyer Akizuki. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
24 May 1920

  • Isaburo Yamagata succeeded Gonsuke Hayashi as the Governor-General of Kwantung Leased Territory in northeastern China. ww2dbase [CPC]
24 May 1921

  • In southern Ireland the Sinn Fein party was re-elected unopposed. ww2dbase [AC]
24 May 1930

  • Amy Johnson landed her de Havilland DH.60 Gipsy Moth aircraft in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, becoming the first person to complete this route. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
24 May 1932

  • The Do X aircraft arrived in Berlin, Germany, welcomed by 200,000 people. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
24 May 1933

Photo(s) dated 24 May 1933
SS Guards, Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, 24 May 1933Prisoners at Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, 24 May 1933 Prisoners moving a heavy wagon, Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, 24 May 1933

24 May 1933 Interactive Map

24 May 1937
  • The Soviet Central Committee decided to place the arrested Marshal Mikhail Nikolaievich Tukhachevsky (the former First Deputy Commissar of Defence) and seven other Military Commanders on trial, accused of plotting an army conspiracy to overthrow Stalin. ww2dbase [AC]
United Kingdom
  • Garland entered drydocks at Sheerness, England, United Kingdom for a scheduled overhaul. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
24 May 1938
  • Werner Mölders became the commanding officer of the 3rd Squadron of Jagdgruppe 88 in Spain. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
24 May 1939

United Kingdom
  • The British Fleet Air Arm was transferred from the Royal Air Force to Admiralty control and renamed as the Air Branch of the Royal Navy. ww2dbase [AC]
24 May 1940

Atlantic Ocean
  • German aircraft sank British destroyer Wessex off the coast of Calais, France. ww2dbase [TH]
  • At 0248 hours, the unescorted neutral 3,994-ton Greek cargo steamer Kyma was struck by a torpedo from German submarine U-37 when sailing about 175 miles south of Cape Clear Island, Ireland and about 200 miles west of Brest, France. The attack was made without warning and despite the neutrality markings. Victor Oehrn, the German commander, regarded he ship as heading for an enemy port within the blockade area. The ship was carrying 6,000 tons of maize and 90 tons of trucks to Avonmouth, Bristol, England, United Kingdom from Rosario, Argentina. The survivors abandoned the Kyma in a lifeboat which was spotted by an aircraft from St Eval, Cornwall, England and the sloop HMS Enchantress (L 56) broke away from the convoy to pick them up. Seven of the 30 crew were lost. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC, HM]
  • French destroyer Chacal, under command of Commander J. E. N. Estieene, was sunk in the English Channel off Boulogne, France by German aircraft. ww2dbase [HM]
  • King Leopold III assumed command of the Belgian Army. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German troops captured Ghent and Tournai, Belgium. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • The President of Panama expressed support for the Dominican Republic in terms of the 8 Mar 1940 incident where a Canadian destroyer attacked German freighter Hannover in Dominic Republic's territorial waters. He called for the Chairman of the Inter-American Neutrality Committee in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to investigate this violation of the Pan-American Neutrality Zone. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Polish destroyer Burza was ordered to join the British destroyers HMS Vimiera (L 29) and HMS Wessex (D 43) and shell German positions in Calais area on the French coast. At 1620 hours the Allied vessels opened fire on a German armoured column at Sangatte Hill, west of Calais. Ten minutes later they were attacked by 27 German aircraft which hit and sank HMS Wessex about 5 miles off of the coast. HMS Vimiera managed to escape. Then the entire enemy air group concentrated on the Polish destroyer. The two 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns jammed due to shrapnel hits. Three bombs exploded in the water and they caused boiler damage and loss of speed. The commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Wojciech Francki, ordered to emergency launch the torpedoes and drop all depth charges, trying to avoid additional explosions. Shortly after this, two bombs hit the Burza and badly damaged her. However the airplanes had dropped all of their bombs and broke off the attack. The crew managed to stop the leakage and return to Dover, England, United Kingdom. One German airplane was shot down during the action. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | HM]
  • In France, the German 10th Panzer Division began an attack on Calais and captured the town of Boulogne (capturing 5,000 Allied troops), Maubeuge, and Saint-Omer. To the north, the German 1st Panzer Division reached the Aa Canal 10 miles from Dunkerque in an attempt to cut off the Allied troops in Belgium. At this key moment, Adolf Hitler interfered and ordered the tanks to pull back; he was promised by Hermann Göring that the Luftwaffe would be able to prevent the Allied evacuation from taking place; German Army generals protested, but to no avail. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • British Lieutenant Christopher Furness, the son of Viscount Furness, was killed in hand to hand fighting near Arras, France after his Bren gun carrier group engaged a vastly superior enemy force in order to allow a convoy to escape. He was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Walter Grabmann was liberated by German troops in France. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The 2,939-ton passenger steamship Brighton, in service with the British Admiralty as a hospital ship, was bombed and sunk by German aircraft at Dieppe, France. ww2dbase [Main Article | HM]
United Kingdom
  • The British War Cabinet issued the order to withdraw the British troops in Norway in light of the situation in France. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

24 May 1940 Interactive Map

24 May 1941
  • At 0552 hours, battleship Bismarck reported 'in fight with two heavy units' as she was engaged by British warships. Between 0555 and 0601 hours, she was hit on the port side by three shells from HMS Prince of Wales, but by 0601 she was able to sink HMS Hood. Between 0602 and 0609, she scored four hits on HMS Prince of Wales. At 0801 hours, Bismarck reported damage with electric plant no. 4 and boiler room no. 2; she would head for Saint-Nazaire due to her low fuel levels. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Prinz Eugen engaged in combat with HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Hood alongside of German battleship Bismarck. She scored the first hit on HMS Hood. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis sank British ship Trafalgar 850 miles off South Africa; 12 were killed, 33 survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • King George II of Greece departed Crete, Greece for Cairo, Egypt. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • British battlecruiser HMS Hood and battleship HMS Prince of Wales engaged German battleship Bismarck and cruiser Prinz Eugen at 0552 hours at the distance of 24 kilometers. At 0600, a 15 inch shells from Bismarck penetrated Hood's thin deck armor, detonating a magazine and sinking her with almost all killed. Prince of Wales broke off from the battle at 0604 hours after being hit 7 times. Bismarck was hit 3 times and began to sail south for repairs. At 2350 hours, 8 British Swordfish torpedo bombers from aircraft carrier HMS Victorious attacked Bismarck and scored one torpedo hit. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The British government collected Ł124,000,000 in donations after a week-long War Weapon Week event. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Allied troops began to fall back southward in Crete, Greece. German bombers attacked Chaniá on the northern coast, causing great damage. After dark, British minelayer HMS Abdiel transported 200 British commandos from Alexandria, Egypt to Suda Bay, Crete; another effort to transport 800 commandos to Port Lutro, Crete was canceled due to bad weather. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank British ship Vulcain off British West Africa at 0249 hours, killing 7. In the same general area, U-103 sank Greek ship Marionga at 0356 hours, killing 26. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • HMS Rodney received orders to abandon her sortie to Boston, Massachusetts, United States for repairs and instead turn north to attempt to intercept and engage Bismarck. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • British Lieutenant Commander Malcolm Wanklyn of the submarine HMS Upholder won the Victoria Cross for sinking 18,017-ton Italian transport Conte Rosso 20 miles southeast of Syracuse, Sicily, Italy and surviving 37 depth charges in 20 minutes. Conte Rosso was one of the largest (maximum passenger capacity of 2,366) and most luxurious passenger ships built at the Dalmuir Shipyards in Scotland, United Kingdom; at her launch she stuck on the slips and it took two weeks before she was re-launched. She was converted into a troop ship in 1940. 1,291 perished as Conte Rosso sank. By the end of the year Wanklyn would sink 140,000 tons of enemy shipping; Wanklyn and Upholder would be lost off Tripoli, Libya in Apr 1942. ww2dbase [AC, HM]
United Kingdom
  • Cargo ship Matronna was bombed and sunk by German aircraft while in Dale Roads off Milford Haven, Wales, United Kingdom and on passage from Port Talbot, Wales for St. John's with cargo of anthracite. ww2dbase [HM]
Photo(s) dated 24 May 1941
Shells from Hood fell near cruiser Prinz Eugen, 24 May 1941Bismarck firing on Hood and Prince of Wales, Battle of Denmark Strait, 24 May 1941, photo 1 of 8; photographed from Prinz EugenBismarck firing on Hood and Prince of Wales, Battle of Denmark Strait, 24 May 1941, photo 2 of 8; photographed from Prinz EugenBismarck firing on Hood and Prince of Wales, Battle of Denmark Strait, 24 May 1941, photo 3 of 8; photographed from Prinz Eugen
See all photos dated 24 May 1941

24 May 1941 Interactive Map

24 May 1942
  • German forces launched Operation Hannover to clear the Bryanks-Vyazma rail line of partisans. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The first battalion of Spanish volunteers who fought under the German banner returned to Spain after completing a tour in Russia; up until this point, only the wounded were sent back to Spain from the Eastern Front. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-502 sank Brazilian ship Gonçalves Dias 100 miles south of Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic; 6 were killed, 39 survived. U-103 sank Dutch ship Hetor 60 miles northwest of Grand Cayman island at 1640 hours; 2 were killed, 29 survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British trawler HMS Retriever broke away from Allied convoy PQ-16 and returned for Iceland. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The floatplane of Japanese submarine I-9 conducted a reconnaissance mission over Kiska and Amchitka Islands in the US Territory of Alaska. ww2dbase [CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • 3 US B-26 Marauder bombers attacked Rabaul, New Britain, destroying the Genzan Air Group headquarters building and destroying four land-attack aircraft on the ground; 2 of the US bombers were damaged during this attack. ww2dbase [CPC]
Japan New Zealand
  • Warrant Officer Susumo Ito, flying in a submarine-based (submarine I-21) E14Y aircraft, conducted a photographic reconnaissance mission over Auckland, New Zealand. The Auckland airport controllers mistook the Japanese aircraft for a friendly one and turned on the landing lights. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • All American warships in the Coral Sea area were recalled to Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii in anticipation of the Japanese attack on Midway Atoll. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Pompano sank Japanese fishing vessel Kotoku Maru with the deck gun 20 miles northeast of Taiwan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Soviet troops at Izium, Ukraine were completed surrounded by German troops. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German bombers attacked the Royal Navy seaplane training center at Poole in southern England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 24 May 1942
US Navy pilot Lieutenant Commander Lance E. Massey of Torpedo Squadron 3 in his TBD-1 Devastator aircraft, Naval Air Station Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, 24 May 1942

24 May 1942 Interactive Map

24 May 1943
  • Bunker Hill was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Cabrilla was commissioned into service with Commander Douglas Thompson Hammond in command. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US troops mopped up the final Japanese opposition groups in the Aleutian Islands. Overall in this campaign, the 2,600 Japanese men were wiped out at a cost of 550 American lives. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • British bombers attacked East Frisian Islands (Ostfriesische Inseln) in northwestern Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • After suffering many submarine sinkings during May 1943, German Admiral Karl Dönitz ordered a temporary halt to submarine operations in the North Atlantic to regroup and re-evaluate tactics. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The United States Marine Corps abolished its glider program. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • While returning from patrol, the Italian submarine Leonardo da Vinci was intercepted by the British destroyer HMS Active (H 14) 300 miles west of Vigo, Spain. Working with the frigate HMS Ness (K 219) HMS Active subjected the submarine to an intense depth-charge attack and the Leonardo da Vinci was destroyed. There were no survivors. ww2dbase [Main Article | HM]
Australian New Guinea
  • Five B-17 and six B-24 bombers attacked Rabaul, New Britain with 17 tons of bombs between 0030 and 0145 hours, hitting Lakunai, Rapopo, and Vunakanau airfields. One B-24D bomber crashed at Port Moresby, Australian Papua upon its return at 0530 hours, killing all aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
Australian Papua
  • From Port Moresby, Australian Papua, Ennis Whitehead sent George Kenney a request for setting up regular reconnaissance flights over Rabaul, New Britain using F-5 (P-38) aircraft. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese 39th Division completed the crossing of the Yangtze River near Pianyan, Hubei Province, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Wahoo departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Part of Torpedo Squadron 12 (VT-12) on board. (F4U-1) [sic] ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
Japan Mariana Islands
  • USS Whale conducted a reconnaissance mission on Rota, Mariana Islands between Tinian and Guam. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Josef Mengele arrived at Auschwitz Concentration Camp. He was soon to begin experiments on prisoners. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
United States
  • USS Bluefish was commissioned into service with Commander George E. Porter in command. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 24 May 1943
Newly converted USS Sable training aircraft carrier on her delivery trip to Chicago, Illinois upbound on Lake St Clair, Michigan, United States.  Photo taken from the freighter Joseph Wood. May 24 1943.Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and others at the White House during Trident Conference, Washington DC, United States, 24 May 1943

24 May 1943 Interactive Map

24 May 1944
  • USS Flying Fish attempted to attack a Japanese convoy; all 4 torpedoes fired missed. She was detected and was subjected to a depth charge counterattack. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Cabrilla damaged a Japanese ship east of Borneo, hitting her with 1 of 6 torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Churchill formally announced that Spain would not be a target of the forthcoming Allied invasion on continental western Europe. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • SS official Adolf Eichmann's office in Budapest reported that 116,000 Hungarian Jews had already been deported, and another 200,000 were awaiting deportation, most of which were from Carpatho-Ruthenia and Transylvania. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese troops penetrated Chindit defense lines near the Blackpool site in Burma. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • A transport of 859 prisoners from the Pawiak prison in Warsaw, Poland arrived at Stutthof Concentration Camp in Sztutowo, occupied Danzig. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Iceland's four-day plebiscite ended; the result would show that 97% of the population wished to terminate the personal union with the King of Denmark, and 95% of the population wished to establish a new republic. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese troops captured Gibraltar Hill and attacked Lone Tree Hill near Imphal, India. To the north at Kohima, Indian 7th Division began an offensive against Dyer Hill, Pimple Hill, and Big Tree Hill. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US forces captured Terracina, Italy. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • The German Senger Line south of Rome, Italy was breached by troops of Canadian 1st Infantry Division, Canadian 5th Armoured Division, and II Polish Corps. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Inigo Campioni was executed by firing squad in Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The keel of landing ship No. 158 was laid down by Hitachi Zosen. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • The Japanese submarine RO-116 was sunk 225 miles north-northwest of Kavieng, New Ireland by Hedgehog depth charges from the American destroyer escort USS England commanded by Lieutenant Commander Walton B. Pendelton. ww2dbase [HM]
US Pacific Islands
  • USS Wasp's aircraft attacked Wake Island. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 24 May 1944
Captain Burke (third from left) with his US Navy Destroyer Squadron 23 captains at

24 May 1944 Interactive Map

24 May 1945
  • USS Pompon arrived at Guam, Mariana Islands, ending her eighth war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Ray sank 2 small Japanese vessels west of Japan with her deck gun. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Allies began exchanging the prisoners of war they had freed in Germany. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Operation Kikusui No. 7 was launched off Okinawa, Japan, participated by about 65 Japanese Navy and 100 Japanese Army special attack and escorting aircraft. On the island, seven Type 97 bombers attempted to crash-land at an American-controlled airfield to deliver suicide commandos during Operation Gi; several aircraft were shot down, but those who successfully reached the airfield delivered 69 commandos who destroyed 9 aircraft and damaged 29 others and set the fuel dump aflame; all commandos were killed or committed suicide. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • At Salzburg, Austria, Field Marshal Robert Ritter von Greim, head of the Luftwaffe, committed suicide in American captivity. Having learnt that he was to be a part of a Soviet-American prisoner exchange and, fearing torture and execution at the hands of the Russians, he took cyanide. His final words were: "I am the head of the Luftwaffe, but have no Luftwaffe." ww2dbase [Main Article | AC, CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • USS Yorktown (Essex-class) sortied from Ulithi, Caroline Islands with TG 58.4 to rejoin the forces off Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • USS Ticonderoga departed Ulithi, Caroline Islands with other ships of Task Group 58.4. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • Submarine I-369 arrived at Yokosuka, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Aircraft of US Navy Task Force 58 attacked airfields in southern Kyushu, Japan while 520 US Army B-29 bombers attacked urban and industrial areas south of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Many buildings on the grounds of the Imperial Palace complex were destroyed. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Joseph Stilwell arrived in Manila, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • USS Miami arrived at San Francisco, California, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 24 May 1945
Germany’s Minister of Production Albert Speer, Großadmiral (and later President) Karl Dönitz, and Generaloberst Alfred Jodl, speak to British war correspondents the day after their arrest in Flensburg, Germany, 24 May 1945.An aerial view of the San Francisco Naval Shipyard at Hunters Point, San Francisco, California United States, May 24, 1945.

24 May 1945 Interactive Map

24 May 1946

Dutch East Indies
  • Allied repatriation ship Hikawa Maru arrived at Makassar, Celebes, Dutch East Indies and embarked Japanese personnel. She departed later on the same day. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
24 May 1947

  • Shigeru Yoshida stepped down as the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 24 May 1947
Battleship USS Iowa on display in San Francisco Bay, California, United States, 24 May 1947. Note San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and Yerba Buena Island in the background.

24 May 1947 Interactive Map

24 May 1950
  • Archibald Wavell passed away. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
24 May 1954
  • USS Blenny joined the US Navy Atlantic Fleet. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
24 May 1962

Photo(s) dated 24 May 1962
Astronaut Scott Carpenter aboard Intrepid after his capsule was recovered by the carrier, 24 May 1962
24 May 1966

  • Hiroshi Nemoto passed away in Tokyo, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
24 May 1980

Photo(s) dated 24 May 1980
Tugboat Saco guiding USS Proteus into Naval Base Guam, 24 May 1980

24 May 1980 Interactive Map

24 May 1981
  • Claude Auchinleck passed away. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
24 May 2008

United States
  • Daniel Inouye married Irene Hirano in Beverly Hills, California, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
24 May 2009

Photo(s) dated 24 May 2009
Petty Officer 2nd Class Blake Soller and Military Working Dog Rico at the War Dog Cemetery at Naval Base Guam, Santa Rita, US Territory of Guam, 24 May 2009
24 May 2010
  • The US Federal Register reopened the bidding process for the conversion and maintenance of battleship Iowa as a museum ship. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

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

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Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944