20 Jan 1944
  • Soviet forces captured Novgorod, Russia. ww2dbase [TH]
  • USS Gar sank Japanese cargo ship Koyu Maru off Palau Islands in daylight with two of three torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Gar | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yukikaze arrived at Singapore. ww2dbase [Yukikaze | CPC]
Australian New Guinea Australian Papua
  • After temporary repairs, destroyer USS Shaw departed Gili Anchorage, Milne Bay, New Guinea bound for the United States. ww2dbase [Shaw | Milne Bay | DS]
Caroline Islands
  • Irako departed Truk, Caroline Islands. She was attacked by submarine USS Seadragon and suffered one torpedo hit to her bow on the starboard side. ww2dbase [Irako | Truk | CPC]
Dutch East Indies
  • Submarine USS Tinosa inserted Australian commandos and 5,000 pounds of their equipment onto Turtle Beach near Labian Point on northeastern Borneo as part of Operation Python II. ww2dbase [Tinosa | Labian Point, Borneo | DS]
  • The heaviest RAF raid on Berlin to date was launched, with 769 aircraft (495 Lancaster, 264 Halifax, 10 Mosquito) dropping over 2,300 tons of explosives on the German capital. 13 Lancaster and 22 Halifax bombers were lost. Damage on Berlin was thought to be extensive, but this could not be confirmed due to bad weather on the next day. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | Berlin | TH]
  • Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein shot down three British aircraft near Berlin, Germany, increasing his victories to 78. His Ju 88 aircraft was damaged by the propeller of the third aircraft he shot down, a Lancaster bomber, and only barely made it back to the airfield and had to crash land. ww2dbase [Heinrich | Berlin | CPC]
  • Z44 was launched by the DeSchiMAG shipyard in Bremen, Germany. ww2dbase [Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG | Z44 | Bremen, Weser-Ems | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Ten quonset huts for officers' quarters, 10 quonset huts for enlisted men's barracks, turned over to station. More of ARGUS-15 on board. Part of GROPAC-2 departed. Part of Task Group 19.19 departed. Part of ACORN-20 departed. Part of CASU-20 departed. Part of ARGUS-18 departed. ww2dbase [Barbers Point Naval Air Station | Ewa, Oahu | DS]
  • Journalists visited US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) at Camp Deogarh, Central Provinces, India. The unit's commanding officer Frank Merrill was also present. During this visit, James Shepley of Life Magazine came up with the Merrill's Marauders nickname for the unit. Dave Richardson of Yank Magazine, who actually remained to report alongside the unit, preferred Dead End Kids as the nickname as he observed the soldiers not as a group of elite marauders but rather a high-spirited ragtag band of volunteers and cast-offs. ww2dbase [Frank Merrill | Central Provinces | CPC]
  • After sundown, US 141st Regiment and 143rd Regiment attacked across the Rapido River in Italy. ww2dbase [Battle of Monte Cassino | CPC]
  • The keel of landing ship No. 130 was laid down by Kawanami Kogyo. ww2dbase [No. 101/103-class | CPC]
Marshall Islands
  • Japanese cargo ships Akibasan Maru was sunk at Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Kwajalein | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir William Sholto Douglas was appointed Commander-in-Chief of RAF Coastal Command. ww2dbase [Sholto Douglas | AC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Jan 1944
Colonel Karl Lorenz, commander of an infantry regiment of German Army 9.2-inch coastal defense gun of North Head Battery, Sydney, Australia, 20 Jan 1944Ten B-24 Liberators of the 451st Bomb Group line up for take-off from Telergma, Algeria bound for their new base at Gioia del Colle, Italy, 20 Jan 1944.

20 Jan 1944 Interactive Map

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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