21 Jan 1944
  • USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Yasukuni Maru and passenger-cargo ship Ikoma Maru in the Pacific Ocean, expending nine torpedoes, five of which scored hits. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 90 German bombers attacked southern British cities. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • 648 RAF aircraft attacked Magdeburg, Germany; 55 British aircraft and 4 German fighters were destroyed during the engagement. It was the first time Magdeburg was raided by the Allies. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Light cruiser USS Vincennes was commissioned with Captain Arthur D. Brown in command. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The governments of Australia and New Zealand signed the Canberra Pact to promote national interests in a post war Pacific. The Pact was opposed by the United States which saw it as imposing on their sphere of influence. ww2dbase [AC]
Caroline Islands
  • Cruiser Chokai reached the damaged food transport ship Irako to tow her to nearby Truk, Caroline Islands. They arrived at Truk at 1700 hours. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Robert Johnson shot down a German Fw 190 aircraft over Rouen, France. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein shot down 5 British bombers before he was shot down by British escorting fighters. He was killed as the Ju 88 aircraft crashed in a wooded area in Lübars, Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Gilbert and Ellice Islands
  • USS Alabama arrived at Funafuti, Ellice Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Allied convoy JW-56A continued her journey from Akureyri, Iceland. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • In the mid-morning, German 15th Panzergrenadier Division wiped out the US beachheads along the Rapido River in Italy, forcing the survivors to withdraw back across the river. During the day, German 29th Panzergrenadier Division and 90th Panzergrenadier Division arrived in the region as reinforcement. After dark, US 141st Regiment and 143rd Regiment crossed the river again and established precarious footholds. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 600 prisoners deemed "invalid" were executed by gunfire at Majdanek Concentration Camp in occupied Poland. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Richard O'Connor was made the commanding officer of British VIII Corps, which included the Guards Armoured Division, 11th Armoured Division, 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division, 6th Guards Tank Brigade, 8th Group Royal Artillery, and 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • The US 5th Marine Division ("The Spearhead") was activated at Camp Pendleton near San Diego, California, United States with the 26th, 27th and 28th Marines under command. The 28th Marines contained a cadre of men from the deactivated Marine parachute battalions. Artillery was provided the 13th Marines and Engineers (who did not deploy overseas) by the 16th Marines. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Jan 1944
Biscayne as the flagship of the of the Anzio, Italy landings, 21-22 Jan 1944; note PT boat alongsideSoviet machine gun positions at Pavlovsk near Leningrad, Russia, 21 Jan 1944

21 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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Famous WW2 Quote
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943