31 Mar 1943
  • British troops occupied Cap Serrat on the Tunisian coast. Operation Supercharge II was concluded with success in Tunisia, forcing the Axis defenses to move north to Wadi Akarit. ww2dbase [Operations Pugilist and Supercharge II | CPC]
  • USAAF bombers attacked the Italian airfield at Cagliari, Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Luftwaffe Major General Peltz was placed in charge of bombing raids against Britain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • American troops under Colonel Archibald MacKechnie landed at the mouth of Waria River in New Guinea. ww2dbase [New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 2 | CPC]
  • US 1st and 9th Infantry Divisions again attacked Italian positions at Hill 369 near El Guettar, Tunisia to little success. ww2dbase [Battle of El Guettar | CPC]
  • Belleau Wood was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Belleau Wood | CPC]
  • The US 2nd Marine Brigade was disbanded in Pago Pago, American Samoa. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British corvette HMS Milfoil was recommissioned into the United States Navy as USS Intensity. ww2dbase [Milfoil | CPC]
  • Guszt√°v J√°ny was awarded the German Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal. ww2dbase [Guszt√°v J√°ny | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Alpino Bagnolini sighted an aircraft in the Atlantic Ocean at 1400 hours; she submerged to avoid detection. ww2dbase [Alpino Bagnolini | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • Vice Admiral Ryunosuke Kusaka launched a 2-wave fighter sweep (32 fighters and 25 fighters, respectively) down the Slot in the Solomon Islands to draw out Allied fighters. About 30 Guadalcanal-based US F4F fighters, 8 P-38 fighters, and a few F4U fighters engaged them over the Russell Islands. 9 Japanese Zero fighters, 5 US F4F Wildcat fighters, and 1 US F4U Corsair fighter were shot down in the action. ww2dbase [Solomon Islands Campaign | CPC]
  • Owen Baggett, while descending in a parachute over Burma after his B-24 bomber was fatally damaged, claimed to have used a M1911 handgun to kill the pilot of a Japanese A6M Zero fighter. Post war study of Japanese records would show that there were no A6M Zero fighters in the vicinity on that date, and the Japanese squadron present during the engagement suffered no pilot losses. ww2dbase [Owen Baggett | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • USS Tunny reached the Caroline Islands region. ww2dbase [Tunny | CPC]
Germany India
  • Satoru Anabuki, flying Ki-43 fighter "Fubuki", shot down three Hurricane fighters over Patenga, India (now Bangladesh), increasing his score to 29. ww2dbase [Satoru Anabuki | Patenga | CPC]
Japan Netherlands
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched a bombing raid against the docks at Schiedam, Holland but turned back on arrival over the target without dropping any bombs due to solid clouds over the area. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Schiedam | DS]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Whale set sail toward Midway Atoll. ww2dbase [Whale | CPC]
Poland Russia
  • Soviet troops defeated the German 17th Army in the Kuban Peninsula and captured Anastasyevsk north of Novorossiysk, near the coast of the Black Sea in southern Russia. ww2dbase [Caucasus Campaign | Anastasyevsk, Krasnodar Krai | CPC]
  • The Soviet GKO meeting at 2330 hours on this date, also joined by Vsevolod Merkulov and Viktor Abakumov, discussed the establishment of a counterintelligence branch. ww2dbase [Viktor Abakumov | Moscow | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Replying to a question from Member of Parliament Richard Stokes, the Air Minister, Sir Archibald Sinclair, told the British House of Commons that Bomber Command's targets were always of a military nature, but that bombing of military targets would necessarily involve bombing areas in which they were situated. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | London, England | AC]
  • The first Firebrand II variant aircraft, which was the second prototype aircraft of the original variant modified to new specifications, took flight. ww2dbase [Firebrand | AC]
United States
  • US leadership gave the order to invade Attu in the Aleutian Islands on 7 May 1943. ww2dbase [Aleutian Islands Campaign | CPC]
  • USS Seahorse was commissioned into service with Commander Donald McGregor in command. ww2dbase [Seahorse | CPC]

31 Mar 1943 Interactive Map

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

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Search WW2DB
Random Photograph

Tenryu, 1930-1931

Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!