20 May 1943
  • USS Gar reported sinking a Japanese sampan in daylight with her deck gun. ww2dbase [Gar | CPC]
  • The US Marine Corps transferred the responsibility of the office of the Assistant Commandant (Air) to the Director of Aviation. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In a press conference, Orde Wingate noted the achievement by Operation Longcloth in the areas of propaganda and morale. ww2dbase [Operation Longcloth | CPC]
  • The Italian Navy withdrew all its personnel from Yalta, Ukraine; all of the Italian torpedo boats were given to the German Navy in the region. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Esterwegen Concentration Camp established a special camp named "S?d" (South) to hold prisoners transferred under the Nacht und Nebel program. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • Hartwig von Ludwiger was made the commanding officer of Kampfgruppe von Ludwiger in Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [Hartwig von Ludwiger | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • 12 US heavy bombers attacked Vunakanau Airfield at Rabaul, New Britain between 0300 and 0430 hours, causing limited damage to the facilities, but greatly affected Japanese morale. ww2dbase [CPC]
Australian Papua
  • The headquarters of USAAF 3rd Bombardment Group was transferred from Port Moresby to Dobodura Airfield, Australian Papua. ww2dbase [Dobodura Airfield | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Repair ship Akashi completed the repair work for destroyer Harusame at Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Akashi | CPC]
Dutch East Indies
  • Kamoi took on 2,400 tons of cement at Padang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [Kamoi | CPC]
Hawaii Japan
  • Shokaku departed Tokuyama, Japan for the Yokosuka region to prepare for the counter offensive at the Aleutian Islands. ww2dbase [Shokaku | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Whale arrived in waters between Japan and Mariana Islands and Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Whale | CPC]
Poland United States
  • USS S-35 began post-repair trials off Bremerton, Washington, United States. ww2dbase [S-35 | CPC]
  • Henry Arnold was released by Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington DC, United States. ww2dbase [Henry Arnold | CPC]
  • The US Navy established the Tenth Fleet. The fleet had no ships, for that this command was responsible for the analysis of intelligence for anti-submarine and convoying efforts in the Atlantic Ocean. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 May 1943
African-American soldiers of the labor battalion deployed by the US Army eating a meal in the field, Massacre Bay, Attu, Aleutian Islands, US Territory of Alaska, 20 May 1943US Army soldier relaxing with a book while aboard a transport, off Iceland, 20 May 1943Aerial view of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Germany, 20 May 1943; photo taken by a British No. 542 Squadron RAF aircraft

20 May 1943 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
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Winston Churchill, on the RAF