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 "Süd" (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 [Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
Australian Papua
  • The headquarters of USAAF 3rd Bombardment Group was transferred from Port Moresby to Dobodura Airfield, Australian Papua. ww2dbase [Dobodura Airfield | Dobodura | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Repair ship Akashi completed the repair work for destroyer Harusame at Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Akashi | Truk | CPC]
Dutch East Indies
  • Kamoi took on 2,400 tons of cement at Padang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [Kamoi | Padang, Sumatra | CPC]
Hawaii Japan
  • Shokaku departed Tokuyama, Japan for the Yokosuka region to prepare for the counter offensive at the Aleutian Islands. ww2dbase [Shokaku | Tokuyama, Yamaguchi | 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 | Bremerton, Washington | CPC]
  • Henry Arnold was released by Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington DC, United States. ww2dbase [Henry Arnold | Washington | 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
"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal