20 May 1943
  • USS Gar reported sinking a Japanese sampan in daylight with her deck gun. ww2dbase [Main Article | 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 [Main Article | 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 [Main Article | CPC]
  • Hartwig von Ludwiger was made the commanding officer of Kampfgruppe von Ludwiger in Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [Main Article | 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 [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands Dutch East Indies Hawaii
  • Workers at Dock No. 4 at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, US Territory of Hawaii completed concrete work. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Japan Pacific Ocean
  • USS Whale arrived in waters between Japan and Mariana Islands and Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The women's camp in Auschwitz II-Birkenau in Poland reported that it had 20,635 female prisoners (9,337 with working assignments, 4,510 without working assignments, and 6,788 unable to work). ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
United States
  • USS S-35 began post-repair trials off Bremerton, Washington, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Henry Arnold was released by Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington DC, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | 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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Chiang Kaishek, date unknown

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