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]
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 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]
Poland
  • 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

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

20 May 1943 Interactive Map




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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