21 May 1944
  • Adolf Hitler ordered downed Allied airmen to be shot without trial. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • Anglo-Indian troops captured Kanglatongbi, India. ww2dbase [Battle of Imphal-Kohima | CPC]
  • USS Ray began pursuing a nine-ship Japanese convoy south of the Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Ray | CPC]
  • USS Flier completed her repairs and resumed her first war patrol. ww2dbase [Flier | CPC]
  • USS Cero damaged a Japanese transport north of Dutch New Guinea, hitting her with 1 of 4 torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Cero | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Flying Officer Cornelius G. Hogelin was returning from a mission in northern Germany when his P-51 B Mustang fighter-bomber (43-24783) developed engine trouble as he was over the North Sea. He lost his life after radioing that he was ditching 16 kilometres west of Den Haag, the Netherlands. He was stationed at RAF Bottisham near Cambridge, England, United Kingdom and was in the 361st Fighter Wing. Aircraft belonging to this wing could be identified by a yellow cowling and stripe on the tail of their planes. Hogelin's body was never found and his name is entered upon the USAAF Memorial Wall in Cambridge. ww2dbase [HM]
Australian New Guinea
  • 24 TBF, 20 SBD, a number of B-24, a number of P-39, and a number of New Zealand fighters and dive bombers attacked Vunakanau Airfield at Rabaul, New Britain. 1 TBF aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire, and its crew was captured by the Japanese. ww2dbase [New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 3 | CPC]
Hawaii Japan Pacific Ocean Poland
  • Four trains arrived at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland with 12,438 Hungarian Jews (3,013 from Viseu de Sus (Felsövisó), 3,274 from Nyiregyháza, 3,290 from Sátoraljaújhely, and 2,861 from Mukacevo (Munkács)) and 2,000 Jews from Yugoslavia. 1,102 were registered into the camp; 2,698 were sent to the gas chambers. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | Auschwitz Concentration Camp | CPC]
United States
  • Submarine Boarfish was launched at Groton, Connecticut, United States, sponsored by Miss Barbara Walsh, daughter of Senator Arthur Walsh of the US state of New Jersey. ww2dbase [Electric Boat Company | Boarfish | CPC]
US Pacific Islands Photo(s) dated 21 May 1944
Fully laden United States Navy LSTs burning furiously while other ships flee in Pearl Harbor’s West Loch after massive chain-reaction explosions in what became known as the West Loch Disaster, 21 May 1944.

21 May 1944 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