23 May 1944
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru departed Singapore. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | CPC]
  • Muriel Byck passed away. ww2dbase [Muriel Byck | CPC]
  • General Hans Cramer, last commander of the German Afrika Korps, was repatriated due to ill health; before he departed Britain, he was shown evidence of the massive Allied build-up, but was misinformed as to the location of these forces; when he was later debriefed in Berlin, Germany, this misinformation helped deceive the Germans as to the actual target of the invasion. On the same day Cramer was repatriated, a single USAAF B-24 bomber ("Lorelei" 41-29300), escorted by eight P-51 fighters, loaded with the new top-secret Azon bombs successfully destroyed four bridges leading into Normandie, France; Lieutenant Colonel F. M. O'Neil (commanding officer of 753rd Squadron) and Captain Fred DeNeffe were the mission pilots; the entire crew was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. ww2dbase [Normandy Campaign, Phase 1 | TH, AC]
  • USS Ray fired ten torpedoes at two radar contacts south of the Philippine Islands, sinking one ship and damaging another with six torpedo hits. ww2dbase [Ray | CPC]
  • USS Cero attacked a Japanese convoy off the Palau Islands, sinking a freighter and damaging a tanker, hitting them with 4 of 6 torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Cero | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German torpedo boat Greif was torpedoed by a British Albacore torpedo bomber early in the morning. Sister boat Möwe tried to tow her to port, but heavy flooding caused Greif to lose all power at 0600 hours. She sank at 0632 hours. ww2dbase [HM]
Italy
  • Troops of Polish II Corps and Canadian 1st Infantry Division attacked Piedimonte, Italy. ww2dbase [Battle of Monte Cassino | Piedimonte | CPC]
  • Three US and two British divisions launched a new assault out of the Anzio, Italy beachhead at dawn, inflicting heavy casualties on German formations but also suffering similarly. ww2dbase [Battle of Anzio | Anzio, Lazio | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Permit damaged a Japanese ship in the Pacific Ocean with her deck gun. ww2dbase [Permit | CPC]
  • The 6,586-ton American submarine USS Lapon (SS-260) sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Wales Maru in the South China Sea, hitting her with all four torpedoes fired. At the time the ship was carrying Unit 234 of the Independent Flight Corps of 1,000 men; the unit lost 50 men as the Wales Maru went down with 13 members of her crew. ww2dbase [Lapon | South China Sea | HM]
Poland US Pacific Islands Photo(s) dated 23 May 1944
Map of the Allied breakout from the Anzio, Italy beachhead and advance from the Gustav Line, May 1944Program of the first anniversary celebration aboard USS New Jersey, 23 May 1944, page 1 of 3Program of the first anniversary celebration aboard USS New Jersey, 23 May 1944, page 2 of 3Program of the first anniversary celebration aboard USS New Jersey, 23 May 1944, page 3 of 3
See all photos dated 23 May 1944

23 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
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939