15 Jul 1943
  • Allied leadership completed the plans for the invasion and occupation of New Britain, which was scheduled for 15 Nov 1943. ww2dbase [New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 2 | CPC]
  • USS Copahee was reclassified an escort carrier with hull number CVE-12. ww2dbase [Copahee | CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel was made the commander of Heeresgruppe B. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • Before dawn, Allied Northwest African Tactical Air Force bombers attacked Palermo, Sicily, Italy. During the day, US Ninth Air Force B-25 bombers attacked Palermo, Cape Gallo, Salina Island, and Cape Zifferano while the Northwest African Tactical Air Force attacked Vibo Valentia. Meanwhile, airborne troops of the UK 1st Airborne Division were relieved after fighting a larger German airborne force at Primosole Bridge over the Simeto River in Sicily, Italy for the past two days, ending Operation Fustian. Finally, US 7th Army captured the ports of Agrigento and Porto Empedocle. ww2dbase [Invasion of Sicily and Italy's Surrender | AC]
  • The keel of Canadian frigate Loch Morlich was laid down at Wallsend-on-Tyne, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Frigate HMS Calder was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British frigate Musk was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer Zephyr was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler Steepholm and and minesweeper Welfare were launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British escort carrier Thane was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-988 was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • George Patton formed a provisional corps in western in Sicily, Italy. ww2dbase [George Patton | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS United sank Italian submarine Remo in the Gulf of Taranto, Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Soviet Central Front began an offensive toward Orel, Russia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Submarine USS Narwhal shelled a Japanese airfield on Matsuwa Island, Kurile Islands, the first time the Kurile Islands were attacked by an American vessel in the war. ww2dbase [Nautilus | CPC]
  • The keel of Australian frigate HMAS Culgoa was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A B-24 Liberator bomber and two P-39 Airacobra fighters of USAAF Eleventh Air Force flew a reconnaissance mission over Kiska and Segula Islands in the Aleutian Islands, while 9 B-24 bombers and 14 B-25 bombers attacked Kiska in the same archipelago. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The under-construction Canadian corvette Sea Cliff was renamed Guelph. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt created he Office of Economic Warfare, which was to be led by Leo Crowley. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • The keel of American minesweeper Graylag was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of American submarine Blower was laid down. ww2dbase [Blower | CPC]
  • The keel of American destroyer escort Day was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of American destroyer escort Rudderow was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • American destroyer escort George was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • American destroyer escort Savage was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • American destroyer escort Spangler was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • American minesweeper Gadwall was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • American frigates Covington and Shreveport were launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Navy Patrol Squadron 32 PBM-3C Mariner aircraft sank German submarine U-759 in the Caribbean Sea south of Haiti with depth charges (all 47 killed). ww2dbase [Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico Campaigns | CPC]
  • British sloop HMS Rochester, corvette HMS Mignonette, and corvette HMS Balsam, with the help from a US Navy PBY Catalina aircraft, sank German submarine U-135 in the Atlantic Ocean; 5 German crew were killed, 41 survived. Off the Portuguese island of Madeira, US Navy Composite Squadron 29 TBF Avenger torpedo bomber sank German submarine U-509; all 54 aboard were killed. Also off Madeira, German submarine U-135 damaged transport Twickenham. U-572 sank sailing ship Gilbert B. Walters off Venezuela. In the South Atlantic, 620 miles east of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, U-172 sank transport Harmonic at 2116 hours; 1 was killed, 38 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-181 sank British ship Empire Lake 240 miles east of Madagascar at 1801 hours; 30 were killed, 7 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • All Allied airborne operations were suspended pending an analysis of recent poor performance and high casualty rates. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, and USS Jenkins departed Tulagi, Solomon Islands to act as a covering force for the rescue of USS Helena survivors who had made their way to the island of Vella Lavella. ww2dbase [Solomon Islands Campaign | Helena (St. Louis-class) | Nicholas | DS]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Different groups of TBF-1 Avenger aircraft and F4F Wildcats flying from USS Santee in the mid-Atlantic made two separate attacks on surfaced German submarines using Mark 24 FIDO acoustic homing torpedoes each with underwater explosions reported. Only U-509 was reported lost in this area on this date. ww2dbase [F4F Wildcat | TBF Avenger | Conclusion of the Battle of the Atlantic | Mark XXIV | DS]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • The Japanese Navy launched 24 G4M bombers, escorted by about 40 to 50 A6M Zero fighters, to attack various targets in the central Solomon Islands; the bulk of the attack force was intercepted by US Army and US Navy fighters in the Rendova Island, New Georgia, Solomon Islands area, and 15 G5M bombers and 30 A6M fighters were shot down at a loss of only 3 American fighters. On land at New Georgia, men of the US Army and US Marine Corps launched an offensive at Laiana Beach. ww2dbase [Solomon Islands Campaign | New Georgia | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Shokaku arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Shokaku | Truk | CPC]
  • Before dawn, Allied Northwest African Strategic Air Force Wellington bombers attacked airfields and docks at Naples, Italy. During the day, Villa San Giovanni and Foggia were attacked by Allied aircraft. ww2dbase [Foggia Airfield Complex | Foggia, Puglia | CPC]
Japan Puerto Rico United Kingdom
  • Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, Lt. General Jacob Devers, commander of US Army Air Forces in Europe, Maj. General Ira Eaker, commander of the Eighth Air Force, and several Brigadier generals visited RAF Thurleigh. Secretary Stimson personally present the Congressional Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Maynard “Snuffy” Smith for his heroic actions on 1 May 1943. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Henry Stimson | Jacob Devers | Ira Eaker | Maynard Smith | Thurleigh, England | DS]
United States
  • The US Navy established a new scheme for the designation of aircraft carriers. Large fleet carriers would retain the designation of CV. 10,000-ton carriers built on light cruiser hulls were changed from CV to CVL (light carriers). Auxiliary aircraft carriers, previously ACV, were redesignated as CVE (escort carriers). Finally, the new designation of CVB (large carriers) was established for the Midway-class carriers. ww2dbase [Card | Langley (Independence-class) | Corregidor | Bogue | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 15 Jul 1943
Independence in San Francisco Bay, 15 Jul 1943, photo 1 of 2Independence in San Francisco Bay, 15 Jul 1943, photo 2 of 2Biscayne as the flagship of the German Army Colonel General Hermann Hoth and Field Marshal Erich von Manstein studying a map during the Battle of Kursk, Russia, Jul 1943
See all photos dated 15 Jul 1943

15 Jul 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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