18 Jul 1943
  • The keels of British frigates Loring and Pasley were laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In Sicily, Italy, before dawn, British Wellington bombers of the Allied Northwest African Strategic Air Force bombed Montecorvino on Sicily and Pomigliano in mainland Italy. After daybreak, American A-36 aircraft of the Allied Northwest African Tactical Air Force attacked Santa Caterina, Adrano, Lercara, and Termini Imerese. On the ground, Canadian troops captured Valguarnerna, US Seventh Army troops captured Caltanisetta, and British Eighth Army troops move slowly along the east coast of Sicily near Catania. ww2dbase [Invasion of Sicily and Italy's Surrender | CPC]
  • 6 American B-24 bombers attacked Japanese shipping between Paramushiru Island and Shimushu Island in the Kurile Islands and the Kataoka Airfield on Paramushiru; this was the first heavy bomber attack against Japan. ww2dbase [Bombing of Tokyo and Other Cities | CPC]
  • 6 B-24 bombers of the US Seventh Air Force based on Funafuti Island, Ellice Islands bombed Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese bombers were dispatched to attack Canton Island, Phoenix Islands, but they were forced to abandon their mission due to heavy American anti-aircraft and fighter defense; the bomb loads were dropped in the ocean. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 2 B-24 and 6 B-25 bombers of the US Eleventh Air Force B-24 attacked Japanese positions at Kiska Island, Aleutian Islands. ww2dbase [Aleutian Islands Campaign | CPC]
  • US Navy airship K-74 detected an enemy submarine in the Straits of Florida between the United States and Cuba at 2340 hours by radar and commenced the attack on German submarine U-134 10 minutes later. The anti-aircraft guns of U-134 hit the airship, and she crashed at 2355 hours. K-74 was the only American blimp to be shot down during the war. ww2dbase [Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico Campaigns | CPC]
  • American destroyer escort Hilbert was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • American destroyer escort USS Chase was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-508 attacked passenger ship Incomati with a torpedo 200 miles south of Lagos, British West Africa at 0756 hours. At 0818 hours, U-508 shelled Incomati with her deck gun, eventually sinking her. 1 was killed, 222 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Finback completed refitting at Fremantle, Australia and departed for her sixth war patrol. ww2dbase [Finback | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • 21 USAAF Thirteenth Air Force B-24 bombers escorted by 20 fighters, together with 35 US Navy and US Marine Corps dive bombers escorted by 134 fighters, attacked the Kahili Airfield and surrounding areas on Bougainville Island, Solomon Islands. The Americans claimed destroying or damaging two destroyers, a light vessel, and 12 fighters. 10 American aircraft were lost. ww2dbase [Solomon Islands Campaign | Kahili Airfield | CPC]
Hawaii Italy
  • After sundown, RAF Wellington bombers dropped over 800,000 propaganda leaflets on Rome, Italy. ww2dbase [Bombing of Rome, Naples, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • Ambra launched frogmen against Allied shipping in Syracuse harbor, Sicily, Italy; they failed to cause any damage. ww2dbase [Ambra | CPC]
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru arrived at Yokosuka, Japan. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 18 Jul 1943
Lieutenant General Mark Clark and Navy Rear Admiral Alan Kirk aboard command ship USS Ancon during the Sicily operations, Mers-el-Kebir, Oran, Algeria, 18 Jul 1943.

18 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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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