20 Jul 1943
  • Ameer was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Ameer | CPC]
  • The US Joint Chiefs of Staff ordered Chester Nimitz to begin planning operations in the Ellice and Gilbert Islands. ww2dbase [Gilbert Islands Campaign | CPC]
  • The National Committee for a Free Germany made a broadcast of its manifesto to Germany from the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British and US bombers sank German submarine U-558 in the Bay of Biscay northwest of Cape Ortegal, Spain with depth charges; 45 were killed, 5 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Allied aircraft attacked German submarine U-195 in the Bay of Biscay, killing 1. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Captain Hyoe Minakuchi was made the commanding officer of Katori, relieving Takeji Miyazaki. ww2dbase [Katori | CPC]
  • As cruisers HMAS Australia and HMAS Hobart with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, and USS Lamson, HMAS Arunta, and HMAS Warramunga were retiring toward Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, Hobart was struck by a torpedo in her port quarter, reducing her speed to 7 knots. ww2dbase [Nicholas | DS]
  • US destroyers USS Aylwin and USS Monaghan bombarded Kiska, Aleutian Islands. ww2dbase [Monaghan | Kiska | CPC]
  • After five patrols, LtCdr C.C. Burlingame was relieved of command of the Gato-class submarine USS Silversides at Brisbane, Australia. LtCdr J.S. Coye assumed command. ww2dbase [Silversides | Brisbane | DS]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • In the Solomon Islands, US 13th Air Force launched 18 B-24 bombers against Kahili Airfield, Bougainville Island and other targets on Ballale Island. ww2dbase [Solomon Islands Campaign | Kahili Airfield | Buin, Bougainville | CPC]
  • On New Georgia in the Solomon Islands, the Northern Landing Group (1st Marine Raider Regiment, 4th Raider Battalion, and 3rd Battalion of the US Marine Corps and the 148th Division of the US Army) attacked Bairoko Harbor. ww2dbase [Solomon Islands Campaign | Bairoko Harbor, New Georgia | CPC]
  • At 0010 hours, a US TBF aircraft equipped with radar detected the Japanese Night Battle Force between Vella Lavella Island and Choiseul Island in the Solomon Islands. Multiple waves of aircraft were launched to attack. At 0034 hours, Yugure was hit by a 2,000-poung bomb amidships (sinking within minutes), followed by a hit on Kumano in the starboard quarter. Additional attacks scored no hits; two TBF and two B-25 aircraft were shot down during the attacks. Kiyonami picked up about 20 of Yugure's survivors at about 0200 hours. At 0521 hours, eight US B-25 bombers tasked with finding the damaged Kumano found Kiyonami instead, scoring a hit that detonated a magazine, and Kiyonami sank within two minutes. Only one of Kiyonami's crew survived (not found until 4 Aug 1943); all of Yugure's survivors were killed. At 1108 hours, the destroyer transports, having successfully delivered 300 men and supplies to Vila, Kolombangara, Solomon Islands before dawn, joined the surviving ships of the Night Battle Force, and they would arrive at Rabaul, New Britain, Bismarck Islands at 1730 hours. ww2dbase [Yugure | Solomon Islands Campaign | Kumano | CPC]
  • The keel of Canadian frigate HMCS Prestonian was laid down at Lauzon, Quebec, Canada. ww2dbase [Lauzon, Quebec | CPC]
  • The keel of Canadian frigate HMCS Sea Cliff was laid down at Lauzon, Quebec, Canada. ww2dbase [Lauzon, Quebec | CPC]
  • The keel of Canadian corvette HMCS Asbestos was laid down at Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. ww2dbase [Quebec City, Quebec | CPC]
  • The keel of Canadian corvette HMCS Hawkesbury was laid down at Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. ww2dbase [Quebec City, Quebec | CPC]
  • Canadian tug HMCS Glenlea was launched at Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. ww2dbase [Owen Sound, Ontario | CPC]
  • German government reports dated this date indicated that, since 2 Mar 1943, there had been 20 transports of Jews from the Netherlands to SobibĂłr Concentration Camp, totaling over 34,000 persons; only 19 of these deportees survived the Holocaust. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • German submarine U-242 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-292 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-1165 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
Hawaii Italy
  • Italian troops surrendered en masse to US troops in Sicily, Italy as US 82nd Airborne Division captured Sciacca and Menfi, US 9th Infantry Division captured Santo Stefano Quisquina and the heights north of Mussomeli, US 2nd Armored Division with British troops in support captured Enna, Canadian 1st Division reached Leonforte, and British 51st Division attacked the Sferro airfield. In the air, Allied Northwest African Strategic Air Force fighter-bombers attacked various targets in western Sicily while medium bombers struck Montecorvino Airfield. ww2dbase [Invasion of Sicily and Italy's Surrender | Sicilia | TH, CPC]
  • About 150 aircraft of Allied Northwest African Strategic Air Force and over 100 aircraft US 9th Air Force attacked Rome, Italy for a second day in a row, targeting rail marshalling yards and the Ciampino Airfield. When the US 9th Air Force returned from Rome, they dropped their remaining bombs on targets at Anzio and Sicily. The city of Naples was also bombed by US bombers on this day. ww2dbase [Operation Avalanche | CPC]
  • Crown Prince Yi Un was made the commanding officer of Japanese 1st Air Army. ww2dbase [Yi Un | CPC]
Marshall Islands
  • Naka arrived at Mili Atoll, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Naka | Mili | CPC]
Pacific Ocean Philippines
  • USAAF 851st Bombardment Squadron, operating B-18 Bolo bombers, departed Edinburgh Field in Trinidad. ww2dbase [Carlsen Field | Chaguanas | CPC]
  • German troops evacuated Mtensk, Russia. ww2dbase [Battle of Kursk | Mtensk | CPC]
  • The Soviet STAVKA ordered all partisans in German-occupied Europe to attack German rail traffic. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein shot down seven Soviet aircraft in one single night mission near Oryol, Russia, increasing his victories to 41. ww2dbase [Heinrich | Oryol | CPC]
  • Vsevolod Merkulov was named the People's Commissar of State Security of the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Vsevolod Merkulov | Moscow | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British submarines HMS Spirit was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarines HMS Vampire was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • USS Enterprise arrived at Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton, Washington, United States for an extensive overhaul. ww2dbase [Puget Sound Navy Yard | Enterprise | Bremerton, Washington | CPC]
  • The keel of US escort carrier Nehenta Bay was laid down. ww2dbase [Nehenta Bay | CPC]
  • US escort carrier Natoma Bay was launched. ww2dbase [Natoma Bay | CPC]
  • Franklin Roosevelt ordered that information regarding atomic research was to be shared with the British. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Minesweeper USS Sway was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US frigate Sausalito was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyer escort USS Burke was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyer escort USS Scott was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Lockheed and USAAF began a three day evaluation of a full scale mock up of a XP-80 jet fighter. ww2dbase [Burbank Lockheed Aircraft Factory | P-80 Shooting Star | Burbank, California | CPC]
  • USS Wahoo completed a period of trials and training off California, United States. After returning to Mare Island Navy Yard in Vallejo, California, United States, squadron commander Captain John B. Griggs, Jr. came aboard to present awards. ww2dbase [Wahoo | Mare Island Navy Yard | Vallejo, California | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Jul 1943
Torpedo damage on Hobart, 20 Jul 1943, photo 1 of 5Torpedo damage on Hobart, 20 Jul 1943, photo 2 of 5Torpedo damage on Hobart, 20 Jul 1943, photo 3 of 5Torpedo damage on Hobart, 20 Jul 1943, photo 4 of 5
See all photos dated 20 Jul 1943

20 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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