21 Jul 1942
  • American submarines sank three Japanese destroyers near Kiska, Aleutian Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel for the future USS Cod was laid down. ww2dbase [Cod | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yuzuki supported the invasion of Buna, New Guinea. ww2dbase [Yuzuki | CPC]
  • The United States Marine Corps 1st Base Depot established an advanced echelon at Wellington, New Zealand. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British destroyer Zest was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of German submarine U-846 was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Malta-based British aircraft attacked Italian transport Rosolino Pilo, which was escorted by two destroyers and two smaller vessels, after she had departed from Brindisi, Italy; they would fail to destroy the transport. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Four B-24 bombers of US 11th Air Force were launched to attack Kiska, Aleutian Islands, but the attack was turned back due to weather. US Navy Task Force 8, dispatched to attack in conjunction, however, continued on, receiving additional fuel from oiler USS Guadalupe en route. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • After a four-hour pursuit, German submarine U-160 sank British transport Donovania 5 miles off Grand Matelot Point, Trinidad at 1029 hours, hitting her with 1 of 3 torpedoes fired; 5 were killed, 45 survived. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • German submarine U-84 damaged US Liberty Ship William Cullen Bryant of Allied convoy TAW-4J 40 miles southwest of Key West archipelago, Florida, United States at 0908 hours; all 54 aboard survived. ww2dbase [Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico Campaigns | CPC]
  • Japanese submarine I-11 sank American ship Coast Farmer 90 miles south of Sydney, Australia; 1 was killed, 40 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The civilian schooner Roamar, belonging to a Colombian diplomat, was sunk by U-505 off San AndrĂ©s island in the Caribbean Sea with two deck gun shells between 1335 and 1500 hours. ww2dbase [Caribbean Sea | CPC]
  • Morosini reported that the decoy ship sighted in the Atlantic Ocean two days prior was likely a camouflaged gunboat. ww2dbase [Morosini | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa of the Japanese 8th Fleet based at Rabaul, New Britain, Bismarck Archipelago issued a request for more destroyers. ww2dbase [Gunichi Mikawa | Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
  • USS S-43 disembarked RAAF Flight Officer Cecil John Trevelyan Mason on the Feni Islands east of New Ireland to check in with coast watchers. ww2dbase [S-43 | Feni Islands | CPC]
Australian Papua
  • 2,000 Japanese Army troops, Special Naval Landing Forces troops, and laborers, along with field guns and horses, landed at Gona on the northern coast of New Guinea. 10 kilometers to the east, another group of 1,000 Japanese landed at Buna. ww2dbase [New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 2 | TH, CPC]
  • Tenryu provided cover for the landings at Buna, Australian Papua. ww2dbase [Tenryu | Buna | CPC]
  • Canadian corvette HMCS Matapedia completed her refit Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada. ww2dbase [Pictou, Nova Scotia | CPC]
  • New Zealand 6th Brigade launched an offensive south of Ruweisat Ridge near El Alamein, Egypt at 1630 hours, gaining several key positions early in the attack, but the British tanks failed to follow up as planned, thus leaving the forward units vulnerable to the counterattacks that would arrive on the next day. ww2dbase [First Battle of El Alamein | El Alamein | CPC]
Japan Malta
  • HMS Eagle launched 29 Spitfire fighters and 4 Swordfish torpedo bombers for Malta in Operation Inspect; 1 Spitfire fighter would be lost en route from a leaky fuel tank. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
Russia United Kingdom
  • Jean Knox was promoted to the rank of controller in the British Auxiliary Territorial Service. ww2dbase [Jean Knox | England | CPC]
United States
  • William Leahy officially took his position as US President Franklin Roosevelt's chief of staff. ww2dbase [William Leahy | Washington | CPC]

21 Jul 1942 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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"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944

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