16 Aug 1940
  • British and Commonwealth troops began evacuating Berbera, British Somaliland, while Italian troops marched closer to the capital, though very cautiously and did not attack the British rearguard at Barkasan. Italian aircraft, for the most part, allowed the evacuation operation to take place in order to maintain good relations with Britain. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | CPC]
  • Despite fine weather, German attacks on Britain were limited to small raids. At noon, German bombers attacked shipping in the Thames estuary and various airfields in southern England; at 1630 hours, some of the same targets were hit a second time. Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers attacked RAF Tangmere and Ventnor radar station, destroying many Hurricane fighters and Blenheim bombers in the hangar at the former and damaging radar installations at the latter. Pilot Officer W. M. "Billy" Fiske, an American pilot in the RAF, would become injured during one of the raids and would die on the following day, becoming the only American killed in combat during the Battle of Britain. On this day, the RAF lost 22 fighters while the Luftwaffe lost 72. In Germany, the 5th Directive (intelligence section) of the German Luftwaffe High Command reported the RAF Fighter Command only had about 300 fighters left; in actuality, it had about 400 Hurricane fighters and 200 Spitfire fighters available at the time, which was twice of the estimate. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Despite being badly wounded and with his Hurricane fighter on fire, Flight Lieutenant James Nicolson shot down a German Bf 109 fighter before bailing out. He would later win the only Victoria Cross awarded to a fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine Osiris sank Italian ship Morea 50 miles west of DurrĂ«s, Albania. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-100 sank British ship Empire Merchant 150 miles northwest of Ireland, killing 7. 48 survivors were rescued by tug HMS Salvonia. 150 miles further northwest, a German submarine wolfpack consisted of U-30, U-46, and U-48 attacked Allied convoy OB-197, sinking Swedish ship Hedrun (8 killed, 20 survived) and British ship Clan Macphee (67 killed, 41 survived), and damaging Dutch ship Alcinous. In the same general area 170 miles northwest of Ireland, British Coastal Command Sunderland flying boats of 210 Squadron attacked German submarine U-51 with depth charges; U-51 narrowly survived the attack; this was the first successful use of aircraft against a German submarine. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Hungary and Romania began negotiating over Transylvania, which Hungary wished to take over from Romania. The negotiation soon turned into a deadlock. ww2dbase [Soviet Demands on Romania and the Second Vienna Arbitration | CPC]
  • Orion attacked and sank French ship Notu which was en route to NoumĂ©a, New Caledonia. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • Adolf Galland recieved the Pilot's Badge in Gold with Diamonds from Hermann Göring. ww2dbase [Adolf Galland | CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt announced in a press conference that the United States had engaged with the United Kingdom to acquire land for military bases in the Western Hemisphere. No mention was made regarding the transfer to destroyers from the US to the UK. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • US Army Transport American Legion departed Petsamo, Finland for New York, United States with Crown Princess Martha of Norway and her three children on board. Also on board was a 40-millimeter Bofors gun purchased by the US Navy. American Legion was the last neutral ship to be allowed to depart from Petsamo. ww2dbase [40 mm Bofors | CPC]
  • Wilhelm Keitel issued the order that, per Adolf Hitler's decision, the landing area in the invasion plan for Britain was to be slightly narrowed as a compromise between the Army (which wanted a wide front) and the Navy (which lacked the warships to secure too many landing sites). ww2dbase [Wilhelm Keitel | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • James Lacey claimed a probable kill on a German Bf 109 fighter over Britain. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
United States
  • A "Test" Platoon led by Major William Lee and consisting of 48 volunteers from the US 29th Infantry Regiment made the first US Army parachute jump from an aircraft in order to explore the prospect of bringing troops and equipment into battle by air. ww2dbase [AC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites

Famous WW2 Quote
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Winston Churchill, on the RAF

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!