17 Aug 1943
  • Allied artillery began shelling Italian mainland from Messina, Sicily. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • The Germans made the first operational use of the Hs 293A-1 radio controlled bomb. It was launched from a Do 217E5s of II/KG100 against British shipping in the Bay of Biscay. Ten days later, an Hs 293 would claim the corvette HMS Egret. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Minesweeper USS Apex was transferred to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease Act. ww2dbase [AC]
Australian New Guinea
  • As a build up to the landings at Lae, Australian Papua the US 5th Air Force commenced a two-week blitz on the Japanese airfield in the Wewak area in Australian New Guinea. 12 B-17 and 26 B-24 bombers from Jackson Field and Ward's Strip at Port Moresby, Australian Papua hit the two Japanese airfields at Wewak starting at about 0000 hours; the Americans lost 3 B-24 bombers while the Japanese suffered 13 aircraft destroyed, 20 heavily damaged, 34 slightly damaged, and 70 men killed. At 0600 hours, 61 modified B-25 bombers, with fighter escort, were launched from Port Moresby; although 21 aircraft turned back due to poor weather, the remainder hit Wewak between 0750 and 0845 hours, destroying about 30 aircraft that were parked in rows in preparation of the arrival of a high ranking Japanese officer. The series of blitz paved the way for the autumn invasion that resulted in the capture of the western flank of Rabaul, New Britain. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC, CPC]
  • During the Quadrant Conference in Quebec, Canada, Orde Wingate shared with the Americans his plans for an offensive into Burma; the US Army showed interest in this plan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The US 8th Army Air Force lost 59 heavy bombers during daylight raids upon Regenburg and Schweinfurt, Germany, which was about 25% of the attacking force. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • British bombers launched to attack German rocket research site at Peenemünde at 2100 hours London time. At 2230 hours London time or 2330 hours Berlin time, air raid sirens went off at Peenemünde, but many ignored it, thinking it was to be yet another false warning as Allied bombers flew over the region to bomb German cities further inland. At 2317 hours London time or 0017 hours Berlin time on the next day, the first of the British bombers struck Peenemünde. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Japan Pacific Ocean
  • USS Wahoo attacked a freighter in the Sea of Japan at 0200 hours; the torpedo missed. At 2200 hours, she attacked another ship, again missing with one torpedo. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • Submarine Tang was launched at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California, United States; she was sponsored by Mrs. Antonio S. Pitre. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Wasp was launched at Bethlehem Steel Company's Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, United States, sponsored by Miss Julia M. Walsh, the sister of US Senator David I. Walsh. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Aug 1943
B-17F Flying Fortress bombers in flight over Schweinfurt, Germany, 17 Aug 1943Launching party of Tang, Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 17 Aug 1943Mrs Cecily Olsen and Mrs A S Pitre at the launching of Tang, Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 17 Aug 1943, as printed in 20 Aug 1943 edition of shipyard newspaper GrapevineLaunching of Tang, Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 17 Aug 1943
See all photos dated 17 Aug 1943

17 Aug 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
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943