20 Aug 1942
  • Mutsu sortied to hunt for USS Long Island which was delivering aircraft for Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, but failed to make contact. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • USS Copahee was reclassified an auxiliary aircraft carrier with hull number ACV-12. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British ship City of Manila, damaged by German submarine U-406 on the previous day, sank 450 miles west of Portugal. A PBY Catalina aircraft of US Navy squadron VP-73 attacked German submarine U-464 with depth charges 250 miles west of the Faroe Islands between Britain and Iceland at 0530 hours, killing 2 men and damaging the submarine; U-464 was scuttled at 0815 hours after the 51 survivors abandoned ship; all survivors were captured by the British. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Tuscaloosa, USS Rodman, USS Emmons, and HMS Onslaught, carrying war goods for the Soviet Union, were spotted by German aircraft. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Karl Hermann Frank's son Wolf-Dietrich was born. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Ferdinand Schörner was awarded the Eastern Front medal. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • 11 survivors in one of the three lifeboats from steam tanker Mirlo, lost to German submarine U-130 on 11 Aug 1942, were picked up by British armed trawler HMS Canna in the Atlantic Ocean. ww2dbase [HM]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • 770 Japanese troops under Colonel Kiyonao Ichiki reached within a few miles of Henderson Field at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands by 0430 hours. During the day, Henderson Field received 31 US Marine fighter aircraft (19 Wildcat fighters and 12 Dauntless dive bombers) from USS Long Island, allowing air supply and evacuation of wounded to begin between Espiritu Santo and Guadalcanal; the small air fleet at Henderson Field was dubbed "Cactus Air Force". In the evening, Ichiki gave the order to move foward, running into the US Marines defensive perimeter at Tenaru River by surprise around midnight. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • German submarine U-464 was sunk by US Navy pilot Lieutenant (jg) Robert Hopgood in Skerjafjord near Reykjavik, Iceland; 53 German crew members survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyer Yukikaze completed a period of training in the Inland Sea in Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Saburo Kurusu arrived in Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Kichisaburo Nomura arrived in Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The German 6.Armee began to attack Stalingrad, Russia, crossing the Don River by inflatable boats. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German bombers attacked Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • USS Gunnel was commissioned into service with Lieutenant Commander John S. McCain, Jr. in command. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Aug 1942
HMS Dianthus at Liverpool, England, United Kingdom, mid to late Aug 1942; note bow damage sustained from ramming U-379US Marine Colonel Frank Goettge with captured Japanese currency, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Aug 1942US 1st Marine Division staff at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Aug 1942PT-109 stowed on board the Liberty Ship Joseph Stanton for transportation to the Pacific Ocean, Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, United States, 20 Aug 1942, photo 1 of 2
See all photos dated 20 Aug 1942

20 Aug 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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Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945