31 Aug 1942
  • Georg von Bismarck was killed by mortar fire during the Battle of Alam el Halfa. ww2dbase [Georg von Bismarck | CPC]
  • Japanese submarine I-26 damaged USS Saratoga by torpedo 240 miles east of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, leaving her dead in the water. There were no casualties from this attack. She would be out of action for next three months for repairs. ww2dbase [Saratoga | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yuzuki departed Ocean and Nauru Islands area. ww2dbase [Yuzuki | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered Wilhelm List to launch a major offensive to gain the Caucasus region in southern Russia. ww2dbase [Caucasus Campaign | CPC]
  • Kasuga Maru was renamed Taiyo. ww2dbase [Taiyo | CPC]
  • German submarine U-516 sank US tanker Jack Carnes 200 miles north of the Azores islands at 0154 hours; all 56 aboard survived but 28 of them would become missing. At 1004 hours, U-609 attacked Allied convoy SC-97 300 miles southeast of Greenland and sank Panamanian ship Capira (5 were killed, 33 survived) and Norwegian ship Bronxville (all 39 aboard survived). At 1417 hours, U-66 sank British tanker Winamac 390 miles east of Trinidad; 30 were killed, 21 survived. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • Two US PBY Catalina floatplanes damaged Japanese submarine RO-61 with depth charges off Adak, Aleutian Islands, US Territory of Alaska. Destroyer USS Reid followed up and attacked with more depth charges, forced RO-61 to surface, and sank her with gunfire; 60 were killed, 5 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Hurricane fighters during the morning sortie over El Alamein, Egypt at 1003 and 1004 hours. In the afternoon sortie, he shot down a Spitfire fighter over Alam Halfa, Libya at 1825 hours. His score by the end of the day stood at 104. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Australian Papua
  • During the day, Australian troops attacked from the unfinished Turnbull airstrip near the coast of Milne Bay, Australian Papua, pushing the Japanese back to the KB Mission; at dusk, the Australians captured KB Mission with a bayonet charge, killing 60 Japanese; overnight, a Japanese raid killed 90 Australians. ww2dbase [New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 2 | CPC]
  • US Army Air Force A-20 Havoc bombers participated on their first offensive operation, attacking Japanese positions north of Port Moresby, Australian Papua. ww2dbase [A-20 Havoc | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • Before dawn, the newly arrived 1,000 fresh troops (delivered by 8 destroyers before the previous midnight) began organizing an attack toward Henderson Field on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. During the day, the USMC 1st Raider Battalion and the USMC 1st Parachute Battalion arrived at Guadalcanal from Tulagi as reinforcements. ww2dbase [Guadalcanal Campaign | Henderson Field | Guadalcanal | CPC]
  • German and British tanks engaged in combat near Alam el Halfa, Egypt, reaching no conclusion by nightfall as the British refused to fight in open terrain as the Germans wanted. German tanks broke off the attack at sundown after losing 22 tanks; the British lost 21 tanks in the day's battle. ww2dbase [Battle of Alam el Halfa | Alam el Halfa | CPC]
Hawaii Japan Pacific Ocean
  • USS Growler sank Japanese ship Eifuku Maru 35 miles northeast of Taiwan. ww2dbase [Growler | CPC]
  • Tanks of the German 4th Panzer Army reached the Stalingrad-Morozovsk railway on the outskirts of Stalingrad, Russia. ww2dbase [Battle of Stalingrad | Stalingrad | CPC]
United States Photo(s) dated 31 Aug 1942
USS Copahee underway, 31 Aug 1942

31 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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