31 Aug 1943
  • Hitler authorized limited withdrawals in Ukraine. ww2dbase [TH]
  • USS S-31 made a daylight attack on a Japanese submarine; three torpedoes were fired, but none hit the target. ww2dbase [S-31 | CPC]
  • The first combat mission of the US Navy's latest fighter aircraft occurred when F6F-3 Hellcat fighters of VF-5 operating from the carrier USS Yorktown (Essex-class) assisted in an attack on Japanese installations on Marcus Island. This was a mere eighteen months after the prototype's first flight. Altogether some 2,545 examples of the F6F-3 aircraft were delivered during 1943. ww2dbase [F6F Hellcat | Yorktown (Essex-class) | AC]
  • USS Langley was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Langley (Independence-class) | CPC]
  • Velite was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Velite | CPC]
  • Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein was awarded Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross. ww2dbase [Heinrich | CPC]
  • Lieutenant Commander Bernard Bowick was named the commanding officer of HMS Dianthus. ww2dbase [Dianthus | CPC]
  • USS Nicholas went alongside tender USS Whitney for tender repairs at Nouméa, New Caledonia. ww2dbase [Nicholas | DS]
France Germany Hawaii
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: F6F-3's of Fighting Squadron 1 (VF-1) on board. ww2dbase [Barbers Point Naval Air Station | Ewa, Oahu | DS]
  • Destroyer USS Shaw exited Drydock No. 3 and shifted to Berth B-18 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. ww2dbase [Pearl Harbor Navy Base and Ford Island Naval Air Station | Shaw | Pearl Harbor, Oahu | DS]
  • Under the direction of the irascible Commander Charles "Swede" Momsen and acting on orders from US Commander of Submarines Pacific Area Rear Admiral Charles Lockwood, submarine USS Muskellunge fired three Mark XIV torpedoes at the underwater cliffs of Kahoolawe Island, Hawaii to test the torpedo’s contact exploders. Two exploded and one did not. Momsen himself dove on the damaged but unexploded torpedo and rigged it for recovery. He then delicately dismantled the exploder device and revealed the design defects that had caused it to fail. ww2dbase [Mark XIV | Kahoolawe | DS]
  • USS Honolulu was floated out of drydock and shifted to the repair piers at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. ww2dbase [Honolulu | Pearl Harbor, Oahu | DS]
New Zealand
  • Eleanor Roosevelt arrived at Rotorua, New Zealand and visited Whakarewarewa with the famous guide Rangitiria Dennan. ww2dbase [Eleanor Roosevelt | Rotorua | CPC]
  • German submarine U-703 arrived at Narvik, Norway and dropped off four survivors of Russian freighter Dekabrist. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Narvik | CPC]
Pacific Ocean Panama Canal Zone
  • USS Ray arrived at the submarine base of Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone. ww2dbase [Ray | Coco Solo | CPC]
  • Marcel Albert, flying a Yak-9 fighter, shot down a Ju 87 aircraft over Yelnya, Smolensk, Russia. ww2dbase [Yelnya, Smolensk | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Fleet Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet, came aboard USS Ranger at Scapa Flow, Scotland and remained aboard for that day’s exercises with the Home Fleet. Ranger returned to Scapa Flow later that day and Admiral Fraser left the ship. ww2dbase [Bruce Fraser | Ranger | Orkney Islands, Scotland | DS]
United States
  • Corregidor was commissioned into service at Astoria, Oregon under the command of Captain R. L. Bowman. ww2dbase [Corregidor | Astoria, Oregon | CPC]
  • US War Department Operations Division sent a telegram to Joseph Stilwell, ordering him to recruit and organize 2,830 officers and men for a long range penetration operations in Burma. The troops was to be divided into 3 groups. 950 men were to be recruited from those with jungle experience in the Pacific Theater of Operations, and 1900 men were to be recruited from the Caribbean and US regions. They are to be ready for deploymen to Burma by Feb 1944. While elated that American troops were finally going to be fighting in Burma, Stilwell was angered by the fact that command of the operation was to be given to the newly promoted British Army Major General Wingate rather than to Stilwell. ww2dbase [Joseph Stilwell | Orde Wingate | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 31 Aug 1943
Carrier Chitose at Sasebo, Japan, 31 Aug 1943B-17 Fortresses of the 91st Bomb Group nearing the Dornier Assembly Plant at Meulan, France at dawn, 31 Aug 1943.US Navy pilot Lieutenant Commander James H. FlatleySBD Dauntless scout bomber in the landing pattern preparing to come aboard USS Essex following the raid on Marcus Island, Pacific Ocean, 31 Aug 1943.

31 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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