20 Oct 1942
  • USS S-31 arrived in the Kurile Islands region. ww2dbase [S-31 | CPC]
  • Japanese submarine I-176 attacked and damaged USS Chester in the Solomon Islands area. ww2dbase [Solomon Islands Campaign | CPC]
  • USS Finback attacked a Japanese convoy off China, firing 9 torpedoes and claiming 3 hits and claiming two sinkings. ww2dbase [Finback | CPC]
  • Submarine tender Taigei was assigned to the Japanese Navy Maizuru Naval District as Reserve Ship No. 1. ww2dbase [Ryuho | CPC]
  • Light carrier Hosho was assigned to the Mobile Force Training Force. ww2dbase [Hosho | CPC]
  • U-132 joined wolfpack Veilchen. ww2dbase [U-132 | CPC]
  • USS S-35 arrived at Unalaska, US Territory of Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. ww2dbase [S-35 | Unalaska | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • The USAAF conducted a photo reconnaissance mission over Rabaul, New Britain, revealing a concentration of about 70 ships. ww2dbase [Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
  • Hakkai Maru completed temporary repairs for Tenryu at Rabaul, New Britain. ww2dbase [Tenryu | Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
  • Gato-class submarine USS Silversides scored two torpedo hits on a 10,000-ton freighter south of Truk Atoll, Caroline Islands. The ship was seen to be heavily down by the stern before Silversides went deep to avoid a depth charge attack. The final fate of the ship was not observed. ww2dbase [Silversides | DS]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • Japanese Lieutenant General Masao Maruyama delayed the planned assault on Henderson Field on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands until 22 Oct 1942. ww2dbase [Henderson Field | Guadalcanal Campaign | Guadalcanal | CPC]
  • USS Helena observed incoming Japanese torpedoes while on patrol between Espiritu Santo of New Hebrides and San Cristobal island in the Solomon Islands; all torpedoes missed. ww2dbase [Helena (St. Louis-class) | CPC]
  • A Japanese combat patrol, supported by two tanks, was driven back by men of the 3rd Battalion of the US 1st Marine Regiment west of the Matanikau River. ww2dbase [Guadalcanal Campaign | Guadalcanal | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • While cruising in support of the operations in the Solomon Islands, USS Chester was struck by one of six Type 95 torpedoes fired from Japanese submarine I-176, killing eleven and wounding twelve. ww2dbase [Chester | Type 95 | Coral Sea | DS]
  • Destroyer USS Shaw crossed the equator en route from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to the Solomons. ww2dbase [Line Crossing Ceremony | Shaw | DS]
United Kingdom
  • Isaac Sweers arrived at Londonderry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom in the afternoon. Before the end of the day, she departed to made rendezvous with carrier HMS Furious. ww2dbase [Isaac Sweers | Londonderry, Northern Ireland | CPC]
United States

20 Oct 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
"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal

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