31 Oct 1941
  • A German submarine fired a torpedo at American destroyer USS DuPont; the torpedo missed its target. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British 1st Airborne division was formed on under the command of Major General Frederick "Boy" Browning. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • To ease labour shortages, Hitler agreed that Soviet prisoners of war could be used in the Reich, as long as they were isolated from the Home population. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • German submarine U-374 sank British ship Rose Schiaffino 120 miles east of St. John's, Newfoundland at 0903 hours; all 41 aboard were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-96 sank Dutch ship Bennekom 400 miles west of Iceland at 1047 hours; 8 were killed, 46 survived. British sloop HMS Lulworth counterattacked with 27 depth charges in failure. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-552 attacked Allied convoy HX-156 725 miles west of Iceland at 0834 hours, sinking American destroyer USS Reuben James (100 killed, 45 survived); USS Reuben James was the first American warship lost in the Atlantic Ocean in WW2. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | CPC, DS]
  • The US Navy expedition under Lieutenant (jg) Frederick Crockett departed Reykjavik, Iceland for Greenland. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • It was announced that RAF aircraft operating out of Malta had destroyed 76,500 tons of enemy shipping in the Mediterranean Sea. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • Soviet destroyer Bodry and other warships shelled German tank concentrations 25 miles north of Sevastopol, Russia. Meanwhile, German dive bombers attacked Soviet warships in the harbor, causing 50 casualties but failing to cause damage to the ships. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Solomon Milshtein reported to Lavrentiy Beria that, from the start of the Russo-German war and 10 Oct 1941, 657,364 troops were arrested for falling back without authorization, 249,969 of whom by agents of UOO and 407,395 by agents of NKVD. The majority of them were returned to the front, while 10,201 were executed, 3,321 of whom were executed in front of their units to set an example. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The third Tornado prototype aircraft took flight with a 2,210-horsepower Bristol Centaurus 18-cylinder engine. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • A B-17 bomber from the USAAF 379th Bomb Group on a night training flight flew into a restricted area and was fired on by the heavy anti-aircraft guns on the British coast. With a wing on fire, First Lieutenant Charles W. Goodier ordered his crew to bail out. All landed safely, the B-17 bomber falling into Manor Farm's field, Knodishall in Suffolk. ww2dbase [HM]
United States
  • USS R-5 arrived at New London, Connecticut, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

31 Oct 1941 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