16 Dec 1944
  • Mauthausen Concentration Camp's satellite camp Gusen III began operations in the town of Lungitz with 262 prisoners; it would eventually grow to house 67,667 prisoners before the end of the war, about half of which would not survive. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • Royal Indian Artillery Sergeant Umrao Singh won the Victoria Cross for defending his advanced gun battery against a determined Japanese attack in Burma. The fighting was frequently hand-to-hand and when Sergeant Singh was found wounded and exhausted, ten enemy bodies surrounded his gun. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The US Navy Fast Carrier Task Force retired from Philippine waters after three consecutive days of air operations. ww2dbase [Philippines Campaign, Phase 2 | CPC]
  • USS Finback attacked a Japanese convoy in the Western Pacific, firing a total of 20 torpedoes but making only 2 hits, sinking a transport. ww2dbase [Finback | CPC]
  • Dwight Eisenhower learned that he was about to be promoted to the rank of 5-star general. ww2dbase [Dwight Eisenhower | CPC]
  • A German officer carrying several copies of Operation Greif (the codename for Otto Skorzeny's infiltration of "fake Americans" to cause confusion ahead of the Ardennes Offensive) was taken prisoner and the treacherous plan was revealed. ww2dbase [Battle of the Bulge | AC]
Belgium
  • A German V2 rocket fell on the Rex Cinema in Antwerp, Belgium which was packed for the matinee performance. The blast killed 567 people, 296 of them Allied servicemen, and injured 291, half of them soldiers. It took six days to dig out all the bodies, many of which were still sitting upright in their seats. It was the highest death toll from a V-weapon attack during the entire war and resulted in the cinemas and theatres of Antwerp being closed "for the duration" and gatherings of more than 50 people in any one place being banned. ww2dbase [AC]
Caroline Islands Germany
  • German troops launched Operation Wacht am Rhein, crossing the German border toward Belgium, opening the Battle of the Bulge. ww2dbase [Battle of the Bulge | TH, CPC]
  • German Army engineers were awarded at the Peenemünde Army Research Center in Germany. ww2dbase [Peenemünde Army Research Center | CPC]
Hawaii Japan
  • USS Dragonet's crew conducted emergency repairs on the bow planes while at sea in the Kurile Islands. ww2dbase [Dragonet | CPC]
  • Japanese submarine I-13 was commissioned into service with Commander Katsuo Ohashi in command. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 145 was completed. ww2dbase [No. 101/103-class | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Wasp transited the Luzon Strait north of the Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Wasp (Essex-class) | CPC]
  • USS Preston guarded carriers while the carriers launched strikes against Luzon, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Preston (Fletcher-class) | CPC]
Philippines
  • Air Group 80 aircraft from USS Ticonderoga flew 6 strikes against Japanese positions in northern Luzon, Philippine Islands; 1 man and 1 aircraft were lost. ww2dbase [Ticonderoga | DS]
  • USS Marcus Island departed Mindoro, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Marcus Island | CPC]
  • USS Wasp's aircraft attacked Japanese airfields on Luzon, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Wasp (Essex-class) | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • HMS Colossus was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Colossus | CPC]
United States
  • George Marshall was promoted to the rank of general of the army. ww2dbase [George Marshall | CPC]
  • USS Ray arrived at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California, United States. ww2dbase [Mare Island Navy Yard | Ray | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 16 Dec 1944
A heavily armed German soldier during the Ardennes Offensive, Dec 1944American prisoners marching along a road somewhere on the western front, Dec 1944M36 Jackson tank destroyer of Battery C, 702nd Tank Destroyer Battalion, US 2nd Armored Division dug in near the Roer River, Belgium, 16 Dec 1944Portrait of US Navy Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz at his office in Guam, Mariana Islands, circa 16-19 Dec 1944; note five-star tie clasp, which was a gift to him
See all photos dated 16 Dec 1944

16 Dec 1944 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