31 Dec 1943
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru arrived at Palau. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | CPC]
  • USS Cassin Young was commissioned into service under the command of Commander E. T. Schrieber. ww2dbase [Cassin Young | CPC]
  • General Montgomery left his beloved British 8th Army in Italy to take up his role in the planning of the summer invasion of Europe in which he would command all land forces. ww2dbase [Bernard Montgomery | AC]
  • Soviet troops again recaptured Zhytomyr, Ukraine. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Arbiter was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Arbiter | CPC]
  • Lieutenant General Oliver Leese assumed command of the British 8th Army. ww2dbase [Oliver Leese | AC]
  • The Danish-Icelandic Act of Union of 1918 expired. ww2dbase [CPC]
Dutch East Indies
  • Kamoi entered the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra, Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [Kamoi | Sunda Strait | CPC]
France Greece
  • Alexandros Sakellariou's 4 Sep 1946 promotion to vice admiral was retroactively dated to this date. ww2dbase [Alexandros Sakellariou | CPC]
Hawaii Poland
  • As of this date, Auschwitz Concentration Camp had a population of 85,298 prisoners (55,785 men and 29,513 women). In the month of Dec 1943, 5,748 male and 8,931 female registered prisoners died at Auschwitz; these numbers did not include those killed in gas chambers immediately after arriving without being registered. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | Auschwitz Concentration Camp | Oswiecim | CPC]
  • Allied convoy RA-55B departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Murmansk | CPC]
United States
  • The Statue of Liberty in New York, New York, United States was lit briefly at night in celebration of the coming new year. ww2dbase [New York | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 31 Dec 1943
General Eisenhower, commander of Allied forces in Europe, 31 Dec 1943Portrait of Eisenhower, 31 Dec 1943Commissioning ceremony of USS Cassin Young, San Pedro, California, United States, 31 Dec 1943; note USS Preston at left and USS Comfort at rightNavy PV-1 Ventura patrol aircraft of Bombing Squadron VB-139 returning to Attu was forced down due to low fuel and landed on a frozen lake, Agattu Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, 30 Dec 1943. No injuries.
See all photos dated 31 Dec 1943

31 Dec 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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Famous WW2 Quote
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945

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