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17 Jan 1885

  • Nikolaus Jastrzembski was born in Breslau, Prussia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Jan 1889

United States
  • Delos Emmons was born in Huntington, West Virginia, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Jan 1915

  • Henry Arnold's daughter Lois Elizabeth Arnold was born at Fort William McKinley in Manila, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

17 Jan 1915 Interactive Map

17 Jan 1917

  • Robert Greim was promoted to the rank of Oberleutnant. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Jan 1923

  • The keel of light cruiser La Motte-Picquet was laid down by the Arsenal de Lorient in France. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Jan 1925

United States
  • Douglas MacArthur was promoted to the rank of major general, making him the youngest at that rank in the US Army. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Jan 1933

United States
  • US Congress approved the plan for the independence of the Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
17 Jan 1934

  • Vice Admiral Hisao Ichimura was named the commanding officer of Chinkai Guard District in southern Korea. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

17 Jan 1934 Interactive Map

17 Jan 1937

  • With the arrival in Spain of the Italian volunteers the Spanish Nationalists now felt confident to mount an offensive on the southern provinces of Republican Spain. Three Nationalist columns converged on Málaga; The Army of the South (General Gonzalo) advanced from the west, whilst from Grenada, to the north of the city, advanced Colonel Antonio Muñoz Jiménez. The third column, attacking from the north, consisted of the Italians of General Mario Roatta. Although large numbers of Republican troops were available to defend Málaga, they were badly organised and were steadily forced back over the course of the following two weeks. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
United Kingdom
  • Upon his father's passing, Oliver Leese was made the Third Baronet of the Leese Baronetcy. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Jan 1938

  • Japanese Navy revealed requirements for the next generation of carrier fighters to representatives from Nakajima and Mitsubishi; Nakajima thought the requirements were impossible and dropped out of the race, while Mitsubishi was able to meet the requirements with its prototype A6M Type 0 fighter in 1939. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • The keel of Hammann was laid down by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Kearny, New Jersey, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Franklin Roosevelt began the March of Dimes campaign to fight poliomyelitis. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese Foreign Minister Koki Hirota's message to a diplomat stationed in the United States was intercepted by the Americans. In this message, he made note of the atrocities happening in Nanjing, China and compared the Japanese Army in Nanjing to those serving under Attila the Hun. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Jan 1938
USS Yorktown anchored in the Caribbean Sea during her shakedown cruise, 17 Jan 1938

17 Jan 1938 Interactive Map

17 Jan 1939

  • The French battleship Richelieu was launched at Brest, France. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
17 Jan 1940

Atlantic Ocean
  • The Norwegian 1,140-ton steam merchant Enid carrying wood pulp to Dublin, Ireland was one of two ships sunk 7 miles north of Muckle Flugga, Shetland Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom. The other vessel was the 4,751-ton British freighter Polzella. The Enid went to the assistance of the British ship which sank quickly after the torpedo fired by U-25 (Viktor Schütze) struck (all crew members aboard Polzella would be lost), but the submarine surfaced and fired a shot across the bow to stop her. Enid turned away, fired three shots from her deck gun, and then was abandoned by her crew, who took to two lifeboats. The Germans then fired 21 rounds from the deck gun and hit Enid seven times, setting her on fire. At 1410 hours, a coup de grâce was fired that broke the ship in two. The forepart sank immediately while the burning stern remained afloat and was later scuttled by the destroyer HMS Firedrake (H 79), which had been sent to the area to hunt for the submarine together with HMS Fortune (H 70) and several anti-submarine trawlers. Eight survivors in one lifeboat made landfall after 3 hours at Burra Firth on Unst, one of the northern Shetland Islands. The master and 7 crew members were picked up by the Danish motor merchant Kina. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC, HM]
  • Belgium revealed to the German ambassador that Belgium had learned German plans and not-yet-executed orders for the invasion of Belgium. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Finland registered temperatures as low as -45 degrees Celsius (-49 Degrees Fahrenheit). The cold weather posed problems for both Finnish and Soviet troops fighting in Finland. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Polish cryptographers in Paris, France cracked the German air force's Enigma codes, making it possible to intercept and read all the Luftwaffe's secret transmissions. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Jan 1940
Finnish troops inspecting destroyed Soviet vehicles, Finland, 17 Jan 1940

17 Jan 1940 Interactive Map

17 Jan 1941

Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-96 attacked British liner Almeda Star 200 miles west of Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0745 hours, firing four torpedoes and her deck gun. Four lifeboats were launched before Almeda Star sank, but when seven British destroyers arrived, none of them were found, thus all aboard were lost (137 crew, 29 gunners, and 194 passengers). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Marcello approached an Allied convoy off the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom, but was detected by an escort destroyer, which attacked the submarine with five depth charges. Marcello suffered damage in her forward trim tank, forcing her end her war patrol to return to base. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-106 sank British ship Zealandic off the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom with three torpedoes. 73 survivors took to three lifeboats, but none were ever found. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Chiang Kaishek officially declared the disbanding of the Communist New Fourth Army. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | CPC]
  • German Luftwaffe Stuka dive bombers attacked Malta. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • A French naval squadron attacked the Thai anchorage at Ko Chang island near the Thai-Cambodian border, sinking two gunboats, damaging a coastal defense ship, and killing 36 men. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British corvette HMS Rhododendron hit a mine in Liverpool Harbor, England, United Kingdom. She was to remain out of action for three months for repairs. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Harry Hopkins, while at a private dinner party with Scottish officials at the North British Railway Hotel in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, pledged American support for Britain. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]

17 Jan 1941 Interactive Map

17 Jan 1942

Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
  • HMS Indomitable departed Port Sudan in British East Africa with 48 RAF Hurricane fighters for Singapore in Operation Opposition. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The Norwegian 8,087-ton motor tanker Nyholt was torpedoed by German submarine U-87 (Joachim Berger) 180 miles south of Cape Race, Newfoundland, after having lost contact with Convoy ON 52 in thick fog south of Greenland on a voyage in ballast from Reykjavik, Iceland to New York, New York, United States. The explosion destroyed 3 tanks on the port side, but Nyholt stayed afloat and tried to get away at full speed, adapting a zig-zag course for Cape Race. However, about 4 hours later, she was hit by another two torpedoes, also on the port side. U-87 then fired 120 shells from her deck gun until she sank at 0359 hours. The crew of 41 had abandoned the ship before the shelling. As the Nyholt was being abandoned, the master, Alf P. Andersen and two men fell overboard, only the master could be rescued by one of the lifeboats. The first engineer died on the second day; his wool sweater was then given to someone who had none. The lifeboats became separated during a storm around 21 Jan 1942 and was never seen again; it had carried 13 crewmen, one passenger, and one gunner. The motor boat with 24 survivors was spotted by a Hudson aircraft nine days after the sinking, just as they were about to bury a crew member, who died in the lifeboat. The aircraft dropped two life vests containing two thermoses with warm liquids, apples, oranges, cigarettes and some sandwiches of the aircraft crew. The survivors were later picked up by HMCS St Clair (I 65) and landed at Halifax, Canada on 27 Jan 1942. The master died on board the destroyer, and a passenger died at a hospital later. Two 17-year-old British mess boys died in the lost lifeboat, they were both from the same town in Lancashire and had been friends growing up. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC, HM]
  • German submarine U-203 sank unescorted Norwegian ship Octavian 50 miles off of Nova Scotia, Canada at 1121 hours, killing all 17 aboard. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Kaga departed Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Akagi departed Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • A Japanese fleet consisting of four carriers (Akagi, Kaga, Zuikaku, Shokaku), two battleships (Hiei, Kirishima), and several cruisers and destroyers departed Truk, Caroline Islands under the command of Chuichi Nagumo for Rabaul, New Britain. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 5,000 Axis troops at the Halfaya Pass, Egypt surrendered to the South African 6th Infantry Brigade. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Thor departed La Rochelle, France, for her second raiding cruise. ww2dbase [CPC]
Hawaii Indian Ocean
  • British destroyer HMS Jupiter forced Japanese submarine I-60 to surface 65 miles west of Krakatoa, Dutch East Indies. I-60 returned fire with her deck gun, killing 3 and wounding 9. I-60 was ultimately sunk by Jupiter; 85 were killed, 2 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
Japan Malaya
  • Indian 45th Brigade withdrew from Bukit Bakri, British Malaya. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • HMS Gurkha (Commander C. N. Lentaigne), escorting Allied convoy MW-8B, was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-133 off Sollum, Egypt at 0735 hours; 9 were killed, 240 survived. Gurkha, formerly HMS Larne, was an L-class destroyer which had been paid for by every officer and man of the Gurkha Brigade subscribing a days pay to provide a new ship after the loss of the Tribal-Class HMS Gurkha in Apr 1940. ww2dbase [AC]
Panama Canal Zone Russia
  • German submarine U-454 attacked Allied convoy PQ-8 20 miles off the Kola Inlet in northern Russia at 2221 hours, sinking British Tribal-class destroyer HMS Matabele (under Commander A. C. Stafford; 236 were killed, 2 survived), sinking Soviet trawler RT-68 Enisej, and damaging British merchant ship Harmatris (civilian convoy commodore's flagship). Later in the day, surviving ships of PQ-8 arrived in Murmansk, Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC, CPC]
  • Walther von Reichenau passed away from either a cerebral hemorrhage or a heartattack near Poltava, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The Boeing 314 Clipper Flying Boat "Berwick" with Winston Churchill aboard suffered a navigational error and would have flown into France had not been a last minute course correction. When the aircraft approached Britain from the south, the aircraft was initially treated as hostile and six Hurricane fighters were scrambled to intercept; the fighters failed to locate Churchill's transport. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

17 Jan 1942 Interactive Map

17 Jan 1943

  • Satoru Anabuki, flying Ki-43 fighter "Fubuki", shot down a Hurricane fighter over Burma, his 16th victory. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Repair ship Akashi began repairing seaplane tender Sanyo Maru and destroyers Kagero and Oyashio at Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • A Japanese convoy carrying Japanese Army troops transferred from China departed Truk, Caroline Islands for Shortland Islands, Solomon Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Journalist Richard Dimbleby flew in a British No. 106 Squadron Lancaster bomber over Berlin, Germany during a raid to record a live report, which was broadcast by the BBC on the following day. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Nachi arrived at Paramushiro (Paramushir), Kurile Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • USS Haddock fired 3 torpedoes at a convoy, sinking an oiler 10 miles south of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan with 1 hit. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Grayback fired torpedoes at destroyer, which was escorting a freighter, in the Solomon Sea; the torpedoes missed, and Grayback was subjected to 19 depth charges, which caused a serious leak that would force her to cut her patrol short. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Finback sank a Japanese patrol boat south of Japan with her deck gun. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Whale sank Japanese freighter Heiyo Maru between Truk, Caroline Islands and Japan, hitting her with 7 of 9 torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Allied convoy JW-52 departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

17 Jan 1943 Interactive Map

17 Jan 1944

Australian New Guinea
  • US aircraft attacked Rabaul, New Britain. The Japanese shot down 8 P-38, 1 F6F, 1 F4U, 1 SBD, and 1 TBF aircraft. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Gilbert and Ellice Islands
  • US 45th Fighter Squadron, flying P-40 fighters, was transferred from Baker Island of Ellice Islands to Makin, Gilbert Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British X Corps attacked the western end of the German Gustav Line in Italy. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, CPC]
  • An Italian motor torpedo boat raid on Allied-held Naples, Italy was aborted. ww2dbase [CPC]
Japan Pacific Ocean
  • USS Whale claimed sinking a Japanese freighter in the Philippine Sea, hiting her with 3 of 9 torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Jan 1944
San Jacinto off the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, 17 Jan 1944

17 Jan 1944 Interactive Map

17 Jan 1945

Atlantic Ocean
  • US Navy intelligence estimated that the German submarine sailing for New York City waters off the east coast of the United States, U-869, would arrive in early Feb 1945. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese forces in Burma began organizing counterattacks against the latest Anglo-Indian offensive. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Dutch East Indies
  • USS Guitarro arrvied at Mios Woendi, Biak Islands, Dutch East Indies and received repairs. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Roza Shanina wrote a letter to a friend, in which she noted that she might be on the verge of being killed in combat as the numbers of her battalion dwindled. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Salonika in Greece was occupied by British troops. ww2dbase [AC]
  • USS Puffer arrived at Guam, Mariana Islands, ending her sixth war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The encircled Axis garrison in Budapest, Hungary withdrew across the Danube River to Buda. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Raoul Wallenberg was transferred out of Budapest, Hungary for Moscow, Russia by the order of Joseph Stalin's deputy Nikolai Bulganin. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Shamrock Bay completed her duties off Luzon, Philippine Islands and set sail for Ulithi, Caroline Islands as a part of Task Group 77.14. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Wake Island was detached from Task Group 77.14. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • After crossing the Warthe River, Soviet troops expanded their bridgehead to 160 miles wide and 100 miles deep, causing the Germans to evacuate Warsaw, Poland (which would soon be occupied by Soviet forces) and Chelmno Extermination Camp; on the same day, Soviet forces also captured Kielce. Angry at the abandonment of Warsaw, Adolf Hitler sacked General Smilo von Lüttwitz and General Walter Fries. Meanwhile, Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev received orders to move toward the Upper Silesia region. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | TH, CPC]
  • 67,012 prisoners were present at Auschwitz Concentration Camp's last evening roll call; they would soon embark on the Death March. Meanwhile, Nazi doctor Josef Mengele began to destroy his laboratories at sector BIIf of Birkenau camp; he would soon evacuate the camp with records of his experiments on twins, dwarfs, and disabled people. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • USAAF XX Bomber Command launched 90 or 92 B-29 bombers from Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China against Shinchiku Airfield in northern Taiwan; 78 or 79 of them made it over to the target area, damaging hangars, barracks, and other buildings. This was to be the final B-29 mission against Taiwan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Commander N. C. Gillette, Jr. piloted a PBY-5A aircraft of US Navy squadron VPB-71 from Lingayen Gulf, Philippine Islands for an offensive reconnaissance mission over the Takao region of southern Taiwan. He found Takao harbor alert, thus turned away. He then flew over the unsuspecting Japanese seaplane base at Toko (now Donggang township, Pingdong county), Taiwan and dropped two 100-pound bombs on the base, starting small fires. This was the first time the US Navy attacked Taiwan using non-carrier aircraft. He returned to Lingayen Gulf at 0750 hours Tokyo time on 18 Jan 1945; the mission lasted over just over 14 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • Submarine Mero was launched at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, United States, sponsored by the wife of Henry G. Taylor. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Henry Arnold suffered his fourth heart attack. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Jan 1945
F4U-1 Corsair fighters of Royal New Zealand Air Force in flight near Bougainville, Solomon Islands, 17 Jan 1945Members of US 5332nd Brigade (Provisional) crossing a river with pack animals, Burma, 17 Jan 1945Members of US 5332nd Brigade (Provisional) marching through a stream, Burma, 17 Jan 1945Members of US 5332nd Brigade (Provisional) crossing a stream, Burma, 17 Jan 1945
See all photos dated 17 Jan 1945

17 Jan 1945 Interactive Map

17 Jan 1946

South Africa
  • HMS Colossus was drydocked at the Selborne drydock at Simonstown, South Africa for repairs and refitting. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Jan 1947

  • Chinese Nationalist forces captured Xiaoyi, Shanxi, China, defeating the Communists forces garrisoned there. ww2dbase [CPC]
17 Jan 1948

  • Wei Lihuang was made the commanding officer of the Northeast Anti-Communist Headquarters in Mukden (Shenyang), Liaoning Province, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Jan 1950

United States
  • USS Missouri accidentally grounded off Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

17 Jan 1950 Interactive Map

17 Jan 1960

  • Wei Lihuang passed away from coronary artery disease and pneumonia at 0040 hours in Beijing, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Jan 1961

Photo(s) dated 17 Jan 1961
Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and US President Dwight Eisenhower at the signing of the Columbia River Treaty, 17 Jan 1961
17 Jan 1987

  • Gu Zhutong passed away in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Jan 1990

Photo(s) dated 17 Jan 1990
Aerial view of Sand Island, Midway Atoll, 17 Jan 1990

17 Jan 1990 Interactive Map

17 Jan 1991

  • USS Missouri began firing Tomahawk missles at Iraqi targets over the next five days. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Jan 1993

  • Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa presented formal apologies for the suffering of the comfort women during a trip to South Korea. ww2dbase [CPC]
17 Jan 1994

United States
  • Chung Il-kwon passed away in Hawaii, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

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
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945