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12 Mar 1943
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru departed Yokohoma for her 11th voyage with the Japanese Navy. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | CPC]
  • Tirpitz arrived at Bogen near Narvik, Norway. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • German troops evacuated Vyazma, Russia. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German occupation authorities in the Netherlands ordered Jews residing in eight of the country's eleven provinces to be deported to the Vught (Hertogenbosch) Concentration Camp. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • Italian workers conducted a strike. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German and Soviet troops engaged in heavy fighting at Kharkov, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Third Battle of Kharkov | CPC]
  • Manton Eddy gave George Patton the unofficial news of Patton's promotion to the temporary rank of lieutenant general. The promotion would be approved by the United States Senate within a few days. ww2dbase [George Patton | CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, USS Taylor, USS Strong, and USS Chevalier of DesRon21 departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides bound for the Tulagi-Guadalcanal area. ww2dbase [Nicholas | DS]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Destroyer USS Belknap (DD 251) discovered lifeboats from damaged merchant ship Madoera and sunken merchant ship Jonathan Sturges and took on the survivors. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The U-130 (Oberleutnant zur See Siegfried Keller) was sunk in the Atlantic Ocean west of the Azores by depth charges from the destroyer USS Champlin (DD-601). All 53 on board were lost. ww2dbase [Black May | HM]
  • The 3,176-ton French steam merchant Dalila was torpedoed by British boats in the North Sea off the coast of Gravelines, France. She had been scuttled in the arsenal of Cherbourg, France on 18 Jun 1940 on the orders of the British Admiralty. She was refloated and seized by the Germans in 1941. ww2dbase [North Sea | HM]
  • In the Atlantic Ocean, the drifting wreck of the Liberty Ship Thomas Hooker (suffered structural damage during a hurricane before dawn on 6 Mar 1943; crew abandoned ship and took to the boats) was located by German submarine U-653 (Kapitänleutnant Gerhard Feiler) which hit her with two torpedoes at 0209 hours and 0433 hours. The ship sank by the stern two minutes after the second torpedo hit. ww2dbase [Black May | HM]
  • Alpino Bagnolini sighted an aircraft in the Atlantic Ocean at 1900 hours; she submerged to avoid detection. ww2dbase [Alpino Bagnolini | CPC]
  • Lin Sen suffered a stroke during a meeting with the Canadian delegation to Chongqing, China. ww2dbase [Lin Sen | Chongqing | CPC]
France Germany Indian Ocean
  • Light cruiser HMS Nigeria picks up 30 survivors from the American merchant ship James B. Stephens, which had been sunk by U-160 on 8 Mar 1943. They would be landed at Durban, South Africa. ww2dbase [HM]
  • At 2210 hours the 3,100-ton Italian merchant ship Esterel was torpedoed by British submarine HMS Thunderbolt two miles north of San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily, Italy. Following the attack the torpedo boat Libra was ordered to seek out the attacker. ww2dbase [San Vito Lo Capo, Sicilia | HM]
Mediterranean Sea
  • The British destroyer HMS Lighting (G55) departed BĂ´ne, Algeria at 1745 hours to join Force Q for a sweep in the Mediterranean Sea. At 1851 hours Lightning was attacked by twelve German torpedo bombers; her anti-aircraft guns shot down one. At 2215 hours, German motor torpedo boat S-158 fired a torpedo at her. Lightning turned hard to port to comb the track of the torpedo, but she was nevertheless struck, severely damaging the bow. Commander Hugh Greaves Walters gave the order to stop so as to prevent further damage. As she slowed she was struck by a second torpedo beneath the funnel, which broke her in two. Her bow and stern sections remained vertical in the water for a while before sinking. 46 men were lost and 181 survived. One survivor was picked up by S-158 and the remaining 180 survivors (including Walters) were picked up some hours later by sister ship Loyal. ww2dbase [HM]
New Hebrides Pacific Ocean
  • The US submarine Plunger (SS-179) sank the 1,805-ton Japanese water carrier Taihosan Maru northeast of Ponape, Caroline Islands at about 0200 hours, hitting her with both of the two torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Plunger | HM]
Poland United States
  • Richard Sutherland presented the Elkton II plan for operations in the Pacific to the US Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, United States. The plan was treated coldly by the JCS, as it did not wish to devote additional resources to the Pacific theater of war. ww2dbase [Washington | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 12 Mar 1943
PBM-3C Mariner aircraft of US Navy patrol squadron VP-203 at Naval Air Station Isla Grande, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 12 Mar 1943Japanese-American girl walking in rain, Jerome Relocation Center, Denson, Arkansas, United States, 12 Mar 1943A string quartet practing, Jerome Relocation Center for Japanese-Americans, Jerome, Arkansas, United States, 12 Mar 1943; left to right: Yutaka Motasuda, Seichi One, John Yamashita, and Joe Iwasaki

12 Mar 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
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

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