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21 Mar 1943
  • The submarine Cod was launched, sponsored by Mrs. G. M. Mahoney. ww2dbase [Cod | CPC]
  • Cornelia Fort was killed during an aircraft ferrying mission in Texas, United States. ww2dbase [Cornelia Fort | CPC]
  • New Zealand troops under Lieutenant General Bernard Freyberg bypassed the Mareth Line defenses in Tunisia by moving his forces through Wilder's Gap to the west. They engaged surprised German defenses at the Tebaga Gap. ww2dbase [Operations Pugilist and Supercharge II | CPC]
  • Lieutenant Colonel Derek Seagram won a posthumous Victoria Cross for leading an attack on the Mareth Line in Tunisia. He inspired his men by being first across the scaling ladders over the German anti-tank ditches but was mortally wounded in the fighting. ww2dbase [AC]
  • USS Pollack continued to chase the Japanese freighter she had attacked between Jaluit and Makin Atolls in the Gilbert Islands and Marshall Islands area, further damaging the ship. ww2dbase [Pollack | CPC]
  • USS Finback damaged a Japanese cargo ship in the Southwestern Pacific, hitting her with two of three torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Finback | CPC]
  • Kurt Fricke was made the commanding officer of Naval Group Command South. ww2dbase [Kurt Frike | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • PBY Catalina aircraft delivered a group of US Marine Corps scouts at Segi Plantation, New Georgia for a reconnaissance mission; they would later report that Segi's beaches would not accommodate a large landing force. ww2dbase [Solomon Islands Campaign | Segi, New Georgia | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Repair ship Akashi completed the repair work for destroyers Isokaze and Kawakaze at Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Akashi | Truk | CPC]
  • Katori departed Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Katori | Truk | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Wilhelm Keitel, Karl Dönitz, Heinrich Himmler, Fedor von Bock, Erhard Milch, and others visited the Zeughaus in Berlin, Germany to inspect an exhibition featuring captured Soviet weapons. It was Hitler's first public event in four months. At the Zeughaus, Colonel Rudolf von Gersdorff wore an overcoat packed with explosives with the intention of killing Hitler, but Hitler's schedule changed unexpectedly, and Hitler's early departure from the exhibition caused the assassination attempt to be called off. After departing from the exhibition, the group of German leaders attended a memorial ceremony for the Heroes' Memorial Day. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | July Plot | Berlin | TH, CPC]
  • The 1,474-ton Greek merchant steamer Varvara, damaged by German air attack on the previous day, sank near the Tripoli harbour entrance, Libya. ww2dbase [HM]
New Hebrides Pacific Ocean
  • USS Wahoo sank freighter Hozen Maru in the Yellow Sea near the coast of Korea, hitting her with 1 of 3 torpedoes; about 33 survived. Four hours later, she sank freighter Nittsu Maru, hitting her with 2 of 3 torpedoes; she encountered 3 survivors, all of whom refused to be rescued. ww2dbase [Wahoo | Yellow Sea | CPC]
  • The BI-3 rocket-powered prototype aircraft took its third flight at Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg), Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia. ww2dbase [BI | Sverdlovsk | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • No. 617 Squadron RAF was established at RAF Scampton, England, United Kingdom under the command of Wing Commander Guy Gibson for the purpose of launching an attack upon the Ruhr dams in Germany. ww2dbase [Dambuster Raid | Scampton, England | AC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Mar 1943
German 7.5 cm PaK 40 camouflaged in snowy terrain, Russia, 21 Mar 1943Göring, Keitel, Dönitz, Himmler, Milch, Bock, Oberlindober, and other German leaders at a ceremony to honor those who died in combat, Berlin, Germany, 21 Mar 1943Overhead view of the progress of the salvage work on the sunken battleship USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 21 Mar 1943, a year and a half after the attack. Note flag flying from staff amidships.

21 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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