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31 Mar 1943
  • Belleau Wood was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British corvette HMS Milfoil was recommissioned into the United States Navy as USS Intensity. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British troops occupied Cap Serrat on the Tunisian coast. Operation Supercharge II was concluded with success in Tunisia, forcing the Axis defenses to move north to Wadi Akarit. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USAAF bombers attacked the Italian airfield at Cagliari, Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Luftwaffe Major General Peltz was placed in charge of bombing raids against Britain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • American troops under Colonel Archibald MacKechnie landed at the mouth of Waria River in New Guinea. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US leadership gave the order to invade Attu in the Aleutian Islands on 7 May 1943. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US 1st and 9th Infantry Divisions again attacked Italian positions at Hill 369 near El Guettar, Tunisia to little success. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Gusztáv Jány was awarded the German Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The US 2nd Marine Brigade was disbanded in Pago Pago, American Samoa. ww2dbase [CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • Vice Admiral Ryunosuke Kusaka launched a 2-wave fighter sweep (32 fighters and 25 fighters, respectively) down the Slot in the Solomon Islands to draw out Allied fighters. About 30 Guadalcanal-based US F4F fighters, 8 P-38 fighters, and a few F4U fighters engaged them over the Russell Islands. 9 Japanese Zero fighters, 5 US F4F Wildcat fighters, and 1 US F4U Corsair fighter were shot down in the action. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Owen Baggett, while descending in a parachute over Burma after his B-24 bomber was fatally damaged, claimed to have used a M1911 handgun to kill the pilot of a Japanese A6M Zero fighter. Post war study of Japanese records would show that there were no A6M Zero fighters in the vicinity on that date, and the Japanese squadron present during the engagement suffered no pilot losses. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • USS Tunny reached the Caroline Islands region. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler met Bulgarian King Boris III at his headquarters at Rastenburg, East Prussia, Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Satoru Anabuki, flying Ki-43 fighter "Fubuki", shot down three Hurricane fighters over Patenga, India (now Bangladesh), increasing his score to 29. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Japan Pacific Ocean
  • USS Whale set sail toward Midway Atoll. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Crematorium 2 began operation at Auschwitz Concentration Camp in occupied Poland. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Soviet troops defeated the German 17th Army in the Kuban Peninsula and captured Anastasyevsk north of Novorossiysk, near the coast of the Black Sea in southern Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Soviet GKO meeting at 2330 hours on this date, also joined by Vsevolod Merkulov and Viktor Abakumov, discussed the establishment of a counterintelligence branch. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Replying to a question from Member of Parliament Richard Stokes, the Air Minister, Sir Archibald Sinclair, told the British House of Commons that Bomber Command's targets were always of a military nature, but that bombing of military targets would necessarily involve bombing areas in which they were situated. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • The first Firebrand II variant aircraft, which was the second prototype aircraft of the original variant modified to new specifications, took flight. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
United States
  • USS Seahorse was commissioned into service with Commander Donald McGregor in command. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

31 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
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."

Winston Churchill