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20 Apr 1942
  • German submarine U-654 sank Swedish ship Agra and US freighter Steel Maker off the east coast of the United States. Not too far away, U-572 sank British ship Empire Dryden and U-109 sank British ship Harpagon. 75 miles north of the Turks and Caicos Island east of Cuba, U-154 sank empty Canadian ship Vineland. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • An assassination attempt on the head of French Fascist organization Jacques Doriot took place; it resulted in failure. ww2dbase [TH]
  • USS Lexington arrived in the South Pacific. ww2dbase [Lexington (Lexington-class) | CPC]
  • German Jews were banned from using public transportation. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Tatsuta Maru arrived at Kupang, Timor and then departed later on the same day. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
  • USS Hammann arrived at Tongatapu, Tonga. ww2dbase [Hammann | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • American minesweeper USS Owl, which had been on station near the damaged neutral Argentinian motor tanker Victoria 200 kilometers east of Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States since 18 Apr 1942, was relieved by the Fleet tug USS Sagamore (AT 20). ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | HM]
Australia
  • Major General George Brett assumed command of Allied air forces in Australia. ww2dbase [George Brett | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories Burma
  • Japanese troops captured Taunggyi, Burma, capital of the southern Shan States, along with its large gasoline store. In central Burma, troops of the Japanese 56th Division pushed Chinese troops out of Loikaw, while troops of the Japanese 18th Division clashed with Chinese troops at Kyidaunggan. ww2dbase [Invasion of Burma | CPC]
Greenland
  • A converted TWA Stratoliner opearted by the US Army Air Forces landed at Bluie West Eight airfield in Greenland, becoming the first aircraft to do so. ww2dbase [Bluie West Eight | South Greenland | CPC]
Malta
  • USS Wasp delivered 46 Spitfire fighters to Malta; most of them would be destroyed in combat within days. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | TH]
Norway
  • British submarine HMS Trident sank German freighter Hödur 1.5 miles off the coast near Namsos, Norway at about 1200 hours. ww2dbase [Namsos | CPC]
Philippines
  • A Type 96 240mm howitzer was brought to the Bataan Peninsula on Luzon, Philippine Islands by the Japanese for the purpose of bombarding the island of Corregidor. On the same day, on the island of Panay, Japanese Army troops declared the island secure. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | CPC]
Russia Photo(s) dated 20 Apr 1942
Commander of VGS-1 squadron Lieutenant Commander Lex L. Black making the 2,000th landing on escort carrier Long Island in a SOC-3A Seagull aircraft, 20 Apr 1942Chinese troops evacuating downed Doolittle Raiders, somewhere on the Chinese coast, Apr 1942Doolittle raiders Lt James Macia, Lt Jack Sims, S/Sgt Jacob Eierman, and Maj John Hilger in China, Apr 1942Doolittle Raiders Crew #2 in China pose with some of the Chinese Nationals who helped them evade the Japanese, late April 1942
See all photos dated 20 Apr 1942

20 Apr 1942 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
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944