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12 May 1943
  • The Trident Conference began in Washington, DC, United States. ww2dbase [Trident Conference | CPC]
  • Cruiser USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Fletcher and USS Jenkins detached from the task force and proceeded on their prong of the attack plan set for the following day. ww2dbase [St. Louis | Solomon Islands Campaign | DS]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Just 17 months after the first conceptual meeting for an acoustic homing torpedo, the Mark 24 FIDO aerial torpedo had its first operational victory when a Liberator bomber of RAF Coastal Command’s 86 Squadron caught German submarine U-456 on the surface in the mid-Atlantic. As the submarine dove, the bomber dropped one Mark 24 torpedo that guided itself to the submerged submarine and exploded, causing major damage. Later that same day when U-456 was forced to dive deep to avoid a depth charge attack by destroyer HMS Opportune, the previous damage proved too great and the submarine sank with all 49 hands. ww2dbase [B-24 Liberator | Black May | Mark XXIV | DS]
  • At his headquarters in Brisbane, Australia, George Kenney received a report noting that the morale of US 43rd Bomb Group was sharply declining. ww2dbase [George Kenney | Brisbane, Queensland | CPC]
Australian Papua
  • Modified B-25 bombers of 13th Squadron of US 38th Bomb Group, based in Port Moresby, Australian Papua, began conducting strafing missions. ww2dbase [Port Moresby | CPC]
  • Japanese troops crossed the Yangtze River near Baiyang, Hunan Province, China and attacked Chinese positions on the opposite shore. ww2dbase [Battle of Exi | Baiyang, Hunan | CPC]
Hawaii Japan
  • Kamikaze departed Odomari, Karafuto Prefecture, Japan (now Korsakov, Russia) for patrols in the northern Kurile Islands area. ww2dbase [Kamikaze | Odomari, Karafuto | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Wahoo attacked a convoy of two Japanese ships east of Japan; both torpedoes missed. ww2dbase [Wahoo | CPC]
  • 105 survivors of the "San Marco" naval infantry regiment of Italian Navy were evacuated from La Galite Island by motored torpedo boats. ww2dbase [La Galite | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Polish Jewish leader Samuel Zygelbojm committed suicide in London, England, United Kingdom as an expression of solidarity with the Jewish resistance fighters in Warsaw. "By my death I wish to make my final protest against the passivity with which the world is looking on and permitting the extermination of the Jewish people", he wrote in his suicide note. ww2dbase [London, England | CPC]
United States Photo(s) dated 12 May 1943
US Army soldiers unloading LCPR and LCM type landing craft on the beach at Massacre Bay, Attu, Aleutian islands, 12 May 1943; note military policemen on right side of photoUS Army African-American Air Corps officers, Fez, French Morocco, 12 May 1943: Lt Col Benjamin Davis, Capt H. Johnson, Capt Jones, Lt Thompson, Lt Carter, Lt Lawrence, Lt Currie

12 May 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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"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal

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