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21 May 1944
  • USS Cero damaged a Japanese transport north of Dutch New Guinea, hitting her with 1 of 4 torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Flier completed her repairs and resumed her first war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Ray began pursuing a nine-ship Japanese convoy south of the Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered downed Allied airmen to be shot without trial. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Anglo-Indian troops captured Kanglatongbi, India. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • 24 TBF, 20 SBD, a number of B-24, a number of P-39, and a number of New Zealand fighters and dive bombers attacked Vunakanau Airfield at Rabaul, New Britain. 1 TBF aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire, and its crew was captured by the Japanese. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • An explosion on a LST moored in Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii set off a chain reaction that caused massive damage to shipping and installations and heavy loss of life. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • Landing ship No. 107 was launched. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Wasp set sail for Wake Island. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Four trains arrived at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland with 12,438 Hungarian Jews (3,013 from Viseu de Sus (Felsövisó), 3,274 from Nyiregyháza, 3,290 from Sátoraljaújhely, and 2,861 from Mukacevo (Munkács)) and 2,000 Jews from Yugoslavia. 1,102 were registered into the camp; 2,698 were sent to the gas chambers. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
United States
  • Submarine Boarfish was launched at Groton, Connecticut, United States, sponsored by Miss Barbara Walsh, daughter of Senator Arthur Walsh of the US state of New Jersey. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
US Pacific Islands Photo(s) dated 21 May 1944
Fully laden United States Navy LSTs burning furiously while other ships flee in Pearl Harbor’s West Loch after massive chain-reaction explosions in what became known as the West Loch Disaster, 21 May 1944.

21 May 1944 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
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Winston Churchill, on the RAF