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31 May 1943
  • US troops completed their occupation of Attu in the Aleutian Islands. ww2dbase [Aleutian Islands Campaign | TH]
  • USS Tunny was attacked by a Japanese aircraft, incurring minor damage that was repaired at sea later in the day. ww2dbase [Tunny | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler expressed extreme dismay at the withdrawal of German submarines from the American coast. ww2dbase [Black May | CPC]
  • ww2dbase [Egmont | CPC]
  • Lydia Litvyak shot down a German observation balloon. ww2dbase [Lydia Litvyak | CPC]
  • Francis Tuker was promoted to the rank of major general. ww2dbase [Francis Tuker | CPC]
Australian Papua
  • George Kenney arrived at Port Moresby, Australian Papua to temporarily relieve Ennis Whitehead, who was sent to Australia for treatment for a badly infected toe. ww2dbase [George Kenney | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • Japanese Army Major General Noboru Sasaki arrived at Kolombangara, New Georgia, Solomon Islands as the new commanding officer of the joint Army-Navy Southwest Detachment. ww2dbase [Noboru Sasaki | CPC]
  • Japanese forward positions in the Hubei-Hunan border region in China fell back in multiple places as the result of a large scale Chinese counterattack launched on the previous day. ww2dbase [Battle of Exi | CPC]
  • Zang Xilan, flying a P-40E fighter, shot down a Ki-44 aircraft that was pursuing the P-40E fighter flown by Lieutenant Colonel John R. Alison of 75th Fighter Squadron of USAAF 23rd Fighter Group. They were both escorting a group of B-24 bombers attacking Jingmen, Hubei Province, China. ww2dbase [Zang Xilan | CPC]
France Italy
  • US 15th Air Force bombed Foggia airfield in Italy, destroying a number of German and Italian planes on the ground. ww2dbase [Foggia Airfield Complex | TH]
  • Shokaku departed Yokosuka, Japan for the Inland Sea. ww2dbase [Shokaku | CPC]
Russia United States
  • USS S-35 completed post-repair trials off Bremerton, Washington, United States. ww2dbase [S-35 | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 31 May 1943
Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell and Lieutenant General Jacob Devers, 31 May 1943Inspecting North African bases, Winston Churchill attends a USAAF 414th Bombardment Squadron briefing at Chateau-dun-du-Rhumel Airfield, Algeria, 31 May 1943; note Brooke, Marshall, EdenLight Carrier USS Princeton with a deck full of aircraft on her shakedown cruise, 31 May 1943 off Antigua. Photo 1 of 4Light Carrier USS Princeton with a deck full of aircraft on her shakedown cruise, 31 May 1943 off Antigua. Photo 2 of 4
See all photos dated 31 May 1943

31 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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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