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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]
  • Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld was named the commanding officer of the 3rd Group of the Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 wing. 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]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND joined HM Cruiser BERMUDA to relieve garrison at Spitzbergen, Norway escorted by HM Destroyers ECLIPSE and ATHABASKAN (RCN) covered by HM Aircraft Carrier FURIOUS, HM Cruiser SCYLLA screened by HM Destroyers ECHO and MIDDLETON (Operation GEARBOX II). ww2dbase [Furious | Cumberland | DS]
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 | Port Moresby | 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 | Kolombangara, New Georgia | CPC]
China
  • 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 | Jingmen, Hubei | CPC]
France Italy Japan Russia United States
  • USS S-35 completed post-repair trials off Bremerton, Washington, United States. ww2dbase [S-35 | Bremerton, Washington | 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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"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."

Winston Churchill