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20 Jun 1944
  • The Americans launched their first attack on Cherbourg, France. ww2dbase [Normandy Campaign, Phase 1 | TH]
  • Soviets captured Viipuri on the Karelian Isthmus. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Bernard Montgomery was awarded the title of Grand Commander of the Order of King George I of Greece. ww2dbase [Bernard Montgomery | CPC]
  • USS Astoria departed Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States for her shakedown cruise. ww2dbase [Astoria (Cleveland-class) | CPC]
  • Light carrier Ryuho was slightly damaged by US TBF aircraft at 1810 hours during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. ww2dbase [Ryuho | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yukikaze rescued survivors of transport Seiyo Maru during the Battle of the Philippine Sea then scuttled the transport with a torpedo. ww2dbase [Yukikaze | CPC]
  • The US Tenth Army, consisting of the XXIV Corps (US Army) and the III Amphibious Corps (US Marine Corps) was activated under the command of Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. ww2dbase [Simon Buckner | AC]
  • Oberleutnant Rudolf Arendt was named the commanding officer of U-23, relieving Kapitänleutnant Rolf-Birger Wahlen. ww2dbase [U-23 | CPC]
  • Major General Kanemasa Akiyama was named the commanding officer of Japanese Unit 516 chemical weapons research unit based in Qiqihar, Nenjiang Province, China, replacing Major General Yamawaki Masao. ww2dbase [Kanemasa Akiyama | Qiqihar, Nenjiang | CPC]
Finland India Italy Japan
  • Destroyer Yuzuki completed her refitting at Sasebo, Japan. She received a Type 13 radar on her main mast, exchanged twin 13-mm machine gun mounts for single 25-mm machine gun mounts. ww2dbase [Yuzuki | Sasebo Naval Arsenal | Sasebo, Nagasaki | CPC]
Pacific Ocean Poland
  • Jakob Edelstein, the former senior Jewish elder ("Judenaeltester") of the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, and his family were shot in Auschwitz Concentration Camp in occupied Poland. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | Auschwitz Concentration Camp | Oswiecim | CPC]
  • The underground Directorate of Civil Defense in Warsaw, Poland sent a radio message to London, England, United Kingdom: "Since May 15, mass murders have been carried out in Auschwitz. Jews are taken first, then Soviet prisoners of war, and the so-called sick. Mass transports of Hungarian Jews arrive. Thirteen trains per day, 40-50 cars each. Victims convinced [that] they will be exchanged for [German] POWs or resettled in the East. Corpses are burned in crematoria and out in the open. Over 100,000 people from Hungary have been gassed to date." ww2dbase [Warsaw | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The airfield at Biggin Hill, south-east London, England, United Kingdom had now become the centre for the defence of South London. 700 balloon personnel including 170 WAAFs were stationed there. Early in the morning one of the recently raised balloons brought down a V-1 flying bomb that exploded in an orchard. Tempest V aircraft pilots from 3 Squadron at RAF Newchurch in Kent brought down 9 bombs and the New Zealand pilots of 486 squadron who shared the airfield brought down a further 3. An American pilot 1st Lieutenant D. W. Johnston of 356th Fighter Squadron of 358th Fighter Group USSAF flying a P-47 aircraft brought down one over the British Channel; he was returning to his base at High Halden, Kent from a fighter/bomber raid against rail traffic in occupied France. ww2dbase [V-Weapons Campaign | London, England | HM]
  • German Type IXC U-Boat U-505’s cipher material arrived at Bletchley Park allowing the Allies to break most of the remaining Enigma settings. ww2dbase [The Capture of the U-505 | U-505 | Milton Keynes, England | DS]
United States
  • Clifton Cates stepped down as the commandant of Marine Corps Schools in Quantico, Virginia, United States. ww2dbase [Clifton Cates | Quantico, Virginia | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Jun 1944
Japanese Carrier Division ThreeCanadian crew of a Sherman tank south of Vaucelles, Normandy, France, Jun 1944Japanese vessels burning at a harbor near Garapan, Saipan, Mariana Islands, Jun 1944US Marines taking position behind cover, Saipan, Mariana Islands, Jun 1944
See all photos dated 20 Jun 1944

20 Jun 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
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935

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