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18 Aug 1943
  • Referencing an alliance from 1373 with Britain, Portugal allowed the Allies to use the Azore Islands for air and naval bases. ww2dbase [TH]
  • USS Tunny sighted Pagan and Alamagan in the Mariana Islands. ww2dbase [Tunny | CPC]
  • Otto Skorzeny conducted an aerial reconnaissance mission over La Maddalena, Italy. His He 111 aircraft was shot down by British fighters. Skorzeny survived the crash, but suffered three broken ribs. ww2dbase [Otto Skorzeny | CPC]
  • USS Bailey departed San Francisco bound for San Diego, California. ww2dbase [Bailey | DS]
Australian New Guinea
  • US bombers attacked the four Japanese airfields at Wewak, Australian New Guinea (Boram, Wewak, But, and Dagna). The Americans lost two B-25 bombers and one P-38 fighter; the Japanese lost 30 aircraft and suffered damage to the airstrips. ww2dbase [Wewak | CPC]
  • Shigure arrived at Rabaul, New Britain. ww2dbase [Shigure | Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
  • At Wewak, New Guinea, Major Ralph Cheli leading his B-25 squadron of the 38th Group was attacked by a Japanese Nakajima Ki-43 aircraft while making his run-up to the target, which shot up the starboard engine and set it on fire. With the flames spreading rapidly to the wings he held his course aiming for a line of parked Zero fighters on the airfield. Only when he had pressed home his attack did Major Cheli call his wing man to take over command of the squadron. Then, within moments, the doomed aircraft rolled over and, before the horrified eyes of his fellow airmen, crashed into the sea and exploded. For his heroic sacrifice Major Cheli would ultimately be awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor. ww2dbase [Wewak | AC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • Battle off Horaniu: Japanese destroyers Sazanami, Hamakaze, Isokaze and Shigure with subchasers Cha-5 and Cha-12 and 3 motor torpedo boats were escorting 13 Diahatsu barges bound for Horaniu on Vella Lavella Islands, Solomon Islands to establish a barge depot to assist with evacuating bypassed Japanese troops on Kolombangara. An American destroyer force of USS Nicholas, USS Chevalier, USS O’Bannon, and USS Taylor intercepted the Japanese convoy. The barges found refuge in the many coves along Vella Lavella’s north shore but two Japanese subchasers, two motor torpedo boats, and at least one barge were sunk. The Japanese were able to establish a barge depot at Horaniu and barges operating from this depot would eventually evacuate 9,000 Japanese troops from Kolombangara. ww2dbase [Nicholas | Solomon Islands Campaign | Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands | DS]
Canada French West Africa
  • Duquesne arrived at Dakar, French West Africa. ww2dbase [Duquesne | Dakar | CPC]
  • Between 0017 and 0043 hours Berlin time (2317 and 2343 hours London time, on 17 Aug 1943), three waves of British Lancaster, Halifax, and Stirling bombers (227, 113, and 180 aircraft, respectively) struck the German rocket research site at PeenemĂĽnde, dropping a total of 1,600 tons of high explosive bombs and 250 tons of incendiary bombs. Initially the damage appeared to be extensive, especially considering that 180 German scientists and engineers were killed, but the site returned to operation within four to six weeks. Strategically, however, this attack did retarded the eventual rocket attack on Britain by some months. Many buildings would remain unrepaired and craters unfilled in order to trick the British into thinking that the site was abandoned after the raid. The British Royal Air Force lost 40 bombers during this successful mission. Over 500 Polish forced laborers were also killed during this attack. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | PeenemĂĽnde Army Research Center | PeenemĂĽnde, Pommern | CPC, AC]
  • General Hans Jeschinnek, Chief of the German Air Staff since 1939, having already lost faith with Hermann Göring, committed suicide at the Luftwaffe Lager Robinson headquarters in Goldap, OstpreuĂźen (East Prussia), Germany (now Warmian-Masurian, Poland) following his controversial order to the air defence units in Berlin to fire on Luftwaffe fighters which had landed there in error during the RAF's raid on PeenemĂĽnde. ww2dbase [OstpreuĂźen | AC]
Hawaii Pacific Ocean
  • USS Wahoo attacked several freighters on separate occasions in the Sea of Okhotsk; all 3 torpedo missed. Several hours later, she sank a small fishing vessel with her deck gun. ww2dbase [Wahoo | Sea of Okhotsk | CPC]
Singapore United Kingdom United States
  • The US Marine Corps Division of Aviation was transferred from the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 18 Aug 1943
Mackenzie King, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Allied military leaders, Quebec, Canada, 18 Aug 1943Aerial view straight down onto Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii, 18 Aug 1943.

18 Aug 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
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939

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