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20 Aug 1942
  • USS Copahee was reclassified an auxiliary aircraft carrier with hull number ACV-12. ww2dbase [Copahee | CPC]
  • Mutsu sortied to hunt for USS Long Island which was delivering aircraft for Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, but failed to make contact. ww2dbase [Mutsu | CPC]
  • British ship City of Manila, damaged by German submarine U-406 on the previous day, sank 450 miles west of Portugal. A PBY Catalina aircraft of US Navy squadron VP-73 attacked German submarine U-464 with depth charges 250 miles west of the Faroe Islands between Britain and Iceland at 0530 hours, killing 2 men and damaging the submarine; U-464 was scuttled at 0815 hours after the 51 survivors abandoned ship; all survivors were captured by the British. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • USS Tuscaloosa, USS Rodman, USS Emmons, and HMS Onslaught, carrying war goods for the Soviet Union, were spotted by German aircraft. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
  • Karl Hermann Frank's son Wolf-Dietrich was born. ww2dbase [Karl Hermann Frank | CPC]
  • Ferdinand Schörner was awarded the Eastern Front medal. ww2dbase [Ferdinand Schörner | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • 11 survivors in one of the three lifeboats from steam tanker Mirlo, lost to German submarine U-130 on 11 Aug 1942, were picked up by British armed trawler HMS Canna in the Atlantic Ocean. ww2dbase [HM]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • 770 Japanese troops under Colonel Kiyonao Ichiki reached within a few miles of Henderson Field at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands by 0430 hours. During the day, Henderson Field received 31 US Marine fighter aircraft (19 Wildcat fighters and 12 Dauntless dive bombers) from USS Long Island, allowing air supply and evacuation of wounded to begin between Espiritu Santo and Guadalcanal; the small air fleet at Henderson Field was dubbed "Cactus Air Force". In the evening, Ichiki gave the order to move foward, running into the US Marines defensive perimeter at Tenaru River by surprise around midnight. ww2dbase [Guadalcanal Campaign | Henderson Field | Lunga Point, Guadalcanal | CPC]
  • German submarine U-464 was sunk by US Navy pilot Lieutenant (jg) Robert Hopgood in Skerjafjord near Reykjavik, Iceland; 53 German crew members survived. ww2dbase [Skerjafjord | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yukikaze completed a period of training in the Inland Sea in Japan. ww2dbase [Yukikaze | Inland Sea | CPC]
  • Saburo Kurusu arrived in Japan. ww2dbase [Saburo Kurusu | CPC]
  • Kichisaburo Nomura arrived in Japan. ww2dbase [Kichisaburo Nomura | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS S-41 fired four torpedoes at a Japanese convoy in the Solomon Sea, scoring four hits, damaging a transport and a tanker. ww2dbase [S-41 | Solomon Sea | CPC]
Russia United Kingdom United States
  • USS Gunnel was commissioned into service with Lieutenant Commander John S. McCain, Jr. in command. ww2dbase [Gunnel | CPC]
  • The order for HMS Atheling was modified to a ship for the US Navy with the name Anguilla Bay. ww2dbase [Corregidor | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Aug 1942
US Marine Colonel Frank Goettge with captured Japanese currency, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Aug 1942US 1st Marine Division staff at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Aug 1942HMS Dianthus at Liverpool, England, United Kingdom, mid to late Aug 1942; note bow damage sustained from ramming U-379PT-109 stowed on board the Liberty Ship Joseph Stanton for transportation to the Pacific Ocean, Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, United States, 20 Aug 1942, photo 1 of 2
See all photos dated 20 Aug 1942

20 Aug 1942 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
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

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