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20 Aug 1944
  • French resistance fighters liberated Toulouse, France. ww2dbase [The French Resistance | AC]
  • At Falaise, France, Major David Currie became the only Canadian to win the Victoria Cross during the Normandy campaign. In three days of non-stop action, his little force of tanks, self-propelled anti-tank guns and infantry had destroyed seven Panzers, 12 heavy guns and 40 other vehicles, killing more than 1,000 of the enemy and taking 11,000 prisoners. ww2dbase [AC]
  • USS Segundo completed taking on ammunition and supplies for a war patrol. ww2dbase [Segundo | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yuzuki was assigned to Destroyer Division 30 of Escort Squadron 31 of the Combined Fleet as the division's flagship under Captain Seiji Sawamura. ww2dbase [Yuzuki | CPC]
  • Remy Van Lierde became the commanding officer of No. 164 Squadron RAF. ww2dbase [Remy Van Lierde | CPC]
  • The US Liberty ship, SS Richard Montgomery, with a cargo of explosives, ran aground and broke her back on a sandbank off Sheerness, Kent, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [AC]
Australia
  • USS Cero arrived at Brisbane, Australia, ending her fifth war patrol. ww2dbase [Cero | CPC]
France
  • The Falaise pocket in France began to close around German troops; the Allies captured over 4,000 prisoners of war. ww2dbase [Normandy Campaign, Phase 2 | TH]
  • US 79th Division reached Seine River above Paris, France. ww2dbase [Liberation of Paris | TH]
  • Charles De Gaulle landed at Cherbourg, France. Meeting Dwight Eisenhower later in the day, he convinced the Allied commander that the French capital of Paris should be a priority objective that should not be bypassed. ww2dbase [Charles de Gaulle | AC, CPC]
  • Pierre Laval stepped down as the Prime Minister of France. ww2dbase [Pierre Laval | CPC]
  • Blockship Foch was hit by two aerial bombs at the mouth of the Toulon harbor, France. ww2dbase [Toulon Military Port | Foch | CPC]
Hawaii Japan
  • Captain Enpei Kanoka was named the commanding officer of Nachi while the ship was at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan. ww2dbase [Kure Naval Arsenal | Nachi | CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 114 was launched. ww2dbase [No. 101/103-class | CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 136 was completed. ww2dbase [No. 101/103-class | CPC]
  • The keel of landing ship No. 144 was laid down by Kawanami Kogyo. ww2dbase [No. 101/103-class | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Gunnel attacked a Japanese transport in the South China Sea; all 9 torpedoes missed. ww2dbase [Gunnel | CPC]
Poland
  • Members of the Armia Krajowa attacked the State Telephone Exchange high-rise building in Warsaw, Poland. ww2dbase [Warsaw Uprising | CPC]
Romania
  • 2nd Ukrainian Front and 3rd Ukrainian Front launched the Second Jassy-Kishinev Offensive into northeastern Romania. The Romanian 3rd Army was broken, while Axis shipping was attacked by Soviet aircraft on the Romanian coast. ww2dbase [Jassy-Kishinev Offensive and Romania's Surrender | AC, CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Three V-1 flying bombs caused 16 deaths in the area around Twickenham Road, Feltham and Studeley Road in Stockwell, both of London, England, United Kingdom. Pilot Officer John Bilodeau RCAF (129 Squadron) flying Mustang III FB395/DV-Y fighter appeared to spin out of low cloud and crash into the sea, this was the squadron's first loss of a pilot whilst combatting the flying bombs. ww2dbase [V-Weapons Campaign | Vergeltungswaffe 1 | HM]
United States
  • USS Kete departed Manitowoc, Wisconsin, United States. ww2dbase [Kete | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Aug 1944
The port of Brest, France after British aerial bombardment, circa late Aug 1944Charles de Gaulle spoke at the balcony of Hotel de Ville, Cherbourg, France, 20 Aug 1944WAVES personnel touring escort carrier Mission BayWAVES personnel examining aircraft propellers aboard escort carrier Mission Bay, 20 Aug 1944
See all photos dated 20 Aug 1944

20 Aug 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