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20 Oct 1942
  • USS S-31 arrived in the Kurile Islands region. ww2dbase [S-31 | CPC]
  • Japanese submarine I-176 attacked and damaged USS Chester in the Solomon Islands area. ww2dbase [Solomon Islands Campaign | CPC]
  • USS Finback attacked a Japanese convoy off China, firing 9 torpedoes and claiming 3 hits and claiming two sinkings. ww2dbase [Finback | CPC]
  • Submarine tender Taigei was assigned to the Japanese Navy Maizuru Naval District as Reserve Ship No. 1. ww2dbase [Ryuho | CPC]
  • Light carrier Hosho was assigned to the Mobile Force Training Force. ww2dbase [Hosho | CPC]
  • U-132 joined wolfpack Veilchen. ww2dbase [U-132 | CPC]
  • USS S-35 arrived at Unalaska, US Territory of Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. ww2dbase [S-35 | Unalaska | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • The USAAF conducted a photo reconnaissance mission over Rabaul, New Britain, revealing a concentration of about 70 ships. ww2dbase [Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
  • Hakkai Maru completed temporary repairs for Tenryu at Rabaul, New Britain. ww2dbase [Tenryu | Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
  • Gato-class submarine USS Silversides scored two torpedo hits on a 10,000-ton freighter south of Truk Atoll, Caroline Islands. The ship was seen to be heavily down by the stern before Silversides went deep to avoid a depth charge attack. The final fate of the ship was not observed. ww2dbase [Silversides | DS]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • Japanese Lieutenant General Masao Maruyama delayed the planned assault on Henderson Field on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands until 22 Oct 1942. ww2dbase [Henderson Field | Guadalcanal Campaign | Guadalcanal | CPC]
  • USS Helena observed incoming Japanese torpedoes while on patrol between Espiritu Santo of New Hebrides and San Cristobal island in the Solomon Islands; all torpedoes missed. ww2dbase [Helena (St. Louis-class) | CPC]
  • A Japanese combat patrol, supported by two tanks, was driven back by men of the 3rd Battalion of the US 1st Marine Regiment west of the Matanikau River. ww2dbase [Guadalcanal Campaign | Guadalcanal | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • While cruising in support of the operations in the Solomon Islands, USS Chester was struck by one of six Type 95 torpedoes fired from Japanese submarine I-176, killing eleven and wounding twelve. ww2dbase [Chester | Type 95 | Coral Sea | DS]
  • Destroyer USS Shaw crossed the equator en route from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to the Solomons. ww2dbase [Line Crossing Ceremony | Shaw | DS]
United Kingdom
  • Isaac Sweers arrived at Londonderry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom in the afternoon. Before the end of the day, she departed to made rendezvous with carrier HMS Furious. ww2dbase [Isaac Sweers | Londonderry, Northern Ireland | CPC]
United States

20 Oct 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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