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World War II Database

17 Dec 1943

Australian New Guinea
  • 78 Allied fighters (US Marine Corps F4U fighters, US Navy F6F fighters, RNZAF Kittyhawk fighters) took off from Torokina Airfield on Bougainville, Solomon Islands for a fighter sweep over Rabaul, New Britain. 70 Japanese fighters rose to defend. RNZAF pilots claimed 5 Japanese shot down while suffering 2 losses, while the Americans claimed 4; Japanese records would later show that only 2 A6M aircraft were lost on this day (with only 1 pilot killed). Gregory Boyington, who participated in the sweep, thought the Japanese only launched a limited number of aircraft in defense because the Allies sent too many fighters, and it made more sense for the Japanese to rely more on anti-aircraft guns rather than risking fighters. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Italy
  • US Fifth Army captured San Pietro Infine, Italy after a 10-day battle. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
Japan Marshall Islands Pacific Ocean
  • USS Haddock made rendezvous with USS Tullibee and USS Halibut in the Pacific Ocean to form an attack group. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Dec 1943
Vice Admiral Raymond Spruance awarding Purple Heart to USMC Corporal John K. Galuszka aboard a hospital ship, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 17 Dec 1943. Corporal Galuszka had been wounded during the Gilberts Operation.Rear Admiral Richmond Turner congratulating US Marine Corps Private First Class Carl Emanuel Magnuson after Magnuson had just received a Purple Heart medal, aboard a hospital ship at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, 17 Dec 1943All three battleships of the New Mexico-class, USS Idaho, USS New Mexico, and USS Mississippi, moored abreast at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, 17 Dec 1943PT-354 of MTB Squadron 25 with a mount of multiple M1 Bazooka rocket launchers positioned abaft the mast, Taboga Naval Station, Panama Canal Zone, 17 Dec 1943.
See all photos dated 17 Dec 1943

17 Dec 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
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945