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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 [New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 3 | Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
Italy Japan
  • Shokaku arrived at Yokosuka, Japan. ww2dbase [Shokaku | Yokosuka, Kanagawa | CPC]
  • Yamato arrived at Yokosuka, Japan and took on elements of Japanese Army 1st Independent Mixed Regiment and supplies. ww2dbase [Yamato | Yokosuka, Kanagawa | CPC]
Marshall Islands
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru arrived at Wotje, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | Wotje | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Haddock made rendezvous with USS Tullibee and USS Halibut in the Pacific Ocean to form an attack group. ww2dbase [Haddock | 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.Chinese soldier displaying captured Japanese chemical weapon canister, Changde, Hunan Province, China, 17 Dec 1943Rear 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 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
"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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