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21 Dec 1940
  • Allied convoy MG1 departed Malta at noon for Gibraltar. The convoy consisted of British merchant ships Clan Fraser, Clan Forbes, and Ulster Prince; it was escorted by battleship HMS Malaya and eight destroyers. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German raiders Komet and Orion and support ship Kulmerland released 514 prisoners captured from various ships, mainly women, children and the injured, at Emirau Island, Bismarck Islands. They were given food before being turned over to two English families living on that island. British ship Nellore would arrive on 29 Dec to pick them up. 150 prisoners remained aboard Orion. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-65 attacked Panamanian tanker Charles Pratt with 2 torpedoes 250 miles west of Freetown, British West Africa (now Sierra Leone) at 1600 hours. The cargo of 96,069 barrels of fuel was ignited, but only 2 were killed. 40 survivors took to two lifeboats; they would be rescued 4 to 5 days later by British ships. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Luftwaffe bombers struck Liverpool, England, United Kingdom overnight. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • RAF bombers bombed Porto Marghera, Italy, hitting docks and oil tanks. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The rear echelon of the newly established US Marine Corps 7th Defense Battalion arrived at Pago Pago, Tutuila, American Samoa. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Seeadler began laying mines in the English Channel. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Berlin, Germany suffered minor damage from a British RAF bombing raid. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]

21 Dec 1940 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