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24 Dec 1941
  • Atlanta was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yukikaze escorted the Japanese invasion force for Lamon Bay, Luzon, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • ShCh-401 attacked an enemy ship with four torpedoes off Bosfjord, Norway at 2003 hours; all torpedoes missed. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Dutch submarine K XVI sank Japanese destroyer Sagiri with two torpedoes off Borneo; 121 were killed, 120 survived and were rescued by destroyer Shirakumo and a minesweeper. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-568 sank British corvette HMS Salvia 50 miles northeast of Mersa Matruh, Egypt at 0135 hours, killing all aboard, which included 106 crew members and an unknown number of passengers. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Joseph Goebbels broadcasted a Christmas Eve message over radio, urging for Germans to follow the lead of Adolf Hitler and to work and fight for a German victory. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Winston Churchill broadcasted a Christmas Eve message over radio, wishing for one evening of happiness throughout the English-speaking world during this time of global conflict. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Free French seized the French islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, off the southern coast of Newfoundland, and deposed the governor. ww2dbase [AC]
Hong Kong
  • Japanese troops penetrated the final Allied defensive line, "The Ridge", at the Stanley Peninsula on Hong Kong island. At St Stephen's College, where an emergency military hospital had been established, 56 wounded soldiers, doctors, and nurses were bayoneted while a number of female civilians were raped. Near the coast, British destroyer HMS Thracian was damaged by Japanese aircraft and was forced to run aground to prevent sinking. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Isoroku Yamamoto met with his top lieutenants aboard battleship Nagato. It was possibly in this meeting that he began discussing the possibility of a strike on the Americas with aircraft launched from a submarine. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Clive Caldwell damaged the German Bf 109 fighter piloted by Oberleutnant Erbo von Kageneck over Agedabia, Libya. Kageneck would die of the wounds sustained in this engagement in a military hospital in Naples, Italy on 12 Jan 1942. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • HMS Salvia (Lieutenant Commander J. I. Miller) was torpedoed and sunk west of Alexandria, Egypt by the German submarine U-568. ww2dbase [AC]
Pacific Ocean
  • Japanese submarine I-17 shelled unarmed American freighter Absaroka about 26 miles off San Pedro, California, United States. To the north, off Monterey Bay, Japanese submarine I-23 shelled American steamship Dorothy Philips. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A Japanese submarine damaged dredge Sacremento by gunfire 3,000 yards south of Palmyra Atoll. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Nachi provided support for the landings at Jolo, Philippine Islands. She departed Philippine waters later in the day for Palau Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • 7,000 troops of Japanese 16th Division landed at Lamon Bay, Luzon, Philippine Islands and marched toward Manila, which was only 50 miles away to the northwest. Near Ligayen Gulf on the western side of Luzon, the 26th Filipino Cavalry initially held up the Japanese invaders near Binalonian, but were forced to withdraw after suffering heavy losses; meanwhile, the Japanese landed an additional 10,000 men at Lingayen Gulf. In Manila, General Douglas MacArthur met with various leaders to organize the retreat into the Bataan peninsula per WPO-3; the 4th Marine Regiment was ordered to Mariveles at the peninsula's tip before going to Corregidor island. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 94 Soviet prisoners of war and 23 political prisoners died in Auschwitz Concentration Camp. On the same day, 37 prisoners from block 20 of Auschwitz were killed by heart phenol injection. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Japanese troops captured the town Kuching, Sarawak at 1600 hours after heavy fighting against troops of the Indian 15th Punjab Regiment. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Taiwan United States
  • US Marine Corps formed the 2nd Marine Brigade under Colonel Henry Larsen at Camp Elliott, California, United States for the defense of American Samoa. It was consisted of the 3rd Marine Regiment, the 2nd Battalion, the 10th Marine Regiment, and the 2nd Defense Battalion. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Joseph Stilwell arrived in Washington, DC, United States to assist in the planning of the invasion of North Africa. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • American seaplane tender Wright disembarked US Marine reinforcements at Midway. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 100 officers and men arrived at Midway Atoll as reinforcement from Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 24 Dec 1941
General Homma at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, 24 Dec 1941Wrecked Wildcats of VMF-211 collected by Japanese, Wake, circa late Dec 1941USS Atlanta

24 Dec 1941 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
"All that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945