WORLD WAR II 1937 - 1945

 

20,000,000 casualties of war

1942 Timeline  
 
1942
  • January 1 - Admiral R.E. Ingersoll takes command of Atlantic Fleet.  Declaration of the United Nations signed by the Allies.
  • January 2 - Japanese take Manila and Cavite in the Philippines.
  • January 6 - Japanese forces occupy Brunei Bay in Borneo.
  • January 7 - Navy's authorized aircraft strength is increased from 15,000 to 27,500.
  • January 11 - Japan declares war on the Netherlands.  Japanese invasion of Netherlands East Indies with landings at Tarakan and Jesselton in Borneo and Menado and Kema in the Celebes.  The carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3) is damaged by a torpedo southwest of Oahu.  A Japanese submarine shells the Naval Station on Pago Pago, Samoa.  The British re-capture Sollum.  Kuala Lumpur is captured by the Japanese.
  • January 12 - Authorized enlisted strength of the Navy is increased to 500,000.
  • January 13 - The Germans begin a U-boat offensive along the US east coast.  The Russians recapture Kiev.
  • January 15 - American-British-Dutch-Australian Supreme Command is established.  Field Marshall Sir Archibald Wavell, British Army, assumes supreme command of all forces in area; Admiral T.C. Hart, USN, has command of naval forces under Field Marshall Wavell.
  • January 16 - Office of Production Management is supplanted by War Production Board.
  • January 18 - New military pact signed in Berlin by Germany, Italy and Japan.
  • January 20 - PT-31 is damaged by grounding and sunk by U.S. forces in the Philippines.  USS Edsall (DD-219) and three Australian corvettes sink the Japanese submarine I-124 off of Port Darwin, Australia.  SS leader Heydrich holds the Wannsee Conference to coordinate the "final solution of the Jewish question."
  • January 21 - U.S. submarine S-36 is sunk by U.S. forces in Makassar Strait, Netherlands East Indies after grounding on January 20.  The light cruiser USS Boise (CL-47) is damaged by grounding in Sape Strait, Netherlands East Indies.  Rommel begins a counteroffensive from El Agheila.
  • January 22 - Japanese forces at Subic Bay in the Philippines are reinforced.
  • January 23 - Japanese forces land at Balikpapan, Borneo and Kieta, Bougainville in the Solomons and occupy Rabaul and New Britain, also in the Solomons.  The oiler USS Neches (AO-5) torpedoed and sunk off Hawaiian Islands by  Japanese submarine.
  • January 24 - Battle of Makassar Strait (or Balikpapan).  Destroyer division composed of USS Parrot (DD-218), USS Pope (DD-225), USS John D. Ford (DD-228) and USS Paul Jones (DD-230) launch a night torpedo attack on the Japanese Borneo invasion convoy - four Japanese transports and a patrol craft are sunk. Japanese landings occur at Kendari in the Celebes, Kavieng, New Ireland and Subic Bay in the Philippines.  USS John D. Ford (DD-228) is sunk by naval gunfire in the Netherlands East Indies.  U.S. submarine S-26 is sunk after colliding with U.S. submarine chaser PC-460 in the Gulf of Panama.
  • January 25 - Midway Island shelled by Japanese submarine.
  • January 26 - U.S. Expeditionary Force arrives in Northern Ireland.
  • January 27 - The submarine USS Seawolf (SS-197) delivers ammunition and evacuates Naval and Army pilots from Corregidor in the Philippines.  The submarine USS Gudgeon (SS-211) sinks the Japanese submarine I-173 in the central Pacific. Naval Air Station established at Puunene, Maui.
  • January 28 - Japanese forces land on Rossel Island, off New Guinea.  The third Conference of Foreign Ministers of the American Republics concludes in Rio de Janeiro.
  • January 29 - Japanese forces land at Badoeng Island and Mampawan in the Celebes. The Coast Guard cutter USS Alexander Hamilton (PG-34) is torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat near Iceland.
  • January 31 - Japanese land at Amboina Island in the Netherlands East Indies.  Office of Procurement and Material is established, with Vice Admiral S.M. Robinson as Director, in the Office of the Under Secretary of the Navy.
  • February 1 - Kwajalein, Wotje, Maloelap, Jaluit and Mili in the Marshalls and Makin in the Gilberts are attacked by two carrier task forces under Vice Admiral W.F. Halsey and Rear Admiral F.J. Fletcher and a bombardment group under Rear Admiral R.A. Spruance (total - 2 aircraft carriers, 5 cruisers and 10 destroyers).  Torpedo boats and Army aircraft repulse a Japanese attempt to land on southwest Bataan in the Philippines.  U.S. Naval Base is established at Sydney, Australia.  Naval Air Stations are established at at St. Lucia in the British West Indies and British Guiana and a Naval Auxiliary Air Facility at Antigua in the British West Indies.  The Seventh Naval District is reactivated with headquarters in Key West.  USS Enterprise (CV-6) is damaged by a suicide bomber and the heavy cruiser USS Chester (CA-27) is damaged by a dive bomber, both during the Marshall-Gilberts raid.
  • February 2 - Japanese minesweeper no. 9 is sunk by a mine in the Netherlands East Indies.
  • February 3 - Ammunition is delivered to Corregidor by the submarine USS Trout SS-202) which also removes gold, silver, securities and mail.  Surabay, Java in the Netherlands East Indies is bombed by the Japanese.
  • February 4 - An allied force of 4 cruisers and accompanying destroyers under Rear Admiral Doorman, Royal Netherlands Navy, is bombed by Japanese aircraft while attempting to transit the Madoera Strait to attack the Japanese Borneo invasion fleet.  Two U.S. cruisers (USS Houston (CA-30) and USS Marblehead (CL-12)) and one Netherlands cruiser are damaged.  The submarine USS Seadragon (SS-194) evacuates military personnel and material from Corregidor in the Philippines.  Units of the Asiatic Fleet are organized into the Southwest Pacific Force under Vice Admiral Glassford - the Asiatic Fleet under Admiral Hart ceases to exist organizationally, though not formally abolished.  Australian-New Zealand naval command is established under Vice Admiral H.F. Leary of the US Navy.
  • February 5 - Naval Operating Base is established at Londonderry, Northern Ireland. National Naval Medical Center is established in Bethesda, Maryland. 
  • February 6 - Japanese reinforcements land at Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines.  The U.S. and Britain establish the Combined Chiefs of Staff.  Naval Coastal Frontiers are redesignated as Eastern, Gulf, Caribbean, Panama, Hawaiian, Northwest, Western and Philippine Sea Frontiers. 
  • February 7 - War Shipping Administration is established. Headquarters of the Naval Forces Southwest Pacific Area is established at Tjilatja, Java, under Vice Admiral Glassford. 
  • February 8 - Midway shelled by Japanese submarine. Japanese land at Gasmata, New Britain.  U.S. submarine S-37 sinks Japanese destroyer Natsushio in Makassar Strait in the Netherlands East Indies. 
  • February 9 - Japanese land on Singapore Island.  Batavia, Surabaya and Malang, Java bombed by Japanese aircraft.  Admiral W.H. Standley, USN (retired), is named Ambassador to Russia.  Rear Admiral E.S. Land is named Director of War Shipping Administration.  The transport USS Lafayette (AP-53), formerly the French liner Normandie, burns at a New York pier. 
  • February 11 - U.S. troops arrive at Curacao and Aruba in the Netherlands West Indies. 
  • February 14 - Japanese paratroopers land on Palemban, Sumatra.  The submarine USS Sargo (SS-188) delivers ammunition to Polloc Harbor, Mindanao in the Philippines and evacuates military personnel.  Vice Admiral C.E.L. Helfrich, Royal Netherlands Navy, relieves Admiral Hart as Commander in Chief of Allied Naval Forces Southwest Pacific.
    Email: Correction Mon 2/7/2005 11:32 AM
    It was the submarine USS SARGO SS 188 not Sago. Ric Hedman TN(SS)
    Thanks for the correction Ric. Email Rick Hedman
  • February 15 - Singapore falls to the Japanese.  Japanese forces land on Sumatra in the Netherlands East Indies. 
  • February 16 - An oil refinery on Aruba in the Netherlands West Indies is shelled by a German submarine U-boat. 
  • February 17 - 1st Naval Construction Battalion (Seabees) arrive at Bora Bora in the Society Islands. 
  • February 18 - The destroyer USS Truxtun (DD-229) and the stores ship USS Pollux (AKS-2) are sunk by a storm in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. 
  • February 19 - Japanese invade Bali in the Netherlands East Indies.  The Battle of Badoeng Strait begins and continues to the 20th.  Allied naval force under Rear Admiral Doorman attacks Japanese occupation force retiring through Badoeng Strait from Bali.  One Netherlands and one Japanese destroyer are sunk and two Netherlands cruisers and one U.S. destroyer are damaged.  The destroyer USS Peary (DD-226) is sunk by a dive bomber during a Japanese bomber raid on the harbor, airfields and shore installations at Darwin, Australia. 
  • February 20 - The destroyer USS Stewart (DD-224) is damaged by naval gunfire during the Battle of Badoeng Strait.  Timbor Island in the Netherlands East Indies invaded by the Japanese.  Allied Naval Base at Darwin, Australia is abandoned.  The submarine USS Swordfish (SS-193)  evacuates President Quezon and other Philippine officials from Luzon.  Atlantic and Pacific Fleets are directed to establish Amphibious Forces by Commander in Chief U.S. Fleet. 
  • February 23 - Oil refinery at Ellwood, California shelled by a Japanese submarine. 
  • February 24 - Wake Island bombarded by a carrier task force under Vice Admiral Halsey.  U.S. High Commissioner F.B. Sayre is evacuated from the Philippines by the submarine USS Swordfish (SS-193). 
  • February 25 - Responsibility for U.S. port security assumed by Coast Guard. 
  • February 27 - An Allied Naval Force of 5 cruisers and 11 destroyers under Rear Admiral Doorman attacks a Japanese force covering the Java invasion convoy in the Battle of the Java Sea.  Two Netherlands cruisers, 2 British destroyers and a Netherlands destroyer are sunk.  The cruiser USS Houston (CA-30) and a British cruiser are damaged. The seaplane tender USS Langely (AV-3) is sunk by Japanese horizontal bombers south of Tjilatjap, Java.  Joint U.S. Mexican Defense Commission is established. 
  • February 28 - The submarine USS Permit (SS-178) delivers ammunition to Corregidor and evacuates military personnel.  Japanese forces land on the northern coast of Java.  The destroyer USS Jacob Jones is torpedoes and sunk by a submarine off the Delaware Capes. 
  • March 1 - In the Battle of Sunda Strait, Allied vessels heading for Sunda Strait after the Battle of Java Sea are attacked by a superior Japanese surface force.  USS Houston CA-30), an Australian cruiser and a Netherlands destroyer are sunk.  The Japanese lose four transports. The destroyer USS Pope (DD-225) is sunk by surface gunfire and a dive bomber in the Java Sea.  The destroyers USS Edsall (DD-219) and USS Pillsbury (DD-227) are sunk by naval gunfire south of Christmas Island.  Naval land-based aircraft (VP-82) sinks the German submarine U-656 south of Newfoundland.  American-British-Dutch- Australian Command is dissolved.  Base Force, Pacific Fleet, is redesignated Service Force Pacific; Train, Atlantic Fleet, is redesignated Service Force Atlantic.  
  • March 2 - Japanese landing at Zamboanga, Mindanao in the Philippines. Anti-submarine Warfare Unit, Atlantic Fleet is established at Boston.  
  • March 3 - The submarine USS Perch (SS-176) is damaged by depth charges and surface gunfire then scuttled by crew in the Java Sea.  The gunboat USS Asheville (PG-12) is sunk by naval gunfire south of Java.
  • March 4 - Marcus Island bombed by aircraft from Vice Admiral Halsey's carrier task force.  Oahu raided by Japanese seaplanes with no damage. 
  • March 7 - The submarine USS Shark (SS-174) is reported as presumed lost in the Pacific Ocean area. 
  • March 8 - Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea invaded by Japanese.  Rangoon, Burma occupied by Japanese. 
  • March 9 - Java surrenders to Japanese.  Naval Air Transport Service Squadron (VR-1) is commissioned at Norfolk for operations in the Atlantic. 
  • March 10 - Finschhafen, New Guinea invaded by Japanese.  Japanese shipping at Salamaua and Lae, New Guinea bombed by aircraft from USS Lexington (CV-2) and USS Yorktown (CV-5). 
  • March 11 - General Douglas MacArthur and Rear Admiral Rockwell evacuate Luzon and travel by motor torpedo boat to Mindanao. 
  • March 12 - U.S. forces arrive in New Caledonia to establish a base at Noumea. Roosevelt combines the duties of Commander in Chief U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations by executive order. 
  • March 13 - PT-32 is scuttled in Philippines. 
  • March 14 - Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet is established under Rear Admiral R.M Brainard. 
  • March 15 - Coast Guard tender USS Acacia (AGL-200) sunk by German U-boat south of Haiti.  German submarine U-503 is sunk by naval land-based aircraft (VP-82) in the North Atlantic. 
  • March 17 - The U.S., in agreement with Allied governments, assumes responsibility for the strategic defense of the entire Pacific Ocean.  U.S. Naval Forces Europe is established. 
  • March 18 - A naval force of two battleships, a carrier, two cruisers and eight destroyers under Rear Admiral J.W. Wilcox is ordered to Britain to join the British Home Fleet. 
  • March 20 - The battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57) is commissioned in New York City. 
  • March 23 - Japanese forces occupy the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. 
  • March 26 - Admiral Stark relieved as Chief of Naval Operations by Admiral King who is also now Commander in Chief U.S. Fleet.  perational control of certain Army Air Force units given to Commander Eastern Sea Frontier for anti-submarine patrol duty in the Atlantic. The miscellaneous auxiliary USS Atik is torpedoed and sunk by a submarine. 
  • March 29 - Marines arrive at Efate in the New Hebrides. 
  • March 30 - Japanese forces occupy Christmas Island.  Joint Chiefs of Staff order the Pacific Ocean divided into two commands: the Pacific Ocean Areas under Admiral Nimitz and the Southwest Pacific Area under General MacArthur.  Pacific War Council representing the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and China is established in Washington to plan war policy. 
  • March 31 - Rear Admiral J.B. Oldendorf name Commander of All Forces Aruba and Curacao, Netherlands West Indies. 
  • April - Japanese-Americans in the US sent to relocation centers. 
  • April 1 - Buka Island in the Solomons is occupied by the Japanese. Naval Air Transport Service Squadron (VR-2) is commissioned at Alameda, California. 
  • April 3 - Admiral Nimitz, Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, is name Commander in Chief Pacific Ocean Areas. 
  • April 5 - The submarine USS Snapper (SS-185) delivers food to Corregidor and evacuates military personnel.  The Japanese occupy Lorengau, Manus Island in the Admiralty Islands. 
  • April 7 - U.S. Naval patrol aircraft for operations in the south Atlantic arrive in Natal, Brazil. 
  • April 8 - The submarine USS Seadragon (SS-194) delivers food to Corregidor and evacuates military personnel.  The minesweeper USS Bittern (AM-36) is sunk by U.S. forces after being damaged on December 10, 1941.  Hydrographic Office and Naval Observatory are transferred from the Bureau of Navigation to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. 
  • April 9 - US-Philippine forces on Bataan surrender to the Japanese.  PT-34 is sunk by a Japanese horizontal bomber in the Philippines. 
  • April 10 - Japanese forces land on Cebu in the Philippines.  The submarine tender USS Canopus (AS-9) is scuttled off Mariveles Bay in the Philippines and the minesweeper USS Finch (AM-9) is sunk by a Japanese horizontal bomber in the Philippines.  Pacific Fleet is reorganized into type commands:  battleships under Rear Admiral W.S. Anderson, carriers under Vice Admiral Halsey, cruisers under Rear Admiral Fletcher, destroyers under Rear Admiral R.A. Theobald, Service Force under Vice Admiral W.L. Calhoun, Amphibious Force under Vice Admiral W. Brown, submarines under Rear Admiral T. Whiters and patrol wings under Rear Admiral H.S. McCain. 
  • April 12 - PT-35 is scuttled in the Philippines. 
  • April 14 - The destroyer USS Roper (DD-147) sinks the German submarine U-85 off Virginia. 
  • April 15 - PT-41 is scuttled in the Philippines.  Submarine bases established at Kodiak and Dutch Harbor in Alaska.  Naval Air Station is established at  Barbers Point on Oahu. 
  • April 18 - Doolittle Raid.  Sixteen Army B-25s are launched from the USS Hornet (CV-8) over 650 miles east of Honshu, Japan.  The bombers hit Tokyo, Yokosuka, Yokohoma, Kobe and Nagoya.  Oil installations at Curacao in the  Netherlands West Indies shelled by German U-boat. 
  • April 20 - Forty-seven British Spitfires are launched for Malta from the USS Wasp (CV-7) in the Mediterranean. 
  • April 23 - Germany begins air raids against Britain's cathedral cities. 
  • April 26 - The destroyer USS Sturtevant (DD-240) sunk by a mine off Marquesas Key, Florida. 
  • April 28 - US Escort Force under Rear Admiral R.C. Giffen departs Scapa Flow, Scotland to protect convoys to Russia. 
  • April 29 - Japanese seize Parang and Cotabato, Mindanao in the Philippines.  First coastal convoy leaves New York for the Delaware River. 
  • April 30 - Military and civilian personnel evacuated from Corregidor by two naval patrol planes.  The battleship USS Indiana (BB-58) is commissioned at Newport News, Virginia.  Admiral Stark assumes command of US Naval Forces Europe. 
  • May 1 - Admiral Leahy ends service as Ambassador to France.  US Naval Base and Naval Auxiliary Air Facility established at Great Exuma in the Bahamas. US Naval Base established at Grand Cayman in the British West Indies. 
  • May 2 - Japanese forces land on Florida Island in the Solomons.  The submarine USS Drum (SS-228) sinks the Japanese seaplane tender Misuho off southeastern Honshu. 
  • May 3 - Military personnel evacuated from Corregidor by the submarine USS Spearfish (SS-190). 
  • May 4 - Battle of the Coral Sea.  Battle begins with US carrier-based aircraft striking on Tulagi in the Solomons.  The Japanese destroyer Kikizuki is sunk during the battle.  Admiral King directs Coast Guard Auxiliary to organize civilian small craft as coastal pickets.  The minesweeper USS Tanager (AM-5) is sunk by coastal defense guns off Corregidor. 
  • May 5 - Battle of the Coral Sea.  Allied force refuels and changes course to intercept Japanese Port Moresby Invasion Group.  Japanese forces land on Corregidor.  The river gunboat USS Mindanao (PR-8) and submarine rescue vessel USS Pigeon (ASR-9) are sunk by Japanese horizontal bombers in the hilippines.  The tugs USS Genesee (ATO-55) and USS Vaga (YT-116) are scuttled in the Philippines. 
  • May 6 - Battle of the Coral Sea.  Allied force steaming on course to intercept Japanese Port Moresby Invasion Group.  Corregidor and Manila Bay forts surrender to the Japanese.  The river gunboats USS Oahu (PR-6) and USS Luzon (PR-7) and minesweeper USS Quail (AM-15) are scuttled in the Philippines.  Naval Auxiliary Air Facility established at Nawiliwili, Kauai in Hawaii.  The British capture Madagascar. 
  • May 7 - Battle of the Coral Sea.  Allied force turns north to engage the Japanese attack group.  Support Group under Rear Admiral Crace, RN, is detached to intercept Japanese Port Moresby Invasion Group.  Crace's ships are attacked by Japanese torpedo bombers and land-based bombers and mistakenly attacked by US Army B-26s.  The destroyer USS Sims (DD-409) is sunk and the oiler USS Neosho (AO-23) is damaged.  US carrier aircraft attack the Japanese support group and sink the aircraft carrier Shoho.  Japanese occupy Hollandia, New Guinea.  
  • May 8 - Battle of the Coral Sea.  Search aircraft from the carrier USS Lexington (CV-2) sight the Japanese carriers Shokaku and ZuikakuShokaku is damaged and forced to retire by aircraft from US carriers.  Simultaneously, Japanese carrier aircraft strikes damaged the carriers USS Yorktown (CV-5) and USS Lexington (CV-2).  Lexington was so badly damaged the she was sunk by the destroyer USS Phelps (DD-360).  The Germans begin their summer offensive in the Crimea. 
  • May 9 - Forty-even British Spitfires launched for Malta from the carrier USS Wasp (CV-7) in the Mediterranean.  The Coast Guard cutter USS Icarus (PC-119) sinks the German submarine U-356 off of South Carolina. 
  • May 11 - The Japanese minelayer Okinoshima is sunk by US submarine S-42, north of the Solomons. 
  • May 12 - The battleship USS Massachusetts (BB-59) is commissioned in Boston. 
  • May 13 - The French agree to mobilize three French warships at Martinique in the French West Indies.  The Bureau of Navigation is renamed the Bureau of Naval Personnel. 
  • May 14 - Minefield laid off St. John's, Newfoundland by a German U-boat. 
  • May 17 - Japanese submarines are sunk by US submarines USS Tautog (SS-199) off the Caroline Islands and USS Triton (SS-201) southeast of Kyushu, Japan. 
  • May 18 - Office of Naval Inspector General is established. 
  • May 20 - Air Force, South Pacific Area is established under Rear Admiral J.S. McCain. 
  • May 21 - North Pacific Force under Rear Admiral Theobald is established for operations in the Alaska Sector. 
  • May 22 - Mexico declares war on Germany, Italy and Japan. 
  • May 25 - The destroyer USS Blakeley (DD-150) is damaged by a submarine torpedo off of Martinique in the French West Indies. The submarine USS Salmon (SS-182) sinks the Japanese repair ship Asahi in the South China Sea. 
  • May 26 - Rommel begins an offensive against the Gazala Line. 
  • May 27 - Wallis Island, in the south Pacific Ocean, is occupied by US Marines and Seabees.  The destroyer tender USS Prairie (AD-15) and the gunboat USS Spry (PG-64) are damaged by fire in Argentia, Newfoundland.  SS leader Heydrich is attacked in Prague. 
  • May 28 - US forces arrive at Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides.  The Russians are defeated by the Germans at Kharkov. 
  • May 30 - The first British 1000 bomber air raid hits Cologne, Germany. 
  • May 31 - Sydney harbor in Australia is raided by Japanese midget submarines. 
  • June - Germans begin mass gassing of Jews at Auschwitz. 
  • June 2 - Two US carrier task forces, under Rear Admirals Fletcher and Spruance, rendezvous 350 miles northeast of Midway Island. 
  • June 3 - Midway-based aircraft locate and attack transports of Admiral Yamamoto's Japanese Combined Fleet, about 600 miles west of Midway.  Dutch Harbor, Alaska bombed by Japanese carrier-based planes.  The coastal minesweeper USS Bunting (ACM-7) is sunk by collision in San Francisco Bay. 
  • June 4 - Battle of Midway.  Aircraft from four Japanese carriers strike installations on Midway, defended by Marine and Army aircraft.  Aircraft launched from the carriers USS Enterprise (CV-6), USS Hornet (CV-8) and USS Yorktown (CV-5) strike the four Japanese carriers, sinking Kaga and, with help from the submarine USS Nautilus (SS-168), SoryuYorktown is disabled by Japanese aircraft.  Admiral Yamamoto abandons Midway plans and retires westward. SS leader Heydrich dies of wounds received in Prague. 
  • June 5 - Germans besiege Sevastopol. 
  • June 6 - Battle of Midway.  Rear Admiral Spruance's Carrier Task Force pursues the Japanese fleet westward.  The Japanese carriers Akagi and Hiryu are damaged by US carrier-based planes.  Both are sunk by the Japanese. 
  • June 6 - Battle of Midway.  Aircraft from the carriers USS Enterprise (CV-6) and USS Hornet (CV-8) attack the retiring Japanese fleet.  The Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma is sunk. The US fleet recovers its aircraft and changes course eastward to refuel, breaking contact with the Japanese.  The destroyer USS Hamman (DD-412) is torpedoed and sunk by a submarine during the battle. 
  • June 7 - Kiska and Attu in the Aleutians are occupied by the Japanese. USS Yorktown (CV-5) is sunk by a submarine torpedo as she retired, damaged, from the Battle of Midway.  The seaplane tender (small) USS Gannet (AVP-8) is torpedoed and sunk by a submarine off of Bermuda.  Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, Sea Frontiers and Special Task Forces are placed directly under the Commander in Chief US Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations.  Naval Local Defense Forces, Naval Transportation Service, Special Duty Ships and Naval District Craft are placed under the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. 
  • June 9 - Naval Operating Base is established at Kodiak, Alaska. 
  • June 10 - In retaliation for the assassination of Heydrich, the Germans liquidate the town of Lidice. 
  • June 11 - Mines are laid off of Boston and Delaware Bay by German U-boats. 
  • June 12  - Mines are laid off Cape Henry, Virginia by German U-boats. 
  • June 13 - Four German agents are put ashore from a U-boat at Amagansett, Long Island. The landings are detected by the Coast Guard and the agents captured by the FBI.  The German submarine U-157 is sunk by the Coast Guard cutter USS Thetis (PC-115) north of Cuba. 
  • June 14 - First echelon of the First Marine Division under Major General Vandegrift arrives at Wellington, New Zealand. 
  • June 17 - Four German agents landing via U-boat at Ponte Vedra Beach, south of Jacksonville, Florida, are discovered by fishermen and captured by the FBI. 
  • June 18 - US Naval Air Facility is established at La Fe, Cuba. 
  • June 19 - Vice Admiral R.L. Ghormley assumes command of South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force with headquarters at Auckland, New Zealand.  US submarine S-27 is grounded and abandoned at Amchitka in the Aleutians. 
  • June 20 - Estevan Point on Vancouver Island in British Columbia is shelled by a Japanese submarine. 
  • June 21 - Fort Stevens, Oregon shelled by a Japanese submarine.  Rommel captures Tobruk. 
  • June 25 - US Army establishes the European Theater of Operations under Major General Dwight D. Eisenhower.  Roosevelt and Churchill conclude a conference in Washington, reaching a decision for joint research and development of the atomic bomb.  The Japanese destroyer Yamakaze is sunk by the submarine USS Nautilus (SS-168) off Honshu. 
  • June 26 - Germany announces unrestricted submarine warfare off the US Atlantic coast.  US Naval Auxiliary Station (Lighter-than-air) is established at San Julian, Cuba. 
  • June 30 - US coastal minesweeper USS Hornbill (AMC-13) sunk by collision in San Francisco Bay.  The German submarine U-158 is sunk in the western Atlantic by Naval land-based aircraft (VP-74).  Rommel reaches El Alamein, near Cairo, Egypt. 
  • July 1-30 - First Battle of El Alamein. 
  • July 3 - The Germans capture Sevastopol. 
  • July 4 - US Army bombers raid western Europe for the first time.  The submarine USS Triton (SS-201) sinks the Japanese destroyer Nenohi off Agattu in the Aleutians. 
  • July 5 - The Japanese Destroyer Arare is sunk by the submarine USS Growler (SS-215) off of Kiska in the Aleutians.  Russian resistance in the Crimea ends. 
  • July 7 - US Naval Air Facility is established at Reykjavik, Iceland.  The German submarine U-701 is sunk by Army aircraft off of North Carolina. 
  • July 9 - The Germans begin a drive to Stalingrad. 
  • July 13 - US Naval Air Facility is established at Grand Cayman in the British West Indies.  The German submarine U-153 is damaged by the submarine chaser PC-458 and Army aircraft off the coast of Panama and sunk by the destroyer USS  Landsdowne (DD-486). 
  • July 15 - Submarine Base is established at Midway Island.  Naval Air Transport Service Squadron (VR-3) is established at Kansas City, Kansas for operations in the US.  Japanese submarine chasers No.s 25 and 27 are sunk by the submarine USS Grunion (SS-216) off of Kiska in the Aleutians.  The German submarine U-576 is sunk by Naval land-based aircraft (VS-9) and the US merchant vessel Unicoi off of North Carolina. 
  • July 16 - Advanced Group, Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet under Rear Admiral A. C. Bennett is established to conduct amphibious training in Great Britain. 
  • July 18 - Amphibious Force, South Pacific Area is established under Rear Admiral R.K. Turner. 
  • July 20 - Naval Operating Base and Naval Air Facility are established at Dutch Harbor in Alaska.  Admiral W.D. Leahy reports to Roosevelt as Chief of Staff. 
  • July 21 - Buna, New Guinea occupied by the Japanese. 
  • July 22 - First deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto to concentration camps take place.  The Treblinka extermination camp opens. 
  • July 24 - The Mississippi River Passes mined by a German submarine. 
  • July 27 - Army-Navy Petroleum Board is established. 
  • July 30 - Women's Naval Reserve is established. 
  • July 31 - A German submarine lays mines off Charleston, South Carolina. 
  • August 1 - US Naval Base at Galapagos Islands, US Naval Station at Tobago Island in the Canal Zone and the US Naval Auxiliary Air Facility and US Motor Torpedo Boat Base in Salinas, Ecuador are established.  The German U-166 is sunk by Coast Guard aircraft in the Gulf of Mexico. 
  • August 4 - The Destroyer USS Tucker (DD-374) is sunk in a US minefield in Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides. 
  • August 7 - The first US land offensive in the Pacific see Marines land at Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo and Guadalcanal in the Solomons. The landings are put ashore by Amphibious Force, South Pacific and supported by carrier and land-based aircraft and naval surface forces.  The destroyer USS Mugford is damaged by a torpedo bomber in the Solomons.  A Naval cruiser and destroyer force under Rear Admiral Smith bombards Kiska in the Aleutians.  British General Bernard Montgomery takes command of the Eighth Army in North Africa. 
  • August 8 - US Marines capture Tulagi, Gavutu and Tanambogo in the Solomons and capture an unfinished air strip on Guadal Canal, renaming it Henderson Field. 
  • In the Solomons, the transport USS George F. Elliot (AP-13) is damaged by suicide bombers and sunk by US forces and the destroyer USS Jarvis (DD-393) is damaged by aircraft torpedoes.  A German submarine lays mines off mouth of the St. Johns River, east of Jacksonville, Florida. 
  • August 9 - Battle of Savo Island.  A Japanese force of seven cruisers and a destroyer approaches undetected west of Savo Island in the Solomons, and sinks the heavy cruisers USS Astoria (CA-34), USS Quincy (CA-39), USS Vincennes (CA-44) and the Australian Canberra.  The Japanese force also damaged the cruiser USS Chicago (CA-29) and the destroyers USS Ralph Talbot (DD-390) and USS Patterson (DD-392) before retiring.  Allied ships depart, leaving Japanese forces  temporarily in control of the Guadalcanal area.
  • August 10 - The Japanese heavy cruiser Kako is sunk by the submarine S-44 near Kavieng, New Ireland. 
  • August 12 - Churchill meets with Stalin in Moscow. 
  • August 14 - Lt. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Commanding General, European  Theater of Operations, is appointed Commander in Chief of Allied Expeditionary Forces. Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, RN, is appointed Allied Naval Commander. The submarine S-39 strikes a submerged reef off of Rossel Island in the Louisade Archipelago and abandoned on August 16. 
  • August 15 - Patrol Wing 11 is commissioned at San Juan, Puerto Rico for operations in the Caribbean Sea Frontier.  Naval Air Station at Whidbey Island, Washington, and the Naval Auxiliary Air Facility on Jamaica are established.  Marine Aircraft Wings, Pacific is established in San Diego. 
  • August 16 - The battleship USS Alabama (BB-60) is commissioned at Portsmouth, Virginia.  The submarine USS Grunieon (SS-216) is reported as presumed lost in the Pacific Ocean area. 
  • August 17 - The Second Raider Battalion, USMC, transported by submarines USS Nautilus (SS-168) and USS Argonaut (APS-1), raids Makin Island in the Gilberts. Nautilus' gunfire supports the Marines ashore.  The first all-American air raid takes place. 
  • August 20 - Thirty-one USMC aircraft delivered to Henderson Field on Guadalcanal by the aircraft escort vessel USS Long Island (AVG-1).  The German submarine U-464 is sunk by Naval land-based aircraft (VP-73) in the north Atlantic. 
  • August 22 - Brazil declares war on Germany and Italy. The destroyer USS Blue (DD-387) is damaged by torpedoes in the Solomons and scuttled on the 23rd. The destroyer USS Ingram (DD-444) is sunk by a collision with the oiler USS Chemung (AO-30) off of Nova Scotia.  The destroyer USS Buck (DD-420) is damaged by a collision with a merchant vessel off of Nova Scotia.  The German submarine U-654 is sunk by Army aircraft north of Panama. 
  • August 23 - Germans stage a massive air raid on Stalingrad. 
  • August 24 - Battle of the Eastern Solomons.  Naval carrier-based aircraft supported by Marine and Army aircraft turn back a major Japanese attempt to recapture Guadalcanal and Tulagi.  The carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) is damaged by a dive bomber and the Japanese carrier Ryujo is sunk by US carrier-based aircraft. 
  • August 25 - Battle of Eastern Solomons.  The Japanese destroyer Muzuki is sunk off Santa Isabel by Army aircraft.  Nauru in the Gilberts and Goodenough Island off the southeast coast of New Guinea are occupied by the Japanese. 
  • August 26 - Japanese forces land at Milne Bay in New Guinea.  Army aircraft attack beaches and transports.  Ocean Island occupied by Japanese. 
  • August 28 - USMC dive bombers sink the Japanese destroyer Asagiri off of Santa Isabel, damage two others and prevent Japanese reinforcements from landing on Guadalcanal.  The Japanese submarine I-123 is sunk by the light minelayer USS Gamble (DM-15) near Guadalcanal.  The German submarine U-94 is sunk by Naval land-based aircraft (VP-92) and HMCS Oakville in the Caribbean. 
  • August 29 - The transport USS William Ward Burrows (AP-6) is grounded in the Solomons. 
  • August 30 - US Naval and Army forces occupy Adad in the Aleutians for an air and naval base.  The high speed transport USS Calhoun (APD-2) is sunk by a Japanese horizontal bomber in the Solomons. 
  • August 31 - The carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3) is damaged by a submarine torpedo 260 miles southeast of Guadalcanal.  The Japanese submarine RO-61 is sunk by the destroyer USS Reid (DD-369) and Naval land-based aircraft (VP-43) in the Aleutians. 
  • September 1 - Seabees arrive at Guadalcanal, the first to serve in an action area. Air Force, Pacific Fleet is established under Vice Admiral A.W. Fitch.  Japanese Prime Minister Tojo also becomes Foreign Minister as Shigenori Togo resigns. 
  • September 2 - Montgomery drives Rommel back at the Battle of Alam Halfa. 
  • September 5 - High speed transports USS Gregory (APD-3) and USS Little (APD-4) are sunk by surface ship gunfire in the Solomons. 
  • September 6 - The battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57) is damaged by hitting a coral reef in Lahai Passage, Tonga Islands. 
  • September 7 - US and Cuba conclude an agreement for naval and military cooperation. 
  • September 10 - The mouth of Chesapeake Bay is mined by a German U-boat. 
  • September 11 - The Japanese destroyer Yayoi is sunk by US Army and British aircraft off Normamby Island near New Guinea. 
  • September 12 - German aircraft and U-boats launch a sustained 10-day attack against a large Allied convoy to northern Russia.  US Navy is given operational control of the Brazilian Navy. 
  • September 13 - The Battle of Stalingrad begins. 
  • September 15 - The carrier task force under Rear Admiral Noyes covering the transport of reinforcement from Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides to Guadalcanal is attacked by two Japanese submarines.  The carrier USS Wasp (CV-7) is damaged by a torpedo and sunk by US forces. Also damaged are the battleship USS North Carolina (BB-55) and the destroyer USS O'Brien (DD-415). Guadalcanal is bombarded by Japanese battleships. 
  • September 16 - Attu in the Aleutians is evacuated by the Japanese.  Vice Admiral Ingam's command, formerly Task Force 23, is designated South Atlantic Force, Atlantic Fleet.  Patrol Wing 12 at Key West is commissioned for operations in the Gulf Sea Frontier. 
  • September 18 - The Seventh Marine Regiment reinforces Guadalcanal.  A German U-boat lays mines off Charleston, South Carolina. 
  • September 20 - US Naval Operating Base is established at Auckland, New Zealand. 
  • September 24 - Japanese forces land on Maiana in the Gilberts. 
  • September 25 - Japanese forces land on Beru in the Gilberts. 
  • September 27 - Japanese forces land on Kuria in the Gilberts.  The German raider Schiff No.23 (Stier) is sunk after being damaged by US merchant vessel USS Stephen Hopkins in the South Atlantic. 
  • September 28 - Army aircraft sink the Japanese submarine RO-65 near Kiska in the Aleutians. 
  • September 29 - The cargo ship USS Alena (AK-26) is damaged by a submarine torpedo in the Solomons. 
  • September 30 - The heavy cruiser USS San Francisco (CA-38) and the destroyer USS Breese (DD-122) are damaged in a collision in the New Hebrides. 
  • October 1 - Advanced Group, Amphibious Forces, Atlantic Fleet becomes Amphibious Forces, Europe under the Commander US Naval Forces Europe Admiral H.R. Stark. 
  • October 2 - US Marines occupy Funafuti in the Ellice Islands.  The German submarine U-512 is sunk by army aircraft off of French Guiana. 
  • October 5 - Faisi and the Buin-Tonolei area of Bougainville in the Solomons is bombed by carrier-based aircraft. 
  • October 11 - Battle of Savo Island.  Surface forces under Rear Admiral Scott attack Japanese cruisers and destroyers headed for Guadalcanal.  The cruisers USS Salt Lake City (CA-25) and USS Boise (CL-47) and the destroyers USS Duncan (DD-485) and USS Farenholt (DD-491) are damaged by naval gunfire.  The Japanese destroyer Fubuki is sunk and two Japanese cruisers and another destroyer are damaged. 
  • October 12 - Battle of Savo Island.  The destroyer USS Duncan (DD-485) is sunk by naval gunfire.  The Japanese cruiser Furutaka and destroyers Natsugumo and Murakumo are sunk by Naval and Marine aircraft. 
  • October 13 - The 164th Infantry Regiment of the US Army Americal Division reinforces the First Marine Division on Guadalcanal. 
  • October 14 - Guadalcanal is bombarded by Japanese cruisers and battleships. The Japanese destroyer screen is engaged by motor torpedo boats. 
  • October 15 - The destroyer USS Meredith (DD-434) is sunk by an aircraft torpedo off San Cristobal in the Solomons.  US Submarine base is established at Fremantle-Perth in Australia.  Patrol Wing 14, for operations in Western Sea Frontier, is established at San Diego. 
  • October 16 - The carrier task force under Rear Admiral Murray strikes Japanese troops on Guadalcanal and Japanese seaplanes at Rekata Bay, Santa Isabel in the Solomons.  The seaplane tender USS McFarland (AVD-14) is damaged by dive bombers in the Solomons.  The Japanese destroyer Oboro is sunk by Army aircraft in the Aleutians. 
  • October 18 - Vice Admiral Ghormley relieved as Commander South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force by Admiral Halsey.  Hitler orders the execution of all British commandos taken prisoner. 
  • October 19 - The destroyer USS O'Brien (DD-415), enroute to the US for battle repairs, breaks in two and sinks off of Samoa.  The submarine USS Gar (SS-206) lays mines in the northern Gulf of Siam. 
  • October 20 - The heavy cruiser USS Chester (CA-27) is damaged by a submarine torpedo between San Cristobal in the Solomons and Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides. 
  • October 21 - The destroyer USS Grayson (DD-435) is damaged in a collision in the Solomons. 
  • October 22 - Naval Air Facility is established at Otter Point, Alaska. 
  • October 23 - Second Battle of El Alamien begins. 
  • October 25 - The submarine USS Whale (SS-239) lays mines at the entrance to the Inland Sea off Honshu, Japan.  The Submarine USS Amberjack (SS-219) lands Army personnel and supplies at Tulagi in the Solomons.  The tug USS Seminole (AT-65) is sunk by naval gunfire off of Guadalcanal.  The destroyer USS Hughes (DD-410) is accidentally damaged by friendly fire in the Solomons.  The high-speed minesweeper USS Zane (DMS-14) is damaged by naval gunfire in the Sealark Channel off of Guadalcanal.  The Japanese light cruiser Yura is damaged by US aircraft off of Santa Isabel in the Solomons and scuttled. 
  • October 26 - Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.  The carrier task forces under Rear Admirals Kinkaid and Murray close with a numerically superior Japanese force.  Heavy damage is inflicted on US forces, but immediate Japanese  movement towards Guadalcanal is checked.  US vessels damaged include the carriers USS Enterprise (CV-6) and USS Hornet (CV-8), the battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57), the light cruiser USS San Juan (CL-54) and the destroyers USS Porter (DD-356), USS Smith (DD-378) and USS Hughes (DD-410).  Porter was then scuttled.  The Battle of Henderson Field on Guadalcanal ends as Marines repulse Japanese land and air attacks.  
  • October 27 - The carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) is sunk by dive bombers, torpedo bombers and destroyer torpedoes in the Solomons.  The battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57) and the destroyer USS Mahan (DD-365) are damaged in a collision in the Solomons. 
  • October 29 - The submarine USS Grenadier (SS-210) lays mines in the Tonkin Gulf, off of French Indochina. 
  • October 30 - Japanese positions at Point Cruz on Guadalcanal are bombarded by a cruiser and destroyer force.  Attu in the Aleutians is invaded by a second Japanese force. 
  • November 1 - Patrol Wings are redesignated Fleet Air Wings.  The Allies break the Axis lines at El Alamien during Operation Supercharge. 
  • November 2 - The submarines USS Tambor (SS-198) and USS Tautog (SS-199) lay mines in the Tonkin Gulf and south of Cape Padaran, French Indochina, respectively.  Fleet Air Wing 6 is commissioned at Seattle for multi-engine aircraft training. 
  • November 4 - Japanese positions near Koli Point on Guadalcanal are bombarded by US cruisers and destroyers. 
  • November 5 - The German submarine U-408 is sunk by naval land-based aircraft (VP-84) off of Iceland. 
  • November 6 - The transport USS Zeilin (AP-9) is damaged by a dive bomber in the Solomons. 
  • November 7 - Two Japanese destroyers off of Guadalcanal are damaged by aircraft from Henderson Field.  The transport USS Thomas Stone is damaged by a submarine torpedo in the western Mediterranean.  Army aircraft sink the Italian submarine Antonio Sciesa off the coast of Libya. 
  • November 8 - Operation Torch.  The Allied Expeditionary Force, under General Eisenhower, lands at Casablanca, Oran and Algiers.  The battleship USS Massachusetts (BB-59), heavy cruiser USS Wichita (CA-45), destroyers USS Ludlow (DD-438) and USS Murphy (DD-603) and high speed minesweeper USS Palmer (DMS-5) are damaged by gunfire from coastal defense guns during the landings.  The high speed minesweeper USS Stansbury (DMS-8) is damaged by a mine and the transport USS Leedstown (AP-73) is damaged by an aircraft torpedo, both off of North Africa.  Motor torpedo boats damage Japanese destroyer by torpedo attack, off Guadalcanal.  
  • November 9 - The transport USS Leedstown (AP-73) is sunk by submarine and aircraft torpedoes and horizontal bomber near Algiers. 
  • November 10 - Oran surrenders to Allied forces.  US Naval vessels and carrier aircraft engage French Naval forces at Casablanca.  A German U-boat lays mines off of New York.  The Japanese submarine I-72 is sunk by the high speed mine sweeper USS Southard (DMS-10) in the Solomons.  US Naval Station is established at Puerto Castillo, Honduras. 
  • November 11 - Casablanca surrenders to Allied forces.  The Allied-French armistice is signed.  US Naval Operating Base is established at Oran.  German troops occupy France south to the Mediterranean.  Italian troops land on Corsica and move into France.  The transport USS Joseph Hewes (AP-50) is sunk and the destroyer USS Hambleton (DD-455) and the oiler USS Winooki (AO-38) are damaged by submarine torpedoes at Fedala Roads, North Africa. 
  • November 12 - Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.  Japanese aircraft attack the US transports, protected by air and surface forces, unloading troops in Lunga Roads, Guadalcanal.  The heavy cruiser USS San Francisco (CA-38) and the destroyer USS Buchanan (DD-484) are damaged.  The transports USS Tasker H. Bliss (AP-42), USS Hugh L. Scott (AP-43) and USS Edward Rutledge (AP-52) are torpedoed and sunk off Morocco.  The gunboat USS Erie (PG-50) is sunk by a submarine torpedo in the Caribbean.  The Japanese submarine I-22 is sunk by PT-122 southwest of New Guinea.  US Naval Operating Base is established at Casablanca. 
  • November 13 - Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. The Landing Support Group under Rear Admiral Callaghan encounters a Japanese raiding group, including two battleships, steaming to bombard Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. A devastating naval battle ensues in the darkness.  Heavy damage is inflicted on US forces before the Japanese raiding group retires northward.  The carrier force under Rear Admiral Kinkaid arrives close to the battle area and launches air search and attacks against the Japanese.  US vessels sunk include the light cruisers USS Atlanta (CL-51) and USS Juneau (CL-52) and the destroyers USS Cushing (DD-376), USS Monssen (DD-436) and USS Laffey (DD-459).  Other US vessels damaged include the heavy cruiser USS Portland (CA-33), light cruiser USS Helena (CL-50), and the destroyers USS Sterett (DD-407), USS O'Bannon (DD-450) and USS Aaron Ward (DD-483).  The Japanese lost the battleship Hiei and the destroyers Akatsuki and Yudachi
  • November 14 - Motor torpedo boats attack Japanese cruisers and destroyers engaged in night bombardment of Henderson Field.  When this force retires, it's struck by Marine and Naval aircraft from Henderson Field and the carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6).  The same aircraft sink seven Japanese transports during the afternoon. Then, beginning shortly before midnight and continuing on the fifteenth, a battleship force under Rear Admiral Lee, composed of 2 battleships and 3 destroyers, turns back a large Japanese Naval Group.  The destroyers USS Preston (DD-379) and USS Walke (DD-416) are sunk.  The Japanese lose the heavy cruiser Kinugasa
  • November 15 - Naval Battle of Guadalcanal ends.  Although the United States suffered greater loss in warships, the Japanese withdrew and never again sent large naval forces into the waters around Guadalcanal; the ultimate outcome of the struggle for the island was decided.  The destroyer USS Henham (DD-397) was damaged by a torpedo and scuttled.  The battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57) and the destroyer USS Gwin (DD-433) are damaged by naval gunfire.  The Japanese lose the battleship Kirishima and the destroyer Ayanami, both to naval gunfire. Off of North Africa, the cargo ships USS Electra (AK-21) and USS Almaack (AK-27) are torpedoed and sunk by submarines. 
  • November 16 - US forces land south of Buna on New Guinea.  The German submarine U-173 is sunk by the destroyers USS Woolsey (DD-437), USS Swanson (DD-443) and USS Quick (DD-490) off of Casablanca. 
  • November 17 - Naval Air Station is established at De Land, Florida. 
  • November 19 - Russians begin a counter-offensive at Stalingrad. 
  • November 24 - Japanese forces land at Munda Point, New Georgia in the Solomons. The Japanese destroyer Hayashio is sunk by Army aircraft off Lae, New Guinea. The transport USS Thomas Stone (AP-59) is damaged by a horizontal bomber off North Africa. 
  • November 25 - The transport USS Thomas Stone (AP-59) is damaged by grounding, beached and abandoned, North Africa. 
  • November 27 - French Fleet at Toulon is scuttled. 
  • November 28 - The cargo ship USS Alchiba (AK-23) is damaged by a submarine torpedo at Lunga Point, Guadalcanal. 
  • November 30 - Battle of Tassafaronga. A US cruiser and destroyer force under Rear Admiral Wright engages Japanese destroyers under Rear Admiral Tanaka off Tassafaronga Point, Guadalcanal.  The heavy cruisers USS Pensacola (CA-24), USS Northampton (CA-26), USS New Orleans (CA-32) and USS Minneapolis (CA-36) are damaged by torpedoes.  The Japanese destroyer Takanami is sunk. 
  • December 1 - The heavy cruiser USS Northampton (CA-26) sinks as a result of torpedo damage received on November 29th.  Fleet Air Wing 15 is commissioned at Norfolk for service at Port Lyautey, French Morocco. 
  • December 2 - Naval Operating Base and Naval Air Facility are established at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Professor Enrico Fermi sets up an atomic reactor in Chicago. 
  • December 3 - Japanese destroyers, enroute to Guadalcanal are attacked by aircraft from Henderson Field.  One destroyer is damaged. 
  • December 5 - The ocean tug USS Grebe (ATO-134) is grounded and sunk south of Fiji Island. 
  • December 7 - Japanese destroyers, carrying reinforcements to Guadalcanal, are attacked by aircraft from Henderson Field; two destroyers are damaged. 
  • December 8 - Motor torpedo boats attack and turn back Japanese destroyers attempting to reinforce Guadalcanal. 
  • December 9 - Aircraft from Henderson Field begin what becomes virtually daily attacks on Japanese installations at Munda Point, New Georgia in the Solomons. The Japanese submarine I-3 is sunk by PY-59 off Cape Esperance, Guadalcanal. Major General A.M. Patch relieves Major General A.A. Vandegrift as commander of Army and Marine troops on Guadalcanal. 
  • December 10 - The German submarine U-611 is sunk by naval land-based aircraft (VP-84) in the north Atlantic. 
  • December 11 - Naval aircraft from Henderson Field attack Japanese destroyers north of New Georgia in the Solomons. 
  • December 12 - Motor torpedo boats attack Japanese destroyers off Cape Esperance, Guadalcanal.  For the loss of PT-44, they sink the destroyer Terutsuki
  • December 13 - Rommel withdraws from El Alamien. 
  • December 14 - The submarine USS Sunfish (SS-281) lays mines in the entrance to Iseno Umi, Japan.  Fleet Air Command is established at Noumea, New Caledonia. 
  • December 15 - The German submarine U-626 is sunk by the Coast Guard cutter USS Ingham (PC-35) in the North Atlantic. 
  • December 16 - The Japanese submarine I-15 is sunk by naval land-based aircraft (VS-55) in the Solomons.  The Russians defeat the Italians on the River Don. 
  • December 17 - The submarines USS Drum (SS-228) and USS Sunfish (SS-281) lay mines in Japanese home waters.  The Coast Guard converted trawler Natsek (PG-170) founders and sinks in Belle Isle Strait off Newfoundland.  British Foreign Secretary Eden tells the House of Commons of the mass executions of Jews by the Nazis.  The US declares those crimes will be avenged. 
  • December 18 - The submarine USS Albacore (SS-218) sinks the Japanese light cruiser Tenryu in the Bismark Sea. 
  • December 20 - The submarine USS Seadragon (SS-194) sinks the Japanese submarine I-4 in near New Britain.  The submarine USS Trigger (SS-237) lays mines in Japanese home waters.  The gunboat USS Tulsa (PG-22) is damaged by grounding in the eastern New Guinea area. 
  • December 22 - Japanese patrol boat No.35 is sunk by the submarine USS Greenling (SS-213) in the Solomons. 
  • December 24 - Aircraft from Henderson Field heavily attack Japanese troop-laden barges.  In the North Africa area, the transports USS Florence Nightingale (AP-70) and USS Thurston (AP-77) collide and sink. 
  • December 26 - Naval aircraft attack Japanese transports at Wickham Anchorage in New Georgia.  The strike is repeated on the 27th. 
  • December 29 - The high speed minesweeper USS Wasmuth (DMS-15) is sunk by the  explosion of two of her own depth charges, during a gale in the Aleutians. 
  • December 30 - The submarine USS Searaven (SS-196) lands agents on the southern coast of Ceram Island in the Netherlands East Indies. 
  • December 31 - The carrier USS Essex (CV-9) is commissioned at Portsmouth, Virginia. British and German ships fight the Battle of the Barents Sea. 
 

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