CBI - China: Day 108 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.
1933 — , January 3
CBI - China: Day 3 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.
1937 — , January 3
Spain: Day 171 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1938 — , January 3
Spain: Day 536 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 181 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 26 of 54 of the Battle of Nanking.
Day 22 of 50 of the Rape of Nanking.
1939 — , January 3
Spain: Day 901 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 546 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1940 — , January 3
Finland: Day 35 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War.
Finland: Day 3 of 7 of the Battle of Raate Road in central Finland.
CBI - China: Day 911 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 50 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
1941 — , January 3
USA: President Roosevelt announces a $350 million shipbuilding program — the Liberty Ships.
The Liberty Ship SS JEREMIAH O'BRIEN
Though British in conception, Liberty Ships were cheap and quick to build, and came to symbolize US wartime industrial output. They were based on vessels ordered by Britain to replace ships torpedoed by German U-boats. Eighteen American shipyards built 2,710 Libertys between 1941 and 1945, easily the largest number of ships produced from a single design.
The ships were constructed of modular sections that were welded together (riveted ships took several months to construct). The work force was newly trained no one had previously built welded ships. As America entered the war, the shipbuilding yards employed women to replace men who were enlisting in the armed forces.
The ships initially had a poor public image due to their less-than-stylish appearance. In a speech announcing the emergency shipbuilding program, President Franklin D Roosevelt had referred to the ship as "a dreadful looking object" and Time magazine called it an "Ugly Duckling."
However, the immense effort to build Liberty Ships, the sheer number of ships built, and the fact that some of the ships survived far longer than the original design life of five years, make them the subject of much interest to this day.
Dates related to Liberty Ships...
03 Jan 41: FDR announces the $350 million Liberty Ship program
27 Sep 41: "Liberty Fleet Day" declared as first 14 are launched
12 Nov 42: SS ROBERT E PEARY is completed in record time
15 Jan 44: Liberty Ship SS CAROLE LOMBARD is christened
20 Apr 44: SS PAUL HAMILTON hit by aerial torpedo and explodes
09 Apr 45: SS CHARLES HENDERSON explodes in Italian harbor
ETO - UK: Day 120 of 258 of the Blitz. After suffering heavy losses, the Italian Air Force withdraws its aircraft from supporting the German Luftwaffe in the Blitz.
MTO - Italy: The Luftwaffe's X Fliegerkorps arrives in Italy.
MTO - North Africa: Day 26 of 63 of the UK's Operation COMPASS, their campaign in North Africa against the Italians in Egypt and Libya. The Australian 6th Division breaks through the Italian defenses around Bardia, Libya.
East Africa: Day 208 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,277 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
CBI - Thailand: Day 95 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).
1942 — , January 3
Russian Front - North: Day 118 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 94 of 98 of the Battle of Moscow.
Russian Front - South: Day 66 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All further German attacks against the Crimean fortress of Sevastopol are stopped for the winter.
CBI - Burma: Day 21 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
CBI - China: Day 1,642 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 11 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
CBI - Malaya: Day 27 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya.
PTO: Churchill and Roosevelt announce the unified ABDA (American, British, Dutch and Australian) Command in the Southwest Pacific.
PTO - Borneo: Day 19 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
PTO - Philippines: Day 27 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines.
1943 — , January 3
ETO - France: US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s attack the St Nazaire U-Boat base.
Russian Front - North: Day 483 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 46 of 59 of the Battle of Velikiye Luki, near Leningrad. This stalemate does help ease the siege a little, but mostly it keeps German troops from being sent to other fronts.
Russian Front - North: Day 244 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket, USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
Russian Front - South: Day 135 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
Russian Front - South: Day 23 of 69 of the USSR's Operation LITTLE SATURN. A successful drive into the Northern Caucasus and the Donets Basin pushing the Axis troops out. German Army Group A begins a general withdrawal from the Caucasus.
MTO - Greece: US 9th Air Force and RAF Baltimores bomb Suda Bay, Timbakion Airfield and Kapistri.
MTO - Tunisia: Day 48 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. Vichy French troops retreat from Fondouk el Aouareb. US 9th and 12th Air Forces provide Allied air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 14 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,007 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 211 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - Malaya: Day 319 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 46 of 66 of the Battle of Buna-Gona. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 150 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.
1944 — , January 3
PTO - New Guinea: Top US Marine ace Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington is shot down by a Japanese Zero near Rabaul, New Britain Island, but will survive the war as a POW.
This spotlight is under construction. Be patient.
World War II photo of then-Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington
03 Jan 44: Marine ace Pappy Boyington is shot down, taken POW
20 Aug 45: POWs at Tokyo Base Camp #1 are told the war is over
29 Aug 45: Pappy Boyington is found alive in a Japanese POW camp
ETO - UK: Monty is reported to be back in Britain in order to take command of the British contingent of the Allied Expeditionary Force.
ETO - Germany: Day 47 of 135 of the Battle of Berlin (RAF bombing campaign). Solingen and Essen are attacked by eight Mosquitos. No losses.
Russian Front - North: Day 848 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 609 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket. USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
Russian Front - South: Day 11 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 11 of 22 of the Battle of Zhitomir, Russia. This will create a 70 mile gap in the German line.
MTO - Yugoslavia : US 12th Air Force B-25s bomb at Prijedor, Split and Sibenik.
MTO - Italy: The US 5th Army begins an offensive against the German troops entrenched in the Gustav Line along the Rapido river, with its center at Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
CBI - Burma: Day 5 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
CBI - Burma: US 10th Air Force attacks at Yenangyaung and Sahmaw.
CBI - China: Day 2,372 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
US 14th Air Force attacks targets at Lampang and Pingkai.
PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force bombs targets on the Mille Atoll.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 107 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 104 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 20 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 64 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands.
1945 — , January 3
ETO - France: Day 156 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
ETO - France: Day 111 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
ETO - Belgium: Day 19 of 41 of the Battle of the Bulge. The US 1st Army counter-attacks on the northern side of the Ardennes salient. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
ETO - Belgium: Day 4 of 26 of Operation NORDWIND, the last major German offensive of World War II on the Western Front.
ETO - Germany: Day 107 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-24s and B-17s attack targets in western Germany.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 111 of 223 of the Lapland War. Finland and Russia have joined forces to kick the Germans out of Finland's most northern province.
Russian Front - Center: Day 81 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 74 of 99 of the Siege of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia.
Russian Front - South: Day 67 of 108 of the Battle of Budapest, Hungary.
MTO - Italy: US and Royal Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground units.
CBI - Burma: Day 278 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. British troops take Akyab in western Burma, unopposed. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,738 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
US 14th Air Force hit an airfield at Tsinan and sink several river steamers in the Hankow-Chiuchiang area.
PTO: General MacArthur is placed in command of all US ground forces and Admiral Nimitz in command of all naval forces for the upcoming assaults on Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Japan itself.
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Douglas MacArthur related dates...
28 Jul 32: Ordered by Hoover to clear DC of WWI veterans' Bonus Army
24 Aug 36: Granted title of Field Marshal in the Philippine Army
26 Jul 41: Recalled into active service as commander of units in Far East
22 Feb 42: Ordered by FDR to leave the Philippines