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Selected: May 17
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1933 — , May 17

  • CBI - China: Day 137 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1934 — , May 17

  • Germany: Jews are no longer allowed any national health insurance benefits.

1937 — , May 17

  • Spain: Day 305 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War. Dr Juan Negrin becomes the new Spanish Prime Minister. His government will be dominated by Communists.

1938 — , May 17

  • USA: Congress passes the Naval Expansion Act to create a two-ocean Navy.
  • Spain: Day 670 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 315 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 100 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.

1939 — , May 17

  • Europe: Sweden, Norway and Finland reject Germany's offer of non-aggression pacts. However, Denmark accepts.
  • CBI - China: Day 680 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 28 of 35 of the Battle of Suizao.
  • CBI - Mongolia: Day 7 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.

1940 — , May 17

  • USA: President Roosevelt announces plans for recommissioning 35 additional flush deck destroyers to meet the requirements of fleet expansion and the Neutrality Patrol.
  • ETO - Norway: Day 39 of 63 of the Battle of Norway.
  • ETO: Day 8 of 8 of the Battle of The Netherlands. All resistance has come to an end.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 8 of 19 of the Battle of Belgium. Brussels, Louvain and Malines are now occupied by the German 6th Army.
  • ETO - France: Day 8 of 44 of the Battle of France. Colonel Charles de Gaulle launches a 200-tank counter-attack at Montcornet. Their initial success is quickly countered and driven back. French Prime Minister Pierre Laval is replaced by Paul Reynaud who forms a new government.
  • ETO - Germany: German oil storage facilities in Bremen and Hamburg are destroyed by the RAF. The British have shot down 1,000 Luftwaffe planes in the past week.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,046 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 185 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
    • Day 17 of 49 of the Battle of Yichang.

1941 — , May 17

  • USA: Arthur Compton and the US National Academy of Sciences publish a report noting the success rate of developing an atomic weapon is favorable. On the same day, Vannevar Bush creates the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD).
  • Atlantic: German sub U-107 attacks the Dutch tanker MARISA, then allows the 47 survivors to abandon ship before sinking her with guns.
  • ETO - UK: Day 254 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • ETO - UK: Pilot Officer Mike Kolendorski, an American serving in the RAF, becomes the first American in the Eagle Squadron to be killed.
  • ETO - Germany: The RAF bombs Bramsfeld hitting the Atlantik rubber plant.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 38 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk. The Germans counter-attack near Bir Wair and Musaid, causing the British to withdraw into Halfaya Pass in Egypt. The Australian destroyer HMAS VAMPIRE delivers fresh Australian troops and artillery pieces to Tobruk, Libya. Within five hours the artillery pieces are already on the front lines.
  • Middle East: Day 16 of 30 of the Anglo-Iraqi War in Iraq. The Sonderkommando Junck, German Luftwaffe fighters, bombers and transport planes with Iraqi markings, begin attacking British positions and airfields.
  • East Africa: Day 342 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. The Duke of Aosta, Viceroy of Italian East Africa, formally surrenders Amba Alagi, Abyssinia, to the British.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,411 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 11 of 21 of the Battle of South Shanxi.

1942 — , May 17

  • Atlantic: Day 124 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
  • ETO - UK: Air Marshal Harris gets permission from Churchill for a 1,000 bomber raid on Germany. However, at the time the RAF only has 500 bombers.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 252 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 99 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 13 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 6 of 17 of the 2nd Battle of Kharkov, Ukraine. The Germans make another counter-attack on the Soviet left flank and start making gains.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 200 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 10 of 12 of the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula, Crimea. German troops capture large numbers of artillery pieces and munitions around Kerch, which will later be used against Sevastopol.
  • East Africa: Day 13 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 155 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,776 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 3 of 124 of Japan's Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign, launched to punish anyone suspected of aiding the Doolittle raiders in China. Roughly 250,000 Chinese will be killed.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 88 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.

1943 — , May 17

  • ETO - UK: The B-17 Flying Fortress MEMPHIS BELLE becomes the third heavy bomber in the 8th Air Force to fly 25-missions. The aircraft and many of the crew that flew her will be returned to the US and tour the country on a 31-city War Bond drive.
    Spotlight...

    Morgan's Crew and the MEMPHIS BELLE

    Morgan's Crew of the 91st Bomb Group, 324th Bomb Squadron, based at Bassingbourn, England, became the third in the 8th Air Force to complete a 25-mission tour of duty. 21 of their 25 missions were flown in the B-17 Flying Fortress MEMPHIS BELLE, which they felt was "their" plane. The BELLE would fly one more mission with another crew (Anderson's Crew) before returning to the US.

    The MEMPHIS BELLE would become quite famous, due not only to the War Bond tour, but both the 1944 documentary film and the 1990 theatrical movie.

    Related dates (completed tours of duty)...

    Related WWII Store items...

  • ETO - UK: The Luftwaffe carries out a night raid against Cardiff in Wales.
  • ETO - Netherlands: US 8th Air Force B-26s make a low level bombing raid on Haarlem and Ijmuiden.
  • ETO - France: US 8th Air Force B-17s bomb the port area and U-boat base at Lorient and targets at Bordeaux.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 617 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 378 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • MTO - Yugoslavia: The Germans launch a fifth air offensive in effort to destroy Tito's partisans.
  • MTO - Italy: US 12th Air Force RAF Wellingtons bomb the seaplane base at Lido di Roma.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,141 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 6 of 23 of the Battle of West Hubei.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 345 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. Day 7 of 20 of the Battle of Attu. US 11th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 26 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.

1944 — , May 17

  • Russian Front - North: Day 106 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops remain in their defensive positions.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 40 of 60 of the Battle of Romania, 1st Jassy Offensive.
  • MTO: US 15th Air Force B-17s and B-24s hit targets in Italy and Yugoslavia.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 122 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support. Day 7 of 8 of Operation DIADEM. The French penetration is now 25 miles deep. Polish troops start driving the Germans out of Cassino.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 117 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 74 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY. The Japanese attack on the Blackpool site is repulsed.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 69 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support. US, Chinese and Kachin troops capture the airfield at Myitkyina.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 47 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,507 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 31 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
    • Day 31 of 39 of the Battle of Central Henan, the first offensive in Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
  • CBI - India: Day 71 of 118 of the Battle of Imphal-Kohima. The Japanese start putting together a two-pronged attack toward Bishenpur.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: The US 7th Air Force bombs targets at Ponape Islands.
  • PTO - Mariana Islands: The USS TUNNY intercepts the 3-ship, 3-destroyer Japanese convoy and is able to sink the NICHIWA MARU.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 79 of 80 of the Battle of the Admiralty Islands. 5th Air Force provides air support. US troops land on the northern coast, 125 miles to the west of Hollandia.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 155 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 26 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 199 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , May 17

  • CBI - China: Day 2,872 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 47 of 91 of the Battle of Zhijiang. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
    • Day 39 of 60 of the Battle of West Hunan (near Zhijiang). Japanese troops continue withdrawing from southern China.
  • PTO - Dutch East Indies: Day 17 of 52 of the Battle of Tarakan Island.
  • PTO - Formosa: US 5th Air Force bombs at Nanseiho and Matsuyama.
  • PTO - Japan: US 20th Air Force B-29s attack the urban area of Nagoya in the last great attack on this city.
  • PTO - Japan: US 7th Air Force hits the airfield at Atsugi.
  • PTO - Japan: Day 47 of 83 of the Battle of Okinawa.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: US Navy fighters from the USS TICONDEROGA attack Taroa in the Maloelap Atoll.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 507 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 391 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 209 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: The Mexican 201st Expeditionary Squadron with P-47 Thunderbolts begins operations from Clark Field.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 154 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 69 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 61 of 135 of the Battle of the Visayas region. US 5th and 7th Air Forces provide air support.

Day-By-Day listings for May 17 were last modified on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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