WWII Day-By-Day
Selected: May 19
       Overview of WWII on May 19 by year...

1933 — , May 19

  • CBI - China: Day 139 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1935 — , May 19

  • UK: T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) dies after being involved in a motorcycle accident six days earlier.

1937 — , May 19

  • Spain: Day 307 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , May 19

  • Spain: Day 672 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 317 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 102 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.

1939 — , May 19

  • CBI - China: Day 682 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 30 of 35 of the Battle of Suizao. Chinese troops capture Zaoyang.
  • CBI - Mongolia: Day 9 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.

1940 — , May 19

  • Atlantic: German sub U-37 sinks the Swedish merchant vessel ERIK FRISELL off Scotland.
  • ETO - UK: By this date, the RAF has lost over half of the planes they had deployed to France and Belgium. To retain strength for a potential invasion of Britain, the RAF begins recalling their remaining squadrons back home.
  • ETO - Norway: Day 41 of 63 of the Battle of Norway.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 10 of 19 of the Battle of Belgium. All Allied troops are cut off.
  • ETO - France: Day 10 of 44 of the Battle of France. Germans capture the territories between Saint-Quentin and Péronne.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,048 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 187 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
    • Day 19 of 49 of the Battle of Yichang.

1941 — , May 19

  • Atlantic: German sub U-96 sinks the British ship EMPIRE RIDGE 50 miles northwest of Ireland.
  • Atlantic: Egyptian liner ZAMZAM is sunk by Germans in the South Atlantic; the passenger list includes over 200 Americans.
  • ETO - UK: Day 256 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • ETO - France: Vichy France announces the release and repatriation of 100,000 French POWs.
  • Germany: "Guidelines for the behavior of the troops in Russia" demands that German soldiers use "ruthless and energetic action against Bolshevik agitators, guerrillas, saboteurs (and) Jews" and approves the complete liquidation of any "active or passive resistance."
  • MTO - Greece: The Luftwaffe attacks British airfields on Crete. To prevent total destruction, the RAF begins evacuating all aircraft and personnel from Crete to Egypt.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 40 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
  • Middle East: Day 18 of 30 of the Anglo-Iraqi War in Iraq. Iraqis surrender the town of Fallujah. The Luftwaffe bombs RAF Habbaniya while the RAF bombs the airport in Baghdad.
  • East Africa: Day 344 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. 4,777 Italian and colonial troops formally surrender at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia, parading out of the fortress with rifles on their shoulders. British Army Sergeant Nigel Leakey, killed in action while single-handedly knocking out Italian tanks in Abyssinia, is awarded the Victoria Cross.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,413 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 13 of 21 of the Battle of South Shanxi.

1942 — , May 19

  • Atlantic: Day 126 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
    • U-506 sinks the US freighter HEREDIA southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana.
    • Between New Orleans and Havana, Cuba, U-103 sinks the US freighter OGONTZA.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 254 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 101 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 15 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • Russian Front - Center: Soviet partisans blow up the railway tracks between Bryansk and Roslavl at five sections to disrupt German Army Group Centre. Hungarian security troops move in to punish the Soviet partisans and do so by killing everyone in the local villages. An irritated Josef Goebbels write in his diary, "In consequence, we can hardly get any agricultural work done in such regions."
  • Russian Front - South: Day 8 of 17 of the 2nd Battle of Kharkov, Ukraine. The Germans make a break in the Soviet lines.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 202 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 12 of 12 of the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula, Crimea. The Soviets call off their offensive and fall back to regroup.
  • East Africa: Day 15 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 157 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,778 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 5 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 - Hawaii: US intelligence decodes Japanese messages regarding a major upcoming action at unknown AF. The US base at Midway Island is ordered to send out a false, unencrypted message about having a water shortage there to see if Japanese radio traffic will then pass on "AF" and thus identify it as Midway, which they will do tomorrow. Preparations will then be made to engage the Japanese at what will be the Battle of Midway between the 4th and 7th of June, the most important naval battle of the Pacific campaign.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 90 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island. US 5th Air Force B-17s bomb shipping in Koepang Bay.

1943 — , May 19

  • Atlantic: In the North Atlantic, as German submarines began to form an attack formation against an Allied convoy, RAF B-24 Liberators hit them, breaking up the attack.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-17s bomb the U-boat yards at Kiel.
  • Germany: German propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels declares Berlin Judenfrei (Free of Jews). However, about 2,000 to 3,000 Jews are still hiding in Berlin while another 18,000 of mixed heritage are living in Berlin legally.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 619 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 380 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • MTO - Tunisia: After 2 days of sand storms, US 9th Air Force is airborne again flying escort for ships in area east of Kelibia off Cap Bon peninsula.
  • MTO - Italy: US 12th Air Force attacks targets in Sardinia and Sicily.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,143 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 8 of 23 of the Battle of West Hubei.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 347 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. Day 9 of 20 of the Battle of Attu. US 11th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Gilbert Islands: The USS POLLACK sinks the Japanese ship BANGKOK MARU.
  • PTO - Japan: The USS GAR sinks a Japanese sampan in daylight with her deck gun.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 28 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.

1944 — , May 19

  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb targets in Berlin and Brunswick. 16 B-17s, 12 B-24s, 4 P-38s, 4 P-47s and 11 P-51s are lost while the Luftwaffe loses 77 planes.

    Two German soldiers in front of the smoldering
    wreckage of the B-24 Liberator 44-40171 "Boomerang"

    Among the B-24 Liberators shot down this day was the "Boomerang" of the 492nd Bomb Group, piloted by Charles Arnett (Arnett Crew 717), whose sons Paul and David Arnett are the people behind this ScanningWWII website.

    On a mission to Brunswick, Germany, the 492nd Bomb Group was attacked by 40 ME-109 Messerschmitts. Eight B-24s were lost that day, including the Boomerang, flown by the Arnett Crew 717, which was shot up and within the hour forced to make a crash landing in a field near the small town of Tuitjenhorn in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. Top turret gunner Sgt Uriel Robertson was killed in the rough landing. Everyone else was quickly taken prisoner.

    Our Tribute to the 492nd's Mission 5 to Brunswick...

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    Charles W Arnett

    Charles Arnett

    The 492nd Bomb Group has a special place in the hearts of brothers Paul and David Arnett, the two guys behind this ScanningWWII website. Their father, Charles Arnett, served in the 492nd BG as the pilot of a B-24 Liberator. He was shot down on his third mission and spent a year as a POW at Stalag Luft III where the "Great Escape" took place. It is because of our love for him that we developed a passion for WWII.

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  • ETO - UK: The House of Commons is informed that 47 RAF officers were shot while escaping from Stalag Luft III during the "Great Escape" on 24 Mar 44.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 108 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops remain in their defensive positions.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 42 of 60 of the Battle of Romania, 1st Jassy Offensive.
  • MTO: Joel Brand of the Hungarian Zionist Relief and Rescue Committee and Gestapo agent Bandi Grosz (alias Andre Gyorgy) arrive in Istanbul, Turkey, to deliver a message to the Allied powers. Germany will spare the lives of 700,000 Hungarian Jews if the Allies will provide Germany with 10,000 trucks, 2 million bars of soap, 800 tons of coffee, 200 tons of cocoa and 800 tons of tea. The British government concludes that it is a German scheme to install suspicion in the Soviet Union toward the Western Allies.
  • MTO - Italy: Polish troops launch an attack on Monte Cassino itself.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 119 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support. British troops capture the airfield at Aquino southeast of Rome.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 76 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 71 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support. The Chinese troops attacking Myitkyina get even more confused and now there are three Chinese battalions fighting each other.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 49 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,509 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 33 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
    • Day 33 of 39 of the Battle of Central Henan, the first offensive in Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
  • CBI - India: Day 73 of 118 of the Battle of Imphal-Kohima. The Anglo-Indian attack on Naga is repulsed with heavy casualties.
  • PTO - Japan: The USS HOE claims to have sunk one Japanese ship and damaged another.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: The US 7th Air Force bombs targets on Ponape Island and Nanru Island.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 157 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 28 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 201 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , May 19

  • Germany: Alfred Rosenberg, one of the main authors of key Nazi ideological creeds, is captured at Flensburg. At Nuremburg he will be tried, sentenced to death and executed by hanging as a war criminal.
  • Soviet Union: Stalin denies that his troops have been arresting Polish leaders for political reasons.
  • Middle East: French troops land in Syria and Lebanon. Arab nationalists begin launching protest demonstrations against their landing.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,874 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 49 of 91 of the Battle of Zhijiang. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
    • Day 41 of 60 of the Battle of West Hunan (near Zhijiang). Japanese troops continue withdrawing from southern China.
  • PTO - Alaska: US 11th Air Force bombs at Minami Cape and a cannery on the Naka River on Shimushu Island.
  • PTO - Dutch East Indies: Day 19 of 52 of the Battle of Tarakan Island.
  • PTO - Formosa: US 5th Air Force bombs the Kiirun harbor.
  • PTO - Japan: US 20th Air Force B-29s bomb the city of Hamamatsu.
  • PTO - Japan: Day 49 of 83 of the Battle of Okinawa. The US 77th Division withdraws near the Ishimmi Ridge after suffering heavy casualties.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 509 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 393 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 211 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 156 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support. The US 43rd Division secures the Ipoh dam area north of Manila while the US 25th Division begins mopping up at Santa, Romblon.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 71 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 63 of 135 of the Battle of the Visayas region. US 5th and 7th Air Forces provide air support.

1949 — , May 19

  • China: Chen Cheng announces martial law in the Republic of China, which effectively puts the islands of Formosa (Taiwan), Penghu and other surrounding islands under Chinese control.

Day-By-Day listings for May 19 were last modified on Friday, March 9, 2018
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