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20th March 1943

WWII Timeline




Events On This Day

The British Royal Air Force (RAF) Whirlwinds bombers bombed railway viaduct at Morlaix, Brittany.

North Africa. The British Eighth Army began attack on Mareth positions comprising the remnants of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps and the Italian armies, during night of 20-21 March 1943.

In the Mediterranean. Allied heavy bombers made night raid on Naples.

In Burma. British troops made progress towards Donbaik, North West of Akyab.

Northwest African Air Forces (NAAF). Northwest African Tactical Bomber Force (NATBF) is formed under Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) with a small combined Headquarters which has under it 47th Bomber Group, 326 Wing (The British Royal Air Force (RAF)), and air echelons of 2 squadrons of 12 Bomber Group which are attached for operational control. B-26 Marauder medium bombers and B-25 Mitchell medium bombers launch consecutive attacks against landing ground at Djebel Tebaga. Other B-25 Mitchell medium bombers bomb shipping between Tunisia and Sicily. Fighters fly escort and carry out numerous reconnaissance missions as Eighth Army opens assault on Mareth Line.

Ninth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-25 Mitchell medium bombers bomb Mareth area. Antiaircraft is intense and all medium bombers suffer hits. P-40 fighters escort bombers and carry out fighter-bomber and top cover operations as British ground troops open assault on positions with infantry and artillery. 30 Corps gains bridgehead across Oued Zigzaou.

Tenth Air Force. 7 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-25 Mitchell medium bombers again attack Myitnge bridge, inflicting little additional damage to the structure.

Fifth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-25 Mitchell medium bombers bomb Langgoer and Kaimana. Landing strip at Finschhafen and harbour area at Salamaua are bombed by single B-24 Liberator heavy bombers.

Thirteenth Air Force. During 19-20 March 1943 Navy and Marine aircraft lay mines off Bougainville coast in Buin-Tonolai area while 18 B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers and B-24 Liberator heavy bombers pound Kahili airfield in diversionary strike. This mission inaugurates mine-laying operations by aircraft in South Pacific (SOPAC).

M453 Minesweeper
Commissioned 20 March 1943

M476 Minesweeper
Commissioned 20 March 1943

Z38 Destroyer
Commissioned 20 March 1943

Go To: 21st March
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Z38 Destroyer

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Sources

The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

2194 Days Of War.
ISBN-10: 086136614X

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