WW2 History
Second World War History > Japan WW2 Events Timeline

Japan WW2 Events Timeline

Japan became the last of the Axis powers to fall in 1945 - and paid a terrible price in the process.

Authored By Staff Writer
Total Japanese WW2 Events: 251

1941
Wednesday
November 26th

The Japanese naval fleet leaves home port and heads to Hawaii.

1941
Saturday
December 6th

American President Franklin Roosevelt sends a final peace appeal to the Empire of Japan to which there is no answer.

1941
Saturday
December 6th

American codebreakers begin tracking down a multi-part message - made up of 14 total components. Only the first 13 are actually deciphered, each being passed on to the President and the Secretary of State.

1941
Saturday
December 6th

An attack against America is now deemed imminent though the consensus being that it will occur against interests somehwere in Southeast Asia.

1941
Sunday
December 7th

At approximately 7:15AM, the second wave of 167 Japanese Navy planes takes off from their carriers towards Pearl.

1941
Sunday
December 7th

At 2:30PM Eastern Time, the Japanese diplomats in Washington finally visit with US Secretary of State Cordell Hull. With them is the Japanese declaration of war.

1941
Sunday
December 7th

The attack on Pearl Harbor is over at 9:45AM. Over 2,400 people are killed and a further 1,178 are wounded. More die in the ensuing days while 1,104 sailors eventually perish within the hull of the battleship USS Arizona, its magazine stores ignited by a single Japanese bomb.

1941
Sunday
December 7th

At 7:53AM, complete surprise by the Japanese Navy and the first wave begins their initial strike. This force is made up of 50 medium bombers, 43 A6M Zero fighters and 40 Kate torpedo bombers. Targets are the battleships hunkered down in the harbor and airfields used by the USAAF.

1941
Sunday
December 7th

In conjunction with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Wake Island is assaulted by a Japanese invasion force all its own - this under the command of Rear-Admiral Kajioka Sadamichi.

1941
Sunday
December 7th

At 7:02AM, the Japanese attack wave is located on American radar by two US Army personnel who bring it to the attention of a junior officer. The officer, expecting a flight of Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses to arrive that day, disregards the alert.

1941
Sunday
December 7th

At 6:00AM, the first wave of 183 Japanese Navy aircraft takes off from their carriers, just north of Oahu, to make the 230 mile trek. The target is the US Pacific Fleet.

1941
Sunday
December 7th

The Imperial Japanese Navy attack commences with their assault. The force is made up of 423 aircraft and converges on the Hawaiian Islands.

1941
Sunday
December 7th

It is discovered that communication lines from Washington to Hawaii are down for the moment, forcing the US War Department to use a commercial telegraph service to warn forces on the Hawaiian Islands.

1941
Sunday
December 7th

At approximately 10AM, a follow-up message is intercepted - meant for the Japanese diplomats in Washington - to delay handling of the previous message to the Americans until 1PM. The Americans now understand that an attack is imminent and the target is the US Naval fleet at Pearl Harbor.

1941
Sunday
December 7th

At 9AM, the final Japanese message is broken down. It essentially directs its Washington envoy to break off diplomatic relations with America.

1941
Sunday
December 7th

The second wave of Japanese Navy aircraft swoops in attacking targets of opportunity including auxiliary ships in the harbor and the all-important harbor facilities.

1941
Monday
December 8th

The United States, along with Britain, formally declare war on the Empire of Japan.

1941
Wednesday
December 10th

Along the north of Luzon - at Aparri, Gonzago and Vigan - two large Japanese Army forces land via amphibious assault.

1941
Thursday
December 11th

As expected, Germany and Italy side with Japan and officially declare war on the United States

1941
Friday
December 12th

The airfields at Laoang and Tuguegarao fall to the Japanese invaders.

1941
Monday
December 22nd

The Japanese 48th Division lands at Lingayen Bay on Luzon.

1941
Tuesday
December 23rd

Despite an out-numbered yet heroic resistance on the part of American forces, Wake Island falls to the Japanese.

1941
Tuesday
December 23rd

The American military detachment at Wake Island surrenders. During their stand, the Americans accounted for at least 1,000 Japanese casualties and 4 Japanese navy warships.

1941
Tuesday
December 23rd

The order is given by American General Douglas MacArthur to retreat from Luzon and take up positions on the Bataan Peninsula.

1941
Tuesday
December 23rd

MacArthur's forces are cut-off from further retreat by a Japanese Army force advancing from the south.

1941
Thursday
December 25th

The Japanese 48th Division makes substantial progress against American forces, working their way towards the capital city of Manila.

1941
Saturday
December 27th

The Philippine capital city of Manila eventually falls to the invading Japanese Army.

1942
Friday
January 9th

The Japanese begin their offensive against the dug-in American forces on the Bataan Peninsula.

1942
Sunday
January 11th

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaya, falls to the invading Japanese 5th Division.

1942
Sunday
January 11th

Three Japanese amphibious forces take on the Dutch East Indies.

1942
Thursday
January 15th

Japanese forces invade Burma beginning their assault at Victoria Point.

1942
Monday
January 19th

The Japanese Army makes short work of the light British defenses, covering some 230 miles in reaching Tavoy.

1942
Friday
January 23rd

The American defensive lines finally break.

1942
Saturday
February 14th

By this time, the Japanese have captured Borneo, Celebes and Sarawak.

1942
Sunday
February 15th

Singapore eventually falls to the might of the Japanese assault resulting in the capture of some 60,000 Allied prisoners against the cost of 2,000 Japanese soldiers.

1942
Thursday
February 19th

The Japanese 1st Air Fleet conducts a surprise attack on Allied ships at Broome and Darwin. Twelve ships are sunk in the assault.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

The British Burma Army escapes anhilation in Burma.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

Rangoon, Burma falls to the Japanese.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

By this date, the Japanese capture the Dutch East Indies with the occupations of Bali, Timor and Java.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

Japanese forces, numbering two battalions strong, land at Lae and Salamaua in New Guinea.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

Japan invades New Guinea.

1942
Thursday
April 1st

The Japanese aircraft carrier Ryujo enters the Bay of Bengal.

1942
Friday
April 3rd

No fewer than five Japanese Navy aircraft carriers reach the Indian Ocean.

1942
Saturday
April 4th

A small contingent of British Royal Navy vessels operating in the Indian Ocean are warned of the arriving Japanese Navy force.

1942
Saturday
April 4th

Admiral Sir James Somerville detaches a force to intercept the arriving Japanese fleet.

1942
Monday
April 6th

The Imperial Japanese Navy unleashes a surprise attack, with some 120 aircraft, on British forces at Columbo Harbor, Ceylon.

1942
Monday
April 6th

Twenty-six Allied aircraft are destroyed.

1942
Monday
April 6th

The British Royal Navy cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire are sunk by the Japanese air strike.

1942
Monday
April 6th

The British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Tenedos is sunk by the Japanese air strike.

1942
Thursday
April 9th

An 85-strong Japanese Navy aircraft contingent attacks airfields and targets of opportunity at Trincomalee, Ceylon.

1942
Thursday
April 9th

American forces fighting on the Bataan Peninsula finally surrender to the Japanese.

1942
Thursday
April 9th

The HMS Hermes is one of four Royal Navy ships sunk by Japanese Navy aircraft.

1942
Sunday
May 3rd

Forces of the Imperial Japanese Army land at Tulagi of the Solomons island group. Subsequent develop ensures a base of operations for Japanese logistics in the region.

1942
Sunday
May 3rd

An Imperial Japanese Navy carrier force sets sail on patrol around the Solomons looking for American carrier battle groups.

1942
Sunday
May 3rd

American intelligence intercepts various Japanese communications and is able to piece together the intention to invade Port Moresby, New Guinea.

1942
Monday
May 4th

USS Yorktown launched strike aircraft south of Guadalcanal. At 6:30AM, the American Navy aircraft spot and subsequently target Japanese land emplacements and sea vessels in the area.

1942
Monday
May 4th

The Japanese invasion force leaves Rabaul, New Britain, heading towards Port Moresby, New Guinea.

1942
Tuesday
May 5th

The Japanese enact an offensive to take Corregidor Island, a strategic point providing access to Manila Bay.

1942
Wednesday
May 5th - May 6th

Foul weather limits detection of either carrier force across a two day span.

1942
Wednesday
May 6th

Corregidor Island falls to the Japanese, giving the invaders control over Manila Bay.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

Allied Task Force 44, headed by Royal Navy Rear-Admiral Crace, moves in to intercept the Japanese invasion force. However, the force is prematurely spotted by Japanese reconnaissance aircraft resulting in a counter-assault of the Task Force by Japanese Navy warplanes. Crace and his force never make the intercept.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

The Japanese invasion of Port Moresby is called off.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

The USS Lexington and the USS Yorktown launch their attack planes and sink the Japanese aircraft carrier Shoho in the process.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

The USS Neosho and the USS Sims are sunk by Japanese aircraft.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

The Allies spot the Japanese Covering Group escorting the invasion force.

1942
Friday
May 8th

The Japanese invasion force heads back to New Britain.

1942
Friday
May 8th

Some 27 Japanese aircraft are launched under the cover of darkness in the hopes of locating the Allied Task Force. They come up empty and only six aircraft return safely home.

1942
Friday
May 8th

Just past dawn, the Japanese and American carrier groups spot one another.

1942
Friday
May 8th

At 9:25AM, Japanese and American warplanes take to the skies.

1942
Friday
May 8th

At 11:40AM, US Navy warplanes manage to score devastating hits to the Japanese aircraft carrier Shokaku, severely damaging her.

1942
Friday
May 8th

At 2:47PM, the American carrier USS Lexington is hit by a Japanese torpedo, causing a major explosion in her generator room.

1942
Friday
May 8th

By 6:00PM that evening, nearly all of the USS Lexington's sailors have been rescued.

1942
Friday
May 8th

At 6:10PM, the USS Lexington is a complete loss. She is scuttled and sunk.

1942
Saturday
May 9th

Despite numbers against him, Japanese Vice-Admiral Takagi is ordered to send his warplanes aloft.

1942
Saturday
May 9th

The Japanese aircraft do not locate the American fleet and any further actions are called off, effectively ending the Battle of Coral Sea.

1942
Friday
May 15th

Burma falls to the Japanese.

1942
Monday
May 25th

A large Imperial Japanese Naval force sails for Japan towards Midway Island. The force Is made up of four task forces. One is charged with the invasion of the Aleutian Islands off of Alaska while the other three are to take Midway Island itself and assail the responding USN fleet. One group contains the required four aircraft carriers.

1942
Thursday
May 28th

The final Imperial Japanese Task Force leaves mainland Japan.

1942
Wednesday
June 3rd

The Northern Task Force begins its operation to take the Aleutian Island chain and divert USN forces to the region.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

Between 9:30AM and 10:00AM, Torpedo planes from the USS Enterprise and USS Hornet begin their attacks on the Japanese carriers.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 5:00PM, the Imperial Japanese aircraft carrier Hiryu is set ablaze after being struck by no fewer than five direct bomb hits from aircraft of the USS Enterprise.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

By 3:00PM, the crew of the USS Yorktown has abandoned their carrier. The damaged vessel is towed by USN ships.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

By 2:30PM, the USS Yorktown is severely damaged but does not sink.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 12:00PM, Imperial Japanese Navy bomber aircraft strike against the attacking USS Yorktown.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

The three Japanese carriers - Kaga, Soryu and Akagi - are struck with bombs and ultimately sunk.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 10:25AM, a follow-up strike made up of 37 Dauntless dive bombers finds the Japanese carriers - now stocked with armed and fueled aircraft on their decks.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

The initial American assault on the Japanese carrier strike force is over by 10:00AM.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

All incoming USN Devastator attackers are shot down by Japanese Zero fighters in the span of six minutes.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 9:18AM, Nagumo reacts to the American presence and changes the course of his Carrier Strike Force.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 9:00AM, USS Yorktown launches her aircraft with Nagumo's carrier force as the prime target.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 8:37AM, aircraft of the second Japanese strike force returns to their respective carriers for rearming and refueling.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 8:20AM, a surprised Nagumo receives his first report of American carriers in the area.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 7:52AM, USS Enterprise and USS Hornet launch their dive bombers and torpedo planes.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 7:28AM, a Japanese reconniassance plane spots spots ten undetermined USN surface ships 200 miles northeast of the Japanese Midway invasion force.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

American fighter aircraft take heavy losses but force the Japanese Navy to launch a second attack.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 4:30AM, the bombing of Midway Island begins with aircraft from Vice-Admiral Nagumo's First Carrier Strike Force.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

The first wave of USN carrier dive-bombers has difficulty in locating their Japanese targets.

1942
Friday
June 5th

The Japanese carrier Hiryu is scuttled.

1942
Saturday
June 6th

The island of Kiska is taken by Japanese forces.

1942
Saturday
June 6th

The USS Yorktown, now severely damaged and in tow of US Navy forces, is targeted and sunk by a Japanese submarine.

1942
Sunday
June 7th

The island of Attu is taken by Japanese forces.

1942
Wednesday
July 1st - July 31st

The Allies received word on the construction of a strategic Japanese airfield (Henderson Field) on the island of Guadalcanal, part of the Solomon Islands. As such, plans are set in motion to curtail construction of the endeavor. US Navy and Marine forces spring into action.

1942
Tuesday
July 21st

Japanese Major General Horii and his 18th Army land near Buna.

1942
Wednesday
July 22nd

Major General Horii and his 18th Army march towards Port Moresby.

1942
Wednesday
July 22nd

The Japanese Army gain ground on the US, Australian and Papuan Infantry Regiment defenders.

1942
Thursday
August 6th

US Navy and Marine forces position themselves near Guadalcanal.

1942
Friday
August 7th

Amphibious forces spearheaded by the United States Marines begin against the Japanese-held island of Guadalcanal.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

Just outside of Guadalcanal, the islands of Tulagi and Gavutu fall to the Allies.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

The amphibious landings largely conclude by this date.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

By the end of the day and facing next to no opposition, the US soldiers capture and secure Henderson Field.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

A large contingent of Imperial Japanese Navy warships heads out of Rabaul towards Savo Island to strike at US Navy transports there.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

Japanese bombers attack US forces at Henderson Field.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

Naval battles ultimately ensure between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States Navy for control of Guadalcanal.

1942
Sunday
August 9th

Three US and one Australian cruiser are sunk by the Japanese Navy during the morning hours.

1942
Friday
August 14th

The Japanese Army reaches Isurava just outside of Port Moresby.

1942
Friday
August 14th

The Japanese Army takes control of the village of Kokoda.

1942
Friday
August 14th

The Japanese Army gains vital territory leading up and into the Owen Stanley Range.

1942
Tuesday
August 18th

A Japanese counteroffensive sees an amphibious landing take place at Taivu. This landing zone is just 32 miles east of Henderson Field.

1942
Thursday
August 20th

The first of thirty-one US fighter aircraft arrive at Henderson Field.

1942
Friday
August 21st

Japanese ground forces attempt attacks against Henderson Field and American forces at Tenaru. The Japanese troops make little headway and are themselves encircled.

1942
Saturday
August 22nd

The Japanese attackers at Henderson Field and Tenaru are ultimately destroyed, forcing Colonel Ichiki to commit ritual suicide.

1942
Sunday
August 23rd

The Battle of the Eastern Solomons begins.

1942
Sunday
August 23rd

US naval patrol aircraft spot the incoming Japanese convoy, radioing positions back to the main task force.

1942
Sunday
August 23rd

The Imperial Japanese Navy enacts a plan to resupply their forces at Guadalcanal under the cover of three aircraft carriers made up of the IJN Ryujo, the IJN Shokaku and the IJN Zuikaku.

1942
Monday
August 24th

At about 4:41PM, the USS Enterprise is the victim of Japanese dive bombers and takes several direct hits but manages to keep fighting.

1942
Monday
August 24th

The Japanese Navy lose their seaplane carrier - the IJN Chitose - to American dive bombers at 5:40PM.

1942
Monday
August 24th

Task Force 61, comprised of the USS Enterprise, USS Saratoga and the USS Wasp head to intercept the Japanese convoy.

1942
Monday
August 24th

Dive bombers and torpedo bombers from the USS Enterprise manage critical hits against the IJN Ryujo and sink here where she stood at 3:50PM.

1942
Monday
August 24th

Task Force 61 sets up at locations east of Malaita Island in preparation for the battle. Aircraft are launched form the American carriers beginning what is known as the Battle of the Eastern Solomons.

1942
Monday
August 24th

US naval patrol aircraft once again spot the incoming Japanese convoy. Positions are sent to Task Force 61.

1942
Monday
August 24th

At 3:15PM, American carrier aircaft from the USS Enterprise manage hits on the IJN Shokaku.

1942
Monday
August 24th

The US Navy claims a Japanese aircraft carrier. The carrier is attacked and sunk.

1942
Tuesday
August 25th

The Japanese Navy completes an amphibious landing at Milne Bay to establish a beachhead and open a second front on New Guinea.

1942
Tuesday
August 25th

The Battle of the Eastern Solomons ends with the Japanese Navy claiming at least 90 aircraft lost while the American Navy enjoys victory with 20 aircraft lost in the fray.

1942
Tuesday
August 25th

The Japanese Navy loses a pair of transport ships enroute to the Solomon Island chain.

1942
Wednesday
August 26th

The 18th Australian Brigade, utilizing valuable intelligence reports, meet the arriving Japanese amphibious forces head-on and hold the Japanese beachhead at Milne Bay.

1942
Saturday
August 29th

A further 600 Japanese Army soldiers are landed at Milne Bay to help strengthen the beachhead.

1942
Sunday
August 30th

American General Douglas MacArthur employs his superiors for additional firepower and troop strength to help hold Papua.

1942
Monday
August 31st

By this date, the Japanese have completed their takeovers of the Caroline Islands, the Gilbert Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Marianas Islands and a portion of the Solomon Islands. This is the farthest that the Japanese Empire would reach in the Pacific.

1942
Friday
September 4th

Japanese casualties at Milne Bay amount to 1,000 killed amidst the fighting.

1942
Friday
September 4th

With the Allied resistance holding off further advance, the Japanese Army begins a formal withdrawal of the island.

1942
Monday
September 7th

US Marines enact a surprise amphibious landing against Japanese strongholds at Taivu.

1942
Tuesday
September 8th

The US Marine landings result in the destruction of vital Japanese supplies and the recovery of important operational data.

1942
Saturday
September 12th

Some 6,000 Japanese Army personnel are used in a final thrust against the Americans at Henderson field. Among the attackers is the Japanese 35th Brigade.

1942
Sunday
September 13th

Japanese forces come within a half-a-mile of Henderson Field before being stopped and, ultimately, driven back.

1942
Monday
September 14th

At the end of the Henderson Field offensive, the fanatical Japanese have lost at least 1,200 soldiers in the fighting.

1942
Tuesday
September 15th - October 7th

The Japanese begin building up their forces to reclaim Henderson Field.

1942
Saturday
September 26th

The Japanese Army slowly begins to retreat back through the Kokoda Trail, finally realizing its perilous stuation.

1942
Saturday
September 26th

Australian Army forces hold fast to territory near Toribaiwa.

1942
Saturday
September 26th

Despite gains along the Kokoda Trail, the Japanese supply line begins to run thin and halt any further advance.

1942
Saturday
October 10th

Japanese reinforcements are shipped to the west and disembarked at Tenaro, some 20 miles from American forces.

1942
Sunday
October 11th

The IJN Furutaka officially sinks at 12:40AM.

1942
Sunday
October 11th

At 11:32PM, US Navy warships fire upon IJN vessels in the convoy, sinking the IJN Fubuki and damaging the IJN Furutaka and IJN Aoba, which themselves begin sinking.

1942
Sunday
October 11th

A Japanese Navy convoy headed through the Eastern and Western Solomons is intercepted by a US Navy force, beginning what is known as the Battle of Cape Esperance.

1942
Sunday
October 11th

At midnight, the Japanese convoy is in retreat and gone from the region in roughly 30 minutes.

1942
Thursday
October 15th

American soldiers of the 32nd US Division complete an amphibious assault near Pongani and Wanigela on Papua.

1942
Friday
October 23rd

Some 20,000 Japanese fighters, including elements of the 2nd Division and 17th Army, undertake a new offensive under the direction of General Maruyama.

1942
Sunday
October 25th

Japanese Navy supply ships make their way offshore of Guadalcanal where land forces there are attempting to take Henderson Field.

1942
Monday
October 26th

72 aircraft are launched as a combined force from USS Enterprise and USS Hornet.

1942
Monday
October 26th

USS Enterprise launches a wave of Dauntless dive bombers in search of the Japanese group. Some 22 total aircraft are launched.

1942
Monday
October 26th

A PBY Catalina, capable of limited bombing, misses its mark as it attempts to hit several Japanese aircraft carriers at 2:50AM.

1942
Monday
October 26th

US Navy aircraft are launched from USS Enterprise and USS Hornet but fail to locate the Japanese ships.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The IJN carrier launch around 110 aircraft in response.

1942
Monday
October 26th

A USN Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat scout plane spots the Japanese waterforce and relays their position.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The USS Hornet is cleared of all crew by 11:40AM.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The US Navy sends Task Force 16 and 17 to intercept the Japanese resupply action.

1942
Monday
October 26th

US Navy and IJN aircraft formally meet in air to air combat by 8:15AM.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The USS Hornet takes a critical hit at 9:15AM from attacking Japanese Navy dive bombers and torpedo bombers. The IJN forces claim two torpedo hits and a further six bomb hits against her.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The crew of the USS Hornet begin evacuation procedures aboard their doomed ship.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The crippled IJN carrier Zuiho is hit by another four bombs, bringing her tenure at sea to an official close at 9:18AM.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The Americans signal a withdrawal of all forces form the battle.

1942
Monday
October 26th

At 7:40AM, USN dive bombers damage the IJN carrier Zuiho.

1942
Monday
October 26th

USS Enterprise receives several direct hits from IJN dive bombers against her flight deck and forward elevator.

1942
Monday
October 26th

USN bombers score several key direct hits against the carrier IJN Shokaku at 9:30AM.

1942
Monday
October 26th

After some 3,500 casualties are netted against the Japanese attackers, the offensive stalls and is ultimately called off.

1942
Tuesday
October 27th

Destroyers of the IJN come across the remains of the USS Hornet and launch torpedoes against her, sending her to the bottom of the Pacific.

1942
Sunday
November 1st

Japanese Army troops have taken to reinforcing their existing defenses at Buna, Gona and Sanananda.

1942
Sunday
November 1st - January 31st

Neither force can claim much action during this span. In time, US forces number some 58,000 troops while Japan can claim 20,000-strong.

1942
Sunday
November 15th

Australian forces continue their march from the west against Japanese-held areas.

1942
Sunday
November 15th

US forces continue their march from the south against Japanese-held areas.

1942
Wednesday
December 9th

The Australian Army liberates the village of Gona from the hold of the Japanese Amry.

1942
Monday
December 14th

Allied Australian and US forces continued their maches against the Japanese, taking territory through fierce firefights.

1943
Sunday
January 3rd

American forces lay claim to Buna.

1943
Sunday
January 10th

The decision to abandon Guadalcanal is made by Japanese autorities.

1943
Sunday
January 17th

The Japanese begin to withdraw their battered army units from Guadalcanal.

1943
Sunday
January 31st

The Kokoda Trail is firmly in Allied hands by this date.

1943
Sunday
January 31st

Sananada is officially in Allied hands.

1943
Monday
February 1st

A massive evacuation effort sees some 11,000 Japanese personnel moved fom Tenaro, Gaudalcanal.

1943
Sunday
February 7th

Gaudalcanal officially falls to the Americans.

1943
Sunday
February 7th

The last remnants of the Japanese Army on Guadalcanal is evacuated from the island.

1943
Sunday
August 15th

The Aleutian Islands Campaign comes to a close. The Japanese invasion is ultimately repelled.

1943
Wednesday
November 10th

The combined force of US Army and Marine Corps troops numbering 35,000 personnel heads towards Betio on the Tarawa Atoll.

1943
Saturday
November 13th

US Navy warplanes and warships begin the bombardment of Japanese positions at Makin and Tarawa in preparation for the planned amphibious assaults.

1943
Saturday
November 20th

US tanks and armored vehicles finally make it ashore and strengthen the US Marine presence on the beaches.

1943
Saturday
November 20th

By the end of the first day of operations, some three US Marine battalions have made it onto the beaches.

1943
Saturday
November 20th

At 9:10AM, the first US Marine soldiers make it ashore at Betio during the initial amphibious landings. Nearly half are cut down in low waters by the waiting Japanese defenders.

1943
Saturday
November 20th

US Navy warplanes and warships conclude their bombardment of Japanese positions.

1943
Sunday
November 21st

US forces at Makin kill some 800 defending Japanese soldiers, leaving just a lone survivor.

1943
Sunday
November 21st

US forces continue their progress against the Gilberts though a dogged Japanese resistance makes for slow progress.

1943
Sunday
November 21st

Another US amphibious landing, this consisting of both Army and Marine elements, makes it to the shores on Makin.

1943
Sunday
November 21st

US forces officially take Makin and give the "Makin Taken" signal.

1943
Sunday
November 21st

US forces take Apamama after the suicide of its 22-strong Japanese garrison.

1943
Monday
November 22nd

By night time hours, the Japanese enact a counter-attack against US forces, hoping to regain lost ground and take their invaders by surprise.

1943
Monday
November 22nd

By 8PM on this date, US forces lay claim to portions of the Gilberts at its east and central regions.

1943
Tuesday
November 23rd

With the fall of Betio, the Gilbert Islands are now under control of US forces.

1943
Tuesday
November 23rd

The final Japanese defenders at Betio capitulate.

1943
Tuesday
November 23rd

The Japanese assault is repelled with a tremendous loss of life for the IJA. The dead number some 500 personnel in hours of fighting.

1944
Friday
June 16th

The 1st Mobile Fleet of the IJN meets up with the Japanese Southern Force west of the Philippines.

1944
Saturday
June 17th

US amphibious assault elements arrive to take Saipan.

1944
Monday
June 19th

Around 4:28pm, the carrier IJN Taiho joins the IJN Shokaku.

1944
Tuesday
June 19th

A fourth Japanese flight group of 49 aircraft is assailed by 27 American Hellcats netting 30 more Japanese targets.

1944
Monday
June 19th

The first Japanese raid assaults US Task Force 58 through a combined force of IJN and IJA aircraft commitment. The American response nets 35 enemies in the first phase of the attack.

1944
Monday
June 19th

The second raid of arriving Japanese aerial strike force is identified and attacked by the Americans resulting in some 97 Japanese aircraft downed.

1944
Monday
June 19th

At 9:05am, the USS Albacore lands a fish into the side of the IJN Taiho aircraft carrier.

1944
Monday
June 19th

At 12:20pm, the USS Cavalla attack submarine hits the IJN Shokaku with torpedoes.

1944
Monday
June 19th

At approximately 4:24pm, the carrier IJN Shokaku, suffering extensive damage from American warplanes, goes under.

1944
Monday
June 19th

The third Japanese attack includes 47 aircraft which are met by 40 American fighters resulting in 7 enemies downed.

1944
Tuesday
June 20th

American dive bomber aircraft successfully attack, and subsequently sink, the aircraft carrier IJN Hiyo.

1944
Tuesday
June 20th

The American aerial force claims another two IJN tanker vessels.

1944
Tuesday
June 20th

By 8:45pm, the American attack shows a loss of 100 aircraft with 80 being lost to landing accidents at night or lack of fuel, forcing many airmen to ditch into the sea.

1944
Tuesday
June 20th

During the attack, American fighter pilots score a further 65 enemy aircraft.

1944
Tuesday
June 20th

At 4:30pm, some 216 American aircraft are launched in response to the Japanese attacks.

1944
Tuesday
June 20th

The aircraft carrier - IJN Chiyoda - takes heavy damage from American warplanes.

1944
Tuesday
June 20th

The aircraft carrier - IJN Zuikaku - takes heavy damage from American warplanes.

1945
Saturday
March 24th

The US 77th Infantry Division lands at the Kerama Islands to secure a staging post for the eventual invasion of Okinawa.

1945
Saturday
March 24th

In preparation for the amphibious assault landings on the island of Okinawa, US Naval elements begin bombardment of shoreline positions.

1945
Thursday
March 29th

Further landings of US forces on the Kerama Islands, complete its capture for the Allies.

1945
Saturday
March 31st

The US Navy lobs some 30,000 explosive shells on the Okinawa coastline by this time, ending a week of bombardment.

1945
Sunday
April 1st

Two US Army and USMC divisions land along the southwest coast of Okinawa near Hagushi, meeting little resistance. The US 10th Army is commanded by Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner. Some 550,000 personnel and 180,000 soldiers take part in the fray.

1945
Thursday
April 5th

Allied forces find and locate the Japanese defenders along the southern portion of Okinawa. Heavy defenses are noted.

1945
Friday
April 6th

American forces are now amassed as two separate assault fronts. To the north are the 1st and 6th Marine divisions. To the mountainous south are the 7th and 96th Infantry divisions.

1945
Friday
April 6th

The IJN Yamato, Japan's pride and joy and the largest battleship ever built, sails from the Inland Sea on a suicide mission at Okinawa. She is escorted by the light cruiser Yahagi and some eight destroyers on her final voyage.

1945
Friday
April 6th

The deadly kamikaze air attack is unleashed on American Naval vessels in the Pacific. These aircraft appear as coordinated airstrikes and prove equally deadly to both sides. USN vessels off the coast of Okinawa itself are targeted. Some 34 US Navy ships fall victim.

1945
Friday
April 6th

As American forces move further inland, the battle for Okinawa intensifies. Pockets of dug-in Japanese defenders become evermore concentrated the more inland the Allied forces go.

1945
Saturday
April 7th

The IJN Yamato, having already been spotted by an American submarine, makes its way to the fighting at Okinawa. The crew understand that this is a suicide mission at this point in the war.

1945
Saturday
April 7th

In the early morning hours, US Navy reconnaissance aircraft spot the IJN Yamato and relay her position.

1945
Saturday
April 7th

With no air cover, the IJN Yamato is blasted to pieces by the American Navy warplanes. Her magazine stores explode in a fantastic display as she goes up in smoke. Most of her crew is lost with the ship in the afternoon hours.

1945
Saturday
April 7th

Task Force 38 launches some 380 aircraft against IJN Yamato.

1945
Tuesday
April 10th

The American 27th Infantry Division lands at Tsugen. The island is just to the east of Okinawa proper.

1945
Wednesday
April 11th

The conquest of Tsugen is completed by the 27th Infantry Division.

1945
Friday
April 13th

US Marines reach Hedo Point in the north of Okinawa.

1945
Monday
April 16th

A five-day offensive is undertaken involving the American 77th Infantry Division and the island of Ie Shima. Ie Shima represents the tip of the Motobu Peninsula. Motobu is a defensive Japanese stronghold located to the west of Okinawa proper.

1945
Thursday
April 19th

Japanese defenders are pushed back towards Naha by American forces. The Japanese defensive lines are reset as territory is lost. The Americans report 1,000 casualties in their assaults.

1945
Friday
April 20th

Motobu Peninsula falls to the Americans as the Japanese defenders are either killed or captured.

1945
Saturday
April 21st

The offensive to take Ie Shima is completed.

1945
Friday
May 4th

The Japanese enact a major offensive in the south of Okinawa. A coast-to-coast defensive front is established from Naha to Yonabaru. Regardless, the line is targeted by prolonged American firepower and infantry.

1945
Sunday
May 27th

Naha is officially captured by American forces. The Orouku Peninsula to the south is now within reach.

1945
Sunday
June 17th

By this time, the Japanese defenders have been seperated into three major fighting groups. The more raw recruits find it somewhat easy to surrender than fight to the death.

1945
Friday
June 22nd

Understanding that defeat is iminent, Japanese Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushjima commits ritual suicide with his staff after reporting the loss of Okinawa to his superiors.

1945
Friday
June 22nd

The Battle of Okinawa officially draws to a close and now represents the all-important staging area for the Allied invasion of the Japanese mainland.

1945
Friday
June 22nd

The fighting on Okinawa comes to a close as American forces overwhelm the islands determined Japanese defenders. Those that are not taken prisoner or die in the fighting, subject themselves to ritual suicides.
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