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1943: Exploration and settlement; wars; government; civil rights; statistics.

An uncertain year dawned for U.S. military forces. The nation was engaged in a seesaw battle in North Africa and an agonizing struggle in the Pacific. U.S. forces advanced against the Japanese in New Guinea, the Solomons, and the Gilbert Islands, and new names were added to the American battle lexicon--Bougainville, Lae, Tarawa. In the European theater, American troops in North Africa swept across the Mediterranean to Sicily, then to the Italian mainland itself. To the north U.S. bombers wrought destruction in Europe and helped blast Nazi invasion ports in France.

A polio epidemic struck the U.S., killing 1151 and crippling thousands more.

Jan. 14

The Casablanca conference opened in Morocco. It was attended by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt and other Allied officials. The Allies planned their military strategy for 1943 and agreed to demand unconditional surrender from the Axis nations.

Feb. 13

The U.S. Marine Corps added a women's unit.

Feb. 20

At the Kasserine Pass, Tunisia, U.S. forces were driven back by Gen. Irwin Rommel's Afrika Korps using the 62-ton Mark VI tank. On Feb. 25 U.S. forces recaptured the pass.

Mar. 2-4

In the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, a major U.S. victory in the Pacific, an entire Japanese convoy of 22 ships was sunk by American bombers. More than 50 Japanese planes were shot down.

May 7

Bizerte, Tunisia, was captured by American troops. The British took Tunis.

May 12

The North African campaign ended. Gen. Jurgen von Arnim, commander of Axis forces after Rommel's recall to Europe, was captured in the Cape Bon peninsula along with other Axis officers.

May 30

Attu in the Aleutian Islands was retaken by U.S. forces after intense fighting.

July 10

Sicily was invaded by Allied forces, including Gen. George S. Patton's Seventh Army, British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery's Eighth Army, and French and Canadian troops.

July 19

Rome was bombed by some 500 Allied planes. The highly strategic city, containing a network of railroads and freight yards, had been spared for four years by the Allies because of its religious significance.

July 25

Benito Mussolini resigned on the insistence of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy.

Aug. 1

Rumania's Ploesti oil fields and refineries were raided by U.S. bombers.

Aug. 11-24

The Quebec conference was held in Canada to work out the Pacific campaign. Some Chinese representatives were present during the conference. There was some difficulty in arriving at an accord with the Russians over future European operations and postwar problems. Pres. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met privately on Aug. 17.

Aug. 15

Kiska in the Aleutians was retaken by American and Canadian units. When the troops landed, the Japanese were gone.

Aug. 17

Sicily was conquered by Allied forces 37 days after it was invaded. The Axis powers had lost 167,000 men in the campaign, the Allies 25,000.

Aug. 28

New Georgia in the Solomon Islands was secured by U.S. forces.

Sept. 3

Invasion of Italy was commenced by Allied forces crossing the Strait of Messina.

Sept. 8

Italy surrendered unconditionally to the Allied powers. German troops there fought on.

Sept. 9

The Allies landed at Salerno, Italy. Upward of 700 American, British, Dutch, French, and Polish ships took part in the operation. The U.S. Fifth Army, under command of Gen. Mark Clark, participated in the landing.

Oct. 19

The Moscow conference opened. Representatives of Great Britain, the U.S., the U.S.S.R., and the Chinese agreed to collaborate on surrender terms for the enemy. The powers recognized the need for an international organization to prevent future wars.

Nov. 1

U.S. forces landed on Bougainville Island in the Solomons.

Nov. 2

A U.S. air raid on Rabaul, New Britain, proved a major defeat for the Japanese. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, suspecting an attack would be launched from Rabaul on Empress Augusta Bay, off the west coast of Bougainville, had ordered the mission. Nearly every ship in Rabaul's harbor was hit or sunk, about 94,000 tons of shipping.

Nov. 20

U.S. forces landed on Tarawa and Makin in the Gilbert Islands. On Nov. 22 landings were made on Abemama. Occupation of the Gilbert Islands was completed on Nov. 23.

Nov. 22

At a conference in Cairo, Egypt, Pres. Roosevelt, Prime Minster Churchill, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek planned military strategy against Japan and declared that Japan, when defeated, would be stripped of all Pacific territories seized since 1914.

Nov. 28-Dec. 1

At the Teheran conference in Iran, Pres. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Premier Joseph Stalin met to map strategy for the coming Allied invasion of western Europe.

Dec. 17

A bill repealing the Chinese Exclusion Acts and setting an annual immigration quota of 105 Chinese was signed by Pres. Roosevelt. On the next day, in Chicago, Edward Bing Kan filed an application for citizenship. On Jan. 18, 1944, he became the first Chinese to be naturalized under the new law.

Dec. 24

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was named Supreme Commander of Allied forces for the invasion of Europe.
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Author:Carruth, Gorton
Publication:Encyclopedia of American Facts & Dates, 9th ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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