|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1910s 1920s 1930s – 1940s – 1950s 1960s 1970s|
|Years:||1941 1942 1943 – 1944 – 1945 1946 1947|
|Ab urbe condita||2697|
|British Regnal year||8 Geo. 6 – 9 Geo. 6|
|Chinese calendar||癸未年 (Water Goat)
4640 or 4580
— to —
甲申年 (Wood Monkey)
4641 or 4581
|- Vikram Samvat||2000–2001|
|- Shaka Samvat||1865–1866|
|- Kali Yuga||5044–5045|
|Japanese calendar||Shōwa 19
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 33
|Thai solar calendar||2487|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1944.|
1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (dominical letter BA) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1944th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 944th year of the 2nd millennium, the 44th year of the 20th century, and the 5th year of the 1940s decade.
- 1 Events
- 2 Births
- 3 Deaths
- 4 Nobel Prizes
- 5 References
Below, events of World War II have the "WWII" prefix.
- January 2 – WWII:
- January 8 – WWII: Philippine Commonwealth troops enter the province of Ilocos Sur in northern Luzon and attack Japanese forces.
- January 11
- January 12 – Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle begin a 2-day wartime conference in Marrakech.
- Battle of Monte Cassino: U.S. Fifth Army commanded by Lieutenant-General Mark W. Clark arrive on the River Garigliano and begin their attack against the Gustav Line south of Rome. The French Expeditionary Corps under command of General Alphonse Juin moves into the mountains north of Monte Cassino.
- January 14 – WWII: Soviet troops start the offensive at Leningrad and Novgorod.
- January 15
- January 17 – WWII:
- January 20 – WWII:
- January 22 – WWII: Operation Shingle: The Allies begin the assault on Anzio, Italy. The U.S. 45th Infantry Division stand their ground at Anzio against violent assaults for 4 months.
- January 27 – WWII: The 2-year Siege of Leningrad is lifted.
- January 29 – WWII:
- January 30 – WWII:
- January 31 – WWII: Battle of Kwajalein: American forces land on Kwajalein Atoll and other islands in the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.
- February 1 – WWII: Pacific War – United States troops land in the Marshall Islands.
- February 2 – The first issue of Human Events is published in Washington, D.C.
- February 3 – WWII: United States troops capture the Marshall Islands.
- February 7 – WWII: At Anzio, German forces launch a counteroffensive.
- February 8 – WWII:
- February 14 – WWII: An anti-Japanese revolt breaks out on Java.
- February 15 – WWII – Battle of Monte Cassino: The monastery atop Monte Cassino is destroyed by Allied bombing.
- February 17 – WWII: Pacific War – The Battle of Eniwetok begins when U.S. forces invade the atoll in the Marshall Islands.
- February 18 – WWII: HMS Penelope torpedoed by the German U-boat. 417 of the crew, including the captain, went down with the ship; 206 survived.
- February 20 – WWII:
- The "Big Week" begins with American bomber raids on German aircraft manufacturing centers.
- The United States takes Eniwetok Island.
- February 22 – United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe organized from the Eighth Air Force's strategic planning staff; subsuming strategic planning for all US Army Air Forces in Europe and Africa.
- February 23 – WWII:
- February 24 – WWII: 7,998 drown when USS Rasher torpedoes Ryūsei Maru and Tango Maru.
- February 26
- Kurt Gerron begins shooting the Nazi propaganda film, Theresienstadt in Theresienstadt concentration camp. He and many others who featured in it are transferred to Auschwitz and gassed upon the film's completion.
- First woman appointed to the substantive rank of captain in the United States Navy Nurse Corps, Sue S. Dauser.
- February 29 – WWII: Pacific War – Admiralty Islands campaign (Operation Brewer) opens when U.S. forces land on Los Negros Island in the Admiralty Islands.
- March 1 – WWII:
- March 2
- Balvano train disaster: A train stalls inside a railway tunnel outside Salerno, Italy; 521 choke to death.
- The 16th Academy Awards ceremony is held, the first Oscar ceremony held at a large public venue, Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Casablanca (directed by Michael Curtiz), wins the Best Picture award.
- March 3 – WWII: The Order of Nakhimov and the Order of Ushakov are instituted in the USSR.
- March 4 – In Ossining, New York, Louis Buchalter, the leader of 1930s crime syndicate Murder, Inc., is executed at Sing Sing, along with Emanuel Weiss, and Louis Capone.
- March 6 – WWII: Soviet Army planes attack Narva, Estonia, destroying almost the entire baroque old town.
- March 9 – WWII: Soviet Army planes attack Tallinn, Estonia, killing 757 and leaving 25,000 homeless.
- March 10
- March 12 – WWII: the Political Committee of National Liberation is created in Greece.
- March 15
- March 18
- March 19 – WWII: German forces occupy Hungary in Operation Margarethe.
- March 20 – WWII: RAF Flight Sergeant Nicholas Alkemade's bomber is hit over Germany, and he has to bail out without a parachute from a height of over 4,000 meters. Tree branches interrupt his fall and he lands safely on deep snow.
- March 23 – WWII: Members of the Italian Resistance attack Nazis marching in Via Rasella, killing 33.
- March 24 – WWII:
- Ardeatine massacre: 335 Italians are killed, including 75 Jews and over 200 members of the Italian Resistance from various groups, in Rome.
- In the Polish village of Markowa, German police kill Józef and Wiktoria Ulm, their six children and eight Jews they were hiding.
- The "Great Escape": 76 Royal Air Force prisoners of war escape by tunnel "Harry" from Stalag Luft III this night. Only three men, two Norwegians and a Dutchman, return to the UK; of those recaptured, fifty are executed.
- April 2 – WWII: Ascq massacre members of the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend shoot 85 civilians suspected of blowing up their train on its approach to the Gare d'Ascq in France.
- April 4 – WWII: An Allied surveillance aircraft of 60 Squadron SAAF photographs part of Auschwitz concentration camp.
- April 5 – Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler escape from Auschwitz concentration camp.
- April 14 – Bombay Explosion: The freighter SS Fort Stikine, carrying a mixed cargo of ammunition, cotton bales and gold, explodes in harbour at Bombay (India), sinking surrounding ships and killing around 800 people.
- April 19 – WWII: The Japanese launch the Operation Ichi-Go offensive in central and south China.
- April 25
- The Holocaust: SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann opens "blood for goods" negotiations with Joel Brand to offer the release of thousands of Jews from eastern Europe to the Hungarian Aid and Rescue Committee in exchange for supplies for the German Eastern Front.
- The United Negro College Fund is incorporated in the U.S.
- April 26
- April 28 – WWII: Allied convoy T4, forming part of amphibious Exercise Tiger (a full-scale rehearsal for the Normandy landings) in Start Bay off the Devon coast of England, is attacked by E-boats, resulting in the deaths of 749 American servicemen from LSTs.
- May – No Exit published by Jean-Paul Sartre.
- May 1 – WWII: Two hundred Communist prisoners are shot by the Germans at Kaisariani in Athens, Greece in reprisal for the killing of General Franz Krech by partisans at Molaoi.
- May 5 – WWII: Mohandas Gandhi is released in India.
- May 9 – WWII: In the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol, Soviet troops completely drive out German forces, who had been ordered by Hitler to “fight to the last man.”
- May 12 – WWII: Soviet troops finalize the liberation of the Crimea.
- May 14 – The Holocaust: Predominantly Muslim Albanian troops of the 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian) round up 281 Jews in Pristina and hand them over to the Germans for transportation to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
- May 15–July 8 – The Holocaust: Deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps.
- May 18 – WWII:
- May 24 – WWII: Six LSTs are accidentally destroyed and 163 men killed in Pearl Harbor's West Loch disaster.
- May 30 – Princess Charlotte Louise Juliette Louvet Grimaldi of Monaco, heir to the throne, resigns from her rights in favor of her son Prince Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi, later reigning Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
- May 31 – WWII: Destroyer escort USS England (DE-635) sinks the sixth Japanese submarine in two weeks. This anti-submarine warfare performance remains unmatched through the twentieth century.
- June 1
- WWII: The BBC transmits a coded message (the first line of the poem "Chanson d'automne" by Paul Verlaine) to the French Resistance, warning that the invasion of Europe is imminent.
- Two K-class blimps of the United States Navy complete the first transatlantic crossing by non-rigid airships, from the U.S. to French Morocco with two stops.
- June 2 – WWII: The provisional French government is established.
- June 3 – Hans Asperger publishes his paper on Asperger syndrome.
- June 4 – WWII:
- June 5 – WWII:
- The German navy's Enigma messages are decoded almost in real time.
- British Group Captain James Stagg correctly forecasts a brief improvement in weather conditions over the English Channel which will permit the following day's Normandy landings to take place (having been deferred from today due to unfavourable weather).
- At 10:15 p.m. local time, the BBC transmits the second line of the Paul Verlaine poem to the French Resistance, indicating that the invasion of Europe is about to begin.
- More than 1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day.
- US and British paratrooper divisions jump over Normandy, in preparation for D-Day, including 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions of the United States.
- D-Day naval deceptions are launched.
- June 6 – WWII – D-Day: 155,000 Allied troops shipped from England land on the beaches of Normandy in northern France, beginning Operation Overlord and the Invasion of Normandy. The Allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland, in the largest amphibious military operation in history. This operation helps liberate France from Germany, and also weakens the Nazi hold on Europe.
- June 7 – WWII:
- June 9 – WWII: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin launches the Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive against Finland, with the intent of defeating Finland before pushing for Berlin.
- June 10 – WWII: 642 men, women and children are killed in the Oradour-sur-Glane Massacre in France.
- June 13 – WWII: Germany launches the first V-1 flying bomb attack on London.
- June 15 – WWII: Battle of Saipan: United States forces land on Saipan.
- June 16 – At age 14, George Stinney becomes the youngest person ever executed in the United States.
- June 17 – Iceland declares full independence from Denmark.
- June 19 – A severe storm badly damages the Mulberry harbours on the Normandy coast.
- June 22 – WWII:
- June 24 – David Ben-Gurion presents the One Million Plan to the Jewish Agency for Israel, proposing a million-strong Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries as well as from Europe to Mandatory Palestine.
- June 25 – WWII
- The Battle of Tali-Ihantala (the largest battle ever in the Nordic countries) begins between Finnish and Soviet troops. Finland is able to resist the attack and thus manages to stay as an independent nation.
- Bombardment of Cherbourg by ships of the United States Navy and British Royal Navy in support of U.S. ground troops.
- June 26 – WWII: American troops enter Cherbourg.
- June 29 – WWII: 5,400 drown when USS Sturgeon torpedoes Toyama Maru.
- June 30 – WWII: 3,219 drown when USS Tang torpedoes Nikkin Maru.
- July 1 – The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference begins at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States.
- July 3 – WWII:
- July 6
- Hartford circus fire: More than 100 children die in one of the worst fire disasters in the history of the United States.
- WWII: At Camp Hood, Texas, future baseball star and 1st Lt. Jackie Robinson is arrested and later court-martialed for refusing to move to the back of a segregated U.S. Army bus. He is eventually acquitted.
- July 9 – WWII: British and Canadian forces capture Caen.
- July 10 – WWII: Soviet troops begin operations to liberate the Baltic countries.
- July 13 – WWII: Vilnius is freed by USSR.
- July 16 – WWII: The first contingent of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force arrives in Italy.
- July 17 – WWII:
- July 18 – WWII:
- American forces push back the Germans in Saint-Lô, capturing the city.
- British forces launch Operation Goodwood, an armoured offensive aimed at driving the Germans from the high ground to the south of Caen. The offensive ends 2 days later with minimal gains.
- Hideki Tōjō resigns as Prime Minister of Japan due to numerous setbacks in the war effort and is succeeded (on July 22) by Kuniaki Koiso.
- July 20 – WWII: Adolf Hitler survives an assassination attempt led by Claus von Stauffenberg.
- July 21 – WWII:
- July 22
- The Bretton Woods Conference ends with agreements signed to set up the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and International Monetary Fund.
- The new Polish Committee of National Liberation publishes the PKWN Manifesto in Chełm, calling for a continuation of fighting against Nazi Germany, radical reforms including nationalisation of industry, and a "decent border in the West" (the Oder–Neisse line).
- United States v. Masaaki Kuwabara, the only Japanese American draft avoidance case to be dismissed on a due process violation of the U.S. Constitution.
- July 25
- WWII – Operation Spring: One of the bloodiest days for Canadian forces during the war results in 1,550 casualties, including 450 killed, during the Normandy Campaign.
- WWII – Beginning of the Battle of Tannenberg Line or the "Battle of the Blue Hills" in Northeastern Estonia, where the Red Army will result in a Pyrrhic victory by 10 August.
- July 26 – WWII: A Messerschmitt Me 262 becomes the first jet fighter aircraft to have an operational victory.
- July 31 – WWII: 2,495 drown when USS Parche torpedoes Yoshino Maru.
- August 1 – WWII: The Warsaw Uprising begins.
- August 2 – WWII:
- August 3 – The Education Act in the United Kingdom, promoted by Rab Butler, creates a Tripartite system of education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- August 4 – The Holocaust: A tip from a Dutch informer leads the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse, where they find Jewish diarist Anne Frank, her family, and others in hiding. All would die in the Holocaust except for Otto Frank, Anne's father.
- August 5 – WWII:
- The Warsaw Uprising:
- Cowra breakout: Over 500 Japanese prisoners of war attempt a mass breakout from the Cowra camp in Australia. In the ensuing manhunt, 231 Japanese escapees and four Australian soldiers are killed.
- August 7 – IBM dedicates the first program-controlled calculator, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (known best as the Harvard Mark I).
- August 9 – The United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council release posters featuring Smokey Bear for the first time.
- August 12 – WWII:
- August 15 – WWII: Operation Dragoon lands Allies in southern France. The U.S. 45th Infantry Division participates in its fourth assault landing at Sainte-Maxime, spearheading the drive for the Belfort Gap.
- August 18 – WWII: Submarine USS Rasher sinks Teia Maru, Eishin Maru, Teiyu Maru, and carrier Taiyō from Japanese convoy HI71 in one of the most effective American "wolfpack" attacks of the war.
- August 19 – WWII:
- August 20 – WWII:
- August 21
- Dumbarton Oaks Conference (Washington Conversations on International Peace and Security Organization) opens in Washington, D.C.: U.S., British, Chinese, French and Soviet representatives meet to plan the foundation of the United Nations.
- WWII: Operation Tractable concludes when Canadian troops relieve the Polish and link with the Americans, capturing remaining German forces in the Falaise Pocket and securing the strategically important French town of Falaise in the final offensive of the Battle of Normandy.
- August 22 – WWII: Tsushima Maru, an unmarked Japanese passenger/cargo ship, is sunk by torpedoes launched by the submarine USS Bowfin off Akuseki-jima, killing 1,484 civilians including 767 schoolchildren.
- August 23 – WWII: In King Michael's Coup, Ion Antonescu, prime minister of Romania, is arrested and a new government established. Romania leaves the war against the Soviet Union, joining the Allies.
- August 24 – WWII:
- August 25 – WWII:
- German surrender of Paris: General Dietrich von Choltitz surrenders Paris to the Allies in defiance of Hitler's orders to destroy it.
- Maillé massacre: Massacre of 129 civilians (70% women and children) by the Gestapo at Maillé, Indre-et-Loire.
- Hungary decides to continue the war together with Germany.
- The Red Ball Express convoy system begins operation supplying tons of materiel to Allied forces in France.
- August 29 – WWII: The Slovak National Uprising against the Axis powers begins.
- August 31 – The Mad Gasser of Mattoon apparently resumes their mysterious attacks in Mattoon, Illinois for two weeks.
- September 1 – WWII: In Bulgaria, the Bagryanov government resigns.
- September 2
- September 3 – WWII: The Allies liberate Brussels.
- September 4 – WWII:
- September 5 – WWII: The Soviet Union declares war on Bulgaria.
- September 6 – WWII: Tartu Offensive in Estonia concludes with Soviet forces capturing Tartu.
- September 7 – WWII: The Belgian government in exile returns to Brussels from London.
- September 8 – WWII:
- September 9 – WWII: An insurrection breaks out in Sofia.
- September 11 – WWII: Laksevåg floating dry dock at Bergen (Norway) is sunk by British X-class submarine X-24.
- September 12 – WWII: Allied forces from Operation Overlord (in the north) and Operation Dragoon (in the south of France) link up near Dijon.
- September 14 – The Great Atlantic hurricane makes landfall in the New York City area.
- September 15 – WWII: The Battle of Peleliu begins in the Pacific.
- September 17 – WWII: Operation Market Garden begins, Allied airborne landings in the Netherlands and Germany.
- September 18 – WWII:
- September 19 – WWII:
- September 22 – WWII: The Red Army captures Tallinn, Estonia. Prime Minister in Duties of the President of Estonia Jüri Uluots and 80,000 Estonian civilians manage to escape to Sweden and Germany. The evacuees include almost the entire population of the Estonian Swedes.
- September 24 – WWII: The U.S. 45th Infantry Division takes the strongly defended city of Épinal before crossing the Moselle river and entering the western foothills of the Vosges.
- September 26 – WWII:
- September – Start of Dutch famine ("Hongerwinter") in the occupied northern part of the Netherlands.
- October 2 – WWII: Nazi troops end the Warsaw Uprising.
- October 5 – WWII: Royal Canadian Air Force pilots shoot down the first German jet fighter over the Netherlands.
- October 6 – WWII: The Battle of Debrecen starts on the Eastern Front (it lasts until October 29).
- October 7
- October 8 – The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet radio show debuts in the United States.
- October 9 – WWII: Fourth Moscow Conference: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin begin a 9-day conference in Moscow to discuss the future of Europe.
- October 10
- October 12
- WWII: The Allies land in Athens.
- Canadian Arctic explorer Henry Larsen returns to Vancouver, becoming the first person successfully to navigate the Northwest Passage in both directions, in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner St. Roch. His westbound voyage is the first completed in a single season and the first passage through the Prince of Wales Strait.
- October 13 – WWII:
- October 14 – WWII: German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel commits suicide rather than face execution for allegedly conspiring against Adolf Hitler.
- October 18 – WWII: The Volkssturm Nazi militia is founded on Adolf Hitler's orders.
- October 19 – Guatemalan Revolution begins, with the overthrow of Federico Ponce Vaides by a popular leftist movement.
- October 20 – WWII:
- Belgrade is liberated by Yugoslav Partisans and the Red Army.
- American forces land on Red Beach in Palo, Leyte, as General Douglas MacArthur returns to the Philippines with Philippine Commonwealth president Sergio Osmeña, and Armed Forces of the Philippines Generals Basilio J. Valdes and Carlos P. Romulo.
- United States and Filipino troops with Filipino guerrillas begin the Battle of Leyte.
- American forces land on the beaches in Dulag, Leyte, the Philippines, accompanied by Filipino troops entering the town, and fiercely opposed by the Japanese occupation forces. The combined forces liberate Tacloban.
- October 20 – A liquefied natural gas explosion destroys a square mile (2.6 km²) of Cleveland, Ohio.
- October 21 – WWII: Aachen, the first German city to fall, is captured by American troops.
- October 23
- October 25
- WWII: The Red Army liberates Kirkenes, the first town in Norway to be liberated.
- WWII: USS Tang (the United States Navy submarine credited with sinking more ships than any other American submarine) is sunk in the Formosa Strait by one of her own torpedoes. Medal of Honor-winning submarine ace Richard O'Kane becomes a prisoner of war.
- Florence Foster Jenkins gives a recital in Carnegie Hall.
- October 30
- October 31 – Mass murderer Marcel Petiot is apprehended at a Paris Métro station.
- November 1–December 7 – Delegates of 52 nations meet at the International Civil Aviation Conference in Chicago to plan for postwar international cooperation, framing the constitution of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
- November 3 – WWII: Two supreme commanders of the Slovak National Uprising, Generals Ján Golian and Rudolf Viest, are captured, tortured and later executed by German forces.
- November 7
- United States presidential election: Franklin D. Roosevelt wins reelection over Republican challenger Thomas E. Dewey, becoming the only U.S. president elected to a fourth term.
- Election day rail accident in Puerto Rico: A passenger train derails at Aguadilla due to excessive speed on a downgrade; 16 are killed, 50 injured.
- November 10 – WWII: Ammunition ship USS Mount Hood (AE-11) disintegrates from accidental detonation of 3800 tons of cargo in the Seeadler Harbor fleet anchorage at Manus Island. 22 small boats are destroyed, 36 nearby ships damaged, 432 men are killed and 371 more are injured.
- November 12 – WWII: Sinking of the German battleship Tirpitz by British Royal Air Force Lancaster bombers.
- November 14 – WWII: 2,246 drown when USS Queenfish torpedoes Akitsu Maru.
- November 16 – WWII: U.S. forces begin the month-long Operation Queen in the Rur valley.
- November 18
- November 22
- Conscription Crisis: Prime Minister of Canada William Mackenzie King agrees a one-time conscription levy in Canada for overseas service.
- Laurence Olivier's film Henry V, based on Shakespeare's play, opens in London. It is the most acclaimed and the most successful movie version of a Shakespeare play made up to that time, and the first in Technicolor. Olivier both stars and directs.
- November 24 – WWII: German forces evacuate from West Estonian Archipelago.
- November 26 – American opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins dies in her sleep at the age of 76.
- November 27 – RAF Fauld explosion: Between 3,450 and 3,930 tons (3,500 and 4,000 tonnes) of ordnance explodes at an underground storage depot in Staffordshire, England, leaving about 75 dead and a crater 1,200 metres (0.75 miles) across and 120 metres (400 ft) deep. The blast is one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history and the largest on UK soil.
- November 29 – WWII: Submarine USS Archerfish (SS-311) sinks Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano. Shinano is the largest carrier built to this date, and will remain through the twentieth century the largest ship sunk by a submarine.
- December 3 – WWII:
- December 7 – Convention on International Civil Aviation signed in Chicago to create the International Civil Aviation Organization.
- December 10 – Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini leads a concert performance of the first half of Beethoven's Fidelio (minus its spoken dialogue) on NBC Radio, starring Rose Bampton. He chooses this opera for its political message – a statement against tyranny and dictatorship. Conducting it in German, Toscanini intends it as a tribute to the German people who are being oppressed by Hitler. The second half is broadcast a week later. The performance is later released on LP and CD, the first of 7 operas that Toscanini conducts on radio.
- December 12–December 13 – WWII: British units attempt to take the hilltop town of Tossignano, but are repulsed.
- December 13 – Battle of Mindoro: United States, Australian and Philippine Commonwealth troops land on Mindoro Island in the Philippines.
- December 14
- December 15 – A USAAF utility aircraft carrying bandleader Major Glenn Miller disappears in heavy fog over the English Channel while flying to Paris.
- December 16 – WWII:
- December 17 – WWII: Malmedy massacre: German SS troops under Joachim Peiper machine gun American prisoners of war captured during the Battle of the Bulge near Malmedy and elsewhere in Belgium.
- December 19 – The daily newspaper Le Monde begins publication in Paris.
- December 20 – The United States Women Airforce Service Pilots are disbanded.
- December 22
- December 24
- WWII: Troopship SS Léopoldville is sunk in the English Channel by German submarine U-486. Approximately 763 soldiers of the U.S. 66th Infantry Division bound for the Battle of the Bulge drown.
- WWII: German tanks reach the furthest point of the Bulge at Celles.
- WWII: Fifty German V-1 flying bombs, air-launched from Heinkel He 111 bombers flying over the North Sea, target Manchester in England, killing 42 and injuring more than 100 in the Oldham area.
- WWII: Bande massacre. 34 men between the ages of 17 and 32 are executed by the Sicherheitsdienst near Bande, Belgium in retaliation for the killing of three German soldiers.
- The first complete U.S. production of Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker is presented in San Francisco, choreographed by Willam Christensen. It will become an annual tradition there, and for the next ten years, the San Francisco Ballet will be the only company in the United States performing the complete work.
- December 26
- December 30
- December 31 – WWII:
- Battle of Leyte: Tens of thousands of Imperial Japanese Army soldiers are killed in action, in a significant Filipino/Allied military victory.
- The 1944 Summer Olympics, scheduled for London (together with the February Winter Olympics scheduled for Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy), are suspended due to WWII.
- In Sweden, Erik Wallenberg and Ruben Rausing invent a way to package milk in paper and start the company Tetra Pak.
- The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence is established in the United States.
- Last known evidence of the existence of the Asiatic lion in the wild in Khuzestan Province, Persia.
- January 1
- January 2 – Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Cambodian politician
- January 3 – Chris von Saltza, American swimmer
- January 6
- January 9
- January 10 – Frank Sinatra, Jr., American singer-songwriter and actor (d. 2016)
- January 12
- January 17
- January 18
- January 19 – Shelley Fabares, American actress and singer
- January 23 – Rutger Hauer, Dutch actor
- January 24 – Klaus Nomi, German singer (d. 1983)
- January 25 – Sally Beauman, English writer
- January 26 – Angela Davis, American feminist and political activist
- January 27
- January 28
- January 29
- January 31
- February 2 – Geoffrey Hughes, English actor (d. 2012)
- February 3 – Trisha Noble, Australian singer and actress
- February 5
- February 8 – Roger Lloyd-Pack, English actor (d. 2014)
- February 9 – Alice Walker, American writer
- February 10 – Peter Allen, Australian-born Academy Award-winning composer and lyricist (d. 1992)
- February 11 – Michael G. Oxley, American politician (d. 2016)
- February 12 – Moe Bandy, American country music singer
- February 13
- February 14
- February 15 – Dzhokhar Dudayev, Chechen leader, first President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, an unrecognized breakaway state in the North Caucasus (d. 1996)
- February 16
- February 17
- February 20 – Willem van Hanegem, Dutch football player and coach
- February 22
- February 23 – Johnny Winter, American rock musician (d. 2014)
- February 25 – François Cevert, French racing driver (d. 1973)
- February 27 – Ken Grimwood, American writer (d. 2003)
- February 28 – Sepp Maier, German retired footballer
- February 29 – Dennis Farina, American actor (d. 2013)
- March 1
- March 2
- March 4
- March 5 – Peter Brandes, Danish artist
- March 6
- March 7 – Townes van Zandt, American singer (d. 1997)
- March 8 – Buzz Hargrove, Canadian labour leader
- March 11
- March 17
- March 19
- March 21 – Hilary Minster, English actor (d. 1999)
- March 24 – R. Lee Ermey, U.S. Marine and actor
- March 26 – Diana Ross, American urban musician and was lead singer of The Supremes
- March 27 – Khosrow Shakibai, Iranian actor (d. 2008)
- March 28
- March 29 – Denny McLain, American baseball player
- April 3 – Tony Orlando, American musician
- April 4 – Magda Aelvoet, Belgian politician
- April 5 – Peter T. King, American politician
- April 6
- April 7
- April 8
- April 11 – John Milius, American film director, producer and screenwriter
- April 13 – Jack Casady, American rock musician (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna)
- April 18 – Charlie Tuna, American disc jockey and game show announcer (d. 2016)
- April 19
- April 22 – Steve Fossett, American aviator, sailor and millionaire adventurer (d. 2007)
- April 24 – Tony Visconti, American record producer, musician and singer
- April 25 – Len Goodman, British ballroom dancer and television personality
- April 26 – Larry H. Miller, American sports owner (Utah Jazz; d. 2009)
- April 27
- April 28 – Jean-Claude Van Cauwenberghe, Belgian politician
- April 29 – Richard Kline, American actor and television director
- April 30 – Jill Clayburgh, American actress (d. 2010)
- May 1 – Suresh Kalmadi, Indian politician
- May 4 – Russi Taylor, American voice actress
- May 5
- May 8 – Gary Glitter, English singer
- May 9
- May 10 – Jim Abrahams, American film director
- May 12 – Sara Kestelman, English actress
- May 13 – Armistead Maupin, American author
- May 14 – George Lucas, American film director and producer
- May 15
- May 20
- May 21 – Mary Robinson, President of Ireland
- May 23
- May 24
- May 25 – Frank Oz, English puppeteer and film director
- May 27 – Chris Dodd, American politician
- May 28
- May 29 – Helmut Berger, Austrian actor
- May 30 – Meredith MacRae, American actress (d. 2000)
- June 1 – Robert Powell, English actor
- June 3 – Edith McGuire, American sprinter
- June 4 – Michelle Phillips, American singer and actress (The Mamas & the Papas)
- June 5
- June 6
- June 8
- June 13 – Ban Ki-moon, South Korean politician and Secretary-General of the United Nations
- June 16 – Henri Richelet, French painter
- June 17 – Bill Rafferty, American comedian and impressionist (d. 2012)
- June 21 – Ray Davies, English rock-singer and songwriter, co-founder of The Kinks
- June 24 – Jeff Beck, English rock musician
- June 29 – Gary Busey, American actor
- June 30
- July 3 – Michel Polnareff, French singer
- July 8 – Jeffrey Tambor, American actor
- July 13 – Ernő Rubik, Hungarian inventor
- July 14 – Aad Mansveld, Dutch footballer
- July 15 – Jan-Michael Vincent, American actor
- July 16 – Angharad Rees, Welsh actress (d. 2012)
- July 17
- July 21
- July 23 – Alex Buzo, of Sydney, Australian playwright and author (d. 2006)
- July 31
- August 1 – Yury Romanenko, Soviet cosmonaut
- August 2
- August 3 – Jonas Falk, Swedish actor (d. 2010)
- August 4
- August 7 – John Glover, American actor
- August 8 – Brooke Bundy, American actress
- August 9 – Sam Elliott, American actor
- August 11
- August 12 – Larry Troutman, American musician (d. 1999)
- August 13 – Kevin Tighe, American actor
- August 15 – Sylvie Vartan, French singer
- August 18 – Robert Hitchcock, Australian sculptor
- August 19 – Bodil Malmsten, Swedish writer (d. 2016)
- August 20 – Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India (d. 1991)
- August 21
- August 23 – Saira Banu, Indian actress
- August 25 – Christine Chubbuck, American television reporter (d. 1974)
- August 26 – Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
- August 30 – Tug McGraw, American baseball player (d. 2004)
- August 31 – Jos LeDuc, Canadian professional wrestler (d. 1999)
- September 1 – Leonard Slatkin, American conductor
- September 2 – Gilles Marchal, French musician
- September 3
- September 6 – Christian Boltanski, French artist
- September 7
- September 12
- September 13
- September 17 – Reinhold Messner, Italian mountaineer
- September 18
- September 19 – İsmet Özel, Turkish poet
- September 21 – Hamilton Jordan, Jimmy Carter's first White House Chief of Staff (d. 2008)
- September 22 – Frazer Hines, British actor
- September 25 – Michael Douglas, American film actor and producer
- September 26 – Anne Robinson, British television host
- September 30 – Jimmy Johnstone, Scottish footballer (d. 2006)
- October 2 – Vernor Vinge, American science fiction writer
- October 4 – Tony La Russa, American baseball player and manager
- October 5 – Arnhim Eustace, Vincentian politician and 3rd Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- October 6 – Mylon LeFevre, American singer and evangelist
- October 9
- October 15
- October 20 – Clive Hornby, English actor (d. 2008)
- October 21 – Jean-Pierre Sauvage, French scientist; recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016
- October 25 – Kati Kovács, Hungarian jazz, pop and rock musician
- October 28 – Dennis Franz, American actor
- October 30 – Ahmed Chalabi, Iraqi businessman and politician (d. 2015)
- November 1
- November 2 – Keith Emerson, British keyboardist (d. 2016)
- November 4 – Linda Gary, American voice actress (d. 1995)
- November 6 – Wild Man Fischer, Outsider musician
- November 7 – Joe Niekro, American baseball player (d. 2006)
- November 10
- November 11 – Kemal Sunal, Turkish comedian
- November 12
- November 17
- November 18 – Wolfgang Joop, German artist, fashion designer, and art collector
- November 20 – Donald DiFrancesco, American lawyer and politician, 51st Governor of New Jersey
- November 21
- November 24
- November 25 – Ben Stein, American law professor, actor and author
- November 25 – Michael Kijana Wamalwa, Kenyan politician, 8th Vice President of Kenya
- November 30 – George Graham, Scottish football player and manager
- December 1 – John Densmore, drummer, member of The Doors.
- December 2
- December 4 – Dennis Wilson, American singer, songwriter and drummer (d. 1983)
- December 5 – Jeroen Krabbé, Dutch actor and film director
- December 6
- December 7
- December 9
- December 11
- December 12
- December 17 – Bernard Hill, English actor
- December 19 – Tim Reid, American actor and comedian
- December 21
- December 22 – Steve Carlton, American baseball player
- December 23
- December 24 – Erhard Keller, German speed skater
- December 25 – Jairzinho, Brazilian football player
- December 26
- December 28 – Kary Mullis, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
- December 30 – Joseph Hilbe, American statistician and author
- December 31 – Jan Widströmer, Swedish artist
- Sima Bina, Iranian vocalist
- William Goad, British businessman and serial child rapist (d. 2012)
- Ahmad Kamyabi Mask, Iranian scholar
- Ramon Torrents, Spanish artist
- January 1
- January 4 – Kaj Munk, Danish playwright, priest and martyr (b. 1898)
- January 6 – Ida Tarbell, American journalist and muckraker (b. 1857)
- January 7 – Lou Henry Hoover, First Lady of the United States, wife of President Herbert Hoover (b. 1874)
- January 10 – William Emerson Ritter, American biologist (b. 1856)
- January 11
- Italian Fascist leaders executed in the Verona Trial
- Emilio de Bono, General, former member of the Grand Council of Fascism (b. 1866)
- Gian Galeazzo Ciano, 2nd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari, aristocrat and diplomat, former member of the Grand Council of Fascism (b. 1903)
- Giovanni Marinelli, former member of the Grand Council of Fascism (b. 1879)
- Carluccio Pareschi, former member of the Grand Council of Fascism (b. 1898)
- Luciano Gottardi (b. 1899)
- Charles King, American actor (b. 1889)
- Edgard Potier, Belgian spy (suicide) (b. 1903)
- Italian Fascist leaders executed in the Verona Trial
- January 20 – James McKeen Cattell, American psychologist (b. 1860)
- January 23 – Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter (b. 1863)
- January 29 – William Allen White, American journalist (b. 1868)
- January 31 – Jean Giraudoux, French writer (b. 1882)
- February 1 – Piet Mondrian, Dutch painter (b. 1872)
- February 4 – Yvette Guilbert, French singer and actress (b. 1867)
- February 7 – Robert E. Park, American Sociologist (b. 1864)
- February 11 – Carl Meinhof, German linguist (b. 1857)
- February 12
- February 13 – Edgar Selwyn, American screenwriter (b. 1875)
- February 16 – Henri Nathansen, Danish writer and stage director (b. 1868)
- February 21 – Ferenc Szisz, Hungarian-born race car driver (b. 1873)
- February 23 – Leo Baekeland, Belgian-born American chemist (b. 1863)
- February 29 – Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, Finnish politician, former President and Prime Minister (b. 1861)
- March 3 – Paul-Émile Janson, former Prime Minister of Belgium (b. 1872)
- March 4 – Louis Buchalter, Jewish-American mobster, head of Murder, Inc. (b. 1897)
- March 5 – Max Jacob, French poet (b. 1876)
- March 11
- March 19 – Noël Édouard, vicomte de Curières de Castelnau, French general (b. 1851)
- March 22 – Pierre Brossolette, journalist and French Resistance fighter (b. 1903)
- March 23 – Myron Selznick, American film producer (b. 1898)
- March 24 – Orde Wingate, British soldier (b. 1903)
- March 31 – Mineichi Koga, Japanese admiral (b. 1885)
- April 9 – Yevgeniya Rudneva, Soviet WWII heroine (b. 1920)
- April 17 – J. T. Hearne, English cricketer (b. 1867)
- April 21 – Hans-Valentin Hube, German army general (b. 1890)
- April 25 – George Herriman, American cartoonist (b. 1880)
- April 28 – Frank Knox, American Secretary of the Navy during WWII (b. 1874)
- April 29
- April 30 – Paul Poiret, French couturier (b. 1879)
- May 5 – Bertha Benz (b. 1849), German automotive pioneer, wife and business partner of automobile inventor Karl Benz
- May 7 – William Ledyard Rodgers, American admiral and military and naval historian (b. 1860)
- May 8 – Albert Leo Stevens, pioneering American balloonist (b. 1877)
- May 12
- May 16 – George Ade, American author (b. 1866)
- May 20
- May 23 – Thomas Curtis, American athlete (b. 1873)
- May 24
- May 25 – Clark Daniel Stearns, 9th Governor of American Samoa (b. 1870)
- May 30 – Jessie Ralph, American actress (b. 1864)
- June – Joseph Campbell, Northern Irish poet and lyricist (b. 1879)
- June 6 – Ker-Xavier Roussel, French painter (b. 1867)
- June 16 – Marc Bloch, French historian (b. 1886)
- June 27 – Milan Hodža, Slovak politician, champion of regional integration in Europe (b. 1878)
- July 1 – Carl Mayer, Austrian screenwriter (b. 1894)
- July 6
- July 7 – Georges Mandel, French politician and WWII hero (b. 1885)
- July 8
- July 12 – Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., American political and business leader (b. 1887)
- July 14 – Asmahan, Syrian-born Egyptian singer (b.1918?)
- July 15 – Joseph Sadi-Lecointe, French aviator (b. 1891)
- July 18 – Rex Whistler, English artist (b. 1905)
- July 20 – Mildred Harris, American actress (b. 1901)
- July 21
- July 25
- July 26 – Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran (b. 1877)
- July 30 – Lee Powell, American actor (b. 1908)
- July 31 – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French pilot and writer (b. 1900)
- August 1 – Manuel L. Quezon, 2nd President of the Philippines (b. 1878)
- August 2 – Kakuji Kakuta, Japanese admiral (b. 1890)
- August 4 – Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, Polish poet (b. 1921)
- August 8 – Michael Wittmann, German tank commander (killed in action) (b. 1914)
- August 10– Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Nazi opponent and lawyer (b. 1905)
- August 12
- August 18 – Ernst Thälmann, German Communist leader (executed) (b. 1886)
- August 19
- August 23
- August 26
- August 27 – Princess Mafalda of Savoy (b. 1902)
- September 5 – Gustave Biéler, Swiss WWII hero (b. 1904)
- September 6 – Jan Franciszek Czartoryski, Polish Roman Catholic priest, executed during the Warsaw Uprising (b. 1897)
- September 9 – Robert Benoist, French race car driver and war hero (b. 1895)
- September 13
- September 14
- September 16 – Gustav Bauer, 11st Chancellor of Germany (b. 1870)
- September 25
- September 27 – Aristide Maillol, French sculptor and painter (b. 1861)
- September 28 – Josef Bürckel, German Nazi gauleiter (suicide) (b. 1895)
- October 1 – Rudolf Schmundt, German general (b. 1896)
- October 2 or 3 – Benjamin Fondane, Romanian-French Symbolist poet, critic and existentialist philosopher (gassed in Auschwitz concentration camp) (b. 1898)
- October 4 – Al Smith, American politician (b. 1873)
- October 8 – Wendell Willkie, American politician (b. 1892)
- October 12 – Ramón Castillo, 25th President of Argentina (b. 1873)
- October 14 – Erwin Rommel, German field marshal (suicide) (b. 1891)
- October 21 – Alois Kayser, German missionary (b. 1877)
- October 22 – Richard Bennett, American actor (b. 1870)
- October 21 – Hilma af Klint, Swedish abstract painter (b. 1862)
- October 23 – Charles Glover Barkla, English physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1877)
- October 24 – Shōji Nishimura, Japanese vice admiral (killed in action) (b. 1889)
- October 26
- November 2 – Thomas Midgley, Jr., American chemist and inventor (b. 1889)
- November 4 – John Dill, Field Marshal of the British Army (b. 1881)
- November 5 – Alexis Carrel, French surgeon and biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1873)
- November 7 – Hannah Szenes, Hungarian World War II heroine (executed) (b. 1921)
- November 10 – Wang Jingwei, Chinese statesman, President of the Nanjing-based and Japanese-supported collaborationist Government of the Republica of China (b. 1883)
- November 12 – George F. Houston, American actor (b. 1896)
- November 14 – Trafford Leigh-Mallory, British aviator and Royal Air Force Air Chief Marshal (plane crash) (b. 1892)
- November 22 – Arthur Eddington, English astronomer, physicist and mathematician (b. 1882)
- November 25 – Kenesaw Mountain Landis, 1st commissioner of Major League Baseball (b. 1866)
- November 26 – Florence Foster Jenkins, American socialite and operatic soprano (b. 1868)
- December 2
- December 4 – Roger Bresnahan, American baseball player and MLB Hall of Famer (b. 1879)
- December 9 – Laird Cregar, American actor (b. 1916)
- December 13
- December 15 – Glenn Miller, American band leader (accident) (b. 1904)
- December 22 – Harry Langdon, American comedian (b. 1884)
- December 27 – Sára Salkaházi, Hungarian religious sister (b. 1899)
- December 30 – Romain Rolland, French writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1866)
- December 31 – Vicente Lim, Filipino general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (b. 1889)
- Physics – Isidor Isaac Rabi
- Chemistry – Otto Hahn
- Medicine – Joseph Erlanger, Herbert Spencer Gasser
- Literature – Johannes V. Jensen
- Peace – International Committee of the Red Cross
- Ken Ford (2004). Cassino 1944: Breaking the Gustav Line, p. 12. ISBN 978-1-84176-623-2
- "Convoy Mo-Ta-06 (モタ61船団)" (PDF). All Japan Seamen's Union. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
- "Greatest Maritime Disasters". International Registry of Sunken Ships. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- "More Maritime Disasters of World War II". George Duncan. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- "List of sunken ships in Pacific War (太平洋戦争時の喪失船舶明細表)" (PDF). Sunken Ships Record Association (戦没船を記録する会). Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- Kynaston, David (2007). Austerity Britain 1945–1951. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-7985-4.
- "Convoy Take Ichi" (PDF). All Japan Seamen's Union. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- Small, Ken; Rogerson, Mark (1988). The Forgotten Dead – Why 946 American Servicemen Died off the Coast of Devon in 1944 – and the Man who Discovered their True Story. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 0-7475-0309-5.
- Fenton, Ben (26 April 2004). "The disaster that could have scuppered Overlord". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Savill, Richard (26 April 2004). "Last of torpedo survivors remembers brave buddies". The Daily Telegraph.
- Wasley, Gerald (1994). Devon at War, 1939–1945. Tiverton: Devon Books. p. 157. ISBN 0-86114-885-1.
- "Year by Year 1944" – History Channel International
- Kaiser, Don (2011). "K-Ships Across the Atlantic" (PDF). Naval Aviation News. 93 (2). Retrieved 2011-09-23.
- "Blimp Squadron 14". Warwingsart.com. Retrieved 2011-09-23.
- Asperger, H. (1991) . "'Autistic psychopathy' in childhood". In Frith, Uta. Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37–92. ISBN 0-521-38448-6.
- Asperger, Hans (3 June 1944). "Die "Autistischen Psychopathen" im Kindesalter". Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten. 117 (1): 76–136. doi:10.1007/BF01837709. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- Foot, M. R. D. (1999). SOE: An Outline History of the Special Operations Executive 1940–46. London: Pimlico. p. 143. ISBN 0-7126-6585-4.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- "Nikkin Maru - Casualties (日錦丸の被害)" (PDF). All Japan Seamen's Union. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
- 56 F. Supp. 716 (N.D. Cal 1944).
- Radinger, Will; Schick, Walter (1996). Me 262 (in German). Berlin: Avantic Verlag GmbH. ISBN 3-925505-21-0.
- "Education Act, 1944" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- Prose, Francine (2014-08-01). "Anne Frank's final entry". CNN. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
On Friday, August 4, 1944... a car pulled up in front of a spice warehouse at 263 Prinsengracht in Amsterdam. Inside the car were an Austrian Gestapo officer and his Dutch subordinates, who, acting on a tip-off (whose source has never been identified), had come to arrest the eight Jews who had been hiding for two years in an attic above the warehouse. The eight prisoners were taken to a deportation camp, from where they were sent to Auschwitz. Only one of them, Otto Frank, would survive.
- Cressman, Robert J. (2000). The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in WWII. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. p. 248. ISBN 978-1-55750-149-3.
- "Convoy Hi-71 (ヒ71船団)" (PDF). All Japan Seamen's Union. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- van der Kuil, Peter (March 2003). "List of Casualties". The Sinking of the Junyo Maru.
- Van der Zee, Henri A. (1982). The Hunger Winter: Occupied Holland 1944–5. London: Norman & Hobhouse. ISBN 978-0-906908-71-6.
- Larsen, Henry A. (1967). The Big Ship: an autobiography. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart.
- "Across the Northwest Passage: The Larsen Expeditions". University of Calgary. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
- "Antwerp, "City of Sudden Death"". V2Rocket.com. Retrieved 2013-04-24.
- Gile, Chester A. (February 1963). "The Mount Hood Explosion". Proceedings. United States Naval Institute.
- "Convoy Hi-81 (ヒ81船団)" (PDF). All Japan Seamen's Union. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- As Kenneth Branagh is to do over forty years later in his successful remake.
- Reed, John (1977). "Largest Wartime Explosions: 21 Maintenance Unit, RAF Fauld, Staffs. November 27, 1944". After the Battle. 18: 35–40. ISSN 0306-154X.
- Cressman, Robert J. (2000). The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in WWII. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. p. 278. ISBN 978-1-55750-149-3.
- "The Sinking of SS Leopoldville". uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 392–394. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- "Battle of Britain". ww2db.com. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
- Guggisberg, Charles Albert Walter (1961). Simba: the life of the lion. Cape Town: Howard Timmins.