Events occurring on Tuesday, March 16, 1943  
  Diplomacy  
  Soviet Marshall Josef Stalin reiterates his view that a Second Front is needed in a message to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The Soviet troops have fought strenuously all winter and are continuing to do so, while Hitler is taking important measures to rehabilitate and reinforce his Army for the spring and summer operations against the USSR; it is therefore particularly essential for us that the blow from the West no longer be delayed, that it be delivered this spring or early summer.”  
   
  The Solomon Islands Campaign  
  During the night four U.S. destroyers, under command of Commander Francis X. McInerney, bombarded Japanese positions at Vila on the southeast coast of Kolombangara Island, Solomon Islands. Good results were reported and no casualties were suffered by the American forces.  
   
  The Battle of the Atlantic  
  Sailing with Convoy UGS-6, the American steam merchant Benjamin Harrison was torpedoed and sunk by the U-172, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Carl Emmermann, in the mid Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 3 died and 69 survivors were picked up by the destroyer USS Rowan (DD 405). The 7,191 ton Benjamin Harrison was carrying food, machinery, ammunition, trucks and tanks and was headed for North Africa.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy HX-229, the Norwegian motor merchant Elin K. was torpedoed and sunk by the U-603, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Joachim Bertelsmann, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 40 survived and were picked up by the corvette HMS Pennywort (K 111). The 5,214 ton Elin K. was carrying wheat, manganese ore, and mail and was headed for Belfast Lough, Ireland.  
   
  Allied Submarine Action in the Pacific  
  The submarine USS Flying Fish (SS 229), commanded by Lt. Commander Glynn R. Donaho, reported that it sank the Japanese victualling stores ship Hyuga Maru west of the Marianas.  
   
  The submarine USS S-32 (SS 137), commanded by Lt. Commander M.G. Schmidt, reported that it damaged the submarine IJN RO-103 off Silipuaka Island, Papua New Guinea.  
   
  Ships Commissioned  
  A ship's commissioning was when the ship was handed over, post fittings and trials, to the end user which, in this case, was a combatant navy.  
  The USS Wadsworth (DD 516) was commissioned. Her first commander was Commander John F. Walsh.  
     
   
  March 1943 Calendar  
   
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