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Today in World War II History—Jan. 21, 1942

General Erwin Rommel and officers at El Agheila, Libya, 12 Jan 1942 (German Federal Archive: Bild 183-1982-0927-503)

General Erwin Rommel and officers at El Agheila, Libya, 12 Jan 1942 (German Federal Archive: Bild 183-1982-0927-503)

75 Years Ago—Jan. 21, 1942: German forces under Gen. Erwin Rommel attack British at El Agheila, Libya; will drive 350 miles in 17 days.

Japanese begin air offensive against New Guinea.

Today in World War II History—Jan. 20, 1942

List of Jewish populations by country used at the Wannsee Conference, 20 Jan 1942 (public domain)

List of Jewish populations by country used at the Wannsee Conference, 20 Jan 1942 (public domain)

75 Years Ago—Jan. 20, 1942: At the Wannsee Conference, Nazis under SS security chief Reinhard Heydrich plan “Final Solution” to “Jewish Problem.”

Japanese launch main attack into southern Burma from Thailand.

Japanese transports en route to Rabaul become first Japanese Army forces to cross equator in history.

Today in World War II History—Jan. 19, 1942

Maj. Jimmy Stewart confers with B-24 crewmen, England, 1943 (US Air Force photo)

Maj. Jimmy Stewart confers with B-24 crewmen, England, 1943 (US Air Force photo)

75 Years Ago—Jan. 19, 1942: British North Borneo surrenders to Japanese at Sandakan.

Actor James Stewart receives his wings and commission in the US Army Air Forces.

Off Cape Hatteras, NC, German U-boat U-123 sinks Latvian freighter Ciltvaira and US freighters City of Atlanta and Norvana.

Today in World War II History—Jan. 18, 1942

German troops in the Demyansk Pocket unloading supplies from a Ju 52 transport, Jan 1942 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-003-3446-16)

German troops in the Demyansk Pocket unloading supplies from a Ju 52 transport, Jan 1942 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-003-3446-16)

75 Years Ago—Jan. 18, 1942: As Japanese advance, RAF withdraws bombers from Singapore to Sumatra.

Field Marshal Fedor von Bock assumes command of German Army Group South.

Dutch begin to destroy oil facilities at Balikpapan, Borneo so they won’t fall into Japanese hands.

Soviets surround Germans at Demyansk, Russia, German troops are supplied by air.

Today in World War II History—Jan. 17, 1942

Arctic Convoy poster, British, WWII75 Years Ago—Jan. 17, 1942: Field Marshal Walther von Reichenau of German Army Group South dies of stroke.

British and South African troops take Halfaya Pass on Egyptian border and 5500 Axis POWs.

Off Murmansk, German U-boat U-454 sinks British destroyer Matabele in convoy PQ-8, first U-boat group action against an Allied Arctic convoy.

Today in World War II History—Jan. 16, 1942

US War Production Board seal

US War Production Board seal

75 Years Ago—Jan. 16, 1942: US attacks Japanese at Morong, on Bataan Peninsula in Philippines in last US horse-led cavalry charge in history.

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber first flies in combat—from Java.

US War Production Board (WPB) formed under Donald M. Nelson.

Actress Carole Lombard killed in plane crash near Las Vegas while on war bond tour, age 33.

Today in World War II History—Jan. 15, 1942

ABDA command meeting, 10 Jan 1942 (public domain via WW2 Database)

ABDA command meeting, 10 Jan 1942 (public domain via WW2 Database)

75 Years Ago—Jan. 15, 1942: ABDA Command headquarters (American, British, Dutch, Australian) opens under Gen. Sir Archibald Wavell at Batavia, Java.

Jawaharlal Nehru succeeds Gandhi as head of India’s Congress Party.

President Franklin Roosevelt asks the baseball commissioner to continue the sport during the war.

Today in World War II History—Jan. 14, 1942

Royal Canadian Navy officer questioning Japanese-Canadian fishermen while confiscating their boat, 9 Dec 1941 (Library & Archives Canada)

Royal Canadian Navy officer questioning Japanese-Canadian fishermen while confiscating their boat, 9 Dec 1941 (Library & Archives Canada)

75 Years Ago—Jan. 14, 1942: Off Long Island, German U-boat U-123 sinks Panamanian tanker Norness, the first sinking in US waters.

Ports of Boston, Portsmouth, and Portland, ME closed temporarily due to U-boat warning.

In US “enemy aliens” are required to register with Department of Justice.

Canada designates 100-mile security zone in British Columbia, all males of Japanese ancestry 18-45 ordered to vacate; 23,000 men will be sent to labor camps, women and children deported to six inner BC towns.

Today in World War II History—Jan. 13, 1942

today-wwii75 Years Ago—Jan. 13, 1942: First use of an ejection seat—by German test pilot Helmut Schenk in He 280 jet.

The Arnold-Portal agreement specifies the number of aircraft the US will provide to Britain, while building the US Army Air Forces to a goal of 115 groups.

Today in World War II History—Jan. 12, 1942

U-123 preparing to fire on surface vessel off East Coast, Jan-Feb 1942 (German Federal Archive, Bild 101II-MW-4008-20)

U-123 preparing to fire on surface vessel off East Coast, Jan-Feb 1942 (German Federal Archive, Bild 101II-MW-4008-20)

75 Years Ago—Jan. 12, 1942: Off Nova Scotia, German U-boat U-123 sinks British freighter Cyclops, the first loss in Germany’s “Operation Paukenschlag.”

Col. Charles Lindbergh is refused a military command due to his vocal pre-war isolationist work.

US forms National War Labor Board to deal with union wage demands.

In US, Victory Book Campaign begins to collect reading material for servicemen.