RAAF Spitfires taking off from airfield near Darwin, Australia, 24 March 1943 (Australian War Memorial)
75 Years Ago—May 2, 1943: Japanese bomb Darwin in 54th air raid on Australia; RAAF loses eight Spitfire fighter planes when intercepting bombers and Zero fighters.
In a Fireside Chat, Pres. Franklin Roosevelt appeals to striking coal miners to return to work.
Secretary of War Henry Stimson awarding the Medal of Honor to Staff Sgt. Maynard “Snuffy” Smith of 306th Bombardment Group, 12 July 1943 (US Army Air Force photo)
75 Years Ago—May 1, 1943: On his first mission with the 306th Bomb Group, gunner Staff Sgt. Maynard “Snuffy” Smith puts out a fire in his B-17, aids wounded gunners, and mans his gun—his actions earn him the Medal of Honor.
US Second War Loan Drive ends, raising $18.5 billion (quota was $13 billion).
US troops advancing near Hill 609 in Tunisia, 28 April 1943 (US Army Center of Military History)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 30, 1943: In Tunisia, US II Corps takes Hill 609 en route to Mateur.
Operation Mincemeat: sub HMS Seraph puts corpse dressed as officer into the sea off Spain, with phony papers detailing Allied invasion of Greece—as a diversion from the actual planned invasion of Sicily; the Spanish send the papers to the Germans, who fall for the ruse.
US poster, WWII
75 Years Ago—Apr. 29, 1943: US War Labor Board demands equal pay for equal work for women in war industries, retroactive to April 5.
US Civil Air Patrol is transferred from Office of Civilian Defense to the War Department as an Army Air Force auxiliary.
Hedgehog, an anti-submarine mortar, on destroyer HMS Westcott, 1945, weapons used by escort ships in battle of convoy ONS-5 (Imperial War Museum)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 28, 1943: Allied Atlantic convoy ONS-5 begins battle with U-boats: by May 6, 6 U-boats and 13 Allied ships will be sunk; the battle is considered a crucial turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Brig. Orde Wingate in India after returning from operations in Japanese-occupied Burma with his Chindits unit in 1943 (Imperial War Museum)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 27, 1943: Radar-jamming devices become operational in eastern England.
British/Indian Chindits cross Chindwin River in return to India from raids in Burma.
Wendell Willkie, 3 March 1940 (Library of Congress)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 26, 1943: British take Longstop Hill in drive for Tunis, Tunisia.
One World by former Republican presidential candidate Wendell Willkie tops the bestseller list.
Hill complex in Sidi Nsir area, 1943 (US Army Center of Military History)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 25, 1943: In Tunisia, US II Corps takes Hill 438 near Sedjanane after heavy fighting, and takes three hills near Sidi Nsir.
On Easter Sunday, Britain allows ringing of church bells.
Women’s Flying Training Detachment class 43-3, January 1943, Houston Municipal Airport, TX (Photo by Lois Hailey, public domain via Wikipedia)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 24, 1943: 99th Fighter Squadron arrives at Casablanca to serve with the US Twelfth Air Force, the first black USAAF unit to serve overseas.
First Women’s Flying Training Detachment class (precursor of WASPs) graduates from flight training.
Norfolk House, St. James’s Square, London, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 23, 1943: US II Corps launches final drive in Tunisia, aiming for Mateur and Bizerte.
Allied Combined Chiefs of Staff establishes COSSAC (Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander) for planning the invasion of western Europe (D-day), under Lt. Gen. Sir Frederick Morgan, based at Norfolk House in London.