US Marine signalmen setting up a command post in the streets of Roi-Namur, Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, 1 Feb 1944 (US National Archives)
Bronze star (US Army Institute of Heraldry)
75 Years Ago—Feb. 4, 1944: US secures Kwajalein and Majuro Islands in Kwajalein Atoll.
Japanese open offensive against Indian troops on Arakan, Burma.
US authorizes Bronze Star medal for meritorious or heroic achievement, less than the Silver Star, retroactive to 7 Dec 1941.
US Navy blimp K-29 makes the first carrier landing by a nonrigid airship, on escort carrier USS Altamaha off San Diego, CA.
K-29 of Airship Patrol Squadron ZP-31 lifts off from escort carrier USS Altamaha off the California coast, 24 Feb 1944 (US Navy photo)
Lt. Gen. Sir Bernard Freyberg, WWII (US Army Center of Military History)
75 Years Ago—Feb. 3, 1944: In Italy, New Zealand Corps is formed under Lt. Gen. Sir Bernard Freyberg over New Zealand 2nd Division and Indian 4th Division.
Italian Fascists violate Vatican City sovereignty and arrest several Jews hiding there.
Remains of Italian barracks near Cassino, Italy, February 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)
75 Years Ago—Feb. 2, 1944: Soviets enter German-occupied Estonia.
In Italy, US II Corps enters outskirts of Cassino town and takes Italian barracks area at Montevilla.
Gen. Omar Bradley, Adm. Bertram Ramsay, Air Chief Marshal Arthur Tedder, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Gen. Bernard Montgomery, Air Chief Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory, and Gen. Walter Bedell Smith at a SHAEF conference in London, England, 1 Feb 1944 (Imperial War Museum TR 1541)
US landing craft approaching Namur, 1 February 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)
75 Years Ago—Feb. 1, 1944: Countdown to D-Day: Allied leaders issue Neptune Initial Joint Plan for D-day, including a 5-division front.
US Marines land on Roi & Namur in Kwajalein Atoll in Marshall Islands.
Article by Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty published in Journal of Experimental Medicine identifies the “transforming factor” as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
US Army troops land at Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, 31 Jan 1944 (US National Archives)
75 Years Ago—Jan. 31, 1944: US Army and Marines land on Kwajalein & Majuro in the Marshall Islands—the first use of the DUKW and of underwater demolition teams in the Pacific.
Soldiers of the US 3rd Ranger Battalion board LCIs bound for Anzio; two weeks later, nearly all will be killed or captured at Cisterna (US Army Photograph)
75 Years Ago—Jan. 30, 1944: At Anzio, the Allies resume the offensive, but find the Germans fortified and reinforced.
At Anzio, US 1st & 3rd Ranger Battalions assault Cisterna and are almost wiped out when surrounded by elite Hermann Göring Division (of 767 Rangers, only 6 are not killed or captured).
Battleship USS Missouri firing a salvo, Aug 1944 (US National Archives)
75 Years Ago—Jan. 29, 1944: USS Missouri is launched at New York Navy Yard, the US Navy’s last battleship, christened by Margaret Truman, daughter of Sen. Harry Truman (currently a museum ship at Pearl Harbor, HI).
Guns of the battleship USS Missouri keeping watch over the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, HI, November 2016 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)
Men of the US 99th Fighter Squadron (“Tuskegee Airmen”) and a P-40 fighter in North Africa, 1943 (US Air Force photo)
75 Years Ago—Jan. 28, 1944: Over Anzio, the US 99th Fighter Squadron (Tuskegee Airmen) in P-40s shoots down 4 German Fw 190 fighter planes—the previous day they shot down 8 Fw 190s.
Soviet troops fighting in Pushkin district of Leningrad, Russia, 2 Jan 1944 (Russian International News Agency image #309/Boris Kudoyarov)
75 Years Ago—Jan. 27, 1944: Soviets break siege of Leningrad after 872 days and 1.5 million deaths.
Lt. Gen. Omar Bradley succeeds Lt. Gen. George Grunert over US First Army, which is preparing for Operation Overlord (D-day).
Lt. Gen. Omar Bradley, circa 1944 (US Army photo)
LSTs landing US troops at Anzio, 22 January 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)
75 Years Ago—Jan. 26, 1944: British landing ship LST-422 damaged by a mine off Anzio; of 700 aboard, 454 US soldiers & 29 British sailors killed.
Allied ships are ordered to withdraw from the Anzio beachhead to reduce risk from air raids.
Argentina severs relations with Germany and Japan after a vast Axis spy ring is uncovered in the country.