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

Vice Adm. William Halsey, 1941 (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

Vice Adm. William Halsey, 1941 (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 18, 1942: Hitler orders execution of all Allied commandos taken prisoner, even if in uniform.

Vice Adm. William Halsey replaces Vice Adm. Robert Ghormley as Commander South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force.

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

US Army V-Disc with Bing Crosby recordings of “White Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” 1945 (public domain via Wikipedia)

US Army V-Disc with Bing Crosby recordings of “White Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” 1945 (public domain via Wikipedia)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 17, 1942: Luftwaffe abandons daylight raids against Malta.

Germans take Tractor Factory in Stalingrad.

Abel’s Field opens at Fasari, New Guinea, named after missionary Cecil Abel who constructed the airfield with native help.

New song in Top Ten: “White Christmas.”

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

Submarine USS Thresher after launch, 1940 (US Navy photo)

Submarine USS Thresher after launch, 1940 (US Navy photo)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 16, 1942: Cyclone kills 40,000 in Bengal, leading to serious famine in 1943.

Sub USS Thresher mines approaches to Bangkok, Thailand in first US Navy submarine mine plant of WWII.

Aaron Copland ballet Rodeo premieres in New York City.

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

Soldiers of US 92nd Infantry Division with German prisoner captured in civilian clothes, Lucca, Italy, September 1944 (US National Archives)

Soldiers of US 92nd Infantry Division with German prisoner captured in civilian clothes, Lucca, Italy, September 1944 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 15, 1942: Japanese execute three American airmen captured after Doolittle raid.

US 92nd Infantry Division (“Buffalo Soldiers”) reactivated at Fort Huachuca AZ, composed of African-American troops.

US begins rationing of fuel oil for heating in the East and Midwest.

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

Soviet gun being towed by horses, Eastern Europe, 1 Oct 1942 (Russian International News Agency)

Soviet gun being towed by horses, Eastern Europe, 1 Oct 1942 (Russian International News Agency)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 14, 1942: Hitler orders halt in east except in Stalingrad and the Caucasus to prepare for winter defense.

Australians and Japanese battle for Templeton’s Crossing on Kokoda Trail, New Guinea.

Off Newfoundland, German sub U-69 sinks British railway ferry SS Caribou; 136 killed, mostly civilians, including Naval Nursing Sister Agnes Wilkie, the only Canadian nurse killed in action in WWII.

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

Wreckage of US radio station at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, after Japanese bombardment, 14 October 1942 (US Army Center of Military History)

Wreckage of US radio station at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, after Japanese bombardment, 14 October 1942 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 13, 1942: First US Army troops land on Guadalcanal, the 164th Infantry Regiment, joining the US Marines.

Japanese naval shelling makes Henderson Field inoperable on Guadalcanal.

First flight of the North American Mustang X with a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, in Hucknall, England; the engine transforms the Mustang into a high-altitude, long-distance fighter.

RAF Mustang Mk. X, 1942 (British government photo)

RAF Mustang Mk. X, 1942 (British government photo)

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

75 Years Ago—Oct. 12, 1942: Restrictions lifted against Italian nationals living as long-term residents in US—no longer classified as enemy aliens, able to travel freely and to own cameras and guns, and not required to carry ID cards.

Today in World War II History—Oct. 11, 1942

US sailor W.R. Martin points to scoreboard of light cruiser USS Boise from the Battle of Cape Esperance, 11-12 October 1942; the six Japanese ships claimed overstates actual enemy losses, not uncommon in night battles, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, PA, November 1942 (US Naval History and Heritage Command).

US sailor W.R. Martin points to scoreboard of light cruiser USS Boise from the Battle of Cape Esperance, 11-12 October 1942; the six Japanese ships claimed overstates actual enemy losses, not uncommon in night battles, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, PA, November 1942 (US Naval History and Heritage Command).

75 Years Ago—Oct. 11, 1942: The Battle of Cape Esperance begins off Guadalcanal: US ships will sink a Japanese heavy cruiser and three destroyers.

Today in World War II History—Oct. 10, 1942

Gen. George Patton and Rear Admiral Kent Hewitt aboard cruiser USS Augusta, off Morocco during Operation Torch, 8 or 9 Nov 1942 (US National Archives)

Gen. George Patton and Rear Admiral Kent Hewitt aboard cruiser USS Augusta, off Morocco during Operation Torch, 8 or 9 Nov 1942 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 10, 1942: Rear Adm. Kent Hewitt appointed commander of Western Naval Task Force for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa.

Bing Crosby’s recording of “White Christmas” is released.