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.
US Navy PBY Catalina on patrol, 1942-43 (US Navy photo)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 22, 1943: US Navy PBY Catalinas based in Iceland and Greenland drive off U-boats threatening Allied convoy HX-234.
Adm. Mineichi Koga, 1940s (public domain via Wikipedia)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 21, 1943: Adm. Mineichi Koga replaces Yamamoto as commander of Japanese Combined Fleet.
Lt. Louis Zamperini, bombardier, inspecting a hole in his B-24D Liberator, Superman, damaged over Nauru, 20 Apr 1943; photo taken at Funafuti in Gilbert Islands (US National Archives)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 20, 1943: Britain establishes Women’s Home Guard Auxiliaries, but women do not receive weapons training.
British Eighth Army takes Enfidaville, Tunisia, and its airfield.
B-24 bombers of the US Seventh Air Force based in Funafuti destroy a Japanese phosphate plant at Nauru; Lt. Louis Zamperini (Unbroken) serves as a bombardier on this raid.
Burning buildings in the Warsaw Ghetto, late Apr 1943 (public domain via WW2 Database)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 19, 1943: Jewish ghetto uprising begins in Warsaw; Germans initially retreat in face of armed resistance.
Belgian resistance rescues 150 Jews from a train, but 220 others die in the attack.
Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, shortly before he was shot down and killed, Apr 1943 (public domain via WW2 Database)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 18, 1943: “Palm Sunday Massacre”—US Ninth Air Force and RAF fighters shoot down 59 German transport planes bound for North Africa.
Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of Japanese Combined Fleet, is killed when his plane is shot down by US Thirteenth Air Force P-38s over Bougainville.
Crew of US Coast Guard Cutter Spencer watch as their depth charge explodes near German U-boat U-175, 17 April 1943 (US National Archives)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 17, 1943: US Eighth Air Force: 107 B-17s bomb Focke-Wulf plant in Bremen, Germany; sixteen B-17s are lost, including ten in the 306th Bomb Group, the heaviest US loss so far.
In convoy HX-233 off Ireland, US Coast Guard cutter Spencer sinks German U-boat U-175; Spencer’s crewmen become first US servicemen to board an enemy warship underway since the War of 1812.
Molecular structure of lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD (public domain via Wikipedia)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 16, 1943: Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman accidentally ingests LSD and learns of its hallucinogenic properties.
Maj. Gen. Omar Bradley (right), commander US II Corps, and Lt. Gen. Kenneth Anderson, commander of the British First Army, April 1943 (US Army Center of Military History)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 15, 1943: Maj. Gen. Omar Bradley takes command of US II Corps; Patton is relieved to prepare for invasion of Sicily.
US 17th Airborne Division activated at Camp Mackall, NC under Maj. Gen. William Miley.
Cocoanut Grove nightclub after the fire, Boston, MA, 30 November 1942 (US Army Signal Corps photo)
75 Years Ago—Apr. 14, 1943: Stalin’s son, Yakov Dzhugashvili, dies at Sachsenhausen as a prisoner of war of the Germans.
Owner of the Cocoanut Grove, Barnett Welansky, is sentenced to 12-15 years for manslaughter for the deadly November 1942 fire in Boston (he is pardoned & released in 1946 due to terminal cancer).