B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of the US Eighth Air Force over Schweinfurt, Germany, 17 August 1943 (USAF photo)
75 Years Ago—Aug. 17, 1943: US Seventh Army takes Messina, and Allies secure Sicily, taking 160,000 POWs.
US Eighth Air Force sends 376 B-17 & B-24 bombers to Schweinfurt and Regensburg in Germany; 60 bombers are lost.
RAF sends 596 bombers to Peenemünde, Germany, bombing rocket installations for the first time.
Messina, Sicily, WWII (US Army Center of Military History)
75 Years Ago—Aug. 16, 1943: As US and British forces converge on Messina, Sicily, US artillery first fires at Italian mainland.
US B-17 Flying Fortress bombers fly final mission in Southwest Pacific; US P-47 Thunderbolt fighters fly first mission in Southwest Pacific.
Canadian soldier inspecting a captured Japanese machine gun, Kiska, Aleutian Islands, 16 Aug 1943 (Source: US Library of Congress)
75 Years Ago—Aug. 15, 1943: First island-hopping: US Army & Marines land on Vella Lavella in the Solomons, bypassing Kolombangara.
US and Canadian forces land on Kiska in the Aleutians and find the Japanese had left 2 weeks before.
Franklin Roosevelt, the Earl of Athlone, Mackenzie King, and Winston Churchill on the terrace at the Citadelle, Québec, Canada, Aug 1943 (Source: Imperial War Museum: TR 1347)
75 Years Ago—Aug. 14, 1943: Quadrant Conference opens in Québec: Roosevelt and Churchill commit to landings in Normandy in 1944.
Under Eisenhower’s orders, Gen. George Patton apologizes to the soldiers he slapped.
US changes insignia for military aircraft: border of bars switched from red to dark blue.
“Big Inch” pipeline is completed, transporting crude oil from Texas to northeast states.
US national insignia for aircraft, August 1943-January 1947
The “Bridge in the Sky” hung by US Army 10th Engineer Battalion, Cape Calava, Sicily, 13 Aug 1943 (US Army Center of Military History)
75 Years Ago—Aug. 13, 1943: US Army 10th Engineer Battalion builds “bridge in the sky” along a steep seaside cliff at Cape Calava, Sicily.
Future evangelist and recent Wheaton College graduate Billy Graham marries Ruth Bell.
Movie premiere of This Is the Army, Warner’s Earle Theater, Washington, DC, 12 Aug 1943 (US National Archives)
75 Years Ago—Aug. 12, 1943: Movie premiere of Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army at Warner’s Earle Theater, Washington, DC, starring George Murphy, Joan Leslie & Ronald Reagan.
Brolo Beach, Sicily, WWII (US Army Center of Military History)
75 Years Ago—Aug. 11, 1943: Germans and Italians begin the successful evacuation of 100,000 soldiers from Sicily to mainland Italy.
US Seventh Army makes amphibious landings at Brolo on Sicily’s north shore, but fails to cut off German retreat.
Movie premiere of Heaven Can Wait, starring Gene Tierney & Don Ameche.
RAF Handley Page Halifax Mk 3 heavy bomber (British government photo)
75 Years Ago—Aug. 10, 1943: RAF sends 653 heavy bombers to hit Nuremberg, Germany at night.
At the US 93rd Evacuation Hospital, San Stefano, Sicily, Gen. George Patton slaps a soldier suffering from combat fatigue, accusing him of cowardice, the second such episode.
Men of US 25th Infantry Division on Zieta Trail, New Georgia, 12 August 1943 (US Army Center of Military History)
75 Years Ago—Aug. 9, 1943: On New Georgia in Solomon Islands, US northern and southern landing forces link.
US Army PFC Harvey White administering plasma to wounded Private Roy Humphrey, Sant’Agata, Sicily, 9 Aug 1943 (US National Archives)
75 Years Ago—Aug. 8, 1943: Torpedo boats USS PT-157 and PT-171 rescue Lt. John F. Kennedy and crew of USS PT-109 from island in the Solomons.
US Seventh Army lands at Sant’Agata on Sicily’s north coast to outflank Axis, takes San Fratello Ridge and Sant’Agata, but fails to cut off German retreat.