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Today in World War II History—Aug. 7, 1943

Soviet soldier in Russia, 1 Aug 1943 (Russian International News Agency: 997)

Soviet soldier in Russia, 1 Aug 1943 (Russian International News Agency: 997)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 7, 1943: Soviets launch offensive near Smolensk, Russia.

Fighting erupts between nationalists and communists in Shantung Province, China.

Today in World War II History—Aug. 6, 1943

Troina, Sicily, WWII (US Army Center of Military History)

Troina, Sicily, WWII (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 6, 1943: Battle of Vella Gulf: 6 US Navy destroyers sink 3 Japanese destroyers in the Solomon Islands, ending Japanese plans to reinforce New Georgia.

After a heavy battle, US Seventh Army takes Troina, Sicily to find most Germans had evacuated the night before.

Gen. Terry Allen and his deputy Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (Pres. Theodore Roosevelt’s son) are removed from command of US 1st Infantry Division on Sicily.

Today in World War II History—Aug. 5, 1943

Frances Green, Margaret (Peg) Kirchner, Ann Waldner and Blanche Osborn leaving their B-17, “Pistol Packin’ Mama,” at the four-engine school at Lockbourne AAF, Ohio, during WASP ferry training (USAF photo)

Frances Green, Margaret (Peg) Kirchner, Ann Waldner and Blanche Osborn leaving their B-17, “Pistol Packin’ Mama,” at the four-engine school at Lockbourne AAF, Ohio, during WASP ferry training (USAF photo)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 5, 1943: British Eighth Army takes Catania, Sicily.

US Army secures Munda Field on New Georgia, to become major airfield in South Pacific, putting all the Solomon Islands in reach of fighters.

WASP formed (Women’s Airforce Service Pilots) by combining Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron and Women’s Flying Training Detachment, under Miss Jacqueline Cochran.

Munda Airfield, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, WWII (US Army Center of Military History)

Munda Airfield, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, WWII (US Army Center of Military History)

Today in World War II History—Aug. 4, 1943

San Fratello Ridge, Sicily (US Army Center of Military History)

San Fratello Ridge, Sicily (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 4, 1943: US Seventh Army launches attack on San Fratello Ridge on Sicily’s north shore.

First US Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal awarded to a woman, Ens. Rosalie Thorne of the WAVES.

WAVES firing pistols at a range at Treasure Island Naval Base, CA, 11 Feb 1943 (US National Archives)

WAVES firing pistols at a range at Treasure Island Naval Base, CA, 11 Feb 1943 (US National Archives)

Today in World War II History—Aug. 3, 1943

Gen. George Patton in Gela, Sicily, July 1943 (US National Archives)

Gen. George Patton in Gela, Sicily, July 1943 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 3, 1943: German paratroopers arrive outside Rome to “protect” against Allied invasion, but really to occupy the city in case Italy surrenders.

Gen. George Patton slaps a patient at the US 15th Evacuation Hospital at Nicosia, Sicily for supposed cowardice—the patient suffered from malaria and combat fatigue (first of two such incidents).

Today in World War II History—Aug. 2, 1943

PT-109 and crew, 1943, Lt. John F. Kennedy at right (US National Archives)

PT-109 and crew, 1943, Lt. John F. Kennedy at right (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 2, 1943: Torpedo boat USS PT-109, commanded by future president Lt. John F. Kennedy, is sunk in the Solomon Islands by Japanese destroyer Amagiri; 2 killed, the 11 survivors swim 4 hours to a deserted island.

At Treblinka concentration camp, 200 Jews lead an armed revolt and burn buildings, but most are killed.

Today in World War II History—Aug. 1, 1943

US B-24D Liberator The Sandman over the burning Astra Romania oil refinery in Ploesti, Romania, Aug 1 1943 (US National Archives)

US B-24D Liberator The Sandman over the burning Astra Romania oil refinery in Ploesti, Romania, Aug 1 1943 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 1, 1943: US Ninth Air Force flies disastrous low-altitude bombing raid on Nazi oil refineries in Ploesti, Romania: 52 of 179 B-24 bombers are lost, 5 Congressional Medals of Honor are earned.

Today in World War II History—July 31, 1943

Italian soldiers captured by the Germans in Bolzano, Italy, September 1943 (German Federal Archive: Bild 183-J15358)

Italian soldiers captured by the Germans in Bolzano, Italy, September 1943 (German Federal Archive: Bild 183-J15358)

75 Years Ago—July 31, 1943: German troops enter Italy under pretense of reinforcing forces in Sicily, but actually to occupy the country in case Italy surrenders.

Movie premiere of John Huston’s Academy Award-winning documentary Report from the Aleutians.

Today in World War II History—July 30, 1943

P-47Cs of the US 78th Fighter Group, 1943 (US National Archives)

P-47Cs of the US 78th Fighter Group, 1943 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—July 30, 1943: First fighter pilot of the US Eighth Air Force achieves ace status (five victories)—Capt. Charles London, 78th Fighter Group, flying a P-47 Thunderbolt.

Anti-Fascists riot in Milan, Italy.

Today in World War II History—July 29, 1943

US Eighth Air Force B-17s in formation, 1943 (US Army Air Force photo)

US Eighth Air Force B-17s in formation, 1943 (US Army Air Force photo)

75 Years Ago—July 29, 1943: As Blitz Week continues, US Eighth Air Force bombs Kiel and Warnemünde, while RAF returns to battered Hamburg.