b-blog

Today in World War II History—Mar. 7, 1944

Nazi German poster, 1940s, stating “Mothers! Fight for your children!”

Nazi German poster, 1940s, stating “Mothers! Fight for your children!”

75 Years Ago—Mar. 7, 1944: Nazis make house-to-house calls to recruit women ages 17-45 for war work.

Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill

Within These Lines by Stephanie MorrillIt’s difficult enough for Evalina Cassano and Taichi Hamasaki. Their interracial romance is frowned upon in 1942, and they haven’t told their families. With anti-Japanese sentiment rising in Northern California after Pearl Harbor, Taichi and his family face growing discrimination.

Then the US government evacuates the Hamasakis to the War Relocation Center at Manzanar. Taichi struggles to adjust to the difficult conditions in the camp and to his separation from Evalina. Meanwhile, Evalina is incensed by how Taichi, as a US citizen, is treated by his own country.

At Manzanar, Taichi is caught up in the rising tensions between those who stand for America and those who stand for the Japanese empire, and he doubts whether he should drag Evalina into the mess of his life. And in San Francisco, Evalina has ethical struggles – what does it mean to love your country while you hate what it’s doing? When should you be silent, and when should you speak up?

Thought provoking and timely, Within These Lines highlights a dark period in history. Through compelling characters, we see the injustice and feel the fears and doubts and dilemmas. But mostly, we see the shimmering ribbon of hope through Evalina and Taichi’s unrelenting love. Stephanie Morrill has written a novel to ponder, a novel to cherish.

Today in World War II History—Mar. 6, 1944

US Eighth Air Force B-17s bombing Berlin, 1944 (USAF photo)

US Eighth Air Force B-17s bombing Berlin, 1944 (USAF photo)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 6, 1944: US Eighth Air Force loses 69 out of 730 bombers in mission to Berlin—its costliest raid ever.

Countdown to D-day: US Navy’s Force U established under Rear Adm. Don Moon for support off Utah Beach on D-day.

Today in World War II History—Mar. 5, 1944

Lt. Charles "Chuck" Yeager of the 357th Fighter Group, with his P-51 Mustang "Glamorous Glen," 17 October 1944 (Imperial War Museum, Roger Freeman Collection)

Lt. Charles “Chuck” Yeager of the 357th Fighter Group, with his P-51 Mustang “Glamorous Glen,” 17 October 1944 (Imperial War Museum, Roger Freeman Collection)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 5, 1944: Future test pilot Flight Officer Chuck Yeager of the US 357th Fighter Group is shot down in his P-51 over Gironde, France; he evades capture with help of French resistance.

In Second Chindit Raid, Wingate’s Special Force (British/Indian) and US Army engineers make airborne drops in Burma and build “Broadway” airstrip; C-47s double-tow gliders to Broadway airstrip but nearly all are damaged.

Today in World War II History—Mar. 4, 1944

Lt. Gen. Alexander Patch, August 1945 (US Army Center of Military History)

Lt. Gen. Alexander Patch, August 1945 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 4, 1944: Maj. Gen. Alexander Patch assumes command of US Seventh Army in Algiers, to prepare for landings in southern France.

US Eighth Air Force flies its first bombing mission to Berlin.

Today in World War II History—Mar. 3, 1944

US VI Corps Headquarters in a wine cellar near Anzio, Italy, 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

US VI Corps Headquarters in a wine cellar near Anzio, Italy, 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 3, 1944: Allies repel final German counterattack at Anzio; forces will remain at standstill for next two months in bad weather.

Today in World War II History—Mar. 2, 1944

75 Years Ago—Mar. 2, 1944: Academy Awards ceremony held: Best picture of 1943—Casablanca; best actor—Paul Lukas in Watch on the Rhine; best actress—Jennifer Jones in Song of Bernadette; best director—Michael Curtiz for Casablanca.

Today in World War II History—Mar. 1, 1944

Advertisement about penicillin from Schenley Laboratories, 14 August 1944

Advertisement about penicillin from Schenley Laboratories, 14 August 1944

75 Years Ago—Mar. 1, 1944: Pfizer opens first commercial plant for large-scale production of penicillin by submerged-culture method, in Brooklyn.

In the US, toothpaste buyers no longer have to turn in old tubes to buy new (required since 4 April 1942 due to tin shortage). Read more: “Make It Do—Metal Shortages in World War II”

Today in World War II History—Feb. 28, 1944 & Feb. 29, 1944

The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom

The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom

75 Years Ago—Feb. 28, 1944: German Gestapo raids the home of Corrie ten Boom in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and arrests 30 family members & friends, but 6 Jews in hiding are not discovered. All but Corrie, Betsie, and their father Casper are released; Casper dies 10 days later, and Betsie dies in Ravensbrück on December 16, 1944. Corrie ten Boom survives the war to write her moving account, The Hiding Place.

First Victory ship (larger and faster than Liberty Ships), the United Victory, is completed by Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation.

Leap Year Bonus! 75 Years Ago—Feb. 29, 1944: US Army lands on Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands.

First wave of US Army troops landing on Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands, 29 Feb 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

First wave of US Army troops landing on Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands, 29 Feb 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

Today in World War II History—Feb. 27, 1944

Cartoon giving information on new rationing tokens, February 1944 (US government publication)

Cartoon giving information on new rationing tokens, February 1944 (US government publication)

75 Years Ago—Feb. 27, 1944: Alamo Scouts (US Sixth Army) enter combat, conducting reconnaissance of Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands.

US issues plastic tokens to make change for ration stamps—blue for processed foods, red for meats and fats.