Lt. Gen. Mark Clark aboard USS Ancon off Salerno, Italy, 12 Sept 1943
75 Years Ago—Oct. 21, 1942: Maj. Gen. Mark Clark lands by sub at Cherchel, Algeria for clandestine meeting with Vichy French in preparation for the upcoming Allied invasion.
WWI ace Eddie Rickenbacker’s B-17 ditches in the central Pacific; crew afloat for 24 days.
Congress passes Revenue Act of 1942, which raises $7 billion in new income taxes and reduces deductions, adding 13 million new taxpayers into the system.
Movie premiere of For Me and My Gal with Gene Kelly in his debut and Judy Garland.
US poster encouraging lumber production, 1943
75 Years Ago—Oct. 20, 1942: US War Production Board orders stop to all non-essential civil construction projects.
Southern Conference on Race Relations issues Durham Manifesto urging voting rights and equal educational and job opportunities.
75 Years Ago—Oct. 19, 1942: German Jews no longer allowed meat, wheat products, milk, or eggs.
US War Production Board mandates tin can collection in cities with a population greater than 25,000. (See Make It Do – Scrap Drives During World War II)
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.