Southwick House, England, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)
75 Years Ago—April 26, 1944: Countdown to D-day: Allied Naval Command Expeditionary Force staff move to Battle Headquarters for D-day at Southwick House, Hampshire, England.
Federal troops seize Montgomery Ward plant after Sewell Avery refuses to sign with CIO as ordered by War Labor Board; Avery is carried out by soldiers.
To learn more about Southwick House and see pictures from my tour, please see “The Sea Before Us—Tour of Southwick House.”
Delia Greythorne enjoys serving as a governess for the five Twethewey children, but when their father dies, the children are sent from Yorkshire to live with their uncle, Jac Twethewey, at Penwythe Hall in Cornwall. Delia never wanted to return to her native Cornwall and the memories of her husband and baby daughter, who died. Even worse, her former in-laws are still there. They hold Delia responsible for her husband’s death – and want information they believe she has.
Jac Twethewey has his hands full trying to make his estate’s apple orchards and new cider press successful, and the arrival of Mrs. Greythorne and his five nieces and nephews only makes his life more complicated. Especially since Mrs. Greythorne is so attractive. But she seems to be harboring secrets which could endanger all he holds dear.
Set on the dramatic Cornish coast, The Governess of Penwythe Hall is more than a Regency-governess story. Danger! Secrets! Smugglers! The combination of romance and intrigue makes for a fun tale, and once again Sarah Ladd shows the effect of growing industrialization on rural England, a historical touch that I enjoyed. Delia and Jac are endearing characters, and the themes of overcoming grief and guilt add depth. I highly recommend this novel.
Pre-invasion Bombing of Pointe du Hoc by US Ninth Air Force A-20 light bombers, spring 1944. (US Army Center for Military History)
75 Years Ago—April 25, 1944: US Seventh Air Force B-24s make first land-based air attack on Guam.
Countdown to D-day: due to damage from a US Ninth Air Force raid, German gun crews at Pointe du Hoc move surviving guns 0.8 miles south of the battery site and place telegraph poles in original positions.
Tadji Airstrip at Aitape, New Guinea, April 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)
75 Years Ago—April 24, 1944: US secures Aitape, New Guinea, and opens Tadji Airstrip at Aitape.
Movie premiere of Double Indemnity, starring Fred MacMurray & Barbara Stanwyck, which will be nominated for 7 Oscars.
Sikorsky YR-4B at NACA Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, Hampton, VA, 29 March 1945 (NASA photo)
75 Years Ago—April 23, 1944: Countdown to D-day: Air Plan for Operation Overlord is issued.
US Sixth Army secures Hollandia, New Guinea.
A helicopter is used for combat air rescue for the first time—a Sikorsky YR-4B helicopter of the US 1st Air Commando Group rescues four downed airmen in the Burma jungle, two at a time.
US Signal Corps cameramen Carl Weinke and Ernest Marjoram at Hollandia, New Guinea, 22 Apr 1944 (US National Archives)
75 Years Ago—April 22, 1944: US Sixth Army lands at Hollandia and Aitape, New Guinea with little opposition.
In the US, typewriters are removed from rationing. Read more: “Make It Do—Metal Shortages in World War II.”
US poster, WWII
Gen. Hans-Valentin Hube with the 16th Panzer Division outside Stalingrad, 23 August 1942 (Public domain via Wikipedia)
75 Years Ago—April 21, 1944: German Gen. Hans-Valentin Hube is killed in a plane crash at Berchtesgaden; Gen. Erhard Raus replaces him over German First Panzer Army.
US Navy Task Force 58, with 12 aircraft carriers, begins bombing and bombardment of Hollandia, Wakde, Sawar, and Sarmi areas of New Guinea in preparation for the next day’s landings.
Hawker Hurricane of RAF No.42 Squadron piloted by Flying Officer “Chowringhee” Campbell, attacking a bridge in Burma on the Tiddim Road near Imphal (Imperial War Museum: CF 175)
75 Years Ago—April 20, 1944: British relieve siege at Kohima, India, but Japanese retain town of Kohima and maintain the siege of the critical Imphal area.
W. Somerset Maugham’s best-selling novel The Razor’s Edge is published.
US poster about food rationing, WWII
75 Years Ago—April 19, 1944: Japanese launch Ichi-Go offensive in China to open a corridor to Indochina (Vietnam) and to capture US airbases.
British Eastern Fleet & US Task Group 38.5 aircraft hit Sabang, Sumatra as diversion from upcoming Hollandia operation, the first joint UK/US action in the Indian Ocean.
In the US, shortening, salad & cooking oils are removed from rationing, but butter & margarine are still rationed. Read more: “Make It Do—Rationing of Butter, Fats & Oils in World War II.”
Japanese ships and harbor facilities after Allied carrier strike on Sabang, Sumatra, 19 Apr 1944 (Imperial War Museum: 4700-01 A 23249)
Scraggy Hill at Imphal, India, April 1944 (Imperial War Museum)
75 Years Ago—April 18, 1944: Last air raid on London, the end of the “Little Blitz”; in the Little Blitz, on the eve of D-day, the German Luftwaffe lost over 500 aircraft, while the RAF lost only 8 aircraft.
Allies begin air supply to besieged British and Indian troops at Imphal, India.
Jerome Robbins’s ballet Fancy Free debuts at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, the inspiration for the musical On the Town.