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Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—Sept. 20, 1943

Soldiers from the 2/6th Independent Company display Japanese flags they captured during the battle of Kaiapit, 22 September 1943 (Australian War Memorial 057510)

75 Years Ago—Sept. 20, 1943: Australian 2/6th Independent Company defeats larger Japanese force at Kaiapit, New Guinea, opening up the Ramu Valley and sites for airstrips. At Auletta, Italy, US Fifth Army meets British Eighth Army advancing from south. New Zealanders secure Vella Lavella in the Solomon Islands. US War Department puts all coastal observation… Read more »

Today in World War II History—Sept. 19, 1943

US soldiers in makeshift Fifth Army office in ancient Temple of Neptune in Paestum, Italy, 22 September 1943 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Sept. 19, 1943: In Italy, Allies secure Salerno plain. Australians open offensive in Ramu Valley, New Guinea and take Kaiapit, but the Japanese counterattack in force. Decca Records signs deal with the striking musicians’ union and becomes the first studio to record in a year.

Today in World War II History—Sept. 18, 1943

Map of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, Central Pacific (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—Sept. 18, 1943: US opens Central Pacific offensive as US Seventh Air Force B-24 bombers and Navy Task Force 15 carrier aircraft begin bombing Tarawa, Makin, and Apemama in the Gilbert Islands. Premiere of weekly radio show I Sustain the Wings on CBS with Capt. Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band.

Today in World War II History—Sept. 17, 1943

US medical air evacuation from Italy to North Africa, 1943 (US Army Medical Department photo)

75 Years Ago—Sept. 17, 1943: Germans begin retreat from Salerno plain in Italy. US 802nd Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron begins air evacuation from Salerno, Italy. Soviets take Bryansk, Russia.

Today in World War II History—Sept. 16, 1943

Australian troops debarking from LST landing ships for the occupation of Lae, New Guinea, September 1943 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—Sept. 16, 1943: Australians take Lae on New Guinea. Soviets take Novgorod and Novorossisk, Russia. Danish Freedom Council (Frihedsrådet) established to organize resistance groups, with British SOE support.

Today in World War II History—Sept. 15, 1943

With USS LST-1 in the background, US Army Engineers haul a roll of wire mesh to make a beach roadway, Salerno, Italy, September 1943 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Sept. 15, 1943: US and British forces repulse German attacks at Salerno, Italy and secure the beachhead. Germans announce death penalty for Italians caught with firearms.

Today in World War II History—Sept. 14, 1943

US guards at the Temple of Neptune, Paestum, Italy, which served as US Fifth Army HQ after the landings at Salerno, Italy, September 1943 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Sept. 14, 1943: At Salerno, Italy, US repels German counterattack. Meanwhile, British Eighth Army progresses to control “heel” and “toe” of Italy.

Today in World War II History—Sept. 13, 1943

USS LST-1 landing US troops on a beach near Salerno, Italy, September 1943 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Sept. 13, 1943: At Salerno, Italy, Germans counterattack down the Sele River and drive to within 3 miles of the beach, and paratroopers of the US 82nd Airborne are dropped behind US lines near Paestum as reinforcements. British hospital ship Newfoundland is sunk by the Luftwaffe off Salerno, Italy; 23 killed, including all… Read more »

Today in World War II History—Sept. 12, 1943

Otto Skorzeny, Harald Mors, and Benito Mussolini in front of Hotel Campo Imperatore, Gran Sasso, Italy, 12 Sept 1943 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-567-1503C-15)

75 Years Ago—Sept. 12, 1943: German SS detachment in gliders rescues Mussolini from Gran Sasso, where he was imprisoned by the Italian government. In New Guinea, Australians take Salamaua and its airfield. US War Ration Book Three becomes active.

Today in World War II History—Sept. 11, 1943

Light cruiser USS Savannah immediately after being hit by German FX-1400 bomb in Salerno Bay, Italy, 11 September 1943 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Sept. 11, 1943: Germans finish occupation of Rome & northern Italy, capturing most of Italian army. Light cruiser USS Savannah is damaged by a German FX-1400 guided bomb off Salerno, Italy, 206 killed. New song in Top Ten: “Paper Doll.”