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Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—23 May 1944

US patrol in Cisterna, Italy, 25 May 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—23 May 1944: In Italy Allies launch assault to break out at Anzio and cut Highway 7 below Cisterna. In breakout from Anzio, US 3rd Division suffers 1000 casualties, among the costliest days for any US division of the war.

Today in World War II History—22 May 1944

Destroyer escort USS England off San Francisco, CA, 9 Feb 1944 (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

75 Years Ago—22 May 1944: In the Solomons, destroyer escort USS England sinks RO-106, the second of six Japanese submarines sunk in twelve days, the most successful antisubmarine operation by a single ship in history. French Resistance blows up hydroelectric station in Bussy.

Today in World War II History—21 May 1944

Sailors fighting fires on USS LST-480 resulting from explosion of LST-353 the previous day, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, 22 May 1944 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—21 May 1944: US Eighth and Ninth Air Forces conduct first “Chattanooga” strafing mission against Nazi railroad targets. At Pearl Harbor, ammunition explosion on landing craft USS LST-353 kills 163, destroys 8 other ships.

Today in World War II History—20 May 1944

Men of 163rd Infantry Regiment hit the beach from Higgins boats during the invasion of Wakde Island, New Guinea, 18 May 1944 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—20 May 1944: US troops secure Wakde Island off New Guinea. Iceland holds referendum: 99.5% will vote to sever ties with Denmark and establish a new republic. Polish resistance captures an intact German V-2 rocket and will ship the parts to England in July.

Today in World War II History—19 May 1944

B-17G Flying Fortress “Miss Donna Mae II” drifting under another bomber over Berlin, 19 May 1944 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—19 May 1944: Final German U-boat victory in the Mediterranean as U-453 sinks British freighter Fort Missanabie off Taranto, Italy. On US Eighth Air Force mission to Berlin, B-17 Miss Donna Mae II of the 94th Bomb Group is lost when a bomb falls on her from above.

Today in World War II History—18 May 1944

Polish soldiers inside the ruins of the Monte Cassino monastery, Italy, 18 May 1944 (public domain via WW2 Database)

75 Years Ago—18 May 1944: Polish troops take Monte Cassino and the abbey; British take Cassino town. First air evacuation from Myitkyina Airfield in Burma: Japanese planes strafe the C-47 cargo planes on the ground, many are wounded, but two flight nurses are unharmed. US secures Manus—the Admiralty Islands in the Pacific are now in… Read more »

Today in World War II History—17 May 1944

P-51B Mustang "Old Crow" of the US 357th Fighter Group in invasion stripes for D-day (Imperial War Museum, Roger Freeman Collection)

75 Years Ago—17 May 1944: Countdown to D-day: Allied Expeditionary Air Force approves “invasion stripes” for Allied aircraft for D-day, not announced yet to maintain security (black & white stripes to prevent friendly fire). Chinese troops and Merrill’s Marauders (US guerillas) take Myitkyina airfield, the only hard-surfaced field in northern Burma. US 879th Engineer Aviation… Read more »

Today in World War II History—16 May 1944

World War II poster

75 Years Ago—16 May 1944: US, Britain, USSR, and the governments-in-exile of Belgium, Norway, and the Netherlands sign an agreement concerning the administration of countries as they are liberated.

Today in World War II History—15 May 1944

Gen. Bernard Montgomery and King George VI at Montgomery's headquarters in Britain, 22 May 1944 (Imperial War Museum)

75 Years Ago—15 May 1944: Countdown to D-day: General Dwight Eisenhower accepts the final mission plans for Overlord and a conference is held in London for all the top commanders with King George VI and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in attendance. Nazis begin the deportation of Hungary’s 440,000 Jews to Auschwitz.