75 Years Ago—Sept. 24, 1942: Over Stalingrad, Soviet pilot Olga Yamschchikova becomes the first female pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Hitler dismisses Gen. Franz Halder, Chief of Army General Staff, for criticizing policy, replaced by Gen. Kurt Zeitzler.
Posts Categorized: Today WWII History
75 Years Ago—Sept. 23, 1942: Brig. Gen. James Doolittle is named the new commander of the US Twelfth Air Force, which will go to North Africa. US Marines launch offensive on Lunga perimeter on Guadalcanal to drive Japanese out of range of Henderson Field.
75 Years Ago—Sept. 22, 1942: Germans split Soviet army in Stalingrad, occupy southern half of city. US Army raises grade of first sergeant to that of master sergeant, adds third “rocker” to chevron.
75 Years Ago—Sept. 21, 1942: British and Indian troops launch assault into the Arakan Peninsula in Burma. First test flight of Boeing XB-29 Superfortress heavy bomber in Seattle.
75 Years Ago—Sept. 20, 1942: As of this date, US production of Liberty ships exceed sinkings of cargo ships. Allied Combined Chiefs of Staff approve final plan for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa in November 1942.
75 Years Ago—Sept. 19, 1942: Britain expands Compulsory Fire Watch duty to women ages 20-45 with exemptions for pregnant women and mothers of children under 14. Canada begins rationing gasoline—civilians receive 2.5 gallons per week. New song in Top Ten: “Wonder When My Baby’s Coming Home?”
75 Years Ago—Sept. 18, 1942: On Guadalcanal, Marine reinforcements arrive, also supplies, fuel, vehicles, and ammunition, allowing restoration of full rations.
75 Years Ago—Sept. 17, 1942: German Admiral Karl Dönitz issues the Laconia Order, forbidding rescue operations by U-boats after US B-24s bombed U-boats rescuing survivors of the Sept. 12 sinking of the Laconia. Col. Leslie Groves placed in command of Manhattan Project to develop atom bomb.
75 Years Ago—Sept. 16, 1942: Japanese drive on Port Moresby, New Guinea, halts at Ioribaiwa Ridge. Germans and Soviets engage in heavy street fighting in Stalingrad.
75 Years Ago—Sept. 15, 1942: Off Guadalcanal, Japanese sub I-19 damages carrier USS Wasp (scuttled by destroyer USS Lansdowne) and shoots the bow off destroyer USS O’Brien, which is repaired. US forms Women’s Flying Training Detachment under Miss Jacqueline Cochran to train pilots, a precursor to the WASP program.