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Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—Oct. 10, 1943

Members of Spanish Blue Division fighting for Germany near Leningrad, 1943 (public domain via Wikipedia)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 10, 1943: Gen. Franco of Spain orders “Blue” Division of Spanish volunteers serving in German army back to Spain; a few thousand disobey and remain. A German time bomb in Naples kills 23 US combat engineers.

Today in World War II History—Oct. 9, 1943

B-17F of US 94th Bomb Group over Marienburg, Germany, 9 October 1943 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 9, 1943: US Eighth Air Force sends 378 B-17 and B-24 bombers to bomb Marienburg, Anklam, Danzig, and Gdynia—their longest mission to date, which allows them to surprise the Germans.

Today in World War II History—Oct. 7, 1943

Memorial for the 98 US civilian contract POWs who were executed by the Japanese on 7 Oct 1943; an unidentified prisoner escaped and chiseled "98 US PW 5-10-43" on this rock before he was executed himself (US Air Force photo)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 7, 1943: Japanese execute all 98 US civilian construction POWs on Wake Island in reprisal for US air raids. First German time bomb explodes in Naples, in the main post office, leading to 70 casualties; more bombs will explode over the next 3 weeks. Movie premiere of Lassie Come Home, starring Roddy… Read more »

Today in World War II History—Oct. 6, 1943

Destroyers USS Selfridge (bow shot off) and USS O’Bannon at New Caledonia for repairs after Battle of Vella Lavella (US Navy photo)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 6, 1943: Naval Battle of Vella Lavella: US fails to prevent Japanese evacuation of the island; US and Japanese each lose one destroyer; last surface engagement in the Solomons and last clear-cut naval victory for the Japanese. US Fifth Army reaches Volturno River in Italy.

Today in World War II History—Oct. 5, 1943

USS Minneapolis, USS San Francisco, and USS New Orleans bombard Wake Island, 5 Oct 1943 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 5, 1943: US Navy Task Force 14 strikes Wake Island, and its aircraft destroy 61 Japanese planes. US Fifth Army declares Naples secure.

Today in World War II History—Oct. 4, 1943

Pier built by US Army engineers over hull of sunken ship, Naples, 1943 (US Army Center for Military History)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 4, 1943: Only US fleet carrier action in north Atlantic: in joint action with Royal Navy, aircraft from USS Ranger attack two German convoys at Bodø, Norway, sink 5 ships. Free French secure Corsica. First Liberty ship docks at Naples’s wrecked harbor.

Today in World War II History—Oct. 3, 1943

Map of the Solomon Islands area, WWII (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 3, 1943: Japanese finish evacuating Kolombangara, their last air base in the Solomons, after the island had been bypassed and isolated by the Allies.

Today in World War II History—Oct. 2, 1943

Australian transport company unloads supplies at Finschhafen, Oct. 1943 (Australian War Mermorial)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 2, 1943: Australians take Finschhafen, New Guinea. Nazis arrest Danish Jews, but 7000 have been safely transported to Sweden and only about 500 remain in Denmark. NFL season opens with new team, the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Combine, the “Steagles,” since the Steelers and the Eagles had been decimated by the draft. New song in… Read more »

Today in World War II History—Oct. 1, 1943

Poster for US Third War Loan Drive, Sept. 9-Oct. 1, 1943

75 Years Ago—Oct. 1, 1943: In Italy, US Fifth Army and British X Corps enter Naples, while British Eighth Army occupies Foggia and its airfields. US Third War Loan Drive ends, raising $19 billion (quota $15 billion). Read more: World War II War Bonds.