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Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—August 12, 1944

Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (US Navy photo)

75 Years Ago—August 12, 1944: Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (brother of the future president) is killed in a top-secret Aphrodite mission from England, in which planes loaded with bombs are guided by remote control to the target after the pilots bail out. First PLUTO (Pipeline under the Ocean) becomes operational, taking fuel from Isle… Read more »

Today in World War II History—August 11, 1944

Map depicting the Allied breakout in Normandy, France, 1-13 Aug 1944 (US Military Academy)

75 Years Ago—August 11, 1944: In France, US Third Army crosses the Loire River. At Nantes, France, Germans scuttle ships as Allies approach. Fifty black sailors who survived the Port Chicago Explosion still refuse to load munitions and are charged with mutiny. [see Port Chicago: The Work Stoppage]

Today in World War II History—August 10, 1944

Men of Company B, 305th RCT, moving out from high ground on Guam (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—August 10, 1944: US secures Guam, although one Japanese soldier won’t surrender until 1972. Britain holds the 50th anniversary of the “Proms” concerts in Bedford rather than London due to German V-1 flying bombs, conducted without Sir Henry Wood for the first time ever due to Wood’s failing health (he passes away August… Read more »

Today in World War II History—August 9, 1944

Smokey Bear's first appearance on a Forest Fire Prevention campaign poster, released on August 9, 1944

75 Years Ago—August 9, 1944: At Mare Island Navy Yard in Vallejo, CA, 258 black sailors who survived the Port Chicago Explosion refuse to load munitions and are imprisoned [see Port Chicago: The Work Stoppage]. US Fifteenth Air Force Aircrew Rescue Unit (Italy) flies first mission, evacuating 268 airmen & refugees from Yugoslavia in C-47… Read more »

Today in World War II History—August 8, 1944

Adolf Hitler showing Benito Mussolini the wreckage after the unsuccessful assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, Wolfsschanze, Rastenburg, Germany, late July 1944 (German Federal Archive: Bild 146-1969-071A-03)

75 Years Ago—August 8, 1944: Eight German officers are hanged in Berlin for their role in the July 20 Hitler assassination plot; by February 3, 1945, 4980 will be executed. Japanese take Hengyang in their drive south across China, taking the US Fourteenth Air Force air base at Hengyang.

Today in World War II History—August 7, 1944

US troops in Mortain, France (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—August 7, 1944: In Normandy, Canadian forces launch drive toward Falaise, and Germans open counteroffensive in US First Army area, retaking Mortain but falling short of goal of reaching Avranches. Cherbourg Harbor opens for Allied traffic in France. At Harvard University, IBM reveals the Harvard Mark I, the first program-controlled computer (has 50… Read more »

Today in World War II History—August 6, 1944

B-26B Marauder of the 441st Bomb Squadron (US Twelfth Air Force) over Île du Levant, France south of St. Tropez on raid to bomb gun installations, 4 Aug 1944 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—August 6, 1944: US Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces in Italy begin pre-invasion bombing of southern France, attacking bridges and railroads in the Rhȏne Valley.

Today in World War II History—August 5, 1944

Polish resistance fighter during the Warsaw Uprising, Aug 1944 (public domain via WW2 Database)

75 Years Ago—August 5, 1944: Japanese POWs in Australia attempt mass escape from Cowra camp; 334 escape; 231 Japanese and 4 guards are killed in the escape and roundup; all are recaptured within nine days. In Warsaw, Polish insurgents liberate a forced labor camp, and 348 Jews join the rebellion. 

Today in World War II History—August 4, 1944

Aerial view of Florence (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—August 4, 1944: Anne Frank and her family are discovered in hiding in Amsterdam and are arrested. British Eighth Army occupies southern Florence below the Arno; Germans have destroyed all bridges except the historic Ponte Vecchio. French Resistance leaders parachute into Brittany to organize the uprising against the Germans.

Today in World War II History—August 3, 1944

75 Years Ago—August 3, 1944: US and Chinese forces take crucial town of Myitkyina, Burma. King George VI approves Education Act to reform British secondary schools.