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Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—July 18, 1943

US Navy blimp K-110 of Airship Patrol Squadron ZP-42 escorting a convoy along Brazilian coast, 1943-45 (US Navy photo)

75 Years Ago—July 18, 1943: Only US blimp lost in action during WWII: off Florida, US Navy airship K-74 fires on German U-boat U-134, but is shot down.

Today in World War II History—July 17, 1943

Lt. Katye Swope of the 802nd Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron checks patients being evacuated from Agrigento, Sicily to North Africa for further medical treatment, 25 July 1943. (US Air Force photo)

75 Years Ago—July 17, 1943: Off Bougainville in the Solomons, 192 Allied aircraft (US Thirteenth Air Force, US Navy, US Marine Corps & RNZAF) shoot down 44 Japanese planes. US 802nd Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron arrives at Ponte Olivo Airfield; air evacuation begins from Sicily. (Read more: three-part series starting with Medical Air Evacuation… Read more »

Today in World War II History—July 16, 1943

Commandos of Australian 2/3rd Independent Company north of Orodubi (between Mubo and Salamaua), New Guinea, 29 July 1943 (Australian War Memorial: 127976)

75 Years Ago—July 16, 1943: Australians advance from Wau, New Guinea toward Salamaua. Generaloberst Walter Model, CO of German Ninth Army, assumes second role as CO of Second Panzer Army after the Gestapo arrests Generaloberst Rudolf Schmidt. Britain announces plan to remodel secondary schools (ages 11-15) into grammar, modern, and technical tiers.

Today in World War II History—July 15, 1943

US DUKW carrying supplies in Porto Empedocle, Sicily (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—July 15, 1943: US Seventh Army takes Agrigento and Porto Empedocle, Sicily. Germans capture & execute most British Special Operatives in Paris. Lt. Louis Zamperini (Unbroken) and Lt. Russell Phillips are rescued by Japanese after 45 days in a lifeboat; they will survive the war as POWs. US Navy changes aircraft carrier designations:… Read more »

Today in World War II History—July 14, 1943

Sherman tank of XIII Corps, British Eighth Army in Francofonte, Sicily, 13-14 Jul 1943 (Imperial War Museum: 4700-39 NA 4448)

75 Years Ago—July 14, 1943: On Sicily, British Eighth Army takes Vizzini, Lentini, and Simeto. In Krasnodor, Russia, Soviets try 11 Germans in the first war crimes trial of the war. Movie premiere of For Whom the Bell Tolls, starring Gary Cooper & Ingrid Bergman.

Today in World War II History—July 13, 1943

Survivors from Japanese light cruiser Jintsu, dressed in US Navy uniforms, aboard destroyer USS Nicholas, 13 Jul 1943 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—July 13, 1943: Due to the Allied invasion of Sicily, Hitler orders a halt to the Kursk offensive in Russia. Battle of Kolombangara: in the Solomon Islands, US & New Zealand ships sink Japanese light cruiser Jintsu, but fail to prevent Japanese reinforcement of Kolombangara.

Today in World War II History—July 12, 1943

Pharmacist at the US 8th Evacuation Hospital, Teano, Italy, March 1944 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—July 12, 1943: Battle of Prokhorovka at Kursk—in the largest tank battle in history, Soviets advance as Germans lose 400 tanks. On Sicily, US and British forces link at Ragusa. President Roosevelt signs bill establishing the Army Pharmacy Corps; 72 officers are authorized, but most pharmacists remain enlisted men. (Read more: Pharmacy in… Read more »

Today in World War II History—July 11, 1943

American transport SS Robert Rowan exploding after being hit by German Ju 88 bombers, Gela, Sicily, 11 July 1943—all 421 aboard survive (US Army Signal Corps photo)

75 Years Ago—July 11, 1943: German Luftwaffe bombers attack Allied invasion fleet off Sicily. On the heels of Luftwaffe attack, US ships fire on US C-47s loaded with paratroopers, one of the worst fratricidal incidents of the war; 23 C-47s lost, 318 casualties. At Gela, Sicily, US cruisers and destroyers halt a German armored counterattack…. Read more »

Today in World War II History—July 10, 1943

US Seventh Army landing at Gela, Sicily, 10 July 1943 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—July 10, 1943: Operation Husky: Allies invade Sicily. US Seventh Army lands at and takes Gela, Scoglitti, and Licata, while British Eighth Army lands at and takes Syracuse. US first uses DUKW amphibious vehicles in combat in Husky landings. US Navy first uses a General Communications ship (USS Ancon) to coordinate ship-to-shore communications.

Today in World War II History—July 9, 1943

Paratroopers of the US 82nd Airborne Division on a C-47 bound for Sicily, July 1943 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—July 9, 1943: Opening the invasion of Sicily before midnight, British troops land in gliders near Syracuse and paratroopers of US 82nd Airborne Division land near Gela. US Army opens assault on Munda, New Georgia.