Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—Oct. 16, 1943

Patch of the US Ninth Air Force, WWII

75 Years Ago—Oct. 16, 1943: After transfer from Italy, US Ninth Air Force is re-formed as a tactical force at Sunninghill, England under Lt. Gen. Lewis Brereton (Eighth Air Force to be a strategic force). US-built Lend-Lease destroyer escorts, transferred to the Royal Navy (which calls them frigates), enter combat for the first time, escorting… Read more »

Today in World War II History—Oct. 14, 1943

Map showing US Eighth Air Force mission to Schweinfurt, Germany, 14 October 1943 (Source: US Air Force)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 14, 1943: Schweinfurt mission: US Eighth Air Force sends 291 B-17s (plus 29 B-24s flying a diversion) to bomb ball-bearings plant at Schweinfurt, Germany, 60 B-17s lost; heavy losses lead to temporary suspension of daytime bombing without fighter escort. Luftwaffe Oberleutnant Walter Nowotny becomes the first fighter pilot in the world with… Read more »

Today in World War II History—Oct. 13, 1943

US self-propelled 105-mm howitzer on a pontoon treadway bridge at the Volturno River, Italy, 1943 (US Army Center for Military History)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 13, 1943: US Fifth Army crosses Volturno River in Italy, securing beachhead and valley. Italy declares war on Germany.

Today in World War II History—Oct. 12, 1943

Low-flying US bombers dropping parachute bombs on Vunakanau airfield at Rabaul, 1943 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 12, 1943: Portugal allows Allies to use air and naval bases in the Azores. US Fifth Air Force & Royal Australian Air Force begin major assault on Rabaul, New Britain, key to Japan’s South Pacific defense; 349 bombers strike, sinking 5 ships.

Today in World War II History—Oct. 11, 1943

Adm. Frank Jack Fletcher, September 1942 (US Navy photo)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 11, 1943: Vice Adm. Frank Jack Fletcher succeeds Thomas Kinkaid over North Pacific Area. World Series concludes: New York Yankees defeat St. Louis Cardinals four games to one.

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 »