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Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—Aug. 19, 1943

WASP C-47 flight crew: Pilot Joanna Trebtoske (Jenks), left, and Copilot Marjorie Logan (Rolle) at Romulus Army Air Field, MI (US Air Force photo)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 19, 1943: Australians take Mt. Tambu and Komiatum Ridge, New Guinea after a month of fighting. First Wasps (Women’s Airforce Service Pilots) are assigned to US Troop Carrier Command.

Today in World War II History—Aug. 18, 1943

Barrage balloon, Parris Island, SC, May 1942 (Source: US Library of Congress)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 18, 1943: Luftwaffe chief of staff Hans Jeschonnek commits suicide after previous day’s RAF raid on Peenemünde and US Eighth Air Force raids on Schweinfurt and Regensburg. Army Air Force barrage balloon battalions are inactivated in US.

Today in World War II History—Aug. 17, 1943

B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of the US Eighth Air Force over Schweinfurt, Germany, 17 August 1943 (USAF photo)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 17, 1943: US Seventh Army takes Messina, and Allies secure Sicily, taking 160,000 POWs. US Eighth Air Force sends 376 B-17 & B-24 bombers to Schweinfurt and Regensburg in Germany; 60 bombers are lost. RAF sends 596 bombers to Peenemünde, Germany, bombing rocket installations for the first time.

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

Messina, Sicily, WWII (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 16, 1943: As US and British forces converge on Messina, Sicily, US artillery first fires at Italian mainland. US B-17 Flying Fortress bombers fly final mission in Southwest Pacific; US P-47 Thunderbolt fighters fly first mission in Southwest Pacific.

Today in World War II History—Aug. 15, 1943

Canadian soldier inspecting a captured Japanese machine gun, Kiska, Aleutian Islands, 16 Aug 1943 (Source: US Library of Congress)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 15, 1943: First island-hopping: US Army & Marines land on Vella Lavella in the Solomons, bypassing Kolombangara. US and Canadian forces land on Kiska in the Aleutians and find the Japanese had left 2 weeks before.

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

Franklin Roosevelt, the Earl of Athlone, Mackenzie King, and Winston Churchill on the terrace at the Citadelle, Québec, Canada, Aug 1943 (Source: Imperial War Museum: TR 1347)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 14, 1943: Quadrant Conference opens in Québec: Roosevelt and Churchill commit to landings in Normandy in 1944. Under Eisenhower’s orders, Gen. George Patton apologizes to the soldiers he slapped. US changes insignia for military aircraft: border of bars switched from red to dark blue. “Big Inch” pipeline is completed, transporting crude oil… Read more »

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

The “Bridge in the Sky” hung by US Army 10th Engineer Battalion, Cape Calava, Sicily, 13 Aug 1943 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 13, 1943: US Army 10th Engineer Battalion builds “bridge in the sky” along a steep seaside cliff at Cape Calava, Sicily. Future evangelist and recent Wheaton College graduate Billy Graham marries Ruth Bell.

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

Movie premiere of This Is the Army, Warner’s Earle Theater, Washington, DC, 12 Aug 1943 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 12, 1943: Movie premiere of Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army at Warner’s Earle Theater, Washington, DC, starring George Murphy, Joan Leslie & Ronald Reagan.

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

Brolo Beach, Sicily, WWII (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 11, 1943: Germans and Italians begin the successful evacuation of 100,000 soldiers from Sicily to mainland Italy. US Seventh Army makes amphibious landings at Brolo on Sicily’s north shore, but fails to cut off German retreat. Movie premiere of Heaven Can Wait, starring Gene Tierney & Don Ameche.