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Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—May 20, 1943

US rationing books owned by my mother and grandmother, WWII (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

75 Years Ago—May 20, 1943: US Tenth Fleet established in Washington, DC under Adm. Ernest King to control shore-based antisubmarine operations in the Atlantic, the only US fleet without ships. US War Ration Book Three is distributed by mail.

Today in World War II History—May 19, 1943

Navy Lt. C.C. Corley flying TDN-1 attack drone on its first (piloted) test flight from Traverse City, MI, 19 May 1943 (US Navy photo)

75 Years Ago—May 19, 1943: German U-boat U-954 sunk in North Atlantic by British sloop Sennen and British frigate Jed; all hands lost, including Peter Dönitz, son of Adm. Karl Dönitz. First (piloted) flight of US Navy attack drone TDN-1, Traverse City, MI.

Today in World War II History—May 18, 1943

US troops traveling across snow and ice during the Battle of Attu in the Aleutian Islands, May 1943 (Australian War Memorial)

75 Years Ago—May 18, 1943: On Attu, southern and northern landing forces of the US Army link. Allies begin major air offensive against island of Pantelleria between Sicily and Tunisia.

Today in World War II History—May 17, 1943

B-17 Memphis Belle and her crew in England, 7 June 1943 (US Air Force photo)

75 Years Ago—May 17, 1943: The crew of B-17 Memphis Belle becomes the first entire crew to complete a 25-mission tour in the US Eighth Air Force in England. On Attu in the Aleutians, US Army secures Holtz Bay and Jarmin Pass.

Today in World War II History—May 16, 1943

Möhne Dam in Germany after the RAF Dambuster Raid, 18 May 1943 (British Government photo)

75 Years Ago—May 16, 1943: RAF’s Dambuster Raid: 19 modified Lancaster bombers destroy the Möhne and Eder dams in Germany’s Ruhr Valley with “bouncing bombs,” causing severe flooding. Germans crush Jewish ghetto uprising in Warsaw; 13,000 killed in uprising, 50,000 captured.

Today in World War II History—May 15, 1943

Fire caused by errant bats from the experimental bat bomb, Carlsbad Army Air Base, NM, 15 May 1943 (US Army Air Force photo)

75 Years Ago—May 15, 1943: Germans launch fifth offensive against Tito’s Partisans in Yugoslavia. US Army ends experiment in using “bat bombs” as bats burn down newly constructed, unoccupied Carlsbad Army Air Base, NM; plan was for bats carrying incendiary bombs to be dropped over Japan, where they would roost under eaves and destroy buildings.

Today in World War II History—May 14, 1943

US Army Air Forces recruiting poster featuring B-26 Marauders, WWII

75 Years Ago—May 14, 1943: Australian hospital ship Centaur is sunk by Japanese sub I-177 off Brisbane, 268 killed. US Eighth Air Force in England launches first mission with over 200 bombers and first with Martin B-26 Marauder medium bombers.

Today in World War II History—May 13, 1943

Axis prisoners of war at Mateur, Tunisia, 9 May 1943 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—May 13, 1943: Official surrender of Axis forces to the Allies in Tunisia, placing all of North Africa in Allied hands. Four new bomb groups begin operations with the US Eighth Air Force in England, doubling strength (94th, 95th, 96th, and 351st Bombardment Groups with B-17s). B-17 Hell’s Angels of the 303rd Bombardment… Read more »

Today in World War II History—May 12, 1943

German Gen. Jürgen von Arnim after his surrender to the Allies in Tunisia, May 1943 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—May 12, 1943: German and Italian troops surrender in Tunisia, ending the campaign in North Africa; Allies take 225,000 prisoners. British First Arakan Campaign in Burma ends as Indian troops evacuate Maungdaw.

Today in World War II History—May 11, 1943

US Army troops landing at Massacre Bay, Attu, Aleutian Islands, US Territory of Alaska, 11 May 1943 (Library of Congress)

75 Years Ago—May 11, 1943: US Army 7th Infantry Division lands on Attu in the Aleutians, at Massacre and Holtz Bays and at Alexai Point; heavy opposition from the Japanese; this is the only WWII land battle on US territory.