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Today in World War II History—April 7, 1940 & 1945

Precious metals, paintings, and other loot hidden by Germans in a salt mine near Merkers, Germany, photographed 15 Apr 1945 (US National Archives: 239-PA-6-34-2)

Precious metals, paintings, and other loot hidden by Germans in a salt mine near Merkers, Germany, photographed 15 Apr 1945 (US National Archives: 239-PA-6-34-2)

80 Years Ago—April 7, 1940: Booker T. Washington becomes first African-American man to appear on a US postage stamp.

Battleship Yamato under aerial attack in the East China Sea, 7 Apr 1945 (US National Archives)

Battleship Yamato under aerial attack in the East China Sea, 7 Apr 1945 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Apr. 7, 1945: The world’s largest battleship, Japan’s Yamato, on a suicide mission, is sunk by US Navy Task Force 58 planes off Okinawa (3055 killed).

US Third Army finds Nazi art and gold stash in salt mine in Merkers worth $500 million.

P-51 Mustang fighter planes based on Iwo Jima escort B-29 Superfortress bombers over Japan for the first time.