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Today in World War II History—February 5, 1941

USS Long Island (AVG-1), 10 November 1941; planes on her flight deck include 7 Curtiss SOC-3A scout planes and 1 Brewster F2A fighter (US Navy photo: 19-N-27986)

USS Long Island (AVG-1), 10 November 1941; planes on her flight deck include 7 Curtiss SOC-3A scout planes and 1 Brewster F2A fighter (US Navy photo: 19-N-27986)

80 Years Ago—Feb. 5, 1941: Battle of Beda Fomm begins: British and Australian troops encircle bulk of Italian army in Libya.

US Navy designates a new class of ship—the auxiliary aircraft vessel (AVG), later known as escort carriers—able to be constructed quickly on merchant ship hulls.