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Today in World War II History—January 11, 1940 & 1945

Women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) in flying kit at Hatfield, 10 Jan 1940 (Imperial War Museum: C 381)

Women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) in flying kit at Hatfield, 10 Jan 1940 (Imperial War Museum: C 381)

80 Years Ago—January 11, 1940: British Women’s Section Air Transport Auxiliary delivers first plane in ferrying operations; during WWII, 166 women will fly for ATA, one-eighth of all ATA pilots, and 15 will die in service.

Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet premieres in Leningrad.

Movie premiere of comedy His Girl Friday, starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.

Kaiten Type 1 test launch from Japanese cruiser Kitakami, 28 Feb 1945 (Imperial Japanese Navy)

Kaiten Type 1 test launch from Japanese cruiser Kitakami, 28 Feb 1945 (Imperial Japanese Navy)

75 Years Ago—Jan. 11, 1945: Japanese submarines begin operation Kongo, employing suicide torpedoes (kaiten) at Ulithi Atoll, damaging two American ships.

On Luzon, Filipino guerrillas take Aguilar and Santa Barbara, linking with US troops.

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