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Today in World War II History—March 24, 1940 & 1945

C-47 transports releasing hundreds of paratroopers and their supplies over the Rees-Wesel region, Germany during Operation Varsity, 24 Mar 1945 (Imperial War Museum: 4700-06 EA 59364A)

C-47 transports releasing hundreds of paratroopers and their supplies over the Rees-Wesel region, Germany during Operation Varsity, 24 Mar 1945 (Imperial War Museum: 4700-06 EA 59364A)

80 Years Ago—March 24, 1940: Sunspots temporarily disrupt shortwave radios, telephones, and telegraphs in the Western Hemisphere.

75 Years Ago—March 24, 1945: US Ninth Army crosses the Rhine.

In Operation Varsity, 17,000 British 6th Airborne Division & US 17th Airborne Division paratroopers drop east of the Rhine and link with British & US land forces.

US Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy sends 660 B-17 and B-24 bombers to Berlin for the first time as a diversion for the Rhine crossings. The escorting 332nd Fighter Group (African-American Tuskegee Airmen), shoots down 3 German Me 262 jets and earns the Distinguished Unit Citation.

Premiere of Tweety Bird cartoon Life with Feathers, featuring debut of Sylvester (unnamed in the cartoon).

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