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Today in World War II History—March 8, 1940 & 1945

US Navy Cdr. Thomas Gaylord administering oath to nurses commissioned in New York, 8 Mar 1945; Phyllis Mae Daley, US Navy’s first African-American nurse, second from right. (US National Archives: 80-G-4836)

US Navy Cdr. Thomas Gaylord administering oath to nurses commissioned in New York, 8 Mar 1945; Phyllis Mae Daley, US Navy’s first African-American nurse, second from right. (US National Archives: 80-G-4836)

80 Years Ago—March 8, 1940: Off the Dominican Republic, British light cruiser Dunedin and Canadian destroyer Assiniboine capture German freighter Hannover, violating Pan-American Neutrality; Hannover will become the first British escort carrier, HMS Audacity.

75 Years Ago—Mar. 8, 1945: German commandos from the Nazi-occupied Channel Islands raid Granville, Normandy at night and free 55 German POWs and capture 30 Americans.

Nazis kill 262 Dutch prisoners & civilians in reprisal for March 6 resistance attack at Woeste Hoeve.

US Navy swears in its first black nurse, Phyllis Daley.