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Today in World War II History—October 12, 1939 & 1944

Troops of the US 92nd Infantry Division firing mortars, Massa, Italy, November 1944 (US National Archives)

Troops of the US 92nd Infantry Division firing mortars, Massa, Italy, November 1944 (US National Archives)

80 Years Ago—October 12, 1939: British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain rejects Hitler’s “peace offer.”

Germany forms General Government of Poland with Hans Frank as Governor-General, for areas of Poland not directly annexed by Germany or USSR.

Lt. Charles "Chuck" Yeager of the 357th Fighter Group, with his P-51 Mustang "Glamorous Glen," 17 October 1944 (Imperial War Museum, Roger Freeman Collection: FRE 3128)

Lt. Charles “Chuck” Yeager of the 357th Fighter Group, with his P-51 Mustang “Glamorous Glen,” 17 October 1944 (Imperial War Museum, Roger Freeman Collection: FRE 3128)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 12, 1944: First B-29 Superfortress arrives in the Mariana Islands, Joltin’ Josie, flown by Brig. Gen. Haywood Hansell, commander of US XXI Bomber Command.

In Italy, Buffalo Soldiers of US 92nd Infantry Division breach the Gothic Line, the only black US Army unit to see combat in Europe.

Lt. Chuck Yeager of the US 357th Fighter Group shoots down 5 German Me 109 fighter planes in a single engagement, making the P-51 pilot an “ace in a day.”

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