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Today in
World War II History

Today in World War II History—June 15, 1944

US troops landing on Saipan, 15 June 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

US troops landing on Saipan, 15 June 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

80 Years Ago—June 15, 1944: US Marine 2nd and 4th Divisions land on Saipan in the Mariana Islands.

US B-29 Superfortress bombers fly first mission to Japan, to Yawata steel works on Kyushu.

Today in World War II History—June 14, 1944

US 75-mm howitzer crew firing at Japanese positions in Myitkyina, Burma, June 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

US 75-mm howitzer crew firing at Japanese positions in Myitkyina, Burma, June 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

80 Years Ago—June 14, 1944: US and Chinese troops attack besieged Japanese forces in Myitkyina, Burma.

At night, an RAF Mosquito becomes the first aircraft to shoot down a German V-1 buzz bomb.

Australia begins meat rationing (2 pounds per week).

Today in World War II History—June 13, 1944

V-1 “buzz bomb” falling over Covent Garden area of London, 14 June 1944 (US Air Force: 090928-F-1234S-009)

V-1 “buzz bomb” falling over Covent Garden area of London, 14 June 1944 (US Air Force: 090928-F-1234S-009)

80 Years Ago—June 13, 1944: Germans launch first V-1 buzz bomb at London; 7,000 will be launched by Aug. 24, killing almost 5,000.

At Villers-Bocage in Normandy, one German Tiger tank destroys 25 British tanks.

Today in World War II History—June 12, 1944

US war bond poster, 1944

US war bond poster, 1944

80 Years Ago—June 12, 1944: Allies consolidate all five landing beaches in Normandy, a 50-mile front, as US forces from Omaha and Utah Beaches link near Carentan.

US Fifth War Loan starts, launched with a broadcast by President Franklin Roosevelt in his final Fireside Chat. (Read more: “World War II War Bonds”)

Big Bend National Park is established in Texas.

Today in World War II History—June 11, 1944

SBD Dauntless after taking off from the carrier USS Lexington for strikes against Saipan in the Mariana Islands, 13 Jun 1944 (US Naval History and Heritage Command: 80-G-236932)

SBD Dauntless after taking off from the carrier USS Lexington for strikes against Saipan in the Mariana Islands, 13 Jun 1944 (US Naval History and Heritage Command: 80-G-236932)

80 Years Ago—June 11, 1944: US Fast Carrier Attack Force (TF 58) with 15 aircraft carriers begins bombing the Mariana Islands in preparation for invasion.

Battleship USS Missouri is commissioned at Brooklyn, NY, the last battleship in the US Navy, currently a museum ship at Pearl Harbor. (See photos from my tour of the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor).

Dutch resistance group LKP raids a prison in Arnhem and frees 54 prisoners without firing a shot.

USS Missouri firing a salvo in her shakedown period, August 1944 (US National Archives: 80-G-K-4546)

USS Missouri firing a salvo in her shakedown period, August 1944 (US National Archives: 80-G-K-4546)

Today in World War II History—June 10, 1944

Flight nurses Lt. Suella Bernard and Lt. Marijean Brown, the first nurses to evacuate the wounded from Normandy to England, are greeted by their head nurse, Lt. Foster. (US Air Force photo: AC 52020)

Flight nurses Lt. Suella Bernard and Lt. Marijean Brown, the first nurses to evacuate the wounded from Normandy to England, are greeted by their head nurse, Lt. Foster. (US Air Force photo: AC 52020)

Patch of the US Eighth Army, WWII

Patch of the US Eighth Army, WWII

80 Years Ago—June 10, 1944: German SS troops massacre 642 civilians in Oradour-sur-Glane, France; only 10 survive.

US Eighth Army is activated at Memphis, TN, under Lt. Gen. Robert Eichelberger (will serve in the Pacific).

First US nurses and female American Red Cross workers land in Normandy, with the 128th Evacuation Hospital.

US flight nurses fly first medical air evacuation missions from France to England. (Read more about flight nurses: “Medical Air Evacuation in World War II – The Flight Nurse”)

At age 15, Joe Nuxhall with the Cincinnati Reds becomes the youngest player ever in Major League Baseball.

Today in World War II History—June 9, 1944

US troops and equipment being landed near Colleville-sur-Mer, France, 9 Jun 1944 (US National Archives: SC 190058)

US troops and equipment being landed near Colleville-sur-Mer, France, 9 Jun 1944 (US National Archives: SC 190058)

80 Years Ago—June 9, 1944: Allies deliberately sink 53 old ships off Normandy to serve as breakwaters.

RAF flies from French airfields for the first time since 1940.

Soviets launch an offensive on the Karelian Isthmus to take land lost to Finland in 1941.

Today in World War II History—June 8, 1944

US 2nd Ranger Battalion at Pointe du Hoc after relief on D+2 (June 8, 1944); American flag had been spread out to stop fire of friendly tanks coming from inland. Some German prisoners are being moved after capture (US Army Signal Corps photo: SC190240)

US 2nd Ranger Battalion at Pointe du Hoc after relief on D+2 (June 8, 1944); American flag had been spread out to stop fire of friendly tanks coming from inland. Some German prisoners are being moved after capture (US Army Signal Corps photo: SC190240)

80 Years Ago—June 8, 1944: In Normandy, British and US forces link near Port-en-Bessin.

The US 2nd Ranger Battalion at Pointe du Hoc is relieved by forces from Omaha Beach. (Read more: Tour of Pointe du Hoc Part 1 and Part 2)

RAF first uses the 12,000-lb “Tallboy” bomb, destroying a train tunnel in Saumur, France, on the only north-south rail line in the Loire Valley, impeding German reinforcement of Normandy.

On the Adriatic coast of Italy, the British advance after finding the Germans have retreated.

Bridge over Loire River at Saumur, France (US Air Force photo)

Bridge over Loire River at Saumur, France (US Air Force photo)

Today in World War II History—June 7, 1944

Military vehicles move ashore from Mulberry Artificial Harbor A, across a pontoon bridge, to Omaha Beach, Normandy, June 16 1944 (US National Archives)

Military vehicles move ashore from Mulberry Artificial Harbor A, across a pontoon bridge, to Omaha Beach, Normandy, June 16 1944 (US National Archives)

80 Years Ago—June 7, 1944: In Normandy, Allies have secured all five beachheads.

Emergency landing fields are constructed in Normandy at St. Laurent-sur-Mer and Asnelles.

Off Normandy, Allies begin construction of artificial “Mulberry” harbors to allow more supplies to be delivered.

Movie premiere of Days of Glory, starring Gregory Peck in his debut.

Today in World War II History—June 6, 1944

US troops approach Omaha Beach in an LCVP landing craft, Normandy, 6 Jun 1944 (US National Archives: SC 320901)

US troops approach Omaha Beach in an LCVP landing craft, Normandy, 6 Jun 1944 (US National Archives: SC 320901)

80 Years Ago—June 6, 1944: D-day—156,000 Allied troops land on the beaches of Normandy in the biggest amphibious operation in history. (Read more: D-Day on Omaha Beach and D-Day on Pointe du Hoc, Part 1)

On D-day, over 5000 Allied ships and vessels, manned by 195,000 naval personnel, transport troops and cargo, bombard enemy positions, and protect the fleet. (Read more: D-Day at Sea)

Over 11,000 Allied aircraft fly on D-day—bombing, strafing, patrolling, and dropping paratroopers. (Read more: D-Day in the Air)

Embers in the London Sky cover
“Another masterful installment in Sundin’s roster of WWII novels.”
—Booklist starred review for Embers in the London Sky
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