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Today in
World War II History

Today in World War II History—December 7, 1942

Submarine USS Bowfin, Pearl Harbor (Photo: Sarah Sundin, 7 Nov 2016)

Submarine USS Bowfin, Pearl Harbor (Photo: Sarah Sundin, 7 Nov 2016)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 7, 1942: US forces on Guadalcanal shell Japanese positions to mark Pearl Harbor anniversary.

German U-boat U-515 sinks British troopship Ceramic off the Azores; 654 killed, including nurses and 12 children.

Submarine USS Bowfin is launched at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Maine, nicknamed the “Pearl Harbor Avenger,” now a museum ship at Pearl Harbor. (See pictures from my tour of the USS Bowfin).

Today in World War II History—December 6, 1942

Panzer VI Tiger I in Tunisia, January 1943 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-554-0872-35)

Panzer VI Tiger I in Tunisia, January 1943 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-554-0872-35)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 6, 1942: Germans are victorious in tank battle at Djebel el Guessa, Tunisia.

Today in World War II History—December 5, 1942

US poster, 1944

US poster, 1944

80 Years Ago—Dec. 5, 1942: President Roosevelt establishes Office of Economic Stabilization to control inflation.

New song in Top Ten: “There Are Such Things.”

Today in World War II History—December 4, 1942

Poster for the Works Progress Administration (Library of Congress)

Poster for the Works Progress Administration (Library of Congress)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 4, 1942: Żegota (Council to Aid Jews) is established in Warsaw by underground Polish Christians and Jews to find safe places for Polish Jews; about 4000 will be saved.

President Roosevelt cancels Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) due to falling unemployment.

US Ninth Air Force, based in Egypt, bombs Naples in first US attack on Italy.

Today in World War II History—December 3, 1942

El Bathan, Tunisia, the Medjerda river, and Tebourba, the cluster of white buildings in the left background (US Army Center of Military History)

El Bathan, Tunisia, the Medjerda river, and Tebourba, the cluster of white buildings in the left background (US Army Center of Military History)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 3, 1942: Germans reoccupy Tebourba, Tunisia; in battle for Tebourba, Germans first use Tiger I tank in North Africa.

Today in World War II History—December 2, 1942

US poster, 1944

US poster, 1944

80 Years Ago—Dec. 2, 1942: The first nuclear chain reaction ever is started by Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago.

President Roosevelt establishes Petroleum Administration for War to supervise the oil industry.

Today in World War II History—December 1, 1942

Brig. Gen. Ira Eaker in England, 1942 (US Air Force photo)

Brig. Gen. Ira Eaker in England, 1942 (US Air Force photo)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 1, 1942: Maj. Gen. Ira Eaker replaces Maj. Gen. Carl Spaatz in command of US Eighth Air Force, based in England.

Australians capture Gona, New Guinea.

Control of “Hump” flights (India to China over the Himalayas) passes from US Tenth Air Force to US Air Transport Command.

In the United States, gas rationing goes into effect nationwide, a national “Victory” speed limit of 35 mph is instituted, and pleasure driving is banned. Read more: “Make It Do—Gasoline Rationing in World War II.” 

US poster, WWII

US poster, WWII

Today in World War II History—November 30, 1942

US poster promoting war bond sales, 1942

US poster promoting war bond sales, 1942

80 Years Ago—Nov. 30, 1942: In Tunisia, Allied offensive halts between Tebourba and Djedeïda due to inadequate air power.

Battle of Tassafaronga: US ships repulse Japanese off Guadalcanal with heavy losses on both sides.

First flight of North American XP-51B Mustang (US Packard-built Merlin engine), at Inglewood, CA.

US First War Loan Drive begins, running through 12/23. (Read more: “World War II War Bonds”)

Today in World War II History—November 29, 1942

US poster, 1943

US poster, 1943

80 Years Ago—Nov. 29, 1942: Coffee rationing begins in the United States. (Read more: “Make It Do—Coffee Rationing in World War II.”)

Today in World War II History—November 28, 1942

Cocoanut Grove nightclub after the fire, Boston, MA, 30 November 1942 (US Army Signal Corps photo)

Cocoanut Grove nightclub after the fire, Boston, MA, 30 November 1942 (US Army Signal Corps photo)

80 Years Ago—Nov. 28, 1942: In Boston, a fire at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub kills 492.

Movie premiere of George Washington Slept Here, starring Jack Benny and Ann Sheridan.

The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin
“Sundin’s craft is inimitable, and her literary finesse radiates from every page.”
—Booklist starred review for The Sound of Light
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