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Today in
World War II History

Today in World War II History—June 13, 1942

US poster, World War II75 Years Ago—June 13, 1942: Rommel defeats British at Knightsbridge in Libya; heavy British casualties on “Black Saturday.”

US forms Office of Strategic Services (OSS), precursor of CIA.

US forms Office of War Information to oversee radio, movies, press, and to disseminate propaganda.

Four German saboteurs are landed by U-202 at Amagansett, Long Island, just after midnight.

Today in World War II History—June 12, 1942

US Navy pilot Lt. George H.W. Bush, WWII (US Navy photo)

US Navy pilot Lt. George H.W. Bush, WWII (US Navy photo)

75 Years Ago—June 12, 1942: Anne Frank receives a diary for her thirteenth birthday.

On his 18th birthday, future president George H.W. Bush graduates from high school and enlists in the Navy, although he’d already been accepted at Yale.

US B-24 Liberator bombers flying from Egypt attack Ploesti in first US strategic mission of war in the European-African-Middle East Theater.

US 100th Infantry Battalion activated, composed of Japanese-Americans from Hawaii.

Brothers of Valor Monument in Honolulu, HI, commemorating the 100th Infantry Battalion and other Japanese-American units in World War II (Photo: Sarah Sundin, November 2016)

Brothers in Valor Monument in Honolulu, HI, commemorating the 100th Infantry Battalion and other Japanese-American units in World War II (Photo: Sarah Sundin, November 2016)

Today in World War II History—June 11, 1942

Japanese Special Naval Landing Force on Kiska in Aleutian Islands, 6 Jun 1942 (public domain via WW2 Database)

Japanese Special Naval Landing Force on Kiska in Aleutian Islands, 6 Jun 1942 (public domain via WW2 Database)

75 Years Ago—June 11, 1942: German forces under Rommel break out of siege in “The Cauldron” near Gazala, Libya and attack near Knightsbridge.

Free French evacuate Bir Hacheim in Libya, Germans occupy fort.

US Eleventh AF in Alaska begins bombing Japanese-held Kiska in the Aleutians.

US Navy planes discover Japanese presence on Attu in the Aleutians, and US Navy PBY Catalinas bomb those positions.

Today in World War II History—June 10, 1942

Houses of Lidice, Czechoslovakia burning, 10 Jun 1942 (public domain via WW2 Database)

Houses of Lidice, Czechoslovakia burning, 10 Jun 1942 (public domain via WW2 Database)

75 Years Ago—June 10, 1942: Germans destroy Czechoslovakian town of Lidice in retaliation for SS Gen. Heydrich’s death, killing all 173 men and deporting the children and women to concentration camps.

British tea planter uses elephants to rescue 68 Burmese refugees fleeing Japanese across the Daphna River, India.

US approves construction of “Big Inch” pipeline to transport crude oil from Texas to northeast states, bypassing U-boats.

Today in World War II History—June 9, 1942

US poster, World War II

75 Years Ago—June 9, 1942: All official Allied resistance in the Philippines is neutralized.

US and Britain agree to pool food and production resources, establishing the Combined Food Board and Combined Production and Resources Board.

Today in World War II History—June 8, 1942

US Navy pilot Ensign George Gay, survivor of Battle of Midway, Pearl Harbor Naval Hospital, 7 Jun 1942 (US National Archives)

US Navy pilot Ensign George Gay, survivor of Battle of Midway, Pearl Harbor Naval Hospital, 7 Jun 1942 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—June 8, 1942: US Army, European Theater of Operations (ETOUSA) formed under Maj. Gen. James Chaney, replacing USAFBI (US Army Forces in British Isles).

Due to victory at Midway, US cancels the invasion alert for the US West Coast.

Bing Crosby records “Silent Night.”

Today in World War II History—June 7, 1942

Carrier USS Yorktown burning after hit by three Japanese bombs, 4 Jun 1942 (US National Archives)

Carrier USS Yorktown burning after hit by three Japanese bombs, 4 Jun 1942 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—June 7, 1942: In the Battle of Midway, carrier USS Yorktown sinks due to damage by Japanese submarine I-168 the previous day, but the US is victorious in the major turning point of the Pacific War; from now on, the Japanese will be on the defensive.

Maj. Gen. Clarence Tinker, commander of US Seventh Air Force, is killed when his plane is lost off Midway, the first Native American to reach rank of major general and the first US general killed in WWII.

Japanese occupy Attu in the Aleutians.

Maj. Gen. Clarence Tinker, 1942 (US War Department photo)

Maj. Gen. Clarence Tinker, 1942 (US War Department photo)

Today in World War II History—June 6, 1942

SBDs from carrier USS Hornet over Japanese cruiser Mikuma, 6 Jun 1942 (US National Archives)

SBDs from carrier USS Hornet over Japanese cruiser Mikuma, 6 Jun 1942 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—June 6, 1942: In Battle of Midway, SBDs from US carriers Enterprise and Hornet sink Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma.

Japanese occupy Kiska in the Aleutians.

Movie premiere of Yankee Doodle Dandy, starring James Cagney as songwriter George M. Cohan.

Today in World War II History—June 5, 1942

Japanese carrier Hiryu burning, photographed by a plane from Japanese carrier Hosho, 5 Jun 1942 (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

Japanese carrier Hiryu burning, photographed by a plane from Japanese carrier Hosho, 5 Jun 1942 (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

75 Years Ago—June 5, 1942: In the Battle of Midway, Japanese scuttle carriers Akagi and Hiryu, which had been damaged by aircraft from carrier USS Enterprise the day before.

British Eighth Army attacks German forces in “The Cauldron” at Gazala, Libya, but is driven back.

Today in World War II History—June 4, 1942

Oil tanks burning on Midway Atoll after Japanese attack, 4 Jun 1942 (US National Archives)

Oil tanks burning on Midway Atoll after Japanese attack, 4 Jun 1942 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—June 4, 1942: In the Battle of Midway…

  • Japanese planes attack Midway Island but are driven off by US aircraft.
  • The first round of American aircraft attacking the Japanese fleet is decimated.
  • Aircraft from carrier USS Enterprise sink Japanese carrier Kaga.
  • Aircraft from carrier USS Yorktown sink Japanese carrier Soryu.

    SBD from carrier USS Enterprise on the flight deck of carrier USS Yorktown due to fuel exhaustion, 4 Jun 1942 (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

    SBD from carrier USS Enterprise on the flight deck of carrier USS Yorktown due to fuel exhaustion, 4 Jun 1942 (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

German SS Gen. Reinhard Heydrich dies in Prague, shot by Czech resistance fighters May 27.

Movie premiere of Mrs. Miniver, starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon (Academy Award winner—best picture, best actress).

Lt. (jg) William Leonard's F4F-4 Wildcat taking off from carrier USS Yorktown during Battle of Midway, 4 Jun 1942 (US National Archives)

Lt. (jg) William Leonard’s F4F-4 Wildcat taking off from carrier USS Yorktown during Battle of Midway, 4 Jun 1942 (US National Archives)

Until Leaves Fall In Paris
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