Get new blog posts sent directly to your email inbox!

Today in
World War II History

Today in World War II History—January 17, 1943

Brig. Gen. Fred Borum presents the Air Medal to Lt. Elsie Ott, the first woman to receive the Air Medal (US Air Force photo: 090903-F-1234S-014)

Brig. Gen. Fred Borum presents the Air Medal to Lt. Elsie Ott, the first woman to receive the Air Medal (US Air Force photo: 090903-F-1234S-014)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 17, 1943: US Naval Base and Naval Air Station, Brisbane, Australia, is established.

First intercontinental medical air evacuation is conducted, and for the first time a nurse participates in air evacuation—Lt. Elsie Ott, who had not been trained in air evacuation and had never flown in a plane, cares for patients on a week-long journey from India to Washington, DC; she will receive the first Air Medal to be awarded to a woman. (Read more: Medical Air Evacuation in World War II).

Today in World War II History—January 16, 1943

Berlin during a night raid by RAF Mosquitos; the track of a falling target indicator can be seen on the right, c. 1943-45 (Imperial War Museum: C 4925)

Berlin during a night raid by RAF Mosquitos; the track of a falling target indicator can be seen on the right, c. 1943-45 (Imperial War Museum: C 4925)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 16, 1943: In Libya, British Eighth Army links with Free French under Gen. Philippe Leclerc, who had marched 30 days across the Sahara from Lake Chad.

RAF bombs Berlin for first time since November 1941, with the first use of target indicator flares to mark the target for bombers farther back in the stream.

Today in World War II History—January 15, 1943

Andrée de Jongh after visiting Buckingham Palace to receive the George Medal for rescuing Allied airmen, February 1946 (Imperial War Museum: HU 55451)

Andrée de Jongh after visiting Buckingham Palace to receive the George Medal for rescuing Allied airmen, February 1946 (Imperial War Museum: HU 55451)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 15, 1943: British Eighth Army under Montgomery begins offensive at Buerat, Libya, against the Germans.

In the Solomons, US Navy, Marine Corps, and Thirteenth Air Force aircraft attack Japanese destroyers and shoot down 38 Japanese aircraft.

Over Guadalcanal, USMC F4F pilot Capt. Joseph Foss downs 3 aircraft, a total of 26 in 44 days, an unsurpassed US record in WWII; he receives the Medal of Honor.

In the Pyrenees, the Germans arrest Andrée de Jongh, Belgian founder of the Comet escape line, which helped Allied airmen escape from Nazi-occupied Belgium across the Pyrenees into Spain; she will survive the war in a concentration camp.

US Navy or USMC SBD Dauntless dive-bombers on mission in the Solomon Islands, early 1943 (US Navy photo)

US Navy or USMC SBD Dauntless dive-bombers on mission in the Solomon Islands, early 1943 (US Navy photo)

Today in World War II History—January 14, 1943

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill in Casablanca, French Morocco during the Casablanca Conference, 24 Jan 1943 (US Army Signal Corps photo)

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill in Casablanca, French Morocco during the Casablanca Conference, 24 Jan 1943 (US Army Signal Corps photo)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 14, 1943: Casablanca Conference begins: Roosevelt and Churchill meet in media secrecy to plan the course of the war.

Australians clear Sanananda Trail junction, New Guinea.

Adm. Erich Raeder resigns from command of German navy, effective January 30, due to losses in the Battle of the Barents Sea.

Today in World War II History—January 13, 1943

Defendants in the Sleepy Lagoon murder trial are reunited with family and friends in the Los Angeles Hall of Justice following their acquittal, 2 Oct 1944 (public domain via Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA, via Wikipedia)

Defendants in the Sleepy Lagoon murder trial are reunited with family and friends in the Los Angeles Hall of Justice following their acquittal, 2 Oct 1944 (public domain via Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA, via Wikipedia)

Patch of the US Thirteenth Air Force, WWII

Patch of the US Thirteenth Air Force, WWII

80 Years Ago—Jan. 13, 1943: Students at the University of Munich riot after a Nazi speaker blames the German army’s dire situation in Stalingrad on student malingerers.

US Thirteenth Air Force is established in the South Pacific under Brig. Gen. Nathan Twining, based in Nouméa, New Caledonia.

In “Sleepy Lagoon” case in Los Angeles, 17 Mexican-Americans are wrongly convicted of murder; convictions will be overturned in October 1944.

Today in World War II History—January 12, 1943

Theatrical poster for the American release of the 1943 film Shadow of a Doubt (Universal Pictures Corp., public domain via Wikipedia)

Theatrical poster for the American release of the 1943 film Shadow of a Doubt (Universal Pictures Corp., public domain via Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 12, 1943: Germans withdraw from the Caucasus region of Russia.

US Army lands unopposed on Amchitka in the Aleutians.

Movie premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, starring Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten.

US troops landing at Constantine Harbor, Amchitka, Aleutians, 12 Jan 1943 (US Navy photo)

US troops landing at Constantine Harbor, Amchitka, Aleutians, 12 Jan 1943 (US Navy photo)

Today in World War II History—January 11, 1943

Chinese and British officials after the signing of the Sino-British Treaty for Relinquishment of Extra-Territorial Rights in China, Chongqing, China, 11 Jan 1943; Front row from left: Wellington Koo, Horace James Seymour, T.V. Soong, Hugh Edward Richardson, Wu Guozhen (public domain via Wikipedia)

Chinese and British officials after the signing of the Sino-British Treaty for Relinquishment of Extra-Territorial Rights in China, Chongqing, China, 11 Jan 1943; Front row from left: Wellington Koo, Horace James Seymour, T.V. Soong, Hugh Edward Richardson, Wu Guozhen (public domain via Wikipedia)

Patch of the US Twelfth Air Force, WWII

Patch of the US Twelfth Air Force, WWII

80 Years Ago—Jan. 11, 1943: US, Britain, and China sign treaties giving up US and British extraterritorial rights in China.

US Twelfth Air Force begins anti-shipping patrols in Sicilian straits.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt departs from Miami for the Casablanca Conference on Pan Am’s Dixie Clipper, the first US president to fly in an airplane while in office, and the first president to leave the US during time of war.

Today in World War II History—January 10, 1943

Litter bearers of the 25th Medical Battalion of US 25th Division giving first aid, Guadalcanal, 10 Jan 1943 (US Army photo)

Litter bearers of the 25th Medical Battalion of US 25th Division giving first aid, Guadalcanal, 10 Jan 1943 (US Army photo)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 10, 1943: Soviets advance into the Stalingrad pocket.

US launches major offensive on Guadalcanal.

Off New Britain, Japanese destroyers and aircraft sink giant submarine USS Argonaut; 102 killed in worst US submarine loss of WWII.

Today in World War II History—January 9, 1943

Prototype C-69 Constellation at Burbank, CA, 9 Jan 1943 (US Navy photo)

Prototype C-69 Constellation at Burbank, CA, 9 Jan 1943 (US Navy photo)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 9, 1943: British & Indian troops take Maungdaw, Burma, in the Arakan campaign.

First flight of prototype Lockheed C-69 Constellation, the fastest US transport plane of the war.

Today in World War II History—January 8, 1943

Today in World War II History

80 Years Ago—Jan. 8, 1943: British turn over control of Madagascar, except Diego Suarez area, to the Free French.

Axis convoys between Naples, Italy, and Tripoli, Libya, are suspended due to high losses to Allied ships and aircraft.

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
Coming Soon!

A Free Gift for You

Make It Do - The US Home Front in World War II

When you subscribe to my monthly enewsletter, you’ll also receive “Make It Do – The US Home Front in World War II,” a collection of my popular blog posts. As a subscriber, you’ll also be the first to learn about my upcoming novels.

Thank you for subscribing!