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Today in
World War II History

Today in World War II History—May 8, 1944

Maj. Gen. Edward Brooks (behind Eisenhower) demonstrating M1 Carbines to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Gen. Omar Bradley, England, 15 May 1944 (US Army photo)

Maj. Gen. Edward Brooks (behind Eisenhower) demonstrating M1 Carbines to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Gen. Omar Bradley, England, 15 May 1944 (US Army photo)

80 Years Ago—May 8, 1944: Countdown to D-day: General Eisenhower sets D-day for Normandy invasion as June 5—this will be signaled to the commanders on May 23.

US Congress extends Lend-Lease to June 1945.

German Army Group G is established in southern France under Col. Gen. Johannes Blaskowitz.

Today in World War II History—May 7, 1944

Poster for US Army Signal Corps, WWII

Poster for US Army Signal Corps, WWII

80 Years Ago—May 7, 1944: Countdown to D-day: US Signal Corps holds “Exercise Pigeon” D-day training exercise.

US Eighth Air Force launches over 1000 bombers in missions to Berlin, Münster, and Osnabrück, Germany.

Today in World War II History—May 6, 1944

Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi at All-India Congress meeting, Bombay, India, 6 July 1946 (Library of Congress: LC-USZ62-111090)

Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi at All-India Congress meeting, Bombay, India, 6 July 1946 (Library of Congress: LC-USZ62-111090)

80 Years Ago—May 6, 1944: Off Cape Verdes, destroyer escort USS Buckley and TBMs & Wildcats from escort carrier USS Block Island sink German U-boat U-66; Buckley’s sailors use small arms, hand grenades, and coffee mugs in the battle.

In India, British release Gandhi from prison on medical grounds.

Kathleen Kennedy (daughter of former US ambassador to Britain Joseph Kennedy) marries the Marquis of Hartington.

Kathleen Kennedy in American Red Cross uniform, London, 1943 (public domain via John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum)

Kathleen Kennedy in American Red Cross uniform, London, 1943 (public domain via John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum)

Today in World War II History—May 5, 1944

The Benz Patent-Motorwagen of 1888, used by Bertha Benz for the first long-distance road trip, 106 km by automobile. (Public domain via Wikipedia)

The Benz Patent-Motorwagen of 1888, used by Bertha Benz for the first long-distance road trip, 106 km by automobile. (Public domain via Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—May 5, 1944: Adm. Soemu Toyoda takes command of Japanese Navy Combined Fleet.

Bertha Benz, wife of Karl Benz and the first person to drive an automobile over 100 kilometers, dies in Ladenburg, Germany, age 95.

USS Comfort is commissioned, the first US hospital ship staffed by both Army and Navy personnel.

Today in World War II History—May 4, 1944

In Exercise Fabius, US infantry descend into an LCVP during D-day invasion practice, Slapton Sands, England, May 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

In Exercise Fabius, US infantry descend into an LCVP during D-day invasion practice, Slapton Sands, England, May 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

80 Years Ago—May 4, 1944: Countdown to D-day: In Exercise Fabius, a full-scale rehearsal for D-day, Allied troops who will land on Sword, Juno, Gold, and Omaha Beaches make landings on English beaches in the largest amphibious training exercise ever.

Movie premiere of Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, Charles Boyer, and Angela Lansbury in her screen premiere.

St. Louis Browns baseball team drops segregation policy that restricted Black fans to the bleachers.

Today in World War II History—May 3, 1944

Theatrical poster for 1944 movie Going My Way, Paramount Pictures (public domain via Wikipedia)

Theatrical poster for 1944 movie Going My Way, Paramount Pictures (public domain via Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—May 3, 1944: Movie premiere of Going My Way, starring Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald as Catholic priests.

US Office of Price Administration ends meat rationing, except for steak and choice beef (rationing will be tightened again later). Read more: “Make It Do—Meat Rationing in World War II.” 

US poster about meat rationing, WWII

US poster about meat rationing, WWII

Today in World War II History—May 2, 1944

Ted Williams being sworn in to the military, 22 May 1942 (US Marine Corps photo)

Ted Williams being sworn in to the military, 22 May 1942 (US Marine Corps photo)

80 Years Ago—May 2, 1944: Countdown to D-day: British teacher Leonard Dawe publishes crossword puzzle in Daily Telegraph using Operation Overlord code word “Utah”; over the next month his puzzles will also contain the words “Omaha,” “Mulberry,” “Overlord,” and “Neptune”—he’s placed under MI5 investigation but is cleared.

Baseball player Ted Williams (Boston Red Sox) earns wings & commission as Marine Corps pilot.

Today in World War II History—May 1, 1944

B-24 Liberator of the 705th Bomb Squadron over Orly Airfield, Paris, May 14, 1944 (US National Archives: 62566AC)

B-24 Liberator of the 705th Bomb Squadron over Orly Airfield, Paris, May 14, 1944 (US National Archives: 62566AC)

80 Years Ago—May 1, 1944: Countdown to D-day: US Eighth Air Force flies first major pre-invasion bombing mission to marshaling yards and rail centers in the Pas de Calais and Normandy areas in preparation for D-day.

First Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference opens, with prime ministers of Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa in attendance.

Mackenzie King, Jan Smuts, Winston Churchill, Peter Fraser, and John Curtin at the first Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference, London, 1 May 1944 (Library and Archives Canada: C-068672)

Mackenzie King, Jan Smuts, Winston Churchill, Peter Fraser, and John Curtin at the first Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference, London, 1 May 1944 (Library and Archives Canada: C-068672)

Today in World War II History—April 30, 1944

Japanese naval base at Truk in the Caroline Islands after US naval air attack, 30 April 1944 (US National Archives)

Japanese naval base at Truk in the Caroline Islands after US naval air attack, 30 April 1944 (US National Archives)

80 Years Ago—April 30, 1944: US Naval Task Force 58 strikes targets in the Caroline Islands.

American Broadcasting Station in Europe (ABSIE) begins broadcasts from Britain to Europe.

Today in World War II History—April 29, 1944

Men of the 1st Battalion, US 19th Infantry, carrying supplies near Hollandia, New Guinea, April 1944 (US Center of Military History)

Men of the 1st Battalion, US 19th Infantry, carrying supplies near Hollandia, New Guinea, April 1944 (US Center of Military History)

80 Years Ago—April 29, 1944: French Resistance sabotages Dunlop factory at Montluçon.

Dutch resistance Groep 2000 steals 10,000 blank identity cards in the Hague.

US secures Hollandia area of New Guinea, cutting off 50,000 Japanese troops in the Wewak area.

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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