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Today in
World War II History

Today in World War II History—April 28, 1944

USS LST-289 after being damaged by German torpedo boats off Slapton Sands on 28 April 1944 (US National Archives 80-G-283500)

USS LST-289 after being damaged by German torpedo boats off Slapton Sands on 28 April 1944 (US National Archives 80-G-283500)

80 Years Ago—April 28, 1944: During Exercise Tiger D-Day practice off Slapton Sands in England, German torpedo boats sink two American tank landing ships (LST-507 and LST-531) and damage USS LST-289; 749 are killed; US 4th Infantry Division suffers greater losses in this disaster than on D-day.

Merrill’s Marauders (US guerillas) and Chinese troops under US Gen. Joseph Stilwell begin offensive toward Myitkyina, Burma.

Lt. Gen. Joseph Stilwell awarding a Silver Star to a Chinese soldier near Laban, northern Burma, 28 April 1944 (US Army photo)

Lt. Gen. Joseph Stilwell awarding a Silver Star to a Chinese soldier near Laban, northern Burma, 28 April 1944 (US Army photo)

Today in World War II History—April 27, 1944

US soldiers practicing for D-day at Slapton Sands, Lyme Bay, England, 27 April 1944 (Library of Congress: LC-USZ62-132795)

US soldiers practicing for D-day at Slapton Sands, Lyme Bay, England, 27 April 1944 (Library of Congress: LC-USZ62-132795)

80 Years Ago—April 27, 1944: Countdown to D-day: in Exercise Tiger, a rehearsal for D-day, US 4th Infantry Division begins landing at Slapton Sands in Dorset, England.

US Ninth Air Force in England flies its first mission with Douglas A-20 Havoc light bombers.

Federal troops seize Montgomery Ward plant after Sewell Avery refuses to sign with CIO as ordered by War Labor Board; Avery is carried out by soldiers.

US Ninth Air Force Douglas A-20 Havocs over France, WWII (USAF photo: 051118-F-1234P-071)

US Ninth Air Force Douglas A-20 Havocs over France, WWII (USAF photo: 051118-F-1234P-071)

Today in World War II History—April 26, 1944

Southwick House, England, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

Southwick House, England, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

80 Years Ago—April 26, 1944: Countdown to D-day: Allied Naval Command Expeditionary Force staff move to Battle Headquarters for D-day at Southwick House, Hampshire, England. To learn more about Southwick House and see pictures from my tour, please see “The Sea Before Us—Tour of Southwick House.”

Today in World War II History—April 25, 1944

Pre-invasion Bombing of Pointe du Hoc by US Ninth Air Force A-20 light bombers, spring 1944. (US Army Center for Military History)

Pre-invasion Bombing of Pointe du Hoc by US Ninth Air Force A-20 light bombers, spring 1944. (US Army Center for Military History)

80 Years Ago—April 25, 1944: Countdown to D-day: due to damage from a US Ninth Air Force raid, German gun crews at Pointe du Hoc move surviving guns 0.8 miles south of the battery site and place telegraph poles in original positions. Read more “The Land Beneath Us – Tour of Pointe du Hoc.”

A helicopter is used for combat air rescue for the first time—a Sikorsky YR-4B helicopter of the US 1st Air Commando Group rescues four downed airmen in the Burma jungle, one at a time over two days.

Sikorsky YR-4B at NACA Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, Hampton, VA, 29 March 1945 (NASA Langley photo: EL-2003-00296)

Sikorsky YR-4B at NACA Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, Hampton, VA, 29 March 1945 (NASA Langley photo: EL-2003-00296)

Today in World War II History—April 24, 1944

Tadji Airstrip at Aitape, New Guinea, April 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

Tadji Airstrip at Aitape, New Guinea, April 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

80 Years Ago—April 24, 1944: US secures Aitape, New Guinea, and opens Tadji Airstrip at Aitape.

US Seventh Air Force B-24s make first land-based air attack on Guam.

Today in World War II History—April 23, 1944

Map of the Allied air plan for the landings in Normandy, 6 June 1944. (From Saunders, Hilary St. George. Royal Air Force 1939-1945, Volume III: The Fight Is Won. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1954. Public domain via Hyperwar website).

Map of the Allied air plan for the landings in Normandy, 6 June 1944 (From Saunders, Hilary St. George. Royal Air Force 1939-1945, Volume III: The Fight Is Won. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1954. Public domain via Hyperwar website).

80 Years Ago—April 23, 1944: Countdown to D-day: Air Plan for Operation Overlord is issued. Read more: “The Sky Above Us Tour – D-Day in the Air.”

US Sixth Army secures Hollandia, New Guinea.

Today in World War II History—April 22, 1944

US Signal Corps cameramen Carl Weinke and Ernest Marjoram at Hollandia, New Guinea, 22 Apr 1944 (US National Archives: 111-SC-189623)

US Signal Corps cameramen Carl Weinke and Ernest Marjoram at Hollandia, New Guinea, 22 Apr 1944 (US National Archives: 111-SC-189623)

80 Years Ago—April 22, 1944: US Sixth Army lands at Hollandia and Aitape, New Guinea with little opposition.

In the US, typewriters are removed from rationing. Read more: “Make It Do—Metal Shortages in World War II.” 

US poster, WWII

US poster, WWII

Today in World War II History—April 21, 1944

Gen. Hans-Valentin Hube with the 16th Panzer Division outside Stalingrad, 23 August 1942 (Public domain via Wikipedia)

Gen. Hans-Valentin Hube with the 16th Panzer Division outside Stalingrad, 23 August 1942 (Public domain via Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—April 21, 1944: German Gen. Hans-Valentin Hube is killed in a plane crash at Berchtesgaden; Gen. Erhard Raus replaces him over German First Panzer Army.

US Navy Task Forces 58 and 78, with 20 aircraft carriers, begin bombing and bombardment of Hollandia, Wakde, Sawar, and Sarmi areas of New Guinea in preparation for the next day’s landings.

Today in World War II History—April 20, 1944

Hawker Hurricane of RAF No.42 Squadron piloted by Flying Officer "Chowringhee" Campbell, attacking a bridge in Burma on the Tiddim Road near Imphal (Imperial War Museum: CF 175)

Hawker Hurricane of RAF No.42 Squadron piloted by Flying Officer “Chowringhee” Campbell, attacking a bridge in Burma on the Tiddim Road near Imphal (Imperial War Museum: CF 175)

80 Years Ago—April 20, 1944: British relieve siege at Kohima, India, but Japanese retain town of Kohima and maintain siege of the critical Imphal area.

W. Somerset Maugham’s best-selling novel The Razor’s Edge is published.

Today in World War II History—April 19, 1944

US poster about food rationing, 1943 (US Office of Price Administration)

US poster about food rationing, 1943 (US Office of Price Administration)

80 Years Ago—April 19, 1944: Japanese launch Ichi-Go offensive in China to open a corridor to Indochina (Vietnam) and to capture US airbases.

British Eastern Fleet & US Task Group 38.5 aircraft hit Sabang, Sumatra, as diversion from upcoming Hollandia operation, the first joint UK/US action in the Indian Ocean.

In the US, shortening, salad & cooking oils are removed from rationing, but butter & margarine are still rationed. Read more: “Make It Do—Rationing of Butter, Fats & Oils in World War II.” 

Japanese ships and harbor facilities after being Allied carrier strike on Sabang, Sumatra, 19 Apr 1944 (Imperial War Museum: 4700-01 A 23249)

Japanese ships and harbor facilities after Allied carrier strike on Sabang, Sumatra, 19 Apr 1944 (Imperial War Museum: 4700-01 A 23249)

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