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Today in World War II History

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Posts Categorized: WWII Articles

The British Royal Family in World War II

The British Royal Family in World War II

In honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 95th birthday and in memory of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, I’m highlighting the pivotal role of the British Royal Family in World War II. Their example of service and grit shone as examples in Britain – and throughout the world. During World War II, King George VI sat on the throne of England, with Queen Elizabeth at his side, the woman better known to modern g... Read Article

The American Experience in 1930s Germany

If you or I visited Nazi Germany in the 1930s, we know exactly how we’d react. We’d be appalled by the persecution of the Jews. We’d feel the oppression of living under a police state. We’d see the rising danger of Hitler and his militarism. Or would we? A few years ago, we visited Ellis Island, and I put family names into their computer. I found the records of my grandfather’s trip home... Read Article
US poster commemorating Pearl Harbor, 1942

Remember Pearl Harbor!

Seventy-nine years ago, on December 6, 1941, twelve B-17 Flying Fortresses left Hamilton Field, north of San Francisco, bound for their new station on Mindanao in the Philippines. My great-uncle, then Lt. Roderick M. Stewart, served as a navigator on one of the crews. The first leg of their journey would take them to Hickam Field in Honolulu. Weighted down by gasoline for the thirteen-hour flight, they were unable to... Read Article

Lessons from the 1940s – Don’t Lose Heart

In 1940, things looked bleak in the United Kingdom. Hitler had swallowed up Poland, Norway, Denmark, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. In July, the Battle of Britain began as the Luftwaffe began attacking British shipping. In August the target shifted to the RAF, and by September 6, the British had lost 466 planes. Then the Blitz began in September, and London bore fifty-seven straight nights of bombi... Read Article
The famous kiss at Times Square, New York City, 14 Aug 1945 (Photographer: Victor Jorgensen; US National Archives: 80-G-413998)

Happy V-J Day!

Seventy-five years ago, on August 14, 1945, World War II came to an end when Emperor Hirohito of Japan signed his acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration demanding unconditional surrender to the Allies. The surrender was announced in the United States at 7 pm Eastern War Savings Time. The following day, August 15, was officially proclaimed V-J Day (Victory in Japan) in the US, a day of celebration and thanksgiving. Alm... Read Article
Ground crew on a RAF Bomber Command station in Britain return the ‘V for Victory’ sign to a neighboring searchlight crew. Silhouetted is the nose of a Lancaster bomber. (Imperial War Museum)

V-E Day 75th Anniversary!

Victory in Europe Since Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, the free world had been longing for this day. On May 8, 1945, it came. Victory in Europe Day. For years, the Allied forces had been pushing back Hitler’s armies. On April 29, German forces in Italy and Austria officially surrendered, effective May 2. On April 30, Hitler committed suicide. On May 4, German forces in northwest G... Read Article
Cutaway diagram of a B-17G Flying Fortress (Sarah Sundin)

The B-17 Flying Fortress, Part 2 – Crew

Few World War II airplanes have captured the imagination like the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. I’ve enjoyed walking through many of these planes, and in 2011 I had the awesome privilege of flying in the Experimental Aircraft Association‘s Aluminum Overcast. You can read about my flight and watch a video here. The legendary Flying Fortress is a starring side character in the Wings of Glory series.  Yesterday I... Read Article
B-17G Flying Fortress Shoo Shoo Baby of the 91st Bomb Group (USAF Museum)

The B-17 Flying Fortress, Part 1

Few World War II airplanes have captured the imagination like the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. I’ve enjoyed walking through many of these planes, and in 2011 I had the awesome privilege of flying in the Experimental Aircraft Association‘s Aluminum Overcast. You can read about my flight and watch a video here. The legendary Flying Fortress is a starring side character in my Wings of Glory series. Today I&#... Read Article

The Land Beneath Us – Tour of Pointe du Hoc, Part 2

To celebrate the release of The Land Beneath Us, I’m conducting a photo tour of locations from the novel that I saw on my research trips to England, Normandy, Tennessee and more. From the previous books in the Sunrise at Normandy series: Tour of London Part 1 Tour of London, Part 2 Tour: D-Day at Sea (includes photos of the Isle of Wight and crossing the English Channel) Tour of Omaha Beach Tour of the Queen Mary... Read Article

The Land Beneath Us – Tour of Pointe du Hoc, Part 1

To celebrate the release of The Land Beneath Us, I’m conducting a photo tour of locations from the novel that I saw on my research trips to England, Normandy, Tennessee and more. From the previous books in the Sunrise at Normandy series: Tour of London Part 1 Tour of London, Part 2 Tour: D-Day at Sea (includes photos of the Isle of Wight and crossing the English Channel) Tour of Omaha Beach Tour of the Queen Mary... Read Article