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Today in World War II History

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Today in World War II History—August 9, 1944

Smokey Bear's first appearance on a Forest Fire Prevention campaign poster, released on August 9, 1944
Smokey Bear’s first appearance on a Forest Fire Prevention campaign poster, released on August 9, 1944

75 Years Ago—August 9, 1944: At Mare Island Navy Yard in Vallejo, CA, 258 black sailors who survived the Port Chicago Explosion refuse to load munitions and are imprisoned [see Port Chicago: The Work Stoppage].

US Fifteenth Air Force Aircrew Rescue Unit (Italy) flies first mission, evacuating 268 airmen & refugees from Yugoslavia in C-47 cargo planes.

Smokey Bear is introduced by the US Forest Service as a spokesman for fire prevention.

Damage at US Naval Magazine, Port Chicago from 17 July 1944 explosion. (US Naval History and Heritage Command)
Damage at US Naval Magazine, Port Chicago from 17 July 1944 explosion. (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

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