Today in World War II History—December 24, 1939 & 1944
80 Years Ago—December 24, 1939: On Christmas Eve, Pope Pius XII appeals for peace.
75 Years Ago—Dec. 24, 1944: In the largest mission of the war, 2034 heavy bombers of the US Eighth Air Force bomb German targets in the Ardennes.
Brig. Gen. Frederick Castle dies in a B-17 crash after giving his crew time to bail out; he will receive the Medal of Honor.
Two-day Guam Riot begins: white Marines open fire at black Marines who had been talking to Asian women; 2 blacks will be killed in armed riots and 43 blacks—and no whites—will be court-martialed.
The San Francisco Ballet performs the first full-length performance of The Nutcracker ever in the US.