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Today in World War II History

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Today in World War II History—June 5, 1944

American tank destroyers at the Colosseum, Rome, June 1944 (US Army photo)

American tank destroyers at the Colosseum, Rome, June 1944 (US Army photo)

80 Years Ago—June 5, 1944: US Fifth Army secures Rome; Gen. Mark Clark gives victory speech on Capitoline Hill, and Pope Pius XII addresses GIs in St. Peter’s Square.

Countdown to D-day: at 4:15 am, a more favorable weather report leads Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to order the invasion of Normandy to proceed for June 6: “Okay, let’s go.”

At night, RAF Bomber Command flies 1200 sorties, hitting ten gun batteries in Normandy before dawn.

First combat mission is flown with B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers: US 20th Bomber Command sends 98 B-29s from India to bomb Japanese-held Bangkok.

US Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber (US Air Force photo)

US Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber (US Air Force photo)

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