Jump to content
COMBATSIM Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Donster

This Day in WWII 7 December 1939 – 1943

Recommended Posts

LibertyMutualInsuranceAd-Dec1942.jpgLiberty Mutual Insurance Ad - Dec. 1942

 

1939: Norway, Denmark and Sweden declare their neutrality. The Soviet Ninth Army launches an offensive in central Karelia. Britain and France agree to send troops and material to help Finland fight against the Soviet Union. However, there is virtually no way to get these forces to Finland and so the promises mean little.

 

1939: Italy reaffirms her neutrality.

 

Ava%20Gardner1.jpg *Ava Gardner

 

1940: The Admiral Hipper leaves Kiel for an anti-shipping sortie into the Atlantic.

 

1941: Field Marshal von Brauchitsch after suffering a recent heart attack tenders his resignation to Hitler, although this is not accepted immediately. Zhukov issues orders to the left flank armies of his West Front to begin offensive operations against Panzer Group 2, which is attempting to withdraw out of a salient near Tula. The aim of this offensive would be to cut off Panzer Group 2 and destroy it in the area of Stalinogorsk.

 

1941: Panzer Army Afrika retreats westwards through Libya, completing its withdrawal to the Gazala line.

 

991207_big.gif(READ NY TIMES ARTICLE)

1941: At 6:15 Honolulu time, the first wave of Japanese aircraft take of from their carriers which are located about 200 miles north of Hawaii. At 7:50, 43 fighters, 51 dive-bombers, 70 torpedo-bombers and 50 ordinary bombers arrive over Hawaii. They launch attacks against the airfields at Wheeler, Kaneohe, Ewa and Hickham and against the American warships anchored at Battleship Row. Surprise was complete and within a few minutes 5 battleships and 2 light cruisers had been sunk and a large number of aircraft (180) destroyed on the ground. Within an hour, the second wave of Japanese strike aircraft (36 fighters, 80 dive-bombers, 54 bombers) had arrived over the target, sinking a further 3 destroyers and damaging another battleship. By 10:00 the attack was over and the casualties could be accounted for. The Americans lost 2,729 killed and 1,178 wounded, while the Japanese losses amounted to just 29 aircraft (59 airmen) and five mini-submarines. The Japanese launch air attacks against Manila. Japan declares war on Britain and the USA.

Pearl Harbor - Dec. 7, 1941 - The only color film of the attack

CrownZipperAd-Dec1943.jpg Crown Zipper Ad - December 1943

 

1941: The Japanese attack Thailand, Malaya, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore.

 

1941: The US begins mobilization.

 

1942: The US Navy launches the Battleship New Jersey, one of the four "Iowa Class" battleships, the largest ever built for the US Navy, and 11 other ships on the anniversary of Pearl harbor.

 

Ava%20Gardner2.jpg Ava Gardner Collage

 

1942: British Commandos make daring raid on Bordeaux harbor, rowing 50 miles up the River Gironde and attaching limpet mines to German shipping.

 

1942: US make a beachhead South of Buna, cutting off Japanese forces there.

 

1943: The Cairo conference ends.

 

Ava%20Gardner3.jpg Ava Gardner

*Ava Lavinia Gardner was born on December 24, 1922 in the small farming community of Grabtown also known as Brogden, Johnston County, North Carolina near Smithfield, North Carolina, the youngest of seven children (she had two brothers; Raymond and Melvin, and four sisters; Beatrice, Elsie Mae, Inez and Myra) of poor cotton and tobacco farmers; her mother, Mollie, was a Baptist of Scots-Irish and English descent, while her father, Jonas Bailey Gardner, was a Catholic of Irish American and American Indian (Tuscarora) descent. When the children were still young, the Gardners lost their property, forcing Jonas Gardner to work at a sawmill and Mollie to begin working as a cook and housekeeper at a dormitory for teachers at the nearby Brogden School.

When Gardner was 13 years old, the family decided to try their luck in a bigger town, Newport News, Virginia, where Mollie Gardner found work managing a boardinghouse for the city's many shipworkers. That job did not last long, and the family moved to the Rock Ridge suburb of Wilson, North Carolina, where Mollie Gardner ran another boarding house. Gardner's father died of bronchitis in 1938. Gardner and some of her siblings attended high school in Rock Ridge and she graduated from there in 1939. She then attended secretarial classes at Atlantic Christian College in Wilson for about a year.

Gardner, who by age 18 had become a stunning, green-eyed brunette, was visiting her sister Beatrice ("Bappie") in New York in 1941 when Beatrice's husband Larry Tarr, a professional photographer, offered to take her portrait. He was so pleased with the results that he displayed the finished product in the front window of his Tarr Photography Studio on Fifth Avenue.

Ava%20Gardner4.jpg Ava Gardnr

Her picture in the window of her brother-in-law's New York photo studio brought her to the attention of MGM, leading quickly to Hollywood and a film contract based strictly on her beauty. With zero acting experience, her first 17 film roles, 1942-5, were one-line bits or little better. After her first starring role in B-grade "Whistle Stop" (1946), MGM loaned her to Universal for her first outstanding film, "The Killers" (1946). Few of her best films were made at MGM which, keeping her under contract for 17 years, used her popularity to sell many mediocre films. Perhaps as a result, she never believed in her own acting ability, but her latent talent shone brightly when brought out by a superior director, as with John Ford in "Mogambo" (1953) and George Cukor in "Bhowani Junction" (1956). After 3 failed marriages (Mickey Rooney - 1942 to 1943, Artie Shaw - 1945 to 1946 and Frank Sinatra - 1951 to 1957), and she dated billionaire aviator Howard Hughes in the early to mid-1940s, a relationship that lasted into the 1950s.

Dissatisfaction with Hollywood life prompted Ava to move to Spain in 1955; most of her subsequent films were made abroad. She for a time dated Spanish bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín. By this time, stardom had made the country girl a cosmopolitan, but she never overcame a deep insecurity about acting and life in the spotlight. Her last quality starring film role was in "The Night of the Iguana" (1964), her later work being (as she said) strictly "for the loot". In 1968, tax trouble in Spain prompted a move to London, where she spent her last 22 years in reasonable comfort. Her film career did not bring her great fulfillment, but her looks may have made it inevitable; many fans still consider her the most beautiful actress in Hollywood history.

After a lifetime of smoking, Gardner suffered from emphysema, in addition to an autoimmune disorder (which may have been lupus). After two strokes in 1986, which left her partially paralyzed and bedridden, Frank Sinatra paid the cost of her ($50,000) medical expenses. Her last words (to her housekeeper Carmen), were, "I'm so tired", before she died of pneumonia at the age of 67 on January 25, 1990 in Westminster, London, England. After her death, one of Frank Sinatra's daughters found him slumped in his room, crying, and unable to speak. Gardner was not only the love of his life but also the inspiration for one of his most personal songs, "I'm a Fool to Want You", which Sinatra (who received a co-writing credit for the song) recorded twice, toward the end of his contract with Columbia Records and during his years on Capitol Records. ("It was Ava who taught him how to sing a torch song," Sinatra arranger Nelson Riddle was once quoted as saying. "She was the greatest love of his life, and he lost her.") Reportedly, a lone black limousine parked behind the crowd of 500 mourners at Ava's funeral. No one exited the vehicle, but it was assumed that the anonymous mourner was indeed Frank Sinatra. A floral arrangement at Gardner's graveside simply read: "With My Love, Francis".

TRIVIA:

Measurements: 36-23 1/2-37 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Nicknames: Snowdrop, Angel

Her early education was sketchy; by 1945, she had read two books, the Bible and "Gone with the Wind." In later life, she more than made up for this lack by continual self-education.

During the first two years of her marriage to Frank Sinatra, he was at the lowest point of his career. She often had to lend him money so he could buy presents for his children. He was so broke by 1951 that Gardner had to pay for his plane ticket so that he could accompany her to Africa, where she was shooting "Mogambo" (1953). This all changed after he won his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in the 1953 film "From Here to Eternity" (1953).

When shooting "Earthquake" (1974), she surprised director Mark Robson by insisting that she do her own stuntwork, which included dodging blocks of concrete and heavy steel pipes.

USTreasuryAd-Dec1944.jpg US Treasury Department and War Ad - Dec. 1944

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×