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This Day in WWII 13 May 1940 - 1945

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GeneralMotorsAd-May1942.jpgGeneral Motors Ad - May 1942

 

1940: The Labour Party Conference in Bournemouth gives support to Churchill's government by 2,413,000 votes to 170,000. Churchill makes 'blood, sweat, tears and toil' speech. Queen Wilhelmina and the Dutch royal family arrive in London.

 

1940: Supported by waves of Luftwaffe Stuka dive-bombers, the two German Panzer Korps of Heeresgruppe B establish bridgeheads across the Meuse river, tearing a 50-mile gap in the French defenses between Dinant and Sedan. The 7th Panzer Division (Rommel) is the first division across. Dutch troops withdraw to their second and final line of defense on the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Utrecht line.

 

1941: German aircraft begin to operate over Iraq in support of the rebellion by anti-British Iraqi forces.

 

AlexisSmith1.jpg *Alexis Smith

 

1942: The British Chiefs of staff approve a major raid against the French port of Dieppe. Initially code-named 'Rutter', the plan had been under consideration since March by Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations, who wanting to explore the problems of an opposed landing on the French coast.

 

1942: The siege of Leningrad continues. Tanya Savicheva, a young girl, writes in her address book, "Mummy 13th May at 7.30 morning 1942. The Savichevs are dead, all dead, only Tanya remains." Her book also lists the death of her brothers, grandmother, and two uncles. Evacuated to Gorky on the Volga, Tanya herself dies of chronic dysentery in the summer of 1943.

 

AlexisSmith2.jpg Alexis Smith

 

1943: For the first time in the war, the British now claim more German prisoners than the Germans have British.

 

1943: The Royal Navy begin the bombardment of Pantelleria Island, between Tunisia and Sicily.

 

1943: Marshal Messe, the Italian C in C of Tunisia, surrenders to Montgomery.

 

HamiltonWatchAd-May1943.jpg Hamilton Watch Ad - May 1943

 

1944: The allies take Sant' Angelo and Castelforte, thereby opening the way to Rome.

 

1944: Jail Hill and other key Kohima features are recaptured by the British.

 

AlexisSmith3.jpg Alexis Smith

 

1945: The British Royal Family and allied military leaders attend a thanks giving service at St. Paul's Cathedral.

 

1945: Crown Prince Olav, some members of the exiled government and the head of the allied mission, Gen. Sir Andrew Thorne arrive in Oslo.

 

1945: Rear Admiral Brüning, the commander of German naval forces, arrives at Felixstowe to sign the unconditional surrender of all boats under his command.

 

AlexisSmith4.jpg Alexis Smith

 

1945: The last pockets of German resistance in Czechoslovakia are crushed by the Red Army.

 

1945: U.S. troops capture Del Monte air base on Mindanao. The Australians clear the Wewak peninsula in New Guinea.

 

AlexisSmith5.jpg Alexis Smith

 

*Born Gladys Smith on June 8, 1921 in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada, Smith was raised in Los Angeles. She was signed to a contract by Warner Bros. after being discovered by a talent scout while attending college. Her earliest film roles were uncredited bit parts and it took several years for her career to gain momentum. Her first credited part was in the feature film "Dive Bomber" (1941), playing the female lead opposite Errol Flynn. Her appearance in "The Constant Nymph" (1943) was well received and led to bigger parts. During the 1940s she appeared opposite some of the most popular male stars of the day, including Errol Flynn in "Gentleman Jim" (1942) and "San Antonio" (1945) (in which she sang a special version of the popular ballad "Some Sunday Morning"), Humphrey Bogart in "The Two Mrs. Carrolls" (1947), Cary Grant in a sanitized, fictional version of Cole and Linda Porter's life in "Night and Day" (1946), and Bing Crosby in "Here Comes the Groom" (1951).

 

AlexisSmith6.jpg Alexis Smith

 

Some of Smith's other films include "Rhapsody In Blue" (1945), "Of Human Bondage" (1946) and "The Young Philadelphians" (1959).

She appeared on the cover of the May 3, 1971 issue of Time with the announcement that she would be starring in Hal Prince's Broadway production of "Stephen Sondheim's Follies". In 1972 she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance. She followed this with the 1973 all-star revival of "The Women", the short-lived 1975 comedy "Summer Brave" and the ill-fated 1978 musical "Platinum", which drew decent notices only for her performance and quickly closed.

 

AlexisSmith7.jpg Alexis Smith

 

Smith had a recurring role on the TV series "Dallas" as Clayton Farlow's sister Jessica Montford in 1984 and again in 1990. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her guest appearance on the television sitcom "Cheers" in 1990. Alexis Smith died on June 9, 1993 in Los Angeles, California from brain cancer the day after her 72nd birthday. She had no children and was survived by her husband actor Craig Stevens.

 

TRIVIA:

Height - 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Measurements: 34-24-35

 

BendixAviation-May1944.jpg Bendix Aviation Ad - May 1944

 

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