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This Day in WWII 20 June 1940 - 1945

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UnitedStatesRubberCompanyAd-June1944.jpgUnited States Rubber Company Ad - June 1944

 

1940: FDR appoints former Republicans to counter isolationists:

Henry Stimson as Secretary of Army

Frank Knox as Secretary of Navy

They join Hull, Morgenthau, and Hopkins as the "war cabinet".

 

1940: Both Houses of Parliament meet in secret session to discuss Home Defense.

 

1940: German troops capture Lyons and the vital port of Brest in Brittany. French envoys drive behind German lines to receive armistice terms. Italian forces begins an offensive along the Riviera coast into France.

 

1940: The RAF bomb Rouen airfield.

 

1940: The German heavy cruiser Gneisenau is damaged by a torpedo from the British submarine Clyde.

 

JoanWinfield1.jpg *Joan Winfield

 

1941: President Roosevelt, in a message to Congress, denounces the sinking of the American merchant ship Robin Moor by U-69 as 'an act of piracy'.

 

1941: The U.S. Army Air Forces is established, replacing the Army Air Corps.

 

1942: Fort Lenin in Sevastopol falls to the Germans.

 

1942: Declaring that "icicles sprouted in Hell today," the director of the Erie Railroad announces the company will pay its shareholders a dividend for the first time in seventy years. The fifty-cents-a-share payoff is possible largely because of profits earned from transporting troops and war material.

 

UnitedStatesRubberCompanyAd2-June1945.jp United States Rubber Company Ad - June 1945

 

1943: The RAF institutes 'shuttle bombing' runs, with planes leaving England, bombing Germany, reloading in North Africa, bombing Italy and the returning to England begin, with 60 RAF bombers attacking the radar works at Friedrichshafen.

 

1943: The British announce a five-day U-boat attack on the Atlantic convoys and claim that 97% of ships survived.

 

JoanWinfield2.jpg Joan Winfield

 

1944: U.S. troops attack the outer defenses of Cherbourg.

 

1944: Eighth Army take Perugia as its advance North continues.

 

1944: The Red Army captures Viipuri on the Soviet-Finnish border.

 

USLaborDept-EveryBlowCountsPoster.jpg United States Labor Department Poster

 

1944: The Japanese retreat from Imphal in Manipur towards the Burmese frontier.

 

1944: Vice Admiral Marc Mitchner, commander of the U.S. Task Force 58, orders all lights on his ships turned on to help guide his carrier-based pilots back from the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The greatest aircraft carrier duel.

 

1945: Australians troops land at Lutong on Sarawak and gain 25 miles to the Seria oilfields.

 

JoanWinfield3.jpg Joan Winfield

 

*Joan Winfield was born Joan MacGillicuddy Lucas in Melbourne, Australia, and both she and her sister Mauricette (later Dale Melbourne) were musical prodigies. At the age of 13, with her sister accompanying her on piano, Joan defeated challengers more than three times her age to be awarded "Best Violinist of Australia."

 

Two years later, the MacGillicuddy family moved to London, where at fourteen Joan auditioned and was accepted for the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art with a monologue from Romeo and Juliet. She always said that the highlight of her time at RADA was being directed by George Bernard Shaw in his play Back to Methuselah.

 

On a trip to New York, Joan was approached at a cocktail party by a talent scout from Warner Brothers Studio, and a screen test landed her a seven-year contract. When Joan was introduced to her new boss Jack Warner, he said that her last name would not fit on a marquee, and gave her the character name from a recent Bette Davis film. Thus she became Joan Winfield.

 

JoanWinfield4.jpg Joan Winfield

 

In her time at the studio Joan worked in several of Bette Davis' films, her favorite role being that of Lucy, the maid who knows too much in "A Stolen Life" (1946). On a forgettable film called "The Gorilla Man" (1943) she met John Meredyth Lucas, then working on the show as a script supervisor. They married in 1951, and had three children, Elizabeth, Victoria and Michael. Joan would go on to appear in 39 films from 1941 - 1957.

 

After her marriage she acted in fewer films, and devoted her time to charity work. For many years she was on the Board of Directors of SHARE, an organization that works to assist children with developmental disabilities. Joan died of cancer on June 16, 1978 in Van Nuys, California.

 

UnitedStatesRubberCompanyAd-June1945.jpg United States Rubber Company Ad - June 1945

 

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