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This Day in WWII 24 December 1939 - 1944


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adelemara101.jpg Adele Mara

1939: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas appeal for peace.

1940: London celebrates the holidays, despite the war. A sign in the downtown district reads: "Christmas is 1,940 years old, and Hitler is only fifty-one. The can't spoil our Christmas."

1941: The Avro Lancaster enters service with No. 44 Sqn at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire. It isn’t until 3 March 1942 that the Lancaster makes its operational debut.

1941: Bengazi reoccuppied by the British.

1941: Japanese troops make further landings on Luzon to the southeast of Manila in Lamon Bay. The Japanese 16th Division starts its drive north towards Manila in an attempt to link up with the North Luzon Force. General MacArthur announces his decision to withdraw his forces to Bataan. A supply base is to be setup on Corregidor with sufficient stock to carry on the fight for 6 months.

1942: Following the suspension of 'Operation Winter Tempest', the relief of Stalingrad, the Red Army begins an offensive against Army Group Don toward Kotelnikovo, breaking through the lines of 4th Romanian Army.

1942: Admiral Darlan is assassinated by a young Frenchman in Algiers.

1942: US bomb Wake Island.


1943: Commanders of ‘Second Front’ are announced as Eisenhower, Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force; Montgomery to be C in C of 21st Army Group.

1943: The Russians commence a third winter offensive, with Vatutin’s 63 divisions in the Ukraine and capture Berdichev.

1943: Sir Henry Maitland Wilson is made Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean and Alexander is C in C Allied Armies, Italy.

1943: Roosevelt broadcasts about the Cairo and Teheran conferences and says plans have been laid for the invasion of Europe and its post-war reconstruction.

1944: In the English Channel, U-486 (Oblt.z.S. Gerhard Meyer) sinks the allied troop carrier SS Leopoldville with the loss of 763 men of the US 66th Infantry Division. All news and information on this incident is suppressed by orders of SHAEF headquarters.

vivianaustin.jpg Vivian Austin

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