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This Day in WWII 12 June 1940 - 1945


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joyhodges1.jpg Joy Hodges

1940: General Sir Edmond Ironside, C-in-C of British Home Forces, completes plans for the defense of Britain against German invasion.

1940: On the orders from General Weygand, C-in-C of the French Army, the French forces opposing the advance of Army Group A withdraw to the South, offering little resistance. The Germans cross the River Marne, consolidate bridgehead South of the Seine and claim to have occupied Rheims. Four French divisions and most of the British 51st Highland Division is cut off and captured by Rommel at St. Valery-en-Caux.

1940: The Soviet Union issues an ultimatum to Lithuania, demanding that the Red Army be allowed to occupy the country.

1940: RAF bomb docks in Tobruk, Libya.

1940: Italian submarine Bagnolini sinks British cruiser Calypso south of Crete.

1941: The RAF raids the Ruhr, Rhineland and German ports in the first of 20 consecutive night raids.

1941: The German pocket battleship Lützow (formerly Deutschland) is attacked and damaged by RAF aircraft off the southern coast of Norway.

1942: Rommel, having now brought up tank reserves, could now muster 124 tanks against the 248 British tanks. He therefore attacked the British positions between Knightsbridge and El Adem, trapping much of the British armor.

Joy Hodges performs in one of the Army-Navy Screen Magazine Series film program, which was shown to the American soldiers around the world during World War II. It included a newsreel and a cartoon of Private Snafu. It was produced from June 1943 until early 1946 by the Army Signal Corps under the supervision of director Frank Capra. The Snafu series was produced by the staff of Leon Schlesinger Productions.

BIO: Joy Hodges was born in Des Moines, Iowa in January of 1915. Often cited as the woman who helped future President of the United States Ronald Reagan get his first big break in film, actress Joy Hodges proved a formidable talent of stage and screen who also possessed a remarkable singing voice. After making an impression in such films as To Beat the Band (1935) and The Family Next Door (1939) Hodges sang with such big bands as those of Ozzie Nelson and Glenn Miller, and numerous Broadway roles were soon to follow. She met Mr. Reagan in Des Moines, where he was an announcer and sportscaster and she sang on the radio station WHO. When Mr. Reagan was assigned to cover the Chicago Cubs' spring training on Catalina Island in 1937, he stopped in Hollywood to visit Miss Hodges and asked her advice about getting into acting. Advising Reagan to "ditch the glasses" if he wanted to become an actor, she subsequently set him up for a meeting that eventually lead to a contract with Warner Bros. Ronald Reagan kept in touch with Joy for over 60 years, and she was a frequent guest at the White House, where she once sat next to President Gorbachev at dinner.

1943: The RAF launches a heavy raid on Bochum in the Ruhr. The Luftwaffe carries out a night attack against Plymouth.

1943: King George VI lands in Morocco, only his second sanctioned visit of the war to forces overseas.

1944: U.S. troops fighting for Carentan, link up with British troops, thereby completing a solid line along a 50-mile battle front. So far, the allies have landed 326,000 men and 54,000 vehicles onto the Normandy beaches.

1944: Rosenberg orders operation 'Hay Action', the kidnapping of 40,000 Polish children aged ten to fourteen for slave labour in Germany.

1945: Eisenhower is awarded the Order of Merit and becomes the first U.S. recipient.

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