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This Day in WWII 30 April 1940 - 1945


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texacoapril1943.jpg Texaco Oil Ad - April 1943

1940: Germans announce they have established communication between Trondheim and Oslo. RAF attack Oslo airfield.

1940: The Lodz Ghetto in occupied Poland is sealed off from the outside world with 230,000 Jews locked inside.

shirleyross3.jpg *Shirley Ross

1941: British air raid casualty figures in April: 6,065 killed, 6,926 injured. Bristol, Coventry, Birmingham, Belfast, London and Portsmouth all badly hit. In retaliation the RAF attacks Emden, Kiel, Berlin, Bremen and Mannheim.

sankacoffeeadapril1942.jpg Sanka Coffee Ad - April 1942

1941: All of Greece is under German and Italian occupation. During the campaign, the Greeks lose 15,700 killed and 300,000 prisoners. The British lose 2,000 killed and 10,000 made prisoner, while the Germans only suffer about 2,000 killed and missing.

1941: The Afrika Korps second attempt to capture Tobruk is again repulsed by the Australians.

shirleyross2.jpg Shirley Ross

1942: Hitler and Mussolini meet at Berchtesgaden to discuss future axis strategy in North Africa and the Mediterranean, the main objectives being the reduction of Malta and the seizure of the Suez Canal.

1942: Hitler and Mussolini agree that the capture of Malta (Operation Herakles) should take place on the 10th July 1942.

shirleyross5.jpg Shirley Ross

1942: The British 1st Burma Corps completes its withdrawal over the Irrawaddy at Mandalay in Burma.

1942: The US aircraft carriers, Hornet and Enterprise set sail from Pearl Harbor for the Corel Sea under the command of Admiral William 'Bull' Halsey.

1943: The British submarine HMS Seraph drops 'the man who never was,' a dead man the British planted with false invasion plans, into the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain. The 'man who never was' pulled off one of the greatest deceptions in military history--after his death.

shirleyross1.jpg Shirley Ross

1945: The U.S. Third Army liberates 110,000 POW's in the Moosburg area, Northeast of Munich. The U.S. Seventh Army clears Munich and the French takes Friedrichshafen and cross into Austria. The U.S. First Army meet the Russians at Ellenburg, South of Berlin. The British Second Army liberates 20,000 prisoners (two third POW's and one third political prisoners) from Sandbostel camp in northern Germany.

bellandhowellapril1943.jpg Bell and Howell Ad - April 1943

1945: Allied Norwegian forces capture Finnmark.

1945: With the Red Army only a few hundred yards away, Hitler commits suicide with Eva Braun in the Reich Chancellery bunker at 1530hrs and their bodies immediately incinerated with gasoline by SS bodyguards

shirleyross6.jpg Shirley Ross

1945: A Sergeant of the Russian Army plant the Red Flag on top of the Reichstag building at 2.30 pm. As the final Russian assault on Tiergarten begins, Goebbels and Bormann send General Krebs, Chief of the General Staff to the headquarters of Marshal Zhukov with a permit to make an armistice, but Zhukov refuses and demands an unconditional surrender. Troops of the 4th Ukrainian front capture Moravska Ostrava. Fighting continues in Breslau, as the German garrison refuses to surrender.

1945: The U.S. Fifth Army in Northwest Italy, links up with French troops on the French/Italian border.

1945: The Mexican Air Force's 201 Squadron arrives at Manila. In operations from 4 June, 1945 to the end of the war, the 201 flies 96 combat missions, mostly in support of ground troops. The 201 will be the only Mexican unit to see overseas combat in the country's history.

shirleyross.jpg Shirley Ross

*Shirley Ross was born Bernice Gaunt on January 7th, 1913 in Omaha, Nebraska, but her family relocated to California when she was a child. She studied at Hollywood High School and the University of California and auditioned successfully for Gus Arnheim's band during her second year at university. She made her first recordings at the age of 20 with Arnheim in 1933.

Her film career began in 1933 and the following year she introduced the melody of the song "Blue Moon" for the Clark Gable movie "Manhattan Melodrama", only with different lyrics. Ross first achieved prominence appearing opposite Bing Crosby in the 1937 film "Waikiki Wedding". In the film "The Big Broadcast" (1938) she sang "Thanks for the Memory" with Bob Hope. She re-teamed with Hope the following year to sing "Two Sleepy People" in the 1938 film "Thanks for the Memory".

Ross also introduced "The Lady's in Love with You" from the 1939 film "Some Like It Hot" featuring Bob Hope, which is not the 1959 comedy starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis, although both films share the same name.

Her sole Broadway appearance was in the Rodgers and Hart musical "Higher and Higher" in 1940. Ross recorded four songs from the show including "It Never Entered My Mind". She made her final film, "A Song for Miss Julie", in 1945.

She died from cancer in Menlo Park, California, on March 9th, 1975 at age 62.


Married to agent Ken Dolan, she had three children - two sons and a daughter.

Also notable for singing "The Bad In Every Man" in 1934's "Manhattan Melodrama". She sang this portraying a featured singer in the Cotton Club, obviously artificially ethnicized. When this song failed to become a hit, it was re-written as "Blue Moon" and became a standard.

"The Big Broadcast of 1938" is remembered today it's for the fact that it introduced Bob Hope in his first feature film and at the same time gave him his theme song "Thanks for the Memory". Hope was billed fifth in this production behind W.C.Fields, Martha Raye, Dorothy Lamour, and Shirley Ross.

vincoadapril1944.jpg Vinco Ad - April 1944

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