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This Day in WWII 28 May 1940 - 1945


Donster
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parkedaviscoadmay1943.jpg Parke,Davis & Co. Ad - May 1943

1940: French mountain troops capture the port of Narvik, forcing the German defenders (Gebirgsjäger units and crews of sunk destroyers) into the surrounding hills and towards the safety of the Swedish border and internment.

1940: Belgium formally surrenders to the Germans.

1940: The British and French reject capitulation and continue the evacuation and rearguard actions at Dunkirk.

lynnbari7.jpg Lynn Bari

1941: Roosevelt says Neutrality Act to be repealed.

1941: Lord Woolton announces experimental egg rationing, further restrictions on fish and milk; successful prosecutions under Food Control Orders during war now total 17,319.

1941: British and Commonwealth forces begin evacuating Crete through the port of Sphakia on the southern coast of Crete. The withdrawal is to be covered by two recently landed Commando Battalions. However the garrisons at Retimo and Heraklion will be evacuated separately.

lynnbari3.jpg

1942: The Russian pocket Southeast of Kharkov continues to be broken in. 200 Poles are taken from Warsaw to the village of Magdalenka and shot. Among them are three women brought on stretchers from Pawiak prison hospital.

1942: Heavy fighting continues at the southern end of the Gazala line, although by now Rommel's forces are beginning to run out of fuel and his tanks are becoming scattered. In order to shorten his supply lines he decides to punch a hole through the Gazala line.

lynnbari.jpg Lynn Bari

1943: The U.S. 15th Air Force attacks Italian oil refineries at Livorno.

1944: The US 8th Air Force attacks synthetic fuel-producing plants at Leuna-Meseburg.

1945: The British Twelfth Army HQ is set up in Rangoon.

lynnbari4.jpg Lynn Bari

*A curvaceous, dark-haired WWII pin-up beauty (aka "The Woo Woo Girl" and "The Girl with the Million Dollar Figure"), "B" film star Lynn Bari had the requisite looks and talent but little of the lucky breaks to permeate the "A" rankings during her extensive Hollywood career. Nevertheless, some worthy performances continue to stand out for her in late-night viewings. She was second only to Betty Grable in WWII pin-up popularity according to a GI's poll taken at the time.

She was born with the elite-sounding name of Margaret Schuyler Fisher on December 18, 1913 (various sources also list 1915, 1917 and 1919!) in Roanoke, Virginia. She and her younger brother John moved with their mother to Boston following the death of their father in 1926. Her mother remarried, this time to a minister, and the family relocated once again when her stepfather was assigned a ministry in California (Institute of Religious Science in Los Angeles).

Paying her dues for years as a snappy bit-part chorine, secretary, party girl and/or glorified extra while being groomed as a starlet under contract to MGM and Fox respectively), her first released film was the MGM comedy "Meet the Baron" (1933) providing typical window dressing as a collegiate. For the next few years there was little growth at either studio, usually standing amidst others in crowd scenes and looking excited. Finally in "Lancer Spy" (1937), she received her first billing on screen in a minor part as "Miss Fenwick". Though more bit parts were to dribble in, the year 1938 proved to be her break through year. She finally gained some ground into playing the "other woman" role in glossy soaps and musicals, first giving Barbara Stanwyck some trouble in "Always Goodbye" (1938).

She enjoyed the attention she received playing disparaging society ladies, divas, villainesses and even a strong-willed prairie flowers in such films as "Pier 13" (1940), "Earthbound" (1940), "Kit Carson" (1940) and "Sun Valley Serenade" (1941), but they did little to advance her in the ranks.

The very best role of her frisky career came with the grade "A" comedy "The Magnificent Dope" (1942) sharing top billing with Henry Fonda and Don Ameche. But good roles were hard to find in Lynn's case and she good-naturedly took whatever was given her. Other ripe, above-average movies (she appeared in well over 150) of this period came with "China Girl" (1942), "Hello Frisco, Hello" (1943), "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" (1944) and "Nocturne" (1946).

With diminishing offers for film parts by the 1950s, she starting leaning heavily towards stage and TV work. She continued her career until the late 60s and then retired. Her last work included the film "The Young Runaways" (1968) and TV episodes of "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E." and "The F.B.I." Divorced three times in all, husband #2 was volatile manager/producer Sidney Luft, better known as Judy Garland ex-hubby years later and the father of her only child. Her third husband was a doctor/psychiatrist and she worked as his nurse for quite some time. They divorced in 1972. Plagued by arthritis in later years, Lynn passed away from an apparent heart attack on November 20, 1989 in Santa Monica, California at the age of 76. Although she may have been labeled a "B" leading lady, she definitely was in the "A" ranks when it came to class and beauty.

TRIVIA:

Height

5' 7" (1.70 m)

While on the set of "Shock" (1946) one day, she was talking with co-star Anabel Shaw and mentioned that she was a direct descendant, on her mother's side, of Revolutionary War hero Alexander Hamilton. Shaw revealed that she was a direct descendant of Aaron Burr--the man who killed Hamilton in the famous duel.

texacoadmay1944.jpg Texaco Ad - May 1944

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