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This Day in WWII 25 January 1940 - 1945 *1949


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acousticonadjan1943.jpg Acousticon Ad - January 1943

1940: Nazis choose the town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) in Poland near Krakow as site of new concentration camp.

virginiagrey2.jpg **Virginia Grey

1942: German troops capture Msus, which threatens the 4th Indian Divisions position at Benghazi. Lieutenant General Ritchie, orders the 4th Indian Division to withdraw to a line running from Derna to Mechili, but this order is countermanded by General Auchinleck who wanted the 8th Army to counter-attack. However, the 8th Army was to widely dispersed and Rommels forces were advancing too quickly.

1942: Thailand declares war on Britain and the US.

virginiagrey3.jpg Virginia Grey

1942: US Pearl Harbor enquiry finds Admiral Kimmel, then the C-in-C of the US Fleet, guilty of dereliction of duty. A court martial is announced later.

1942: Australia begins full mobilization of all assets at its disposal.

virginiagrey4.jpg Virginia Grey

1943: Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt end the Casablanca Conference with their announcement of the demand for the unconditional surrender of Germany and Italy.

1943: After Casablanca, Gen. Ira Eaker,commander of the US 8th Air Force, convinces Churchill to bomb night and day "around the clock".

virginiagrey7.jpg Virginia Grey

1943: The Red Army succeeds in splitting the remnants of 6th Army into a northern and a southern pocket. German forces evacuate Armavir and Voronezh. Stalin’s Order of the day says that the Red Army has routed 102 German divisions in the last two months.

virginiagrey5.jpg Virginia Grey

1944: Night-fighter ace, Major Prinz zu SaynWittgenstein who claimed 83 victories is killed.

1944: Diary entry by Hans Frank, Gauleiter of Poland, concerning the fate of 2.5 million Jews originally under his jurisdiction - "At the present time we still have in the General Government perhaps 100,000 Jews."

1944: Australian advances in New Guinea are announced, with the Japanese cleared from the ‘Shaggy Line’.

virginiagrey6.jpg Virginia Grey

1945: Zhukov cuts off the Fortress city of Posen which holds 66,000 Germans and continues his 50-mile a day advance.

*1949: Axis Sally, who broadcasted Nazi propaganda to U.S. troops in Europe, stands trial in the United States for war crimes.

virginiagrey.jpg Virginia Grey

**She was born on March 22, 1917 in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of actor Ray Grey - he was one of the Keystone Kops - and director for Mack Sennett and appeared on the silent screen with Mabel Normand, Dorothy Gish and Ben Turpin, among others. He died while Virginia was still a child. One of her early babysitters was Gloria Swanson. Grey debuted at the age of ten in the silent film "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1927) as Little Eva. She continued acting for a few more years, but then left movies in order to finish her education.

Grey returned to films in the 1930s with bit parts and extra work, but she eventually signed a contract with MGM and appeared in such movies as "Another Thin Man" (1939), "Hullabaloo" (1940) and "The Big Store" (1941). She played Consuela McNish in "The Hardys Ride High" (1939) with Mickey Rooney, and in 1942 she was in "Tarzan's New York Adventure" with Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan.

She left MGM in 1942, and signed with several different studios over the years, working steadily.

During her participation in WWII bond drives, she developed a close relationship with John Basilone, US Marine Medal of Honor winner, who was later killed on Iwo Jima.

She had an on again/off again relationship with Clark Gable in the 1940s. After his wife Carole Lombard died and he returned from military service, Clark and Virginia were often seen at restaurants and nightclubs together. Many, including Virginia herself, expected him to marry her. The tabloids were all expecting the wedding announcement. It was a great surprise when he hastily married Lady Sylvia Ashley in 1949. Virginia was heartbroken. They divorced in 1952, but much to Virginia's dismay their brief romance was never rekindled. Her friends say that her hoping and waiting for Clark was the reason she never married.

She was a regular on television in the 1950s and 1960s, appearing on "Playhouse 90", "General Electric Theater", "The DuPont Show with June Allyson", "Your Show of Shows", "Wagon Train", "Bonanza", "Marcus Welby, M.D.", "Love, American Style", "Burke's Law", "The Virginian", "Peter Gunn", "The Red Skelton Show" and many others.

Although never a box office star, Miss Grey was as indomitable as she was versatile, acting in more than 100 films and 40 television shows -- musicals, comedies, adventure films, westerns and romantic dramas.

She retired from the screen in the early 1970s and passed away due to heart failure at the Motion Picture and Television Retirement Home on July 31, 2004, at age 87.

1024.jpg?md=1327485754000 Evans Products Ad - January 1944

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