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This Day in WWII 27 March 1941 - 1945


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1024.jpg?md=1332845013000 Boeing Ad - March 1944

1941: A coup in Yugoslavia by General Simonic and other army officers overthrows the pro-German government. King Peter takes control and a new cabinet is formed. This upsets Hitler, who decides to delay his surprise attack on the Soviet Union in order to launch "Operation Union", whose intent is the destruction of Yugoslavia.

1941: British troops finally take Keren, although they suffer nearly 4,000 casualties in the process, while the Italians lose some 3,000 men. The Italians are forced to withdraw towards Asmara. The 11th African Division captures Harar in Abyssinia after the Italians have declared it an 'open town'.

1941: Tokeo Yoshikawa arrives in Oahu, Hawaii, to begin spying for Japan on the U.S. Fleet at Pearl Harbor.

1024.jpg?md=1332845024000 *Jeanne Crain

1942: The British raid the Nazi submarine base at St. Nazaire, France

1942: Filippino President and Government arrive in Australia.

1942: The start of deportation of French Jews to Auschwitz.

1024.jpg?md=1332845028000 Jeanne Crain

1944: One thousand Jews leave Drancy, France for the Auschwitz concentration camp.

1944: Thousands of Jews are murdered in Kaunas, Lithuania. The Gestapo shoots forty Jewish policemen in the Riga, Latvia ghetto.

1024.jpg?md=1332845033000 Jeanne Crain

1945: General Dwight Eisenhower declares that the German defenses on the Western Front have been broken.

1945: The allied bridgehead north of Ruhr is now 700 square miles. 16,257 POW's are taken for 6,781 allied casualties in four days. The U.S. Third Army captures Aschaffenburg.

1024.jpg?md=1332845038000 Jeanne Crain

1945: The 1,115th and last V2 to reach England lands in Kynaston Rd., Orpington, Kent, England.

1945: Bitter street fighting in Danzig as the Russians force their way into the City defences. A German counterattack from the Frankfurt bridgehead toward Küstrin bogs down after only a few miles.

1945: B-29s lay mines in Japan's Shimonoseki Strait to interrupt shipping.

1024.jpg?md=1332845042000 Jeanne Crain

*Jeanne Crain was born in Barstow, California, on May 25, 1925. The daughter of a high school English teacher and his wife, Jeanne was moved to Los Angeles not long after her birth after her father got another teaching position in that city. While in junior high school, Jeanne played the lead in a school production which set her on the path to acting. When she was in high school Jeanne was asked to take a screen test to appear in a film by Orson Welles. Unfortunately, she didn't get the part, but it did set her sights on being a movie actress.

After her high school career, Jeanne enrolled at UCLA to study drama. At the age of 18, Jeanne won a bit part in Fox Studio's film entitled "The Gang's All Here" (1943) and a small contract. Her next film saw Jeanne elevated to a more substantial part in "Home in Indiana" (1944) the following year, which was filmed in neighboring Kentucky. The movie was an unquestionable hit. On the strength of that box-office success, Jeanne was given a raise and star billing, as Maggie Preston, in the next film of 1944, "In the Meantime, Darling" (1944). Unfortunately, the critics not only roasted the film, but singled out Jeanne's performance in particular. She rebounded nicely in her last film of the year, "Winged Victory" (1944). The audiences loved it and the film was profitable.

In 1945, Jeanne was cast in "State Fair" (1945) as Margie Frake who travels to the fair and falls in love with a reporter played by Dana Andrews. Now, Jeanne got a bigger contract and more recognition. Later that year, Jeanne married Paul Brooks on New Year's Eve. Although her mother wasn't supportive of the marriage, the union has lasted to this day and produced seven children. Her 1947 was an off year for Jeanne as she took time off to bear the Brinkman's first child.

1024.jpg?md=1332845451000 Jeanne Crain

In 1949, Jeanne appeared in three films, "A Letter to Three Wives" (1949), "The Fan" (1949), and "Pinky" (1949). It was this latter film which garnered her an Oscar nomination as Best Actress for her role as Pinky Johnson, a nurse who sets up a clinic in the Deep South. She lost to Olivia de Havilland for "The Heiress" (1949). Jeanne left Fox after filming "Vicki" (1953) in 1953, with Jean Peters. She had made 23 films for the studio that started her career, but she needed a well-deserved change. As with any good artist, Jeanne wanted to expand her range instead of playing the girl-next-door types.

She went briefly to Warner Brothers for the filming of "Duel in the Jungle" (1954) in 1954. The film was lukewarm at best. Jeanne, then, signed a contract, that same year, with Universal Studios with promises of better, high profile roles. She went into production in the film "Man Without a Star" (1955) which was a hit with audiences and critics. After "The Joker Is Wild" (1957) in 1957, Jeanne took time off for her family and to appear in a few television programs. She returned, briefly, to film in "Guns of the Timberland" (1960) in 1960. The films were sporadic after that. In 1967, she appeared in a low-budget suspense yarn called "Hot Rods to Hell" (1967). Her final film was as Clara Shaw in 1972's "Skyjacked" (1972).

Jeanne died of a heart attack in Santa Barbara, California, on December 14, 2003. Her husband Paul Brooks had died two months earlier.


Measurements: 34B-24-34 (measured by "Life" magazine, 1944), 36 1/2B-24-36 (filming Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955)), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Height: 5' 4" (1.63 m)


Paul Brooks (31 December 1945 - 1 October 2003) (his death) 7 children

1024.jpg?md=1332845018000 Boeing Ad - March 1945

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