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This Day in WWII 26 April 1940 - 1945


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1024.jpg?md=1335435044000 Oldsmobile Ad - April 1943

1940: The British stun the French and Norwegians by deciding to evacuate southern Norway.

1941: The Italian fortress of Dessie, south of Amba Alagi is captured by South African forces.

1024.jpg?md=1335435038000 *Frances Rafferty - YANK Pin-up Girl - Oct. 12, 1945 Issue

1942: The RAF again attacks Rostok, this time with 128 aircraft. The Luftwaffe again raid Bath.

1942: Cunningham is forced to order the withdrawal of the 10th Submarine Flotilla from Malta as a result of the intense bombing and because of the mines laid by aircraft and German E-boats.

1024.jpg?md=1335435003000 Frances Rafferty

1943: Axis losses in Africa for first 3½ months of 1943 are 66,000 killed, wounded and captured.

1944: The Army seizes a Montgomery Ward plant in Chicago and reopens it for war production after its board of directors refuses to negotiate with the CIO labor union. Chairman Sewell Avery refuses to leave his office, and still seated in his chair, is carried out to the parking lot, where he bows to workers and enters a waiting limousine.

1024.jpg?md=1335435008000 Frances Rafferty

1944: In marked contrast to earlier USAAF efforts, Bomber Command makes a hugely successful attack on the German ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt.

1944: Marshal Petain makes his first and only visit to Paris in the course of the war to inspect Allied bomb damage in the city. Crowds cheer him enthusiastically, the same crowds who will cheer De Gaulle exactly four months later.

1024.jpg?md=1335435013000 Frances Rafferty

1944: The Greek PM resigns and George Papandreou forms a new government.

1944: The 'Chindits' occupy Indaw.

1024.jpg?md=1335435017000 Frances Rafferty

1944: Japanese fighters attack their first B-29, one fighter is shot down.

1944: Australians troops occupy Alexishafen in New Guinea.

1024.jpg?md=1335435022000 Frances Rafferty

1945: German troops at Bremen surrender to the British and Canadians. Allied troops now line the Swiss border from Basle to Lake Constance. The U.S. Third Army takes Regensburg on the Danube. Goering's fall from grace announced in Germany, General Ritter von Greim is to replace him.

1024.jpg?md=1335434997000 Excide Battery Ad - April 1943

1945: The 2nd Belorussian front captures Stettin on the river Oder, while the 3rd Belorussian Front captures the Baltic port of Pillau, 20 miles West of Königsberg. General Wenck embarks on the last German offensive to relieve Berlin, but only manages to reach Ferch on the 27th April, before the offensive grinds to a halt. The remnants of 9th Army are cut off and surrounded in the Halbe pocket 30 miles southwest of Frankfurt am der Oder. The 2nd Ukrainian Front captures Brno, in Czechoslovakia.

1945: Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, the head of France's Vichy government during World War II, was arrested.

1024.jpg?md=1335435027000 Frances Rafferty

1945: The first of some 75,000 ex-prisoners of war are flown back to the UK by aircraft of Bomber Command.

1945: Italian Partisans take Genoa and stage revolt in Milan. The U.S. Fifth Army captures Verona, 20 miles Northeast of Mantua.

1024.jpg?md=1335435032000 Frances Rafferty

*Rafferty was born in Sioux City, Iowa, on June 16, 1922. As the Depression took its hold on America, her family moved to Los Angeles when she was 9 in search of work. Rafferty had a gift for dance, and won a scholarship to the Edith Jane Dancing School the next year. She attended UCLA following her high school graduation but soon dropped out after earning an understudy position for dancer Vera Zorina in the film "I Was an Adventuress" (1940). Rafferty soon changed her focus to acting after breaking a kneecap from a fall during a performance at the Hollywood Bowl on the concrete stage. Months of recovery awaited. The execs at MGM signed Rafferty at the age of 19 and her Hollywood career began with a bit part in "The War Against Mrs. Hadley" (1942). She got a dancing role in "Presenting Lily Mars" (1943) starring Judy Garland. She also turned heads with her small role in the Rooney and Garland musical, "Girl Crazy" (1943). So, MGM was good to her, giving her other parts in the Wallace Beery vehicle, "Barbary Coast Gent" (1944) and "Mrs. Parkington" (1944), starring Tay Garnett, Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon. Rafferty became known for her exotic beauty and she capitalized on it in "Dragon Seed" (1944), playing the unfortunate Oriental girl who is raped and murdered. Rafferty became a famous war-era cover girl for YANK, the Army Weekly but as hard as she tried, she was unable to attain major starring roles in "A" pictures. She continued in Hollywood, remaining a "B" level co-star, best remembered as the pouty glamor girl. She received star billing in "Abbott and Costello in Hollywood" (1945), one of the first full-length features starring the two comedians and was convincing in the entertaining mystery, "The Hidden Eye" (1945). After World War II, Rafferty acted in only a handful of films like 1947's comedy, "Lost Honeymoon, Curley" (1947), as a tormented teacher of the Little Rascals and 1948's "An Old-Fashioned Girl" (1948). Sadly, Rafferty's career had become less significant as the 1940's came to a close. In 1948 she married Thomas R. Baker, an Air Force colonel who later became general manager for the Los Alamitos Racetrack, and had two children. Frances Rafferty died in her sleep at her home of natural causes on April 18, 2004 in Paso Robles, California.

reverecopperandbrassada.jpg Revere Copper and Brass Ad - April 1944

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