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This Day in WWII 27 April 1940 - 1945


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1024.jpg?md=1335520140000 Sperry Corporation Ad - April 1944

1940: Himmler signs the order that initiates construction of Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

1941: German troops cross the Egyptian border and capture the Halfaya Pass, forcing the British to pull back to defensive a line running from Buq Buq on the coast to Sofafi, some 50km in to the desert. The British also begin construction of a major defensive line in front of Mersa Matruh.

1024.jpg?md=1335520050000 *Sheila Ryan - YANK Pin-up Girl May 5, 1944

1941: German troops occupy Athens.

1942: The RAF use 107 aircraft in another raid against Rostok. Norwich is attacked by the Luftwaffe.

1024.jpg?md=1335520054000 Sheila Ryan - YANK Pin-up Girl July 27, 1945

1942: RAF Bomber Command again attack the Tirpitz at Trondheim, without success. Wing Commander Bennett who led the raid crashes in Norway, but manages to escape to Sweden.

1943: A report that Soviet troops have executed thousands of Polish officers near Smolensk causes a rift between the Polish government-in-exile and Moscow, jeopardizing their alliance.

1024.jpg?md=1335520023000 Sheila Ryan

1944: Both the Canadian and New Zealand Prime Ministers arrive in London for the Imperial Conference.

1944: German planes spot an Allied convoy west of Start Point along the Channel Coast. The convoy is actually making a practice run ('Operation Tiger') for the planned invasion of Normandy on a stretch of coast very much like that found in the Normandy region of France. The 5th and 9th Schnellbootflottillers are directed to attack at night, which they do with the following boats: S100, S130, S138, S138, S140, S142, S143, S145, S150. They engage the convoy, consisting of 8 landing craft and protected by the lone English Corvette Azeala at Lyme Bay. The result is that LST 507 was set on fire and had to be given up, LST 531 was sunk and LST 289 received a torpedo hit which killed many soldiers. Total Allied losses were 197 seaman and 441 soldiers lost.

1024.jpg?md=1335520030000 Sheila Ryan

1944: Merrill's 'Marauders' begin a march on Myitkyina.

1944: The U.S. Army complete their capture of Hollandia's airfields and isolate 200,000 Japanese for the duration of war.

1024.jpg?md=1335520035000 Sheila Ryan

1945: Total V-weapon casualties in Britain are announced as 2,754 killed and 6,523 seriously injured.

1945: The U.S. First Army captures Straubing and Kempten in Bavaria.

1024.jpg?md=1335520040000 Sheila Ryan

1945: The Russians take Wittemberge on Elbe. Russian troops reach the Alexanderplatz in Berlin and Spandau is taken. The 2nd Belorussian front advances in Pomerania seizes Prenzlau and Angermunde, 70 miles northwest of Berlin. The German 9th Army tries to reach Berlin from the southeast and even counterattacks at Zossen. The German 20th Army does the same Southeast of Belzig. The German High command confesses that the last German forces in Pillau, East Prussia have surrendered.

1945: The U.S. Fifth Army enters Genoa.

1024.jpg?md=1335520045000 Sheila Ryan

**Born Katherine Elizabeth McLaughlin on June 8, 1921 in Topeka, Kansas, she went to Hollywood in 1939 at the age of 18. She was signed by 20th Century Fox in 1940 and was credited in her early films as Bettie McLaughlin. Adopting the name Sheila Ryan, she starred in "Dressed to Kill" (1941) the following year. She appeared in other memorable films, including two Laurel and Hardy movies, "Great Guns" (1941) and "A-Haunting We Will Go" (1942), and the Busby Berkeley musical "The Gang's All Here" (1943). Ryan appeared in a several Charlie Chan and Michael Shayne mysteries, starring alongside Cesar Romero.

By the late 1940s, however, her career waned and she began appearing mostly in B movies, especially low budget westerns. In 1945, she married actor Allan Lane, but the marriage ended in divorce after a few months.

She later worked with Gene Autry, starring in several of his films, including "The Cowboys and the Indians" (1949), and "Mule Train" (1950). She also had roles in several television shows.

While working with Autry, Ryan met actor Pat Buttram (known for his role as "Mr. Haney" in the 1965–1971 television comedy Green Acres). They married in 1952, and remained together until her death in 1975. They had a daughter, Kathleen Buttram, nicknamed (Kerry).

Sheila Ryan retired from acting in 1958. She died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California in 1975 from lung cancer. She was 54 years old. She was survived by Pat and their daughter Kerry. Pat later died of kidney failure on January 8, 1994 and later on their daughter Kerry Buttram-Galgano died of cancer in 2007.

1024.jpg?md=1335520135000 Coca Cola Ad - April 1945

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