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This Day in WWII 15 February 1940 - 1945


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StudebakerAd-Feb1943.jpg Studebaker Ad - February 1943

1940: Hitler orders that all British merchant ships will be considered warships.

1941: Great Britain breaks off diplomatic relations with Romania as it is now clear that the Romanians are firmly allied to the Germans.

Brenda%20Joyce1.jpg *Brenda Joyce

1942: Churchill broadcasts to the nation and says the Mediterranean will close to all allied shipping.

1942: Singapore surrenders to the Japanese, a decision prompted as much as anything by the plight of the 1,000,000 civilian inhabitants of the island. 9,000 British, Australian and Empire troops are killed and 130,000 captured, many of which will find themselves working as slaves on the notorious Burma-Thai Railway. The Japanese casualties amount to around 9,000 killed or wounded. (WATCH VIDEO SLIDE SHOW)

Brenda%20Joyce2.jpg Brenda Joyce

1943: The Germans break the American Army's lines at the Fanid-Sened Sector in Tunisia, North Africa.

1944: The heaviest raid ever on Berlin is conducted, during which 2,500 tons of bombs are dropped.

1944: Monte Cassino is devastated by 422 tons of bombs as the Indian and New Zealanders begin their offensive to capture the monastery which is now occupied and defended by paratroopers (the Green Devils) of 1st Fallschirmjäger Division. (WATCH VIDEO SLIDE SHOW)

StudebakerAd-Feb1944.jpg Studebaker Ad - February 1944

1944: Hitler permits Field Marshal Models troops to withdraw to Panther Line and also allows the Korsun pocket defenders to break out towards the relieving forces.

1944: The USAAF decimate a Japanese convoy off New Ireland.

Brenda%20Joyce3.jpg Brenda Joyce

1945: Russian troops are now covering the approaches to Danzig. The Red Army captures Sagan in Silesia. The German 11th SS Army begins a counterattack 'Operation Sonnenwende' with three Korps (39th Panzer, 3rd SS Panzer and the 10th SS Korps). However, only the 3rd SS Panzer Korps (11th SS Panzer Grenadier Division "Nordland" and the 27th SS Grenadier Division "Langemarck") are ready and begin their attack South towards Arnswalde, about 30-35 kms southeast of Stargard.

1945: Japanese forces are now trapped in the Manila rectangle, which is just 5,000yds by 2,000yds. (WATCH UNIVERSAL NEWSREELS VIDEO)

Brenda%20Joyce4-Johnny%20Weissmuller.jpg Brenda Joyce and Johnny Weissmuller

*The second "Jane" of the durable Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan jungle film series was born Betty Leabo on February 25th 1917, in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, raised in Los Angeles, and nicknamed "Graftina" by her father when she was a girl. Attending college, the lovely blonde became a photographer's model to help pay her tuition. 20th Century Fox noticed a fashion layout of her and immediately signed her on. The studio changed her name to Brenda Joyce after silent star Alice Joyce, making her movie debut with "The Rains Came" (1939). Building her up to the public as a sexy single girl, the studio didn't take kindly to her impulsive marriage to army husband Owen Ward and supposedly punished her by relegating her to "B" films. Two children later, Brenda appeared to have lost interest in her career, but was coaxed back to the film set when brunette Maureen O'Sullivan left the Tarzan series and Johnny Weissmuller approved the athletic beauty as his new blonde swinging mate. Beginning a four-year excursion with the film "Tarzan and the Amazons" (1945), Brenda continued on as Jane after Weissmuller left (actor Lex Barker took over), but finally decided enough was enough. Besieged by personal problems, including a painful divorce, Brenda left after her fifth movie, "Tarzan's Magic Fountain" (1949). She worked for a decade in Washington for the Department of Immigration and appeared in two episodes of PBS kids show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" in 1971.

Brenda%20Joyce5.jpg Brenda Joyce

Suffering from dementia in her twilight years she stayed with her children at various stages until she was forced to be institutionalized in a nursing home in Santa Monica, California. Brenda died there of complications from pneumonia on the 4th of July, 2009.


Height: 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Once certified as having the longest hair in Hollywood - 39 inches - outranking Katharine Hepburn and Veronica Lake.

StudebakerAd-Feb1945.jpg Studebaker Ad - February 1945

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