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This Day in WWII 19 February 1940 - 1945


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ModelSmokingTobaccoAd-Feb1943.jpg Model Smoking Tobacco Ad - February 1943

1940: Destroyer HMS Daring torpedoed, 157 are killed.

1940: Finnish forces defeat and disperse the Soviet 18th Division northeast of Lake Ladoga.

Constance%20Bennett1.jpg *Constance Bennett

1942: General Gamelin, Leon Blum and Paul Reynaud are put on trial at Riom by the Vichy government, charged with being responsible for the French defeat of 1940. The trial is never concluded. Blum defends himself so brilliantly that the trial is suspended. He remains a prisoner until 1945.

1942: Under increasing threat of being outflanked by the advancing Japanese, the 17th Indian Division is finally given permission to withdraw across the river Sittang.

Constance%20Bennett2.jpg Constance Bennett

1942: Largest Japanese air raid since Pearl Harbor occurs against Darwin, Australia as the Japanese attack twice in one day.

1942: The Battle of Badung Strait results in a Japanese victory, as an American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDA) naval squadron attempts to prevent the Japanese landing on Bali. The Allies lose 1 Dutch destroyer sunk and 2 Dutch cruisers and a US destroyer damaged.

MotorolaAd-Feb1945.jpg Mototola Ad - February 1945

1942: Japanese invade Bali.

1942: Executive Order 9066 is signed by President Roosevelt, authorizing the transfer of more than 100,000 German, Italian and Japanese-Americans living in coastal Pacific areas to concentration camps in various inland states (and including inland areas of California). Those interned lose an estimated 400 million dollars in property, as their homes and possessions are taken from them.

Constance%20Bennett3.jpg Constance Bennett

1943: A two-day U-boat attack on Convoy ONl16 in the North Atlantic ends with 15 allied ships sunk.

1943: The first Chindit action against Japanese occurs.

RelianceManufacturingAd-Feb1945.jpg Reliance Manufacturing Ad - February 1945

1944: The U.S. Eighth Air Force and Royal Air Force begin "Big Week," a series of heavy bomber attacks against German aircraft production facilities.

1944: The RAF saturates Leipzig, dropping 2,300 tons of bombs, but lose 78 of 823 bombers.

Constance%20Bennett4.jpg Constance Bennett

1944: A Japanese convoy is smashed by allied aircraft in the Bismarck Archipelago.

1945: After a heavy bombardment, 30,000 US Marines land on Iwo Jima, but suffer 2,420 casualties on the first day.

1945: German forces re-establish communications between Königsberg and the port of Pillau, thus again enabling tens of thousands of German refugees to be evacuated to the west by ships of the Kriegsmarine. 'Operation Sonnenwende' is finally ended in the face of ever strengthening Red Army resistance. The operation was a complete military failure, although did show that the German Army could still organize and mount limited counter-attacks.

Constance%20Bennett5.jpg Constance Bennett

*Independent, outspoken Constance Bennett, born on 22 October 1904, in New York City, was the first of the Bennett sisters to enter films, appeared in New York-produced silents before a chance meeting with Samuel Goldwyn led to her Hollywood debut in "Cytherea" (1924). In 1921 Bennett eloped with Chester Hirst Moorehead of Chicago, the son of a surgeon. The marriage was annulled in 1923. She abandoned a burgeoning career in silents for marriage to millionaire socialite Philip Morgan Plant in 1925; after they divorced, she achieved stardom in talkies from 1929. The hit "Common Clay" (1930) launched her in a series of loose lady and unwed mother roles, but she really excelled in such sophisticated comedies as "The Affairs of Cellini" (1934), "Ladies in Love" (1936), "Topper" (1937) and "Merrily We Live" (1938). Her classy blonde looks, husky voice and unerring fashion sense gave her a distinctive style. In the 1940s she made fewer films, working in radio and theatre; shrewd in business, she invested wisely and started businesses marketing women's wear and cosmetics. Loving conflict, she feuded with the press and enjoyed lawsuits.

In 1941, Bennett married the actor Gilbert Roland, by whom she had two daughters, Lorinda and Christina (a.k.a. Gyl). They were divorced in 1946.

In June 1946, Bennett married US Air Force Colonel (later Brigadier General) John Theron Coulter (1912-1995). This last marriage, to U.S. Air Force colonel Coulter, was happy and gave her a key role coordinating shows flown to Europe for occupying troops (1946-48) and the Berlin Airlift (1948-49), winning her military honors. Still young-looking, she died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 60 on July 24, 1965 at Fort Dix, New Jersey, shortly after completing the last of her 57 films. In recognition of her military contributions, and as the wife of Theron John Coulter, she was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Coulter died in 1995 and was buried with her.

CamelCigaretteAd-Feb1945.jpg Camel Cigarette Ad - February 1945

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