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This Day in WWII 1 April 1941 - 1945


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EthylCorp-April1942.jpg Ethyl Corporation Ad - April 1942

1941: General Platt and his 'Northern Force' capture Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. A pro-axis coup, led by Raschid Ali seizes power in Iraq.

MarthaHyer1.jpg *Martha Hyer

1942: As a result of the immense loss in shipping along the US eastern seaboard, since January 1942, the US authorities instituted a partial convoying system, known as the 'Bucket Brigade'. This meant that ships would sail in convoy as close to the coast as possible during daylight hours and anchor in protected harbours at night. Due to the shortage of escort vessels, continuous convoying was not possible and the 'Bucket Brigade' system did not apply to the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico.

1942: Actor Lew Ayers is sent to a logging camp near Portland, Oregon, where he will work alongside other conscientious objectors chopping down trees and fighting forest fires. Ayres's acting career, which peaked with All Quiet on the Western Front, never recovers from the adverse publicity.

MarthaHyer2.jpg Martha Hyer

1942: The Japanese force the Chinese out of Toungoo, north of Rangoon.

1942: Japanese begin landing in Dutch New Guinea.

EvansProductsCompany-April1944.jpg Evans Products Company - April 1944

1943: Attempting to stem inflation in the USA, President Roosevelt freezes wages, salaries, and prices. Meat, fats, canned goods, and cheese are now rationed in the US.

1944: The USAAF accidentally bombs Schaffhausen in Switzerland. The Swiss protest strongly. The Americans offer reparations.

MarthaHyer3.jpg Martha Hyer

1945: The U.S. First and Ninth Armies link up at Lippstadt cutting off a third of a million German troops in the Ruhr area. The U.S. First Army enters Hamm, 40 miles Northeast of Essen.

1945: The 3rd Ukrainian Front capture Sopron in Hungary, a vital road junction between Budapest and Vienna and also reaches Wiener Neustadt as it continues its advance toward Vienna. The fighting in Breslau continues.

MarthaHyer4.jpg Martha Hyer

1945: The invasion of Okinawa, known as 'Operation Iceberg' begins, consisting of the U.S. Tenth Army, the US Marine III Amphibious Corps and 1,457 ships in support. 60,000 troops land unopposed and establish an 8-mile bridgehead.

MarthaHyer5.jpg Martha Hyer

*Martha Hyer was born on August 10, 1924 in Fort Worth, Texas to Agnes Barnhart and Julien C. Hyer, Texas state senator and international president of the Lions Clubs, the middle of three daughters, the others named Agnes and Jeane. Her father will later become Judge Advocate with the Fifteenth Army, setting up the war crime trials in Germany.

Once she finished her formal schooling, Martha played a bit role in 1946's "The Locket" (1946). Slowly, Martha began picking up roles with more and more substance. The best years for the beautiful actress began in 1954 when she played in films such as "Down Three Dark Streets" (1954), "Showdown at Abilene" (1956) and "Battle Hymn" (1957). Perhaps the best role of her long career was as "Gwen French" in 1958's "Some Came Running" (1958) in which she starred opposite Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine. As a result of her stellar role, Martha received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress, but she lost out to Wendy Hiller in "Separate Tables" (1958). Afterwards, Martha's stint on the US silver screen's trailed off some. She did make a handful of foreign films, returning to appear in the US from time to time, but nothing compared to the pace she had in the fifties. Her last film was in 1973 in the film "The Day of the Wolves" (1973). In 1966, she married producer Hal B. Wallis and remained with him until his death in 1986.

Hyer enjoyed a quiet retirement through the 1980s and 1990s. She died on May 31, 2014, at the age of 89 from natural causes, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she had lived for many years.

MarthaHyer6.jpg Martha Hyer


Measurements: 36 1/2-23-36 (in 1956), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)

This placid blonde was once in the running for the role of Marion Crane in Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), but lost out to Janet Leigh.

Was once labeled "Universal's answer to Grace Kelly".

Her classmates at Northwestern University included Cloris Leachman, Paul Lynde, Charlotte Rae, Charlton Heston, Patricia Neal and Agnes Nixon.

EthylCorp-April1945.jpg Ethyl Corporation Ad - April 1945

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