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This Day in WWII 23 February 1938 - 1945 **1946


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Nash-KelvinatorAd-Feb1943.jpg Nash-Kelvinator Ad - February 1943

1938: Twelve Chinese fighter planes drop bombs on Japan.

1940: Sweden announces that she will not permit British or French troops to cross through her territory on their way to Finland.

Anne%20Gwynne1-YankPinup.jpg *Anne Gwynne - YANK Pinup Girl

1940: The Soviet Union announces its final conditions for peace. Finland must hand over the Karelia Isthmus and the shores of Lake Ladoga. It must also grant a 30 year lease on the Hangö Peninsula and sign a mutual assistance treaty, guaranteeing the security of the Gulf of Finland against external threats. In return for all this, the Russians will withdraw from the Petsamo area.

1940: Crews of Exeter and Ajax cheered through London after return from South America.

Anne%20Gwynne2.jpg Anne Gwynne

1941: Alexandros Korizis, the Greek premier formally accepts Britain's offer of troops.

1941: Stuka's sink a British Destroyer and the Monitor Terror off the North African coast, near Tobruk.

1941: Free French forces land in Eritrea.

Anne%20Gwynne3.jpg Anne Gwynne

1942: Air Marshal A. T. (Bomber) Harris is appointed C-in-C of Bomber Command. Harris already had a reputation of being a determined and forceful character and was totally convinced that the bombing of Germany could bring her to her knees and be decisive in winning the war.

1942: The British submarine HMS Trident, torpedo's the cruiser Prinz Eugen which is sailing to Norway from Kiel, forcing its return to Germany for substantial repairs.

Nash-KelvinatorAd-Feb1944.jpg Nash-Kelvinator Ad - February 1944

1942: While the 17th Indian Division is withdrawing across the river Sittang, the Japanese launch an attack to capture the Bridge. Lieutenant General Smyth, orders the bridge to be blown, even though more than half his division has still to cross. The remnants of the 17th Indian Division, withdraw to Pegu, where they are joined by the 7th Armoured Brigade, which had recently arrived from the Middle East. For prematurely blowing up the bridge on the river Sittang, Lieutenant General Smyth is removed from command of the 17th Indian Division by General Wavell.

1942: Wavells ABDA HQ leaves Java for Australia, where upon its arrival it is disbanded. Against the wishes of Churchill, the Australian Prime Minister, Curtin orders all Australian Divisions to return home.

1942: A Japanese submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California, the first Axis bombs to hit American soil.

Anne%20Gwynne4.jpg Anne Gwynne

1944: Total U.S. casualties so far are put at 19,499 killed, 45,545 wounded, 26,339 missing and 26,754 captured.

1944: U.S. carrier-based planes attack the Mariana Islands. Only 1,300 miles from Tokyo.

1944: General Lucas is sacked from the Anzio command and is replaced by Major General Truscott. German counter-attacks drives the Anzio beachhead back further.

1944: Merrill's 'Marauders' (US 5307th Composite Unit) begins Stilwell's Sino-American advance into northern Burma.

Nash-KelvinatorAd-Feb1944-2.jpg Nash-Kelvinator Ad - February 1944

1945: The US Ninth Army begins an offensive from its bridgeheads on the Roer river leading to the bloody battle of the Hürtgen Forest.

1945: The Russians capture the fortress of Posen after a month-long siege.

Anne%20Gwynne5.jpg Anne Gwynne

1945: US paratroops spring 2,146 detainees from a Japanese camp South of Manila in surprise attack, during which 243 Japanese are killed for loss of just two U.S. killed and two injured.

1945: U.S. Marines storm Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima and raise the U.S. flag. (WATCH NEWSREEL)

**1946: Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita is hanged in Manila, the Philippines, for war crimes.

Anne%20Gwynne6.jpg Anne Gwynne

*Vivid, strikingly beautiful actress Anne Gwynne arrived in Hollywood a typical starry-eyed model looking to become a big film star, and ended up one of Universal Studio's favorite screamers in "B" horror films. Born in Waco, Texas on December 10, 1918, but raised in Missouri, she first modeled Catalina swimwear and appeared in local community theater productions to gain experience. Universal Studios took one look at this gorgeous eyeful and immediately signed her up in 1939. Her first work was in westerns opposite the likes of Johnny Mack Brown, but she swiftly moved to chillers and at the mercy of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Lon Chaney Jr. Anne became known as one of the first 'scream queens' because of her numerous appearances in these horror films.

Though she seldom rose above the second-string ranks, she was quite popular with the servicemen as a WWII pin-up. The war years at Universal found Gwynne at her peak. Billed as the TNT girl (trim, neat, terrific), she became a popular pin up, and was voted "The Girl We Would Most Like to Corral" by a regiment of the U.S. Calvary. Her image, as portrayed by Universal's publicity department, was that of a wholesome young lady. It was said that she did not smoke or drink alcohol, enjoyed playing tennis, and by 1944 had been dating the same boyfriend for two years.

Gwynne was indeed kept busy during this period. Besides her feature and publicity work at Universal, she toured military bases with the "Hollywood On Parade" shows, along with other stars such as John Garfield. She also appeared in a national print ad campaign, giving her endorsement to Royal Crown Cola.

Anne%20Gwynne7.jpg Anne Gwynne

As many others before her, TV proved a welcome medium in the 50s as her film career fell away, appearing in guest spots and commercials. Gwynne was a television pioneer, appearing in TV's first filmed series, "Public Prosecutor" (194748), 26 mysteries each 17½ minutes in running time. When aired, the DuMont Television Network stopped the film before the climax and a live three-member panel would try to guess the identity of the culprit. Other TV stations could buy rights to air this series but usually did not use panelists.

Widowed in 1965, her health began to deteriorate in the 90s and she was forced to move to the Motion Picture Country Home. Anne Gwynne had the looks and talent to be a top star, but not the luck. Nevertheless, she was a game player who screamed with the best of them. She passed away on March 31, 2003 at age 84 in Woodland Hills, California following complications of a stroke.

TRIVIA:

Height: 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Spouse:

Max M. Gilford (30 December 1945 - 3 May 1965) (his death) 2 children

Was one of the top five pin-ups in World War II, according to a February 15, 1943 "Life" magazine article. Others were Dorothy Lamour, Ann Sheridan, Maureen O'Hara and Alexis Smith.

#1 pinup girl for 2 years in the "YANK" magazine for WWII servicemen.

A former "Miss San Antonio".

Nash-KelvinatorAd-Feb1945.jpg Nash-Kelvinator Ad - February 1945

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