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This Day in WWII 4 April 1941 - 1945


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CurtisWright-April1944.jpg Curtis - Wright Ad - April 1944

1941: Field Marshal Erwin Rommel captures the British held town of Benghazi in North Africa. Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, is abandoned by Italians.

1943: Mrs. Thomas E. Sullivan christens the USS Sullivans, a destroyer named in honor of her five sons, who perished aboard the USS Juneau. After the tragedy, the Navy makes a point of not allowing brothers to be posted together on its warships.

PriscillaLane1.jpg *Priscilla Lane

1943: Newly built gas chamber/crematory V opens at Auschwitz.

1944: The 17th Indian Division reaches the Imphal plain after a 20-day fighting retreat. Japanese forces begin five weeks of attacks to reach Imphal from the South and begin their attack on Kohima, Assam.

PriscillaLane2.jpg Priscilla Lane

1944: Charles de Gaulle becomes the head of Free French armed forces in place of Giraud.

1944: Army Group Centre, under General Busch launches a counterattack which succeeds in reaching German units surrounded at Kovel in the Pripet swamps since the 19th March.

PriscillaLane3.jpg Priscilla Lane

1945: The US 8th Air Force launches its heaviest raid to date (700 bombers) against Kiel on the Baltic.

1945: The US Third Army advancing toward Leipzig takes Suhl and Gotha and finally clears Kassel of German resistance. The British Second Army captures Osnabrück. The French First Army enters Karlsruhe.

PriscillaLane4.jpg Priscilla Lane

1945: U.S. forces liberated the Nazi death camp Ohrdruf in Germany.

1945: The Russian 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian front complete the liberation of Hungary. Troops of the 2nd Ukrainian front capture Bratislava. The Germans forces counterattack in Moravska-Ostrava and Nitra.

PriscillaLane5.jpg Priscilla Lane

*Born Priscilla Mullican on June 12, 1915, the youngest of four sisters in Indianola, Iowa. She attended the Eagin School of Dramatic Arts in New York before joining her sisters in a singing act with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. The sisters toured with the band for five years. She then signed a contract with Warner Brothers in 1937 and made her first film, "Varsity Show" that same year. She teamed with her sisters, Rosemary Lane and Lola Lane, to make the hit "Four Daughters" in 1938. In 1939, while under consideration for the role of Melanie Wilkes in "Gone With the Wind," she co-starred in "The Roaring Twenties" with James Cagney. She was suspended several times by Jack Warner for refusing to take roles she regarded as poor. She was finally cast in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Saboteur' in 1942 and, in perhaps her most recognizable role in "Arsenic and Old Lace" opposite Cary Grant in 1944. She appeared in only two more films, "Fun on a Weekend" in 1947 and "Bodyguard" in 1948 before retiring from film work. Following her retirement, she accompanied her husband, Colonel Joseph A. Howard, USAF, around from the world from base to base, often singing at camp shows. The couple eventually settled in New England and had four children. Priscilla made a brief comeback in 1958 as host of "The Priscilla Lane Show" on Boston television. She died on April 4, 1995 from lung cancer in Andover, Massachusetts at the age of 79. She was buried in Arlington National Cemetery next to her husband.

CurtisWright-April1945.jpg Curtis - Wright Ad - April 1945

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