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This Day in WWII 5 May 1940 - 1945

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ChevroletTrucks-May1944.jpg Chevrolet Truck Ad - May 1944

1940: Germans advance north to Trondheim.

1940: Norwegian government-in-exile established in London.

MalaPowers1.jpg *Mala Powers

1941: Major General Bernard Freyberg VC, is appointed by General Wavell to command approximately 40,000 British, New Zealand, Australian and Greek troops which are stationed on Crete. While a strong force on paper, these troops have virtually no artillery or tanks and are very disorganised after their hurried evacuation from Greece.

1941: Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa 5 years after his country was occupied by the Italians.

MalaPowers2.jpg Mala Powers

1942: Convoy PQ-15 arrives at Murmansk.

1942: British forces land at Diego Suarez and Antsirene on Vichy French held Madagascar in an pre-emptive strike to stop the Japanese from using it as an advanced base.

1942: The Japanese advance into China along the Burma Road.

InternationalHarvesterAd-May1944.jpg International Harvester Ad - May 1944

1942: Japanese troops make amphibious landings against the US-Filipino garrison on Corregidor.

1942: The main Japanese striking force which is built around the carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku, enters the Coral Sea and bombs Port Moresby.

1942: Japanese begin preparations to invade Midway and the Aleutian Islands.

MalaPowers3.jpg Mala Powers

1943: British forces break through the defenses of the 5th Panzerarmee to the South of Tunis.

1944: The Russians launch their attack the fortress city of Sevastopol in the Crimea.

MalaPowers4.jpg Mala Powers

1945: The U.S. Third Army prepares to drive on to Prague.

1945: German troops in Holland surrender to Canadian army.

1945: German forces in Denmark surrender.

MalaPowers5.jpg Mala Powers

1945: A civilian uprising begins in Prague and is aided by defecting units of the anti-Bolshevist Vlasov Army.

1945: Admiral von Friedeburg arrives at General Eisenhower's HQ in Rheims. General Blaskowitz, the German C-in-C of the Netherlands, surrenders at a ceremony in the small Dutch town of Wagenungen in the presence of Prince Bernhard. The first British victory salvo of war is fired at 3pm from Montgomery's HQ. Amsterdam is liberated. Eisenhower announces the capitulation of German Army Group 'C', which was covering the front from Linz to Swiss frontier. The U.S. Third Army takes Pilsen, Karlsbad and prepares to drive towards Prague.

MalaPowers6.jpg Mala Powers

1945: Mauthausen concentration camp is liberated.

1945: Reverend Archie Mitchell and his wife and five children discover a deflated Japanese balloon containing a bomb that had been let loose in the West Winds traveling over the pacific to land in Oregon. It killed the wife and children, the only civilian casualties of the war on the continental United States.

MalaPowers7.jpg Mala Powers

*Mary Ellen "Mala" Powers was born in San Francisco, California on December 20, 1931. In 1940 her family moved to Los Angeles. Her father was an executive with United Press. In the summer of her relocation, Powers attended the Max Reinhardt Junior Workshop where she enjoyed her first role in a play before a live audience. She continued with her drama lessons, and a year later she auditioned and won a part in the 1942 "Dead End Kids" film "Tough as They Come".

At the age of 16 she began working in radio drama, before becoming a film actress in 1950. Her first roles were in "Outrage" and "Edge of Doom" in 1950. That same year, Stanley Kramer signed Powers to star opposite Jose Ferrer in what may be her most remembered role as Roxane in "Cyrano de Bergerac". She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her part in this movie.

Under contract with RKO,, and while on a USO Christmas entertainment tour in Korea in 1951, she acquired a blood disease and almost died. She was treated with chloromycetin, but a severe allergic reaction resulted in the loss of much of her bone marrow. Powers barely survived, and her recovery took nearly nine months.

She began working again in 1952 and 1953, including a part in "City Beneath the Sea" and "City That Never Sleeps", although she was still taking medication. Following her recovery, she appeared in B-movie westerns, such as "Rage at Dawn" (1955), and science fiction films, among them "The Colossus of New York" (1958), "Flight of the Lost Balloon" (1961), and "Doomsday Machine" (1972). She also had a large role in "Tammy and the Bachelor" (1957)

She appeared on over 100 TV shows, including episodes of "The Restless Gun", "Maverick", "Bonanza", "Wild Wild West", "Bewitched" and "Perry Mason", and she co-starred opposite Anthony Quinn in the TV movie "The Man and the City".

MalaPowers8.jpg Mala Powers

She was married to Monte Vanton in 1954, but they later divorced; they had a son, Toren Vanton, who survived his mother. Powers remarried in 1970 to M. Hughes Miller, a book publisher. Ms. Powers was a successful children's author of "Follow the Star" and "Follow the Year" and of "Dial a Story".

Shortly before her death from complications of leukemia June 11, 2007, aged 75, she had been on a lecture tour at universities. She was a master teacher for the past 14 years in the summer program at the University of Southern Maine for the Michael Chekhov Theatre Institute, training actors and teachers of acting. Mala Powers co-founded the National Michael Chekhov Association with teaching colleagues Wil Kilroy and Lisa Dalton, who continue to teach the curriculum developed by the trio in Maine. Powers was the executrix of the Michael Chekhov estate and instrumental in publishing Chekhov's books On the Technique of Acting, To the Actor, and The Path of the Actor. She also published Chekhov's audio series "On Theatre and the Art of Acting", to which she added a 60 page study guide. She co-narrates with Gregory Peck a documentary on Chekhov entitled "From Russia To Hollywood".

She was patron of the Michael Chekhov Studio London and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

TRIVIA:

Dated Ross Martin. Ross Martin is known for his most famous acting role as Secret Service agent Artemus Gordon in "The Wild Wild West".

Became very close friends with Ida Lupino, who directed Mala in her first big film, Outrage. When Lupino died in 1995, Mala was the executrix of her estate.

Chevrolet-May1945.jpg Chevrolet Truck Ad - May 1945

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