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This Day in WWII 26 June 1940 - 1945


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Lockheed-June1942.jpg Lockheed Aircraft Ad - June 1942

1940: British blockade of war materials and food extended to whole of France.

1940: De Gaulle forms French Volunteer Legion in Britain.

1940: Turkey announces that she will stay out of the war.

BarbaraHale1.jpg *Barbara Hale

1941: German forces of Army Group North capture Dünaburg in Latvia. The Luftwaffe carries out raids on Leningrad. Heavy fighting in the Bialystok area as the German Panzer's units close the pocket.

1941: Finland declares war on the Soviet Union.

BarbaraHale2.jpg Barbara Hale

1942: German troops capture Kupyansk over the river Oskel, for use as a launch pad for their summer offensive.

1942: At Rastenberg, Adolf Hitler decorates SS General Eicke, Commanding Officer of the SS Totenkopf Division, with the Oak Leaves for the Knight's Cross, for his Divisions bravery in holding out in the Demyansk pocket the previous winter. Eleven of Eicke's officers and men also receive the Knight's Cross. After the ceremony, Hitler and Eicke chat and Eicke tells the Fuhrer that his Division is pretty well worn out, short of vehicles and wishes it to be transferred to France. Instead, Hitler gives Eicke home leave.

1942: Italian aircraft strength is increased on Sicily by withdrawing aircraft from Libya. This allows the Italians to step up their air attacks against Malta.

InternationalTrucksAd-June1943.jpg International Trucks Ad - June 1943

1942: Rommel is made a Field Marshal and launches attacks against Mersa Matruh. Meanwhile, Kesselring, Cavallero (Italian Chief of Staff in Rome) and Bastico (Italian C-in-C in Libya) arrive at Rommel's HQ and give permission for him to continue his advance in to Egypt.

1942: The Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter flies for the first time.

BarbaraHale3.jpg Barbara Hale

1944: US troops enter Cherbourg taking the German garrison commander prisoner. The British launch Operation 'Epsom' in the Odon Valley West of Caen.

1944: The Russians take Vitebsk.

BarbaraHale4.jpg Barbara Hale

1944: In response to recent communist sabotage, the Germans introduce a curfew in the Copenhagen area, making it illegal to be out in the streets between 8pm in the evening and 5am in the morning. As a result, the citizens of Copenhagen begin a massive general strike. Hundreds of thousands of Danes take part.

1944: The Chindits take Mogaung, with Chinese help.

BarbaraHale5.jpg Barbara Hale

*Hale was born on April 18, 1922 in DeKalb, Illinois, the daughter of Willa (née Colvin) and Luther Ezra Hale, a landscape gardener. She has Scottish-Irish ancestry. Hale attended high school in Rockford, Illinois, then began appearing in motion pictures in 1943 after training at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.

Hale was under contract to RKO Radio Pictures in the late 1940s. Although she never became a major film star, she appeared in "Higher and Higher" (1944) with Frank Sinatra, "Lady Luck" (1946) opposite Robert Young and Frank Morgan as well as "The Window" (1949) and "Jolson Sings Again" (1949), with Larry Parks playing Al Jolson and Hale as his wife, Ellen Clark. Other films included "The Boy with Green Hair" (1948) and the title role in "Lorna Doone" (1951). She played as Julia Hancock in "The Far Horizons" (1955) with Charlton Heston.

But by far the actress's greatest success was her iconic role of Della Street, the all-knowing secretary and girl Friday to the eminent attorney "Perry Mason". Hale starred in in this landmark TV series with Raymond Burr from 1957 to 1966 and reprised her role for a number of television movies beginning in the 1980s. Her son William Katt (The Greatest American Hero) appeared in several of these latter productions as private detective Paul Drake Jr., son of the character played by William Hopper who had been Mason's staunchest ally during the TV series' original run. The show was so successful that the actress's contribution was recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was nominated for the Emmy Award twice, in 1959 and 1961, winning in 1959.

BarbaraHale6.jpg Barbara Hale

Hale had a featured role in the movie "Airport" (1970) portraying the wife of pilot Dean Martin. In 1967, she guest starred on the ABC military-western series "Custer" with Wayne Maunder in the title role. In 1993, she attended Raymond Burr's funeral after he died of kidney cancer that year.

In 1946 she married actor Bill Williams, star of "The Adventures of Kit Carson" (1951-1955), a union that produced three children (including actor William Katt) and four grandchildren (two grandsons by her son William and one grandson and one granddaughter by youngest daughter Juanita). The marriage lasted for 46 years until his death in 1992 from brain cancer. Hale herself has survived several bouts of cancer. She has also been a spokeswoman for Amana appliances. She is an adherent of the Bahá'í Faith. Currently resides in Palm Desert, California and Los Angeles, California.


Measurements: 34 1/2-23-35

Height: 5' 5" (1.66 m)

GeneralMotorsAd-June1944.jpg General Motors Ad - June 1944

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