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This Day in WWII 19 August 1940 - 1945


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ChryslerAd-August1943.jpg Chrysler Ad - August 1943

1940: Whole of Britain declared a defense area.

1940: Bad weather and a reorganization of fighter strength by the Luftwaffe causes a lull in operations.

1940: Mussolini orders Marshal Graziani to invade Egypt. Italian troops enter the Port of Berbera, the capital of British Somaliland, where they are welcomed by strafing RAF Blenheims. British transport 5,300-5,700 combat troops and 1,000 civilians to Aden, Yemen. August 5-19, British ground losses were 38 KIA, 102 wounded and 120 missing. RAF flew 184 sorties, dropped 60 tons of bombs, lost 7 aircraft destroyed and 10 badly damaged, lost 12 aircrew KIA and 3 wounded. Italian losses were 465 KIA, 1530 wounded and 34 missing.

Ginny%20Simms1.jpg *Ginny Simms

1941: German submarines sink a Norwegian and 3 British ships from the Convoy OG-71 of 22 ships and 9 escorts in the Atlantic Ocean.

1941: South of Lake Illmen, the Soviet 38th Army is close to outflanking the German 10th Corps, but the German 56th Panzer Corps counterattacks the Soviets and rolls through their positions.

1941: A brigade of the 9th Australian Division which is besieged at Tobruk is relieved by sea, as Polish reinforcements arrive.

Ginny%20Simms2.jpg Ginny Simms

1942: Now codenamed operation 'Jubilee', some 6,100 British and Canadian troops conduct a raid-in-force against the port of Dieppe, which ends in disaster. In less than 10 hours of battle, the British and Canadian forces lose 1,380 KIA, 1,600 wounded, 2,000 made prisoner. The RAF loses 107 aircraft and the Royal Navy lose a destroyer. Germans loses are 345 dead or missing and 268 wounded, with total Luftwaffe losses being just 40 aircraft. Civilian casualties are put at 48 dead and 100 wounded.

1942: General Paulus's 6th Army begins an attack to take Stalingrad itself, although he had still not been joined by Hoth's 4th Panzer Army.

CrownZipperAd-August1943.jpg Crown Zipper Ad - August 1943

1942: Auchinleck announces the capture of 10,000 Axis troops in last two months of fighting in North Africa.

1942: Japanese send 4 transport ships with an close escort of a cruiser and 4 destroyers to strengthen their land forces on Guadalcanal, Solomon Is. Movement is covered by 3 carriers, 2 battleships, 5 cruisers and 17 destroyers.

Ginny%20Simms3.jpg Ginny Simms

1943: Luftwaffe Chief of Staff, Colonel General Jesehonnek shoots himself.

1943: Russian troops breach the German defense line on the Mius river.

Ginny%20Simms4.jpg Ginny Simms

1944: In an effort to prevent a communist uprising in Paris, Charles DeGualle begins attacking German forces all around the city.

1944: The Falaise pocket is now just seven miles by six. The Germans forces are ordered to break out during the night across the Dives. Patton's armor reaches the Seine at Nantes and makes the first crossing 30 miles North West of Paris. The Germans are granted a truce in Paris to withdraw troops. (WATCH BRITISH NEWSREEL)

Ginny%20Simms5.jpg Ginny Simms

1945: The Japanese forces in South China surrender to the Chinese 1st Army in Canton. The Russian Far Eastern Army captures Harbin and Mukden in Manchuria.

1945: 16 Japanese surrender envoys arrive on Ie and are taken to Manila for a 5 and a half hour discussion with MacArthur and his staff. Japanese troops on Java receive the cease-fire order.

Ginny%20Simms6.jpg Ginny Simms

*War-era songstress Ginny Simms was born Virginia Ellen Simms on May 25, 1915 in San Antonio, Texas but raised in California, which accounts for her lack of a Southern accent in her speaking/singing voice. Though she studied piano as a child, it was her vocal gifts that launched her career, which started when she formed a singing trio while studying at Fresno State Teachers College. Ginny was performing at a club in San Francisco when she was heard by bandleader Kay Kyser. She became his featured singer and the big attraction of Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge, a comedy revue done in the style of a quiz show with music. In addition to radio, she kept busy recording swing and pop albums.

Ginny also broke into films as a guest vocalist in three of Kyser's films for RKO--"That's Right - You're Wrong" (1939), "You'll Find Out" (1940) and "Playmates" (1941). After five years she decided to abandon touring altogether in the early 1940s and went solo to seek her own fame and fortune. With her own radio series (sponsored by Philip Morris), Ginny became a popular figure during WWII, interviewing servicemen from all over the globe, who got to send messages to their families over the air.

Some of her well-known recordings with and without Kyser include "Deep Purple," "Indian Summer," "I'd Like to Set You to Music," "I Can't Get Started," "I Love Paris," and "Stormy Weather." A spectacularly beautiful woman with a dazzling smile and high cheekbones, Ginny seemed made for the screen. She co-starred with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in one of their earlier and funniest comedies, "Hit the Ice" (1943), and scored some important second-lead roles over at MGM with "Broadway Rhythm" (1944) with George Murphy and Gloria DeHaven, in which she played a movie star who sang "All the Things You Are," and the Cole Porter biopic "Night and Day" (1946) starring Cary Grant and Alexis Smith, in which she sang some of Porter's best loved standards ("I've Got You Under My Skin," "Just One of Those Things," "I Get A Kick Out of You" and "You're the Top"), but her career lost momentum rather quickly (the story at the time was that she had turned down a marriage proposal by newly divorced MGM head Louis B. Mayer, who retaliated by immediately dropping her contract at the studio).

Ginny left Hollywood altogether in 1951 and her recording career ended not long after. She subsequently retired and ran a travel agency for a time while developing an interest in interior decorating (her first husband, Hyatt Dehn, was the man who started the Hyatt Hotel chain, for which she did much of the interior decorating). She also was involved in real estate with third husband Donald Eastvold. The mother of two sons from her first marriage, Ginny died of a heart attack in 1994 at age 78.

TRIVIA:

Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)

She earned distinction during WWII and was given several citations. She had a B-17 Flying Fortress named after her.

In 1951, Ginny Simms hosted a local television show on Los Angeles Channel 11, KTTV, which featured dance bands and talent from army, navy, marine, and air force bases around Southern California.

ChryslerAd-August1944.jpg Chrysler Ad - August 1944

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