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This Day in WWII 20 September 1939 - 1944


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OldsmobileAd-Sept1943.jpg Oldsmobile Ad - September 1943

1939: Prime Minister Chamberlain claims that at least 6 U-boats have been sunk in first fortnight of the war.

1939: German troops in eastern Poland withdraw to the line agreed upon in the German-Soviet treaty. The Red Army moves in behind them to occupy the formerly Russian territory. Polish troops at Grodno manage to kill 800 Red Army soldiers and destroy ten tanks, whilst defending the city.

Jean%20Rogers1.jpg *Jean Rogers

1940: The Canadian War Technical and Scientific Development Committee approves a request by Frederick Banting to begin bacterial warfare research.

1942: Paulus declares that the 6th Army need substantial reinforcements if it is to continues its assault in Stalingrad. Paulus and von Weichs were also very concerned about their flank defense which consisted of Italian, Hungarian and Romanian troops. However, Hitler was determined to capture Stalingrad before reorganizing the flanks.

Jean%20Rogers2.jpg Jean Rogers

1943: The British 8th Army occupies Bari in southern Italy. The allies also bomb Venice.

1943: Army Group South begins its withdrawal to the Melitopol-Zaporozhe line.

Jean%20Rogers3.jpg Jean Rogers

1944: British armored forces of XXX Corps link up with U.S. paratroops at Nijmegen, capturing the bridge intact.

1944: A British tank breakout attempt through the Gothic Line is defeated by the tenacious defense.

Jean%20Rogers4.jpg Jean Rogers

*Jean Rogers was born Eleanor Dorothy Lovegren in Belmont, Massachusetts, on March 25, 1916. Originally, she had hoped to study art. However, as a teenager in 1933, she won a local beauty contest sponsored by Paramount Pictures, which helped launch a career in Hollywood. Rogers starred in a number of serials for Universal from 1935 to 1938, including Ace Drummond and Flash Gordon.

Rogers got her biggest assignment when she played the role of Dale Arden in the first two Flash Gordon serials between 1936 and 1939. Buster Crabbe and Jean Rogers were perfectly cast as hero and heroine in the first serial (Flash Gordon), and Rogers' fragile beauty, long blonde hair, and revealing costume endeared her to thousands of moviegoers during the late 1930s. She was lusted after by "Ming the Merciless" (Charles B. Middleton) and most of the male audience as Flash Gordon rescued her from one life-threatening situation after another in the serial. In the first serial, Dale competed with Princess Aura (Priscilla Lawson) for Flash Gordon's amorous attention. Rogers and Lawson were two completely different types of character actress. Jean Rogers was fragile, small-chested, diminutive and totally dependent on the all-powerful Flash Gordon for her survival. Lawson, on the other hand, was domineering, independent, voluptuous, well endowed, conniving, sly, and determined to take Flash for herself. The competition between the two women for Flash Gordon's attention is one of the highlights of the film. In the second Flash Gordon Serial (Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars), Jean Rogers sports a totally different look. She has dark hair and wears the same full length, modest costume in each episode. Rogers matured both physically and mentally after the first serial, and there are no sexual overtones in Trip To Mars as there were in Flash Gordon. Rogers told author Richard Lamparski that she wasn't keen on doing the second Flash Gordon serial and asked her studio to exclude her from the third one.

Jean%20Rogers5.jpg Jean Rogers

Fearing that she was becoming a "serial queen," she asked the studio to allow her to do feature films, which they did. She eventually left Universal and started working for 20th Century Fox, and shortly before retiring in 1951, she moved on to working for MGM.

Rogers is said to have become an artist after retiring. Jean Rogers and Buster Crabbe were reunited in 1975, thirty-nine years after the first Flash Gordon serial was filmed in 1936. They met under less hostile and dangerous conditions the second time around. She died on February 24, 1991 at age 74 in Sherman Oaks, California, as a result of complications from surgery.

OldsmobileAd-Sept1944.jpg Oldsmobile Ad - September 1944

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