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This Day in WWII 17 August 1940 - 1945


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ERSquibb&SonsAd-August1943.jpgE. R. Squibb & Sons Ad - August 1943


1940: Hitler announces that a total maritime blockade is to be placed around Britain, with any neutral ships transporting cargo to Britain to be sunk without warning.


1940: Axis financial meeting decides Berlin will replace London as European financial centre after victory.


Gale%20Robbins1.jpg *Gale Robbins


1940: Duke of Windsor sworn in as governor-general of Bermuda.


1940: British warships bombard Italian ports in Libya. The 5th Indian Division is deployed to the defense of Sudan.


Gale%20Robbins-Yank.jpg Gale Robbins - YANK Magazine - April 21, 1944


1941: Army Group North in its drive toward Leningrad captures Narva. The Romanians seal off and begin a siege of the Black Sea port of Odessa.


1941: Sinking of the US-Panama freighter Sessa.


Gale%20Robbins3.jpg Gale Robbins


1941: The USA reply's to Admiral Nomura's proposals of the 6th August, rejecting any high level meeting until the present differences between Japan and the USA have been resolved.


1942: The first all-American bombing raid in Europe is conducted against Rouen by Eighth USAAF.


Gale%20Robbins4.jpg Gale Robbins


1942: The Germans claim to have reached the Don, less than 100 miles from Stalingrad. Fighting starts in foothills of the Caucasus.


1942: US Marine Raiders attack Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands from two submarines.


QuakerStateAd-August1943.jpg Quaker State Ad - August 1943


1943: The first Quebec summit opens with the allied plans for the invasion of France being approved by Roosevelt and Churchill.


1943: 597 RAF bombers attack Peenemunde on the Baltic coast, the birthplace of the 'V' weapons. 376 B-17's and B-24's of the US 8th Air Force carry out double raids against the ball-bearing plants at Schweinfurt and the Messerschmitt fighter works at Regensburg, losing 80 aircraft in the process.


Gale%20Robbins5.jpg Gale Robbins


1943: German and Italian forces successfully evacuate Sicily across the Strait of Messina, with little interference by the Allies. This allows Montgomery and Patton enter Messina. The whole of Sicily is now in allied hands. The shelling of the Italian mainland from Messina begins.


1943: Heavy US air attacks on the Japanese airfields at Wewak on the North coast of New Guinea, with 215 Japanese planes destroyed for loss of just six USAAF aircraft.


1943: In New Guinea, a Japanese plane is hit during a raid and crashes into a church. The chaplain is killed and several soldiers attending the service are injured.


Gale%20Robbins6.jpg Gale Robbins


1944: The remnants of the Vichy French regime in the French capital take flight for Germany as the Resistance comes out into the open and seizes strong points throughout the city. They establish a comic-opera "government-in-exile" in the German city of Sigmaringen until the end of the war. The Citadel at St. Malo surrenders after heavy fighting. Falaise falls to the Canadians and Monty orders the pocket to be sealed. U.S. armor frees Chartres, Orleans and Chateaudun. Field Marshal Model takes over command of German forces in the West from Field Marshal von Kluge who committed suicide because of his involvement in the 20th July bomb plot. Marshal Petain and his staff are interned at Belfort by order of the Führer. The Vichy French government under Premier Laval resigns.


1944: The mayor of Paris, Pierre Charles Tattinger, meets with the German commander Dietrich von Choltitz to protest the explosives being deployed throughout the city.


1944: The Russians reach the East Prussian/Lithuanian border.



Bob Hope USO Show - Fritzlar, Germany (Hesse) July 26, 1945 - Gale Robbins on stage with Bob Hope.


1945: U-977 arrives in River Plate estuary and surrenders. The 600-ton U-boat left Kiel on the 13th April.


1945: Three of the Emperor's family are dispatched to China to carry the news of cease-fire to Japanese troops still fighting there.


Gale%20Robbins7.jpg Gale Robbins


1945: Upon hearing confirmation that Japan has surrendered, Sukarno proclaims Indonesia's independence.


1945: The country of Korea is divided between the United States and the Soviet Union.The Soviets will control everything north of the thirty-eighth parallel, while the United States will oversee the southern portion.


Gale%20Robbins8.jpg Gale Robbins

*Little known singer/actress Gale Robbins was a knockout-looking hazel-eyed redhead who made a slight dent in post-war Hollywood. Born Betty Gale Robbins in Chicago, Illinois (some say Mitchell, Indiana) on May 7, 1921, she was the daughter of Arthur E. and Blanche Robbins, and educated at Chicago's Jennings Seminary at Aurora, Illinois and Flower Tech. Gale had a natural flair for music and appeared in glee clubs and church choirs in the early days. She graduated from her Chicago high school in 1939.

She started out in entertainment as a model for the Vera Jones Modeling School in Chicago, but her singing talents soon took over. Signed by a talent agency, she sang with Phil Levant's outfit in 1940 and later teamed with some male singers for a swing band that called themselves "The Duchess and Her Dukes." She went on to work with some of the top radio and live 'big bands' of that era including the Ben Bernie, Jan Garber and Hal Kemp orchestras.

20th Century-Fox caught sight of this slim looker and quickly signed her up, her first film being the pleasant time-filler "In the Meantime, Darling" (1944). A semi-popular cheesecake pin-up, Gale appeared on the cover of "Yank, The Army Weekly" in 1944 and toured with Bob Hope in Europe the next year. Her post-war parts, mostly sultry second leads, were typically lightweight in nature. She was often lent out to other studios and not always in a singing mode. Gale's better known film work includes "Race Street" (1948), "The Barkleys of Broadway" (1949), "Three Little Words" (1950), "The Fuller Brush Girl" (1950) and "Calamity Jane" (1953).

Gale%20Robbins9.jpg Gale Robbins

Gale went on to host the "Hollywood House" (1949) and also appeared on "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (1950) in 1951. In the late 50s the gal with the smooth and sexy vocal style released an easy-listening album ("I'm a Dreamer") for the Vik Label backed by Eddie Cano & His Orchestra. She covered such standards as "Them There Eyes" and "What Is This Thing Called Love." After her final film appearance in "Quantrill's Raiders" (1958) and a few additional TV parts, Gale phased out her career to focus full-time on raising her family.

Married to her high school sweetheart Robert Olson in December of 1943 while he was serving in the Air Force, her husband turned to construction engineering as a career and they had two children. After he was tragically killed in a 1968 building accident, Gale, left with two daughters to raise, decided to make a comeback of sorts. Besides appearing in nightclubs, she was glimpsed in the film "Stand Up and Be Counted" (1972) and appeared on stage in Stephen Sondheim's musical "Company" in 1975.

Gale Robbins died of lung cancer on February 18, 1980 (aged 58) in Los Angeles, California.

ConsolidatedVulteeAircraftAd-August1945.Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Ad - August 1945

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