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This Day in WWII 28 October 1939 - 1944


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ShellAviationFuelsAd-October1944.jpgShell Aviation Fuels Ad - October 1944


1939: On the 21st anniversary of Czech independence, celebrations become mass protests. A young medical student, Jan Opletal, is fatally wounded.


1940: Ministry of Health announces evacuation of 489,000 more children from London area.


1940: Laval becomes Foreign Minister of Vichy government.


Colleen%20Townsend1.jpg *Colleen Townsend


1940: Italy attacks Greece after Greek rejection of three-hour ultimatum; Churchill promises 'all the help in our power'. Hitler and Mussolini meet at Florence.


1940: Cameron is replaced by Fadden as leader of the Australian Country Party.


Colleen%20Townsend2-Yank.jpg Colleen Townsend - YANK Pin-up Girl - 29 December 1944


1941: President Roosevelt approves the appropriation by Congress of an additional $6 billion in Lend-Lease aid to Britain and the Soviet Union.


ShellAviationFuelsAd2-October1944.jpg Shell Aviation Fuels Ad - October 1944


1942: The first transport from Theresienstadt arrives at Auschwitz.


Colleen%20Townsend3.jpg Colleen Townsend


1944: The Germans begin to withdraw into Walcheren.


1944: Orders are given by the Germans and Quisling regime to evacuate the entire population of Finnmark east of Lyngen, and all houses and installations are to be destroyed. More than 10,000 houses are burnt, and 40-45,000 people are forced southwards. About 25,000 manage to hide, or escape during the operation.


Colleen%20Townsend4.jpg Colleen Townsend


1944: The Germans begin to evacuate Albania.


1944: The Red Army's advance into the Goldap area of East Prussia is brought to a standstill by the tenacious resistance of 4th Army.


Colleen%20Townsend5.jpg Colleen Townsend


1944: The last train transport of Jews to Auschwitz are gassed. These are 2,000 Jews from Theresienstad.


1944: The first B-29 Superfortress bomber mission flies from the airfields in the Mariana Islands in a strike against the Japanese base at Truk.


Colleen%20Townsend6.jpg Colleen Townsend

*Shapely brunette Colleen Townsend was born on December 21, 1928 in the Los Angeles area and started her brief career as a Twentieth Century Fox starlet in 1947 at the age of eighteen. A Mormon at the time by choice, she had completed a year and a half at Brigham Young University in Utah when discovered by Hollywood scouts. For years she appeared unbilled in sentimental comedy before finally earning a featured role in the drama "The Walls of Jericho" (1948). By 1946, she was appearing on the cover of magazines. She was the subject of a cover story for Life in 1948, which discussed the way in which major studios groomed and manufactured their stars, using Townsend's story as an example. The studio created a photographic calendar for her, to "put [her] face in every home, office and barracks in America all year around." Hedda Hopper was also quoted as saying that Townsend was "going places." She then appeared in two other pictures, the modest homespun comedy "Chicken Every Sunday" (1949) as the daughter of Dan Dailey and Celeste Holm, and, her better known, the war comedy "When Willie Comes Marching Home" (1950) with Dailey again and Corinne Calvet, before calling it quits.

Colleen%20Townsend7.jpg Colleen Townsend

In 1950, Colleen abruptly changed the course of her life by devoting herself to religion. She abandoned Hollywood and began speaking at churches and Youth for Christ evangelistic events. She attended the San Francisco Theological Seminary and in 1950 married one of her fellow seminarians, Louis H. Evans, Jr. It is assumed she renounced Mormonism as her husband became pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood. In 1954, Colleen (Townsend) Evans returned to acting but in roles produced by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association -- "Oiltown, U.S.A." (1954) and "Souls in Conflict" (1955).

Colleen has served as a pastor's wife at churches from Southern California to Washington D.C. A strong advocate for human rights, she has consulted with the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights issues and has served on the boards of several ministries, including the Christian College Coalition and World Vision and International Justice Mission. She has served as the first female chair of a Billy Graham Crusade and continues to travel the country as a speaker and author of inspirational books, including "A New Joy" (1973) and "A Deeper Joy" (1982). She co-wrote "My Lover, My Friend" (1976) with husband Louis. Colleen and Louie had four children. She now has twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Colleen and Louie retired to Bass Lake, California. After 58 1/2 years of marriage, Louie died in 2008 of ALS. Colleen now resides in Fresno, California.

ShellResearchAd-October1944.jpg Shell Research Ad - October 1944

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