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This Day in WWII 16 December 1940 – 1944


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TexacoAd-Dec1942.jpgTexaco Ad - December 1942


1940: 134 RAF bombers attack Mannheim in revenge for German attacks against British cities. This is the RAF's largest attack on a single target thus far in the war. 115 German civilian's were killed or injured and 1,266 made homeless. It is also the first reprisal raid, approved by the War Cabinet, for German attacks on British towns.


1940: British troops carry out an air raid on Italian Somalia.The British begin winning battle after battle, Italian tanks were no match to the British Matilda's and British naval bombardments. Within 2 weeks of combat, The Italians are forced back 200 miles to Tobruk and lose 139,000 Italian and African colonials who had surrendered or been captured.


Sheila%20Ryan-YANK-5%20March%201944.jpg Sheila Ryan - YANK Pin Up Girl (March 5, 1944)


1941: During a cabinet meeting, Hans Frank, Gauleiter of Poland, states - "Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid yourselves of all feeling of pity. We must annihilate the Jews wherever we find them and wherever it is possible in order to maintain the structure of the Reich as a whole..."


1941: Japanese troops land on Penang Island off the eastern coast of of Malaya.


1941: Japanese forces land in Sarawak and Brunei in Borneo.


Sheila%20Ryan-YANK-July27-1945.jpg *Sheila Ryan - YANK Pin Up Girl (July 27, 1945)


1942: The Red Army begins another offensive in the direction of Rostov-on-Don to cut off the German forces in the Caucasus. The Italian 8th Army's precarious position on the Don threatens Stalingrad relief attempt.


Sheila%20Ryan1.jpg Sheila Ryan


1943: A Further blitz of Berlin brings the allied total to 18,500 tons of explosive dropped on the city.


1943: The chief surgeon at Auschwitz reports that 106 castration operations have been performed.


Sheila%20Ryan2.jpg Sheila Ryan


1944: The German Army in the West begins 'Operation Wacht am Rhein', with the objective of splitting the allied forces and capturing the strategic port of Antwerp. Under the control of Heeresgruppe B, the attacking forces pouring forth from the Ardennes forest comprise of the 6th SS Panzer Armee, 5th Panzer Armee and the 7th Armee providing flank support to the south of the line of advance. The German offensive manages to breakthrough the American front on a 70-mile front.As the center of the Allied line falls back, it creates a bulge, leading to the name--the Battle of the Bulge.


Sheila%20Ryan3.jpg Sheila Ryan

*Born Katherine Elizabeth McLaughlin on June 8, 1921 in Topeka, Kansas, she went to Hollywood in 1939 at the age of 18. She was signed by 20th Century Fox in 1940 and was credited in her early films as Bettie McLaughlin. Adopting the name Sheila Ryan, she starred in "Dressed to Kill" (1941) the following year. She appeared in other memorable films, including two Laurel and Hardy movies, "Great Guns" (1941) and "A-Haunting We Will Go" (1942), and the Busby Berkeley musical "The Gang's All Here" (1943). Ryan appeared in a several Charlie Chan and Michael Shayne mysteries, starring alongside Cesar Romero.


By the late 1940s, however, her career waned and she began appearing mostly in B movies, especially low budget westerns. In 1945, she married actor Allan Lane, but the marriage ended in divorce after a few months. She later worked with Gene Autry, starring in several of his films, including "The Cowboys and the Indians" (1949), and "Mule Train" (1950). She also had roles in several television shows.


While working with Autry, Ryan met actor Pat Buttram (known for his role as "Mr. Haney" in the 1965-1971 television comedy Green Acres). They married in 1952, and remained together until her death in 1975. They had a daughter, Kathleen Buttram, nicknamed (Kerry).


Sheila Ryan retired from acting in 1958. She died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California on November 4, 1975 from lung cancer. She was 54 years old.

ShellAviationFuelsAd-Dec1943.jpg Shell Aviation Fuels Ad - December 1943

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