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This Day in WWII 3 November 1940 - 1944

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PhilcoAd-Nov1942.jpgPhilco Ad - November 1943

 

1943: The USAAF launch a 400-bomber daylight raid on Wilhelmshaven with 600-fighter escort. At night the RAF drop over 2,000 tons of bombs on Düsseldorf in 27 minutes.

 

1943: A massive Russian offensive from Dnieper bridgehead North of Kiev erupts.

 

1943: Nazis carry out Operation Harvest Festival in occupied Poland, killing 42,000 Jews.

 

Jane%20Poni%20Adams3.jpg Jane "Poni" Adams

 

1943: Heavy USAAF air attacks begin on Rabaul.

 

1944: The 20th Gebirgsjäger Army evacuates the mineral rich Petsamo region of northern Finland.

 

Jane%20Poni%20Adams4.jpg Jane "Poni" Adams

 

*Jane "Poni" Adams was born Betty Jane Bierce on August 7, 1921 in San Antonio, Texas, and received a full scholarship to Juilliard, which she turned down to spend years studying at the Pasadena Playhouse. From there, she got her start on Lux Radio Theatre and then with the Harry Conover Modeling Agency, where she was given her nickname "Poni". (This was supposedly due to her love of horses, but in reality it was to provide her with a more memorable stage name.) She returned to using her real name in 1945. She modeled for the National Tea Association and was the Dodge Girl for a year.

 

Jane%20Poni%20Adams5.jpg Jane "Poni" Adams

 

Around 1944 Jane is spotted in 'Esquire' Magazine by producer Walter Wagner. Walter Wagner was looking beautiful women for his upcoming film "Salome Where She Danced", (with Yvonne De Carlo) were she became one of the "Seven Salome Girls". Billed as 'Poni' Universal decided to a better name was need for the screen and a publicity buildup for a new Screen name. GI's got to select a name as part of a contest in 'STARS AND STRIPES' the Military newspaper.

She is best known for her role as Nina in 1945's "House of Dracula", but she also has the distinction of acting in early adaptations of both major DC Comics franchises: "Batman", where she played Vicki Vale in the second Batman serial, "Batman and Robin", and also a character in the first "Superman" television series. She also notably played a blind piano teacher named 'Helen Paige', in which she falls in love with the Brute (played admirably by the great Rondo Hatton) in the 1946 classic flick "The Brute".

 

Jane%20Poni%20Adams6.jpg Jane "Poni" Adams

 

Her first husband was a United States Navy pilot who died during World War II. In 1945, she married Thomas "Tom" Turnage, a decorated Major General with the Army who served in the Korean War and earned the Distinguished Service Medal and Bronze Star. He later served as the last administrator for the Veterans Administration before the VA became a cabinet department during Ronald Reagan's presidential term.

 

Jane retired from acting after she Tom Turnage married. She returned to acting in television roles briefly in the early 1950's when her husband was sent to Korea.

 

On September 5, 1955 Jane gave birth to daughter Andrea Gene in Los Angeles, and on November 30, 1956 her son Robert M. was born, also in Los Angeles. Poni Adams died on May 21, 2014 from natural causes at the age of 95.

 

TRIVIA:

Height: 5' 3" (160 cm)

In 1946 while filming "Night In Paradise", her co-star Turhan Bey, flirted with her daily (even though he was dating actress Lana Turner at the time).

 

PhilcoAd2-Nov1943.jpg Philco Ad - November 1943

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