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This Day in WWII 15 November 1939 - 1943

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The incorrect date was posted for yesterday, November 15th. October 15th was posted by mistake. My apologies for any confusion. If anybody even noticed...

 

BendixAd-Nov1942.jpgBendix Ad - November 1942

 

1939: The Graf Spee sinks the merchantman Africa Shell off Mozambique.

 

1940: The first 75,000 men were called to armed forces duty under peacetime conscription in the United States.

 

Gloria%20Henry1.jpg *Gloria Henry

 

1940: 67 RAF Wellington, Whitley, and Hampden bombers attack Hamburg, doing extensive damage to the city and shipyards, with no loss of aircraft.

 

1940: The prototype de Havilland Mosquito takes off for the first time; designed as a bomber fast enough to dispense with defensive armament, it has a top speed of 400 mph (644 km/h).

 

1940: RAF squadrons deploy from their bases in the Middle East to Greece under the command of Air Vice-Marshal J D'Albiac.

 

Gloria%20Henry2.jpg Gloria Henry

 

1940: Blenheims and Wellingtons of the Western Desert Air Force attack targets deep inside enemy territory, and Lysanders and Blenheims provide complete reconnaissance of Italian defenses at Sidi Barrani.

 

1940: The Warsaw Ghetto, containing over 400,000 Jews, is sealed off.

 

Gloria%20Henry3.jpg Gloria Henry

 

1941: The de Havilland Mosquito light bomber enters service with No. 105 Sqn at RAF Swanton Morley, Norfolk. However, it was on 31 May 1942 that the Mosquito took part in its first operational raid (Cologne).

 

1941: In temperatures of -20°C, Army Group Centre resumes its offensive against Moscow, employing Panzer Groups 1, 2 and 3, as well as the 2nd, 4th and 9th Armies.

 

1941: A Japanese special negotiator arrives in Washington.

 

ExideBattery-Nov1943.jpg Exide Battery Ad - November 1943

 

1942: Another night action off Guadalcanal costs the US Navy three destroyers for Japanese battleship Kirishma.

 

1943: The allied expeditionary air force is formed in Britain for the invasion of Europe.

 

1943: Mark Clark calls off the U.S. Fifth Army's offensive. The British counter-attack on Leros fails as the Luftwaffe flies 600 sorties a day. A State of emergency is declared in Milan as unrest in northern Italy continues. The Germans take 1,750 hostages, machine guns are in the streets and 8pm curfew enforced.

 

1943: The 2nd Tactical Air Force (2nd TAF) is formed; this in turn forms part of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force (AEAF), commanded by Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, in preparation for the invasion of mainland Europe.

 

Gloria%20Henry4.jpg Gloria Henry

 

*New Orleans-born second-string actress Gloria Henry was born Gloria McEniry on April 2, 1923, and lived on the edge of the Garden District growing up. Educated at the Worcester Art Museum School, she moved to Los Angeles in her very late teens and worked on a number of radio shows and commercials using the stage name of Gloria Henry. She also performed in little theater groups.

 

Signed by an agent, the brunette hopeful transitioned into film work via Columbia Studios and made her debut as the femme lead in the minor horse-racing film "Sport of Kings" (1947), instantly moving into the programmer "Keeper of the Bees" (1947) as a love interest for Michael Duane and mystery drama "Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back" (1947) with Ron Randell as the title sleuth. Now a pert and pretty reddish-blonde, she continued providing decorative duties in such "B" fodder as "Port Said" (1948), in a dual role, "Adventures in Silverado" (1948), "Air Hostess" (1949), "Rusty Saves a Life" (1949), "Feudin' Rhythm" (1949), a musical western showcasing Eddy Arnold, "Al Jennings of Oklahoma" (1951), and the Gene Autry westerns "The Strawberry Roan" (1948) and "Riders in the Sky" (1949). Some of the better films for her that came out of this period included secondary femme roles in "Johnny Allegro" (1949) with George Raft and Nina Foch, "Miss Grant Takes Richmond" (1949) starring Lucille Ball and William Holden, and the classic Fritz Lang western "Rancho Notorious" (1952) top-lining Marlene Dietrich. She also had top billing in a few of her "B" films but to little notice.

 

Gloria%20Henry5.jpg Gloria Henry

 

The 1950s were an uneventful mixture of more "B" films and episodic TV guest parts ("My Little Margie" (1952), "Perry Mason" (1957)). She also was a regular on the private eye series "The Files of Jeffrey Jones" (1954) starring Don Haggerty, but was written out of the show due to pregnancy. All this relative anonymity, ended for her, however, when she won the role of radiant and resilient mom "Alice Mitchell" on the comedy series "Dennis the Menace" (1959) shortly after filming a role in "Gang War" (1958) starring a young and up-and-coming Charles Bronson. The series co-starred Herbert Anderson as her hapless, bespectacled husband and young Jay North as the pint-sized, trouble-making tornado of the title. Gloria was the picture of sunny innocence and maternal warmth and enjoyed four seasons. Sadly, invaluable actor Joseph Kearns, who played the cranky next-door neighbor "Mr. Wilson", died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1962 to the detriment of the show. He provided an important chemistry with North and necessary friction that just wasn't mustered up by his eventual replacement Gale Gordon, a terrific character grump in his own right. "Dennis the Menace" (1959) lasted only one more season before being canceled. Gloria's career slowed down considerably after this TV success. She was spotted occasionally in TV-movies playing assorted bit-part matrons and returned to the big screen in a brief role in "Her Minor Thing" (2005), a romantic comedy directed by Charles Matthau, Walter Matthau's son. She occasionally attends film festivals and nostalgic conventions. Gloria wed architect Craig Ellwood in 1949; they divorced in 1977. She has three children from that marriage: Jeffrey, Adam and Erin Ellwood.

 

GruenWatchAd-Nov1943.jpg Gruen Watch Ad - November 1943

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