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This Day in WWII 10 February 1939 - 1945

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ShellResearchAd-Feb1943.jpgShell Research Ad - February 1943


1939: Japanese occupy island of Hainan in French Indochina.


1941: London severs diplomatic relations with Romania.


1941: The RAF attacks the oil storage tanks at Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The raid sees the operational debut of the RAF's first 4-engine heavy bomber, the Stirling.


Veronica%20Lake1.jpg *Veronica Lake


1941: Iceland is attacked by German planes.


1941: The RAF makes its first operational drop of airborne forces (Operation Colossus). Six Whitleys of No. 58 Sqn drop 38 men to attack two aqueducts at Treviso in southern Italy.


Veronica%20Lake2.jpg Veronica Lake


1942: The war halts civilian car production at Ford.


1942: The former French liner Normandie capsized in New York Harbor a day after it caught fire while being refitted for the U.S.Navy.


Veronica%20Lake3.jpg Veronica Lake


1942: Wavell makes his last visit to Singapore, but by now there was nothing he could do to alter the outcome.


1942: First meeting of Pacific War Council in London with Dutch, New Zealand, Australian and UK representatives.


TexcelTapeAd-Feb1943.jpg Texcel Tape Ad - February 1943


1944: The Russians begin to lay down a tremendous artillery barrage against the Korsun pocket, in an attempt to force its surrender.


1944: The allies announce that southern Italy is to be handed over to Italian government jurisdiction.


Veronica%20Lake4.jpg Veronica Lake


1944: The Japanese combined fleet leaves Truk for Palau.


1944: Australian and Americans troops link at Saidor in New Guinea.


Veronica%20Lake5.jpg Veronica Lake


1945: The U.S. First Army captures the seventh and most important Ruhr dam.


1945: The 2nd Belorussian Fronts attack towards Neustett is halted by desperate German counter-attacks. The 1st Ukrainian front reaches the Neisse encircling Glogau. Liegnitz is captured by the 1st Ukrainian Front. The remaining defenders of Budapest, some 16,000 men, try to break out from Budapest, although most are killed or captured.


1945: B-29s hit the Tokyo area.


Veronica%20Lake6.jpg Veronica Lake


*Born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman (later Keane) in Brooklyn on November 14, 1919 (some sources list 1922 as her date of birth), diminutive Veronica Lake relocated to California with her mother and stepfather as a teenager. Pushed by a typical stage mother, Lake was enrolled in acting classes. In 1939, she was signed by RKO Studios, sometimes appearing in small roles before the studio dropped her contract. A few bit parts at MGM and 20th Century-Fox followed, and soon after marrying first husband John Detlie, Lake signed with Paramount. With her cool manner and 'peekaboo' hairstyle she created a sensation; millions of women copied her peekaboo bang.


Lake's biggest year in films was 1942, when she starred in a string of hit films for Paramount, including "Sullivan's Travels" (Dec.1941), "The Glass Key" (1942), "This Gun for Hire" (1942), and "I Married a Witch" (1942). Pregnancy with her second child sidelined her for much of 1943; sadly, the child lived just a few days. She and Detlie divorced shortly thereafter, and Lake then married prominent director André De Toth in late 1944. Although Lake proved to be a good actress, especially in comedy and film noir, her career began to fade soon after the end of World War II. She gave birth to her son with De Toth late in 1945. Several more films followed, and Lake gave birth to another daughter, born in late 1948. By then, however, Paramount had dropped her contract following the release of the comedy "Isn't It Romantic?" (1948).


She and Alan Ladd made 7 movies together: "The Blue Dahlia" (1946), "Duffy's Tavern" (1945), "The Glass Key" (1942), "Saigon" (1948), "Star Spangled Rhythm" (1942), "This Gun for Hire" (1942) and "Variety Girl" (1947). In "Variety Girl" (1947), "Star Spangled Rhythm" (1942) and "Duffy's Tavern" (1945) they appear as themselves.


Veronica%20Lake7.jpg Veronica Lake


Veronica Lake's film career came to a halt in the late 1940s; she made just three films afterward. Lake divorced De Toth in 1952, and she left California to settle in New York, where she did quite a bit of stage work and made a number of appearances on early television. However, mental illness and her increasing use of alcohol chipped away at her career, and by the late 1950s or early 1960s Lake was working as a bar maid. By chance she was rediscovered, and in the early 1960s Lake was offered a job working in Baltimore as a TV host. She made two more films: "Footsteps in the Snow" (made in Canada and released in 1966) and "Flesh Feast" (shot in Miami in 1967; not released until 1970), a film which she also produced. Lake wrote a sensational autobiography, which made waves when it was published in 1969.


Lake died on July 7, 1973 of hepatitis and acute renal failure (complications of her alcoholism) in Burlington, Vermont, where her death was certified by Dr. Wareen Beeken at the Fletcher Allen Hospital and where she was seen by many staff members during her nearly two week stay. A rumor persists that she died in Montreal and was smuggled across the border to Vermont. She was survived by her fourth husband, two daughters, a son, and her mother.



Measurements: 33C-21 1/2-33 1/2. (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine - 1942).

Height: 4' 11 1/2" (1.51 m)

Nickname: The Peek-a-boo Girl


Robert Carleton-Munro (29 May 1972 - 7 July 1973) (her death)

Joseph A. McCarthy (28 August 1955 - 1959) (divorced)

André De Toth (13 December 1944 - 2 June 1952) (divorced) 2 children

John S. Detlie (25 September 1940 - 2 December 1943) (divorced) 2 children

During World War Two, the rage for her peek-a-boo bangs became a hazard when women in the defense industry would get their bangs caught in machinery. Lake had to take a publicity picture in which she reacted painfully to her hair getting "caught" in a drill press in order to heighten public awareness about the hazard of her hairstyle.

Her ashes sat on a funeral home's shelf until 1976 when her cremation was paid for and supposedly spread on the Florida coastline. Some 30 years after her death, her ashes resurfaced in a New York antique store in October 2004.

Her height variously given as "barely five feet" to 5' 2" Photos indicate the shorter height.


ShellAviationFuelsAd-Feb1944.jpg Shell Aviation Fuel - February 1944

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