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This Day in WWII 31 March 1939 - 1945


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ChryslerAd-March1944.jpgChrysler Ad - March 1944


1939: Britain and France agree to support Poland if Germany threatens to invade.


1941: A US scientific/military team arrives in the Danish colony of Greenland, to consider the establishment of military bases there.


MarthaODriscoll-1.jpg *Martha O'Driscoll


1941: British civilian casualties: 4,259 killed and 5,557 injured. London, Portsmouth, Merseyside, Clydeside, Bristol and Plymouth all badly hit. RAF raids Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen.


1941: Italian naval forces sink the British Cruiser, HMS Bonaventure off Crete.


MarthaODriscoll-2.jpg Martha O'Driscoll


1941: The 5th Light Division engages the British 2nd Armoured Division near Mersa Brega, as it attempts to capture the town. The battle rages all day and results in the British withdrawing towards Agedabia.


1941: Major General Frederick Martin and Rear Admiral Patrick Bellinger, commanders, respectively, of the Army Air Corp and Navy in Hawaii, send a joint report to Washington warning that the Japanese may be planning an early-morning raid on the islands.


ChryslerAd2-March1944.jpg Chrysler Ad - March 1944


1943: Newly built gas chamber/crematory II opens at Auschwitz.


1943: The Australian 9th Division marches through Melbourne watched by more than half a million people.


MarthaODriscoll-3.jpg Martha O'Driscoll


1944: RAF losses after 35 major attacks on German cities since the 18th November 1943 are 1,047 aircraft destroyed and 1,682 damaged.


1945: The Germans start pulling out of Holland. The French First Army crosses the Rhine for first time since Napoleon. The US Third Army reaches Siegen 20 miles East of the Rhine.


1945: The Russians enter German territory near Sopron in Hungary. The Russians capture Ratibor in Upper Silesia.


MarthaODriscoll-4.jpg Martha O'Driscoll


1945: The United States and Britain bar a Soviet supported provisional regime in Warsaw from entering the U.N. meeting in San Francisco.


1945: British 26th Division reaches the Burma Road, which ends eight months of fighting.


MarthaODriscoll-5.jpg Martha O'Driscoll


*Martha O'Driscoll was born on Saturday, March 04, 1922 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Another gorgeous "B" movie blonde who came and went uneventfully in the 40s, the beautiful Martha O'Driscoll started off modeling as a child. Her parents were nonprofessionals. Trained in singing and dancing, she was discovered by choreographer Hermes Pan in a local theater production in Phoenix, which led to unbilled bits in musical movies from 1935. Once she had her foot in the door, she was groomed in more visible parts and began pitching products for Max Factor and Royal Crown Cola, among many others, in magazine ads, while such endorsements promoted her upcoming pictures in return. She attracted film offers from both Paramount and Universal studios in her twelve Hollywood years, which included musicals, silly slapstick and horror films. She appeared as "Daisy Mae" in the first screen version of "Li'l Abner" (1940) and proved a sexy foil for Abbott & Costello and Olsen & Johnson in their comedy vehicles. She played the pretty prairie flower to a couple of notable western film stars including Tim Holt, and was terrorized by the Wolfman, Dracula AND the Frankenstein Monster in her most notable feature "House of Dracula" (1945).


MarthaODriscoll-6.jpg Martha O'Driscoll


In 1943, she married a Lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy but they separated ten months later. Following her last film, "Carnegie Hall" (1947) and a final divorce decree from her first marriage, she married a second time to Chicago businessman Arthur Appleton, heir to an industrial empire, and retired completely. She was only 25. In Chicago, she became one of the city's more civic-minded leaders, an interest which would last for more than four decades. She also served as an executive for many committees, including the Sarah Siddons Society, and on the Board of Directors for a few of her husband's companies. From time to time, she even appeared in nostalgia conventions. Martha O'Driscoll died on November 3, 1998, in Ocala, Florida.


SperryCorp-March1944.jpg Sperry Corporation Ad - March 1944

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