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This Day in WWII 21 May 1940 - 1945


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Texaco-May1943.jpgTexaco Ad - May 1943


1940: Its announced that over 250,000 men enrolled into the LDV in just the first 24 hours.


1940: Luftwaffe bomb Channel ports and the RAF attack Rotterdam's refineries.


BrendaMarshall1.jpg *Brenda Marshall


1940: The isolated German troops at Narvik are now close to exhaustion and will be unable to hold out for very much longer.


1940: A British counter attack is launched near Arras with armoured and infantry support against Rommel's 7th Panzer Division, throwing it off balance. A similar attack in the south by a French armoured brigade under General de Gaulle fails after initial success. The French Ninth Army is surrounded and destroyed, its commander, General Giraud, taken prisoner.


BrendaMarshall2.jpg Brenda Marshall


1941: It's announced that Women's Land Army now more than 11,000 strong.


1941: Vichy military court sentences 56 NCO's and privates, siding with de Gaulle to death or hard labour in absentia. All property of free French fighters is to be confiscated.


1941: Against strict orders not to attack American vessels, the US merchant ship Robin Moor is sunk by U-69 (Kptlt. Metzler). This sinking of a neutral American vessel is publicly denounced by President Roosevelt and becomes yet another argument for him in his secret desire for bringing the United States into war against Germany.


BrendaMarshall3.jpg Brenda Marshall


1941: An RAF reconnaissance plane sight the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen in the port of Bergen, allowing the British Home Fleet time to ready plans to intercept them in the earlier hours of the 22nd May.


1941: 80 Ju-52s crash land a regiment of 5th Gebirgsjäger Division to support the hard-pressed paratroopers who are defending Maleme airfield. A British counter-attack at Maleme airfield is repulsed by the now reinforced paratroopers.


1941: Royal Navy sinks several small German troop boats, helping to thwart the sea borne invasion of Crete. The Luftwaffe sinks the British Destroyer Juno and damages the Cruiser Ajax, southwest of Crete.


ShellAviationFuels-May1944.jpg Shell Aviation Fuels Ad - May 1944


1942: Hitler postpones the invasion of Malta indefinitely.


1942: Japan allows International Red Cross representatives to visit British prisoners.


BrendaMarshall4.jpg Brenda Marshall


1943: The Luftwaffe carries out a raid by FW-190 fighter bombers against Malta.


1944: An accidental explosion on board an LST unloading ammunition in West Loch, Pearl Harbor sinks 6 LST's killing 163 and injuring 396.


BrendaMarshall5.jpg Brenda Marshall


1945: The British Second Army arrest Himmler (in disguise) at Bremervorde.


1945: The Japanese begin the evacuation of Shuri, on Okinawa. Their losses so far are estimated at 48,000 killed out of a garrison of 85,000.


BrendaMarshall6.jpg Brenda Marshall


*Brenda Marshall (Ardis Ankerson) was born on Wednesday, September 29, 1915 in in Negros, Philippines. Marshall made her first film appearance in the 1939 "Espionage Agent".


The following year she did her best work opposite Errol Flynn, playing the leading lady to in "The Sea Hawk" (1940) and then a year later again with Flynn in "Footsteps in the Dark" (1941). She married the actor William Holden in 1941 and her own career quickly declined. She starred then opposite James Cagney in the 1942 film, "Captains of the Clouds".


Other films she appeared in are "Singapore Woman" (1941), "You Can't Escape Forever" (1942), "Whispering Smith" (1948), "The Iroquois Trail" (1950).


BrendaMarshall7.jpg Brenda Marshall


"The Constant Nymph" (1943) was a popular success but she virtually retired after this, appearing in only four more inconsequential films. Among these she played scientist Nora Goodrich in the grade-B 1946 cult classic "Strange Impersonation".


After several separations, Marshall and Holden were divorced in 1971. Brenda Marshall died from throat cancer in Palm Springs, California, on July 30, 1992 at age 76.



Height: 5' 3" (160 cm) - dark eyes and black hair.

Mother of Virginia Holden, by her first marriage to Richard Gaines. Virginia was adopted by step-father William Holden. Marshall & Holden had two sons - Scott Holden (born Nov 17, 1943) and Peter West Holden (born May 2, 1946). From 1941 through 1973, Brenda Marshall was married to actor William Holden, a curious union that evidently soured early on (Holden's friends blamed Marshall, and vice versa), and was distinguished by extended separations and numerous extracurricular romances.


Mobilgas-May1945.jpgMobilgas Ad - May 1945

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