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This Day in WWII 21 August 1940 - 1945


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SperryCorporationAd-August1943.jpgSperry Corporation Ad - August 1943


1940: Commons allows nationalist forces of Poland, Norway, Belgium, Holland, France and Czechoslovakia to train in Britain under their own flags.


1940: Leon Trotsky is assassinated by a Stalinist agent while in exile in Mexico City.


Leslie%20Brooks1.jpg *Leslie Brooks


1941: French resistance member Pierre "Fabien" Georges commits the first violent act of resistance against the Germans in Paris when he assassinates a German naval cadet in the Barches-Rochechouart Metro station. More than 150 Parisians would be shot by the Germans in reprisal.


1941: First Arctic convoy leaves Iceland for Russia.


Leslie%20Brooks2.jpg Leslie Brooks


1941: Marshal Voroshilov tells the people of Leningrad to defend their city to the last. Hitler orders the investment, not capture, of Leningrad, and the transfer of several divisions from the North and Centre to capture the Crimea and the Donets basin, an industrial region vital to the Soviet war effort.


1942: Roosevelt says the perpetrators of barbarism in occupied countries 'will have to stand in courts of law, in the very countries which they are now oppressing and answer for their acts'.


Leslie%20Brooks3.jpg Leslie Brooks


1942: U.S. Marines turn back the first major Japanese ground attack on Guadalcanal in the Battle of Tenaru.


1943: The Labour Party wins the Australian elections.


Leslie%20Brooks4.jpg Leslie Brooks


1944: Representatives from the U.K., U.S. and USSR meet at Dumbarton Oaks in the U.S.A, to discuss post-war international security.


1944: The French First Army surrounds Toulon. The U.S. Third Army reaches Troyes and Reims.


Leslie%20Brooks5.jpg Leslie Brooks


1944: The German Sixth Army is separated from the Romanian 3rd Army on Black Sea coast. Colonel General Friessner orders all German units to withdraw as the Romanians fail to fight and change sides. The Germans, with naval support, open a coastal corridor 10 to 12 miles wide to Army Group North, but Hitler refuses to order the evacuation of Baltic States.


1945: President Harry S. Truman ended the Lend-Lease program that had shipped some $50 billion in aid to America's allies during World War II.


Leslie%20Brooks6.jpg Leslie Brooks


1945: As the Red Army now hold much of Manchuria, the Japanese Kwantung Army surrenders formally to Major General Shelakor at Harbin.


1945: The Japanese announce that the first U.S. landings will be on the 26th August. A non-fraternization rule with the Japanese is to be enforced by the U.S.


Leslie%20Brooks7.jpg Leslie Brooks


*Virginia Leslie Gettman was born on July 13, 1922 in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1938-1939, Leslie attends Hollywood High School, majoring in algebra and English, and sings with the school's glee club, as do her classmates Sheila Ryan and Susan Peters. She becomes is a photographer's model after completing high school. In June 1941, as Lorraine Gettman, she is one of six starlets widely advertised as "The Navy Blues Sextet," for Navy Blues. The six beauties, including Marguerite Chapman, Claire James, Peggy Diggins, Kay Aldridge, and Georgia Carroll, are sent to Honolulu for the world premiere, then return to the mainland to make a cross-country junket, starting in Dallas, Texas, and ending in New York City, where Sherman Billingsley gives them a well-publicized party at his famous Stork Club. Shortly afterward, she signs with Columbia, goes from brunette to blonde, and becomes Leslie Brooks, and began appearing in movie bit roles in 1941. Brooks started landing more sizeable parts in such programs as "Nine Girls" (1944) and "Cover Girl" (1944). She was also seen to good advantage in Columbia's series films (The Whistler, Crime Doctor, et al.).


In July 1942 she is cited Exhibit A by the California Models Guild in passing a resolution condemning the issuance of two girdles apiece as regular equipment to members of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps. The Hollywood group says proper exercise and diet would give WAAC women hip lines like those of Leslie.


In November 1943 a pinup in syndicated newspapers shows her pasting war savings stamps on Hitler's map of Europe. The headline reads "Stamping Out the Fuehrer."



Leslie Brooks is the featured pin-up girl of the April 7, 1944 issue of YANK, The Army Weekly.


On January 7, 1945, Leslie marries Donald Anthony Shay, actor and former United States Marine, in Beverly Hills. He's 24; she's 22. Shay, recently discharged after an illness, served 24 months in the South Pacific. Her daughter Leslie Victoria is born in Los Angeles on November 8, 1945.


In February 1948, she and Columbia part company. She is heralded to be the lead in the upcoming action-thriller "Dynamite". She files for divorce from Shay.

On July 19, 1948 Leslie hits the news battling for custody of her two-and-a-half year-old daughter, Victoria, in court in Los Angeles. Her estranged husband, Shay, alleges his wife gave the child intoxicants at parties. His brother, Jack, testifies Victoria had "seven or eight swallows" from her mother's glass at a party and was "very cute and dizzy." Leslie denies this but admits giving the daughter an occasional sip of beer diluted in water. "Beer is not good for babies," Superior Judge Mildred L. Lillie tells her. Victoria's paternal grandmother, Mrs. Alice Shay, is given custody of the girl until Leslie hires a competent nurse housekeeper. Shay is directed to pay $350 monthly for support of his wife and child pending trial of the divorce suit.


Leslie%20Brooks8.jpg Leslie Brooks


On November 11, 1948 Leslie is granted divorce from Shay in Los Angeles. Superior Judge Ingall W. Bull says about Shay: "This court has no doubt but that this is a case in which a worthless husband used the love of a mother for a child to extort money from the mother. Certainly the husband is guilty of a criminal conspiracy." The whereabouts of Shay and his 3-year-old daughter is unknown, his attorney says. A warrant is outstanding against Shay, charging he took the child last July when Leslie had custody pending the divorce trial. Bull gives Leslie an order for full custody of Victoria. She is also granted $100 a month child support, $200 a month alimony and title to all community property. She receives her final divorce decree on December 15, 1949 but still hasn't found her 4-year-old daughter. Her attorney says that Shay is believed to have taken the child to New Zealand. Shay also is missing.


In 1950 marries Russ Vincent. Leslie Brooks retires from films. Vincent will go on to become a successful Hollywood land developer. Leslie and Vincent have 3 daughters between August 1954 and April 1960, all born in Los Angeles. As Virginia L. Vincent, Leslie died in Sherman Oaks, California on July 1, 2011 and was buried in Hollywood Hills Cemetery next to her husband Russ.


UnitedStatesRubberCompanyAd-August1945.j United States Rubber Company Ad - August 1945

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