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This Day in WWII 16 January 1940 - 1945


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LockheedAd-Jan1943.jpgLockheed Ad - January 1943

 

1940: Hitler orders the postponement of his attack in the west until the Spring. Likely reasons for this are the compromise of 'Fall Gelb' and increasing criticism from some commanders that the plan was too predictable. Led by Gerd von Rundstedt, they proposed instead that the main blow should come through the wooded Ardennes region in southern Belgium as the allies would not expect this.

 

1940: British submarines Seahorse, Undine and Starfish reported sunk after penetrating Heligoland Bight.

 

Carole%20Lombard1.jpg *Carole Lombard

 

1941: French forces in Indochina launch an offensive against Thailand after numerous border provocations.

 

1941: French inflict a naval defeat on Thai forces at Koh-Chang.

 

Carole%20Lombard2.jpg Carole Lombard

 

1942: Actress Carole Lombard, her mother were among some 20 people killed when their plane crashed near Las Vegas while returning from a tour to promote war bonds. (MORE INFO)

 

1942: Heavy US losses on the Bataan Peninsula as the Japanese troops press the defenders back.

 

ChampionSparkPlugsAd-Jan1945.jpg Champion Spark Plugs Ad - January 1945

 

1943: During the first Bomber Command attack on Berlin since November 1941, the RAF makes its first use of Target Indicator marker bombs.

 

1943: The Eighth Army destroys Rommel's rearguard at Buerat, in Libya and is now just 300 miles from the Tunisian frontier.

 

1943: Iraq enters the war against all three Axis powers.

 

Carole%20Lombard3.jpg Carole Lombard

 

1944: Eisenhower takes up his post as C-in-C Allied Expeditionary Forces in Britain.

 

1944: Japanese forces make their last counter-attack on New Britain.

 

Carole%20Lombard4.jpg Carole Lombard

 

1945: The British Second Army attacks the Germans East of Maas, as the U.S. First and Third Armies meet at Houffalize. The German offensive in the Ardennes is on its last legs.

 

Carole%20Lombard5.jpg Carole Lombard

 

*Carole Lombard, the 5' 2" beauty was a comedy hit during the 30s and 40s. Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on October 6, 1908 under the name of Jane Alice Peters. Young Jane Alice loved the Friday night movie night with her family and would perform the night before's show in the morning. Her mother and her father divorced in October of 1914. Jane Alice, her two older brothers, and their mother, Elizabeth Knight Peters moved to Los Angeles. When she was 12 she had a small part in a silent film called a "Perfect Crime". An executive in 1925 from FOX PICTURES asked her to do a screen test, which was a success, but the film, which was to be her first spy film, "Marriage in Transit" (1925), wasn't. Carole Lombard, the actress, was born. In early 1927 she was tested by the Mack Sennet Studio, who put her under contract, only this time it was a comedy, not a spy film. Lombard became the top comedienne at the studio as she molded herself into the comedy life. Paul Stei, a Pathe director, saw her in a Sennet comedy and immediately put her under contract for $150 a week. Several films later she took a side step when director, Cecil B. DeMille called for her and then changed his mind. When she left Pathe in 1930 at the age of 18 she returned to FOX. She soon signed with Paramount for $300 a week but after 6 years was earning the sum of $35,000 a week!

 

In October 1930 she met William Powell and then eight months later they were married on the day of June 26, 1931. Carole age 23 and William age 39 were married for 23 months but divorced in 1933. They stayed friends and film partners. In 1937 in "My Man Godfrey" (1936) (with Powell) earned her an Academy Award Nomination. There was a new person now, the crowned King of Hollywood" Clark Gable. They had made one movie together "No Man of Her Own" (1932) in 1932. They were married, in March 1939, after Gable was separated from his wife Rhea Langham. They bought and lived in a 20 acre ranch in San Fernando Valley. They weren't Hollywood Socialites; they weren't glamorous; they wanted a simple life out of Hollywood's bright lights. They nick named each other Ma and Pa and were role modeled as the ideal marriage.

 

Tragedy struck on a war bond tour that Carole and her mother were on. The plane they were traveling in (TWA Flight #3) crashed. Her last words, in her home state of Indiana, to all the people were just before boarding the plane, "Before I say goodbye to you all - come on - join me in a big cheer- V for victory!" All 22 passengers died in the crash.

 

TRIVIA:

Measurements: 34 1/2B-24 1/2-34 (MGM costumer Adrian's book), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Height: 5' 2" (1.57 m)

Nickname:

The Profane Angel

The Hoosier Tornado

Ma (by Clark Gable)

A 1926 auto accident badly cut her face. Advanced plastic surgery and adroit use of make-up covered the scars. However, at the time the belief was that use of anesthetic during the operation would leave worse scars, so she endured the reconstructive surgery without an anesthetic.

She was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the first woman killed in the line of duty in WWII. Roosevelt greatly admired her work for the war effort, and ironically she was returning from an engagement selling War Bonds when her plane crashed.

Carole Lombard had a little dachshund named Commissioner that ignored Clark Gable completely. After her death in 1942, the dog would not leave Gable's side.

 

FisherBodyAd-Jan1945.jpg Fisher Body Ad - January 1945

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