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This Day in WWII 1 February 1940 - 1945


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AirTransportAd-Feb1943.jpgAir Transport Aviation Ad - February 1943

 

1940: General Timoshenko launches his big offensive across the iced up straits of Viipuri Bay, although Finnish aircraft raids disrupt these attacks.

 

Janis%20Paige1.jpg *Janis Paige

 

1941: The US Navy is reorganized in to the Atlantic, Pacific and Asiatic fleets and ordered to gradually bring ship crews up to war establishment.

 

1941: The Air Training Corps constituted by Royal Warrant.

 

Janis%20Paige2.jpg Janis Paige

 

1941: The Admiral Hipper slips out of Brest for another sortie into the Atlantic.

 

1941: Agordat in Eritrea falls to the 5th Indian Division after 2 days of fighting.

 

Janis%20Paige3.jpg Janis Paige

 

1942: Quisling forms a puppet government in Norway.

 

1942: All U-boats adopt an new Enigma cipher known as 'Triton'. The new cipher replaces the previous cipher, 'Hydra' and has an additional rotor in the Enigma machine. This meant that the British were unable to read U-boat coded communications traffic until much later in the year, seriously affecting there ability re-route their convoys around U-boat wolf packs.

 

GemRazorsAndBladesAd-Feb1943.jpg Gem Razors and Blades Ad - February 1943

 

1942: The Red army begins an offensive toward Vyazma. Zhukov is promoted to command the West Theatre, which includes the Kalinin, West and Bryansk Fronts.

 

1942: First U.S. aircraft carrier offensive of the war as YORKTOWN and ENTERPRISE conduct air raids on Japanese bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.

 

Janis%20Paige4.jpg Janis Paige

 

1943: One of America's most decorated military units of World War II, the 442d Regimental Combat Team, made up almost entirely of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.

 

1943: German troops evacuate Demyansk.

 

Janis%20Paige5.jpg Janis Paige

 

1943: American tanks and infantry are battered at German positions at Fais pass in North Africa.

 

1943: Twenty Japanese destroyers begin the evacuation of 13,000 troops from Guadalcanal.

 

Janis%20Paige6.jpg Janis Paige

 

1944: The Polish underground executes Major Fritz Kurschera, the chief of the Gestapo in Poland.

 

1944: U.S. Army troops invade two Kwajalein Islands in the Pacific.

 

Janis%20Paige7.jpg Janis Paige

 

1945: The U.S. First Army takes Remscheid, 20 miles to the East of Düsseldorf. The U.S. Seventh Army reaches Moder and Siegfried Line.

 

1945: Troops of the 1st Belorussian Front surround the fortress town of Küstrin. Since the 20th January, the Kriegsmarine has evacuated 140,000 civilian refugees and 18,000 wounded soldiers by sea from East Prussia.

 

Janis%20Paige8.jpg Janis Paige

 

1945: Allied forces cross the Irrawaddy River and take the crucial airfield of Meiktila in central Burma. The airfield is defended against strong Japanese counter-attacks by the RAF Regiment, enabling supplies and reinforcements to be flown in.

 

1945: U.S. troops land unopposed to the Southwest of Manila.

 

1945: U.S. Rangers and Filipino guerrillas rescue 513 American survivors of the Bataan Death March.

 

Janis%20Paige9.jpg Janis Paige

 

This joyous scene-stealer started out playing rather bland film ingénues but she never seemed to be comfortable in those roles - she had too much snap, crackle and pop to be confined in such a formulaic way. Born Donna Mae Tjaden on September 16th, 1922 in Tacoma, Washington, Janis Paige was singing in public from age 5 in local amateur shows. She moved to Los Angeles after graduating from high school and earned a job as a singer at the Hollywood Canteen during the war years. The Canteen, which was a studio-sponsored gathering spot for servicemen, is where she was spotted by a Warner Brothers talent scout, who saw potential in her and signed her up. She began co-starring in secondary musicals which often paired her with either Dennis Morgan or Jack Carson. Later she was relegated to rugged adventures and dramas that just seemed out of her element. Following her role in the forgettable "Two Gals and a Guy" (1951), she decided to leave the Hollywood scene. She took to the Broadway boards and scored a huge hit with the 1951 comedy-mystery play Remains to Be Seen co-starring Jackie Cooper. She also toured successfully as a cabaret singer, performing everywhere from New York to Miami to Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Definitive stardom came in 1954 with the feisty role of Babe in Broadway's "The Pajama Game" opposite John Raitt. Her old Warner Bros. rival Doris Day, however, was a bigger name and went on to play the role on film with Raitt. After a six-year hiatus, Janis returned to films in tongue-and-cheek support, all but stealing the movie "Silk Stockings" (1957) from co-stars Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. She then grabbed her share of laughs in a flashy role with the comedy "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" (1960) opposite Ms. Day. Janis ventured on in summer stock playing such indomitable roles as Annie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun", Margo Channing in "Applause", Mama Rose in "Gypsy" and Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls". From the mid-50s on Janis also tapped into TV with such series like "It's Always Jan" (1955), "Lanigan's Rabbi" (1977) and "Trapper John, M.D." (1979). In the 90s, among other TV appearances, she had recurring roles on the daytime serials "General Hospital" (1963) and "Santa Barbara" (1984). Married three times, she was the widow of Disney composer Ray Gilbert, who wrote the classic children's song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah." In 2017, Paige wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter in which she stated that Alfred Bloomingdale had attempted to rape her when she was 22 years old.

 

TRIVIA:

Measurements: 37 1/2-25-37

Height: 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Spouse:

Ray Gilbert (30 August 1962 - 3 March 1976) (his death)

Arthur Stander (18 January 1956 - 4 June 1957) (divorced)

Frank Martinelli, Jr. (27 December 1947 - 24 May 1951) (divorced)

Chose her first name in honor of Elsie Janis, beloved entertainer of troops during World War I; Paige was her maternal grandmother's name.

 

WesternElectricAd-Feb1944.jpg Western Electric Ad - February 1944

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