Jun 04

Nan Wynn Yank Pin Up June 1943

Nan Wynn Yank Pin Up June 1943

Nan Wynn was an American big-band singer and actress. Born on May 8, 1915 was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia, where she attended high school, and sang in the school choir. Nan Wynn recorded with many well-known orchestras, including those of Teddy Wilson, Freddie Rich, Raymond Scott and Hal Kemp. Wynn appeared in many films, usually as a nightclub singer, with a starring role opposite William Lundigan in the 1941 film a “Shot in the Dark” (1941), as well as appearances in other such films as “Million Dollar Baby” (1941), “Princess O’Rourke” (1943) and “Intrigue” (1947). Wynn is perhaps best-known for dubbing Rita Hayworth’s singing voice in several of her films, including “My Gal Sal” (1942) and “You Were Never Lovelier” (1942). She appeared in Billy Rose’s 1944 Broadway musical production the “Seven Lively Arts”.

Wynn was married three times. Her first husband, from 1944 to 1947 was producer, writer, and director Cy Howard (Seymour Horowitz). In 1949 she married Dr. Thomas Baylek, with whom she had a daughter, Jane. Wynn was 55 at the time of her death in 1971 she was described as the widow of John Small.

Wynn retired from show business in 1951, following complications and facial paralysis due to her 1949 surgery, and settled into the life of a housewife in York, Pennsylvania. She eventually recovered the use of her facial muscles and became involved in the state cancer crusade in 1959, after which she appeared at American Cancer Society events for several years

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Jun 04

World War II Today: June 4

1940 Churchill tells Commons ‘We shall fight on the beaches, in the fields, in the streets and in the hills. We shall never surrender.’

Holiday camps are banned within 10 miles of east and south-east coasts of England and Isle of Wight.

German troops enter Dunkirk, taking 40,000 French prisoners and huge quantities of abandoned equipment, including 84,000 vehicles, 2,500 guns and 650,000 tons of supplies and ammunition.

French planes attack Munich and Frankfurt as reprisals for Paris bombing.

1941 Luftwaffe bombers carry out a night raid on the port of Alexandria in Egypt, killing 100 people. The Egyptian Cabinet resigns.

1942 Reinhard Heydrich dies of his wounds.

Hitler flies to Finland to meet with the Finnish head of state, Marshal Mannerheim.

At 4.30am aircraft of Admiral Nagumo’s 1st Carrier Striking Force makes strikes against Midway.

The American garrison received prior warning of this from a spotter aircraft. This raid fails to sufficiently neutralise US airpower on Midway and so Nagumo orders a second attack against Midway.

His aircraft are in the middle of being rearmed with torpedoes for a strike against the US carriers, should they be spotted. The Admirals orders mean that the Japanese aircraft must first replace their torpedoes with bombs, before another strike against Midway can take place. At 8.20am Japanese reconnaissance aircraft reported sighting the American carriers and at 8.55am warned that US torpedo aircraft had been launched and were on their way towards the Japanese fleet. While this is going on, the Japanese aircraft which had been sent out on the second strike against Midway, begin to return and by 9am had all been landed. Crews were now swarming round the aircraft with fuel hoses and bomb racks in a desperate attempt to get them ready for a strike against the American Carriers. At 9.30am the torpedo bombers from the Hornet and Enterprise found the the Japanese carriers, but by 9.36am they had all been shot down. The Hornet’s and Enterprise’s dive-bombers failed to find the Japanese carriers and so turned for home, although many ran out of fuel on the way. A similar fate was suffered by all the fighters on this mission. The torpedo bombers of the Yorktown now found and attacked the Japanese carriers, but with the same result as the previous attacks and by 10am it all seemed to be over and Admiral Nagumo could prepare for his counter strike in what seemed total safety. However, because his fighters had been drawn down to sea level to deal with the Yorktown’s torpedo-bombers, the sky above the Japanese carriers was left temporarily exposed to attack. At 10.25am a lost dive-bomber group from the Enterprise stumbled upon the undefended Japanese carriers. The 37 Dauntless dive-bombers plunged down in to the attack. With their decks cluttered with aircraft in the throws of being re-armed and refuelled, the Japanese carriers were in serious danger. Admiral Nagumo’s flagship, the Akagi was the first to be hit and a bomb started a fire in the torpedo store. This fire was so fierce that the Admiral had to abandon the Akagi and shift his flag to a destroyer. The carrier Kaga was hit next by four bombs, which set ablaze the ships aviation fuel and forced her also to be abandoned. The Soryu was hit as well, this time by 3 bombs. These started a fire on deck amongst the parked aircraft and also caused her engines to stop. In just five 5 minutes 3 Japanese carriers had been put out of action, but the agony was not yet over. At noon an American submarine found the stricken Soryu and sank her by torpedo. The Hiryu, which so far was undamaged, was ordered to withdraw at speed from the area in order to save herself. During her withdrawal the Hiryu managed to launch two strikes against the Yorktown at noon and 2.40pm, which caused severe damage to the Yorktown. At 3.30pm Admiral Yamamoto gave the order for the Akagi to be scuttled by torpedo as it had not been possible to save her. By 5pm the Kaga had also succumbed to her wounds and sank. At the same time the Hiryu’s luck ran out when she was spotted and attacked by dive-bombers from the Enterprise. Hit by four bombs, the Hiryu was set on fire from stem to stern and had to be scuttled by her crew. Farther north, aircraft from the Japanese 2nd Carrier Strike Force bomb Dutch harbor in the Aleutians as planned, damaging the islands fuel tanks and a US ship. US efforts to locate this force are unsuccessful.

1943 The House of Commons rejects any lifting of the economic blockade against occupied Europe.

A Military coup takes place in Argentina, with the army occupying Buenos Aires.

Luftwaffe bombers attack the massive Russian tank factory’s at Gorki.

1944 Eisenhower postpones ‘Operation Overlord’, the allied invasion of France, for 24 hours because of rough seas in the English Channel.

The RAF carries out heavy night raids against German coastal batteries and fortifications in Normandy.

U-505, patrolling off Cape Blanco on the West African coast is forced to the surface by depth-charges from the U.S. destroyer escort Chatelain and is captured intact and towed to Bermuda by the escort carrier Guadalcanal. (More Info)

The U.S. Fifth Army enters Rome.

The first B29 (Superfortress) combat mission is made against the Bangkok railway.

1945 U.S. troops land on the Oriko peninsula of Okinawa.

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Jun 03

World War II Today: June 3

1940 All aliens and stateless persons living in Britain are forbidden to leave home between 10:30 pm and 6 am.

Churchill orders the setting up of commando forces to be used for raiding occupied Europe.

The last night of the Dunkirk evacuation sees 26,700 French soldiers lifted from the beaches. This brings the total rescued to 224,686 British, 121,445 French and Belgian troops. Most of the French opt to return to France to continue the fight. During the evacuation, 177 aircraft were lost (Germans lost 140 aircraft).

Admiralty announce the loss of six destroyers, 24 small warships and participation of 222 British naval vessels and 665 other craft in Dunkirk operation. 226 vessels are sunk altogether.

300 German planes bomb Paris inflicting around 900 casualties.

British and French forces start to evacuate from Narvik in northern Norway.

1941 Attlee memorandum approved 2,430,000 to 19,000 at Labour Party conference: ‘A necessary prelude to a just peace is a total victory.’

Ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II, dies in exile in Holland.

New Iraqi government is formed.

1942 Task Force 16 (Spruance) and 17 (Fletcher) meet 350 miles north-east of Midway. Admiral Fletcher takes overall command of the joint task force, although the two would act separately. US land based aircraft from Midway spot the Japanese Transport Force about 600 miles from Midway. They launch attacks against this force, but without success. US reconnaissance aircraft spot the 2 carriers of the Japanese 2nd Carrier Striking Force, which were about 400 miles from Kiska in the Aleutians.

1943 The first fruits of victory reach British shops, Algerian wine.

1944 Hitler allows Kesselring to withdraw from Rome, which has now been declared an ‘Open City’.

The Japanese rearguard at Kohima retreats, ending a 64 day battle.

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Jun 02

World War II Today: June 2

1940 26,200 British and French troops are evacuated from the beaches at Dunkirk. Virtually all British soldiers have now been evacuated and so the remaining French troops have taken over the defense of the perimeter.

1941 US statement of policy respecting French possessions in the Western Hemisphere.

Hitler and Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass on the German-Italian border to discuss the progress of the war.

Goring tells the Luftwaffe ‘There is no unconquerable island’. The Ruhr industrial area bombed by RAF.

Vichy publishes anti-Semitic legislation based on German laws. Jews banned from public office.

A Greek government-in-exile is formed in Egypt.

1942 The RAF’ launches it’s second 1,000 bomber raid (although only 956 took off) and hits Essen, but due to the haze over the city, the results were minimal and the RAF lost 31 aircraft. Nevertheless, Churchill was highly impressed and sanctioned further raids on this scale.

The Germans begin a five day bombardment, using all the artillery at their disposal, including super heavy siege artillery, against Sevastopol in order to soften up the defenses ready for the main assault.

1943 Combat debut of the 99th Fighter Squadron (Tuskegee Airmen) with the US 12th Air Force in North Africa, the first African-American squadron.

The Red Air Force bombs Kiev and Roslavl, while the Luftwaffe bombs Kursk.

Japanese forces are reported to be in full retreat on Yangtze.

1944 U.S. troops are now only 20 miles from Rome.

The Bulgarian government seeks terms of surrender from the western allies.

The first shuttle raid, operation ‘Frantic’ is made by 130 B-17s of the US 15th Air Force based at Tripoli. The raid attacks rail yards at Debrecen in Hungary and then flies on to Soviet airfields at Poltava in the Ukraine.

Secret negotiations between the Romanian government of Marshal Antonescu and representatives of the Soviet Union begin in Stockholm, Sweden.

The British 2nd Division begins its advance to relieve Imphal as the Japanese renew attacks on Bishenpur. The Chinese besiege Myitkyina, near the Chinese border in northern Burma.

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Jun 01

Barbara Bates WWII Yank Pin Up Girl June 1, 1945

Barbara Bates, a lovely, demure, but very troubled young spirit, began her career at age 19. Groomed in obscure starlet bits, it wasn't until Warner Bros. signed her up in 1947 and perpetuated an appealing girl-next-door image that things started happening for her.→ Read more

Jun 01

World War II Today: June 1

1940 All signposts which might be helpful to parachutists landing in Britain taken down. Unemployment in Britain falls 92,000 in May to 881,000, giving a total fall of 611,000 in a year.

German onslaught continues at Dunkirk. General Lord Gort, C-in-C BEF, returns from Flander’s with another 64,400 troops who were evacuated off the beaches this day. However, in future, the evacuation will only continue during the hours of darkness due to the high losses of warships to daylight air attacks.

British forces evacuate the Bodo area of Norway, 120 miles S-W of Narvik.

The British destroyers Keith, Basilisk and Havant and the transport Scotia are sunk by Luftwaffe dive bombers, near Dunkirk.

Luftwaffe raids industrial centres in the Rhone Valley from Lyons to Marseilles.

1941 Clothes rationing introduced in Britain.

The Luftwaffe carries out a night raid (110 bombers) on Manchester.

The heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen arrives in Brest.

The German’s secure Crete and the British evacuation is completed, with 17,000 British, Commonwealth and Greek troops being rescued, although the Australians lose more than half their contingent. Final figures for the British are 16,500 killed,  wounded or captured, along with a large number of warships sunk or damaged, while the Germans lose about 6,200 men.

Stukas sink the British cruiser Calcutta off Alexandria.

British forces enter Baghdad and reinstate the Regent.

1942 America begins sending Lend-Lease materials to the Soviet Union. Convoy PQ-17.

Mexico declares war on Germany, Italy and Japan.

Himmler is put in charge of the German ARP system.

The siege of Sevastopol by the 11th Army continues with a round-the-clock bombardment by heavy artillery and Luftwaffe bombers.

Hitler arrives at Poltava, the HQ of Army Group South to approve Field Marshal von Bocks plan for the main offensive. A high level plan had been prepared to make the Russians believe that Moscow was still the objective,  Goebbels organised leaks to this effect to the foreign press while Army Group Centre made overt preparations for an offensive under the cover-name of ‘Kremlin’.

Jews in Belgium, Croatia, Slovakia, Romania ordered to wear yellow stars.

Rommel takes the fortified ‘box’ that is held by the British 150th Brigade in the Gazala defensive line and secures the ‘Cauldron’. This enables him to get much needed supplies flowing. Rommel now turns the German 90th Light Division and the Italian Ariete Armoured Division against Bir Hacheim in an attempt to wipe out the Free French garrison which still holds out. He also distracts the British by sending the 21st Panzer Division northeast to operate nearer to Tobruk.

1943 Eden announces that Empire casualties in first three years of war are 92,089 killed, 226,719 missing, 88,294 wounded and 107,891 captured.

The British actor Leslie Howard, flying back to Britain from a five-week lecture tour in Spain and Portugal boosting the Allied cause, is killed when his DC-3 airliner is shot down by German fighter planes over the Bay of Biscay. Although it came to be believed that the real target was Howard’s manager, Alfred Chenhalls, who bore a passing resemblance to Winston Churchill, it now appears certain that Howard was the actual target. Alerted to Howard’s presence in the Iberian Peninsula by German agents, Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels had ordered the plane shot down in order to silence the outspoken anti-Nazi actor.

The allied 2nd Tactical Air Force is formed in UK.

BdU (C-in-C U-boats) adopts a new policy of fighting back at Allied sub-hunting aircraft with the U-boats’ own AA guns while crossing the Bay of Biscay on the surface. This tactic proves to be largely unsuccessful and is soon abandoned.

The Red Air Force attacks German rear communications and airfields at Smolensk, Orel and Bryansk.

1944 The British Eighth Army captures Frosinone to the South East of Rome.

1945 Byrnes and Committee advise the President to drop the bomb.

U.S. troops make new landings on Okinawa as forces from the East and West coasts link up South of Shuri.

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May 31

World War II Today: May 31

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May 30

World War II Today: May 30

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May 29

Betty Grable WWII Pin Up

Elizabeth Ruth Grable ( Betty Grable) was born on December 18, 1916, in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother Lillian was a stubborn and materialistic woman who was determined to make her daughter a star. Elizabeth, who later became Betty, was enrolled in Clark’s Dancing School at the age of three. With her mother’s guidance, Betty studied ballet and tap dancing. At 13, Betty and her mother set out for Hollywood with the hopes of stardom. Lillian lied about her daughter’s age, and Ruth landed several minor parts in films in 1930, such as “Whoopee!” (1930), “New Movietone Follies of 1930” (1930), “Happy Days” (1929/I) and “Let’s Go Places” (1930). In 1932 she signed with RKO Pictures. The bit parts continued for the next three years. Betty finally landed a substantial part in “By Your Leave” (1934). One of her big roles was in “College Swing” (1938). Unfortunately, the public didn’t seem to take notice. She was beginning to think she was a failure. The next year she married former child star Jackie Coogan. His success boosted hers, but they divorced in 1940. When she landed the role of Glenda Crawford in “Down Argentine Way” (1940), the public finally took notice of this shining bright star. Stardom came through comedies such as “Coney Island” (1943) and “Sweet Rosie O’Grady” (1943).

The public was enchanted with Betty. Her famous pin-up pose during World War II adorned barracks all around the world. With that pin-up and as the star of lavish musicals, Betty became the highest-paid star in Hollywood. After the war, her star continued to rise. In 1947 the US Treasury Department noted that she was the highest paid star in America, earning about $300,000 a year – a phenomenal sum even by today’s standards. Later, 20th Century-Fox, who had her under contract, insured her legs with Lloyds of London for a million dollars. Betty continued to be popular until the mid-50s, when musicals went into a decline. Her last film was “How to Be Very, Very Popular” (1955). She then concentrated on Broadway and nightclubs. In 1965 she divorced band leader Harry James, whom she had wed in 1943. Betty died July 2, 1973, of lung cancer at age 56 in Santa Monica, California. Her funeral was held July 5, 1973, 30 years to the day after her marriage to Harry James – who, in turn, died on what would have been his and Grable’s 40th anniversary, July 5, 1983. Her life was an active one, devoid of the scandals that plagued many stars in one way or another. In reality, she cared for her family and the family life more than stardom. In that way, she was a true star.’

TRIVIA:

Betty Grable’s measurements: 34 1/2-24-36 (self-described 1940), 36-24-35 (at time of her famous WWII pin-up poster), 36-23-35 (at a fit 112# in 1958), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Height: 5′ 4″ (1.63 m)

Wore size 5A shoes. (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Had a relationship with George Raft for 2-1/2 years, and ended it because he could not get a divorce from his Catholic wife.

Was a somnambulist (sleep-walker)

Did Playtex 18-hour Shortie commercials in the 1960s using her famous pinup pose — purportedly because she needed the money after her husband had spent her savings.

She and Harry James had two daughters, Victoria Elizabeth James (b. March 3, 1944) and Jessica James (b. May 20, 1947).

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May 29

World War II Today: May 29

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