What Happened in April 1945

Historical Events

Battle of Okinawa

Apr 1 Battle of Okinawa: US ground forces invade Okinawa during World War II in the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific theatre

  • Apr 1 World War II: Canadian troops free the Dutch cities of Doetinchem, Enschede, Borculo and Eibergen
  • Apr 1 World War II: The Ruhr Pocket of German forces are encircled by the US Ninth Army and US First Army, eventually leading to the capture of 317,000 German troops
  • Apr 2 Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Brazil are established
  • Apr 3 World War II: Dutch city of Hengelo freed from Nazi control by the Canadian Army
  • Apr 4 The Holocaust: US forces liberate the Ohrdruf concentration camp in Germany, the first such camp to be liberated by the US Army
  • Apr 4 World War II: Soviet forces liberate Hungary from German occupation, establishing their own communist satellite state. This was celebrated as Liberation Day until 1989.
  • Apr 4 World War II: US Army occupies Bielefeld in north-eastern Germany
  • Apr 5 World War II: Dutch city of Almelo is freed by the Second Canadian Corps
  • Apr 6 Battle of Okinawa: Giant Japanese battleship Yamato heads to Okinawa with orders to beach herself and be destroyed defending the island
  • Apr 6 The Holocaust: Nazis begin evacuating prisoners from Buchenwald concentration camp
  • Apr 6 World War II: Dutch city of Coevorden freed from German occupation by Canadian forces
  • Apr 7 Battle of Okinawa: Massive kamikaze attack of around 110 Japanese aircraft damages three US battleships off Okinawa island
  • Apr 7 Battle of Okinawa: US planes intercept Japanese fleet heading for Okinawa on a suicide mission, super battleship Yamato and four destroyers are sunk
  • Apr 7 Kuniaki Koiso resigns as Prime Minister of Japan after the US invasion of Okinawa; he is replaced by Kantaro Suzuki
  • Apr 7 Sonderkommando Elbe, special Luftwaffe units designed to destroy Allied planes by ramming them mid-air, are sent on their first and only mission of World War II
  • Apr 8 1945 NFL Draft: Charley Trippi from University of Georgia first pick by Chicago Cardinals
  • Apr 8 Dutch Nazi occupiers executed, Nazi general Christiansen flees Netherlands
  • Apr 9 Battleship Admiral Scheer sunk by RAF bombing in Kiel
  • Apr 9 Liberty ship at Bari Italy carrying aerial bombs explodes, kills 360
  • Apr 9 NFL requires players to wear long stockings
  • Apr 9 World War II: The Battle of Königsberg, East Prussia, ends.
  • Apr 10 Canadian troops conquer Deventer
  • Apr 10 General Blaskowitz becomes nazi leader of "Fort Holland"
  • Apr 10 German troops attack Ijsselbrug
  • Apr 10 NFL's Boston Yanks & Brooklyn Tigers merge
  • Apr 10 US troops land on Tsugen Shima Okinawa
  • Apr 10 William Schuman & Antony Tudor's ballet premieres in NYC
  • Apr 11 Allied troops liberate Basket-Compascuum
  • Apr 11 Four soldiers in the Sixth Armored Division of the US Third Army liberate the Nazi concentration camp, Buchenwald
  • Apr 11 SS burns & shoots 1,100 at Gardelegen
  • Apr 11 US captures Tsugen Shima
  • Apr 11 US troops conquers Mulheim, Oberhausen, Bochum, Unna, Essen
  • Apr 12 Canadian troops liberate Nazi concentration camp Westerbork, Netherlands

Music History

Apr 12 Richard Strauss completes his "Metamorphosen"

  • Apr 13 Canadian soldier Léo Major single-handedly liberates Dutch town of Zwolle by fooling Germans into thinking a raid had begun
  • Apr 13 WWII: Canadian army liberates Teuge & Assen, Netherlands, from Nazis
  • Apr 13 WWII: Russian Red Army occupies Vienna, Austria
  • Apr 13 WWII: US Marines conquer Minna Shima off Okinawa, Japan
  • Apr 14 American planes bomb Tokyo & damage the Imperial Palace
  • Apr 14 US Marines attack Yae-Take, the tallest mountain on Okinawa's Motobu Peninsula
  • Apr 14 World War II: US 7th Army & allies forces capture Nuremberg & Stuttgart in Germany
  • Apr 15 British Army liberates Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen

Historic Event

Apr 15 FDR buried in grounds of Hyde Park home

Catholic Encyclical

Apr 15 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical "Communium Interpretes Dolorum"

  • Apr 15 US troops occupy concentration camp Colditz
  • Apr 16 49th Boston Marathon won by John A Kelley in 2:30:40.2; his second event victory
  • Apr 16 Battle of Okinawa: US troops land and seize the Ie Shima Airfield on Ie Shima island near Okinawa [1]
  • Apr 16 Colditz Castle, the high-security prisoner of war camp in Germany, is liberated by American troops
  • Apr 16 German troops in Groningen surrender
  • Apr 16 US troops enter Nuremberg, Germany
  • Apr 16 World War II: Dutch town of Arnhem, site of failed Operation Market Garden, is freed by British and Canadian forces
  • Apr 17 8th Air Force bombs Dresden

Historic Event

Apr 17 Benito Mussolini flees from Salò to Milan

  • Apr 17 German occupiers flood Wieringermeer, Netherlands
  • Apr 17 US troops land in central Mindanao, Philippines during Battle of Mindanao
  • Apr 18 1 armed outfielder, St Louis Brown Pete Gray, 1st game he goes 1 for 4
  • Apr 18 Clandestine Radio 1212, after broadcasting pro-nazi propaganda for months used their influence to trap 350,000 German army group B troops
  • Apr 18 Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Bolivia established
  • Apr 18 Epe freed (by corporal G van Aken)
  • Apr 19 Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Guatemala are established
  • Apr 19 Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical "Carousel" opens at the Majestic Theatre, NYC; runs for 890 performances
  • Apr 19 US aircraft carrier Franklin heavy damaged in Japanese air raid
  • Apr 19 US offensive against Shuri-barrier on Okinawa
  • Apr 20 Cleveland Browns organization formed by Arthur "Mickey" McBride
  • Apr 20 German occupiers flood Beemster & Fencer
  • Apr 20 Soviet artillery begins shelling Berlin
  • Apr 20 US 7th army captured German city of Nuremberg
  • Apr 20 US forces conquer Motobu peninsula on Okinawa
  • Apr 21 Allied troops occupy German nuclear laboratory
  • Apr 21 He Shima Okinawa conquered in 5 days, 5,000 die
  • Apr 21 Ivor Novello's "Perchance to Dream" premieres in London
  • Apr 21 Soviet army arrives at outskirts of Berlin
  • Apr 21 US 7th Army reaches Nuremberg

Battle of Interest

Apr 22 Battle of Berlin: Upon being informed that a planned counter-attack never happened, Adolf Hitler flies into a rage, denounces the German Army and concedes World War II is lost

  • Apr 22 Concentration Camp at Sachsenhausen liberated

Meeting of Interest

Apr 22 SS chief Heinrich Himmler secretly meets with Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden, asking him to act as an intermediary for a surrender offer to the Western Allies. The Allies do not take the offer seriously.

  • Apr 22 Stanley Cup Final, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI: Toronto Maple Leafs beat Detroit Red Wings, 2-1 for a 4-3 series win; Leafs lead series 3-0 but Wings recover to 3-3 to force a decider
  • Apr 23 Concentration camp Flossenburg liberated
  • Apr 23 US troops in Italy cross river Po
  • Apr 24 Albert B "Happy" Chandler is named 2nd baseball commissioner

Music Recording

Apr 24 Miles Davis makes recording debut with the Herbie Fields Orchestra, backing singer "Rubberlegs" Wilson, at Savoy Records Studio, Newark, New Jersey

  • Apr 25 "Elbe Day" - US and Soviet forces meet at Torgau, Germany on the Elbe River during the invasion of Germany in WWII
  • Apr 25 45 countries convene UN Conference on Intl Organization in San Francisco
  • Apr 25 Allied air raid on Surabaja, Java
  • Apr 25 British troops reach Grebbe line Neth
  • Apr 25 Clandestine Radio 1212, used to hoax Nazi Germany's final transmission
  • Apr 25 Last Boeing B-17 attack against Nazi Germany
  • Apr 25 Soviet forces complete their encirclement of Berlin, cutting off all access points west of the German capital

Historic Event

Apr 26 Marshal Philippe Pétain, leader of France's Vichy collaborationist regime during World War II, arrested for treason

  • Apr 26 World War II: Battle of Bautzen - last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht
  • Apr 27 2nd Republic of Austria forms
  • Apr 27 Italian partisans capture Benito Mussolini at Dongo (Lake Como)
  • Apr 27 US 5th army enters Genoa
  • Apr 27 World War II: The Völkischer Beobachter, the newspaper of the Nazi Party, ceases publication
  • Apr 28 British commandos attack Elbe & occupy Lauenburg
  • Apr 28 US 5th army reaches Swiss border
  • Apr 29 Conscientious objector Desmond Doss saves approximately 75 wounded soldiers in the Battle of Okinawa at Hacksaw Ridge. Later depicted in the Oscar-winning film "Hacksaw Ridge".

Famous Birthdays

  • Apr 1 Heather Young, American actress (Land of the Giants), born in Bremerton
  • Apr 1 John Barbata, American drummer (Turtles - "Happy Together"; "Elenore"), born in Passiac, New Jersey
  • Apr 1 Kenny Buttrey, American influential drummer, born in Nashville, Tennessee (d. 2004)
  • Apr 2 Anne Waldman, American poet, born in Millville, New Jersey
  • Apr 2 Don Sutton, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (MLB All-Star 1972, 73, 75, 77; MLB ERA leader 1980; LA Dodgers), born in Clio, Alabama (d. 2021)
  • Apr 2 Linda Hunt, American actress (Bostonians, Eleni, Silverado), born in Morristown, New Jersey
  • Apr 2 Reggie Smith, American baseball outfielder (7 x MLB All Star; World Series 1981; Gold Glove Award 1968; Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, LA Dodgers), born in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Apr 2 Richard Taruskin, American musicologist (Oxford History of Western Music), and educator, born in New York City (d. 2022) [1]
  • Apr 2 Roger Bootle-Wilbraham, 7th Baron Skelmersdale, British politician
  • Apr 3 Catherine Spaak, French actress (Libertine, Hotel, Circle of Love), born in Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France
  • Apr 3 Wim Deetman, Dutch politician, Minister of Education, born in The Hague, Netherlands
  • Apr 4 Bryan Andrews, New Zealand cricketer (NZ medium-pacer, toured Australia 1973-74), born in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Apr 4 Caroline McWilliams, American actress (Sally-Soap, Marcy-Benson), born in Seattle, Washington
  • Apr 4 Walter Charles, American actor (Fletch Lives, Weeds), born in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Apr 5 Tommy Smith, English soccer defender (1 cap; Football League Div 1 1966, 73, 76, 77; FA Cup 1965, 74; European Cup 1977; Liverpool 467 games), born in Liverpool, Merseyside (d. 2019)
  • Apr 6 Neal Boortz, American radio host (The Neal Boortz Show), born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
  • Apr 6 Rodney Bickerstaffe, English trade unionist (National Union of Public Employees), born in London, England (d. 2015)
  • Apr 7 Joël Robuchon, French chef, world record for Michelin stars (32), born in Poitiers, France (d. 2018)
  • Apr 7 Martin Lewis, British newsreader
  • Apr 7 Megas [Magnús Þór Jónsson], Icelandic rock singer-songwriter, born in Reykjavík, Iceland
  • Apr 8 Derrick Walker, Scottish auto racing team owner (President of operations and competition of IndyCar), born in Leven, Scotland
  • Apr 9 Gus Hardin [Carolyn Ann Blankenship], American country singer, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma (d. 1996)
  • Apr 9 Steve Gadd, American jazz and rock session drummer (Paul Simon - "Late In The Evening"; "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover"; Steely Dan - "Aja"'), born in Irondequoit, New York
  • Apr 10 Vera Misevich, Ukrainian equestrian dressage (Olympic gold 1980), born in Ukraine (d. 1995)
  • Apr 12 Doug Riley, Canadian jazz keyboard player (Dr. Music), and musical director (Famous People Players), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2007)
  • Apr 12 Lee Jong-wook, Korean Director-General of the World Health Organization, born in Seoul, South Korea (d. 2006)
  • Apr 12 Willie Parnell, American singer (Archie Bell & the Drells - "Tighten Up"), born in Houston, Texas
  • Apr 13 Bob Kalsu, American NFL football player, 1968 (Buffalo Bills), and US Army officer, born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (d. 1970)
  • Apr 13 Carlos Giménez, Argentine-Venezuelan stage director and arts promoter (co-founder of International Theater Festival of Caracas, 1971), born in Rosario, Argentina (d. 1993)
  • Apr 13 Ed Caruthers Jr, American high jumper (Olympic silver 1968), born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Apr 13 Lowell George, American rock vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist (Little Feat - "Willin'"; "Dixie Chicken"), born in Hollywood, California (d. 1979)
  • Apr 13 Stacy Johnson, American singer (Ike and Tina Turner Revue; The Sharpees - "Tired of Being Alone"), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 2017)
  • Apr 13 Tony Dow, American actor (Leave it to Beaver - "Wally"), director, and sculptor, born in Hollywood, California (d. 2022)

Ritchie Blackmore

Apr 14 Ritchie Blackmore, English guitarist (Rainbow - "Stone Cold"; Deep Purple - "Smoke On The Water"), born in Weston-super-Mare, England

  • Apr 14 Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, 8th Prime Minister of Samoa, born in Lepa, Samoa
  • Apr 15 Jos van Rey, Dutch businessman and politician (VVD), born in Roermond, Netherlands
  • Apr 16 Stefan Grossman, American country blues singer (Yazoo Basin Boogie), born in NYC, New York
  • Apr 16 Tom Allen, American politician (Rep (D) Maine 1997-2009), born in Portland, Maine
  • Apr 17 Vincent van der Burg, Dutch scientist, lawyer, and politician (CDA), born in Zeist, Netherlands
  • Apr 18 Margaret Hassan, Irish aid worker in Iraq, born in Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland (d. 2004)
  • Apr 19 Laurence Shurtliff [Ram Rod], American music executive and roadie (the Grateful Dead), born in Pendleton, Oregon (d. 2006)
  • Apr 19 Michael Stewart, American folk music producer, arranger, banjo player and guitarist (We Five - "You Were On My Mind"), born in Riverside County, California (d. 2002)
  • Apr 20 Jimmy Winston [Langwith], British rock organist (Small Faces, 1965), and actor (Doctor Who - Day of the Daleks), born in London, England
  • Apr 20 Michael Brandon, American actor (Dempsey and Makepeace), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Apr 20 Steve Spurrier, American College Football Hall of Fame quarterback (Heisman Trophy 1966, Florida; NFL: SF 49ers) and coach (Florida, South Carolina; NFL: Washington Redskins), born in Miami Beach, Florida
  • Apr 21 Diana Darvey [Rollof], British actress, singer and dancer (The Benny Hill Show), born in Cheadle, Cheshire, England (d. 2000)
  • Apr 22 Alan Dukes, Irish Fine Gael politician, born in Drimnagh, Dublin, Ireland
  • Apr 22 Donald E. Graham, American businessman (Graham Holdings Company, Facebook), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Apr 22 Gielijn Escher, Dutch postage stamp artist, born in Oegstgeest, Netherlands
  • Apr 22 Martin Quittenton, British rock and blues guitarist (Steamhammer), and songwriter ("Maggie May; "You Wear It Well"), born in England (d. 2015)
  • Apr 22 Robert Key, British Conservative Party politician (MP for Salisbury), born in Plymouth, Devon, England
  • Apr 23 John Gwynne, English sports commentator and reporter (PDC darts tournaments Sky Sports), born in Shropshire, England (d. 2022)
  • Apr 24 Doug Clifford, American rock drummer (Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Proud Mary"; "Bad Moon Rising"), born in Palo Alto, California
  • Apr 24 Eugene O'Brien, American composer, born in Paterson, New Jersey
  • Apr 24 John Pasche, British graphic artist, album cover and concert poster designer (Rolling Stones' logo; Chrysalis Records, 1981-91), born in England
  • Apr 24 Larry Tesler, American computer scientist (invented copy, cut, paste), born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2020)
  • Apr 24 Robert Knight, American pop singer ("Everlasting Love"), born in Franklin, Tennessee (d. 2017)

Björn Ulvaeus

Apr 25 Björn Ulvaeus, Swedish pop songwriter, producer, guitarist and singer (ABBA), born in Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Apr 25 Jean Purdy, British embryologist and nurse (pioneer in developing IVF), born in Cambridge, England (d. 1985)
  • Apr 25 Michael Kogel, German musician, born in Berlin
  • Apr 25 Stu Cook, American rock bassist (Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Proud Mary"; "Fortunate Son"), born in Oakland, California
  • Apr 26 Chuck Blazer [Charles Gordon Blazer], American soccer administrator, born in NYC, New York (d. 2017)
  • Apr 26 Mike Finnigan, American session and touring rock, jazz, and blues Hammond B3 organ and keyboard player, and vocalist, born in Troy, Ohio
  • Apr 26 Sylvain Simard, Canadian politician (Parti Québécois), born in Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada

August Wilson

Apr 27 August Wilson, American playwright (Fences, Pulitzer 1987), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 2005)

  • Apr 28 Ajit Manohar Pai, Indian cricketer (one Test India v NZ 1969)
  • Apr 28 John Wolters, American drummer (Dr. Hook -"When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman"), born in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey (d. 1997)
  • Apr 29 Hugh Hopper, British progressive rock and jazz bassist (Soft Machine; Stomu Yamashta's East Wind; Carla Bley), born in Canterbury, England (d. 2009)
  • Apr 29 Richard Warwick, English actor (Johnny Dangerously, Sebastine, If), born in Meopham, England (d. 1997)
  • Apr 29 Tammi Terrell [Thomasina Montgomery], American singer ("Ain't No Mountain High Enough" - duet with Marvin Gaye), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1970)
  • Apr 30 Annie Dillard, American writer (An American Childhood), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Apr 30 Claude van de Berge, Flemish writer (Graph Theory), born in Assenede, Belgium
  • Apr 30 Michael J. Smith, American astronaut (51L-Challenger disaster), born in Beaufort, North Carolina (d. 1986)
  • Apr 30 Mimi Fariña, American rocker (Reflections in a Crystal Wind), born in Palo Alto, California (d. 2001)
  • Apr 30 Ray Miller, American baseball manager (Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles), born in Takoma Park, Maryland (d. 2021)

Famous Weddings

Adolf Hitler

Apr 29 Adolf Hitler (56) marries Eva Braun (33) in the Führerbunker, Berlin


Famous Deaths

  • Apr 3 Josef Weinheber, Austrian poet and writer (Vienna Verbatim), dies at 43
  • Apr 5 Karl Otto Koch, German SS officer who was commandant at Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and Majdanek concentration camps, is executed by the SS for corruption at 47
  • Apr 9 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German theologist/antifascist, hanged
  • Apr 9 Georg Elser, German failed assassin of Hitler, dies at Dachau concentration camp at 42
  • Apr 9 Hans Oster, German major general, spy and "July 20th plot", hanged at 57
  • Apr 9 Hans von Dohnanyi, "July 20th plotter", hanged
  • Apr 9 Wilhelm Canaris, Admiral/headed Germany Abwehr, hanged
  • Apr 10 Charles Nordhoff, English-born writer (b. 1887)
  • Apr 10 Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman, Dutch artist (The Blue Barge) and resistance fighter, executed at 63
  • Apr 11 Kamiel van Baelen, Flemish author and resistance fighter (Mensch op Weg), dies at 29

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Apr 12 Franklin Roosevelt, 32nd US President (Democrat: 1933-1945), dies in office with the war almost won of a stroke at 63

  • Apr 13 Ernst Cassirer, German philosopher & educator (Essay on Man), dies at 70
  • Apr 17 Hannie Schaft, Dutch communist resistance fighter known as the "Girl with red hair", executed at 24
  • Apr 17 Ion Pillat, Romania poet and senator (Umbra timpului), dies at 54
  • Apr 17 Walter Model, German fieldmarshal, commits suicide at 54
  • Apr 18 Ernie Pyle, American journalist and war correspondent during WW II (Pulitzer Prize, 1944), killed by enemy fire in the South Pacific during Battle of Okinawa at 44
  • Apr 18 John Ambrose Fleming, English electrical engineer & physicist (right-hand and left-hand rules), dies at 95
  • Apr 19 J P Heyboer, resistance fighter, executed
  • Apr 21 John Poston, British major/Montgomery's ADC, dies in battle at 25
  • Apr 22 Kathe Kollwitz, German graphic artist, dies at 77
  • Apr 23 Albrecht Haushofer, German geographer, writer and member of the German Resistance to Nazism, shot by Nazi SS troopers at 42
  • Apr 24 Anton de Kom, Suriname resistance fighter, dies at 47
  • Apr 24 Antoon Schweigmann, Dutch religious poet and resistance fighter, dies at 51
  • Apr 24 Hubert Bath, British film composer and music director, dies at 61
  • Apr 26 Pavlo Skoropadsky, Ukrainian politician & general, dies at 71
  • Apr 26 Sigmund Rascher, Nazi doctor, dies at 36

Benito Mussolini

Apr 28 Benito Mussolini [Il Duce], Fascist Italian dictator (1922-43), shot by communist partisans at 61

  • Apr 28 Claretta Petacci, Italian mistress of Mussolini, executed at 33
  • Apr 28 Hans Bloesch, Swiss author, dies at 67
  • Apr 28 Roberto Farinacci, Italian fascist, dies at 52
  • Apr 29 Matthias Kleinheisterkamp, German SS officer (b. 1893)

Adolf Hitler

Apr 30 Adolf Hitler, German politician, Leader of the Nazi Party, German Dictator (1933-45), commits suicide by shooting himself at 56

  • Apr 30 Eva Braun, German mistress and wife of Hitler, commits suicide by cyanide tablet at 33