World War Two History

Historical Events

Events 1 - 100 of 333

  • 1917-06-01 Boston Braves first baseman Hank Gowdy is first active MLB player to enlist for service in World War I; only player to fight in both World War I & II
  • 1920-07-01 British Open Men's Golf, Royal Cinque Ports GC: Scotsman George Duncan erases 13 stroke deficit after 36 holes to win his only major title; first Open played since WWII
  • 1938-09-03 1940 Olympic site is changed from Tokyo, Japan to Helsinki, Finland because of the Second Sino-Japanese War; WWII causes eventual cancellation
  • 1939-07-07 British Open Men's Golf, St Andrews: In the last Open played for 7 years, due to WWII, England's Dick Burton wins by 2 strokes from American Johnny Bulla

Treaty of Interest

1939-08-23 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agree the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact and secretly divide Poland between themselves, setting the stage for World War II

  • 1939-08-28 Journalist Care Hollingworth observes the “large numbers of troops, literally hundreds of tanks, armored cars and field guns” Germany had aligned along the Polish border. Three days later, Hitler invades Poland and WWII begins.

Historic Event

1939-08-29 Chaim Weizmann informs England that Palestine Jews will fight in WW II

Historic Event

1939-09-01 In the "scoop of the century," Telegraph journalist Clare Hollingworth becomes the first to report the outbreak of World War II

  • 1939-09-01 Switzerland proclaims neutrality at the outbreak of WWII
  • 1939-09-01 World War II starts when Germany invades Poland by attacking the Free City of Danzig
  • 1939-09-03 World War II: Britain declares war on Germany after invasion of Poland. France follows 6 hours later quickly joined by Australia, New Zealand, South Africa & Canada

Historic Event

1939-09-05 FDR declares US neutrality at start of WW II in Europe

Historic Event

1939-09-05 J. B. M. Hertzog resigns as South African Prime Minister after losing a vote in parliament on neutrality in WWII

  • 1939-09-06 1st German air attack on Great Britain in WW II
  • 1939-09-06 World War II: The Battle of Barking Creek.
  • 1939-09-17 Soviet Union invades Eastern Poland allowing Germans to advance West, taking 217,000 Poles prisoner, without a formal declaration of war

Treaty of Interest

1939-09-28 German-Soviet Frontier Treaty is signed by Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov; redraws German and Soviet spheres of influence in central Europe and transfers most of Lithuania to the USSR

  • 1939-10-06 Last Polish army is defeated in World War II.
  • 1939-11-04 US allows "cash & carry" arms sales during WW II
  • 1939-11-06 World War II: 'Sonderaktion Krakau' - a Nazi operation against academics, with 184 professors arrested in Krakow and deported

Historic Event

1939-12-24 World War II: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas Eve appeal for peace.

  • 1940-01-08 Britain's 1st WW II rationing (bacon, butter & sugar)
  • 1940-01-12 World War II: Soviets bombs cities in Finland.
  • 1940-03-12 Finland signs the Moscow Peace Treaty in Moscow, surrendering to Russia and ceding 11% of their pre-WWII territory, ending the "Winter War"
  • 1940-04-05 99th Grand National: 25/1 shot Bogskar ridden by Royal Air Force sergeant Mervyn Jones wins by 4 lengths from MacMoffat; last true Aintree GN before a 5-year break due to World War II
  • 1940-04-09 Nazi Germany invades Denmark and Norway, and Denmark surrenders after a six-hour battle
  • 1940-05-01 Summer Olympics (scheduled for Helsinki) are cancelled by the Finnish OC because of WWII
  • 1940-05-10 World War II: Nazi Germany invades the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France
  • 1940-05-10 World War II: The first German bombs of the war fall on England at Chilham and Petham, in Kent
  • 1940-05-14 British Local Defence Volunteers forms, an armed citizen militia designed to support the British Army during the Second World War. It is later renamed the Home Guard.

Miracle of Dunkirk

1940-05-27 British and Allied forces begin the evacuation of Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo) during WWII

  • 1940-05-27 World War II: In the Le Paradis massacre, 97 soldiers from a Royal Norfolk Regiment unit are shot after surrendering to German troops
  • 1940-05-29 In WWII, Germans capture Ostend & Ypres in Belgium and Lille in France
  • 1940-06-05 Battle of France begins in WW II
  • 1940-06-10 Canada declares war on Italy
  • 1940-06-10 Italy declares war on France and Great Britain as part of its Axis alliance with Nazi Germany
  • 1940-06-11 World War II: British forces bomb Genoa and Turin in Italy
  • 1940-06-11 World War II: First attack of the Italian Air force on the island of Malta
  • 1940-06-14 German forces enter Paris during WWII
  • 1940-06-15 World War II: France surrenders to NAZI Germany, German troops occupy Paris
  • 1940-06-17 France asks Germany for terms of surrender in WW II
  • 1940-06-17 World War II: sinking of the RMS Lancastria by the Luftwaffe near Saint-Nazaire, France
  • 1940-06-22 About 10,000 Afrikaner women march to the union buildings in protest of South Africa's involvement in WWII
  • 1940-06-24 France signs an armistice with Italy during WW II
  • 1940-08-07 Alsace Lorraine is annexed by the Third Reich (Germany) during World War II

Historic Event

1940-08-16 Pioneering 'Blood for Britain' program sending blood plasma for WWII wounded from the US, headed by Charles R. Drew, officially begins in Britain

  • 1940-09-15 Battle of Britain Day: climax of the Battle of Britain, tide begins to turn as the Royal Air Force repulses a major Luftwaffe attack, losing 29 aircraft to the Germans' 57-61
  • 1940-10-07 World War II: the McCollum memo proposes bringing the U.S. into the war in Europe by provoking the Japanese to attack the United States.
  • 1940-11-14 During WW II, German planes destroy most of Coventry, England
  • 1940-11-16 World War II: In response to Germany's leveling of Coventry, England two days before, the Royal Air Force bombs Hamburg.
  • 1940-11-20 World War II: Hungary, Romania and Slovakia join the Axis Powers
  • 1940-12-22 World War II: Himarë is captured by the Greek army.
  • 1941-01-02 World War II: German bombing severely damages the Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, Wales
  • 1941-01-02 World War II: The U.S. government announces its Liberty ship program to build freighters in support of the war effort.

Historic Event

1941-01-07 Chinese Kuomintang forces under orders from Chiang Kai-shek open fire on the surrounded Communist New Fourth Army at Maolin, Anhui Province, killing or capturing 7,000 troops

  • 1941-01-10 World War II: The Greek army captures Kleisoura.
  • 1941-01-18 World War II: A counter-offensive is launched by the British against the Italians in East Africa
  • 1941-03-02 World War II: First German military units enter Bulgaria after it joined the Axis Pact.
  • 1941-03-04 The United Kingdom launches Operation Claymore on the Lofoten Islands, during World War II.
  • 1941-03-07 50,000 British soldiers land in Greece during WWII
  • 1941-03-08 1st baseball player drafted into WW II (Hugh Mulcahy, Phillies)

Film & TV History

1941-03-22 James Stewart is inducted into the Army, becoming the first major American movie star to wear a military uniform in World War II

  • 1941-04-17 World War II: The Kingdom of Yugoslavia surrenders to Germany.
  • 1941-04-21 WWII: Greece surrenders to Nazi Germany
  • 1941-05-21 SS Robin Moor becomes the first US ship sunk by a U-boat during World War II
  • 1941-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Floyd Davis/Mauri Rose win final 500 prior to United States involvement in WWII; final time one car would carry 2 drivers to victory at Indy
  • 1941-06-05 World War II: At least 4,000 people who hid in a tunnel die after a Japanese air attack on the Chinese city of Chongqing

Germany Invades the Soviet Union

1941-06-22 Operation Barbarossa: Nazi Germany and its allies invade the Soviet Union during WWII, the largest military operation in history

  • 1941-06-25 Finland enters WW2 against the USSR following a massive airstrike the previous day
  • 1941-06-30 World War II: Operation Barbarossa - Germany captures Lviv, Ukraine
  • 1941-07-07 World War II: Beirut is occupied by Free France and British troops
  • 1941-07-13 World War II: Montenegrins start popular uprising against the Axis Powers (Trinaestojulski ustanak).

Siege of Leningrad

1941-09-08 WWII: Siege of Leningrad by German, Finnish, and eventually Spanish troops begins; battle lasted over 28 months, as Russia repels the invasion; well over a million lives

Historic Event

1941-09-11 Charles Lindbergh, claims the "British, Jewish and Roosevelt administration" are trying to get the US into World War II

  • 1941-09-12 1st German ship in WW II captured by US ship (Busko)
  • 1941-09-17 World War II: A decree issued by the Soviet State Committee of Defense, restoring Vsevobuch "Universal compulsory military training of the citizens of the USSR" in the face of the "Great Patriotic War"

Historic Event

1941-09-27 US President Roosevelt launches the 1st Liberty ship, freighter SS Patrick Henry

  • 1941-10-17 USS Kearney becomes the 1st US destroyer torpedoed in World War II, while the country is still officially neutral
  • 1941-10-31 Prior to US joining WWII, German submarine U-552 torpedoes US destroyer Reuben James near Iceland
  • 1941-12-08 US and Britain declare war on Japan, US enters World War II
  • 1941-12-09 1st US WW II bombing mission in Far East, Luzon, Philippines

Sports History

1941-12-11 Australian state cricket associations, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales decide at meetings with new Prime Minister John Curtin to abandon all interstate first class matches for the duration of WWII

  • 1941-12-11 Japanese attack Wake Island (only failed WW II-landing)
  • 1941-12-17 World War II: Beginning of the Siege of Sebastopol.
  • 1941-12-19 US Office of Censorship created to control info pertaining to WW II
  • 1941-12-20 World War II: First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the "Flying Tigers" in Kunming, China.
  • 1942-01-02 World War II: the 28 nations at war with Axis powers pledge to make no separate peace deals
  • 1942-01-07 WW II siege of Bataan starts
  • 1942-01-13 World War II: First use of aircraft ejection seat by a German test pilot in a Heinkel He 280 jet fighter
  • 1942-01-15 Chicago Cubs drop plans to install lights at Wrigley Field because of military's need for materials; takes 35 years before lights finally installed at the venerable ballpark
  • 1942-01-15 US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sends his famed "Green Light Letter" to MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, encouraging baseball to continue playing during World War II
  • 1942-01-26 1st US force in Europe during WW II go ashore in Northern Ireland
  • 1942-01-28 WW II Navy flier Don Mason sends message "Sighted sub sank same"
  • 1942-02-04 Clinton Pierce becomes 1st US general wounded in action in WW II
  • 1942-02-08 Japanese armored barges cross Strait of Johore to attack Singapore (WWII)
  • 1942-02-14 World War II: Battle of Pasir Panjang contributes to the fall of Singapore.
  • 1942-02-15 World War II: British ruled Singapore surrenders to the Japanese
  • 1942-02-20 Lt E H O'Hare single-handedly shoots down 5 Japanese heavy bombers, becomes America's first World War II flying ace

'I Shall Return'

1942-02-22 World War II: President Franklin Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as American defenses collapse

  • 1942-03-18 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9102, creating the War Relocation Authority, which was charged with overseeing the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 191

  • 1874-01-01 Frank Knox, American politician (Republican VP candidate 1936), newspaper editor and Secretary of the Navy during World War II, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1944)

Winston Churchill

1874-11-30 Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister (Conservative: 1940-45, 1951-55) during World War II, and writer (Nobel Prize in Literature, 1953), born in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England (d. 1965)

Gerd von Rundstedt

1875-12-12 [Karl Rudolf] Gerd von Rundstedt, German field marshal during World War II (Commander-in-Chief in the West), born in Aschersleben, German Empire (d. 1953)

  • 1876-08-17 Henri Winkelman, Dutch general, Commander-in-Chief of Dutch Armed Forces during WWII, born in Maastricht, Netherlands (d. 1952)
  • 1877-08-29 Dudley Pound, British admiral of the fleet and 1st Sea Lord (Jutland, WW II), born in Ventnor, Isle of Wight, England (d. 1943)
  • 1878-08-15 Pyotr Nikolayevich, Baron Wrangel, Russian baron general (White Armies, WW II), born in Novalexandrovsk, Kovno Governorate, Russian Empire (d. 1928)
  • 1878-10-29 Alex von Falkenhausen, German general (China, WW II), born in Gut Blumenthal, Province of Silesia, German Empire (d. 1966)
  • 1878-11-23 Ernest King, US fleet admiral (Chief of Naval Operations in WWII), born in Lorain, Ohio (d. 1956)

Douglas MacArthur

1880-01-26 Douglas MacArthur, American General in World War II, born in Little Rock, Arkansas (d. 1964)

  • 1880-08-21 Johan H. Westerveld, Dutch WW II resistance fighter and leader of Order Service (OD), born in Haarlem, Netherlands (d. 1942)
  • 1880-12-03 Fedor von Bock, German field marshal (commander in the German occupation of Austria, invasions of Poland, France, and Russia during WWII), born in Cüstrin, Province of Brandenburg, German Empire (d. 1945)
  • 1881-05-20 Władysław Sikorski, Polish World War II general and Prime Minister of Poland in exile (1939-43), born in Tuszów Narodowy, Austria-Hungary (d. 1943)
  • 1881-05-30 Georg von Küchler, German field marshal and WWII war criminal, born in Schloss Philippsruh, German Empire (d. 1968)

François Darlan

1881-08-07 François Darlan, French Admiral of the Fleet during WWII and Vichy Prime Minister (1941-42), born in Nérac, France (d. 1942)

  • 1882-02-26 Walter Lucht, German artillery general (WW I/WW II)
  • 1882-04-23 Max Winders, Belgian architect (WWII), responsible for bringing the Belgian gold stock, born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 1982)
  • 1882-07-25 George S. Rentz, U.S. Navy Chaplain (awarded the Navy Cross during WW II), born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania (d. 1942)
  • 1882-10-30 William Halsey Jr., US vice-admiral (WW II Pacific), born in Elizabeth, New Jersey (d. 1959)
  • 1883-01-07 Andrew Browne Cunningham, Irish British admiral (First Sea Lord of the Admiralty 1943-46), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1963)

Isoroku Yamamoto

1884-04-04 Isoroku Yamamoto, Japanese World War II Marshall Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese fleet who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, born in Nagaoka, Niigata (d. 1943)

Édouard Daladier

1884-06-18 Édouard Daladier, 72nd Prime Minister of France (1933, 1934 and 1938-40) and PM at the start of World War II, born in Carpentras, Vaucluse, France (d. 1970)

  • 1884-06-21 Claude Auchinleck, British Army commander during the Second World War, born in Aldershot, Hampshire, England (d. 1981)

Chester Nimitz

1885-02-24 Chester Nimitz, American admiral who commanded the US Pacific fleet in World War II, born in Fredericksburg, Texas (d. 1966)

  • 1885-05-22 Soemu Toyoda, Japanese admiral during World War II, born in Kitsuki, Ōita, Japan (d. 1957)
  • 1885-07-06 Ernst Busch, German field marshal (WWII), born in Essen, German Empire (d. 1945)

George S. Patton

1885-11-11 George S. Patton, American WWII general (Sicily, Italy and Normandy) known as "Old Blood & Guts", born in San Gabriel, California (d. 1945)

Albert Kesselring

1885-11-30 Albert Kesselring, German general during World War II (Commander-in-Chief South and West), born in Marktsteft, German Empire (d. 1960)

  • 1886-06-25 Henry "Hap" Arnold, American commanding general, US Army Air Force (WWII), born in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania (d. 1950)
  • 1886-07-10 John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort, British soldier, Field Marshal during WW II, born in London, England (d. 1946)
  • 1887-01-26 Marc A "Pete" Mitscher, US lt-admiral (WW II-Task Force 58)

Bernard Montgomery

1887-11-17 Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Alamein, British WWII Field Marshal (African campaign, D-Day) and WWI officer, born in London (d. 1976)

Harry Crerar

1888-04-28 Harry Crerar, Canadian WWI and WWII general (First Canadian Army), born in Hamilton, Ontario (d. 1965)

  • 1888-05-11 Willis Augustus Lee, American World War II admiral (Guadalcanal) and sport shooter (5 Olympic golds 1920), born in Natlee, Kentucky (d. 1945)
  • 1888-06-17 Heinz Guderian, German general during WWII, born in Kulm, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire (d. 1954)

Alexander Patch

1889-11-23 Alexander Patch, American WWII general (Guadalcanal Campaign, Operation Dragoon), born in Fort Huachuca, Arizona (d. 1945)

Alfred Jodl

1890-05-10 Alfred Jodl, German general during World War II (head of the German High Command, signed unconditional Nazi surrender), born in Würzburg, German Empire (d. 1946)

  • 1890-07-11 Arthur W Tedder of Glenguin, British air marshal (WWII)
  • 1890-09-17 Gabriel Heatter, American radio commentator famous for his WWII sign-on "There's good news tonight", born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1972)
  • 1891-06-28 Carl Spaatz, American World War II general and 1st Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, born in Boyertown, Pennsylvania (d. 1974)

Erwin Rommel

1891-11-15 Erwin Rommel, German Field Marshal (WWII - African campaign), born in Heidenheim, Württemberg, Germany (d. 1944)

  • 1892-03-11 Wladyslaw Anders, Polish general (WW I, WW II)
  • 1892-03-18 Robert P.T. Coffin, American poet ("Strange Holiness", Pulitzer Prize, 1936), writer, and editor (Yankee Magazine), born in Brunswick, Maine (d. 1955)

Robert Watson-Watt

1892-04-13 Robert Watson-Watt, Scottish physicist and developer of the radar and radio direction finding in WWII, born in Brechin, Scotland (d. 1973)

  • 1892-04-15 Theo Osterkamp, World War I and World War II German fighter pilot, born in Düren, Rhine Province, Kingdom of Prussia (d. 1975)

Josip Broz Tito

1892-05-07 Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslav communist revolutionary and leader of Yugoslavia (1943-80), born in Kumrovec, Hrvatsko Zagorje, Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia (d. 1980)

Omar Bradley

1893-02-12 Omar Bradley, American WWII General (Invasion of Normandy) and 1st Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1949-53), born in Clark, Missouri (d. 1981)

  • 1893-04-27 Draža Mihailović, Serbian WWII hero and war criminal, born in Ivanjica, Serbia (d. 1946)
  • 1893-10-12 Velvalee Dickinson, American spy, convicted of espionage against the United States on behalf of Japan during World War II, born in Sacramento, California (d. 1980)
  • 1894-07-27 Gerald F. Bogan, U.S. Navy aviator and vice admiral who served in World War I & II, born in Mackinac Island, Michigan (d. 1973)
  • 1894-08-22 Ivan Isakov [Hovhannes Ter-Isahakyan], Russian-Armenian military commander (Commander in Chief of the Soviet Navy during World War II), born in Hadjikend, Russian Empire (d. 1967)
  • 1894-10-03 Walter Warlimont, German General WWII, born in Osnabrück, Hanover, Prussia, Germany (d. 1976)
  • 1894-10-27 Oliver Leese, British World War II general, born in Westminster, London (d. 1978)
  • 1895-02-18 Semjon Timoshenko, Russian marshal/inspector-general (WWII)
  • 1895-03-03 Matthew Ridgway, American general (World War II, Korean War, NATO Supreme Commander) and Chief of Staff of the US Army (1953-55), born in Fort Monroe, Virginia (d. 1993)
  • 1895-09-26 Jürgen Stroop, SS General during World War II and commander of Nazi forces during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, born in Detmold, Germany (d. 1952)
  • 1895-10-04 Richard Sorge, German spy for the Soviet Union in Tokyo during World War II, born in Baku, Russian Empire (d. 1944)
  • 1895-10-05 Walter Bedell Smith, U.S. Army general (WWII) and head of CIA (1950-52), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1961)
  • 1895-10-10 Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen, German field marshal (German Air Force-WW II), born in Barzdorf, German Empire (d. 1945)
  • 1896-06-22 Francis C Denebrink, US Naval officer (WW I, WW II, Korea)

Georgy Zhukov

1896-12-01 Georgy Zhukov, Russian deputy commander-in-chief of the Red Army during WWII (Battles of Stalingrad, Kursk and Berlin) and Minister of Defense, born in Strelkovka, Kaluga (d. 1974)

Miles Dempsey

1896-12-15 Miles Dempsey, British WWII general (XIII Corps, Second Army), born in New Brighton, Cheshire (d. 1969)

  • 1897-01-14 Hasso von Manteuffel, German WWII general (5th Panzer Army) and politician, born in Potsdam, Germany (d. 1978)
  • 1897-04-23 Lucius du Bignon Clay, American WWII general and military governor of West Germany, born in Marietta, Georgia (d. 1978)
  • 1897-07-10 Karl Plagge, German officer and Nazi Party member who during World War II used his position as a staff officer in the German Army to employ and protect some 1,240 Jews, born in Darmstadt, Germany (d. 1957)
  • 1898-02-24 Kurt Tank, German WW II aircraft designer
  • 1898-11-19 Arthur R. von Hippel, German physicist (pioneer in the study of dielectrics, ferromagnetic and ferroelectric materials, and semiconductors and was a codeveloper of radar during World War II), born in Rostock, Germany (d. 2003)
  • 1899-06-20 Jean Moulin, French hero of the Résistance during World War II, born in Béziers, France (d. 1943)
  • 1899-08-29 Lyman Lemnitzer, United States Army Marine Corps general (WWII), born in Honesdale, Pennsylvania (d. 1988)

Archibald McIndoe

1900-05-04 Archibald McIndoe, New Zealand plastic surgeon pioneer who rehabilitated badly burned Royal Air Force crew during WWII, born in Dunedin, New Zealand (d. 1960) [1]

  • 1900-08-03 Ernie Pyle, American journalist and war correspondent during WW II (Pulitzer Prize, 1944), born in Dana, Indiana (d. 1945)

Witold Pilecki

1901-05-13 Witold Pilecki, Polish WWII resistance fighter (volunteered to go to Auschwitz, Witold's Report), born in Olonets, Russian Empire (d. 1948)

  • 1901-06-23 Mariel-Henri Jaspar, Belgian minister who unsuccessfully attempted to establish a Belgian government in London during World War II, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1982)
  • 1901-08-26 Maxwell D. Taylor, American general (commander of WWII 101 Airborne Division) US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1962-64), born in Keytesville, Missouri (d. 1987)
  • 1901-10-05 Willy Lages, German chief of Sicherheitsdienst in Amsterdam (WWII), born in Braunschweig, Germany (d. 1971)
  • 1901-10-19 Arleigh A Burke, Colo, admiral (WW II, Solomon Islands, Navy Cross)
  • 1902-07-14 Truman J. Hedding, US vice-admiral (WWII) (d. 1995)
  • 1902-12-22 Jacques-Philippe Leclerc, French WW II hero (liberator of Paris), born in Belloy-Saint-Léonard, France (d. 1947)
  • 1903-03-22 James Sargent Russell, US pilot and admiral (WW II Pacific Ocean), born in Tacoma, Washington (d. 1996)
  • 1904-07-24 Nikolay Kuznetsov, Russian naval commander (Admiral of the Fleet during World War II), born in Medvedki, Russian Empire (d. 1974)
  • 1904-10-30 Paul D. Stoop, American vice-admiral (WW II-Coral Sea), born in Zanesville, Ohio (d. 1995)
  • 1904-12-24 Herbert D. Riley, US Navy vice-admiral (WW II, Guadalcanal, Okinawa), born in Maryland, United States (d. 1973)
  • 1905-04-03 Robert Frederick Sink, United States Army Officer (WWII, Korean War & Vietnam War), born in Lexington, North Carolina (d. 1965)
  • 1905-04-19 John Thach, American WWII Naval aviator (developed the Thach Weave) and USN admiral, born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas (d. 1981)
  • 1905-07-13 Alfredo M. Santos, First Four-star General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, World War II hero (d. 1990)
  • 1905-08-19 Fitzhugh Lee, US pilot/vice-admiral (WW II, Navy Cross)
  • 1905-10-28 Harry Broadhurst, British Royal Air Force commander and flying ace of the Second World War, born in Frimley, Surrey, England (d. 1995)
  • 1906-02-11 Denis Barnett, British air chief marshal (WWII, Suez Canal) (d. 1992)
  • 1906-03-18 Roy L Johnson, US admiral (WW II-Pacific Ocean)

A. J. P. Taylor

1906-03-25 A.J.P Taylor [Alan John Percival], English historian (The Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1848–1918, Origins of the Second World War), born in Southport, England (d. 1990)

  • 1906-04-06 Virginia Hall [Goillot], American spy with British Special Operations during WWII (1940-1966), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1982)
  • 1906-10-12 Eddie Myers, British WWII soldier and engineer, born in Kensington, London (d. 1997)
  • 1907-04-23 Lee Miller, American photographer (War correspondent for Vogue in WWII), born in Poughkeepsie, New York (d. 1977)
  • 1907-09-14 Cecil Brown, American war correspondent (worked closely with Edward R. Murrow during WW II), born in New Brighton, Pennsylvania (d. 1987)
  • 1907-09-23 Herbert Kappler, German head of Nazi police and security services (SS) in Rome during WWII, born in Stuttgart, German Empire (d. 1978)
  • 1908-01-16 Günther Prien, German World War II submarine captain (d. 1941)
  • 1908-10-29 Stewart Myles MacPherson, Canadian-born British broadcaster (WWII), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba (d. 1995)
  • 1908-11-10 Charles Merritt, Canadian Army officer and recipient of the Victoria Cross during World War II, born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2000)
  • 1909-01-28 Lionel KP "Buster" Crabb, British diver (WW II-George Medal)

Famous Weddings

Wedding of Interest

1929-06-03 American actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr (19) weds American actress Joan Crawford (24) at St. Malachy Catholic church in NYC's theatre district; divorce in 1933

Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

1939-04-22 Actor and naval officer of World War II Douglas Fairbanks Jr (29) weds supermarket magnate Huntington Hartford's former wife Mary Lee Hartford


S

Famous Deaths

Deaths 1 - 100 of 212

  • 1928-04-25 Pyotr Nikolayevich, Baron Wrangel, Russian baron general (White Armies, WW II), dies at 49
  • 1937-10-19 Betty Carver, wife of English WWII Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, dies
  • 1939-09-29 Samuel Dickstein, Polish mathematician, dies in WWII bombing at 88
  • 1940-08-17 Billy Fiske, US RAF-pilot/2nd lieutenant and 1st American serviceman killed in action in World War II, dies at 29
  • 1940-11-21 Geoffrey Legge, cricketer (WWII 196 Eng v NZ Auckland 1930), dies
  • 1941-05-24 Lancelot Holland, British vice-admiral (WW II-Hood), dies in battle
  • 1941-10-20 Ken Farnes English cricketer (15 Tests for England), dies in a plane crash during WWII at 30
  • 1941-12-10 Colin Kelly, American B-17 Flying Fortress pilot and 1st US air hero during WW II, killed in action at 26 after ordering his crew to bail out shortly before his bomber exploded
  • 1941-12-12 Cesar Basa, Philippine Air Force and World War II hero (b. 1915)
  • 1942-01-31 Rolf Wenkhaus, German actor (Spoiling the Game, S.A.-Mann Brand), dies when his plane is shot down during WWII at 24
  • 1942-03-01 George S. Rentz, U.S. Navy Chaplain (awarded the Navy Cross during WW II), dies at 59
  • 1942-03-20 Vasily Kalafati, Russian composer (Cygany), dies in the siege of Leningrad during World War II at 73
  • 1942-05-03 Johan H. Westerveld, Dutch WW II resistance fighter and leader of Order Service (OD), executed at 61
  • 1942-07-15 Denis Moloney, cricketer (during WW II 3 Tests for NZ 1937), dies
  • 1942-08-21 Kiyoano Ichiki, Japanese colonel (WWII), dies
  • 1942-09-05 François de Labouchère, French aviator of World War II, compagnon de la Libération. (b. 1917)
  • 1942-09-27 Douglas Munro, only US Coast Guard with WW II-Med of Honor, dies
  • 1942-11-27 Arthur Langton, South African cricket medium pace bowler (15 Tests, 40 wickets), dies in a military air crash at 30

AssassinationFrançois Darlan

1942-12-24 François Darlan, French Admiral of the Fleet during WWII and Vichy Prime Minister (1941-42), assassinated at 61 in his headquarters in French North Africa by resistance fighter Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle

  • 1943-02-09 World War II: Dutch fascist official Hermannus Reydon and his wife are shot by resistance members, his wife dies immediately and he dies six months later

Isoroku Yamamoto

1943-04-18 Isoroku Yamamoto, Japanese World War II Marshall Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese fleet who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, killed in action at 59 by a US ambush after the "Magic" code-breaking team intercepted and decoded his flight plan

  • 1943-04-29 Sidney Keyes, English poet (Foreign Gate), dies fighting during WWII at 20
  • 1943-05-11 Szmul Zygielbojm, Jewish-Polish socialist politician (Bund) and activist, commits suicide to protest Allied indifference to the Holocaust during WWII at 48
  • 1943-06-02 Nile Kinnick Jr., American College Football Hall of Fame halfback (Heisman Trophy 1939; University of Iowa), dies during a WWII training flight at 24
  • 1943-07-04 Władysław Sikorski, Polish World War II general and Prime Minister of Poland in exile (1939-43), killed in a plane crash at 62
  • 1943-07-08 Jean Moulin, French hero of the Résistance during World War II, executed at 44
  • 1943-08-05 Adam Kuckhoff, German writer and resistance fighter, is executed during WWII at 55
  • 1943-10-21 Dudley Pound, British admiral of the fleet and 1st Sea Lord (Jutland, WW II), dies at 66
  • 1944-04-09 Evgeniya Rudneva, Russian World War II heroine (b. 1920)
  • 1944-04-28 Frank Knox, American politician (Republican VP candidate 1936), newspaper editor and Secretary of the Navy during World War II, dies at 70
  • 1944-05-11 Walter Oesau, German fighter pilot (WWII), dies at 30
  • 1944-05-16 Ferdinand Alphons Marie van der Ham, Dutch WW II resistance fighter, dies at 27
  • 1944-05-19 Godfrey Wilson, British Anthropologist of social change and colonial problems in Africa, commits suicide as a conscientious objector in WW II
  • 1944-05-26 Cyril Francois, South African cricket all-rounder (5 Tests, 252 runs, 6 wickets), dies in a motor accident at 46
  • 1944-06-06 Den Brotheridge, British lieutenant who was the 1st to die during D-Day landings in World War II is killed at 28
  • 1944-08-05 Maurice Turnbull, Welsh cricketer (England) rugby player (Wales), dies fighting in WWII at 38
  • 1944-09-13 Noor Inayat Khan, Indian princess and Special Operations Executive agent in WWII posthumously awarded the George Cross, executed at Dachau at 30
  • 1944-10-07 Helmut Lent, German night-fighter ace in World War II, dies at 26
  • 1944-11-06 Boy Ecury [Segundo Jorge Adelberto Ecury], Dutch Resistance fighter in World War II, executed by a German firing squad at 22
  • 1944-11-07 Richard Sorge, German spy for the Soviet Union in Tokyo during World War II, hanged in Tokyo at 49
  • 1945-01-01 Vit Nejedly, Czech composer, dies at the front during WWII at 33
  • 1945-02-05 Violette Szabo, French WWII secret agent, is executed by Nazis at 23
  • 1945-04-18 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
  • 1945-05-04 Fedor von Bock, German field marshal (commander in the German occupation of Austria, invasions of Poland, France, and Russia during WWII), dies at 64
  • 1945-05-05 Elsie Mitchell and five Sunday school students become the only people to die during World War II on US soil when they are killed by a Japanese fire balloon that lands in the forest of Gearhart Mountain, near Bly, Southern Oregon
  • 1945-07-12 Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen, German field marshal (German Air Force-WW II), dies at 49
  • 1945-07-17 Ernst Busch, German field marshal (WWII), dies at 60
  • 1945-08-17 Pater Bleijs [Louis], Dutch catholic priest and resistance fighter in WWII, dies in car accident at 39
  • 1945-08-25 Willis Augustus Lee, American World War II admiral (Guadalcanal) and sport shooter (5 Olympic golds 1920), dies of a heart attack at 57 while being ferrying him out to his flagship USS Wyoming off the coast of Maine
  • 1945-09-06 John S. Mccain Snr., US admiral, (WW II-Pacific Ocean), dies of a heart attack at 61

Alexander Patch

1945-11-21 Alexander Patch, American WWII general (Guadalcanal Campaign, Operation Dragoon), dies of pneumonia at 55

George S. Patton

1945-12-21 George S. Patton, American WWII general (Sicily, Italy and Normandy) known as "Old Blood & Guts", dies of congestive heart failure at 60

ExecutionAlfred Jodl

1946-10-16 Alfred Jodl, German general during World War II (head of the German High Command, signed unconditional Nazi surrender), hanged by Allied forces after the Nuremberg trials at 56

  • 1947-02-03 Marc A "Pete" Mitscher, US lt-adm (WW II-Task Force 58), dies at 60
  • 1947-07-17 Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish diplomat in WW II (saved thousands of Jews), dies at 34
  • 1947-11-28 Jacques-Philippe Leclerc, WW II hero (liberator of Paris), dies at 44

ExecutionWitold Pilecki

1948-05-25 Witold Pilecki, Polish WWII resistance fighter (volunteered to go to Auschwitz, Witold's Report), executed by communist secret police after a show trial at age 47

  • 1949-04-06 Stanley Christopherson, cricketer (1884, MCC President during WWII), dies
  • 1949-05-25 Simon Spoor, Dutch intelligence officer and general (WWII), dies at 47
  • 1950-01-15 Henry "Hap" Arnold, American commanding general, US Army Air Force (WWII), dies at 63
  • 1951-05-27 Thomas Blamey, Australian general (WWI, WWII), dies at 67
  • 1951-09-08 Jürgen Stroop, SS General during World War II and commander of Nazi forces during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, executed by hanging for crimes against humanity at 56

Gerd von Rundstedt

1953-01-24 [Karl Rudolf] Gerd von Rundstedt, German field marshal during World War II (Commander-in-Chief in the West), dies of heart failure at 77

  • 1953-10-20 Werner Baumbach, German bomber pilot (Luftwaffe special bombing unit WWII), dies in a plane accident at 36
  • 1954-05-14 Heinz Guderian, German general during WWII, dies at 65
  • 1954-10-12 George Welch, American World War II flying ace (Medal of Honor nominee) and test pilot, dies in a plane crash of his experiential F-100 Super Sabre at 36
  • 1955-01-24 Ira Hayes, American World War II hero (b. 1923)
  • 1956-01-12 John Raedecker, Dutch sculptor (WW II Monument Amsterdam), dies at 70
  • 1956-04-19 Lionel K P "Buster" Crabb, British diver (WWII), dies at 47
  • 1957-06-19 Karl Plagge, German officer and Nazi Party member who during World War II used his position as a staff officer in the German Army to employ and protect some 1,240 Jews, dies at 59
  • 1957-09-22 Soemu Toyoda, Japanese admiral during World War II, dies at 72
  • 1958-01-30 Earnest H Heinkel, German airplane builder (WWII), dies at 70
  • 1958-04-18 Maurice-Gustave Gamelin, French general (WW1; WW2), dies at 85
  • 1959-07-20 William D. Leahy, American admiral and chief of staff during WWII, dies at 84
  • 1959-08-16 William Halsey Jr., US vice-admiral (WW II Pacific), dies at 76
  • 1959-09-14 Wayne Morris, American actor and decorated WWII pilot (Paths of Glory, The Bushwackers), dies from a heart attack at 45

Archibald McIndoe

1960-04-12 Archibald McIndoe, New Zealand plastic surgeon pioneer who rehabilitated badly burned Royal Air Force crew during WWII, dies in his sleep of a heart attack at 59 [or 11 April] [1]

Albert Kesselring

1960-07-16 Albert Kesselring, German general during World War II (Commander-in-Chief South and West), dies of a heart attack at 74

  • 1961-03-07 Max Hymans, French WW II resistance fighter and Head of Air France, dies at 60
  • 1961-08-09 Walter Bedell Smith, U.S. Army general (WWII) and head of CIA (1950-52), dies at 75
  • 1963-06-12 Andrew Browne, Irish/British admiral (Cape Matapan, WW II), dies at 80
  • 1963-11-22 NKD Nanavati, Indies general-major (WWII), dies

Winston Churchill

1965-01-24 Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister (Conservative: 1940-45, 1951-55) during World War II, and writer (Nobel Prize in Literature, 1953), dies of a stroke at 90

Harry Crerar

1965-04-01 Harry Crerar, Canadian WWI & WWII general (First Canadian Army), dies at 76

  • 1965-12-13 Robert Frederick Sink, United States Army Officer (WWII, Korean War & Vietnam War), dies at 60

Chester Nimitz

1966-02-20 Chester Nimitz, American admiral who commanded the US Pacific fleet in World War II, dies at 80

Joseph A. Walker

1966-06-08 Joseph A. Walker, American experimental physicist, World War II and NASA test pilot (1st spaceplane flights to edge of outer space), dies in an aircraft collision at 45

  • 1966-07-31 Alex von Falkenhausen, German general (China, WW II), dies at 87
  • 1967-06-03 Arthur Tedder, British Air Marshal (WWII), dies at 76
  • 1967-10-11 Ivan Isakov [Hovhannes Ter-Isahakyan], Russian-Armenian military commander (Commander in Chief of the Soviet Navy during World War II), dies at 73
  • 1968-05-14 Husband Edward Kimmel, commandant US Ocean fleet WW II, dies at 86
  • 1968-05-25 Georg von Küchler, German field marshal and WWII war criminal, dies at 86

Miles Dempsey

1969-06-06 Miles Dempsey, British WWII general (XIII Corps, Second Army), dies of cancer at 72