This Day In History
Sunday, September 23, 2018
On This Day

1944

Events

October 23, 1944

The light aircraft carrier Princeton afire.
The light aircraft carrier Princeton afire.
Battle of Leyte Gulf – The largest naval battle in history begins in the Philippines. The Battle of Leyte Gulf, also called the "Battles for Leyte Gulf", and formerly known as the "Second Battle of the Philippine Sea", is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history. It was fought in waters near the Philippine islands of Leyte, Samar from 23–26 October 1944, between combined US and Australian forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy. On 20 October, United States troops invaded the island of Leyte as part of a strategy aimed at isolating Japan from the countries it had occupied in South East Asia, and in particular depriving its forces and industry of vital oil supplies. The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) mobilized nearly all of its remaining major naval vessels in an attempt to defeat the Allied invasion, but was repulsed by the U.S. Navy's 3rd and 7th Fleets. The IJN failed to achieve its objective, suffered very heavy losses, and never afterwards sailed to battle in comparable force. The majority of its surviving heavy ships, deprived of fuel, remained in their bases for the rest of the Pacific War.
World War II, battle, naval battle

November 6, 1944

Fat Man
Fat Man
Plutonium is first produced at the Hanford Atomic Facility and subsequently used in the Fat Man atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. Plutonium is a transuranic radioactive chemical element with the chemical symbol Pu and atomic number 94. It is an actinide metal of silvery-white appearance that tarnishes when exposed to air, forming a dull coating when oxidized. The element normally exhibits six allotropes and four oxidation states. It reacts with carbon, halogens, nitrogen and silicon. When exposed to moist air, it forms oxides and hydrides that expand the sample up to 70% in volume, which in turn flake off as a powder that can spontaneously ignite. It is also radioactive and can accumulate in the bones. These properties make the improper handling of plutonium dangerous.
Plutonium, Nagasaki, atomic bomb, Fat Man

November 12, 1944

Tirpitz capsized
Tirpitz capsized
The Royal Air Force launches 29 Avro Lancaster bombers in one of the most successful precision bombing attacks of war and sinks the German battleship Tirpitz , with 12,000 lb Tallboy bombs off Tromsø, Norway. Tirpitz was the second of two Bismarck-class battleships built for the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. Named after Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, the architect of the Imperial Navy, the ship was laid down at the Kriegsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven in November 1936 and launched two and a half years later in April 1939. Work was completed in February 1941, when she was commissioned into the German fleet.
Tirpitz, battleship, Avro Lancaster, World War II

November 16, 1944

Operation Queen, the costly Allied thrust to the Rur river was launched. Operation Queen was an American operation during World War II at the Western Front at the German Siegfried Line. The operation was aimed against the Rur River, as a staging point for a subsequent thrust over the river to the Rhine into Germany. It was conducted by the 1st and 9th U.S. Army.
Operation Queen, World War II





Births

January 26, 1944
Angela Davis

Angela Davis is an American political activist, scholar, and author. Davis emerged as a nationally prominent activist in the 1960s, when she was associated with the Communist Party USA, the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panther Party. Prisoner rights have been among her continuing interests; she is the founder of "Critical Resistance", an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex.
October 19, 1944
Peter Tosh

Peter Tosh, born Winston Hubert McIntosh, was a Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers (1963–1974), and who afterward had a successful solo career as well as being a promoter of Rastafari.
November 17, 1944
Danny DeVito

Daniel Michael DeVito, Jr., better known as Danny DeVito, is an American actor, comedian, director and producer. He first gained prominence for his portrayal of Louie De Palma on the ABC and NBC television series Taxi (1978–1983), for which he won a Golden Globe and an Emmy.

Deaths

October 14, 1944
Erwin Rommel

Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel popularly known as the Desert Fox, was a German Field Marshal of World War II. He won the respect of both his own troops and the enemies he fought.
November 7, 1944
Richard Sorge

Richard Sorge was a German communist and spy who worked for the Soviet Union. He has gained great fame among espionage enthusiasts for his intelligence gathering during World War II. He worked as a journalist in both Germany and Japan, where he was imprisoned for spying and eventually hanged. His GRU codename was "Ramsay" (Russian: Ðàìçà́é). He is widely regarded as one of the best-known Soviet intelligence officers of the Second World War, according to Phillip Knightley, the author of The Second Oldest Profession (1986).
December 13, 1944
Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting the first purely-abstract works.
December 15, 1944
Glenn Miller

Alton Glenn Miller was an American jazz musician (trombone), arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known "Big Bands". Miller's notable recordings include "In the Mood", "Moonlight Serenade", "Pennsylvania 6-5000", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "A String of Pearls", "At Last", "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo", "American Patrol", "Tuxedo Junction", and "Little Brown Jug".
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