CBI - China: Day 121 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.
1933 — , January 16
CBI - China: Day 16 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.
1937 — , January 16
Spain: Day 184 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1938 — , January 16
Spain: Day 549 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 194 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 39 of 54 of the Battle of Nanking.
Day 35 of 50 of the Rape of Nanking.
1939 — , January 16
Spain: Day 914 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 559 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1940 — , January 16
Atlantic: British submarines SEASHORSE, UNDINE and STARFISH are sunk after penetrating the Heligoland Bight, Germany. This is the mouth of the Elbe River, between Denmark and Holland.
ETO: Hitler postpones his attack of western Europe until the Spring.
Finland: Day 48 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War.
CBI - China: Day 924 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 63 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
1941 — , January 16
ETO - UK: Day 133 of 258 of the Blitz.
MTO - North Africa: Day 39 of 63 of the UK's Operation COMPASS, their campaign in North Africa against the Italians in Egypt and Libya.
East Africa: Day 221 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,290 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
CBI - Thailand: Day 108 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand). French forces in Indochina inflict a naval defeat against Thai forces at Koh-Chang after numerous border provocations, but are unable to make much headway on land.
1942 — , January 16
USA: Actress Carole Lombard, wife of actor Clark Gable, is killed in a plane crash outside Las Vegas, Nevada while returning to Hollywood from a war bond promotional trip to Indiana.
Actress Carole Lombard
When the US entered World War II at the end of 1941, Lombard traveled to her home state of Indiana for a war bond rally with her mother, Bess Peters, and Clark Gable's press agent, Otto Winkler. Lombard was able to raise over $2 million in defense bonds in a single evening. Her party had initially been scheduled to return to Los Angeles by train, but Lombard was anxious to reach home more quickly and wanted to take a plane. Her mother and Winkler were both afraid of flying and insisted they follow their original travel plans. Lombard suggested they flip a coin; they agreed and Lombard won the toss.
The plane was at first reported to have been off its usual course from Albuquerque to Los Angeles. Officials of the airline however, explained that its schedule had been recently changed to include a stop at Las Vegas. The plane had landed at Las Vegas at 6:30 that evening, refueled, and took off at 7:07 pm. Approximately 23 minutes later the plane crashed into "Double Up Peak" near the 8,300 ft level of Potosi Mountain, 32 miles southwest of Las Vegas. All 22 aboard were killed instantly. The fireball was seen as far as 40 miles away.
The wreckage of Trans-World Airlines Flight 3 at Mt Potosi
Lombard's final film, "To Be or Not to Be" (1942), directed by Ernst Lubitsch and co-starring Jack Benny, a satire about Nazism and World War II, was in post-production at the time of her death. The film's producers decided to cut part of the film in which Lombard's character asks, "What can happen on a plane?" out of respect for the circumstances surrounding her death. When the film was released, it received mixed reviews, particularly about its controversial content, but Lombard's performance was hailed as the perfect send off to one of 1930s Hollywood's most important stars.
Shortly after her death, Gable (who was inconsolable and devastated by her loss) joined the United States Army Air Forces, as Lombard had asked him to do numerous times after the United States had entered World War II. After officer training, Gable headed a six-man motion picture unit attached to a B-17 bomb group in England to film aerial gunners in combat, flying five missions himself. In 1944, the United States Government commissioned a new Liberty Ship to be named after the late film star. Gable attended the launch of the SS CAROLE LOMBARD on 15 Jan 44, the two-year anniversary of Lombard's record breaking war bond drive.
Carole Lombard, on the last night of her life, at Cadle Tabernacle in Indianapolis
Dates related to Carole Lombard...
16 Jan 42: Carole Lombard is killed in a plane crash outside Las Vegas
15 Jan 44: Liberty Ship SS CAROLE LOMBARD is christened
Related WWII Store items...
Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3
USA: FDR signs Executive Order 9024, creating the War Production Board (WPB) to direct conversion of civilian industries from peacetime work to war needs, allocating scarce materials and rationing commodities such as gasoline, heating oil, metals, rubber, paper and plastic.
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Atlantic: Day 3 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
Russian Front - North: Day 131 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 8 of 29 of the Battle of Toropets, Russia. A failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 9 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 9 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 79 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All further German attacks against the Crimean fortress of Sevastopol are stopped for the winter.
CBI - Burma: Day 34 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
CBI - China: Day 1,655 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 24 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
CBI - Malaya: Day 40 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya.
PTO - Borneo: Day 32 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
PTO - Philippines: Day 40 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. Heavy losses are inflicted on US troops in Bataan as Japanese troops press the defenders back.
PTO - Philippines: The US 26th Cavalry Regiment, consisting mostly of Philippine Scouts, engage and drive off surprised Japanese forces in the last horse-mounted charge in American history.
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Cavalrymen of the 26th moving into Pozorrubio
1943 — , January 16
ETO - Germany: RAF heavy bombers attack Berlin during the night for the first time since 7 Nov 1941.
Russian Front - North: Day 496 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 59 of 59 of the Battle of Velikiye Luki, near Leningrad. Soviet troops capture Velikiye Luki in the Valday Hills in northern Russia. This battle area is often called the Little Stalingrad of the North due to similarities. This small Soviet victory will help to ease the siege of Leningrad, but only by a little.
Russian Front - North: Day 5 of 19 of USSR's Operation ISKRA (Operation SPARK) on the southern shore of Lake Ladoga, north of Leningrad. This Soviet victory will help ease the siege at Leningrad a little bit more.
Russian Front - North: Day 257 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket, USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
Russian Front - South: Day 148 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
Russian Front - South: Day 36 of 69 of the USSR's Operation LITTLE SATURN. A successful drive into the Northern Caucasus and the Donets Basin pushing the Axis troops out.
MTO - Libya: The British 8th Army destroys Rommel's rear guard at Buerat and is now just 300 miles from the Tunisian frontier. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support.
MTO - Tunisia: Day 61 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support.
Middle East: Iraq enters the war against all Axis powers.
CBI - Burma: Day 27 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,020 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 224 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - Malaya: Day 332 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 59 of 66 of the Battle of Buna-Gona. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 163 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1944 — , January 16
USA: General Dwight D Eisenhower formally assumes the duties of Commander in Chief of the Allied Expeditionary Forces.
Russian Front - North: Day 861 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 622 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket. USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
Russian Front - North: Day 3 of 48 of the Battle toward the Narva River, Estonia. This drive helps lift the Leningrad siege and liberate Narva.
Russian Front - North: Day 3 of 17 of the Battle of Krasnoye Selo-Ropsha, Russia (Operation JANUARY THUNDER). This victory will push the German line west of Leningrad back far enough to reopen the Moscow-Leningrad railroad.
Russian Front - North: Day 3 of 33 of the Battle of Luga, Russia. Taking this town west of Leningrad will open the door toward Estonia.
Russian Front - South: Day 24 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 12 of 12 of the Battle of Kirograd, Ukraine. The Soviets liberate the Kirograd area.
MTO - Italy: RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
CBI - Burma: Day 18 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
CBI - China: Day 2,385 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
US 14th Air Force attacks the town of Pingkai.
PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force attacks the enemy on Mille Atoll.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 120 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 117 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 33 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. Japanese troops make their last counter-attack on New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 77 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1945 — , January 16
ETO - France: Day 169 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
ETO - France: Day 124 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
ETO - Belgium: Day 32 of 41 of the Battle of the Bulge. US 1st and 3rd Armies link up at Houffalize after a month-long separation. British 2nd Army attacks the Germans east of Maas. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
ETO - Belgium: Day 17 of 26 of Operation NORDWIND, the last major German offensive of World War II on the Western Front.
ETO - Germany: Day 120 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force heavy bombers attack at Dresden, Magdeburg, Dessau and Bitterfeld.
ETO - Germany: Hitler enters his bunker under the Chancellery never to leave Berlin again.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 124 of 223 of the Lapland War. Finland and Russia have joined forces to kick the Germans out of Finland's most northern province.
Russian Front - Center: Day 94 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 87 of 99 of the Siege of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 5 of 23 of the Battle along the Vistula and Oder Rivers in central Poland and eastern Germany.
Russian Front - Center: Day 3 of 21 of the Battle of Warsaw, Poland.
Russian Front - South: Day 80 of 108 of the Battle of Budapest, Hungary.
MTO - Italy: US and Royal Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground units.
CBI - Burma: Day 291 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,751 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
US 14th Air Force B-25s attack at Hankow and Wanting.
PTO - Japan: US 7th Air Force B-24s bomb the airfields on Iwo Jima.
PTO - Mariana Islands: US 20th Air Force B-29s bomb the airfield on Pagan Island.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 386 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 270 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
PTO - Philippines: Day 89 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
PTO - Philippines: Day 33 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
Day-By-Day listings for January 16 were last modified on Monday, March 12, 2018