CBI - China: Day 132 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.
CBI - China: Day 2 of 10 of the Battle of Harbin, Manchuria.
1933 — , January 27
CBI - China: Day 27 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.
1937 — , January 27
Spain: Day 195 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1938 — , January 27
Spain: Day 560 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 205 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 50 of 54 of the Battle of Nanking.
Day 46 of 50 of the Rape of Nanking.
1939 — , January 27
UK: Neville Chamberlain is criticized by many members of the British Parliament for his recognition of the Franco government in Spain.
Spain: Day 925 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 570 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1940 — , January 27
Norway: Hitler personally takes over Plan WESER, the plan to invade Norway.
Finland: Day 59 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War.
CBI - China: Day 935 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 74 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
1941 — , January 27
ETO - UK: Day 144 of 258 of the Blitz.
MTO - North Africa: Day 50 of 63 of the UK's Operation COMPASS, their campaign in North Africa against the Italians in Egypt and Libya. The British 7th Armoured Division captures Mechili, Libya. Meanwhile, the Australians have bumped into strong Italian defenses at Derna and halt until reinforcements can be brought up.
East Africa: Day 232 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,301 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
CBI - Thailand: Day 119 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).
1942 — , January 27
ETO - UK: The Irish Premier, de Valera, protests the arrival of US troops in Ulster. President Roosevelt is said to be amazed by this.
Atlantic: Day 14 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
Russian Front - North: Day 142 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 19 of 29 of the Battle of Toropets, Russia. A failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 5 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 20 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 20 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 90 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All German attacks against Sevastopol are stopped for the winter.
MTO - Libya: German troops launch a feint attack from Msus toward Mechili. The British believe this will get them cut off so they begin evacuating from Benghazi.
CBI - Burma: Day 45 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
CBI - China: Day 1,666 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 35 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
CBI - Malaya: Day 51 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya.
PTO: The first Japanese warship is sunk by a US submarine.
PTO - Borneo: Day 43 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo. Japanese troops land at Pemangkat on the west coast of Dutch Borneo.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 5 of 18 of the Battle of Rabaul, New Britain Island. Japanese will drive out the few Australian defenders.
PTO - Philippines: Day 51 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines.
1943 — , January 27
ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force: The first "all-American" daylight bombing raid on Germany occurs as 64 B-17 and 27 B-24 heavy bombers hit submarine bases at Wilhelmshaven. The Americans claim 22 German fighter kills with a loss of only one B-17 and two B-24 bombers.
B-17 contrails, or vapor trails, high in the sky
Ninety-one heavy bombers first attacked the submarine bases at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, on 27 Jan 43, well beyond the range of their escorting fighters. The B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator gunners claimed 22 German fighter kills during the mission at a cost of only one B-17 and two B-24 bombers, which gave the US 8th Air Force a false sense of security. Subsequent daylight bombing missions would take a very heavy toll on the heavy bombers during the next year.
Luftwaffe pilots, accustomed to sleeping by day and attacking RAF bombers by night, were taken by surprise this day. In their haste, they attacked the formation from the rear and were clobbered by US tailgunners, a mistake they would avoid in the future. Although frontal assaults gave them a much shorter firing window, it also gave them less time to be fired upon. They'd attack from behind only when firing rockets into the formations, out of the bombers' firing range.
USA: 2nd Lieutenant Clark Gable begins training with the 351st Bomb Group as head of a motion picture unit with the assignment of making a film in combat to recruit aerial gunners.
Clark Gable, aerial gunner
Upon completing his training, the Commanding General of the US Army Air Forces, Henry "Hap" Arnold, gave Clark Gable a "special assignment" in aerial gunnery: to make a recruiting film in combat with the Eighth Air Force to recruit aerial gunners. MGM had arranged for his studio friend, cinematographer Andrew McIntyre, to enlist with him and accompany him through training, a fairly clear indication that Gable was not going to be allowed to serve merely as an ordinary soldier.
Gable reported to Biggs Army Air Base on 27 Jan 43, to train with and accompany the 351st Bomb Group to England as head of a six-man motion picture unit. In addition to McIntyre, he recruited screenwriter John Lee Mahin, camera operators Sgts Mario Toti and Robert Boles, and sound man Lt Howard Voss to complete his crew. Gable was promoted to the rank of captain while he was with the 351st Bomb Group at Pueblo Army Air Base, Colorado, a rank commensurate with his position as a unit commander.
Clark Gable, aerial gunner
Gable spent most of 1943 in England at RAF Polebrook with the 351st Bomb Group. Gable flew five combat missions, including one to Germany, as an observer-gunner in B-17 Flying Fortresses between 04 May and 23 Sep of 1943, earning the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts. During one of the missions, Gable's aircraft was damaged by flak and attacked by fighters, which knocked out one of the engines and shot up the stabilizer. In the raid on Germany, one crewman was killed and two others were wounded, and flak went through Gable's boot and narrowly missed his head.
Adolf Hitler is said to have favored Gable above all other actors, and had offered a sizable reward to anyone who could capture and bring Gable to him unscathed. It is not known if anyone tried, only that no one succeeded.
When word of this, and the risks Gable faced on his missions, reached MGM, studio executives began to badger the Army Air Forces to reassign its most valuable screen actor to noncombat duty. In November 1943, Gable returned to the United States to edit his film, only to find that the personnel shortage of aerial gunners had already been rectified. He was allowed to complete the film, Combat America, anyway, joining the First Motion Picture Unit in Hollywood, California.
Captain Clark Gable
In May 1944, Gable was promoted to the rank of major. He had hoped for another combat assignment but, when the invasion of Normandy came and went in June without any further orders, Gable was relieved from active duty on 12 Jun 44.
Gable completed editing of the film Combat America in September 1944, giving the narration himself and making use of numerous interviews with enlisted gunners as focus of the film. Unfortunately, the film was overshadowed by the 13 Apr 44 release of the William Wyler documentary Memphis Belle, which focused on one of the first crews of the 8th Air Force to complete 25 missions.
12 Aug 42: Actor Clark Gable enlists in US Army Air Force
28 Aug 42: Clark Gable completes training, commissioned 2nd Lieutenant
27 Jan 43: 2nd Lt Gable begins training with 351st BG
12 Jun 44: Major Clark Gable is relieved from active duty
Loosely related dates...
13 Apr 44: Documentary film "Memphis Belle" premieres
Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3
Russian Front - North: Day 507 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 16 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 268 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 159 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
Russian Front - South: Day 47 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 - Tunisia: Day 72 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support.
MTO - Libya: The British 7th Armored Division meets stiff resistance near Zuwarah.
CBI - Burma: Day 38 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,031 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 235 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - Malaya: Day 343 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 174 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1944 — , January 27
ETO - Germany: Day 71 of 135 of the Battle of Berlin (RAF bombing campaign). 515 Lancasters and 15 Mosquitos, (a total of 530 aircraft) are dispatched on this, the 13th heavy RAF bombing on Berlin, which inflicts an estimated 6,000 dead.
Russian Front - North: Day 872 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad. The long siege finally comes to an end.
Russian Front - North: Day 633 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 14 of 48 of the Battle toward the Narva River, Estonia. This drive helps lift the Leningrad siege and liberate Narva.
Russian Front - North: Day 14 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 so the Russians can reopen the Moscow-Leningrad railroad.
Russian Front - North: Day 14 of 33 of the Battle of Luga, Russia. Taking this town west of Leningrad will open the door toward Estonia.
Russian Front - South: Day 35 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 4 of 25 of the Battle of the Korsun Bulge in Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 1 of 16 of the Battles of Rovno and Lutsk, Ukraine. This Soviet victory will increase the gap in the German line from 70 to 110 miles wide.
MTO - France: US 15th Air Force B-17s bomb airfields in southern France.
MTO - Italy: Day 11 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. The Germans counter-attack the Free French forces at Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
MTO - Italy: Day 6 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. US 5th Army gains ground near Terelle. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops
CBI - Burma: Day 29 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
CBI - China: Day 2,396 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force bombs various islands in the Marshalls and in the Gilbert Islands.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 131 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 128 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 44 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 88 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1945 — , January 27
USA: The US Navy launches the destroyer USS O'Hare, named in honor of highly-decorated Edward "Butch" O'Hare, America's first fighter Ace of the war. O'Hare went MIA in combat on 26 Nov 43.
[+] show related dates
Butch O'Hare related dates...
20 Feb 42: O'Hare becomes the first US fighter Ace of the war
26 Mar 42: O'Hare greeted as celebrity by reporters in Hawaii
21 Apr 42: O'Hare receives the Medal of Honor at White the House
25 Apr 42: O'Hare given a hero's parade in his hometown St Louis
19 Jun 42: O'Hare is relocated to Maui to instruct other pilots
31 Aug 43: O'Hare is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
05 Oct 43: O'Hare is awarded a Gold Star in lieu of another DFC
26 Nov 43: O'Hare is shot down in combat, never to be found
09 Dec 43: Official word arrives from the PTO that O'Hare is MIA
27 Jan 45: US Navy launches the destroyer USS O'Hare in his honor
19 Sep 49: Chicago's airport is renamed O'Hare International
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