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Selected: May 3
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1928 — , May 3

  • CBI: Japanese and Nationalist Chinese troops clash at Jinan, Shandong Province, China. 12 Japanese civilians and 18 Chinese government officials are killed.

1933 — , May 3

  • CBI - China: Day 123 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1937 — , May 3

  • Spain: Day 291 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , May 3

  • UK: German diplomats in London report that the British and French are likely to support the German bid for the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia in order to avoid war.
  • Spain: Day 656 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • Germany: Construction begins in Germany on the Flossenburg Concentration Camp.
  • Italy: Hitler and Mussolini meet for the second of fourteen times, along with King Vicktor Emanual III and Count Ciano. They meet at Brenner Pass and travel to Rome for five days of cultural and military ceremonies, with the Italian King officiating as Hitler's host of the events, which has Mussolini feeling sidestepped and a bit miffed.
  • CBI - China: Day 301 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 86 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.

1939 — , May 3

  • CBI - China: Day 666 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 48 of 54 of the Battle of Nanchang. Fighters of the Chinese 4th Air Group intercept Japanese bombers en route to attack Chongqing, shooting down 7 bombers.
    • Day 14 of 35 of the Battle of Suizao.

1940 — , May 3

  • Atlantic: German bombers sink the British destroyer HMS AFRIDI and the French destroyer BISON off the coast of Norway.
  • ETO - Greenland: The Danish country of Greenland seeks American protection as her mother country is now occupied by Germany.
  • ETO - Norway: Day 25 of 63 of the Battle of Norway. The only Allied troops left in Norway are in the north.
  • ETO - Scandinavia: The RAF bombs German airfields in Denmark and Norway.
  • ETO - France: Hitler postpones his X-Day (invasion of France) to the 6th of May due to bad weather.
  • ETO - Netherlands: Dutch intelligence detects further hints of German troops gathering near their border. The Danish country of Greenland seeks American protection as her mother country is now occupied by Germany.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,032 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 171 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
    • Day 3 of 49 of the Battle of Yichang.

1941 — , May 3

  • ETO - UK: Day 240 of 258 of the Blitz. German bombers attack Liverpool for the third consecutive night.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 24 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk. Australian troops make and fail another counter-attack.
  • Middle East: Day 2 of 30 of the Anglo-Iraqi War in Iraq.
  • East Africa: Day 328 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. Allied and Italian troops engage in heavy fighting at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,397 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 215 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , May 3

  • USA: Lt Gen DeWitt issues Civilian Exclusion Order No 34, ordering all people of Japanese ancestry, whether citizens or non-citizens, who are still living in "Military Area No 1" to report to assembly centers, where they will live until being moved to permanent "Relocation Centers."
  • Atlantic: Day 110 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
  • Germany: Adolf Hitler mentions his habit of keeping an irregular schedule to throw off any potential assassination attempts.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 238 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 85 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 101 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 186 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 141 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,762 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 74 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 1 of 5 of Japan's Operation MO to take Australian New Guinea. This battle will get aborted due to losses in the upcoming Battle of the Coral Sea.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 147 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 1 of 2 of the Japanese invasion of Tulagi. The Japanese begin landing on Tulagi and Gavutu Islands.

1943 — , May 3

  • ETO: The top US commander in Europe, Lt General Frank M Andrews, is killed in a plane crash in Iceland en route to the USA. Many believe that had he lived, he would have commanded the Allied forces in Europe instead of Eisenhower. The B-24 Liberator that crashed was HOT STUFF, the first heavy bomber to complete a 25-mission tour of duty.
    Spotlight...
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    Lt General Frank M Andrews

    Lt General Frank M Andrews was one of the founders of the United States Army Air Forces, succeeding in advancing progress toward a separate and independent Air Force where predecessors and allies such as Billy Mitchell had failed.

    In early 1943, he took the place of Dwight D Eisenhower as commander of all US troops in the European Theater of Operations, but his death would revert command back to Ike.

    Andrews was returning to Washington DC to be awarded his fourth star and to formally be named Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. He and his entourage hitched a ride on a returning B-24 Liberator named HOT STUFF, and in doing so bumped five crew members from the flight.

    HOT STUFF had flown her 25th mission on 07 Feb 43, 25 being the number of bombing missions set at the time by Lt Col Addison Baker, commander of the 93rd Bomb Group, to complete a tour of duty and be sent home. It was Capt Robert Shannon's crew of HOT STUFF that was going to tour the USA with their plane on a well-publicized war bond drive, and not the B-17 Flying Fortress MEMPHIS BELLE, which eventually did so and thus garnered the fame and glory as being the first, a notion accepted by most to this day.

    In fact, the MEMPHIS BELLE was not even the second, but the third bomber crew to complete their tour (on 17 May 43). The B-17 HELL'S ANGELS was actually second, completing their tour on 13 May 43 with the 303rd Bomb Group, though they signed up for another tour, completed a total of 48 missions and returned to the US on 20 Jan 44 for their own "Flag-Waving" tour.

    Shannon's crew in front of B-24 HOT STUFF

    The HOT STUFF wreckage in Iceland

    Andrews was the first of four US lieutenant generals to die during the war, the others being Lesley J McNair, Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr and Millard Harmon.

    Dates related to the death of US Generals...

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  • ETO - Netherlands: All ten planes of the New Zealand Air Force sent to bomb a power station in Amsterdam are shot down by the Luftwaffe. Squadron Leader Leonard Trent is awarded the Victoria Cross for his leadership in this attack.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 603 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 364 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • Russian Front - South: The Soviets smash a German counter-attack in the Kuban, to the south of Rostov (near the Black Sea).
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 168 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. US troops capture Mateur, less than 50 miles northwest of Tunis. US 9th and 12th Air Forces provide air support.
  • MTO - Italy: The Royal Navy bombards Pantelleria Island near Sicily. They will do so in earnest beginning 22 May 43, leading up to invading the island on 11 Jun 43.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,127 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 331 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. US 11th Air Force attacks Kiska nine times during the day.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 12 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.

1944 — , May 3

  • USA: Meat rationing ends in the US, except for certain selected cuts.
    Spotlight...

    "Fair Share" poster

    The military needed huge amounts of food to feed soldiers, and by late 1942 food at home was running short. Grocery stores started rationing canned goods to customers to prevent hoarding. Meat was in especially short supply. Beginning 29 Mar 43 the government limited the amounts shipped to grocers and restaurants and set a "voluntary ration" of 2½ lbs of red meat per adult per week.

    But stores often could not get even that much, and residents of some cities faced meatless holidays. Shoppers in San Diego crossed the border into Mexico in search of full shelves. Time magazine blamed government "blundering" for the shortages.

    Lining up at the Rationing Board office, New Orleans, 1943

    Although the United States did not have food rationing in World War I, it relied heavily on propaganda campaigns to persuade the public to moderate their food consumption. Through slogans such as "Food Will Win the War," "Meatless Mondays" and "Wheatless Wednesdays," the United States Food Administration under Herbert Hoover reduced national consumption by 15%.

    WWII Store items related to rationing...

  • ETO - France: US 8th Air Force B-24s bomb a V-weapon site at Wizernes.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 92 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops remain in their defensive positions.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 26 of 35 of the Battle of the Crimea.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 26 of 60 of the Battle of Romania, 1st Jassy Offensive. Day 2 of 7 of the 2nd Battle of Targu Frumos.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 108 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support. The German Gustav Line continues getting weaker.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 103 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 60 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 55 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 33 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,493 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 17 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
    • Day 17 of 39 of the Battle of Central Henan, the first offensive in Japan's Operation ICHI-GO. Chinese continue retreating from central China.
  • CBI - India: Day 57 of 118 of the Battle of Imphal-Kohima. The Indian 4th Brigade attacks the GPT ridge outside of Imphal but fail to capture all the Japanese positions.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: The US 7th Air Force bombs targets in the Jaluit and Wotje Atolls.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 65 of 80 of the Battle of the Admiralty Islands. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 141 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 12 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 185 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , May 3

  • Atlantic: Thinking the Germans are going to make a last stand in Norway, the RAF sinks two transport ships headed there. Later, it's revealed these ships were carrying concentration camp inmates. No death toll is established, but estimates reach as high as 8,000 dead.
  • ETO - Netherlands: US 8th Air Force drops more food supplies in various cities.
  • ETO - Denmark: Admiral Dönitz establishes the seat of Germany's government in Denmark.
  • ETO - France: Day 278 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 231 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • Portugal: The Portuguese government declares two days of mourning for the recently deceased Hitler.
  • ETO - Germany: In Germany, the US 3rd Army crosses the Inn River while the US 9th Army makes contact with the Soviet forces near Wismar. The Allies begin forming a post-war military government for western Germany.
  • ETO - Germany: A German delegation meets with Field Marshal Montgomery outside Hamburg to offer the surrender of all their forces in northwestern Germany. In the harbor, the Germans scuttle 59 ships and 600 smaller boats to prevent capture.
  • ETO - Czechoslovakia: US 9th Air Force make their last bombing raid, attacking a munitions plant at Stod.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 201 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 18 of 23 of the Battle of Settin-Rostock, both sides of the border between Germany and Poland.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 1 of 6 of the Battle of Brandenberg, Germany.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 80 of 83 of the German Siege of Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland).
  • CBI - Burma: Day 89 of 99 of the Battle of Pakokku and Irrawaddy River operations in central Burma. The war in Burma is pretty much over except for a few small pockets.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 9 of 12 of the Battle of Rangoon. US 10th Air Force provides air support. The Indian 26th Division captures Rangoon.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,858 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 33 of 91 of the Battle of Zhijiang. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
    • Day 25 of 60 of the Battle of West Hunan (near Zhijiang). Japanese troops continue withdrawing from southern China.
  • PTO - Caroline Islands: US 7th Air Force bombs several islands in the Truk Atoll.
  • PTO - Dutch East Indies: Day 3 of 52 of the Battle of Tarakan Island.
  • PTO - Japan: Japanese Prime Minister Suzuki maintains his "faith in certain victory" in a public statement regarding Germany's defeat.
  • PTO - Japan: US 20th Air Force B-29s bomb at Tachiarai, Miyazaki, Miyakonojo, Kokubu and Kanoya.
  • PTO - Japan: Day 33 of 83 of the Battle of Okinawa. The Japanese launch special attack planes from Okinawa against the US Navy, sinking one destroyer and damaging four others.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 493 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 377 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 196 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 140 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 55 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 47 of 135 of the Battle of the Visayas region. US 5th and 7th Air Forces provide air support.

Day-By-Day listings for May 3 were last modified on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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