East Africa: Day 167 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
CBI - China: Day 1,930 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 134 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. The US and Canada will defeat the Japanese invaders.
PTO - Malaya: Day 242 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 90 of 119 of the Battle of the Kokoda Track. The Australians continue pushing back the Japanese troops.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 73 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.
1943 — , October 18
Russian Front - North: Day 771 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 532 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 56 of 122 of the Battle of the Lower Dnieper River, USSR.
Russian Front - South: Day 3 of 4 of a Soviet attempt to breakout from the Bukrin Bridgehead south of Kiev.
MTO - Yugoslavia: US 12th Air Force B-25s bomb the marshalling yard at Skoplje.
CBI - China: Day 2,295 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 30 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 27 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula. Will result in an Allied victory.
1944 — , October 18
Germany: Funeral service is held for Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, forced to commit suicide four days earlier.
18 Oct 44: Hitler's wreath is carried in Rommel's funeral procession
Rommel's only option was to face a public trial as a co-conspirator in the 20 Jul 44 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, or taking cyanide. He chose the latter. Suicide guaranteed that his family would not be hurt and that he would be given a state funeral.
It remains unclear to this day as to Rommel's involvement in or knowledge of the failed bomb plot, if any, but protecting his family was the only option he could have possibly chosen.
For post-war Germans, desperate to salvage something akin to honor from the avalanche of horrific acts committed by the Third Reich, Rommel's death gave them reason to continue to regard him as a true German hero for having opposed Hitler enough to have cost him his life.
Related dates (Rommel)...
06 Feb 41: Lt Gen Rommel appointed commander of the Afrika Korps
12 Feb 41: Rommel arrives in Tripoli with his Afrika Korps
19 Mar 41: Hitler tells Rommel not to expect reinforcements in Libya until May
24 Mar 41: Rommel begins his North African offensive
15 Aug 41: Panzer Group Afrika is activated with Rommel in command
17 Nov 41: British mission to kill Rommel fails because he is away in Rome
22 Jun 42: Rommel is promoted to the rank of Field Marshal
03 Nov 42: Hitler orders Rommel's Afrika Korps to stand and fight
09 Mar 43: Rommel leaves North Africa for reasons of health
11 Mar 43: Rommel receives Diamonds to his Knight's Cross medal
12 Dec 43: Rommel takes command of northern coastal defenses
15 May 44: Rommel invited to anti-Hitler meeting, but does not attend
05 Jun 44: Rommel goes back to Germany for his wife's birthday
29 Jun 44: Rommel urges Hitler to pursue peace, which he rejects
15 Jul 44: Rommel writes to Hitler, again urging he sue for peace
17 Jul 44: Rommel is wounded when his staff car is strafed
14 Oct 44: By Hitler's order, Rommel is forced to commit suicide
18 Oct 44: Funeral service is held for Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
ETO - France: Day 79 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
ETO - Belgium: Day 47 of 62 of the liberation of Belgium. Olympic gold medalist and champion lacrosse player Jack Turnbull is mortally wounded when his B-24 crashes in Belgium after a mid-air collision while returning from a bombing run over Germany.
Lt Col John Inglehart "Jack" Turnbull
Jack Turnbull's sorties over Germany in 1944 constituted his second invasion of that country, for he was a member of the US field hockey team that carried off top honors at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, after which he personally met and shook hands with Adolf Hitler. He was no stranger to England, either, having visited the country in 1937 with an All-American lacrosse team which played and won nine games against the best in Britain.
He was a native of Baltimore (born 30 Jun 10) and a graduate of John Hopkins University, where he received an engineering degree in 1932. While in college he starred in lacrosse, football, field hockey and basketball and captained the lacrosse team which won the Olympic Gold in Los Angeles in 1932. He was a "complete athlete" with a knack of excelling at any sport he tried. He was known as the "Babe Ruth" of lacrosse. After graduation he became a consulting engineer, specializing in heating and air conditioning.
Turnbull enlisted in the Maryland National Guard as an aviation cadet and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on 24 Jun 40. He was mobilized along with the rest of the Maryland National Guard in Feb 41, prior to the US entry into WWII, at which point his unit was transferred to Atlantic City and later to Langley Field, where they did Anti-Submarine Patrol for nearly two years. The squadron was changed in name to the 12th Anti-Sub Squadron and later became cadre for the 492nd Bomb Group, stationed at North Pickenham, England. During the war he quickly rose in rank, and by 1944 he was a Lieutenant Colonel.
While serving as Group Operations Officer with the 492nd BG, it is said that, while having a drink with fellow officers, Turnbull told the story of his 1936 meeting with Adolf Hitler. "Had I known then what I know now," he said (or words to that effect), "I would have reached out and strangled that son of a bitch on the spot. Then none of us would be here now." His fellow officers paused for a moment and replied with, "Well, you certainly wouldn't be here now!"
By August 1944, after only 89 days of combat, the 492nd had lost 52 aircraft to enemy action, with 588 men killed or missing. Rather than try to rebuild the shattered group, the surviving members were reassigned to other units in the ETO. Jack Turnbull was transferred to the 44th Bomb Group at Shipdam.
While returning from a mission on Oct 18 44, his B-24 crashed after a mid-air collision in severe weather. Turnbull died of his injuries two days later and was buried near the crash site in Belgium. His body was brought home in 1947 and is now buried in Davidsonville, Maryland.
In 1965 he was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. The Jack Turnbull Award is given each year to America's best collegiate lacrosse attackman.
Dates related to Olympics and Olympians in WWII...
26 Apr 31: Berlin wins bid to host the 1936 Olympics
01 Aug 36: Adolf Hitler opens the Berlin Olympic Games