World War II Timeline

1941  
April 6 Nazis invade Greece and Yugoslavia
April 17 Yugoslavia surrenders to Germany
April 27 Greece surrenders to Germany
May 3
Dance at the San Jacinto Inn
May 11
Mother's Day
May 24 HMS Hood sunk by the Bismarck
May 27 Bismarck sunk by British navy
June 22 Germany attacks Soviet Union
August 14 Roosevelt and Churchill announce the Atlantic Charter
September 1 Nazis order Jews to wear yellow stars
October 25
111th Observation Squadron passes through Houston
October 31 U.S. destroyer Reuben James sunk by a U-boat in the Atlantic
December 5 German attack on Moscow is abandoned
December 7 Japanese attack Pearl Harbor
December 9 British battleship Prince of Wales sunk by Japanese off Thailand
1942  
January 26 First American forces arrive in Great Britain
January 29
Billy signs up with the Army Air Force
March 21
Billy reports to Ellington Field
August 17 First all-American air attack in Europe
September 13 Battle of Stalingrad begins
October 17
Billy completes Aviation Cadet training, is commissioned as 2nd Lt. at Hondo, Texas
November 8 Allied invasion of North Africa begins
November 18
Billy's friend Waley Garrett is killed while in training in Alabama
1943  
February 2 Germans surrender at Stalingrad; first major defeat for German forces
May 13 Germans and Italians surrender in North Africa
July 9
Billy receives orders to begin journey overseas
July 9-10 Allies land in Sicily
July 10
Billy leaves Avon Park for England
July 24
Billy leaves U.S. soil
July 29
Billy lands in the U.K.
September 3 Allies land on Italian mainland
September 5
Billy makes first bombing mission from England
September 8 Italian surrender is announced, but German troops remain in Italy
November 13
Billy is promoted to 1st Lieutenant
November 28 Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin meet at Teheran
1944  
January 27 End of the siege of Leningrad
January 31 U.S. forces land on the Marshall Islands in the Pacific
February 5
Billy's worst mission; loss of Bryan, Mims and their crews
February 15
Billy makes first mission with 391st Squadron
April 9
"Easter in the E.T.O."
April 23
Billy's first mission with 397th Squadron
May 27
Billy transfers back to 323rd Squadron
June 5 Allies enter Rome
June 6 D-Day landings
June 13 First German V-1 rocket attack on Great Britain
July 18 American troops reach St. Lô
July 20 German attempt to assassinate Hitler fails
August 6
Last mission described in the journal (#62)
August 19
Billy is promoted to Captain
August 25 Liberation of Paris
September 1
Billy's last mission (#66) as described in his notes
October 22
Billy returns to the "zone of the interior" at Presque Isle, Maine; after shuttling to Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio and to Miami, he spends most of the rest of the year in Santa Ana, California
December 16-27 Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes
1945  
January 26 Allied troops liberate Auschwitz
February 4-11 Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin meet at Yalta
February 13-14 Dresden fire-bombed by the Allies
March 13
Billy arrives at Curtis Field in Brady, Texas, to begin pilot training
March 29
Billy makes first solo flight
April 12 Allies liberate Belsen and Buchenwald; Roosevelt dies, Truman becomes President
April 13
Billy and June are married in Brady, Texas
April 21 Soviets reach Berlin
April 30 Hitler commits suicide
May 7 Germany surrenders
July 16 First U.S. atomic bomb test; Potsdam conference
August 6 First atomic bomb dropped, on Hiroshima
August 9 Second atomic bomb dropped, on Nagasaki
September 2 Japan surrenders
October 1
Billy earns his pilot rating at Enid, Oklahoma
October 24 United Nations officially born
November 20 Nuremberg war crimes trials begin
1946  
July 9
Billy receives honorable discharge; he began classes at Sul Ross College in June

A much more detailed, interactive timeline has been developed by a history professor at the University of San Diego. Consult it if you want more information on World War II dates.

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