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8 July 1943
War at Sea
German submarine U-232 sunk with all hands off Oporto
German submarine U-514 sunk with all hands off Cape Finisterre
This Day in Black History: July 8, 1943
On July 8, 1943, Faye Wattleton, was born in St. Louis. She would go on to become the youngest and first African-American president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Her career in executive leadership for national and not-for-profit organizations spans 30 years.
At age 16, Wattleton enrolled at Ohio State University, earning her bachelor's degree in nursing in 1964. While earning her master's in maternal and infant care at Columbia University in New York, her eyes were opened to the life-threatening effects of unsafe abortions performed on female patients. Spurred to encourage change, Wattleton began her career in women's health advocacy, eventually being named executive director for Planned Parenthood of Miami Valley in 1970.
From 1978 to 1992, Wattleton served as president and CEO Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). During her tenure, she was credited with helping to grow the organization to become the nation's seventh largest nonprofit, providing services to four million Americans yearly.
In addition, she is co-founder and president of the Center for the Advancement of Women, a nonpartisan think tank, and has served on numerous boards for public and private organizations. She is currently managing director with Alvarez & Marsal, a professional services firm in New York. Among her many honors, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993.
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July 8, 1943: Boston’s Savoy Cafe Is Open Again
After the fire that destroyed the Cocoanut Grove in November 1942, the City of Boston ordered 52 night spots to close, and stay closed, until their fire protection systems passed a safety inspection. The order took effect on December 1, and by December 5 places were reopening. The Savoy Cafe, at 461 Columbus Ave, was cleared to reopen, but it did not. Owner Steve Connolly kept the room dark and let the lease run out.
Even before the fire, rumors were circulating that Connolly was looking for a new South End location for his club, with the likely site being the former Royal Palms, at 410 Mass Ave, a club that had closed in 1939. The rumors proved correct, and Connolly reopened on Mass Ave on July 8.
The new room was bigger than the one left behind. The interior walls were lined with mirrors (many of which eventually gave way to murals), and the exterior front was made of red brick below and glass block above. Press releases said the room was air-conditioned, but I doubt it, given how people were conserving fuel during wartime.
Even if the old Savoy had wanted big bands, they had no room for them, and thus the club became the home of Boston’s best small swing groups, notably those of Sabby Lewis and Frankie Newton. That policy would continue in the new place, and on opening night, the small group was the quartet of alto saxophonist Pete Brown. One of the leading lights of jump music, Brown had worked with Newton in Boston the year before and was well-known to the Savoy audience.
Brown’s quartet included the Boston pianist Ernie Trotman, brother of bassist Lloyd Trotman, who went back to New York with Brown when the Savoy job ended. On drums was the young Roy Haynes. Al Matthews, a New Yorker, was the bassist.
Down Beat reported the club did turn-away business, and claimed that “Steve Connolly has hit the jackpot again.”
Brown stayed ten weeks at the Savoy, and after mid-August, he alternated with the Sabby Lewis Orchestra. Lewis had been at the Top Hat in Toronto when the Savoy opened, but he joined the show immediately after returning to Boston and stayed through December. He returned many times between 1944 and 1947. Then the Savoy would change into a different kind of club, where swing and jump groups would give way to Dixieland bands, but that’s a story for another post.
Here’s Pete Brown doing his mid-forties thing his phrases are simple and sharp, and he’s got that distinctive tone…it’s “Pete Brown’s Boogie.”
July 1943: The Obstacle Course
The V-12 Program worked Elmer to the bone, but there was a silver lining to his new posting: “they really can serve chow here.” The food on campus was “the closest to home cooking I have ever had,” he reported, and the chicken dinner he had on the Fourth of July was “perfect.” In addition, the dorms were a nice change of pace after spending two and a half years on a cramped ship. “The lounge has really nice over-stuffed divans, chairs, a radio, and such lovely carpets, drapes, etc. It really is swell here, folks.”
But the best part was the people. He became close friends with Hal Spiner, a fellow Cleveland High School graduate and a fellow resident in his dorm. On July 16th he interrupted a letter home by announcing that Hal had walked in and asked him to go out when he picked it up the next day he described a double-date with Hal and two local girls, Ruthie and Hettie Jean, who worked as waitresses on campus. They drove up to Cape Rock, which apparently was just as frequented by couples in the 1940s as it was in the early aughts. But he quickly added, probably to short-circuit any worrying, that Cape Rock was also “the spot where some frenchmen landed back in 1733.” He was taking American history, after all.
Evenings were just as busy as the days. Elmer and his classmates visited the Rainbow Room, a local bar, and attended a dance held by the school. But the nights were hot in other ways as well. “Even at night you perspire a great deal,” Elmer wrote of the summer heat in Cape. “Boy is it hot here . . . [it] makes it hard to write as my arm keeps floating away in a pool of sweat.”
Elmer enjoyed spending some of his weekends in Cape, but he did make an effort to go home occasionally. Usually his visits were brief: he would take a bus up to Saint Louis early Saturday evening and head back Sunday afternoon. The visits were not long, but they were pleasant. “Good to be home,” he wrote after a visit. “The good old home-cooked food hit the spot.” Although he could not make it up for his mother’s birthday – they spoke on the phone instead – he tried to coordinate one visit with his brother Bud and his family visiting from Chicago. And Elmer took advantage of that most hallowed and time-honored tradition among college students: bringing the laundry home over the weekend. After one visit his mother had shipped him his uniform, which she had generously cleaned and pressed for him. It’s “in perfect shape” he announced – “‘just like taking it out of a drawer.’ Thanks, you’re a dear.”
Elmer had one other reason to visit home as well. At the end of the month, he announced his intention to visit. But he would not spend a great deal of time at home that Saturday evening – he had a date. With Rose.
The Invasion of Sicily Begins
On the night of 9-10 July 1943, one of the largest combined operations of World War II, the invasion of Sicily, was launched. The Allied flotilla of 2,590 vessels was the largest fleet ever assembled for an invasion. Over the next thirty-eight days, and Allied force of half a million struggled with German and Italian forces for control of this rocky outpost of Hitler's "Fortress Europe."
Sicily had between 200,000 and 300,000 Italian troops of questionable quality and about 30,000 German troops under the overall command of General Alfredo Guzzoni's Italian VI Army. They knew they had to repel the Allied invasion on the beaches or they would have a hard time holding Sicily. However, at the outset, the German commander in Italy, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, committed a critical blunder by refusing Guzzoni's orders to concentrate on the beaches and instead transferred the most capabile German troops to a reserve in western Sicily, held ready for a counterattack but not available at the beach.
The invading troops moved through heavy seas to the beaches, starting to land before 3AM on 10 July. Airborne glider and parachute troops preceeded the landing craft, all disrupted by bad weather, but ultimately successful in their missions. During the first three days of the invasion, the U.S. Army and Navy moved 66,285 personnel, 17,766 tons of cargo, and 7,396 vehicles over Sicily's southern shores. A new generation of landing craft and ships, the soon-to-be-famous LSTs, LCTs, LCIs, LCVPs and DUKWs, greatly facilitated the logistical effort and provided critical esperience for future operations such as D-Day in Normandy and the Pacific Island campaigns.
8 July 1943 - History
The following stills were captured from footage made available via the Agentur Karl Höffkes film archive AKH and are reproduced here with the kind permission of Karl Höffkes.
On 21 July 1943, Jagdgruppe Süd der ObdL was formed as a high-altitude fighter unit to combat the RAF's Mosquito twin-engine bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. On 15 August 1943 the unit was redesignated Jagdgeschwader 50 and Maj. Hermann Graf, the first pilot in history to achieve 200 aerial victories, was appointed to command. Both JG 50 (and its sister unit Jagdgeschwader 25) were particularly unsuccessful in countering the Mosquito but enjoyed comparatively more success intercepting US heavy bomber formations during the daylight offensive over Europe in 1943-44.
Here Graf is seen arriving in Wiesbaden during June-July 1943 in his relatively anonymous Gustav - note the absence of any markings including Kennziffer. Interestingly the starboard wing shows evidence of a saw-tooth splinter finish, while the port wing does not. Graf's '202' Eichenlaub badge is seen aft of the Balkenkreuz.
Besuch von Gymnasiasten bei Maj. Hermann Graf, Jungen alle in HJ-Uniform, Graf startet, 16 September 1943, JGr. 50 Wiesbaden-Erbenheim, Reichsverteidigung.
Filmed on 16 September 1943 Graf entertains HJ schoolkids at Wiesbaden and treats them to a fly-past in his Bf 109 G-6 W.Nr. 15 919 (?) "Grüne 1" featuring red spinner and 'tulip' cowl markings and two Werfer rocket grenade launchers. Note what some have referred to as the outer Bf 109 K-style gear doors - which here may hve been trialed as simple blast protectors for the exposed tyre from the Werfer launch. These film clips expertly processed by Karl Höffkes also depict other members of Graf's new Reich's defence unit - particularly RK-Träger Ernst Süß and Alfred Grislawski.
RK-Träger Ernst Süß und Grislawski mit Kriegsberichtern
A good view of the wing upper surface camouflage on Grislawski's 'White 10' and the facilities on the base at Wiesbaden for those interested in these kinds of detail. Close-up view of the 'hunter' emblem and the white tail of Grislawski's '10'. Bottom, dismantling Grislawski's white rudder on the disbandment of JGr. 50.
JG 50 was initially equipped with eight Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-5s and Bf 109 G-6s polished to increase speed, and equipped with a special internal tank for liquefied nitrous oxide as part of the GM-1 engine power boosting system, which was injected directly into the supercharger intake. This allowed the pilot to boost the rated horsepower of the DB 605 engine. Graf was allowed to pick any pilots he wished for the new unit, and he chose a further three aces Oblt. Alfred Grislawski, Obfw. Ernst Süß (seen posing alongside Grislawski's 'white 10' in the pictures above), and Fw. Heinrich Füllgrabe from his old Staffel - the 9./JG 52.
JG 50 was the first formation to use the Werfer-Granate 21 rocket mortar 'operationally', with one carried under each wing. While these rockets could bring down a bomber with one hit, they were designed to disperse the tightly packed bomber formations rather than as a direct fire weapon. On 31 July 1943 the unit was declared operational, with a total of 19 aircraft. On 17 August 1943 the unit intercepted American bomber forces attacking the Messerschmitt factory in Regensburg and the ball bearing plants in Schweinfurt. Grislawski claimed two Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses downed on this raid. On 6 September the unit's pilots shot down four Flying Fortresses over Stuttgart, one to Grislawski, and two claimed by Graf with the WfGr.21, who was then shot down but survived a forced landing. Grislawski claimed one other kill with the unit, a B-17 on 14 October. By October, JG 50 had been disbanded and merged with I. Gruppe, Graf was subsequently appointed commander of JG 11 in November 1943. Two of the so-called Karaya Quartet survived the war Süß and Füllgrabe were killed in action.
July 29, 1943 Puerto Rico Earthquake Archive
Selected seismograms at the Denver Federal Center from this earthquake were scanned as part of the IASPEI Scanning Project (small PDF versions of large .tif files lilnked below).
link to compressed .tif file format) (includes little .jpg "thumbnails").
2. Selected Information
This earthquake was widely felt throughout Puerto Rico and neighboring islands. Although this earthquake was of significant magnitude (7.5Mw), there was no structural damage anywhere on the island of Puerto Rico. No tsunami observed (O’Loughlin and Lander, 2003). This event begins a decade-long sequence of major earthquakes in the north- central Caribbean. Studied by Dolan and Wald (1998). Source mechanism using waveform inversion completed by Doser et al. (2005).
Dolan, J.F., and D.J. Wald, The 1943 – 1953 north-central Caribbean earthquakes: Active tectonic setting, seismic hazards and implications for Caribbean- North America plate motions, in Active Strike-Slip and Collisional Tectonics of the Northern Caribbean Plate Boundary Zone, edited by J.F. Dolan and P. Mann, Spec. Pap., Geol. Soc. Am., 326, 143-169, 1998.
Doser, D., C. Rodríguez, C. Flores, 2005, Historical Earthquakes of the Puerto Rico – Virgin Islands region (1915 – 1963), P. Mann ed., GSA Special Paper 385, Active tectonics & seismic hazards of PR, the virgin islands, and offshore areas, 103-115
O’loughlin and Lander, 2003, Caribbean Tsunami, A 500-Year History from 1498-1998., Kluwer Academic Publishers, p 261.
(Last Updated: January 3, 2010) (mfd)
1943 All-Star Game
Prior to this All-Star game, the first to be held at night, American League manager Joe McCarthy was publicly accused of being flagrantly partial to his own Yankees when it came to selecting his starters. In a bold and controversial reply, he played the entire game without calling on any of the five Yankees on his bench. Due to the war effort, many of the previous standout players such as Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Johnny Mize, Pete Reiser and others were absent.
In the first inning, the National League took the lead on a run batted in by Stan Musial, who was making his first of twenty-four straight All-Star appearances. The senior circuit did not hold their lead for long as the American League began its comeback against Mort Cooper. With the junior circuit now up 5-1, Vince DiMaggio stepped up for the National League. He had singled as a pinch-hitter in the fourth and stayed in the game. Next, he tripled off of Tex Hughson in the seventh and scored on a fly ball. In the ninth, he hit a long home run off Hughson. Still, Hughson managed to wrap up yet another American League win for their eighth All-Star victory.
"A manager who cannot get along with a .400 hitter (Ted Williams) ought to have his head examined." - Joe McCarthy
A decision to invade Sicily was made at an Allied conference at Casablanca which took place from January 14 to 23, 1943. By that time it had become apparent that a cross-channel invasion (an operation earnestly desired by the Russians) would be impossible during 1943. On the other hand, the immense military resources accumulated in the Mediterranean Theater could be used to knock Italy out of the war, to divert some German strength from the Russian front, and to reopen the Mediterranean as a thoroughfare to the East, while the buildup for the eventual cross-channel attack continued in Great Britain and the Allied air forces mounted a systematic bombing of Germany.
Ground forces assembled to conduct the Sicilian Campaign (10 July - 17 August 1943, codenamed Operation HUSKY) constituted the 15th Army Group under the command of General Alexander. This command included the British Eighth Army under General Montgomery and the newly established U.S. Seventh Army under General Patton. Among the American forces was the 82d Airborne Division, which was scheduled to drop behind the invasion beaches to forestall enemy reaction to the landings. The total invasion force numbered some 160,000 men.
For weeks before the invasion, Allied planes raided western Sicily in order to deceive the defenders regarding the Allied intention, which was to make landings on the southern and eastern coasts of the island. These raids succeeded in dispersing German armor, which made it difficult for them to mount quick, concentrated counterattacks.
The invasion took place on July 10, 1943. Winds of near gale proportions made the landings difficult, but the weather conditions threw the defenders off guard and made possible a tactical surprise. After landing, the Allies intended to strike for dominating ground in the east-central part of the island and then to take Messina on the strait between Sicily and Italy.
After recovering from their initial surprise, the German forces in Sicily succeeded in blocking the most direct route to Messina by concentrating against the British Eighth Army in the vicinity of Catania.
Thereupon Patton sent a mobile provisional corps under Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Keyes to the northwest, which cut the island in two, captured Palermo by 22 July, and broke the morale of the Italian garrison of 275,000 men on the island. The American forces were now in a position to attack from the west to break the deadlock opposite the British. When the Seventh Army drove eastward across the island, the Germans began to withdraw across the Strait of Messina to Italy. Despite attacks by Allied aircraft, they were able to evacuate some 60,000 troops.
On 17 August 1943 American patrols pushed into Messina, and the campaign reached a successful conclusion. Axis losses in the campaign were around 167,000 killed, wounded, and captured, including some 10,000 German casualties. Allied losses were 31,158.
Who is July named for?
July was named in honor of Julius Caesar. Quintilis, which was his birth month, was renamed July when he died. Quintilis means “fifth month” in Latin, which represents where this month originally fell in the Roman calendar. (If you think the story behind July is odd, check out why Tuesday is Tiw’s Day.)
Another of Julius Caesar’s legacies is the C-section. The Cesarean section is “an operation by which a fetus is taken from the uterus by cutting through the walls of the abdomen and uterus.” It has been rumored that Julius Caesar himself was born in this way, although historians tend to pooh-pooh this etymology.