Posts Tagged ‘World War II’


October 8, 2017

“Autobiography of a Jeep” (1943), from United Films via the Library of Congress Prelinger Archives, reprocessed by Jeff Quitney. The Willys MB Jeep was the primary light 4-wheel-drive vehicle of the United States Army and Allies during World War II (more here). This WWII-era film celebrates the buggy’s prowess.


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Feathered Heroes of D-Day

June 9, 2014

Feathered Heroes of D-Day

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Allied forces invading Nazi-occupied Normandy made use of the latest electronic technology. So how did the Allies learn of the invasion’s progress? Carrier pigeon.

Gustav (pigeon ­NPS.42.31066) flew 230 miles across the English Channel from a ship off Normandy to carry home the first D-Day news. Paddy (pigeon number NPS.43.9451), an Irish-born RAF messenger pigeon, flew 230 miles across the Channel in four hours and fifty minutes with updates. Both birds were later awarded the Dinkin Medal for bravery, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. 32 birds received the Dinkin, an indication of the importance of these sturdy birds to the war effort. Try and remember that the next time their civilian cousins decorate your car.


‘Rosie The Riveter’ Clocks Out

December 30, 2010

Rosie The Riveter Clocks Out

Today one of World War II’s iconic “Rosie The Riveters” punched out on the time clock for the last time. Geraldine Hoff Doyle passed away at 86. A news photo of her working in a metal pressing plant is said to have inspired the famous “We Can Do It!” poster encouraging women to seek industrial work in the war effort.  While Norman Rockwell painted a woman doing war work for a magazine cover, it is the poster that has has become a pop culture icon.


D-Day’s Matchbox Fleet

June 6, 2010

D-Day's Matchbox Fleet 

(Re-posted from June 6, 2009)

Sixty wood-hulled boats made in Brooklyn were carried across the North Atlantic to England on the decks of Liberty Ships sixty-six years ago. The cutters, each 83 feet long, were designed for anti-submarine patrol and coastal search and escort, but had been modifed as rescue craft.

The group of small wooden gasoline-powered cutters, vulnerable to incendiary shells, was called the ”Matchbox Fleet.”  On June 6, 1944, these boats crossed the Channel as U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Flotilla One, part of Operation Neptune/Overlord.