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The D-Day Invasion: January 1944-July 1944

World War II Timeline: March 24, 1944-April 1, 1944

The British suffered a significant loss of bombers during one raid in March 1944. The World War II timeline below summarizes important events that occurred during late March and early April 1944.

World War II Timeline: March 24-April 1

March 24: The Chindits, a British special army force comprised of Indian nationals, are left rudderless after their leader, Major General Orde Wingate, dies in a plane crash over Burma.

The Nazis murder 336 Italian civilians to avenge a partisan attack that claimed the lives of 33 members of the SS who were marching through a narrow street in Rome.

March 25: Seventy-six Allied pilots escape from the German POW camp Stalag Luft III, outside of Berlin, via an expertly engineered underground tunnel.

March 26: Only one sailor survives to tell the story of the sinking of the Tullibee, a U.S. Navy submarine whose own torpedo struck the ship after following a circular trajectory after being fired.

March 27: The Nazi SS carries out a mass murder of the Jewish children of Kovno, Lithuania. No child younger than 13 is spared.

March 29: What will eventually become a massive flow of aid to war-torn Europe begins with a relative trickle when Washington allocates $1.35 billion to aid European refugees.

March 30-April 2: The Japanese suffer major equipment and supply losses when U.S. Navy ships bombard Japanese positions in the Caroline Islands.

March 31: In the worst RAF losses of the war, 95 bombers are lost in one night in an unsuccessful raid of Nuremberg, Nazi Germany.

Admiral Koga, commander of the Japanese Imperial Navy in succession to Yamamoto, is presumed dead after his plane disappears over the Philippines.

April 1: Neutral Switzerland loses 50 civilians in an accidental USAAF raid over Schaffhausen.

World War II Headlines

The following headlines provide more information about World War II-related news from 1944, including the fight for Monte Cassino.

Britain's Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) provides needed entertainment to troops: The British Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) was similar to the American United Service Organizations (USO). ENSA musicians, actors, comedians, and singers performed in hotels, factories, theaters, and at war-effort work sites. ENSA performers also toured war fronts around the world. The organization presented more than 2.5 million shows to some 300 million British and Allied troops and civilian war workers. Although some British citizens liked to poke fun at the performances, ENSA entertainments were popular with their audiences.

The U.S. Office of Price Administration controls prices of consumable goods during the war: Created in August 1941, the U.S. Office of Price Administration (OPA) was a governmental agency that controlled the prices and use of consumable goods. The agency had the power to place price ceilings on retail items. The OPA also oversaw the rationing of many frequently used items to ensure there were enough resources for the military. Rationed consumables included rubber products (such as tires), gasoline, sugar, shoes, and meat. When the war was over, rationing ended and price controls gradually disappeared. The OPA closed in 1947.

U.S. West Coast braces for possible attack: Half of all American military aircraft were produced in California. The oil industry thrived there, and millions of tons of cargo and munitions were shipped from West Coast ports. Citizens and military leaders constantly expected Japanese attacks. West Coast harbors were mined and guarded with mobile anti-aircraft guns, radar, and searchlights. Sound detectors remained on guard in 1944 (even with radar in use), with military personnel still listening for enemy airplanes.

Next, learn more World War II history, including what happened in the first half of April 1944.

For more timelines and information on World War II events, see:

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