World War II

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Last 'Great Escape' Survivor Dies

Dick Churchill thought his name saved his life

(Newser) - The last of the Great Escapers has died. Dick Churchill, a British Royal Air Force veteran who took part in the famous 1944 mass escape from the Stalag Luft III POW camp, died earlier this month at his home in England, the New York Times reports. He was 99. The... More »

Sailor in Iconic Times Square Kiss Photo Dead at 95

George Mendonsa kissed Greta Zimmer Friedman on V-J Day

(Newser) - The ecstatic sailor shown kissing a woman in Times Square celebrating the end of World War II has died, the AP reports. George Mendonsa died two days before his 96th birthday. Mendonsa's daughter, Sharon Molleur, told the Providence Journal Mendonsa fell and had a seizure Sunday at the assisted... More »

WWII Aircraft Carrier Found After 77 Years

USS Hornet took part in Battle of Midway

(Newser) - The USS Hornet aircraft carrier had an extremely busy year and six days in service, taking part in key World War II events in the Pacific including the Battle of Midway and the Doolittle Raid before being sunk by Japanese forces in the Battle of Santa Cruz Island on Oct.... More »

Appetite for Destruction? Man Heads to Taco Bell With Risky Find

No one hurt in Ocala, Fla., after man shows up with hand grenade he found while magnet fishing

(Newser) - The smart thing to do upon finding a hand grenade is to make a run for it—not make a run for the border. But a man in Florida decided he'd cap off his magnet fishing trip in Ocklawaha with some Meximelts in Ocala, and he opted to bring... More »

Russia to Japan: Time to 'Accept the Results of WWII'

Two countries are still in territorial dispute over islands

(Newser) - World War II ended in 1945, and in the decades since, Japan and Russia have never signed a peace treaty to formally end hostilities. That's partially because the two countries have been in a territorial dispute over islands—known as the Southern Kuriles or Kuril Islands in Russia and... More »

These May Be the 3 Deadliest Months in Human History

In terms of people killed by their fellow man

(Newser) - When it comes to people killed by human hands, it's likely "the deadliest three months in human history," as USA Today puts it. That would be August through October 1942, according to a new peer-reviewed study. Researchers used detailed train transportation records to estimate 1.47 million... More »

He Saved Hundreds of Jews. Some by Throwing Them a Ball

Georges Loinger was a French resistance hero

(Newser) - A French resistance hero who helped hundreds of Jewish children escape during World War II has died in Paris at the age of 108, AFP reports. Georges Loinger, acclaimed for his athletic ability and savvy schemes, drummed up various ways of getting children across the French border into Switzerland. In... More »

Oldest Military Survivor of Pearl Harbor Dies at 106

Ray Chavez died in his sleep Wednesday

(Newser) - Ray Chavez, the oldest US military survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, died Wednesday. He was 106. Chavez, who'd been battling pneumonia, died in his sleep in the San Diego suburb of Poway, his daughter tells the AP . The chief historian for the National Park... More »

Ex-SS Guard: I Knew Camp Was Bad, but I Didn't Do Bad Things

Johann Rehbogen, 94, is on trial in Germany for being an accessory to murder at Stutthof

(Newser) - A 94-year-old former SS guard says he was aware of the terrible conditions endured by prisoners in the Stutthof concentration camp in Poland, but he claims he didn't take part in atrocities against them. The statement came in the third day of his trial, which opened last week. The... More »

Trudeau: Hitler Tested Us. Canada 'Failed Miserably'

PM apologizes for Canada's 1939 decision to turn away German Jews

(Newser) - In June 1939, more than 900 German Jews fleeing persecution by the Nazis were forced to return to Europe, including 254 who'd later die in concentration camps. Traveling aboard the MS St. Louis, they'd been turned away by the US and Cuba before a group of Canadians urged... More »

'Hero' Who Foiled Nazis' Nuclear Dreams Dies

Joachim Roenneberg, who led Norway's 'most successful sabotage,' dies at 99

(Newser) - It was said to be a "near-suicide mission," and a previous attempt saw dozens of men killed and captured by the Nazis. But the "Operation Gunnerside" raid in World War II on a Norwegian plant making heavy water—a hydrogen-filled substance that could eventually have been used... More »

Norway: Sorry How We Treated WWII's 'German Girls'

Women who had children with German soldiers faced severe consequences

(Newser) - When Germany invaded Norway in 1940, Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler endorsed the concept of German soldiers hooking up with Norwegian women, as that would help bring the Nazis closer to the Aryan master race they wished for. Per the BBC , about 50,000 Norwegian women ended up in relationships with... More »

Dentist's Handwritten Records End Mystery of Missing Marine

Independent researcher identifies remains of Richard Murphy

(Newser) - Gerard Murphy never met his uncle Richard. But the Potomac, Maryland, native grew up hearing stories of the former journalist who enlisted in the Marines during World War II and disappeared during the June 15, 1944, amphibious assault on the Pacific island of Saipan. "This was a mystery in... More »

Nazi Hunters Who Found 'Butcher of Lyon' Honored

Serge and Beate Klarsfeld receive some of France's top awards from Macron

(Newser) - When they married in 1963, Serge and Beate Klarsfeld swore a lifelong mission together: to track down Nazis, by both "legal and illegal" methods, so justice could be meted out. Among those they found was ex-Gestapo officer Klaus Barbie—aka "the Butcher of Lyon"—in 1971 in... More »

Osaka Mayor to San Francisco: We're Done

Japanese city outraged at statue depicting 'comfort women' during WWII

(Newser) - San Francisco has nearly 20 "sister cities" worldwide, fostering goodwill through cultural, educational, and economic exchanges. Osaka was its first, but after more than 60 years—and months of the Japanese city threatening to cut ties —it looks like the split is happening. "I have arrived at... More »

Just End for Painting Stolen by Nazis From Bank Vault

Granddaughter of late Jewish art collector thinks it's 'lovely'

(Newser) - "Lovely colors. Lovely painting," was Sylvie Sulitzer's reaction upon first seeing Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "Two Women in a Garden," a 1919 painting owned by her grandfather and stolen by Nazis. One of 13 paintings Jewish art collector and dealer Alfred Weinberger stored in a Paris... More »

Shipwreck From Only WWII Battle in US Found

It's the last resting place of dozens of Americans

(Newser) - Daryl Weathers remembers trying to pull men from the sea off Alaska's Aleutian Islands after a US Navy destroyer hit a mine left by the Japanese following the only World War II battle fought on North American soil. The explosion, which ripped the stern off the USS Abner Read,... More »

Fire in Ireland Reveals Giant WWII Warning

Wildfire uncovers sign designed to alert aerial bombers they were over neutral territory

(Newser) - The US isn't the only nation battling wildfires, and one blaze in Ireland has revealed a relic of sorts from World War II. The wildfire on the eastern coast burned away vegetation that has long hidden a giant warning embedded into the earth using whitewashed stones, reports the Irish ... More »

He Was Deemed 'Nonrecoverable,' but His Remains Have Been Found

Capt. Lawrence E. Dickson was a Tuskegee airman lost during WWII

(Newser) - At 76, Marla Lawrence Dickson Andrews had long given up hope of ever finding her father, who died during World War II when she was just two and whose remains were deemed "nonrecoverable" in 1949. On Friday, what she had given up on came to be: The remains of... More »

At 5-Foot-2, This 'Spitfire Girl' Proved Them Wrong in WWII

Mary Ellis was a pioneering female pilot

(Newser) - “Everybody was flabbergasted that a little girl like me could fly these big airplanes all by oneself,” Mary Ellis said at her 100th birthday party last year in Britain. But fly them she did, delivering British Spitfires and other warplanes to the front lines during World War II,... More »

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