World War II

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Sole Survivor of Forgotten WWII Disaster Has Died

David Stoliar survived the worst civilian maritime disaster of WWII

(Newser) - "For 58 years, no one asked me about the Struma," David Stoliar told the New York Times in 2000, "and I felt that no one cared." But experiencing the worst civilian maritime disaster of WWII never left him: "I carried the memories in my head... More »

WWII Sweethearts to Reunite on Valentine's Day

Norwood Thomas hopes to give his wartime girlfriend a 'squeeze'

(Newser) - Norwood Thomas' reunion with his wartime girlfriend was incredible, but it came with one major drawback: "I can't take you in my arms and give you a squeeze," the 93-year-old World War II vet told Joyce Morris, 88, during a Skype call in November. "Well, we'... More »

Lawmaker: Let Female Pilots' Ashes Rest at Arlington

Arizona congresswoman files legislation to that effect

(Newser) - An Arizona congresswoman filed legislation Wednesday to ensure that a group of female World War II pilots can have their ashes laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. The pilots known as Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, flew military aircraft in noncombat roles during wartime to free up male... More »

Son Gets WWII Resistance Fighter's Farewell Letter 70 Years Later

Peter Will wrote final words to wife, 6 sons on way to concentration camp

(Newser) - The thoughts Peter Will had on his mind before he died en route to a German concentration camp were of his wife and six sons—and surviving family members now know this for sure thanks to a letter delivered more than 70 years after the fact. Although the family wishes... More »

Story of How US Soldier Saved 200 Jews Finally Told

Roddie Edmonds honored for his remarkable move in POW camp

(Newser) - Roddie Edmonds is the first US soldier to receive Israel's Righteous Among the Nations honor, 70 years after he risked his life to save 200 Jews. The native of Knoxville, Tenn., was captured in the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944 and held at German POW camp Staleg... More »

Widow: I Planned on Feeding Husband to Birds

Ila Solomon wanted to grant dead husband's wish

(Newser) - The widow of a an 88-year-old Indiana man whose body remained in his home for as long as nine months after death has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges, and admitted that she wanted his body to be eaten by birds. Fifty-six-year-old Ila Solomon of Lafayette pleaded guilty to failure... More »

Family Finally Learns Fate of Man Who Punched Nazi

He was deported from Nazi-occupied Britain

(Newser) - A University of Cambridge archaeologist has discovered the sad end to a tale of resistance on the only British territory to be occupied by the Nazis during World War II—the Channel Islands. Sidney Ashcroft was 20 years old and living on the island of Guernsey in 1942 when, as... More »

Rarest Nazi Enigma Machine Sells for Record $365K

It was bought by an anonymous private collector at auction

(Newser) - The M4 is the rarest of the already rare Nazi Enigma machines, which could help explain why a working model just sold for a record $365,000 at an auction Wednesday in New York. The Guardian reports the 70-year-old encryption machine was purchased by an anonymous private collector. “The... More »

Nazis Turned Candy Bars Into Secret Weapon

WWII-era drawings reveal German booby-traps

(Newser) - First, force the British to endure food shortages—then make them eat exploding candy bars. That was at least part of the Nazi plan to destroy Britain during World War II, according to drawings of German weapons recently seen for the first time, the Smithsonian reports. Among the drawings: a... More »

Painting Looted by Nazis Turns Up in Ohio Home

Portrait of a Young Man was returned to Poland last week

(Newser) - A nearly 300-year-old painting stolen from Poland's National Museum by the Nazis during WWII was found in July hanging in an Ohio family's home, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Krzysztof Lubieniecki's Portrait of a Young Man is believed to have been looted by Nazi troops—like 70% of... More »

Thief Targets Hitler's Infamous Wolf's Lair

A plaque commemorating an assassination attempt on Hitler is missing

(Newser) - Someone has stolen a plaque commemorating the man who tried to blow up Adolf Hitler from its spot of honor at Hitler's infamous Wolf's Lair in Poland, AFP reports. According to the AP , a guide at what is now a popular tourist attraction noticed the plaque was missing... More »

Author: Nazi Soldiers Were High on Crystal Meth

Norman Ohler's new book also describes Hitler's drug use

(Newser) - You can add drug abuse to the long list of Nazi exploits, according to author Norman Ohler, who claims Adolf Hitler's soldiers were as high as a kite during World War II. When a friend mentioned Nazi soldiers used drugs, Ohler began scouring US and German archives and uncovered... More »

Why China Is Cutting 300K Troops

Beijing celebrates Communist's WWII 'victory over Japan'

(Newser) - Tanks, missiles, and troops in lock-step filed past Beijing's iconic Tiananmen Square in a massive parade today commemorating Japan's World War II defeat 70 years ago and underlining President Xi Jinping's determination to make China the pre-eminent Asian power. The spectacle involved more than 12,000 troops,... More »

How a Lost US Airman Might Come Home, 71 Years Later

Tom McCaslin's plane crashed in France in 1944

(Newser) - Tom McCaslin's family still hopes he'll come home, 71 years after his B-26 bomber crashed in a field in France. "I think everybody in the family would feel better," says his brother, Joseph McCaslin, one of four surviving siblings who've longed for his return. Now... More »

'Important Part' of WWII History Found 80 Feet Below

'It's a really very, very exciting discovery,' says dive team leader

(Newser) - The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are a chain of almost entirely uninhabited islands, atolls, and shoals that stretch across some 1,250 miles of the Pacific. Amid that large expanse has slumbered what's considered the largest shipwreck to have occurred in the islands: the Mission San Miguel, a naval tanker... More »

WWII Nurse Who Saved Hundreds of US Soldiers Dies

Augusta Chiwy: 'I would have done it for anyone'

(Newser) - Augusta Chiwy was an American heroine, though she hailed from abroad. Chiwy, a wartime nurse who saved the lives of hundreds of American soldiers injured in the bloodiest battle of World War II, the Battle of the Bulge, died Sunday near Brussels at age 94. Born in what is now... More »

WWII Bomber, Crew Emerge From Polish River

Soviet plane went down in tributary of Bzura River in 1945

(Newser) - The remains of a Soviet fighter-bomber plane and two crew members shot down by Germans in 1945 have been found in a river in central Poland amid extremely low water levels associated with a drought. Explorers made the find in the muddy tributary of the Bzura River, near the village... More »

WWII Tank Crushes Man at Jelly Belly Chief's Home

Herman Rowland's son-in-law had permission to drive tank

(Newser) - A 54-year-old man was killed after being run over by a World War II-era tank over the weekend, but he wasn't on any kind of battlefield. Kevin Wright was attending a family reunion at the Fairfield, Calif., home of Jelly Belly Chairman Herman Rowland Sr. on Saturday when he... More »

Cities Scarred by WWII Mark 70th Anniversary of Its End

Fireworks in Honolulu, Nagoaka note Japanese surrender, end of the bloody conflict

(Newser) - The mayors of Honolulu and Nagoaka, Japan—two cities linked by World War II—joined hundreds of people last night to mark the 70th anniversary of the conflict's end by watching a spectacular 20-minute fireworks show. Part of Pearl Harbor, which is still an active naval base, opened to... More »

Japan Is Done Apologizing for World War II

Prime minister makes a notable break with tradition

(Newser) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today made a speech to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and he's making headlines for what he didn't say: We're sorry. Abe expressed "deepest remorse" for Japan's actions and "sincerest condolences" to its... More »

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