• December 5 – The Army Corps of Engineers took over jurisdiction of surplus military airfields at Glasgow, Lewistown, and Cut Bank.
• December 15 – The U.S. Sixth Army invaded Mindoro. A train wreck at Gold Creek killed one man and burned up a freight car full of cigarettes.
• December 16 – A German offensive began in the Ardennes Forest.
• December 22 – The U.S. 101st Airborne held Bastogne against repeated German attacks.
• December 23 – Fire destroyed the McBee Motor Company garage in Billings with $100,000 damage. A man died of a heart attack while helping move belongings from an apartment adjacent to the fire.
• December 24 – The Charlo butter and cheese factory was destroyed by fire with $25,000 damage.
• December 26 – The Fourth Armored Division relieved the 101st Airborne at Bastogne.
• December 27 – Governor Sam Ford was sworn into his second term.
• December 28 – The Bachelor Officer’s Quarters at Gore Field was gutted by fire.
• December 31 – Longtime Missoula mailman Louis Brutto retired after 40 years on the job. Beginning in 1918, he had walked an estimated 100,000 miles delivering the mail.
Read more about December 1944 in Montana
November 1944 in Montana
January 1945 in Montana
Montana History Calendar 1942
Montana History Calendar 1941
Montana History Calendar 1930s
• April 6 – German troops invaded Greece and Yugoslavia.
• April 13 – Japan and Russia signed a non-aggression pact.
• April 17 – Yugoslavia surrendered to the Axis and Marshall Tito began to organize guerrilla forces.
• June 22 – Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
• July 13 – England and the Soviet Union signed a mutual aid agreement.
• August 25 – British and Soviet troops occupied Iran.
• October – German forces threatened the outskirts of Moscow and Leningrad.
• November 17 – Admiral Yamamoto and elements of the Combined Fleet steamed out of Saeki Bay, Japan.
• November 29 – Governor Ford told a convention of Native American leaders in Havre that their treatment by the Federal government had been “shameful.”
• December 3 – Sen. Burton K. Wheeler leaked the top-secret “Victory Program” to a newspaper reporter.
• December 4 – The Japanese fleet changed course towards Pearl Harbor.
• December 6 – The British declared war on Finland, Hungary, and Rumania.
• December 8 – Montana Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin cast the only dissenting vote on a declaration of war.
• December 11 – Germany & Italy declared war on the U.S.
• December 12 – The sound of a train collision in Great Falls was mistaken for an air raid.
• December 13 – A Soviet offensive at Moscow caused 85,000 German casualties. British forces in North Africa attacked Germans west of Tobruk.
• Dec. 15 – President Roosevelt addressed the nation on the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights.
• Dec. 18 – The first Japanese detainees arrived at Fort Missoula.
Montana History Calendar 1942
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Thanks to all of those Veterans out there for your service!
With Veterans Day once again upon us, I was reminded of what was happening during World War II, as fighting raged across the globe seventy years ago this week. Veterans Day of course dates back to the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I on November 11, 1918, and was extended in 1945 to honor all veterans. Twenty-three years after President Woodrow Wilson declared it a holiday to commemorate “the war to end all wars,” World War II affected nearly every person on earth. U.S. soldiers had invaded North Africa on November 8, 1948. Four days later British soldiers defeated the German Afrika Korps at Tobruk, Libya. Armed with a sophisticated radar, the U.S.S. Helena fired the first shots of the First Battle of Guadalcanal just after midnight of August 13, in an attempt to prevent the Japanese Navy from landing reinforcements on the island.
Western Montana events honoring Veterans Day can be found here.
Among the other traditional events during Veterans Day, the Rocky Mountain of Museum History will be hosting a showing of “Forgotten Soldiers,” about the soldiers who fought at Bataan, and survived the Death March, prison camps, and the “Hell Ships.” Check it out at 3:30 p.m.on November 11, 2012 at the Roxy Theater in Missoula. For more information call 406-549-5346.