Mary Jane Lovett carried her second child to term, the winds of
change were blowing.
The “Big Week” occurred in late February
1944. Code-named Operation Argument, it was an intensive Allied
bombing campaign against aircraft production facilities in Germany and
Poland. During the weeklong raids, the Allies launched thousands of
sorties. On just one day, the U.S. Army Air Forces sent up 1,000
heavy bombers with 900 escorting fighters.
A few months later, in
June 1944, the liberation of Europe began when the Allies conducted a
cross-channel invasion of France at Normandy. Code-named Overlord,
the operation that landed 150,000 men on the European mainland was
supported by 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft.
In October 1944, the
largest naval battle in history was fought in the Philippine Sea.
The four-day battle, known as the Battle of Leyte Gulf, involved hundreds
of surface ships and submarines and nearly 200,000 men. Its stage
hosted the debut of Japanese pilots flying suicide missions—the Kamikaze
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