|In 1944 the news would proclaim the 8th Air Forces first major strike against the capital of Germany (March), and the invasion
of Normandy (June). Although it wasn't front page news, the 486th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrives at station #174 and set up shop in their new
B24 "Liberators" (April), and they would fly their first combat sortie in May. Their 100th came 6 months later (Nov). That same year
Germany launched its first V-1 attack on London. McCarthur made good on his promies to return to the Philipines, and the allies retook Paris and
Rome. The Germans were in full retreat, but would strike back in December in a desperate attempt to halt allied advances and turn the tide. This
battle created a bulge in the allied battle lines and became known as the "Battle of the Bulge." The allies would prevail after a
bitterly fought contest for French soil.
In 1944 the first jet engined aircraft entered production. Quinine, the anti-malaria agent, was first synthesized in the lab. Meat rationing ends in the US, and Texas grants black americans the right to vote. The GI bill of rights is signed into law by Franklin Roosevelt.
The average American yearly income was $2,378, and their homes cost an average of $3,475. Their cars set them back $975. Bread was $0.10 and gas was $0.15. Gold was $35/ounce and silver was $0.71. The Dow Jones average was at 143 for the year. Americans could expect to live to 63 years of age.
Also in this year the automatic sequence computer and electron spectrometer were invented.
Do you remember "Swinging on a star," or "Don't Fence me in?"
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