Captain Richard Antrim was captured in 1942 & held as a POW. During this time, he impressed with his engineering skills & helped the Japanese arrange trenches. From the air, the trenches spelled out “US”, warning bombers not to attack and that it was a POW camp, saving hundreds of lives.
Tea was so important for morale in the British army that in 1942 the UK bought the entire world’s crop of tea.
During WWII, Coca-Cola lobbyist Ben Oehlert convinced the government to allow their product to be given to the troops as an alternative to alcohol in order to be excused from sugar rationing, thus potentially saving the company from going under.
One of the very few surviving ships from the 1944 D-Day invasion is still in service as a car ferry in Connecticut.
There was a magician by the name Jasper Maskelyne who used “magic” to help against the nazis in WWII. He would hide tools and maps in everyday objects and fool the Nazis by using illusions.
Joseph R. Beyrle is thought to be the only American soldier to have served with both the United States Army and the Soviet Army in World War II. His son John Beyrle served as the United States Ambassador to Russia 2008-2012.
In 1941 the world’s largest seed bank (created by botanist Nikolai Vavilov) was housed in Leningrad. As the Germans surrounded the city forcing mass starvation, Vavilov’s scientists refused to eat from the collection, slowly dying of hunger as they maintained 16 rooms of edible plants.
Owen J. Baggett became legendary as the only person to down a Japanese aircraft with a M1911 pistol hitting the pilot in the head while he was parachuting.
Anne Frank’s family was denied visas by the U.S. government because of stricter immigration policies.