The timeline below will give you an idea of what had been happening in Europe as Bill was heading to war.
Courtesy of TheHistoryPlace.com
May 7, 1943 - Allies take Tunisia.
May 13, 1943 - German and Italian troops surrender in North Africa.
May 16, 1943 - Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto ends.
May 16/17 - British air raid on the Ruhr.
May 22, 1943 - Dönitz suspends U-boat operations in the North Atlantic.
June 10, 1943 - 'Pointblank' directive to improve Allied bombing strategy issued.
June 11, 1943 - Himmler orders the liquidation of all Jewish ghettos in Poland.
July 5, 1943 - Germans begin their last offensive against Kursk.
July 9/10 - Allies land in Sicily.
July 19, 1943 - Allies bomb Rome.
July 22, 1943 - Americans capture Palermo, Sicily.
July 24, 1943 - British bombing raid on Hamburg.
July 25/26 - Mussolini arrested and the Italian Fascist government falls; Marshal Pietro Badoglio takes over and negotiates with Allies.
July 27/28 - Allied air raid causes a firestorm in Hamburg.
August 12-17 - Germans evacuate Sicily.
August 17, 1943 - American daylight air raids on Regensburg and Schweinfurt in Germany; Allies reach Messina, Sicily.
August 23, 1943 - Soviet troops recapture Kharkov.
September 8, 1943 - Italian surrender to Allies is announced.
September 9, 1943 - Allied landings at Salerno and Taranto.
September 11, 1943 - Germans occupy Rome.
September 12, 1943 - Germans rescue Mussolini.
September 23, 1943 - Mussolini re-establishes a Fascist government.
October 1, 1943 - Allies enter Naples, Italy.
October 4, 1943 - SS-Reichsführer Himmler gives speech at Posen.
October 13, 1943 - Italy declares war on Germany; Second American air raid on Schweinfurt.
November 6, 1943 - Russians recapture Kiev in the Ukraine.
November 18, 1943 - Large British air raid on Berlin.
November 28, 1943 - Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin meet at Teheran.
December 24-26 - Soviets launch offensives on the Ukrainian front.
January 6, 1944 - Soviet troops advance into Poland.
January 17, 1944 - First attack toward Cassino, Italy.
January 22, 1944 - Allies land at Anzio in Italy.
January 27, 1944 - Leningrad relieved after a 900-day siege.
February 15-18 - Allies bomb the monastery at Monte Cassino.
February 16, 1944 - Germans counter-attack against the Anzio beachhead.