Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 198 March 16, 1940

Yugoslavian steamer Slava hits a mine laid by U-29 on March 2 and sinks in the Bristol Channel (1 life lost, 33 survivors).

At 8 PM, 32 Junkers Ju 88s dive bombers of KG30 attack the Royal Navy Home Fleet in Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands. Cruiser HMS Norfolk is hit with one bomb that passes through the upper, main & lower decks and explodes, blowing a hole below the water line (6 lives lost). James Isbister (age 27) is killed by bombs dropped on the village of “Bridge of Waithe” on the shore of Scapa Flow, becoming the first British civilian death on land. There will be many more.

Despite the damage, HMS Norfolk will leave Scapa Flow under her own steam on March 19 for repairs in the Clyde until June 14.

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