Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 306 July 2, 1940

Overnight, 12 RAF Hampden bombers attack German battleship Scharnhorst and cruiser Prinz Eugen in dry dock at Kiel. 2 small bombs hit Prinz Eugen. Flight officer Guy Gibson drops the first 2000 lb bomb near Scharnhorst but misses. Gibson will be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

At 6.58 AM off the coast of Ireland, U-47 fires a single torpedo at British liner Arandora Star carrying 1,299 German and Italian internees. With grey paint and no Red Cross sign, Arandora Star is mistaken for an armed merchant cruiser and sinks within 35 minutes (92 British crew & guards, 470 Italians and 243 Germans are lost). 282 crew & guards and 586 Italians & Germans are rescued by Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Laurent and landed at Greenock.

U-29 sinks British tanker Athellaird about 500 miles West of Brest, France (all 42 crew are picked up by British sloop HMS Sandwich and landed at Greenock, Scotland) and Panamanian SS Santa Margarita (all 39 crew rescued). 21 survivors are picked up by British merchant King John which will be sunk on July 13.

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