Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 354 August 19, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 41. As Ju87 Stuka divebombers are susceptible to fighter attack as they pull out of their dive, Göring withdraws the Stukas from bombing British airfields reserving them instead for attacks on shipping convoys in the English Channel. Clouds and rain restrict the morning to reconnaissance flights. As the weather clears in the afternoon, Luftwaffe tries radically different tactics. Single aircraft (mainly Junkers Ju88 twin engine bombers) attack targets along the South coast of England and Wales. Oil storage tanks at Llanreath near Pembroke Dock, South Wales, are bombed. These lone bomber attacks continue overnight, targeting the East coast and Midlands of England. 1 Messerschmitt Bf109 and 4 Ju88’s are shot down. 1 Spitfire is shot down and 1 Blenheim is does not return from reconnaissance over Southern Norway.

U-boats sink 3 steamers off Ireland. Just after midnight, U-48 sinks Belgian passenger ship Ville de Gand (15 killed, 38 survivors). At 1.54 AM, U-101 sinks British SS Ampleforth (9 killed, 29 crew picked up by British destroyer HMS Warwick and landed at Liverpool). At 10 AM, UA sinks SS Hungarian Kelet (6 killed, all of them survivors from Clan Macphee sunk by U-30 on 16 August). 33 crew and 35 other Clan Macphee survivors are picked up by Norwegian merchant Varegg and landed at Galway on 26 August.

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