Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 360 August 25, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 47. Mist in the morning gives way to a clear, warm day but there is little German activity. At 5 PM, German raids approach the South coast. RAF airfield at Warmwell is damaged and Dover is also bombed. Czech pilot Count Manfred Czernin, flying for RAF in a Hurricane of 17 Squadron, shoots down 3 Bf110s in 1 minute. Overnight, Luftwaffe bombs South Wales, Bristol, Birmingham and other cities in the Midlands. German losses are 38 Messerschmitt fighters and 8 bombers shot down plus 6 aircraft downed by anti-aircraft fire. RAF loses 16 fighters and 2 Blenheim bombers (13 aircrew are killed and Sgt. P.T.Wareing is taken prisoner after crashing near Calais). Overnight, 81 Handley Page Hampden bombers of British Bomber Command attack Berlin in reprisal for yesterday’s bombing of London, shocking Göring who has claimed this is impossible. http://www.rafbombercommand.com/timeline/logbook2_v3.html

At 1.46 AM, U-37 sinks British steamer Blairmore in mid-Atlantic 500 miles West of Ireland (5 crew killed). 29 crew and 7 survivors from British sloop HMS Penzance (sunk by U-37 the previous day) are picked up by Swedish MV Eknaren and landed at Baltimore, USA. U-37 also sinks British steamer Yewcrest just before midnight. At 8 PM, U-100 sinks British banana boat Jamaica Pioneer, West of Ireland (2 dead).

Convoy HX-65 from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Liverpool suffers continuous U-boat attacks. At 2.45 AM, U-48 sinks steamer Empire Merlin (6830 tons of sulphur, 35 killed, 1 survivor picked up by corvette HMS Godetia) and tanker Athelcrest (carrying oil from Aruba, 30 dead, 6 rescued by HMS Godetia) 90 miles North of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. At 7.48 PM, U-57 sinks tanker Pecten (9546 tons of Admiralty fuel oil, 49 crew killed, 8 survivors landed at Belfast) 75 miles North of Ireland. Between 11.50 and 11.56 PM, U-124 fires 4 torpedoes at the convoy 23 miles North of the Outer Hebrides, sinking British steamers Harpalyce (8000 tons of steel, 37 crew and 5 naval staff killed) and Fircrest (7900 tons of iron ore, all 39 crew lost) and damaging Stakesby which is towed on fire and beached at Stornaway.

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