Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 365 August 30, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 52. Fine weather allows sustained and concerted attacks on RAF airfields (Luftwaffe flies 1,310 sorties). Between 10.30 AM and 6 PM, almost all airfields in Southeast England are bombed and there are continuous dogfights. 6 radar stations are down for 3 hours when a power line is hit. Biggin Hill is bombed twice and put out of action (39 killed, 35 wounded). Squadron Leader Tom Gleave of 253 Squadron downs 4 Bf109s in 1 dogfight. AVM Park’s Group 11 is badly let down when fighters from Group 12 (commanded by his rival AVM Leigh-Mallory) do not arrive to cover the airfields. RAF loses 39 fighters, 8 pilots. Germans lose 33 fighters, 30 bombers. Overnight, Liverpool is heavily bombed for the third night, as well as London, Portsmouth, Manchester, Worcester, Bristol and the Vauxhall Motor Works at Luton (where 50 are killed). RAF Bomber Command again bombs Berlin as well as oil refineries near Rotterdam (4 RAF bombers lost).

In 30 minutes from 2.20 to 2.48 AM, U-32 sinks 3 ships in convoy HX-66A 4 miles off Isle of Lewis, Scotland. British SS Mill Hill sinks with all 34 hands lost. British SS Chelsea sinks with 24 dead (11 crew taken off by armed trawler HMS Lord Cecil and landed in Scotland). Norwegian MV Norne sinks with 17 dead (11 survivors rescued from the water by corvette HMS Hibiscus and landed in Scotland next day). In 20 minutes from 9.34 to 9.53 AM, U-59 hits 2 ships in convoy OB-205 70 miles Northwest of Ireland. British tanker Anadara does not sink and is towed to the Clyde by tug HMS Schelde (no casualties). Anadara will be repaired and back in service in May 1941. Greek SS San Gabriel also does not sink (2 killed, 22 survivors abandon ship and are picked up by destroyer HMS Warwick) but is later declared a total loss and beached.

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