Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 388 September 22, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 75. Another quiet day, with fog, rain and some sunshine. There are photographic or weather reconnaissance flights all day. 1 Ju88 on reconnaissance is shot down in the English Channel near the Isle of Wight by 234 Squadron. The Ju88 crew escapes from the sinking aircraft and are taken prisoner. RAF loses 3 Hurricanes which get lost in bad weather on a routine patrol and crash land (no pilots killed). London receives exceptionally heavy bombing overnight, with fires lighting up the night sky for several miles.

The attack on convoy HX-72 continues overnight. From 00.22 to 2.14 AM, Joachim Schepke in U-100 continues his spree, torpedoing 4 ships which all eventually sink; British steamer Empire Airman (33 crew killed, 4 rescued), British tanker Frederick S. Fales (10 crew and 1 gunner killed, 32 crew rescued), British steamer Scholar (all 45 hand survived) and Norwegian steamer Simla (the crew jumps overboard, 5 drown, 31 survivors picked up after 45 minutes by corvette HMS Heartsease). In 3 hours, U-100 has sunk a remarkable 7 ships (over 50,000 tons). At 7.40 AM, U-32 shells British steamer Collegian (a straggler from HX-72) with the deck gun from 7km but Collegian returns accurate fire and chases off the U-boat.

At 5.55 PM, 100 miles South of Faroe Islands, U-31 sinks the tiny Faroese sailing trawler Union Jack with the deck gun. The crew of 7 abandons ship in a small rowboat and reach the tiny Flannan Isles in the Outer Hebrides 36 hours later.

British submarine HMS Tuna sinks Norwegian liner Tirranna 1 mile from shore near Bordeaux, France. Sadly, Tirranna had been taken as a prize ship by German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis on June 10 and dispatched to occupied France on August 5 with 274 prisoners. 87 prisoners, including women and children, and 1 of the prize crew from Atlantis are killed. http://www.warsailors.com/raidervictims/atlantis.html

At 3 AM, 11 Swordfish and 6 Skuas fly 50 miles from British aircraft carrier HMS Furious to bomb Trondheim. However, bad weather frustrates the operation, forcing HMS Furious to return to Scotland early and abandon some of the aircraft. 1 Swordfish crashes into the sea looking for the carrier (3 aircrew killed). 3 Swordfish crash land in Norway (9 aircrew captured). 1 Swordfish & 1 Skua crash land in Sweden (5 aircrew interned). http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/81/a2109881.shtml

British destroyers HMS Jervis, Janus, Juno and Mohawk bombard the Italian-held airfield at Sidi Barrani, Egypt, and then return to British-held Alexandria. British submarines attack Italian ships off Italy. HMS Truant sinks steamer Provvidenza 10 miles West of Naples. HMS Osiris sinks Regia Marina destroyer Palestro in the Adriatic Sea 75 miles east of Bari.

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