Battle of Britain Day 96. Fog in the morning restricts flying but then clears. Luftwaffe again mounts raids of mostly fighters. There are 4 raids of 25-50 aircraft from 12.30-4 PM, attacking London and airfields in Kent. Luftwaffe and RAF lose 2 fighters each (both RAF pilots survive). Rescue tug HMRT Danube III hits a mine and sinks off Sheerness, Kent, in the mouth of the Thames Estuary (11 killed). There is widespread bombing of London from 7 PM to 6 AM and 250 civilians are killed at Stoke Newington by a direct hit on a block of flats which collapses on the air raid shelter underneath. There is also heavy overnight bombing in the North of England (Middlesborough, Hull, Huddersfield, Grantham, Liverpool and Manchester).
At dawn, a Sunderland flying boat spots Italian destroyer Artigliere under tow by destroyer Camicia Nera. Attacks by aircraft from British carrier HMS Illustrious force Camicia Nera to abandon Artigliere. British cruisers HMS York and Ajax (which damaged Artigliere yesterday) & 4 destroyers respond to the action and HMS York sinks Artigliere with torpedoes. The British warships drop rafts for the survivors who are picked up next day by an Italian Navy hospital ship. The Battle of Cape Passero costs Italy about 200 sailors from destroyer Artigliere and the 2 torpedo boats Ariel and Airone sunk yesterday.
At 8.46 AM, U-103 torpedoes Estonian SS Nora 200 miles West of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Nora does not sink but the lifeboats are destroyed so U-103’s Korvettenkapitän Viktor Schütze sends a distress message with the steamer’s position. 19 survivors will be picked up by sloop HMS Leith on October 18. At 7.57 PM, in the same area, U-37 sinks British SS Stangrant (8 killed). 30 survivors are rescued by a Sunderland flying boat (10 Squadron RAAF) and landed at Oban, Scotland.