Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 413 October 17, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 100. Luftwaffe takes advantage of the return of bright weather and sends 4 raids of fighters, some carrying bombs, over Kent and the Thames Estuary towards London between 8.30 AM and 4.30 PM. The largest raid of about 80 aircraft at 3.10 PM is met over East London, Kenley and Biggin Hill by 14 RAF squadrons, which shoot down 4 Messerschmitt Bf109s. RAF loses 3 fighters (all 3 pilots killed). Overnight, London, Liverpool and Birmingham are all heavily bombed.

Minesweeper HMS Dundalk hits a mine 20 miles Northeast of Harwich on the East coast of England (4 killed, 7 wounded) and is taken in tow but sinks early the next day. German motor torpedo boats S-24 and S-27 attack convoy FN.311 in the North Sea, 10 miles off Lowestoft, Norfolk. British steamer Hauxley is torpedoed (1 crewman lost) and taken in tow by destroyer HMS Worcester but sinks the next day.

4 German destroyers and 6 torpedo boats leave Brest, France, to attack shipping in the Bristol Channel but they are spotted by British reconnaissance aircraft at 7.19 AM. British cruisers HMS Newcastle & Emerald and 5 destroyers leave Plymouth at 11.00 AM and sight the German ships at 4 PM. After an exchange of shellfire at a distance of 11 miles lasting until 6 PM, both sides retire with no damage reported.

U-93 continues the attack on convoy OA-228 300 miles Northwest of the Outer Hebrides, sinking Norwegian SS Dokka at 3.17 AM (10 killed, 7 crew escape on two rafts and are picked up by sloop HMS Folkestone and landed in Sydney, Australia, on October 23) and British SS Uskbridge at 3.39 AM (2 killed, 6 crew picked up and transferred to British SS Cristales and landed at Bermuda). U-93 is attacked 3 times during the day (depth charged at 4 AM by HMS Folkestone, depth charged again at 10.15 AM, and bombed in the evening by a Sunderland aircraft) but suffers no damage. At 5.53 AM, U-48 fires 3 torpedoes at convoy SC-7 400 miles Northwest of Ireland, sinking British SS Scoresby and stopping British tanker Languedoc (carrying 13,700 tons of fuel oil). Corvette HMS Bluebell scuttles tanker Languedoc with gunfire and also picks up all 39 crew from Scoresby and all 39 crew from Languedoc (landed at Gourock, Scotland, on 20 October). At 10.52 AM, U-38 sinks Greek SS Aenos with the deck gun (4 killed, 25 survivors picked up by Canadian SS Eaglescliffe Hall).

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