Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 415 October 19, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 102. Clouds and mist in the English Channel and Northern France again restrict Luftwaffe to reconnaissance and a few single aircraft raids. 2 Ju88 bombers are shot down, 1 near Maidstone, Kent, and another near Falmouth, Cornwall. 60 German fighters, some carrying bombs, fly over Kent to Central London at 2.30 PM and are engaged by 5 RAF squadrons. 2 RAF fighters are shot down (1 pilot killed). Destroyer HMS Venetia hits a mine and sinks in the Thames Estuary, 10 miles North of Herne Bay, Kent (35 crew killed, 18 wounded). There is very heavy night bombing London, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester and Coventry.

U-99, U-100, U-101 and U-123 continue attacking convoy SC-7, 100 miles Northwest of Ireland, and 10 ships are torpedoed between midnight and 5 AM. U-123 sinks British SS Shekatika which was abandoned yesterday after being hit by U-100 and U-123 (it has taken a total of 5 torpedoes to sink her). U-99 sinks Norwegian SS Snefjeld (all 21 crew escape in a launch and accumulate survivors from other ships until picked up by corvette HMS Clematis on October 23).

150 miles further West, U-38, U-46 and U-47 attack convoy HX-79, sinking 5 ships and damaging tanker SS Shirak.

A violent storm in the Gulf of St. Lawrence sinks Canadian auxiliary minesweeper HMCS Bras d'Or (all 30 hands lost), escorting Rumanian freighter Ingener N. Vlassopol from Quebec to Sydney, Nova Scotia (where slower merchant ships assembled before setting out in convoy for Britain).

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