Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 416 October 20, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 103. Luftwaffe takes advantage of clearing mist to send 5 raids of fighters, some carrying bombs, over Kent towards London, between 9.30 AM and 3 PM. Luftwaffe loses 6 Bf109s and 1 Bf110 while RAF loses 3 fighters (none of the pilots are killed). Dover is again shelled by German heavy artillery in Calais but only 15 out of 50 explode. Italian BR20 bombers, Cant Z1007 long range bombers, G50 fighters and CR42 fighters are reported to be in Belgium to begin operations against England. From 7 PM to 1 AM, there is heavy bombing of London, Coventry and Birmingham.

U-46 and U-47 continue attacking convoy HX-79 50 miles Northwest of Ireland, joined by U-100 fresh from the attack on convoy SC-7. They sink 7 ships and damage 1 more between midnight and 7.20 AM. U-100 sinks British SS Loch Lomond (1 killed). 111 survivors, including all 72 men rescued last night from SS Matheran, are picked up by minesweeper HMS Jason. 200 miles further West, U-124 sinks Norwegian SS Cubano (2 killed) and British SS Sulaco (63 crew members and 2 gunners killed). 29 crew from Cubano escape in lifeboats and pick up the sole survivor from Sulaco, chief cook James Thompson Harvey. They are all rescued the next day by destroyer HMCS Saguenay.

Using papers captured from submarine Durbo on October 18, British destroyers HMS Gallant, Griffin & Hotspur locate Italian submarine Lafole in the Mediterranean off Mellila, Morocco. HMS Hotspur rams Lafole which sinks (37 crew killed, 2 rescued by HMS Gallant and 7 by Hotspur). Hotspur’s bow is severely damage and she will be under repair until February 20 1941.

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