Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 422 October 26, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 109. From 7 AM to 6.30 PM, there are continuous small raids of German fighter/bombers (mostly Messerschmitt Bf109s) over Kent and a major sweep of 80 aircraft at 11.30, with several aircraft reaching London. Again, there is little damage to airfields or towns including London. Germans lose 4 Bf109s. 2 RAF fighters are shot down (both pilots killed). At 5.45 PM, German bombers at very low altitude attack RAF Lossiemouth in Northeast Scotland, destroying 1 Blenheim and damaging 2 more. 1 Heinkel He111 is caught in the explosion of its own bombs and crashes. Overnight, London, Manchester, Liverpool and other cities in the Midlands are bombed.

At 4.32 AM, U-28 hits British SS Matina (carrying 1500 tons of bananas from Jamaica) with a torpedo 250 miles Northwest of Ireland. U-28 surfaces and hits Matina with 15 rounds from her deckgun. 67 crew and 2 gunners abandon ship in the lifeboats but are never seen again.

At 9.20 AM, 70 miles Northwest of Aran Island, Ireland, two 250kg bombs from a German Fw200 Condor bomber set fire to British liner Empress of Britain (now converted into a troop ship, carrying military personnel and their families from Egypt to Britain). Most of the 416 crew members, 2 gunners and 205 passengers abandon ship and are rescued by British destroyer HMS Echo, anti-submarine trawler HMS Cape Arcona and Polish destoyer Burza.

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