Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 459 December 2, 1940

British armed merchant cruiser HMS Forfar, which has just left convoy HX-90, is sunk by U-99 with 5 torpedoes between 5.46 and 6.57 AM (172 crew killed, 21 survivors rescued later in the day by Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Laurent, British destroyer HMS Viscount and British SS Dunsley). Between 4-7.30 AM 300 miles West of Ireland, U-47 U-52 U-94 U-99 and U-101 attack convoy HX-90 (which is still unescorted) with good visibility from the Northern Lights, sinking 5 ships (22,868 tons of shipping) and damaging 2 more (119 lives lost). Destroyer HMS Viscount rescues 79 survivors and Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Laurent rescues 106. U-94 finds the convoy after the coastal escort vessels arrive and sinks 2 more ships after dark (5 killed, survivors rescued by British SS Empire Puma from the same convoy and corvette HMS Gentian).

In other U-boat actions, U-37 sinks Swedish SS Gwalia at 4.18 AM (16 killed, 4 survivors on a raft picked up after 11 days by a British destroyer) and British Jeanne M. at 4.46 AM (7 killed, 19 picked up by antisubmarine trawler HMT Erin) 230 miles north of Cape Roca, Portugal. West of Ireland, U-43 sinks British MV Pacific President at 9.01 AM (all 50 hands lost) and British tanker Victor Ross at 9.41 AM (all 44 hands lost) and U-99 sinks Norwegian SS Samnanger at 8.50 PM (all 30 hands lost).

Admiral of the Fleet, Earl of Cork and Orrery, arrives at Gibraltar aboard destroyer HMS Jersey to conduct a Board of Inquiry into Admiral Somerville’s handling of Battle of Spartivento. Somerville’s decision to disengage in the face of superior forces will be upheld and no disciplinary action taken.

Overnight, Luftwaffe bombs Bristol.

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