Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 637 May 29, 1941

Evacuation of Crete. After leaving Heraklion at 2.45 AM, the steering on British destroyer HMS Imperial fails at 4 AM (damaged by bombing yesterday). Destroyer HMS Hotspur takes off the crew and troops then sinks HMS Imperial with 2 torpedoes. At dawn, the flotilla is an hour behind schedule and still in the Kaso Strait, near airfields on the Italian island of Scarpanto. Destroyer HMS Hereward is bombed at 6.45 and beached on Crete (76 crew killed, 89 taken prisoner). Cruisers HMS Orion & HMS Dido are both hit by bombs which penetrate their decks, exploding among the troops below (Orion, 105 crew and 260 troops killed, 280 troops wounded; Dido, 27 crew and 100 troops killed by fire or water pumped in to prevent the magazine from exploding). Destroyer HMS Decoy is also damaged. The flotilla is attacked until 3 PM, 100 miles from Alexandria, Egypt. They limp into Alexandria at 8 PM.

At 8.43 PM, U-557 sinks British SS Empire Storm in the North Atlantic (3 killed, 36 crew and 4 gunners picked up by Norwegian merchant Marita). At 11.50 PM 250 miles off Sierra Leone, U-38 sinks British SS Tabaristan (21 killed, 36 crew and 3 gunners picked up by British armed trawlers HMS Bengali and HMS Turcoman).

1 comment:

  1. My grandfather, Thomas Bell, served on the HMS Dido during WWII, and was actually aboard the ship when the German bombers hit the Dido. He had just left his position b/c of shift change, and went back to take his seat, which was already filled. On his was back to the deck the bomb hit, killing his replacement and his friends.