Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 792 October 31, 1941

First US Navy warship lost in WWII. At 8.34 AM 725 miles West of Ireland, U-552 sinks American WWI-era destroyer USS Reuben James (escorting convoy HX-156 with 4 other US destroyers). 2 torpedoes ignite the aft magazine, blowing off the bow. Primed depth charges sink and explode, killing survivors in the water (115 killed, 45 rescued by other escorts).

At 9.03 AM 120 miles East of St. John’s, Newfoundland, U-374 sinks British SS Rose Schiaffino (all 37 crew and 4 gunners lost).

At 10.47 AM 400 miles West of Ireland, U-96 sinks Dutch SS Bennekom (5 crew and 3 gunners killed, 46 survivors picked up the next day by British sloop HMS Culver). U-96 is attacked by British sloop HMS Lulworth with 27 depth charges (U-96 is not damaged).

Soviet destroyer Bodryy at Sevastopol shells German tanks 25 miles North on the Crimean coast at Nikolaevka. Luftwaffe Stukas attack the Soviet warships being used as floating artillery batteries, doing no damage but killing or wounding 50 crewmen with machinegun fire.

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