Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 950 April 7, 1942

At 2.18 AM 370 miles Northwest of Bermuda, U-754 sinks Norwegian tanker MV Kollskegg carrying 14300 tons of crude and refined oil (4 killed). 38 survivors abandon ship in 3 lifeboats (1 is rescued quickly by Panamanian SS Bushranger but 2 lifeboats drift in severe gales until picked up on April 14 by a Canadian warship).

10 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, U-552 sinks British MV British Splendour carrying 10,000 tons of benzene at 4.17 AM (11 crew and 1 gunner killed, 41 survivors picked up by escort vessel anti-submarine trawler HMS St. Zeno) and Norwegian whale factory ship SS Lancing at 10.52 AM (1 killed, 49 survivors in 4 lifeboats picked up by American tanker Pan Rhode Island).

Bataan, Philippines. At 10 AM, a Japanese dive bomber hits an ammunition truck passing by American field hospital No.1, sending many patients sprawling from their beds. Japanese aircraft return and bomb the hospital buildings, despite large red crosses on the roofs, killing 89 patients and wounding 101. The pharmacy is also hit, destroying most drug stocks. Following a 3 hour artillery and air bombardment, Japanese attack US II Corps dug in along the San Vicente River (which runs from Mount Samat 5 miles East to the coast). Filipino troops on the coast are routed by noon, while the Western end of the line is turned by Japanese troops moving along a network of communication trails cleared by the Americans behind Mount Samat. San Vicente line crumbles in disarray as retreating units become separated in the jungle. II Corps establishes a new line with about 1200 men on the Mamala River but this is abandoned at 9 PM and they withdraw 2.5 miles South to better positions on the Alangan River.

At 1 PM 40 miles North of Sid Barrani, Egypt, U-453 hits British hospital ship HMHS Somersetshire with 3 torpedoes (2 killed, 114 crew, 64 medical staff and 2 stewardesses abandon ship in 13 lifeboats). The crew reboards and HMHS Somersetshire reaches Alexandria under her own steam.

Mediterranean. British tugs HMS Emily and HMS Hellespont are sunk during air raids on Malta. At 5.30 PM 7 miles South of Petrovac, Croatia, British submarine HMS Turbulent sinks Italian freighter Rosa M. with 39 rounds from the deck gun.

Indian Ocean. At 7.20 PM 300 miles West of Bombay, Japanese submarine I-6 sinks British freighter Bahadur carrying 5,100 tons of supplies and ammunition.

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