Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 957 April 14, 1942

Britain lacks aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean to transport fighter aircraft to within flying distance of Malta (“club runs”), to provide much-needed protection from German and Italian air raids. America loans carrier USS Wasp and destroyers USS Lang and USS Madison, on the request of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. USS Wasp and escorts leave the Clyde Estuary, Scotland, after loading 52 Spitfires and their pilots (601 and 603 Squadrons).

One of Britain’s most successful submarines HMS Upholder (having sunk 1 destroyer, 3 submarines and 12 merchant supply ships; total 89,848 tons) disappears in the Mediterranean between Italy and Libya (all 32 crew and 1 passenger lost). HMS Upholder is sunk either by bombs from 2 Messerschmitt Bf110 and 2 Dornier Do17 bombers, escorting Italian “Aprilia” convoy to from Italy to Tripoli, or by depth charges from torpedo boat Pegaso.

Bataan. Japanese shell US positions on Corregidor Island. Bataan Death March continues. As more US/Filipino POWs are moved from Balanga to Orani, the first wave is marched another 15 miles North from Orani to Lubao. The men are again fed a bowl of rice, then crammed into an abandoned warehouse where there is water from a single faucet. The heat is intense and the men are starving, dehydrated and diseased, but stragglers are beaten and bayoneted all along the route.

At 3.15 PM 10 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, U-203 sinks British SS Empire Thrush (all 48 crew members and 7 gunners picked up by US Q-ship USS Asterion). At 4.36 PM off Barbados, U-66 sinks Greek SS Korthion (14 dead and 9 survivors). At 9.02 PM off Cape Cod, U-571 sinks American SS Margaret (all 29 hands lost).

RAF Bomber Command sends 12 Douglas DB-7 “Boston” bombers on a successful and accurate daylight raid across the English Channel on the Mondeville power station near Caen, France.

At 10.30 PM 650 miles west of Brest, France, British sloop HMS Stork and corvette HMS Vetch sink U-252 with depth charges (all hands 44 lost).

Overnight, 208 RAF bombers (142 Wellingtons, 34 Hampdens, 20 Stirlings, 8 Halifaxes, 4 Manchesters) mount an inaccurate raid on Dortmund, Germany (6 buildings hit, 4 civilians killed, 27 injured). 5 Wellingtons and 4 Hampdens are lost.

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