Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 973 April 30, 1942

At 1.52 AM 180 miles East of Barbados, U-162 sinks British tanker MV Athelempress with shellfire from the deck gun (3 killed, 19 survivors make land at Gros Inlet Bay, St. Lucia, 28 survivors picked up by Norwegian tanker MV Atlantic and landed at Trinidad). At 3.36 AM 18 miles South of Cape Fear, North Carolina, U-402 sinks Soviet SS Ashkhabad (all 47 hands, including 3 women, picked up by the escort British anti-submarine trawler HMS Lady Elsa). At 7.37 AM 95 miles East of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, U-576 sinks Norwegian SS Taborfjell (17 killed, 3 survivors on a raft rescued 20 hours later by British submarine HMS P-552). At 6.10 PM 5 miles North of Gibara, Cuba, U-507 sinks American SS Federal with shellfire from the deck gun (5 killed, 28 survivors).

24 RAF Douglas DB-7 Boston bombers fly across the English Channel to make daylight raids with fighter escorts on the docks at Flushing (The Netherlands), Abbeville railway yards, Morlaix airfield and docks at Le Havre (all France). No aircraft are lost.

Burma. While most Chinese troops retreat East back into China, General Sun Li Jen’s Chinese 38th Division is blocked by the Japanese and goes with the British towards India. British 7th Armoured Division crosses North over the Irrawaddy River at the Ava Bridge, Mandalay. Their Stuart tanks weigh 13 tons and cross the bridge (which is designed to carry 6 tons) in single file. At midnight, the Ava Bridge is blown up and Mandalay is given up to the Japanese.

Philippines. Heavy Japanese artillery shelling and aerial bombing of US positions on Corregidor Island continues. 2 PBY Catalina seaplanes arrive from Mindanao bringing medicine and 740 fuses for 3-inch anti-aircraft rounds, then evacuate 50 passengers including 20 American nurses.

200 miles North of Murmansk, USSR, British cruiser HMS Edinburgh (escorting Allied convoy QP 11 from Murmansk and carrying Soviet gold worth 5 million pounds sterling to USA as payment for munitions and materiel) is attacked unsuccessfully by U-436 which misses with 4 torpedoes. At 4.18 PM, another U-boat U-456 hits HMS Edinburgh with 2 torpedoes, blowing the cruiser's stern off and causing extensive flooding. After failed attempts to tow by British destroyer HMS Forester, HMS Edinburgh gets going under her own steam at 3 knots. She has to cover 200 miles to reach safety at Murmansk escorted by 2 British destroyers and 2 Soviet destroyers.

Baedeker Blitz. Overnight, Luftwaffe bombs Norwich on the East coast again.

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