Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 1020 June 16, 1942

In the last act of Operations Vigourous and Harpoon, at 00.19 AM 115 miles North of Sidi Barrani, Egypt, U-205 sinks British cruiser HMS Hermione returning to Alexandria (87 killed, 440 rescued by destroyers HMS Aldenham, HMS Exmoor and HMS Beaufort). Royal Navy has lost 1 cruiser, 5 destroyers and 6 merchant ships sunk (with many more warships damaged) for only 2 freighters reaching Malta and 1 Italian cruiser sunk.

At 4.17 AM 25 miles East of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, U-87 attacks convoy XB-25 sinking British SS Port Nicholson (2 killed, 85 survivors taken off by Canadian corvette HMCS Nanaimo, 2 crew and 4 Canadian sailors drown trying to reboard SS Port Nicholson) and American liner SS Cherokee (65 crew, 1 gunner and 20 US Army passengers killed; 47 crew, 10 gunners and 26 US Army passengers rescued by steamer Norlago and US Coast Guard cutter USS Escanaba).

Caribbean. 70 miles West of Grenada, U-126 sinks US steamers SS Arkansan at 2.30 AM (4 killed, 36 survivors) and SS Kahuku at 3.20 AM (6 crew, 3 gunners and 8 survivors from the Cold Harbor and Scottsburg, sunk yesterday by U-502, killed; 46 survivors). At 4 AM 50 miles North of Matanzas, Cuba, U-67 sinks Nicaraguan SS Managua (all 25 hands survive). At 2.10 PM, U-161 indulges in a little piracy, stopping Dominican sailing boat Nueva Altagracia with gunfire then taking onboard the cargo of fruit and chickens plus all 8 crew. Nueva Altagracia is sunk with scuttling charges. U-161 releases the crew next day to another Dominican sailing ship Ciudad Trujillo, after helping themselves to more fruit.

Libya. Churchill, reassured by General Auchinleck’s promise that Tobruk is secure, leaves England on a non-stop flight to USA to meet Roosevelt. However, Rommel attacks El Adem and Sidi Rezegh, South and East of Tobruk. With most of British 8th Army withdrawing into Egypt, it looks likely Tobruk will be cut off again.

Sevastopol. Having crushed Fort Stalin, German artillery and Luftwaffe bombers turn their attention to the massive Fort Maxim Gorky. When Maxim Gorky’s 12-inch guns cease firing, German 132nd Division overruns the Fort. Soviets will claim Fort Maxim Gorky ran out of shells but contemporary photographs show the guns destroyed.

Overnight, RAF sends 106 bombers (40 Wellingtons, 39 Halifaxes, 15 Lancasters, 12 Stirlings) on another inaccurate raid to Essen, Germany. Only 16 bomb Essen while 56 bomb other targets including 45 attacking Bonn. 4 Halifaxes, 3 Wellingtons, 1 Stirling are lost.

1 comment:

  1. My uncle, Ft.Lt. Jack Mooney, an American who flew with the RAF Eagle Squadron was killed in action on this day, flying a Spitfire and strafing a German supply train near Dunkirk, France.