Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 1023 June 19, 1942

Overnight 10 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, U-701 and US anti-submarine trawler USS YP-389 engage in a gun duel. USS YP-389’s 3-inch gun fails due to a faulty firing pin and she is sunk by armour piercing, high explosive and incendiary shells from U-701 (4 dead and 21 survivors). U-701 sustains only slight damage from USS YP-389’s Springfield machine guns.

At 00.43 AM, US submarine USS S-27 runs aground on rocks off Amchitka Island, Aleutians, while on her way to reconnoiter Japanese positions on the neighboring island of Kiska. By 4 PM, all 42 crew reach the beach using a rubber boat and ropes, after equipment is destroyed and classified material burned.

At 11.02 AM 20 miles West of Puerto Rico, U-107 shells unarmed US schooner Cheerio. A US patrol aircraft attacks U-107, forcing her to submerge and break off the attack but Cheerio sinks anyway (all 9 crew rescued clinging to wreckage by US Coast Guard ship USS CG-459).

At Sevastopol, Germans widen the breach in the Soviet lines North of Severnaya Bay and attempt to reduce the remaining Forts. Soviet 138th Naval Infantry Brigade makes an unsuccessful counterattack on German 22nd Division. Both sides are exhausted but the Red Army is wearing out faster. In the Black Sea South of Yalta, Italian fast torpedoboat MAS-571 sinks Soviet submarine SC-214. (In January 1942, Germany requested Italian assistance to help patrol the Black Sea because of “the superiority of the light surface and underwater torpedo crafts of the Regia Marina”. Italy sent 4 MAS boats, 6 CD class pocket submarines, 5 torpedo-motor boats and 5 explosive motorboats overland).

Off the West coast of Australia, German armed merchant cruiser Thor stops Norwegian tanker MV Herborg carrying 11,000 tons of oil from Abadan, Iran, to Fremantle, Australia. After Thor takes the crew on board, MV Herborg is renamed Hohenfriedberg and sent to Japan with a prize crew, arriving on July 7.

At 5.30 PM 20 miles North of Colombia, U-159 sinks Yugoslavian SS Ante Matkovic with 100 rounds from the deck gun (6 dead and 23 survivors).

Libya. All day Rommel's forces (German 90th Light, 21st Panzer & 15th Panzer and Italian Ariete Divisions) pursue the British 8th Army withdrawal into Egypt, apparently bypassing Tobruk. But at dusk, they reverse course and head back to surround Tobruk in preparation for a surprise dawn attack.

Overnight, RAF sends 194 bombers to Emden, Germany (112 Wel1ingtons, 37 Halifaxes, 25 Stirlings, 11 Hampdens, 9 Lancasters) but 29 aircraft attack Osnabrück, 80 miles away. 6 Wel1ingtons, 2 Stirlings & 1 Halifax are lost.

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