Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 1025 June 21, 1942

At 3 AM, Canadian minesweeper HMCS Georgian (waiting off Newfoundland to escort a convoy bound for Sydney, Australia) spots an unfamiliar submarine and rams it, unaware that British HMS P-514 (WWI-era US Navy submarine R-19, transferred to Royal Navy on March 9 1942) is in the area. HMS P-514 sinks with all 29 crew.

At 4 AM in the Atlantic 120 miles East of Barbados, U-128 sinks American SS West Ira. All 49 hands escape. 48 are rescued or make land in a week but the radio operator dies alone on a raft and his body washes ashore 11 days later.

Tobruk. Rommel holds the port but Allied troops enjoy numerical superiority and occupy more territory inside the perimeter. At dawn, Allied commander South African General Klopper orders both a breakout and a bloody fight to the death but he inexplicably surrenders at 8 AM. 19,000 British, 13,400 South African and 2500 Indian troops go into captivity (Klopper is booed when he tries to address his troops in the POW cage and cannot finish his speech). Klopper will later be exonerated by a court of inquiry for his actions. At 6.45 AM, South African minesweeping whaler HMSAS Parktown, evacuating troops from Tobruk, is attacked by 4 Italian MAS fast torpedoboats. Many crew and soldiers are killed but some are rescued by a tug and a British motor torpedo boat, which then sinks HMSAS Parktown with depth charges.

Mediterranean. 9 Bristol Beauforts (RAF 217 Squadron) and 6 Bristol Beaufighters (RAF 235 Squadron) from Malta attack an Italian convoy from Naples, Italy, to Tripoli, Libya. They hit German freighter Reichenfels, which is loaded with ammunition and blows up (3 Beauforts shot down, 7 killed, 1 wounded, 5 aircrew taken POW). Off Cape Bon, Tunisia, British Fleet Air Arm Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers (830 Squadron from Malta) attack Italian destroyer Strale which runs aground and is abandoned.

US submarine USS S44 sinks Japanese gunboat Keijo Maru off Gavutu Island, North of Gaudalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

Just before midnight, Japanese submarine I-25 surfaces and fires 17 14cm shells at the US Army Fort Stevens on the Oregon side of the mouth of the Columbia River (no hits scored and no damage done).
Overnight, 50 Luftwaffe bombers attack Southampton while 56 RAF Bomber Command aircraft lay mines in the Bay of Biscay.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. R-19 was an American boat, not Soviet