Friday, July 6, 2012

Day 1041 July 7, 1942

Convoy PQ 17. U-457 uses shellfire from the 88mm gun to sink British fleet oiler RFA Alderdale which had been bombed and abandoned 2 days ago. U-355 sinks British SS Hartlebury (8 killed in the explosion, 32 drown in the freezing water, 20 survivors). U-255 sinks American SS Alcoa Ranger (all 40 hands abandon ship in 3 lifeboats).

At 9 AM 10 miles off Miami, Florida, U-571 sinks British SS Umtata, in tow by American tug Edmund J. Moran (all 92 crew picked up by the tug). SS Umtata is under tow to Port Everglades for repairs after being torpedoed in Port Castries harbour, St. Lucia on March 10 by U-161.

At 3 PM 50 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, U-701 surfaces to ventilate stagnant air, CO2 and heat due to damage to air-circulators sustained on June 27 by depth charges from US armed yacht USS St. Augustine. U-701 is spotted by US Army Hudson A-29 which drops 3 depth charges and sinks U-701 with 2 direct hits (29 drowned, 17 escape through the conning tower hatch). The survivors drift for 2 days off Cape Hatteras in a raft dropped by the A-29 but only 7 are found alive by a US Coast Guard floatplane on July 9.

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