Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 1047 July 13, 1942

In the last act of convoy PQ-17, U-255 finds the floating wreck of Dutch SS Paulus Potter, bombed and abandoned on July 5. A boarding party cannot salvage SS Paulus Potter which is sunk by U-255.

12 Italian Decima Flottiglia MAS frogmen leave a rented house in Algeciras, Spain, and swim 4 miles across the bay. They plant limpet mines on British merchant ships in Gibraltar Harbour and return safely. SS Meta, SS Shuma and SS Baron Dougla are sunk while SS Empire Snipe is damaged (out of service until October).

First Battle of El Alamein, Egypt. 21st Panzer Division mounts another attack on Australian positions on Tel el Eisa ridge and also against 1st South African Division in the El Alamein “box”. Again, they take heavy casualties and are repulsed by Allied anti-tank guns and artillery.

In the Atlantic 490 miles West of Tenerife, Canary Islands, U-201 sinks British SS Sithonia from dispersed convoy OS-33 (7 killed, 21 crew land at Timiris, Senegal, after 18 days and are interned by the Vichy French, 25 crew picked up by a Spanish fishing vessel 14 days later having sailed 800 miles).

Caribbean. US aircraft USN PC-458 locates U-153 100 miles West of Colón, Panama, and calls in destroyer USS Lansdowne which sinks U-153 with depth charges (all 52 hands lost). 20 miles North of Cardenas Light, Cuba, U-84 sinks American SS Andrew Jackson (3 killed, 46 survivors in 3 lifeboats reach Cuba 12 hours later). 2 miles East of Cuba, U-166 sinks American SS Oneida (6 killed, 23 survivors reach Cuba).

In the Gulf of Mexico 80 miles off the coast of Mississippi, U-67 torpedoes US tanker R.W. Gallagher igniting the 80,855 barrels of Bunker C fuel oil (10 killed, 42 survivors picked up 1 hour later by US Coast Guard cutter USS Boutwell).

Off Cam Ranh Bay, French Indochina, US submarine USS Seadragon sinks Japanese transport ship Shinyo Maru.

Overnight, 194 RAF bombers (139 Wellingtons, 33 Halifaxes, 13 Lancasters, 9 Stirlings) raid Duisburg, Germany. The bombing misses the industrial area due to cloud and electrical storms (11 houses destroyed, 17 civilians killed). 3 Wellingtons, 2 Stirlings & 1 Lancaster are lost.

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