Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 1052 July 18, 1942

At an air base at Leipheim in Southern Germany, Luftwaffe test pilot Fritz Wendel makes the first flight in the Me 262 V3 (third prototype) powered by solely by Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engines, without a supporting conventional propeller engine.

At 6.25 AM 50 miles East of Trinidad, U-575 hits British tanker SS San Gaspar with 2 torpedoes (12 killed, 40 survivors) but British rescue tug HMS Roode Zee tows SS San Gaspar into Port of Spain for temporary repairs (towed to Mobile, Alabama, in December and returned to service in October 1943). Later in the day 100 miles further East, U-575 sinks 2 tiny British sailing schooners Glacier and Comrade with the deck gun. At 4.33 PM 10 miles North of Trinidad, U-160 sinks Panamanian SS Carmona (4 dead, 31 survivors in 2 lifeboats picked up by US patrol boat USS YPC-68).

Case Blue. 1st Panzer Army captures Voroshilovgrad (now Luhansk).

At port in Nikolayevsk (in the mouth of the Amur River on the Pacific coast of USSR), Soviet submarine SCh-138 is destroyed by an explosion in the torpedo compartment (17 killed), which also damages neighbouring submarine SC-118.

German supply ship Regensburg (servicing armed merchant cruisers in the Indian Ocean) arrives at Yokohama near Tokyo, Japan, carrying prisoners from ships sunk by Thor and other raiders. Mail bags taken from Australian liner Nankin, sunk by Thor on May 10, are found to contain a top secret report from the Combined Operations Centre at Wellington, New Zealand, to the C-in-C British Eastern Fleet in Colombo, Ceylon, showing the Allies knew about the planned Japanese attack on Midway. This implies that the Japanese Navy code JN25 has been broken, leading to a change in codes that will not be deciphered until late 1943.


  1. The first flight of a Jet engined aircraft was Ohain's He 178 first flew August 27th, 1939. The British E.28/39 first flew May 15th, 1941. What happened 70 years ago was the first flight of a *Me. 262* as a purely jet engined aircraft (the first prototypes had a back-up Jumo 210 driving a propeller in the nose).

  2. I got a lot of comments on this. I will fix that sentence.