Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 1068 August 3, 1942

After losing contact with convoy ON 115, U-552 locates the convoy 330 miles East of St. John’s, Newfoundland, and vectors in U-71, U-217, U-597, U-553 and U-704. The convoy commodore changes course to escape the attack, but a column which does not follow and is isolated becomes the target of the U-boats. Between 3 and 4 AM, U-552 sinks British MV Lochkatrine (9 killed, 81 survivors picked up by Canadian destroyer HMCS Hamilton and corvette HMCS Agassiz) and British tanker MV G.S. Walden (1 killed) and U-553 damages Belgian SS Belgian Soldier.

At 4 AM 80 miles West of Truk Island in the Pacific, US submarine USS Gudgeon sinks Japanese passenger/cargo ship Naniwa Maru (27 crew and 4 passengers killed).

20 miles off Moruya, New South Wales, Australia, Japanese submarine I-175 surfaces to attack Australian trawler SS Dureenbee with machinegun fire and shells from the deck gun (3 killed, 9 survivors). SS Dureenbee is set on fire but, remarkably, does not sink.

At 1.08 PM, a lone Luftwaffe Dornier 217 bombs Middlesbrough, Northeast England, badly damaging the railway station which is busy on the Bank Holiday (8 civilians killed, 56 wounded).
Case Blue. German 4th Panzer Army advances from Kotelnikovo towards Stalingrad, now only 100 miles away. 1st Panzer Army (Army Group A) captures Stavropol, having advanced 100 miles South from Salsk in 2 days.

In the Black Sea, Soviet cruiser Molotov (returning from shelling German positions at Feodosiya on the Crimean peninsula) is attacked by German Heinkel He 111 torpedo bombers and Italian MAS torpedo boats, losing 60 feet of her stern and reducing speed to 10 knots. Molotov reaches Poti under her own steam for repairs lasting 1 year, using parts cannibalized from other ships.

At 4.54 PM 190 miles Southeast of Reykjavik, Iceland, U-605 sinks British trawler SS Bombay (all 13 crew lost).

In the North Sea 200 miles East of the Faroe Islands, British submarine HMS Saracen is running at periscope depth and spots U-335 on the surface at 9.30 PM (both submarines are on their maiden voyage). HMS Saracen fires 6 torpedoes and U-335 sinks within 4 minutes (43 killed but Matrosengefreiter Rudolf Jahnke who is on watch on the coning tower is rescued by HMS Saracen).

In the South Pacific, US destroyer USS Tucker is escorting ammunition ship SS Nira Luckenbach from Fiji to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. At 9.45 PM approaching Espiritu Santo, USS Tucker hits a mine in an American minefield laid yesterday (6 killed; 152 survivors, including 21 wounded, rescued by SS Nira Luchenbach). USS Tucker sinks the following morning despite attempts to tow her.

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