Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 1081 August 16, 1942

Kriegsmarine believes Allied ships are moving up the East coast of South America in the safety of the neutral Brazilian coastal waters. In a blatant act of aggression, U-507 sinks 3 Brazilian passenger ships SS Baependy (55 crew and 215 passengers, including 145 troops, killed; 36 survivors), MV Araraquara (66 crew and 65 passengers killed, 11 survivors) and SS Annibal Benévolo (67 crew and 83 passengers killed, 4 survivors) between midnight and 9.13 AM off Aracaju, Brazil.

At 7.45 AM 620 miles West of Ireland, U-596 stops neutral Swedish MV Suecia but discovers a cargo of steel, phosphate, tobacco and pulp from USA to Britain. U-596 sinks MV Suecia with a torpedo after all 35 crew and 12 passengers abandon ship (1 man falls overboard and drowns, 46 survivors escape in 3 lifeboats but 8 men in 1 boat are never found).

Operation Baritone. British aircraft carrier HMS Furious departs Gibraltar carrying 32 Spitfire fighters for Malta, escorted by cruiser HMS Charybdis and destroyers HMS Antelope, Bicester, Derwent, Eskimo, Keppel, Laforey, Lookout, Lightning, Malcolm, Somali, Venomous and Wishart. The Spitfires arrived from Britain in crates on the freighter Empire Clive and have been assembled ashore.

Papua. 3 Japanese transports escorted by cruiser Tatsuta and two destroyers land more troops at Buna.

Japanese aerial reconnaissance of Guadalcanal 4 days ago spotted few US troops and no large ships offshore; they are convinced that most of the Marines have been withdrawn and that the island is lightly held. Japanese 28th Infantry Regiment under Colonel Kiyonao Ichiki is sent to retake Guadalcanal. 916 troops (Ichiki Detachment) leave Truk naval base for an immediate landing aboard 6 Japanese destroyers, while the remainder of the Regiment follows on slower transports for the journey 1200 miles South.

At 11.34 PM of the coast of Palestine, U-77 continues wreaking havoc on small fishing boats, sinking Palestinian sailboat Daniel with the deck gun.

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