Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day 1082 August 17, 1942

Between 5.26 and 9.20 AM off Matveev Island in Pechora Sea, U-209 attacks a Soviet convoy with gunfire, sinking tugs Komsomolec & Komiles and barges Sh-500 & P-4 (305 crew, port workers and political prisoners killed, 23 survivors picked up by tug Nord and minesweepers T-54 & T-62).

At 6.19 AM in the Windward Passage, West of Haiti, U-658 attacks convoy PG-6 sinking Egyptian SS Samir and British SS Fort la Reine (3 killed, 41 survivors rescued by British corvette HMS Pimpernel and a US patrol boat) and damaging British MV Laguna (no casualties).

In the Mediterranean. 40 miles off the Peloponnese peninsula, Greece, British submarine HMS Turbulent torpedoes Italian transport ship Nino Bixio which is carrying 3200 Allied POWs from Libya to Italy (336 killed mostly POWs, Nino Bixio is towed to shore with the survivors by convoy escorts, Italian destroyers Nicoloso da Recco and Saetta). 10 miles South of Sardinia, British submarine HMS Safari sinks Italian sailboat Ausonia with the deck gun. At 2.08 PM 50 miles North of Port Said, Egypt, U-83 sinks Canadian troopship SS Princess Marguerite carrying British troops from Port Said to Cyprus. Despite explosions of the fuel tanks and ammunition locker, only 5 crew and 44 troops are killed (129 crew and 954 troops picked up by convoy escorts, British destroyers HMS Hero and HMS Kelvin). In Operation Baritone, British aircraft carrier HMS Furious flies off 32 Spitfires to Malta, but 2 crash on takeoff (1 pilot killed). Churchill returns to Cairo, Egypt, by air from Moscow via Tehran, Persia.

Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. 211 US Marines (2nd Raider Battalion under Colonel Evans Carlson and Captain James Roosevelt) land from US submarines USS Nautilus and USS Argonaut. They kill 160 Japanese troops garrisoning the islands (but take no prisoners as planned) and then return to the submarines. Marines lose 21 killed and 9 captured by the Japanese and later beheaded.

U-507 continues attacking neutral ships close to the coast of Brazil, sinking Brazilian SS Itagiba which is carrying 121 passengers, mainly soldiers, at 3.49 PM (36 killed, 145 survivors) and Brazilian SS Arará (20 dead and 16 survivors) as she stops to pick up survivors from Itagiba at 6.03 PM.

At 5.56 PM 200 miles Northeast of the Azores, U-566 sinks Norwegian MV Triton (all 40 crew, 2 gunners and 1 passenger picked up after 30 minutes by British SS Baron Dunmore in the same convoy). At 10.44 PM 200 miles off French Guiana, U-108 sinks US tanker MV Louisiana after a running battle lasting 6 hours (all 49 hands lost).

Overnight, 139 RAF bombers attack Osnabrück, Germany, just across the Dutch border (77 houses and 4 military buildings destroyed, 7 killed, 15 injured). 3 Wellingtons, 1 Lancaster are 1 Stirling are lost.

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