Saturday, August 18, 2012

Day 1084 August 19, 1942

Guadalcanal. At 1 AM, Japanese destroyers Kagero, Kagikaze, Maikaze, Urakaze, Isokaze and Hamakaze land 916 troops (Ichiki Detachment) at Taivu Point, 22 miles East of the US positions at Lunga Point. Colonel Ichiki leaves 100 troops as a rear guard and leads 800 men towards the Marines. At dawn, they halt 9 miles East of the Lunga perimeter but send forward a patrol of 38. As a diversion from the landings, Japanese aircraft attack the US airstrip at Henderson Field. However, Australian coastwatchers warn the Americans of the landings and Captain Charles Brush leads a patrol of 60 Marines and 4 native scouts to investigate. At noon, the patrols meet at Koli Point (Japanese lose 33 killed, Marines have 3 dead and 3 wounded). US B-17 bombers attack the Japanese destroyers off Guadalcanal. A bomb hits Hagikaze destroying No. 3 (“Y”) gun turret and damaging the rudder and prop-shafts (33 killed, 13 wounded). Hagikaze proceeds at 6 knots to Truk for emergency repairs.

Allies raid Dieppe, Northern France, to gather intelligence, capture prisoners, destroy coastal batteries and port facilities. Overnight, 5000 Canadian troops (2nd Canadian Infantry Division), 1000 British Commandos and 50 US Rangers cross the English Channel in 9 landing ships, escorted by 8 destroyers (HMS Albrighton, Berkeley, Bleasdale, Brocklesby, Calpe, Fernie, Garth and Polish ORP Ślązak), gunboat HMS Locust, minesweepers and numerous motor gun boats, steam gun boats and motor launches. At 3.50 AM, they exchange fire with a German convoy (steam gun boat SGB5 is set on fire and German UJ1404 is sunk) which alerts the shore defenders. At 5 AM, Allied troops come ashore at 6 beaches around Dieppe with 58 Churchill tanks, covered by 48 squadrons of RAF Spitfires and 8 squadrons of Hurricanes, but naval bombardment is minimal to prevent French civilian casualties. British No. 4 Commando (including the 50 US Rangers) destroys a battery of six 150 mm guns near Varengeville. Elsewhere, British and Canadian troops are trapped on the beaches and slaughtered by German machinegunners (1179 killed). German bombers sink British destroyer HMS Berkeley (33 landing craft are also lost to various causes), while destroyers HMS Calpe, HMS Brocklesby and HMS Fernie are damaged by bombers or shore batteries (550 killed or wounded). With the raid an evident failure, the beaches are evacuated between 11 AM and 2 PM but 2190 Allied troops are taken POW by the Germans and all of the tanks are destroyed or left behind. RAF loses 106 aircraft. German casualties are 311 killed and 48 aircraft lost by the Luftwaffe. Captain Patrick Porteous (No. 4 Commando), Reverend John Foote (Royal Hamilton Light Infantry) and Canadian Colonel Charles Merritt (South Saskatchewan Regiment) win the Victoria Cross (Foote and Merritt taken POW).

At 5.30 AM 10 miles off the coast of Brazil, U-507 stops Brazilian barque Jacyra with 2 rounds from the deck gun. Jacyra is sunk at 8 AM with scuttling charges after all 6 crew abandon ship in a lifeboat.

At 9.07 AM 200 miles off the coast of French Guiana, U-510 sinks British MV Cressington Court (8 killed, 26 crew and 10 gunners picked up on September 10 by Dutch tanker MV Woensdrecht which is attacked 2 days later by U-515).

40 miles West of Grenada in the Caribbean, U-162 and U-564 attack convoy TAW(S). At 4.37 AM, U-162 sinks American SS West Celina (1 killed, 43 survivors). At 10.07 AM, U-564 sinks British SS Empire Cloud (3 killed, 51 survivors) and British tanker SS British Consul (2 killed, 40 survivors).

Siege of Leningrad Day 346. Soviets launch the Sinyavino Offensive to liberate Leningrad. Leningrad Front capture several bridgeheads across the Neva River to help close a 10 mile gap between them and troops of the Volkhov Front. However, Volkhov Front does not start its part of the offensive for several days.

At 4.22 PM 450 miles West of Portugal, U-406 torpedoes British SS City of Manila in convoy SL-118 (1 killed, 84 crew and 11 gunners rescued) which breaks apart and sinks next day.

At 9.12 PM 75 miles Southeast of Bonaire, U-217 mistakes khaki overalls of oil workers for military uniforms and shoots up British sailboat Sea Gull D. which is taking the workers to Aruba (3 killed, 71 rescued by Greek SS Kassos).

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