Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 1111 September 15, 1942

At 00.58 AM in the South Atlantic 450 miles Northeast of Ascension Island, U-68 sinks Dutch SS Breedijk (2 killed, 37 survivors in 3 lifeboats are picked up over the next 8 days and a boat with 13 survivors reaches French West Africa). At 11.30 AM 290 miles Northeast of Ascension Island, U-506, U-507 and Italian submarine Cappellini begin arriving to assist U-156 rescuing hundreds of survivors who have been floating since the sinking of British troopship Laconia in the evening of September 12. The submarines, on the surface, start towing lifeboats towards the coast of West Africa.

At 7.14 AM 100 miles East of Trinidad, U-515 sinks Norwegian MV Sørholt (7 killed, 31 survivors reach Trinidad 2 days later). At 3.17 PM near Tobago, U-514 sinks British SS Kioto (20 killed, 54 rescued by Trinidad government ship Trinidad and landed at Tobago).

100 miles Southwest of the Faroe Islands, a British Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber (RAF 58 Squadron, Coastal Command) sinks U-261 trying to break out into the Atlantic on the first patrol, 7 days after leaving Kiel, Germany (all hands lost).

12 RAF Boston bombers destroy whaling factory ship Solglint in a daylight raid on the harbor at Cherbourg, France.

Italian frogmen enter the harbor at Gibraltar and place limpet mines on British SS Ravens Point, which sinks in shallow water (will be repaired and leave Gibraltar on December 27, 1942).

Kokoda Track, Papua. At Ioribaiwa Ridge only 25 miles from Port Moresby. With stalemate in the center and on one flank, Japanese bring up their reserve on the other side looking to outflank the Australian positions through the jungle. They also run into the Australian line creating havoc and disrupting the defenses. The Australians throw in their reserve, 2/25th Battalion, but they cannot dislodge the Japanese.

At 2.44 PM in the Coral Sea between Santa Cristobel and Vanatu (300 miles Southeast of Guadalcanal), Japanese submarine I-19 fires 6 torpedoes, sinking 1 US aircraft carrier and 1 destroyer and severely damaging a battleship which are escorting 6 troop transports carrying 7th Marine Regiment to Guadalcanal. US aircraft carrier USS Wasp is hit by 3 torpedoes and burns out of control (194 killed, 1969 survivors rescued by other warships including 366 wounded). US battleship USS North Carolina is badly damaged and has to return to Pearl Harbor for repairs. US destroyer USS O'Brien suffers minor damage and heads to USA for repairs (via Vanatu Island and Noumea Island) before sinking near Fiji on October 19, 1942. US warships drop 80 depth charges but I-19 escapes unharmed.

Aleutian Islands. US bombers from Adak Island again bomb the harbor at Japanese-held Kiska Island.

Stalingrad. There is grim fighting all day as Germans try to push into the city. They especially want to place artillery on the dominating heights of Mamayev Kurgan, from which they can shell ferries bringing Soviet troops across the Volga, but an NKVD rifle battalion manages to hold on to the top of Mamayev Kurgan despite bitter fighting. German infantry advances down the Tsaritsa River gorge towards the Volga, again threatening to cut the soviet defenses in two.

At 6.33 PM in the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, U-517 fires 4 torpedoes at convoy SQ-36 sinking Norwegian SS Inger Elisabeth (3 killed, 23 survivors reach shore in lifeboats) and Dutch SS Saturnus (1 killed, 35 escape in 2 lifeboats and reach the shore).

At 9.15 PM in the Bjaerangsfjord, Norway, Free French submarine Junon lands 10 British commandos (No. 2 Commando) and 2 Norwegian corporals (Norwegian Independent Company 1) to destroy the German-held power station at Glomfjord (Operation Musketoon).

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