OTDIH 21 August 1943

70-years ago today…

The U-boat war encounters the age of sail:

U-596, a Type VIIC U-boat on its 7th war patrol, Oblt. Victor-Wilhelm Nonn commanding, sunk 3 Allied vessels: the sailing ship Lily (132 GRT) sunk with eight shells from U-596’s deck gun about 20 miles north-northwest of Beirut; the sailing ship Namaz (50 GRT) sunk with thirteen shells from deck gun; the sailing ship Panikos (21 GRT) sunk with twenty-five shells from deck gun. During her 12 war patrols, U-506 would sink 41,411 GRT of Allied shipping. At the conclusion of her final patrol in 1944, U-596 was damaged by Allied bombing while in port. She was scuttled on 24 September 1944.

Cross section of a Type VIIC U-Boat.

From the shipyards:

USS Batfish (SS-310), a Balao-class submarine built by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, was commissioned into the United States Navy, Lt. Cdr. Wayne Rucker Merrill, USN commanding. After 26-years of service, Batfish was struck from the Naval Register in 1969. She is currently preserved as a war memorial in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

USS Batfish Memorial Park, Muskogee, Oklahoma.

USS Bunch (DE 694), a Buckley-class destroyer escort built by Defoe Boat and Marine Works, Bay City, Michigan, was commissioned into the United States Navy, Lt. Cdr. Alfred Alan Campbell, USNR commanding. After serving as an Atlantic escort, Bunch was converted to a high-speed transport (APD) and served in the Pacific, receiving two battle stars for her service. Placed in reserve in 1946, she was finally stuck from the Naval Register in 1964 and sold for scrap.

USS Bunch (DE 694) during sea trials, 1943.

And an accidental torpedoing:

HMS Belvoir (L32), a Hunt-class escort destroyer, Lt. J.F.D. Bush, DSC, RN commanding, accidentally torpedoed the American merchant Cape Mohican while escorting convoy MKF-122 in the Mediterranean. The convoy escorts had apparently sighted two darkened ships steaming ahead of the convoy and made their torpedo tubes ready, at 22.55 hours when they were trained to port for the second time a torpedo was fired accidentally by HMS Belvoir. She then immediately went to the assistance of Cape Mohican and escorted her to Malta.

HMS Belvoir (L32) Hunt class escort destroyer.

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