70-years ago today…
HM Submarines score a victory in the Aegean:
HMS Trooper (Lt. G.S.C. Clarabut, RN commanding) sunk the Italian submarine Pietro Micca (1371 GRT) with torpedos south of the Strait of Otranto.
The global reach of the U-boats seems undiminished:
British motor merchant ‘Cornish City’ (4952 GRT) carrying 9600 tons of coal was sunk by torpedoes from U-177 (KrvKpt. Robert Gysae) in the Indian Ocean southeast of Madagascar. The master, 31 crew, and 5 DEMS gunners were killed. The survivors took to rafts and were later picked up the RAN destroyer HMAS Nizam.
Yet the reach of Allied air power is increasing:
U-615 (Kptlt. Ralph Kapitzky) came under attack by a USAAF B-18 Bolo aircraft in the Atlantic. This marked the beginning of one of the longest U-boat hunts during the war as U-615 fought its way through multiple air attacks for the next 8-days.
And from the shipyards:
HMS Pretoria Castle was commissioned as an escort carrier. Originally launched at Harland & Wolff, Belfast as the passenger ship Pretoria Castle for the Union Castle line, she was requisitioned by the Admiralty in October 1939 and converted into an armed merchant cruiser. In July 1942, she was purchased outright by the Admiralty for conversion into an escort carrier. The work was completed at Swan Hunter, Tyneside in July 1943 and she became a trials & training carrier.
HMCS Winnipeg, an Algerine class minesweeper built at Port Arthur, Ontario, was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy (T/A/Lt.Cdr. William David Falconer Johnston, RCNR commanding).
HMCS Winnipeg (J 337)
70-years ago today…
USS George E. Badger, “flush deck” Clemson class destroyer, sank U-613 (KrvKpt. Helmut Köppe commanding) with depth charges South of the Azores.
Grumman Avenger aircraft from the escort carrier USS Bogue (Capt. Joseph Brantley Dunn, USN commanding) sank U-527 (Kptlt. Herbert Uhlig commanding) with depth charges in the mid-Atlantic.
HMS Newfoundland, Colony class light cruiser, flagship of the 15th Cruiser Squadron, was torpedoed by U-407 (Kptlt. Ernst-Ulrich Brüller commanding) off Syracuse, Sicily and hit in the stern. Newfoundland lost her rudder, but was able to reach Malta, steering using her propellers. After repairs, Newfoundland went on to serve with the Far East Fleet and was present at Tokyo Bay on 2 Sept 1945 when the instrument of surrender was signed aboard USS Missouri.
U-466 (Oblt. Gerhard Thäter commanding) was attacked by American B-18 Bolo and B-24 Liberator bombers East of French Guyana, surviving a first attack by returning fire with anti-aircraft guns, and subsequent attacks by diving.
U-591 (Ltn. Joachim Sauerbier commanding) was attacked twice by an American B-24 Liberator bomber off Cape de Sao Roque, Brazil, but escaped damage by diving during each attack.
In the shipyards:
HMCS Orangeville (K 491), Castle class corvettes, laid down at Henry Robb, Leith. Originally ordered as HMS Hedingham Castle.
HMCS West York (K 369), Flower class corvette, laid down at Midland Shipyards, Ontario.
HMCS West York (K 369)