70-years ago today…
The U-boat war continued:
On 2 August 1943 there were 85 U-boats at sea. Of these, 17 boats (20%) would be lost during their patrol.
U-218 (Kptlt. Richard Becker), a Type VIID U-boat on its fifth war patrol, was attacked by a Wellington bomber from 547 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command. The U-Boat was damaged and 6 crew members were wounded during the attack. The mine-laying patrol was abandoned and the boat returned to Brest. (U-218 was scuttled, post-war, during Operation Deadlight. The wreck was explored by Innes McCartney in June 2001.)
U-653 (Kptlt. Gerhard Feiler), a Type VIIC U-boat on its seventh war patrol, was attacked by an American B-24 Liberator bomber east of Trinidad. The air attack was unsuccessful and the U-boat survived without damage.
The British merchant City of Oran was torpedoed and damaged by U-196 (KrvKpt. Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat), a Type IXD2 U-boat on her first war patrol (225-days!), in the Indian Ocean, approx 100 nm northeast of Memba Bay, Tanganyika. The rescue tug HMS Masterful picked up 86 survivors and scuttled the City of Oran with gunfire.
Arriving on the field of battle:
HMS Begum (D38), an Ameer-class escort carrier, formerly the USS Bolinas (CVE-36), was commissioned into the Royal Navy, Capt. John Egerton Broome, DSC, RN commanding.
And a future President of the United States began his legend:
PT-109, an ELCO ’80 torpedo boat, (Lt jg John Fitzgerald Kennedy, USNR commanding) was rammed and sunk by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri in Blackett Strait, Solomon Islands. JFK would be played by Cliff Robertson in the movie PT-109.
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)