70-years ago today…
The bloody U-boat war dragged on:
U-572 (Oblt. Heinz Kummetat), a Type VIIC U-boat on its ninth war patrol, repelled an Allied air attack east of Trinidad.
U-199 (Kptlt. Hans-Werner Kraus), a Type IXD U-boat on its first war patrol, was sunk by a US Navy Martin PBM Mariner aircraft from VP-74 in the South Atlantic east of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There are 12 survivors from the crew of 61 and these are picked up by USS Barnegat (AVP-10).
HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C. H. Brooks, RAN commanding) picked up 6 survivors from the British merchant ‘Cornish City’ that had been torpedoed and sunk on 29th July.
In the Pacific:
USS Pogy (Lt. Cdr. George Herrick Wales, USN commanding), a Gato-class submarine on her second war patrol, torpedoed and sank the Japanese aircraft transport Mogamigawa Maru (7469 GRT) northwest of Truk.
USS Saury (Lt. Cdr. A. H. Dropp, USN commanding), a Sargo-class submarine on her seventh war patrol, was rammed by a Japanese escort in the Philippine Sea and, sustaining damage, was forced to return to Pearl Harbor.
HMCS St. Catherines (K 325), a River-class frigate built at Yarrows Ltd in Esquimalt, British Columbia was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy, Lt. Cdr. Herbert Coates Reynard Davis, RCNR commanding.
USS Aspro (SS-309), a Balao-class submarine built at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine was commissioned into the United States Navy, Lt. Cdr. Harry Clinton Stevenson, USN commanding.
USS Young (DD 580), a Fletcher-class destroyer built at Consolidated Steel in Orange, Texas was commissioned into the United States Navy, Lt. Cdr. George Bernard Madden, USN commanding.
USS Young (DD 580) off Charleston, South Carolina, 18 October 1943.
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)