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.