German submarine U-185 sunk by US Navy aircraft “on this day in history” 24 August 1943

On 24 August 1943, German submarine U-185 (Type IXC/40, Kptlt. A. Maus) sunk by depth charges from Avenger and Wildcat aircraft of US Navy Composite Squadron 13 (VC-13), operating from escort carrier USS Core (CVE-13) in position 27.00N, 37.06W.

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U-185 sinking (photo: US Navy)

Records on U-185 are held at the US National Archives.

“On this day in history” Japanese soldiers finally surrender, 1951.

“On this day in history” 30 June 1951, a group of stranded Japanese soldiers who refuse to believe World War II ended in 1945, surrender to Lt. Cmdr. James B. Johnson, USS Cocopa (ATF 101) on Anatahan Island in the northern Marianas.

121

Japanese assemble on the beach at Anatahan Island under a white flag.

5

USS Cocopa dispatches landing party.

6

Approaching the island.

18

The formal surrender.

21

Handing over weapons.

25

Returning to USS Cocopa with the Japanese.

30

Surrendered Japanese soldiers aboard USS Cocopa.

 

 

 

“On this day in history” HMS Furious placed in commission, 1917

“On this day in history” 26 June 1916, Royal Navy Courageous-class battlecruiser HMS Furious was placed into commission.

Furious was modified to become an aircraft carrier trials ship, her forward turret was removed and a flying-off deck added. Floatplanes, such as the Short Admiralty Type 184, would land on the water for recovery.

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HMS Furious as completed. Note flying-off deck forward (IWM SP 89).

Between November 1917 and March 1918, Furious underwent further conversion. Her aft turret was removed and a landing deck added. Elevators were installed to service aircraft hangars.

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HMS Furious in 1918 with landing deck aft (NHHC 42000).

The modifications proved unsatisfactory, particularity due to the separate flying-off and landing decks, and in 1921 Furious was taken in hand for further conversion.

The work was intensive and took place at HM Dockyards Rosyth and Devonport. Her bridge superstructure and funnels were removed to provide for a full-length flight deck. A two-level hangar was built under the flight deck and serviced by two elevators. Furious recommissioned in 1925.

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HMS Furious after completion of her major redesign (NHHC 60973).

By the outbreak of war in 1939, Furious was serving as a deck landing training carrier. She was then assigned to the Home Fleet to replace Courageous, lost on 29 September.

On 10 April 1940, Furious embarked Swordfish aircraft of 816 and 818 Naval Air Squadrons for service in the Norway campaign. Without fighter aircraft, she was vulnerable to German attack, and on 18 April bombs dropped by an He.111 damaged her propeller shafts.

After repairs, Furious sailed for Canada carrying £18,000,000 in gold bullion. This was part of Operation Fish, the temporary evacuation of British wealth to safety in Canada during the Second World War. The British bullion – amounting in total to $25 million (~ $28 billion in 2016) – was stored in a specially constructed vault at the Sun Life Building in Montreal.

Furious served with Force H during Operation Torch in 1942 and with the Home Fleet during two operations against the Tirpitz – Operation Tungsten in April 1944 and Operation Mascot in July 1944.

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Fleet Air Arm crewman chalks message onto bomb carried by one of Furious‘s Barracuda aircraft during Operation Tungsten, April 1944 (IWM A22640).

Showing signs of age, Furious was placed reserve in September 1944 and paid off in April 1945. She was sold for scrap in 1948.

 

 

 

 

“On this day in hisstory” German submarines at sea during Battl of the Atlantic

German submarines at sea “on this day in history” 22 June during the Battle of the Atlantic.

1940 21
1941 41
1942 74
1943 99
1944 81
1945 2

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The two U-Boats still at sea in 1945, more than six weeks after the official German surrender, were U-530 and U-977, both on their way to Argentina.

“On this day in history” HMSM Saga placed in commision, 1945

“On this day in history” 14 June 1945, Royal Navy S-class submarine HMSM Saga (P257) placed in commission.

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HMSM Saga underway. (IWM FL18545)

Saga was built at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead and launched in March 1945. She left the builder’s yard in June, and commissioned at Holy Loch on 14 June 1945, Lt P. Thirsk, RNR commanding.

Saga‘s Royal Navy service was short. She was still undergoing working up trails at Scapa Flow and Holy Loch when the war with Japan ended. On 10 February 1946, Saga collided with the fishing vessel Girl Lena in the English Channel, causing the trawler to sink.

In 1948, Saga was sold to Portugal and renamed NRP Nautilo. She continued to serve in the Marinha de Guerra Portuguesa until 1969.

 

“On this day in history” Avenger aircraft sink submarine U-118

“On this day in history” 12 June 1943, German Type XB submarine U-118 (KrvKpt. Werner Czygan) was sunk with depth charges by a flight of Avenger aircraft operating from the US Navy escort carrier USS Bogue (ACV/CVE-9). There were 43 dead (including Czygan) and 16 survivors. The wreck of U-118 lays west of the Canary Islands at 30.49N, 33.49W.

Remarkably, a gun camera photo of the attack exists. The photo is in the collection of US Naval History and Heritage Command.

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Fourth attack run on U-118, TBF pilot Ltjg W. F. Chamberlain, USNR. Staffed U-boat and dropped two depth charges. (NHHC 80-G-6894)