Monday, August 13, 2012

Day 1079 August 14, 1942

Operation Pedestal. Tanker SS Ohio, which is carrying a crucial cargo of fuel to Malta, is still afloat despite listing badly with her back broken. SS Ohio, abandoned overnight, is reboarded and taken in tow by British destroyers HMS Penn, HMS Bramham & HMS Ledbury, and minesweeper HMS Rye. SS Ohio is hit by several more bombs, causing many breaks in the tow line, but she is held together and buoyed up by the warships lashed to her. Despite an enormous hole in the bow caused by a torpedo 2 days ago, British freighter MV Brisbane Star reaches Malta at 4.15 PM (Captain Frederick Neville Riley is awarded the Distinguished Service Order).

Case Blue. German 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army burn forests to smoke out and annihilate remnants of Soviet 62nd Army (8 rifle divisions and 5 artillery regiments) who have been surrounded on the West bank of the Don Bend since the Germans captured Kalach 3 days ago. Other elements of 4th Panzer Army capture Elista in the middle of the Caucasus plain, North of the River Don. Further South in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, 1st Panzer Army reaches the oil town of Grozny which sends oil along a 384 mile pipeline to the Black Sea port of Tuapse.

At 11.55 AM 50 miles Northeast of Pueto Padre, Cuba, U-598 attacks convoy TAW-12 sinking British freighter SS Michael Jebsen (7 killed, 40 survivors picked up by a US patrol boat) and British tanker SS Empire Corporal (6 killed, 49 survivors picked up by US motor torpedo boat PT-498) and damaging British tanker MV Standella (6 killed, 52 survivors).

US submarine USS Seawolf sinks Japanese passenger-cargo ship SS Hachigen Maru in the Sibitu Passage, just off the Northeast tip of Borneo. US submarine USS S-39 is stuck after grounding on submerged rocks off Rossel Island, 380 miles East of Guadalcanal.

Papua. Japanese harassment of Australian positions and rumours of Japanese infiltration to the rear cause Major Cameron to withdraw Australian 39th Battalion from Deniki (Australian losses 5 killed, 8 wounded; Japanese losses 3 killed, 6 wounded). They retreat 4 miles to the Eora Creek at Isurava. Japanese also land 3000 troops of the 14th and 15th Naval Construction Units at Buna to build a major base for operations.

South Atlantic. At 7.30 PM 700 miles Southwest of Cape Verde Islands, Italian submarine Reginaldo Giuliani sinks British SS Sylvia de Larrinaga (3 killed). On board are 17 survivors rescued 2 days ago from British tanker SS Vimeria, who get back in their lifeboat from SS Vimeria and will be picked up by Norwegian MV Siranger on September 11, after drifting for 28 days. South of St. Helena, German armed merchant cruiser Michel sinks British freighter SS Arabistan with 6 inch shells and machinegun fire from point blank range (23 British crew and 43 Indian Lascars killed, 1 survivor Chief Engineer Edwin Goodridge is picked up next morning clinging to wreckage).

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