Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Republic Torpedoed: Foreshadowing?

SAT 21 FEB 1942
Submarine Triton (SS-201) sinks Japanese merchant cargo vessel Shokyu Maru in East China Sea, 60 miles south of Quelpart Island, 32°10'N, 126°28'E.

Unarmed U.S. tanker J.N. Pew is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-67 about 225 miles west of Aruba, N.W.I, 12°40'N, 74°00'W; two survivors reach the coast of Colombia, 35 miles east of Riohacha (see 14 March).

Unarmed U.S. tanker Republic is torpedoed by German submarine U-504 about three miles east of Jupiter Inlet, Florida, 27°05'N, 80°15'W; three crewmen perish in the initial explosion, while two drown in the abandonment. One lifeboat reaches shore unaided (18 men on board) while U.S. tanker Cities Service Missouri rescues six men from a second boat (see 23 February).

Admiral Leahy receives instruction to see Admiral Darlan immediately about German submarine U-156 receiving assistance at Martinique. Unless the Vichy French can assure the U.S. government that no Axis ships or planes will be allowed to enter French ports or territory in the Western Hemisphere, and that unless such assurances are rigidly maintained, the United States "will take such action in the interest of security of the Western Hemisphere as it may judge necessary and in accordance with existing inter-American obligations." Leahy writes in his diary that everything points to his early recall to Washington "for consultation" (see 16 April).

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