Tuesday, April 4, 2017

All-Atlantic Nazis

SAT 4 APR 1942
U.S. tanker Comol Rico is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-154 about 225 miles north of Puerto Rico, 20°46'N, 66°46'W; three merchant sailors perish in the explosion of the torpedo (see 7 April).
Unarmed U.S. tanker Byron D. Benson is torpedoed by German submarine U-552 approximately eight miles off Currituck Inlet, North Carolina, 36°08'N, 75°32'W; fires, fed by the ship's cargo of 91,500 barrels of crude oil, consume nine of the 37-man crew. Antisubmarine vessel ["Q ship"] Asterion (AK-100), nearby, reports the attack (see 5 April).

Russian patrol boat rescues 11 men in lifeboat from U.S. freighter Effingham, sunk by German submarine U-435 on 30 March; four of those rescued later die of exposure. All told, 11 of the 34-man merchant crew perish, as does one of the 9-man Armed Guard.

British escort vessel HMS Copinsay attempts to tow the damaged U.S. freighter West Irmo, torpedoed the previous day by German submarine U-505, but the merchantman proves beyond saving. Copinsay hastens West Irmo's end with a depth charge.

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