Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Bad "Fish"; Thanks, Mr. Roosevelt; Bandages & Cigarettes

SAT 16 MAY 1942
Submarine Tautog (SS-199) torpedoes Japanese fleet tanker Goyo Maru west of Royalist Bank, Truk, 07°00'N, 152°00'E. Tautog's first "fish" circles, forcing her to go deep at once.
Last three survivors from unarmed U.S. tanker T.C. McCobb, sunk by Italian submarine Pietro Calvi on 31 March, land at Surinam. Two of the three men, however, later die of exposure.

Destroyer Tarbell (DD-142) rescues 23 survivors from U.S. freighter Lammot Du Pont, sunk by German submarine U-125 on 23 April. There had been originally 31 men on the raft spotted by the destroyer, but eight had perished between 23 April and 16 May.

U.S. tanker Esso Augusta rescues the 27 merchant seaman and four Armed Guard sailors who have survived the loss of freighter Nicarao, sunk by German submarine U-751 the previous day.

Gulf of Mexico
U.S. tanker Sun, en route to Beaumont, Texas, is torpedoed by German submarine U-506 at 28°41'N, 90°19'W, but escapes the U-boat to reach New Orleans, Louisiana, under her own power without further incident. Sun suffers no casualties among the 37-man merchant crew and 5-man Armed Guard. Later the same day, U-506 torpedoes and shells U.S. tanker William C. McTarnahan approximately 35 miles east of Ship Shoal Light, Louisiana, 28°52'N, 90°20'W, but retires without finishing off her quarry; 18 of the 38-man merchant crew perish in the attack. The 20 merchant seamen and all seven Armed Guard sailors survive to be rescued by shrimp boats Defender, Pioneer and Viscali (as well as a fourth unnamed craft). Coast Guard tug Tuckahoe (WYT-89), assisted by civilian tug Baranca tows the damaged tanker to Southwest Pass; she will subsequently return to service. Still later, U-506 torpedoes and sinks U.S. tanker Gulfoil approximately 75 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi, 28°08'N, 89°46'W; the tanker sinks so rapidly that the crew have no time to launch boats. Of the 36-man merchant complement and 4-man Armed Guard, only 19 merchant seamen survive to reach two life rafts that float free when the ship sinks (see 18 May).

Unarmed U.S. freighter Ruth Lykes is attacked by German submarine U-103 at 16°37'N, 82°27'W; after the U-boat scores a hit with a dud torpedo she surfaces to shell her quarry, killing five sailors. U-103 rescues one sailor and transfers him into a lifeboat; after which action Kapitanleutnant Werner Winter, the submarine's commanding officer, apologizes: "You can thank Mr. Roosevelt for this. I am sorry." The U-boat also gives the Americans bandages and cigarettes before departing (see 17 May).

Dutch schooners India and Mississippi sight lifeboats of U.S. freighter Norlantic, sunk by German submarine U-69 on 13 May. The latter tows the boats into Bonaire the following day (see 24 May).

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