Saturday, May 27, 2017

Trouble At Bear Island

WED 27 MAY 1942
Japanese forces begin heading for Midway. Chief among them is First Mobile Force, Carrier Strike Force (Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi), which departs home waters on this date.

Japanese submarine I-19 prepares to launch her small reconnaissance seaplane off the northern side of Bogoslof Island, Aleutians, but sights what she identifies as a U.S. destroyer and submerges hurriedly, irreparably damaging the aircraft.

Small reconnaissance seaplane from Japanese submarine I-25 reconnoiters Kodiak, Alaska.

Marines and Seabees occupy Wallis Island, South Pacific Ocean.

Destroyer tender Prairie (AD-15) and gunboat Spry (PG-64) are damaged by fire, Argentia, Newfoundland.

German planes attack convoy PQ 16. U.S. freighter Alamar is bombed and sunk approximately 100 miles southeast of Bear Island. British corvette HMS Starwort, tug HMS St. Elstan and submarine HMS Trident rescue all hands (36 merchant seamen and nine Armed Guard sailors); Trident torpedoes and scuttles the irreparably damaged freighter as a hazard to navigation. U.S. freighter Mormacsul is sunk by a direct hit and three near-misses; three of the ship's crew perish in the attack. The survivors (36 merchant seamen and the 9-man Armed Guard) abandon ship and are rescued by HMS Starwort and a British tug. U.S. freighter Alcoa Banner is damaged by near-misses 200 miles southwest of Bear Island; there are no casualties to the 44-man merchant complement or the two Armed Guard sailors. U.S. freighter City of Joliet is damaged by near-misses; her pumps fight a losing battle against inrushing water but there are no casualties among the 37 merchant seamen or the 11-man Armed Guard (see 28 May 1942).

Gulf of Mexico
British tanker Orina rescues two survivors from U.S. tanker Halo, sunk by German submarine U-506 on 20 May 1942.

Unarmed U.S. freighter Alcoa Pilgrim, en route to Mobile, Alabama, from Trinidad, is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-502 at 16°28'N, 67°37'W. The rapidity with which the ship sinks prevents the crew from launching boats, and 31 men of the 40-man complement are lost with the ship (see 2 June).

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