Saturday, June 3, 2017

Sunk In S.F. Bay; Midway Prelims

WED 3 JUN 1942
In the preliminaries for the Battle of Midway, Midway-based aircraft locate and attack Japanese transports in the Second Fleet Escort Force about 600 miles west of Midway Island. USAAF B-17s inflict no damage. Four PBYs set out to attack the approaching Occupation Force. Japanese forces bearing down on Midway are under the personal direction of Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku, Commander in Chief Combined Fleet, who wears his flag in [?] battleship Yamato.

As part of the overall Midway plan, Japanese Second Strike Force (Rear Admiral Kakuta Kikuji) bombs Dutch Harbor, Alaska; planes from carriers Ryujo and Junyo carry out the attack. In an event whose importance only becomes clear later, one Mitsubishi A6M2 Type 0 carrier fighter from Ryujo's air group, most likely damaged by antiaircraft fire over Dutch Harbor, makes an emergency landing on Akutan Island. The pilot, however, is fooled by the flat surface upon which he is landing; it turns out to be a bog and the Zero flips over, killing the pilot (see 10 July).

Coastal minesweeper Bunting (AMc-7) is sunk in collision with submarine chaser PC-569, San Francisco Bay, California.

U.S. tanker M.F. Elliott is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-502 off the Florida Keys, 11°58'N, 63°33'W; 13 of the 38-man civilian complement perish. Navy PBY keeps in contact with the survivors (25 merchant seamen and the 7-man Armed Guard) into the following day (see 4 June). U-502 takes two survivors on board for interrogation before a Navy patrol plane compels the submarine to submerge in a hurry with the Americans still on board. The Germans release the U.S. sailors soon thereafter, providing them with a life raft and provisions (see 8 June).

Unarmed U.S. fishing boats Ben and Josephine and Aeolus, en route from Gloucester, Massachusetts to Sea Island, Nova Scotia, are abandoned and shelled and sunk by German submarine U-432 at 43°07'N, 66°51'W (see 5 June).

Greek steamship Constantinos H rescues 18 survivors from U.S. freighter West Notus, attacked by German submarine U-404 on 1 June 1942 (see 4 June).

Survivors of U.S. freighter Knoxville City, torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-158 on 1 June, reach La Calina, Cuba, aided by Cuban gunboat Donativo.

U.S. freighter Steel Worker is mined at Kola Inlet, Murmansk; there are no casualties among the 36 merchant seamen or two Navy signalmen.

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