Sunday, July 16, 2017

Battle Off The Congo

THU 16 JUL 1942
Submarine Seadragon (SS-194), attacking Japanese convoy off coast of French Indochina, sinks merchant cargo ship Hakodate Maru north of Cape Varella, 12°55'N, 109°29'E.

Advanced Group, Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet (Rear Admiral Andrew C. Bennett) is established to conduct amphibious training in Great Britain.

Unarmed U.S. fishing boat Gertrude is sunk (demolition charge or gunfire) by German submarine U-166 approximately 30 miles northeast of Havana, Cuba, 23°32'N, 82°00'E (see 19 July).

U.S. freighter William F. Humphrey battles German auxiliary cruiser Michel (Schiffe 28) in the South Atlantic about 800 miles west of the mouth of the Congo River, 05°37'S, 00°56'E, but is sunk by gunfire and torpedoes (the latter fired by motor torpedo boat Elsan (LS 4) after a gallant fight. Of the seven-man Armed Guard, two sailors are killed while a third is wounded; Michel recovers 26 merchant seamen and 3 Armed Guard sailors, but the rest of the survivors manage to avoid capture (see 22 July).

U.S. steamship Fairport, in Persian Gulf-bound convoy AS 4, is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-161 at 27°12'N, 64°30'W; destroyer Kearny (DD-432) rescues all hands: 43-man crew, 16-man Armed Guard, and 66 passengers.

Survivors (17 crewmen and one passenger) from unarmed U.S. freighter Raphael Semmes, sunk by German submarine U-332 on 28 June, are rescued by U.S. freighter Explorer.

Gulf of Mexico
U.S. tanker Pennsylvania Sun's master and three of his officers and a salvage party from reboard their ship (torpedoed the previous day by U-571) and, aided by salvage vessel Willett (ARS-12) quell the remaining fires and save the ship, which is towed to port. Repaired, she subsequently returns to service.

Survivors of U.S. freighter Tachira, sunk by German submarine U-129 on 12 July, reach Punta Herrera, Mexico.

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