Friday, February 14, 2020

Posthumous Valentine Medal of Honor

WED 14 FEB 1945
Japanese shore batteries sink motor minesweeper YMS-48 north of Corregidor, 14°24'N, 120°33'E, and damage destroyers Fletcher (DD-445) and Hopewell (DD-681) as they support the sweeping of those waters, 14°25'N, 120°30'E and 14°24'N, 120°33'E, respectively. On board Fletcher, Watertender First Class Elmer C. Bigelow, time not permitting his donning a rescue-breathing apparatus, plunges into the acrid powder smoke to extinguish the blaze that had resulted from shell fragments penetrating the number one gun magazine and setting fire to powder cases. Bigelow succumbs to smoke inhalation the following day; for his heroism, he is awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously.

Japanese shore batteries also sink support landing craft LCS-26 and LCS-49 off Luzon.

Mines damage destroyers Radford (DD-446) and LaVallette (DD-448) as they support the sweeping of a channel into Mariveles harbor, 14°25'N, 120°30'E.

Destroyer Halford (DD-480) is damaged in collision with U.S. merchant vessel H.E. Stephenson.

Submarine Gato (SS-212) sinks Japanese Coast Defense Vessel No.9 in Yellow Sea, 34°48'N, 125°28'E.

Submarines Haddock (SS-231), Lagarto (SS-371), and Sennet (SS-408) damage Japanese guardboat No.3 Kanno Maru south of Japan, 29°50'N, 135°31'E.

Submarine Hawkbill (SS-366) sinks Japanese auxiliary submarine chasers Cha 4 and Cha 114 (ex-Dutch B-1 class patrol boat) in Java Sea, 08°28'S, 115°45'E.

Japanese army cargo ship No.1 Yamanami Maru is sunk by mine west of Kyushu; hospital ship Hikawa Maru is damaged by mine in Singapore Strait.

Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser Tatsui Maru is damaged by aircraft, 27°35'N, 121°16'E.

Arctic Convoys
U.S. freighter Horace Gray is torpedoed by German submarine U-711 at the entrance to Kola Inlet, 69°21'N, 33°43'W. Beached the following day, Horace Gray will subsequently be determined a total loss. There are no casualties to either the merchant complement or the 28-man Armed Guard.

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