Sunday, June 10, 2018

Mysterious Submarine

THU 10 JUN 1943
Submarine chaser PC-487 is damaged when she intentionally rams and sinks Japanese submarine I-24 40 miles north-northeast of Shemya Island, Aleutians, 53°16'N, 174°24'E.*

Submarine Flying Fish (SS-229) unsuccessfully attacks Japanese cargo vessel Fujikawa Maru, 24°55'N, 145°36'E.

Submarine S-30 (SS-135) sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship Jimbu Maru, 50°23'N, 155°36'E.

Submarine Tinosa (SS-283) damages Japanese oiler Iro 30 miles off Fuka Island, Kyushu, 31°14'N, 132°44'E. Although damaged in return by depth charges during enemy counterattacks, the submarine remains on patrol.

Submarine Trigger (SS-237) damages Japanese carrier Hiyo 18 miles off Irozaki, 34°13'N, 139°50'E.

Japanese river gunboat Atami is damaged by Chinese aircraft near Tung Ting Lake, China.

U.S. tanker Esso Gettysburg, en route from Port Arthur, Texas, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-66 at 31°02'N, 79°15'E; intense fires, fed by the ship's cargo of crude oil, prevent boats from being launched; only seven of the 27-man Armed Guard and eight of the 45-man merchant complement survive the inferno that consumes the ship. For his heroism in ordering the forward gun manned and opening fire on the attacking U-boat, Ensign John S. Arnold, II, USNR, commanding the Armed Guard, will receive the Navy Cross. Steamship George Washington rescues the few survivors.
The rest of the story:
The Esso Gettysburg was enroute from Port Arthur to Philadelphia when she was struck by two torpedoes on the afternoon of June 10, 1943. Fire quickly covered all of the ship except forward of amidships. Ensign John S. Arnold II won the Navy Cross for his conduct. Even though badly burned he supervised the loading and firing of one round from the forward gun in the direction from which the torpedoes had come. His conduct was an inspiration to all hands. He was rescued after being in the water four hours and in a life boat for 17 hours.

*Funny, but Appendix A (p. 245) of U.S. NAVY AT WAR 1941-1945 Official Reports by Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, U.S.N., claims I-24 was "sunk 27 July 1943 S.W. of New Hanover by U.S. submarine".

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