Friday, September 21, 2018

Ships Being Sunk

TUE 21 SEP 1943
Submarine Haddock (SS-231) torpedoes Japanese collier Shinyubari Maru west-northwest of Truk, 08°53'N, 148°30'E.

Submarine Trigger (SS-237) sinks Japanese fleet oilers Shiriya and Shoyo Maru and merchant cargo ship Argun Maru, and damages fleet oiler No.1 Ozura Maru north of Keelung, Formosa, 26°27'N, 122°40'E.

Submarine Wahoo (SS-238) sinks Japanese merchant fishing vessel Hokusei Maru 45°45'N, 145°46'E.

USAAF B-24 aircraft sink Japanese transport Takashima Maru southeast of the Admiralties, 03°45'S, 149°20'E.

U.S. freighter William W. Gerhard, in Salerno-bound convoy, is torpedoed by German submarine U-238 at 40°07'N, 14°43'E, and abandoned by the 46-man crew, 29 of the 30-man Armed Guard (one man perishes in the initial explosion) and 191 Army troops. After the crew returns to the ship to prepare her for towing, tug Moreno (AT-87) takes the torpedoed merchantman in tow and heads for Salerno. Fires break out on board, however, and after unavailing efforts by the crew, aided by tug Narragansett (AT-88) and British rescue tug HMS Weazel, the crew abandons ship a second time, transferring en masse to Moreno. William W. Gerhard explodes that night and breaks in two; the bow section sinks immediately (see 22 September 1943).

Indian Ocean
U.S. freighter Cornelia P. Spencer is torpedoed by German submarine U-188 at 02°08'N, 50°10'E; when the U-boat surfaces to finish off the merchantman, however, the Armed Guard gunfire proves so accurate that the U-boat submerges and torpedoes the ship again (the explosion kills two merchant sailors). Cornelia P. Spencer is then abandoned. Torpedoed a third time she sinks soon thereafter. The survivors (39 merchant sailors and the 27-man Armed Guard) are divided amongst four lifeboats (see 22 September and 6 October 1943).

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