Skip to comments.GERMANS GAIN, RED ARMIES HOLD INTACT; ROMMELíS FORCES 30 MILES FROM MATRUH (6/27/42)
Posted on 06/27/2012 4:16:00 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Convoy PQ-17 sails from Iceland
Saturday, June 27, 1942 www.onwar.com
The ill fated convoy PQ-17 [photo at link]
In the Arctic... Convoy PQ-17 leaves Iceland for Archangel, consisting of 36 freighters and a tanker, escorted by 6 destroyers and 13 smaller ships. QP-13 consisting of 35 ships leaves Murmansk at the same time.
In North Africa... Despite heavy fighting the Allied forces at Mersa Matruh are forced to continue their withdrawal.
June 27th, 1942
Frigates HMS Bayntun and Bazely launched.
Minesweeper HMS Circe launched.
Minesweeping trawler HMS Damsay launched.
Mooring vessel HMS Moorcock launched.
Submarine HMS Taurus launched.
Submarine HMS Saracen commissioned.
Destroyer HS Pindos (ex-HMS Bolebroke) commissioned.
Destroyer HMS Zetland commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
GERMANY: Marshal Mannerheim returns Hitler’s visit to his 75th birthday, arriving today for a two-day visit to Germany. He meets Hitler and attends a Wehrmacht situation conference. Later Mannerheim meets his old friend Reichmarschall Göring, in whose manor he spends the night. (Mikko Härmeinen)
EGYPT: Mersa Matruh: Pte. Adam Herbert Wakenshaw (b.1914), Durham Light Infantry had an arm blown off but fired his anti-tank gun until killed by a direct hit. (Victoria Cross)
PACIFIC: US forces bomb Japanese air bases on Wake Island.
CANADA: Corvette HMCS Louisburg completed refit Louisburg Nova Scotia. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announces the capture of eight the German saboteurs who had been put ashore from submarines. The first group of four had landed at Amagansett, Long Island, New York, on the night of 13 June; the second group of four had landed on Ponte Vedra Beach, south of Jacksonville, Florida, on 17 June. Two of the spies had turned themselves in to the FBI resulting in the roundup of the other six. They were to be charged as enemy soldiers and tried by military court martial but the US Army-appointed lawyer, Colonel Kenneth Royall, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus. The Supreme Court met on 29 July, the first special session since 1920, to decide if President Roosevelt had the authority to deny the eight German spies a civil trial; on 31 July, the court ruled against the Germans and the military tribunal resumed on 3 August. The six spies who had not reported to the FBI were found guilty and sentenced to death and they were executed in the electric chair at the District of Columbia jail on 8 August. (Jack McKillop)
Destroyer USS BROWN is laid down.
Minesweeper USS Swift laid down.
Escort carrier USS Breton launched.
Destroyer USS MacKenzie launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
GULF OF MEXICO: Steam tanker Tuxpan sunk by U-129 at 20.15N, 96.20W. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: German submarines sink two U.S. merchant vessels in the Atlantic. U-128 sinks and unarmed freighter east of Trinidad while U-153 sinks an armed freighter east of Puerto Rico. (Jack McKillop)
At 1507, the British Freedom in Convoy KS-514 was torpedoed and damaged by U-701 in position 34°45N/75°22W (grid DC 1231). No casualties among the crew of 55. The ship was en route in ballast and reached port safely.
At 1055, the unescorted Leiv Eiriksson was hit by one torpedo from U-126 west of Barbados. Since 0445 hours, the U-boat followed the tanker, which stopped off Barbados due to engine troubles. Just as a spread of three torpedoes was fired at 1044, the tanker got underway again and they missed. The torpedo fired at 1055 hours hit in the forward cargo hold, resulting in a large hole in her starboard bow. The ship settled by the bow until water started to wash across the foredeck, while some oil was leaking out. The most of the complement of 40 crewmembers and four gunners abandoned ship in three lifeboats, only the master and eight men, including the gun crew stayed on board to send radio messages and firing star shells to attract help from the nearby land. As the tanker was not sinking further, the U-boat fired at 1146 hours a coup de grâce, which struck on the port side a little forward of the bridge and out from #3 centre tank. The tanker immediately caught fire and sank rapidly by the bow, leaving a sea of burning oil on the surface. The men had to jump overboard and were picked up by a lifeboat, but the master and second mate had been very seriously burnt and the radio operator and the steward died in the flames. U-126 then surfaced, approached the lifeboats and Bauer asked the survivors the usual questions. He also said he regretted the loss of lives and asked if they needed first aid articles, but the two injured men were beyond such aid, so the offer was refused. Bauer then gave them the direction of Bridgetown, Barbados, which they could see in the distance, wished them a “good journey, and I hope that I will never see you again,” then the U-boat left. The lifeboats headed for land, but 45 minutes later a British MTB arrived, took all survivors on board and then proceeded at full speed towards Bridgetown, arriving after 30 minutes. The two injured officers were taken to hospital, but they died and were buried at Bridgetown the following day with the entire crew present, as well as a large amount of people from the local population.
At 1552, the unescorted and unarmed Polybius was hit by one torpedo from U-128 about 250 miles east of Trinidad, while steaming a nonevasive course at 9 knots. The torpedo had been spotted by a lookout, but it was too late and it struck abaft the #5 hatch directly under the living quarters, blowing off the stern and killing ten crewmembers. She settled rapidly by the stern and sank within ten minutes. The survivors among the eight officers, 29 crewmen and seven passengers on board abandoned ship in four lifeboats immediately after the hit. The U-boat questioned the master before it left the area. Seven survivors in one boat were picked up the next day by the Dutch SS Dracos and taken to Georgetown, British Guyana. Twelve men in a second boat were picked up after three days by the steam merchant Clarona and brought to Trinidad. The remaining survivors in the other two boats were rescued by an Allied vessel after two days and landed in Trinidad.
At 1525, the unescorted Las Choapas was torpedoed and sunk by gunfire by U-129 in the Gulf of Mexico.
At 2152, the unescorted Potlatch was hit by one torpedo from U-153 about 650 miles east of the Virgin Islands, while steaming on a nonevasive course at 7 knots due of heavy smoke coming from the stack. The ship had stopped several times during the day to check the water content in the fuel oil. The torpedo struck on the port quarter near the engine room about ten feet below the waterline. The explosion blew a hole through the deck, threw the trucks and tanks on deck into the air, buckled the deck plates and damaged the steering gear. She immediately began settling on an even keel and sank by the bow within five minutes. The seven officers, 32 crewmen and 16 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, four 20mm and two .30cal guns) abandoned ship in one lifeboat, four liferafts and two doughnut rafts. The gunners manned their stations until the after gun was awash and then jumped overboard. The U-boat surfaced after the ship sank, picked up some spare tires from the cargo, questioned the survivors and handed over cigarettes to them before leaving the area (They reported the ship under her former name Narcissus). One officer and five crewmen were lost with the ship and two later died in the lifeboat (one from exposure on 29 June and another from an infected shark bite on 18 July) and were buried at sea. The lifeboat took the four rafts in tow, but soon all survivors were transferred into the boat because the rafts slowed down the sailing too much. They sailed in the only lifeboat for 26 days with little food or water until they made landfall on the uninhabited Great Inagua, Bahama Islands. They found some water by following some wild jackasses to a water hole, but had to sail to the also uninhabited Little Inagua for more where they stayed for two days and then continued to Aklins Island, landing on 29 July. From there they were brought by the yacht Vergermere (Owner Betty Carstairs) to Nassau, arriving on 1 August. The master, John Joseph Lapoint was awarded the US Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal for especially meritorious service under unusual stress and hazards. He had sailed the crowded boat to the nearest land only navigating by the sun and stars. He survived another sinking when his next ship, the Liberty Samuel Gompers was torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-10 in the South Pacific on 30 Jan, 1943.
At 2257, the unescorted Moldanger was torpedoed by U-404. The torpedo struck on the port side amidships. The torpedo struck on the port side amidships in the engine room, killing two men and disabling the radio equipment, so no distress calls were sent. The ship sank following a coup de grâce at 2302, which hit on the port side aft, near #5 hatch. The explosion killed eleven men, who were lowering a lifeboat just over the point where the torpedo hit. The master, an engineer and the carpenter were the last that left the ship by jumping overboard and swimming to a raft. The U-boat then surfaced and questioned the survivors before leaving the area. The survivors distributed themselves between a gig, a motor lifeboat and three rafts, because the other lifeboats were damaged and unusable. They all stayed together for three days, but towing the rafts in heavy seas slowed them down, so they let one raft go on the second day after the men and supplies had been transferred. It was decided to let the motorboat and the gig continue towards land to get the injured under medical care and later send help to the rafts. On 4 July, one injured man in the motorboat died and was buried at sea. The remaining 15 men (including the master and the chief engineer) were picked up by HMCS Buctouche on 7 July. The six survivors in the gig were sighted on 15 July by a USAAF aircraft about 100 miles SE of Ambrose Light. Food and water were dropped by USN blimp K-9, which then stayed nearby until USS PC-495 picked them up and landed them at Cape May, New Jersey, the same day. The nine survivors on the two rafts drifted around for 48 days before they were rescued by the Norwegian merchantman Washington Express on 14 August, all in remarkably good shape, considering what they had endured. They had travelled over 1000 miles towards the Azores and caught underway three large turtles and many fish. (Dave Shirlaw)
ICELAND: Convoy PQ-17 leaves Reykjavik for Archangel, Russia. It consists of 36 freighters and a tanker. It is escorted by 6 destroyers and 13 smaller ships. PQ-17 will pass convoy QP-13 returning from Russia.
Although many outwardly may have been seen to be cooperating the country as a whole adopted a practice of holding their eating utensils, their forks in particular, pointed outward instead of inward when they ate as a sign of resistance. Apparently the Japanese never caught on...
Why are the ads cut out?
I only include ads if they come out intact from the copying process and they are needed to fill up a page. (I try for uniformity of size for appearances sake.) I will make an exception if a particular ad catches my fancy or I think it has historical relevance. If I have to copy entire newspaper pages in order to capture a particular story there will likely be some ads along with the text. That is how most of the filler articles survive, too by the way. For todays issue I would guess that the stories continuation on the inside pages was compact or short enough that it only took one copy to get the whole thing, or there just werent any ads adjacent the article.
Maybe I should show a few before and after shots of the original news page so readers can see how I transform the original to fit my template.
I love your articles - thanks for all of the work you put into them. And the other articles and ads are also interesting.
I was showing my kids (studying History) all of the pages devoted to the War - EVERY day. They were amazed. And then showing them the maps, articles fighting in Europe, Soviet Union, Japan, Africa, near New Zealand... and even Alaska. heck - it is amazing to me too!
“Maybe I should show a few before and after shots of the original news page so readers can see how I transform the original to fit my template.”
NOOO! You do enough keeping this outstanding series going.
I was just curious as I look forward to seeing Dinty Moore’s telling us they doesn’t sell canned stew.
doesn’t=don’t. Sheesh, where did that come from?
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