Skip to comments.REMNANTS OF JAPANESE CONVOY SUNK; TOLL OF ENEMY PLANES MOUNTS TO 82 (3/5/43)
Posted on 03/05/2013 5:01:46 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
Winston S. Churchill, The Hinge of Fate
Harris hits German industrial heartland
Friday, March 5, 1943 www.onwar.com
British bomber over the Ruhr industrial area [photo at link]
Over Germany... Battle of the Ruhr. In the first of a series of bombing raids against the German Ruhr industrial area, RAF Bomber Command sends 443 aircraft to attack Essen, losing 14 aircraft.
On the Eastern Front... Hoth’s 4th Panzer Army inflicts heavy casualties on three Soviet corps west of Izyum but it cannot continue attacking because the Donets River is blocked with floating ice, preventing bridging operations.
March 5th, 1943 (FRIDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Today has witnessed the first flight of Britain’s first jet fighter, the Gloster Meteor. It is very different from the first British jet aircraft, the Gloster Pioneer, which made its maiden flight in May 1941, being much larger and powered by two turbojet engines. Surprisingly, there are not designed by the jet engine pioneer, Wing-Commander Frank Whittle. He and his company, Power Jets Ltd, have been experiencing problems with their own engine, the W2. Meanwhile, both Rolls-Royce and de Havilland had begun to develop jet engines, but with much direct help from Whittle. The Meteor is powered by the de Havilland Halford H.1, named after the company’s chief engineer, Major F B Halford, Rolls-Royce Derwent jet engines will also be tried.
The Meteor was to have been named the Thunderbolt, but the US Republican P-47 piston-engined fighter, now in frontline service as a bomber escort, had already taken the name.
This is the fifth prototype of the Meteor, the earlier models having engines with lower power, were only used for taxiing trials. The Halford H.1 turbojets can each generate 1,500-lb. thrust.
FRANCE: Paris: Fritz Sauckel, the Reich Plenipotentiary for the allocation of labour, demands 100,000 forced workers from the Vichy regime.
GERMANY: U-391 is launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
FINLAND: When the re-elected Finnish President Risto Ryti officially started his second term in office on 1 March, the cabinet tendered its resignation. Today, the new cabinet is nominated. Prof. Edwin Linkomies is the new Prime Minister, and the known Anglophile Henrik Ramsay replaces Rolf Witting (who is thought to be too pro-German) as the Foreign Minister. Nobody says it aloud, but the most important mission of the new cabinet is to find a way to peace. (Mikko Härmeinen)
U.S.S.R.: Black Sea Fleet and Azov Flotilla: ML “Zarya” - mined close to cape Doob (Sergey Anisimov)(69)
German troops advance to Kharkov and Bielgorod; near Izyum, floating iceblocks prevent German attempts to bridge the Donets river.
Kiev: Erich Koch, the Nazi commissioner for the Ukraine, says: “We are a master race ... the lowliest German worker is racially and biologically a thousand times more valuable than any one of the population here.”
NEW GUINEA: Port Moresby: In the Battle of the Bismark Sea fought on 3-4 March a joint Allied air attack by 335 planes has disastrously damaged Japanese prospects in New Guinea and the Solomons. The enemy suffered prohibitive losses. Eight troop-laden Japanese military transports and four escorting destroyers were sunk, with the loss of 2,890 Japanese army and navy men killed or wounded. The Japanese tried to send reinforcements to Lae, in New Guinea, despite the danger from growing Allied air power. On the eight transports was the main body of the 51st Division.
Once the convoy had left Rabaul, the US Fifth Air Force quickly mustered maximum air strength for a decisive blow. As the convoy entered Huon Gulf on 3 March, the Allies pounced. B-17 bombers struck first. They were immediately attacked by Japanese Zero fighters which, in turn, were intercepted by American Lightnings. Fifteen Zeros were shot down. Quickly following the B-17 strike, Australian Beaufighters swept at deck level to blast the convoy with cannon and machine-gun fire. Then Mitchell and Boston bombers followed, using a new technique developed at Port Moresby, dropping their 500-pound bombs to “skip” into their targets.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: The US submarine Grampus (SS-207), commanded by John R. Craig, is sunk by Japanese destroyers in Blackett Strait-Solomon Islands All hands are lost. (Joe Sauder)
CANADA: Minesweeper HMCS Goderich arrived Liverpool, Nova Scotia, for refit. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: The motion picture “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” is released in the U.S. Directed by Roy William Neill and starring Lon Chaney, Jr., Ilona Massey and Bela Lugosi, this horror film has the Wolf Man being awakened by graverobbers and then seeking Frankenstein who he hopes will kill him. (Jack McKillop)
USS Bogue begins first US anti-submarine operations by escort carrier.
At 1745, U-130 attacked Convoy XK-2 NW of Lisbon and sank four ships, SS Fidra, Empire Tower, Trefusis and Ger-y-Bryn. Empire Tower sank within 60 seconds. The master, 35 crewmembers and six gunners were lost. Three crewmembers were picked up by armed trawler HMS Loch Oskaig and landed at Londonderry. The master, 13 crewmembers and three gunners from Fidra were lost. Nine crewmembers and three gunners were picked up by corvette HMS Coreopsis, transferred to armed trawler HMS Loch Oskaig and landed at Londonderry. The master, the crew of 37 and nine gunners from Ger-y-Bryn were rescued by corvette HMS Coreopsis, transferred to armed trawler HMS Loch Oskaig and landed at Londonderry.
At 0926, U-255 fired a spread of three torpedoes at Convoy RA-53 and heard two detonations. Hog Islander SS Executive was sunk and Richard Bland was damaged, but five days later finished off by the same U-boat. Lookouts on the Executive in station #52 (originally in #51) spotted the first torpedo, which crossed the bow of the ship. But the second torpedo struck on the starboard side between the #4 hatch and the engine room. The explosion blew the hatch covers off the #4 hatch and demolished the booms, the engine, the dynamos and all the equipment in the immediate area. The #4 hold was rapidly flooded and the ship began to settle slowly by the stern. The eight officers, 30 men and 24 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, two .50cal and two .30cal guns) abandoned ship without orders in three lifeboats and one raft. One armed guard, three officers and five crewmen died. The survivors were picked up immediately by armed trawlers HMS St Elstan and Northern Pride (42 men) and landed in Iceland five days later. The drifting ship was scuttled by gunfire from a destroyer about one hour after the attack. (Dave Shirlaw)
Page 3, surprising to read the names/ranks and accomplishments of the pilots in that convey raid.
Seems like it’s fodder for abuse if they were captured.
Like the Japs wouldn’t abuse ‘em anyway...
Of course, we should remember, that we strafed the survivors in the water so the currents wouldn’t carry them to shore.
The first hunter-killer anti-submarine task force was formed around USS Bogue. During the war her planes or escorts were credited with 13 German or Japanese subs sunk. Bogue was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation and three Battle Stars.