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Today In the History Of Atlantic and Mediterranean Theaters

Discussion in 'Atlantic Naval Conflict' started by Bill Murray, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    Okay as promised earlier, I am going to make a run at this as I did for the Pacific and Indian Ocean Theaters. If I leave anything out please point it out as this is definately not a strong area for me.

    January 1, 1940
    -Tenth Naval District with headquarters at San Juan, Puerto Rico, is established, Commander Reuben L. Walker is first commandant.
    -U.S. freighter City of Flint, her odyssey almost at an end, is damaged in collision with British steamship Baron Blytheswood. Repairs to City of Flint will keep her at Narvik, Norway, for another six days.
    -U.S. freighter Exeter is detained at Gibraltar by British authorities.
    -Uruguayan government interns German freighter Tacoma at Montevideo as an auxiliary war vessel.
    -Charles Edison of New Jersey becomes Secretary of the Navy; he had been Acting Secretary since the death of Claude A. Swanson on 7 July 1939.
    -Department of State releases statement to press telling of the delivery of "vigorous protest" to the British Foreign Office concerning the British removing and censoring U.S. mail from British and U.S. and neutral ships.

    January 1, 1942
    -President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill sign the Joint Declaration of the United Nations; only the United States and Britain had discussed the document's creation, but ultimately representatives of 24 other nations, including the Soviet Union and China, will affix their signatures to it. There will be no separate peace agreements; the signatories pledge to fight until the Axis is defeated.
    Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll succeeds Admiral Ernest J. King as Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet.

    January 1, 1943
    -In the Mediterranean Sea, the German submarine U-73 torpedoes and sinks U.S. freighter Arthur Middleton off Oran, Algeria; of the 81 souls on board (11 of whom are from the crew of tank landing craft LCT-21, which is also lost) 3 sailors of the 27-man Armed Guard detachment are the only survivors.
     
  2. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    January 2, 1944
    -PB4Y from VB 107 sights and tracks German blockade runner Weserland, en route from Japan to Germany, 595 miles south-southwest of Ascension Island. Destroyer Somers (DD-381) intercepts Weserland and opens fire.
     
  3. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    January 3, 1940
    -U.S. freighter Mormacsun is intercepted by British naval vessel and diverted to Kirkwall, Scotland, into the zone designated as a combat area. Freighter Nashaba is detained by British authorities at Gibraltar; freighter Executive, detained at Gibraltar since 20 December 1939, is released to proceed on her voyage to Greece, Turkey, and Rumania.

    January 3, 1941
    -Heavy cruiser Tuscaloosa (CA-37) departs Lisbon, Portugal, for Norfolk, Virginia, having transported Admiral William D. Leahy, USN (Retired), U.S. Ambassador to France, on the transatlantic leg of his journey to his diplomatic post.

    January 3, 1942
    -Critical fuel states in the "shortlegged" flush-deck destroyers in the screen of convoy HX 167 prompts the adoption of the expedient of cargo ship Delta (AK-29) fueling destroyers Babbitt (DD-128) and Schenck (DD-159). Weather again worsens, however, preventing Leary (DD-158) from fueling; she is sent to Casco Bay to refuel
    -Light cruiser Omaha (CL-4) and destroyer Somers (DD-381) encounter two ships in succession that fail to answer challenges; Omaha sends armed boarding party each time to obtain information. The vessels prove to be Greek freighter Marika Protopapa and Norwegian merchantman Tercero.

    January 3, 1944
    -Destroyer Turner (DD-648) is sunk by internal explosion, three miles north of Ambrose Lightship, New York Harbor. During efforts to help the injured, a Coast Guard helicopter transports needed blood plasma in the Navy's first operational use of the helicopter in treating casualties.
    -Destroyer Somers (DD-381) sinks German blockade runner Weserland and recovers 130 survivors.

    January 3, 1945
    -U.S. freighter Henry Miller, in Hampton Roads-bound convoy GUS 63, is torpedoed and damaged by German submarine U-870 22 miles southwest of Cape Spartel; Coast Guard-manned frigate Brunswick (PF-68) takes off most of the crew and armed guard (there are no casualties in either group). The ship, with a reduced crew, reaches Gibraltar under her own power the following day; she is, however, later declared a constructive total loss.
     
  4. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    January 4, 1940
    -U.S. freighter Exiria is detained at Gibraltar by British authorities.

    January 4, 1943
    -Submarine Shad (SS-235) sinks German minesweeper M 4242 (ex-French trawler Odet II) in Bay of Biscay.

    January 4, 1944
    -Light cruiser Omaha (CL 4) and destroyer Jouett (DD- 396) intercept German blockade runner Rio Grande about 55 miles northeast of the coast of Brazil. Gunfire and scuttling charges sink Rio Grande.

    January 4, 1945
    -The ferry boat Arrowsic (YFB-59), fills with water while in tow of rescue tug ATR-57 while en route from New York to Philadelphia and is beached in Delaware River.
     
  5. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    January 5, 1940
    -German tanker Nordmeer reaches Vigo, Spain, after her voyage from the Netherlands West Indies.

    January 5, 1941
    -Heavy cruiser Louisville (CA-28) arrives at Simonstown, South Africa.

    January 5, 1942
    -Convoy ON 49, escorted by TU 4.1.1, reaches its dispersal point without incident.

    January 5, 1943
    -Last nine survivors (including the Armed Guard unit commander) of U.S. freighter Alaskan, sunk by German submarine U-172 on 28 November 1942, utilizing a bailed-out lifeboat, reach Cayenne, French Guiana.

    January 5, 1944
    -PBM-3S (VP 203) sights German blockade runner Burgenland and summons light cruiser Omaha (CL 4) and destroyer Jouett (DD-396). Gunfire and scuttling charges sink Burgenland.
     
  6. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    January 6, 1940
    -U.S. passenger liner Manhattan is detained at Gibraltar by British authorities.

    January 6, 1941
    -Heavy cruiser Louisville (CA-28) departs Simonstown for New York, having taken on board $148,342,212.55 in British gold for deposit in American banks.

    January 6, 1943
    -PBY-5A (VP 83) sinks German submarine U-164 off Brazil.
    -District patrol craft YP-492 is sunk in collision with YP-6713 off eastern Florida.

    January 6, 1944
    -Gunboat St. Augustine (PG-54) is sunk in collision with U.S. merchant tanker Camas Meadows, 73 miles south- southwest of Cape May, New Jersey.
    -In the Mediterranean Sea, the U.S. freighter William S. Rosecrans drags anchor during storm south of Naples, Italy, and strikes a mine that starts a fire which dooms the ship. She sinks later that afternoon but there are no casualties to either the merchant complement or the 27-man Armed Guard, who are all rescued by British naval vessels.

    January 6, 1945
    -In the Mediterranean Sea, the U.S. freighter Isaac Shelby is damaged by mine when she straggles from Naples-bound convoy NV 90; fortunately, there are no casualties to either the merchant complement or the 12-man Armed Guard. The ship, however, is later declared a total loss.
     
  7. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    Since I won't be around on the computer tommorrow:

    January 7, 1940
    -U.S. freighter City of Flint departs Narvik for Baltimore, Maryland. For his "skill, fine judgment, and devotion to duty" during City of Flint's ordeal, Captain Joseph A. Gainard, the freighter's master, will receive the Navy Cross.
    -U.S. passenger liner Manhattan, detained at Gibraltar by British authorities the previous day, is released.
    -German freighter Konsul Horn escapes from Aruba and, disguised as a Soviet merchantman, manages to deceive U.S. Navy patrol planes from the Neutrality Patrol and British light cruiser HMS Enterprise.

    January 7, 1941
    -Office of Production Management is established under industrialist William S. Knudsen, labor leader Sidney Hillman, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson.

    January 7, 1942
    -The US Navy's authorized aircraft strength is increased from 15,000 to 27,500.

    January 7, 1943
    -In the Mediterranean Sea, German planes attack convoy KMS 7 off Bougie, Algeria, bombing U.S. freighter William Wirt; there are no casualties among the ship's complement (including the 21-man Armed Guard).

    January 7, 1944
    -Fleet tug Carib (ATF-82) stops and boards Spanish merchant ship Monte Amiboto and removes a stowaway, an alleged German internee in Argentina from the armored ship Admiral Graf Spee.
    -Destroyer Davis (DD-395) rescues 21 survivors of sunken German blockade runner Burgenland.
     
  8. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    January 8, 1941
    -Admiral William D. Leahy, USN (Retired) presents his credentials as Ambassador to France at Vichy.

    January 8, 1943
    -Shortly before midnight, submarine U-124 attacks 12-ship Rio de Janeiro, Brazil-bound convoy TB 1, torpedoing U.S. tanker Broad Arrow, and freighter Birmingham City. On board the former, the initial explosion kills seven of the eight-man Armed Guard, and her complement abandons the blazing ship (which is illuminating the entire convoy) without orders. Birmingham City sinks in three minutes.

    January 8, 1944
    -Light cruiser Marblehead (CL-12) rescues 72 survivors of sunken German blockade runner Rio Grande. Destroyer Winslow (DD-359) rescues 35 survivors of sunken German blockade runner Burgenland.

    January 8, 1945
    -U.S. freighter Blenheim is damaged by explosion of German rocket bomb at Antwerp, Belgium; Armed Guard quarters are wrecked and there are 20 casualties among the 44 merchant sailors, 25 Armed Guard and one passenger on board at the time.
     
  9. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    January 9, 1940
    -U.S. freighter Western Queen is detained at Gibraltar for several hours by British authorities.

    January 9, 1943
    -German submarine U-384 attacks Belfast, Ireland-bound U.S. freighter Louise Lykes in the North Atlantic; although the U-boat will ultimately destroy the merchantman, Armed Guard gunfire nearly turns the tables on the enemy. Sadly, none of Louise Lykes's people (including the 24-man Armed Guard) survive.
    -German submarine U-124 continues assault on convoy TB 1, begun shortly before midnight the day before, about 100 miles northeast of Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana. U-124 torpedoes freighters Collingsworth and Minotaur; each ship sinks four minutes after being struck. Tanker Broad Arrow sinks as the result of damage received in U-124's initial attack. Submarine chaser PC-577 rescues survivors from all four ships sunk by the U-boat. Of the Armed Guards on the four merchantmen, only one sailor of the eight-man guard on board Broad Arrow survives; five of the 18-man Armed Guard perish in the abandonment of Birmingham City; Collingsworth's detachment loses four of 24 men; Minotaur's 15-man Armed Guard, however, survives intact.

    January 9, 1945
    -U.S. freighter Jonas Lie, in New York-bound convoy ON 277, is torpedoed by German submarine U-1055 at the entrance to the Bristol Channel. The ship, abandoned, later sinks on 14 January.
     
  10. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    I am enjoying your new series Bill! I have a question about what an "armed guard" is. Is it a USN detachment, Merchant Marine group, or Coast Guard or something else ? Thanks
     
  11. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    Great question TA! The Armed Guard of a merchant ship was a detachment of Navy sailors who were trained for and specifically assigned to man the guns on armed merchant ships. There weren't just gunners though, there were signalmen, radiomen, and the occasional pharmacists mate amongst the Armed Guard. These elisted naval rating detachments were led by a commissioned officer ensigns or lieutennants (junior grade).
     
  12. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    January 10, 1940
    -U.S. steamship President Van Buren, bound for Genoa, Italy, and New York, is detained at Port Said, Egypt, and subsequently discharges items of cargo, deemed as contraband, at Alexandria, Egypt, before being allowed to proceed.

    January 10, 1941
    -Auxiliary Bear (AG-29) returns to Bay of Whales, Antarctica, to evacuate West Base; the evacuation is under the supervision of Commander Richard H. Cruzen, second-in-command of the U.S. Antarctic Service.
    -During air attack on British force off Malta, carrier HMS Illustrious is bombed and damaged by Luftwaffe JU 87s; Lieutenant Commander Frederick P. Hartman, U.S. Naval Observer on board, is consequently commended for gallantry in action.

    January 10, 1943
    -U.S. freighter Norwalk is sunk in collision with Norwegian freighter Nidareid north of Cuba. While one of the 30-man merchant crew perishes in the accident, none of the 14-man Armed Guard are hurt.
    -Norwegian freighter Dalvanger rescues 21 men from U.S. freighter Collingsworth, torpedoed and sunk by U-124 the previous day while in convoy TB 1.

    January 10, 1944
    -In the Meditteranean Sea, the U.S. freighter Daniel Webster is damaged by German aerial torpedo during air attack on convoy KMS 37 while en route from Gibraltar to Augusta and Naples.
     
  13. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    January 11, 1940
    -Fleet Landing Exercise (FLEX) No. 6 begins at Culebra, Puerto Rico. Lack of transports compels the Navy to substitute combatant ships in that role for purposes of the exercise; an important exception is the prototype high speed transport Manley (APD-1), converted from a World War I-emergency program "flush-deck, four-pipe" destroyer, which amply proves her worth.
    -Gunboat Charleston (PG-51) suffers damage when she runs aground at Colon, C.Z.
    -U.S. freighter Tripp is detained at Gibraltar by British authorities.

    January 11, 1942
    -Operation Paukenschlag ("roll of the kettledrums") descends upon the eastern seaboard of the U.S. like a "bolt from the blue." The first group of five German submarines takes up station off the east coast of the United States on this date. Over the next month, these boats (U-66, U-109, U-123, U-125 and U-130) will sink 26 Allied ships; the presence of the enemy off the eastern seaboard takes U.S. Navy antisubmarine forces by surprise.

    January 11, 1944
    -Brazilian 10th Military Region forces take custody of 22 survivors of German blockade runner Rio Grande who reach Fortaleza, Brazil.
    -In the Mediterranean Sea, the U.S. freighter Daniel Webster, damaged by German aerial torpedo the previous day, reaches Oran under escort of British frigate HMS Barle; rescue tug ATR-47 brings Daniel Webster into port where she is subsequently written off as a total loss. There are no fatalities among the ship's complement (which includes a 29-man Armed Guard).

    January 11, 1945
    -Motor minesweeper YMS-14 is sunk in collision with destroyer Herndon (DD-638) in north channel of Boston, Massachusetts, Harbor.
     
  14. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    Thank you [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    January 12, 1940
    -Interior Department motorship North Star (U.S. Antarctic Service) reaches Bay of Whales, Antarctica, and immediately begins discharging cargo to establish West Base. Ice conditions prohibit unloading at the original chosen site, King Edward VII Land.

    January 12, 1942
    -Authorized enlisted strength of the U.S. Navy is increased to 500,000.

    January 12, 1944
    -In the Mediterranean Sea, Naval Air Station, Port Lyautey, French Morocco, is established.
     
  16. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    Sorry...got sidetracked yesterday and didn't realize I forgot to post this.

    January 13, 1940
    -U.S. freighter Narbo, bound for Italy, Yugoslavia, and Greece, is detained at Gibraltar by British authorities. Freighter Tripp, detained at Gibraltar by the British since 11 January, is released, but not before some items of her cargo are seized as contraband.

    January 13, 1943
    -PBY-5As (VP 83) sink German submarine U-507 off Brazil.

    January 13, 1944
    -Brazilian minelayer Camocim while escorting convoy JT 19, picks up the last 34 survivors (26 German and 8 Italian) of the three German blockade runners sunk on 3, 4, and 5 January.

    Janaury 13, 1945
    -In the Mediterranean Sea, Ex-USAAF aircraft rescue boat P584, under administrative control of Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and manned by a navy crew, is destroyed by explosion at Leghorn, Italy, injuring 11 sailors.
     
  17. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    January 14, 1940
    -Auxiliary Bear (AG-29) reaches Bay of Whales, Antarctica. Along with Interior Department motorship North Star, Bear will establish the two bases to be used in the U.S. Antarctic Service's 1939-1941 expedition under Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, USN (Ret.)
    -British Minister in Panama Charles Dodd transmits response of British government to note sent by the President of Panama on behalf of the 21 American Republics concerning the violation of American neutrality that occurred in the Battle of the River Plate. The British "reserve their full belligerent rights in order to fight the menace presented by German action and policy and to defend that conception of law and that way of life, which they believe to be as dear to the peoples and Governments of America as they are to the peoples and Governments of the British Commonwealth of Nations".
    -U.S. freighter Narbo detained at Gibraltar by British authorities the previous day, is released to continue her voyage to Italy, Yugoslavia, and Greece, but not before some items from her cargo are removed as contraband.

    January 14, 1942
    -Panamanian tanker Norness is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-123; destroyer Ellyson (DD-454) and Coast Guard cutter Argo (WPC 100) rescue 30 men, while fishing boat Malvina picks up nine and brings them to Newport, Rhode Island.

    January 14, 1943
    -Casablanca (SYMBOL) Conference begins. President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and their staffs meet to plan future operations against the Axis powers.

    January 14, 1944
    -Destroyers Bulmer (DD-222) and Parrott (DD-218) damage German submarine U-382, 560 miles west-northwest of Cape Finisterre, Spain.

    January 14, 1945
    -U.S. freighter Martin Van Buren, in Nova Scotia-bound convoy BV 141, is torpedoed by German submarine U-1232; 3 of the 27-man Armed Guard (members of a 5-inch gun crew) perish when blown overboard. Despite salvage efforts, the ship subsequently drifts ashore and is written off as a total loss.
    -U.S. freighter Michael de Kovats is damaged by explosion of German V-2 rocket bomb at Antwerp, Belgium; none of the 27-man Armed Guard are casualties.
     
  18. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    January 15, 1942
    -Third Conference of Foreign Ministers of the American Republics convenes at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to secure a unanimous and binding resolution for the American republics to sever relations with the Axis powers.
    -Storm with wind velocity of more than 80 knots and gusts of over 100 knots hits Hvalfjordur, Iceland; heavy cruiser Wichita (CA-45) is damaged in collisions with U.S. freighter West Nohno and British trawler HMS Ebor Wyke, and in grounding near Hrafneyri light. Storm conditions last until 19 January and cause heavy damage among patrol planes based there and tended by seaplane tender Albemarle (AV-5).

    January 15, 1945
    -In the Mediterranean Sea, destroyers Boyle (DD-600) and McLanahan (DD-615) support British and American light craft, including U.S. motor torpedo boats, in a night interdiction operation aimed at enemy coastwise shipping.
    -RAF Spitfire sights one large and one small enemy destroyer west of Portofino, Italy; PT-313 and British MTB 378 engage a southbound convoy of five flak lighters, sinking one and damaging another. The presence of the destroyers, however, results in the operation being discontinued.
     
  19. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    January 16, 1941
    -President asks Congress for immediate appropriation of $350 million for 200 new merchant ships.

    January 16, 1942
    -War Production Board is established to supplant Office of Production Management.

    January 16, 1944
    -TBF (VC 13) from escort carrier Guadalcanal (CVE-60) sinks German submarine U-544 in mid-Atlantic. U-129 and U-516 are surprised at this fueling rendezvous as well, but both escape.
    -U.S. freighter Sumner I. Kimball, straggling from New York-bound convoy ON 219, is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-960 in the North Atlantic. There are no survivors from either the 40-man merchant complement or the 29-man Armed Guard.

    January 16, 1945
    -Destroyer escorts Otter (DE-210), Hubbard (DE-211), Hayter (DE-212), and Varian (DE-798) sink German submarine U-248.
    -U.S. freighter Marina is damaged by mine outside of swept channel to Le Havre, France; there are no casualties.
    -In the Mediterranean Sea, the non-rigid airship ZPNK 123 is accidentally deflated at Port Lyautey, French Morocco; the envelope is damaged beyond repair.
     
  20. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Seriously though Bill, keep up the good work! [​IMG]
     

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