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May 9th, 1943 (SUNDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Aberdeen: A bizarre incident occurred at Dyce airport today. A Junkers Ju88R, based at Kjevik in Norway, landed of its own free will. It was part of a night-fighter unit, and it seems that its crew have gone over to the Allies. The men brought with them a working FuG 202 Lichtenstein air interception radar. This has been enabling the German nightfighters to enjoy much of their recent success against RAF bombers.

HMC ML 105 commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)

NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam: The Germans today proclaimed martial law throughout the Netherlands, imposed an 8pm to 8am curfew, and rounded up several thousand Dutchmen. The action was ordered by Reich commissioner, Arthur Seyss-Inquart; it comes in the wake of mounting evidence of resistance to the Germans and increasing economic chaos.

Gatherings of more than five people, the printing and distribution of pamphlets calling for resistance to the Germans, and the sale of spirits in bars, have been forbidden. Strikes and lockouts are illegal. All Dutchmen between 18 and 35 have been ordered to register; they will be sent to work in war factories in Germany.

U.S.S.R.: Baltic Fleet and Ladoga Flotilla: MS "T-210 "Gak"" - mined, close to Lavensari Is. (later raised and went into service).
Polar Fleet and White Sea Flotilla: GB "Vanya Communist" - mined close to Svetlii Yar, in Stalingrad area  (Sergey Anisimov)(69)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Submarine HMS Unrivalled sinks the Italian Santa Mariana Salina (763 BRT).

U-380 was on her way to Tunisia to support the German ground forces in Africa with ammunition. After receiving news of the capitulation, the crew threw the ammunition overboard off Pantelleria. (Dave Shirlaw)

TUNISIA: King George VI tells Eisenhower "the debt of Dunkirk is repaid" as the Allies hold 50,000 Axis prisoners.

All organised German and Italian resistance in North Africa has now ceased. (Jack McKillop)

NEW GUINEA: The First Battle of Lababia Ridge commences. The Australians are faced by Japanese forces led by Okabe and include elements of the 3 and 8 companies 115th Regiment, who had earlier been rescued by destroyers after their troop transports had been sunk during the Battle of the Bismark Sea. (Michael Alexander)

CANADA: HMCS Vercheres, an ex-Coast Guard ship taken into service as an auxiliary m/s, was destroyed by fire at Sorel, Province of Quebec. Little is known about this ship other than she was built at the Polson Iron Works in 1901. Her length was 104 feet and she displaced 157 tons. (Dave Shirlaw)


Minesweeper USS Tide commissioned.

Minesweeper USS Specter laid down.

Submarines USS Corvina and Robalo launched.

Destroyer escorts USS Acree and Baron launched. (Dave Shirlaw)


At 0055, the unescorted Kanbe, a straggler from Convoy TS-38, was hit by two torpedoes from U-123 and sank within two minutes about 60 miles south of Monrovia. The master, 57 crewmembers and three gunners were lost. Five crewmembers were picked up by the Spanish merchantman Rio Francoli and landed at Santa Isabel, Fernando Po.

The unescorted Corneville was sunk by U-515 with two torpedoes. All 41 crewmembers survived and landed at Anamabu 60 miles east of Takoradi the next day.

U-666 shot down an RAF 58 Sqn Halifax. The boat damaged a Whitley two hours later.

U-381 reported via radio for the last time from a position in the North Atlantic.

(Dave Shirlaw)

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