November 1941 events of the Battle of the Atlantic  
  Overview  
  2 Allied warships were sunk by U-boats.  
  1 Soviet auxiliary warship was sunk by a U-boat.  
   
  2 U-boats were sunk in accidental collisions.  
  1 U-boat was sunk probably by a mine.  
  1 German commerce raider was sunk by an Allied warship.  
   
  12 Allied or neutral merchant ships were sunk by U-boats totaling 60,350 tons.  
   
  Naval Action in the Atlantic Ocean  
  Tuesday, November 4, 1941  
  The British RFA oiler Olwen reported the German surface raider attack in the central Atlantic Ocean. Commander-in-Chief, South Atlantic, Vice Admiral Algernon U. Willis, RN, ordered the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Canton to investigate. The light cruiser HMS Dunedin and special service vessels HMS Queen Emma and Princess Beatrix were ordered to depart Freetown, Sierra Leone to join in the search. The HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Canton parted company, with the former heading southeast and the latter steaming toward a position to the northwest, to be supported by U.S. Navy Task Group 3.6, composed of the light cruiser USS Omaha (CL-4) and destroyer USS Somers (DD-381), which are at that time well to the northwest of the reported enemy position. The light cruiser USS Memphis (CL-4) and destroyers USS Davis (DD-395) and USS Jouett (DD-396), near to the Olwen's position, searched the area without result. The USS Omaha and USS Somers searched unsuccessfully for survivors through November 6.  
   
  Wednesday, November 5, 1941  
  The search for the German raider reported by the British RFA oiler Olwen the previous day continued. Vice Admiral Algernon U. Willis, the Commander in Chief South Atlantic, informed British ships of the unsuccessful efforts by two light cruisers and three destroyers involved in the search the previous day.  
   
  Thursday, November 6, 1941  
  The unsuccessful search for the German raider reported by British RFA oiler Olwen on November 4 was not entirely fruitless. U.S. Navy Task Group 3.6, composed of the light cruiser USS Omaha (CL-4), under command of of Captain Theodore E. Chandler, and the destroyer USS Somers (DD-381), en route to Recife, Brazil, returning from a 3,023-mile patrol, captured German blockade runner Odenwald, disguised as U.S. freighter Willmoto, in Atlantic equatorial waters. A boarding party from the USS Omaha (Lieutenant George K. Carmichael) reached the Odenwald as the Germans exploded charges to scuttle the ship. The USS Omaha's sailors, however, joined by a diesel engine specialist from the USS Somers, prevented the Odenwald's loss while the cruiser's SOC Curtiss scout-observation planes and her accompanying destroyer screened the operation. The three ships then proceeded to Trinidad because of possible complications with the Brazilian government. In view of the precarious fuel state in the American ships, the USS Somers's crew ingeniously rigged a sail that cut fuel consumption and allowed her to reach her destination with fuel to spare. This was the first successful action by the U.S. patrols in the Atlantic.  
   
  The British RFA oiler Olwen reported that she had made the "raider" signal when what was probably a surfaced submarine had fired upon her at dawn on November 4. Ten U.S. and British warships had searched for two days for a phantom enemy.  
   
  Saturday, November 15, 1941  
  The Soviet minesweeping trawler T-889 (No 34) was torpedoed and sunk by the U-752, commanded by Karl-Ernst Schroeter, six miles southeast of Cape Ostrye Ludki in the Barents Sea in the Arctic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 43 died.  
   
  Saturday, November 22, 1941  
  The German commerce raider Atlantis was sunk while refueling from a German submarine off the coast of West Africa in the eastern Atlantic Ocean by the light cruiser HMS Devonshire (39).  
   
  Monday, November 24, 1941  
  The light cruiser HMS Dunedin (D 93) was torpedoed and sunk by the U-124, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Johann Mohr, east of St. Paul´s Rock in the south central Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 419 died and 67 survivors were picked up by the American steam merchant Nishmaha.  
   
  U-Boat Losses  
  Tuesday, November 11, 1941  
  The U-580, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Günther Kuhlmann, was sunk in the Baltic Sea near Memel, Lithuania after a collision with the target ship Angelburg. Of the ship’s complement, 12 died and 32 survived. During its career the U-580 sank or damaged no ships.  
   
  Saturday, November 15, 1941  
  The U-583, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Ratsch, was sunk near Danzig, East Prussia after a collision with the U-153. All of the ship’s complement of 45 died. During its career the U-583 sank or damaged no ships.  
   
  Sunday, November 30, 1941  
  The U-206, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Opitz, went missing in the Bay of Biscay, west of St. Nazaire in the eastern Atlantic Ocean probably sunk by a mine in the British minefield "Beech" laid by RAF aircraft. All of the ship’s complement of 46 died. During its career the U-206 sank 1 warship and 2 merchant ships for a total of 3,283 tons.  
   
  Attacks on Allied and Neutral Merchant Ships  
  Saturday, November 1, 1941  
  The unescorted British motor merchant Bradford City was torpedoed and sunk by the U-68, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Karl-Friedrich Merten, approximately 300 miles west of Walvis Bay, South West Africa in the southern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 45 survived and reached land by lifeboat. The 4,953 ton Bradford City was carrying sugar and rum and was bound for the United Kingdom.  
   
  Sunday, November 2, 1941  
  A straggler from Convoy ON-27, the British steam merchant Larpool was torpedoed and sunk by the U-208, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Alfred Schlieper, approximately 250 miles east-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 26 died and 17 survivors were picked up by the Canadian corvette HMCS Bittersweet (K 182) or reached land by lifeboat. The 3,872 ton Larpool was carrying general cargo and was bound for British Guiana.  
   
  Monday, November 3, 1941  
  Sailing with Convoy SC-52, the British steam merchant Flynderborg was torpedoed and sunk by the U-202, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Hans-Heinz Linder, northeast of Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 3 died and 21 survivors were picked up by the Canadian corvette HMCS Windflower (K 155). The 2,022 ton Flynderborg was carrying lumber and was bound for London, England.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy SC-52, the British steam merchant Gretavale was torpedoed and sunk by the U-202 northeast of Notre Dame Bay. Of the ship’s complement, 38 died and 6 survivors were picked up by the Canadian corvette HMCS Windflower (K 155). The 4,586 ton Gretavale was carrying steel and 17 trucks and was bound for Loch Ewe, Scotland.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy SC-52, the British steam merchant Empire Gemsbuck was torpedoed and sunk by the U-203, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Rolf Mützelburg, northeast of Cape Charles, Labrador in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 43 survived and were picked up by the Canadian corvette HMCS Buctouche (K 179). The 5,626 ton Empire Gemsbuck was carrying general cargo, including machinery and was bound for Londonderry, England.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy SC-52, the British steam merchant Everoja was torpedoed and sunk by the U-203 northeast of Cape Charles. Of the ship’s complement, all 46 survived and were picked up by the corvette HMS Nasturtium (K 107). The 4,830 ton Everoja was carrying wheat and was bound for Dublin, Ireland.  
   
  Friday, November 7, 1941  
  The unescorted British motor merchant Nottingham was torpedoed and sunk by the U-74, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat, 550 miles southeast of Cape Farewell, Greenland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 62 died. The 8,532 ton Nottingham was carrying general cargo, including whisky and was bound for New York, New York.  
   
  Tuesday, November 11, 1941  
  A straggler from Convoy SC-53, the Panamanian steam merchant Meridian was torpedoed and sunk by the U-561, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Robert Bartels, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 26 died. The 5,592 ton Meridian was carrying government stores and general cargo and was bound for Archangel, Soviet Union.  
   
  Thursday, November 13, 1941  
  The unescorted British motor merchant Peru was torpedoed and sunk by the U-126, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Ernst Bauer, southwest of Cape Palmas, Liberia in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 50 survived and were picked up by the South African whale factory ship Uniwaleco. The 6,961 ton Peru was carrying pig iron, groundnuts, and general cargo and was bound for the United Kingdom.  
   
  Friday, November 14, 1941  
  A straggler from Convoy SC-53, the Panamanian steam merchant Crusader was torpedoed and sunk by the U-561, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Robert Bartels, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 33 died and 1 survived. The 2,939 ton Crusader was carrying general cargo, including foodstuffs, cotton, iron, and steel and was bound for Liverpool, England.  
   
  Saturday, November 29, 1941  
  Sailing with Convoy OS-12, the British steam merchant Thornliebank was torpedoed and sunk by the U-43, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Wolfgang Lüth, approximately 240 miles north-northwest of the Azores in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 75 died. The 5,569 ton Thornliebank was carrying general cargo and munitions and was bound for the Middle East.  
   
  Sunday, November 30, 1941  
  A straggler from Convoy OS-12, the British steam merchant Ashby was torpedoed and sunk by the U-43, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Wolfgang Lüth, 170 miles south-southeast of Flores, Azores. Of the ship’s complement, 17 died and 33 survivors reached land by lifeboat. The 4,868 ton Ashby was carrying ballast and was bound for Pepel, Sierra Leone.  
   
  Axis Merchant Shipping Losses  
  Thursday, November 6, 1941  
  The German blockade runner Oderwald, disguised as the US freighter Willmoto and carrying a cargo of rubber from Japan, was captured off the coast of Brazil by the cruiser USS Omaha (CL 4) and the destroyer USS Somers (DD 381). This was the first successful action by the U.S. patrols in the Atlantic.  
   
  Other Battle of the Atlantic Events  
  Saturday, November 1, 1941  
  U.S. Navy PBY Catalinas provided air coverage for Convoy ON-30.  
   
  The destroyers USS Dallas (DD 199), USS Ellis (DD 154), and USS Eberle (DD 430), screening Convoy HX-157, carried out depth charge attacks on sound contacts off St. John's, Newfoundland in the western Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  Sunday, November 2, 1941  
  U.S. Navy Task Force 14, under command of Rear Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, reached the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Meeting Point and exchanged convoy "Cargo" for CT-5, eight British transports carrying 20,000 British troops earmarked for the Middle East. Convoy CT-5's first destination was Halifax, Nova Scotia.  
   
  U.S. Navy PBM Mariners provided air coverage for convoy ON-30.  
   
  Monday, November 3, 1941  
  U.S. Secretary of State Hull released to the press the correspondence of June and September detailing the German refusal to pay reparations for sinking U.S. freighter Robin Moor on May 21, 1941.  
   
  U.S. Navy PBY Catalinas continued to provide air coverage for Convoy ON-31.  
   
  The destroyer USS Upshur (DD-144), escorting Convoy HX-157, depth charged a sound contact (later determined to be most likely a whale or blackfish) in the Northern Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  Tuesday, November 4, 1941  
  U.S. Navy PBY Catalinas continued to provide air coverage for Convoy ON-31.  
   
  Wednesday, November 5, 1941  
  The oiler USS Laramie (A0-16) was rammed by the Panamanian freighter Montrose in Tunugdliark Fjord, Narsarssuak, Greenland, but suffered no damage in the accidental encounter caused by stormy weather.  
   
  Thursday, November 6, 1941  
  The destroyer USS Madison (DD-425), on the flank of Convoy ON-39, carried out a depth charge attack in the northern Atlantic Ocean. An investigation later proved their quarry to have been a whale.  
   
  Friday, November 7, 1941  
  The U.S. Congress amended the Neutrality act to allow the arming of merchants and transporting war goods to warring nations. This action was taken after a month of debate.  
   
  The destroyers USS Lansdale (DD-426), USS Charles F. Hughes (DD-428), and USS Gleaves (DD-423), while in U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.2 escorting Convoy ON-30, made depth charge attacks on a sound contact. The destroyer USS Madison (DD-425) sighted a bleeding whale soon thereafter, leading to the conclusion that the warships had attacked a large marine mammal.  
   
  Saturday, November 8, 1941  
  The destroyer USS Niblack (DD-424) damaged the Norwegian freighter Astra in a collision at Reykjavik, Iceland.  
   
  Naval Operating Base, Iceland, was established. Rear Admiral James L. Kauffman was the first commandant.  
   
  Sunday, November 9, 1941  
  U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.4, under command of Captain Alan G. Kirk, departed Argentia, Newfoundland, to screen the 31-ship Convoy HX-159. This was the first escort task unit that included in its composition a Coast Guard cutter - the USCG Campbell. The convoy would not be attacked by U-boats although the presence of whales and blackfish resulted in attacks on sound contacts on five occasions through November 13.  
   
  Monday, November 10, 1941  
  The U.S.-escorted Convoy WS-12, under command of Rear Admiral Arthur B. Cook, formed around the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-4) and transporting more than 20,000 British soldiers in six U.S. Navy transports set sail from Halifax, Nova Scotia.  
   
  The destroyer USS Ericsson (DD-440), screening convoy HX 157, depth charged a sound contact later evaluated as a "doubtful" submarine.  
   
  Tuesday, November 11, 1941  
  The destroyer USS Edison (DD-439), en route to rendezvous with Convoy ON-34, depth charged a sound contact.  
   
  The destroyer USS Decatur (DD-341), screening Convoy HX-159, depth charged sound contact off the Grand Banks. The incident was later evaluated as a "doubtful" submarine.  
   
  Wednesday, November 12, 1941  
  U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.3, under command of Commander Richard E. Webb, assumed escort duty for convoy ON 34.  
   
  The destroyer USS Decatur (DD-341), screening Convoy HX-159, twice depth charged sound contacts that were later evaluated as "non-submarine." The destroyer USS Badger (DD-126), depth charged a sound contact that was later evaluated as perhaps the USS Decatur's wake. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCG Campbell reported a sound contact and conducted a search which was joined by the destroyer USS Livermore (DD-429).  
   
  Thursday, November 13, 1941  
  In close votes, both houses of the U.S. Congress voted to repeal the Neutrality Act. U.S. merchant ships were now allowed to be armed and enter war zones.  
   
  The destroyer USS Edison (DD-439), screening Convoy ON-34 southwest of Iceland, depth charged a sound contact.  
   
  The destroyer USS Decatur (DD-341), screening Convoy HX-159, depth charged a sound contact. Although the incident was regarded as a good contact, the ensuing search yielded no evidence of a submarine.  
   
  Friday, November 14, 1941  
  The destroyer USS Benson (DD-421) and USS Niblack (DD-424), screening Convoy ON-34, depth charged a sound contacts.  
   
  The destroyer USS Edison (DD-439), en route to the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Meeting Point in U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.1 to screen Convoy ON-35, attacked a sound contact southwest of Iceland.  
   
  Saturday, November 15, 1941  
  U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.1, under command of Captain Marion Y. Cohen, assumed escort duty for Convoy ON-35 at the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Meeting Point. There would be no U-boat attacks on the convoy, but nearly continuous heavy weather between November 16 and November 25 resulted in 16 of the 26 ships straggling.  
   
  Sunday, November 16, 1941  
  U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.5, under command of Commander William K. Phillips, cleared Argentia, Newfoundland, to assume escort duty for Convoy HX-160 in the northern Atlantic Ocean between November17 and 28. Heavy seas would cause varying degrees of damage to the destroyers USS Mayo (DD -422), USS Nicholson (DD 424), USS Babbitt (DD 128), USS Leary (DD 158) and USS Schenck (DD 159). The convoy would not be attacked by U-boats.  
   
  Monday, November 17, 1941  
  The German blockade runner Odenwald, captured by the light cruiser USS Omaha (CL 4) and destroyer USS Somers (DD 381) on November 6, was escorted into San Juan, Puerto Rico, by the USS Somers and turned over to U.S. authorities.  
   
  The destroyers USS Benson (DD 421) and USS Edison (DD 439), screening Convoy ON-34, depth charged submarine contacts in the northern Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  Wednesday, November 19, 1941  
  The destroyer USS Leary (DD 158), with U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.5, escorting Convoy HX-160, depth charged a sound contact in the northern Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  Thursday, November 20, 1941  
  The destroyer USS Nicholson (DD 424), with U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.5, escorting Convoy HX-160, depth charged a sound contact in the northern Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  Sunday, November 23, 1941  
  U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.6, under command of Commander Gilbert C. Hoover assumed escort duty for Convoy HX-161 in the northern Atlantic Ocean. The convoy would not be attacked by U-boats during its passage.  
   
  Monday, November 24, 1941  
  The destroyer USS DuPont (DD 152) in the North Atlantic Ocean with U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.6, escorting Convoy HX-161, was damaged in collision with merchant ship Thorshovdi in the northern Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  Thursday, November 27, 1941  
  The destroyer USS Babbitt (DD 128), with U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.5, escorting Convoy HX-160, depth charged a sound contact in the northern Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  Saturday, November 29, 1941  
  U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.2, under command of Commander Fred D. Kirtland, accompanied by the salvage vessel USS Redwing (ARS 4) and oiler USS Sapelo (Atlantic Ocean 1), assumed escort duty for Convoy HX-162 in the northern Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.4, under command of Captain Alan G. Kirk, assumed escort duty for Convoy ONS-39 in the northern Atlantic Ocean. The convoy would not be attacked by U-boats during its passage. Convoy ONS-39, however, would encounter considerable stormy weather that caused varying degrees of topside damage to the destroyers USS Plunkett (DD 431), USS Livermore (DD 429), USS Decatur (DD 341), and USS Cole (DD 155).  
   
  The destroyer USS Woolsey (DD 437), screening Convoy HX-161, despite having been hampered by propulsion problems the previous days, depth charged a suspicious contact in the northern Atlantic Ocean without result.  
   
  Sunday, November 30, 1941  
  The destroyer Decatur (DD 341), in U.S. Navy Task Unit 4.1.4, under command of Captain Alan G. Kirk, escorting convoy ONS-39, carried out a depth charge attack on a suspicious contact in the northern Atlantic Ocean.  
     
   
     
   
 

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