Month 1944 events of the Battle of the Atlantic  
  Naval Action in the Atlantic Ocean  
  Wednesday, May 3, 1944  
  The destroyer escort USS Donnell (DE 56), commanded by Lt. Commander F. C. Billings, while escorting the convoy CU-22 was torpedoed and damaged beyond repair by the U-473, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Heinz Sternberg, about 450 miles southwest of Cape Clear, Ireland in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 29 died and the USS Donnell was towed by the destroyer escorts to Dunnstaffnage Bay, Scotland.  
   
  Saturday, May 6, 1944  
  The British Home Fleet made the first of six attempts to conduct an air strike on the German battleship Tirpitz. Poor weather prevented the attack being carried out.  
   
  Sunday, May 7, 1944  
  The frigate HMCS Valleyfield (K 329), commanded by T/A/Lt. Commander Dermot T. English was returning from escort duty of convoy ONM-234 when it was torpedoed and sunk by the U-548, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Eberhard Zimmermann, about 50 miles south of Cape Race, Newfoundland in the western Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 128 died and 38 survivors were picked up by the corvette HMCS Giffard (K 402).  
   
  Wednesday, May 10, 1944  
  While escorting the Convoy SL-150 the corvette HMS Asphodel (K 56) was torpedoed and sunk by the U-575, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Wolfgang Boehmer, west-northwest of Cape Finisterre off the west coast Spain in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 92 died and 5 survivors were picked up by the corvette HMS Clover (K 134).  
   
  Monday, May 29, 1944  
  The U-549, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Detlev Krankenhagen, slipped undetected through the screen of the hunter-killer group U.S. Navy Task Group 21.11, formed around the USS Block Island (CVE 21) and torpedoed and sank the escort carrier USS Block Island northeast of Canary Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 6 died and 951 survived.  
   
  The destroyer escort USS Barr (DE 576) was torpedoed and sunk by the U-549, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Detlev Krankenhagen, while screening hunter-killer group TG 21.11 northeast of Canary Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 16 died and 14 injured.  
   
  U-Boat Losses  
  Saturday, May 13, 1944  
  The Japanese submarine Ro-501, one of the few Japanese submarines to operate in the Atlantic, was sunk by the USS Francis M. Robinson (DE 220), commanded by Lt. J. E. Johansen, northwest of the Azores in the central Atlantic Ocean. The Ro-501 was formerly the U-1224 of the German Kriegsmarine and was a given to the Imperial Japanese Navy.  
   
  Attacks on Allied and Neutral Merchant Ships  
  Monday, May 1, 1944  
  The unescorted British steam merchant Janeta was torpedoed and sunk by the U-181, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Kurt Freiwald, about 900 miles southwest of Ascension Island in the southern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 13 died and 35 survivors were picked up by the Swedish merchant Freja. The 5,312 ton Janeta was carrying ballast and was headed for River Plate, Uruguay.  
   
  Saturday, May 6, 1944  
  Dispersed from Convoy TJ-30, the British steam merchant Anadyr was torpedoed and sunk by the U-129, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Richard von Harpe, about 600 miles south-southeast of Recife, Brazil in the western Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 6 died and 47 survivors reached land by lifeboat. The 5,278 ton Anadyr was carrying general cargo and government stores, including oil in drums and was headed for Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  
   
  Thursday, May 11, 1944  
  The British steam merchant Empire Heath was torpedoed and sunk by the U-129, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Richard von Harpe, east-northeast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the western Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 57 died and 1 survivor was picked up by the U-boat. The 6,643 ton Empire Heath was carrying iron ore and was headed for Loch Ewe, Scotland.  
   
  Axis Merchant Shipping Losses  
  xx.  
   
  Other Battle of the Atlantic Events  
  Friday, May 26, 1944  
  The U-541, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Kurt Petersen, stopped the neutral Portuguese passenger liner Serpa Pinto en route to Canada south of Bermuda. The Germans found contraband for the U.S. and Mexico aboard and men of military age belonging to enemy countries and Jewish refugees among the 200 passengers. All hands were ordered to abandon ship, but the BdU instructed the commander not to sink her. The crew and passengers were allowed to reboard the ship after 9 hours, but three died in the evacuation process, including a 16 month old baby. Two American passengers were taken prisoner and landed at Lorient on June 22, 1944.  
     
   
     
   
 

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