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Re: Last ship sunk by the Luftwaffe in WWII
I have done more investigative work since the original post and find that Lt Sippola died because of his inability to grasp a lifeline thrown to him on a raft by the British rescuers. He was awarded a Silver Star by the Navy. One of the gunners, who allegedly downed the first German plane, and the only naval person still alive, was decorated by the Norwegian Government in later years.
The ship got off a radio message, and two fighter planes from an Escort carrier with the convoy arrived on the scene, after much difficulty in taking off in the stormy seas, but the German planes had already gone. It was near nightfall when the attack ended and so the rescue ships had to wait until daylight, causing the survivors to have to spend all night in the boats or on rafts, on a stormy sea with temperatures way below zero.