December 24, 1944 – This day during the World War ll

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December 24, 1944 – The troopship Leopoldville, carrying 2,000 American soldiers across the English Channel, was torpedoed by German submarine U-486. Escorting warships lifted off many soldiers, although quite a few who suffered broken bones jumping onto the wildly pitching steel decks, but 819 men perished. Prior to the attack, the Leopoldville had made 24 cross-Channel crossings, transporting more than 120,000 troops. The Leopoldville was in a diamond formation with four escort destroyers, Brilliant, Anthony, Hotham, and Croix de Lorraine, and another troopship the SS Cheshire embarking from Southampton, England that evening. On the day of the attack, the Leopoldville was carrying reinforcements from the 262nd and 264th Regiments, 66th Infantry Division of the United States Army towards the Battle of the Bulge. Of the 2,235 American servicemen on board, approximately 515 are presumed to have gone down with the ship. Another 248 died from injuries, drowning, or hypothermia…

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