US subs in the Atlantic

The Allies 1939-1945, and those fighting against Germany.

Moderator: John W. Howard

Post Reply
User avatar
Matt B.
Supporter
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:51 pm
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

US subs in the Atlantic

Post by Matt B. » Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:28 am

Hey guys,

If this has been asked before - forgive me...but, did the US have any subs in the Atlantic during WWII (hunting down German U-Boats or Axis merchant ships)? I haven't found much, if anything at all, on the topic in either my books or on the web. :?

Matt B.

Carl Schwamberger
Contributor
Posts: 248
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:41 pm

Post by Carl Schwamberger » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:41 am

There was a large submarine base in Conneticutt, near New London. Training crusies were conducted out of there. Also acceptance or shakedown trials for part of the newly built boats were run out of that base. These activitys were largely shifted to the west coast because of the danger of mistaking a US sub for a German. I would guess the same would apply for combat patrols. It is anoying to be shot at by ones own side.

User avatar
Matt B.
Supporter
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:51 pm
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

Post by Matt B. » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:08 pm

Carl,

Thank you!

Matt B. :beer:

phylo_roadking
Patron
Posts: 8459
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:41 pm

Post by phylo_roadking » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:45 pm

Matt, also remember the amount of high seas Axis shipping was negligible - what there was was carried in "neutral" (ahem) vessels and always stopped and searched by the RN and Royal Navy Patrol Service in European continental shelf waters.
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." - Malcolm Reynolds

Ron Klages
In Memorium †
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2002 1:39 pm
Location: Lynnwood, Washington

Post by Ron Klages » Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:33 pm

Matt B.

Actually there were quite a few patrols made by US subs during the war in the Atlantic.

Here they are

In the Atlantic from bases either in the US , Bermuda or Panama

25 different boats made 87 patrols in total in 1942

On 18 April 1942, 300 miles ne of Burmuda, boat R-1 under the command of James D. Grant fired 4 torpedoes at a U-Boat and was credited with its destruction and was awarded the Navy Cross. However, after the war it was learned that the U-Boat was only damaged.

Here are the boats:

Barracuda = 6 patrols
Bass = 4 patrols
Bonita = 7 patrols
Mackerel = 2 patrols
Marlin = 2 patrols
R-1 = 2 patrols
R-5 = 1 patrol
R-7 = 3 patrols
S-11 = 6 patrols
S-12 = 6 patrols
S-13 = 4 patrols
S-14 = 4 patrols
S-15 = 3 patrols
S-16 = 6 patrols
S-17 = 7 patrols
S-18 = 1 patrol
S-21 = 3 patrols
S-22 = 3 patrols
S-24 = 4 patrols
S-26 = 2 patrols
S-29 = 3 patrols
S-30 = 3 patrols
S-31 = 2 patrols
S-32 = 2 patrols
S-33 = 1 patrol


Then there were US subs that operated from European bases as follows:

October 1942
5 boats with 5 patrols off North Africa
Boat Herring under the command of Raymond W. Johnson credited with 1 7000 ton ship

November 1942
1 boat 1 patrol

December 1942
4 boats 4 patrols
Boat Shad under command of Edgar J. MacGregor III claimed the destruction of 2 ships for 600 tons.

February 1943
2 boats 2 patrols

March 1943
2 boats 2 patrols
Boat Herring under the command of John Corbus claimed 1 ship of 500 tons

April 1943
4 boats 4 patrols

May 1943
4 boats 4 patrols

June 1943
2 boats 2 patrols

July 1943
3 boats 3 patrols

Totals for US subs from European ports is

8 different boats made 27 patrols and claimed 4 ships of a total tonnage of 8,100

Here is a listing of the boats that made patrols from European ports

Barb = 5 patrols
Blackfish = 5 patrols
Herring = 5 patrols with 2 ships total tonnage of 7,500
Shad = 5 patrols with 2 ships total tonnage of 600
Haddo = 3 patrols
Hake = 2 patrols
Gunnel = 1 patrol
Gurnad = 1 patrol


So there were quite a few patrols made by US Subs in the Atlantic ans as pointed out, it was not comfortable since it was hard for the Allied defenders to tell a US sub from a U-Boat which resulted in hectic times for the crews of these boats.

Hope this data helps.

Best regards,

Ron Klages


Source: Silent Victory by Clay Blair, jr. two volumes published in 1975
Ron Klages
Lynnwood, Washington USA

User avatar
Matt B.
Supporter
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:51 pm
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

Post by Matt B. » Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:41 pm

Ron,

That's a treasure-trove of info! Many thanks!

One of my Grandfathers will appreciate this information! 8) :[]

Matt B.

Carl Schwamberger
Contributor
Posts: 248
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:41 pm

Post by Carl Schwamberger » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:28 pm

Twice the combat patrols I'd have guessed. I'm curious if any were sunk by Allied ASW, or lost to Axis attacks?

Ron Klages
In Memorium †
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2002 1:39 pm
Location: Lynnwood, Washington

Yes and No

Post by Ron Klages » Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:32 am

Carl,

Said one S-boat skipper, " I think we probably made a lot of U-boat skippers nervous and caused them to lose sleep. The real miracle is that we didn't lose one of our own boats to friendly aircraft."

That sort of addresses it all.

It also states---many boats were mistakenly bombed by US aircraft. One , S-26, was rammed by its escort and sank with the loss of 46 lives. There were survivors because the skipper went on to captain a boat in the Pacific.


The source of this material comes from a book that concentrates on the US subs in the Pacific and has little on the Atlantic other than I have noted in my posts.

I did go through the book I have on ships sunk by the Axis subs and I could find no listing of any US subs being claimed.

So to answer you, yes the US subs were attacked by friendlies and there was at least one sinking and only one and no, there appears to be no US sub losses to Axis units in the Atlantic.

Best regards,

Ron Klages
Ron Klages
Lynnwood, Washington USA

redcoat
Contributor
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 3:32 am
Location: Stockport, England

Post by redcoat » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:09 am

There was a US submarine lost in the Carribean Sea, the USS Dorado (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Schneider) which was most likely lost on 12 October 1943 due to an attack by an American aircraft operating from Guantanamo Bay
if in doubt, PANIC !!!!

Post Reply