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Swasey II DE-248 - History

Swasey II DE-248 - History

Swasey II

(DE-248: dp. 1,200; 1. 306', b. 36'7"; dr. 12'3; s.
21.2 k.; cpl. 216; a. 3 3", 6 40mm., 10 20mm., 2 dct.,
8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.); cl. Edsall)

The second Swasey (DE-2481 was laid down on 30 December 1942 by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; launched on 18 March 1943; sponsored by Miss Catherine Stokes; and commissioned on 31 August 1943, Lt. H. M. Godsey, USNR, in command.

Swasey departed for Galveston, Tex., on 4 September and, after provisioning on the 12th, moved to New Orleans, La., the next day. She stood out of New Orleans on 14 September en route to Bermuda for her shakedown cruise which lasted until 23 October when she put into the Charleston Navy Yard for availability. On 3 November the escort was underway for Norfolk and additional yard work. Two weeks later she made a round trip to New York and returned on 21 November.

Swasey was attached to Task Force (TF) 64 to escort convoy UGS-25 to North Africa. The convoy arrived safely on 10 December, and Swasey joined GUS-24 the next week for the return voyage to the United States. After an uneventful crossing, the escort was waiting to enter New York Harbor on 3 January 1944 when an explosion rocked Turner (DE-648) 3,000 yards away. Swasey proceeded at best speed to aid the stricken ship but could not go alongside as small craft were nearing Turner at the time. The motor whale boat was lowered with a fire and rescue party to board Turner if possible. Swasey managed to close within 20 rards of Turner, and all fire hoses were brought to bear on Turnes flames, but the water was ineffective on the roaring inferno. Swasey continued to direct small boats until 0750 when, after a large explosion, Turner capsized and sank

After an availability period from 4 to 13 January Swasey held training off Casco Bay, Maine, and sailer for Norfolk on 21 January. She sailed on the 24th for North Africa as an escort of Convoy UGS-31 and arrived at Gibraltar on 13 February. She departed there three days later with GUS-30 and arrived at New York on 8 March.

Swasey joined TF 65 at Norfolk and sailed on 24 March in the escort screen of convoy UGS-37 en route to Bizerte. The convoy consisted of 60 merchant ships and six LST's. The crossing was uneventful until the convoy had passed the Straits of Gibraltar and was off the coast of Algeria. In the evening of 11 April, an enemy aircraft was reported in the area. Just before midnight a force of approximately two dozen German Dornier 217's and Junkers 88's attacked the convoy. A smoke screen was laid to cover the convoy; and, as a result, the escorts were attacked. At 2345 hours, Swasey's guns opened fire on a torpedo plane approaching on the port bow. The plane dropped its torpedo which passed down the port side only 15 feet from the ship. At 2355 the gunners splashed an enemy bomber which passed over the fantail at a height of 50feet. At 0004 on 12 April an enemy plane passed from port to starboard, 200 yards off the bow. A torpedo track was sighted approaching the bow at 0012. The ship had to maneuver radically to avoid it. No merchant ships of the convoy were damaged in the engagement, but Holder (DE - 01) was torpedoed on the port side. Bizerte was reached on the 13th. Swasey with TF 66, returned to New York on 11 May with convoy GUS-37.

Swasey joined Task Group (TG) 22.5 composed of Croatan (CVE-25) and ships of Escort Division 13 at Norfolk and sailed for the North Atlantic on 4 June. The force operated as a "hunter-killer" group in the Atlantic and put into Casablanca on 26 June. The task group sortied from Casablanca on 30 June and, after searching the North Atlantic again, arrived at New York on 22 July. After a short overhaul period there and refresher training at Casco Bay, the DE proceeded to Norfolk to rejoin TG 22.5. The hunter-killer group departed Norfolk on 21 August for training at Bermuda and then to search for enemy submarines. On 9 September, the group was ordered east of Bermuda to avoid a hurricane. Six days later, Swasey and Frost (DE-144) were ordered to search for survivors of Warrington (DD 383) which was sunk by the storm. At 0940 hours on 15 September, Hvades (AF-28), which had been standing by Warrington, was sighted. Swasey lowered her whaleboat and began searching for survivors. She rescued two and retrieved the bodies of 30 casualties which were buried at sea. The DE rejoined her group and continued antisubmarine patrols until 20 October when she sailed into New York Harbor for a yard period.

Swasey returned to Norfolk on 11 October and sailed for Bermuda three days later for refresher training. She returned to Norfolk six weeks later and departed for Guantanamo Bay on 26 December for additional training with the "hunter-killer" group. Returning to Norfolk on 30 December, the group moved to Baltimore from 2 to 5 January 1945 for rest and recreation. Swasey and TG 22.5 returned to Bermuda on 10 January for more training and antisubmarine patrols. The patrols were uneventful and the group arrived at New York on 4 February.

Swasey and the "hunter-killer" group went to sea again on 25 March to search the central North Atlantic for a reported concentration of German submarines. Various contacts were made but it was not until 15 and 16 April that sure kills were made by units of the task group. Stanton (DE-247) and Frost (DE-144) sank U-15 on the 15th and U-880 on the morning of the 16th. Swasey joined the search for U-880, but credit went to Stanton and Frost. The ships put into Argentia, Newfoundland, from 26 to 28 April for refueling and provisioning and then continued on patrol. They were operating in the Atlantic when the war in Europe ended. Swasey arrived at New York on 14 May and remained there until the 29th when she departed for Charleston and an overhaul. During the period in the yard, from 1 June to 1 July, her antiaircraft batteries were doubled in preparatlon for duty in the Pacific.

Swasey held refresher training at Guantanamo Bay from 4 July to 7 August when she sailed for Panama. Swasey transited the canal on 11 August, and she arrived at San Diego on the 14th. The escort got underway for Hawaii on 26 August and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 2 September. She was ordered to return to the east coast of the United States and left Hawaii three days later with 100 passengers to be returned to San Diego. Swasey arrived at San Diego on 11 September and departed the next day for Norfolk, via the Panama Canal. When the ship arrived at Norfolk on the 28th, she received orders to be inactivated. Swasey spent a month in the yard there in preparation for decommissioning and then sailed to Green Cove Springs, Fla. She arrived there on 27 October and was attached to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet in a caretaker status. Swasey was decommissioned on 15 January 1946 and remained with the Reserve Fleet until 1 November 1972 when she was struck from the Navy list and scrapped.

Swasey received one battle star for World War II.


Swasey II DE-248 - History

The Battle of Point Judith
by
Ralph DiCarpio
©2003

There has been a lighthouse at Point Judith since the earliest days of the republic. 1 By the time of the Civil War, two had already succumbed to the elements when the current brownstone and brick structure was built on a point of land about a mile from the Rhode Island coast proper. The light guards a strategic maritime crossroads: To the north is Narragansett Bay and the entrance to the myriad waterways leading north to Newport, Providence and the manufacturing centers thereabouts. To the south is Block Island Sound leading west through Long Island Sound to New York, south to the ports of the East Coast, and east to the old whaling villages along Buzzards Bay and the Cape and the Atlantic beyond.

Aside from marking the crossroads of the contiguous maritime routes, the light warns of the shoals and rocks lying to the west. Often shrouded in fog, Squid's Ledge imperils even the heartiest of ships and, despite the presence of the light, ships still foundered on the rocks and wrecked thereupon.

The lighthouse remains to this day. However, humans no longer care for the beacon as they had for the past one hundred forty-four years. As befits the modern age, the light is automated. Yet, despite the human loss, it still casts its warnings seaward and, in a ritual of a mobile society, it has become a popular tourist attraction.

Not far from the lighthouse is a small plaque dedicated to twelve merchant mariners who died just hours before the end of hostilities in May 1945. And on it's black surface is the story of the last battle of the Atlantic War.

U-Boat hunting on the North Atlantic was a dangerous business. From the first attack by U-30 in the opening days of the war 2 and throughout the ensuing six years, the adversaries had learned to be especially wary of one another and that the dynamics of the relationship between hunter and hunted were fluid. Even a small technological or tactical advantage paid enormous dividends. So they put their minds to the mission of finding the means of gaining that advantage and in their quest, they turned to science. There, each side found momentary solace until that advantage was nullified and the cycle began anew.

It was in the realm of communications where the greatest inventiveness emerged from the laboratories and for some time Germany and the Allies kept pace but it was the Allies who eventually took the lead. By their efforts they rendered the seas virtually transparent and discovered U-Boats in ever-increasing numbers. The fruits of their labor were astonishing: LORAN 3 , an early Global Positioning System and MAD 4 , which detected U-Boats by their magnetic signatures HF/DF, pronounced huff-duff 5 a mechanism for tracking U-Boats through their radio transmissions and ASV, the 10-cm microwave radar small enough to be carried aboard allied ASW aircraft.

And once the scientists delivered their inventions, then came the planners who devised the training, tactics, and organization that implemented these advances and packaged them in new tactical formations: the Anti-Submarine aircraft of the U.S. Navy and the RAF Coastal Command, and, at sea, the hunter-killer group, with the revolutionary escort aircraft carrier at its heart. 6

Equally as important, the Allies established a command structure that coordinated all ASW activities. The British took the early lead when an Enigma machine, the cryptographic device by which the Germans encoded and decoded messages, was retrieved from the U-110 after it had attacked a convoy and had been attacked in turn by the convoy escorts. 7 At Bletchley Park, outside London, a Submarine Tracking Room was established using the decrypted German Naval codes and other signal intelligence.

In the United States, various combinations and formations were tried and rejected. Finally, on 20 May 1943, there came into being the Tenth Fleet. 8 To emphasize the importance placed on the effort, the fleet commander was none other than the Chief of Naval Operations himself, Admiral Ernest J. King, who exercised his command through the fleet chief-of-staff. 9 An organization integrating U-Boat data similar to its British counterpart was established in Washington. First designated OP-20-G, it was later known as F-21. And within that was a further compartment, F-211, where ULTRA cryptologic intelligence was processed before being posted on the F-21 charts. 10

The U-Boats, though still dangerous, were losing the battle.

So it was in June 1944. As the Allies consolidated their beachhead on the Normandy coast and Marines assaulted Fortress Saipan in the Pacific, Captain John Vest stood on the bridge of the escort carrier Croatan (CVE-25). From there, he maneuvered his hunter-killer group in a sweep across the mid-Atlantic continuing to track an unknown contact he had picked up nearly three days earlier. It was the U-853, one of several boats sent in mid-May on a highly important mission. Unable to establish weather stations in Greenland and Iceland, the Germans sent U-Boats to the mid-Atlantic to gather weather data. They knew that the Allies would attempt to breach Festung Europa soon and it was merely a matter of choosing the right campaigning weather.

Croatan and its escorts, the six destroyer escorts of Escort Division 13 11 , had been tracking these weather boats for a nearly a month and had already accounted for the U-488 and U-490. 12 But this new contact was more elusive. Earlier accounts attributed this elusiveness to the schnorchel, which was a breathing apparatus that allowed the boat to remain submerged far longer than older boats that needed to surface often to recharge their batteries. But it never fulfilled its initial promise. 13 Although this U-Boat possessed the schnorchel, it was not a contributing factor in its escape. The chase continued day after day and the hunters had taken to calling their adversary "Moby Dick." 14

Like the fictional Ahab, Captain Vest clung stubbornly to his prey and his persistence nearly paid off. At 1307 on 17 June, huff-duff picked up a weather report from the U-853 placing it 30 miles to the south. Within eleven minutes, two FM-1 Wildcat fighters arrived overhead and strafed the submarine killing two men and wounding eleven. 15 Yet, as did Melville's pale leviathan, U-853 submerged and slipped away . but at a cost. The strain of the ten-day hunt and a previous encounter with British aircraft had wreaked havoc on the U-Boat's crew. As Grossadmiral Karl Dönitz described it, the submarine "worked out of the area and commenced return passage on account of a large number of the crew being unfit for duty." 16 It would be eight months before she could return and her skipper, Helmut Sommer, would be unavailable for months longer.

By February of 1945, the war had turned decidedly against German interests. The Ardennes bulge had been reduced and the Western Allies now moved up to the Rhine while German resistance to the Russian juggernaut in Poland had nearly collapsed. It was obvious to all but the most fanatical Nazi that further resistance was futile. It makes it all the more surprising that Admiral Dönitz would propose to send several U-Boats to positions along the northeast American coast. Perhaps he felt that in order to maintain espirit' within the Reichsmarine, an arrogant display within sight of American cities was warranted. 17 As he stated in a speech given on 1 May upon his assumption of power,

Let everybody remain at his post doing his duty. Only thus will we be able to mitigate the suffering, which the future will bring for every one of us, and prevent the collapse.

Whatever his reasoning, the U-Boats were christened Gruppe Seewolf and set sail westward.

As part of Seewolf, the repaired and replenished U-853 left its base at Stavanger, Norway with a crew of 55 on 23 Feb 1945. Her crew had been given time to recover from the Croatan experience in fact, some never returned to the boat. But the crew was confident and, owing to the boat's narrow escapes, they had nicknamed her Der Seiltaenger. 18 Replacing the injured Sommer was Oberleutnant Helmut Frömsdorf. Fromsdorf was young, as were most boat commanders. He was born on 26 March 1921 in Schimmelwitz, Silesia and at 18 he joined the Reichsmarine, becoming a watch officer on the U-853 within four years. He was chosen for command training and, two months later, he returned to the U-853 as its commander. He was 23. 19


click for a larger view

The departure of Gruppe Seewolf, however, came as no surprise to the Americans. Almost as the U-Boats set sail, Tenth Fleet had provided CINCLANT, 20 Admiral Jonas Ingram, with enough information to enable the admiral to field a suitable response: Operation Teardrop. The plan consisted of two barrier forces each containing two escort carrier groups, which would sweep across the North Atlantic and flush out the Seewolf's before they reached the American littoral. The plan worked nearly flawlessly: several of the Seewolfs were detected and eliminated. During the evening of 15 April the Croatan group, now commanded by Captain Kenneth Craig, sank the U-1235 north of the Azores. A mile-and-a-half away and forty minutes later, a member of the Croatan group, Frost (DE-144), caught the U-880 on the surface, forced her to submerge, and sank her with a hedgehog attack. 21

The Croatan task group's luck continued when on the 21st she detected a third Seewolf , U-518, which was sunk through the efforts of Carter (DE-112) and Neal A. Scott (DE-769). On 23 April, the U-546, after sinking an American DE, 22 was finally sunk herself the next day by gunfire from several American destroyer escorts. 23 Only two of the original group remained: the U-808, which had survived two attacks by American escorts and would surrender off Cape Race on 9 May,

By 23 April, as U-853 approached the Maine coast on the surface, lookouts spied a slow-moving target off Portland harbor. It was the PE-56, a relic of the Great War. A member of a class of patrol craft known as Eagle Boats, the PE-56 was built by the Ford Motor Company at its Rouge River plant outside Detroit. 24 Though built to seek out and destroy U-Boats of an earlier generation, most Eagles were completed after that war and were obsolete soon thereafter. By the opening of World War II, only eight remained extant. 25 In this new technological era, the Eagle was defenseless. Of a crew of 62, only 13 men survived.

The sinking of PE-56 did not go unnoticed. A naval task group (TG 60.1) assembled to investigate and the destroyer Selfridge (DD-357) depth-charged a possible contact. However, after scouring the area, the task group commander concluded that the sinking was not the result of a submarine attack. 26 A court of inquiry endorsed this finding in June and classified the loss of the Eagle 56 as a "result of a boiler explosion, the cause of which could not be determined." 27 Behind the scenes, however, the highly secret U-Boat Tracking Room at Eastern Sea Frontier headquarters had been following the U-853 and had classified the attack on the PE-56 as "possibly by U-Boat" and continued to track "one U-Boat estimate in the Gulf of Maine from the PE incident." 28 However, no attempt was made to dissuade the court from its conclusions as doing so could compromise the fact that the Allies had been successfully tracking U-Boats through Ultra. 29

[webmaster note: Read a recent, 2003, story about the sinking of USS Eagle PE-56]

Upon sinking the patrol craft and escaping the snooping task group, Fromsdorf ordered U-853 to submerge and move further west. Unfortunately for the hunter, being submerged also meant that messages could be neither sent nor received, a fact that would have dire consequences for Kapitan Fromsdorf and his crew.

Goetterdaemmerung

On 30 April, Adolph Hitler, Reichsfuehrer of the thousand-year Reich, committed suicide a mere dozen years after it's inception. As part of his final orders, he designated Admiral Dönitz as his successor. Dönitz maneuvered for several days while attempting to surrender his forces solely to the Western Allies thus escaping Russian vengeance, but he was rebuffed. On 4 May, he issued orders that all Germans forces would surrender and, as part of the surrender process, U-Boat Headquarters sent the following message that same evening:

ALL U-BOATS. ATTENTION ALL U-BOATS. CEASE-FIRE AT ONCE. STOP ALL HOSTILE ACTION AGAINST ALLIED SHIPPING. DÖNITZ. 30

The order was to become effective at 0800 the following morning. However, of the 49 boats then at sea, several were submerged and would not receive the message. Among them was the U-853.

At eight bells of the morning watch on 5 May, at the moment the cease-fire took effect, the collier SS Black Point sailed northwest off Block Island on her way to Boston carrying 7,000 tons of coal destined for the Edison Power Plant in South Boston. 31 She was an old ship and a coal burner, at that. Built in 1918, the 369-footer had been used in the intra-coastal convoys along the east coast. 32 By 1945, these voyages were considered to be so safe that the skipper, Charles E. Prior, hadn't even taken the precaution of posting lookouts. 33

Deep in the bowels of the Black Point, nineteen-year-old Howard Locke shoveled coal into the ship's insatiable boilers. The work was dirty and back-breaking: four-hour shifts maintaining 500-degrees, then eight hours off. This was not what Howard expected when he left the Army to join the Merchant Marine. 34

At about 1740, forty minutes into Locke's evening shift and just as Captain Prior lit a cigarette on the bridge, the lookout at the Point Judith lighthouse noted the Black Point as she passed within three miles of his position. As he entered the sighting in the log, he heard an explosion. At that moment, an acoustic torpedo fired by the U-853 struck the old collier squarely in the stern. 35

Radio Officer Raymond Tharl was at the crew's mess when the torpedo hit. He, like the Captain and most of his crewmates, was unprepared. "More or less everyone thought the war was over," he later admitted. When he recovered from the shock of the explosion, he ran to his post and sent out a distress call. Then, as the Captain ordered "abandon ship," he joined several crewmates and "got off fast." 36

In the boiler room, Howard Locke felt the ship shudder violently and then slow to a halt. Electric power cut off and the room was plunged into darkness. As the ocean swept into the boiler room through the gaping hole in the stern, he and a shipmate found an escape ladder. "Neither one of us knew where it went to, but it was going up, so we took it." 37 As they reached the main deck the bow had already assumed a 45º tilt: the stern was completely gone. Locke and his companion made their way forward and helped to free a life raft and hurl it overboard. He then leapt about 50 feet into the sea where he pulled himself onto the lifeboat and pushed away from the doomed collier. In the midst of the destruction and the dreadful noise they could hear the screams of the Black Point's pet chimpanzee from somewhere in the wreckage. 38

In the officer's mess, Luke Pelletier of the Naval Armed Guard was about to head aft to the stern to his post at the main gun, a Spanish-American War relic. As he stood, the torpedo struck knocking him down. "I ran out to a catwalk aft, and there was no ship left there," he said. He went overboard and finding a life raft, he drifted away from the ship not knowing that his shipmate, and best friend, Lonnie Whitson Lloyd had died, becoming the last American sailor to die in the Atlantic War. 39

At 1755, just fifteen minutes after the torpedo struck, the Black Point settled rapidly by the stern, rolled over to port, and disappeared beneath the waves. Of the crew of forty-one merchant seamen and five armed guards, twelve men were dead. 40 But, as she died, Radio Officer Tharl's message sped through the airwaves.

News of the Black Point sinking spread quickly. Sailing due east, lookouts on the Yugoslavian freighter Kamen saw the explosion and within two minutes, sent out a message. Though potential prey for a sub that was obviously near at hand, she sped to the scene arriving shortly thereafter, and commenced to rescue survivors. 41

Howard Locke and his shipmates had drifted for forty-five minutes before the Kamen arrived. He was welcomed aboard with a glass of schnapps. 42 Several of the injured survivors would be transferred to Coast Guard crash boats and sped to Point Judith and Newport. 43

The explosion was also heard by the Point Judith lookout and as he turned toward the sound, he noted the ship dead in the water. He immediately notified the 1st Naval District headquarters in Boston, 44 which then relayed the message to Eastern Sea Frontier headquarters at 90 Church Street in New York City. The only anti-submarine unit in the immediate vicinity was the remnants of a task group, TG 60.7 45 that had left New York at 1200 hours that day. It had arrived earlier after safely escorting the remaining vessels of GUS-8446, an 80-ship convoy that had originated in Oran and Casablanca. Several of the task group members were bound for the Charlestown Naval Base where the ships were scheduled to undergo extensive overhaul: destroyer Ericcson (DD-440), 47 destroyer-escorts Amick (DE-168) 48 and Atherton (DE-169), 49 and the patrol frigate Moberly (PF-63). 50 Accordingly, Eastern Sea Frontier headquarters issued dispatch 052223 diverting TG 60.7 to the sinking site and ordering various support activities to assist in discovering the intruder as needed. 51

Far to the west at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey, two Navy blimps, K-16 and K-58, were ordered to move immediately toward the site of the Black Point sinking and join in the hunt. They would reach the scene at 0540 on 6 May, about twelve hours after the sinking. 52

Destroyer Ericcson, with the task group commander, Cdr. Francis C.B. McCune, aboard, was then under the control of a Coast Guard pilot in preparation for entering the Cape Cod Ship Canal and could not reach the scene for some time. 53 Thus, Coast Guardsman Tollaksen found himself the Senior Officer Present and de facto commander of TG60.7. At 1810 hours, less than 1 hour after the sinking, Tollaksen set condition I Easy, bringing all hands to battle stations. 53 Within 15 minutes an unidentified target was picked up on radar at a distance of 2,000 yards however, upon further investigation, the "target" was identified as a tin can and within two minutes, the Moberly pumped 9 rounds of 3" 50 cal. into the floating "menace." 55

The three ships, veterans of numerous convoy escorts and extensive ASW training, immediately went into action. Though scattered between Block Island and Buzzard's Bay, they individually set course for the site of the sinking.

The Atherton was in the lead and proceeded westward toward the sinking site. On board the Moberly, Commander Tollaksen, assuming that the sub might head north, sent Atherton to the northwest where, by 1930 hours, she was at a point approximately 3,200 yards due east of Point Judith. 56 At the same time, Cdr. E.L. Barsumian brought Amick into Block Island Sound reaching a point approximately 4,200 yards north-northeast of Sandy Point on Block Island. From here, she streamed her "foxer" gear over the fantail. 57 The Moberly, having sailed north, changed course to west and, by 1930 hours, she reached the approximate location of the Black Point's demise. Meanwhile, far to the east, the Ericsson received orders from 1st Naval District headquarters to reverse course and make best speed to assist in the search for the suspected submarine. Within 10 minutes, the pilot debarked and the captain regained the conn. 58

It became apparent that the submarine had not moved north, but south. The plan of attack was then altered on the assumption that the U-Boat would head toward a steep shoal known as East Ground that lay approximately twelve miles due south of Point Judith and nine miles from the site of the Black Point sinking. U-Boats had taken to the strategy of hiding in the shadows of such undersea structures in the hopes of confusing, and thus evading, the prying eyes of American sonar. 59

The effect of the American maneuvers was to form a line abreast with each ship about 3,000 yards apart. The search pattern began at the northern tip of Block Island at 2010 hours with the intention of sweeping south toward East Ground. Atherton sailed at the west-most position, Moberly at the extreme east, with Amick holding the center. At 2006 hours, Moberly picked up a sound contact and changed course to evaluate the object. Within minutes, the contact was deemed to be "non-sub." 60

By 2014 hours, the line had become a concave arc facing southwest, the center of which was approximately 6,000 yards from East Ground. Suddenly, the sonar operator on Atherton picked up a contact, but the return was unfamiliar. 61 Owing to the superior gear on board Atherton, the other ships turned off their active sonars and listened to the returns generated by Atherton's pings while communicating with each other by TBS radio. 62 They all agreed that the unusual returns were, in fact, a submarine determined to be moving 090 degrees true north and exhibiting a slight down Doppler indicating that the sub was submerging further into the depths. The ships then readied for the attack.

USS Atherton DE 169, the simultaneous explosion of stern track and K-gun-launched depth charges clearly visible, hunts U-853. Atherton crewmembers observe their pattern from a hedgehog attack and await an explosion


Another depth charge explosion

At 2030 hours, 63 Commander Lewis Iselin ordered the Atherton to commence firing. Shortly thereafter, 13 magnetic depth charges were fired in a pattern that surrounded the ship. One explosion was detected, followed by oil and air bubbles rising to the surface, but it could not be immediately ascertained whether the U-Boat had been hit or if a wreck on the bottom had caused the detonation. 64 At this point, Moberly was approximately 6,000 yards south-southeast of the Atherton and moving northwest to assist.

Meanwhile, Amick, then only 4,000 yards away, received a dispatch from Eastern Sea Frontier ordering her to detach from the group and join the Booth (DE-170), which was then escorting the SS Banff Park from New York to Boston. 65 This decision was probably based on the fact that Ericsson was fast approaching the area and that First Naval District was sending every available ship to the scene. 66 Moreover, a submarine still lurked in the area and this was no time to be complacent. Amick joined up with the merchantman, secured from general quarters, and headed toward Buzzard's Bay.

Within 20 minutes of her first depth charge run, Atherton fired two hedgehog 67 salvoes and recorded explosions approximately 12 seconds after release. Unfortunately, due to the relatively shallow depth in the target area, contact was lost in the disturbances caused by the explosions. 68 Contact would remain lost for a further ten minutes. By this time Ericsson had rejoined the task group and Cdr. McCune resumed command. He ordered the Atherton and Moberly to bracket the last known position of the submarine. Thus, Atherton steamed several miles north while Moberly sailed approximately the same distance south. At this time, Atherton picked up a radar contact that her radar operators felt might be a German schnorchel. 69

In clear weather, with a slight breeze blowing across the bow, Atherton reached the site of the radar contact. However, upon turning on searchlights, it was found not to be a submarine, but only a small unlighted buoy. Turning toward the last known position of the U-Boat, Atherton regained contact. 70 Four minutes later, at 2341 hours, Atherton unleashed another hedgehog and depth charge barrage. This attack was more successful, yielding large quantities of oil, life jackets, pieces of wood and other debris, and air bubbles rising to the surface. 71 The water disturbances again caused the contact to be momentarily lost, but two minutes later, Atherton re-established contact and, moving about the vicinity, maintained it throughout the night. 72

The Kill (6 May)

Just after midnight of Sunday, 6 May, the penultimate day of the Atlantic war, Atherton reported that quantities of oil and air bubbles marked the spot of her last attack. To ensure success, she fired another 13-charge pattern. Cdr. Iselin reasoned that since fathometer readings in the area ranged from 65 to 107 feet, the charges should be set to detonate at 75 feet. 73 Once again, oil and air bubbles rose to the surface and, at 0044 hours, a life jacket was recovered. 74 Tollaksen maneuvered Moberly to the sight at a reduced speed of 5 knots and illuminated the area whereupon oil and dead fish were observed along with "objects that resembled cork." 75 At the same time, Atherton recovered a pillow, a life jacket, and a small wooden flagstaff. 76

At 0105, Atherton telegraphed headquarters that it had finished the submarine off. However, rather than call off the attack orders were issued to continue the barrage. Commander Iselin recalled that, "There was no doubt that by this time we knew we had it but it seemed everyone wanted to get into the act. I don't think there is a hull that took a bigger beating during the war." 77 But there was more to come.

At 0114 hours, Atherton conducted another depth charge run once again set at 75 feet, and once again the fathometer indicated the presence of the U-Boat. 78 Within 10 minutes, Moberly added another 13-charge pattern on the hapless submarine. However, the force of the explosions rendered the master gyro, SL radar and steering gear inoperative. In a matter of minutes, radar and gyro were back in operation with steering restored soon thereafter. 79

The destroyer Blakeley (DD150) reported to CTG 60.7 and set a course due west toward Block Island to guard any escape efforts thither. Meanwhile, with repairs complete, Moberly fired a full hedgehog pattern eschewing depth charges in an attempt to avoid the previous predicament. After detonations were observed, sonar operators reported that the target appeared to be heading at a speed of 2 to 3 knots with a slight up Doppler. Finally, the contact came to a stop seemingly at the bottom about 75 feet below. Owing to a lack of movement, Doppler indications disappeared and the contact was lost in reflections from the surrounding terrain. 80

With the cessation of movement, more evidence of the submarine's demise rose to the surface. Atherton reported 3 pools of oil spaced about 30 feet apart while Moberly noted an oil slick and debris extending half-a-mile from the position of the attacks. 81

At 0530, Moberly fired another full salvo of 24 hedgehogs, and, 10 minutes later, K-16 one of two blimps from Lakehurst NAS arrived on-scene. CTG 60.7 ordered her to conduct a MAD search of the area in an attempt to fix the exact position of the U-Boat. Strong signals were received in the general area of the rising oil slicks and the blimp dropped dye markers and a smoke float on these positions. K-16 informed McCune that the target was stationary. 82

Atherton then attacked the marked area and reported that she had picked up "items of wreckage and survivors equipment from submarine, mostly with German markings." 83 This equipment included "German escape lungs and life jackets, several life rafts, abandon-ship kits, and an officer's cap which was later judged to belong to the submarine's skipper." 84 Despite this evidence, the deluge continued.

The blimps conducted further MAD sweeps and subsequent to fixing the U-boat's position, Ericsson delivered another depth charge attack. K-16 then dropped a sonobuoy on the oil bubbles, which were still rising to the surface. Joined by her sister ship K-58, sonar operators in both blimps reported sounds, which they described as a "rhythmic hammering on a metal surface, which was interrupted periodically." About 10 minutes later they heard a "long, shrill shriek" and then nothing as the engine noise of the attacking surface ships drowned out any further contact. 85 This would be the last sounds from the doomed crew of the U-853. The airships then conducted their own bombing runs adding 6 rocket bombs to the onslaught.

At 0640 hours, Atherton fired another hedgehog salvo, all of which exploded, and then dropped a full pattern of depth charges as she passed over the position. 86 Six minutes later, the Ericsson delivered a full depth charge load. 87 Three minutes after this, Moberly added another depth charge salvo to the mix. 88 At 0655, Moberly made another depth charge run 89 and 4 minutes later, so did Ericsson. This last attack caused the Ericsson to lose power in her steering and gyrocompass, but power was restored within 3 minutes. And a t 0726 hours, she made another depth charge run on the suspected position. At 0745, Ericsson lowered her whaleboat, which collected debris from the area. 90

At this point, while reeling in the foxer gear aboard the Ericsson, TM3c Robert A. Griep fractured his left arm and was treated by the ship's medical officer, 91 becoming the sole American casualty of the battle.

At 0800 hours, Cdr. McCune reported to Eastern Sea Frontier headquarters that he believed that the nature of the debris recovered and the sheer weight of the ordnance expended provided conclusive evidence that the submarine was indeed destroyed. 92 As higher authority was considering this evaluation, the violence continued.

Throughout the morning the ships alternated between attacking the suspected position of the U-Boat and retrieving the debris that resulted. One can only imagine the scene as the ships criss-crossed the area with the hedgehog explosions preceding them and the depth charge explosions trailing behind. In the twenty minutes between 0929 and 0949, 3 depth charge and 2 hedgehog attacks were delivered. 93

A period of investigation ensued for the next hour-and-a-half as the three ships sent their respective whaleboats to retrieve debris. The Ericsson dropped a marker buoy at position 41°15'5" N by 71°04'8" W, the last known location of the U-Boat. Once the final whaleboat was retrieved at 1127, the battle resumed. In the next half-hour, a further depth charge pattern and 3 hedgehog attacks were made.

Finally, at 1225 hours, the battle was suddenly over. Upon evaluation of the evidence, Eastern Sea Frontier transmitted dispatch 061515Z to CTG 60.7 ordering a cessation of the attack. 94 The blimps were ordered to depart the area, K-16 to conduct operations elsewhere and the K-58 to return to Lakehurst. 95 A marker buoy was placed at a point bearing approximately 099° True, 14,000 yards east of Sandy Point Light on Block Island. At 1239 hours, Ericsson made way for Boston followed 1 minute later by Atherton. Moberly remained a few minutes longer while she hoisted her small boat, which contained further debris bearing German markings. She then joined her mates for the trip to Boston where each arrived with "brooms at mastheads," the traditional naval symbol of a "clean sweep."

A fearsome wind had blown along the stretch of Rhode Island coastline south of Point Judith, yet save for the wakes of the departing vessels, all was now calm. And as with every great naval event, the lesser vessels arrived to provide services too mundane for the warships to perform. Upon the scene steamed the Penguin (ASR-12), a submarine rescue vessel whose compliment included navy divers and their accoutrements. 96 At 1520 hours, divers descended the depths and reported that the submarine was indeed lying at the bottom with no signs of life apparent. It was noted that of the hundreds of projectiles thrown at the elusive submarine (264 hedgehog projectiles, 195 depth charges, and 6 rocket bombs), there were but two hits.

Initial attempts to enter the U-Boat proved fruitless owing to the size of the diving suits relative to the small entrances on the boat. Later attempts to enter the hull to retrieve relevant documents were further rebuffed by the bodies of the crew who, even in death, jealously guarded their boat.

For many years afterward, rumors abounded as to mysterious cargo that may be within the rusting hulk. Some claimed that over $500,000 in gems and currency was sealed into 88-mm shell casings . A nother claimed that stainless steel containers on board contained a fortune in mercury. 97 Several salvage attempts were made to claim this fortune, but none would succeed. Finally, the location of the U-853 was determined precisely in April 1953 when divers from the destroyer Samuel B. Roberts (DD-823) reached the submarine. It was found resting on the bottom at approximately 130 feet where it remains today having become a popular destination for divers. Unfortunately, there have been several incidents of bones being removed and either taken from the scene, or carelessly tossed back into the water.

Not all of the 55 crew members of the U-853 remained on board. One body floated toward the Rhode Island coast, was found, and was interred at the Rhode Island Cemetery Annex. On the third Sunday of November 2001, the traditional day upon which German military dead are honored, several German and American naval personnel gathered at the gravesite to pay respects to the unknown sailor. 98

Of the participants in the battle, few went on to any great renown. Subsequent to the war, Lewis Iselin, commander of the Atherton, became a sculptor of note while Captain Prior of the Black Point became the President of the Portland Marine Society until his death in 1991. 99 The others disappeared into the fog of history.

The principle ships involved in the hunt were sent to the Pacific in anticipation of the invasion of Japan, but the Japanese surrender obviated this necessity. Each was soon declared surplus to American defense needs soon after the war was over. The destroyer Ericsson was mothballed at Charleston in 1946 and sent to the scrap yard in 1971. 100 The Moberly returned to the United States in August 1946 where she was decommissioned. One year later, she arrived at Hillside, NJ for scrapping.

The Atherton and the Amick, whose careers had been intertwined, went their separate ways until 1946 when they were decommissioned at Green Cove, FL . They were reunited i n 1955 when both ships were transferred to Japan , over the strong objections of the family of John Atherton. They remained there until 1975 when they were returned to the United States and then further transferred to the Philippines where they were reunited with their former Escort Division 15 mate, USS Booth. 101

The cap belonging to Helmut Frömsdorf that was recovered during the attacks remained in the possession of Lewis Iselin. In Feb 1999, his daughters, Edith Byron and Sarah Iselin, donated the cap to the Destroyer Escort Historical Foundation. It became part of their collection and
may now be seen in the museum aboard USS Slater DE 766, sister to the Atherton and Amick, moored in Albany, NY. 102

1 Information concerning the Point Judith lighthouse and its environs is derived from: New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide: http://www.lighthouse.cc/pointjudith/history.html , and Ocean States Directory: Narragansett, Popint Judith, Galilee: http://www.ri-map.com/map.html

2 Blair, Clay, Hitler's U-Boat War: Part 1: The Hunters, 1939-1942. (New York: Random House, 1996) pp. 66-69. The first encounter between a U-Boat and an American vessel occurred in late April 1940 when the U-52 attacked the destroyer Niblack (DD-424). Some sources claim the first incident was between U-652 and the destroyer Greer (DD-145) in early September. Morison agrees that it was the Niblack incident. Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Battle of the Atlantic. History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume I. (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1947), p 57.

3 Long Range Aid to Navigation

4 Magnetic Anomaly Detector

5 High-Frequency Direction Finder. German tactical doctrine called for U-Boats to be controlled by shore establishments through high-frequency radio transmissions. Two versions of Huff Duff were developed: the British version under the guidance of Robert Watson-Watt, the father of radar, and a French version developed by a French Subsidiary of ITT. The Americans later chose the French version after extensive testing. Williams, Kathleen Broome, Secret Weapons: U.S. High-Frequency Direction Finding in the Battle of the Atlantic. Found in Blair, Clay, Hitler's U-Boat War: Part 2: The Hunted 1942 -1945. (New York: Random House, 1998), pp. 791-792. Ironically, U.S. submarine commanders in the Pacific urged their superiors to employ a similar centralized direction system in order to operate more effectively in wolf packs. Considering the success of Huff-Duff in the Atlantic, the idea was rejected. Blair, Clay. Silent Victory: The U.S. Submarine War Against Japan. (Annapolis, MD, Naval Institute Press, 1975.) p. 84.

6 Built on merchant ship hulls, they were designated by the Navy as CVE (aircraft carrier, escort) and were known by their crews as Combustible, Vulnerable, and Expendable

7 Russell, Jerry C. , Ultra And The Campaign Against The U-Boats In World War II. United States Navy
Studies in Cryptology, NSA, Document SRH-142. Record Group 457, Records of the National Security Agency: U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA. p.5.

9 At the time of inception, Tenth Fleet chief-of-staff was the acerbic Rear Admiral Francis S. Lowe by April 1945, he had been replaced by Rear Admiral Allan R. McCann inventor of the McCann diving bell used to rescue submariners trapped in sunken boats. Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Atlantic Battle Won, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume X. (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1956), pp 21-26, 345.

10 The Mariner's Museum, WWII: Battle of the Atlantic. At http://www.mariner.org/atlantic/gg01.htm

11 USS Frost (DE-144), Barber (DE-161), Swasey (DE-248), Snowden (DE-246), Huse (DE-145), and Inch (DE-146). Morison, Volume X, pp 321-322.

13 The schnorchel failed for several reasons: it slowed the boat to a mere five or six knots, stretching transit times to a point where a patrol would last only a few days the vibrations made it very difficult to operate the periscopes effectively the device often failed or filled with water causing serious problems for the crew the schnorchel could be observed by 3-cm radar despite German efforts to provide stealth capabilities. Blair, Clay, Hitler's U-Boat War: Part 2 p. 709.

14 Morison, The Atlantic Battle Won, pp 321.

15 The wounded men included the sub's skipper, Kapitänleutnant Helmut Sommer the dead were Bootsmann Kurt Schweichler and Maschinengefreiter Karl-Heinz Löffler. u-boat.net: The U-Boat War: 1939-1945. http://www.uboat.net/boats/u853.htm

16 Morison, The Atlantic Battle Won, op cit.

18 The tightrope walker. Ibid. p. 321.

20 Commander in Chief Atlantic. In his book concerning the Tenth Fleet, Ladislas Farago erroneously claims that the U-853 was undetected by the Americans until the Black Point was torpedoed. Farago, Ladislas, The Tenth Fleet. (New York: Ivan Obolensky, Inc., 1962), pp. 291-292.

21 Morison, The Atlantic Battle Won, pp. 346-349.

22 The Frederick C. Davis (DE-136).

24 The term "Eagle Boat" derived from a Washington Post editorial that envisioned " . an eagle to scour the seas and pounce upon and destroy every German submarine." History at University of San Diego http://history.acusd.edu/gen/WW2Timeline/eagleboat.html

25 These were the PE-19, PE-27, PE-32, PE-38, PE-48, PE-55, PE-56, and PE-57. Department of the Navy, Naval History Division, Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Volume VI, pp 744-747. Hereafter cited as DANFS.

26 Director of Naval History letter to Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England, Ser. 09BH/1U504614, 1 May 2001. Enclosure (2).

27 In June 2001, Navy Secretary Gordon R. England ruled that the sinking of the PE-56 was indeed a result of an attack by an enemy submarine thus allowing crew members to be awarded the Order of the Purple Heart. The New York Times, In Switch, Navy Says German Sub Sank Ship Off Maine in '45. 4 September 2001.

28 Director of Naval History, op. cit.

29 The presence of the U-853 came as no surprise to the survivors of the PE-56 several of whom observed the U-Boat partially submerged after the attack and described a red and yellow marking on the conning tower. Later investigation revealed that the U-853, as with other members of its flotilla, was painted black and sported an "insignia of a red trotting horse on a yellow shield" on its conning tower. Director of Naval History, Ibid.

31 Angelini, Richard, Hunt and Kill of U-853, in United States Benson-Livermore Class Destroyers. http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Barracks/1041/eric853.html

32 Arsenault, Mark, Sailor recalls freighter's sinking. Providence Journal-Bulletin, in US Naval Armed Guard and WWII Merchant Marine. http://www.armed-guard.com/item04.html

33 Price, Scott, The CG's Final Act: USS Moberly Versus the U-853. Commandant's Bulletin (May 1995), pp. 29.

36 Charbonneau, Paula, Saga of Merchant Ship Black Point is Recalled. New Bedford Standard-Times, 22 May 1995. Found in http://www.s-t.com/daily/05-95/05-22-95/0522maritime. html

39 Morgan, Thomas J., We Cast This Wreath in Memory. Providence Journal-Bullentin, 24 Aug 2000, p. B-01. Found in: US Naval Armed Guard. Op.cit. http://www.armed-guard.com/riem26.html

40 Besides Boilerman 2nd Class Lloyd, the Merchant Mariner dead were: William Antilly, George P. Balser, Leo H. Beck, Milton Mathews, Laurel F. Clark, Cleo Clark, Robert L. Korb, Ansey L. Morgan, Marvin A. Mertihek, Richard C. Shepson and Reino Lindstrom. Charbonneau, op. cit.

45 The Navy used then, and uses now, a numerical system to provide operational codes for grouping of ships. Thus, Task Group 60.7 is the seventh group of Task Force 60 which is a subordinate of the Sixth Fleet. Similarly, Task Unit 60.7.1 is a subunit of Task Group 60.7.

46 Convoys codes were based on point of origination and destination. Thus, GUS was a fast convoy departing from a port in North Africa and arriving, via Gibraltar, either at New York or Norfolk. A UGS convoy followed the reverse route. GUS-UGS convoys were instituted in 1943 as a means to escort tankers. Morison, Volume I, pp. 353-354.

47 The Ericcson was commissioned in March 1941 being named for John Ericcson, the inventor of the screw propeller. She began her career escorting convoys in the "short of war" period when President Roosevelt ordered the Navy to assist the British despite the fact that the Congress had not yet declared war. The Ericcson spent the war in convoy escort duty with the notable exceptions of participating in the invasion of North Africa in 1942 and Southern France in 1944. In May 1945, she was commanded by Lt. Cdr. Charles Baldwin. Also aboard was Cdr. Francis C.B. McCune commander of Escort Division 15 and Task Group 60.7. Department of the Navy, DANFS. Volume II, p 362.

48 The Amick was a 1,240-ton member of the Cannon class of destroyer-escorts. She was named for Eugene Amick who died aboard the cruiser Astoria during the debacle off Savo Island in August 1942. The Amick spent the entire war escorting convoys across the Atlantic and through the Mediterranean with only an unsuccessful attack by German aircraft to break the monotony. In May, 1945, the Amick was under the command of Lt. Cdr. E.L. Barsumian. Department of the Navy, DANFS. Volume IA, p. 260.

The Amick was also the subject of the so-called Philadelphia Experiment, a staple of pseudo-science and a movie of the same name. The theory states that as a result of a secret government experiment, the Amick was rendered invisible for a period of time. See, for instance, About UFO's/Aliens at http://ufos.about.com/library/weekly/aa042301a.htm

49 The Atherton was a sister of the Amick and was named for John M. Atherton who was killed aboard the destroyer Meredith during the Guadalcanal battle not far from where Eugene Amick died. Atherton spent the war escorting convoys. In May 1945, she was under the command of Lt. Cdr. Lewis Iselin, a noted East Coast yachtsman. Department of the Navy, DANFS. Volume IA, pp. 445-446.

50 The Moberly was a patrol frigate that had been designed and built by the Maritime Commission at the Globe Shipbuilding Co. in 1943. She was named for a city in northern Missouri. By May 1945, she had made two trans-Atlantic crossing escorting convoys. At this time, she was under the command of a Coast Guardsman, plank-owner Cdr. Leslie B. Tollaksen. Department of the Navy, DANFS. Volume IV, p. 400.

51 National Archives and Records Administration, Eastern Sea Frontier Diary. Records Group 38, Box 339, p. 126.

52 Department of the Navy, Naval History Division, ZP-12 Operations. www.history.navy.mil/download/lta-09.pdf

53 National Archives and Records Administration, Deck Log, USS Ericsson (DD-440). Records Group 24, n.p.

54 National Archives and Records Administration, Deck Log, USS Moberly (PF-63). Records Group 24, n.p.

57 National Archives and Records Administration, Deck Log, USS Amick (DE-168). Records Group 24, p. 285. Foxer was the common name for the acoustic decoy used to spoof German acoustic torpedoes. Foxer was derived from FXR, the device's code name. Source: Destroyer Escort Central at http://www.de220.com/Armament/Decoys/Decoys.htm

58 Deck Log, USS Ericsson (DD-440), n.p. The message was relayed through the lighthouse at Cleveland Ledge.

60 Deck Log, USS Moberly (PF-63), n.p.

61 National Archives and Records Administration, Deck Log, USS Atherton (DE-169). Records Group 24, p.251.

62 Talk Between Ships, a short-range radio system.

63 Morison states that the attack commenced at 2028 hours. Morison, Volume X, p.357. The Navy history agrees with Morison's time. Department of the Navy, DANFS. Volume IV, pp 400. The deck log of the Atherton places this event at 2030 hours. Deck Log USS Atherton (DE-169), op.cit.

64 The attack was centered on 41° 14' N, 71° 27'W. Two known wrecks were in the general vicinity: the SS Luther E. Hooper at 41° 20'N, 71° 26'W, and barge #632 at 41° 21'21"N, 71° 31'30"W. Eastern Sea Frontier Diary, op.cit.

65 Deck Log, USS Amick (DE168), p. 286. The dispatch was numbered 051311.

66 These ships were the gunboats Action (PG-86) and Restless (PG-66), destroyers Barney (DD-149), Breckinridge (DD-148), and Blakeley (DD-150), the patrol frigate Newport (PF-27), and the former destroyer Semmes (AG-24 ex DD-189), now fitted with an experimental XQHA sonar system. Eastern Sea Frontier Diary, op.cit.

67 Hedgehog was an American adaptation of a British weapon. It comprised a steel frame with 24 protruding "spigots" in a 4 by 6 configuration, each of which held a projectile with a contact fuse. Hedgehog was developed as a means of attacking a submarine while maintaining sonar contact. Morison, Volume I, pp. 211-212.

68 Deck Log, USS Atherton (DE-169), op.cit.

70 Deck Log, USS Atherton (DE-169), p. 251A. Morison claims that a hedgehog attack at this time sank the U-853. Morison, Volume X, p357. As we shall see, this attack took place four minutes later.

71 Deck Log, USS Atherton (DE-169), Ibid.

73 Deck Log, USS Atherton (DE-169), p. 253.

74 Deck Log, USS Ericsson (DD-440), n.p.

75 Deck Log, USS Moberly (PF-63), n.p. Cork is common in submarine construction due to its strength and light weight.

77 Deck Log, USS Atherton (DE-169), op.cit.

78 Ibid. The Ericsson log sets this time as 0115. Deck Log, USS Ericsson (DD-440), n.p.

79 Deck Log, USS Moberly (PF-63), n.p.

80 Tollaksen, op. cit. p. 86. Deck Log, USS Moberly (PF-63), n.p.

81 Tollaksen, op. cit. p. 87. Deck Log, USS Moberly (PF-63), n.p.

82 ZP-12 Operations, op.cit. Ericsson reports the blimps arriving at 0610. Deck Log, USS Ericsson (DD440), n.p.

83 Deck Log, USS Atherton (DE169), op.cit.

86 Deck Log, USS Atherton (DE-169), op.cit.

87 Deck Log, USS Ericsson (DD-440), n.p.

88 Deck Log, USS Moberly (PF-63), n.p. Ericcson credits Atherton with this attack, but there is no record in the Atherton deck logs to support this.

90 Deck Log, USS Ericsson (DD-440), n.p.

92 Eastern Sea Frontier, op.cit., p. 129. At the time of the dispatch, 182 depth charges and 144 hedgehog projectiles had been expended for a total of 326 explosive devices. The totals would nearly double before the incident concluded.

93 Derived from the deck logs of the various ships.

94 Eastern Sea Frontier, op.cit Deck Log, USS Ericsson (DD-440), n.p.

96 Eastern Sea Frontier, op.cit.

97 Research Vessel Wahoo, at http://www.wahoo2001.com/wrecks/u853page.htm (bad link 2006)

98 Ausiello, David, German U-boat Sailors Remembered. Naval War College News, 15 February 2002.


Stella Burras

Stella Ethel (Shirley) Burras died at the Iowa Veterans Home on June 06, 2020. Stella was born March 10, 1929 to Paul Wilbur and Eloisa Isabell (Owens) Shirley on her Grandmother Shirley's farm near Queen City, Missouri. Stella was the 6th child and 5th daughter in a family that saw 11 children grow to adulthood. In 1935, the family moved 40 miles north to a farm near Blakesburg, Iowa. Stella attended Wapello County rural elementary schools. She graduated from Blakesburg High School in 1947, where one of her favorite memories was playing guard on their 6-player girls' basketball team.

Stella attended Iowan Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant for one year before becoming a rural schoolteacher near Blakesburg. In 1949 she moved to rural Wright County (near Olaf and Kanawha) in order to be the teacher in a rural Norway Township (section 17, T93N, R25W) school. She lived across from the school with Richard and Jennie Veldhouse where she met their neighbor, Irving B. Burras. Stella and Irving were married on June 27, 1951, in Winterset, Iowa.
Stella spent her married life as a farmwife and mother. Stella and Irving's first farm was near her parents outside of Ottumwa, where their eldest son, Bernie, was born. In 1954 they returned to Wright County, settling on Renwick as their long-term home in 1963. All seven of their children were confirmed at the St. Paul Lutheran Church and graduated from Boone Valley High School. Stella's children are Irving ("Bernie," 1951) James (1954) Gail (1954), Rex (1956), Raymond Burdett ("Ray," 1957), Lee (1959) and Bruce (1967). Stella routinely mentioned she only planned to have three children.
Stella returned to teaching in 1964 when she became the 6th grade teacher at Titonka Elementary School. Over the next decade she taught 6th grade at West Bend, Wesley and Goldfield. Tiring of the beat-up farmhouse, Stella bought a large house in Renwick in 1969. In 1971 - as a 42-year-old mother of 7, schoolteacher, farmwife and commuting student - Stella graduated from Drake University with her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. In 1974, Stella switched from teaching to welding at Trigg's Manufacturing in Belmond. She worked there for 2 years, before becoming a welder and then the welding supply manager at Hagie Manufacturing in Clarion where she remained for five years. Irving died in 1983.
In 2014 Stella moved to the Iowa Veteran's Home, a place she very much enjoyed and where she was wonderfully treated. She lived there because of Irving's naval service aboard the USS Swasey (DE 248) during World War II.
Stella was preceded in death by her parents Paul and Isabell Shirley (1974, 2001, respectively), her husband Irving (1983), son Ray (2005), daughters-in-law Joanna (2017) and Alicia (2012), infant grandson Samuel (1997), and siblings Lawrence, Keith, John, Laura, Jean, Esther, and Ruth. Survivors are three siblings - Robert (Shirley) of Billings, Montana, Charles of Walnut, Iowa, and Joyce (Marvin) Brooks of Knoxville, Iowa, six children - Bernie of Renwick, James of Middleburg, Florida, Gail of Pontiac, Illinois, Rex (Chris) of Mauldin, South Carolina, Lee (Lori) of Ames, Iowa, and Bruce (Maryca) of West Lafayette, Indiana, 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Overall, Stella's life was a wonderful testament to being a good human, Christian, citizen, wife, mother and grandmother. To the very end she was especially proud of her grandchildren, her flower and vegetable gardens, her rural upbringing, her Grandfather Benjamin Stone's combat service in the US Civil War's 17th and 114th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiments, her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution. and maybe - just maybe - her kids in general. Stella will be buried alongside Irving in Norway Cemetery, Wright County, following a service at St. Paul Lutheran's Church in Renwick.


Monday next before the Feast of S. Margaret, Virgin [20 July].

Heylesdon (John de), mercer.—To be buried in the church of Heylesdon (fn. 1) near the tomb of his father and mother. Bequests to the said church of vestments and ornaments, the parishioners being bound to give security to the rector of the church for the time being for the safe custody of the same also to the poor of the vill of Heylesdon and other vills adjoining, to every mendicant friar in the cities of London and Norwich, to the old work of S. Paul's, to every rector in London for inserting his name in mortuary roll (fn. 2) (in suis memoralibus), to the high altars of the churches of H. Trinity the Less and S. Michael de Paternostercherche, &c. also to Robert his brother, Margaret his sister, Alice and Margaret his daughters, and others. To John Chircheman and Sir Richard Tasburgh, rector of the church of Heylesdon, he leaves twenty marks annual quitrent of lands and tenements in the parish of All Hallows de Graschirche, on condition that they maintain thereout two perpetual chantries in the church of Heylesdon for the good of his soul, the souls of Johanna his wife, Walter de Berneye, Edmund de Alderford, John Chircheman and Emma, wife of the same, Thomas de Aldeburgh, and others. Johanna his wife to enjoy a life interest in the above lands and tenements, subject to the said charge, by way of dower of all his other lands and tenements, and also to have the sum of two hundred pounds sterling by way of dower of all his movable goods, in addition to her entire chamber, ornaments, and personal clothing. His said wife to accept the above in the name of dower, or to have what the law adjudges her. After her decease the aforesaid lands and tenements to go to Margaret his daughter in tail remainder in trust for sale for pious uses. To Alice his daughter lands and tenements in the city of Norwich in tail, with similar remainder also, under certain conditions, she is to have his tenements in Westchepe, London, called the "Crowned Seld" (fn. 3) (la Selde coronata). To Agnes, wife of Bartholomew Marche, rents in the parishes of S. Alban de Wodestrete and S. Giles without Crepulgate. Bequests also to poor lepers within three miles of London for the redemption of poor prisoners in Ludgate and Neugate to his poor kinsfolk in Heylesdon and elsewhere, co. Norfolk for putting poor scholars to school for sending two pilgrims to Rome, there to remain in prayer throughout one Lent (fn. 4) (per unam quadragesimam) to the Carthusian monks near Westsmythfeld, the Nuns Minoresses without Algate, and the nuns of Shuldham (fn. 5) to William Reve, rector of the church of Drayton, John and Thomas Tasburgh, Margaret, wife of Thomas Mounteneye, and others. Forty pounds, more or less, to be expended on his funeral. Dated London, 14 April, A.D. 1384.—By a codicil annexed he varies former bequests made in the case of either of his daughters dying under age. Roll 113 (1).

Note.—The above will was made an exhibit in Chancery, re Attorney-General v. Fishmongers' Company.

Monday next after the Feast of S. Luke, Evangelist [18 Oct.].

Mordon (Simon de), "stokfisshmonger."—To be buried in the church of S. Michael in la Crokedlane. Bequests to divers orders of friars, to the brethren and sisters of the hospitals of S. Katherine near the Tower and S. Mary without Bisshopesgate, the Abbot and Convent of Graces near the Tower, the hospitals of S. Mary de Bethlem, of Elsyng within Crepulgate, and S. Bartholomew in Smethfeld, the church of S. Thomas de Acris, &c. All his lands, tenements, &c., within the liberty of London, to be sold after the decease of Alice his wife, and the proceeds devoted to pious and charitable uses. Dated London, 7 April, A.D. 1383.

Sebarn (Robert), "ferrour." (fn. 6) —To be buried in the church or churchyard of S. Andrew at Castle Baynard, and for burial there he leaves three shillings and fourpence to the fabric of the belfry, and other sums to the ministers. To Alianora his wife all his tenements and rents in the City of London for life remainder to William his son and Philippa his daughter in several tail. Also to his said wife his leasehold interest in a tenement in the parish of S. Andrew aforesaid by demise of the Abbot and Convent of Berlynges. (fn. 7) Dated London, 13 August, A.D. 1384.

Kelleshull (William de), fishmonger.—To be buried in the churchyard of the conventual church of the Abbey of Lesnes, (fn. 8) to the abbot, prior, and canons of which he leaves sums of money. Bequests to the rector and churchwardens of the church of S. Nicholas Coldabbeye of certain rents in Oldefisshstrete for the maintenance of tapers to burn for the souls of John de Triple, Katherine, Katherine, and Alice, wives of the said John, and others. To Agnes his wife he leaves one third part of all his chattels and her chamber and to Katherine his daughter a sum of money, silver spoons, and other household goods. Sir Laurence his brother appointed one of his executors. Dated at his mansion house in the Abbey of Lesnes, Monday the Feast of S. Matthew, Apostle [21 Sept.], A.D. 1383. Roll 113 (28).

Walsshe (John), goldsmith.—To be buried in the church of S. Swithun de Candelwykestrete near Margaret his late wife. Bequests to the church of S. Swithun, the light of the beam, its ministers, &c., the work of the belfry of the church of S. John Zacary and ministers of the same church, and to the mendicant friars in London for saying Placebo and Dirige on the eve of his burial, and for a trental of masses by each order on the day following. To Sir William Salesbury, chaplain, he leaves his leasehold interest in a shop in Westchepe in the parish of S. Matthew in Fridaystrete. To Agnes his wife a tenement in the parish of S. Swithun aforesaid for life remainder to John, son of John Prentice and of Amicia, wife of the same, daughter of the aforesaid Margaret, in tail remainder to the Fraternity of H. Trinity in the church of S. Mary de Abbecherche for the good of his soul, and the souls of Margaret his late wife and others. Also to John Prentice, draper, houses and a shop in the parish of S. Swithun, charged with the maintenance of a chantry priest in the said parish church for the space of ten years next after his decease. Also to Agnes his wife he leaves a tenement called "le belle on the hop" in the parish of S. Botolph without Bisshoppesgate for life remainder to John Woleward and Johanna, wife of the same, daughter of Thomas Poyntel, late goldsmith also rents issuing from the manor of Lachele, co. Essex, all goods appertaining to his (sic) chamber, and one half of all his other goods. Dated London, Saturday, 20 August, A.D. 1384.

And be it remembered that although Adam Stedeman, scrivener, is named executor in the above will, the testator declared it was not his wish that the said Adam should be so named and Adam himself voluntarily acknowledged this in full Husting, and further said that he would not administer any of the testator's goods, nor intermeddle, but he altogether renounced administration.

Bydyk (John), goldsmith.—To be buried in the church of S. Peter de Westchepe. To Alice his wife he leaves all the tenements descending to him upon the decease of Juliana his mother, situate in the parish of All Hallows de Fanchirche, (fn. 9) for life remainder to Thomas his son in tail remainder to Agnes his daughter for life remainder in trust for sale by the wardens of the Goldsmiths for pious uses. Also to his aforesaid son he leaves a primer (fn. 10) of matins of the Blessed Mary. Dated London, 3 September, A.D. 1384. Roll 113 (34).

Monday next after the Feast of S. Leonard, Abbot [6 Nov.].

Blanket (John), skinner, of the parish of S. Swithin.—To be buried in the churchyard of S. Swithin's in Candelwikstret, in his tomb situate "in banco," to the north of the same. Bequests to the said parish church and ministers of the same, and directions as to tapers at his funeral and subsequent disposal of them. Bequests for the maintenance of two chantries in the aforesaid church for the good of his soul, the souls of Walter his father, Cecilia his mother, and others also to the new and old work of S. Paul's, to various orders of friars in London, to the inmates of hospitals, to prisoners in Neugate and the Marshalsea of Suthwerk, to every anchorite in London and the suburbs, &c. To Thomas Joce, son of Margery his sister, he leaves a coat and hood, but without the fur belonging to them, in place of which he leaves a furrour of lambs-wool. The reversion of a tenement in Oldechaunge in the parish of S. Augustine near S. Paul's Gate to be sold, and one moiety of the proceeds to go to Sabine his wife, and the other to be devoted to pious uses. Dated London, 26 January, A.D. 1382. Roll 113 (42).

Monday next after the Feast of S. Katherine, Virgin [25 Nov.].

Coleman (Reginald, son of Robert, senior).—To be buried in the chancel of the church of S. Margaret de Lothebury at the foot of the image of S. Margaret. Bequests to the said church, its ministers, &c., and to divers orders of friars for their prayers also to John Coleman, son of Robert his brother, and Sir Walter his brother, a monk of Bury St. Edmunds. Provision made for chantries in the aforesaid church for the good of his soul, the souls of Robert his father, Matilda his mother, his brothers, sisters, and others. To Matilda Hillary his niece he leaves forty shillings for the purchase of kerchiefs (flamiola). To the fabric of the church of Tolyton in co. Norfolk, where his father and mother lie buried, he leaves ten pounds, besides other sums to the vicar, and a gilt coupe for the Host to hang over the high altar. (fn. 11) To John his son two hundred pounds and four pieces of silver platte with two covercles, the said money to remain in the custody of Cristina his wife to assist in putting the said John to school during minority, without any account being rendered when his said son shall come of age. Bequests also to the Fraternity of the Resurrection of S. Paul for assisting poor brethren, to his apprentices and others. Also to his said wife he leaves a tenement in the parishes of S. Margaret de Lothebury and S. Stephen de Colemanstrete in fee, and another tenement in the first-named parish for life, with remainder to John his son in tail remainder to pious uses. Dated London, Wednesday next after the Feast of S. Martin, Bishop [11 Nov.], A.D. 1383. Roll 113 (54).

Monday next before the Feast of S. Lucia, Virgin [13 Dec.].

Coggere (Cristina), of the parish of S. Botolph near Billyngesgate.—To be buried in the tomb of Roger Coggere her late husband in the said parish church. Bequests to Sir John Wolde, rector, and other ministers of the said church to the fraternities of S. Mary and S. Katherine therein to the Friars of the Holy Cross to the poor in divers hospitals, the lepers living at Hakeney, at le loke, and near the Hospital of S. Giles to poor prisoners in Neugate, the King's Marshalsea and King's Bench, &c. To John Denver and Cristina his wife she leaves a tenement in the parish of S. Botolph aforesaid. To Thomas her brother, Margery Coggere, Agnes, daughter of Simon Coggere, Alice her sister, and others, she leaves sums of money and chattels, comprising silver cups and spoons. Dated London, 21 November, A.D. 1384.

Monday next before the Feast of Conversion of S. Paul [25 Jan.].


Reach Out and Touch Someone

Lot 577: U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Bolt Action Rifle with Warner & Swasey Telescopic Musket Sight

A standard M1903 rifle fitted with a M1908 Warner & Swasey Musket Sight was the primary U.S. sniper rifle used in World War I. Unfortunately, the 2.5-pound M1908 W&S sight made the rifle unbalanced, required an awkward shooting position, and occasionally suffered from a suction-cup like effect of the rubber eyepiece on the shooters face. Not to mention that they were prone to moisture and debris entering the scope. Thus, their production was limited to 2,075 as procured by the government. They were replaced prior to the United States entrance into the Great War by the improved Model of 1913, as seen on the rifle offered here. While the improvements were suspect in their effectiveness, the U.S fit 3,014 Springfield rifles (not Rock Island Arsenal rifles) with the M1913 W&S telescopic sights. Many more sights were produced but never installed on rifles nor issued. Rifles required the installation of a dovetail bracket to mount the scope which was numbered to the rifle upon installation.


Subchasers of World War I


Color postcard view of WWI subchasers.

The class of vessel known as the “Subchaser” originated during World War I. In 1916 the United States was still neutral but during that summer two German submarines visited the U.S. and shortly after leaving audaciously sank five ships. This galvanized the navy into action. Spurred by a young Assistant Secretary of the Navy named Franklin D. Roosevelt the navy undertook its own design for an effective antisubmarine vessel.

Just as in the second World War, steel was scarce, as was the capacity of big shipbuilding yards already fully contracted to build destroyers and other larger ships. Roosevelt invoked naval architects to come up with a suitable design for a subchaser made of wood. The idea was to build them quickly in small boatyards, using people with the necessary skills in wooden boat construction to get the job done.

A naval architect, Albert Loring Swasey was commissioned by Roosevelt to design a subchaser that would have the seaworthiness and the endurance necessary to be effective against the U boats. Swasey came up with a triple-screwed vessel 110' long with a 16' beam, powered by three Standard 6-cylinder, 220-horsepower gasoline-driven engines. The popular view was that a subchaser should be very fast but Swasey disagreed, maintaining that extreme speed was not worth the price in the sacrifice of seaworthiness, cruising range and comfort. Despite a storm of criticism from shipbuilders who anticipated speeds of at least 30 or 40 knots he went ahead with preparations to have the boats built with a top speed of 17 knots and a cruising range of 1000 miles. He designed a bow flare similar to that of a big whaleboat with its hull cut off at the water line aft - a design unsurpassed for sea work since the time of the Vikings.

The SC-1 class subchaser had a displacement of 85 tons and a complement of two officers and 24 enlisted men. The armament consisted of two 3"/23-caliber guns and two machine guns. Later on a depth charge projector or Y-gun was substituted for the after 3-inch gun and it proved to be the most effective antisubmarine weapon of all. There being no electronic sonar in those days the vessels were equipped with underwater hydrophones for detecting engine and propeller noises.

By the time the war ended 440 SC-1 class subchasers had been completed and placed into service. One hundred were sold to France and another 121 craft manned by American crews crossed the Atlantic under their own power, refueling at sea from tankers accompanying or being escorted. The subchasers in Europe operated in the approaches to Britain and France and in the Mediterranean and those in the United States combined with destroyers in operations off the east coast against the U boats.


SC 131 - A World War I SC-1 class subchaser.

At first glance the two generations of subchasers appear quite similar but the WWI subchasers were 2' narrower of beam and had radically different propulsion systems and armament from those of World War II.

The gallant little SCs of WWI ranged far and wide, completing missions as far north as Archangel, Russia, inside the Arctic Circle. Many SCs were captained by enthusiastic amateur yachtsmen with Ivy League backgrounds and the same air of informality and relaxed discipline as seen on SCs of WWII. Officers and crew were a close-knit group, almost to a man recruited from the Naval Reserve. The small size of the ships and the informal, non-conformist ways of their men earned them the label “Cinderellas of the Fleet,” and “Splinter Fleet.” They were a hardy lot. At sea the conditions were grueling, uncomfortable, and definitely not for the fainthearted. The constant pounding, rolling and pitching of the vessels was unremitting and unforgiving.

The history and performance of the World War I subchasers has been debated by historians. One source says the SC-1 class subchaser was the most important weapon of the war and credits them with destroying 40% of the U boats sunk in the war. Another source takes a diametrically opposite view, saying “The submarine chasers never fulfilled the hopes placed in them and never achieved a single kill.” Nevertheless everyone is in agreement that they were an effective antisubmarine deterrent. In an operation in 1918 known as the “Otranto Barrage” a dozen or so American subchasers helped keep the U boats bottled up in the Adriatic, unable to escape to the open sea to press their attacks. By denying the Germans the offensive power of their U boats at this critical stage the Otranto Barrage was perhaps the greatest single contribution of the subchasers in World War I. And on 2 October 1918 eleven SC-1s blew up enemy mines in the Austrian harbor of Durazzo, thus insuring their role in the only general naval engagement by the American navy in the war.

WWI Subchaser Links

    - Documents and Stories of the Subchasers in WWI - description and photo of VAUD J. II party fishing boat, formerly SC 409 - A story about WWI subchasers with photo of SC 403 - 1923 Richard Beckman painting showing SC-64 - description of movie “Submarine Patrol”

Copyright © 1999 - 2021 Theodore R. Treadwell. All rights reserved.


Risk of surgery following recent myocardial infarction

Objective: We aimed to assess the impact of recent myocardial infarction (MI) on outcomes after subsequent surgery in the contemporary clinical setting.

Background: Prior work shows that a history of a recent MI is a risk factor for complications following noncardiac surgery. However, this data does not reflect current advances in clinical management.

Methods: Using the California Patient Discharge Database, we retrospectively analyzed patients undergoing hip surgery, cholecystectomy, colectomy, elective abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, and lower extremity amputation from 1999 to 2004 (n = 563,842). Postoperative 30-day MI rate, 30-day mortality, and 1-year mortality were compared for patients with and without a recent MI using univariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression. Relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals were estimated using bootstrapping with 1000 repetitions.

Results: Postoperative MI rate for the recent MI cohort decreased substantially as the length of time from MI to operation increased (0-30 days = 32.8%, 31-60 days = 18.7%, 61-90 days = 8.4%, and 91-180 days = 5.9%), as did 30-day mortality (0-30 days = 14.2%, 31-60 days = 11.5%, 61-90 days = 10.5%, and 91-180 days = 9.9%). MI within 30 days of an operation was associated with a higher risk of postoperative MI (RR range = 9.98-44.29 for the 5 procedures), 30-day mortality (RR range, 1.83-3.84), and 1-year mortality (RR range, 1.56-3.14).

Conclusions: A recent MI remains a significant risk factor for postoperative MI and mortality following surgery. Strategies such as delaying elective operations for at least 8 weeks and medical optimization should be considered.


American WWII Sniper Rifles: The Springfield Vs the M1 Garand

The M1903 Springfield and the M1 Garand are undoubtedly well-respected for the roles they played during WWII. Over the past decades, a debate has raged among historians and gun lovers over which of these two highly decisive WWII sniper rifles is better.

This debate seems to have become a bloodless battle with no end in sight. However, in the video below, Paul Shull, the host of the Smithsonian Channel’s The Weapon Hunter show, takes a look at the two historic weapons with an exacting yet exciting shooting challenge before drawing his own personal verdict.

Before that though, a little background information on what the two weapons stand for, and what really made them stand out.

The M1903 Springfield, officially known as the United States Rifle, Caliber .30-06, Model 1903, served as the primary rifle of the United States military for the first several decades of the 20 th century, seeing action in both World War I and II.

US Marines with M1903 rifles and bayonets in France (1918).

It was adopted as the US military’s official bolt-action rifle on June 19, 1930, but this rifle was basically a spin-off from the Spanish Mauser Model 1893. Due to the many similarities the Springfield had to the Mauser, the United States was forced to pay a hefty amount in royalties to the Mauser manufacturers.

Diagram of the .30 Springfield Rifle

Fed by a five-round magazine, the 8.7-pound bolt-action repeating rifle was met by the M1 Garand, which came as its official replacement. However, the Springfield remained the standard issue rifle for the doughboys owing to insufficient supply of M1 Garand rifles.

M1903 Springfield with loading clips. Photo: Curiosandrelics CC BY-SA 3.0

The Springfield rifle was also extensively used by American snipers during WWII, and its usage continued past the Korean War into the early stages of the Vietnam War.

Camouflaged M1903 Springfield sniper’s rifle with Warner & Swasey telescopic sight, in France, May 1918.

The M1903 Springfield is revered among all for its exceptional level of accuracy. It is, in fact, often voted the most accurate sniper rifle of WWII.

An Elder-type periscope stock fitted to an M1903 (1918). Designed for trench warfare, this enabled the shooter to fire over the parapet of a trench while remaining undercover and protected. The rifle is also fitted with a 25-round magazine.

It remains popular today among civilians, historical collectors, competitive shooters, and military drill teams.

M1903A1 made by Springfield Armory in 1930. Photo: Drake00 CC BY-SA 3.0

On the other hand, the M1 Garand, named after its designer, John Garand, is a .30-06 caliber semi-automatic rifle. With over five million units built between 1934 and 1957, the M1 Garand was used in WWII, the Korean War, and also the Vietnam War where it found limited use.

The M1 Garand performed amazingly during its years of service, earning the praise of General George S. Patton who termed it “the greatest battle implement ever devised.”

John Garand points out features of the M1 to army generals.

Officially known by the US military as “U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1,” the rifle made its entrance into the war during the 1930s as a substitute for the M1903 Springfield.

Weighing 9.5 pounds, the legendary rifle served American troops in the battlefields of Northern France, taking them through the coasts of Okinawa, the scorching heat of North Africa, and the cruel humidity of the Philippines.

The M1 Garand with important parts labeled

Owing to its impressive muzzle velocity, the M1 Garand handed a significant advantage to the Allied forces. In several ways, this 43.5-inch fast-firing war machine was extremely instrumental in bringing victory home to the Allies, as the bloodiest conflict in human history came to a close.

An M1 Garand en bloc clip loaded with eight .30-06 Springfield rounds. Photo: Gavin.C CC BY 1.0

The M1 Garand saw a number of copies and derivatives, such as the Japanese Type 4 Rifle, the Italian Beretta Models, the US M14 Rifle, and the Ruger Mini-14.

A U.S. soldier with an M14 watches as supplies are dropped in 1967 during the Vietnam War.

Just like the Springfield, the M1 Garand is still in use today by civilians for target shooting, hunting, and as military collectibles. It is also still employed by military drill teams and guards of honor.

Evzones of the Presidential Guard in front of the Greek Parliament holding M1 Garands. Photo: Yair Haklai CC BY-SA 3.0

Whether the Springfield was better than the Garand or the other way round, no definite answer has yet been found. It all remains a matter of opinion.

One group says the Springfield is better owing to its phenomenal accuracy and reliability, while another group says it is the faster-firing M1 Garand which boasts of a high degree of accuracy and reliability as well.

Unloading an M1 “en bloc” clip.

While the Springfield may have higher accuracy, its 10-15 rounds per minute firing rate is considerably trumped by the M1 Garand’s 40-50 rounds per minute.

During the First World War, the Springfield was the standard rifle for the infantry, going through phases of modifications while the war raged on. In World War II, while it was used in the jungles of Guadalcanal, a self-loading rifle was more desirable, but the Springfield was not that rifle.

Lance Corporal Cecilia M. Giaise, the first woman qualified as a rifle marksman (with a score of 206𴣒) and authorized to operate the M1 rifle. July 1961. Photo: Bobafett1129 CC BY-SA 4.0

The M1 Garand and the M1903 Springfield served side by side in World War II, and the Springfield was a favorite of the US Army Rangers who chose it over the M1 Garand for certain commando missions. It was also the US Army’s sniper rifle of choice.

U.S. Marine preparing to fire M31 HEAT antitank rifle grenade from M1 rifle in the indirect mode with butt on the ground.1950s

The M1 Garand is actually the first standard-issue semi-automatic rifle of the US military. With an effective firing range of 500 yards, this weapon was heavier than the Springfield but was well loved among its users.

Feast your eyes on this three-minute video, enjoy the drill, and decide whether you agree with Shull’s verdict.


Basel II: Revised international capital framework

The efforts of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision to revise the standards governing the capital adequacy of internationally active banks achieved a critical milestone in the publication of an agreed text in June 2004.

The original Basel II document is available in:

In November 2005, the Committee issued an updated version of the revised Framework incorporating the additional guidance set forth in the Committee's paper The Application of Basel II to Trading Activities and the Treatment of Double Default Effects (July 2005).

On 4 July 2006, the Committee issued a comprehensive version of the Basel II Framework. Solely as a matter of convenience to readers, this comprehensive document is a compilation of the June 2004 Basel II Framework, the elements of the 1988 Accord that were not revised during the Basel II process, the 1996 Amendment to the Capital Accord to Incorporate Market Risks, and the 2005 paper on the Application of Basel II to Trading Activities and the Treatment of Double Default Effects. No new elements have been introduced in this compilation.

Regulatory framework chronology 2006-2009

17 December 2009

The Basel Committee announced consultative proposals to strengthen the resilience of the banking sector:

The Committee welcomes comments from the public on all aspects of these consultative papers by 16 April 2010.

13 July 2009

The Basel Committee issued a final package of measures to enhance the three pillars of the Basel II framework and to strengthen the 1996 rules governing trading book capital. These measures were originally published for public consultation in January 2009.

16 January 2009

The Basel Committee announced a series of proposals to enhance the Basel II framework. The consultative package consists of the following:

22 July 2008

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issued for public comment Guidelines for Computing Capital for Incremental Risk in the Trading Book as well as Proposed Revisions to the Basel II market risk framework. The proposed incremental risk charge would capture price changes due to defaults as well as other sources of price risk, such as those reflecting credit migrations and significant moves of credit spreads and equity prices. The Basel Committee also proposes improvements to the Basel II Framework concerning internal value-at-risk models. It has further aligned the language with respect to prudent valuation for positions subject to market risk with existing accounting guidance. In addition, it has clarified that regulators will retain the ability to require adjustments to current value beyond those required by financial reporting standards, in particular where there is uncertainty around the current realisable value of a position due to illiquidity. The Committee welcomes comments from the public on all aspects of these consultative papers by 15 October 2008.

2 June 2006

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issued a paper on Home-host information sharing for effective Basel II implementation, which sets forth general principles for sharing of information between home country and host country supervisors in the implementation of the Basel II Framework. This paper was developed jointly with the Core Principles Liaison Group, which includes banking supervisors from sixteen non-Committee member countries, as well as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The paper highlights the need for home and host supervisors of internationally active banking organizations to develop and enhance pragmatic communication and cooperation with regard to banks' Basel II implementation plans, and also sets out practical examples of information that could be provided by banks, home supervisors and host supervisors.

24 May 2006

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issued a press release indicating that the calibration of the Basel II Framework (ie, 1.06 scaling factor for credit risk-weighted assets under the internal ratings-based approaches) will be maintained. This Committee's review of the calibration of the Framework was based on the results of the fifth Quantitative Impact Study (QIS 5), as well as QIS 4 which was carried out in some jurisdictions. A detailed report on the results of QIS 5 in G10 and non-G10 countries was published on 16 June 2006. National authorities will continue to monitor capital requirements during the period of Basel II implementation, and the Committee will monitor national experiences with the Framework.


How To Identify An Antique Crock, And Which Crocks Are More Valuable

It seems like crocks are more popular than ever before. With that popularity, however, comes the risk of running into a fake!

We’ve noticed that many of our readers are not only interested in crocks, but actually own beautiful crocks as well. Unfortunately, when an item becomes as popular and valuable as an antique crock, the reproduction market seems to kick in to full gear. So we’ve decided to show you some ways to avoid the fakes and identify an original, antique crock.

Look for a maker’s mark – We know, this is an obvious tip that applies to so many antiques, but it’s especially important for crocks. These marks can be anything from a name, a symbol, a signature or even just a letter or a number. Some famous manufacturers to keep an eye out for include Red Wing, Thomas Commeraw and Watt Pottery.

  • Study the crock’s design –Many antique crocks, like the one featured above, were often decorated with cobalt blue designs. Any decorations or designs should appear to be painted on, as opposed to printed or stamped on. The crock itself may have a shiny, glass-like surface that occasionally feels bumpy, which means the crock was salt-glazed.
  • Try to identify the age – There are certain marks that can tip you off to your crock’s age. If the crock has a pattern, and the name of the pattern is on the bottom, that means it was made after 1810. If the mark includes the word “limited” (or “Ltd”), then it was mad after 1861. If the mark has a country of origin, it was made after 1891.
  • Do you research –If you have a crock you’re unsure of, look it up online! Try to find the information on the maker, or if you can’t identify the maker by their mark, check out websites like eBay, Pinterest and Youtube. You can even perform a reverse Google Image search!

The following video from Expert Village features a wide variety of valuable crocks. Take a look to get an idea of what a valuable crock looks like, and what characteristics you should look for. And if you own a crock, send us a photo we’d love to see it!


Watch the video: Reexamining the Late Cypriot ceramic industry during the 13th to 12th century BC transition (January 2022).