VPNAVY VP-5 Mercury Capsule Recovery
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HistoryVP-107 HistoryHistory

Circa 1949

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News March 1948 "...Patrol Bombing Squadron - Page 16 - 17 - Naval Aviation News - March 1949..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1949/mar49.pdf [15JUL2004]

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UPDATE "...I recently noted on your VP-l07 website under circa 1949 the article in the Naval Aviation News about Bombing Squadron 107. Contained within that article is reference to Lt Cmdr. Prueher & LT(jg) Gerard Bradford (jg) attacks on U-boats off the Brazilian coast near the Natal base (highlighted in yellow). My Father, B. A. Fleck, LT(jg), was on both those flights (in the bow on Prueher's flight on the 14th of December 1942 & as Co-pilot with Bradford the following day. I have included the "Report of Antisubmarine Action by Aircraft" for those attacks on Dec 14 and 15, 1942. I personally believe that it is just as important to identify the entire crews on both these actions. Additionally on page two of the posted article was reference to the loss of Lt (jg) G. (Goree) E. Waugh flight & crew on July 23,1943 during the attack and eventual sinking of U-598. I have included the entire 41 page report by the Chief of Staff, C.E Braine of the U.s. Atlantic Fleet. Now while the antisubmarine reports are difficult to read the typed narratives and chronology might be worth posting. I hope that you find this information of some historical significance for inclusion on your website...." Forwarded by Lee Fleck ljfleck@bellsouth.net [03SEP2011]

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"...LT(jg) G. E. Waugh attacked in coordination with LT Ford. Both planes dropped their bombs. Then Waugh's airplane tragically plunged into the ocean and all hands were lost. The submarine sank, but survivors were picked up...The following information was obtained from UBOATARCHIVE http://www.uboatarchive.net/U-598ASW-6Reports.htm..."


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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...According yo the Aviators Flight Log Book ---- During the early morning of 15 August 1945, VPB-108 Privateer # 59483 took off from Iwo Jima. The mission, fly fleet barrier, patrol along Japan, Nagoya to Tokyo Bay. Lt. Edward Bezursik (Buzz) Pilot of Crew 16, Ens. John McKinnon CoPilot/Navigator in the right seat, Ens. James Bloomer CoPilot/Navigator at the navigators table, Russell Roberts Plane Captain watching instruments, Charles Alison in the bow turret, Mike O'Mally on radar, Harold Hohlman manned the top forward turret, Francis Callan at the radio station, Robert Straw in the aft top turret, James Foote in the port lemon turret, Foster Scott in his starbord lemon turret, and John Merril manned the tail turret. Approaching Tokyo Bay, bomb bay doors open, Buzz, hands on the bomb release pickle switch. Then a morse code radio message at 10.00 AM. It read, "the war is over, cease offensive action." Buzz dropped the bombs in the water. A Navy Privateer firing its last shot in World War Two. Then someone, unknown, sent another message. It read "Thank God." I'll roger that and I did--dit dah dit..." Contributed by Francis C. Callan timberflash@AOL.com [09MAY2000]


Circa 1947

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraNAAS Crows Landing "...Historic California Posts - Naval Auxilary Air Station, Crows Landing - History..." WebSite: The California State Military Museum http://www.militarymuseum.org/NAASCrowsLanding.html [06NOV2005]

Photograph: Title: Crows Landing - Image Number: A92-0471-4 - Date: 1992 - Keywords: aerial - Crows Landing - historical - Description: Aerial photo, NAAS Crows Landing; Photographer: US Navy; Date: August 5, 1947 WebSite: http://ails.arc.nasa.gov/Images/Historical/A92-0471-4.html

NAAS Crows Landing, located 2-1/2 miles northwest of the town of the same name, began in late 1942 as an auxiliary air station to NAS Alameda, California. It was used to train Navy fighter pilots. Pilots of F4F Wildcats, TBF and TBM Avengers trained here first in Link and Panoramic trainers then eventually in actual planes. Later, pilots in R4D Skytrains and R5D Skymasters (Navy versions of the Army's C-47 and C-54) trained here. After the war the station was placed in caretaker status.

History
by M.L. Shettle, Jr.
Historical works by M. L. Shettle, Jr.


In late 1942, the Navy chose a site in the San Joaquin Valley, 71 miles southeast of Alameda, for an auxiliary air station. An 804-acre parcel of land was purchased for $86,708 and ground broken on December 1, 1942. The site was located near the agricultural community of Crows Landing, 1940 population of 363, that consisted of a gas station, country store, and a freight train stop. During con struction, the project was known as NAAF Patterson for the nearest post office, six miles to the north. After the Navy decided to include a post office on the station, the base commissioned on May 25, 1943, as NAAF Crows Landing.

On June 18, 1943, VC-36 became the first unit assigned. A detachment of Alameda's CASU 6 also arrived in support. For the next nine months, Crows Landing hosted various carrier units. These units included VC-65, and elements of CAG 28, CAG 18, and CAG 11. In the meantime, a detachment of CASU 37 replaced CASU 6 and Crows Landing was upgraded to an NAAS. Up to the spring of 1944, multi-engine patrol aircraft were based at NAAS Vernalis, 18 miles to the northwest. The Navy real ized that Crows Landing's 7,000-ft. concrete run ways would be better suited for the heavier weight multi-engine aircraft than Vernalis's asphalt run ways; thereafter, Vernalis was designated for carrier units and Crows Landing for multi-engine types.

In March 1944, the first multi-engine squadron, VPB-137 arrived from Alameda with PVs. From June to November, the station embarked on an expansion project that added housing, a hangar, and other improvements. The runways were widened from 150 to 200 ft. The station's ramp that initially was 200 x 400 ft. was enlarged by a 1200 x 200-ft. and a 1890 x 260-ft. section. In August 1944, the first PB4Y-2 Privateer squadron, VPB-118, arrived from NAAS Camp Kearny, California. In January 1945, Crows Landing added six enlisted barracks, a warehouse, and a 100-man ground training building. From February 2, to March 27, 1945, a VRE-1 Detach ment with 12 R4Ds was based at the station. VRE-1 was one of the Navy's three evacuation squadrons that transported wounded men from combat areas in the South Pacific to the various Naval Hospitals in the U.S. In addition, Oakland's VR-4 and VR-11 used Crows Landing for training throughout the sta tion's existence.

Crows Landing's isolated location prompted the Navy to run 10 liberty buses a day to Modesto and Patterson. Navy men were allowed to use the swim ming pool at Patterson High School. In June 1945, the station's complement stood at 27 officers and 185 men -- squadron personnel added an additional 245 officers and 1220 enlisted men. Available billeting accommodated 268 officers and 2116 men. Patrol squadrons that passed thought the station during the war included VPB-115, VPB-122, VPB-101, VPB-103, VPB-107, VPB-133, VPB-140, VPB-118, and VPB-108. The PV operational training squadron, VPB-198, also spent time aboard. Patrol squadrons were supported by PATSUs 8-2, 8-4, 8-5, and 8-7. Other units that operated and trained at Crows Landing were VJ-12 and ABATU 105. By war's end, the station was valued at $4 million.

Crows Landing decommissioned on July 6, 1946, becoming an OLF to NAS Alameda, California and later NAS Moffett Field, California. In recent years, the Navy maintained a perma nent detachment at the field that supplied crash equipment and refueling services for Naval aircraft from the stations in the area. With the closing of Moffett, the Navy turned Crows Landing over to NASA's Ames Research Center in 1993.

Circa 1946

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...A PB4Y piloted by Lt. Burris temporarily based at NAS Kodiak, Alaska in VP-107 located the missing barge the 15 November at 0480 approx. 60 miles from NAS Kodiak, Alaska..." http://www.kib.co.kodiak.ak.us/kmxt/navy/1946apr_dec.txt [11OCT2001]

UPDATE "...There were 10 in the aircraft. I was the copilot of the PB4Y-2.

The rescue took place on November 5, 1946. Lt. Hugh Burris, ex-Dunkeswell and PPC of our PB4Y-2, our Navigator Ensign Orville Hollenbeck, our radarman, and the skipper of the USS Bugara, a U.S. fleet sub, comprised the alert cooperators that day in saving the lives of 3 men on a self propelled barge (BSP) that had drifted helplessly nearly three days from Umnak I. to a position south of Kodiak. At the end of our long search flight mostly in the soup in a raging storm, we had used up our allowable hours aloft in our eastbound flight south of the chain which had originated at an Army airfield on Umnak I. We were about to head back to Kodiak when we got an APS-15 radar contact and descended to about 200 feet to discover a U.S. sub, the Bugara, wallowing in the waves. We had had celestial at 10,000 feet on top and knew where we were and gave the sub skipper a vector toward where we thought the barge was. Wonders be! First, he accepted our advice! He had not seen the sky for days. Second, about an hour later, at dusk, he came across the barge! It was on the verge of sinking, and Bugara rescued the three men. S&R was not our primary mission but there was no Coast Guard up there then. That is one of the interesting episodes in my book which went up on the web in mid-2001 and which I am tuning for hardcopy now.

The foregoing is not a quote from the book, presently titled "Socked In! Instrument Flying in Northern Latitudes," but a paraphrase. http://www.daileyint.com/flying/flywar11.htm is Chapter 11 of the web version and contains the whole Nov.4, Nov.5, 1946 episode which also involved a PBY-5A flown by Lt. Walter Munk out of Adak who made two amazing flights and contributed to the eventual success of this mission. I can tell you that the whole story in Chapter 11 makes better reading than the paraphrase above, and covers a rescue of which the U.S. Navy can be very proud. Anyone can go to the website and read or printout the story..." Contributed by DAILEY, CAPTAIN Franklyn E. Jr. Retired franklyn@daileyint.com WebSite: http://www.daileyint.com/ [11MAY2002]


Circa 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-83/VPB-107 Letter from James Forrestal "...Letter from James Forrestal to FISHER, Andrew Lewis..." Contributed by Sgt. Brian L. Fisher USMC/RET mburkard@stny.rr.com..." [16JUL2005]


Circa 1944 - 1949

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraPB4Y-2 Squadron Assignments "...PB4Y-2 Squadron Assignments 1944 - 1949 by W. T. Larkins 5-11-1984. A review of the aircraft history cards for the 740 aircraft 59350-60009 and 66245-66324 allows the following squadrons with one or more aircraft. Unfortunately the original assignment on many in 1944 is simply "PAC" for Pacific area. No card was found to verify VB-200 as the first squadron delivery or any Marine Corps squadrons. Squadrons listed include VP-12, VP-21, VP-22, VP-23, VP-25, VP-26, VP-27, VP-28, VP-29, VPB-100, VPB-101, VPB-10, VPB-102, VPB-104, VPB-106, VPB-107, VPB-108, VPB-109, VPB-111, VPB-114, VPB-115, VPB-116, VPB-117, VPB-118, VPB-119, VPB-120, VPB-121, VPB-122, VPB-123, VPB-124, VPB-143, VPB-197, VPB-200, VP-HL-1, VP-HL-2, VP-HL-4, VP-HL-6, VP-HL-7, VP-HL-8, VP-HL-9, VP-HL-10, VP-HL-11, VP-HL-12, VP-HL-13, VPM-1, VPW-1, VPW-2, VPW-3, VX-1 and VX-2..." Contributed by Bill Larkins wtl@earthlink.net [01AUG2010]


Circa 1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraMission Aborted "..."Mission Aborted" Circa 1944..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [02JUN2008]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Report of Antisubmarine Action By Aircraft. Date: 2-5-44 Unit: VB-107 Base: Ascension Squadron: 107-B-3 Command: FAW-16..." WebSite: U-Boat Archive http://www.uboatarchive.net/U-177ASW-6.htm [16MAY2007]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraEnlisted men of VB-107 "...Enlisted men of VB-107 pose in front of a PB4Y-1 at NAF Naples, Italy, December 1944..." WebSite: U-Boat Archives http://www.uboatarchive.net/U-598.htm [14MAY2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Pine Trees - Circa 1944..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [23OCT2006]

VP-83 PBY Catalina's had became too slow for our missions allowing u-boats to stay on surface and shoot it out with us before diving. So we formed VPB-107. We flew the PBY's back to NAS Norfolk, Virginia and exchanged them for PB4Y-1's called the Liberator. We only had about fifteen days to get checked out on them. We flew familiarization flights and night landings. It was pretty congested at NAS Norfolk, Virginia so the pilot suggested we fly down to Cherry Point and use their base. There was no need for a full crew. I let the crew go and I stayed with the pilots. When you lower the landing gear there is a red latch on the gear that tells you it is locked. Only way to see it at night was with an Aldis Lamp. When we got there and started our first landing we lowered the landing gear. I went aft to make sure the gear was down and locked. I pointed the Aldis Lamp at the hatch all I could see was pine trees whizzing by. I started to run forward and started to hear us hitting trees just before we hit the landing strip. We pulled off the runway and I inspect for damage. There was a treetop in the nose compartment and the hydraulic lines pulled away from the port mount. Luckily no broken lines. I got some electrical tape and patched her up and we headed for NAS Norfolk, Virginia.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Abort - Circa 1944..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [20OCT2006]

In the latter part of 1944, while VPB-107 was still in NAF Natal, Brazil, we had begun to lose the older experienced pilots. They were being transferred back to the states as instructors. At the same time we were getting new pilots and a training period began. Training included touch and goes, practice landings, etc.

The new pilot assigned to my plane was the kind that "knew it all" before learning. My first flight with him was a bummer from the beginning. We taxied to the end of the runway and without checking over the check off list and testing engine RPM manifold pressure or magnetos he poured on the power and headed down the runway. My take off position is always between the pilot and copilot and my job as Flight Engineer was to assist when told to do so. The new PB4Y-1 was equipped with turbo superchargers that are used for take offs, climbing and landing. There were four switches on the control panel and noticing they were off. I reached up to flip them on. The pilot cut back the power jammed on the brakes grabbed my arm with a strong grip and said if I ever reached into the cockpit again he would break my dam arm. By then we were taxing back by the tower and he had to stop for another plane. I opened the bomb bay door and made a beeline for the OD shack. I was furious and as I entered the office. The OD said "Goodell, what in the world is wrong?" As I was telling him he reached for the phone and told the plane to report back to the ramp and come to the CO's office. He asked if I was OK and to return to the barracks. I never heard another word of the incident but a few days later we were missing our new "know it all" pilot.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft - Dated 11 Jan 1944..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [29SEP2006]

VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED

VD-1, VD-2, VD-3 and VD-4

VJ-1, VJ-2, VJ-3, VJ-4, VJ-5, VJ-7, VJ-8, VJ-9, VJ-10, VJ-11, VJ-12, VJ-13, VJ-14, VJ-15, and VJ-16

VP-6 Coast Guard

VP-11, VP-12, VP-13, VP-14, VP-15, VP-16, VP-17, VP-18 and VP-19

VP-20, VP-23 and VP-24

VP-32, VP-33 and VP-34

VP-43, VP-44 and VP-45

VP-52 and VP-54

VP-61 and VP-62

VP-71, VP-72, VP-73 and VP-74

VP-81 and VP-84

VP-91, VP-92 and VP-94

VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-105, VP-106, VP-107, VP-108 and VP-109

VP-110, VP-111, VP-112, VP-113, VP-115, VP-116 and VP-117

VP-126, VP-127, VP-128 and VP-129

VP-130, VP-131, VP-132, VP-133, VP-134, VP-135, VP-136, VP-137, VP-138 and VP-139

VP-140, VP-141, VP-142, VP-143, VP-144, VP-145, VP-146, VP-147, VP-148 and VP-149

VP-150 and VP-151

VP-201, VP-203, VP-204, VP-205, VP-208 and VP-209

VP-210, VP-211, VP-212, VP-213, VP-214, VP-215 and VP-216


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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...29SEP44 - PB4Ys (VP 107) sink German submarine U-863, South Atlantic, 10°45'S, 25°30'W..." WebSite: HyperWar http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1944.html [13SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: APPENDIX 3 Submarines Sunk by Patrol Squadrons During World War II - Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [04MAY2001]

U-177, 6 February 1944
Type: IXD Laid Down: 25 November 1940, AG Weser, Bremen
Commissioned: 14 March 1942, Kptlt. Wilhelm Schulze
Commander: March 1942, Kptlt. Wilhelm Schulze; October 1943, Korvkpt. Robert Gysae (Oak Leaves); October 1943 February 1944, Korvkpt. Heinz Buchholz
Career: Three patrols; assigned: March 1942 September 1942, 4th Flotilla (Stettin); October 1942 November 1942, 10th Flotilla (Lorient); December 1942 February 1944, 12th Flotilla (Bordeaux)
Successes: 14 ships sunk for a total of 87,388 tons

Fate: Sunk 6 February 1944, west of Ascension Island, in position 10°35'S, 23°15'W, by U.S. bombs (VB-107). 50 dead. A PB4Y-1 Liberator piloted by Lieutenant (jg) C. I. Purnell made two successful bomb runs on U-177, straddling the submarine.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: APPENDIX 3 Submarines Sunk by Patrol Squadrons During World War II - Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [04MAY2001]

U-863, 29 September 1944
Type: IX D2 Laid Down: 15 September 1942, AG Weser, Bremen
Commissioned: 3 November 1943, Kptlt. Dietrich von der Esch
Commander: November 1943 September 1944, Kptlt. Dietrich von der Esch
Career: Assigned: November 1943 June 1944, 4th Flotilla (Stettin); July 1944 September 1944 12th Flotilla (Bordeaux)
Successes: None

Fate: Sunk 29 September 1944, east-southeast of Recife, in position 10°45'S, 25°30'W, by U.S. bombs from two PB4Y-1 Liberators (VB-107) flown by Lieutenants E. A. Krug and J. T. Burton. 69 dead (entire crew lost).

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...24SEP44--Submarine NARWHAL (SS-167) evacuates 81 Allied prisoners war from Sindangan Bay, Mindanao, P. I. These men are survivors from the torpedoed Japanese ship SHINYO MARU. German submarine sunk: U-863, by naval land-based aircraft (VP-107), South Atlantic area, 10 d. 45'S., 25 d. 30'W..." http://www.cyberplus.ca/~chrism/chr44.txt


Personal Journal
1943-1947

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...WWII Journal of William C. Roth - April 1943, through November 1947 - Written July 2005..." WebSite: http://wwii.thedance.net/ [13NOV2005]

Joining the Navy

After I received my greetings from the president, an invitation I could not refuse, I took my physical in Phila, Pa.  When I passed the physical they asked me what branch of the military I wished to join. Only gave you a few seconds to decide.  I quickly thought the Army marches too much in mud and sleeps on the ground the Marines are crazy for fighting and really gung-ho, the Coast Guard has no glory, so that left the Navy, which I chose.

At first they would not approve my choice as I had a full set of dentures.  I told them I did not want to bite the enemy, only to fight them.  They finally said okey and put me in the Navy.

On April 2, l943, a second date that will live in infamy, I joined the Navy.

My brother Harry and his wife Evelyn took me to the Reading Railroad Terminal in Philadelphia late that evening.  After an all night train ride to Seneca, New York, we were given a stale cheese sandwich and an orange to eat.  I said to myself, what the h--- am I getting myself into.

The U.S.  Naval Training Station at Sampson, New York was brand new. There was mud everywhere and we had to scrape the paint from the windows.

We graduated from Boot camp on June 5,1943 as Company 330.

Most of the guys were from all over Pennsylvania and New Jersey, also some from Conn.  Harry Polinski and I were both from Lester, Pa.  At the end of Boot camp they asked us what branch of the Navy we wished to continue in.  Harry and I decided to pick Fire Control (Harry) and Aviation Radioman (me) as our number one choices.  That way if one did not get our first choice, we would still be together, as luck would have it we both got our first choices...

They promised me that if would go to Yeoman's training, I would be a Petty Officer 3rd class in 6 weeks, I had a very good background in office studies since I graduated from Ridley Park High School, one of the best commercial courses in the area.

But, being 19 years old, and stupid, I did not want to spend my Navy career behind a desk, so I said No Thanks.  I want to fight the enemy, so naïve at this age.

Radioman Training

So I went to Naval Air Technical Training Center in NAS Memphis, Tennessee from June to November 1943.  We spent many hours learning Morse Code and sending and receiving radio messages.

On Nov 6,1943 I graduated in Class R1 Aviation Radio Man Course...  In that class was a James Henry Mooney, of which you will hear more about later.

Upon graduation from Aviation Radioman School were asked to volunteer for Aviation Gunnery School.  The ones who did not volunteer were shipped out to New Orleans to be assigned to Naval Vessels.

Those that volunteered were sent to Naval Air Gunnery School in Hollywood, Fla.  What great duty.  It was formerly a boys military academy.  We were four to a dorm with our own bath... no fence around the school.  We were free to go as we pleased.  But that did not last long as we graduated Dec 18,1943. 

Next I went to NAS Lake City, Florida where I flew 34 hours in a PV-2 twin engine Navy plane for training.  Then onto Beaufort, S.C. flying 39.4 hours in a PV-2 doing air-to-air gunnery training.

It was while at NAS Lake City, Florida our PV-2 flew into the eye of a hurricane to take pictures within the eye, what an experience?

Tape To EnlargeAll this time we were training to be radio/gunners for a TBF Squadron (Torpedo Bomber Fighter).

As fate would have it, about this time a hurricane over NAS Corpus Christi, Texas delayed the training of the TBF pilot.

So we were asked to choose between staying with the TBF training or transferring to a Land Based Anti-Submarine B-24 Bomber Squadron.

I had just read in the paper about an entire squadron of TBF's being wiped out in the Pacific by the Japanese, seeing as how my Mother did not raise any dumb children.  I opted for the B-24 bombers.

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King Sol's Jesters

I was sent to the NAS Chincoteague, Virginia, to be assigned to a flight crew.

Arriving at NAS Chincoteague, Virginia I was assigned to be a Radioman in Lt.  Commander William Soloman's flight crew.  As Lt.  Commander Soloman was not expected until the following week I hitchhiked home to Lester, Pa for the week-end...  However, Lt.  Commander Soloman arrived early.

He wanted to meet his crew, and he was not too happy to be unable to find his radioman.  I received a Captains Mast (similar to a court martial), first of five Captains Mast received in my Navy career, a couple for being A.W.O.L., one for drunk and disorderly, one for gambling aboard ship, and the one that hurt the most of all, shirking duty.

Tape To EnlargeFinally the whole crew got together and took a get acquainted flight.  The pilot was Lt.  Commander William Soloman (Sol), co-pilot was Lt.  Keyhoe, navigator was Ensign Gee.  Ray Purviance was crew chief, William (Bo) Beauchman, mechanic.  Nick Molchan, mechanic, Rudy (Jake) Ramstack, radioman.  William (Tool) Purviance, ordinance man, William (Bill) Miller, mechanic and William (C. Note Charlie) Roth, radioman.  As you can see there were too many William's, so we had to have nicknames for everyone and the fact that I had a C-Note ($100.) bill stashed away in my wallet.  Never did use it.

While at NAS Chincoteague, Virginia, the afore mentioned James (Jim) Mooney and I decided to buy some new Navy Blue Suits (Whipcord) in order to impress the ladies.  I told him I knew just the place, South Street in Philadelphia, where all the Jewish tailors were located.  So we hitchhiked to Lester to buy some new blues.  Unfortunately, it was a Jewish holiday and no shops were open.  We took the trolley back to Lester, bought some beer and sat on the fence at my home watching the ladies come off Westinghouse after their shift.  Then we went to a local bar and we met the Mayor of Tinicum Twp whom I knew quite well.  He drove us around Lester and Essington stopping at each bar.  Sometime in the wee hours of the morning he dumped us out on the street in front of my home.  Was all I could do to reach the door bell.  My parents came down and my Mother said "Poor boys, they are sick".  My Father said "Sick Hell they are drunk." We never did get our dress blues...

One of the other B-24 crews at NAS Chincoteague, Virginia had an old Dodge four door sedan with no plates or ownership papers.  The car was sold or handed down to a new crew when the old crew shipped out.  We bought or received this car.  We drove it to Salisbury, Md., about 20 miles away for Liberty.  I met a nice young lady who was a telephone operator.  After 11:00 P.M. any day I could make free phone calls to anywhere in the U.S.  For gas in the Dodge we used aviation fuel, which was not too good for the car, before we shipped out the car blew it's engine, so pushed it into the weeds and left.

We would fly practice flights at least once a week but the final flight before shipping out was a simulated full bomb load, full gas load and a ten to eleven hour flight.  Some of the planes could not take all this weight.  Several of the crews ahead of us were not too lucky.  One crashed into the woods, all ten or eleven crew were lost.  One crashed at sea also losing all the crew.  One had to ditch in the ocean, losing all but three or four crew.  When it was our turn for the final flight were a little nervous!!!!!!!!!  At the end of the runway the pilot revved up the four engines as much as he could with the brakes on.  When I got off the radio I stood in the cockpit between the pilot and co-pilot.  Old Sol was pulling back on the wheel as hard as he could, he was a large powerful man...  I could see the trees at the end of the runway coming up fast.  We got airborne and the wheels just missed the trees.

South Atlantic Patrol

After that flight we were assigned to a VPB-1 Liberator Squadron, out of NAF Natal, Brazil, flying anti-submarine patrols in the South Atlantic.

Tape To EnlargePart of the squadron were sent to NAS Norfolk, Virginia, to board a ship that would take us to NAF Natal, Brazil...  We got aboard the USS Albemarle (AV-5), a seaplane tender.  There were not enough berths so we slept on the inside hanger deck.  The first morning we awoke to a loud clamor, pipes were piping, bugles were blowing, etc.  We did not know what the H ---- was going on.  Just a normal Navy wake-up call.

We were put to work while at sea, some scraping paint, others painting.  I was lucky (again) as I was assigned to the store where they gave out or sold ice cream, candy, etc...  It was a very nice trip.  Since the ship was due for an Admiral's inspection when it reached port, we did not have a big ceremony, when it crossed the equator...  We landed at NAF Recife, Brazil and were bussed to the NAF Natal, Brazil.  We flew anti-submarine patrol at least once a week in the South Atlantic, between South America and Africa.  The squadron was called VP-83 until we received 24 PB4Y-1 Liberators.  Then we changed to VPB-107.  The PBY's only had four 30 cal. machine guns and the subs would stay on the surface firing at the PBY's.  As the sub had a 20 mm cannon on deck.  When we arrived at NAF Natal, Brazil we could see all the holes in the planes.  Needless to say the subs were surprised to find the PB4Y-1's had eight 50 cal machine guns.  Now they would submerge as soon as possible. 

We flew patrols out of NAF Natal, Brazil until the end of 1944, at which time the South Atlantic had been essentially cleared of German Submarines.  In his book "Galloping Ghosts of the Brazilian Coast" Author Allen Cary writes the entire history of the submarine war in the South Atlantic.  VP-83, VPB-107 was credited with sinking eight German Submarines.

Upottery, England

At this time the squadron was re-assigned to the U.S. Naval Air Base at Upottery, England.  Some flew the planes to England, some went back to NAS Norfolk, Virginia, and then to England.  Twenty-four of us were left to close the base.  We each carried our entire Navy records, we were only ordered to re-join the squadron in England as soon as possible.  While awaiting a commercial flight to Miami, each night we would go into Natal to the Americas Bar and tell them we are leaving.  They would buy all of us beer.  But the next day we did not have a Miami flight...  Back to the Americus Bar and free beer.  After three or four days of this they stopped the free beer.  Finally we got a plane to Miami...  Twenty four of us each with his individual Navy records.

We landed in Miami about 8 or 9 P.M.  There was a 10 P.M. curfew in Miami.  What to do?  Someone said we should turn ourselves in to the Navy shore patrol...  Someone else said lets find a motel, spend a few days in Miami, then turn ourselves over to the Navy S.P.  Guess what we did?  We had a great couple of days in Miami.  Then went to the Navy and showed them our orders.

They put all twenty four of us on a train to New York.  We had a whiskey bottle that we hid in the ice behind the water cooler...  One of the conductors found it and would not give it back to us.  I remember Luther Palmer had that conductor by the neck and seat of his pants ready to throw him off the moving train.  We finally arrived in New York City and were barracked on some pier, to await transport to England.  We spent about a week touring New York City.

We finally were put aboard the French Liner Ile De France, which had been taken over by the British, aboard were 10,000 solders, 2,000 colored WACs and us 24 sailors.  It was quite crowded on board and they only let us topside once a day for an hour or so.  The British only fed us twice a day, midmorning and late afternoon.  There was a place open in the afternoon that sold icecream candy, etc.  But the lines went half way around the ship. 

One of us sailors got a bright idea.  We borrowed leggings from the Army, wrapped a black sock around our arm and went to the head of the line, saying GUN CREW.  This worked for 3 or 4 days until they discovered there were no guns aboard ship.  The ship took a North Atlantic route to avoid the German Subs, so it took us about ten to twelve days to reach Scotland.  We landed in some city in Scotland, took a train down to England and finally arrived Upottery Navy Base.  I found later that this was the same Army base that the 102nd Parachute Army Division used in the June invasion.  We lived in Quonset huts with only a wood stove for heat.  We flew every fourth day for ten to eleven hours, from sunup to sunset.

Here is where I became good friends with Ray Teglia an other radioman who was from Chicago.  We flew many flights together and would go on Liberty together.  The nearest town was Taunton which was not great for Liberty.  So we would take a train up to Bristol.  Much to do in Bristol.  On one such trip we were in the train station waiting for our train back to Taunton when Ray tried to get too friendly with the girlfriend of the Army M.P. at the station.  Anyway this M.P. got us for drunk and disorderly, put us on report and made sure we got on the train.  Another Captain's Mast.

On our first flight Feb 25,1945 out of Upottery patrolling over Lyme Bay, we diverted to Weston Zoyland to an emergency landing field.  The fog was too bad back at Upottery.  After landing we had to walk about a mile to town for food.  The locals must have thought we were aliens from Mars walking down the road in our flying suits and boots.

We flew sub patrol about every fourth day with the rest of the day off after debriefing and also had the next day off.  On the days of our flight we had breakfast in the officers mess, eggs and such, and upon our return we had steak, also in the officers' mess.

We did get time off occasionally and on one occasion Ray Teglia and I went to London for a weekend.  We did all the London sights.  One day we were in a hotel with two friends when the air raid siren sounded.  Everyone had to go down to the basement shelter for protection...  German unmanned V-Bombs were hitting the city.  After two or three alerts had interrupted our meeting we said "To Hell with It", and stayed in the room.  The next morning we looked out the window and saw entire city blocks nearby completely flattened by the V-Bomb...

On May 9, 1945 we were scheduled to fly a patrol.  On May 8, word came down that the war in Europe was over, but we were all restricted to base that day.  However, that evening I went over the hedges and went to Taunton to help the British celebrate. 

The flight on May 9,1945 took us between Scilies and Brest where we encountered German Submarine No. 249.  See Appendix 1 for this story, which has been accepted to be included in the Library of Congress WWII stories.

After the war in Europe ended our squadron VPB 107 crews took turns going to Paris, France for a weekend.  Just before our crews turn we were assigned back to the U.S.A. for deployment to the Pacific. 

We sailed from England on the U.S.S.  Albamarle (remember her).  Being such a clever guy I quickly volunteered to work in the same place as on the voyage from Norfolk.  But I outsmarted myself, they did not put anyone to work. 

End of the War (and After)

After two weeks Liberty I reported to NAS Alameda, California, July 1945.  While we were there the war in the Pacific ended.  I went to San Francisco on Liberty and really partied, helping to turn the cable cars round and round. (As seen on news reels). 

After the war ended the Navy was losing many men, so they provided a two year re-enlistment program.  Since I entered the Navy on the East Coast (Philadelphia) they would to have to pay my way from California to Phila.  Since I was also still drawing 50% flight pay I shipped over to the U.  S.  Regular Navy for two more years. 

I bought a 1941 Hudson car and four of us from the East drove back to Phila.  Arno Laux from North Phila was one of the four.  On the way back to California, another guy was driving and I was in the passenger seat when he attempted to pass another car on a hill outside of Gallup, New Mexico and we smashed in the front of the car.  The car could still be driven and we went into Gallup.  There was no car dealer there to get parts for the car.

So we continued on to Flagstaff, Az where we spent a week getting the car repaired, borrowed $50 from the Red Cross.  We got a motel room and had a glorious week in Flagstaff.

We wired the Navy Base and told them we would be late.  The lady that ran the motel wanted to kick us out because we would bring females to the room but we prevailed and finally made it back to California.

NAAS Crows Landing, California

We were assigned to the NAAS Crows Landing, California, just outside of Modesto, Calif.  We were training in PB4Y-2, the single tail version of the B-24 Liberator.  My buddy Nick Molchan, was from Buzzards Bay, Mass so when he made collect phone calls from Crows Landing to Buzzards Bay the operator thought he was drunk.

The Skipper of our squadron outranked the Skipper of Crows Landing Station.  We had the barracks fixed so that each end third was for sleeping and the middle third was set up with sofas, chairs and tables to play cards.  The base shore patrol would put us on report but our Skipper would throw away the report and saying, "these men were flying every day and needed to relax."  Our Skippers name was Brewer and we would fly thru hell for him...  Modesto was where Bill Miller and I would hang out at the bowling lanes and challenge the locals bowling for money...  I must mention that Bill Miller was a great bowler.  He later was one of the original bowlers that started the Pro Bowlers Assoc. of America (PBA).  Needless to say we did pretty well.  I kept a complete set of civilian clothes in a locker at a bar, the Carlin Club in Modesto.  It was a great Liberty town.

NAS Whidbey Island, Washington

Next we were sent to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington.  I drove the Hudson up there, what a beautiful drive thru Northern Calif and Oregon.

NAS Whidbey Island, Washington was connected to the mainland over a deep pass by a huge canterlevered bridge.  One day while just flying around the pilot decided to fly under the bridge.  We all said he was crazy.  But under the bridge we flew.  What a strange sight to be looking up at a bridge.

We would spend six months at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington and three months in Alaska.  At NAS Kodiak, Alaska.  I put my Hudson in storage in Seattle, Washington.  In Alaska we would fly patrol along the Aleutians and North Pacific.  On one such flight we crossed the International Dateline.

NAS Adak, Alaska

On another flight we were supposed to land at NAS Adak, Alaska an Island about half way out the Aleutians.  When we arrived at Adak the fog was so bad we could not see the runway.  On one pass we just missed the mountain which was above the runway.  The pilot figured we had enough gas to get to Attu, the last island in the chain.  Still foggy.  Along the way I was on the Radar and we were navigating from island to island.  Running low on gas we proceeded to throw everything but the radio gear overboard.  Finally we made radio contact with an Army base on Shimya Island.  Army said, "Use runway so and so".  Our pilot replied, "I'm coming straight in." At one time when the pilot cross-fed the gas to all engines I had to go off the air with radio because there might be a spark...  People thought we went down.  When we landed at Shimya, rolling down the runway, all four engines died at once!!  Upon exiting the plane the first Army guy I saw, I asked him "Do you have anything to drink."  Alaska was a beautiful place, we went to Fairbanks and other towns. 

While in Alaska one day someone hollered at me, "C-Note you want to go to the NAS Squantum, Massachusetts." I figured I shipped over in Calif and if I got out on the East Coast they would have to pay my way back to Calif.  They needed four or five radiomen at NAS Squantum, Massachusetts, so I said, "Yes".  We got back to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington and I got my car out of storage.  Four of us headed east.  One of the guys had married while in Washington and his wife was from Minnesota and she came with us in the car and went to Minn, to her home.

Driving thru the northern tier of states was really rough, sometimes we would drive with our head out the window, due to ice on the windshield.  We stopped at some little town in Minn, where the guys wife was from.  While there we had a shiveree a tradition where the new bride is kidnapped and the groom has to redeem her with beer.  During the procedure shot guns are fired into the air.  They gave me an old shotgun and when I fired it I was not ready for the hard kickback and almost got knocked over.

We finally made it to Mass., the Navy Air Base was used mainly for reserve pilots who had to fly at least ten hours a month to keep up their status.  We made sure the radios were working in the planes.  The planes were Navy SNJ and the movies used them as Jap Zeroes. 

We could fly with the pilots or not.  I would go off with them now and then to keep my air crew status. 

The local police knew my Hudson well.  One day they came to our front gate trying to serve tickets on me for traffic violations...  But they could not set foot on Navy property, so I just laughed at them.  My car had only one headlight working and it would go places where no car should be.

Each month come payday, the base officers would try to not pay us enlisted men flight pay.  But since we had air crew in our records they could not stop from paying us flight pay.

This got to be such a hassle that on Nov 24,1947, when my two years were up I decided to get out of the Navy and went home to Lester, Pa.

They had to pay my way back to California though.

Appendix 1

Tape To Enlarge

The story of what happened on the Patrol Flight on May 9, 1945.

VPB-107 was flying submarine patrol out of England, patrolling the North Sea, English Channel, Atlantic Ocean, etc.  Every fourth day we would go on a 10-11 hr patrol.  I was a Second Class Radio-gunner in the squadron.

May 9, 1945 was our day to fly patrol.  One day earlier, May 8, the word came down of the surrender, but May 9 was the official day.  We were all restricted to base on May 8, but I went back over the hedges to a small English town. 

The people were so happy they insisted that I party with them... I staggered back to the base about 3 A.M., had an hour or so sleep, before we had breakfast, got briefed, checked our equipment and took off at dawn.  I told my second radio radioman, Ray Teglia, that I was going to the rear and to wake me if anything happened...

Some time later, Ray awoke me shouting Charlie, Charlie [my nickname] SUB, SUB.  I jumped up and looked out the side port and saw a sub. 

I grabbed a 50 cal. machine gun, put it in its holder and was priming it when Ray hollered don't shoot, they're surrendering...

Sure enough, they were flying a black flag. 

Wow, I almost had my 15 minutes of infamous glory and an international incident... I got on the radio and the first one I raised was a British destroyer. 

They came and towed the sub to a port... I still have the picture of the sub taken from our plane. 

It is certified by the pilot, Lt. JG W.F. Brewer, USN. 

I don't know if any museum, or such would like this photo. 

I would gladly donate this item if anyone is interested.

Appendix 11

I have mentioned Jim Mooney in this journal.  In 1968 or 1969, while working at RCA Research Labs, Princeton, N.J., and having suffered from back pain for years I made an appointment with a Neurosurgeon in New Brunswick, N.J.  Arriving at his office, I noticed his diplomas James Mooney from Pittsburgh, Pa.  Could it be?  He turned to me and said, "C-Note Charlie."  He was the same Jim Mooney.  I told him I was not going to let a drunken sailor operate on me!  But he did and he did a great job.  Made me stay off work for three months.  We visited him and his family that Christmas.  Had a big lovely home in Princeton, N.J.  Unfortunately he passed away a few years later from a heart attack.  Only a young man, what a shame...


Circa 1943 - 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-83 (1941-1943) and VP-107 (1943-1945)..." Contributed by Warren Watson buddybarb39@yahoo.com [19JUL2007]

Chronology

VP-83
1941


15 SEP
Patrol Squadron 83 commissioned at Navel Air Station, Norfolk, and Va.witt Lt.Comdr. R.Sparry Clarke ,USN,Commanding;Lt.R.W.Mackert,USN,Executive Officer.

November-Patrol Wing 8 assigned one OS2U to the squadron as it's first plane.

15 NOV
Six crews under the skipper left for San Diego to pick up PBY-5A's at the consolidated factory.

7 DEC
The skeleton squadron was alerted at Norfolk under command of Lt.Mackert,the XO. They still only had the one OS2O.The west coast detachment began submarine and interceptor patrol from San Diego;Through Dec.,Jan. and Feb.at least six crews were always on the west coast, ferrying planes east. Thirty PBY-5A's were delivered during this period.

20 DEC
The only records available show the first patrol flown by the squadron in the Atlantic area.

1942


11 JAN
The squadron,temporarily based ashore with the Fleet Air Detachment,Norfolk,Va.,began conducting operations in accordance with Com.Task Force Four operational plan 1-42.

23 JAN
At 0448,plane 2483,Lt.(jg)H>M>Gottschall and eight crew members took off on a routine patrol from East Field,Norfolk. At 0545,the Coast Guard reported the crash of this plane a short distance off Oregon Inlet. All hands were lost, with the exception of one seaman,whose name is not available. They were on temporary duty with VP-83,in connection with ferrying of new aircraft.

30 Jan.-Three planes engaged in search in connection with the sinking of the S>S>Rochester.The ship sank five minutes after the first plane arrived on the scene of the torpedoing.The USS Roe picked up two life boats of the survivors one hour later ;a search of the area was continued for four and a half hours.The bombs were dropped on an oil slick, but there was no evidence of damage.

05 FEB
The squadron began conducting operations in accordance with Com.Task Force 8 operational plan 2-42.

09 FEB
83-P-3,Ens.Smyle, sighted a lifeboat with seven survivors aboard and circled until a destroyer arrived to pick them up.

15 FEB
83-P-8,Lt.(jg) George, sighted a lifeboat at 1645 hrs.and circled,sendingMO's,untilhe reached PLE. 83-P-5,Lt.Commdr.Clarke,relieved an Army plane circling two lifeboats and circled them for eight hours until a Coast Guard boat arrived.

16 FEB
83-P-2,Ens.Charles Daum,crashed into a mountainside in the vicinity of Buena Vista,Va. The following personnel died in the crash. Ens.Charles Daum,A-V (N),USNR;Ens.Donald Gordon Hall,A-V (N) USNR;Edward Thomas Shaw,AMM2c,USN;John Edward King,AMM3c,USN;George Edward Clancy,AMM3c,USN;Edward Fielding Clarke,ARM2c,USN.

05 MAR
The squadron was relieved of anti-sub patrol and began a period of intensive training.

30 MAR
The first division,Lt.Comdr.Clarke and six planes departed NAS Norfolk for advance base operations at Natal,Brazil.

07 APR
The first division landed at Natal,Brazil.

10 APR
the second division began temporary duty operations with Com. Fifth Navel District at Norfolk,Va.

11 APR
83-PLL,Lt.(JG)Skidmore,proceeded to the scene of the sinking of the S>S>Ulysses and circled eleven lifeboats and a raft until a destroyer and three more planes arrived on the scene. The first division began patrol and search operations at Natal,Brazil.

13 APR
83-P-11,Lt.Horrigan,worked with the USS Roper on aco-ordinated night submarine search at Norfolk. At 0052 the Roper informed the plane that she had sunk a submarine by gunfire and that there 25 of the survivors swimming.

30 APR
83-P-11,Lt.R>Turner,attacked a submerging submarine at 1525 hrs.,posaition34-02 N.,76-11 W.two bombs were dropped,but there was no evidence of damage.

07 MAY
83-P-11,Ens.Smyle and 83-P-9,Ens.Andretta,departed for NAS Banana River to operate in coastal patrol under Commander Gulf Sea Frontier.

09 MAY
83-P-11,Ens.Andretta,made an attackon a surface submarine off the coast of Florida;two runs were made and three bombs released,but two failed to explode and the third hung in the rack. The contact was lost.

10 MAY
83-P-11,Ens.Smyle,made an attack on a submerging submarine off the coast of Florida,there were no apparent results.

14 MAY
The second division began convoy and search operations from Jacksonville,Fla.and Charleston,S.C.

19 MAY
83-P-5,Lt.(jg)Cooper,83-P-4,Lt.Prueher and 83-P-8,Lt.Comdr.Clarke,covered the rescue of the survivors from the torpedoed and burning Commandante Lyra by the USS Milwaukee and Uss Cincinnati off the coast of Brazil. The planes relieved each other and were at the scane for 15 hours.

23 MAY
83-P-2,Lt.(jg)Waggoner made an unsuccessful attack on a submarine off theBrazilian coast.It made in conjunction with a VOS plane from the USS Milwaukee.

08 JUN
All six planes of the second division departed NAS Norfolk for Natal.

11 June
83-p-7,Lt(jg) Callan en route with the second made an attack on a submerging submarine between Trinidad,B.W.I. and Georgrtown,B.C. there was no indication of damage to the submarine.

13 JUN
83-P-2,Lt.(jg) Skidmore,en route with the second division to Natal,encountered a severe strom and crashed into the sea five miles northeast of Natal lights. The following officers and men were killed;Lt.(jg) C.H.Skidmore,A-V(N), USNR,Ens.Sherman F.Dixon,A-V(N),USNR;Ens.John A.Madden,A-V(N),USNR;Overburg,John Albert;Storkson,Julian Almer;Jordan,Rudolph F.;Hladilek,Charles,Andrew; The remainder of the second division,5 planes,landed at Natal,making the squadron complement 11 planes.

14 JUN
All VP-83 planes took off at 0500 hrs. to search for 83-P-12.83-P-5,Lt.(jg)Cooper found the wreckage and circled while three enlisted men survivors were taken aboard by a Brazilian fishing boat.

02 JUL
The squadron,operating with full strength,began systematic patrols of shipping lanes alonf the entire 3800 miles of Brazilian coast-line from Rio de Janerio to Brazil. It was necessary to provide coverage for all convoys along the two thousand mile route from Bahis to Cape Orange,in addition to the anti-submarine searches.Operations were under Com.Task Force 44 and Commander 4th Fleet.

18 AUG
83-P-6,Lt.(jg)Lacey,attacked a surfaced U-Boat at 13-52 S,38-00 W.The four bombs stern first. It was not however assessed as a definite kill.

20 AUG
83-P-1,Lt.(jg)Smith attacked a submerging sub at 15-15 S,38-00 W. A heavy oil slick was rhe only evidence of damage.

00 SEP
Lt.Comdr.Almon E.Loomis relieved Lt.Comdr.R.Sperry as Commanding officer,Patrol Squadron 83.

03 NOV
83-P-10,Lt.(jg)Waugh,attacked a submarine at 00-47 S.31-38 W.,An oil slick and boiling air bubbles were observed.

13 DEC
83-P-2, Lt.Adams,sighted,but was unable to attack a submerging submarine at 12-55 S.,32-35 W at 1005 hrs local time. A three and a half hour gambit produced no results.

83-P-5, Lt.(jg)Bradford,relieved 83-P-2 on gambit and attacked a submerging submarine at 02-42 S,32-12 S at 1604 hrs.local time.There was no evidence of damage.

14 DEC
83-P-12-Lt.Wall,attacked a fully surfaced U-Boat at 03-55 S. and 33-44 W. The target submerged immediately after the bombs were dropped and no damage was observed.

83-P-7,Lt.CDR> Prucher,attacked a fully surfaced submarine at 04-52-S.,34-14 W. There was evidence of considerable damage,but it did not result in a definite kill.

15 DEC
83-P-9,Lt.Andretta,attacked a submarine at 03-13 S.,34-14 W. The sub had completely submerged before the bombs drop was made and there was no evidence of damage.

17 DEC
83-P-1,Lt. Smith sighted a U-Boat at 01-38 S,32-11 W.,which submerge before an attack could be made.A gambit was carried out for two hrs.,but weather prevented futher effort.

22 DEC
83-P-8,Ens.MacKay sighted a submarine at 00-20 S.,29-34 W. which submerge before the plane could bomb it. Lack of sufficient fuel prevented gambiting more than one hour.

1943


06 JAN
83-P-2,Lt.(jg) Ford,attacked and definitely sank a submarine at 01-58 S.,39-23 W.

13 JAN
83-P-10,Lt.(jg) Ludwig,attacked a submerging U-Boat at 01-38-S,39-52 W. Four bombs were dropped and a large oil slick was observed after the target submerged.

January- Lt. Cdr. Bertram J.Prueher relieved Lt.Cdr.Almon E. Loomis as commanding officer,VP 83

15 MAR
Pan American Airways reported a surface submarine at 0935 local time.83-P-12 sighted the enemy craft at 1035 hrs.,but she submerge before an attack could be pressed home.

83-P-4, Lt Cdr. Prucher made a night attack on the U-Boat at 1910 hrs. at 04-28 S.,33-38 W.;results,probable damage.

15 APR
83-P-5, Ens.Robertson,attacked a submarine at 1500 hrs at 03-23 S.,30-28 W. Four bombs were dropped in a sixty degree dive from 2000 feet,245 K indicated airspeed. The enemy was badly damage and unable to submerge.

83-P-12.,Lt. Bradford,arrived on station at 1610 hrs,local time and finished the job, dropping four bombs and getting a definite kill. There were about 30 survivors swimming in the water,to whom life rafts were dropped.

22 APR
83-P-3,Lt.(jg) Krug sighted a U-Boat which submerged before he could attack,at 05-42 S.,28-44 W.

10 MAY
The other squadron aircraft having departed for Norfolk in the past three weeks, the last five planes and crews took off fromNatal for Norfolk this morning.

15 MAY
The last five planes landed at NAS Norfolk;VP 83 was decommissioned and Bombing Squadron 107 was commissioned with 15 PB4Y-1 type aircraft and the same personnel.

Chronology

VP-107
1943


15 MAY
The last five planes landed at NAS Norfolk;VP 83 was decommissioned and Bombing Squadron 107 was commissioned with 15 PB4Y-1 type aircraft and the same personnel.

15 MAY
All hands were given up to 15 days leave.The pilots and crews went through a training period in the new planes at NAS Norfolk,NAAS Elizabeth City and MCAS Cherry Point.

15 JUN
Six planes ,led by Lt.Cdr.Renfro Turner,Jr. ;the squadron executive officer,departed NAS,Norfolk for Natal,Brazil.

20 JUN
The second division ,four planes,led by the skipper;Lt.Cdr.B>J>Prucher,departed NAS Norfolk for Natal,Brazil. The first six planes landed at Natal.

21 JUN
Two more planes departed Norfolk for Natal.

24 JUN
The second division landed at Natal.

26-June
Two more planes reached Natal from Norfolk,bringing the squadron strength to 12 PB4Y's.The last three planes were still in Norfolk.

27 JUN
Training and indoctrination was resumed.

05 JUL
107-B-2,Lt.Tobin made a night attack on a sub at position 05-23 S;35-35 W.It was not confirmed kill. The plane was shot at by AA fire from the enemy and returned to base on three engines with a propeller windmilling.

22 JUL
0925 hrs…107-B-7,Lt.Cdr.Turner, while on a training flight attack a U-Boat at 04-23 S.30-17 W. There was no apparent damage;the target submerging as six bombs were dropped.

1058hrs…107-B-8,Lt.(jg) Burton made a run on the same enemy but, due to personnel error,no bombs were released.

1059 hrs…107-B-7,LtCdr.Turner,dropped his three remaining depth charges on the same submarine,which again submerge with no visible evidence of damage. A three plane "hold down" was maintained until the next morning,when six planes took off to seek out and destroy the enemy craft.

23 JUL
0640 hrs…107-B-12,Lt.(jg) Baldwin attacked and damage the sub so that it was unable .to submerge.

0828 hrs…107-B-6,Lt.(jg) Waugh,attacked and in coordination with 107-B-8,Lt.Ford,who dropped his bombs on the enemy a few seconds later,sank the U-Boat.Immediately after the arrack,1070B-6 plunged into the ocean.The plane and all hands were lost.

Those aboard were the following;Lt.(jg) G>E>Waugh,A-V(N)Va.;Lt.(jg) R>S>Swan,A-V(N)G>Maierhofer,A-V(N),USNR.-Walkerton,Ind.-Chapman,E.L.-ACRM,USN-Norfolk,Va.-Edwards,J.D.-AMN2c-Tamaqua,Pa.-Ford,D.J.-AMN2c-Hartford,Conn.-McLatchie,D.W.-S2c-Reading,Pa.-Petaccio,A.J.-ARM2c-Norristown,Pa.;Scidel,W.G.-ARM3c-Philadelphia,Pa.;Seymour,S.F.AMM2c,Minneapolis,Minn.;Zukiewicz,G.J.-ACM3c,Muskegon,Mich.

Lt.(jg) Waugh and his crew in company with another plane had just arrived in Natal from Norfolk three days before.The squadron complement in Natal was now 13 planes,with one in Norfolk; the latter was never delivered to Natal but was kept by Fleet Air Wing 5 for experimental and test purposes.

03 AUG
At 0722 hrs.,107-B-1,Lt.Cdr.Prueher,attacked a submerging submarine at 09-33 S,30-37 W.There was no indication of damage.Immediately after the attack a second U-Boat was sighted 10-12 miles away, but it promptly crash dived.B-1 returned to re-arm. Re-armed,107-B-1,took off at 1345 hrs. and made an attack on another U-Boat at 1735 hrs.,just as darkness was setting in. Two attacks and several strafing runs were made. Both drops were observed to very accurate.AA fire from the the enemy hit the plane in the #3 engine and 23 perforations holes

.were found in the starboard wing. The plane returned to base safely.

12 AUG
107-B-1,Lt.Cdr Prueher,took off from Natal at 0900 hrs.with an unprecedented gas load for this squadron (3400 gallons), intending to stay out for 15 hrs. and sweep the estimated positions of two German U-Boats,which had been obtained by D/F bearings,which showed them to be at extreme range. Some time in the afternoon (no communications were ever received from the plane after take-off.),A submarine was attacked and the plane was shot down on the second bombing run. The attack was assessed as a definite kill. The aircraft and the following crew members were lost; Lt.Cdr.Bertram J.Prueher,USN;-Blommer,Wisc.;Lt.(jg) Grover C.Hannever,A-V(N) USNR-Providence,R.I.;Ens.Robert Tehan,A-V(N) USNR-St.Louis,Mo.;Ens.Eugene L.Coupe,A-V(S) USNR-Nebraska City,Neb.;Brandon,H.C.-ACRM,USN-Lithonia,Ga.;Gardner,D.W.-ARM2cUSNR-Huron,S.D.;Merrick,G.G.-AOM1c USNR-Memphis,Mich.;Mihalsky,J.S2c,USN-Whiting,Ind.;Smith,C.A.-ACMM,USN-Howard,Ida.;VanHorn,J.R.-AMM1c,USNR-Spokane,Wa.

13 AUG
01 SEP
During this period,from 3 to 6 planes of VB 107 searched daily for 107-B-1,without success.

28-Aug
Lt.Cdr.Renfro Turner,Jr.,USN,relieved Lt.Cdr.Prueher,USN,as Commanding officer of VB 107

30 SEP
On orders from CTF 44, the VB 107 Ascension Island Detachment was created to facilitate anti-submarine barriers and sweeps in the narrows of the South Atlantic between Africa and the "hump" of Brazil. The first two planes landed at the island today.

15 OCT
1`07-B-11,Lt.Shirley,taking off from Natal for Ascension,crashed on take off.There were no injuries to the crew,but the plane was a total lost.This reduced the squadron to 11 planes.

27 OCT
(Ascension Island Detachment) 107-B-6,Lt.Haverty,attacked a submerging submarine at 06-30 S.,23-45 W. There was no evidence of damage.

05 NOV
(Ascension Island Detachment) 107-B-12,Lt.Baldwin,on an anti-submarine sweep southwest of Ascension,attacked an enemy submarine at 10-09 S.18-00 W. and crippled the sub so that it was unable to submerge.The plane remained in the area, homing in other planes and making strafing runs coordinated with the attacks of 107-B-8 and 107-B-4.Lt.Ford in 107-B-4; on a parallel sweep,proceeded to the scene of action and made two runs,dropping nine bombs, but no damafe was claimed. The enemy was a 1200 ton German and the anti-aircraft fire was intense on both attacks. 107-B-8,Lt.Hill,took off from ascension and proceeded to the position. The attack was made and five depth charges dropped,all short. The #2 engine was hit by AA fire and put out of commission. The plane returned to base .The sub wasn't able to submerge and there was other planes in the area…107-B-4,Lt.S.K.Taylor,took off with the same crew that had been out previously with the exception of himself and the co-pilot. Upon reaching the scene,made two runs,dropping five and four depth charges respectively. Both drops were very accurate;the sud blew up and sank within five minutes.Survivors were seen in the water and life rafts dropped. The battle lasted for five and one half hours.;four Navy PB4Y's and 3 Army B-25's had attacked the enemy submarine.

25 NOV
107-B-6,Lt.(jg) Dawkins,Ascension Island Detachment,attacked and sank an enemy submarine at 06-30 S.,05-40 W. Survivors were seen in the water.

01 DEC
Orders for Ascension Island Detachment from Com.Fourth Fleet;"To maintain a barrier air patrol each day in the South Atlantic narrows".

01-15 DEC
the purpose of intercepting certain blockade runners believed to be bound north from the far east.Three planes of 107 and one B-25 from First Composite Squadron Force 8012 USSAF.

08 DEC
(Ascension Island Det.) 107-B-8,Lt.(jg) Gentilini,sighted a suspicious ship,position 05-22 S.,25-18 W. The vessel refused to authenticate. The plane stayed until PLE and radioed the USS Memphis its position before returning to base. 107-B-9,Lt.M.G.Taylor,took off from Asecension and attempted to renew contact,but was unable to. Three special searches were flown for this ship,in addition to the regular patrols,but contact was not re-established.

10 DEC
(Ascension Unit) 107-B-5,Lt Burton,sighted an enemy U-Boat at 04-47 S.23-54 W.. The target submerge before the plane could attack.

16 DEC
Blockade runner barrier concluded today.

24 DEC
Blockade runner barrier resumed today.

1944


01 JAN
107-B-9,Lt.M.G. Taylor,on barrier patrol,Investigated a suspicious ship at 1500 hrs.,position 09-35 S.23-45 W. Ship would not identify itself and open fire on the plane ,knocking out the #3 engine,registering several hits in the fuselage and wounding the ordnanceman. 107-B-4,Lt Ford,took off and re-contacted the ship at 2030 hrs.position 10-19 S.,22-38 W. The ship was on a northerly course when first sighted by B-9,but had turned south in the interim and was still on a southerly course when sighted by B-4 The task group had been advised and was in pursuit of the suspicious vessel. 107-B-7,Lt(jg) walker, contacted the ship at 0230 hrs. and relieved B-4. The ship was left at 0630 hrs.,position 12-40 S.;23-16 W.

107_B-5,Lt. Krug,departed on mission to relieve B-7. Contact not re-established before B-5 reached PLR. Suspicious ship not located.

02 JAN
107-B-12,Lt. Johnson,re-established contact with the ship at 1620 hrs. The ship opened fired causing what appeared to be a minor gas leak in the starboard wing tank. The plane remained with the contact until 1825 hrs., when relieved by B-1. Plane 107-B-12, ditched en route to the base after three engines were lost.Position 70 miles off Ascension,bearing 215 T. The plane and following crew members were lost ;Lt.Robert T.Johnson,A-V (n),USNR-Fredrickstown,Ohio;Ens.Eugene Bowers,A-V(N),USNR-Chehalis,Wash. ;Ens.John D.Cowan,A-V(N) USNR-Mineola,Tx. ;Ens.James H.Wells,A-V(N),USNR-Batavia.N.Y. ;Carpenter,D.W.-AMM3c,USN-Grand Rapide,Mich. ;Fisher,E.J.-AOM3c,USNR-Buffalo,N.Y. ;Hamilton,R.AMM2c,USN-Whitter,N.C. :Roper,G.E.-S2c,USNR-Social Circle,Ga..;Simpson,J.-ARM3c,USNR-Athel,Mass. ;Winter,W.E.-ARM2c,USNR-Ypsilanti,Mich.

107-B-1,Lt.Hill, relieved B-12 at 1825 hrs. and remained on station with suspicious ship homing USS Somers until the DD made contact at 2200 hrs. The Somers sank the runner by gunfire and the enemy revealed to be the German "Wesserland", loaded with crude rubber for the German war effort.

28 JAN
Lts.Krug, Taylor and Hill departed Natal for Norfolk to deliver the old planes to Norfolk and ferry new ones back to the squadron.

06 FEB
(Ascension Island Det.),107-B-3,Lt(jg) Pinnel,made two bombing runs on, and definitely sank an enemy U-Boat at 1025 hrs at position 10-35 S.,23-12 W.

20 FEB
Lt. Comdr.Paul K.Blesh,A-V(N),USNR,relieved LT.Comdr.R.Turner,Jr.,USN,as commanding officer of Bombing Squadron 107.

02-March
107-B-1,Lt.Baldwin,on a search mission located two survivors of USAAF A-20.He was assisted on this mission by 107-B-2,Lt (jg) Pinnel and 107-B-3,Lt.S.K.Taylor. The later plane remained on station until the survivors were picked up by the Ascension Army crash boat.

14-24 MAR
Nine new PB4Y-1's ,aircraft with nose turrets ,were delivered from the states by ferry crews.

21 MAR
Three old planes departed Natal for Norfolk to be turned in for the new planes.

30 MAR
the last four old planes left Natal for Norfolk.

09 APR
107-B-4,Lt.Shirley,and 107-B-6,Lt Hill, located lifeboat with ten men aboard and dropped rations,etc. The SS "Imperial Monarch" was notified,but rescue was not effected.

10 APR
(Ascension Det.),107-B-8,Lt.Krug,attacked a surface U-Boat at 15-37 S.;17-00 W. The enemy appeared to sink,but it was later found that she proceeded slowly to the Indian Ocean,where she was scuttled.

12 MAY
107-B-6,Lt.Hill,107-B-1,Lt(jg) Norris, and 107-B-3,Lt.M.G. Taylor,circled survivirs of a missing PV-1 until a crash boat was homed to the scene.

19 MAY
The last two squadron planes reached Natal from Norfolk.

15 AUG
107-B-8,Lt.Burton and 107-B-7,Lt.Foster,relieved an Army plane on station over an RAF life raft and circled until relieved by a crash boat which picked up survivors.

29 SEP
107-B-9,Lt.Burton,sighted a U-Boat at 0720 hrs.,position, 10-45 S. 25-30 W. Five depth charges were dropped on the first run. The enemy was damaged and unable to submerge. Plane remained in area making strafing runs in co-ordination with 107-B-7. 107-B-7,Lt.Krug,flying a parallel sweep, saw AA fire on Lt. Burton's attack and homed in by Lt.Burton,made three runs dropping six and three depth charges respectively,on the second and third runs. The plane was damage by the sub's AA fire.The sub was seen to sink after the third run. Life rafts were dropped to the fifteen or twenty survivors seen in the water.

01 OCT
Squadron designation was changed to Patrol Bombing Squadron 107.

01 OCT-01 JAN
1945-Anti-sub sweeps were flown from Ascension Island and Natal through the month of Oct., The 1st. of November being the date of the last operation against the enemy to the present. Since Nov.1st.,VPB 107 has been engaged in an extensive training program,except for the occasional lost plane searches.

Circa 1943

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-16 - History from 16FEB43-20DEC43 - Submitted December 29th, 1944. Squadron's Assigned: VP-45, VP-74, VP-83, VP-94, VP-107, VP-127, VP-129, VP-130, VP-134, VP-143, VP-145, VP-203 and VP-211..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [08DEC2012]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraWorld War II Database "...VB-107 Attacks U-848 Off Ascension Island, South Atlantic..." Contributed by Fred Nicolau blackrivercousins@yahoo.com [22APR2012]

· IPTC Object Name VB-107 Attacks U-848 Off Ascension Island, South Atlantic
· IPTC Created Date 1943-11-05
· IPTC Author Bennett;J. F.
· IPTC Author Title Aviation Machinist's Mate Second Class, United States Navy
· IPTC City 10.09S, 18.00W
· IPTC SubLocation U-848 Photographed from 107-B-4
· IPTC Province State 200 Miles North Northeast of Ascension Island
· IPTC Country Name Atlantic Ocean
· IPTC Credit National Archives and Records Administration
· IPTC Copyright Caption ©2007 MFA Productions LLC Image in the Public Domain
· IPTC Caption U-848 is bracketed by five depth charges dropped by United States Navy PB4Y-1 Privateer "107-B-4" flown by Lieutenant Samuel K. Taylor of Patrol Bombing Squadron VB-107.

Lieutenant Taylor attacked from seventy feet (21 meters) at 225 knots (415 kilometers per hour). This ninth attack in one day on U-848 was followed by another run by Lieutenant Taylor, who destroyed the U-Boat with two depth charges. U-848, a Type IXd2 U-Boat, was commissioned on February 20, 1943 under the command of Korvettenkapitan Wilhelm Rollman (August 5, 1907 - November 5, 1943). Rollman was a U-Boat ace who sank over 100,000 tons while the commander of U-34. Ordered to the Far East to join the "Monsoon" wolfpack operating from Japanese bases in Indonesia for war patrols in the Indian Ocean, U-848 sank the unescorted steamship Baron Semple, a British freighter, near Ascesion Island in the South Atlantic on November 2, 1943. Master Philip Jarvis Carnie and sixty-one crewmembers were killed. Word of the sinking did not reach VB-107 before they attacked U-848. VB-107 was ordered to Ascension Island in September 1943; they conducted antisubmarine patrols in conjunction with United States Army Air Force North American B-25C Mitchells of the 1st Composite Squadron. Lieutenant Charles A. Baldwin's "107-B-12" was five hours into their patrol on November 5, 1943 when they spotted U-848 on the surface. In two attack runs they were able to disable the U-Boat's ability to submerge and directed subsequent aircraft to the target. Lieutenant William R. Ford, flying "107-B-4" joined Lieutenant Baldwin; while he attacked in a strafing run, Ford dropped depth charges fifty feet from U-848 in two separate runs. Both planes reported heavy antiaircraft fire. Ford called for more help and returned to Ascension Island. Lieutenant William E. Hill left Ascension at 1209 Hours in "107-B-8" and arrived at U-848's location at 1235. His attack was disrupted when U-848 set his number two engine on fire; his depth charges landed 100 feet (30 meters) away from the sub. Two B-25Cs flown by Captain Philip Main and Major R. T. Akins made attack runs with 500-pound (226.8-kilogram) demolition bombs after that but did not score any hits. Captain Main's plane suffered damage to its hydraulic system. Lieutenant Taylor, who replaced Lieutenant Ford in 107-B-4, took off from Ascension at 1513 Hours and sighted U-848 at 1655. The first run for Lieutenant Taylor and his crew, shown here, straddled the conning tower with the third and fourth bombs. Coming around again, Taylor destroyed U-848 on the tenth attack with four Mark 47 depth charges dropped from fifty feet (15 meters) at 1900 Hours. In his after-action report Taylor wrote "After pulling out of dive and around in position to see the submarine, it appeared to be settling straight down, until suddenly from the conning tower forward, it shot up in the air, and then there was a terrific cone shaped explosion, coming from and surrounding the entire sub, which rose high in the air. As this subsided everything seemed to be swallowed by the sea." Taylor and his crew saw twenty or thirty survivors in the water. "107-B-4" dropped a life raft and an Army Consolidated OA-10 Catalina dropped three. Taylor attempted to divert HMS Fort Cumberland to the survivors' location, but the ship never arrived. A month later, on December 3, 1943, USS Marblehead (CL-12) rescued Oberbootsmann (literally Upper Boatswain, but comparable to Senior Petty Officer) Hans Schade (1913-1943); he was in a United States Army life raft for twenty-eight days. He entered the military hospital at Recife, Brazil on December 4 and died the next day. Schade was the only one found of sixty-three crewmembers of U-848. Taylor and Baldwin received Distinguished Flying Crosses personally from Eleanor Roosevelt at Natal, Brazil on March 16, 1944.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Report of Antisubmarine Action By Aircraft. 15 Aug 1943 - VB-107 - 107-B-1..." WebSite: U-Boat Archive http://www.uboatarchive.net/U-604-7.htm [17MAY2007]

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NARRATIVE OF FIRST ATTACK AUGUST 3

Took off at 0510 August 3 from Recife on anti-submarine search, together with two other Liberators of VB-107 and two Venturas of VB-129. At 0722 107-B-1 sighted a sub wake at 09-33 South, 30-37 West on course 120 T. The plane had already lost altitude to investigate a radar contact, which had been identified as a rain squall about 20 miles to the west of the sighting. Sighting was made as plane was regaining altitude. FIrst sighting was of a persistant white cap 10 to 12 miles distant. As the distance was closed, a dark object was identified as a sub; the conning tower was seen but it submerged before any detail could be observed. Attack was made 16 seconds after submergence, target angle 2250.

At the time of release the sub was observed underwater as a green streak turning to starboard. Six mark 47 torpex bombs were dropped, setting 25' spaced for 60 feet at 200 knots. The first four were seen entering the water about 10 feet to port of and paralleling the track of the green streak and exploding on the same track. The other two porpoised through the water, entering from 50 to 60 feet further, and exploding. After the explosion of the first four bombs the water formed a column which came to a point at the top; the column of water from the second two bombs was three quarters the height of the first, and the top appeared square. Approximately 5 seconds after 2nd bomb explosion there appeared to be a general under-water explosion in the area. The surface of the water was raised by the boiling motion underneath, somewhat like the initial explosion of depth charges dropped by a surface craft. An oil slick about 150 ft in diameter, roughly shaped like a figure 8, was observed after this second explosion. No welling up of oil was noticed.

Just after the drop, a second sub was seen about 10 to 12 miles to the southeast, on course about 3000T. It submerged promptly, and no details were observed. A white exhaust smoke was seen just before the submergence.

The plane remained in the area making a short gambit for 45 minutes, when it was relieved on station by 107-B-8, 107-B-1 then returned to Reciefe to rearm, landing at 1020.

UPDATE History ThumbnailCameraVPB-107 History "...LT(jg) Davies' PV-1 Passes Over U-604 After A Strafing Attack - Fundacao Rampa - Natal, Brasil http://www.fundacaorampa.com.br/..." Forwarded by Lee Fleck ljfleck@bellsouth.net [21SEP2008]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: APPENDIX 3 Submarines Sunk by Patrol Squadrons During World War II - Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [04MAY2001]

U-849, 25 November 1943
Type: IX D2 Laid Down: 20 January 1942, AG Weser, Bremen
Commissioned: 11 March 1943, Kptlt. Heinz-Otto Schultze (Knights Cross)
Commander: March 1943–November 1943, Kptlt. Heinz-Otto Schultze
Career: One patrol; assigned: March 1943 September 1943, 4th Flotilla (Stettin); October 1943 November 1943, 12th Flotilla (Bordeaux)
Successes: None.

Fate: Sunk 25 November 1943, in the South Atlantic west of the Congo estuary, in position 06°30'S, 05°40'W, by U.S. bombs from a PB4Y-1 Liberator aircraft (VB-107). 63 dead (entire crew lost).

UPDATE History ThumbnailCameraVPB-107 History "...U-849 Under Attack By A PB4Y Liberator FLown By LT(jg) M. Vance Dawkins - Six Depth Bombs Straddled The Boat Sinking It - Fundacao Rampa - Natal, Brasil http://www.fundacaorampa.com.br/..." Forwarded by Lee Fleck ljfleck@bellsouth.net [21SEP2008]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Report of Antisubmarine Action By Aircraft. 11-5-43 - 107-B-12 - VB-107..." WebSite: U-Boat Archive http://www.uboatarchive.net/U-848-ASW-6.htm [17MAY2007]

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PILOTS NARRATIVE

Took off on patrol from Ascension Island at 0623. After being out five hours and having turned to the homeward leg, I decided to transfer fuel from the outboard wing tanks. This requires that the radio and radar be turned off.

At 1110 while transferring fuel and passing through a small front with base at 1000 feet, I was flying at 3500 feet on course 0680 T, position 10-09 S and 18-00 W, when the bow watch reported the sighting of a ship through a break in the clouds, at which time the co-pilot and myself sighted the same object at about five miles, two points off the port bow. I said, "Heck", that's a Nazi Submarine", which sent everyone to battle stations. Radio was turned on and by that time we were just coming into the clear, still at 3000 feet. I sighted the sub again on my port beam, distance one and a half miles. The sub was on course 0900 T, speed 15 kts or better.

Making a diving turn to port and coming across the sub on his port beam, air speed 250 MPH, altitude 75 feet, I dropped six bombs, one just forward of conning tower. Pulled up and into a steep port bank and began second run. This time the sub was turning about to his starboard and I was unable to straighten the plane out in time and passed the sub about sixty feet inside of his turn. Turned again to my port for a third run. At a target angle of about 60 degrees, altitude 25 feet, I dropped the three remaining bombs which were seen to explode short. Then pulling out to port and away, I looked back and saw sub still in his turn and losing a great amount of oil. I was also able to see three puffs of smoke which I believe were the only shots fired at me during my three runs. There was enough personnel top side of sub to man all guns but the reason for the light fire was the excellent shooting of my gunners and the element of surprise.

After pulling out I was able to contact 107-B-4 by voice and tell him of the attack and started sending MO's so as to home him in on the target. In the mean time the sub was still losing oil and appeared to be down by the stern steering an eratic course in a southerly direction making about 4 or 5 knots.

At 1245 B-4 arrived and I made a strafing run on his first drop coming at the sub from its port side. B-4's bombs were seen to drop short.

After B-4's attack the U-boat continued on an erratic course progressing in a southerly direction and returned to the position where I originally attacked him at 1330. At this time the U/B was able to cruise on a straight course and headed west.

107-B-8 homing in on me arrived at 1340 Z and made an attack from the U/B's stern. At about 1000 yards from the U/B smoke started coming from his #2 engine. At the time I made a coordinated strafing run in on the sub's starboard beam breaking off at 400 yards and turning to port. B-8's bombs fell short. Baker 8 then returned to base due to engine trouble.

At 1515 the U-boat stopped losing oil and thereafter cruised at 10 to 12 knots for short periods of time.

Captain Main of Army First Composite Squadron piloting a B-25 arrived at 1545 and made two bombing runs from 1400 feet. Bombs fell short.

Major Atkins of same unit also in a B-25 arrived at 1635. I then left at 1635 and headed for base. At 1642 I met 107-B-4 (Lt. S.K. Taylor) and directed him to the target.

At 1700 met Major Orr of the First Composite Squadron in a PBY-5A (US-2) and directed him to target. Landed at Ascension at 1833.

The following planes homed on B-12:

107-B-4 - Lt. Ford.

107-B-8 - Lt. Hill.

Captain Main - B-25 (540) U.S. Army.

Major Akins B-25 (629) - U.S. Army.

Lieut. Carpenter - B-25 (1339) U.S. Army.

Major Orr PBY-5A (US 2) US Army.

107-B-4 - Lt. S.K. TAYLOR.

VB-107 ASW-6 #11

PILOTS NARRATIVE

While returning to Ascension Island on the return leg of a 600 mile sub sweep with 107-B-12 the morning of November 5th, we intercepted the sub contact report sent by 107-B-12 at 1110. Within two minutes B-12 called on voice stating that he had attacked a large sub at Posit 0953 S, 18-08 W, making three runs, and damaging the sub so that it was unable to submerge. We altered course to 1800 mg., position of sub being twelve miles away. B-12 was setting up to send MO's on 414 Kc when he called us, then homing to position in a few minutes; we at first saw nothing then our radar picked up target at 35 miles, 3500 relative bearing. Following MO's and target, soon saw sub at 10-08 S 18-00 West. Sub was in a large circling left turn on sighting. At this time secured radar and manned battle stations. When 1 to 1 1/2 miles away the sub opened up with heavy anti-aircraft fire. This was mostly to our port and below, so believing that they would soon correct and score hits on us, we turned to port and lost altitude until we were within the smoke puffs of the AA fire. Their subsequent fire was taken on our starboard bow and beam in or former position. As we straightened out for our diving run, our crown turret and then both bow guns opened up with very accurate fire on the conning tower scoring either very good hits on personnel or scaring the hell out of the subs gun crews (see photos) which resulted in stopping all AA fire. Released six Mk 47 D/B set for 25' spaced 60 feet at 200 Kts at approximately 150 feet altitude. Target angle 1000, our speed 220 MPH. Crossed over C/T at about 25 to 30 feet altitude. The tail turret opened with very accurate fire, being unable to hold on C/T due to sharp pullout.

When we gained 500 ft. altitude and started turn B-12 advised that we had dropped short! (that hurt). Completed sharp left turn and made second run with our guns firing very accurately (encountering no opposing fire). THis time we dropped 3 Mk 47 (same settings) our altitude at drop being 100 feet (nose down) air speed 250 MPH. Crossed over C/T on 240 target angle, altitude 25 ft. This drop looked fair but estimate 30 feet short on closest bomb. Turned to port in climb and sent base a message requesting that standby plane be sent to this position immediately. As B-12 was set up on 414 Kc and ready to home relief planes and having more fuel we set course for base at 1155. We landed at 1335, regassed, rearmed and the plane under command of Lt. S.K. Taylor took off again at 1513. The team work, gunnery, photography, navigation and communications on the part of all the crew members was perfection.

I have examined the above report. It is correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.

W.R. FORD, Lieut. USNR - (Signature of pilot)

This report prepared by the undersigned interrogating officer on 7 November , 1943. from interview of pilot and plane crew held at 0800 on 6 November , 1943.

(Signature of interrogating officer)

J.C. BRENNAN, Lt. USNR.

COMMENT OF SQUADRON OR UNIT COMMANDER:

Do not delay forwarding this report to obtain these remarks if circumstances prohibit immediate review by squadron or unit commander. In this case, forward such remarks separately at earliest opportunity

This attack was particularly notable for the accuracy of the airplane's fire and the skillful evasive tactics employed. It is the third submarine Lieutenant Ford has attacked. In this battle his drops were inaccurate and possibly ineffective but his cool, smart action under fire has again contributed to our lessons in Anti-Submarine warfare. The attacks by 107-B-4 were all begun from the bow. Each time the sub turned to present its beam. On the first run in, heavy flak was encountered. At first it was like a polka dot screen, low and to port. The pilot put his left wing down and dropped into the smoke puffs and immediately they began reappearing to starboard and above - just where the plane had been. In the seconds required for this maneuver the plane's crown turret and bow guns opened fire accurately into the conning tower and gun baskets. Immediately all AA fire ceased.

The first stick of six bombs was unbelievably short, the closest explosion being some 300 feet from the target. The pilot attributes this error chiefly to the great size of the target. The Commanding Officer attributes it to lack of recent practice, believing that even the most accurate of bombers needs constant exercise of his talent on the practice range.

The second attack by this plane with three bombs was decidedly more accurate. The photographs obtained were from such a distance that it is impracticable to determine if the third bomb explosion was close enough to further damage the sub. In any event it remained active on the surface for a further 4 1/2 hours.

From this attack comes the story of advantage provided by a well trained crew. Every crewman and officer anticipated each event as it unfurled. Reaction to orders and eventualities was spontaneous. The pilot was thus afforded such freedom of action that within one minute and thirty seconds of the conclusion of the second drop he had estimated the situation, issued complete orders to his accompanying plane and set his course for the base to rearm. How this plane subsequently destroyed this submarine is the subject of an accompanying report.

RENFRO TURNER, jr. Lt. Comdr. USN,
(Signature, rank, command status)
Commanding VB-107

U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 485531

VB-107 ASW-6 #12

Narrative of 107-B-8 attack on 5 NOVEMBER 1943

Took off from advance base at 1209 to assist 107-B12 and 107-B-4 against enemy submarine in position 10-09 South, 18-00 West that had been attacked and damaged by No. 12 at 1111 and by No. 4 at 1145.

Enroute to sub position, test fired lower bow gun, both waist guns and tail guns, but did not test the crown turret, because it was believed that its firing might damage the direction finder. At 1230 contacted #4 on voice frequency, and he gave me information concerning the tactics of the sub and the amount of anti-aircraft fire that I might encounter. At 1245 picked up the MO's #12 was sending and homed in on them.

My E. T. A. at the position was 1342 and at 1335 I noticed a rather large swing of the radio compass, indicating my nearness to #12. Shortly thereafter I saw the oil slick that was left by the Sub. Contacted #12 and suggested a combined attack, provided he had sufficient ammunition to do so. At the western side of the slick, I spotted the conning tower deck of the sub from a distance of approximately ten miles.

Sub course was 2700 true, speed 4-6 knots, stern low. Plane course at sighting was 2400 true, indicated airspeed 175 MPH, altitude 1800 feet. We increased power to 2400 RPM, 38" manifold pressure and sounded general quarters - all stations reported ready. Started a power glide and leveled off at 1400' until I was about five miles from the sub, when I then applied full throttle and started my run, indicating about 200 MPH. Target angle was 160 degrees at the time I started my run, but the sub turned to starboard, making the final target angle 90 degrees. At about two miles from the sub, I noticed three puffs of white smoke from explosive shells that were above and to the left. When between a mile and a half a mile from the U-boat, I heard something hit the plane and believed it to be in the fuselage. The bow gunner was strafing the sub's deck where the enemy gunners were, but the crown turret failed to fire due to an error in assembling the gun bolts.

We crossed over the sub just aft the conning tower, indicated airspeed 208 MPH, altitude about 100' to the sub. During my approach #12 started a strafing run from ahead of the sub. As I passed over the sub, both waist guns fired as they were able to bear on the sub, and the tail turret fired after we passed over.

On the pull-out, I started a climbing turn to the left. The port waist gunner called on the interphone and informed me that number 2 engine was on fire. We feathered the prop, cut the engine and the fire went out in a very few seconds.

After the prop was feathered, I started to climb, turning to the right, and was able to climb to 4000' where I leveled off. I remained in the area until 1410 at which time I set course for the base, landing O.K. at 1612. While in the area in again and drop the remaining four depth charges but decided to return to base. My reasons for this were: Army planes were approaching the scene with bombs; #4 was being reloaded; the sub was damaged and could not submerge; the base was only about 260 miles away; and that it would be safest for all in the plane.

On the approach, the co-pilot could see flashes of gunfire from several places on the gun platform aft the conning tower, also some tracers going by the plane. Plane #12 informed me after the attack that my plane was surrounded by puffs from explosive shells, but most were behind. No other damage was done to the plane except for a disabled engine. No injuries to the crew.

W.E. HILL

VB-107 ASW-6 #13

PILOTS NARRATIVE

At 1513 (GMT), Friday, November 5, 1943, took off from Ascension Island to destroy if possible an injured, and then three times attacked submarine.

With the exception of the third pilot (Ensign Whyte), and myself the crew had just returned from a previous engagement with the same sub to gas and get a new supply of bombs.

We flew out at 2000 feet, more or less, just under the ceiling or strato cumulous clouds, the sky being nine tenths covered. The course out to the position (10-08 South, 18-00 West) was 2600 magnetic. E.T.A. was given by navigator as 1649.

On the way out, we were in contact with 107-B-8 who had attacked the sub and was returning to base because its #2 engine had been shot out of commission.

Around 1625 we picked up MO's from 107-B-12 who made first attack and was still circling in area.

Over the earphones came reports from the two B-25's that had made horizontal drops with 500 lb. demolition bombs. They reported as coming close but not quite close enough.

At 1650 we sighted the submarine approximately eight miles ahead and twelve miles West of oil slick. He was on a course approximately 2450 magnetic. We made sighting known to the B-25 circling overhead and to Ascension Controller. We estimated the speed of the sub to be between 8 and 10 knots.

Prior to sighting all guns had been test fired and bombing system checked.

We turned to right of sub and began a wide counter clockwise circle hoping to attack from the bow. Our altitude was 2200 feet and ceiling had lifted to 2800 or 3000 ft. Sky 6/10 covered.

The sub continued on course until we got even with his bow about five miles away. Then he began turning to starboard, bring his bow toward us.

We then began to turn left and to close in maintaining about 2000 feet altitude.

He continued his starboard turn as if attempting to present a beam target. We then applied high RPM and 44 in. manifold pressure and began our dive turning sharply to left again (later gun fire was reported to have passed over our #3 engine and cannon fire behind us while we were in this turn). We straightened out of turn and made attack over bow on course 086 Mag. with about 3150 or 3200 target angle, dropping five 350 lb. flat nosed torpex depth bombs spaced at sixty feet at 220 MPH. The drops was made from 70 feet at 265 MPH indicated.

From one-half mile out there was continuous firing from the two bow guns and the crown turret of plane. The Co-pilot said later that the firing was concentrated over the conning tower. As we passed over the tail turret went into action. (Report came from the tail gunner and the B-25 overhead that the drop looked good).

We immediately followed up the first drop by pulling up to 400 feet and 160 MPH and whipped around making a run over the sub's starboard bow, the four remaining depth bombs falling along the sub's starboard side. The speed of plane this time was 190 MPH at 50 feet altitude, with same power setting as before. In this attack the sub appeared to be still turning to starboard and listing to starboard, but making no headway.

After pulling out of dive and around in position to see the submarine, it appeared to be settling straight down, until suddenly from the conning tower forward, it shot up in the air, and then there was a terrific cone shaped explosion, coming from and surrounding the entire sub, which rose high in the air. As this subsided everything seemed to be swallowed by the sea.

The next instant there appeared in the middle of the oil patch a group of men, 25 or 30 in number, three life rafts, and a dark object which looked like part of the broken submarine. The apparent part of the sub soon disappeared below the surface. We then estimated there to be between fifteen and twenty men, part of them in the rafts, part hanging on and others swimming or floating. One of the rafts failed to open and sank.

We dropped one life raft. Men were seen to get in it.

An Army PBY arrived soon after the attack. Three life rafts were dropped from it. The PBY stood by and sent MO's on 500 Kc while we departed in search of the H.M.S. Fort Cumberland.

We attacked and sank the sub at 1700 position 1010 south, 1812 west and found the Fort Cumberland with the aid of radar at 1800 bearing 299 T and 35 miles from survivors.

We told ship by blinker of survivors, giving position, bearing and distance from ship and requested that ship pick them up. The ship received the message, but did not say whether or not it would comply.

At 1900 we left the ship and homed on the MO's of the PBY back to the survivors. It was getting dark and we decided that there was nothing more that we could do out there. So the PBY and we departed at 1915 for Ascension. We landed, as predicted by the navigator, at 2135.

The wind was estimated at 15 Kts. from 120 true during and after the attack.

The gunners on the plane did excellent shooting, the photographers got good pictures with a K 20 camera from the tunnel hatch, but ran out of film after the last run over the sub, therefore failing to get pictures of the survivors and of the submarine exploding. The 2nd and 3rd pilot did a good job pushing throttles and watching the instruments.

VI. Signatures and Comment.

I have examined the above report. It is correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.

S.K. TAYLOR, Lt.. USNR.
(Signature of pilot)

This report prepared by the undersigned interrogating officer on 7 November , 1943. from interview of pilot and plane crew held at 0800 on 6 November , 1943.

(Signature of interrogating officer)
J.C. BRENNAN, Lt. USNR.

COMMENT OF SQUADRON OR UNIT COMMANDER:

Do not delay forwarding this report to obtain these remarks if circumstances prohibit immediate review by squadron or unit commander. In this case, forward such remarks separately at earliest opportunity

In every respect this flight and attack was perfect. The result was inevitable from the start. Lieutenant Taylor used the flight to the scene of action to test his plane and its equipment and to instruct and prepare his crew for every incident which might occur including the relief of the pilot should he be wounded or killed in action. Upon contact he carefully planned and executed his attack to take advantage of the enemy's inaccurate fire during a turn. He placed his first stick of bombs in an exact straddle of the U-boat. He rapidly and skillfully maneuvered his plane into position for a second attack and delivered it from the sub's vulnerable bow and this time blasted it to complete destruction (three bombs were within lethal range). Immediately he set about locating a surface vessel and directing it to the scene of action to pick up prisoners and gather evidence.

The performance of the crew of 107-B-4 in four attacks on this submarine was always exemplary. The performance of the gunners in particular was excellent.

This was the first occasion on which Lieutenant Taylor had sighted a submarine in over 1500 hours of anti-submarine flying. In VB-107 where his devotion to duty, patience, judgment, physical fitness and skill are known nothing less than this excellent victory was expected.

RENFRO TURNER, jr. Lt. Comdr. USN,
(Signature, rank, command status)
Commanding VB-107
UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET
BOMBING SQUADRON ONE HUNDRED SEVEN

LOG OF EVENTS OF NOVEMBER 5, 1943.

Time

0623    B-12 (Lt. Baldwin) took off on A/S sweep.
0632    B-4 (Lt. Ford) took off on A/S sweep.
1110    B-12 (Lt. Baldwin) sights U/B at 10-09 S. - 18-00 W. (Not Rec'd).
1125    From B-4 (Lt. Ford) B-12 reported attacking U/B at 0953 S.
1147    B-4 reported "Attacking sub now." - Dropped short.
1155    From B-4 "Send alert ship immediately to 10-09 S. 18-00 W."
1210    B-4 reports "Sub crippled cannot submerge" 10-09 S; 18-00 W. B-12 will send MO's. Am returning to rearm.
1209    B-8 (Lt. Hill) took off for scene of action.
1233    B-4 ETA 1340. Request rearming. Advise relief plane acknowledge.
1235    To B-4 from base: "Relief plane already enroute."
1247    From Capt. Main (1st. Composite Force) Sending out a B-25 with Demos - Will be out in about 1 1/2 hrs.
1305    Base advised B-8 of delay of B-25 departure.
1329    B-4 (Lt. Ford) landed.
1343    B-8 (Lt. Hill) attacking U-boat.
1345    B-8 reports #2 engine on fire - Prop feathered. May attack again.
1350    B-8 "Think I'll return to base".
1412    #540 (B-25) Capt. Main departed for area.
1453    PBY-5A - Maj. Orr - 1st. Composite Squadron departed for area.
1501    #629 (B-25) Maj. Akins departed for area.
1513    B-4 (Lt. Taylor) departed for area.
1526    #133 (B-25) Lt. Carpenter 1st. Composite Squadron departed for area.
1538    B-12 reports U/B still surfaced proceeding West - at 1009 S - 1800 W - 6 to 8 K.
1605    B-8 - Coming in - now 8 miles from field.
1611    B-8 (Lt. Hill) landed.
1620    #540 (B-25) attacking - at 2500'.
1625    #540 - (B-25) Hydraulic system shot out - Returning to base.
1627    B-12 "Have to start back - Am at PLE."
1630    #629 (B-25) Reports 30 miles from target - B-12 will remain until contact is made.
1635    #629 (B-25) (73-25) Have target in sight.
1640    B-12 - Returning to base.
1641    #540 (B-25) "He can really throw it up here."
1647    #629 (B-25) Dropped on target from 2400' - Near miss.
1650    B-4 "3 has U-boat in sight.
1657    #540 (B-25) Requests crash truck - Wheels may not come down.
1659    B-4 "3 life rafts in water."
1702    #629 (B-25) Advised tower "Sub Sunk."
1703    B-12; B-4 advise B-4 droped bombs - Sub blew up - Life rafts sighted - other ships counting survivors.
1721    Base advised B-4 that a surface craft was located at position 17-40 W. - 10-20 S and that it might be directed to life rafts.
1723    #540 (B-25) using emergency IFF. Showing 33 miles 2900.
1725    B-4 reports bombs destroyed sub. Survivors in water - Am dropping life rafts and rations.
1730    B-12 requests position from radar.
1745    B-12 given his position and bearing.
1750    PBY-5A sighted sub survivors.
1833    B-12 landed.
1838    #540 (B-25) landed.
1829    B-4 reports he is over surface vessel and trying to direct it to life rafts. Surface vessel cannot understand it well. B-4 ordered to return to base.
1851    #629 (B-25) landed.
1915    B-4 advises ETA 2 1/2 hours. Somewheres around 2145. Will advise later.
1928    B-4 advises ETA now 2115.
2116    #133 (B-25 landed (did not reach target).
2136    B-4 landed.
2223    PBY-5A - Maj. Orr landed.

Beginning with the sighting by 107-B-12 at 110 Zebra on November 5, an intensive ASW action was conducted at 10-09 S 18-00 W for 5 1/2 hours, with a live and always active 1200 or 750 ton German U-boat for a target. During this period seven attacks were made by Liberators which dropped a total of 33 Mark 47 depth bombs. In addition two medium altitude attacks were made by Army B-25 planes dropping ten demolition bombs. In all seven of the Liberator attacks the enemy was engaged with heavy fire from the planes. During the third, fourth and fifth attacks 107-B-12 made strafing runs coordinated with the bombing runs to distract the fire and further damage the submarine. So much was learned by the reporting unit that this action is considered a very good school in ASW.

The submarine was a "dirty black" color. From photographic interpretation the length is estimated to be 285 to 300 feet. The hatches in the stern and forecastle indicate a possible cargo carrier or mine layer - the beam is not great however. The bow had a decided rake and the speed when sighted appeared in excess of 15 knots. The armament consisted of one 4.1" deck gun on the forecastle which was not manned, four 337 or 40 MM cannon in twin mounts on the conning tower and a quadruple mount of 20 MM guns on a step about the C.T. The anti-aircraft gun platforms were enclosed with metal railings which gave a basket effect. The guns were protected by light spray shield armor. Photographs which 107-B-12 obtained on its second run show the turning circle for a 900 turn with the stern low and the rudder hard over. The stern low condition probably shortened the turning circle somewhat. 107-B-12 also timed a similar turn and found a 900 turn required 22 seconds.

There can be no doubt that the submarine was capable of firing at the attacking planes on all except the first and probably the last Liberator attacks. When he was allowed to fire, his bursts were quite accurate. The ineffectiveness of his fire in six of the seven attacks was due to the following: (1) accurate counter-fire from the attacking planes, (2) The choice of an attack position on the bow of the submarine. This maneuver gives the plane several advantages. It blankets the fire of the after guns and affords the bombardier his easiest target in range unless the U-boat turns. If he does turn the subs gunners have a very difficult gun platform which consistently disperses their fire while the aircraft gunners have a no deflection shot. Furthermore there is no evasive tactic the submarine can employ that will carry him clear of the bomb stick if it is accurately placed, (3) Deliberate evasive action by the airplane. The "chasing salvo" technique employed by Lieutenant Ford in the third attack was notably successful. It is remarkable that when one or more of these factors obtained enemy fire was ineffective whereas in the one instance where none of the three obtained the plane was damaged.

An enlargement of photographs Nos. 13, 14, 15 and 16 attached to report No. 11 herewith has proved of great morale value to our crews. It illustrates the reaction of "Aryan Supermen" to well aimed counter fire. Some of them didn't duck soon enough and were seen to fall over the side "killed in action."

It has long been the intention of this command to employ medium altitude bombing with demolition bombs to clear the decks of a submarine forced to remain on the surface as this one was. The poor results obtained by the B-25's whose bombadiers are considerably better trained than the average ASW pilot or bombardier, were disappointing. It is now believed that a more effective tactic is the use of two or more planes in a coordinated low altitude attack.

After the initial contact report all communications were by voice transmissions on the AACS Ascension Island controller circuit. This system afforded the Senior Aviator and air controller a blow-by-blow description of the entire action and made possible the continuous relief of aircraft on station as needed.

Complete information concerning malfunctions and damage is not known here at this time. The planes were operating from an advanced base 1250 miles away. An investigation was conducted to determine who was responsible for the improper assembly of the guns in 107-B-8 but without result. The results of the investigation and tests of the arming devices on 107-B-12 are not known. The crown turret interrupter in 107-B-12 failed to function completely and one round of 50 caliber ammunition was fired through the port vertical stabilizer. The only resulting damage was a puncture of the skin which was readily patched. The shell which incapacitated the No. 2 engine of 107-B-8 hit a pushrod and exploded puncturing several oil lines, an ignition harness and three or four cylinders. The fire which resulted was an oil fire.

The erratic fall of bombs as caught by the camera is not understood. One such bomb in photograph No. 2 of report No. 10 herewith is obviously a ricochet but that is also unusual.

Note that remarks have also been included on the backs of the photographs which represent local interpretations.

Such details as this report contains were made possible by the intelligent and detailed questioning of the ACI officer attached to this squadron now serving with the Ascension detachment.

RENFRO TURNER, jr.
Lieut. Comdr. USN.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Report of Antisubmarine Action By Aircraft. 107-B-7/107-B-9/107-B-19 - 22 July 1943- VB-107 ASW-6 #2..." WebSite: U-Boat Archive http://www.uboatarchive.net/U-598ASW-6Reports.htm [17MAY2007]

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ASW-6 #2 covers LCDR Turner's sighting of U-598 and his first attack with 6 depth charges at 0828P on 22 July. He attacked again with his 3 remaining depth charges at 1059P. (his second attack is covered in VB-107 ASW-6 #3 below)

- PILOT'S NARRATIVE -

At 0925 Peter, July 22, 1943 while flying at an altitude of 8700 feet on a true heading of 0810 the bombardier, Ensign Rosser, reported a wake at one o'clock (about 10 degrees relative bearing) distant one and a half miles. At this time we had just emerged from between two strats of clouds, heavy cumulous below us from about 5500 to 8000 feet and also stratus above us with bottoms at 9000 feet. Visibility below the clouds was limited to about 5 miles by a surface haze. We immediately made a right turn to bring sighted object within the view of the pilot in the left side of the cockpit and opened the bomb bay doors. As the plane began to turn the bombardier reported that the wake was a submarine and we pushed over in a steep glide. The submarine quickly came into view and appeared to be a German U boat of the 740 ton class fully surfaced on a southeasterly course at a speed of 8 to 10 knots. We continued the turn back into the cumulous clouds where we reversed our heading immediately, emerging this time at an altitude of 3500 feet at an airspeed of 230 miles per hour and passed over the submarine on a northwesterly heading. The submarine apparently sighted us for the first time at this point and began a crash dive. We executed a wing over and attacked from his starboard quarter with a target angle of 150. A stick of six MK 66 depth bombs fused to explode at a depth of 25 feet was dropped from an altitude of 150 feet with an intervalometer setting of 80 feet spacing at 200 knots. The air speed at the time of drop was 200 miles per hour (about 205 knots). About 15 feet of the stern of the U boat was visible when the plane passed over its track line. No stop watch was used but the Navigator counted the time as follows: 1001, 1002, etc to 1007 from the time of submergence of the conning tower until the plane passed over the track line. We crossed the track line about 100 to 150 feet forward of the swirl.

After the drop was completed the plane was maneuvered to make another run from the port beam. We hoped that our first attack had been successful and anticipated that the sub might resurface immediately, in which case it was intended to attack again using the three remaining bombs. However, the only visible evidence was the swirl, the disturbed area of water resulting from the explosion and two smoke lights. These smoke lights had been taped to the tails of the first and last bombs in the stick. It is believed that they broke loose in the slip stream and marked fairly accurately the point of entry of those two bombs. They were both contained in the area of disturbed water, the first just in the starboard edge and the other 50 to 100 feet from the port edge (port and starboard of the sub.)

The disturbed area of water was nearly tangent to the forward edge of the swirl extended into it a few feet. It is believed that the explosions straddled the submarine forward of the conning tower. The dive of the submarine was rapid and steep, probably the steepest safe dive possible. It is believed that the bombs may have exploded over his forecastle which might explain the absence of conclusive evidence of damage. There were slight oil streaks in the disturbed water but they very probably were part of the bomb residue.

To establish timing I'll recapitulate. The sub was sighted at 0925. An S turn was made toward him, away along his course line and back over him into the sun, losing altitude. This maneuver required 1-1/2 to 2 minutes at the end of which were were over the sub at about 3500 feet. Also at approximately this time the sub sighted the plane and began his dive. About 85 to 90 seconds later the plane had completed a wing over and dropped and was again passing over the sub.

Subsequent to the attack we remained at the scene for approximately 20 minutes. We hoped to see further evidence of damage and thought it probable that the submarine would be again forced to surface very close to the point of submergence. After 20 minutes we abandoned hope of sighting wreckage and began flying a hold-down square ten miles on a side with its center at the attack.

For an account of subsequent events see VB-107 ASW-6 report #3.

At no time was the plane in such a position that fire could be opened on the surfaced submarine without disclosing our presence and thus make it possible for the sub to escape. Consequently no guns were fired either by our plane or by the submarine.

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS JULY 22-23

(ALL TIMES PETER)

0815 107-B-7, Lt. Comdr. TURNER and 107-B-8 Lt(jg) BURTON take off on training sweeps. Possible sub plotted by Commander Fourth Fleet at 050 00'S 330 00'W, (See CFF despatch. 212034 of July).

0900 107-B-5 Lt(jg) DEIBLER took off to investigate reported sub sighting by Pan Air at 000 10'N 300 25'W.

0925 107-B-7 attacks sub (6 bombs) at 040 23'S 300 17'W.

0940 107-B-7 to Base "Bomb sub Lat 04015 S. Long 33005W".

1015 107-B-7 to Base "Altitude 8000 sighted sub 3 miles starboard bow surface csc southeast speed 10 prior submerging (Garble) straddled forward edge swirl slight oil no further evidence remaining."

1050 (Approx.) 107-B-7 to Base (intercepted and relayed by Radio Recife) "Resighted sub".

1058 107-B-8 makes run on sub ar 040 30' S 330 25' W - no bombs dropped.

1059 107-B-7 drops 3 remaining bombs on same submarine.

1106 Base to 107-B-5 "Proceed 0415S 3305W".

1115 107-B-7 to Base "Number 7 returning to rearm".

1120 107-B-8 to Base "Will remain in area until relieved".

1148 107-B-5 to Base "In contact area".

1215 107-B-7 landed at Natal.

1250 107-B-8 to Base "Sight contact altitude 5000 10 miles sub course 180 speed 7 attacked 1058 P bombs failed to drop".

1330 107-B-8 to Base "Is relief enroute".

1338 107-B-15 Lt(jg) HILL took off to continue hold-down.

1345 107-B-8 to Base "Plane 5 in contact area return to base".

1500 107-B-8 landed at Natal.

1638 Base to 107-B-5 "You will be relieved on station at 1900P".

1730 107-B-14 Lt(jg) KRUG took off to continue hold-down.

1842 107-B-5 Lt(jg) DEIBLER lost a radar contact 05004' S 33033' W.

1805 107-B-15 Lt(jg) HILL landed at Natal.

1900 107-B-5 Lt(jg) DEIBLER landed at Natal.

23 July 1943.

0035 107-B-12 Lt(jg) BALDWIN tool off to continue hold-down.

0150 107-B-14 Lt(jg) KRUG landed at Natal.

0640 107-B-6 Lt(jg) WAUGH took off to search for sub.
107-B-7 Lt Comdr. TURNER took off to search for sub.
107-B-8 Lt FORD, took off to search for sub.
107-B-15 Lt(jg) HILL took off to search for sub.
107-B-1 Lt(jg) YOUNG took off to search for sub.

0646 107-B-12 Lt(jg) BALDWIN attacks sub at 04004'S 33023'W.

0702 107-B-12 to Base "Contact sub".

0715 1070B-5 took off for A/S search (After 3/4 hour delay on field).

0725 107-B-8 to Base "Am proceeding on mission assigned to contact".

0726 107-B-12 to Base "Attack sub X unable to submerge X send MOs X Baker two X Posit 040 35'S 330 30'W".

0730 USS Seneca ordered to area from Natal.

0820 USS Seneca underway Brazilian naval authorities informed.

0826 107-B-6 attacks submarine at 04005'S 33023'W Immediately after attack plunges into ocean.

0829 107-B-8 attacks same submarine. Sub sunk.

0835 107-B-8 to base "Plane crashed while running on sub don't know nr".

0850 107-B-12 to Base "Two planes dropped X sub sunk X first attacking plane unknown crashed into ocean.

0910 107-B-8 to base information to Nos 5, 7, 15 "Sub sunk joint attack plane crashed on attacking send surface craft to pick up survivors Position 04005'S 33025'W".

0927 107-B-12 landed at Natal.

1040 107-B-8 to Base "Sub crew survivors and possibly two plane crew survivors are in water.

1115 107-B-8 and 107-B-15 landed at Natal.

1135 107-B-5 landed at Natal.

1234 107-B-9 Lt(jg) M.G. TAYLOR took off from Natal with life rafts and food to be dropped to survivors.

1535 107-B-7 landed at Natal.

1550 (App.) 107-B-9 dropped rafts and food.

1800 USS Seneca to base "Seneca on spot arrived at dusk cannot locate survivors dark".

2010 USS Seneca to Base: "Recovered one raft with officer and petty officer - - - " (Subsequently identified as German)

2055 107-B-9 landed at Natal.

107-B-7 LCDR Renfro Turner 22 July 1943 VB-107 ASW-6 #3

This report covers LCDR Turner's second attack on U-598 at 1059P. This attack occurred immediately after LTJG Burton's attack in 107-B-8 ( LTJG Burton's attack is covered in VB-107 ASW-6 #4).

PILOT'S NARRATIVE

For an account of events on this flight prior to the attack described, see VB-107 ASW-6 report #2.

After two and a half circuits of a hold-down square, (10 miles) at 1000 peter, we extended the Northwest (Magnetic heading) of the square to obtain a landfall on Rocas Island, 40 miles distant, to check our navigation. After sighting Rocas we returned to the scene of the attack and sighted the submarine at 2:30 (about 080 relative bearing) distant 6 miles, or about 5 miles south of the estimated position of the attack.

This second sighting occurred at 1052 peter while we were flying at 4300 feet on course 1300 True. The sub was on a parallel course at a speed of five or six knots. At 4300 feet we were just in the top of the existing clouds, thin cumulous puffs, and just above the surface haze which continued to limit visibility to about six miles. We increased power and began a straight approach at 210 MPH holding our altitude until we were four miles from the sub. At this point the co-pilot, Ens. Terry, reported another plane making a run on this same submarine. (This plane was subsequently identified as 107-B-8. Immediately machine gun splashes appeared around the submarine which by this time was slowly diving. We continued our approach realizing that the other plane would complete his run at least one minute before we could arrive at our dropping point. I momentarily looked from the sub to the plane about this time and never again was able to resight the sub. Consequently I pulled off to the left ahead of the sub a few degrees heading for the machine gun splashes and searching in their vicinity. The other plane did not bomb the submarine. Ensign Terry immediately began coaching me to the right and, as the time was getting short, I turned control of the plane over to him. He completed the run and dropped the remaining 3 bombs with some of the sub structure still visible. This drop was made from about 175 feet at 230 MPH. The planes heading was not noted but I would guess that the target angle was about 290. 60 foot spacing at 200 knots was again used.

After this attack we remained in the area for about 15 minutes searching for evidence of damage. No swirl was visible and again there was only the oil in the disturbed area of water which probably is bomb residue. After 15 minutes we turned the "hold-down" over to 107-B-8, the other plane, and returned to base to rearm.

107-B-8 had been called to the scene immediately after the first attack but was not sighted until our second run was started.

Statement of Co-Pilot, Ensign Terry.

At 1052 (P) Lt(jg) Foster sighted a sub on a bearing of 0700 rel. distance six miles. We were on a heading of 1300T altitude 4,500 ft.

We turned toward the sub, bringing the target angle to 240 increased power and commenced the attack. At a range of 4 miles, the conning tower was observed, with no other part of sub surfaced. At this moment 107-B-8 was sighted directly astern about 2-1/2 miles from the sub making an attack. Splashes were appearing around the conning tower from fire by #8. We nosed over and continued the attack anticipating enough time would elapse between #8's attack and our arrival over the sub to attack with our remaining 3 MK 44 depth charges. #8 passed over the sub's swirl but did not release. Lt-Comdr. Turner lost contact of the swirl at a range of approximately 1 mile. I attempted to coach him in to the swirl to the right. At a range of 400 yards he turned the controls over to me, I increased the target angle to 270 relative. The conning tower was under the surface going ahead slowly, with the outline still visible. When I released the remaining 3 MK 44 depth charges 30' ahead of the conning tower, altitude 150 ft, A/S 230 MPH, 60 ft. spacing of 200 knots fused to explode at 25 ft. All bombs exploded in what was believed to be a straddle 30' forward of the conning tower. We circled the scene of the attack for about 15 minutes then proceeded to base to rearm, leaving 107-B-8 for the "hold-down".

107-B-8 LTJG John Burton 22 July 1943 VB-107 ASW-6 #4

This report covers LTJG Burton's attack in 107-B-8 (his depth charges failed to drop). U-598 submerged before LTJG Burton could make a second attack.

NARRATIVE

Took off at 0815 from Natal on 22 July together with 107-B-7 on a training sweep. A possible sub was estimated in the area (050 00' S - 380 00' W). At 0940 radioman picked up a message from No. 7 that it had dropped on a sub at position 040 15'S - 330 05'W. Proceeded to position given but no evidence of attack or No. 7 were seen. Began flying a 25 mile square from position. While on upper leg of square, picked up blip on radar so turned toward it. I soon sighted No. 7 visually. No. 7 was flying course 1300T, we were on course 1650T at 500 feet, speed 160 MPH. No. 7 crossed plane's course to port beam. Then bow lookout (Damiano) reported sighting a wake about 10 or 12 miles away, so started down heading toward it. The sub was first seen to be surfacing, with periscope and conning tower showing, but them was soon to start down in a shallow dive. Stern of sub was never seen to break water. Pilots first reaction was to decrease power so as to lose altitude more rapidly, so momentarily pulled throttles back but then he realized he couldn't reach the sub soon enough to attack, so applied maximum power, and increased angle of glide. As plane came within range, bow gun and crown turret opened fire on the conning tower. Sub submerged about 5 seconds before plane passed over about 15 to 20 feet forward of conning tower. Intervalometer setting 60 ft at 230 MPH. Throttle button was pressed, bombs failed to release because the bombardier had left the select lever on the bombers quadrant in locked position. After pulling out of sun, observed 107-B-7 making run about 30 seconds after No. 8's run. Noted number 7's drop from about 2400 relative to him, his released appeared to be right on the course of the sub. Circled area for 50 minutes then commenced to fly a 25 mile square around point of attack. Remained in area until 1345, when relieved by 107-B-5. Returned to base, landing at 1500

107-B-12 LTJG Charles Baldwin 23 July 1943 VB-107 ASW-6 #5

This report covers LTJG Baldwin's sighting and attack on U-598 after the boat was held down through the night of 22/23 July. On his first attack his depth charges failed to drop. On his second attack his depth charges were dropped safe but two explosions were observed. U-598 appeared to be down by the stern and did not submerge after this attack.

BOMBING SQUADRON ONE HUNDRED SEVEN

NARRATIVE

Took off at 0035, 23 July, from Natal to conduct a square search and to continue hold-down of sub sighted and attacked the previous day by 107-B-7 and 107-B-8 at 040 30 S 330 25' W. During darkness flew at 2300 ft. At sunrise, went up to 5000 ft. After flying north on east leg of square changed course to 2300 mag. so as to cover center of area to be searched, and about 0645 LT(jg) Davis sighted visually a sharp clearly defined wake, about 6 to 8 miles on the beam. After starting right turn, pilot was able to identify a submarine on course 1200 T making between 8 and 10 knots. Although the radar was turned on, no indication was observed. Position 040 05'S 330 25'W. Plane started down immediately with throttles all the way back, no power at 250 MPH, down wind, with sun at back of plane. Subsequently turned on power, target angle of 015; course 300 mag, speed about 240 MPH, altitude 75 ft. Plane apparently not sighted by sub until this point. Bow gun and crown turrets started firing, and obtained hits. Pilot pressed pickle to release all 6 bombs, with intervalometer set for 60 ft. spacing at 200 knots, but bombs failed to release. Subsequent investigation showed that while Lt(jg) Davis and Ensign Shannon in the bow compartment were endeavoring to unship the bow gun, their violent movements inadvertently threw the rack selector switch (a two position switch) on the bomb release panel from B7 (the correct rack) to B-5, with the result that the proper racks were noted tripped. The switch had been properly set prior to the attack.* After this fiasco, the pilot immediately started a sharp turn to the left. At about this time, he noted light flak just forward of bow and just aft of the tail. He judged the flak to be from a 20 mm gun. Returning to the attack, he directed Lt(jg) Davis in the bombardiers compartment to release the bombs in salvo at his (the pilot's) direction. This time the attack was made at a target angle of 060 (see diagram appended), and the plane crosses the sub forward of the conning tower at 220 MPH, full power on, altitude about 100 ft. Accurate fire was directed at the sub from the crown turret, the bow gun being out of ammunition, which was observed to keep personnel from emerging from the conning tower hatch. The bombs were dropped as ordered and although the charges were unarmed (both the pilot and the bombardier forgot in the excitement that a salvo release would release the depth charges unarmed unlike the PBY-5A with which the squadron had previously been equipped), two explosions were definitely observed and at least 1 or 2 bombs were seen to strike the deck forward of the conning tower, and then roll off. One explosion was about 30 feet beyond the sub, and the other very near to it or underneath its stern. The stern was seen to rise from the water and then settle slowly. A noticeable amount of oil began to emerge. After the attack, the pilot made another left turn and was

* This material defect has been reported to Comairlant by despatch 24 of July able to observe a large depth charge residue. (While in this turn the port waist gun was seen to make some hits in the conning tower.) The sub was still putting out a large amount of AA fire, mostly astern of the plane, which followed it until it was out of range. No hits were made on the plane.

The plane then circled the sub out of gun range and immediately began trying to establish contact with other planes in the area, and to send out MO's. In 15 minutes contact was made with 107-B-15. The plane remained in the area hoping for an opportunity to aid in a coordinated attack on the sub, in order to draw some of its AA fire. The sub, although apparently down by the stern, and with little way on, continued to fire whenever the plane approached closer. About 0828, 107-B-6 and 107-B-8 made an attack on the sub. 107-B-12 was then about 3 or 4 miles distant. The crew of the plane observed 107-B-6 first attack the sub, whereupon the tail of the plane seemed to lift up, and it dove into the water. Immediately thereafter 107-B-8 was seen to attack the sub. Various survivors and a large oil slick were seen in the area when the sub had been. As 107-B-8 was in the area of the attack, and as the plane's fuel supply was low, it left the area about 0835, and landed at Natal at 0930.

107-B-8 LT William Ford 23 July 1943 VB-107 ASW-6 #6

This report covers the final attack on U-598 by LT Ford in 107-B-8. LT Ford arrived at the scene of 107-B-12's attack and sighted U-598 still surfaced. As he started his run, he observed LTJG Waugh in 107-B-6 attack the U-boat and immediately crash into the sea. Both LTJG Waugh and LT Ford's depth charges straddled the U-boat which sank quickly thereafter.

.PILOT'S NARRATIVE.

Took off at 0645 Peter from Natal, to sweep together with 5 other planes (107-B5, 6, 7, and 15 and 127-B-1) the area in vicinity of 040 30'S 330 25'W, where a sub had been sighted and attacked by 107-B-7 the previous day. At 0710 received contact report from 107-B-12 who had been conducting an all night hold-down over point of previous attack. As we were further most plane from contact continued on course until time of course change in plan at which time (0725) received position and attack report of 107-B-12. Altered course to contact area and notified base. We were at 5 to 6000 feet, auto rich, 40 inches, 2300 RPM, indicated 200 MPH, ETA POSIT 0805. At 0820 encountered another 107 plane (not #12) altered course to Northwest (exact course unknown) and again picked up a plane on radar, (not #12). After investigating altered course to S.E. at approximately 0820 picked up a radar contact at 20 miles, bearing about 1300 relative changed course toward it. At 10 miles sighted oil slick and sub in another slick moving slowly on course about 3400T. Rang alarm for battle stations and for bomb bay doors to be opened and bombs set to drop. Altered course southward to put sun on quarter for attack, dropped to 1500 feet. Since 0805 we had been in voice control with our #12, 7, 15 and 6. As we made a sharp right turn to make attack dive, crew noticed another plane in attack run on sub approximately 1000 relative to our attacking course. This plane was subsequently identified as 107-B-5. We were about 2-1/2 miles from sub at this time. Saw other plane open up with machine gun fire, which cut through the water right across the sub. This other plane dropped a perfect straddle of bombs across the sub from about 60 feet. As the plane cleared the stern of sub it seemed to pause for an instant and continued on course into the sea. Immediately after plane's drop, our bow gunner Damiano observed a bright white flash just aft of conning tower. At this time we were well straightened out into run on course (on estimate) of 3000 mag. The geyser of water from the other plane's bomb explosion had just thinned and in the center we saw the conning tower well out of the water, and we opened up with machine guns. Aimed plane directly for conning tower, and dropped at 0829, a stick of 6 bombs set for 60 feet at 200 knots, our approximate speed being 230 MPH. Crossed conning tower at very low altitude through heavy spray, and pulled out into a left turn to circle and investigate. The sub was not in sight. Where the plane crashed was a boil of water, and on closer observation saw life rafts and oxygen bottles from plane, then passed over oil slick and powder residue from sub attack and saw life rafts and about 10 or 12 survivors in water. Sent report to base about plane crash and attacks with our new position. Set up on 414 to send MO's and called 107-B-5, 107-B15, 107-B-7 to area. 107-B-7 relieved us. When we left area there were four life boats, 2 inflated with men, one inflated empty, and one uninflated. U.S.S. Seneca was encountered enroute to base. Landed at 1115.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Here some of my Dad's (Bernard A. Fleck) pictures taken at NAF Natal, Brazil around 1942 and 1943. The aircraft (far right photograph) that my father is standing by nose turret is Identified as # 6 (date July 1943; Location NAF Natal, Brazil) - could it be the 107 B-6 ?..." Contributed by Lee Fleck ljfleck@bellsouth.net [06FEB2007]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Here is my Dad's (Bernard A. Fleck) Air Medal Citation (March 30 and December 13 and 14, 1942 - July 31 and August 1 and 4, 1943) and my Dad is on far right of pic with four men. I don't know who the other three men are. The three islands are off coast on Natal (NAF Natal, Brazil)..." Contributed by Lee Fleck ljfleck@bellsouth.net [06FEB2007]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft - Dated 31 May 1943..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [02OCT2006]

VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED

CASU

PATSU

VD-1, VD-2 and VD-3

VJ-1, VJ-2, VJ-3, VJ-4, VJ-5, VJ-7 and VJ-10

VP-1

VP-11, VP-12, VP-13, VP-14 and VP-15

VP-23

VP-32, VP-33 and VP-34

VP-43, VP-44 and VP-45

VP-52, VP-53 and VP-54

VP-61, VP-62 and VP-63

VP-71, VP-72, VP-73 and VP-74

VP-81 and VP-84

VP-91, VP-92 and VP-94

VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-105, VP-106, VP-107, VP-108 and VP-109

VP-125, VP-126, VP-127 and VP-128

VP-130, VP-131, VP-132, VP-133, VP-134, VP-135, VP-136, VP-137, VP-138 and VP-139

VP-140, VP-142, VP-144 and VP-146

VP-201, VP-202, VP-203, VP-204, VP-205, VP-206, VP-207, VP-208 and VP-209

VP-210, VP-211 and VP-212

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft - Dated 09 Nov 1943..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [01OCT2006]

VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED

CASU and PATSU

VD-1, VD-2, VD-3 and VD-4

VJ-1, VJ-2, VJ-3, VJ-4, VJ-5, VJ-15, and VJ-16

VP-6 Coast Guard

VP-1

VP-11, VP-12, VP-13, VP-14, VP-15 and VP-16

VP-23 and VP-24

VP-32, VP-33 and VP-34

VP-43, VP-44 and VP-45

VP-52, VP-53 and VP-54

VP-61, VP-62 and VP-63

VP-71, VP-72, VP-73 and VP-74

VP-81 and VP-84

VP-91, VP-92 and VP-94

VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-105, VP-106, VP-107, VP-108 and VP-109

VP-110, VP-111, VP-112, VP-113, VP-114, VP-115 and VP-116

VP-125, VP-126, VP-127, VP-128 and VP-129

VP-130, VP-131, VP-132, VP-133, VP-134, VP-135, VP-136, VP-137, VP-138 and VP-139

VP-140, VP-141, VP-142, VP-143, VP-144, VP-145, VP-146, VP-147, VP-148 and VP-149

VP-150

VP-201, VP-202, VP-203, VP-204, VP-205, VP-206, VP-207, VP-208 and VP-209

VP-210, VP-211, VP-212, VP-213, VP-214, VP-215 and VP-216


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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...BOMBING RANGE - Circa 1943-1944..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [09MAR2006]

JACK LOOK AT THE UNDERSIDE OF THE PICTURE OF THE PB4Y LIBERATOR AND YOU WILL SEE NOTHING BUT THE BOMBAYS AND PART OF THE FUSELAGE. HERE IS THE STORY. I MADE THIS FROM THE TOP OF A RADIO TRUCK WITH A K20 CAMERA. NORTHEAST OF THE FIELD WE HAD CUT THE UNDERBRUSH OUT IN THE SHAPE OF A UBOAT. IT WAS ABOUT ONE HUNDRED YARDS FROM THE BEACH BEHIND SAND DUNES. WE USED IT FOR TRAINING PURPOSES. WE WOULD GET OVER THE WATER AND COME IN AT FIFTY FEET SKIP OVER THE DUNES AND DROP A NINE POUND LEAD BOMB WITH A SHOTGUN SHELL IN THE NOSE. IT WOULD SEND UP A WISP OF WHITE SMOKE AND WE HAD ANOTHER CREW ON THE GROUND AND THEY WOULD MEASURE NUMBER OF FEET AND RADIO BACK TO THE PLANE. IT WAS OUR TIME ON THE GROUND AND THE PILOT IN THE AIR SAID FOR ME TO GET ATOP THE TRUCK AND SNAP HIS PHOTO WHILE MAKING A DUMMY RUN. WELL I GOT READY AND HERE HE COMES ABOUT FIFTY FEET OVER MY HEAD. I SNAPPED AND YOU CAN SEE BY THE PHOTO ALL I GOT. IT BLEW ME AND CAMERA OFF THE TRUCK. ANOTHER DAY WE HAD A TRADGEY. WE WERE DROPPING AND ANOTHER CREW WAS ON THE GROOUND. WE CAME IN LOW DROPPED AND ONE OF THE CREW ON THE GROUND RAN TOWARD THE TARGET TO MEASURE AND OUR BOMB HIT HIM IN THE LEG. WE CALLED THE BASE AND CIRCLED THE AMBULANCE TO GUIDE IIT TO THE TARGET. I THREWW OUT OUR FIRST AID KITS. A BLOOD CLOT FORMED IN HIS LEG AND HE DIED ON THE WAY BACK TO THE STATES.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...FISHING ON ASCENSION ISLAND - Circa 1943-1944..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [09MAR2006]

WHILE SPENDING OUR THIRTY DAY TOUR ON ASCENSION ISLAND THERE WAS VERY LITTLE TO DO IF YOU WERE NOT ON THE SCHEDULE TO FLY.SO TO ENTERTAIN OUSELVE WE WOULD TAKE A ROLLED UP LINE WITK A HOOK AND SINKER WADE THROUGH A THRONG OF NOISY TERNS AND MAKE OUR WAY TO THE WATERS EDGE. THERE WAS NOTHING BUT A DROP OFF OF JAGGED LAVA ROCK WITH HOLES YOU COULD SEE THE WATER THROUGH.WE WOULD PUT A PIECE OF OCTUPUS ON THE HOOK AND DROP IT IN A HOLE. IMMEDIATELY SOMETHING WOULD NEARLY JERK THE LINE FROM YOUR HAND. AFTER A STRUGGLE WE WOULD PULL OUT A SIX OR SEVEN FOOT EEL.TO GET THEM BACK TO CAMP WE HAD TO TIE THEM ON A POLE TO KEEP FROM DRAGGING THEM AND TWO OF US WOULD SLING THEM OVER OUR SHOULDER. THE MESS COOKS WOULD GIVE US GREASE AND MEAL AND HELP US EAT FRIED EEL AND DRINK WARM BEER. ONE DAY I DECIDED TO GO DOWN AND GET SOME BAIT FOR THE NEXT DAY.THERE WAS ONLY ONE PLACE WE COULD GET TO THE WATERS EDGE AND THE LAVA MADE A FLAT SPACE OUT INTO THE OCEAN. IT WAS FULL OF HOLES AND YOU HAD TO WATCH FOR THE OCEAN WAVES HAD A HABIT OF BREAKING OVER THE ROCKS LEAVING NOTHING BUT FOAM SO IF YOU GOT CAUGHT YOU DID NOT KNOW WHERE TO STEP. THE ROCKS WAS FULL OF SEA URCHINS WITH LONG BARBED SPINES. YOU COUD NOT PULL THEM OUT. THE OCTUPUS CLUNG TO THE ROCKS AND WE USED A HOOK ON THE END OF A BROOMSTICK TO PULL THEM OFF. I HAD WALKED HALF WAY WHEN I SAW THIS LARGE OCTUPUS AND HAD JUST HOOKED HIM WHEN A LARGE WAVE BROKE OVER THE ROCKS, KNOCKED ME OFF MY FEET AND ALL I COULD SEE NOTHING BUT FOAM. EVERYTIME I TRIED TO STAND I WOUD FALL AGAIN. LUCKLY I WAS BEING WASHED TOWARD THE BEACH. FOUND MY FOTINF AND I WAS BLEEDING AND COVERED WITH BARBS FROM THE SEA URCHINS. MADE IT TO THE SICK BAY MY WHIT TEE SHIRT AND SHORTS WERE COMPLETELY RED WITH BLOOD. WELL THEY CUT ON ME FOR QUITE AWHILE. YEARS LATER I COULD STILL SEE LITTLE BLACK DOTS UNDER MY SKIN. I LEARNED A BIG LESSON. I WOULD NEVER GO AND GET FISH BAIT ALONE.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailCameraThe Ghost "...Crash of the Ghost..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [08MAR2006]

On October the 14th, 1943 my crew had the day off after several anti submarine patrols. The officer of the day came up to my tent and asked if I would come down to the OD's office. When I came in I was asked to have a seat. He said. Goodell the Commanding Officer is going on a inspection trip to Ascension Island tomorrow and I want you to get your plane ready. The next day october 15th the Commanding Officer Captain Renfro Turner and his inspection crew came out to the plane. We loaded and for the take off we had to move most of the personel forward. I had a couple on the catwalk in the bombay. My position is always standing between the pilot and copilot. CDR Turner was sitting behind the pilot on a piece of radio gear. He was reading a book called "The Importance of Living." We checked the rpm and the tower gave us permission to roll. We were up to about a hundred and fifty miles per hour and lifted off and were about two hundred feet in the air when the plane started losing altitude. The left wing hit and number four prophit and snapped off and hit the engine next to it and it hit the fuselage splitting the side where the Captain was sitting. He had injuries to his back. After the prop hit it glanced to the bow cutting off the plexis glass and setting off about two hundred rounds of fifty caliber ammo. The nose wheel came up through the deck and I ended up with cuts on my leg. The men in the bombbay had cuts and bruises. After a few bounces and skids we came to a stop. We got out fast for we had nine bombs and a three hundred gallon gas tank in the bomb bay. By that time all the fire and crash crew arrived the bombs were so hot they had to spray them down before digging them out. It was a lucky day for us but the end of the Galloping Ghost. BUNO 32052 was written off the books.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-83/VPB-107 Presidential Citation "...Presidential Unit Citation to FISHER, Andrew Lewis..." Contributed by Sgt. Brian L. Fisher USMC/RET mburkard@stny.rr.com..." [16JUL2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VC History ThumbnailCameraVPB-107 History "...Members of the crew of U-848 take cover on the conning tower as depth charge dropped from a PB4Y-1 Liberator of Bombing Squadron (VB) 107 explodes in the water nearby. It was not a lucky day for U-848, a Type IX D-2 boat commissioned the previous February. She was lost with all hands - Emil Buehler Naval Aviation Library World War II Era..." Association Of Naval Aviation http://broadcast.illuminatedtech.com/display/story.cfm?bp=128&sid=8470 [02APR2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: APPENDIX 3 Submarines Sunk by Patrol Squadrons During World War II - Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [04MAY2001]

U-848, 5 November 1943
Type: IX D2 Laid Down: 6 January 1942, AG Weser, Bremen
Commissioned: 20 February 1943, Korvkpt. Wilhelm Rollmann (Knights Cross)
Commander: February 1943 November 1943, Korvkpt. Wilhelm Rollmann
Career: One patrol; assigned: February 1943 July 1943, 4th Flotilla (Stettin); August 1943 November 1943, 12th Flotilla (Bordeaux)
Successes: One ship of 4,573 tons sunk

Fate: Sunk 5 November 1943, southwest of Ascension Island, in approximate position 10°09'S, 18°00'W, by U.S. bombs (VB-107). 63 dead (entire crew lost). A VB-107 PB4Y-1 Liberator aircraft from the Ascension Island detachment, piloted by Lieutenant Baldwin, attacked U-848 in conjunction with two other squadron aircraft. Lieutenant Baldwin damaged the submarine sufficiently to prevent it from submerging. Lieutenant S. K. Taylor's aircraft administered the coup de grace, hitting the target on two bomb runs, causing it to blow up and sink within five minutes.

UPDATE History ThumbnailCameraU-848 "...U-848 was attacked and sunk by PB4Y-1's of VB-107 and B-25's of the 1st Composite Squadron, November 5, 1943. Lieutenant Charles Baldwin, USNR was credited with the first attack that resulted in the sinking of the submarine..." WebSite: EBay http://www.ebay.com/ [24MAY2009]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "..."The Gallopin Ghost of the Brazilian Coast" in which my father, Billie Goodell, was the flight engineer and gunners mate. VPB-107 flew barrier sweeps with the PB4Y-1s from NAF Natal, Brazil and the Ascension Islands from 1943 to late 1944..." MODEL - PB4Y-1 Liberator by Larry Goodell LGOODELL@QUIXNET.NET WebSite: http://204.50.25.179/features00/pb4y1lg_1.htm [11MAR2005]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraPresidential Unit Citation "...January through April 1943, July through February 1944, and September 1944. This Citation was included in my Grandfather's folder. His name was Aviation Redioman 3rd Class Harold Francis McGOWAN. Looking for any information. Thanks...Jeff Parino farmerjeff69@yahoo.com..." [24NOV2001]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-83 & VPB-107 ABRIDGED NARRATIVE By Richard A. Wilson..." WebSite: National Museum of Naval Aviation http://63.66.1.190/flightlog/squadrons.asp [14MAY2001]

VP-83 & VPB-107 ABRIDGED NARRATIVE

Patrol Squadron Eighty-Three (VP-83) was commissioned September 15, 1941 with LCDR Ralph S. Clarke, USN as Commanding Officer and LT Ralph W. Mackert, USN as Executive Officer. From November 15 until December 7 crews were assigned ferrying duties from the Consolidated Plant to designated delivery points. Thirty planes were delivered prior to the squadron becoming operational on December 20, 1941. At this time operations were varied from strict ASW; they included barrier patrols, S & R plus intensified advanced training. On February 16, 1942 the squadron suffered the first tragedy when 83-P-2 crashed at Buena Vista, VA with the loss of eight crewmen. The first division departed Norfolk VA for Natal, Brazil, arriving April 7 at which time full combat operations were commenced. Search & Rescue missions were flown by four aircraft on April 11 and also at Jacksonville, FL and Charleston, SC on May 14 and again on May 19. ASW sweeps were conducted from April 13 to May 23, 1942 The second division departed NAS Norfolk, Virginia for Natal on June 8 and arrived June 13 with the exception of 83-P-12 which crased during severe weather while approaching Natal on final touchdown. Seven members were lost as a result of this unfortunate mishap.

The squadron, operating with eleven aircraft, began systematic patrols along the entire 3800 miles of Brazilian coastal waters. It was necessary to provide convoy coverage along the two thousand mile route from Bahia to Cape Orange. These operations were under CTF-44 and Commander FOURTH Fleet. During September, LCDR Almon E. Loomis, USN relieved Ralph S. Clarke, USN as Commanding Officer. ASW results during this period were: One assisted sinking in conjunction with USS Roper; Eight attacks with no evident results. On 3 November an aircraft attached a submerging sub. Increased activity during December produced two attacks on the 14th, one on the 15th, followed by attacks on 17 and 22 December. On 6 January 1943, an aircraft attacked and completed a confirmed sinking followed by another successful attack on 13 January 1943. During January, LCDR Bertran J. Prueher, USN relieved LCDR Loomis as Commanding Officer of VP-83. ASW results during this period: Two confirmed sinkings; Eight attacks with no evident results. March and April were marked by increased activity with 2 sightings, 3 attacks with 1 confirmed sinking. During this period Dr. Steinhardt of the Navy Office of Research implemented the "Steinhardt Square," a tactical maneuver against submarines. During May, drews delivered the PBY-5A's to NAS Norfolk, Virginia and on May 15 VP-83 was redesignated as VB-107 with 15 PB4Y-1 aircraft. June was devoted to indoctrination and training with the new aircraft and returning to Natal, Brazil. July marked a return to full operational capability with seven attacks resulting in one sinking and the loss of 107-B-6 with all hands.

Increased activity during the month of August resulted in four attacks on subs, one sighting and one definite sinking of a submarine with the resultant loss of 107-B-1 during the second bombing run.

On August 28 1943, LCDR Renfro Turner, Jr., USN assumed command of Bombing Squadron One Hundred Seven. ASW results during this period were: Three sightings, fourteen attacks, three sinkings.

CTF-44 created a 107 detachment at Ascension Island with two aircraft taking station on 30 September. During October and November, the Ascension Island Detachment carried out ten sub attacks that resulted in two sinkings.

COMFOURTHFLT ordered a barrier patrol for 1-15 December to intercept enemy blockade runners. Results proved to be inconclusive and routine was terminated December 16. Blockade runner barrier resumed on 12/24. A suspected ship was spotted ship was spotted on January 1, 1944 and after refusing identity, opened fire on the aircraft. Another aircraft continued tracking. A third aircraft attempting to relieve the aircraft on station failed to re-establish contact of the whip. The following day another aircraft relocated suspicious ship. This aircraft sustained what appeared to be minor damage, but after being relieved on station by another, the aircraft (107-B-12) had to be ditched. The remaining aircraft continued tracking the block ade runner while also homing for Destroyer, USS SOMERS, which in turn sank the German WASSERLAND with its surface main battery.

On February 6, 1944 two runs were made by an Ascension based aircraft on a U-Boat which was definitely sunk.

LCDR Paul K. Blesh, A-V(N), USNR relieved LCDR Renfro Turner, Jr., USN as Commanding Officer of Bombing Squadron 107 on February 20, 1944. Action results during this period were: ASW Attacks - 12; ASW Sinkings - 3; Barrier Patrol Missions - 5.

One attack on a U-Boat was made in April, indications were that the sub was damaged to the extent that it was later scuttled. The squadron conducted a number of S & R missions through the summer months.

Two aircraft made four attacks on September 29 sustaining the loss of a U-Boat after dropping life rafts to survivors. On 1 October the squadron was redesignated as Patrol Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED SEVEN. Intensive training and occasional searches for downed planes in the Belem, Brazil area made up the schedule for the balance of the year. Early January 1945 marked the departure of the squadron from Natal, Brazil to Dunkeswell, England, arriving on January 21. LCDR William F. Brewer, USN relieved LCDR Paul K. Blesh, AV(N), USNR as Commanding Officer, Patrol Bombing Squadron 107, January 25, 1945. ASW results were as follows: 5 Attack runs; 1 severely damaged, later scuttled; 1 definitely sunk.

On 18 March, one aircraft made two attack runs in the English Channel on a U-Boat with undetermined results. One plane later reconned the area with negative results.

Early June 1945 the squadron was moved to NAS Norfolk, Virginia. and thence to NAS Seattle, Washington on July 21. Transitional training commenced with new PB4Y-2 aircraft at NAS Alameda, California and Crows Landing, California.

VP-83 & VPB-107 History By Richard A. Wilson

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: APPENDIX 3 Submarines Sunk by Patrol Squadrons During World War II - Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [04MAY2001]

U-598, 23 July 1943
Type: VIIC Laid Down 11 January 1941, Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Commissioned: 27 November 1941, Oblt. Gottfried Holtorf
Commander: November 1941 July 1943, Kptlt. Gottfried Holtorf
Career: Assigned: November 1941 July 1942, 8th Flotilla (Danzig); July 1942 July 1943, 6th Flotilla (St. Nazaire)
Successes: Two ships sunk for a total of 9,295 tons; one ship of 6,197 tons damaged

Fate: Sunk 23 July 1943, in the South Atlantic near Natal, in position 04°05'S, 33°23'W, by U.S. bombs (VB-107). 44 dead, one survivor. Lieutenant (jg) Waugh, flying PB4Y-1 Liberator aircraft 107-B-6, attacked the surfaced U-boat in conjunction with a second squadron aircraft flown by Lieutenant William R. Ford, sinking the submarine. Waugh's aircraft apparently sustained damage during the attack, plunging into the sea after his bombing pass with the loss of all hands. The submarine's identity was confirmed by the sole survivor as U-598.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "1943-1944--VP Squadrons Win Citations - Five Outfits Given World War Honors...Five patrol bombing squadrons of the Navy have been awarded the Presidential Unit Citation or Navy Unit Commendation on the basis of their heroic actions during World War II. those granted the PUC were VP-84, VP-83, later renamed VB-107, and VP-84. VP-83 won the citation for heroism against German submarines in the Atlantic between January and April 1943, July through February 1944 and the month of September 1944. Any personnel attached then can wear the PUC ribbon. Squadrons winning the Navy Unit Commendation were VP-32, VP-83, later renamed VB-100, and VB-103, later renamed VBP-103. VP-32's honor was won off Cuba from July 1 to 31, 1943, VP-82 won its award in the Atlantic from 15 January to 10 June 1942 and during April 1943. VB-103's period covered 1 November 1943 to 31 January 1944 and from 1 March to 30 April 1945, in Atlantic waters off England..." Bill O'Neil [AB4FK- HAM RADIO Call] ab4fk@norfolk.infi.net WebSite: Flying Boat Amateur Radio Society http://www.qsl.net/ab4fk/fbars/ [URL Updated 26MAY99 | 15FEB98]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "30SEP43--An advance detachment of Bombing Squadron 107, equipped with PB4Y Liberators, arrived at Ascension Island to join AAF units on antisubmarine barriers and sweeps across the narrows of the South Atlantic." http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/avchr5.htm


Circa 1942-1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-5 - History of Headquarters Squadron Fleet Air Wing Five - 01SEP42 through 01JAN45. Squadron's Assigned: VP-15, VP-16, VP-17, VP-18, VP-21, VP-22, VP-25, VP-26, VP-27, VP-28, VP-31, VP-52, VP-63, VP-81, VP-92, VP-94, VPB-105, VPB-107, VPB-110, VPB-111, VPB-112, VPB-113, VPB-114, VPB-126, VPB-134, VPB-147, VPB-149, VP-201, VP-205, VP-208, VP-209, VP-210, VP-211, VP-212, VP-213, VP-214, VP-215 and VP-216 - Submitted Feburary 1, 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [27NOV2012]

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Circa 1942

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Here some of my Dad's (Bernard A. Fleck) pictures taken at NAF Natal, Brazil in 1942. The next to last photograph (right side) is of Devils Island and the last one (right side) is of the Fr. Guiana..." Contributed by Lee Fleck ljfleck@bellsouth.net [06FEB2007]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Here some of my Dad's (Bernard A. Fleck) pictures taken at NAF Natal, Brazil around 1942 and 1943. The aircraft (far right photograph) that my father is standing by nose turret is Identified as # 6 (date July 1943; Location NAF Natal, Brazil) - could it be the 107 B-6 ?..." Contributed by Lee Fleck ljfleck@bellsouth.net [06FEB2007]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Here is my Dad's (Bernard A. Fleck) Air Medal Citation (March 30 and December 13 and 14, 1942 - July 31 and August 1 and 4, 1943) and my Dad is on far right of pic with four men. I don't know who the other three men are. The three islands are off coast on Natal (NAF Natal, Brazil)..." Contributed by Lee Fleck ljfleck@bellsouth.net [06FEB2007]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...BARRIER SWEEPS - VP-83 / VPB-107 - Circa 1942-1944..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [09MAR2006]

PATROL EIGHTY THREE WAS HAVING GREAT SUCCESS WITH THE CATALINA DOING CONVOY DUTY AND SUBMARINE SWEEPS. SOON THE U BOATS BECAME DESPERATE AND INSTEAD OF SUBMERGING. THEY WOULD STAY ON THE SURFACE AND THROW UP A LOT OF FIRE POWER. THE COMMANDING OFFICER DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO RETURN THE PBY'S BACK TO THE STATES AND PICK UP PB4Y-1'S. THEY WERE FASTER AND COULD CARRY A LARGER BOMB LOAD. THE GERMANS WERE CARRYING SUPPLIES THROUGH THE SOUTH ATLANTIC NORTH FOR THEIR WAR EFFORT. THEY BEGAN TO DISGUISE THEIR MERCHANT SHIPS AS RAIDERS. WHEN YOU STARTED A RUN ON ONE ALL OF THE FALSE DECKING WOULD DROP AND ALL YOU MET WAS A BARRAGE OF FIRE POWER. ADMIRAL INGRAM CAME UP WITH A IDEA THAT WE WOULD PATROL A BARRIER THAT WOULD TAKE A U BOAT OR RAIDER TWENTY FOUR HOURS TO GET THROUGH BEFORE BEING SPOTTED. TO DO THIS WE HAD ASCENSION ISLAND AS THE MIDWAY POINT AND WE KEPT TWO PB4Y-1'S BETWEEN NATAL AND ASCENSION AND TWO BETWEEN ASCENSION AND AFRICA. ON THE WATER WE HAD TWO DESTROYERS AND A CRUISER. THIS TURNED OUT TO BE A REAL SUCCESSSFUL OPERATION. WE STILL MAINTAINED OUR ANTI SUBMARINE PATROLS AND CONVOY DUTY.


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