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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

Submarines Sunk or Attacked by


VC-1  /  9  /  12  /  8  /  55

DD's Borie  /  Barry  /  Goff  /  Dupont  /  Leary  /  Schenck  /  Decatur

DE's Thomas  /  Bronstein  /  Breeman  /  Bostwick  /  Baker

The contents of this report is the property of
Joseph Macchia
P.O. Box 1091 Arizona City, AZ. 85223.

And the
U.S.S. CARD Assoc.
(the men who wrote the book)

HTML formatting and photo captions by Fabio Peña, NavSource
Click on an image to enlarge


Aug 3, 1943     U-Boat 66

On Aug. 3rd a patrol team came upon U-66 at a point 475 miles WSW of Flores. The Skipper, Capt./Lt F. Markworth was headed home after 14 weeks and 2 kills off the east coast.

Wildcats strafed and wounded the deck officer and he ordered the boat to dive. The captain came up the hatch and belayed the order and guns were manned.

Avenger pilot, LT(JG) Richard Cromier, (USNR, VC-1) encouraged the boat to dive with two depth charges followed by a FIDO which missed. Markworth surfaced again to fight and was wounded so his next in command took the boat down. That night, he reported to Adm. Doenitz and was told to make contact with U-Boat 117 for refueling and assistance.

Aug 7, 1943     U-Boat 117

U-66 (left) and U-117 under attack. The 2,177-ton (submerged) U-117 was sunk on her 5th patrol.
On Aug. 7th LT(JG) Sallenger, USNR, spotted two subs on the surface west of the Flores, steaming parallel and about 500 yards apart. Without fighter cover he dove down sun and made a straddle on U-66 and gave a few machine gun blasts on the deck of the milch cow, U-117. After radioing the Card for help he stayed out of range for about 25 min. when three more planes arrived. U-66 started to submerge, Sallenger dropped down again to drop a FIDO while flying through a hail of fire from U-117. This U-boat had the new German anti-aircraft guns and Sallenger reported that they were "rotten", "all around but no hits."

U-117 was one of only eight Type XB boats built. Six were lost in action, five of them with all hands.
Unable to submerge, U-117 was a sitting duck for the two Avengers. The two assisting pilots were LT Charles Stapler and LT(JG) Junior Forney.

U-66 escaped again from the Card group but was sunk by another Task Group a few months later.

U-117 was sunk in the N. Atlantic at 39° 42' N / 38°21' west, with 62 men aboard. Ammo expended in the operation: 3 mines, 8 depth charges, 38 rounds of .30-cal and 3390 rounds of .50-cal ammo.

Aug 9, 1943     U-Boat 664
(See also photos of the sinking of U-664.)

U-664 is abandoned by her crew. She was sunk on her 5th patrol.
On Aug. 8th LT Sallenger (Avenger) and Ensign John Sprague (Wildcat-FM-2/F4F) of VC-1 did not return on schedule. CAPT Isbell turned the Card toward the center of the search area. The U.S.S. Barry (DD-248) found LT Sallenger and his gunner( ) sitting in a rubber raft. The aviator ran into U-664 and U-262. Ensign Sprague and LT Sallenger's radio man were killed.

That evening Kaptain Graff, (U-664) fired a spread of three torpedoes at the Card thinking she was a cargo ship. The torpedoes missed and the Card crew didn't see them. The next day, Aug. 9th, U-664 was on the surface charging batteries when she was spotted by LT(JG) C.G. Hogan, USNR.

CAPT Isbell and CDR Carl Jones, USNR, VC-1 devised new tactics to suppress the U-boats that insisted on fight it out. The patrol team consisted of a Wildcat and two Avengers, one armed with two instantaneous 500lb bombs and one with 2 depth charges and one FIDO torpedo.

LT Hodson in a FM-2 (F4F) attacked first with a strafing run. Next came LT(JG) G. Hogan with two 500lb bombs. Ten seconds later, LT(JG) Junior Forney came in and dropped two depth charges... U-664 was in a dive but was blown back up to the surface. There was pandemonium on the sub. The LI requested permission to abandon ship and 14 men took it as an order... They rushed to the casing and were killed when LT Hodson's second strafing passed by. After more bombing and strafing, the order was given to abandon ship.

The rescue was conducted by the U.S.S. Borie (DD-215) and broken off when another U-boat attacked.

The cost for this sinking was: TBF #9 and FM-2 #16 shot down, Ensign F. Sprague (FM-2/F4F) and ARM J.D. Downs, were KIA and seven men went down with the boat, 44 were rescued. (Position: 40.12N - 37.29W).

The FM-2 had 1460 rounds of .30-cal ammo. TBF #9 was lost with 1 mine, 2 depth charges, 500 rounds of .30-cal and 360 rounds of .50-cal ammo... Four depth charges, 2/500 Lb bombs and two mines were dropped.

At 1317 the U.S.S. Goff (DD-247) rescued LT(JG) JM Thomas, C.H.Payne, and J.W. Bosserman who made a forced landing in the sea due to engine failure. TBF #8 went down with 2/500Lb bombs, 500 rounds of .30- and .50-cal ammo.

German POWs from U-664
(Click to enlarge)

Aug 11, 1943     U-Boat 525

This U-Boat was spotted on the surface by an Avenger/Wildcat team from the Card. Ensign Jack Stewart in the F4F made a strafing run, this was followed by the Avenger flown by LT(JG) Charles Hewitt. The two depth charges exploded close to the port side, between the conning tower and the stern. The boat went into a dive leaking oil. From above and looking in clear water, Ensign Stewart watched the sub under the surface. He saw LT Hewitt drop his FIDO and saw it turn towards the sub and hit just aft of the tower. A large column of brown water erupted, large air bubbles and oil. All 54 men went down with the sub... Position: 41.29N - 38.55W.

CAPT Isbell said the depth charge's purpose was to get the U-Boat to dive so a FIDO attack could be mounted.

Aug 27, 1943     U-Boat 847

U-847, a Type IX D2 boat, was sunk on her maiden patrol.
The loss of U-117 and U-489 caused some changes so U-847 was used as a supply boat. LT Hogan in an Avenger spotted U-508 and attacked with a 500Lb bomb and a FIDO. The U-Boat maneuvered away from the bomb and dove deep to escape the FIDO. Half hour later, LT Long spotted the 1,616-ton U-847. Two Wildcats attacked and LT Long dropped the FIDO just ahead of the swirl and the U-Boat went down. U-508, several miles away, heard the explosion. All 62 men went down with the sub. Ammo expended, 2/Mk-24 mines, one 500LB bomb, 940 rounds of .50-cal ammo. Position: 28.19N - 37.58W.


Sep 25, 1943

VC-9 comes aboard led by LCDR Howard Avery and T.G.-21.14 heads out to sea to protect UGS-19. After leaving Bermuda the group heads out for "Dangerous Waters." On Sept. 30, F4F #21 crashes at sea and Ensign Marion Jones is picked up by the U.S.S. Goff (DD-247).

Oct 4, 1943     U-Boats 460 & 422

On October 4, 1943 LT(JG) Stearns spotted four, or perhaps five, submarines on the surface. They were later identified as: U-264, U-460, U-422, and U-455; identity of the fifth U-boat, if it was really there, is unknown.

LT Robert Lloyd Stearns earned two Navy Crosses in 1943. He was KIA in the Pacific in June 1944.
LT(JG) R.L. Stearns was on patrol and on the last leg of his dawn patrol when he saw something on the surface. Bringing attention to his crewmen, he said, "I think we have something here." A few seconds later there was the cry, "There are four of them." The U-460 Milch cow just finished fueling U-264 and was getting ready to refuel U-455. LT. Stearns' radio transmission to Card was garbled and CAPT Isbell didn't know about the four surfaced subs.

One of ten Type XIV "milk cows," U-460 was sunk on her 6th patrol.
The Capt of U-460 and U-264 were arguing as to who should dive first. BUD orders were the Milch Cow dive first.

LT(JG) Stearns started his dive at 500 ft and all four subs started firing at him. Luckily they were bad shots and he dropped a 500LB between U-460 and U-264 but it landed too far away to do damage. LT(JG) Stearns went back up to wait for help.

Reinforcements arrived at 1032 being LT(JG) D.E. Weigle, three Avengers returning to the ship were vectored to the scene and five more and two Wildcats were launched to join the action. Meanwhile the Germans thought it wise to dive. LT(JG) E.S. Hein and D.O. Puckett arrived in their Wildcats and dove into a solid curtain of flack about 150 feet high and 300 feet wide. Hein's plane was untouched but Puckett's plane took several hits, one knocking out his port outboard gun.

Puckett and Weigle dove on U-264, Puckett spraying the deck and Weigle thinking he was firing his .50-cal's, released all four of his depth bombs, falling too far to be effective. Stearns dove at U-264 thinking it was the milch cow. When he reached the drop point, there was no indication of U-264's position so he didn't waste his FIDO. He turned to attack U-460 as it was diving. She didn't leave a swirl but a trail of green water could be seen.

Stearns dropped his landing gear to slow down and from 200 ft he dropped his FIDO. It hit the water about 50ft in front of the point where U-460 submerged, almost about 25 seconds later a shock wave could be seen. A brown slick came to the surface followed by a large cylinder object. U-460 went down with all 62 men at 43/18 N, 28/58 W. Puckett and Stearns were awarded the Navy Cross.

Card planes kept the area under surveillance into the after noon. A pair of whales wandered by and were attacked by a Wildcat and Avenger.

On Oct. 4, 1943 at about 1538 U-Boat 422, damaged during the morning encounter, surfaced and was spotted by LT(JG) S.B. Holt and Ensign J.D. Horn. Ensign Horn reacted immediately and from 3000 feet he fired continuously down to 50 ft. The conning tower "seemed alive with tracer bullets" from his guns. U-422 dove but Holt was right on target, as the sub dove under he dropped his FIDO. Horn could see the FIDO under the water move a few feet, then head for the target. Horn watched as it hit U-422 between the conning tower and the stern. Water rose in the air plus oil and debris (including a raft). There was no doubt another U-boat entered the deep blue sea.

A few days later the weather turned bad and on the 7 of Oct. Ensign C.H. Goodchild, flying an Avenger attempted to land on the Card. When a small squall overtook the ship, Ensign Goodchild lost control and went in the water. He and his radio man, Eugene Bartoski were lost but the gunner was picked up by an escort.

Oct 12, 1943    

As bad as the weather was the flyers of VC-9 continued flying and on this day the task group found another refueling operation. U-488 was spotted by LT(JG) Balliett's radio man about a mile and a half away. LT(JG) Balliett made a hard right to drop his FIDO. The sub was fully surfaced so he had to change plans for a 500 pounder. The U-boat crew saw the Avenger and turned right and submerged. LT(JG) Balliett had to change plans again and arm the FIDO. The U-boat was under as Balliett roared in from the stern, the FIDO was released but lost the scent. U-488 escaped but a few hours later she was spotted again by LT(JG) Fowler but his attack was unsuccessful also.

On that same after noon another sub was sighted on the surface by Ensign Doty. The weather had improved although it was still hazy. Ensign Doty circled the sub twice at 1000 ft, then climbed to 2000 ft. and went into a glide bombing attack. The Germans on U-731 didn't see Doty until his bomb exploded 175 ft. off the port beam. LT(JG) Holt arrived and piled in with a frontal attack and though he encountered no fire, he missed by 250 ft. Ensign Hodgson arrives to make a bombing attack. Forcing his way through a wall of fire he dropped his MK47 bombs, landing off the port side. He then turned to strafe with the three aircraft after him. The u-boat skipper decided to leave. Ensign Doty dove again and dropped his FIDO, seconds later there was a small explosion. U-731 escaped but had to go home for repairs.

Oct 13, 1943     U-Boat 402

The next day LT(JG) Fowler spot U-378 on the surface but couldn't tell if it was surfacing or diving. When flack started bursting around him he figured a 500lb bomb would take care of the situation. Unfortunately the bomb failed to release. LT(JG) Fowler went back up and the sub went into a dive. Fowler saw her going down and dove with wheels down, whipping the plane all over the sky to slow her down. Fowler had to make another tight turn and as the u-boat went under, he dropped his FIDO about 450 feet ahead of the swirl. The FIDO missed but U-378 was destroyed less than a week later.

U-402, a Type VIIC boat on her 8th patrol, was sunk at 48°56' N, 29°41' W.
LCDR H.M. Avery spotted a sub, U-boat 402, which he thought was diving. He went to attack with the FIDO but realized the sub was awash from heavy seas. Too low to drop the 500 Lb bomb, he started strafing and went up and shadowed it and waited for reinforcements. The U-402 gunners were so engrossed with LCDR Avery, they failed to see Ensign B.C. Sheelah who dived in from behind and dropped a 500 lb bomb. The bomb fell wide of its mark but the German Captain thought it wise to dive. This was what LCDR Avery was waiting for. He dropped his bomb and made its run and turned left. Seconds later there was an explosion, followed by oil and wreckage. U-402 went down with all 50 men, position: 48.56 N / 29.41 W. Ammo expended, 5-500 lb bombs, 4 depth charges, 1000 rounds of .50-cal ammo.

The excitement for the day wasn't over yet. Later in the noon LT(JG) Fryatt spotted a sub and the Germans put up a steady stream of tracers that passed under the Avenger. Not all bullets missed, one tore out a hydraulic line. The U-boat dove and Fryatt dropped his FIDO, it missed so Fryatt headed back to the Card.

When he arrived he made two passes before he got the cut from the landing officer. The Avenger hit the deck, ballooned past the arresting wires, past the barrier, and the plane's right wing hit the bridge island then bounced into another TBF parked on the flight deck. The Avenger finally came to a stop about 15 feet from the end of the flight deck. Fryatt and his crew scrambled from the plane all unhurt. Not one person was injured in the accident. Except...

Watching Fryatt arrive was Roger Kuhn, his room mate. Fryatt hit Kuhn's plane that he was standing on and holding a flash light so his friend could see the deck. He was knocked overboard and the flash light kept working. He was seen by the U.S.S. Barry who picked him up with a slight leg injury and a soaking.

Oct 31, 1943     U-Boat 584

Also a Type VIIC boat, U-584 was sunk at 49°14' N, 31°55' W, on her 10th patrol.
LT(JG) Fowler (VC-9) received a radar contact and found U-91 and U-584 cruising on the surface and with the help of LT(JG) Balliett each planted 500 lb bombs which sent U-584 into 2000 fathoms deep about 656 miles north of the Flores. Position: 49.14 N / 31.55 W.

Nov 1, 1943     U-Boat 405

Yet another Type VIIC boat, U-405 was sunk on her 11th patrol, with all hands.
The U.S.S. Borie sinks U-boat 405 and then engages in a battle almost like a John Paul Jones fight. The two ships are locked together and fight almost hand to hand. I won't go into detail so to learn more go to the Borie web site; there is a book for sale written by Bob Maher who served on the ship.

On Nov. 10, 1943 Task Group T.G.21.14 consisting of the U.S.S. Card, U.S.S. Borie, U.S.S. Barry, and U.S.S. Goff received the Presidential Unit Citation, the first CVE group to receive one.


Dec 24, 1943     U-Boat 645

The sixth and last Type VIIC boat sunk by the Card group, U-645 was lost with all hands on her 3rd patrol.
The Card group consisting of the U.S.S. Schenck, U.S.S. Leary, and U.S.S. Decatur ran into a group of 13 subs. Schenck made a contact with U-645 and after a nine charge pattern sent the U-boat to the bottom at 45.20 N / 21,40 W. Meanwhile the Leary ran into U-275, turned on their search lights illuminating herself as a target. U-Boat Commander Bork was watching Leary for ten minutes and fired two torpedoes, both hit. Over 60 men were killed by the explosion, 100 men abandoned ship but only 59 survived.

A note of humor: While making an inspection of the ship he found the deck covered with a gooey substance, he was surprised to see two seamen seated on a torpedo tube eating Boston Cream pie. The cook baked a batch and the explosion splattered most of it over the deck.


Jul 5, 1944     U-Boat 233

Last victim of the Card group, U-233 was sunk on her maiden patrol.
U-boat 233 had been tracked for a few days and she unexpectedly surfaced between the Card and one of the DE's. The Card made a starboard turn and another DE took her place. The two DE's were the U.S.S. Thomas and the U.S.S. Baker. The two ships had the sub in a cross fire and made direct hits. The Thomas rammed the sub and soon men were abandoning the sub as it was sinking. Kapt Hans Steen was wounded and later died aboard the Card operating table; 29 survivors and 32 were killed. The sub sank at 42.16 N / 59.49 W.

I dedicate this story to the brave men who took the battle to the enemy and who risked their lives by their taking off and landing on a small escort carrier. The men who manned the ships and the escorts who protected the mother ship, CARD.

As you can see, war took many lives from both sides and the loss of one of your shipmates last a lifetime, the bond is unbreakable. Photographs of the submarines sunk are on this page, unfortunately some subs went down before a picture could be taken.

German POWs from U-233
(Click to enlarge)

Summary Table
compiled by Fabio Peña, ©NavSource
#U-BoatTypeDate Sunk
1U-117X BAug 7, 1943
2U-664VII CAug 9, 1943
3U-525IX C/40Aug 11, 1943
4U-847IX D2Aug 27, 1943
5U-460XIVOct 4, 1943
6U-422VII COct 4, 1943
7U-402VII COct 13, 1943
8U-584VII COct 31, 1943
9U-405VII CNov 1, 1943
10U-645VII CDec 24, 1943
11U-233X BJul 5, 1944

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Last update: 1 November 2012