Magazine article Sea Classics

Oops!

Magazine article Sea Classics

Oops!

Article excerpt

Jim Reyburns article "U-boat" in the August 2005 issue of Sea Classics magazine was well written and tells the story of the sinking of the German U-boat U-853 on 5-6 May 1945 toward the end of World War Two.

However, on page 78 of his article, there are three pictures, two at the bottom with the caption, "Crewmen watch from the deck of the USS Moberly." The top picture's caption says, "Crewmen on stern of destroyer escort USS Atherton (DE169) watch a depth charge explode during the hunt for U-853. Atherton and two other ships dropped a total of more than 400 depth charges and hedgehogs in their successful action against the submarine."

Both Moberly and Atherton were manned by the US Coast Guard.

The upper picture is not of the Atherton as Reyburn says but, in fact, the USCGC Spencer (WPG-36), a 327ft gunboat of the Secretary-class cutters. That official Coast Guard picture was taken on 17 April 1943 by Jack January, USCGR, who was aboard the Spencer at that time. The official Coast Guard photo number of that picture is 1517. The picture's caption says, "Coast Guard cutter sinks sub, while Coast Guardsmen on the deck of the US Coast Guard cutter Spencer watch the explosion of a depth charge which blasted a Nazi U-boat's hope of breaking into the center of a large convoy. The depth charge tossed from the 327-ft cutter blew the submarine to the surface, where it was engaged by Coast Guardsmen. Ships of the convoy may be seen in the background."

The caption continues, "Patrolling ahead of Convoy HX-233 on 17 April 1943, Spencer detected on sonar the submerged U-175 attempting to slip into the van of the convoy. The Spencer then delivered this devastating depth charge attack that brought the U-175 to the surface." Spencer did get credit for sinking the U-175.

That picture of Spencer along with others taken during the attack and sinking of U-175 may be seen at the official Coast Guard web site: www. …

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