Monday, October 31, 2011

U-Boat vs Monomoys, 1943

Doesn't the premise of that sound a little like SWOs vs aliens (aka Battleship, the movie)?  But step back a moment and check out the image above.  Who hasn't seen this famous picture?  Official Caption: "COAST GUARD CUTTER SINKS SUB: Coast Guardsmen on the deck of the U.S. 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-foot cutter blew the submarine to the surface, where it was engaged by Coast Guardsmen.  Ships of the convoy may be seen in the background."
 Date: 17 April 1943
 Photo No.: 1517
 Photographer: Jack January

What a great shot, depicting some of the very valuable service rendered by the USCG in WWII.  But in the same series of photos, taken by the same photographer from the same ship, we have another spectacular shot.  Click for a high-res view.
  Official Caption: "OFF TO RESCUE THEIR BEATEN FOES: A pulling boat leaves the side of a Coast Guard combat cutter to rescue Nazi seamen struggling in the mid-Atlantic after their U-Boat had been blasted to the bottom by the cutter's depth charges. Two Coast Guard cutters brought 41 German survivors to a Scottish port."
 Date: 17 April 1943
 Photo No.: 1516
 Photographer: Jack January
 Description: The men in this pulling boat were in fact a trained boarding team led by LCDR John B. Oren (standing in the stern and wearing the OD helmet) and LT Ross Bullard (directly to Oren's left).  With the assistance of the Royal Navy they had practiced boarding a submarine at sea in order to capture an Enigma coding machine and related intelligence material.  They were forced to take a pulling lifeboat when the Spencer's motor lifeboat was damaged by friendly fire.

Check out more, including photos of the Monomoy alongside the U-boat, here.

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