04 January 2017
This week in 1944, the U.S.S. PC 552 began its crossing of the Atlantic on its way to its rendezvous with D-Day at the Battle of Normandy. What did you do this week?
Companion book: “Normandy: a Father’s Ship and a Son’s Curiosity” coming out 2017
Orders came in January for the move to England. PC 552 and PC 1225, along with the PC 553 and several destroyer escorts (DE), escorted a large, slow-moving convoy across the Atlantic as Task Force 69 for the United Kingdom. The convoy was UGS (United States to Gibraltar-Slow) 29 and consisted of 53 merchant ships, the army tug LT (Large Tug) 221. the LSTs (Landing Ship, Tank) 22, 8, and 44, the LCIs (Landing Craft, Infantry) 493-503, and the carrier U.S.S. Guadalcanal with escorts. The crossing was very rough and the ship suffered a shortage of fresh water.
The PC 552 had spent the time from its commission to the beginning of this journey escorting merchant craft along the Atlantic Coast and the Caribbean. During this time, the ship launched several attacks on suspected German U-boats and was credited with sinking one.
The ship had originally been assigned to the North African campaign but before it started, it was reassigned to the European theatre. It was now the beginning of the big show and the men knew it. Many believed they were not coming back.
The ship began its crossing this week 05 January 1944.
We will be sending these posts out each Wednesday. Please enjoy these posts about the U.S.S. PC 552, its crew, and its times.