The Deck Log

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Deck Log for 23 November 1942 in which a 6 1/2 hour battle with a German U-boat is described.

Companion book: “Normandy: a Father’s Ship and a Son’s Curiosity” coming out 2017 

This week in 1944 the PC 552 was engaged in routine convoy protection. What did you do this week?

One of the key documents used to understand the life of a ship is the Deck Log, what laymen often erroneously refer to as the “Ship’s Log”.

The Deck Log was written by the watch officer during his four hour shift. It was typically signed by the executive officer and often, the commanding officer. It was primarily concerned with direction and position, although items of importance were occasionally noted.

For some reason, the PC 552’s deck logs were hand written, until June 1944, the month of invasion. It is possible to see the actual handwriting of the various officers, as well as the salt water stains, coffee stains, tic marks, and scotch tape. This is a vivid reminder that these were real people with real feelings, no different than you or I.

 

This week in 1944, we leave the crew escorting routine convoys around England.

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The Ship is Launched

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Companion book: “Normandy: a Father’s Ship and a Son’s Curiosity” coming out 2017 

 This week in 1942, the PC 552 was launched into the waters of New York. What did you do this week?

The PC 552 was built and launched from the Sullivan Drydock and Repair Company in Brooklyn, NY. There were several locations around the United States designated as places to manufacture patrol crafts. One such place was at the Sullivan Drydock and Repair Company.

The United States began to spit out patrol craft like watermelon seeds. The PC 552 was one of the first night launches made on the east coast. It was launched at night so that the keel of the next patrol craft could be immediately laid.

About 2,000 people attended the launch, about half of whom were the workers who built PC 552. Rear Admiral Adolphus Andrews, Commandant of the Third Naval District and Commander of the North Atlantic coastal frontier said, “Everything connected with this war must be on a 24-hour basis. These night launchings should be the most common occurrence in the world. Not a minute should be wasted in getting out the ships and planes and supplies of every sort that are needed on our many fighting fronts.”

The night was remembered as a bleakly cold night and clergymen attended to bless the vessel and this endeavor.

This week in 1942, we watch America’s amazing industrial power come to life for war.

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The Granville Raid

08 February 2017

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German guard on Channel Islands

Companion book: “Normandy: A Father’s Ship and a Son’s Curiosity” coming out 2017 

 This week in 1945, the PC 552 foiled a night raid from a German schnellboot, which the Americans referred to as an E-boat. What did you do this week?

Until the very end, the Germans held the Channel Islands in the English Channel which afforded them the opportunity to create mischief behind the invasion forces. They began to run out of coal and so contemplated raiding the fabulously wealthy Americans at Granville, France. The evening of 06-07 February 1945 such an attempt was made.

The PC 552 quickly noticed the attempt and came to General Quarters and opened fire.  It gave chase for more than twenty miles, firing the whole time before the E-boat outran the ship. The only casualty sustained was Coxswain George Sullivan, who received a slight bruise on the left foot when struck by an ejected 3″ 50 cal. shell case.

To put this in perspective, another attempt was made in March, and this time the patrol craft present, the PC 564, was severely damaged and a significant number of its crew was killed or wounded.

This week in 1945, we leave the crew in harm’s way on a cold and wet night in the English Channel.

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Email:

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 Please enjoy these posts about the U.S.S. PC 552, its crew, and its times.

The P-51 Mustang

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P-51 Mustangs Over Germany

01 February 2017

Companion book: “Normandy: a Father’s Ship and a Son’s Curiosity” coming out 2017 

Before the PC 552 was to lead the invasion of Normandy, allied intentions were to knock out the Luftwaffe to gain air superiority.

The story of the American involvement in World War II is still a cause for wonder. A relatively peaceful and dormant country turned into a frightening and all-powerful juggernaut, almost overnight. What the Americans did was apply entrepreneurism to warfare.

Round the clock bombing of the heart of Germany began to destroy aircraft production and landing strips. Americans initially relied on bombers such as the B-17 “Flying Fortress”, assuming they could defend themselves but it provided difficult to both defend themselves and bomb.

The allies needed a purpose built long range anti-fighter fighter to shield the bombers and the P-51 Mustang was born. The P-51 turned out to be superior to anything else out there and soon did the job. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, commander of the German Luftwaffe during the war, was quoted as saying,

“When I saw Mustangs over Berlin, I knew the jig was up.”

The Americans and British accomplished the goal of eliminating the Luftwaffe before the invasion.

This week in 1944, we leave the crew resting after an arduous crossing of the winter Atlantic.

Please like the Facebook page at                         www.facebook.com/PC552

Please make comments on the website at         https://normandypc552.wordpress.com

Email:                                                                         USS.PC.552@gmail.com.

 Please enjoy these posts about the U.S.S. PC 552, its crew, and its times.