“Companion book: “Normandy: A Father’s Ship and a Son’s Curiosity”
20 September 2017
This week in 1942, the PC 552 commenced its first combat escort patrol. What did you do this week?
The months and years of planning and executing paid off. The ship was conceived and built and launched; a crew was drafted, trained, and on board ship. The ship’s training was complete and it was time to engage. The very next day, it engaged a suspected German U-boat by launching depth charges. No proof of success but dirty water was observed.
The following day, the ship launched another attack against another contact. This time, an oil slick was observed. Whether or not a U-boat was sunk was a matter of opinion. U-boats were under water when attacked and sunk if the attack was successful. Attackers guessed whether a U-boat was sunk by looking for signs such as oil slicks and detritus such as clothes or life preservers. U-boats knew this and so when attacked, would mimic being sunk by releasing oil or shooting detritus through their torpedo tubes which would rise to the surface.
There was rarely any certainty. The ship this time was not officially credited with a kill but the convoy made it through without casualties, the real mark of success.
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