Allied and German Submarine & U-Boat aces.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
Britain`s last surviving Second World War-era submarine HMS Alliance reopens its hatches after £7m makeover
HMS Alliance – the only British surviving WW2 era submarine – has reopened its hatches following a major £7m restoration project. The 281ft sub, based at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, has been completely restored with new interpretation, lighting and soundscapes to form one of three major exhibitions marking 100 years of untold stories at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Tours on board now begin with a new film narrated by British Hollywood star Ian McShane, highlighting life on HMS Alliance from WWII through the Cold War until the 1970s.
Wreckage of World War II-era Japanese submersible aircraft carrier found off Hawaii
Recently, the wreckage of one of the Japanese Imperial Navy`s most advanced pieces of equipment from World War II was discovered off the coast of Hawaii. What exactly was it? A submarine, or maybe an aircraft carrier? It was both. Researchers from the University of Hawaii came across an unusual bit of wreckage while scouring the sea floor. Both the US and Japanese government have now officially recognized the sunken hull as being that of the I-400, the very first completed vessel from the I-400 submarine line. At the time of its completion in the shipyards of Hiroshima Prefecture`s city of Kure, the I-400 was the world`s largest submarine. At 122 meters (400 feet) long and with a displacement of 6,560 tons, it was the size of a destroyer, and capable of circling the globe one and a half times on a single fueling.
Biggest Japanese submarine was aircraft carrier: I-400-class
The Sen Toku I-400-class Imperial Japanese Navy submarines were the largest submarines of WWII. They were submarine aircraft carriers able to carry three Aichi M6A Seiran aircraft underwater to their destinations. They were designed to surface, launch their planes, then quickly dive again before they were discovered. The I-400-class was designed with the range to travel anywhere in the world and return. A fleet of 18 boats was planned in 1942, but within a year the plan was scaled back to five, of which only three (I-400 at Kure, and I-401 and I-402 at Sasebo) were completed.
Video: HMS Alliance: Makeover for last surviving British WWII submarine
A World War II submarine undergoing a £7m makeover has had its newly-restored hull unveiled. The HMS Alliance, which is the UK`s last surviving submarine from the war, is based at the Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hampshire. Sailors who served on the ship were in attendance to see the results of the restoration work. Work will now start on the inside of the 69-year-old vessel.
World War II submariners share tales from the deep
The four men in yellow vests stand out in the Golden Corral restaurant, where 30 U.S. military veterans are gathered to eat and talk about submarines. Their hair is a little grayer. And the younger men there don`t hesitate to remind anyone talking to the US Submarine Veterans Inc. Cowtown Base to speak up so these fellows can hear. They are World War II veterans, a small but treasured generation of submariners now in their 80s and 90s. WWII submarine veterans had a national organization for decades, the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II. However, the group set up in 1955 disbanded at its convention in September, 2012.
Bill King, oldest surviving WWII submarine commander, passes away at 102
Commander Bill King was the oldest surviving WWII submarine commander and led a life of adventure as a navel officer, yachtsman and author. Having joined the Royal Navy on HMS Resolution in 1927, he worked his way up through the ranks before patrolling the North Sea during WWII as Commanding Officer of the T-class submarine HMS Telemachus. Retiring from the service in 1948, he was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Battle of Britain Star, the Burma Star and the Arctic Emblem.
Rebekah Hughes, author of "Surviving the Flier," talks about U.S. submarines
During the war, 20% of American submariners died in their subs, the highest loss percentage recorded. In addition, submariners were told not to reveal details about their service for 40 years. Why? "The submarine service was stricter about it," explains Hughes. Did you know those WWII subs were equipped with an analog computer to aid in aiming torpedoes? No? Well, don`t feel bad. "Nobody did," Hughes adds. In the course of her work at the museum, she encountered Alvin Jacobson. It was from him she learned the story of the USS Flier, on which he had been stationed. It was August 1944, and the sub was running at speed in the Balabac Strait when it hit one and possibly two mines. "Half the crew probably died in an instant."
Dutch World War II submarine K XVI which sank in 1941 found near Borneo
HNLMS K XVI sank with 36 crew members on board after being hit by a Japanese torpedo in the South China Sea near Borneo on 25 December 1941. The wreck was found following a tip-off from a local fisherman. Just a day before it went down, the K XVI had sunk a Japanese destroyer. In all, seven Dutch submarines were destroyed during the Second World War.
Captain George Hunt, Britain`s deadliest WWII submarine commander, sank 28 enemy vessels
Tributes have been paid to one of the greatest WWII submariners. Captain George Hunt, who sunk more enemy ships than any other Briton in the Second World War, has passed away. Rammed twice, sunk once and bombarded with hundreds of depth charges, the unstoppable captain sunk 28 enemy vessels. In 1942 he took command of the submarine with which he would cement his reputation: the Ultor. He and his crew accounted for a 20 enemy vessels sunk by torpedo and 8 by gunfire, as well as damaging another 4 ships. He was awarded two Distinguished Service Crosses (DSC) and two Distinguished Service Orders (DSO), and was twice mentioned in dispatches. His story is told in a book called "Diving Stations – The Story of Captain George Hunt and the Ultor".
Fritz-Julius Lemp: The man who sank the SS Athenia
The sinking of the Athenia was a blow to Hitler`s schemes, and he demanded an explanation from his naval staff. Grand Admiral Raeder first denied that any Nazi u-boat was in the vicinity of the Athenia, for the simple reason that Oberleutnant Fritz Julius Lemp, the commander of the U30 who fired the torpedoes, had realised his mistake, and had quietly slunk away. Lemp, although a humane man, offered no help to the survivors. When the U30 finally sailed into port on September 27 1939, word had it that its commander was in trouble - the entire U-boat fleet now knew that Lemp (a recipient of the Knight`s Cross of the Iron Cross) was responsible.
Maurice H. Rindskopf - The youngest commander of an American WWII submarine
Rear Adm. Maurice H. Rindskopf, the youngest commander of an American fleet submarine during the Second World War who directed the sinking of 15 Japanese vessels, one of the highest totals in the war, has passed away at the age of 93.
Ken Ditcher recalls his WWII submarine service on USS Barb, which included blowing up a train
To get accepted into submarine school, sailor had to hold his breath for an extended period, withstand 44.4 pounds of pressure in a tank and emerge from 50 feet of water with a breathing device. After graduating from the 8-week school, Ken Ditcher was given the privilege of serving in a force that had a 24% death rate. "Each patrol lasted on average 50 days. It depended on supply of torpedoes and fuel." Ditcher`s most memorable feat, which earned him the Bronze Star, happened on dry land: "There really weren`t many targets, so the skipper decided to blow up a train."
Bill King: The oldest surviving World War II submarine commander turns 100
Cdr Bill King, adventurer and the oldest living World War II submarine commander, celebrated his 100th birthday with friends and neighbours in Oranmore, south Galway. The wider community is marking the occasion today, when the Fastnet Trophy, which he was granted by the Irish Cruising Club for his sailing feats, may also be exhibited. King also holds the Blue Water Medal - presented by the Cruising Club of America - for being the first Irish sailor to circumnavigate the globe single-handedly, in his yacht Galway Blazer II, after several attempts and a collision with a whale or shark.
Robert Eady recalls life aboard World War II submarine Sawfish
The last ship Robert Eady`s World War Two submarine the Sawfish torpedoed "was kind of classic in a way." "We had radar and the Japanese had none. They did have 3 submarines that had a special compartment built on the rear" to carry a seaplane. "Our espionage found out the Japanese planned to send one of their subs to Germany and pick up radar equipment for their use... The U.S. Navy commander put 6 of our subs together in a wolf pack between the Philippines and Formosa. He came right at the Sawfish’s track. We fired four torpedoes at the target... there was no more Japanese sub."
War Beneath the Waves: A True Story of Courage and Leadership Aboard a World War II Submarine (book review)
In "War Beneath the Waves," Don Keith takes us back to the Second World War in the Pacific. The Balao-class submarine Billfish is on its second patrol out of Australia under Captain Frederic Lucas when it comes under attack by enemy patrol boats. Indecision by the captain forced young, inexperienced diving officer Lt. Charlie Rush to take command. 16 hours later after surviving a brutal depth charge attack that caused heavy damage, flooding and loss of power, the Billfish, thanks to the efforts by two chiefs and the crew, was finally able to surface for a desperately needed breath of fresh air.
Escape from the Deep - WWII book examines lost U.S. submarine
Submarine warfare during World War II was as deadly a task as a sailor could get in the U.S. Navy. Not only did America`s Navy have to deal with Adolf Hitler`s U-boats, Japan`s navy was just as good at sinking American submarines. Submariners learned that one false move, one too many depth charges and their vessel would become their "Iron Coffin". "Escape from the Deep: The Epic Story of a Legendary Submarine and Her Courageous Crew" tells the story of the USS Tang (SS-306), one of the most highly decorated submarines during the war, and how only 9 men survived, only to be captured by the Japanese.
The St. Marys Submarine Museum - Military history below the waves
The St. Marys Submarine Museum traces the history of submarine warfare in the U.S., with focus on WW2. Although the Confederates used a submarine to sink a warship in the Civil War, the first official U.S. Navy submarine (the U.S.S. Holland) was not in service until 1900. Now subs are an essential part of naval warfare. "They`re the most stealthy war system we`ve got. Aircraft carriers can go out and do what they need to do... but submarines can park wherever they want... We have probably the largest collection of paper copies of WWII patrol reports (totalling 1700) in the country."
World War II submarine builder profiles and stories (Article no longer available from the original source)
Here is a look at some of the people who built submarines for the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. during the Second World War. --- Harold Bieberitz recalls the day he rode the first submarine launched in the Manitowoc River. It was April 30, 1942, and he was one of 5 men to be aboard the USS Peto when it was launched sideways into the river: the first sub ever launched in such a way. "I was down in the superstructure of the submarine. As the submarine started sliding toward the water, I looked over at one of the other guys and he was pretty scared. We were supposed to roll over 35-36 degrees, but we rolled over more than that."
Captured submarine ace Vice-Admiral Sir Ian McGeoch dies at 93
Vice-Admiral Sir Ian McGeoch was a wartime submarine ace and a serial escaper after being captured by the Germans in 1943. On his first war patrol he was deployed off Naples to ambush any Italian battleship which might threaten the Allied landings in North Africa. He hunted and missed a German U-boat, but when an anti-submarine schooner was sighted McGeoch surfaced and fired a few shots to persuade the crew to abandon ship. He allowed an armed merchant cruiser to pass unmolested, but the next day U-boat proved too tempting to resist, but it was not an easy attack and his torpedoes missed their target.
World War II Submarine Commander Eugene B. Fluckey dies at 93
Rear Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey, one of America’s most daring submarine commanders of World War Two died at 93. The skipper of the submarine Barb in the Pacific from April 1944 to August 1945, he was known for innovative tactics. Commander Fluckey was the only American submarine skipper to fire rockets at Japanese targets on shore. In addition to the Medal of Honor he was awarded 4 Navy Crosses, his service’s second-highest decoration. The Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee, which provided official tallies for WWII submarine attacks, credited him with destroying 95,360 tons of shipping, the highest total for an American submarine commander.
U-boat captain Klemens Schamong who shot down NZ Victoria Cross-winner found
The captain of the U-Boat whose anti-aircraft fire shot down New Zealand Victoria Cross winner Lloyd Trigg`s Royal Air Force Liberator is still alive in Germany, an aviation researcher has discovered. Arthur "Digger" Arculus has also unearthed fresh details about the fierce Atlantic action that cost the lives of Trigg, his 7 crew and many of the submarine`s complement. Uniquely, it was the testimony of the enemy skipper Klemens Schamong, and the other few survivors from U-468, destroyed by Trigg`s exploding depth charges as his aircraft plunged into the sea, that led to the posthumous bravery award.
WW2 submariners - annual gathering at Naval Submarine Base
Age has taken its toll on the number of World War 2 submarine vets who gather for an annual ceremony at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. At its peak, the ceremony attracted more than 1,000 submariners. That number has dwindled in recent years. Rear Adm. Frank Drennan chronicled the accomplishments, including the 215 enemy vessels sunk, the hundreds of flight crews rescued at sea, the 7 Medal of Honor recipients, and the high percentage of those who died - 22% - while serving on the boats. "This impact certainly came with a high price. 52 boats on eternal patrol. 52 crews. Fifty-two boats and 4,023 submariners."
World War II submarine veteran witnessed history
Lamar "Woody" Woodard decided in 1937 to go to submarine school because submariners made $25 more per month than other sailors in the Navy. In 1939, he went to help commission the Sculp, which later salvaged the wreckage of the Squalas, its sister ship, which sunk on a test dive and 26 men died. In 1944 he was on USS Torsk, the u-boat that sank the last two Japanese ships at the end of the war. He said the submarines of today are much different than the ones he served on. "There also was not the same kind of air conditioning on the old submarines as there is on modern ones. We often ran out of fresh water, so bathing went out."
Submariner hero of the Tirpitz raid - Richard Kendall
Former naval diver Richard Kendall was one of the bravest participants in the Royal Navy`s most daring operational success of the WWII - the midget submarine attack on the Tirpitz, Hitler`s mightiest warship, in its Norwegian base in autumn 1943. At 53,000 tones and armed with eight 15-inch guns, the battleship had been the bane of the British home fleet since Jan 1942, threatening allied convoys taking munitions to Murmansk. British air attacks on the battleship at anchor failed, but from May 1943 the navy began to develop the X-craft, a midget submarine only 51ft long and displacing 35 tonnes. Its only armament was a pair of detachable mines.
Submariner - George Tomlin’s WWII diaries discovered
While going through her husband’s personal effects after his death, Helen Tomlin came across two pocket-sized black leather notebooks she never known existed. The books were journals of ship’s engagements with the Japanese fleet, with entries from Nov. 9, 1943 through June 26, 1945. In one of the first entries, the Crevalle came upon 10 ships and three destroyer escorts near Balabak Strait in the South China Sea. The water was only 150 feet deep. A 20,000-ton tanker was "staring them in the face." They knew an attack in shallow water would be rough.