#1  
Old 11-13-2010, 12:23 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 58,732
Civil Air Patrol sinks two U-Boats

Link.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil Adams
Then there's the Civil Air Patrol, organized in 1941 to watch the coasts and assist in search and rescue operations. Less help than hindrance, right? Not so. In the 18 months before the navy took over patrol duty, the CAP spotted 173 U-boats, located 363 survivors of sunken ships and downed aircraft, and reported 91 ships in distress. Lest you think all home-front volunteers were paunchy air-raid wardens in tin hats.
Not only did the Civil Air Patrol spot 173 U-Boats, they attacked 57 of them, resulting in two kills, reported 91 ships in distress, assisted in rescuing 363 survivors of U-Boat attacks, and reportd 17 floating mines. From Wiki:
Quote:
The sinking was perhaps the crowning achievement for CAP's Coastal Patrol, which continued to operate for about 18 months (from 5 March 1942 to 31 August 1943) before being officially retired. During this time, the Coastal Patrol reported 173 U-boats and attacked 57 of them with 83 ordnance pieces, resulting in two confirmed kills. Overall, the Coastal Patrol flew 86,865 missions, logging over 244,600 hours. Coastal Patrol aircraft reported 91 ships in distress and played a key role in rescuing 363 survivors of U-boat attacks. 17 floating mines were reported and 5,684 convoy missions were flown for the Navy.
The footnote on that paragraph goes to this .pdf article, which describes the first kill on page 9. This 'dot-gov' site contains the same information. A link on the page quotes a book where it says that a Col. Earle visited a U-Boat commander and asked him, '[W]hat do you consider to be the most outstanding factor of your defeat off the Atlantic coast of America?' The reply: 'It was because of those damned little red and yellow planes!'

Until a couple of years ago, I'd always heard that the CAP sank one sub. I haven't turned up any information on the second sinking, nor the identity of the first one. It would be interesting if someone could find that information. The Civil Air Patrol has been called 'the best-kept secret in the Air Force'. There have been a couple of high-profile searches (JFK Jr. and Steve Fossett come to mind), but the CAP do their jobs with little fanfare. They only (reportedly) sank two subs in WWII, but their spotting efforts were an important part of our Coastal Defense off the East Coast and several aircrew were killed. Even today, CAP pilots risk their lives -- and occasionally lose them -- performing their duties. The only compensation they receive is for fuel and such, and only on actual missions.

In any case, it's nice to see the Civil Air Patrol mentioned in the column.

Johnny L.A., former 2LT, Civil Air Patrol
  #2  
Old 11-13-2010, 01:24 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 39,776
I believe one of them may have been the U-869, the discovery and exploration of which was the subject of the book Shadow Divers, by Robert Kurson. The cause of sinking is not certain, however.

Last edited by Chefguy; 11-13-2010 at 01:26 PM.
  #3  
Old 11-13-2010, 01:46 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 58,732
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-869

Quote:
Gary Gentile... cites attack logs and eyewitness accounts from the crew of two destroyer escorts suggesting that the U-boat was initially damaged with a hedgehog launched by the Howard D. Crow (DE-252) and then subsequently damaged with a depth charge by the accompanying Koiner (DE-331).

The United States Coast Guard, in its official evaluation of the evidence... awarded the sinking to the two destroyers... The official records state that U-869 was destroyed on February 11, 1945 by two U.S. destroyer escorts, Howard D. Crow and Koiner.
U-869 was initially thought to be either U-550 or U-521. Following the links on that page, neither of those were attacked by CAP aircraft. So that's three down, 1,147 to go...
  #4  
Old 11-13-2010, 03:27 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 39,776
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-869



U-869 was initially thought to be either U-550 or U-521. Following the links on that page, neither of those were attacked by CAP aircraft. So that's three down, 1,147 to go...
In the book, there was a claim made by a CAP pilot that he had bombed a submarine in the general location of the wreck, and this was assumed to be a possibility. Another was that a torpedo fired by the sub circled back and homed to the boat, in effect sinking itself. At the time the dives were being made, no evidence could be found in ships' logs that indicated a possible sinking in that area.
  #5  
Old 12-19-2011, 11:59 AM
R.N. Thomas R.N. Thomas is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 2
CAP did Not sink U-boats

Serious post WWII analysis has pretty well proven that CAP did not sink any U-boats. The official USN agency that credits WWII sinkings does not acknowledge any such kills. I wish it were not the case but I have tried to find any U-boats lost that were not accounted for at the time CAP could have attacked them and there absolutely is no possible candidate target that was not provably afloat at a later date! I have spent time at Kiel going over records and searched hundreds of books looking for a possible event window, that was not. I am a most serious student of CAP history and a CAP LT. Col. so I would hope for the best outcome for CAP but in honesty it did NOT happen.
  #6  
Old 12-19-2011, 05:31 PM
gamerunknown gamerunknown is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 3,291
Mistaken

Last edited by gamerunknown; 12-19-2011 at 05:35 PM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017