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Last US warship sunk by German sub during WWII

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  • Last US warship sunk by German sub during WWII



    The wreck of the last U.S. Navy warship sunk by a German submarine during World War II is revealing its secrets in remarkable images from the seabed.

    Patrol boat USS Eagle PE-56 was located by a private dive team just a few miles off the Maine coast last year, ending a decades-long mystery about the ship’s location. The ship’s bow was spotted in about 260 feet of water in June 2018 and its stern the following month. The last pieces of the wreck were found in May 2019, according to diver Ryan King of Brentwood, N.H.

    The sinking of the USS Eagle PE-56 on April 23, 1945, was originally blamed on a boiler explosion. But the Navy determined in 2001 that it had been sunk by a German submarine, the U-853.
    https://www.foxnews.com/science/last...i-eerie-images
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

  • #2
    What was the first US warship sunk by a U boat in WW2? The US Navy and the U boats were already engaging even before Germany declared war on the USA.
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MarkV View Post
      What was the first US warship sunk by a U boat in WW2? The US Navy and the U boats were already engaging even before Germany declared war on the USA.
      That would be the USS Reuben James sunk October 31, 1941.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Reuben_James_(DD-245)

      On October 17th, 1941 the destroyer USS Kearney was torpedoed by a U-boat but survived. 11 crew were killed and 22 injured. Kearney was repaired and served until the end on convoy duty and in the Mediterranean.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Kearny_(DD-432)
      Last edited by CarpeDiem; 22 Sep 19, 08:21.

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      • #4
        I just finished watching the television documentary by the divers who found the PE 56 - the plot grows thicker and more mysterious.

        For starters, the US Navy claims to have "lost" all records of this vessel, including the records of the Board of Inquiry into its loss which was conducted by Navy JAG. This includes all copies of those records kept at various long term record storage facilities elsewhere. Odds of that actually happening: ZERO.

        The PE 56 was powered by oil-fired boilers. The Navy alleges a "boiler explosion", a rare occurrence, particularly in this type of vessel under these circumstances. Of course, the Navy can no longer maintain its claim because it has "lost" all records, so the cause of the explosion and sinking is open to question.

        The PE 56 was target towing on the day it sank, with multiple vessels and even persons on shore who witnessed the event. It has been alleged that a German submarine torpedoed the PE 56, but the odds of a German U-boat close off the northern coast of America in the last week of April, 1945 are effectively ZERO.

        So far, it appears that the Navy will not even identify what vessels were practicing on the 56's target, or what weapons were being used.

        I don;t really like to claim conspiracies, but in this case I will propose an alternative explanation that fits the facts:

        1. In the closing days of the war, PE 56 was engaged in target towing.

        2. I think it possible that a new weapon was being tested, perhaps a new type of torpedo or something similar.

        3. Survivors of the crew interviewed before their deaths gave an entirely different version of the so-called "official Navy version", which, of course, can no longer be verified sine the Navy "lost all records and copes" of said investigation including all sworn affidavits and evidence.

        My personal theory: The US Navy accidentally sank it's own ship, possibly testing a new, classified weapon, and came up with "boiler explosion" and "loss of all records and copies" as a cover up explanation.

        We do know that the US Navy has not offered to assist in the investigation in any way, although due to their gross negligence in losing all records, they have no way to officially validate their own findings re cause of explosion, sinking and loss of vessel and majority of crew, ad they therefore should have a vital interest in setting the record straight.

        We also know how the Navy grossly mishandled the investigation into the loss of the CA-35 USS Indianapolis and their own part in it.

        As the exploration continues, this will become more interesting to follow.
        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
          I just finished watching the television documentary by the divers who found the PE 56 - the plot grows thicker and more mysterious.

          For starters, the US Navy claims to have "lost" all records of this vessel, including the records of the Board of Inquiry into its loss which was conducted by Navy JAG. This includes all copies of those records kept at various long term record storage facilities elsewhere. Odds of that actually happening: ZERO.

          The PE 56 was powered by oil-fired boilers. The Navy alleges a "boiler explosion", a rare occurrence, particularly in this type of vessel under these circumstances. Of course, the Navy can no longer maintain its claim because it has "lost" all records, so the cause of the explosion and sinking is open to question.

          The PE 56 was target towing on the day it sank, with multiple vessels and even persons on shore who witnessed the event. It has been alleged that a German submarine torpedoed the PE 56, but the odds of a German U-boat close off the northern coast of America in the last week of April, 1945 are effectively ZERO.

          So far, it appears that the Navy will not even identify what vessels were practicing on the 56's target, or what weapons were being used.

          I don;t really like to claim conspiracies, but in this case I will propose an alternative explanation that fits the facts:

          1. In the closing days of the war, PE 56 was engaged in target towing.

          2. I think it possible that a new weapon was being tested, perhaps a new type of torpedo or something similar.

          3. Survivors of the crew interviewed before their deaths gave an entirely different version of the so-called "official Navy version", which, of course, can no longer be verified sine the Navy "lost all records and copes" of said investigation including all sworn affidavits and evidence.

          My personal theory: The US Navy accidentally sank it's own ship, possibly testing a new, classified weapon, and came up with "boiler explosion" and "loss of all records and copies" as a cover up explanation.

          We do know that the US Navy has not offered to assist in the investigation in any way, although due to their gross negligence in losing all records, they have no way to officially validate their own findings re cause of explosion, sinking and loss of vessel and majority of crew, ad they therefore should have a vital interest in setting the record straight.

          We also know how the Navy grossly mishandled the investigation into the loss of the CA-35 USS Indianapolis and their own part in it.

          As the exploration continues, this will become more interesting to follow.
          U853 was sunk on 6 May, 1945, roughly 6 miles north east of Block Island and south of Newport, USA, by USS Atherton & USS Moberly. USS Ericsson may also have participated in the sinking.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Doveton Sturdee View Post

            U853 was sunk on 6 May, 1945, roughly 6 miles north east of Block Island and south of Newport, USA, by USS Atherton & USS Moberly. USS Ericsson may also have participated in the sinking.
            Interesting, but it makes the odds of another one off Cape Cod that close inshore even less likely. Like the realtors always tell us, it's all about "location, location, location."

            And how is it, you say, that the Navy has all of those records but none of the PE-56?

            What is your opinion ,if any, about this specific incident?
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

              Interesting, but it makes the odds of another one off Cape Cod that close inshore even less likely. Like the realtors always tell us, it's all about "location, location, location."

              And how is it, you say, that the Navy has all of those records but none of the PE-56?

              What is your opinion ,if any, about this specific incident?

              The reason why a boiler explosion was blamed for the loss of the ship was that Eagle 56's boilers had recently been overhauled, and that despite the fact that none of the boilers on any of the Eagle class had failed, survivors from the crew having seen, and identified the attacking U-Boat, and the rescuing destroyer obtaining sonar contact and dropping depth charges on a U-Boat!




              Sinking and investigation


              Eagle 56 was assigned to Naval Air Station Brunswick from 28 June 1944.[2] At noon on 23 April 1945, Eagle 56 exploded amidships, and broke into two pieces[1] 3 mi (4.8 km) off Cape Elizabeth, Maine.[3] The destroyer Selfridge was operating near Eagle 56 and arrived 30 minutes after the explosion to rescue 13 survivors from the crew of 62.[2]Selfridge obtained a sharp, well-defined sonar contact during the rescue and dropped nine Mark IX Mod 2 depth charges without obvious result.[2] According to a classified Navy report, U-853 had been operating in the waters off Maine.[1] At a Naval Board of Inquiry in Portland the following week, five of the 13 survivors claimed to have seen a submarine. Several spotted a red and yellow emblem on the submarine's sail.[4] These insignia match the markings of U-853: a red horse on a yellow shield.[1]Eagle 56's boiler was overhauled just two weeks before the sinking, and none of the boilers on the other 59 Eagle Boats had failed.[5] Nevertheless, the official Navy inquiry concluded that Eagle 56 had suffered a boiler explosion.[1]
              Later events[edit]


              On 5 May 1945, U-853 sank the collier Black Point off the coast of Point Judith, Rhode Island, causing the loss of twelve lives. During the ensuing Battle of Point Judith, U-853 was chased and sunk by Navy and Coast Guard ships on 6 May.

              On 1 June 1945, Rear Admiral Felix X. Gygax wrote, "at least equal evidence to support the conclusion that the explosion was that of a device outside the ship, the exact nature of which is undetermined. It might have been an enemy mine or an enemy torpedo." Ultimately, though, he endorsed the court's findings.[4]

              Because the Allies had cracked Germany's codes, United States intelligence knew in 1945 that U-boats had been sent across the North Atlantic to disrupt shipping in hopes of obtaining better surrender terms. However, only general warnings rather than specific information about this plan were passed to commanders.[6]
              Reclassification


              Plaque at Portland remembering the loss

              In 2001, the Naval Historical Center reviewed the case and reclassified the sinking as a combat loss. In June 2001, Purple Heart medals were awarded to three survivors and the next of kin of those killed.[1] As of 2007, this is the only time that the US Navy has overruled its own Court of Inquiry.[6]

              A commemorative plaque was erected on the grounds of Fort Williams Park near Portland Head Light.
              Wreck discovery


              The ship's wreckage was located in June 2018, and visited by a civilian dive team later the same month. It lies five miles (8.0 km) off the coast of Maine at a depth of 300 feet (91 m).[7] A video taken by the divers shows that USS Eagle 56's boilers are intact.[8] The ship's steel plating is starting to rust away, but the site has been designated a war grave, and it has all the protections associated with that designation.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Eagle_Boat_56


              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-853

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German...f_Point_Judith



              If you still suspect a navy conspiracy, read "Due to Enemy Action: The True World War II Story of the USS Eagle 56" by Stephen Puleo as stated and provided in the link in your OP.

              https://www.amazon.com/Due-Enemy-Act.../dp/1592287395
              Last edited by Marmat; 23 Sep 19, 15:56.
              "I am Groot"
              - Groot

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              • #8
                The reason why a boiler explosion was blamed for the loss of the ship was that Eagle 56's boilers had recently been overhauled, and that despite the fact that none of the boilers on any of the Eagle class had failed, survivors from the crew having seen, and identified the attacking U-Boat, and the rescuing destroyer obtaining sonar contact and dropping depth charges on a U-Boat!
                Exactly. The Navy issued a contradictory statement despite existing evidence, and then "lost" all evidence. As for a U-bat, maybe. A lot of U-boats were "seen during WWII and subsequently depth-charged. Paranoia among sailors was at an all time high.

                Sonar contacts are better, but only the hull of a sunken U-boat at that location would be proof of anything, and the Navy has no proof of anything at all.

                Remember how many decades it took for that destroyer crew to prove that they really did fire on and sink a Japanese sub outside of Pearl Harbor?

                BTW, claiming a U-boat "sighting" as any type of proof means that all UFO's are also real, as is Bigfoot, especially since many such sightings have been reported by pilots, astronauts and other trained professionals.

                The point here is that the Navy lied. And once they lied, all other statements by the Navy are false until proven otherwise, which the Navy now cannot do.

                Therefore, I believe a cover-up is the most likely scenario. The Navy would not, after all, have a reason to cover up an enemy submarine contact which they then prosecuted, which involved other vessels, the expenditure of ammunition and all of the rest. Probably why the records of the official Board of Inquiry also were conveniently "lost along with all copies in other archives", something that is far harder to do than most people realize.

                But they would have every reason to cover up a mistake on their own part which resulted in a sunken ship and the lost of most of the crew to "friendly action". That would have been a court-martial for some high-ranking naval officers, and might even have revealed secret information.
                Last edited by Mountain Man; 23 Sep 19, 16:24.
                Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sailors are routinely paranoid. I know this for a fact.
                  ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
                  IN MARE IN COELO

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                    Exactly. The Navy issued a contradictory statement despite existing evidence, and then "lost" all evidence. As fr a U-bat, maybe. A lot of U-boats were "seen during WWII and subsequently depth-charged. Paranoia among sailors was at an all time high.
                    There's just one thing wrong with that rationale, when applied to your theory:

                    "My personal theory: The US Navy accidentally sank it's own ship, possibly testing a new, classified weapon, and came up with "boiler explosion" and "loss of all records and copies" as a cover up explanation."
                    The USN testing weapons, accidentally sinks its own ship, but there's intelligence info on U-Boats in coastal waters, survivors see an attacking U-Boat, which is caught on sonar and depth charged by another ship... what a freek'in glorious opportunity! What better cover-up explanation could the USN have? A boiler explosion? Seriously? Records were lost after the fact; the loss of a very small ship, doing very small things, as the war in the Atlantic ends, just one of many records lost - a non sequitur given what's been provided by witnesses.


                    "I am Groot"
                    - Groot

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Marmat View Post


                      The reason why a boiler explosion was blamed for the loss of the ship was that Eagle 56's boilers had recently been overhauled, and that despite the fact that none of the boilers on any of the Eagle class had failed, survivors from the crew having seen, and identified the attacking U-Boat, and the rescuing destroyer obtaining sonar contact and dropping depth charges on a U-Boat!








                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-853

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German...f_Point_Judith



                      If you still suspect a navy conspiracy, read "Due to Enemy Action: The True World War II Story of the USS Eagle 56" by Stephen Puleo as stated and provided in the link in your OP.

                      https://www.amazon.com/Due-Enemy-Act.../dp/1592287395
                      I strongly suggest you do the same.
                      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Further to this discussion here's some information on some more of the last U-boats active off the coast of the United States in 1945:

                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfpack_Seewolf#1945

                        Seewolf was formed in March 1945[3] in an effort to re-establish the U-boat offensive in American waters; it was the last wolfpack of the Atlantic campaign. Seven of the nine boats that sailed to the Americas were in Seewolf; a further two sailed independently.

                        Coincidentally, Allied Intelligence formed the view that the Germans were planning to mount a missile attack on the United States, using V-1 or V-2 missiles adapted for launch at sea by submarines. This led to a vigorous response by the United States Navy, code-named Operation Teardrop, to find and destroy the Seewolf boats. This was successful; Of the five boats in American waters by April (two boats had returned to base for repairs, and were still in transit at the end of April) Four boats were sunk during the month:

                        Seewolf boats had one success; U-546 sank USS Frederick C. Davis, shortly before she herself was sunk.

                        The fifth boat U-881 was detected and destroyed on 6 May 1945, the last boat in American waters to be destroyed. The two boats in transit when Germany surrendered were given up to the USN on 8 May 1945.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                          I strongly suggest you do the same.
                          I don't think I have to, because ...


                          From the Back Cover

                          Due to Enemy Action tells for the first time a World War II story that spans generations and straddles two centuries, a story that begins with the dramatic Battle of the Atlantic in the 1940s and doesn't conclude until an emotional Purple Heart ceremony in 2002. Based on previously classified government documents, military records, personal interviews, and letters between crew members and their families, this is the saga of the courageous survival of ordinary sailors when their ship was torpedoed and their shipmates were killed on April 23, 1945, and the memories that haunted them after the U.S. Navy buried the truth at war's end. It is the story of a small subchaser, the Eagle 56, caught in the crosshairs of a German U-boat, the U-853, whose brazen commander doomed his own crew in a desperate, last-ditch attempt to record final kills before his country's imminent defeat. And it is the account of how one man, Paul M. Lawton, embarked on an unrelenting quest for the truth and changed naval history.
                          Author Stephen Puleo draws from extensive personal interviews with all the major players, including the three living survivors (and a fourth who emerged as the book went to press); a senior U.S. naval archivist who worked with German historians after the war to catalog U-boat movements; and the son of the man who commanded America's sub-tracking "Secret Room" during the war. Due to Enemy Action also describes the final chapter in the Battle of the Atlantic, tracing the epic struggle that began with shocking U-boat attacks against hundreds of defenseless merchant ships off American shores in 1942 and ended with the sinking of the Eagle 56, the last American warship sunk by a German U-boat.
                          ... there's nothing here even approaching "The US Navy accidentally sank it's own ship, possibly testing a new, classified weapon, and came up with "boiler explosion" and "loss of all records and copies" as a cover up explanation." Let me know page numbers, quotes including USN conspiracies, new classified weapons etc. when you find it, and I'll reassess, ok?
                          "I am Groot"
                          - Groot

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