Daily Event for May 22, 2012

On May 22, 1943 USS Bogue CVE-9 was escorting convoy ON-184 to the USA when a target was picked up by the HF/DF team. The bearings were calculated and aircraft were sent toward the target. At 1715 (GCT) a TBF-1 Avenger of VC-9 piloted by Lieutenant (j.g.) William F. Chamberlain, USNR with Aviation Radioman 2nd Class James O. Stine and Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Donald L. Clark (gunner) left Bogue in search of the target, twenty-five miles from the carrier the target, a U-boat, was located.

U-569, built at Blohm & Voss in 1941, was on her 9th war patrol and in the middle of the north Atlantic. Her commander, Oberleutnant zur See (R) Hans Johannsen was on the surface sending radio signals which were picked up on Bogue, when Chamberlain attacked from astern. Complete surprise was gained by Chamberlain and his depth bombs exploded alongside the boat causing serious damage.

Johannsen submerged, but he could not stay down long as water was coming in at the stern, when he came to the surface his boat was attacked by another Avenger of VC-9 from Bogue, flown by Lieutenant H. S. Roberts, USNR, with gunner Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class W. C. Boyd and radioman Aviation Radioman 2nd Class
N. G. Newman another pattern of depth bombs were loosed on the damaged boat. Johannsen ordered men forward to keep trim, but this failed, so he then ordered the boat abandoned.

When the men came out on to the casing, Boyd opened fire with his .50 cal. machine guns in his words "to keep them inside and to prevent scuttling", and probably to keep them from manning their anti-aircraft gun (and maybe to get rid of a few Germans as well). However after a white flag was raised from the periscope the shooting stopped and HMCS St. Laurent H-83 moved in and picked up Johannsen and twenty-four survivors, twenty-one men were lost in the sinking, most apparently had been washed overboard and drowned, but at least one went down with the boat, an engineer stayed behind to scuttle the boat and could not get out in time. The loss of U-569 was the first loss to an American escort carrier operating with a hunter-killer group.

Lt. (j.g.) Chamberlain was later transferred to USS Solomons CVE-67 and was shot down and killed on June 14, 1944 while attacking U-860.
© 2012 Michael W. Pocock

Roll of Remembrance
Zum Gedenken an die Gefallenen des Unterseeboot 569
"In the memory of the fallen crewmen of U-569"

Adam, Hans-Joachim
Bornmann, Hugo
Brocke, Egon
Eckstein, Rudolf
Leutnant (ing)
Gennat, Willi
Heine, Georg
Hohmann, Heinz
Hollmann, Artur
Kutterer, Erich
Markworth, Fritz
Nebelsieck, Wilhelm
Rötzschke, Alfred
Rupp, Ernst
Schlaff, Willi
Scholand, Johann
Schrief, Kurt
Söhl, Johann
Steger, Heinz
Stickler, Leopold
Leutnant zur See
Tiedemann, Günter
Wolter, Erwin

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