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Destroyer Escort Sailors Association DESA

U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

Care Fleet Post Office
New York, New York
DE134/FMR/A16-3/dlh

Serial No. 023

16 April 1944

From: The Commanding Officer.

To: The Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Fleet.

(1) The Commander Escort Division FOUR.

(2) The Commander Task Group 21.12.

(3) The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

Subject: Action of U.S.S. POPE (DE-134) with German U-515.

References: (a) U.S. Navy Reg., Arts. 712, 874(6), and 948.

(b) COMINCH restr. ltr. FF1/A12-1/A16-3 of 29 Oct. 1943.

(c) LantFlt conf. ltr. 13CL-43 (revised).

(d) Action report form “Anti-Sub Action by Surface Ship”.

Enclosure: (A) Report of Action.

(B) to (J) ASW-1 (revised) forms.

1. Subject matter is forwarded herewith, as enclosures (A) to (J) inclusive, in accordance with references (a), (b), (c), and (d).


E. H. HEADLAND

cc: COMINCH (advance copy)

ComDesLant


THE COMMANDER ESCORT DIVISION FOUR

U.S.S. PILLSBURY DE-133, Flagship

April 28, 1944

FIRST ENDORSEMENT

From: The Commander Escort Division Four.

To: The Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet.

Via: (1) The Commander Task Group 21.12.

(2) The Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Atlantic Fleet.

1. Forwarded.

F. S. HALL

U.S.S. GUADALCANAL

CVE60

A16-3

Serial (0016)

Fleet Post Office.

New York, N.Y.

 

7 May 1944.

SECOND ENDORSEMENT

From: Commander Task Group 21.12

To: Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet.

Via: Commander in Chief U. S. Atlantic Fleet.

1. Forwarded, with classification changed to “secret”.


D. V. GALLERY

J. G. JOHNSON.

By direction.

 

Cc: Cinclant.


UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET

A16-3/(00421)

Care F.P.O., New York, N.Y.,

 

15 MAY 1944

THIRD ENDORSEMENT

From: Commander in Chief, United States Atlantic Fleet.

To: Commander in Chief, United States Fleet

1. Forwarded, noting the apparent absence of coordinated effort between POPE and CHATELAIN.

2. Transmission by Registered Guard Mail or U. S. registered mail is authorized in accordance with Article 76 (15) (e) and (f), U.S. Navy Regulations.

 


W. K. KILPATRICK,
Chief of Staff



ORIGINAL COPY TO COMINCH

U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

REPORT OF ACTION OF U.S.S. POPE (DE-134) WITH GERMAN U-515

9 APRIL 1944

Part I. GENERAL NARRATIVE OF THE ACTION

1. The Commanding Officer has endeavored in this narrative to submit the most accurate information possible. All data and times of incidents have been double checked, comparing all available ship’s records, including deck logs, quartermaster logs, engine room logs, D.R.T. track charts, recorder traces, voice radio logs, prisoners information, and personal observation, one against the other. Estimates were made are indicated as such.

2. In brief, it is believed the killing of the U-515 was accomplished by a series of nine attacks delivered by this vessel between 1157 and 1411, following which the submarine surfaced and abandoned ship at 1504. However, the U-boat had been sighted by aircraft from the Task Group the previous night. The cooperative effort that all surface vessels and aircraft of the Task Group displayed at all times, is very apparent.

3. The Pope at this time, along with three other vessels of Escort Division Four, was attached to Task Group 21.12 (U.S.S. GUADALCANAL (CVE-60), SOPA). During the forenoon of 9 April the POPE was acting as single ship screen for the U.S.S. GUADALCANAL in an area about 125 miles northwest of Madeira. At 1120 of this date the carrier completed launching and recovery of aircraft and changed base course to 1600 (t). The POPE came to that course in her station 2000
yards ahead of the carrier.

 

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4. At 1133 the POPE obtained underwater sound contact bearing 1050 (t) distance 700 yards and immediately commenced to come to that course. The Commanding Officer was on the bridge at the time. Report was made to the carrier by TBS, “Have doubtful sound contact bearing 1050, range 700 yards”. The weather at the time was bright and clear and the sea calm. The reply to our message came from the carrier, “Investigate”. Previously, the A.S.W. officer had been called to the
sound hut and the O.O.D. had ordered a D.R.T. plot started in C.I.C., in accordance with standard practice of this vessel. At 1138 contact was lost. FOX gear was not rigged out at this time because of it’s interference when attempting to regain contactafter each run as shown by the previous night’s contacts.

5. The ship began maneuvering to regain contact. At 1152 regained contact and classified echo as “submarine”.  Changed course to close range and sounded General Quarters. At 1157 fired first Hedgehog attack. No explosions heard.   (For analysis of plot and recorder traces of each attack which ensued, see chronological report and A.S.W. forms.) Contact was reported lost at 500 yards. At 1200 voice radio report was made to carrier, “This contact looks good”.

6. At 1203 regained contact and at 1205 launched second Hedgehog attack. No explosions heard. Sound stack reported lost contact at 550 yards.

7. At this point it was decided that the target was so deep that Hedgehog type of attack was ineffective. 1211 regained contact and commenced Depth Charge Run on submarine at speed 15 knots. At 1214 fired first Depth Charge pattern of eleven charges, depth setting, “very deep”, base setting 600 feet. (Note: All depth settings were

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made in accordance with tables in F.T.P. 219.) No. D.R.T. plot of submarine track was obtained for this run. Personal recollection by Commanding Officer, and analysis of recorder traces indicate this run was made too hurriedly and consequently was ineffective. Echoes and traces were both weak on this approach so at 1223 changed course to open range. Sound data was considered insufficient to carry out a good attack.

8. At 1230 regained contact at range 1600 yards and at 1234 launched second Depth Charge attack of thirteen charges, set “deep”. This appeared to be a better run than the first Depth Charge run. However, due to evasive tactics of the submarine and short initial ranges used in order to avoid losing contact, it was now determined to make next Depth Charge runs on submarine at a speed of 10 knots, to better analyze the approach.

9. At 1243 regained sound contact, range 1300 yards. Commenced run at 10 knots. At 1245 broke off the attack because of insufficient sound gear “cut ons”. Opened the range, and at 1249 commenced new run again at 10 knots. On this run the target presented quarter aspects and “cut ons” were better than on previous runs, but no attack was delivered due to faulty relay of data from sound hut to conning officer. This difficulty was remedied and range was opened to 1500 yards and at 1304 contact was regained. During this approach at 10 knots the target presented the bow for most of the run, although target apparently was in a slow turn with left rudder on and at speed of 2 or 3 knots. Cut ons were particularly sharp and proper bearing movement and lead angle readily determined. As shown on the D.R.T. plot the submarine literally ran into the hail of thirteen Mk. 9 charges, set “very deep”, which were

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released at 1307. After capture, four prisoners taken by this vessel, including the Medical and Engineer Officers, verified this fact by volunteering the information that two or more of these charges of the third attack hit on the deck of the submarine, rolled off, and exploded below, opening up the seams of the hull and causing, eventually, fatal damage. Lost contact range was reported 500 yards.

10. At 1310 an assisting ship, the U.S.S. CHATELAIN (DE-149), appointed by ComCortDiv 4, reported having gained contact.

11. At 1313 the POPE regained contact, range 1800 yards, and at 1320 launched the fourth Depth Charge attack of thirteen charges, set “very deep”. Plot indicates the firing time was too early and the lead was too great. Attack speed of 15 knots was used on this run. At 1324 regained contact, range 1000 yards, reduced speed to 10 knots and commenced next run. No charges were dropped. The target echo was in the center of the Depth Charge disturbance and distinguished only by marked “up” Doppler. No firing time could be determined because of coincidence of target trace with Depth Charge disturbance trace.

12. At 1336 regained contact, range 1400 yards. Commenced run at 10 knots. Determined at this point to use 7 charge patterns for the reason that contact was easily being maintained and that a large number of attacks on the target was therefore possible, whereas the full 13 charge patterns would allow for only four more runs. (The allowance of Depth Charges for this vessel is 100.)

13. The fifth Depth Charge attack consisting of seven charges, set “deep” was launched at 1343. Plot indicates this run was of mediocre quality. Lost contact, range reported 450 yards.

14. At 1349 the assisting ship reported by voice radio. “We have

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definite oil slicks near us”. It is believed that this oil strike was rising from the third Depth Charge attack at 1307, when the charges hit the deck of the U-boat.

15. On the next run range was opened to 2050 yards. Plot and recorder trace indicate the target in a starboard beam or quarter, stern, and finally port quarter, giving evidence of fishtail maneuvers to the attacking ship. However, fair “cut ons” were obtained and conning officer was well able to determine proper lead angle, shifting from left lead to center bearing to right lead. Plot indicates both the attack course and firing time were good with at least the starboard projector charge within
damaging range of the submarine. Seven charges were launched, set “deep”, at 1357.

16. According to a visual dispatch received by the POPE from the vessel which eventually picked up the Captain of the U-515, this prisoner stated that the submarine was badly damaged at 1350. Assuming that the time zone meant was local zone time, since there was no attack delivered at or near 1350, German Summer time, this statement confirms the good appearance of the plot and trace. Charges had been set “deep” for this sixth Depth Charge run. Prisoners later stated that
submarine was now at lessor depth due to leak caused by Depth Charge run number three.

17. At a range of 1550 yards regained contact and commenced seventh Depth Charge attack. A seven charge “very deep” pattern was fired with doubtful results as plot shows too much lead and trace shows too late firing time. Lost contact, range was 300 yards, giving good evidence that submarine was coming to a shallower depth.

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18. At about 1420 asked the assisting ship for range and bearing of the submarine, to which she replied, “We do not have contact right now”. At 1426 regained contact as shown by recorder trace. The plotting officer in C.I.C. suggested that the echo might be the assisting ship’s wake. The conning officer checked the actual range and bearing by aid of perlorus and radar and observed a knuckle wake left by the assisting ship at about the point of contact. Shortly thereafter it was determined to start a search.

19. This determination, when taken in review with the benefit of hind sight, was a gross error in judgement, since the traces and echo obtained at 1426 appeared definitely to be submarine. This error is compensated for some degree by the fact that U-515 had taken all the punishment it could already, and surfaced before another attack was delivered.

20. After about twenty minutes searching the following report was made to ComCortDiv 4, who was now in the vicinity with the remaining three ships of the Division present, “We have lost contact. Our plot shows the submarine’s last position should be just about where (U.S.S. CHATELAIN DE-149) now is”. Shortly after this report was made all ships of the division were ordered to form scouting line on the assisting ship, (U.S.S. CHATELAIN DE-149). About this time it was noticed that “BAKER” was hoisted on the U.S.S. CHATELAIN, indicating she had regained contact, although no report was heard confirming this. About the very moment that this was noted there was a great geyser of water which appeared close aboard the U.S.S. CHATELAIN and from which a submarine emerged. Since Depth Charge explosions were heard about a moment after the submarine surfaced it is believed that the assisting ship started an attack at

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this time causing the sub to accelerate it’s surfacing. This is confirmed by a visual dispatch received from the U.S.S. CHATELAIN, wherein the captured German commander stated that he surfaced when the CHATELAIN started a run on him. Also the submarine when surfacing threw up a great plume of water.

21. The U-515 was observed being fired upon from close range by the U.S.S. CHATELAIN, and at a greater range by the U.S.S. FLAHERTY. The POPE did not fire due to the proximity of the assisting ship to the sub, and since it was not necessary as evidenced by the abandoning of the personnel, and huge internal explosion which came out of the conning tower hatch a few minutes after surfacing.

22. A plane from the carrier made two strafing runs over the sub at this time. The POPE now arrived at the spot where the sub had sunk at 1515 and began the rescue of survivors. At 1543 completed the rescue of 37 survivors. The U.S.S. CHATELAIN recovered 5 survivors including the Commanding Officer of the U-515, and the U.S.S. PILLSBURY recovered 1 survivor.

23. The 37 prisoners taken by this vessel were given medical attention immediately on coming aboard by the Division Medical Officer. Four of them had severe shrapnel wounds in body, eight had lesser shrapnel wounds; remainder were only badly shaken up. The Medical Officer’s report is being forwarded under separate cover, in accordance with BuM&S letter P3-2/A16-3(014) dated April 14, 1942.

24. Twenty-one of these prisoners were transferred to the U.S.S. GUADALCANAL via breeches buoy this same day. The remaining sixteen were transferred the following day by the same method, including five transferred via stretcher.

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25. In conclusion, it is interesting to note that the depth charges dropped on the U-515 were the first ever launched by this vessel, except for test launchings. Also, the POPE had encountered only one previous contact classified as submarine, andthat was only nine hours before, when two hedgehog attacks were launched against a contact later assessed by the C.T.G. 21.12 to be the U-68, which was sunk by aircraft on 10 April, 1944.

26. To sum up, a total of 13 runs were made by the POPE on the U-515 in a period of less than three hours from the time of first contact. Attacks were launched on 9 of these runs; two attacks were hedgehog type. Of the remaining 7 depth charge attacks, numbers 3 and 6 definitely damaged the U-515 and caused it to surface and abandon ship. As far as is known, no other attacks were launched against this U-boat until after she surfaced and abandoned ship.

Note 1. Position of first contact with U-515:

Lat. 340 28’ N

Long. 190 30’ W

Position of sinking of U-515:

Lat. 340 30’ N

Long. 190 30’ W

Note 2. All times given are Greenwich Civil Time

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U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

REPORT OF ACTION OF U.S.S. POPE (DE-134) WITH GERMAN U-515

9 APRIL 1944

Part II. CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER OF EVENTS

TIME
TYPE OF ATTACK
SETTING
SHIP’S SPEED
LOST CONTACT
RANGE
REMARKS

1133
Obtained underwater sound
contact.


1158
Lost contact.

1152
Regained contact.
Determined to be sub. Sounded G.Q.

1157
H.H.
10 kts
500 yds.
No detonations heard.

1203
Regained contact.

1205
H.H.
10 kts
550 yds.
No detonations heard. Sub
estimated to be very deep.


1211
Regained contact.

1214
D.C.
11 chgs
600 ft.
15 kts
600 yds.

1220
Regained contact.

1223
15 kts
300 yds.
No attack made.

1230
Regained contact.

1234
D.C.
13 chgs
450 ft.
15 kts
550 yds.

1243
Regained contact.

1245
10 kts
450 yds.
No attack made. USS
CHATELAIN ordered to
assist. Slowed to 10 kts. To get
more data.

1249
Regained contact.

1253
10 kts
600 yds.
No attack made.

1304
Regained contact.

1307
D.C.
13 chgs
600 ft.
10 kts
400 yds.
Prisoners stated charges struck hull, rolled off, and exploded beneath sub, causing fatal damage.

1310 
USS CHATELAIN reported contact gained.

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TIME
TYPE OF ATTACK
SETTING
SHIP’S SPEED
LOST CONTACT
RANGE
REMARKS


1313
Regained contact.

1320
D.C.
13 chgs
600 ft.
15 kts
650 yds.

1324
Regained contact.

1331
500 yds.
No attack made.

1336
Regained contact.

1343
D.C.
7 chgs
450 ft.
10 kts
450 yds.
No evasive tactics noted.

1349
USS CHATELAIN reported oil slick and oil bubbles.

1357
D.C.
7 chgs
600 ft.
10 kts
550 yds.
C.O. of U-boat stated sub was damaged at 1350.

1402
Regained contact.

1411
D.C.
7 chgs
450 ft.
10 kts
350 yds.
Sub probably decreasing depth.

1426
Regained contact in wake knuckle of USS CHATELAIN.
No attack made

1430
Search commenced.

1504
USS CHATELAIN two-blocked “BAKER”.  Submarine surfaced and abandoned ship.

1515
Submarine went down by the stern after internal explosion.

1543
Completed recovery of 37 survivors. USS CHATELAIN recovered 5, USS PILLSBURY 1.
Total 43.



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U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

REPORT OF ACTION OF U.S.S. POPE (DE-134) WITH GERMAN U-515

9 APRIL 1944

EXTRACTS FROM VOICE RADIO LOG

1130
CTG 21.12 V POPE
WE HAVE DOUBTFUL SOUND CONTACT AT 100 DEGREES. OVER.

POPE V CTG 21.12
INVESTIGATE. OUT.

1216
CTG 21.12 V POPE
THIS CONTACT LOOKS GOOD. MAKING THIRD ATTACK, STERN CHARGES.

POPE V CTG 21.12
ROGER.

1245
POPE V CCD 4
DO YOU STILL HAVE CONTACT? OVER.

CCD 4 V POPE
AFFIRMATIVE AND GOOD. OVER.

POPE V CCD 4
COULD YOU USE HELP? OVER.

CCD 4 V POPE
AFFIRMATIVE. OUT.

CHATELAIN V CCD 4
ASSIST POPE WITH ATTACK. OVER.

CCD 4 V CHATELAIN
WILCO. OUT.

1250
POPE V CCD 4
IF YOU HAVE REAL MCCOY AND WANT SHIPS TO LINE UP ON FRONT FOR SEARCH, LET ME KNOW.   OVER.

CCD 4 V POPE
THANK YOU. SO FAR WE HAVE REGAINED CONTACT AFTER EACH ATTACK. REQUEST
CHATELAIN STAY ABOUT 2000 YARDS FROM CONTACT. OVER.

CCD 4 V POPE
ROGER.

1300
CHATELAIN V POPE
PLEASE TURN WEST WITH SMALL RUDDER AND KEEP CLEAR.

POPE V CHATELAIN
WILCO.

CHATELAIN V POPE
PLEASE HEAD AWAY FROM CONTACT.

POPE V CHATELAIN
WILCO.

1305
POPE V CHATELAIN
WE HAVE CONTACT.

CHATELAIN V POPE
DO NOT INTERFERE UNTIL I FINISH HERE.



U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

REPORT OF ACTION OF U.S.S. POPE (DE-134) WITH GERMAN U-515

9 APRIL 1944

EXTRACTS FROM VOICE RADIO LOG

 


POPE V CHATELAIN
WILCO. OUT.

1314
ESCORTS V CCD 4
WE WANT TO GET THIS BABY BEFORE DARK.  DON’T MISS ANY BETS.

1315
CHATELAIN V PIRATE
OUR PLOT SHOWS IT IS ON 270, REQUEST YOU TURN NORTH.

1319
POPE V CHATELAIN
SUBMARINE IS BETWEEN TWO SHIPS. WE ARE CLEAR

1320
POPE V CCD 4
IF YOU THINK HE IS REAL DEEP, TRY ONE OF THOSE CREEPING ATTACKS IF YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH IT. I’LL LEAVE IT UP TO YOU TO THINK WHAT IS BEST BUT YOU MIGHT GIVE IT A TRY.

1349
POPE V CHATELAIN
WE HAVE OIL SLICKS AROUND WHERE WE ARE NOW. VERY DEFINITE OIL SLICKS.

1350
POPE V CCD 4
ARE YOU GETTING ANY IDEA OF HIS DEPTH? ARE YOU USING FATHOMETER?

CCD 4 V POPE
AFFIRMATIVE. HE APPEARS DEEP AND MOST OF THE TIME VERY DEEP.

1353
POPE V CHATELAIN
WE JUST SAW A SWIRL OF BUBBLES COMING UP.

CHATELAIN V POPE
HOW DOES OUR WORK LOOK TO YOU SO FAR?
OVER.

POPE V CHATELAIN
YOUR WORK LOOKS O.K. SO FAR.

1400
POPE V CCD 4
DO YOU FIGURE SHE IS TOO DEEP FOR HEDGEHOG ATTACK?

POPE V CCD 4
ROGER. OUT.

1423
CHATELAIN V POPE
PLEASE GIVE US YOUR RANGE AND BEARING TO CONTACT.

1426
POPE V CHATELAIN
WE DO NOT HAVE CONTACT AT PRESENT. OUT.

1445
ESCORTS V POPE
WE HAVE LOST CONTACT. LAST SUBMARINE POSITION ABOUT WHERE CHATELAIN IS NOW.


U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

REPORT OF ACTION OF U.S.S. POPE (DE-134) WITH GERMAN U-515

9 APRIL 1944

EXTRACTS FROM VOICE RADIO LOG

 

1448
ESCORTS V CCD 4
FORM LINE ON CHATELAIN, DISTANCE 2400, COURSE VIOLET VIOLET BLACK. OUT.

CHATELAIN V CCD 4
GET ON BASE COURSE.

1504
V CHATELAIN
SUBMARINE ON SURFACE NEAR US! (REPEATED)

1507
CCD 4 V CTG 21.12
DO YOU WANT OUR PLANES TO MAKE ANY FURTHER ATTACKS?

CTG 21.12 V CCD 4
NEGATIVE. HE HAS STARTED SINKING.

1515
CTG 21.12 V CHATELAIN
SUB HAS SUNK.

1520
CCD 4 V POPE
REQUEST PERMISSION TO RESCUE SURVIVORS.
OVER.

POPE V CCD 4
GRANTED. OUT.

1530
CCD 4 V FLAHERTY
ESTIMATED NUMBER OF SURVIVORS THIRTY.

POPE V CCD 4
HOW MANY SURVIVORS DO YOU HAVE? OVER.

1535
CCD 4 V POPE
WE HAVE ABOUT THIRTY AND ARE STILL BRINGING THEM ABOARD.

CCD 4 V CHATELAIN
WE HAVE THE CAPTAIN. CAPTAIN LT. HENKE, UNIT 515

CHATELAIN V CCD 4
FIND OUT HOW MANY OFFICERS AND MEN IN CREW.

CCD 4 V CHATELAIN
53 MEN, 6 OFFICERS, 1000 TONS.

CCD 4 V POPE
WE HAVE 37 PRISONERS.

1545
POPE V CCD 4
YOU HAVE 37 SURVIVORS, IS THAT CORRECT?

CCD 4 V POPE
AFFIRMATIVE. 34 MEN AND 3 OFFICERS.

1550
ESCORTS V CCD 4
FALL INLINE ON PRESENT COURSE, GOLDEN RUSSET BLACK DISTANCE 600 YARDS. SWEEP BACK THROUGH AREA. SEARCH FOR SURVIVORS.
OUT.



U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

REPORT OF ACTION OF U.S.S. POPE (DE-134) WITH GERMAN U-515

9 APRIL 1944

 

Part III. REMARKS on ORDNANCE

1. Sixty eight Mk. 9 depth charges were expended. Two full hedgehog patterns of twenty-four each were expended. 
Recommended that consideration be given to increasing number of depth charges allowed.

2. In general, the Mk. 9 charge proved nothing less than deadly in its efficiency. Its rapid sinking rate is considered especially effective. Sinking times were checked. No duds were observed. Recommend that equipping this type of vessel with magnetic operated pistols on depth charges be accomplished as soon as practical.

3. The first depth charge pattern launched contained only 11 charges in place of the specified 13 because of failure of 2 charges to roll off the racks due to distortion of the nose support ring. Recommend that this characteristic of the Mk. 9 depth charge as described in BuOrd Circular letter M38-43, be given wide notice.



U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

REPORT OF ACTION OF U.S.S. POPE (DE-134) WITH GERMAN U-515

9 APRIL 1944

 

Part IV. RESUME OF BATTLE DAMAGE - OWN AND ENEMY

 

1. The TBS voice radio was badly shaken up by the depth charges dropped. Adjustment of relays on the transmitter required about 24 hours work by ship personnel. No other damage to ship was noted.

2. The enemy U-boat, prisoners stated, was damaged severly by the third depth charge attack, when the charges actually hit the submarine before exploding, and again by the sixth depth charge attack, as reported by the Commanding Officer.

3. The third depth charge attack opened up the seams of the pressure hull admitting water. Prisoners volunteered the information that they had three feet of water in the U-boat torpedo room when they surfaced.




U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

REPORT OF ACTION OF U.S.S. POPE (DE-134) WITH GERMAN U-515

9 APRIL 1944

 

Part V. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

1. Above all the Commanding Officer points out the value of (1) identification of echoes and recorder traces; (2) regain contact procedure. The Commanding Officer has emphasized these items during all A/S training periods for the past several months. Great care is always taken to avoid leaving knuckle wakes due to sharp turns of own ship or assisting ship.
As to attacking methods the deliberate and analytical method has always been practiced by this ship in preparing for submerged submarine. It is believed that the results of the action justify these methods. It is pointed out that four approaches were made on U-boat in which no charges were launched, but that due to our training methods, contact was regained and a more perfect attack delivered in each case. Furthermore it is pointed out that this policy enabled a fatal series of attacks to be completed without any assistance from the assisting ship. However, the Commanding Officer still believes that the coordinated two-ship attack as outlined in F.T.P. 219, Section 3, Article 3304, is, when properly carried out, a superior method.

2. Fathometer. No sounding were obtained by fathometer though this instrument was used starting with about the third attack. It is submitted that due to the lead angles taken, the ship never passed directly over the submarine or it’s wake.

 

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U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

3. Use of plot. The value of the D.R.T. plot in this action was outstanding. It’s importance cannot be
over-emphasized. Not only was the ship led directly to the regained contact point for thirteen consecutive approaches, but also this plot enabled the ship to clearly reconstruct every move made during the action, and to study for advantage the lessons therefrom.

4. Training of individuals. Noting that these were the first depth charges ever launched by this vessel, the training of both individual and ship assumes the highest importance.. The Commanding Officer whishes to repeat the often quoted phrase that follows so many Naval actions, “It was precisely like a scheduled practice.”.

 

Two of the officers in the attack team, namely the Executive Officer, who is stationed in the C.I.C., and A.S.W. Officer, were both new to the ship. Their individual training at S.C.T.C., Miami, Fla., contributed greatly to the success of the ship. The third officer member of the attack team, the Commanding Officer, was likewise trained a S.C.T.C., as were most members of the ship’s company.

The ship’s training as conducted by ComDesLant and COTCLant in the vicinity of Long Island Sound, using tame submarines, is also considered by the Commanding Officer to be of immeasurable value.

5. A.S.W. Department. This ship’s organization provides for an A.S.W. Department wherein the A.S.W. officer is assigned personnel and equipment with responsibilities equal to the other departments aboard the ship. The Commanding Officer believes this setup contributes to the efficiency of the ship as an A.S.W. vessel.

Deep settings. It has been a policy of this vessel to be prepared for very deep settings on the depth charges for daylight

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U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

attack on submarines. The results of this action proves the value of this policy. However, occasional medium or shallow settings are recommended to counteract evasive rising of a sub.

6. FXR Gear. Non use of this gear greatly aided sound operators to obtain better “cut ons” when the target’s path had been crossed. Doubtless this increased the danger to own vessel, but the Commanding Officer decided for daylight attack it was worth the gamble.

7. Bathythermograph. Lack of this instrument was keenly felt. It is recommended that at least one vessel in each group of A/S vessels be equipped with it.

8. Enemy Tactics. During the attacks it was noted that as the ship approached the “lose contact” point, there was frequently difficulty in determining target movement, i.e., which was the leading cut on. After several attacks, it was correctly assumed, as analysis later showed, that the U-boat was in effect “waving his tail at us”. When such tactics prevented the sound operators from obtaining good data, the attack was broke off and approach from a different angle was attempted. By our analysis the U-boat presented his beam to our attack only once.

9. DESLANT letter X-60 provides some excellent instructions for the rescue of survivors, the Division Medical Officer was on board this vessel. In one respect it is recommended that these instructions be altered, namely that compartment C-201-AL which contains the sick bay, be used in place of the forward living compartment on vessels of this type.

 

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U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

10. Assisting Ship. The Commanding Officer recommends that the provisions of Article 2304, F.T.P. 219, be strictly followed in this matter. In addition, the necessity for the assisting ship to maintain contact continuously, and at the greatest possible sound range from the submarine, is emphasized. It is recommended that she maintain a speed about equal to the submarine speed and avoid leaving knuckle wakes. All these factors will tend to keep the assisting vessel from interference with the attacking vessel.

11. Ship Design. The double rudders provided the DE type vessel allows remarkable control in making an anti-submarine attack. The ability to make effective changes in lead angle at “lost contact” ranges is an overwhelming advantage. The location of the sound hut adjacent to the conning station on the open flying bridge is also most advantageous, allowing the conning officer to hear and see the echoes and traces when desired. In this connection, the voice tube from the
sound stack should be within a few inches of the voice tube to the wheel. A separate, larger diameter voice tube from C.I.C. to conning station is also recommended.

12. Administrative Supervision. The cooperative supervision of ComCortDiv 4 in the U.S.S. PILLSBURY, has at all times been of the greatest benefit to the POPE. In particular his emphasis on material, on standard procedures, and his supervision of the underway refresher training, have been of outstanding value to the ship.

13. Prisoners’ Information. It was noted that the many prisoners taken by this vessel were most talkative and appreciative during their first few hours after being rescued, particularly after receiving first aid and rest. In view of possibilities of proper prisoner interrogation

 

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U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

at such time, it is recommended that consideration be given to brief training of at least one officer for this purpose. The tactical situation in this case could have been cleared advantageously if it could have been learned early from these prisoners if and when their sub had been attacked by aircraft the previous night.

14. Standard U.S. Fleet Instructions. The POPE has followed standard U.S. Fleet methods throughout, and believes this successful sinking of the U-515 to prove the accuracy of standardized U.S. Fleet instructions. The lessons learned bypursuing the COMINCH monthly ASW Bulletin have been of especial value. In view of the fact that these depth charge attacks were the first ever launched by this vessel, the sinking of the U-boat is considered a triumph for standardized fleet
instructions.

 

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U.S.S. POPE (DE-134)

REPORT OF ACTION OF U.S.S. POPE (DE-134) WITH GERMAN U-515

9 APRIL 1944

Part VI. PERSONNEL, PERFORMANCE AND CASUALTIES

1. All personnel performed their duties in an outstanding meritorious manner.

2. The Executive Officer in particular is deserving of mention for his outstanding work in assisting the Commanding Officer in this action.


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