AO37/A16-3                                  U. S. S. MERRIMACK  
  Serial:  001  
                                                                                                                                 July 23,1943.  
  SECRET  
 
 
 
From: Commanding Officer.
To: The Vice Chief of Naval Operations.
   
Via: Commandant, Fifth Naval District
   
Subject: Prisoners of War from German submarine - Transportation of and delivery to U.S. shore authorities.
   
Reference: (a)  VCNO conf. ltr. serial 01227316 of 19 May 1942.
  (b)  VCNO conf. ltr. serial 07213 of Feb. 1, 1943
  (c)  VCNO conf. ltr. serial 060916 of Jan. 23, 1943.
   
Enclosures: (A)  U.S.S. McCORMICK ltr. serial 019 dated 16 July 1943.
  (B)  Despatch MERRIMACK to U.S.S. CORE 161657.
  (C)  Despatch CORE to MERRIMACK 161815.
  (D)  Memo Lt(jg) R.E. Law, USNR, of MERRIMACK dated July 16.
  (E)  Memo Lt(jg) Law dated July 17.
  (F)  Memo Lt(jg) Law dated July 18.
  (G)  Memo Lt(jg) Law dated July 19.
  (H)  Memo Lt(jg) Law dated July 23.
  (I)   Memo Lt. I. Stein, USNR, of MERRIMACK.
  (J)   Memo Lt. G.W. Griffin, MC-V(G), USNR, dated July 17.
  (K)  Memo Lt. Griffin dated July 18.
  (L)   Memo E.A. Lippert, SF2c, USNR, dated July 18.
  (M)  Memo Lippert dated July 19.
  (N)  Memo Lippert dated July 22.
 
          1.        The MERRIMACK received on board on July 16th, 1943, and will turn over to assigned Naval authorities at Base How on July 24th, 1943, three prisoners who are apparently sole survivors of a German submarine attacked and sunk by planes from the U.S.S. CORE in the early morning hours of July 16th, 1943, in Latitude 300 07' North, Longitude 440 26' West.  
 
 
          2.        This attack on the submarine took place about fifteen miles away from U.G.S. #9, and at the request of the CORE, the destroyer MC CORMICK, was detached from the convoy screen, proceeded to the scene of the sinking, and picked up three survivors, who, along with some debris, were later in the day transferred to the MERRIMACK.  Enclosure (C), (despatch from the U.S.S. CORE), indicated that the plane reported that there had been five survivors seen in the water immediately after the attack  
     
          3.        The prisoners consist of the following:  
     
                      OTTO, Walter (Lieutenant)  
                      BURCK, Hans (Coxswain)  
                      YOUNEK, Walter (Seaman second class).  
     
 
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  AO37/A16-3                                  U. S. S. MERRIMACK  
  Serial:  001  
                                                                                                                                 July 23,1943.  
  SECRET  
 
 
 
Subject: Prisoners of War from German submarine - Transportation of and delivery to U.S. shore authorities.
 
 
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        4.        During their stay on this vessel, the officer has been confined separately from the two enlisted men, each group kept under continuous guard, entirely separated from the ship's crew, accompanied at necessary times by either a ship's officer or crew member interpreter speaking German.
 
 
 
 
        5.        In accordance with basic instructions, direct questioning has been avoided.  However, much information, some of which is apparently and deliberately mis-information, has been obtained in course of normal conversation.  The interpreters and guards were instructed to refrain from direct interrogation of an official nature, but to record, unknown to the prisoners, the subject-matter of their conversation.  Enclosures (D) to (N) contain these records.
 
 
 
 
        6.        It was apparent shortly after arrival of the prisoners on board that all had agreed on the story they would tell, and that they lied in saying that the sub was not sunk but merely dived leaving them on the surface.  The officer stated that he kept the two men close to him for the hour they were in the water awaiting the arrival of the destroyer.  He later, in a unguarded moment, stated the sub sank at a 45 angle.  Many of their statements are inconsistent, but the record should form an excellent basis for future questioning by experts.  The Commanding Officer understands German and frequently conversed with the prisoners, always via an interpreter, and did not let on that he understood.  However, from all these conversations, I am convinced that the submarine was sunk and that the earlier statements of the prisoners on this point were false fabrications.  The effects of separation for days from all contacts except of the guards, the interpreters and the Commanding Officer finally brought the officer to the point where he is talking freely of most subjects except the strictly military.
 
 
 
 
        7.        The officer prisoner had a well-trimmed, full beard on arrival, but one of his initial requests was to have an opportunity to shave it off.
 
 
 
 
        8.        The prisoners had practically no clothes when rescued for they had discarded most of them in the water before the plane
 
 
 
 
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  AO37/A16-3                                  U. S. S. MERRIMACK  
  Serial:  001  
                                                                                                                                 July 23,1943.  
  SECRET  
 
 
 
Subject: Prisoners of War from German submarine - Transportation of and delivery to U.S. shore authorities.
 
 
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threw them life jackets.  As a result, the MERRIMACK furnished all three with an outfit consisting of the following:
 
 
 
 
Clothing and Small Stores
Ship's Store
             
1 No  Belt, woven
.25
  1 No  Brush, tooth
.13
1 No  Comb,
.05
  1 Tube Cream, dental
.28
1 Pr  Drawers, nain
.35
  1 Bar  Soap, facial
.06
2 No  Hankerchiefs
.16
  4 Pkg  Cigarettes, TF
.18
1 No Shirt, chambray
.75
     
$ .65
1 Pr  Shoes, low
4.50
       
2 Pr  Socks, cotton
.40
       
1 No  Undershirt
.35
       
   
$ 6.81
  TOTAL COST PER PERSON $ 7.46
 
 
 
 
        9.        The officer was subsisted from the Wardroom mess and the two enlisted men from the general mess.
 
 
 
 
        10.      Copy of this letter and enclosures will be turned over to the Officer in Charge of the unit who receives these prisoners together with the box containing debris picked up near the scene of the attack, and the original of this letter will be forwarded by regular registered mail.
 
 
 
 
        11.      This letter is classified secret in accordance with reference (c).
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                W.  E.  HILBERT,
 
 
                                                                                Captain, U.S.N.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Copy to:
 
 
        Cinclant (without enclosures).
 
 
        Comservforlant (without enclosures).
 
     
 
 

ENCLOSURE (D)

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
July 16, 1943.
 
 
 
 
From: Lt(jg) R. E. LAW.
To: The Commanding Officer.
   
Subject: German prisoner, Information regarding.
 
 
 
 
        1.        This officer's name is Otto, the family name has not been given.  After twice casually asking him his name, he gave only his first name.  He is a line officer of a rank corresponding to an Ensign.  He attended the German Marine School near Kiel.  His age has not been discussed nor the years during which he attended this school.  He claims to be a Swabian, and evidently comes from a well-to-do family.  He has not mentioned the town from which he comes but I feel that he has been or is accustomed to luxuries, though not at all imperious.
 
 
 
 
        2.        I believe that he understands, and very probably speaks English.  I asked him the German word for wife, Grandmother and father-in-law, the latter word used intentionally:  he gave the German words.  He repeated "What do you call it?" without the slightest trace of accent.
 
 
 
 
        3.        He is not at all sullen.  On the contrary, I believe he is glad to be alive and seems willing to converse if military subjects are not discussed to an obvious extent.  He is very cooperative and seemingly helpful.  He has not complained once, except to mention the fact that he has no comb.
 
 
 
 
        4.        He spoke about exercising in the cat-walk of the U-boat and getting sun baths.  He spoke also of the food they had at sea, how excellent it was, and the amount in which it was eaten.  Seemingly, there is no complaint about the food, meat, potatoes, fresh vegetables.
 
 
 
 
        5.        He asked about the Sea-Train in our convoy, if the tankers were Navy, and what kind of ship was "Hot-Shot".  He is, as I have mentioned, very intelligent, but not at all anxious to discuss military matters except very generally.
 
 
 
 
        6.        He had the duty when the U-boat was bombed and claims that he does not know whether or not it sank.  In leaving the boat his foot was stuck a glancing blow by a hatch that he believes was being closed.  He probably
 
     
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
July 16, 1943.
 
 
 
 
Subject:        German prisoner, information regarding.
 
 
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was told not to divulge one iota of information to the enemy, but I think that after a few days of idle talk we may be able to glean one or two ideas from him, but the experience of the bombing is too recent as is the above admonition.
 
 
 
 
        7.        About food, he mentioned the fact that ashore they did not mess as well as they do at sea.  He seemed very anxious for a cup of coffee, using one teaspoonful of sugar, and very little "condensed milk".
 
 
 
 
        8.        He does not know if his Captain was killed nor how many men were thrown into the water by the bomb blast.  In the pocket of his trousers he had a few sodden cigarettes, "Gold Dollar" with what appeared to be a picture of Queen Victoria stamped on the paper in gold.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                                R. E. LAW.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
 

ENCLOSURE (E)

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
July 17, 1943.
 
 
 
 
From: Lt(jg) R. E. LAW.
To: The Commanding Officer.
   
Subject: German prisoner, Information regarding.
 
 
 
 
        1.        I am more convinced than ever that the officer prisoner can speak English fluently.  I gave him a pencil, a pad of paper and a German dictionary, and told him to practice writing out any requests he might have.  He wrote several practice sentences, each fairly lengthy:  the sentence structure was perfect.  Within several hours he was, by use of the above dictionary, able to speak and read a score of words in English, and to detect their exact meaning.  He claims that the only English, and to detect their exact meaning.  He claims that the only English words he knows are those that have a similar pronunciation in German:  for example, Red Cross, blood, davit, deck, Manila line and others.
 
 
 
 
        2.        He is the oldest of three children, having a sister and a brother ranking in age as in the above order.  Although he never actually mentioned it, I believe that both parents are alive.
 
 
 
 
        3.        He mentioned that he knows a girl to whom he would like to be married but feels as though the war obviates this possibility.  This girl, although he is not actually affianced to her, is a foreigner.  She is a Danish citizen and lives in the province of SCHLESWIG, in the city of the same name, the latter just twenty-five miles Northwest of Kiel.
 
 
 
 
        4.        Sometime during the war, the Germans captured a 200-ton beached British submarine.  He went aboard this submarine and was amazed at its size, remarking that he actually saw a bath-tub constructed within.
 
 
 
 
        5.        This officer's submarine carried a stock of liquors.  He mentioned that at lunch they each had two bottles of beer, and more than that at dinner.  The beer was kept cold in a refrigerator.  They also carried a non-alcoholic drink in the nature of "cherry-crush".  He remarked that everyone aboard liked this cold beer and each was thankful for it - light lager too.
 
 
 
 
        6.        He spoke of Berlin; how the steps leading up from the platforms to the street level are literally covered with advertisements of "Juno" cigarettes, - the most popular.  They also have "R-6", and "Gold Dollar".
 
     
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
July 17, 1943.
 
 
 
 
Subject: German prisoner, Information regarding.
 
 
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        7.        He asked if we had a Red Cross unit in America as he was anxious to write to his friends in Germany and inform them of his whereabouts.  He wanted to write to the girl mentioned above and let her know he is safe.
 
 
 
 
       8.        He knew of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Harlem; could pronounce each, and knew that Harlem was generally considered a Negro section.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                          R. E. Law
 
 
                                                                                          Lt (jg) U.S.N.R.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
 

ENCLOSURE (F)

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
July 18, 1943.
 
 
 
 
From: Lt(jg) R. E. LAW.
To: The Commanding Officer.
   
Subject: German prisoner, Information regarding.
 
 
 
 
        1.        This officer was born on December 10, 1920 in CLOW, a small town a few miles North of Stuttgart in the Wurtemburg province.  He was a member of the Hitler Youth from his thirteenth year.  After he became sufficiently old, he entered the German Naval Academy in 1939 and graduated in 1940, and has been on active service since that date.
 
 
 
          2.        He is engaged to the girl mentioned previously, but is unable to marry her because she is not a German citizen.  He wore a ring on the third finger of his left hand but he lost it after the attack on the submarine:  he did not state whether he was wearing it at the time or it was in his cabin in the submarine.  He is very anxious that she be informed of his safety, saying that she will hear of his being missed, making a motion with his hand suggestive of a vessel sliding off and sinking by the stern.  He seems to believe that she will hear of it more quickly from the German Naval authorities than she will by letter from him, saying that it will take a letter by the latter method four months to get to her.  He says that the government sends only one letter to a family - mother and father or wife.  
     
          3.        He knows a girl in America and said that his mother insisted that he maintain a correspondence with her before the war.  This girl's name is Dorothy Schram and she lives in Glueck or Willmar Minnesota: appears to be a close friend of the family.  
     
          4.         He is a member of the Nazi party as is his father.  He enlarged on this statement saying that one is not compelled to join, it is voluntary and was most anxious to convey that idea.  
     
          5.        He described Germany saying that all military personnel on furlough may ride the public conveyance free of charge.  Every military person may spend his furlough anywhere within the boundaries of Germany: many appear to spend it in the mountains.  His furloughs were generally spent at his parent's home in Stuttgart, and it took him 15 hours to get there from Kiel.  
     
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
July 18, 1943.
 
 
 
 
Subject: German prisoner, Information regarding.
 
 
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          6.        He resents being questioned about military affairs and always answers that he does not know.  I am able definitely to account for the Captain and Navigating Officer; the latter being married.  He feels that our military personnel would divulge information so he cannot very well divulge any.  He is glad that he is not a prisoner of the English, he has accounts of prisoners being mistreated and manhandled, but he does not think the German camps treat Allied prisoners in like manner, though he has never seen one.  
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                          R. E. Law
 
 
                                                                                          Lt (jg) U.S.N.R.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
 

ENCLOSURE (G)

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
July 19, 1943.
 
 
 
 
From: Lt(jg) R. E. LAW.
To: The Commanding Officer.
   
Subject: German prisoner, Information regarding.
 
 
 
          1.        The prisoner states that on submarines, the officers each have a full four hour watch, and they do not have any watches to correspond with our two "dog watches".  He had the 08-12 and the 20-24 every day - the Captain had no watches but all other officers aboard had their allotted watches.  
     
          2.        He asked me if the ship were bound for Norfolk, and if we had also sailed therefrom.  
     
          3.        He mentioned that for breakfast they had eggs, cereals, fruits; their lunch corresponds with ours, while their evening meal consisted chiefly of vegetable and noodle soups.  He explained that this was good for the stomach.  These soups were made with water and dried vegetables packed especially for this purpose.  
     
          4.        He mentioned that he had never been to any of the camps maintained for the service-men-on leave, costing five marks a week.  He explained that he always has to visit his family of Aunts, Uncles, etc.  
     
          5.        His father is a Federal Judge, and hears criminal cases of crimes committed in Wurtemburg.  
     
          6.      He has never had to work for a living as he had spent all his time in the Hitler Youth, school, or the Naval Academy.  
     
          7.        Goering is the most popular man in Germany next to Hitler of course.  Goebbles is not very popular, his general appearance is against him.  Goering has a sense of humor that is pleasing to the German people.  Most of his medals were awarded him during the first World War.  
 
 
     
                                                                                       R. E. LAW  
                                                                                       Lt (jg) U.S.N.R.  
     
     
     

ENCLOSURE (H)

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
July 23, 1943.
 
 
 
 
From: Lt(jg) R. E. LAW.
To: The Commanding Officer.
   
Subject: German prisoner, Information regarding.
 
 
 
          1.        Of the two enlisted prisoners, BURCK is the more talkative, but he fancies himself as being adept at subterfuge and capable of inventing enough falsehoods and hyperbolic statements to confuse the general picture.  The remaining prisoner talks very seldom, but any remark as to Germany's ultimate defeat tends to irritate him enough to make him become very sullen.  BURCK has a dirty mind, and it is occupied with thoughts of nothing but women and the greatness of Germany.  He is a braggart and tends to be overbearing.  Both men speak of women in Norway and Sweden, Kiel and Hamburg, where BURCK spends some time on leave if he does not return to Frankfurt-Am-Main.  Both have been in France and have mentioned Toulon several times.  
     
          2.        BURCK is married and has a wife, mother and three small children at home.  His wife's first husband was killed on the Russian front.  He is a petty-officer, and is a trainer on the deck gun, pay clerk and also acts as a bridge look-out.  
     
          3.        He hates the British and can recount horror story upon horror story to substantiate the basis for his hatred.  He claims that the British drop match-boxes, boxed hankerchiefs, fountain pens, pencils, etc. over German cities where they are largely picked up by women and children, and it is only these people who suffer burns and annihilation from these "booby-traps".  
     
          4.        When the survivors were picked up, a can of grease was floating about in the water.  BURCH claims that this is kept on the bridge of the U-boat and is smeared on the dogs of the water-tight hatch in the conning-tower.  The present submarines are built too quickly and are not as strong as they might be.  Before the war, according to him, a welder could have been kept busy 24 hours a day welding tanks, submarines and cars, saying that Germany produced 400 automobiles a day.  
     
          5.        BRUCK, like the officer, is concerned about his wife worrying over his whereabouts.  He claims that his U-boat was due back in Germany on the thirteenth of this month.  The government considers a submarine or ship lost only after it has been overdue 7 weeks.  Each submarine has a group of banners to display when entering port to denote a sinking of a merchant or warship and the number of each.  
     
     

 

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
        6.        In order to get to African waters, the U-boats, according to BURCK, left the western coasts of Belgium or Netherlands, north and around the Shetland Islands, south of the Faroes, then south around Ireland and thence to their respective patrol areas.  He made a very general motion to trace this route, but when asked why it was not possible to shorten this route by running through the Channel and basing in France, he became very vehement in denying its possibility.
 
 
 
 
        7.        BURCK is fearful of "stool-pigeons" who masquerade as recently captured high-ranking German Naval Officers and he is certain that each cell is equipped with a dictaphone.
 
 
 
          8.        Before every departure and again on every return the entire crew of a submarine is weighed.  Up to the time of BURCK's capture, he had gained 14 pounds.  When a submarine returns to its base, it is left unmanned and apparently everyone on board has a furlough.  BURCK can get home in 8 hours from his base and he lives in Frankfurt-Am-Main.  According to him, special train cars are provided for the U-boat's men to expedite their return home.  
     
          9.        He believes implicitly in Germany and in what he is told.  He claims that every Belgium and Dutch prisoner was returned home and that Germany was starved into submission in the last war but it will not happen during this war.  His braggadocio is insufferable but all he thinks of is women and the ultimate victory and greatness of Germany.  
     
            10.     Neither of the two men nor the officer have ever seen Bermuda, Aruba, Curacao.  Nor does it seem that they have been anywhere except the areas around the Canaries and the North Sea.  The officer thought Bermuda was a clean island and marveled at the Atolls and reefs near a base.  
     
     
                                                                                                RAYMOND E. LAW  
     
     
 
 

ENCLOSURE (I)

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
        Report of Observations on Officer Prisoner
 
 
 
 
        He appears to have a good understanding of English if not a good speaking knowledge.  I noticed that in using the sentence "What is it called" during a casual conversation with him, he pronounced it perfectly.  There was no indication of the usual mispronunciation of the letter "W".  While he was being issued small stores items he seemed to understand in one or two instances what the Paymaster and I were saying in reference to the clothing he was receiving.
 
 
 
 
        This officer, who claims to be of a rank equivalent to an Ensign, stated that he and the two seamen prisoners were on deck when they were attacked.  Evidently the attack was a complete surprise.  He was curious to know whether the aircraft was very fast.  He also stated that he could not say whether the sub was sunk or had crashed dived leaving him to fend for himself.  The hatches were being battened down as she was going under.
 
 
 
 
        I offered the opinion that he was lucky in that he was picked up.  Of course it was not so lucky that the submarine was lost but at least he would some day return home.  He reflected "You never know what will be there when you go to sea.  At first I thought that I was lost and then the destroyer came along and now I am living again."  He also thought that he was lucky in being able to stay afloat for the hour that he was in the water.  "I just relaxed on my back and floated".
 
 
 
 
        He was very much surprised in seeing "Hot Shot".  He asked whether it was an aircraft carrier.  His submarine evidently has been operating in this vicinity for some unknown length of time.  He offered the information that the bales floating by today were bales of rubber and that he had seen many of them.
 
 
 
 
        I questioned him about the living conditions aboard the submarine.  He claims that the larder is quite full with an abundance of meats and vegetables carried in a refrigerator and called my attention to the fact that he did feel and look robust.
 
 
 
 
        He appears to be in his early twenties, is a graduate of the German Naval Academy situated near Kiel and he is engaged to be married.  I believe that he is very much at ease now that he is aboard this vessel.  He evidently expected a barrage of questions to be thrown at him and became quite differently disposed toward Mr. Law and I as the conversation went along.  We tried to make him feel that we were only trying out our "High school German" and that this was a great opportunity.  In fact he suggested that we would improve as we continued to converse with him.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                         Respectfully submitted,
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                        IRVING STEIN
 
     
 
 

ENCLOSURE (J)

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
Data from Hans Burck, Seaman (?) to Medical Officer on 7-17-43.
 
 
 
 
His sub had no sick bay, no medical officer, but did have a pharmacist's mate (or equivalent) with a medicine cabinet.  He received treatment for his boils on board his ship for about five days before being transferred to this ship.  He received no tablets by mouth for this, but in the conversation he did reveal the fact that they receive daily after the evening meal four tablets - vitamin preparations - and also some type of cracker - which he spoke of when asked if they got Vitamin D.  Apparently they are also told to go topside for sunshine, as they have good sun tans, and he did say that they had no sun lamp aboard.  They have fresh fruits, vegetables and meats for about fourteen days after being provisioned, which upon asking how long since having these foods - as the foods now are canned - he hushed but then said about two months - which would make their date of last provisioning about 4 to 6 weeks ago or possibly two months.  He had had some milk soup and fish the day previous, but did not say if the fish was canned, frozen or if it had been caught.
 
 
 
 
At the time of being attacked he and another seaman were topside with an officer - which the man said of his own volition that the officer was an ensign.  He and the other seaman are watchouts, and at the time he was on watchout duty, he then remembers being thrown or on two occasions said he was dodging something, and in this movement he lacerated the right buttock by striking the hatch cover which was open at the time.  He next remembers being "thrown" and then reflects that he had water in his face, and that he was in the water.  At the time he heard a "loud crack" - which may have been his impression or actually a noise of some kind.  He apparently was unconscious for a short period of time, as when being asked what happened he says "Me don't remember".  He also says that one of the minor lacerations on the right forearm was from a fish biting him while in the water.
 
 
 
 
His injury on the right buttock is due to injury while being attacked, but the remainder of the lesions are due to conditions that existed prior to the sub being attacked.
 
 
 
 
GWG
 
 
 
 
 

ENCLOSURE (K)

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
Data from Hans Burck, S 2/c. to Lubbehusen to Medical Officer on 7-18-43
 
 
 
 
Burck was married on Easter of this year.  His home is in Frankfort and that his wife is there now.  He did not say when he had last heard from her.  He was in Frankfort when he was married and that they sailed the next day.
 
 
 
 
He definitely stated that the sub was not hit and that the three of them that were topside were caught and had to swim for it when the sub dove under them.  He said that he was in charge of the "cannon" topside - apparently a 3" of 4" gun, yet the day before he said that he was a lookout.
 
 
 
 
He said that the sub was one about 80 meters long, capable of making 25 knots on the surface and about half that speed when submerged.  They were able to stay submerged "from two to three days" without surfacing.  They carried a crew of about 35 to 40 and that the bunks were short due to crowded conditions aboard.  They were given leave about four times a year and that this was given them when they returned home (Germany).  The ship is an electric-diesel type of ship.
 
 
 
 
They have made seven trips that took them within sight of land of the United States, he mentioned being Mexico, Mississippi and Madagascar.  Also, they had made innumerable trips along the coast of Africa.  He stated that they did not receive food or oil while at sea but returned to a base for provisioning.
 
 
 
 
When asked how ill patients were taken care of, he replied that if serious enough they were transferred to large ships or hospital ships where they had medical staffs.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
GWG
 
     
 
 

ENCLOSURE (L)

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
July 18, 1943.
 
 
 
 
        Notes taken from conversation between LIPPERT, E.A. SF2c, USNR and German prisoners.
 
 
 
 
        Burke, the tall German enlisted prisoner, said that he was on his way back at the time of the attack.  Every time they got back they spent about 6 or 8 weeks getting repairs and provisions.  He got married the last time he was back and only spent one day with his wife and said he was all set to have a good time while the sub was getting reprovisioned.
 
 
 
 
        He thought there wa a good possibility of his ship not being sunk.  The three men taken prisoners were on the bridge when the bomber dropped his bomb.  He thought it was not a direct hit, but a near miss.  The next thing he remembered he was in the water and the sub was gone.  He said he was stunned momentarily during that time.
 
 
 
 
        He made a remark that they sank a Swedish ship.
 
 
 
 
       He said the ocean around where he was picked up was full of crude rubber.
 
 
 
 
        When he first got aboard he mentioned that this area was very dangerous waters and he looked all over the horizon.  He said if it wasn't for the airplanes there would be no convoy's like this going across the ocean.  On seeing the CORE, aircraft carrier, he said "We have one like that too".
 
 
 
 
        He said that the Japs good soldiers, Americans very good soldiers, the German soldiers good too, but the Italians no good.
 
 
 
 
        When the two enlisted prisoners talked among themselves, they mentioned Toulon two or three times.
 
 
 
 
        The smaller one of the two is 19 years old and had his birthday in June.  He has been in the Navy one year.  His parents are both living.
 
 
 
 
        The big fellow hoped they weren't going to Canada.  He was afraid of the British.  He said his father was captured during the last war and taken to England and he knows how he got treated.  He doesn't want to be a prisoner of the British, but wants to go to Americans.  
 
 
 
         The taller one said his arm was hurt before the attack by a fish fin and said he use to put ice packs on his arm.  
     
         He said the food on the MERRIMACK was very good and liked it.  
     
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
Page Two
 
 
 
 
        He is worried about letting his wife know that he is still alive.  He wanted to know if he could write through the Red Cross and let her know when he gets to the United States.
 
 
 
 
        He said there were forty-five (45) men on his ship.
 
 
 
 
        He said there were only three on watch at a time and they were the only ones that were on topside at the time of the attack.  He said he never saw the plane; the first thing he remembered was an explosion.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
 

ENCLOSURE (M)

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
July 19, 1943.
 
 
 
 
        Notes taken from conversation between LIPPERT, E.A. SF2c, USNR and German prisoners.
 
 
 
 
        Burck, Hans, said the time passed very slowly in his compartment and wondered if he could have some games.  He also wondered if he could shave.
 
 
 
 
        Burck said he wished the war would be over very soon and he said he knows the war is over with as far as he is concerned
 
 
 
 
        He said he was home in January and April and he was on the way back at this time.  He said he got home about four times a year and had about one month's time at home in Frankfurt.  He said he changed into civilian clothes or otherwise he would wear his arm off saluting all day long.  He said when they got into port, the yard took the submarine over and everybody had time off until she was ready to sail.
 
 
 
 
        Burck said he lived in Frankfurt and the smaller one said he lived in Breslau close to the Polish border.
 
 
 
 
        He said the morale is pretty good aboard ship, they had plenty of coffee, cigarettes and food in general.  He also said they carried beer, wine and whiskey on board.  They had to pay for this out of their salary.
 
 
 
 
        Burck said they sank nine ships in 1941 around the mouth of the Mississippi River.  They mentioned Galveston, New Orleans, Pensacola, and Miami.  He also said they spent a lot of time in the Caribbean Sea and around Trinidad.  Burck said he has been in the Navy for three years.
 
 
 
 
        He thinks Germany will knock off Russian, after knocking off Russia he says it will be easy to knock off England, and by that time the United States will be ready to declare armistice.  He thinks the United States will realize that Germany is too strong and useless to fight with her.
 
 
 
 
        Burck said he has a brother that was fighting in Russia and is injured so badly that he is not fit for any more war duty.  His father is dead and thinks his mother will worry now because of him being missing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
 

ENCLOSURE (N)

 
 
 
 
 
U. S. S. MERRIMACK
 
 
 
 
July 22, 1943.
 
 
 
 
        Notes taken from conversation between LIPPERT, E.A. SF2c, USNR and German prisoners.
 
 
 
 
        They said their torpedoes could travel about ten miles, but to shoot with any accuracy five miles if they could follow a ship and get her right speed and course.  In rough weather it is tough to shoot a torpedo because they have to set it too deep and has a tendency to go under the ship fired at.  They build  a lot of small submarines not too large so they are small and fast as a weasel.  They said the Germans captured an English submarine and fixed it up, but they say it is too slow and large to dive very fast.  They are now using it to sink English ships.  One advantage about rough weather for submarines is that the enemy can't pick them up so easily.  They said the Japs sent a "good will" submarine to Germany.  He said one of the Jap crew members could talk German and he drank and talked with him all night.
 
 
 
 
        Burck said he was awarded the German Iron Cross.  He said he was with a crew that sank 100,000 tons.
 
 
 
 
        He said the English bombed the city of Cologne to the ground.  Left the city in ruins not fit to live in.  They killed a lot of women and children.  He also said they blasted the largest and prettiest church in Germany to the ground in Cologne.
 
 
 
 
        They said the Germans captures three million Russians so far this war.  And further stated that they captured 120,000 English at Dunkirk.  He said the Germans found some maps on the English officers on how they were going to split up Germany after the war.
 
 
 
 
        They said they were afraid to ride on the tanker.  They said they thought they got the majority of the tankers and there are only a few left.  They think there is an awful shortage of gasoline and oil in the United States.
 
 
 
 
        The smaller of two spent six months in France.
 
 
 
 
        He said no ship ever sails on Friday from Germany because it is considered very unlucky.
 
 
 
 
        They said when they leave port every little place on board ship is cramped full of provisions and after a little while out they begin to get a little more room to move around.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
 

 


 

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