U.S.S. CHATELAIN (DE-149)
 
 
8 June 1944.
 
     
 
From:   The Commanding Officer.
To:   The Commander, Task Group 22.3.
     
Via:   The Commander, Escort Division FOUR.
     
Subject:   Capture of U-505
     
Reference:   (a) CominCh Restricted Ltr. : FF1/Z-12-1/A16-3, Serial 7152, 29 October 1943.
     
Enclosure:   (A) Report, Antisubmarine Action By Surface Ship.
    (B) Lists of Survivors picked up by the U.S.S. CHATELAIN.
    (C) Dead Reckoning Tracer Plots Diagram of Action.
    (D) Sound Range Recorder Traces.
    (E) Disposition of Screen Plan.
 
     
 
    NARRATIVE - Capture of U-505
     
Time of Capture:   1127Z 4 June 1944.
Position of Capture:   Lat. - 2130N        Long. 1910W.
All Times:   GCT.
 
     
          1.        The U.S.S. CHATELAIN, in company with Task Force 22.3 on the forenoon of 4 June 1944, was on base course 000°T, 021° psc. at standard speed 13 knots (220 RPM), making anti-submarine patrol in the Cape Verde Islands Area. SOP Captain D. V. Gallery, U.S.N., in the U.S.S. GUADALCANAL. The CHATELAIN was patrolling station G-1 of Screen plan 35, and zig-zagging in accordance with the GUADALCANAL.  
     
          2.        Carrier had hoisted signal QUEEN, QUEEN, denoting commencing flight operations, when contact was first made at approximately 1109Z; bearing 060°T; range approximately 800 yards; no doppler; bearing width 25°.  
     
          3.        Changed course to 075°, reduced speed to 10 knots. Rapid bearing movement was noted to starboard. At approximately 1109-30, changed course to 095°T. At 1110, the Commanding Officer relieved the deck. Reported via TBS to carrier: "Investigating possible sound contact." First range obtained at 600 yards on range recorder. Range closed rapidly. 1110-30, ASW officer arrived on the bridge. 1112, classified target as submarine. Range too close to fire. Sounded General Quarters. Lost contact at less than 100 yards.  
     
     

            

 
 

   
Subject:                                    Capture of U-505.
 
 
NARRATIVE - Capture of U-505.
 
     
          4.        Using right standard rudder, proceeded to regain contact. Regained on starboard quarter at approximately 200 yards. Due to proximity of the carrier, the range was then only opened to 700 yards, at which point proceeded to close the range. 1116, fired full pattern of hedgehogs on course of 285°T., relative speed 8 knots, and slight opening doppler. Turned on fathometer. No detonations were heard, and no indication of depth received by fathometer. Contact was lost at approximately 50 yards, indicating a shallow target. At time of firing hedgehogs, bearing movement was noted to be changing to starboard. Continued on course to the point where hedgehogs entered the water. Dropped dye marker.  
     
          5.        Changed course slightly to port, to open range. Contact immediately regained at 100 yards. Proceeded to open range. Set depth charges for shallow pattern. Increased speed to make depth charge attack. 1116-40, bearing was 068°T, range 425 yards. Received message from carrier's fighter plane above: "Ship that just fired hedgehogs, reverse course".  
     
 
1117   Fighter plane fired machine guns at spot in water forward of our starboard beam. Received following message from the plane: "I am firing at spot where sub is".
     
1118   FXR gear fully streamed. Range 500 yards, came right to attack course.
     
1119   Fighter plane fired again at spot bearing 130°T from us.
     
1120-30   Bearing of submarine 128°T. Steadied on attack course of 135°T. Proceeded to close range rapidly on course 135°T. Relative speed 14.5 knots, with slight closing doppler. No hydrophone effects noted at anytime.
     
1121   Dropped and fired full 14-charge shallow pattern. All charges set to function hydrostatically, and magnetic. Dropped dye marker with center charge. All charges exploded. One charge was noted to have exploded fairly shallow (either prematurely or by magnetic influence). This was evidenced by a severe jolt and a large geyser of water, approximately 50 feet high, which followed the explosion. This explosion is believed to have
 
     
 
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Subject:                                    Capture of U-505.
 
          5. (continued).  
     
  rendered the Mk-52 director control of the 40MM gun inoperative, by jolting the 5Y3 heater tube in the training amplifier loose. After detonations, a large oil slick was immediately observed astern. Received following messages from the fighter plane: "You struck oil."; "Sub is surfacing". Came right to southwest.  
     
          6.           1122-30, submarine surfaced bow first on our starboard quarter, distance approximately 700 yards. Came right, placed submarine on our beam and stopped all engines. The order: "Action Starboard", was passed to all guns. Hedgehog crew was ordered to man #1, 3"/50 gun.  
     
          7.           1122-40, all guns commenced firing, range 500 yards, scale 497. Spots during the firing were applied as follows: "No change scale 500" - immediately thereafter the range was increased to "700 yards no change". Several hits were observed. All guns were hitting in close proximity to the submarine. 1124, ordered "Cease Firing". Ordered Torpedo battery "Stand By" - sent down "target angle 090°, Speed 2 knots". 1125, fired one (1) torpedo. Track was observed by torpedomen to pass 50-100 yards ahead of submarine. (later confirmed by prisoner). Submarine was running erratically, and turning to the right toward us, apparently out of control.  
     
          8.          About 1125 enemy personnel were observed abandoning ship. A fighter plane strafed the submarine, for and aft. Shots were observed hitting the water down the port side of the submarine. Submarine continued to swing right toward us Order was given for all engines ahead standard. Submarine passed close aboard our stern. Reduced speed. At approximately 1131, it was observed that apparently all enemy personnel were clear of submarine and in the water. 1135, picked up first of survivors via survivor net. 1148, put our motor boat in the water to pick up evidence, in accordance with TBS instructions from the Commander, Escort Division FOUR, in the U.S.S. PILLSBURY (DE-133), while the PILLSBURY'S boat but a boarding party aboard the U-505 and took charge. At 1205, picked up remaining survivors and stood by while salvage operations were underway.  
     
 
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Subject:                                    Capture of U-505.
 
 
NARRATIVE - Capture of U-505.
 
     
          9.           Ammunition expended was as follows:  
     
 
1 Torpedo - MK 8, Md 5.
14 Depth Charges - MK 8.
3"/50 Caliber - 48 rounds.
40MM Gun - 328 rounds.
20MM Guns - 955 rounds.
 
     
          10.           Forty-eight (48) men, as per Enclosure (B), were picked up by this vessel, including the commanding officer. These men were later transferred to the U.S.S. GUADALCANAL.  
     
          11.           In conclusion, the Commanding Officer whishes to commend the able and splendid cooperation given the CHATELAIN by the fighter plane mentioned in the body of this report. Throughout the entire action, valuable and pertinent information was given by him.  
     
     
 
 
 
D. S. KNOX
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
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        Enclosure (A)

 

 

 

 

 
 

   
U.S.S. CHATELAIN (DE-149)
 
  Enclosure (B)  
     
  8 June 1944.  
     
 
NARRATIVE OF CAPTURE OF U-505.
 
     
          The following is list of survivors taken aboard the U.S.S. CHATELAIN as Prisoners of War, 4 June 1944.  
     
 
OFFICERS:
 
Lange, Harold - Captain in Command

Hanser, Joseph - Engineering Officer

Brey, Kurt - Photographer
Rosemeyer, Karl Friedrich - Doctor
 
OVER OFFICERS:
 
Schmidt, Willy
Fricke, Otto
Reinig, Alfred
 
UNDER OFFICERS:
 
Weingartner, Albert
Blan, Ludwig
Weinhold, Albert
Wagner, Toachim
Springer, Karl
Reh, Werner
Holdenried, Alfred
Michael, Heinz
Arndt, Henery
 
CREW:
 
Tharwesten, Ewald
Honemann, Werner
Visser, Erich
Ludecker, Werner
Huse, Helmuth
Kalbitz, Erich
Gouder, Gerhard
Kern, Anton
Kueisel, Wiely
Wilm, Gunther
 
     
     

 

 
 

   
U.S.S. CHATELAIN
 
  NARRATIVE OF CAPTURE OF U-505. ENCLOSURE (B) Cont'd  
     
 
Neebe, Hans
Krug, Gunther
Schubert, Wolfgang
Schiller, Wolfgang
Felix, Ewald
Bergmann, Helmuth
Acksel, Hans
Becker, Ernst
Decker, Hans
Weber, Ludwig
Deitz, Otto
Lann, Erich
Banmert, Walther
Wenz, Joseph
Saner, Wiely
Kohlmann, Heinz
Engelbarth, Willy
Keitzmann, Rudi
Duhme, Henrich
Gobeler, Hans
Kraus, Jose F.
Senft, Hans
 
     
     
     
     
 
 
     
     

 

Enclosure (C)

 

Enclosure (D)

 

Enclosure (D)

 


 

 
 

   
TELEPHONE
REPUBLIC 8650
 
DUDLEY S. KNOX
 
 
ATTORNEY AT LAW
 
 
1028 CONNECTICUT AVENUE, N. W.
 
 
WASHINGTON, D. C.
 
     
 
January 23, 1953
 
     
  Rear Admiral J. B. Heffernan  
  Director of Naval Records and History  
  Room 2511 Main Navy Bldg.  
  Navy Department  
  Washington, D. C.  
     
  My dear Admiral:  
     
           I am enclosing herewith a copy of a letter to Admiral Gallery, which in effect supplements my original report concerning the capture of U-505, in an attempt to clarify certain misconceptions as to the facts that existed at the time of this incident.  
     
          It is felt that the above is necessary in view of recent articles published on this subject, along with Admiral Gallery's book, which tend to over emphasize the part played by aircraft.  
     
          After examining for the first time the fighter pilot's report of this incident, and reviewing again my report, I can readily see how Admiral Gallery, and others might reach such conclusions. I am, therefore, submitting the inclosure as an addendum to my original report for whatever use it may be to future historians.  
     
                                                                                                         Yours very truly,  
 
              
 
 
DUDLEY S. KNOX              
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

 
 

   
January 21, 1953
 
  Admiral Daniel V. Gallery  
  Chief of Naval Reserve Training  
  Naval Air Reserve Training Center  
  Naval Air Station  
  Glenview, Ill.  
     
  My dear Admiral:  
     
          I read with great interest your book "Clear the Decks" and want to congratulate you on an excellent job. I found it most interesting and entertaining.  
     
          I do want to state, however, from the standpoint of posterity, and on behalf of the wonderful crowd I sailed with on the Chatelaine, that there are certain misconceptions as to facts which might lead to conclusions not warranted under the circumstances. For the sake of the record, therefore, I feel it my duty to write and explain to you certain things that have come to my attention quite recently.  
     
          As a result of reading an article in the Readers Digest, and page 216 of your book, it was brought home to me that the general public at large, and many naval officers could easily assume that the fighter pilots brought the Chatelaine over the submarine almost single handed. Knowing you as I do, I came to the conclusion that an error, or some misconception of the facts existed in the official documents covering this incident. I, therefore obtained, and saw for the first time the narrative issued by the Composite Squadron 8, United States Atlantic Fleet as reported by Ensign Cadle and Lt. Roberts. In paragraph 2 thereof, these pilots report in part as follows:  
     
     
 
"The nearest escort, the Chatelaine, appeared to be on a course which would not take her over the submarine so F-1 again transmitted directions and again marked the submarine with a burst of gunfire. The Chatelaine then changed course and made a depth charge run dropping directly over the submarine" (emphasis supplied)
 
     
          It seems apparent that the fighter plane pilot assumed that Chatelaine had lost complete contact with the submarine, and therefore was conned entirely by the directions and activities of F-1. From what he saw, this was a reasonable assumption on his part, in the absence of any knowledge of what was going on on board the ship, more especially so since he could not have been well versed in ship-handling nor in ASW ship doctrines and procedures.  
     
     

 

 
 

   
Admiral D. V. Gallery - Page #2
 
          I have to admit also that his variation of the affair might perhaps be a somewhat reasonable evaluation of his report and mine, taken together, except for certain pertinent points I will attempt to bring out later. Not having seen the pilots report, nor anticipating the differences of opinions as to the value of the airplane's assistance, I did not cover this point in any great detail. I therefore now feel that you are entitled to know more of the facts from the Chatelaine's viewpoint. This is something I would have attended to many years ago, had I had access to the pilot's report in the first place.  
     
          As indicated in my report (and confirmed by the DRT and sound track filed therewith), after missing with hedgehogs (about 1116) I proceeded under standard ASW doctrine to "change course slightly to port to open range". Sound contact was "immediately regained at 100 yards. Proceeded to open range. Set depth charges for shallow pattern. Increased speed to make depth charge attack." At 1116-40 the "bearing was 068 true, range 425 yards". (emphasis supplied)  
     
          Up to this point no airplane had entered the picture, the Chatelaine having been maneuvered entirely by sound and was following a general plan of action perscribed by standard ASW proceedure. At 425 yards, more or less, I received a message from the plane overhead "ship that just fired hedgehogs reverse course" and the plane fired machine gun at a spot in the water forward to our starboard beam, and sent us a message "I am firing at spot where sub is". That spot bore only two degrees from the bearing by sound.  
     
          It should be noted, again, that at this point I was still opening the range. I was 425 yards from the target, and had by that time intended, and subsequently executed a turn to the attack course. However, as indicated in the reports, I was given able assistance by F-1 at the range of 425 yards. A check of visual against sonar bearings, and our DRT plot in CIC, precluded in my mind, the necessity of wasting precious time. (The Guadalcanal was still vulnerable). I therefore started my attack at 500 yards with many advantages not normally enjoyed by an ASW vessel. Under the circumstances it would have been silly to have opened range to 1000 yards, as perscribed by standard ASW doctrine.  
     
          I do want to state categorically however, that the entire attack, from start to finish, was based primarily and almost wholly upon information from my sound crew. Information from the plane was valuable, but only in confirming and accelerating decisions already decided upon, as distinguished from those already executed. In effect it hastened a successful conclusion to the affair.  
     
          I am sure you will agree from the foregoing, that it is obviously incorrect to conclude that the U-505 capture was one of "the few cases in which an aircraft actually directed the attack". Rather, in my opinion, it is a case in which aircraft combined and integrated its efforts with a surface craft, and gave pertinent and valuable information which materially aided in a rapid and efficient "kill". No doubt you will recall that I said substantially this in my official report, thus giving the F-1 fair and full credit when the incident was still fresh. In my opinion it would be quite unfortunate to have historians fail to record  
     
     

 

 
 

   
Admiral D. V. Gallery - Page #3
 
  accurately the fundamental facts of, and lessons learned from this dramatic affair.  
     
          I am therefore sending a copy of this letter to the Director of Naval History, with the request that it be placed in the official files of the Department, as a supplement to my original report on the capture of U-505, dated 8 June 1944. I trust this meets with your approval.  
     
          With warm personal regards.  
     
     
     
                                                                                               Sincerely,  
     
     
                                                                                              DUDLEY S. KNOX  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
DSK:dt
 
     
     

 

 
 

   
CHIEF OF NAVAL AIR RESERVE TRAINING
 
 
U. S. Naval Air Station
 
 
Glenview, Illinois
 
     
 
January 26, 1953
 
     
  Dear Dud  
     
          I have your letter of January 21 and am sorry to learn that you feel the CHATELAINE's part in the U-505 capture has been belittled. It certainly was not my intention to do this.  
     
          When you are writing for the general type reader of popular magazines you often have to say things differently than you would say them in an official report. And you often have to leave out explanations and details which are important and interesting to the people who actually took part in the battle, but which are not important to the general reader, would only slow up the narrative, and thus result in fewer people reading it. Whatever misconceptions of fact posterity may get from my accounts of the action can be laid to this.  
     
         Your letter takes about 1000 words to explain in detail a very brief part of the action. I was trying to give the gist of it in a sentence or two. When you do this some of the details necessarily get lost.  
     
          For example, one detail of that action which I have purposely left out of both my official reports and all subsequent accounts, was the firing of a torpedo by the CHATELAINE after the U-505 had surfaced and was being abandoned. Had that torpedo hit, it would of course have ruined our whole plan. Since it didn't -- I see no use in mentioning it. The only reason I bring it up now is, that you obviously feel that the CHATELAINE got the worst of it when the story was written for publication. So I hope this will show that when you balance good against bad in the omitted details it comes out about even.  
     
          I certainly have no objection to your writing to the Director of Naval History and supplying him with any of the missing details you see fit.  
     
     
                                                                                                               Sincerely,  
     
                                                                                                    S/        D. V. Gallery  
                                                                                                               D. V. Gallery,  
 
                                                                                                             Rear Admiral, U.S.N.
 
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

 
 

   
TELEPHONE
REPUBLIC 8650
 
DUDLEY S. KNOX
 
 
ATTORNEY AT LAW
 
 
1028 CONNECTICUT AVENUE, N. W.
 
 
WASHINGTON, D. C.
 
     
 
January 23, 1953
 
     
  Rear Admiral J. B. Heffernan  
  Director of Naval Records and History  
  Room 2511 Main Navy Bldg.  
  Navy Department  
  Washington, D. C.  
     
  My dear Admiral:  
     
          In order to make the record complete I am forwarding herewith a copy of a letter from Admiral Gallery in reply to mine of January 21st and a copy of my reply to him of today.  
     
          With many thanks for your cooperation in this matter, I am,  
     
     
                                                                                                         Yours very truly,  
 
              
 
 
DUDLEY S. KNOX              
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

 
 

   
February 18, 1953
 
  Admiral Daniel V. Gallery  
  Chief of Naval Reserve Training  
  Naval Air Reserve Training Center  
  Naval Air Station  
  Glenview, Ill.  
     
  My dear Admiral:  
     
          Thank you for your letter of January 26, 1953. Let me hasten to state that I certainly do not feel, nor have I ever felt, that it was your intention to belittle the Chatelaine's part in the capture of the U-505. As you will note in my letter to you of January 21st, I reached the conclusion, only, that an error, or some misconception of facts existed which was borne out by my further investigation into the official reports of this incident.  
     
          I also fully understand the necessity for brevity in writing for popular magazines, and am glad to know that the fine points and details of this incident, involving the Chatelain's part, were left out for this reason; rather than through my failure to have augmented my original report with the further details belatedly sent you.  
     
          As to the torpedo incident, I did not realize you had left this part of the action out of your own official report. Of course, as you know, it was reported in mine; although if I had anticipated any difference of opinion on the wisdom of this action, I would naturally have explained my reasons at greater length. I am in no way embarrassed by my actions in this connection as I feel that under the circumstances, not to have fired the torpedo could have made me culpable under the Articles of War for failure to do my utmost to destroy the enemy, if the action had developed differently.  
     
          For example, at 1122-30 U-505 broached, and Chatelaine turned right putting target abeam, and stopped engines. At 1122-40 Chatelaine opened fire with all guns at range 500 yards, and immediately lifted to 700 yards. Several hits were seen. The Germans poured through the hatch, but went over the side. They seemed to have no fight in them at that point. Likewise it was observed that the U-505 was not carrying a 4" gun (as did the U-515), but only AA batteries. Hence the Chatelaine ceased fire at 1124. It was then  
     
     

 

 
 

   
Adm. Gallery - February 18, 1953 - Page 2
 
  noted with surprise that the U-505 was underway and turning towards the Chatelaine. A lookout reported observing torpedo tracks heading for the Chatelaine (later unconfirmed). Knowing that a surfaced sub can be lethal if she uses her torpedoes (U-505 had only AA guns), and not knowing who might still remain on board (neither did DAVID) I concluded that the sub was attacking me. If so, I was in a tough spot.  
     
          Remember that the Chatelaine's position at that moment was extremely vulnerable to torpedo fire, with no headway and broadside to the sub, a mere 500 yards away. A torpedo shot from her could scarcely miss us, and my great disadvantage could not be overcome quickly by maneuver. Hence, at 1125 I took the bull by the horns, and fired my torpedo at U-505.  
     
          Of course, I had another alternative, and that was to reopen fire with my 3" batteries, but in view of our unsuccessful attempt to do her serious damage by all guns from 1122-40 to 1124 (which included 48 rounds of 3"/50 ammunition) I decided , that if the issue was to be in our favor only a torpedo would do the trick. (my gunnery officer was later asked by DESLANT officials why we didn't fire a spread) My decision not to use guns was subsequently borne out by the fact that the Jenks and Pillsbury fired 53 rounds of 3"/50 ammunition at the submarine without lethal effect.  
     
          There is one remaining question I would like to clear up. From your letter I sense an implication that I fired the torpedo after you had ordered a general cease fire from the Guadalcanal. Although it is not in my official report, I have a clear recollection of having heard, soon after my torpedo was fired, your TBS to the escort division commander directing that fire be ceased and that boarding be undertaken. My recollection as to the time of your TBS is confirmed by the official reports of Jenks and Pillsbury. As you will recall, my torpedo was fired at 1125. Jenks reports opening fire at this precise moment. She had been approaching at high speed and I had warned her to keep clear of my torpedo. She ceased fire at 1127 after firing 32 rounds of 3"/50 ammunition. In the case of the Pillsbury, she opened fire at 1124, and ceased fire at 1128 on orders from the escort division commander, (on board of her) having expended 21 rounds of 3"/50 ammunition. Thus it will be seen that the action against the submarine was still going on three minutes after my torpedo was fired, by the division flag. It is believed, therefore, that there can be no question as to the fact that the Chatelaine fired its torpedo before you gave your orders to cease fire and board.  
     
          I appreciate the fact that you raised no objections to my having sent a copy of my letter to you of January 21st to the Director of Naval History. I therefore assume you would have no objections to my sending a copy of this letter, together with yours of January 26, 1953 to the Director, in order to make the record complete.  
     
          Trusting that you are enjoying your present duty, and with best wishes, I am,  
     
     
                                                                                              Yours very truly,  
     
     
                                                                                              DUDLEY S. KNOX  
     
     
     
 
DSK:dt
 
     
     

 


 

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