Daily Bulletin

Daily Bulletin - 21.10.1940, Blaðsíða 2

Daily Bulletin - 21.10.1940, Blaðsíða 2
2 DAILY BULLETIN Reporters eight day voyage on British convoy. BY BRYDON TAVES United Press Special Correspondent. Aboard a British destroyer, in the North Atlantic, in October. — Germany is shooting the works to make good its threat of total blockade of the British Isles but after eight days aboard a little British flotilla leader I can say that hundreds of ships are entering and leaving British ports each week. German submarine and air attacks marked my voyage. Not one day passed without action. The British crew was either manning gun and depth charge stations to fight off a U-boat or manning anti-aircraft sta- tions to fight attacking planes. I saw one British merchant- man take a long range torpedo squarely amid ships and sink within a half hour. The next day our destroyer evened the score. A „Tin Fish“, meant for us, missed by a scant thirty feet as we wipped around it. Then we rocked from the concussion of our own depth charges and I saw an oil patch spread slowly over the surface, marking that U-boat’s end. The destroyer was engaged in a typical convoy job, and its duties were something between those of a conscientious sheep dog and a sister of charity lead- ing a bunch of orphans across a busy City street. We were one destroyer and one smaller warship escorting a thirty ship convoy spread over fifteen square miles of ocean. Watching the line of hulls stretching out behind us, I remembered what a naval h. officer m a convoy control room in a West coast port told me, some time before I sailed. “Give me fifty over-age American destroyers”, he said, “and I will guarantee to cut our shipping losses by considerably more than 50 per cent.” Our destroyer was more than twenty years old but she could do thirty knots without strain- ing and could turn around on a penny. Her captain told me proudly that he could stop her dead within her own length when moving at twelve knots. Our operation orders were to take an outwardbound convoy to a point near mid-Atlantic, out of range of subs, and then pick up an incoming convoy and shepherd it through the danger area to coastal waters, where it would be divided, the ships proceeding to various ports. On the fifth day, after we had picked up the big inward bound convoy of almost fifty ships, a submarine appeared. We were plowing through heavy seas. The tail end of a gale was blowing. I was on the bridge. There was a dull boom among the ships stretched behind us and a column of smoke rose from the side of the leading ship on the port string of freighters about a half mile away. The destroyer lurched so quickly as it wheeled around that in a moment our bows were scooping up mountains of sea, hurling them back high over the bridge and into the yard arms in geysers of spray and foam. The torpedo was fired from a safe distance of as much as five miles into the middle of the convoy. Such long range shots, which U-boat captains are said to favor increasingly, are hit or miss. They generally have less effect when they hit and this is why many ships lately hit by torpedoes have been damaged but not sunk. This shot was lucky. It struck a 4,000 ton freighter squarely abeam. Our captain signaled a sloop that had joined us that morning to help track down the U-boat, while the smaller warship nicknamed “Heart Disease”, was sent to pick up survivors. In the gathering darkness our


Daily Bulletin

Beinir tenglar

Ef þú vilt tengja á þennan titil, vinsamlegast notaðu þessa tengla:

Tengja á þennan titil: Daily Bulletin

Tengja á þetta tölublað:

Tengja á þessa síðu:

Tengja á þessa grein:

Vinsamlegast ekki tengja beint á myndir eða PDF skjöl á Tímarit.is þar sem slíkar slóðir geta breyst án fyrirvara. Notið slóðirnar hér fyrir ofan til að tengja á vefinn.