Page 38 - Caribou and Grandmere
ISSUE : Issue 46
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/8/1
(So first you'd sweep the mouth of the har? bour. And then would you stay in front of the vessel?) Well, this was--our main func? tion was to do that. But due to his speed, we couldn't do that. (On that particular night. But normally you would just stay in front of her?) I can't even recall whether we were able to do that on the previous runs. Not likely, because we probably went through the same procedure. Just going a- long with her. (So you're the coder, and you're in the wifeless shack. When do you first know that there's any trouble?) Well, it hap? pened just prior to the change of watch. It was about 3:20 in the morning, and we had a change at 4 o'clock. So the Action Call went--you automatically go to your Action Station. My Action Station was in the wireless shack. And John--where was (yours)? Rigby: Depth charge magazine. (And what could you see?) Hedden: Couldn't see anything. Rigby: I couldn't see any? thing in the magazine, because it's down below, where the depth charges are stored. Hedden: I got orders to report to the bridge, up the companionway on the double, get the position of the sinking, track down, code it--and have it sent out by the wireless operator. Now, I just get down there and I get an immediate recall to the bridge--because they gave me the wrong po? sition. So I had to get up again. But in the meantime the captain was wheeling that (ship)--and I'm down in the companionway, and we're laying practically on our side. He's put that ship in such a tight turn to attempt to ram (the submarine). (Your captain then had seen the submarine come up.) Oh, it was up. It didn't come up, it was already on the surface. (And your captain decided to try to ram it. Did he get it?) No. Unfortunately, we didn't have any success. Rigby: She dove then. She dove, and we went right over the top. That's when we started dropping depth charges. (And how long did that go on?) Oh, it seemed like an awful long time to me, but it might have been--what? an hour?--it's hard to say. I was down there--I went down at, say, 3:30 in the morning, and I didn't come up-- it was just breaking day when I came up, when we saw the survivors. Three hours. Hedden: Number One, when the Caribou would go down, your asdie--your sonar--is going to pick up the sinking ship, which would add to the confusion of trying to pick the submarine up. (But you were dropping depth charges, and you were after the submarine.) Oh, yeah. Sinking of S.S. "Caribou" by a U-Boat: At 0340/14 "Grandmere" was 1500 yards fine on the starboard quarter of the "Caribou," when the 0.0.W. (officer on watch) saw the latter struck by torpedoes on her starboard side. Speed was increased to 16 knots and almost inmedi- ately the U-Boat was sighted bearing Green 10 , 300 yards, course approximately 120 , proceeding at high speed. Course was altered to starboard to ram, but the U-Boat dived when still 150 yards a- way, leaving a distinct wake. No asdic contact was obtained, so a 6 charge pattern set to 150 feet was fired as the U-Boat's wake passed down the port side. Two further attacks were made, each with 3 charges set to 500 feet, about 50 yards to the east of the first attack. No contacts were obtained and no re? sults observed other than a slight amount of oil, probably from the "Caribou." A search was contin? ued until 0520 when course was set to pick up sur? vivors. Movements of the U-Boat: It would appear that the U-Boat approached and attacked from close on the starboard bow of the "Caribou," then turning to port to make good her escape at high speed. Conclusions: 1. The first depth charge pattern was dropped on the U-Boat's wake. The U-Boat submerged when still 150 yards from "Grandmere"--time taken to cover this distance at 16 knots is approximate? ly 17 seconds. This, added to the time taken for depth charges to sink, gives a total time of 32 seconds from the moment the U-Boat submerged to when the depth charges exploded. In this period the U-Boat could travel over 100 yards and reach a maximum depth of 75 feet. Bay Natural Foods "For Your Health's Sake Buy Natural Foods" HOIUIE BAKING Great Selection of Vitamins and Minerals Beer- and Wine-IVIaking Supplies Bulk Herbs and Spices by the Ounce or Pound C.O.D. Orders Accepted by Mail or Phone Glace Bay 35 Commercial Street 849-4387 Sydney Across from K-Mart, toward Schwartz 539-6767 [Connors Office Products School Supplies - Artist Supplies Calculators - Typewriter Rentals Office Supplies - Office Furniture V .' BUY - RENT - LEASE 'cP'' Open Your Account Today S-' (902)562-7900 386 Charlotte St., Sydney • 5* Need a Radiator? Muffler? Shocks Brakes? Specializing in Radiator ~ Repair & Recores Heaters Water Pumps Etc. '(38), 562-2300 F r GEOR 1 '1 01 4 (JE ST 1 < Specializing in Mufflers Brakes ,MASTER MUFFLER fprin' f'' Located in Downtown Sydney 349 George St. - Cape Breton 539-6691
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