Skip to comments.Gulf camera reveals site of WWII sinking of SS Robert E. Lee, German U-boat
Posted on 07/14/2014 12:50:31 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
........[The] SS Robert E. Lee was carrying survivors from sister ships torpedoed in the Gulf, from Trinidad to New Orleans. On the June 30,1942, as it reached just 25 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River, a German torpedo hit.
According to historical accounts, a lookout spotted the torpedo coming in and alerted the steamer's escort, the American submarine chaser USS PC-566. The sub immediately began dropping depth charges.
The German U-boat, U-166, which launched the attack, was sunk with no survivors. Its wreck cannot be disturbed, now protected as a war grave for the 52 crew lost.
On board the SS Robert E. Lee, lifeboats were scrambled and all but 15 of the 283 passengers and crew on board survived. They had just 15 minutes to get off before the boat disappeared under the waves......
........"I didn't know World War II was fought in our backyard," said Dr. Robert Ballard, who leads the trip. Ballard is among the world's most accomplished and well known deep-sea explorers, credited with the 1985 discovery of the wreck of RMS Titanic....
.....From the SS Robert E. Lee and U-166 they will move onto the Gulf Penn, a second world war tanker taken down by a U-boat in May 1942. They will then begin a dive on the SS Alcoa Puritan, a cargo ship torpedoed and sunk the same month.....
(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...
Meanwhile, much to the delight of the Houston Chronicle, Senator Rand Paul makes fun of Rick Perry's new glasses to counter Perry's critique of Paul's isolationist foreign policy positions.
Heather Alexander (author of the German U-boat sinks U.S. ships off the U.S. coastline article above) likes the images of the sunken ship's guns covered in colorful anemonies (as it is such a stark contrast to the violence of war) - maybe she should interview Rand Paul and publish a fluff piece on his 2016 aspirations.
This seems like small pickings for Ballard. Wish he’d go back to the Pacific to find and document the USS Lexington, Wasp, Hornet and the Japanese carriers sunk at Midway.
I’d like to see the ship my great grandfather came to America on. The SS Mount Temple was sunk by the Germans in WWI. It was carrying a load of dinosaur bones.
At first glance, the headline appears that the Germans named a U-Boat after Robert E. Lee.
In those days, convoys would come together outside Cheseapeake Bay ... to prevent sinking-ship contamination of highly productive Cheseapeake waters.
German subs were nightly busy out there ... sinking ships.
The convoys were carrying all sorts of supplies for our desperate allies.
There is a lot of history (and recent) of our efforts to protect our nation.
Not to dwell on the Paul-Perry dust-up but Gov. Rick Perry flew a C-130 Hercules.
> The Nautilus’ ambitious deep sea expedition launched last month and is funded by BP oil spill reparations.
Interesting, but can anyone tell me why oil spill money is paying for this?
did you expect the money to go to important things? You make money available to politicians, they will spend it on anything
There is a book about that called Torpedo Junction.
From the H Comical:
“According to historical accounts, a lookout spotted the torpedo coming in and alerted the steamer’s escort, the American submarine chaser USS PC-566. The sub immediately began dropping depth charges.”
Really? The sub dropped depth charges? What sank it?
Like I said in my 1st comment, Heather likes anemones.
The escort was a sub chaser. I think it must’ve been a destroyer or a Corvette, not a submarine.
Patrol craft. It was a surface ship.
Photo of class:
I read it that way as well. Very unusual name for a German U-boat.
I don’t believe that “PC-boats” were referred to officially with the prefix “USS”. They were boats, not ships. No steam plant like a destroyer or destroyer-escort would have. Diesel engines instead.
And the sub was dropping depth charges...
No, it was the american U-boat. Of course, a ship couldn’t be named after a great man like Lee anymore. It would be renamed to the SS Liberachi
Residents of North Carolina’s Outer Banks saw the same thing; according to historical records, almost 400 ships were sunk in U.S. waters from January to June 1942, and the area off Cape Hatteras was known as “Torpedo Junction.” The glow of burning tankers off-shore was bright enough (legend has it) that you could read a paper on the Hatteras beaches at night.
The Brits—who depended on our shipping as a lifeline— offered sound advice, which was largely ignored. We didn’t implement a convoy system until the middle of ‘42, and it took almost as long to enforce blackout policies along the coast. At one point early in the war, there was a single, antiquated Coast Guard cutter assigned to anti-sub patrols off the Carolina coast.
The results were predictable. A lot of merchant mariners paid with their lives for our lack of preparation early in the war.
I kinda figured that out myself. I was pointing out that submarines don’t drop depth charges, the patrol craft did.
The article says the sub immediately began dropping depth charges.
Yeah I saw that too. Writer left out “chaser” after “sub”.