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Gulf camera reveals site of WWII sinking of SS Robert E. Lee, German U-boat
Houston Chronicle ^ | July 14, 2014 | Heather Alexander

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 ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: dixie; gulfpenn; nationalsecurity; navy; ssalcoapuritan; ssrobertelee; u166; uboat; ww2; wwii
Natulus Live

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.

1 posted on 07/14/2014 12:50:31 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

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.


2 posted on 07/14/2014 12:54:37 PM PDT by tanknetter
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To: tanknetter

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.


3 posted on 07/14/2014 12:58:59 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

At first glance, the headline appears that the Germans named a U-Boat after Robert E. Lee.


4 posted on 07/14/2014 1:02:31 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Early on during WW-II, I witnessed nightly explosion flashes off Virginia Beach.

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.

6 posted on 07/14/2014 1:09:13 PM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: OldNavyVet; All
I've toured many a U.S. coastal fortification (as well as many U.S. military installations and ships).

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.

7 posted on 07/14/2014 1:19:37 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

> 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?


8 posted on 07/14/2014 1:26:50 PM PDT by jim_trent
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To: jim_trent

did you expect the money to go to important things? You make money available to politicians, they will spend it on anything


9 posted on 07/14/2014 1:27:48 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: OldNavyVet

There is a book about that called Torpedo Junction.


10 posted on 07/14/2014 1:37:11 PM PDT by 22202NOVA (Tagline? I don't need no stinking tagline!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

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?


11 posted on 07/14/2014 1:38:33 PM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: Sequoyah101

Like I said in my 1st comment, Heather likes anemones.


12 posted on 07/14/2014 1:43:10 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Sequoyah101

The escort was a sub chaser. I think it must’ve been a destroyer or a Corvette, not a submarine.


13 posted on 07/14/2014 1:45:19 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: Sequoyah101

Patrol craft. It was a surface ship.

http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/8543.html

Photo of class:

http://uboat.net/allies/warships/class/463.html


14 posted on 07/14/2014 1:48:14 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: Vigilanteman

I read it that way as well. Very unusual name for a German U-boat.


15 posted on 07/14/2014 1:49:46 PM PDT by Bob
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To: All

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.


16 posted on 07/14/2014 2:07:23 PM PDT by Tallguy
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To: Vigilanteman

And the sub was dropping depth charges...


17 posted on 07/14/2014 2:08:45 PM PDT by carriage_hill (Some days you're the windshield, and some days you're the bug.)
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To: carriage_hill
That was a submarine chaser. It's true that the very next sentence refers to "sub" and not "sub chaser" when talking about dropping depth charges.

-PJ

18 posted on 07/14/2014 2:14:57 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: Political Junkie Too

Just checking.


19 posted on 07/14/2014 2:17:50 PM PDT by carriage_hill (Some days you're the windshield, and some days you're the bug.)
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To: Vigilanteman

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


20 posted on 07/14/2014 2:19:48 PM PDT by Augustinian monk (" If you ain't Muslim, you ain't Shiite")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
This seems like a good thread to mention...

PT-305 Restoration Updates (WWII Museum - New Orleans)

21 posted on 07/14/2014 2:26:48 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: OldNavyVet

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.


22 posted on 07/14/2014 2:31:59 PM PDT by ExNewsExSpook
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To: SoCal Pubbie

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.


23 posted on 07/14/2014 4:43:07 PM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: Sequoyah101

Yeah I saw that too. Writer left out “chaser” after “sub”.


24 posted on 07/14/2014 5:02:28 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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