Unit:  VC-6                         Unit Report No. 7                              Incident No. 5804  
  Base of operations:  USS BLOCK ISLAND  
  Squadron No. of Aircraft:  T-3 and an unspecified FM  
  Aircraft Type:  TBF1c and FM2  
  Aircraft Commander:  Lt. (jg) Norman T. Dowty (TBR) and Lt. (jg) William H. Cole (FM)  
  Location of Attacks:  Latitude:    13° 14' N  
                                  Longitude:  33° 44' W  
  Date:  19 March, 1944                           Time:  0829 GCT (Zone:  Plus 1)  
  Mission:  Anti-Submarine Search  
  Weather:  Clear with scattered cumulus at 3000 feet.  Visibility 10-20 miles.  
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  APPROACH AND CONTACT:  At 0806 GCT and FM flying routine A/S patrol at 6500 feet with TBF in company sighted a fully surfaced U-boat 10 miles on his starboard bow.  The pilot immediately pushed over and began a strafing attack from abaft the U-boat's port quarter pulling out at 100 feet after expending 600 rounds of 50 cal.  Many bullets were observed to hit the conning tower.  
  ATTACK:  The TBF then attacked (TA approximately 120°) dropping two Mark 47 depth bombs set at 25 feet and spaced by intervalometer at 30 feet from about 150 feet while the U-boat was still fully surfaced.  The FM then made another strafing run (TA 270°) as the U-boat began "settling back in the water".  Four hundred rounds were expended into the conning tower.  
  REPORTED POSITION OF EXPLOSIONS:  The bombs exploded one on either side of the conning tower.  
  REPORTED EVIDENCE OF DAMAGE:  The explosions of the depth bombs "raised the submarine high in the water, and when it settled back the stern never stopped going down".  It sank within 20 seconds, stern first at an angle of 20°, and never moved from the slick of the depth bombs".  Fifteen survivors were seen in the water, eight of whom, including the Commanding Officer, were rescued.  The pilots observed oil and floating debris including two torpedoes, one of which was salvaged.  


  SUBSEQUENT ACTIONS OF AIRCRAFT:  Immediately after delivering the depth bomb attack, the TBF was seen to circle for another attack and then suddenly to dip one wing and fall into the water.  The pilot and radioman were lost.  An officer member of the crew who survived stated that the plane apparently spun into the water while preparing to make another run.  Sono-buoys laid in the area produced negative results.  
  ANALYSIS OF ATTACK:  According to the report, P/W testimony state that the U-boat had fired heavily on the attacking planes but the planes noticed no AA fire.  P/W's further stated that the submarine broke apart when the depth bombs exploded and sank so quickly that they were unable to don life jackets.  
  PLOTTING ROOM OPINION:  It appears probable that U-boat was sunk as a result of this action.  However, there were no other U-boats estimated in area and the other attacks (5902, 5930, 5816) possibly may have been on this same U-boat which may have survived the first attack.  In any event one U-boat only appears to have been present and it is considered sunk as a result of the above attacks, probably 5804.  
  TACTICAL ANALYSIS OFFICER'S OPINION:  Known sunk (A).  Both the TBF and FM to share equally in the credit.  
  (NOTE) - 5902, 5930 and 5816 have been assessed (H) - Insufficient Evidence of Presence of Submarine - by Commander DeVos.  



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