U-Boat Attack off coast of Italy
On patrol off Italy on May 9, 1944, a lookout on PC 558 spotted a submarine wake off the starboard bow. All hands rushed to battle stations. ... Gunners on the PC opened fire with the 20-mm and 40-mm guns. Shells walked across the water and pounded into the dome. The PC steamed toward the contact and the Captain ordered the crew to roll depth charges. ... In the explosions that followed the shallow pattern, the target, a German one-man submarine, disappeared and plunged to the bottom. Later, the Captain of PC 558 repeated this action with the help of PC 626 and sank a second German one-man submarine. ... Revenge was swift, however, when a German torpedo ripped through and sank PC 558 the same day with the loss of many of her crew. Accompanying PC 558, when she sank, PC 1235 dodged three torpedoes herself. After the U-boat that had fired them retired from the area under pursuit, PC 1235 hurried back to where PC 558 went down. There, her crew plucked thirty survivors of PC 558 from the water.