Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

USS Savannah (CL-42) at Salerno 

Strike of a German "Fritz X" Guided Bomb and Its Aftermath


Photo #: NH 95562  USS Savannah (CL-42)

USS Savannah (CL-42) Is hit by a German radio-controlled "Fritz X" bomb while supporting Allied forces ashore during the Salerno operation, 11 September 1943. The bomb hit the top of the ship's number three 6-inch/47-caliber gun turret and penetrated deep into her hull before exploding. The photograph shows the explosion venting through the top of the turret and also through Savannah's hull below the waterline. A motor torpedo boat (PT) is passing by in the foreground (NH 95562).


Photo #: SC 243636  USS Savannah (CL-42)

Savannah afire immediately after she was hit. Smoke is pouring from the bomb's impact hole atop the ship's number three 6-inch turret (SC 243636).


Photo #: SC 364342  USS Savannah (CL-42)

Savannah afire and beginning to settle by the bow shortly after the "Fritz X" strike. The burning number three 6-inch turret is in the center of this photograph (SC 364342).


Photo #: 80-G-54357  USS Savannah (CL-42)

Crewmen fighting fires in the ship's number three 6-inch-inch gun turret. Note fully equipped life rafts stowed atop the turret, and casualties laid out on deck alongside the number two turret (80-G-54357).


Photo #: 80-G-54355  USS Savannah (CL-42)

Corpsmen attend casualties on Savannah's forecastle (80-G-54355).


Photo #: 80-G-54353  USS Savannah (CL-42)

Blankets cover Savannah crewmembers killed by the "Fritz X" strike (80-G-54353).


Photo #: NH 97959  USS Savannah (CL-42)

View of the bomb penetration hole atop Savannah's number three 6-inch turret, while the ship was undergoing initial repairs off Salerno. Note life rafts atop the turret, one of which has been cut in two by the bomb. Also note the turret's armored faceplate. View looks forward, with number two turret in the immediate background (NH 97959).

For Further Reference

Dictionary of American Fighting Ships (DANFS): USS Savannah (CL-42)  

National Air and Space Museum: German "Fritz X" (Ruhrstahl X-1) Guided Bomb

Published: Fri May 10 11:51:03 EDT 2019