Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

1944:  May 6:   Sinking of German U-boat, U-66

U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Buckley (DE-51) was damaged when she intentionally rammed German (Type IXC) U-boat, U-66, which had been harassed by TBM "Avenger" and F4F "Wildcat" aircraft from Composite Squadron Fifty-Five (VC-55) from USS Block Island (CVE-21) about 390 miles west of Cape Verdes.  Echoing the close-quarter battles of sail, Buckley's crew employed small arms, hand-grenades, fists, and even a coffee mug.   The German submarine sank as a result of the multi-faced pounding.  Previously, U-66 sank 37 Allied merchant ships, including eight American.   On August 7, 1943, U-66 and U-117 were attacked by Composite Squadron One (VC-1).

Image:  80-G-49305:  Lieutenant Commander Brent Able, CO of USS Buckley (DE-51), receiving the Navy Cross, May 6, 1944.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.