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Lieutenant Joseph L. Day to Captain Charles P. Nelson, Commander, U.S. Base, Corfu, Greece


U.S.S.C. 2481

July 23, 1918.

From:     Unit Leader “L” Unit.

To:       Commander U.S. Naval Base No.25

Subject:  Report of Hunt No.10.

     1. On July 10, 1918 Unit L. left base 252 and took station according to Special Instructions for Hunt No.10. During July 17 no unusual or suspicious sounds were heard3 or hostile vessels sighted.

     2. On July 17, at 2200 G.M.T. [that is, Greenwich mean time] S.C. 82 went alone to investigate a sound to the northward. She returned to the line after a run of ten miles when she found it was a destroyer.

     3. On July 18, at 0700 G.M.T. S.C. 248 left station and proceeded to communicate with Unit G.4 At 1155 G.M.T. S.C.248 returned to station.

     4. At 1255 G.M.T. S.C. 248 got underway leaving S.C.’s 82 and 217 on station and proceeded to communicate with the Western Kite Balloon.

     5. At 1510 G.M.T., while near the Western Kite Balloon, a very suspicious sound was heard and a chase made by the 248. At this time a radio signal was sent to Unit G to close on the 248. It was, “Unit close in, maintain listening periods.” This was received but not understood by Unit G. The chase was continued around Lat. 39-15 N 18-15 E and the listeners reported very suspicious sounds like a submarine and like submarine signals. These were followed until 1645 G.M.T., when another Kite Balloon Sloop coming from the eastward so interfered with our operations by running through listening periods and circling around that touch was lost with the sounds. At 2048 G.M.T. S.C. 248 returned to station.

     6. On July 19, at 1420 G.M.T., the following radio message was received “To S.O. of S.C.’s from 124, submarine on surface bearing 290” (am being, message ends).

     7. Commanding Officer of S.C.2175 reports that at this time just as Unit L. was getting underway he saw what looked like a submarine coming toward the 217 from the eastward and that his listener reported a sound from that direction increasing in intensity. 

     8. Unit L immediately got underway and proceeded on course O which was changed at 1430 G.M.T. to 45. The following movements of Unit L. are shown by a track chart which has already been submitted.6 At 1732 G.M.T. and 1743 G.M.T., while in position Lat. 39-30 N 18-25 E depth bombing was reported by the listener and distinctly felt on board.

     9. On July 20 at 0245 G.M.T. in Lat. 39-12 N, Long.18-23 E. a sound like a chaser was heard going south. Listener reported same and a sound of gas engines was heard on the bridge. Depth bombing was reported by the listener at the same time. After conference with the other Commanding Officers, I am not yet convinced that this was not the sound of a submarine. However, as depth bombing had been reported, and a message received from the 124 Unit A that they still had contact and wished us to join them at daybreak, it was decided to join Unit A.7

     10. At 0430 July 20, Unit L. spoke Unit A, and after a conference decided to run a search curve to the southward and westward, leaving Unit A in touch with what they believed to be the submarine sighted July 19.

     11. This was done going to Lat. 38-38 N Long.18-01 E before turning back to the line. While running S.W. on search curve at 0749 a white object like an air bladder was sighted and destroyed by rifle fire. No suspicious sounds were heard on this run. At 1555 G.M.T., Unit L returned to station.

     12. On July 21 at 0835 G.M.T. Unit L got underway and proceeded eastward. At 1040 G.M.T. sighted a black object like a mine which proved to be a bunch of glass net balls. This was sunk by rifle machine gun and pistol fire from the 248. At the same time S.C. 217 sank a similar net buoy.

     13. At 1408 G.M.T. spoke 215 with new Hunt Commander8 on board and proceeded again to the eastward.

     14. Having received a message stating submarine sighted in Lat. 39-11 N. Long. 19-28 E, on July 20, it was decided to remain for the night in 39-06 N, 19-57 E with Unit G in 39-19 N, 19-50 E. This was done, but as no sounds like submarines were heard, on July 22 at 0708 G.M.T. Units L and G returned to American Bay.

     15. The Commanding Officer of S.C.829 wishes the fact noted that there is no signal in the S,C,Radiophone and Radio Signal Code to denote “Depth Charges Heard”.

            /s/ J.L.DAY

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 387.

Footnote 1: That is, United States Submarine Chaser No. 248.

Footnote 2: A submarine chaser unit contained three vessels. Unit L consisted of S. C. 248, 82, and 217. Base 25 was at Corfu, Greece. Supplement to the Navy List: 99.

Footnote 3: Submarine chasers carried hydrophonic gear.

Footnote 4: Unit A consisted of S.C. 95, S.C. 179, and S.C. 338. Ibid., 98.

Footnote 5: Ens. Thomas P. Richardson.

Footnote 6: For the track chart, see: Illustrations for July 1918.

Footnote 7: Unit A consisted of S.C. 124, S.C. 125, and S.C. 127. Ibid., 97.

Footnote 8: Lt. (j.g.) William T. Ott.

Footnote 9: Ens. Frederic D. Powers.