Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Documentary Histories
WWI

Ship's Log, Allen

MARCH 16,

     Cruised during the night and early morning to the Southward and Westward of BARDSEY ISLAND looking for submarines.

     At 9:15 a.m. shaped course for northern portion of Patrol Area, and at 11:00 a.m. sighted convoy H.E.-7,1 consisting of five ships under escort of U.S.S. DOWNES (Senior Ship), ROWAN, TUCKER, H.M.S. HEATHER and AUBRETIA. Sent signal to the DOWNES, asking if Allen could be of assistance as additional escort through Patrol Area, which signal was replied in the affirmative, and the Allen was ordered to take station three miles ahead of the convoy.

     At 12:01 p.m. the periscope of a submarine was sighted, about 500 yards distant, 2 points forward of the port beam. The motion of the periscope through the water was very apparent, but due to its low speed, and the movements of this vessel, after the periscope was sighted, an estimate of its course was very difficult.

     The ship was turned at full speed with hard left rudder towards the periscope, which remained in sight a full minute before disappearing, but on account of its proximity, it was not possible to ram. Flag and whistle submarine warnings were made, and a depth charge was exploded close to the position where the periscope was last seen, which was inside of the turning circle of this vessel. A spar buoy with flag was also dropped to mark the spot.

     The DOWNES immediately headed for the Allen at high speed, and laid a barrage of depth charges in a circular pattern, covering a wide area which should have enclosed the submarine. The Allen dropped three additional depth charges, while the ROWAN and H.M.S. AUBRETIA both dropped two each, as well as could be estimated.

     The convoy in the meanwhile, had changed course to starboard away from the submarine, and the escort rejoined. The U.S.S. Allen remained in the vicinity of the buoy marking the spot where first depth charge was dropped, and was joined by the U.S.S. BURROWS, which vessel commenced search using hydrophones.

     At 2:15 p.m. the U.S.S. BURROWS sighted a periscope and dropped four depth charges, with no apparent results. The Allen and U.S.S. BURROWS continued searching in the vicinity until dark. The U.S.S. BURROWS continued hydrophone search during the night, while the Allen patrolled IRISH COAST from TUSCAR to NORTH ARKLOW LIGHT VESSEL.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B, Destroyer Ship Files: Allen.

Footnote 1: Halifax to England Convoy Number 7.

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