Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Diary of Lieutenant Commander Joseph K. Taussig, Commander, Destroyer Division Eight

Friday

May 18 [1917]

At sea

     At nine o’clock this morning intercepted a wireless message from one of the sloops about twenty mile from us1 saying that a submarine had been sighted on the surface at 8:44 and that it had submerged headed west. I figured that the submarine would not continue west as that course would lead to shallow water, but would probably head southwest, parallel to the coast, and decided to allow him eight knots and try to intercept him- Much to my surprise we sighted him on the surface after going forty minutes- It was quite hazy and I was not sure at first that it was not a boat, but I knew he was a submarine when he submerged before we could fire a shot- Tried to find his wake in order to run over him and drop a depth charge, but was unsuccessful- Spent the rest of the day looking for this fellow- Towards late afternoon it became very hazy and the visibility was so poor there was little chance of running across him again so I returned to my patrol station.

Source Note: D, RNW, Joseph K. Taussig Papers, Mss. Coll. 97, Naval Historical Collection. The diary is written on ruled paper with a vertical line one inch in along the left margin. The date is written in that space. It is usually repeated when the diary entry continues on a second and third page, but not for this entry.

Footnote 1: Taussig commanded the U.S. Navy destroyer Wainwright.

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