• Diary of Chaser Crewman David James Williams

    September 2007. Another item, for those readers who enjoy seeing the fine details of Navy life in WWI, is a transcription of a short diary from a crewman of submarine chaser SC 227, which was a wing-boat in Unit F (SC 94, SC 227, SC 151). Subchaser SC 227 served in the Otranto barrage, and in the post-war period along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea.

    In between time periods that seem rather uneventful, Williams has included some neat little tidbits of life on a chaser, including reports of pursuits and attacks of enemy submarines. Williams also mentions his involvement in the second assignment to Durazzo. On 11 October a second group approached Durazzo, and found it essentially deserted.

    Thanks to his grandson, David Williams, for submitting scans of the diary and other items to The Subchaser Archives.

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  • New in the Chaser Photos Collection

    September 2007. Several new submarine chaser hulls have been added to the collection at The Chasers >> Hull Number Photos:

    SC 305Subchaser SC 287: Submarine chaser SC 287 was assigned to service in the Canal Zone. This photo shows SC 287 and SC 289 docked at Balboa.

    Subchaser SC 305: Submarine chaser SC 305 served in the Twelfth Naval District, on the west coast. This photo shows the chaser with a Hotchkiss gun forward.

    Subchaser SC 322: Recently submitted by David Propert, son of SC 322 Listener Boyd A. Propert is this scan of submarine chaser SC 322, which was assigned to the base at Plymouth, England.

    Subchaser SC 411: A rare photo from the elusive 400s, submarine chaser SC 411. This chaser was among those that were ordered, but not completed in time to participate in war time duties.

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  • S.C. C Tube Hydrophone artifacts

    September 2007. Posted in the Tactics & Equipment >> Devices section are several photos of rare artifacts, components of the S.C. C Tube hydrophone listening device, from the collection of a Listener on SC 322.

    The C Tube was designed in two different versions, one for submarines and one for chasers or other small craft. The former was called the S. C Tube (Submarine C Tube) and the latter the S.C. C Tube (Sub chaser C Tube). But in most of the literature, the C Tube on chasers is simply called the SC Tube.

    Thanks to David Propert for submitting the images to The Subchaser Archives.

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  • Crewman letter: Durazzo bombardment and Post War Service

    September, 2007. The most notable naval engagement in WWI in which the USN took part was the bombardment of Durazzo harbor on 2 October, 1918.

    Eleven submarine chasers provided ASW cover for Italian and British ships during the bombardment of the Austrian naval base at Durazzo. There were two claimed submarine kills, although neither is confirmed.

    A letter written by Robert Rufus Ryman, Ship's Cook on SC 129, offers a brief personal account of this engagement. Ryman claims to have been the first to spot a submarine at Durazzo. Equally interesting is his description of post-war duties. Chasers that had served at Curfu, Greece (SC 129 among them) were sent to locations along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea to assist in taking over command of Austrian ships and to provide an American presence during post-war turmoil between this region and Italy.

    Thanks to John Chesher, grandson of Robert Ryman, for submitting the letter.

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  • Vol. 3, No. 9, September 2007

    September, 2007. In an effort to make the newsletter a bit nicer looking, I've implemented some software upgrades for the site. This issue is published in the new format. In coming months I'll be tweaking it and adding a better menu scheme. Comments are welcome.

    On the subchaser news front: I've been corresponding with the descendant of a subchaser radio man, whose grandfather saved several artifacts from his tour of duty, including a C-tube head set and an actual C-Tube bulb. The rubber bulbs were installed at each end of the C-Tube hydrophone, and carried the sound waves into the metal pipes of the hydrophone. Amazing, that someone has one of these!

    Also, adding to the collection of items from SC 227 crewman David James Williams, is a transcript of his diary, covering January 1918 through March 1919. Having run out of time, I'll have to wait for next month's issue to present some other interesting items from chaser crewmen's descendants, including some excellent SC 83 items.

    --Todd Woofenden, editor

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