1918 | April 30

Postcard Home, from Sete-Cidades, Ponta Delgada

While stopped in the Azores, Ens. George S. Dole picked out and mailed a number of postcards. On this one he wrote, "Does this remind you of Maine?" Dole grew up in Bath, Maine, and hiked and fished with his twin brother Louis and his father George Henry Dole.

One has to assume the others on SC 93 were thinking of home as well, as they prepared for the final leg of their trip, crossing the Mediterranean Sea to the new U.S. subchaser base on Corfu.

U.S.S. Leonidas (stamped on the card) was the mothership for the chasers at Base 25.

Hunters of the Steel Sharks: The Submarine Chasers of WWI

Hunters of the Steel Sharks: The Submarine Chasers of WWI
Woofenden, 2006. Softcover, 224 pages. $23.95. Available on Amazon.com

In 1918, a war time fleet of 303 U.S. submarine chasers formed a new offensive against the enemy, armed with depth charges, deck guns and an array of new, top secret submarine detection and pursuit devices.

These miniature wooden war ships, the smallest commissioned vessels in the American navy, were the first major deployment mechanism for early antisubmarine warfare equipment, and were remarkable in their capabilities and service: Chasers crossed the Atlantic Ocean on their own power; performed submarine hunts and attacks from bases in Plymouth, Queenstown (Cobh) and Corfu; assisted with post-war diplomacy along the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea; helped facilitate troop evacuation in northern Russia; and participated in the clearing of the North Sea mine barrage.

This is the history of the submarine chasers of the Great War, extensively illustrated with period photographs and diagrams, and rich with personal anecdotes, an up-close account of the early days of ASW based on rare, unpublished documents.