1918 | June 4

The chasers arrive at American Bay

On 4 June, 1918, U.S. submarine chasers arrived at Corfu, Greece, Base 25, in a small bay at Fustipidima Point, which they nicknamed American Bay. From Hunters of the Steel Sharks:

Ens. Dole and his fellow subchaser sailors arrived to discover a pristine bay in a picturesque setting of rocky terrain and ancient olive groves. “We have a location that is full of promise,” he writes home, describing the remote spot. “The place we are at had no name, so it has been named after this bunch.” Thus was coined the name American Bay, which was to be home to thirty-six chasers.
Soon the chasers at Corfu would be joining the barrage lines and hunting U-boats.

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photographs and diagrams, and rich with personal anecdotes, an up-close account of the early days of ASW based on rare, unpublished documents.