In early November, 1918, U.S. submarine chasers were stationed at Plymouth, England, Corfu, Greece, and Queenstown (Cobh) Ireland. While their ASW activities were ongoing, the men on the chasers could sense that the war would soon be over.
In mid-October, Lt. George S. Dole, CO of submarine chaser SC 93, wrote home:
"Everything is going nicely, and it looks as if the real scrapping was over, at least on the sea. The chasers have accomplished the purpose for which they were sent in a satisfactory manner. ... Am satisfied that the Hun is on his last legs and will not again become seriously threatening."
On 11 November, 1918, at 9:58 a.m., USS Leonidas, mothership at the American Navy base in Corfu, signaled that the Armistice had been signed.
"This gang sure did send up a shout, and toot whistles," Dole wrote home. "For all practical purposes the murderer is chained and modern Babylon fallen."
Chasers would spend much more time overseas, many participating in the clearing of the mine fields in the North Sea, and a few, including one commanded by Lt. Dole, sailing over the Arctic Circle to the White Sea. But soon the depth charges and launchers would be removed. The patrols on the barrage lines were over.
(Dole quotes from Hunters of the Steel Sharks: The Submarine Chasers of WWI.)
Todd Woofenden, Editor