In April 1917, the U.S. entered the war. A year later, chasers were preparing for the journey overseas to hunt submarines; and a year after that, most chaser crews were looking forward to the homeward bound trip.
Most, but not all. Twelve chasers were selected for service in northern Russia, and spent much of April, 1919 re-arming: Deck guns were installed in both the former location on the forward deck, and in the spot where the Y-gun had been located. The chasers reached Inverness, Scotland, on 24 April, 1919, where the final preparations were to be made.
Lt. Dole, who would command the unit of three chasers that made the final trip to the White Sea, wrote, “Have 9 machine guns on board now capable of shooting 4,500 shots per minute besides the two 3" guns using shrapnel. This does not include ship rifles, automatic pistols, etc. ... We are loaded down with ammunition. The engine exhausts are 6" under water now. Every square inch of the ship is stowed to capacity.”
-- Hunters of the Steel Sharks: The Submarine Chasers of WWI, page 127.
Now another period of waiting would start, as arrangements were made for the larger ships, including a tanker, to prepare for the Northern Russia Expedition of 1919.
--Todd Woofenden, Editor
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