“Representatives of the Allied fleets fired 21 guns at morning colors. The SCs circled through the fleet and also saluted. Moving pictures were taken, and perhaps you may be able to see them in the U.S. before I get back,” writes Lt. Dole, CO of submarine chaser SC 93 in a letter home.
The chasers based at Corfu, Greece (Base 25) had participated in 37 hunts and many pursuits and attacks. The Armistice had been signed the day before, and now it was time for celebration. Many of the chaser officers and crewmen would have more to do before returning home: The North Sea was mined, and the seaways needed to be cleared before winter set in. Chasers would serve on the minefields, shooting and sinking stray mines as the minesweepers did their work to cut the tethers. Three chaser, including SC 354, Lt. Dole's new command, would sail to the White Sea to assist in the evacuation of American troops from northern Russia. But not before properly celebrating victory. "This gang sure did send up a shout, and toot whistles," Dole writes. [ Quotes from Woofenden, Hunters of the Steel Sharks: The Submarine Chasers of WWI, page 106.]
Just a short entry this month, to remember the men on the U.S. submarine chasers, whose work on the barrage lines helped to seal that victory. On November 11, I'll be thinking of Lt. Dole lighting his cigar on deck and cruising with the running lights on.
--Todd Woofenden, editor