Vol. 18 No. 2, February 2022

The January notes on hull number marks got me thinking that it might be interesting to post more documents on some of the finer details of subchasers in WWI.

So backing up a bit, here is the first page of a document setting forth "Instructions for cruising and making passage to port to be designated by signal," from 20 February, 1918. At this time, chasers were preparing at New London for the overseas journey.

Convoy orders, February 20, 1918

This document sets the arrangement of the chasers into four units of three, and describes the formation. There are several more pages of details, such as when to use running lights, signals, etc., and quite a lot about the importance of staying in formation. Eleven chasers and a number of other vessels would be convoyed by USS Wadena, leaving New London on 24 February, 1918. (SC 90 was delayed, and convoyed to Bermuda with USS Leonidas several weeks later.)

This first leg of the journey wasn't a showcase for staying in formation. The convoy sailed into a storm, and any idea of keeping in formation was lost altogether. Some of the chasers were driven days off course, and it was up to the newly minted COs to navigate their own way to port. Notably, all eleven chasers made it, many of them in tow. (See Chapter 3 - Crossing the Atlantic in my book for a full account.)

--Todd Woofenden, Editor

Added to the Hull Number Collection this month is a new page for subchaser SC 268. Thanks to Daniel Christopher, grandson of SC 268 crewman Tony Christopher, for submitting the photo scans to The Subchaser Archives.

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