Vol. 19 No. 6, June 2023

Next in the series showing some of the more obscure WWI chaser photos is a shot of crewmen shooting at mines in the North Sea in 1919. There are a few similar photos on the site already, such as one in an earlier newsletter. The main difference is that in this shot the crewmen are standing on deck firing.

Crewmen shooting at mines
Crewmen on SC-354 shooting at mines in the North Sea. G.S. Dole Collection.

The duty of the chasers in mine sweeping operations was to follow the minesweepers and shoot and sink any mines that floated to the surface (instead of being detonated in the sweep). Lt. Dole, CO of SC 354 at this time, reported that it could take up to ten hits with rifle fire to sink a mine. (Much more on chasers in minesweeping operations can be found in Chapter 8 of my book.)

I have to imagine that standing on deck and firing was especially challenging, and no doubt played into the multiple incidents of chasers being damaged by detonations. To keep up with the sweepers and not miss any mines, the chasers had to run quite close to the action, often closer than the ordered 100-foot minimum distance.

Hoping to catch up soon with some new photo scans submitted by others. Please keep them coming!

--Todd Woofenden, editor


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