Recently I came across a copy of Walt Henley Overseas, a 1929 adventure novel written by former subchaser crewman and yachtsman/writer Alfred Loomis -- who, shortly after the war, wrote various light-hearted but entertaining articles about chasers. See the review page, just posted. The cover pictures a submarine chaser with fictional hull number "012." Normally I skip over "youth literature" (not my cup of tea), but this book was signed by Loomis, so I picked it up as a collectible chaser-related item. Then I got sucked in. Not by the story, which is predictably filled with cliché characters and events, but by the descriptive detail. In providing the settings for the story, Loomis describes places and events from his actual, personal experiences serving on chasers in the war. This, I thought, was neat, as there are little details that don't show up in more traditional articles, diaries and so on. Upcoming events: This month (Sunday, April 15) I am speaking at a meeting of the Maine submarine veterans group, Maine Sub Base, in Augusta, Maine. I look forward to talking about the first-generation of ASW devices and the chasers' role in WWI, to a group that has first-hand experience in the more modern art.
--Todd Woofenden, Editor
New WWI History Site: In the Great War: Accounts of WWI
The act is still a bit rough, but I think it's an act... My new podcast site, In the Great War, is starting to take shape, and I expect to start submitting the feeds to iTunes and other podcast-aggregating sites soon. The latest episode, just posted, is an audio-only podcast on the Durazzo bombardment of 2 October, 1918. In this incident, eleven submarine chasers accompanied Italian and British cruisers on a raid of the enemy submarine base at Durazzo, Albania, in the only major naval engagement of the war that the U.S. Navy participated in. Comments and suggestions on the site or the content are welcome. I especially want to know if something is hard to understand, doesn't work properly, or is troublesome in some other way. You should be able to view/listen using your browser, or download the episodes to play them later on, on an mp3 player or on your computer. [Editor's note: In the Great War is no longer active.]
New in Tactics & Equipment >> Devices
Antique radio collector Mike Schultz is working on restoring a CW-926A radio telephone amplifier, a model used on subchasers in WWI. This page is well worth a look. Mike is painstakingly restoring the unit to clean, working condition. The page shows fine details of the device, and the process of cleaning, repairing and refinishing every component. His next step in the project is to restore a case for the unit. Inspired by conversations with Mike about this unit, just posted is a set of scans of diagrams drawn by subchaser radio man Henry "Harry" Tegler during his training for service on a chaser. Tegler attended USN radio school prior to sailing overseas to serve from the subchaser base at Corfu, and continued training in his role as radio electrician. Another item in Mike Schultz' collection is a 1917 Navy Type CN-113 Receiver, the model shown in the radio shack photo from the collection of Jim Warren. By next month a new set of radio telephone and related images should be up, from page scans and photos that Mike has submitted.
New in Chaser Models >> Hull Design
An interesting photo is presented, showing the interior of a submarine chaser under construction. The hull has been built and partly closed in, but the interior space has not yet been built out.