Crewman letter: Durazzo bombardment and Post War Service

September, 2007. The most notable naval engagement in WWI in which the USN took part was the bombardment of Durazzo harbor on 2 October, 1918.

Eleven submarine chasers provided ASW cover for Italian and British ships during the bombardment of the Austrian naval base at Durazzo. There were two claimed submarine kills, although neither is confirmed.

A letter written by Robert Rufus Ryman, Ship's Cook on SC 129, offers a brief personal account of this engagement. Ryman claims to have been the first to spot a submarine at Durazzo. Equally interesting is his description of post-war duties. Chasers that had served at Curfu, Greece (SC 129 among them) were sent to locations along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea to assist in taking over command of Austrian ships and to provide an American presence during post-war turmoil between this region and Italy.

Thanks to John Chesher, grandson of Robert Ryman, for submitting the letter.

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