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U-Boat name

Started by 3xtr3m3gr33n, December 02, 2010, 08:48:28 PM

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Does Anyone know the names of the two U-Boats that Civil Air Patrol Sunk during WW2?


I have never heard of the Germans assigning names to their U boats, just a number: U-XXX.
Paul M. Reed
Col, USA(ret)
Former CAP Lt Col
Wilson #2777


Correct, U-Boats were only officially given a U-###.  Some of them had nicknames from their crews, but nothing official.  When I saw this thread, I started doing some research.  I cannot find any specifics on dates, locations, or boats.  I have found where a couple of the boats that were supposed to be our kills were actually proven to be across the atlantic or returned to base.  So it appears that this is a big mystery.  It would be awesome if NHQ and the Historians could shed some light on this subject. 

Good Questions!  I hadn't ever though about it.



And I believe we only have 1 confirmed- the other is a strong unconfirmed/rumor/legend/lost in Santa's toy bag.


I am finding more and more infor that says we may not truly have any... Ooooops.



Quote from: MICT1362 on December 02, 2010, 09:59:51 PM
I am finding more and more infor that says we may not truly have any... Ooooops.

You're right, sir- there is a lot of info conflicting out there.

Personally, I see it as akin to the JFK assassination; yes, maybe there were others involved- but generally Lee Harvey Oswald is accepted as the only shooter.
CAP is generally credited with one sink.


I do not doubt in any way that we were involved with the destruction of some U-Boats.  But all of the material that I am finding credits CAP with a crippling blow, and the kill being awarded to a Navy Destoryer or CG Aircraft a couple of days later.  Keep looking though.  It would be awesome to link everything back and make sure that we actually get credit.


James Shaw

As stated by others: they were never officially named but did have nicknames. We do not know for sure which one it was. We do have copies of log pages that were blacked out by the Navy at the time.
Jim Shaw
USN: 1987-1992
GANG: 1996-1998
CAP:2000 - SER-SO
USCGA:2019 - BC-TDI/National Safety Team
SGAUS: 2017 - MEMS Academy State Director (Iowa)


Has CAP ever tried to verify which boat(s) we sank?  I think that this would be a pretty important part of our history to know.  I wouldn't think that this would be classified information...  Might be something that the National historical team should look into.



These have been posted before but do require the curious to read.

This posting and many similar ones come from Mark Hess' TeamCAP library.

Most (many) U boats went down without identification just location of engagement and perhaps the sub-type. Unless items surfaced from the cracked hulls that ID the particular sub and those items would have been recovered by the Navy or Coast Guard. That ID would be reported in the semi monthly briefer, like the one at the address above.

Allied ships were ID'd, often by their SOS but sometimes by debris or survivors, but not necessarily the Germans. Also, there was no reason to tell the Germans exactly what we sunk and what might have meant its death by accident or misadventure. "Let'em think we sunk'em all" - Adm. King.
With regards;


I once wrote to the guy who wrote the definitive book on uboat sinkings and he had no knowledge of any that could be directly linked to CAP.  Does it mean that we didn't sink any?  Not necessarily, but it sure would make me a lot more confident of the claims if we had this information nailed down since mistakenly claiming sinkings was common. 


Confusion on names, dates, and places is easy to explain. SEE HERE
This account is from a Coast Guard Wigeon Attack and UBoat sinking:
The area of the sinking is the mouth of the Mississippi. The UBoat's number is under review.

In the July August 2010 Water Flying Magazine Page 25--28 a similar account is attributed to the CAP. The only difference is the CAP sinking is reported as July 11 '42 and the Coast Guard Attack is Aug. 1st '42. Also the area is just off the New Jersey Coast. Plane is the same Twin Engine Grumman Widgeon. The same 325 lb. depth charge. In both stories several of the names are the same. I haven't done a full shake down of either story... however, over time there seems to be mixed facts among these two similar events.
This often occurs and I need more time to tease out the pieces and parts.

Neprud in Flying Minute Men only states, and I quote. The Coastal Patrols were officially credited:
"Pilot and Observers flew over 24 million miles. Spotted 173 submarines. Dropped depth charges against 57 and were officially credited with sinking or damaging two, in addition to those sunk by Army and Navy Aircraft called in for the kill by CAP.' You'll find Neprud's facts are most illusive throughout this book. "Officially Credited" and actually sunk the submarine... may mean two different things depending on who's keeping score.

Here's another Air Force/Army Air Corps Anti Sub monthly report from the Mark Hess Library:
Being that these reports go back to the previous 6 months - this one should cover both incidences mentioned above. So you can now figure it out for yourself. Try this - read and research and tell me what happened.

In Conclusion the possibilities are -  CAP really sank (glug glug glug) a UBOAT but the date, time, and or place are now confused OR we were given a "mercy kill" - as opposed to a complete fabrication which is most unlikely - This credit came from a fellow service as a well done thanks from the Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. A Mercy kill is easy to explain because the fatal blow in a running gun battle is almost always impossible to definitively determine. Best human guesses will do when attributing credit under these dynamic circumstances.

In this same vein... who's to say that in the 57 attacks mentioned above - we didn't deserve more "sinkings", "kills" and "credit". "Who is to say" is the same score keeping "best guessers."
With regards;

Flying Pig

  Funny how it was such a "significant" event in CAPs history but nobody knows anything about it or cant agree on what actually happened. 


Not unusual at all for what, in the context of the war, are totally insignificant events with few witnesses, few original records, and no physical evidence.  Try researching a major event with thousands of participants and see how easy it is to come up with a consistent story. 


Quote from: Flying Pig on December 03, 2010, 07:04:31 PM
  Funny how it was such a "significant" event in CAPs history but nobody knows anything about it or cant agree on what actually happened.

Its kind of amazing, if you really get into history, really delve into it, most of the "histroy" the average American knows is either way off or just down right wrong.

A professor i had always made us look at things from the enemy viewpoint. Always 2 sides to every story, and the one side that comes out on top at the end gets to write the histroy books....
In god we trust, all others we run through NCIC


War is <heck>NOT CSI Miami. There is always a reasonable doubt about something. As a Historian your duty is to narrow that window of doubt through research and fact finding. Slow motion instant replay wasn't invented until the 60s. DNA tests came in the 80s. Dash board cams came along in the 90s.The overly sceptical are applying "a seeing is believing You tube trained brain" to a purpose that is not part of that era. There's not much one can do but deeply delve into all the best research one can, find, and report whatcha got. Pilots were
"Officially Credited" with kills in every air theater of the war from the Battle of Britain on.
With regards;


OK, you are attacking a U-Boat, that in all likelihood is firing back at you.  You drop your ordnance, and watch the explosion.  Can we forgive the aircrew for not recording a number painted in 6-inch letters on the conning tower?

Whether CAP sank one or two is not as important as the strategic results of the battle.  We made 57 attacks in about 4 months, and thereafter the U-Boats withdrew, and we had no targets, no contacts.  I also believe it is safe to assume that when the Germans withdrew the subs from the coast, that Hap Arnold was not "cc'd" on the memo.  It is likely that CAP patrolled for maybe a full month with no contacts before we realized that the Nazis were gone.

That reduces the "Time-On-Target" to three months where 57 attacks were made.  90 days of opposed action divided by 57 attacks means an attack every 1.5 days, on average.

Sunk, damaged, or merely scared off, the fact is that CAP's actions brought an end to the enemy coastal campaign within 4 months.

In the Army, we call forcing your enemy to withdraw a "Victory."  Casualties are immaterial. 
Another former CAP officer


This isn't precisely on topic but is part of the "CAP Historian" issue.
1. CAP History program has always been part of the Public Affairs Program at CAP National. I do both public affairs and history in both CAP and professionally for a living. These are similar but different in important ways. Public Affairs is deadline driven. Meaning, give me the best information or story you got and we'll update it on the next publication cycle (deadline). However, history has time to work beyond the deadline dramas. To put this ethos into a practice - History should never be deadline driven, ever, ever, ever, never. It should be more intellectually rigorous than journalism.

2. Neprud's Flying Minute Men - seems to me - that they took reports from the field that were published in haste and then contracted Mr. Neprud to write up a narrative for the battle history of the CAP in WW2. Being that it was published in 1948 - there were 3 years to correct these initial field reports. They didn't. That means that it is not a work of history but an anthology of interesting anecdotes but not well researched stories.

I've found problems with every Flying Minutemen story (5 so far) that I have sought contemporary accounts. If I can find them... they were available to Neprud too... although he didn't have the internet... these stories were in morgues of Newspapers. So now I have 22 factual errors on 5 stories asserted by Mr. Neprud as truth. These are dates, names, and places... so this portion isn't an opinion. I am presenting the corrections to you as facts.

3. This is an opinion - History (Historian Program) seems to be influenced by the preferences of command or current fashion. I suggest that facts are the only credible authority in the History Program. Command should not act like the Pope and decide truth according to preeminence of rank. I have personally made this appeal directly to those with which I have contested this point. Actually they do not disagree in private. How this predilection came to be inside the program, I do not know.

In History there is never any matter which is settled by command. Facts are worthy. Facts win. Everything else is less. Any argument to the contrary breeds skepticism among members... which in this thread is apparent.
With regards;


Post war analysis of both German and American records are where people have gotten their information on actual confirmed uboat sinkings and who was responsible for them.  There was no way any Americans would have known which sub was sunk at the time.  Just because we haven't been able to match up the date and location of a CAP attack on a suspected sub with an approximate date and location at which a German sub went missing doesn't mean that the attack and sinking didn't happen -- but it would certainly be nice to know and would add credibility to our founding story. 

Keep in mind that I think elsewhere in Neprud he tells of CAP members making an attack on a whale that they thought was a sub. 

Quote from: JohnKachenmeister on December 04, 2010, 12:46:34 AM
Sunk, damaged, or merely scared off, the fact is that CAP's actions brought an end to the enemy coastal campaign within 4 months.
As we discussed in another thread a few years ago, there is very slight evidence that CAP made such a huge difference.   

To put things into perspective, the Germans lost less than a dozen uboats off the US East Coast during the entire war (including ones that just went missing and haven't been attributed as being sunk) and even the Cuban Navy sank a uboat.  CAP certainly helped out some, but the vast majority of sinkings were by other forces, even during 1942.

This site seems to be the final word on this subject:


The combined pressure of depth charge armed aircraft brought by all branches was a deciding factor in the Sub war. No matter if you flew Navy PBYs, Army Long range B-24s, British Lancasters, or CAP Widgeons... a difference was made from the air.

1. Even at Periscope depth the shape and form of a UBoat can be seen on a bright and sunny day from above. While surface ships would've missed the Uboat all together.

2. The number of miles covered by Surface ships as compared to aerial patrols meant the difference between hundreds of millions dollars in Destroyers that didn't need to be built versus dozen of $5,000 to $10,000 per unit CAP air planes. You could build a CAP Air Wing for what one Destroyer cost. We were just as we are now, the most cost efficient alternative.

3. The German's themselves stated that the routine employment of airborne weapons and constant harassment from the air kept UBoats submerged at 6 knots with limited visability as opposed to surface patrols at 2 to 3 times that speed and meant their subsurface fleet became ever more inefficient, ineffective, and eventually not worth the risk.

4. Where Anti Sub patrol planes were, eventually Uboats weren't.

5. These facts simply are not arguable. In 1942 the Navy was embarrassed by all of the Coastal shipping loses. They'd gladly take all the credit they could find. They needed the positive press. To have them award official credit to CAP... was no small thing.

6. Once the presence of Patrol Planes moved the danger lanes farther out to sea and coastal waters caravans and protected convoys became unnecessary - the available assets for other more pressing Trans-Atlantic duties is like building hundreds of extra Destroyers.

7. The German embargo of Britain eventually failed because American naval assets could then be forward deployed across the breadth of the Atlantic. It was a war that had the narrowest of margins for error, among the most amount of risk, and CAP was a near perfect quick response asset. Don't forget in '41 thru '43... Britain was close to starvation.   

So however you count the sinkings or damaging of 2 UBoats - the actual value of the CAP in WW 2 goes far beyond the little tactical battles, the small planes, the tiny bases, the old men in rubber flying suits, and was an absolute 100 percent, strategic success. 

Some credit is CAPs, that is undeniable. How much in precise terms is undetermined... that is the nature of war. The fact that our National language is not German is testament to the combined efforts of all services working in unison in 1942 and early '43.

"Nothing Beats the Heart of a Volunteer." Col. Jimmy Doolittle on the eve of his Tokyo Raid.
With regards;