Archiver > MARINERS > 2005-03 > 1111315480

From: "Barry Johnson" <>
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2005 10:44:45 -0000
In-Reply-To: <004d01c52ca8$a856b5f0$e1fa86d9@finch96fpe5ia0>

Thanks very much, Ted. That's exactly the same account as the one my friend
has in his war-time book, which I took to be propaganda.

I must say, I'm not entirely convinced. Neither Clay Blair not Kenneth Wynn
refer to the incident, and no U-boat sinking has been ascribed to the
BEDFORD. Paul Kemp gives a day-by-day record of U-boat sinkings, showing
U-612 sunk by collision in the Baltic on 6 Aug; on the same day, U-210 was
rammed and sunk by HMCS ASSINIBOINE in the N.Atlantic; on 9 Aug, U-379 was
also rammed and sunk by HMS DIANTHUS. Both warships were escorting SC94.
No U-boat is recorded as sunk on 8 Aug.

However, Wynn notes that U-704 missed the BEDFORD in the early morning of 8
Aug 42. As this boat survived the War, to be broken up in 1947, it couldn't
be the one "sunk" by the BEDFORD. That's the only time she was attacked,
according to Wynn.

Rather less clear-cut than Capt. Fryatt's epic WW1 feat! (Though at least
Capt. Busk-Wood didn't share in Capt. Fryatt's fate - execution when
captured later.)


-----Original Message-----
From: Ted Finch [mailto:]
Sent: 19 March 2005 17:26


From "Canadian Pacific" by George Musk -

The DUCHESS OF BEDFORD left Liverpool for Boston on 7th Aug.1942. Two days
out of Liverpool in heavy seas, a U-Boat was sighted about 400 yards astern.
Captain Busk-Wood altered course and opened fire at a range of only 100
yards. The first shell hit the water and ricochetted the length of the
U-Boat. The second struck abaft the conning tower with a terrific explosion.
Two more direct hits were scored, one entering the hull and the other
hitting the conning tower. Immediately after these hits, the U-Boats bow
rose 30 degrees out of the water and she sank. A second u-Boat was sighted
shortly afterward, but after three rounds from the BEDFORD, she submerged
quickly. For this action, the captain was made an OBE.

If this is a true account, I don't think there is much doubt that the U-Boat

was sunk.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Barry Johnson" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2005 3:43 PM

>A friend of mine was evacuated to Canada aboard the DUCHESS OF BEDFORD in
> 1940. (See also my posting "US built escort carrier, 1944".)
> He has a book, written and published during the War, in which is narrated
> an
> encounter between this ship and a U-boat, during which the latter was sunk
> by gunfire from the liner.
> I told him I didn't believe it, as I'd never heard of it, and such an
> incident would have been widely reported and frequently referred to in
> histories, like the epic encounter between the US Liberty ship STEPHEN
> HOPKINS and the German surface raider STEIR.
> Was I just showing my ignorance? Did it actually happen?
> Barry Johnson
> ==== Mariners Mailing List ====
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Listowners Debbie Beavis:
> Ted Finch:
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


This thread: