Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Attack on U-Boat, 1 May 1942

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Orleans, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,329
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Attack on U-Boat, 1 May 1942

    I have before me the report of F/L Vivian Evelyn Camacho for his attack on U-292, 27 May 1944. This was carried out with No.59 Squadron. The form states that he joined No.59 Squadron on 15 November 1943. However, in a space for previous attacks on U-boats it states he was involved in an attack on 1 May 1942 - presumably with a unit other than No.59. I have no other details of this earlier attack. Does anyone have information on this event - unit, crew position, aircraft, place, course of action ?

    Although a member of the RCAF from 24 August 1940, Camacho appears to have retired in England on 25 November 1945. A website dedicated to British West Indian aircrew gives no postwar information on him. If he is deceased 20 years or more (and some evidence to that effect can be provided) I can consult his service file and at least determine his unit as of May 1942.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,536
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts

    Default

    Hugh,

    I cannot find a Death Reg for yr man in England & Wales back to 1973. BUT, there are 7 Camacho's in the BT Kensington fone directory!! One of them might know someone who does know when yr V E Camacho went to his Last Debrief!
    Rgds
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,405
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 34 Times in 33 Posts

    Default

    No.233's first anti-submarine success from Gibraltar was on 1 May 1942. P/O Camacho in (Hudson) T9387 attacked a U-boat at 1305hrs apparently without success. At 1456hrs Sgt Brent in (Hudson) AM735 sighted a U-boat heading east at eight knots. He made a diving attack from 1700ft releasing three DCs from thirty feet set at twenty-five feet depth and spaced at sixty feet. Two DCs exploded to starboard abaft the conning tower and the vessel submerged. A minute later ten feet of its bows appeared perpindicular to the surface before sliding down and settling on an even keel. About 100 to 120* [sic] of its crew appeared with hands raised until Brent left at 1520hrs.

    Some lists give U-573 as being sunk in this attack at position 37 degrees 00'N 01 degrees 00'E, another as damaged.

    * U-573 had a crew of 44 (1 killed, 43 survivors).

    See:
    Lockheed Hudson in World War II.
    Hendrie,Andrew.
    Shrewsbury:Airlife,1999.
    p.64.

    Here is an excerpt from Norman Franks' version:

    U-573 had been badly damaged in the attack (by Sgt Brent), which took place north-west of Tenes, off Algeria. After the Hudson departed, the crew got the vessel under way and managed to limp into Cartagena, Spain, where she was paid off and subsequently sold to the Spanish Government. She had left St Naziare for the Mediterranean on 11 December 1941, entering on the night of 18/19 December, she had sunk one ship.

    See:
    Search,Find and Kill:The RAF's U-Boat Successes in World War Two.
    Franks,Norman
    London:Grub Street,1995.
    pp.210-11

    See also: http://www.uboat.net/boats/u573.htm

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 22nd May 2010 at 16:29.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reykjavík, Iceland
    Posts
    23
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I have U-74 reporting at 1310 (time zone unknown) 01May42 being attacked by Hudson B/233, no damage inflicted. Was B/233 by chance T9387?

    Ragnar

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Orleans, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,329
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    The information tying Camacho to No.233 Squadron eliminates my most pressing need to access his file (although if a date of death is confirmed I would like to know). With the help of this Forum I have now revised his award data base entry to the following:

    CAMACHO, F/L Vivian Evelyn (J4899) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.59 Squadron - Award effective 1 September 1944 as per London Gazette dated 15 September 1944 and AFRO 2373/44 dated 3 November 1944. Born March 1919 in British West Indies; served in Officer Training Corps, England, 1932-1936. Home in Radcliffe, Manitoba; enlisted in Montreal 24 August 1940. To No.1 ITS, 7 October 1940; graduated and promoted LAC, 4 November 1940 when posted to No.3 EFTS; graduated 23 December 1940 when posted to No.5 SFTS; graduated and commissioned, 20 March 1941. To No.31 GRS, 30 March 1941. To “Y” Depot, 4 July 1941. To RAF overseas, 20 July 1941. Promoted Flying Officer, 20 March 1942. At 1305 hours on 1 May 1942, flying Hudson T9387 of No.233 Squadron from Gibraltar, he attacked a U-Boat, apparently without success. This craft was subsequently attacked by a Sergeant Brent (Hudson AM735) heading east at eight knots. Brent made a diving attack from 1,700 feett releasing three depth charges from 30 feet set at twenty-five feet depth and spaced at sixty feet. Two exploded to starboard abaft the conning tower and the vessel submerged. A minute later ten feet of its bows appeared perpendicular to the surface before sliding down and settling on an even keel. This proved to be U-573 which was subsequently interned in Spain . Sources: Lockheed Hudson in World War II by Andrew Hendrie (Shrewsbury:Airlife,1999, p.64) and Norman Franks, Search, Find and Kill: The RAF's U-Boat Successes in World War Two (London,Grub Street,1995, pp.210-211), with help from RAF Commands website. Camacho promoted Flight Lieutenant, 20 March 1943. Retired 25 November 1945, apparently in England. Invested with award by King George 29 June 1945.

    This officer completed a tour of operational duty on Hudson aircraft. He has since taken part in many anti-submarine patrols. Early this year he was captain of an aircraft which delivered a telling attack on an enemy U-boat. This attack was pressed home in the face of extremely heavy anti-aircraft fire and in very bad weather. Since the above action Flight Lieutenant Camacho has continued to display great keenness and a fine fighting spirit.

    NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/9276 has original recommendation dated 17 July 1944 when he had flown 23 Very Long Range sorties (326 operational hours); he was reported as having flown 500 hours on his first tour !

    This officer joined No.59 Squadron on the 12th November 1943, and has since completed 23 sorties. This is his second operational tour with Coastal Command, having already competed a tour on Hudson aircraft prior to joining this unit.

    On the 27th May 1944, Flight Lieutenant Camacho was captain of aircraft "S" (No.59 Squadron) when a U-boat was sighted in an estimated position of 62̊ 37' North, 00̊ 57' East. The weather conditions at the time were extremely bad and the captain was forced to descend below 300 feet before breaking cloud and making his sighting, having previously obtained a radar contact. The captain, however, pressed home a very determined attack at low altitude in the face of extremely heavy flak.

    During the run in, the starboard engine was damaged by a cannon shell to such an extent that the aircraft returned to base on the remaining three engines. The attack was, however, well executed, and an analysis given by higher authority was "probably sunk".

    Since the above action, Flight Lieutenant Camacho has continued to display great keenness and aggressiveness in carrying out his duties concerning U-boat warfare,y and has been a fine example to junior and less experienced members of the squadron.

    The U-Boat was U-292 which had no sinkings to its credit and was lost with all hands. Camacho’s crew consisted of J6392 F/L J.R. Morrill (co-pilot), NZ421915 F/O R.S. Shewry (navigator), Aus 418108 Flight Sergeant R.D. Hall (co-navigator, Nfld 798694 Flight Sergeant L.E. Proudfoot (1st WOAG), R115281 Warrant Officer W. Wilkinson (2nd WOAG), Aus 422238 Flight Sergeant L. McCleary (3rd WOAG), 577947 Sergeant W. Derbyshire (WOM Air), 1579452 Sergeant L.M. Waltham (flight engineer). Canacho had previously dropped 64 practice bombs and four depth charges. He had also made one previous attack on a U-Boat (1 May 1942). Initial radar contact at 15 miles, lost at 12 miles and regained at eight miles. Aircraft broke cloud at 250 feet and one and one-half miles from target. The first visual sighting was made jointly by Camacho and Shewry. The aircraft carried eight 250-lb depth charges set to a depth of 25 feet; six were dropped, spaced at 55 feet. The submarine took no evasive action. Aircrew reported two explosions short and very close to U-Boat with four overshooting. The area was not searched owing to an engine catching fire just after the attack. They did observe a large oil patch, 150 yards by 50 yards. Gunners reported firing 500 rounds (tail), 80 rounds (front) and 20 rounds each from beam guns. The complete narrative read:

    On 26th/27th May 1944, aircraft “S”, No.59 Squadron was on C.L.A. [creeping line ahead] search in area 62/63̊ North - 0100̊ to 0200 E. At 0810 hours a radar contact was obtained at 045̊ port, range 15 miles. Through a misunderstanding on the part of the Special Equipment operator, the aircraft turned to starboard; this was immediately rectified and aircraft turned on to correct heading, contact being regained at eight miles. Height was lost through cloud and radar contact maintained to three miles, when it was lost in sea returns. Aircraft then broke cloud at 250 feet in position 62̊37'N - 00̊57'E, and sighted U-Boat on bearing 070̊ Red 1 ˝ miles.

    At attack was made across the beam of the U-Boat, aircraft tracking over the conning tower. The six depth charges were dropped at a spacing of 55 feet, but although the points of entry were not observed, the rear gunner saw the depth charge plumes rising on both sides and completely enveloped the U-Boat from the conning tower to the stern. By the size and shape of these plumes he estimated two depth charges on starboard and four on the port side.

    After passing over U-Boat, the starboard beam gunner saw a bright yellow explosion amidst the depth charge plumes and approximately half their size. This explosion appeared to be a few feet above the surface of the sea.

    The aircraft then turned to sharply port, and the starboard beam gunner, who had crossed over to the port side beam window, saw that the depth charge plumes had subsided and that the bows only of the U-Boat were sticking out of the water at an angle of approximately 20̊.

    At this time the attention of the crew was diverted from the U-Boat for approximately one minute, due to one of the aircraft engine catching fire.

    The U-Boat was then observed to be stationary and submerging on an even keel. This was seen by four members of the crew.

    The aircraft then passed over the position, but no swirl was seen. The aircraft once again circled the position, a large oil patch of a blue-green colour and the depth charge scum being seen.

    Due to damage sustained during the attack, the aircraft then set course for base.

    During the attack nose gunner fired short sighting burst at 1,000 yards. As the range closed, bursts of approximately 30 and 40 rounds were fired, several hits being registered on the conning tower.

    A member of the U-Boat crew was observed between the bandstand and the conning tower, and as the aircraft approached he fell forward on to his face.

    The rear gunner, who had his guns fully depressed, opened fire when he heard the navigator say “Bombs gone”, and continued until out of range. Both port and starboard beam guns were fired.

    Intense light and medium flak was experienced most of which appeared to pass under the port wing. The aircraft sustained damage from flak in No.1 engine.

    The time from commencing the attack to complete submergence of U-Boat was three to four minutes.

    The Squadron Commanding Officer, Wing Commander P.A. Gilchrist, wrote:

    This appears to have been a good attack and was carried out in extremely bad weather conditions. It is unfortunate that a second attack could not be made before the U-Boat submerged, but with such a low cloud base and an engine on fire, the captainn of the aircraft was fully occupied during the short space of time following the first attack and the disappearing of the U-Boat. It is unfortunate that the first three negatives off the mirror camera do not disclose the points of entry of the depth charges, but a professional photographic interpreter may be able to assess the position of the explosions in relation to the U-Boat.

    The Coastal Command assessment at the time was “B” (probably sunk).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,497
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Ragnar,

    Could you identify your source for the attack on U-74 on 1 May 1942 please?

    U-74 was sunk the following day in a combined action involving HMS Wishart, HMS Wrestler and a 202 Sqn Catalina (202/C) at 37.32N 00.10E (source http://www.uboat.net/boats/u74.htm). The submarine was on the 10th day of its patrol and according to U-boat.net (http://www.uboat.net/boats/patrols/patrol_539.html) no messages had been received about any attack the previous day.

    U-boat.net always appreciates additional information about incidents such as this.

    Hugh,

    Slightly different story re U-573 from U-boat.net (http://www.uboat.net/boats/u573.htm). U-573 was attacked and badly damaged by a Hudson of 233 Sqn on 29 April. She sailed for Cartagena, arriving on 2 May, and was subsequently sold to the Spanish Navy. Renamed G-7 (later S-01) the submarine was recommissioned in 1947 and remained operational until 1970. The reference also includes photographs of the submarine.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 23rd May 2010 at 09:57. Reason: New reference

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    667
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Hugh,

    just a little background on him from ancestry. He seems to have been going to and from The West Indies-England numerous times before the war: June 1921 (with Mary [aunt?] and Evelyn and proposed address in UK - Derby), April 1927 (with parents Maurice V [barrister] and Evelyn H with proposed address at The Savoy, London!), June 1929 (with mother Evelyn Helen proposed address at The Savoy again), June 1932 (with both parents again and proposed address The Savoy), September 1934 (with both parents and Vivian is listed as a student by now), October 1935 (on his own and stated as student, Downside School, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, nr Bath), September 1936 (student at Downside still), September 1937 (travelling on own and now stated as Student, Jesus College, Cambridge).

    There is also a V E Camacho consistently appearing in the Telephone directory in the UK up to 1984 (when the records stop on ancestry)

    Hope it all helps!

    Cheers, Tom

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,405
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 34 Times in 33 Posts

    Default

    Brian,

    You might care to take a look at the final reference on Post # 3.

    Col.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,497
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Ooops, apologies Col. I was really trying to indicate U-573 had previously been badly damaged on 29 April, not 1 May, and got carried away. U-boat.net makes no reference to a subsequent attack. It would be interesting to see the vessel's KTB (war diary).

    Brian

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reykjavík, Iceland
    Posts
    23
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hugh,
    My source is Prof. Dr. Axel Niestlé, renown German u-boat historian. The attack took place in German naval grid CH 9278 [3733N, 0418E].

    Can you confirm whether T9387 was B/233?

    Ragnar

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •