The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to
“For outstanding performance during anti-submarine operations in the eastern Atlantic on June 4, 1944, when the Task group attacked, boarded and captured the German submarine U-505.
“Setting out on an anti-submarine sweep with the stated purpose of capturing and bringing back to the United States a German submarine, all units of the Task Group worked incessantly throughout the cruise to prepare themselves for the accomplishment of this exceedingly difficult purpose. Locating a single U-boat after a long period of fruitless searches, the entire Task Group participated in intensive search and hold down operations which terminated in the sighting of the submerged submarine by an airplane. An extremely accurate initial depth charge attack by the USS CHATELAIN forced the U-boat to surface where it was subjected to the combined automatic weapons fire of three destroyer escorts and two aircraft. This anti-personnel attack completely achieved its pre-conceived objective in forcing the entire enemy crew to abandon ship while inflicting relatively minor material damage on the submarine.
“Completely unmindful of the dangers involved all units of the Task Group then proceeded to carry out their assigned duties in accomplishing the actual capture. The USS PILLSBURY, badly damaged in a series of attempts to go alongside the erratically maneuvering submarine in order to transfer a mass boarding and repair party, was forced to withdraw and to transfer necessary personnel by small boat. Undeterred by the apparent sinking condition of the U-boat, the danger of explosions of demolition and scuttling charges, and the probability of enemy gunfire, the small boarding party plunged through the conning tower hatch, did everything in its power to keep the submarine afloat and removed valuable papers and documents. Succeeding, and more fully equipped, salvage parties, faced with dangers similar to those which confronted the first group to enter the submarine, performed seemingly impossible tasks in keeping the U-boat afloat until it could be taken in tow by the USS Guadalcanal. After three days of ceaseless labor the captured U-boat was seaworthy and able to withstand, with constant care, the rigors of a twenty-four hundred mile tow to its destination.
“The Task Group's brilliant achievement in disabling, capturing, and towing to a United States base a modern enemy man-of-war taken in combat on the high seas is a feat unprecedented in individual and group bravery, execution, and accomplishment in the Naval History of the United States.”