Subsequent to action of 31 October 1943, by BORIE, covered by separate report, and at position, Latitude 49-00 N., Longitude 31-14 W., about 26 miles east of that action, while conducting search, course 180 T, speed 17-1/2 knots, radar contact was obtained at 0153 ship time (0344 GCT) bearing 170 T, range 8000 yards. Increased speed to 27 knots, holding radar contact until lost at 2800 yards.
Slowed to 15 knots and gained sound contact at 2000 yards bearing 170 T. Conducted depth charge attack, bearing drawing left, range rate 10 knots. At range 500 yards, bearings drew rapidly right. BORIE changed course to 210, range rate dropped to 6 knots. Fired 5 seconds late[r] using 10 knot range rate on recorder for firing purposes.
As BORIE drew away from point of attack during procedure for regaining sound contact, sub was seen to emerge from depth charge disturbance. Radar contact was simultaneously obtained, range 400 yards.
The 24 inch searchlight was trained to the sub using SL radar bearings transmitted by voice over JB phone circuit. Then, assisted by this radar, the searchlight was used continuously until the sub was sunk, except for short period when shut off for tactical reasons.
Changed course to close and increased speed to 25 knots. Range opened to about 1400 yards before turn was completed. BORIE opened fire with all main battery guns and 20MM machine guns as they came to bear during turn.
Sub opened fire with six 20MM guns shortly thereafter and scored hits in forward engine room, as well as scattered and harmless hits near bridge area. However, BORIE’s 20MM battery was extremely effective and in a matter of seconds had wiped out every exposed member of sub’s crew top side. The effectiveness of this battery was an outstanding feature of the next hours running battle. The submarine made continuous effort to man their deck guns, but as each man emerged from the conning tower hatch to the bridge, he was immediately met by a hail of 20MM projectiles.
As BORIE completed turn to close and all the port main battery could bear, control was shifted from local to centralized control, pointer fire. Thence, depending on situation, this method and director control were used almost entirely. A very early salvo, either the second or third, saw all three shells strike the sub's forecastle apparently under forward deck gun. When smoke and fire subsided, deck gun was gone without having fired a shot.
Sub maneuvered on extremely evasive courses at about 15-16 knots trying to escape on surface as BORIE came in firing all guns, closing to ram.
Coming up on sub’s starboard quarter at 25 knots range closed rapidly and BORIE turned in to ram. Just a few seconds before the crash, with course about 295° relative to sub’s, the sub turned hard left attempting to parallel BORIE, however, BORIE struck about 30 feet abaft sub’s stern and rode up and over sub’s forecastle, pinning it under.
The two ships remained in this position for about 10 minutes, with angle between centerlines about 25 to 30 degrees from parallel headings.
During this part of the action main battery guns #2 and #4, and 20MM machine guns #3, #4, and #6 kept up a continual fire, battering the conning tower, machine guns, and after end of sub to a flaming wreck.
Several attempts were made by the sub to man its guns but no one got near them, being met by four inch, 20MM, Tommy Gun, pistol, rifle, and shot gun fire. One man was killed by a sheath knife thrown from BORIE’s deck and which buried itself in the man’s stomach, another was knocked overboard by an empty four inch shell case thrown by the gun captain of gun #2 which could not then bear.
At this time it was possible to examine the sub fairly thoroughly. She was about 300 feet long, painted a very light gray with a polar bear device on conning tower. Three numbers had been painted on conning tower but the space they occupied had been too badly shot up to distinguish them. Forecastle deck faired back its full length with no flare in sheer line where gun had been. Six machine guns were mounted on after end of bridge structure, one centerline quadruple open mount, and two single mounts on each side and forward of quad.
The sub’s bow had been badly battered, apparently by the depth charge attack. It was during this period that BORIE received severe underwater damage along entire port side, including both engine rooms, as ships pounded together in sea, before separating.
Sub got underway again with BORIE in pursuit, firing main and 20MM battery effectively, one four inch shell exploding in sub’s starboard diesel exhaust. Sub took advantage of its short turning circle to open range to about 400 to 500 yards. At this time BORIE brought port torpedo battery on target, but as first torpedo of salvo was fired sub turned radically. Balance of spread was not fired. No hit was made.
Sub then went into tight circle to port and because of large turning circle, BORIE could not close. Forward engine room was seriously flooded by this time, thus hampering movements.
However, sub was held under continuous fire, hits being registered in good fashion. By this time, about 35 of the sub’s crew had been killed.
At this point the searchlight was intentionally doused and sub, trying to escape in darkness, turned right. Radar was used to follow sub until position was advantageous to again use light. Sub was then picked up in light.
Sub now came on to starboard bow under fire of starboard battery. BORIE closed to ram again, but just before contact, sub slowed and turned into BORIE’s starboard quarter. BORIE immediately turned hard left, backing full on port engine throwing stern toward sub, to bring it in range of projectors and fired starboard depth charge projector battery. Three charges, set at 30 feet, with #1 and $5 projectors loaded with #1 impulse charge, #3 loaded with #2 charge. Result was a perfect straddle grouped around conning tower, one over and two short. All exploded, lifting sub bodily and stopping it before it touched BORIE. Being nearly dead in water, BORIE was well shaken by depth charges.
During this entire time all bearing guns were firing and hitting well.
Sub then turned astern of BORIE, at reduced speed, BORIE turned left to close again, range opened out to about 600-700 yards. Remaining two torpedoes in port battery were readied, tubes ordered trained to match pointers, and the stand-by given as pointers neared matching. Just prior to firing, with tubes 10 degrees from bearing, the main battery fired a full salvo which knocked an engine room hatch open, catching the under side of the tube, jamming it. One torpedo was fired and seen to pass within 10 feet of the sub's bow, but did not hit.
However, a main battery salvo struck the sub’s starboard diesel exhaust (the second hit in this spot) and sub immediately slowed, stopped, and surrendered, firing white Very's stars. Several of these were fired with a few red and green, apparently in a shower.
About 15 members of the crew, with yellow rubber rafts, abandoned ship. Within two or three minutes the sub sank stern first at steep angle and exploded, possibly from scuttling charges set by officer who was last person seen to leave sub.
As BORIE maneuvered to pick up first of survivors, the personnel in rafts continued to fire Very’s stars, apparently signalling to another sub, since the entire group of survivors was only 50-60 yards from BORIE, held in beam of searchlight. An answering white star was seen bearing about 220 T.
At this time, with survivors just off port bow, and BORIX heading 240 T, the sound operator heard torpedo bearing 220. BORIE immediately went ahead with all available speed coming hard left to 220. Torpedo was followed down port side by sound gear and slightly phosphorescent wake was apparent.
Unfortunately, these evasive tactics forced the ship to run directly over group of survivors. They were not seen again as BORIE cleared area, using radical zigzag gaining room to northwest.
The entire action, from the initial contact until the sub sank, lasted one hour and four minutes.
The ramming resulted in serious damage to BORIE. The entire port side, from bow to after end of “D” tanks was badly crushed and holed. The forward engine room flooded completely in spite of all efforts to prevent it.
Only minor casualties to personnel occurred during action.
Of particular note was the effectiveness of the 20MM battery. “Murderous” is the only word which adequately describes it. That battery prevented any successful use of the sub’s guns. Only two stoppages were experienced and these were quickly cleared. Ranges varied from about 1200-1400 yards down to 40 feet.
Having no radar control of the main battery, use of the searchlight was mandatory. It was entirely successful, but furnished the sub with information as to BORIE’s location.
The inability of the 1200 ton destroyer to turn sharply was a severe handicap, resulting in prolonging the action and making possible the sub’s evasion of a direct blow in ramming tactics.
Ship’s doctrine for the use of shallow set depth charges against a surfaced sub was amply justified by the results obtained.
Throughout the action, the initiative of all personnel and their quick estimate of the situation were gratifying. One example was that period of the engagement when the sub was pinned alongside. On 27 October, during the routine battle drills, the situation was presented by the Executive Officer, wherein a submarine rammed the ship in the port side of the forward engine room. When this action, then, presented almost exactly that situation, every man acted immediately without orders.
Although the facilities for a CIC of any great import in a ship of the BORIE’s type are extremely limited, every effort was made to utilize what did exist. It functioned exactly as planned, furnishing all possible information without a hitch, under the direction of the Executive Officer, who remained there except when sub was alongside. During that phase of the action he used a Tommy Gun from the bridge with telling effectiveness.
Sound operator, KENT, Lerten V., soundman second class, 618-11-57, U. S. Naval Reserve.