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Obersteurmann Helmut Klotzch Of U-175 Yells To The Crew Of USCGC Spencer (WPG-36) For Rescue

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Obersteurmann Helmut Klotzch of U-175 yells to the crew of USCGC Spencer (WPG-36) for rescue after the cutter sank his U-Boat on April 17, 1943. U-175 was only five days into her third patrol when she was vectored with twenty-three other U-boats towards convoy HX-233. The convoy departed New York, United States on April 6 and contained fifty-eight merchants and twenty-one escorts of Escort Group A3 under to Captain Paul R. Heineman of Spencer. The U-boats sighted HX-233 at 2133 Hours Convoy Time on April 16. The next morning, while Spencer, HMS Diantbus, and later HMCS Skeena were chasing down sonar contacts, U-628 torpedoed SS Fort Rampart at 0605, which was abandoned and later sunk by the Allies. At 1150, Spencer, who had rejoined HX-233, established sonar contact with U-175. Attacking with two depth charges, Spencer then waited for the convoy to pass her position before attacking again at 1217. USCGC Duane joined Spencer in the hunt; then at 1238 the conning tower of U-175 broke the surface. In a hail of fire from both cutters and the tail end ships of HX-233 (which wrecked Spencer‘s motor launch and killed Spencer‘s Radioman Julius T. Petrella), U-175 was severely damaged. U-175‘s commander Korvettenkapitan Heinrich Bruns (April 3, 1912 – April 17, 1943) was killed. The crew opened the flood valves and abandoned ship. Spencer launched a rowboat with a boarding party under Lieutenant Commander John B. Oren that succeeded in entering the conning tower but could not stop the flooding. As U-175 sank by the stern, forty-one German sailors were rescued by Duane and Spencer. At 1630 the first Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber from Northern Ireland arrived over HX-233, prompting the Kriegsmarine to call off further attacks. U-175‘s survivors were taken to Scotland on April 20, 1943.
Image Filename wwii0182.jpg
Image Size 4.67 MB
Image Dimensions 2792 x 2301
Photographer January, Jack
Photographer Title United States Coast Guard
Caption Author Jason McDonald
Date Photographed April 17, 1943
Location Off USS Spencer
City 47.53N, 22.04W
State or Province 600 Miles Southwest of Ireland
Country Atlantic Ocean
Archive United States Coast Guard
Record Number 1567
Status Caption ©2007, ©2024 MFA Productions LLC
Image in the Public Domain

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