Escort Division 4, Task Group
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The sinking of U-515 occurred northwest of Madeira in the North Atlantic.
Twice in the early morning of 9 April, 1944, planes from USS Guadalcanal attacked a surfaced sub. She dived both times after returning fire from the aircraft. Pillsbury and Flaherty arrived at the scene 45 minutes later. Pillsbury gained sonar contact and made two hedgehog attacks while Flaherty conducted a circular search around her. Contact was lost. Chatelain joined the two DEs, and the three initiated a retiring search.
Pope also joined and made a contact at 1120. During the next several hours, she made numerous depth charge attacks. Chatelain was ordered to assist Pope, with Pillsbury and Flaherty searching a perimeter around the other two DEs. By midafternoon, Pope reported contact lost, and all DEs joined the search until Chatelain got a firm contact on the sub.
The sonar silent Pope maneuvered over U-515 where she dumped charges right on the target. Chatelain then delivered two accurate and destructive depth charge attacks.
Chatelain was on a course opposite to that of the U-boat, which was either dead in the water or moving very slowly. At 3000 yards, when the angle between the sub and Chatelain opened, Flaherty's guns were accurate; the sub was crossed twice, and hits were scored.
When Flaherty was abeam of Chatelain and the U-boat, Chatelain reported that the sub was sinking and all DEs ceased fire.
1512 - The submarine sank.
Flaherty and Pillsbury sound-searched the area while Pope and Chatelain recovered survivors. Six officers and 37 men of U-515 were rescued.
Read the Recollections of Lieutenant Commander Dudley S. Knox, USNR, USS Chatelain DE-149, of the sinking of German submarines U-515.
Read a First Person Account by Frank P. DeNardo, former signalman 2/C aboard the USS Chatelain.