Ships hit by U-boats

USS Leary (DD 158)

American Destroyer

NameUSS Leary (DD 158)
Type:Destroyer (Wickes-Tattnall)
Tonnage1,090 tons
Completed1919 - New York Shipbuilding Corp, Camden NJ 
OwnerUnited States Navy 
Date of attack24 Dec 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-275 (Helmut Bork)
Position45° 15'N, 21° 40'W - Grid BE 7343
Complement156 officers and men (97 dead and 59 survivors).
History Completed in December 1919 as USS Leary (DD 158). 1921 joined Pacific Battle Fleet and decommissioned in 1922. 1930 reactivated and joined the Atlantic Fleet. From 1939 to 1943 patrol and escort duty in the Atlantic. During 1943 made anti-submarine exercises with USS R-5 (SS 82) in the Caribbean. In June 1943 returned to escort duty in Atlantic and in late November 1943 joined the hunter-killer Task Group 21.14.

USS Leary (DD 158) received one battle star for her WWII service. 
Notes on event

On 24 December 1943 the American hunter-killer Task Group 21.14, formed around USS Card (CVE 11) was spotted by a German reconnaissance aircraft and the wolfpack Borkum was ordered to attack. The carrier had a narrow escape when three FAT torpedoes fired by U-415 (Neide) missed her at 01.43 hours. The same U-boat also missed USS Decatur (DD 341) with a Gnat.

At 05.05 hours, U-275 fired a Gnat at USS Leary (DD 158) (Cdr J.E. Kyes, USN) and hit her on the starboard side in the after engine room. A second Gnat fired by U-382 (Zorn) at 05.21 hours missed the already sinking destroyer. She sank after a huge internal explosion within one minute about 585 miles west-northwest of Cape Finisterre. The survivors were picked up by USS Schenck (DD 159) which found U-645 (Ferro) later the same day, evaded a torpedo and sank the U-boat with depth charges.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 156 people who were on board

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Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

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