USS Erie (PG-50)
Gunboat of the Erie class
|Navy||The US Navy|
|Built by||New York Navy Yard (New York, New York, U.S.A.)|
|Laid down||17 Dec 1934|
|Launched||29 Feb 1936|
|Commissioned||1 Jul 1936|
|Lost||5 Dec 1942|
On 10 November 1942 USS Erie (Capt. A.R. Mack) left Port of Spain, Trinidad escorting the convoy TAG-20 to Guantanamo Bay. At 2200 hours on 12 November 1942 the German submarine U-163 reported a hit on a Somers class destroyer in position 12º04'N, 68º57'W but this was USS Erie which caught fire, worsened by the rupture of tanks of oil and gasoline. The charges for her 6in guns exploded and the crew was ordered to abandon ship because the fires got out of control after she was beached northwest of Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands West Indies. Seven men were killed and eleven wounded. The survivors were picked up by the Dutch gunboat HrMs Van Kinsbergen.
Four days later, firefighters with advanced equipment boarded USS Erie and the next day they were augmented by specialists brought down from Norfolk. The fires were extinguished and the gunboat was towed into the harbour of Willemstad for repairs. Before they could be completed, she began to take a starboard list and when counterflooded, capsized to port, sinking on 5 December 1942 and was declared a total loss. USS Erie was struck from the Naval Register on 28 July 1943.
Hit by U-boat
|U-boat Attack||See our U-boat attack entry for the USS Erie|
Commands listed for USS Erie (PG-50)
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|1||Cdr. Allan Withers Ashbrook, USN||27 Apr 1937||6 Jun 1940|
|2||Cdr. Andrew Robert Mack, USN||6 Jun 1940||5 Dec 1942|
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