May 22, 1944 – This Day During World War ll – Destroyer escort England sinks Japanese submarine RO-106

May 22, 1944 – Destroyer escort England sinks Japanese submarine RO-106, 250 miles north of Kavieng, New Ireland,
In early May 1944,a new destroyer escort (DE), the England, arrived at an American base in the Solomon Islands.
On May 18, the England, captained by Lt. Cmdr. Walton B. Pendleton, was assigned to Escort Division 39. The division also included the DEs George and Raby. All three ships had been fitted with Hedgehogs.
Early on the morning of May 22, the three DEs were patrolling Admiral Toyoda’s scouting line west of Manus Island. At 3:50 am George reported a surface contact at seven miles; England also picked up the target and dashed ahead at full speed. Pendleton hoped to get in position to flank the stranger and box it in.
Minutes later, George turned on her searchlight and swept the area. A submerging submarine was suddenly illuminated. George fired a Hedgehog salvo at the rapidly diving boat, but no hits were registered. England’s sonar soon located the escaping enemy sub, and she launched her Hedgehogs without success. Pendleton circled around for another attack, and at 4:45 another full load of grenades was fired from the destroyer escort. Bull’s-eye! Three explosions were heard at a depth of 240 feet. As England came about for another pass over its target, a heavy underwater eruption rocked the ship. Pendleton headed for the center of the explosion site. An oil slick was forming on the water, and a small quantity of debris was recovered. Pendleton, in a letter to COMSUBPAC (Commander Submarines Pacific) theorized that the enemy submarine was badly damaged by the Hedgehogs, and its captain, rather than risk capture, exploded his warhead magazine. The confirmation of that theory was lost with the captain and crew of RO-106.

Rack of Hedgehogs

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