April is the cruelest month
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain
--The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot
Bravery is the capacity to perform properly
even when scared half to death
April was a cruel month for a U.S. Destroyer and two German U boats in 1944 and '45.
Somewhere in the North Atlantic on April 24, 1945, 900 miles from St. Johns, Newfoundland, the Destroyer Escort USS Frederick C. Davis (DE 136) was sunk by a German torpedo fired by the U 546. 105 men were lost.
The sub was subsequently sunk by the killer team composed of the destroyer escorts USS Pillsbury (DE 133), USS Flaherty (DE 135) and the USS Chatelain (DE 149), Hubbard (De 211), USS Kieth (DE241), USS Neunzer (DE 150), USS Janssen (DE 396) and the USS Varian (DE 798). This was to be the last U boat sunk in the Battle of the Atlantic, and it occurred on April 24, 1945.
The Davis lost 105 men, and the survivors were brought aboard the Chatelain, as were a number of the German U boat crew. 33 Germans were captured.
The Chatelain was ordered to the scene of the attack at 1346. At 1637 the Chatelain returned to the line. 1838 the U boat surfaced.
My father was a crew member of the USS Chatelain.