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Declassified Report – April 30th, 1944


E. O. 12356, Sec, 3-3
By FPIDC, NARD, Date 3-15-84



DATE: 30 Apr 44
Init: BHG

APO 167 30 Apr 1944

SUBJECT: Report of Enemy Naval Action.

TO: Commanding Officer, Headquarters ”D” Marshalling Area Headquarters, APO 155, U.S. Army

  1. At 0204 on 28 April 1944 at 50˚ 7′ N. Lat Lat 2˚ 50′ W Long a convoy of 8 LST Ships (Convoy T-4) was attacked by two German ”E” Boats. In the action two LST Ships (LST 507 and LST 531) were hit by enemy torpedoes and sunk. Two other LST Ships were hit by torpedoes but managed to make port. List of survivors and names of recovered dead are attached hereto [attachment currently missing – ed].
  2. LST 507 departed from Dartmouth and LST 531 departed from Plymouth to take part in the ”TIGER” exercise. The attacked ships were in the ”Build-up” phase of the exercise having travelled almost due East of their point of departure to a point just South of the Bill of Portland. At the time of the attack they had turned around and were proceeding in a westerly direction toward Bruxham [sic]. At 0204 the first torpedo hit LST 507 which was soon struck by a second torpedo. LST 531 was struck by a single torpedo.
  3. All other ships taking part in the exercise immediately put on full speed and escaped except LST 515 which returned to the scene and on the orders of the ship’s Captain and picked up all survivors possible. Reports indicate that survivors were in the water from three and one-half to five hours. The major portion of the personnel on the LSTs which were sunk were asleep at the time of the attack and it was noted that on several of the bodies recovered, life preservers were not inflated and were not even properly adjusted. Some bodies recovered did not have identification tags.
  4. The enemy did not suffer any known casualties or damage as a result of this engagement.
  5. The foregoing information was compiled from information received from the following persons:
    Commander Simpson – U.S.N. – Staff Officer of Admiral Wilkes.
    Commander Bell – U.S.N. – Staff Officer of Admiral Wilkes.
    1st Lt. E. W. Dortch, 01584194 – 1st Eng.

Practically all persons were suffering from shock and exposure. It was not deemed advisable to secure statements from survivors as medical attention, feeding and resting of survivors was given priority.

Lt. Col., CE